Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Oct 16

Red Astaire - Follow me
George Benson and MAW - The ghetto/El barrio
Primal scream - Higher than the sun
Lightning head - Afro spot
Boozoo bajou - Camioux
Black seeds - Come to me - International observer remix
Suizen - Cartesian space - 4D mix (free download here)
Sister Nancy - Only woman DJ with degree
Roots radics - Lovers mood
Bob Marley - Mr Brown
Lee Scratch Perry - Holy angels
Gaz Rockin Blues - Got to be at the party
Austin Faithfull - I'm in a rocking mood
Roots Manuva and Wrongtom - Butterfly crab walk
Junk - 99c strut
Fitz and the Tantrums - Moneygrabber
Barry White - You're the first, the last, my everything
Aloe Blacc - Green lights
Kid Creole and the coconuts - Aniie I'm not your daddy - Soul mechanik edit
Pigbag - Papa's got a brand new pigbag
Sunlightsquare combo - I believe in miracles
Cookie monster and the girls - C is for cookie (disco mix, sweet version by Roy Thode)
Joi - If I'm lucky, I just might get picked up
Romanowski - Train song  -DJ Sureshot remix
RSD - Corner dub

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jet Jaguar

Jet Jaguar is one of the aliases of Kiwi producer and musician Michael Upton. His site is called, and has a ton of music on it. His music is funky, bleepy downtempo and it's mighty nice. Here's a few slices.

Jet Jaguar vs Phoenix Foundation... listen below.

<a href="">Jet Jaguar Remixes The Phoenix Foundation by Jet Jaguar</a>

Michael says "These are four remixes I worked on at length over 2004. There was talk of a vinyl release, but label-related stuff was label-related stuff. I'm pretty proud of the results, so I thought the least I could do was give them their own little home on the web."

A bit more recent, an album from late last year,  listen below. Title is "My Life In The Bush Out The Back Of My Place." Nice one

<a href="">My Life In The Bush Out The Back Of My Place by Jet Jaguar</a>

And here's a wee exclusive only available as a free download on his site - Trinity Roots - Just like you - Jet Jaguar  remix.

There's a ton more great music to check out on the NonWrestler downloads page, including the Jet Jaguar remix of Awesome Feelings by Disasteradio.  Go have a nosey.

RIP Tony Peake

From Simon Grigg's blog. "A hugely influential figure in not only Christchurch’s but New Zealand’s music scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s, without whom large parts of the things we celebrate as New Zealand music would look very different. And a mate…..

" I issued one of the first two recordings from his later band, The Newtones, on Class of 81; the slightly twisted psychedelic pop of New Way. They then managed to manipulate the always manipulatable NZ charts and pushed their debut EP, which came in at least three different coloured sleeves, into the singles listings at number 13 in May of that year, causing a fluster at RIANZ central. Another single, My World, followed.

" I used to love his, often extended, visits to Auckland when we would talk music and just talk for hours; and, as much, craved the packages of singles, including my first real exposure to heavy Jamaican dub 12″s, he would send up from his incredible record store at Christchurch University. Taking advantage of an educational loophole in the draconian import laws in Muldoon’s New Zealand, it was for years the best record store in NZ, bar none.

"There is a quite wonderful and evocative piece on Tony’s bands at Mysterex."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Poi poi twist

I went to the book launch for Blue Smoke last night. The evening featured a college jazz band, and speeches, of course. And music.

Author Chris Bourke was introduced by Tim Finn, who talked about some of the magnificent stories that he'd discovered from reading the book. Then Chris spoke, starting by saying "It's my party, so I may cry..."

He talked about some of the people who had helped him with the book, some of whom were there, like one elderly gentleman Chris introduced (I figured out it was Dennis Huggard, after referring to the acknowledgements), who had been collecting press clippings on jazz in New Zealand since he was young teen during the 2nd World War, and had over 9000 manilla folders full of them. Or another chap (Jim Warren, I believe) who had provided him with copies of Playdate magazine, which Chris explained to the young folk in the room, was a magazine published by movie house Kerridge Odeon, and had film reviews with jazz reviews in the back (written by Warren). Chris never saw it in his house, as he said the title Playdate was deemed to close to Playboy!

The venue for the book launch was the Gus Fisher Gallery in Shortland St, which has been home to York St Studios, TVNZ, and before that Radio NZ. Chris talked  about walking down to the launch via Greys Avenue, past the former site of the Picasso (a venue), and other sites where clubs had been. He was particularly glad the launch was happening in that space, as it had been home to Radio 1YA,  a station his mother had performed on with a choir.  He mentioned all the dancehalls that used to be in the main centres, with dances happening 6 nights a week. Even in Taranaki, there were over 200 dancehalls, said Chris, "...and if it wasn't for them, many of us wouldn't be here today."

He also talked about people he'd met along the way, who were no longer with us, like Prince Tui Teka. He also made mention of his former flatmate, Ian Morris, and told a few stories about him.

Then the formal part of the evening wrapped up with Simon Lynch taking over the keyboard and leading everyone in singing Blue Smoke, followed by Tom Sharplin taking the mic and singing Hoki Mai. A rousing singalong for a great book. And then people carried on....

Review of Blue Smoke by Graham Reid (NZ Herald/Elsewhere).
Blue Smoke, available online from Mighty Ape ($49.99)

Chris Bourke, at Blue Smoke book launch. Love the shirt!

The opening blurb in the book quotes a song lyric... "It's a Maori melody, come along and twist with me, Poi poi and twist the night away..."

Chirs talks in the book about various local spinoffs of the hit song The Twist (which NZ band the Keil Isles had a big hit with here, as radio decreed Chubby Checker's original was too noisy to play), and mentions one of the best was Rim D Paul and the Quin Tikis doing a song called Poi Poi Twist, which features that lyric.

I've got a version of that song by the Maori Hi Five (done on the HMV label, with Hippy Hippy Shake on the flip - this went to #4 on the Swedish charts in 1962, apparently), another showband of the same era. I've digitised the crackly old 45, and here it is below. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trevor Reekie interviewed

"Its a kind of like the Simpsons making a snuff movie - you wonder why you're doing it sometimes." Trevor Reekie, on what it's like running a record label, 1998 interview.

Here's the illustrious Mr Reekie, interviewed from BFM's Seeded programme. Listen here. Trevor discovered and signed acts like Shihad, Bic Runga, Strawpeople, Greg Johnson and Pluto to name a few, to his Pagan Records label. He's a bloody talented chap and has been involved in more hit records than you've had hot breakfasts. Go and have a listen.

Their blurb: "Trevor Reekie was once described as “one of the NZ recording industry’s most important figures”, something he would no doubt dispute, despite the truth of it. The varied accomplishments of this all-rounder began in the 1970s. After he worked for the monumentally-important independent label Stiff Records in London, he brought knowledge and experience back to NZ and applied it to a series of independents: Stunn, Reaction, Pagan, and Antenna.

As a producer, he worked on records by artists including the Mockers and Danse Macabre; and as a multi-instrumentalist musician, was part of Car Crash Set, The Greg Johnson Band, and A Trip To The Moon.

In the last decade, Trevor has been “a music guy” at Radio New Zealand, hosting the in-depth music insider series Access All Areas, greatly contributing to maintaining all forms of popular music as "worthwhile culture...".

For more on Pagan Records amazing catalogue, read Simon Grigg's discography here, with additional notes from Trevor. 

Blue smoke

Chris Bourke's latest book is called Blue Smoke: The lost dawn of New Zealand music 1918-1964, and it hits the shops this week.  I've seen an advance copy and it looks like a fantastic read. Graham Reid reviewed it in the Weekend Herald (and on his blog, Elsewhere).

As Graham says, "Bourke has given us back an important part of our musical and social history, the soundtrack of which was in danger of being lost or barely audible.... Blue Smoke is a beautifully presented book which is reference text, bedside-table read and coffee table page-turner in one." 

 From Graham's review of Blue Smoke (via

".... As a writer he has a light and sometimes wry touch, he is generous and sympathetic to his subjects, and lets humour speak for itself while weaving though the facts.

“Hello My Dearie is an unlikely way to start a revolution,” he writes. “This light-hearted 1918 song, among others, launched New Zealand's first radio programme on 17 November 1921; it would bring the world into people's homes, and a world of music”.

Bourke had a challenge not faced by writers on more recent music: His subject was mostly live music, not recorded, and to his credit he captures telling detail to create the sense of being there when, for example, Anita Osborn in Christchurch in 1944 -- after being encouraged to sing one night in a dancehall – was instantly in demand.

“On Fridays, Osborn would get her hair set and bleached blonde – 'for a singer it had to be blonde' – and on Saturdays she would be back at the hairdressers to get her hair combed up again. Wartime clothing shortages meant it was difficult to get the material needed for a selection of especially made gowns, so her sisters helped by pooling their coupons.”

Whether it be recreating the atmosphere in the many sophisticated ballrooms in Auckland in the 30s (and some of the more sleazy ones later on) or taking the reader to a dance in a rural hall, Bourke is a reliable guide. The days of jazz and swing bands, men in bow-ties and woman in elegant gowns, sounds much more exciting than we have been lead to believe.

But Blue Smoke also includes other aspect of our history.

This is the author on the departure of the 28 Maori Battalion in May 1940: “The troop train bypassed Wellington railway station and went straight onto the wharf, with its windows shuttered. Families were cordoned off at Aotea Quay, and they were unable to watch or speak to the soldiers as they moved from the train onto the Aquitania during the night. Before dawn, women from Ngati Poneke were taken by bus onto the wharf; some in the crowd booed, but their turn would come.”

He then quotes Mihi Edwards of Ngati Poneke: “The Maori Battalion's last contact with its own people was the sight of the crowd allowed onto the wharf at the last moment, and the sound of the Ngati Poneke girls singing farewell songs as the distance widened between the ship and the shore.”

At such times – and they are on almost every one of these 400 pages – Blue Smoke resonates as a social history as much as that of music and entertainers.

While the nascent “jazz” and swing bands provide the atmosphere in the days before rock'n'roll, it is Maori artists – solo, in various bands from jazz to country, or in showbands – who are the spine of this book. Maori songs, and many with Maori references in the title (Dear Old Maoriland, Maori Eyes, Kia Ngawari and Beneath the Maori Moon in the 20s), run like a refrain throughout.
Ana Hato and Deane Waretini in the 20s; The Tahiwis who recorded in te reo in Australia in the 30s; the Ratana brass bands; Ruru Kariatiana and 19-year old singer Pixie Williams (in her hockey uniform) recording Blue Smoke in October 1949, the first locally written, recorded and released New Zealand song . . .

And beyond to Ray Paparoa (Pukekohe's Elvis) and Johnny Cooper, the Maori Cowboy, recording our first rock'n'roll song, a cover of Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock.

And Bourke is inclusive.

Country music has rarely been hip or fashionable, but it has always been popular, if beyond the interest of most broadcasters. Yet Bourke explores this long strand through characters like Fred Mayfield's Cowboy Band who filled Auckland's Majestic Theatre in the late 20s, Pete Kloss in the late 30s (“New Zealand's yodelling cowboy”) and the irrepressible Tex Morton (songs, hypnotism and target shooting in the same show) who in the late 30s was selling more records than any other international artist in Australia and New Zealand, and more than all Australian artists combined.

Such facts – which can pull you up – are woven through this extraordinary narrative which comes with a visual treasury of evocative period photographs, concert posters, reproductions of labels from the middle of old 78 and 45 discs, and album covers.

Blue Smoke is a beautifully presented book which is reference text, bedside-table read and coffee table page-turner in one. Chris Bourke has given us back an important part of our musical and social history, the soundtrack of which was in danger of being lost or barely audible.

A remarkable achievement and a marvelous book which sings and swings off every page.

RIP Solomon Burke

The legendary soul singer (and mortician) passed away on Sunday, at Schiphol Airport in in Amsterdam, aged 70.

From the New York Times obituary...

"... Drawing on gospel, country and gritty rhythm and blues in songs like “Cry to Me” (1962), “You Can Make It if You Try” (1963) and “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” (1964), Mr. Burke developed a vocal style that was nuanced yet forceful. Steeped in church traditions from a young age, he could make a sermon out of any situation, as in “The Price” from 1964, a catalog of the wages of a bad romance. (“You cost me my mother/The love of my father/Sister/My brother too.”)

In a genre known for outsize personalities and flamboyant showmanship, Mr. Burke stood out for his sheer boldness and eccentricity. A radio D.J. crowned him the King of Rock and Soul in 1964, and Mr. Burke took the coronation to heart. For the rest of his career, he often performed in full royal habit — crown, scepter and robe — and sat on a golden throne onstage. Wide-shaped in his youth, he grew into Henry VIII-like corpulence, and in his later years had to be wheeled to his throne.

An ordained minister, licensed mortician, resourceful entrepreneur and champion raconteur, Mr. Burke inspired almost as much amazement with his offstage persona as he did with his music. A biography on his website says that he had 21 children, 90 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. “I got lost on one of the Bible verses that said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply,’ ” he once said. “I didn’t read no further.”

His career revival began in the 1980s, helped by Hollywood: “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” was featured in “The Blues Brothers” in 1980, and in 1987 “Cry to Me” had a prominent role in “Dirty Dancing.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and in 2002 he released “Don’t Give Up on Me” (Fat Possum/Anti-), with songs by Brian Wilson, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and others written for Mr. Burke.

He never stopped touring or making records. His most recent album, “Nothing’s Impossible” — his first and last collaboration with the celebrated producer Willie Mitchell, who died in January — was released on the E1 label in April. On Sunday he had flown to Amsterdam to perform a sold-out concert there with a Dutch band, De Dijk."

Monday, October 11, 2010

TMD Crew fundraiser

This looks like a very cool event.  TMD are some of the finest graff artists in Aotearoa - get along and support em!

 "Come join New Zealand’s most internationally renown crew TMD, as they exhibit new works in an epic one off show, fundraising to attend Primary Flight 2010 in Miami.  Thirteen breathtaking works will be on display, each 2.4m x 2.4m and range from aerosol art to large print photographs. All works will be available for sale for one night only – so don’t miss your chance!

Featured artists: Askew, Dskyes, Phat1, Lady Diva, Vans the Omega, Oche, Saves aka Dyle52, Pest5, Deus, Ryze, Has, Berst, Kost and Rimoni.

Bringing a unique twist to the event is the inclusion of the Auckland Youth Orchestra who will be providing entertainment on the night. There will also be domestic air-fare giveaways provided by Grabaseat, drawn from those that purchase works on the night!  Dress up for the occasion, this is guaranteed to be like no other graffiti art event staged in New Zealand to date.

The show will open at 7pm with the works unveiled at 9pm.  All sales go towards getting TMD to Primary Flight.  Tickets $25.00 (incl. booking fee) and are available from iTICKET and Conch Records.

Thursday, 21st October 2010
Shed 6, Upper Deck, 90 Wellesley St, Auckland City
Starts 7pm – Work unveiled at 9pm

Unitone Hifi chicha bizznizz

Spied this over at Stinky Jims Stink Inc blog - a wicked remix of his band Unitone Hifi, from Kinky Electric Noise. Grab it quick.

Unitone HiFi - Hang On (Kinky Electric Noise Chicha Remix) by Kinky Electric Noise

Fly Lo

Flying Lotus interview... shot at his appearance at Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival

Flying Lotus @ North Coast Music Festival from Cam Be on Vimeo.

Adrock interview

Via Crate Kings... "Propellerhead's interview with Adrock of the Beastie Boys. He tells the story of buying his first drum machine, a Roland TR-808, with $250 [it was a toss up between a Rickenbaker guitar like Paul Weller for the Jam, or the drum machine...], discovering LL Cool J, creating pause tapes, the rise of the Beastie Boys, and being sued by The Jimmy Castor Bunch for their use of “Hey Leroy”."