Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Favela on Blast film screening

Favela On Blast - Official Trailer from Mad Decent on Vimeo.

As part of the "ThisCulture" film series we are proud to present the NZ premiere of "Favela on Blast" - this Wednesday night at Khuja Lounge.

Favela on Blast is the directorial film debut from Grammy-nominated DJ and producer, Diplo, and his partner Leandro HBL. For 20 years, a subculture has emerged under society's radar. Favela On Blast tells the stories of sex, love, poverty and pride for Rio's marginalized people. They have their own language, style and heroes. It's a music that's... fast, heavy and violent like the city itself. This film is a flash of a few lives of charismatic people that relate to the funk music and a retelling of the subculture itself.

In an unlikely turn of events since pre-production of this film started, baile funk fought its way out of the favela's, no holds barred. As soon as it reached the ears of music makers and booty shakers around the globe, dots got connected, cables got plugged and the movement just snowballed out of control.

The culture surrounding the favelas of Rio De Janeiro has been documented before, yet here a unique view is presented to the audience were the camera emerges from the funk balls to give an unseen look into an energetic, underground music scene so powerful it couldn't be ignored.

August 18th - Khuja Lounge - 8pm,  $5 entry - DJ support from El Gato Negro

http://www.thisculture.com for more info.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The cocktail party

Frank Liew wrote a great piece over at Hypebeast on the whole iPhone vs Android vs Blackberry phone debate. He's been asking a lot of people which one they like and why, and has come up with a nifty theory on the choices  - the cocktail party. Read below...

"... after a month or so of digesting information from supporters in all camps, I’ve decided to combine all this information and put forward my answer to this question in a simple analogy, that I hope everyone can understand.

Imagine you’re at a cocktail party.

There’s a guy who seems to be the centre of attention and has a harem of girls (including the one you’ve been eyeing up all night) giggling at his somewhat bland jokes and stories of his exploits as a sometimes-DJ or part-time model. You may not necessary like this guy, but can’t help but admire his “pulling power”, and quietly wonder to yourself how he does it, at the same time ridiculing him to your friends. You don’t know how he does it, but you can see the results in front of you, but you still wonder if it’s for real or if it’s all for show. This guy is an iPhone.

There’s a guy who sits quietly in the corner dressed in a Saville Row bespoke suit and sporting a 40′s IWC Pilot with a bunch of fellow male beatnik admirers in some strange fete-du-sausage whilst nursing a nice 25yo Glenmorangie single malt on the rocks. He brings up intellectual discussion, enjoys obscure conversation topics, likes to crack the odd dirty joke then and again to remind you that he’s on your level, and has a certain aura around him that you can’t seem to pinpoint, but you are drawn to. You wonder why he’s dressed the way he is, given that not many people seem that interested. This guy is a HTC Android powered phone.

There’s a guy who looks rather serious, in a corner with little to no friends and just sits there staring at his phone all night whilst typing away feverishly on the keyboard, trying to maintain a real life conversation with someone at the same time but failing miserably. This guy is all about getting shit done. This person is somewhat oblivious to his surroundings, and always ends up joining a conversation late, making it rather awkward, but he has rather strong opinions and prides himself on telling people when he gets something done, no matter how mundane. This guy is a Blackberry.

Which one do you want to be? There’s your answer."

Frank uses a Blackberry.

Non picnic

Back in 1988, a rather exciting festival was due to happen, with a lineup that included Bob Geldof, James Brown, Nona Hendryx, Roy Orbison and more. It was called the Neon Picnic and it collapsed in spectacular fashion a few days before it was due to take place. Writer Chris Bourke has a piece on his blog about it, lifted from a story he wrote at the time for Rip It Up. It's a great read. (Above photo from Chris's blog)

"In the last few days before the Neon Picnic was scheduled to start, people were waiting. For money.

International acts such as Los Lobos and Nona Hendryx were waiting for their plane tickets or advance fees; lighting and sound companies for their payments before they would continue work. Many others waited to be paid for work already done.
The Raglan County Council waited for toilets to be put on site, while the portaloo hire company waited for their cash.

The Picnic organisers were waiting for last-minute financial packages to come through and sort it all out." Read it in full here.

ADDED Simon Grigg has his own memories of the Neon Picnic - he did get to see one of the acts...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

NY blues

Via Flavourpill Daily Dose: "Christopher Walken played him in the movie Basquiat, but the creative life of Marc H. Miller transcends that singular moment via his website, 98 Bowery.

"In late-'60s downtown NYC, Miller blossomed as an artist, curator, journalist, and publisher. After organizing the very first punk art exhibition in 1978, he migrated to Amsterdam and shot Polaroid portraits in the red-light district, before returning to the Bowery to make videos, write a column, and organize shows — a lifestyle that's now amusingly and thoroughly documented online.

Explore the 98 Bowery site, watch videos of Miller selling Polaroids in Amsterdam’s red-light district bars, check out the making of a paparazzi portrait of Screw magazine publisher Al Goldstein from the artist’s Vimeo archive, and read an article about his controversial video interview with Jean-Michel Basquiat in Interview magazine."

Photo: The Ramones autograph Curt Hoppe’s painting “Bettie & the Ramones".
Check more photos here

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mo better blues

From Wax Poetics - "Remember our interview with Spike Lee in Issue 38? The following is an unpublished chunk from that piece.

Originally, Mo’ Better Blues was entitled A Love Supreme. Why did you change the title?

"Alice Coltrane! [laughs] I was in contact with her. She read the script and thought there was too much profanity in the film, and she preferred that we not use that title, but she would still let us use the song. The recording was much more important than the title.

Was Mo’ Better Blues the first instance of the media accusing you of anti-Semitism? With the portrayal of the two Jewish club owners?

The club owners were Moe and Josh Flatbush, played by John and Nick Turturro. This was something that blindsided me completely. There was a big brouhaha, and at that time, my lawyer, who is deceased and was Jewish, said, “Spike, if you want to continue to work in this industry, you have to get rid of this anti-Semitic label.” His name was Arthur Klein, and he suggested that I write an op-ed piece for The New York Times saying, “I’m not anti-Semitic.” I took his advice; I did that. They were really trying to lower the hammer. You never felt somebody on your ass until you have the JDL, B’nai B’rith, and whoever else on your ass with the anti-Semitic thing. They could put you on lockdown."

More Spike here.  He also goes into the Oscars snub of Malcolm X, and his beef with Clint Eastwood over his Iwo Jima movies, and their lack of black soldiers.He's a straight talker.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Aug 14

Mophono's halftone society  -Sinicisism - Natural self remix
Mulatu Astatke -Yerkermo sew
Quantic - Portada del Mar
Prince Fatty - Gin and juice
Centry meets the music family - The outlaw
Richie Phoe - Heartical behaviour
Sola rosa - Lady love - Richie Phoe remix
Ticklah - Scratch to win
Dawn Penn w Steely and Clevie - No no no
Kode9 - You don't wash dub
Cooly G - Love dub
Cesaria Evora - Angola  - Get down dub by Pepe Bradock
Chancha via curcuito - Dancehall
Colman brothers - She who dares - lounge mix
Style council - Money go round
Bobby Byrd - Hot pants... I'm coming
Gary Byrd - The crown
The controllers - Hello - Simon S re-edit
Fat Freddys Drop - Hope - Mykl vs Soy Sos dub
Tony Allen - Ole - Moritz von Oswald remix
Mayer Hawthorne - The ills
Manu Dibango - Soul fiesta
Miriam Makeba - Ibande
Neil Cowley trio - Pinball number count
Oddisee - Chocolate city dreaming
Staple singers - This old town (People in this town)
The Emotions - Blind alley
Sons of Slum - Right on
Jean Knight - Carry on

Favela on Blast film screening

Favela On Blast - Official Trailer from Mad Decent on Vimeo.

As part of the "ThisCulture" film series we are proud to present the NZ premiere of "Favela on Blast" - this Wednesday night at Khuja Lounge.

Favela on Blast is the directorial film debut from Grammy-nominated DJ and producer, Diplo, and his partner Leandro HBL. For 20 years, a subculture has emerged under society's radar. Favela On Blast tells the stories of sex, love, poverty and pride for Rio's marginalized people. They have their own language, style and heroes. It's a music that's... fast, heavy and violent like the city itself. This film is a flash of a few lives of charismatic people that relate to the funk music and a retelling of the subculture itself.

In an unlikely turn of events since pre-production of this film started, baile funk fought its way out of the favela's, no holds barred. As soon as it reached the ears of music makers and booty shakers around the globe, dots got connected, cables got plugged and the movement just snowballed out of control.

The culture surrounding the favelas of Rio De Janeiro has been documented before, yet here a unique view is presented to the audience were the camera emerges from the funk balls to give an unseen look into an energetic, underground music scene so powerful it couldn't be ignored.

August 18th - Khuja Lounge - 8pm,  $5 entry - DJ support from El Gato Negro

http://www.thisculture.com for more info.

Ace of spades

Haydamaky hail from Ukraine, and here's their delightful take on Motorhead's Ace of Spades, with footage shot on their current US tour. Punk/ska/horns and accordian. Mental. (Hat tip to Trevor R).

Friday, August 13, 2010


After 21 years, indie label Merge Records have clocked up their first ever number one album on the US charts.  In the label's history they've had 4 top ten chart successes  - 3 this year (Spoon, She and Him, Arcade Fire). The chart topper is the new album from Arcade Fire, which sold 156,000 copies in its opening week and get this - 97,000 of those copies were digital albums.

Label co-founder Laura Ballance says "The whole chart thing is kind of like sports," she said Wednesday. "The need to have a ranking is kind of meaningless. I’m more like, ‘It did good? That’s great.’ " Read more: LA Times article

The record players

Oh, a new book from the authors of Last night a DJ saved my life, you say? Bound to be essential reading. Out August 30. Download a preview pdf here.

"The story of dance music told by the people who made it happen. Bill and Frank come correct with in-depth interviews with almost 50 of history's most significant DJs, largely previously unpublished. Like the ones you've read on DJhistory, these are intriguing meetings – honest and revealing portraits, funny too. Plus memorabilia, discographies and great photos of all the DJs as young firebrands."

Black Dynamite vs Storm troopers

Adrian Younge and the Black Dynamite Sound Orchestra played live during Comic Con. They ended up playing for some Stormtroopers, Tough crowd. Hat tip: Wax Poetics.

Attention vinyl junkies...


At new venue --- FREEMAN'S BAY HALL -- Hepburn St, Ponsonby.
The Auckland Record Collectors Fair takes place this Saturday August 14 at a new inner city venue, the Freeman¹s Bay Hall, corner of Wellington and Hepburn Streets, Ponsonby.

Stalls include vintage New Zealand vinyl and New Vinyl Imports and foreign, 60s, rare, dance, soul, rock, bargain etc vinyl. AND Murray Camick will be there selling more funk and soul vinyl. The event also has stalls selling vinyl turntables, styli and cartridges.

The fair runs from 10am to 3pm. There is a $4 entry fee.

.... Because you need more records. Right?

RIP Phelps "Catfish"Collins

Phelps "Catfish" Collins has died aged 66 after a battle with cancer. BBC News reports that "The Cincinnati-based musician was part of the funk scene in the late 1960s and early 1970. He played with James Brown before joining Parliament and Funkadelic.

The older brother of Bootsy Collins, the guitarist's death on Friday was reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer. The report described him as "a jovial guitar player with a huge smile".

Catfish played on James Brown's 1970 classic Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine.

"My world will never be the same without him," Bootsy Collins told Rolling Stone. "Be happy for him, he certainly is now and always has been the happiest young fellow I ever met on this planet."
Collins' death comes less than two months after that of Funkadelic guitarist Gary Shider, who died in June."

Thursday, August 12, 2010


But wait, there's more. A film called "Blitzkreig Bop!"with a priceless voiceover - "They've been called brilliant, they've been called disgusting, but no-one ever forgets this act..." Features the Ramones, Blondie, Dead Boys, and some lame-ass rock critics talking utter bollocks.... The sound is outta sync with the pics, so just deal with it...

Part 1, 3 other parts too...

Uploaded by Top-Notch112. - News videos from around the world.

New York Dolls 73

Stumbled across this while looking for old video of the Ramones shot at CBGBS - some clever fella who has a ton of black and white video footage of the New York Dolls, some of them playing live, in 1973.

Then there's the one below, of the band at a photo shoot goofing around, and one of them out in LA, at a joke shop, then Jerry gets a haircut. Delightfully random snapshot of a long lost moment.

Hat tip to Markwasthere (Youtube channel - for more NY Dolls vids)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

P-Money 2001

Spied this great video from back in 2001 via GeorgeFM- it's P-Money dropping his routine at the World DMC Champs - he came third equal that year  (with DJ Kentaro). I interviewed P-Money that year for NZ Musician magazine. Here's the interview below.

The thing I remember from this interview was, even tho P-Money had some success and made it to several overseas DJ battles and was going places, he was talking about how his overseas experiences made him realise that the local hiphop scene had to step up its game - he wasn't just in it for himself. That's cool.

Scratch and win
by Peter McLennan (originally published in NZ Musician magazine February 2001)

P-Money is one of our nation's finest hip hop DJs - if you are looking for proof, he has won the New Zealand ITF (International Turntablist Federation) DJ Championship an unprecedented two years in a row.

An expert scratch DJ, P-Money has recently starting to make his presence felt as a producer of his own beats, working with MCs Ill Semantics, Four Corners, and on Che Fu's next album. He's been involved with bFM's hugely popular 'Trueschool Hip Hop Show', alongside well respected DJs DLT and Sir-Vere for several years, and currently hosts the show. He's a humble guy, who works hard to be the best he can be. Step up, P-Money!

"It was DLT who started referring to me as Money, taking the piss, cos I'd do tricks like Cash Money. I was looking for a DJ name and I thought, 'Yeah, that'll do'."

DJing took hold of Pete Wadams at a young age.

"I've been practising my skills since I was about 12. That was when I first attempted a scratch. I got a turntable when I was 14, and then I got a decent set-up when I was 17. I've been seriously DJing as a career for the last three years - since I was about 19.

"The first gear I used was a Sony mini-system my dad had, that had a turntable on the top, and I would just scratch with that, using the switch between Phono and Auxiliary to cut out the sound. So I had two fingers on the switches and cut the sound that way, moving the record back and forth to see what happened. I thought 'This sounds really cool!'.

"I discovered scratching from the music I was listening to, which was hip hop music, like Run DMC. Jam Master Jay was their DJ. On the video for Walk This Way, there's him on turntables cutting the record at the start and you can see and hear what he's doing. I thought, 'That looks cool, I want to put my hand on the record and see if I can make that noise'.

"The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff had this song Parents Just Don't Understand, it was a really corny song. It was the first record I ever owned. I went to the record shop with my dad and he got it for me. I got tired of it in about five minutes, and then one day I played the other side - I didn't even know there was another side of a record! I was pretty young, must've been about nine.

"I flipped it over, and there's a track called Live at Union Square 1986, and it's the intro to their live show. It's Will Smith, the Fresh Prince, and he goes 'Check out my DJ, he's gonna do some amazing new thing you've never seen', and it was the transformer scratch. There's this record called 'Dance to the Drummer's Beat' by Herman Kelly & Life, and there's a break down at the start of it, and he (Jazzy Jeff) just starts turning the sound on and off, the transformer scratch - dah, dah-dah, dah - and it just freaked me out, it was amazing! I was thinking 'How do you make that noise?'.

"I used to scratch with that record (Live at Union Square), cos I didn't know what the original sound was, 'til a few years later, and then I realised that it was just turning the record on and off, and I was blown away by that."

A lot more of what he has learned as a DJ came from experimenting.

"You just sit down and study a record, I think any musician is the same. The turntable as an instrument is only coming into its own now - and you really can play the turntable as an instrument - it's being proven more and more with each new guy that I see. At the ITF finals, there was this guy called A-Trak (the 1999 and 2000 ITF World Champ), he's just turned 19, and he's doing amazing things. He's a full-on musician, he just freaks me out. I can't achieve what he's achieving at the moment, and he's three years younger than me - but I'm going to get there!"

P-Money got started in DJ battles at the first local ITF DJ championship, in 1997.

"I heard about it through the 'Trueschool Hip Hop Show' on bFM. I was a big fan, always used to listen to the show, and I was like 'A DJ competition? Wow!'.

"A DJ battle is a competition where DJs scratch and do tricks. They get a chance to demonstrate their stuff in the opening routines, then there's two DJs set-up on stage, and they take turns for 90 seconds each, and you've got to come up with whatever you can in that time, then the other DJ will respond and try and outdo what you've done. Then you get one more chance, and they reply, and the winner advances to the next round. It's an elimination process, 'til there's one guy left. We have qualifiers in the regions, in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. There was about 50 DJs entered last year, and they all battled, and that was great, and then the winner goes overseas - and that was me!"

So how do you prepare for a DJ battle? Practice, practice, practice, advises P-Money.

"You could say I'm always preparing, because whenever I'm practising, I'm looking for new things. There are records called 'Battle Breaks' that have short stabs of sounds and really big raucous beats you can use. But I often choose to use songs that are already out there, mostly rap songs, but I've used Peking Man before - I use whatever I can find. It's like sampling. Say you want to sample one piece of music and there are all these different sounds in there, you might end up taking five different bits and rearranging them into a new track - that's exactly what I do on turntables, but I do it live, in real time, and that's where the challenge lies."

P-Money remembers that first DJ battle in '97 with a certain degree of bemusement.

"When I look back on it, it's hilarious, cos I was shocking! It was just a confidence building thing more than anything."

He placed fourth but was back the following year, feeling more confident.
"I thought 'Yeah, I'm gonna win this, I'm better than everyone else'. I had this real attitude, cos I thought that's the way you win."

Unfortunately this confidence didn't prepare him for getting knocked out in the first round.

"I went home and thought 'Why did I lose? Shucks man, that sucks'. I was going to give up battling, it was too much time and effort."

But in 1999 he gave it one more shot: "I went in the Wellington Invitational Battle competition and won the first round, and I was thinking 'Yeah!'. Next round I did my Rakim routine, my most well-rehearsed routine, done it a million times - and I messed it up! I felt really bad. I went out the back and thought 'Oh well, I definitely lost that', but then I won! I was like 'This is the craziest game in the world; when you think you're gonna win, you lose, and when you think you're gonna lose, you win!'. Then I went to the next round, the finals, and I thought 'Well, I'll just leave it up to God or whoever', you know? I'll just do my thing and be humble, and hopefully it'll be good enough, and they'll like it - and I won! So I kept that attitude.

"The whole experience of DJ battles has, in a weird way, shaped me as a person, like 'Stop thinking you're a hot shot, you're not that good', cos everyone's got to practice.'"

Winning the local ITF champs has given P-Money the opportunity to foot it on the world stage amongst the best of his peers and take in some amazing sights. In November last year the world finals were held in Los Angeles where he placed eighth. The year before in Hawaii he came in fifth out of the dozen DJs representing the best of almost as many countries - including UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan, Belgium and Australia.

"In LA the talent on stage was the best I've ever seen, seriously. They were just so good. There were these guys doing crazy, musical patterns, like taking a regular hip hop record which is in 4/4 and about 90 bpm, like I'm used to, and slowing it down to 3/4, a waltz - just doing a whole new arrangement of the song, and changing the pitch of the instruments so it's a new melody too! It's hard to explain without witnessing it. Those dudes are just beyond me."

DJ Sir-Vere (Phil Bell), organiser of the local ITF's, went with P-Money to both ITF World DJ Finals. He recalls P-Money's first time up on the world stage, in Hawaii in 1999. "The playing field at that was a bit more even, whereas this last year the standard was a lot higher. It's getting way more competitive. The standard was incredible this year at the Hollywood Palace in LA. The winner A-Trak could've won it lying down!

"This year, the world took three steps forward, and we took one. I think that even though Money didn't make the battle rounds, maybe that's where he was ranked, you know? He totally got cheated out of seventh in LA."

P-Money typically sees a challenge: "People would consider me to be quite developed technically, quite skilled compared to the average DJ here, then I go over to the world champs and I'm like that guy at the bottom again. We have to pick up our game here quite a bit. I'm trying to take it to the world, trying to be on that level and doing production for international artists overseas. So I want to take it there, but I don't want to be the only one!"

This DJ isn't just into playing other people's music - oh no. He's got designs on making music too.

"I knew how hip hop groups worked; there's a rapper, and there's a DJ. So, I just assumed the DJ must create all the beats as well, so I thought 'I need to do that'."

Searching through music magazines in the early '90s trying to find out what DJs used to make music, he discovered drum machines.

"I got a Boss Dr Rhythm DR660 drum machine, after much persuasion of my father - 'Dad, I want a drum machine for Christmas!' It was that and my birthday present and half my own money. That was in my last year of high school. I was fully into making beats and I had a good turntable set-up by then."

P-Money left school, got a job in a fish and chip shop, and saved up to buy a Tascam 07 four-track. He also had a toy keyboard from when he was a kid.

"By combining those elements, I made my first tracks. I started off with a loop of some static on the end of a 45, and I attempted to sync my drum machine to the tempo of the static, cos I didn't like the drum machine sound, it was too stale. I needed something else so I added the static. Then I played some real bad chords on my toy keyboard and layered some scratches - it was a big, layered mess of stuff.

"I'd do loops on turntables, cos I didn't have a sampler, so I'd have two copies of a record, and just start it, run it for a bar, then just repeat on the other turntable."

His next purchase was a Roland MS1 Sampler.

"Once I started sampling stuff, then I really started to hear the records I'd been listening to for many years, like Public Enemy and De La Soul and all that. I started to pick apart the production. I was learning how to get good at scratching and DJing and learning production techniques, all at the same time."

He's recently made the leap to an Akai MPC 2000 XL sampler.

"For the last two years people have been starting to say that the beats I have been making are really good. I started working with Che Fu, cos he was interested from a DJ point of view, cos he's also into DJing. He liked my beats, so we've been doing some stuff. I joined Che's band as DJ and we're working on more demos for his next album."

He's also recorded some of his own tunes, with Four Corners from Hamilton and Ill Semantics from Auckland.

"We recorded them at Studio Six in Papakura, which is just a bedroom set-up, but it's pretty flash, and put down the vocals. I put them out there just to test the waters, and people loved it, it was number one on the bFM Top 10 for four weeks. That's more motivation to pursue that. Hopefully they'll get released, if someone's reading this, get in touch! It's the same old story with everyone - you need some cash behind it to get it out there. So, that's that long assed story!"

Let's ask an expert - what makes a good hip hop DJ?

"You've got to have good records and you've got to be technically skilled and understand music. You've got to understand timing in songs. Like, if you're doing a mix of two songs, you've got to understand how many bars there are and how many beats there are to a bar and all that. You don't have to be able to read music and know all the technical terms, you've just got to be able to feel it. I didn't know what a bar was, I knew how the music went, I was like 'Ah, this many loops', I had different words!

"There are heaps of things as far as turntable set-up that you need to be aware of. You have your record, and it sits on the platter, between the record and the platter there's a thing called a slip mat, and if it's not spinning back easily when you're scratching, you can experiment with different types of plastic under the slip mat, like from inside record sleeves. I also have my turntables set up vertically, which is battle style, with the arm the furthest away from you. That's so when you're going from one turntable to the other you're not hitting the arm. I use a Vestax Pro 07 mixer, Shure M44-7 cartridges, and Technics SL1200 turntables."

What if you're an absolute beginner?

"If you're starting out, I'd say get whatever you can get your hands on. I mean, a belt drive is cool, if you're 12, 13, and you've never scratched before and want to get into it. If you're already at that stage, then I'd say don't mess around with anything other than a pair of SL1200s. It's a big step up, but you'll know if you're going to keep doing it so you'll know if it's a waste of money or not. Just save up and buy yourself a decent set of turntables, and there'll be no looking back after that. I went through about five belt drives. I saved up and bought a pair of 1200s. You can buy one, and then that'll be enough motivation to buy the other one. You can get them secondhand too."

Good advice - on the money, every time.

P-Money's Top 5 Records (in no particular order)

Gang Starr - Moment of Truth
Bob James - Nautilus
Public Enemy - Fear of A Black Planet
Wu Tang Clan - Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers)
Jeru the Damaja - The Sun Rises in the East

Christoph El Truento

Christoph El Truento is a talented young chap who I know as a fellow BaseFM DJ. He's about to drop a brand new EP as a producer, and has kindly sent out a track for you to listen to and download, if you fancy.

Introducing EP01, a 5 track EP of experimental beats, soul and future funk created throughout the first half of 2010. The EP will be released in digital format on iTunes and for free on Bandcamp for a limited time, out October 5.

zSHARE - Christoph El Truento - She Just Dont Know.mp3 (click on link for  audio preview)

For more El Truento goodness, check out the Hip Drop's album (from earlier this year) of local beat producers here - also includes tracks from Mara TK (Electric wire hustle), Alphabethead, Skylab, Scratch22 (remixing the Mint Chicks) and more.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sola Rosa remixes

Sola Rosa have just dropped a brand new album, a collection of remixes of their latest album, Get It Together. Remixers include The Nextmen, DJ Vadim, Yes King, J-Star, Biggabush, TM Juke, Beatfanatic, Alister Johnson, Hermitude, Thomas Blondet, Richie Phoe and more. Best of all, if you head over to Sola Rosa's website, you can download the DJ Vadim remix for free. Preview below, or get it here. You can preview the other mixes there too.

<a href="http://music.solarosa.com/track/turn-around-ft-iva-lamkum-dj-vadim-remix">Turn Around Ft. Iva Lamkum (DJ Vadim Remix) by Sola Rosa</a>

If you buy the CD, you get 15 remixes, or if you buy the digital version at Bandcamp, you get an extra 5 remixes, including mixes from Barkin Soul and Benny Tones. Oh, and the instrumentals of all the remixes are over at Bandcamp too. Nice one.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Aug 7

Mr Chop - Shut em down
Lyn Collins - Think - Simon S re-edit
Billy Watkins - The ice man
Daddy Cleanhead  -Something goin on in my room
Budos band - Chicago falcon - Washington Sq Lads remix
Kabanjak - Dub to go - Ancient astronauts remix
Manu Chao - A cosa - Prince fatty edit
Jah Batta - I don't want to wait
Jah Wobble - L1
Manasseh  - Western world version
The Beat - Twist and crawl
Mos dub - Johnny too beef
Lee Scratch Perry - Train to Doomsville
Rhythm and sound w Sugar Minott - Let jah love come
Hugh Masekela - Don't go lose it baby
Gwen Guthrie - Padlock - Larry Levan mix
Crown heights affair - Say a prayer for two
Nona Simone - Taking care of business - Pilooski edit
Kormac - People rising
Mishkin and Anna Mystic -Living trouble
Big youth - Feed a nation
The Resonators  -Sweet love affair/Sweet dub affair
Nacao zumbi - Organ de belle
Orgone - I get lifted
Pointer sisters - There's love in them there hills
Destronauts - Flight of the dead grizzly - Smoke machine dub mix
Prince Jammy - 42nd st dub

Friday, August 06, 2010

Talk about Walter

Walter Gibbons remembered by Danny Krivit & Tony Smith.... they talk about Walter's influence being perhaps even bigger than Tom Moulton, why the original producers were salty about Walter's mixes, and why hip-hop legends like Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa looked up to Walter...

Jungle Music, Strut's retrospective of Walter's music, will be out August 17th.If you missed it, download a track from the album below:
TC James & The Fist O'Funk- "Get Up On Your Feet" (Walter Gibbons Mix) [mediafire] [soundcloud]

Destronauts are dub

Destronauts are a Brooklyn-based duo. From their bio: "The duo consists of American vocalist/guitarist/producer Chadwick Shao and Argentinean singer/actress Mimi Eayrs. They were formed in Brooklyn, New York in the Summer of 2009. Chadwick has been a rhythm guitarist, a drum and bass DJ in the DC electronic-dance music scene, and a producer. Chadwick and Mimi Eayrs met by chance while singing karaoke. Their first EP, 3 Moons, is the result of six months of writing and recording together in his home studio, and was remixed and engineered at Studio G Brooklyn. 3 Moons debuted in February 2010."

Anyways,  a fellow Brooklynite who works under the name Smoke Machine sent me this great dubby remix he'd done of one of their tracks, and you can download it for free. It's pretty damn tasty.

<a href="http://smokemachine.bandcamp.com/track/flight-of-the-dead-grizzly-smoke-machine-dub">Flight Of The Dead Grizzly (Smoke Machine Dub) by Smoke Machine</a>

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Next Stop, Soweto... jazz

DOWNLOAD Dennis Mpale- "Orlando" (mediafire) (soundcloud)
From: Next Stop ... Soweto Vol. 3 (August 3rd, Strut)
Giants, Ministers and Makers: Jazz In South Africa 1963 - 1984  

The first two installments of this series have featured some incredible music... looking forward to hearing more...
One of the regular players on the South African jazz scene splitting time between Cape Town and Johannesburg, Dennis Mpale plays trumpet in several of the outfits featured on Next Stop... Soweto Vol. 3. "Orlando" comes from an album under his own name, and is a tribute to his township. Documenting the vibrant South African jazz scene of the 50s, 60, & 70s, the final volume of the Next Stop... Soweto series comes out August 3rd on Strut.

El-P vs Bieber

El-P talks about his new instrumental album in an interview with the LA Times here... he's out there previewing his new album of instrumentals at legendary LA clubnight the Low End Theory, home to Gaslamp Killer, Flying Lotus and more.

" ...his most impressive achievement may have come last month, when a Twitter in-joke with XLR8R magazine forced him to try his hand at remixing Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” Splicing in a sample of Paul McCartney and Wings'  “Live and Let Die,” and tarring and feathering Bieber’s teen pop with heavy dubstep rhythms, El-P set it loose onto the internet."

They've got the tune for download at the bottom of the interview too. Listen at your own risk.

"Rapper, producer and Def Jux founder El-P knows how to get to parts of the brain others can't. As a solo artist and frontman for seminal hip-hop group Company Flow or producer of Cannibal Ox, Cage, Mr. Lif, Aesop Rock, NIN, Beck, The Mars Volta (and many, many more), an El-P production can drive you to hide underneath the bed, punch a wall and nod your head all at the same time. Which brings us to Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3" (out August 3).

Grab some preview mp3s below...
Album Preview Trailer (YouTube)
El-P- "Meanstreak" (In 3 Parts) (mediafire)
El-P- "Whores: The Movie" (mediafire)

What it's really like to work in a music store - 1 to 5

from Bboybri (via LP). Awesomeness. My favourite is the 2nd clip.


There's always a vinyl revival story popping up in the media somewhere - it's a good story that never gets old (especially if you know that vinyl never went away, but hey).

The LA Times has this great headline - "Cassette tapes are back in the mix". It's a pretty funny article - check this quote.... ""Tape is like the weird uncle no one talks about... MP3s sound terrible anyways, so why not have something that sounds terrible that you can hold?"

So, will the lowly cassette make a comeback?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Dr Cornel West

Dr Cornel West pops up on the bonus features of the excellent movie documentary The Night James Brown Saved Boston (as part of a discussion panel at the film's premiere), and I saw him  talking with Bill Withers in the Still Bill doco too. He's a fascinating gent, and here's yet more proof  - a tale from when he hung out with Prince last year, in Montreaux...

PLAYBOY: What was it like to record a song with Prince?

WEST: Lord have mercy, that man is a genius of unparalleled vitality, and going into the studio to record something for him was an extraordinary blessing.  But I just love hanging out with the man.  We were together in Montreux last summer.  He did two shows one night, two hours of jazz – Coltrane, Charlie Parker – and then came back with two hours of funk.  Unbelievable.  Afterward he said “Brother West, do you sleep?”  I said, “Well, I try not to.”  He doesn’t sleep at all.  

He said, “Let’s spend some time talking.”  First thing we did, we went on top of the hotel and watched some of Obama’s speeches.  Then we had a dialogue for about an hour, then we started talking about music for another hour, and then we talked politics for another hour.  We stayed up until 7:30, eight.  He packed and jumped on his plane.  Stayed up all night.  And another time Michael Steele and I were at a Prince concert together.

PLAYBOY: You and the chairman of the Republican National Committee went to a Prince concert?

WEST: Oh yeah.  Politics can’t stop you from rockin’ to a genius man! [laughs]

Hat tip to Pinboard blog for the story. Photo - New York Times.


Some tasty business from Electric Wire Hustle. Live in-studio sesh, especially for Pinboard...
"While in London for their session at Deviation, we caught up with Electric Wire Hustle and recorded their studio session for our ongoing 'Rehearsal Rooms' series. Exclusively performing 'Waters' for PinBoardBlog.com, Mara, Taay & Myele show us what they're about and what they do."

Monday, August 02, 2010

Askew's tales

Local graffiti artist Askew (aka Elliot O'Donnell) has been chronicling some of the key moments of his creative life on his blog, and the latest installment just went up.

We were talking via Twitter about a photo of Danny D from Dam Native back in the day, and I dug out an old copy of Planet magazine and scanned it for Askew. It's a great photo, and as Askew mentions, was a huge B&W poster that used to be all over walls round central Auckland at the time, including in the window of Bungalow Bills music shop on Symond St. Go read Askew's latest post here - "It's all about identity".

"... the groups that had the most impact on me were those that were most prolific around the time I started High School. Musically I’m referring to Dam Native (Which Bennet Pomana from Upper Hutt Posse was a member) and Urban Disturbance, and graffiti wise I speak of DLT, Opto, Daniel Tippet, DAF crew and Tank WL..."

Get Carter

Roy Budd plays his Get Carter theme. (Hat tip - In Crowd). I picked up a great reggae version of this earlier this year from Jah Wobble, out on Pressure Sounds.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Natural Self mix

Natural Self: My Heart Beat: Remixes and Versions promo mix, grab it here....

<a href="http://naturalself.bandcamp.com/track/my-heart-beats-remixes-and-versions-promo-mix">MY HEART BEATS:REMIXES AND VERSIONS Promo Mix by Natural Self</a>

Released 16 August 2010
The Shock You Heard (YULT’s Sub remix)
Midnight Sun (Prince Fatty Version)
Midnight Sun (J Sole’s Moonstomp remix)
The Origin (Kidkanevil remix)
All Static (Natural Self remix)
The Origin (Eliphino remix)
Street Spirit (Natural Self version)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, 31 July

War - Me and baby brother
Isaac Hayes - Zeke the freak - Todd Terje edit
Bonobo - Eyes down
Doug Cran  -Surital Ihklas - Fulgeance remix
Lightning head - NPG
Jo Jo Bennett - Canteloupe rock
Crabs corp and King Hammond - Bring down the birds - Flying High mix
Prince Jammy  -BQE dub
Prince Fari - African queen
Sly n Robbie  -Ballistic squeeze
Ninja man - Murder dem
Nardo Ranks - Burrrup
Mr Vegas  - Heads high
Ragga twins - 18" speaker
RSD - Corner dub
Dokkebi Q - Black vomit (hat tip to Stinky Jim and his Stink Inc blog for this mad bizznizz)
M.I.A. - It takes a muscle
Mophono's halftone society - Sinicism - Natural self remix
Cesaria Evora - Angloa   -Pepe Bradock dub
Joe Cuba - El pito
Quantic - Echate pa'lla
DL Jones and DJ 2nd Nature - Whoa Bobby
Prince - Bonus track #77
Freez - IOU
Bill Withers - You got the stuff
John Gibbs and the US steel orchestra - Steel funk
Chickenwing allstars - Celestial Dub
LA Vampires and Zola Jesus - No no no

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lloyd Miller's jazz tales

Lloyd Miller talks about his musical journeys,  taking him from Los Angeles jazz clubs to residencies in Frankfurt, Stockholm, Paris, and Tehran, and even nearly to the stage at Woodstock. Watch below as Miller discusses his musical evolution, and look for his new collaboration with The Heliocentrics, out next week on Strut. The Heliocentrics previous collaboration with Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu was absolutely stunning.

Tangible meets digital

"... it’s all about tangible music meeting the digital age. We put out records on 7-inches and there’s a line out the door when we release them, special editions. We also put it out on iTunes and MP3 portable format too. We’re trying to get a new generation into the idea of holding a record in their hand.

"I think of it like, imagine if movie theaters didn’t exist, and you’re trying to entice a new generation to the beauty of watching a film in a theater with the lights turned off and the doors closed, what’s that like. It’s part of that. I want to be a part of that. Vinyl is the only segment of music that’s growing in sales and interest, and I want to be part of that."..

Jack White, interviewed  in the Detroit Free Press. Love his analogy about watching a film in a theatre. And his Third Man operation in Nashville sounds way cool.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dear NZ hiphop haterzzz

Please read: "Kiwi pop stars sing with US twang" from NZ Herald (sourced:NZPA). Now, share the information...

Need a dollar?

I need a dollar by Aloe Blacc is Single Of The Week on iTunes NZ, and it's going for FREE. Get in there, great modern soul tune.Check the video below. Album out Sept 28, on Stonesthrow.

Chancha Via Circuito Mixtape

Spotted at Ghetto Bassquake - Chancha Via Circuito put out a fantastic album a wee while back, and he's got a new one - Rio Arriba - on the way thru Buenos Aries  label ZZK. Grab the mixtape here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sound System Scratch

Previously unreleased music from Lee Scratch Perry out Aug 30 on Pressure Sounds, preview it here.

"The exclusive mixes showcased on this release have never been heard before outside of sound system dances. Some will be familiar through their commercial incarnations such as ‘Bucky Skank’, ‘History’ and ‘Groovy Situation’ but here they have been pushed and pulled, coaxed and cajoled in hitherto unexplored and previously unimagined directions. This is music from a man coming to the end of his tether…

The album comes in a stark, striking black and white design with hitherto unseen photographs, archive material and an accompanying seven inch single ‘Dub Plate Pressure’. The version side, with the rhythm dubbed into oblivion, does not feature on the album and the single comes in its own heavyweight cardboard picture sleeve." More info over at Pressure Sounds.

Sherwood means dub

This mix from legendary On-U-Sound producer Adrian Sherwood (Prince Fari, Lee Scratch Perry, Primal Scream, Depeche Mode) is the bizznizz... hat tip to Bestiblog.net

RIP Melvin Bliss

Tirbutes to the man over at Soulsides and Fleamarket Funk (including a list of songs that sampled his tune Synthetic Substitution - think Public Enemy, De La Soul, Ultramagnetic MCs, Ice T, NWA, Moby, Primal scream, Naughty by Nature...).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

BaseFM Ring The Alarm playlist, July 24

20th century steel band - Land of a thousand dances
Quantic -Swing easy
Augustus Pablo - Cassava piece
Yami Bolo  -Whan a man's in love
Viceroys -Every day
The Wailers - Put it on
Shabba Ranks - The stopper
The Pioneers - Sweet inspiration  - Justin Robertson remix
Havana boys - Paul's dub
Romanowski - Train song - DJ Sureshot remix
Kormac feat Koaste - Saturday morning TV
Rakaa - CTD
Nona Hendryx - Transformation
Prince Charles and city beat band  - Cash (cash money)
Eru Dangerspiel - Chilli moules
P-bass expressway - Easyride - Downtown Brown remix
Kinky electric noise - Campesino urbano dub
Little dragon - Constant surprises
J-Wow and Sui Zhen - River song
Blundetto - Nautilus dub
Jahdan Blakkamore -The general - Ticklah remix
Albarosie - Sound killa
Richie Phoe - Eyes on the eprize dub
RSD - Love of jah light
Colman brothers - She who dares - lounge mix
Dusty - An exotic breed
Donald Fagen - Ruby ruby

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Timeless screening tonight

Timeless: Suite for Ma Dukes/ Mulatu / Arthur Verocai, live at the Hollywood Bowl. 

Screens Wednesday July 21 (tonight) at Khuja Lounge, 8pm, $5 entry, plus DJ set from Dan Paine.  More info at Thisculture.com. Check the clip below, looks amazing.

Various Assets – Not For Sale: RBMA London

Download a bunch of bent tuneage... watch out for kiwi lad Myele Manzanza (Electric Wire Hustle)... ""Red Bull Music Academy came to London earlier in the year, here’s the fruits from 5 weeks of musical exploration and education..." See Shook mag. (note: it's 2 CDs worth, a 320MB download)

Instrumental bizz from El-P

Some instrumental flavours off the new release from EL-P (Company Flow, Def Jux) - "Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3", out August 3rd. Physical copies of Volume 3 of the Megamixx series will include download links to the first two volumes, which were only available at live shows.

El-P- "Meanstreak" (In 3 Parts) (mediafire)
El-P- "Whores: The Movie" (mediafire)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


At the weekend I went to Barcamp Auckland. It's an conference where the participants provide all the content  - put forward topics to give talks on, and then turn up and make it happen. The term for it is unconference, apparently. The participants drew mainly from web development and design, but came from other fields too. There was the University lecturer who talked about Wikipediaphobia among academics, for example.

It was the 4th one, but my first time at it. It was a very stimulating day, some fascinating ideas thrown around. I gave a talk on LP cover art, and how Steve Jobs nearly killed it off  with the minimalist thumbnail in iTunes (same as the one I gave at Design Assembly). Anyways, here's the slides from my presentation, lotsa pretty covers... enjoy!

SlideShare presentation : Vinyl Flashbacks http://slidesha.re/9PXRgb

And as a bonus - stumbled upon this great presentation on how to start a record collection, from Barcamp Vancouver.   
Spinning the Black Circle - Getting into Vinyl ... http://slidesha.re/1FwgUI
Hat tip to Rick Vugteveen, rickvug.com

Gilles and Louie

Free track off Havana Cultura Remixed, latest compilation from Mr Gilles Peterson. 
Tune is Roforofo Fight (Louie Vega remix). Other remixes from MJ Cole, 4hero, Carl Cox, Rainer Tr├╝by, Gotan Project’s Philippe Cohen Solal, Seiji, Michel Cleis and Mocky.

"It was two years ago that Gilles visited Cuba for the first time on a reconnaissance mission to check out the new generation of Havana-based ... (more) artists. Suitably impressed, he was back within the year for a 5-day session at the legendary Egrem Studios with Roberto Fonseca and his superb band. Revelling in his role as executive producer, it was a hot, sweaty, intense session but a fruitful one nonetheless.

“I had a few covers as starters: one from Fela to capture that true Afro-Cuban fusion; a Blue Note joint as a 70th anniversary gift; and a couple of Cuban faves from my Ballroom days - 'Chekere Son' and some Juan Pablo Torres. The rest was pretty much controlled jamming, picking up the Rumba boys from the bar below, or convincing Mayra Valdes to hit it freestyle.”

Eru Dangerspiel live DVD out soon

Sneak preview clip below...

ERU DANGERSPIEL DVD/CD: out Monday 26 July

Auckland: Friday 8 Oct – Auckland Town Hall
Wellington: Saturday 9 Oct – Wellington Town Hall

Monday, July 19, 2010


I went to two films at the Film festival over the past two days - yesterday was Teenage Paprazzo, and tonight was Radiant Child: Jean Michel Basquiat. Both dealt with fame, in a way.

Teenage Paparazzo is directed by actor Adrian Grenier, who plays Vincent Chase in  tv show Entourage, which is all about an actor (Chase) and his mates from New York, who move out to Hollywood when their boy hits it big. Grenier discovered this 13 year old boy shooting his photo one night as he was coming out of a restaurant and cornered him and asked him what he was up to. Kid says "I'm just doing my job". Teenage Paprazzo is about Grenier getting to know this kid, Austin, and find out more about the world of the paparazzi.

Then Grenier decides to try being a paparazzi. He also talks to some famous people (Matt Damon, Eva Longoria, Paris Hilton) about fame and the paparazzi. He visits some of the magazines that publish these photos. As the film says, when these actors are on the way up, they need the paparazzi to get exposure. So the star's relationship with that media is rather complex, depending on where they are on the fame scale. The film evolves into a measured, thought-provoking  take on the celebrity culture we exist in.

In Radiant Child: Jean Michel Basquiat, one of Basquiat's friends, Fab Five Freddy, says that when they were coming up, they all wanted fame, but not like fame today, cos thats a complete mindfuck. Another friend, Julian Schnabel (who directed Basquiat, the feature film based on Basquiat's life) talked about the level of fame he had to deal with, and that Basquiat "did not have the tool to deal with that sea of shit."

Basquiat took part in a group show in Times Square in 1981 then got invited to be in a show at PS1 by Diego Cortez. Cortez invited anyone who wanted to exhibit along, as he was bored with conventional shows where, as he  says, there were "white walls, white people  and white wine".

Cortez invited gallery owner Anina Nosei out to see the show, and she held Basquiat's first solo show that same year. At the opening of that show, Basquiat sold $200,000 worth of paintings in one night. He was 20. He shot to fame in a short space of time, but didn't have a bank account (at first), he had piles of money lying round his studio, stuffed in books etc. He also found himself earning much more money than his friends which made him paranoid about people's motives. Add in drugs, that made him even more paranoid.

As highlighted in the film, he didn't feel accepted by the art world, especially as art writers tended to talk down to him - one example, an interviewer calls him  the black Picasso, which Basquiat responded to by saying "that's very flattering, but also demeaning".  In the main interview in the film, done with film maker and friend Tamra Davis (who directs this doco), she asks him about how critics and writers react to him and his work, and Basquiat says that they wouldnt write the same things if he were white, and that's racist.

It's a tough film to watch, as you know how it's going to end.  But it's also a fascinating glimpse into the New York scene in the late 70s/early 80s, which the crowd are labelled as the downtown 500. Fab Five Freddy talks about how back then, you could just say "I'm a film maker (or artist, or musician)", and then you'd make a film and people would turn up at your first screening and you were a film maker. And it was incredibly cheap to live - I recall reading a book called New York No Wave, where Lydia Lunch talks about renting an apartment for $100 a month, and that was considered expensive back then.

Recollections of Jean-Michel Basquiat by John Seed: Basquiat memoir by his former assistant during his time living in Venice, Los Angeles.

Fab Five Freddy talks about when he first met Basquiat.


Swedish Chef covers Gershon Kingsley's classic Moog tune Popcorn. Brilliant. And check the subtitles.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

money money money

The top bosses at RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) have been attracting some heat recently, with stories on their massive legal bills and such like hitting the web.

Digital Daily News reports that RIAA "chief exec Mitch Bainwol pulled in more than US$2 million in salaries and bonuses....
... Major labels are picking up the tab on Bainwol’s salary even as their own revenues continue to drop. Other reported RIAA salaries during the same period include President Cary Sherman ($1.3m), EVP International Neil Turkewitz ($696k), EVP Government and Industry Relations Mitch Glazier ($566k) and EVP/General Counsel Steven Marks ($562k). In addition, there are seven other staffers with compensation ranging from $200k to $500k."

Sleeve face dance

Sleeve face dance video, very funny. Hat tip to Crate Kings