Sunday, December 13, 2009



The release party for Ba Ba Boom
... is happening this Sunday December 13 from 5pm as part of the Conch Sunday Grill,  at the Ponsonby Social Club (next to SPQR, opposite Conch). Dub Asylum VS Oogun DJ Battle, lotsa organic BBQ treats, and it's FREE entry! Copies of the single on sale too, check Mukuna for more details.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ring the alarm playlist, BaseFM, dec12
Cooking on three burners - Cars
Axel Kryger  - Echale semilla
Revolutionaries - Kunta Kinte - Dj Kentaro remix
Barrington Levy - Dont fuss nor fight
Beat pharmacy - Wata (deep dub)
J Period and K'Naan - My country/small axe - Messengers remix
Betty Davis - If I'm in luck I just might get picked up
Based on Kyoto - Flying pan
Salmonella dub - Bungle fun feat Mighty Asterix
Horace Andy and Ashley Beedle - Rasta don't - Toddla T remix
Wayne McGhie - Fire (She need water)
Lee Scratch Perry - International broadcaster
Nitin Sawhney - Dead man - Fink dub
DJ Center feat Samia Farah  -Tout passe
Ragga twins - 18" speaker
Chuck and Dobby - Oh Fanny
Stranger Cole - Rough and tough
Skatalites - Addis Abba (playing live at Womad, New Plymouth, March 2010)
Reggie Stepper -Drum pan sound
Sly n Robbie - Ballistic squeeze
International observer - Miss hit (playing live Friday 18th Dec w/ Pitch Black, Tapes, at Galatos)
Sade  -Soldier of love
Acusmatic group - The fixer - Solo moderna remix
Afrikan simba - Protect I version
Hopeton Lindo - Rude boy
Dub Asylum - Ba Ba Boom (7")

Friday, December 11, 2009



Ba Ba Boom on the grill...

The release party for Ba Ba Boom is happening this Sunday December 13 from 5pm as part of the Conch Sunday Grill,  at the Ponsonby Social Club. Dub Asylum VS Oogun DJ Battle, lotsa organic BBQ treats, and it's FREE! Copies of the single on sale too, check Mukuna for more details.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New from J Period
Last I heard from this cat was his wicked mixtape series with K'Naan, reworking Bob Dylan, Fela, and Bob Marley. This time, he's working with former Nigerian singer Nneka...


J.Period & Nneka Present The Madness (Onye-Ala)... New Nneka Exclusives & J.Period Remixes ft. Jay Electronica, Talib Kweli, Damien Marley and others - Dropping 15 December, available online at www.jperiod.com/nneka. The bonus dubplates from J Period sound like they'll be pretty cool too.

“What struck me most about Nneka’s music is that her story is so present in every song,” says J.Period, “The spirit and struggle of her roots in Africa, a sense of responsibility inherited from Fela, conflict and perspective gained living abroad in Germany. Her music is a contagious combination of genres and styles that just pulled me in right away. Artists who refuse to be confined to one genre are often considered crazy. Artists who follow their conscience are considered crazy. This is that brand of crazy: The Madness (Onye-Ala).”

Download the 1st single "Changes" (J.Period Remix) ft. M-1 & General Steele Here:
http://www.jperiod.com/upload/nneka/jperiod-nneka-changes-final320.zip

Full Tracklisting:
1. Can You Hear? (Intro)
2. Let the Madness Begin (J.Period Exclusive)
3. Wake Up World (Interlude)
4. Wake Up Africa (J.Period Remix)
5. The Uncomfortable Truth
6. Untainted Love feat. Damian Marley (Interlude)
7. Spread Love (Brooklyn to Zion) (J.Period Remix)
8. Human Rights (Interlude)
9. Changes (J.Period Remix) feat. M-1 & General Steele
10. Conscious Lyrics (Interlude)
11. Gypsy/Infamous (J.Period Exclusive)
12. Hip Hop Comes From Africa (Interlude)
13. Walking (J.Period Remix) feat. Jay Electronica
14. Home (Interlude)
15. Show Love (J.Period Remix) f. Rakaa (Dilated Peoples) & Aceyalone
16. For the Good of Humanity (Interlude)
17. God of Mercy (J.Period Remix) f. Zumbi (Zion I)
18. Suffri (Nigerian in Berlin Remix) feat. Fela Kuti
19. Perseverance is Character (Interlude)
20. Strength/Kangpe (J.Period Dubplate) f. Big Boi (Outkast)
21. Heartbeat (J.Period Remix) feat. Talib Kweli
22. In the Heart of Man (J.Period Exclusive)
23. Symptoms of My Madness (Outtro)

[ Bonus Mix: J.Period Dubplates ]
24. Mind vs. Heart (J.Period Dubplate) f. 2Pac
25. Changes 2 (J.Period Dubplate) feat. Lauryn Hill & John Forte
26. Walking 2 (J.Period Dubplate) feat. Nas

Wednesday, December 09, 2009



Dub Asylum single is rolling, rolling, rolling...
My new single Ba Ba Boom shows up on DJ Sirvere's blog, and also pops up on reggae site Niceup, cheers folks.


The release party for Ba Ba Boom is happening this Sunday from 5pm as part of the Conch Sunday Grill,  at the Ponsonby Social Club. Dub Asylum VS Oogun DJ Battle, lotsa organic BBQ treats, and it's FREE! Copies of the single on sale too, check Mukuna for more details.
 Technics 1200, 1210 not headed for the dump just yet
Slashgear reports that  Technics has issued a statement saying they have “no current plans” to discontinue the iconic turntables, following earlier reports sourced from Panasonic NZ/Australia that they were discontinuing the turntables in March 2010.
"As a major global business, Panasonic keeps all of its operations under constant review. However, there are no current plans to discontinue the Technics brand and the production of Technics turntables"
(Spotted via Wax Fm's Twitter)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009



1980-89 VS 2000-09  - which decade produced the best music?
The usual bunch of end of year music lists are starting to rear their ugly heads right about now, and to top it all off, we get end of the decade lists like this one, from the NME. I own one record on this list. Probably not the target audience, then! Then there's the top 500 songs/albums of the past decade, via Pitchfork...

I got to thinking, how does this past decade compare with, say, the 1980s? There's a major thread of thinking about music that suggests that the 80s was a dire, tacky time for music - think Dire Straits or Wham, to name but two offenders. I find that line of thinking completely unfathomable, when I recall all the incredible music I discovered in that era, from rap, reggae dancehall, to post-punk and more...

So lets try this list, Top100 albums of the 80s.  Let the fun begin.

And for some light relief, The Worst Album Covers of 2009.
Look! It's the vinyl revival ! (Story #279)
"Vinyl Records and Turntables Are Gaining Sales" NYT. It's been a while since the media trotted out this one, good to see it still has legs...  speaking of which, go buy my single! It's awesome.

Monday, December 07, 2009

RIP Eldred Stebbing

A hugely important figure in Nz music, kickstarting careers of Howard Morrison Quartet, Ray Columbus, Th Dudes and many more. Passed away yesterday afternoon. Much love to his family and studio crew. More to follow

ADDED: Funeral Service is 12.30pm, Friday 11th December, All Saints Church, Ponsonby.
More on Eldred Stebbing from NZHerald, Amplifier and The Corner.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

 Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec5
20th century steel band - Papa was a rolling stone
Redds and the boys - Put your right hand in the air, put your left hand down in your underwear
DJ Day - Lucien
Dabyre - Won
Prince Fari - Hello love brother
Conroy Smith - Original sound
Dawn Penn - No no no
Ticklah - Answer me
Tommy McCook - Beirut
Havana boys - Paul's dub
Manasseh and Johnny Osbourne - Rise up
Donae'o - Riot music
Cooly G - Love dub
Kion and Murda feat Junior Murvin - No 1 sound
Salmonella dub - rhythm and pattern
Courtney Melody  - Bad boy
PD Syndicate - Ruff like me
Paul Murphy - Soul call
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Giving up
Dusty - Voodoo  -Romanowski remix
Fink  -Sort of a revolution - SIdeshow dub
Boozoo bajou - Sign - DSL remix
J Rawls and Liquid crystal project  -Tribute to T.R.O.Y.
Lightning head - Preguntas por que
Mayer Hawthorne - The ills
Kid Creole and the coconuts -Mister Softee
The Emotions - Blind alley
Candi Staton - Do your duty - Pepe Bradock remix

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Ba Ba-ing of the Boom by Senor Stinky Jim
Big thanks to Stinky Jim for giving the Oogun remix of Ba Ba Boom a spin on his mighty radio show Stinky Grooves. And for showing us some blog love here, at Stink Inc. Jim, a tip of the hat in your direction, fine sir.
"Of articular and particular note this evening was Oogun giving Dub Asylum a right smack-up remix for the debut 7" on Loopy Fruit Records. Props are properly dispensed to Messrs Mclenners and Oogoid for their work on this, it's a scorcher ... I've got absolutely no truck with music being bigged and upped on purely geographical stakes, but this would be getting a run or three on SG wherever it came from, top notch!."

Release date for the single is Monday December 7, in selected record stores and can be ordered via Amplifier too. Conch Records on Ponsonby Rd will have some exclusive pre-release copies instore on Friday Dec 4.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Bruce is great - if you don't agree with that, you're a pretentious martian from Venus
That's a quote from a splendid letter from the late Joe Strummer, written "in response to a query sent to him by the documentary producer Mark Hagen, who wanted his opinion on Springsteen for a documentary that would ultimately air as 1998's Bruce Springsteen: A Secret History"Spotted via Daily  Swarm on Twitter, at Village Voice.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

More steel drums!
Hat tip to Recloose for this, he alerted me to a post on his blog here.

"As promised, I had to post a little something about my new friend Marron of 'Based On Kyoto'/'Dub Dub on Seng' who I had the pleasure of jamming with Thursday night at the Japonica record store. I've been a fan ever since my man Kazuo passed me his release on my trip to Kyoto last year, especially because its pretty rare to hear steel drums rocked on contemporary dancefloor joints. Needless to say 'Calypso On-Seng' and 'Flying Pan' have both been on steady rotation...

So, to my utter *#@* amazement, I find out at soundcheck that Marron is ACTUALLY playing a guitar on these tracks, not steel drums. He started to tell me how he does it, a combination of a pitch shifter and a few other pedals, but I stopped him short of sharing his secret. Lets just chalk that shit up to magic, shall we?"

Now go and have a listen to the audio at Hit it and quit it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Junior Murvin, live on Jools Holland, dropping Police and Thieves
Killer, just killer. Check that voice. From 2004. Hat tip to Diff Kitchen.


Ba Ba Boom - Oogun's remix
Sneak preview below, Oogun's mad afrobeat dubstep remix, love it! Single out on Dec 7th. Release party details soon! Youtube link

<

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A post about vinyl
Yeah, I know, all my posts here seem to be about vinyl. But I picked up a few records at Conch yesterday, and they're totally awesome.




This is a 12" by Redds and the Boys - Put Your Right Hand In The Air, Put Your Left Hand Down In Your Underwear , backed with Rare Essence - Shoo-Be-Do-Wop. The cover art is by legendary designer Neville Brody, who was responsible for the look of The Face magazine back in the 80s. It came out in the UK back in 1983, and was part of the Go-go scene busting out of Washington DC at that time. There's even a movie that tried to cash in on Go-go's success, one of the many acting 'highlights' from Art Garfunkel.



20th century steel band's take on Papa was a rolling stone, is from their 1976 debut album Warm Heart Cold Steel. Isn't that a great name for an album? Also featured on that album are the heavily sampled tune Heaven and Hell Is On Earth.

I've been after this album for about a million years, after hearing it at a mate's place - he owns a copy with the former owner's name written on it  - Barry Linton (one for all you NZ comic fans). Finallly the good folk at Mr Bongo are reissuing the album - I picked up a 12" with several tunes of it, and it's wicked. Their version of Shaft is fantastic.

Mr Bongo report that 30 years after the original release "Michael Oliviere and Godfran Moore – original 20CSB members and the previous bands writers, composers and arrangers have reformed the group with a new line-up and are re-releasing their seminal album on Mr Bongo Records."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Technics to stop production of turntables?
Late last week I heard reports that Technics was stopping production of turntables, including their classic staple, the Technics 1200 and the 1210. This turntable is the global standard for DJs - walk into a club anywhere in the world, and you'll find 1200's in the DJ booth. It has even been recognised as an official design classic.

Pocket Lint report that "We’ve seen a couple of reports on message boards that seem to indicate that the iconic Technics SL-1200 and SL-1210s may be about to be discontinued. If true, it would be a surprise, as both models represent iconic turntables and are widely considered the industry standard in nightclubs.

"The rumours appear to originate from a New Zealand DJ shop called DMC World, which says on its product page: “Panasonic (the manufacturer of Technics) have announced that production of the world famous Technics SL-1200 and SL-1210 DJ turntables will stop at the end of February 2010.

"The turntables have been around for more than 35 years, and are featured in the London museum of Science and Technology as an important step in how music has been played and presented over the last century. Their popularity has ensued due to their tank-like construction, high torque and effective insulation from acoustic feedback....

".. an Australian dance music website, inthemix.com.au, has a quote from a Panasonic spokesman - Ian North - who says: "It is a sad day today but due to low sales globally in analogue turntables a decision to stop production has been made on Technics Turntables. For Australia this means we will receive our last shipment in March".

DMC originally posted this: "We have just heard the sad new from Panasonic (the manufacturer of Technics) that production of the world famous Technics SL-1200 and SL-1210 DJ turntables will stop at the end of February 2010. This marks the end of an era - Technics have been the industry standard for over 35 years with this turntable and the SL-1200 is synonymous with the DJ culture. It has been released and re-released over 9 times with different models and numerous other manufacturers have tried to compete with this deck, but above all, the Technics SL-1200 & Technics SL-1210 are the undisputed number one deck in the world."

It has been reposted to numerous message boards around the globe, but I have heard that DMC was asked to take it down from their website by Technics, as Panasonic NZ had been a bit premature with the announcement.

ADDED Dec9: Slashgear reports that  Technics has issued a statement saying they have “no current plans” to discontinue the iconic turntables.
Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov 28
Overproof sound system - Kingstep Unitone hifi remix
Jo Jo Bennett - Canteloupe rock
Dennis Bovell - None jah jah children (melodica version)
Rhythm and sound - What a mistry
Dubblestandart  -Terrarists and inhalers (Keith Le Blanc remix)
General Levy - The wig
Jackie Mittoo - Stereo freeze
Ernest Ranglin - King Tubby meets rockers uptown
Prof Oz - Waves and skank - Grant Phabao remix
Groove Armada - Tuning in
LV - Turn away
Dub Asylum - Bo ba boom orig/Oogun remix WORLDWIDE EXCLUSIVE
Jahdan Blakkamore - Earthshaking
Lightning head - Area boy
Kokolo - Magnificent seven
Lee Fields - Money i$ king
Willie Bobo - Roots
Menahan st band  - Esma
Fulgence - Tribute to Masekela
Horace Andy and Ashley Beedle  - Watch we
DJ Vadim - Hidden treasure
Zed Bias - Jigga up (ring the alarm)
Julien Dyne  - Falling down
Pimps of joytime  - PJT's high steppin

Friday, November 27, 2009

King Midas Sound mix
Grab it from Fact Magazine here. King Midas Sound is the latest project from Kevin Martin aka The Bug, and the tunes I've heard from them so far are wicked, kinda bleak dub with a lovers rock vibe on the vocals. Check out Cool Out, for example.

"This FACT mix reads like a list of influences on their twilight Lovers Rock sound, featuring sweet reggae in Tanya Stephens and Gregory Isaacs, dusty shoegaze in My Bloody Valentine and A.R. Kane and modern favourites Burial and Little Dragon, plus tracks from Sade, Larry Heard and Scritti Politti, and material from King Midas' forthcoming debut album, Waiting For You on Hyperdub", out the end of this month.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ah, lovely vinyl
Got my test pressing back today for my Dub Asylum 7"single, it looks like this....




Sunday, November 22, 2009


Santa Claus goes straight to the ghetto
Lets face it, xmas music is crap. Lame jazz versions of xmas carols, riddled with lyrics about about playing in the snow - completely irrelevant when we go to the beach for xmas down in this part of the world.
 
Strut is about to drop a mad xmas album (nice takeoff of a James Brown LP cover for the art), try this sample below for size. 

JD McDonald- "Boogaloo Santa Claus" (mediafire) (zshare)
From: In The Christmas Groove, November 24th on Strut http://www.inthechristmasgroove.com

1. J.D. McDonald – Boogaloo Santa Claus

2. Jimmy Reed - Christmas Present Blues

3. Electric Jungle - Funky Funky Christmas

4. Funk Machine - Soul Santa

5. Milly & Silly - Getting Down For Xmas

6. The Harlem Children's Chorus - Black Christmas

8. Isaac Clarke - Santa Claus Is Coming To town
9. Captain Elmo McKenzie & The Roosters - Home On Christmas Day

10. Soul Saints Orchestra - Santa's Got A Bag of Soul

11. Zebra - Christmas Morning

12. Harvey Averne Band - Let's Get It Together This Christmas

13. Jimmy Jules - The New Year

14. The Black On White Affair - Auld Lang Syne 

And the title of this post is a song title taken from James Brown's Funky Christmas CD, which compiles the best tracks off the three Christmas LPs Mr Brown released during his career. You need that CD too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Music Machines photos.
Watch slideshow below. It was a wicked event.  Also will put up a few brief videos so you can get a sense of the wonderful noisy chaos that is a room full of synths and drum machines getting tweeked... 





Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov21
Rhythm and sound - never tell you
Ticklah - Scratch to win
King Everand - Kill ole pan
Noel Ellis  - Rocking universally
Granville Williams orchestra - Honky tonk
Wackies rhythm force - Gimme back pt 2
Jackie Mittoo - Totally together
Don Drummond - Treasure island
Dandy Livingston and Rico - Rudy a message to you
Adrian Sherwood - Haunted by your love
Umod - On the down low
Unitone hifi - Sneeze off
Universildo - Camina
Sabres of paradise - Wilmot Pt 2
Original Tropicana steel band  -Spanish hustle (Kon edit)

'Scores for Sirveres sale' set

Original concept - Pump that bass
Chuck Brown and the soul searchers - We need money
Mountain - Long red
Wilson Pickett - Born to be wild
KRS One - Step into a world
Eric B and Rakim - In the ghetto
Pete Rock feat CL Smooth - Appreciate
Jay Z - Show us what ya got
Mike Zoot feat Labba - Spread love

Nextmen feat Betty Steeles - Whisper up
Roots manuva - Again and again (Moody Boyz remix)
Beat pharmacy  -Drifter (dub mix)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Beenie Man's manager: apology published in nz media was NOT from Beenieman
I found this article while doing a google news search on Beenie Man last night:

"Beenie Man's management team has refuted Internet reports that Beenie Man apologised for his lyrics and was "heartbroken" over the furore caused by gay rights groups over his inclusion on the Big Day Out shows in New Zealand. Blue, the deejay's manager, said that "the deejay had granted no interviews about controversy" nor had they disseminated any emails.
"Reporters from New Zealand and Australia have been calling but we have not granted any interviews so I don't know where that statement is coming from," Blue told one876 a short while ago. "Beenie Man doesnt even talk or write like that so I know that is a fabrication." Source: One86entertainment
Making music, scoring wax
Here's your weekend sorted...
Saturday from 12 - 6pm at Galatos, is Music Machines, a one day event dedicated to classic synths and drum machines. Live performances, old gear, loadsa fun. It's a chance to play some vintage and modern synths, meet some of the artists and collectors and learn about the history of these amazing electronic music machines. Live performances from Tom Ludvigson, Nigel Russell (Car Crash Set), Nathan Haines, Lewis McCallum, The Analog Allstars, Tim William ...and more.

$10 on the door. Details at Mukuna.

Also... "The Auckland Record Collectors Fair takes place this Saturday Nov 21 at a new venue in West Auckland, the Kelston Community Hall. The hall is located in Awaroa Road, just off Great North Rd, just by the Waikumete Cemetery. The fair runs from 10am to 3pm. There is a $4 entry fee.

Stalls include vintage New Zealand and foreign vinyl and New Vinyl Imports. Expect all styles of music -- 60s, rare, dance, soul, rock, bargain etc vinyl. I will be selling more funk, soul vinyl, vintage music magazines etc.  The event also has stalls selling vinyl turntables, styli, cartridges and record cleaning gear. Word is Murray Cammick will be there too, selling classic soul and funk.

And of course , the Chris Knox CD launch malarkey is on tonight at the Kings Arms. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chris Knox - CD Release and Benefit gig
TV3's Campbell Live did a splendid interview with Chris and his partner Barbara this evening (watch it here), and even though Chris can only say yes or no, he was clearly moved by the generosity of spirit of his fellow musos in contributing to this album and making it happen. From the bits I've heard of it, the album sounds like a magnificent tribute to the astonishing body of songs that Chris has built up over his career - which is not over yet. He's starting to work on some new music too, according to Russell Brown.


Press release on the CD and album launch gig...
"On June 11 this year musician, artist, father, writer, film critic & jandal wearer Chris Knox suffered a life-altering stroke at his home in Grey Lynn.

Everyone wanted to do something to help. So a bunch of his muso mates from NZ and around the world have gotten together to do what they do best to celebrate Chris’ music by recording versions of his songs.

The resulting album is a chance for Chris’ many fans and friends to contribute to his future.

The double CD ‘STROKE – Songs For Chris Knox’ is being released in New Zealand on Monday November 16.

The album features tracks by such artists as Jay Reatard, Shayne Carter, The Mountain Goats, The Verlaines, Boh Runga, David Kilgour, Don McGlashan, Will Oldham and many more – 32 tracks in all.

There is a party &; benefit gig for Chris to celebrate the release of this album Friday November 20 at The Kings Arms. Get along!

The line-up is Dimmer (featuring Shayne Carter’s back catalogue), Don McGlashan, David Kilgour, The Bellbirds, & The Pyjama Party (featuring Neil Finn). Entry is $30 which includes a copy of the double CD ‘STROKE – Songs For Chris Knox’. Doors open at 8.30pm. No pre-sales.
Beenie Man apologises to NZ, Australia
Read it over here, and decide whether he's genuine or not. I've also read his statements to Jamaician media where he says that the only reason he signed the Reggae Compassionate Act was to please UK/European promoters.

From the Jamaica Observer, July 2007 (4 months after he signed the Reggae Compassionate Act)...

Beenie Man explained that the Reggae Compassionate Act ... was brokered by European promoters under fire from gay rights groups furious that they continued to support certain Reggae acts whose lyrics incited violence against homosexuals.

"It's a ting from the promoters of Europe. They are getting so much fight from the Christian and "g" organisation and everything," said the self-proclaimed 'King of the Dancehall', who apparently could not bring himself to say the word gay.

At the same time, the deejay said he did not personally sign any agreement and could not promise that he would be abiding by it. "I do music," he argued. "Dancehall mi do, I can't promise nuh man dat. And mi neva sign it, yuh hear sah."

Beenie Man also claims he has been misrepresented and misquoted in the media on this issue, so the above may not be accurate.

ADDED: Emma Hart of Public Adrress has a thoughtful post on the Beenie Man saga.
snip... "Despite what I've already been accused of after just one tweet on the issue, I'm a Free Speech advocate. But, it's just not that simple There's an underlying assumption in this attitude that both sides have the ability to speak. In New Zealand that's true. In Jamaica, it's not.

Stop Murder Music is the campaign that's been driving and organising opposition to dancehall music internationally. It was put together by OutRage!, the Black Gay Men's Advisory Group, and a group called J-Flag - Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays.

In 2006, J-Flag's founder Brian Williamson was found hacked to death in his home. Coincidentally, a Human Rights Watch researcher, Rebecca Schleifer, was on the scene shortly after his murder, and described what she saw:


She found a small crowd singing and dancing. One man called out, "Battyman he get killed." Others were celebrating, laughing and shouting "Let's get them one at a time", "That's what you get for sin". Others sang "Boom bye bye", a line from a well-known dancehall song by Jamaican star Buju Banton about shooting and burning gay men. "It was like a parade", says Schleifer. "They were basically partying."

R.I.P. Derek B
Rapper Derek B has passed away after suffering a heart attack (on November 15). He was the first international hiphop act I ever saw  - he opened here for Run DMC in 1988 at the Powerstation.

"The musician, real name Derek Boland, is said to have been taken to London’s Charing Cross hospital early yesterday morning. Paramedics were unable to resuscitate him, reports Mad News. He was 44. (More from BBC)

Legendary producer Simon Harris told the NME:“Derek was always a huge inspiration to me and can never be replaced, his tragic death at such a young age is a great loss to everyone who has known him and also his many fans. May I offer my love and sincere condolences to his family especially to his dear mother Jenny. Rest in peace Derek B, Bad Young Brother.” (Source: DJ Semtex.com)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Who Am I?
Scoop's Gordon Campbell (formerly of The Listener) has written an excellent piece, The selective targeting of Beenie Man,  examining the Beenieman/BDO issue. He notes that Beenie man's manager says they hadn't signed a contract with the BDO as yet, prior to the cancellation. He also mentions that Labour MP Charles Chauvel had called for him to be refused a visa to enter the country. He also contrast Beenie man's problems with hompohobic lyrics with another Jamaican performer, Buju Banton, who has been haunted by a song he wrote when he was 15.

From Campbell's piece...

"... Rap and dancehall musicians serve as relatively safe targets in that respect for gay politicians such as Chauvel and the Green Party’s Kevin Hague, and enable them to play to their constituents.. In many respects, the campaign against the Jamaican dancehall musicians is similar to the campaign waged against the rapper Ice T for his “Cop Killer” song in 1992. Chauvel’s attempt to deny a visa is also a virtual repeat of the Clark government’s barring of the Holocaust denier David Irving from entering New Zealand in 2004, which I objected to here at the time.
The activists will no doubt be congratulating themselves for their success in silencing Beenie Man. Yet what Professor Bill Hodge said of the Irving incident holds true here, too.
Freedom of speech is really the freedom to read, the freedom to hear and the freedom to listen. It is far more important to the listeners, the readers and so on than it is for the speaker. Everybody is losing. If you go back to John Stuart Mill, we might know the truth of it [the Holocaust], but it might be dead truth, if we do not allow it to be challenged.”
... The verbal extremism and heated tone of dancehall is a bit like the Internet, If dancehall was a blog, it would probably be a bit like Whale Oil...

... there has been a disproportionate concentration on dancehall and black rap musicians. I can see the political convenience for New Zealand gay politicians and activists to focus on a music such as dancehall – which has few defenders on free speech grounds, even in liberal circles. To my mind, art that is said to be ‘hate’ speech is still art. whether I like it or not. It should be engaged, not vetoed. And newsflash : it is all around us. Pick on dancehall as an easy target, but spare me the righteousness...."

Read the entire article, it's a fascinating read. Good comments section on there too.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beenie Man pulled from BDO lineup.
This afternoon, the BDO organisers released this statement...

"The Producers of Big Day Out have decided not to proceed with the proposed engagement of Jamaican Reggae performer Beenie Man for the Jan 2010 show.

Although aware of the controversial nature of Beenie Man and his previous lyrics that have caused offence with the Gay and Lesbian and wider community, the Producers understood that the artist had renounced these sentiments and no longer expresses those views.

Notwithstanding claims of a commitment to the Reggae Compassionate Act which he signed in 2007 and a promise of adherence to peaceful and humanistic values for the dates here by Beenie Man, the depth of feeling and hurt amongst these groups has convinced us that for us to proceed with his Big Day Out appearances was, and would continue to be, divisive amongst our audience members and would mar the enjoyment of the event for many.

For this reason we have decided not to proceed." (Sourced from Coup De Main magazine).

The response on social media sites like Twitter was mixed, with Coup De Main agreeing with me that yes, it's censorship "but you have to admit its pretty cool that some random girls came up w/ the initiative & it actually worked." A lot of folk seemed to think it was a good thing that this homophobic singer was not coming to NZ.


One of the organisers of the Facebook group protesting Beenie Man's appearance said on Morning Report that she hoped that Beenie Man would come to NZ, so they could go along to the BDO and protest while he played.


Back in 1989, (20 years ago) rapper Ice T released and album called "Freedom of Speech: Just watch what you say". He'd been subjected to intense pressure by lobby groups like the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Centre, led by Tipper Gore, wife of greenie Al Gore) over his lyrics.

"The album was released after Ice-T had been encountering censorship problems on tour. In The Ice Opinion: Who Gives a Fuck?, the rapper states that "People had already told me what I could not say onstage in Columbus, Georgia. You couldn't say anything they called a 'swear' word. You couldn't touch yourself. They were using the same tactics they used on everyone from Elvis and Jim Morrison to 2 Live Crew" (from Wikipedia).


Ice T's response to the PMRC was blunt: "Hey PMRC, you stupid fuckin' assholes / The sticker on the record is what makes 'em sell gold / Can't you see, you alcoholic idiots / The more you try to suppress us, the larger we get." (from the song What ya wanna do).


That last line (The more you try to suppress us, the larger we get) highlights the big point over this absurd controversy about Beenie man and a few of his songs -  his profile is at an all-time high in NZ right now. A savvy promoter would be on the phone booking him for some NZ shows over the summer.







So, where do we draw the line? When is censorship okay? How do we decide when it's okay?
Take Manukau City Mayor Len Brown. In August 2007, Brown was running as a mayoral candidate. To boost his profile, he launched a verbal attack on rapper Ice Cube, prior to the rapper's NZ show.

"Why is Ice Cube coming to the Telstra Pacific Centre on 22 August this year? We don't want him. We don't need him. He is not welcome here,” said Brown. "Ice Cube brings a gangsta message to our community via his gangsta rap. This message promotes gangs, gang violence and drugs.” Brown then stated: "We don't want this in our homes. We don't want it on our streets.”

This is the same Len Brown who was namechecked by Savage at the NZMA's, and appeared onstage with Savage at the I Love the Islands concert, where Brown professed his love for hiphop.
Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Nov 14
10" vinyl set
Frankie Paul - Worries in the dance
Twilight circus meets the Disciples -Foundation rokcers (vocal, dub)
Barrington Levy - Dances are changing
Dawn Penn - To sir with love
Kenny Knots and Bush chemists - Good sensi
Mere mortalz and U Brown - Dis a boom

Dub colossus - Azmari dub
Jo Jo Bennett - Canteloupe rock
International observer - Miss hit
DJ Center feat Samia Farah  -Tout passe
Nightmares on wax - Flip ya lid
Bronx river parkway - Nora se va
VV Brown - Crying blood (Andrew Weatherall dub mix)
Andrew Weatherall - Fail we may, sail we must
Alice Russell - Living the life of a dreamer (Mr Scruff remix)
Jahdan Blakkamoore  -She said
Mr Vegas - Must come a road
Julian Marley - Violence in the streets

10" vinyl set Pt II
Slim Smith - Conversation
U-Roy and Francois K - Rootsman
Mungos Hifi & Top Cat  - Herbalist
Rhythm and sound feat Jennfer Lara  -Queen in my empire
Michael Prophet - Been talking
Jah Wobble - Get Carter version
Sabres of Paradise - Underdog vs sabres feat Dominick

Queens tag team - Jump around (Big Will mix)
Mad Lion - Girlzz