Monday, May 17, 2010

Ben Howe on Flying Nun

Today's Blog on the Tracks blog features a guest post from Arch Hill Records boss Ben Howe. He talks about the evolution of the label, following the demise of Flying Nun as an active independent  label. He also touches on the controversy surrounding his involvement and his subsequent snubbing by Roger Shepherd over the revived Flying Nun (background on that proposed deal here)

Howe writes: "One disappointment of the last couple of years was Roger Shepherd in relation to the Flying Nun deal. A partial version of the story is here. It should be noted, however, that despite his saying in this article he would pay back money I invested in the project, this still hasn't happened.

However, the upside of the Flying Nun situation is it has given me the chance to rethink Arch Hill. For the last couple of years I have been running things assuming that I would be a partner in the new Flying Nun. It had been discussed that Arch Hill would become a more domestically focused label for more established artists like Don McGlashan, David Kilgour and others. Flying Nun could focus on reviving the back catalogue as well as emerging artists with international potential. It would be complementary.

This was by no means a fixed thing, but for the two years of Flying Nun negotiations I had been thinking along these lines.

So, more recently, it's been good to rethink that game plan. It means I can also start working with more "up and coming" bands like Surf City, Street Chant and Family Cactus..."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, May 15

Timmy Thomas -Why can't we live together? (Shoes dub mix)
Sugar Minott - Nice it up
Richie Phoe - Ital food
Roots radics - Patrolling
Skatalites - Addis ababa
Nas and Damian Marley - Land of promise
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Balliki bone
Ariya astrobeat arkestra - Crosstown traffic
Manu Dibango - Africadelic
Myron and E with the Soul Investigators - It's a shame
Flaming souls - Mosquito
Mos dub  - Travelling underground
The soul fantastics - Aint no sunshine
Ragga twins - Spliffhead (original)
Fulgeance - Sour socca
Lightning head - NPG
Jorge Ben - Umbabarauma
Mayer Hawthorne - The ills
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Better things
Gil Scott Heron - Lady Day and John Coltrane
The Staples - Sweeter than sweet
Don Armando's 2nd ave rumba - I'm an Indian too (Pilooski edit)
Ruts DC - Love and fire (Dreadzone remix)
RSD - Forward youth
Borther culture - Warning
Lovejoys - It aint easy
King everand - Kill ol pan
Noel Ellis - Rocking universally
Jay-Z at studio One - Dirt off your shoulder

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oddisee - Odd Spring

Producer Oddisee drops the final installment in his collection of EPs based around the seasons., Ok, so they're synced to the Northern hemispehere, but that doesnt make them any less dope. Download it for free here - he also plans to release em all as a box set on vinyl too.

You can download the previous EPs over here, check the excellent Put me On It blog.

Mr Chop and CL Smooth

Mr Chop released a wicked album recently, called For Pete's Sake, a bunch of tunes by Pete Rock reworked - now Cl Smooth has got in on the act, free mp3 for you via the good folk at Stonesthrow....

"Last year, Mr. Chop – a producer and multi-instrumentalist behind several Now-Again recordings and DOOM's Born Like This – released For Pete's Sake, an album made up entirely of psych, funk, jazz and rock covers of Pete Rock’s greatest beats. The backing tracks for the new versions with CL Smooth's are different than those on the Pete’s Sake album, and feature The Heliocentrics’ Malcolm Catto on drums."

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, May 8

Lennie Hibbert - Real hot
Various - Got to be at that party
Jah Batta - Informa
Augustus Pablo - Cassava piece
Admiral Tibet - Serious time
Phillis Dillion - Rocksteady
Prof Oz - Waves and Skank remix by Grant Phabao
Mos Dub - History town
Richie Phoe - Eyes on the prize
20th century steel band - Land of a 1000 dances
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - She aint a child no more
Ray Charles vs Beatsy Collins - I got a woman
Manu Dibango  -The panther
Menahan st band - Karina
Aloe Blacc - I need a dollar Inst
Bonobo  -Eyes down
Jorge Ben Jor -Take it easy my brother Charles (playing live at the Powerstation, May 22)
Johnny Hammond Smith - Shifting gears
Ariya astrobeat arkestra - Crosstown traffic
Cesaria Evora - Angola (Pepe Bradock Get Down Dub)
Suizen - Cartesian space 2D Mix
Adi Dick - The message (dub edit)
Born jamericans - Yardcore
Yami Bolo - When a man's in love
Big youth - Jim screechy (Smith and Mighty remix)
Glen Brown - Wicked tumbling version
King Tubby - A heavy dub
Rhythm and sound feat Sugar Minott - Let jah love come
Prince Fari - The right way
Patti Jo - Make me believe in you (Ashley Beedle/Phil Asher re-edit)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Smash the Jukebox - this saturday night!

'Smash the Jukebox' is a celebration of all things New Zealand Music, Past and Present. A chance for everyone to come together and celebrate the history behind the Music and Give back to a Valuable Charity at the same time.  This event will be something special!! A Fundraiser for 'Ronald McDonald House' Auckland. Kick ass right!?

The event will host DJs and Live Music all of whom will be playing solely NZ tunes, past and present, originals and covers. The line-up pulls together some of New Zealand's most influential industry characters and lets them run wild, playing the music that influenced them. From music heads to industry changers, musicians and tadio / TV personalities. Smash the Jukebox has them all in one place celebrating music and supporting a great cause. Entry by donation.

the lineup...

Live Performances by:
- Bannerman /  Flip Grater /  Josephine Costain

DJ Sets from:
- Andrew Buckton - Studio 203 / Best Engineer 09
- Troy Ferguson - 95bfm "The Rock n Roll Wire"
- Peter McLennan - Dub Asylum, Base FM, Kiwi FM
- Andrew Manning - 95bfm "Freak the sheep"
- Murray Cammick - Founder of Rip it Up, Southside and Wildside Records
- sound system - Simon Woods and Richie Setford
- Trevor Reekie - Pagan Records, RNZ
- Wammo - Kiwi FM breakfast
- Dan Wrightson - Juice TV
- Ben Howe - Arch Hill Recordings
- Mathew Bosher - Decortica
- Damian Vaughn - IMNZ
+ More To Be Announced!

Running order...
Windsor Castle

7 - Dan Wrightson
730 - Damian Vaughn
8 - Wammo (KiwiFm)
830 - Andrew Buckton
9 - Troy Ferguson (RockNRoll Wire, BFM)
930 - Trevor Reekie
10 - Mathew Bosher
1030 -

Juice bar
7 - Ampifier sound system
8 - Josephine Costain live
845 - Andrew Manning
930 - Flip Grater live
1015 - Ben Howe
11 - Bannerman live
1145 - Peter McLennan
1230 - Murray Cammick

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Flashback: World Series, St James theatre, 2002...

The Feb/March issue of NZ Musician features an excellent article looking at the recent review of NZ On Air's offshore funding for bands, called Phase 5. NZ On Air had asked former head of EMI, Chris Caddick, to review this scheme and report back. That report is available online here.The shocker is that Caddick reccomends dropping all of NZ On Air's offshore commitments to the UK/Europe/US and concentrate mainly on Australia. That's the kind of argument the Chills faced in 1983 when they wanted to go to the UK - "Do what Dragon/Misex did, go to Oz!" Yeah right.

The article also brings to light two local labels who got $500,000 each to set up offshore beach heads. Any ideas on what the outcomes have been for that investment to date?

It ties in neatly with the article in the May issue of Real Groove, where former editor Duncan Grieve takes on the thorny issue of NZ On Air's funding commercial criteria, and how that is clearly at odds with the original, non-commercial NZ bands that succeed offshore. Real Groove is also publishing full interview transcripts from the article, like this one with Mark Kneebone and Mint Chick's Ruban Nielson. Both are well worth reading.  (ADDED: Russell Brown blogged on the article today, and also has a pdf of the article here).

I thik Ruban's idea of splitting the current $50,000 album grant into smaller $10,000 grants is an excellent idea, and hopefully, these articles will create some fruitful discussion amongst the movers and shakers in the industry.

Vicki Anderson of The Press weighs in here with a southern perspective - "Of the 56 acts to receive funding in New Zealand on Air's March round, only one (Salmonella Dub) was based in the South Island. That is simply ridiculous. Not meaning to sound "regionalist" or anything (NZ On Air are always accusing me of this) but, by laws of averages alone, there should be more than one. South Islanders pay taxes too..."

I was talking about the issue of album funding from NZ On Air with an industry associate, and we talked about previous music industry initiatives and their outcomes - and we got to talking about the World Series, held at the St James for a bunch of overseas music industry types.
Remember that? It happened back in 2002, and, thanks to Google., I found Judith Tizard's press release on it from the time. Apparently the visitors enjoyed our hospitality extensively.  Now, can you tell me of one single NZ act that got ANYTHING out of that event? Did any of the international opportunities promised in Ms Tizard's headline eventuate? Well, Ms Tizard has the answer to that too...

 She suggests here that the NZ Sounds concert at Central Park the following year happened as a result. If that's the sole outcome, it's a poor return on investment.

A review of World Series - The Big Idea

World Series promises international opportunities for New Zealand music

The World Series showcase of New Zealand music has finished with the promise of international opportunities for local musicians and record labels.
Sixteen leading music industry representatives from Canada, US, UK, Germany and Australia spent the past week watching five showcases of New Zealand music, attending the APRA Silver Scroll Awards and enjoying yachting, sightseeing and America’s Cup activities in a joint government-music industry funded initiative.
Local bands, managers and record companies met the international guests at nightly dinners at the St James Theatre and at several daytime events, such as a three-hour yacht race between NZL40 and NZL41 on the Waitemata Harbour.

“Ralph James from Canada’s The Agency said he and his colleagues go to many such showcases for their work, but that this was the most well-organised they had ever attended,” said Minister for the America’s Cup Trevor Mallard. “He also enthused about the America’s Cup-related daytime activities, especially for the many sailing enthusiasts amongst the group.”

Trevor Mallard said in terms of the business side of the week, he was already aware of plans being made to take New Zealand music offshore. “One of the international guests told me he hopes to stage a showcase of New Zealand music in Canada next year as a result of what he’s seen here.”
Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard said she was delighted with the warm relationships that had formed between the guests and the New Zealand music industry.
“Mark Ashbridge from Festival Mushroom Records says he was thrilled with the business side of the week with regard to his artists and they are already in discussions with several of the guests.
“Ben Howe from Arch Hill Recordings tells me the bands Pine and Fang have got some strong interest as a result of the World Series. They will be following these leads up over the next few months and feel sure they will result in good things.”

Judith Tizard said the World Series also saw the guests sharing their expertise to help develop the New Zealand music industry. “Michael McMartin, director of the Music Managers’ Forum, took time out to meet with New Zealand band managers, share his expertise and offer his help in setting up a New Zealand branch of the Forum.”

Judith Tizard said many of the guests commented on the government’s support for New Zealand music. “They were constantly remarking on what a smart move it was of Prime Minister Helen Clark to invite them here and they couldn’t say enough great things about our support for New Zealand music.

“They also admitted it’s difficult to get them out of their offices to attend a showcase across town, let alone on the other side of the world, so I’m delighted with these early indications of the success of the week, which was well-organised by the project team, Eccles Entertainment and de Launay Enterprises.”

The Ministers thanked the World Series project committee for their excellent work. “Trade New Zealand, Investment NZ, Industry NZ, NZ Music Industry Commission, APRA, NZ On Air put together a great programme, ensured the showcases had top production values, and got people talking to each other. I was impressed with the action at the two gigs I attended and I congratulate the project team,” said Trevor Mallard.

Judith Tizard said the World Series initiative, combined with others such as the NZ Music Industry Commission’s successful delegation to the Midem 2002 trade fair and another delegation next January, will help to develop a thriving export industry.

The Ministers said the World Series follows on from the early November visit to New Zealand by nine British film producers as guests of the NZ Film Commission and Investment New Zealand. Five of those guests are now working with New Zealand producers to co-produce New Zealand feature films.

Both visits were funded from leveraging money allocated to capitalise on the increased attention on New Zealand as a result of the America’s Cup and The Lord of the Rings. The creative sector is one of three key sectors highlighted in the government’s growth and innovation strategy as having strong potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth.

"It's better than a 9 to 5"

The Dudes roadcrew; video from 1979, via Jon Dix.
Hat tip to Simon Grigg.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Smash the jukebox gig - this saturday

I got talked into DJing at this mad night at the Windsor for NZ Music Month. Lineup is insane. Read on...

'Smash the Jukebox' is a celebration of all things New Zealand Music, Past and Present. A chance for everyone to come together and celebrate the History behind the Music and Give back to a valuable charity ('Ronald McDonald House') at the same time.

The event will host DJs and live musicians, all of whom will be playing solely NZ tunes, past and present, originals and covers. The lineup pulls together some of New Zealand's most influential industry characters and lets them run wild, playing the music that influenced them. From Music heads to industry changers, musicians and radio / TV personalities. Smash the Jukebox has them all in one place celebrating music and supporting a great cause.

Live Performances by:
- Bannerman
- Flip Grater- Josephine Costain
DJ Sets from:
- Troy Ferguson - 95bfm "The Rock n Roll Wire"
- Peter McLennan - Dub Asylum, Base FM/KiwiFM
- Andrew Manning - 95bfm "Freak the sheep"
- Murray Cammick - Founder of Rip it Up, Southside and Wildside Records
- sound system - Mr Editor and Mr Music Manager
- Trevor Reekie - Pagan Records, RNZ
- Wammo - Kiwi FM breakfast
- Dan Wrightson - Juice TV
- Ben Howe - Arch Hill Recordings
- Mathew Bosher - Decortica

Saturday, May 8 from 7pm, at Juice Bar (Windsor Castle). Entry by donation.
144 Parnell Road, Parnell.


Did yer ever have the feeling yer being watched?

"Film critic Roger Ebert has posted the screenplay online for his abandoned 1978 Sex Pistols film, Who Killed Bambi?, after it spent over 30 years in the vaults. If the movie had been made, Russ Meyer (who collaborated with Ebert on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) would have directed, with the recently deceased Malcolm McLaren producing. And since we're fairly sure you're not going to read the entire weird, rambling script yourself, we've selected its ten most unsettling quotes for your easy perusal." Read it here.
Via Flavorwire.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Behold my vid style

Some classic Kiwi hiphop music videos selected by DJ Sirvere from the NZ On Screen archives. Choice buzz. Summer in the winter, Stop drop and roll, Chains, many more. Watch em here. (Random fact: I worked on the Behold My Kool Style video as a production assistant for director Jonathan King, way before he became a famous movie director. )

Gilles P digging in Havana

This clip does my head in. Gilles Peterson digging for records in Havana, strikes gold. Watch out for the June 7th release of Gilles' Havana Cultura Remixed. Hat tip to Crate Kings

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Record Store Day bigger than christmas in US

Hypebot reports that "It was a great day for recorded music as sales surged during America’s third annual Record Store Day on April 17th. Compared to the prior week, overall U.S. album sales in the independent sector increased 12% including a whopping 119% vinyl sales jump for the weekend and 529% growth in vinyl single sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan."

LA Times says "Eric Levin, one of Record Store Day's key architects, declared the event "more important" than Christmas or Christmas week, in terms of boosting sales at independent outlets.

Levin runs Atlanta's Criminal Records and overseas the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), a group of 28 indie stores around the country. "Every single AIMS store has reported that this was the best day they ever had, whether they were a 5-year-old store or a 15-year-old store," Levin said.... The overall week-to-week gain in album sales could lead one to conclude that Record Store Day is fueling sales at all music retailers, even those not stocked with exclusive content."

New Basquiat doco

I posted a trailer for this doco a while back, and it had a screening recently at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Here's a clip below, trailer over here.

zSHARE video - Jean Michel

"Before Tamra Davis was directing comedy classics like CB4 and Half Baked, she was hanging around people from the storied downtown New York art scene and taking footage of her friend Jean-Michel Basquiat. After he died, she shelved the film for 20 years and never considered doing anything with it until 2006, when she developed a short for a Basquiat retrospective.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: the Radiant Child is an expanded, feature-length version of that short, combining her extensive archives with interviews with the artist and his friends, including Fab Five Freddy, Julian Schnabel and his girlfriend Suzanne Mallouk, who talks about getting into a fistfight with Madonna. Watch a brief clip above, then go watch the incredible full-length trailer over at Nowness, which presented Radiant Child at the Tribeca Film Festival last night." Via the Fader.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chief Boima -Techno Rumba promo mix

"Chief Boima is dropping his all new EP on Dutty Artz. The Techno Rumba  single is the next slamming leg in his inspired blend of rolling African riddims with electronic club sounds. Big remixes come from Dutty Artz Tropical hype miesters DJ/Rupture, Uproot Andy & Matt Shadetek.
"And to go with the single, a very special Afro-Rumba mix by Boima himself recorded live at his Little Boabab club in San Francisco.

Boima says "What's important about Boabab is that it is an African club in the heart of the city's main nightlife districts where Africans can go to a place that feels like home in America but it's not marginalized as an ethnic club on the outskirts of the city. The music reflects this.

"Drawing influences from the Mission (historically latin) neighborhood, but also from all of our upbringings as first and second generation Africans, and an identity as black people in America. It is a place where I've been able to bridge the disparate worlds' that I grew up in and create something that represents myself and my diverse experiences through music."

Grab it over at Ghettto bassquake.

Next Stop Soweto part 2

Whereas Volume 1 of Next Stop... Soweto focused on traditional South African music, the second volume treads into the fusion of these sounds with western funk, soul, psych & more.  While the results are utterly unique, not all musicians went this direction by choice.  Below, find a track from the powerhouse group Mahotella Queens (whose sublime "Zway Kumusha" is one of the highlights of Volume 1), who according to the album liner notes, were pressured into a more contemporary direction by their label.  

Not ones to bend over easily though, the track (the title of which translates to "Come On, Hippies") calls out South African youth for leaving behind the values of their parents.  Volume 2 of Next Stop... Soweto is out May 11th.
The Mahotella Queens- "Wozani Mahipi" (mediafire) (soundcloud) (zshare)
From: Next Stop ... Soweto: Soultown, R&B, Funk & Psych Sounds from the Townships. 1969-1976  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Voodoo Frank vs BBE

Voodoo Frank pops up in the Wax Poetics 'Africa' issue - he's a  mighty interesting cat. He's a serious record collector and DJ, who moved to West Africa in 2005 and lived there for 3 years. You can read about his time there on his website, here.

He recently posted up a thread of emails he had with UK label BBE (titled "Fighting British bootlegging enterprises"), over a song that he says they didn't have a proper licence to use on Off The Track Vol 3, from Kon and Amir. He also posted it on the Soul Strut forums. It's currently 18 pages long.

Frank says that he has an exclusive licence to use a track by Doris Ebong for a compilation he put together called Lagos Disco Inferno, but Amir says Frank sold him the record knowing it was for their compilation, then changed his mind when he later decided to do his own comp. I read the first 4 pages, and man, it gets heated.

Starts like this...

Frank: We have just last week released our compilation "Lagos Disco Inferno" which prominently features "boogie trip" as the first track and this song has somehow become the signature track of this release.  We do own the exclusive copyright of "boogie trip" and have signed with Rev. Tony Essien who is the producer and co-author of said track.

I would think it should be easy to understand how we can't accept the unauthorized publication of this track through a competing product. I will leave it up to the record label to serve you with a cease and desist order and to take further legal steps if needed.

BBE: "...The consultant who did the licensing for the off track 3 compilation is away on compassionate leave and as soon as i can speak to him next week i will confirm what the status is regarding the license of that particular track. We had someone in Nigeria assisting with the project. Being from Ghana myself i know these things can be not always so straightforward re ownership. Either way just bear with me for about a week and i will get back to you..."

Frank: "Since I haven't heard back from you about this matter, I'm assuming you are willing to go ahead and publish your record including Doris Ebong "boogie trip" for which we own the exclusive copyright.

You claiming "The consultant who did the licensing for the off track 3 compilation is away on compassionate leave" doesn't appear to be anything but an effort to gain time. Why would you need an consultant to tell you what you know as well as I do: You do not have any licensing for this track.

Next thing will probably be you tell us that the record's already manufactured."

BBE:"Can you send me your phone number please?"

Frank:"Let's keep this at emails, easier to document what was discussed.

-We paid the songwriter and producer for the exclusive licensing of this track.

-You don't have any license for it.

-You can't release unlicensed material, especially not after being contacted by the licensing holder and asked not to.

I think I was clear enough that I don't want you to release this track and you refused to comment on this demand.

Off Track Vol. 3 is still being advertised as soon to be released including this title.

This forces us to seek legal counsel so we can make sure our interest is being protected."

BBE:"Sure. Whatever works for you. Cd was already pressed over a month ago.
... Hope we can find a solution."

Frank:"Our record just came out and we will not accept you publishing this track be it on CD, digitally or otherwise. That's the whole point in licensing something exclusively, isn't it?

It's your own fault for manufacturing a CD that contains unlicensed material and the
distribution of a compilation that includes bootlegged material is against the law. You can't knowingly commit an illegal act and expect to "figure out compensation" later."

The next section are excerpts from several subsequent emails and everything you're about to read are complete and utter lies as will be proven later.

BBE: "Just want to inform you that Tony Essien does not have the rights to license you the Doris Ebong track as he has never been the master owner. All the recordings were a buy outs by Phonodisk.  BBE have a signed agreement for the rightful use of the track from the correct owner of the Doris Ebong master. I am passing on your email to correct owner as per his request. "

... "The track was never owned by the artist or the producer. Your license is not legitimate. "

... "The track was never owned by Tony Essien. "

Frank: "Putting the child of the label owner over the songwriter, producer and artist will not only put you in a very bad light publicity wise but will also not stand up in a court of law, be it in Europe or the US. You're more than welcome to fight over this.  There is no question that you will be left holding the short hand of the stick.

We have passed the matter onto out lawyer."

BBE: "Tony Essien is NOT the owner of the Doris Ebong masters and did not have the power to sign the track of to you. I'm afraid you have been ripped off.

BBE have the correct rights to the record.
As such you may have a cease and desist coming your way now."

In the meantime, my agent in Nigeria had done some research and this is what I wrote to BBE after I had received the results.

Frank: "I feel deeply sorry for you but I'm afraid you were ripped off.

Tony Essien's company TEDD Records licensed the Doris Ebong record to Phonodisk for 2 years after its original release. Tony Essien doesn't only still own the original contract for this but also all master tapes for his record. Still, I'll give you bonus points for the boldness of yesterdays bluff attempt."

BBE: "Just have your lawyer contact me. I am not interested in your mind games. "

Frank: "Count on it!"

Just two days ago, I have finally received scans of the contract Tony Essien had made with Phonodisk and with it final proof that nobody else but Tony Essien was the owner of the copyright of this record. Of course I couldn't resist firing off a gleeful mail to BBE before passing the matter onto our lawyers in the US and Europe.

Me: "Dear Peter,
as you have asked for, we don't play games anymore. Attached you find the proof that the copyright to the Doris Ebong LP "All I need is your love" including the track "boogie trip" was never owned by Phonodisk, Mr. Ishola or his family.

Should any copies of your CD that include this track hit the market, be prepared to be sued in a European court (where you will be stuck with all -including our -legal costs) as well as in a US court.

You can also tell the person you signed your fraudulent license with that he will hear from a Nigerian lawyer which will make for an even more unpleasant experience than what's in store for you.

Have a great weekend,
yours sincerely

See the contract documents here.

Then you get to page 4 on the Soul Strut forum and Numero group weigh in...

"Regardless if this is the right place or not, the world needs to know that BBE is kinda shady. It took nearly two years for us (Numero) to get Frank Penn and Jesse Jones paid from similar infractions. BBE's certainly not above just putting shit out when push comes to shove.

Frank, you look seriously foolish when you take it beyond the foothold of "These dudes are in the wrong." The legal threats are totally retarded, as no lawyer is going to trial over one song on a comp that will top out at 3000 copies. It's just not fucking worth it. Make your point and move on. I agree wholeheartedly that SS should know about this bullshit "reissue" label, but put it on the table and let the consumer decide.

And Kon and Amir? Defending your employer against this is just not a good look. We've discussed this before, and you know they're hardly on the level. I know you want the paycheck, but if you don't want your name covered in shit, don't swim in a septic tank...." Numero also suggest a few solutions to the issue.

Hat tip to Alan P for sending me this. Graphic from Soul strut forum thread.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tube-Tech visits Daptone's Gabe Roth

Tube-Tech's Jesper Bo and Thermal Relief's Erica Earl (Camera) visits Gabe Roth in Daptone Studio, Brooklyn NY. Gabe talks about recording with Tube-Tech and shows us the studio. It's a pretty basic video.

Think I've posted an article about this before, but the video is kinda cool. Watch out for the Daptone studio blackboard, with lotsa tracks listed - looks like they were working on the latest Sharon Jones album. Apparently they cut over 20 tracks for it.

Part2: How they get the Daptone drum sound

Share the information, spread it like butter

P-Money talks about getting ready to release his new album, the work involved being an independent, and how to deal with the pressure... this is well worth a read for any budding musician out there. Read it here, excerpt below...

"I tell ya, it sure is a great feeling to own an independent record label and be free to choose how you create, market and promote your own music. But don't ever make the mistake of thinking it's easy to do this well. You have to be sharp, attentive and dedicated. Especially when you manage yourself, as I mostly do....

"It's important not to forget that as a human you need to balance work and home life in order to be truly successful (and stay healthy… and sane!). With a schedule like mine is at present it can be difficult to find time to eat, let alone foster any kind of meaningful relationships, but I do my best on both fronts.

"It would be fair to say I'm feeling the pressure at the moment. But it's obviously something I've done before and can confidently navigate. This is technically album number 3 for me as P-Money the producer/artist and there are a number of other projects under my belt, courtesy of our other great acts at Dirty, that have contributed to my experience. So yes, I can handle it and fortunately this time I'm handling things far better than with any of my prior efforts. There have been no breakdowns yet! (believe it, they are par for the course in this game).

" With age I've learnt to not be as precious about each minor detail and instead look at the overall picture. I've also learnt to trust others with aspects of my projects a bit more, so that helps with not overworking myself. Control freaks and perfectionists (like me) are very prone to pulling all nighters and suffering severe burn-out. Im speaking from experience here. Taking care of yourself, getting rest, and not over indulging, is of utmost importance..."

Style Wars revisited

Style Wars is a crucial slice of hiphop history documented on film. "We are embarking on a project to restore STYLE WARS and bring it up to the highest technical standards available today in order to create a High Definition edition of the film. We will be transferring the original 16 mm negativeinto full HD 1080p while cleaning and restoring the film during the process."
Read more about it here.

Some of the original graffiti artists look back on that time, in the clip below...

Legendary DJ Greg Wilson: FACT Mix 141

Grab it here, only up for 3 weeks.

Wilson DJed at the Hacienda, the Wgian Pier,  and curated "compilations including the seminal Street Sounds UK Electro album (1984) and Classic Electro Mastercuts (1994). The last decade thankfully saw Greg make a welcome return to the DJing fray [after taking a break in 83], but the real renaissance began with Tirk’s brilliant Credit To The Edit 12″s and CD compilations, which celebrated the veteran’s unique and deliciously raw reel-to-reel editing technique."

1.      6th Borough Project – How can I show you (GW ‘bomb’ re-touch)
2.      Duff Disco 002 – Return of the duff
3.      6th Borough Project – Do it to the max
4.      Crazy P – Lady T (GW edit)
5.      Duff Disco 003 – Do that thang
6.      Young Dog Alien – Gotta keep workin’ it (GW mash-up)
7.      Stevie Wonder – Superstition (Todd Terje edit)
8.      The Bangles – Walk like an egyptian (Todd Terje edit)
9.      Killer Funk Disco Allstars – Things you do to me
10.    Sgt Lovebody – Skippy’s down the well
11.    Aretha Franklin – Rock steady (DK edit)
12.    Rufus Feat Chaka Khan – Ain’t nobody (Frankie Knuckles hallucinogenic mix)
13.    Blondie – Rapture (6ms edit)
14.    Linkwood – Falling
15.    Elektrons – Get up (GW special version)
16.    Fatback Band – (Are you ready) do the bus stop

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Guru interview from 2003

Writer Oliver Wang wrote one of the few decent obits for Guru, for the LA Times. He talks about putting that together here, along with some of his favourite Gangstarr tunes.

Oliver has also put up some snippets from a 2003 interview he did with Guru and Premier...
"I wrote a cover story on Gang Starr for URB in 2003, in anticipation for The Ownerz, the group’s first album in five years. I flew out to NYC and interviewed the two men, separately, in Studio B of D&D Studios."

Guru talks about raising his son, staying relevant, Gangstarr thru the years, and as a bonus, top 5 beats that Premier wished he'd produced. Great reading.

BIGFM sold to Kirby bros

BIGFM launched in November 2008, and is being sold to Thane and Richard Kirby, both ex-GeorgeFM. The deal was hinted at in Friday's NZ Herald, here. with a rumoured $2m sale price. Here's the official press release...


New format BIG TIME FM goes to air 1 May

There's a new not-so-secret secret set to send shockwaves through the New Zealand radio industry! The Kirby brothers are back in business.

Broadcasting brothers Thane and Richard Kirby have purchased BIG FM 106.2FM in Auckland, as they say, for an undisclosed sum.

Tune in from next Saturday (May 1, 2010) from 7am as the two entrepreneurs of independent radio take hold of BIG and kick off a 'spoiler' format called BIG TIME. The guys are in a holding pattern until their shiny new format is revealed in June.

"The new format is under wraps at present," Thane says, "but we guarantee it's going to provide a new offering not currently catered for by any other station in New Zealand."

Thane Kirby is the founder of George FM, UpFM, Base FM and the now defunct alternative music telly channel he doesn't really like talking about, ALT TV - "Similar to the channel Mediaworks' C42 is about to launch in May," he says.

Thane is also a consultant to Radio Ponsonby 107.7FM and continues to assist with the station's phenomenal growth.

Richard Kirby is keen as mustard to get his teeth back into the Auckland radio market and win the ears of listeners region-wide.

"Ask me about our creds and I'll tell you we both have more than credible backgrounds in broadcasting and have worked for greater successes than some of the more senior members of the local radio business."

The brothers are set to become one of the biggest independent radio operators in the country. Despite the demise of BIG FM they say there is some good news for a few of the station's former staff.

"The pick of the bunch will be recruited to work on the new station," Richard says, "because the new format will adhere to and respect the 'Auckland-ness' and 'community' feel that BIG FM fostered."

Big FM Director Jeff Down is pleased the station has sold to passionate radio people. "The MED is transferring the licence and the transition from BIG FM into BIG TIME should run smoothly."

So put down this release, find a beer and toast the little guys who are about to battle through the current economic climate and the foreign-owned radio networks just to provide the public with a credible source of entertainment.

"We both love radio and enjoy a good challenge so give us a listen from May 1," says Thane.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, April 24

Mighty Mo and winchester seven - Next message version
Simonsound -Tour De Mars
Redds and the boys - Put your right hand in the air...
Quincy Jones - Hummin
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Better things
UBB - I know you got soul inst
Daru Jones feat Kissey Asplund - So good pt 2 - Gogo mix
DJ Vadim - Hidden treasure
Mos dub - History town
Derrick Morgan - I'm the ruler
Eric and the Loveletts - I've been searching
Lizzy and Alcapone - Ba ba riba skank
Jackie Mittoo - Darker shade of black
Manasseh  - Skenga 12" mix
DVA - Natty
Natural yoghurt band - Latin illusion
Bamboos  -You aint no good
The Roots  -Stars
The Clash - Magnificent seven
Chuck Brown and the soul searchers - We need money
3 Titans - College
George Mcrae - I get lifted (Mischief brew re-edit)
Beat pharmacy - Rooftops
Blundetto - Nautlius - dub version
Ticklah - Si hecho palante
Admiral Tibet - Serious
Ninja man  - Murder dem
Foxy Brown - Baby can I hold you tonight
Pilooski - AAA

Friday, April 23, 2010

Taking the weight off

Legendary Kiwi ska/reggae band Penknife Glides new website goes live. Ther's also a CD reissue "A stab in the dark" on the way too, to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

"So why this release after so many years?

"Regrettably, it seems that some of our best material was never captured on vinyl and the songs that did make it seemed to somehow lack the delivery, spark and excitement for which our live gigs were renowned. After 30 years collecting dust in the vault this first collection of re-recorded songs speaks for itself. After not having heard the originals myself for many years, they leapt out as having memorable tunes and poignant 'of their time' lyrics while also sounding strangely contemporary.

"My task on ‘A Stab in the Dark’ has been to assemble a collection of ten songs from a mass of old live recordings and rehearsal tapes. During that process, with my creative juices running wild, I couldn’t resist adding some new parts and changing others. I’d like to think that the finished result is how the songs might have sounded if the band had had the musical and technical ability to deliver what the four of us had been hearing in our heads back in 1980.

"Like seeing an old photograph for the first time after many years, a song has the power to instantly transport the listener back in time. For me, that trip was like a rush of blood to the… well let’s just say at the very least it was a rush! They were a pleasure to revisit so I hope they have a similar effect on you. If you were there with us in the early days, turn your hearing aids up and check it out. If you weren’t, then take a trip to a Life on Mars …. this was Auckland 1980/1, as I recall it." - Skeats

Photo credit: Penknife Glides

Rap lesson 101

From Rap Radar, hat tip to Mouli...

"Last month, T.I. visited Woodland Middle School in Henry County, GA . Unfortunately, not everyone was happy he was there. According to WSBTV, several parents are upset that the rapper was featured as a guest speaker. One of the parents wrote an email letter to the principal, Dr. Terry Oatts stating:

“In the future, if T.I. or any other convicted felon needs to perform community service, ask for parental permission to allow our children to be exposed to these questionable individuals,”

In the rapper’s defense, Oatts responded:

“I thought about asking a guy who snorted cocaine and got arrested for DUI when he was 30 to come and speak to our kids, but President George W. Bush was not available.”

Turn it up!

Hugh Hughes did a profile of the Open Souls for 20/20 on TV2 last night, very thoughtful piece, nicely done. You can watch it online over here. Watch out for my man Chip on the bass and working hard at BaseFM doing the brekky show.  Mean, bro.

The blurb: "20/20s Hugh Hughes talks to Tyra Hammond, the face of the band, who has already successfully collaborated with cousin Scribe, about her early upbringing with family talent quests, and hits the road with the band as they promote their second album, Standing in the Rain."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Quantic Mulatu Show Mix

Quantic Mulatu Show Mix - go get this!

"The Timeless Concert Series wasn’t just a series of stunning performances. All the shows were framed by our favorite DJs. From Madlib to J.Rocc to DJ Nuts and more. For the Mulatu show, Quantic brought along something very special .

In 2004 Quantic, Miles Cleret and B+ went to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia to find records and meet with Mulatu Astatke. It was there and then the first thoughts of bringing Mulatu to LA were hatched. So it was fitting that Quantic came to LA to DJ for Mulatu and brought with him records almost all found on that first unique trip.

Ethiopia has many musical traditions, indeed not all of them have made it to vinyl. But those chunks of plastic contain some secrets that you really have to go to Addis to find. Trawling ebay is never the same as a trip to East Africa.

Quantic made that trip. And at the Luckman Theater on February 1st, 2009 he buckled everyone in, and took us on a one hour flight back.  Here is his DJ set in its entirety. Don’t be alarmed by the crackle, that’s what 30 plus year old records sound like."

Guru's family talk

The letter that Guru allegedly wrote on his deathbed has been attracting a lot of heat. Questions over its authenticity have been raised by a lot of folk. Now Guru's family have released a statement, which clearly shows that he was in a coma from mid February til he passed, which means he didn't write that letter. Read the statement here, on MissInfo's site.

Oliver Wang wrote a thoughtful obit for Guru for the LA Times. And the New York Times obit is worth a look too.  DJ Premier weighed in with a statement today too (via DJ Semtex blog). It's admirable the way he chose not to respond immediately to the slander in that alleged deathbed letter.

From the NYT obit... "Guru’s father, Harry Elam, was the first black judge in the Boston municipal courts, and his mother, Barbara, was the co-director of library programs in the Boston public school system."


From a piece written by Dave Sherbow via Music Thinktank. Read this. It will make you a better musician/artist/person.

Never underestimate the value of respect. Here are two very good examples from my personal experience of why this is so true.

Story #1

In 2000 I was at the Impact Urban Music conference in Nashville, Tennessee being held at Opryland. I was working for the VP of Marketing and Promotion at Def Jam running his independent record promotion company. I was always looking for something new. I was invited to many showcases.

 One of them was for a small North Carolina independent label called Soulife Records. I went. It was in a big room and it was only me, a few guys from the label and 8 stuff shirted Indian doctors from the pharmaceutical business who had backed the label. No one else had shown up. It was kind of depressing. So I started making small talk with the doctors building a great rapport until the first act came up a beautiful girl named Sunshine Anderson. I loved her act. I told the doctors and the label guys I thought that her sng “I Heard It All Before” was definitely at hit and asked them if they wanted any help getting a deal They said thanks for the offer but they had it covered.

They really appreciated the fact I treated them with respect and that I had the decency and common courtesy to show up for their show when no one else did. A year and a half later, got a call from the VP of Promotion at Atlantic who said they just signed Sunshine Anderson and that the label insisted that I work the record at radio. I took it to No. 1. They guys at the label said I got the work because they got the respect from me when no one else gave it to them.

Story #2

In the early 1980’s I managed a major regional heavy metal band that played in front of 1000 people a night from Virginia to Maine. We used to play this club in the blue collar section of Baltimore called the Seagull Inn. It was stuck in an out of the way place, held 1000 people and we always packed it. This 6’2 Irish kid always used to come out and get wasted on alcohol and Quaaludes. At the end of our shows we’d pick him off the floor and a member of our crew would always drive him home. For about a year he kept telling me his uncle was the VP of A&R for RCA Records and did I want him to bring him out. It seemed highly unlikely because the guy was such a goof. I would always politely say yes with the utmost politeness and respect. The band and I always joked about it but we liked him and treated him with respect when everybody else made fun of him.

Well one night he walks into the room with his Uncle Eddie DeJoy, VP of A&R from RCA who had just signed the hottest act in the country Rick Springfield and had also been known for signing Judas Priest and Al Stewart among many. We never got the big deal but he produced a 6 song demo in RCA’s famous NYC studios for free that we eventually released as an EP that sold 25,000 copies for us and mentored me for two years.

Respect is something easy to give and sometimes by giving it you are rewarded in the most unlikely of situations.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coachella in a flash

It's a music festival in the desert with 75,000 people and a gazillion bands old and new.  Looking at the lineup makes me very jealous. Here's some random vids, mostly spotted via Brooklyn Vegan's excellent coverage of Coachella.

PiL doing Death Disco. Astonishing.

The Specials at Coachella, doing Monkey Man - check Yo Yo Gabba dude dancing side of stage.

More Specials live videos here at Brooklyn Vegan.

PLUS Coachella Day one review, Day two reviewDay three review (Gorillaz w/ two ex Clash members), LCD Sound System's set (w live video),  and Sly Stone's shambolic appearance  - a day late, on the wrong stage. (From the New Yorker).

AND the best and worst of Coachella, via the LA Times. Includes Best Hairstyle, Best Rap Name, Best Male-Bonding Moment, and Best Coitus Mimicry.

It's a rumble

Earlier today music journalist Hussein Moses (Real Groove, The Corner blog) posted this message on Twitter...

"Here's a screenshot of the one-lined email Dane Rumble sent me where he cusses me out and calls me a snake:

Seems that Dane took offence at Hussein's article on him for a recent Real Groove magazine article. You can read the article over at The Corner blog and judge for yourself.  

Hussein posted later in the day that "Dane Rumble just emailed me again, said my write-up was insulting and called me two-faced."

All in all, a very odd exchange. No one wins from it. 


I had funny exchange today was with Jeremy Redmore, singer for Midnight Youth.  

Late yesterday he posted "Oh man, knew there'd b a catch to C4's new channel. Does ANYONE make money in this industry?"

Someone suggested I send him Steve Albini's rant on the music industry, which I did... see below

"re "Does ANYONE make money in this industry?" read this, by Steve Albini

Jeremy's reponse? "sounds about right! I get some free shoes now and again too...haha".

Smart kid.

I learned the hard way - video from SJ&DKs

New video from the latest album from Ms Sharon Jones and the Dapkings.Out now on Daptone.

Christina Hendricks: A Letter to Men

From Esquire magazine. Guys, read this and learn.You don't have to do all of it, but a lot of it will make you way more of a gentleman. It's not a million miles away from a fantastic book I read a while back called The Way You Wear Your Hat, which is based on Frank Sinatra's rules on style and manners. He knew how to treat a woman.

"We love your body. If we're in love with you, we love your body. Your potbelly, everything. Even if you're insecure about something, we love your body. You feel like you're not this or that? We love your body. We embrace everything. Because it's you.

Speaking of your body,
you don't understand the power of your own smell. Any woman who is currently with a man is with him partly because she loves the way he smells. And if we haven't smelled you for a day or two and then we suddenly are within inches of you, we swoon. We get light-headed. It's intoxicating. It's heady.

We remember forever what you say about the bodies of other women. When you mention in passing that a certain woman is attractive — could be someone in the office, a woman on the street, a celebrity, any woman in the world, really — your comment goes into a steel box and it stays there forever. We will file the comment under "Women He Finds Attractive." It's not about whether or not we approve of the comment. It's about learning what you think is sexy and how we might be able to convey it. It's about keeping our man by knowing what he likes.

We also remember everything you say about our bodies, be it good or bad. Doesn't matter if it's a compliment. Could be just a comment. Those things you say are stored away in the steel box, and we remember these things verbatim. We remember what you were wearing and the street corner you were standing on when you said it.

Never complain about our friends — even if we do. No matter how many times we say a friend of ours is driving us crazy, you are not to pile on. Not because it offends us. But because it adds to the weight that we carry around about her.

Remember what we like.When I first started dating my husband, I had this weird fascination with the circus and clowns and old carnival things and sideshow freaks and all that. About a month after we started dating, he bought me this amazing black-and-white photo book on the circus in the 1930s, and I started sobbing. Which freaked him out. I thought, Oh, my God, I mentioned this three or four weeks ago and talked about it briefly, but he was really listening to me. And he actually went out and researched and found this thing for me. It was amazing.

We want you to order Scotch. It's the most impressive drink order. It's classic. It's sexy. Such a rich color. The glass, the smell. It's not watered down with fruit juice. It's Scotch. And you ordered it.

Stand up, open a door, offer a jacket. We talk about it with our friends after you do it. We say, "Can you believe he stood up when I approached the table?" It makes us feel important. And it makes you important because we talk about it.

No shorts that go below the knee. The ones almost like capri pants, the ones that hover somewhere between the kneecap and the calf? Enough with those shorts. They are the most embarrassing pants in the world. They should never be worn. No woman likes those.

Also, no tank tops. In public at least. A tank top is underwear. You're walking around in your underwear. Too much.

No man should be on Facebook. It's an invasion of everyone's privacy. I really cannot stand it.

You don't know this, but when we come back from a date, we feel awkward about that transition from our cute outfit into sexy lingerie. We don't know how to do this gracefully. It's embarrassing. We have to find a way to slip into another room, put on the outfit as if it all happened very easily, and then come out and it's: Look at me! Look at the sexy thing I've done! For you, it's the blink of an eye. It's all very embarrassing. Just so you know.

Panties is a wonderful word. When did you stop saying "panties"? It's sexy. It's girlie. It's naughty. Say it more.

About ogling: The men who look, they really look. It doesn't insult us. It doesn't faze us, really. It's just — well, it's a little infantile. Which is ironic, isn't it? The men who constantly stare at our breasts are never the men we're attracted to.

There are better words than beautiful. Radiant, for instance. It's an underused word. It's a very special word. "You are radiant." Also, enchanting, smoldering, intoxicating, charming, fetching.

Marriage changes very little. The only things that will get a married man laid that won't get a single man laid are adultery and whores. Intelligence and humor (and your smell) are what get you laid. That's what got you laid when you were single. That's what gets you laid when you're married. Everything still works in marriage: especially intelligence and humor. Because the sexiest thing is to know you."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Video - Pacifican Descendants

Old school kiwi hiphop styles featuring Joni and Sonny Sagala. Johni ended up in Lost Tribe and Sonny performs as Dei Hamo. I remember  we did a gig with them supporting us (Hallelujah Picassos) down in Fort St at a club called Forts Xing. They were wicked too.

Youtube notes: "Johni and Sani Sagala doing dey thang with the PD Dance team Ali Cowley and Willie Boaza, with DJ Chris Halavaka on the ones and twos. Its the time when Georgie Pies was king for the clubbers coming home at 3 or 4 in the mornings, where $5 could get you full with $1 pies and shakes and $3 fish and chips.

This was our last gig before we decided to split up as my bro went to start DEI-HAMO and I was to pursue my acting career, But then we were approached by Phill Fuemana to do the Proud tour and compilation album, so we stuck it through for one more year as "Pacifican Descendants." PD-94-RIP"

Hat tip to Simon Grigg for the link.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Record Store Day report

My Record Store Day started with a visit to Conch Records after my radio show; the place was buzzing. Brent was DJing out front of the shop, spinning 45s by the likes of Julie London and Frank Sinatra, all class; Dustin and Cian were running round behind the counter and Jim was making excellent coffees, as always. I scored the new Black Seeds single on vinyl, and the latest copy of Shook magazine.

Trekked down to Real Groovy later in the afternoon, that was packed too, good to see. Had a dig round in the bins down the back and picked up a wicked Quincy Jones album, Gula Matari. I discovered this album after hearing the excellent mix from DJ Spinna a while back, a Tribute to Q (which features the title track and Hummin off that LP).

If you haven't heard that mix, go get it, it's mean. It's a funky education on the many varied styles of Quincy Jones. I was only familiar with some of his film composing work and of course producing Michael Jackson, but he's done a ton of cool stuff around that too.

Real Groovy had a selection of folks DJing some of their fave tunes - Liam Finn, Russell Baillie, Roger Shepherd, Recloose, Nick D, David Farrier, Roger Perry, and when I was down there, Dylan C was dropping some wicked tunes, including that Chains remix by Che Fu, always good to hear that, love the opening liine - "I grew up in Ponsonby, they take the Gluepot now they coming for me..."

The special mystery guest DJ appeared after Dylan - it was Ladyhawke. She attracted a small crowd to watch her 'mix', but they were kept a safe distance from her by a velvet rope. Celebrity DJs aye? Woohoo. That's Ladyhawke DJing, below.

This is one of the Real Groovy staff who dressed up for the day, note the hat made of 45s - she's also got a record attached to her shoulder, slightly obscured. Imagine if there'd been a scene in Bladerunner with Deckard ducking into a record shop to hide from his pursuers - she would've been working behind the counter.


This is photographic proof that Record Store Day wasn't just a bunch of sad old men, but there were some young women buying LPs. See, they don't all sit at home downloading Britney/Lady Gaga. Ah, young people...