Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist Sept 12
My thanks to Tigi Ness of reggae band Unity Pacific for coming up to the show to talk about the Panther Party celebration on tonight at Samoa House, details here.

Tigi also talked about his involvement with the Polynesian Panthers here in Auckland back in the early 70s, including their Dawn Raids on govt ministers of the day, including one where he and his mates drove out to Pakuranga to Immigration Minister Bill Birch's house at 3am, and turned their spotlights on the house and pulled out their megaphones and said "Mister Bill Birch, come out with your passport".

The lights went on inside the house, then the front door flew open and out came Mr Birch. They all raced to their cars and took off. Two weeks later the Government stopped the dawn raids.

Tigi got kicked out of Mt Albert Grammar at 17 for refusing to cut his hair - he had an afro, inspired by Jimi Hendrix. He joined the Panthers about that time too.

There's a great book on the history of the Polynesian Panthers that was published by Reed Publishing in 2006, called Polynesian Panthers. Track it down if you want to learn more about them. It's a fascinating chapter in our history. (NZ Herald article on the book, here)

Miles Davis -So what (Shoes reggae mix)
E's E -Scratch's skank pt 1
Barrington Levy - Reggae music dub
Groove corp meets Twilight circus feat Luciano -What we gotta do now
Jo Jo Bennett - Canteloupe rock
Bill Withers - Use me
Freddie Cruger - Running from love
Major Lazer - Can't stop now
Kinny and Horne - Why me
Mayer Hawthorne - Let me know
Azymuth - Estrada dos deuses (Recloose edit)
Isaac Aesili - Media
Unitone hifi - Sneeze off
Turbulence - Too jealous
Tiki -Burning fire (Oogun remix)
Cooly G - Love dub
Umod - Rest with you
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Balliki bone
Jean Jacques Perrey and Luke Vibert - You moog me
Jimi Tenor and Kabu Kabu - Higher styx
Bobby Byrd - Hot pants, I'm coming I'm coming
Snap - Sidewalk city
General Levy - Sugar cane
Grand magneto - Tainted love

Friday, September 11, 2009

Music Machines - local 84 styles
I recently mentioned the Music Machines event coming up on November 21st - a collection of classic synths and drum machines happening in Auckland. My mate Jason, who is putting this event together, has been researching the history of electronica in NZ (he's originally from the UK, and grew up there in the 80s and 90s, so it's all new to him). I put him onto another mate of mine, Tom Ludvigson, a wicked keyboard player who has been round the traps for a while.

Tom currently plays in Trip to The Moon amongst others, but back in 1984 he was involved in a collaboration with a group of Auckland musicians who cooked up NZ's first electro breakdance record -Sidewalk City, by Snap. I remembered I had a copy of it on vinyl, so I dug it out and digitised it for Jason. He's put it up on the music machines site, go have a listen, it's very cool.

From Music Machines: "Tom been a synth man for about 30 years and has been involved in many Auckland bands as a player and composer, head over to his site Jazzscore for more on Tom’s musical projects.

We were discussing the synth scene in the early 80’s, as this was when I first got in to hiphop and electro back in the UK, Tom remembered working on a track under the name “Snap” called “Sidewalk City” which Tom said had been influenced by the early electro coming out of the states at the time. I was aware of bands like Car Crash Set which seemed to be influenced more by the darker side of synth music at the time and wasn’t aware of any US influenced electro coming out of NZ from the early 80’s, I had to hear it....

.... I thought I’d ask Tom for any recollections of the session as I’m fascinated by all the elements which make up the track, particularly the mc vocal and the layers of synths and techniques used in the production.

“Recalling the session, recorded to 24track tape at Harlequin Studios, a few things stick out:

  • The musicality of the “Triangle” production team of Graeme Gash, Paul Streekstra and Noel Connolly;
  • The experimental the-studio-as-an-instrument approach;
  • The trial-and-error art of overdubbing Polysix arpeggiator lines in sync with the track without the benefit of hard sync: first tweak the arpeggiator tempo knob until it sounds right, then trigger it exactly on time, every time. It worked with repeated drop-ins…;
  • Borrowing a just-released Oberheim OB-X polysynth to do state-of-the-art sounding overdubs for the extended dance mix;
  • Four of us jamming the extended dance mix at the 24-track console, eight hands together tweaking sliders and delay buttons for a dubby atmospheric mix.”

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Duke Vin & the Birth of Ska
That's the name of an independent film from the UK, sounds wicked. Came out last year, not sure if it has had wider release. Duke Vin & the Birth of Ska trailer below...

Duke Vin, Count Suckle & the Birth of Ska in Britain - trailer from AdamPellinDeeve on Vimeo.

"London in the 1950’s was a cold place in more ways than the obvious. Or so it appeared if you were one of the thousands of newly arrived Jamaicans. Many were overqualified for their menial jobs. Thousands of others quite simply could not get work. Discrimination and racial tensions culminated in fierce riots in both Nottingham and Notting Hill Gate.

It was in this environment that the Jamaican soundmen; Duke Vin and Count Suckle arrived in the UK. They both stowed away on a boat from Kingston and brought with them a sound that was sweeping across the small Caribbean island and would later change the face of music in the UK. This was the sound of ska!"

Great interview with the film's director, Gus Berger.

Official site for the film.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Chromeo break it down
Montreal duo Chromeo breaks down their DJ-Kicks mix, check this video.

"In an interview around their first DJ mix and the first DJ-Kicks release in two years, the duo talk about their late exposure to quality electronic music, P-Thugg's demotion to the bass guitar, the email which convinced Trevor Jackson to do the album cover, Dave 1's relative ignorance of the Eagles catalog, and what their cover of "I Can't Tell You Why" has in common with a number of Hall & Oates hits... Appropriately, given Montreal's rich history as a disco hotspot, there's a French Canadian theme woven loosely into the mix..."

Turns out one of them used to sell digeridoo's out of the back of his car before they started up Cromeo. Keeping it real.

If you want to check out their cover of The Eagles' "I Can't Tell You Why", grab it from their site. Chromeo - DJ Kicks is out Sept 29.
" Jay-Z when he was good"
Last week I saw DJ Ayres pop up on Twitter and start bagging the new Jay-Z album Blueprint 3. Like a lot of hiphop cats out there on dem innernetz, he wasn't feeling Jay's new stuff. So he said he was gonna go and dig out all the old tunes of Jay-Z's from back in the day. True to his word, he's dropped the mix over at The Rub, called D.O.J: when Jay was good. (the DOJ bit is a play on Jay-Z's tune D.O.A short for death of autotune).

"... Since Jay “retired” and came back, his music hasn’t sounded as urgent or hungry to me. He sounds like he’s coasting along, so I wanted to go back and pull out a bunch of his music that made you bob your head, marvel at his flow, puff out your chest, or even raise the little hairs on the back of your neck.

Not included: #1 singles you’ve heard a million times, lazy one-take flows, lyrics about inventing the button-down shirt, songs dissing rappers who would later be signed to Jay-Z’s label, and songs produced by Eminem.

Download it here. I'm not up on Jay's early stuff, so I'm looking forward to getting educated on it.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

NZ Music Awards reinvented

The NZMA's are often cause for controversy, who gets thru, who misses out in the nominations, etc. Witness the latest blog from Post writer Simon Sweetman, bemoaning this years nominees. He takes issue with Midnight Youth ("They do nothing to promote New Zealand music in their sound"), P-Money, Ladyhawke, and this gem about Smashproof - "They do nothing to promote a realistic portrait of what happens in New Zealand within their sound and they have nothing original to say. They have also helped promote the Amy Winehouse-wannabe that is Gin Wigmore..." Go and read the comments under his blog post, very amusing...

But there is one way that might make the event a bit more exciting - have the contestants battle it out in the ring. Three rounds, no holds barred. Wrestling or boxing maybe. Or as was suggested by Real Grooves editor Duncan Grieve, make it similar to the UFC fights.

Then I came up with this idea - make it a freestyle MC battle. Think about it. Best solo artist fight-out is between Savage and Don McGlashan, except Don has to do Savage and vice versa. Now Don McGlashan, let me hear you SWIIIINNNGGG! And Savage is off to the hotdog house halfway down Dominion Rd...

As @realgroove said "Comedy Gold. I think Don interpolating Savage's growl would be a key moment. All the awards should be decided like this ... would like to see the Legacy award winners go at it. Johnny Devlin vs Ray Columbus. boom."

Now, imagine the best solo female artist category - Ladi6 vs Ladyhawke. Or how about Fat Freddys vs Mint Chicks for best group? Awesome. Hey C4, make it happen, yeah?