Sunday, July 12, 2009

Say it loud.
The International Film Festival kicked off in our town this week, and there's a ton of fine cinematic treats on offer. If you're a music fan, make sure you catch Soul Power. It had its first screening this afternoon, and I can report it's a stone killer. Second and last screening in Auckland is this Tuesday night, at 6.30pm, Skycity Theatre.

Via Flavourwire:
Soul Power documents the Zaire ‘74 all-star concert that set the stage for Muhammad Ali and George Foreman’s legendary Rumble in the Jungle. Originally uncovered during the editing of Oscar-winning documentary When We Were Kings (1996), which captured the Ali/Foreman fight, this sizzling footage has been waiting nearly 35 years to see the light. Kings incorporated just a few tantalizing glimpses of the three-day concert.

Soul Power sets the record straight by featuring complete, historic performances from legends such as B.B. King, Bill Withers, Miriam Makeba, Celia Cruz and the Fania Allstars, The Spinners, and an incendiary James Brown, whose 1971 single lends the film its title.

Like the Rumble itself, the Zaire ‘74 concert marked a seminal moment of cross-cultural contact, bringing together African and Black American musicians for a festival spanning geography and generations. Shot by acclaimed cinematographers including Albert Maysles and Paul Goldsmith, the verité-style doc captures the event’s political and spiritual intensity with intimacy and style.

Watch the trailer, read our exclusive interview with the director, check out video of Celia Cruz’s performance.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, Basefm July 11
Chosen few - People make the world go round
Butch Cassidy sound system -Rockers galore
Beat pharmacy -Sunshine
Jackie Mittoo - Wall Street
Tommy McCook and the Supersonics -Beriut
Trackheadz - Jah shall come
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Alyo
Phenomenal handclap band - Baby
Lee Scratch Perry -International broadcaster
Major Lazer - Can't stop now
Manasseh - Creation dub
Naomi Shelton - Trouble in my way
Orgone - Come around
Salmonella dub - Freak local
Topaz -Pharaoh
Aim - Birchwood
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Party started
Booker T and the MGs - Melting pot
Speedometer -Work it out (Beatfanatic remix)
DJ Vadim - Hidden treasure
Cooly G - Love dub
Revolutionaries - Kunta Kinte (DJ Kentaro remix)
UBB - I believe in miracles
Angela Bofill - People make the world go round

Ring The Alarm playlist, Basefm July 4

MJ vs Q-Tip -Breathe dont stop
Guts - And the living is easy
DJ Vadim - Watch that sound JStar remix
Prince Jammy - Dub ites green and gold
Mere Mortalz feat U Brown - Dis a boom
Noiseshaper - This is not a gun thing
Freddie Cruger -Running from love
Brother culture -Warning/Warning dub
Beat Pharmacy - Strangers
Budos band -Mas o menos
The topics - Louie Louie
Staple singers -Something aint right
Emotions - Blind alley
Quantic - Cuidad del swing
Sister Nancy - One two
Romanowski -Strudel strut
Orgone - Already doin it
Nickodemus - Gypsy magic
Issa Bagayogo - Filaw (Senor Oz remix)
Jackson 5 - I want you back (Readymade 524 remix)
Phenomenal handclap band - 15 to 20
Dub asylum - Jump and twist
Dubwize and Hi Kee - Goodness gracious
Lee Perry -Yellow tongue (Kode9 remix)
Kode9 - Back sun

Can I get a handclap?

I've been listening to the debut album from New York crew the Phenomenal Handclap Band. I came across them late last year via music blogs, and got hooked after hearing their tune 15 to 20. Its catchy as hell.

"This 8-strong group of NYC-area musicians (and featuring Jon Spencer and Lady Tiga) blend space disco and smooth 60s-style soul perfectly with early hip hop, and moody, synth-soaked hooks'. Now how many bands can you say that about?"

They dropped their first single on Truth and Soul earlier this year, and their debut self-titled album came out On Friendly Fire Recordings late June. Haven't seen physical copies in this part of the world yet, but you can buy it as a digital download - I got it from Juno Download..

Go have a listen to 15 to 20 here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dam Funk
Free mp3 over here. Mad. "Dam-Funk is currently putting finishing touches on his debut album Toeachizown which will be released this Fall as 5/LP set - two and a half hours of music - with CD version to follow."
DJ Cliffy, Black Rio 2 promo mix
Via the Fader: "Look, we know how much we talk about the weather on this site, but what can we say, we’re trapped in big-windowed offices and it is perfect outside. And when it’s not perfect outside, we put on music like Black Rio 2 and think about where it is perfect outside.

DJ Cliffy, who curated the compilation of “Samba Soul” from 1968 to 1981, just made a mix of songs from it and you get the feeling these Brazilian a-holes never even think twice about the forecast, just how narrow their buttfloss is going to be that day or, like, which of their girlfriends is the most supermodelish. Jerks. Regardless, we appreciate their ability to translate that to music for the rest of us."

Download: DJ Cliffy, “Black Rio 2 Promo Mix” (zshare) (mediafire)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Harry Allen, Media Assassin
I was following a chain of posts from Harry Allen on Twitter today, and they make for interesting reading, So I strung them together, below. He talked about a seminar where he posed this idea...

"I make the illustration of someone getting a mortgage, paying it back faithfully, then, after the last payment, having a mortgage-burning party, only to find that the bank has taken back the house. Foul, correct? They listened. I then asked them, in like manner, if artists pay back advances through royalties, why do labels then take ownership of master recordings?"
Response? Oh boy.

You know who Harry Allen is, right? He was Public Enemy's media assassin. Need more? His bio is here.

from @harryallen (via Twitter)

The music business is, essentially, an interface between children and sharks.

Artists, for the most part, are distracted and pre-occupied with bright, shiny things we call "art." Put a contract in front of an artist...

...on one side, then a pretty picture, or lovely sound, on the other. 98 times out of 100, the artist will pick up the art. The music biz... designed to exploit that tendency.

Two Lyor Cohen memories: 1) Him, backstage at Nassau Coliseum, egging Eric Sermon on to spit some new rhymes the Green-Eyed Bandit had...

...recently composed, and of which the rapper was especially proud. Even at that moment, I knew I was watching skillful patronizing.

Second Lyor Cohen memory: NYU, about 5 years ago. Roundtable with Russell, Kevin Liles, Lyor. I'm moderating. 500+ people in audience.

I make the illustration of someone getting a mortgage, paying it back faithfully, then, after the last payment, having a mortgage-burning..., only to find that the bank has taken back the house. Foul, correct? They listened. I then asked them, in like manner, if...

...artists pay back advances through royalties, why do labels then take ownership of master recordings? Lyor made this loud, annoyed...

..teeth-sucking, displeased sigh sound, and started talking about people having other things to do, as the audience when, "Ooooooo...."

When I went there, one of the Def Jam execs sent me a note asking me to not talk about this. I don't have audio of the discussion because...

...the Grammy's, or whichever organization was sponsoring the event got pissed and wouldn't give me a tape, though they'd agreed to before.

I've been waiting for this day for years. I've been talking about the electronic dist. of music since the early 90s. See

I did a panel in July 1994, at the last New Music Seminar, the one where I heard Marc Josephson tell an n-word joke. The title was...

"Multimedia: Will Digital Technology Make Record Companies Obsolete?" Six people from the industry, six renegades, incl. Chuck, the IUMA...

...guys, Adam Curry, who'd registered when the company didn't know enough to care, and Free Software guru Richard Stallman.

To the thesis question, the industry guys said no, tech wouldn't obsolete the industry. The others said yes, and Stallman said that, not...

...only would it obsolete it, but the only thing that would keep it around would be in the gov't did so. Like Bear Sterns, in other word.

Not Bear Sterns: Like AIG, in other words.

[Lyor’s response?] He couldn't answer. The relationship is insane & unjust. Plus, framing it in mortgage terms made it ultra-clear to the crowd."

We say Ze!
New York 1980s label gets the reissue treatment from Strut/K7 crew.

"Ze 30: Ze Records 1979-2009 offers a snapshot of many of the label's most vital recordings including tracks from James Chance & The Contortions, Suicide, Kid Creole, Was (Not Was), Material, & many more. French Duo Casino Music's cover of a Sonny & Cher song (above) offers a slick yet snarling dance track that is as menacing as it is infectious. "

Casino Music- "The Beat Goes On" (zshare) (mediafire)
From: Ze 30: Ze Records 1979-2009

Monday, July 06, 2009

The great Limewire pizza robbery

Woman: “Who the FUCK are you? And why are you eating our pizza?”
Kosuke and Paul look confused.

Kosuke: "Are you joking? Is this a joke?"

Woman: "No this is definitely NOT a joke. I want to know who you are and why you’re eating our pizza."

Kosuke: "Well our friend came in and told us there was free pizza at the bar. We are. So. Sorry. It was a misunderstanding."

Woman: (with unbridled entitlement) "This is a company party our CEO is here and you STOLE our pizza. Are you from out of town? Because let me tell you, NOTHING is free in New York City. Nothing is free… well maybe except for the condoms in Times Square."

Paul and Kosuke continue apologizing. They offer to pay for the two slices.

Woman: (didactically snobbish) "We don’t want your money. No. Enjoy the pizza, but you can’t steal other people’s things. You can’t take what’s not yours."

Again the duo continues their apologies. Kosuke tries to turn the situation around and befriend them.Kosuke: "What company do you guys work for?"

Woman: "We work for Limewire."

Kosuke: Oh ok. Well I work at a record label so fuck you. You’ve stolen from us enough. (Bites pizza. Begins to walk away.)

Link. Now go read what happens next.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Lee Fields
Mister Lee Fields has recently released a fine new album on the Truth and Soul label, called My World. Brooklyn Vegan has a bunch of cool videos featuring the making of the album, and Lee rehearsing with his band, featuring members of Budos Band, Dapkings and Antibalas. Check it. Oh, and there's a couple of tunes to download for free there too.
James Brown, Michael Jackson and Prince onstage. Seriously.
Live footage from a James Brown show from 86. Totally funky. Watch MJ bust out a bunch of JB moves. Watch Prince get it on, then exit the stage and pull down part of the stage set by accident.

I know there's a ton of MJ footage floating round, but this is awesome. (Via The Fader)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Death of Vibe magazine
If you've ever read my profile blurb, you'll see one of my passions is magazines. Sure, I have a record collection (don't you?), but I also have a magazine collection. So, stories like this one fascinate the heck outta me.

Saw this via Twitter from author Jeff Chang (@zentronix for a twitterheads)...
The Death of Vibe And The Future Of Magazines: A Roundtable with Alan Light and Raymond Roker Link.

Raymond Leon Roker : The ways us smaller print brands have a chance is to become boutique agencies. Filter, Cornerstone/Fader, BPM, et al, everybody is in the agency game. The magazines become the branded company pitch. A measure of credibility and clout.

But as print continues to melt away, in the eyes of clients and under the weight of constantly increasing production costs, some of these brands may drop their mags too.

The assumption is that magazine brands, if they walk away from print, can’t survive. That hasn’t been proven one way or another yet. But IMO, the only way they will is by becoming media marketing companies instead. Ones where content and marketing blur (hello ASME). But the standalone magazine model died years ago."

And Media Assassin Harry Allen weighs in on Vibe...
My Final Visit as VIBE Flatlines.: Stick a knife in it, they’re done:..
link (he's on Twitter too - @harryallen)
One Stop
Via Cratekings, wicked video, especially the beat battle at the end.
"Here we have the official video highlight reel for Sha Money XL’s One Stop Shop Producers Conference featuring panel highlights and conversations with producers such as Just Blaze, RZA, Hi-Tek, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Steve Lobel, Dru Ha, and Drumma Boy, and more. In addition, the video features beat battle footage and the crowning of the 2009 champion, Billboard."

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Quincy Jones on MJ
A lot of people/idiots are saying a lot of garbage about Michael Jackson, mostly about his personal life and so on and passing judgment on him. Eventually the chatter from the cheap seats will die down, and we'll be left with the music.

One person who knows all about MJ's music is legendary producer Quincy Jones. He's weighed in with some thoughts on working with MJ, over at the LA Times. This is well worth a read.

"For some reason I have had the honor of meeting young performers when they reach the age of 12. There was Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Tevin Campbell and, of course, Michael Jackson....

"We finished the album [Thiriller] at 9 a.m. the morning we needed to deliver the reference copy. We had three studios going all night long. Michael in one putting final touches on "Billie Jean," Bruce in another, and Eddie Van Halen, who I brought in, in yet another recording his parts for "Beat It."

We all gathered in Studio A to listen to the test pressing with this enormous anticipation. This was it, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to "Off the Wall." And it sounded . . . terrible."

More reading on Jackson from The Village Voice's Greg Tate - "Michael Jackson: The Man in Our Mirror - Black America's eulogies for the King of Pop also let us resurrect his best self".

Monday, June 29, 2009

Kidz In Space
Ocean of drugs is the name of the song - vid is bugged the eff out. Nuts.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, Basefm June 27
Derrick Laro and Trinity - Dont stop til you get enough
Jackson 5 - ABC (Tokyo ska paradise orchestra remix)
Prof OZ - Waves and skank (Grant Phabao version)
Ghostface Killah - Chechez la ghost
Overproof sound system - Watch what you put inna
Dennis Bovell - Rowing version
Toots and the maytals - Treating me bad

Remembering Big Matt... with a tune or two...
Skatalites - Collie bud, Beardsman ska
Brentford allstars - Racetrack
Morpheus unlimited meets King tubby - Morpheus special (Kid Loco remix)
Kitachi - Raise it up
Scrappy - Off the lead

King tubby - King tubby in fine style
Jay Z at studio one - Dirt off your shoulder
Lightning head - Afro spot
Naomi Shelton - Trouble in my way
Lee Fields - My world
Bill Withers -Use me
Henry and the revolutionaries - Skanking
PD Syndicate - Ruff like me (Shy FX and T-Power remix)
PD Syndicate - Ruff like me (Artful dodger remix)
Noiseshaper - Moving together
Shinehead - Billie jean/Mama used to say
Michael Jackson -Don't stop til you get enough
Jacksons -State of shock

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Jahdan and frequent BK collaborator 77Klash have a go at Drake's "Best I Ever Had" beat, and as if that's not enough, they incorporate the melody from Radiohead's "Climbing The Walls" into their rapidfire dancehall toasts. "

Grab it here - Jahdan Blakkamoore feat. 77Klash- "Best I Ever Had" Freestyle
(zshare) (mediafire)

Jahdan's album Buzzrock Warrior out September 15th.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Local DJ's story - The night I DJed for Ghostface Killah
It's not every day you get to DJ at an afterparty following a gig by one of your musical heroes, and then get to meet him. But this story has something more than that. Easily one of the coolest tales I've read in ages. Link.

"... At this point Ghost was standing in front of me and I was about to tell him that I enjoyed his show earlier, maybe grab a photo, and then go and have a piss, but he just started to have a conversation with me.

I can’t remember or don’t know how he worked out that I was DJing next but he began asking me if I had particular songs...

...At first I thought he was just requesting some songs that he wanted to hear me spin and that maybe he’d jump on the mic briefly before he jetted. But after asking me for about four or five songs it became apparent to me that he had more than just a brief appearance in mind.

He was naming too many songs for me to remember off the top of my head, so I pulled out my laptop and created a virtual crate for Ghost in my Serato Scratch Live. Ghost wasn’t so good with song titles, so he’d rap the joints that he wanted to hear to me and I’d have to work out what the joint was and see if I had it on my laptop..."

Respect to DJ Mouli.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Conch Sunday Grill says Make It Reggae!

This Sunday evening at the Ponsonby Social Club from 5pm, Peter Mac, Selecto, Mikey Sampson, Megan and The Chaplin play the music that Big Matt loved.

Come join us and the Conch Records crew and celebrate the music of the big guy.

There's tasty organic treats grilled on the BBQ and fine beverages available too.
Ponsonby Social Club (152 Ponsonby Rd), Sunday June 28 from 5pm-11pm, free entry.

Thanks to Conch Records, Havana Club, Pure Blonde & Westmere Butcher
More Bill Withers
Recent interview with the legendary soul singer from the LA Times.

So you have no interest in a comeback?

You know, this whole music thing for me was something that came into my life after I was formed socially. So it was fun, it served its purpose, I still like it, but it's not my main focus. In fact, it hasn't been for a long time. There are other requirements.

You're somebody's father, you're somebody's husband, you're somebody's friend. And for me, it was important that I not neglect those other requirements just to satisfy some personal need that I might have for approval or attention from people that I don't even know.

When "Ain't No Sunshine" was a huge hit back in 1971, my father and I had a competition going about who could count the number of times you sing "I know" during the bridge. Once and for all, how many was it?

We'll have to take the word of someone who counted it. And the most consistent number that has come up is 26.
Jahdan Blackamoore
"Gold Dust has teamed up with the Brooklyn-based Dutty Artz crew to present the debut album Buzzrock Warrior from Jahdan Blackamoore. A vocalist extraordinaire, Jahdan is as comfortable over classic roots-style reggae as he is over cutting edge dancehall and tropical dubstep riddims. Hip-Hop heads might recognize the Boot Camp affiliate from his verse on Smiff N Wessun's "Sound Bwoy Burreill."

He features on the Major Lazer album (new project from Diplo and Switch). Also see these...
Jahdan's Full Hundred podcast mixed by Matt Shadetek for free download via XLR8R: Fader's feature on Dutty Artz in issue 61: Go Round Payola (Bye Haters Rmx by Matt Shadetek) on RCRDLBL

Jahdan Blackamoore drops his album Buzzrock Warrior in late 2009 on Gold Dust / Dutty Artz

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Carl Craig interview
"If Moritz Von Oswald suggests something cool, we do it."

How did the Re:Constructed [Craig's collaboration with Moritz Von Oswald, in which they "reconstructed" the classical work of Ravel and others] project come about?

“Well, I’ve known for Moritz for a long, long time; I love the guy. So if he suggests something cool, we do it. Moritz has a classical background, and we’d been talking about Versus for a while, so when he asked me to get involved with this Deutsche Grammophon project, it was a no-brainer." Link.

Ring The Alarm playlist, Basefm June 20
Beat conductor -Caribbean path
Horace Andy - Mr Bassie dub
Mungos hifi and Top Cat - Herbalist
Glen Brown - Wicked tumbling version
Lee Scratch Perry - Broadcaster version (Moody boyz remix)
Rodney Hunter - Vampire
Churchill stage band -Superstition
Kool and the gang - Jungle boogie
Roy Ayers - We live in Brooklyn, baby
MAW - MAW expensive
Oddisee - Chocolate city dreaming
Naomi Shelton and the gospel queens - What have you done?
Miriam Makeba - Ibande
King tubby - slow motion dub
Noel Ellis - Marcus Garvey
Bronx river parkway - Donde
Chanch via curcuito - Zorzal
Specials - Ghost town (DJ G mix)
Dub colossus - Shem city steppers
Orgone - Hambone
Edwin Bridsong - Rapper dapper snapper
The ReBelYell cover Wham.
The ReBel Yell
- "Everything She Wants" (Wham Cover) (mediafire) (zshare)
Exclusive Unreleased Track, Love & War out August 4th on Rapster
Cafes go silent in Oz
Fees for playing music in restaurants will rise from $125 a year to $19,344 a year. Link.

"Cafe and restaurant patrons could soon be eating in silence, after a proposal by Australia's largest record labels to increase the cost of background music by up to 2000 times.

The push to raise the cost of playing recorded music could also make gym membership more expensive unless fitness classes use artists excluded by Australian copyright laws, including Elvis Presley and Beethoven.

The bid by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia, which represents more than 750 record companies, follows a decision by the Copyright Tribunal to approve an increase of 15 times the music costs for the nightclub industry, which was recently endorsed by the Federal Court of Australia.

The Australasian Performing Right Association, which collects licensing fees on behalf of composers and artists, has launched a separate action for a tenfold increase in the fees paid by nightclubs for recorded music.

Buoyed by the nightclub ruling, the PPCA is now targeting eateries. It wants to increase licensing fees in a 120-seat restaurant to $19,344 a year — up from $125. Small cafes would be slugged with a 4729 per cent yearly increase from $124 to $5860.

The vinyl revival is here! (Story #260)
There's two stories that the news media love repeating endlessly about the music industry. One: music retail is dying, cos of digital downloads and piracy, and Two: Look, vinyl is making a comeback [it never went away - you just stopped paying attention].

The third story that they seem to manage to continually ignore, is that live music is the healthiest its ever been, especially in NZ. Shows sell out regularly now - this is not just restricted to international artists visiting our shores, it's even happening with shows by local artists.

Anyways, here's the latest culprits in the second scenario...

"Record players and the paraphernalia that goes with them - stylii, cleaning tools, vinyl records and old-fashioned amplifiers - are making a comeback.

The downloading generation has discovered the tangible benefits of vinyl, and records sales are soaring across the country." From Brisbane's Courier Mail.

And from the LA Times:"Vinyl sales to hit another high point in 2009" Link.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dillanthology 2: Dilla's Remixes for Various Artists

Out June 23, check the tracks...

1. De La Soul - Stakes Is High ft. Mos Def & Truth Enola (Remix)
2. The Pharcyde - Y? (Be Like That) (Jay Dee Remix)
3. Masta Ace - Sitting On Chrome (Ummah Remix)
4. Slum Village - Fall In Love (Remix)
5. Four Tet - As Serious As Your Life (Jay Dee Remix)
6. Busta Rhymes - Whoo Ha (Jay Dee Remix)
7. Artifacts - The Ultimate (Jay Dee Remix)
8. Moods - Secrets Of The Sand (Remix)
9. Spacek - Eve (JayDee Mix)
10. DJ Cam -Love Junkie (Jay Dee Remix)
11. Brother Jack McDuff - Oblighetto (J Dilla Remix)
12. Brand New Heavies - Sometimes (Remix)

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Heatwave's Early Warming Mixtape
Grab it here - Dancehall fire! More mixtape bizzniz from the Heatwave over here.
Still Bill
Documentary coming about the soul legend, Mr Bill Withers. Hat tip to Crate Kings.