Monday, December 20, 2010

Dangerous game

A wee slice of NZ reggae history for you, from Diatribe, and Jules Issa.

Here's Auckland reggae singer Jules Issa's Diatribe cover, released on the Deepgrooves label in 1991 and featuring Joost Langeveld (Unitone Hifi, Subware) on bass. It also came out as a single, I believe (that's where the image with the video is from). There's images I found for two other singles from her around the same time, and a listing which mentions her album on Deepgrooves, though I have no memory of this actually coming out. Anyone else know? There were quite a few Deepgrooves album/EP releases that got finished but went unreleased, like the 2R2S (Riot Riddum Sound System) EP.

ADDED August 2012. Found In You was the mini album Jules Issa released on Deepgrooves, in 1995.

Diatribe were around in the early 1980s, and were on the same label as Herbs, Warrior Records, run by Hugh Lynn from his Mascot recording studio. Diatribe member Ross France wrote Azania  (Soon Come) for Herbs from their Whats’ Be Happen? EP (he's also listed as singing backing vocals on it), and John Berkley was in an early version of Herbs on bass.

France trained as a lawyer and his biography from his website for his current law practice in South Auckland says he "...established the Ponsonby Labour Co-operative in 1976 and played in a host of bands, including Storm, Herbs, Diatribe and Seven Deadly Sins. I still get royalties from writing "Soon Come Azania" for Herbs in 1981."

Dangerous Game is from their Too Lazy EP from 1983 - one of the songs off the EP (Gift of cruelty) also featured in the film Patu, Merata Mita's documentary about the Springbok tour protests of 1981. Diatribe member Rafer Rautjoki is Merata Mita's son. The band also featured on the compilations We'll Do Our Best, and Banana Dominion. Too Lazy EP was produced by Phil Yule and Diatribe, in June/July 1983.

Band members were...
John Berkley -Bass, Backing Vocals, Percussion; Chris Whyte - Drums, Percussion; Peter Kirkbride - Guitar, Vocals, Percussion; Ross France - Saxophone, Organ, Percussion, Backing Vocals;  Rafer Rautjoki - Saxophone, Vibes, Percussion.

The band later evolved into Seven Deadly Sins,  who also numbered Greg Johnson, Fiona McDonald (Headless Chickens/Strawpeople) and Justin Harwood (Chills, Luna) in their lineup.

In the April/May issue of NZ Musician earlier this year, Greg Johnson talked about Seven Deadly Sins for Trevor Reekie's feature Moments Like These, where Reekie purloins an old photo (see below) of a muso and asks them to talk about that time...

Seven Deadly Sins. Photo: NZ Musician

Can you remember who took this photo and when?

"I can’t for the life of me remember who took the pic but it was near the Auckland railway station in Parnell on a Sunday afternoon in 1986. This was the last version of Diatribe I think, or possibly even Seven Deadly Sins…

Rafer and Ross France started the original band [Diatribe] and recorded a wonderful self-titled EP. Then I joined, followed soon after by Fiona McDonald. There were quite a few versions, which is why I’m a little vague. The music was essentially a blend of Pacific, ska, reggae and soul with Rafer and Ross doing most of the songwriting. We played everywhere from the Rumba Bar and Mainstreet Cabaret to the Black Power nightclub in South Auckland.

What was your relationship to the others in the photo and what are they up to these days?

I met James first at Auckland University when we were about 18 or so, both working at bFM. I’d played my first gig there as well three years earlier supporting the Instigators with a band called Compulsory Allies. The old Uni Café gigs were hard core in those days, very violent, with lots of punks and skinheads, luckily we were so young no-one bothered us.

At some point Rafer asked me to join Diatribe. He was tres mellow and also very charismatic. His mother was a pretty radical film-maker called Merita Mita. Auckland’s Polynesian world opened up to me at that point and I met many great people and players. Fiona and the others I met subsequently.

John Fraser and I were half each of a moody wee outfit called This Boy Rob that signed to Pagan Records in about 1989 for one EP. Hardly anyone made albums then, they were far too expensive and the government wasn’t dishing out money for music back then that’s for sure! John was also a film editor so he and his mates made a clip for us. I think he’s still working as an editor in NZ.

Sadly I really don’t know what the rest of the guys are doing now. I know Fiona married and has kids and I heard Bud Hooper has an African drum group. Daniel might be a lawyer in Auckland.

Where were you at personally at that point of your life? 

I was all over the place at that age I have to say. I hadn’t quite grasped yet that music was going to be my life and I was still pretending to do an architecture degree, which I never finished. No-one believed a career in music was an option in those days and in retrospect maybe they had a point. I’d also just found my mojo and was spending a lot of time hangin’ out in clubs, chasing girls around and causing a little mayhem. That lasted for about another decade actually!"
Watch Patu over at NZOnScreen.  Merata Mita's biography.

Little Dragon

Little Dragon are a band from Sweden who are part of the Gorillaz live extravaganza, playing here on Tuesday. They will also playing an opening set before the Gorillaz, as will De La Soul.

Try Little Dragon remixed by Floating Points, or this tribute mix to Little Dragon's singer Yukimi Nagano, born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden to a Japanese father and Swedish-American mother. She's also sung on tracks from Koop, Geology and Swell Sessions.

One of my favourite tracks is from their 2007 debut album, it's called Constant Surprises, check the video below. If you're going to the Gorillaz, I suggest you get along early and catch Little Dragon. They're kinda special.

ADDED: Little Dragon are on about 730pm, De La Soul at 810pm, Gorillaz at 9pm.

ADDED: My review of the De La Soul/Little Dragon/Gorillaz concert at Vector Arena. 

ADDED: a more recent post with Little Dragon performing with PS22 Chorus, a group of school kids in  NYC

And then  there's Questlove's remix of Robert Glasper's cover of Little Dragon's Twice... featuring Solange Knowles....Heard this? Give it a spin.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Top ten

It's that time of year when list madness descends, along with Santa and all that shizz. This is my fave list so far - from local reggae site Nice Up, who regularly get folk to do their fave top ten tunes.

This one is slightly different. UK producer/DJ Wrongtom who did a wicked collab with Roots Manuva earlier this year, reworking a ton of Mister Manuva's acapellas into heavyweight dub reggae tunes, on the album Duppy Writer.

It's a top ten of Wrongtom's fave pieces of studio gear for making reggae, dub and dancehall. Check his list here. Happy to say I own at least 3 of these bits of kit.

Miss Sharon Jones! Miss Sharon Jones!

Last night Miss Sharon Jones and her Dapkings played in Auckland for the first time at the Powerstation and tore the roof off that sucker. A night of electrifying, satisfying soul and fantastic funk. My favourites included them playing their Chirstmas single Aint no chimneys in the projects, and one of the gospel tunes they've done on their last few albums - Mamma don't like my man, with just Miss Jones, her two female backing singers, and Binky Griptite on guitar. Watch below for a taste of the show...


Label love

Check this free goodness...

"Label Love is an eclectic yet unified bundle of unique sounds compiled simply for the love of sharing them with the universe - each track plucked and presented by label heads from Melting Pot, Ninja Tune, One-Handed , Plug Research, Tru Thoughts and Ubiquity.

Each label evokes its own signature swagger giving this collection a diversified and interesting flow of genres. Label Love consists of nostalgic classics, fresh unreleased gems and other dope, exclusive selections with the goal of expanding minds to new styles, vibrations and colours. "

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Dec 18

Playing some of my musical faves from the past year...

Kormac - People rising
Mishkin vs Anna Mystic - Living trouble
Afrikan simba - Power in the version
Resonators - Sweet dub affair
Fat freddys drop  - The raft - Steppers dub
WIld Bill Ricketts - Riki
Lord Echo - Thinking of you
RSD - Love of Jah light
Colman Bros - She who dares - Lounge mix
Fitz and the tantrums - Money grabber
Pitchito - Frente cumbiero
The simonsound - Tour de Mars
Gil Scott Heron  -New York is killing me
Bei Bei and Shawn Lee - Hot Thursday
Benny Tones - On my way
Suizen - Cartesian space - 4D mix
Mos dub - History town
Roots manuva vs wrongtom - Butterfly crab walk
Dub Terminator and High Freequency  - Man like me feat Senita Mogul
Black seeds - Come to me - International observer remix
Blundetto - Nautilus
Colm K and the freestyle mellowship - Dancing skulls - main mix

Dapkings - Nervous like me
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Got a thing on my mind
Binky Griptite and the mellowmatics - The stroll pt2
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Better things,
Mama don't like my man, The reason, Something's changed
Antibalas feat Mayra Vega - Che che cole makossa

Friday, December 17, 2010

The not so big payback

Following on from his column last Friday on NZ On Air, John Drinnan returned to the matter in today's column, noting that NZOA had got a lot of reaction to stories on it funding the latest album from Annabel Fay, saying " supporters of the scheme criticised this column for not pointing out that NZ On Air is able to recoup money from sales.

"However, it is not clear that recoupment made a big difference. New Zealand On Air advises that 31 album grants were made in the 2009/10 financial year, which would amount to around $1.55 million.

" Recoupments from funded albums for the financial year July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010, totalled $146,816, plus GST. Not all 09/10 funded albums have been released."

NZ On Air's annual report (pdf) says that of the 31 albums funded, " 80% are new artists (artists making their first NZ On Air-funded album) or emergent artists (artists making their second funded album)."


I just read Fact mag's list of the 40 best reissues of 2010, which alerted me to this tune being back in circulation. Ten seconds later grabbed it off Emusic. Stonking tune!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


So, Sharon Jones and the Dapkings are playing live in Auckland this Saturday, but its sold out so, y'know - if you got tickets that's all good, otherwise - snooze, you lose. BUT there's still tickets for the Gorillaz show (Dec 21), here's an extremely cool live clip of what you're in for...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kinky electric noise

That's something you need, right? Go get some then... and don't forget all the goodies going at Round Trip Mars too. Much wonderful local eclectic electric bizznizz from SJD, Unitone Hifi, James Duncan....

Via Stink Inc - "I would like to point you in the direction of something quite excellent in the form of our mucker from Miami, Kinky Electric Noise's free EP from the eternally wonderful Cabeza! net label. Included are his remix of Unitone HiFi, our remix of his remix and three other gems from K.E.N. cannon.

May I strongly suggest you get thyself to Cabeza quick smart and grab one of these plump digital EPs (and they've got another new'un I havent even had a chance to check yet too....)"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

C42 say bye bye

C42 was launched back in May, during NZ Music Month with great fanfare over a guaranteed 30% NZ music content. The channel did a deal with local record companies where they got free ads for their artists (and the 30% was to come mostly from IMNZ artists) in return for waiving their right to royalties from video plays.

Now, with the rebrand/relaunch of C4 as FOUR early next year,  C42 is stepping aside as C4 moves over to its slot on Freview. From TV3s news site...

"Coinciding with MediaWorks Ltd’s launch of channel FOUR in early 2011, C4 will replace C42 on the Freeview platform.

C4 will go back to its roots of playing a cross-section of music and will stick to its policy to play at least 30 percent Kiwi content, says network executive Andrew Szusterman.
“Bringing C4 back to solely a music brand is a great result for music lovers,” he says. “Fans of C42 will still be able to see their favourite alternative music videos as C42 will become a show itself on the channel.”

Key C4 music shows like Video Hits, Homegrown and Biggest Records Right Now will remain in the schedule, and a new show hosted by Drew Neemia and Shannaon Ryan will launch on FOUR in the New Year. The final changeover date for the channel will be announced in the coming weeks."


No, not off on some mad politico rant, but some fine music from a duo called Karl Marx, comprising Isaac Aesili of Open souls/Solaa (aka Karl) and Mark McNeill (aka Marx). From Mint Collective...

"Germany’s own Meltingpot Music label has just signed Karlmarx, brothers Isaac Aesili (aka Karl) and Mark McNeill (aka Marx) from New Zealand.  The Mists EP is the first taster from their forthcoming full-length, The Karlmarx Project dropping in spring next year.

Judging from the single Mists (download it below - 33MB wav file) the duo has this unique sound that fuses electronic, hip hop lofi uptempo ish!

Karlmarx have enjoyed early support by Benji B (BBC 1Xtra) and Lefto (Brownswood). The track “Mists” will also be featured on the forthcoming Brownswood comp “Lefto & Simbad present Worldwide Family Vol.1”

Karlmarx - Mists by MPMCGN

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lord Echo

Lord Echo is an alias for Mike Fabulous of the Black Seeds/ Fly My Pretties. He's just released his debut album, Melodies. It's an absolutely gorgeous collection of soul reggae and afro disco tunes, right in time for summer.

A few of the numbers have been floating around for a while, like Wang east and Cosmic echoes, both of which appeared on Mike's debut 7" single in late 2008 or Rhythm 77 from the excellent  Ricketts Meets Fabulous at Maitland Rd EP of earlier this year. It sounds as though some of these have been reworked for the album - the single version of Wang east was instrumental, and here we have a refreshed version with vocal added, courtesy of Mr Toby Laing of Fat Freddys Drop.

Melodies is a great blend of tunes that drift off into dubbed-out summertime vibes, or head over to Africa for some gritty afrofunk. Other guests include Will Ricketts (Phoenix Foundation) and Lisa Tomlins, who helps close the album with a magnificent reggaefied take on Sister Sledge's Thinking of You (listen below for an excerpt). I really need this tune on vinyl. It's an absolute stonker.

Some background... Mike Fabulous started releasing solo tunes in the early 2000s, on various compilations like Loop Select 002. He's one of the founding members of Wellington reggae band the Black Seeds, who have released about half a dozen albums to date over their 10 year existence. Mike also produced their latest studio album, Solid Ground, which gained release in the US on Easystar Records. They also did an extensive US tour to support its release.

The Black Seeds have become a regular feature on the European festival circuit over the last 5 years, making steady inroads into Europe/UK markets. Bret McKenzie was also in the Black Seeds, before his other band, Flight of the Conchords, got busy with some tv show.

Listen to the previews below, or full album preview over at, buy MP3s or CD from there too. And Lord Echo on Bandcamp

Out now on Economy Records - who are so budget, they don't even have a website listed on the back of the CD. Or contact details. That's seriously low key.

Also just out on Economy Records  - Self titled album by Shogun Orchestra, a fascinating mix of afro funk, carribean grooves and Ethio-jazz, led by Lucien Johnson, and featuring members of Fat Freddys Drop and The Black Seeds. Delightfully exotic. Check Shogun Orch on Bandcamp for audio previews. Album out now on CD/digital, coming on vinyl.

PLUS: Mike Fabulous interview from Niceup, around the time that Wang East came out on 7, in 2008. Above image from Niceup.

ADDED: Japanese label Wonderful Noise is releasing an album sampler on 12" vinyl, out mid-late 2011 (incls Thinking Of You). Bastard Jazz are releasing a vinyl 7/digital release of two new tunes from Lord Echo, out Nov 7, 2011.

ADDED (Jan 2012): Wonderful Noise will be releasing Lord Echo's album on double vinyl, more info at Conch RecordsRead some background on the folk behind Japanese label Wonderful Noise and the NZ artists they are working with. Article from NZ Herald.

Mike Fabulous also released a collaboration with local indie pop musician Lawrence Arabia last year, as Fabulous/Arabia. The album is called Unlimited Buffet. Out now on CD/digital, and coming soon on vinyl. Download a free track from Bandcamp.

ADDED Aug 7 2012: Bastard Jazz presents Lord Echo, Mobius Collective, Greenwood Rhythm Coalition playing live at Studio BPM, 237 Kent in Brooklyn. Sat. August 18. 10pm start, $10 suggested.

ADDED Sept 2 2012: 7"single from Lord Echo out soon on German label; Jakarta Records - Thinking of you edit/Rhythm 777 feat Jennifer Zea. Preview the latter tune on a free sampler from Jakarta Records over here.

ADDED November 2012 interview with Lord Echo, from Lumiere Reader

ADDED Oct 16, 2013, from Bastard Jazz: " The mighty New Zealander known as LORD ECHO will be releasing his second album Curiosities on Bastard Jazz in early November, Expect boogie-laced Funk, disco-primed Dub, futuristic Soul, and timeless African rhythms from this cult favourite.

Watch out for the first single - "Molten Lava / Digital Haircut" dropping digitally October 28th - Tune into Gilles Peterson's latest show on BBC Radio 6 for a taste" 

Free download of Digital Haircut at XLR8R  

Out Nov 15 on Economy Records (home to The Yoots, Shogun Orchestra), NZ release thru Rhythm Method/DRM on CD/digital/vinyl. The album is being released on Wonderful Noise in Japan, Bastard Jazz in the US, UK and Australia, and Jakarta in Europe and South America.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Dec 11

James Brown - Santa Claus goes straight to the ghetto
Fatback band - Wicky wacky
DL Jones and DJ 2nd nature - Longer than this
Nina Simone -Seeline woman - MAW remix
Memphis sounds - Run Fay run
Many Dibango - Afro soul - Rob Mello remix
Lyn Collins - Mr big stuff
George Clinton  -Do fries go with that shake? - Thick mix
Orange juice - Rip it dub  -Dicky trisko edit
Aretha Franklin - Rocksteady  -Danny Krivit re-edit
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Aint no chimneys in the projects
Celestial choir - Stand on the word
DLT - Liquid skies - Ultraneon remix
Lord Echo  -Thinking of you
Phase II Pan Groove - Can't get enough (Supergroove cover for Making Tracks tv show)
Little dragon - Constant surprises
Otis Redding - Hard to handle (RIP Dec 10 1967)
Sam Cooke - Bring it on home (RIP Dec 11 1964)
Electric jungle - Funky funky christmas
Timmy Thomas - Why can't we live together - Shoes dub mix
Beverly rd allstars - Murder she wrote
Shogun orchestra - Leogane
Amadou and Mariam - Coulibaly
Labelle - What can I do for you?

The Year in NSFW music videos

Check them over at Flavourwire. Like it says on the box, not safe for work.Vids from Xiu Xiu, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, MIA, Kylie Minogue, Flaming Lips, Grinderman, and this humdinger from Ms Erykah Badu, for Window Seat, for which she got charged by Dallas Police for disorderly conduct.

Flavourwire: "All that happens is this: the singer gets out of her car and walks down the street, slowly stripping off layer after layer of clothing. By the end of five and a half minutes, she’s totally nude — and is immediately gunned down. Did we mention that the video takes place in the same part of Dallas where JFK was assassinated? Yeah, it caused some controversy."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Patti on Prince - "He DOES talk!"

There's a great surprise appearance by Prince on chat show The View that's doing the rounds right now - you get to hear Prince's voice, a rare thing, as he doesn't do interviews hardly ever. He's doing a handful of shows at Madison Sq Garden and dropped by to give the ladies on The View some tickets. Watch it here.

One of the commenters over there mentions an episode of Arsinio Halls show where Prince and band played, then Patti La Belle told Prince stories. And of course it's on Youtube.

Best part, Patti keeps calling out her friend Shiela E, who introduced her to Prince, and is in the studio audience, Go figure.

Take the money and run

Last weekend the Sunday Star Times ran a story in its gossip section on local singer Annabel Fay. Seems that she flew some radio programmers over by helicopter to her parents' flash place on Great Mercury Island for a party to say thank you for their support of her latest single. The SST suggests this happened with her father, Michael Fay footing the bill. Her 2nd album is due out next year.

NBR picked up on the story, here. Titled "Excuse me, Sir Michael – is there someone you’re forgetting to thank for your daughter’s success?", the story  talks about the celebration, saying "It’s great to see Sir Michael rewarding key people for their support. But NBR wonders if he is (cough, sorry, this this is awkward) forgetting a few. Mainly, taxpayers who stumped the $50,000 of NZ On Air music funding that has helped bankroll his daughter’s recent efforts."

In today's NZ Herald, John Drinnan picks up the same story in his column. Unfortunately, he gets the $$ value of funding Ms Fay has received from NZ on Air wrong.

Fay has recieved $80,000 to date, not $70,000, as Drinnan  says. He also says "That comprises $50,000 funding for an upcoming but unnamed album." Her debut album was not funded by NZ On Air - the album funding referred to was from 2008.

He could have easily checked this by visiting the NZ On Air website and using the "search funding" option, which displays all the work NZ On Air has funded. This is all publicly available.

Drinnan says "under the music funding system the taxpayer pays - no matter how much cash the artist or record company has. We are paying for the opportunity to hear New Zealand music on radio." And you're paying to see NZ shows on TV, NZ films at the movies, NZ classical music on the radio and in concert, and you're paying for hospitals for the sick, and benefits for poor people... Did Drinnan join the Act Party recently?

The really surprising bit is Drinnan completely failed to mention the independent review of NZ On Air's music programmes that has been carried out this year (and which he's written about previously, if I recall correctly). This report is finished and due for release in the next few weeks, apparently.

Taking cheap shots at the music business is lazy journalism. John, do your homework, bro!

ADDED Russell Brown pointed out to me via Twitter that Drinnan doesn't mention that the NZOA funding is required to be matched dollar for dollar by the record company. And the NZOA funding is also fully recoupable.
ADDED Here's a thought  - maybe Drinnan wants to have a go at Liam Finn getting $60,000 of taxpayer dosh. His dad Neil is well off, I hear. Go on, John, I dare ya.

ADDED Sat Dec 11 - John Drinnan has dropped by and replied in the comments. He corrected me regarding the $ figures -  the $70 k figure came from Brendan Smyth at NZ On Air, who advised Drinnan that the details were wrong on their website. Perhaps someone at NZ On Air needs to make sure all the grant info is up to date.

Dub onna mission

Dubmission Records in the UK are celebrating their 15th brithday with a wee treat. A bunch of laidback, dubwise tunes, including some locals like Pitch Black (remixed by Tom Cosm), and Bluey. Have a listen below then hit download.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque Mix

DJ Hugo Mendez of Sofrito cooked up a  short mix made up of tracks from their compilation which due next year on Strut (note; the compilation itself features full versions of these songs & others, unmixed).  Enjoy!

Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque Mini-Mix From DJ Hugo Mendez (Download: mediafire) 

Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque mini-mix by DJ Hugo Mendez by Strut

1. "Sabroso Bacalao" - Adolfo Echeverria
2. "Je ne bois pas Beaucoup" - Les Ya Toupas du Zaire
3. "Popilation Basse-Terrienne au abois" - Ti Celeste
4. "Pitchito" - Frente Cumbiero
5. "Ohue" (Frankie Francis & SImbad Edit) - Victor Uwaifo
6. "Arrete Mal Parlé" - Fair Nick Stars
7. "Carnival long ago" - Roaring Lion

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Raggamuffin rumblings

The Raggamuffin Festival in Rotorua has been hit by the departures of a few key staff in past weeks. Leesa Tilley, General Manager for the Australian promoters Andrew McManus Presents, has resigned, "saying that her position with the Australian promoter has become untenable, and she has resigned effective immediately"(source: NZ Musician). She has been in that role for four years.

"I've been lucky enough to have been behind Raggamuffin from the first show and in my almost four years with the company, have worked with the most extraordinary people - all of whom I hope to have the opportunity to thank personally for their contribution," Ms Tilley said' (source).

Rotorua's Daily Post also reports that "Public relations company Publicity Plus will also no longer be working on the Raggamuffin Music Festival.

[This]  follows the resignation late last month of Rotorua's Stu Lyall, who has managed the stalls at Raggamuffin for the past three years."

The Australian promoters have appointed replacements. "Andrew McManus Presents has appointed Jackie Sanders as its new general manager for New Zealand and Sandra Roberts will head publicity for the promoter's Raggamuffin festival." Sanders has worked on Rhythm and Vines for the past two years. See "Raggamuffin: key apppointments made", Daily Post.

But wait, there's more!

Free stuff, that is.

Some Christmas chur: Fat Freddys Drop have a couple of brand new remixes of The Big BW (from DJ Vadim and Christiaan Ercolano) up for FREE on, you'll need to log in to get em. Check em out here. Also...

"Little Monster Studios will release a compilation of Christmas themed songs next month. Featuring a who’s who of local indie artists, the album was recorded and produced by home recording entrepreneur Dave Parker in and around his West Auckland abode. From December 6, the 17-track release of original yuletide hits, titled ‘A Very Little Christmas’, will be available as a FREE download.

‘A Very Little Christmas’ includes tracks from Timothy Blackman, Great North, Tono and the Finance Company, Bearcat, Canadia, Glass Owls, Josie Tuck, Luckless, Hold Dear, Chelsea Jade & James Duncan, The Gladeyes, Alaska, Bannerman, Dear Times Waste, The Bayonets, Cool Rainbows and The Crawley Christmas Singers."

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Round Trip Mars freebies!

The good folk at local label Round Trip Mars have a  special treat for you...

"Allow us to introduce Invaderism.... it’s shaping up to be the finest compilation on Round Trip Mars yet, and a well needed antidote to a predominantly slaverage music year all round. What’s more it’s free, digital and features all new, all exclusive tracks from the entire RTM fam.

"From December 5th you can download a free track from Invaderism every 2nd day right here. On the alternate days there will be a lesser known gem from each year of RTM’s history '99-'09. Each download will only be up for 2 days, and on December 25th the entire fundle bundle will drop on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

"Call it a Xmas present or a thank you for the support over the years - its’ bigger than Santa’s creepy finger on Queen Street and the tracklist alone is going to fry some synapses, we take no responsibility for blown minds, head nod related RSI or floor related jaw drop dramas as a result of the musical magnificence about to be bestowed upon you… it’s really that good.

"Amongst the regal rabble on Invaderism is a somewhat new face to our space race, in the form of Scratch 22. Well known as a refreshingly un-formularised and preposterously popular DJ, and co-founder of the ARC crew, his own productions are a whole other fettle of kish. While his remixes of the Mint Chicks, 1995 and others were swiftly taken up by the b-Nets and whatnot, and his work with Tourettes has been justifiably acclaimed, Scratch 22’s debut album (due early 2011) goes wayyyy deeper.

Nightmares On Wax’s George Evelyn has already tapped him for his Wax On compilation series, his remix of Electric Wire Hustle’s ‘Again’ on BBE is stirring up the firmament on wax overseas and he’s just about to head off to Paris to represent New Zealand against the world in the Red Bull Thre3Style championships, having taken out the Auckland and New Zealand finals last week. It's positively breathless, plenty more to come on him and look out for his cut on Invaderism appearing here soon."

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Shortland St loves Recloose?

Shortland St, our long-running soap, played a bit of Recloose, forgot who he was, and then they end up advocating piracy. Don't show this to RIANZ boss Campbell Smith, ok?

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Dec 4

Patato and Totico - Mas que nada
The Dynamites - Do the right thing
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Something's changed (Live in Auckland December 17, unmissable!)
Menahan st band - Esma
Mayer Hawthorne - The ills
New mastersounds - Nervous - Kenny Dope bonus beat
Quantic - I just fell in love again
Chico Mann - Anima
Andreya Triana - Lost where I belong
Born Jamericans - Boom shak-a-tak
Coldcut - Man in a garage - King Jammy vocal
General Echo - Arleen
Yamie Bolo - When a man is in love
Freestylers - Ruffneck
Oogun - Version for version War017
Hugh Masekela - Languta
Woima collective - Woima
Luiz Bonfa - Jacaranda
Onra - The anthem
Hot 8 brass band - Sexual healing
Colman bros - El nino - GRC remix
Funk machine  -Soul santa pt 1
Grand wizard Theodore and Fantastic Romantic Five  - Can I get a soul clapp
Gwen Guthrie - Seventh heaven
Cesaria Evora - Angola - Pepe Bradock get down dub
Oddisee - Chocolate city dreaming
Naomi Shelton and the gospel queens - Trouble in my way
Cookin on 3 burners - Cars
Kashmere stage band - Superstrut - Kenny Dope remix
Universal robot band - Dance and shake your tambourine

Friday, December 03, 2010

Ghost - Orion from musicbyghost on Vimeo.

Orion is the latest single from Ghost off his third album., Postcards from the edge (hear it at Bandcamp) He hit me up via Twitter with his new video, and it's a pretty nifty tune - starts out with some wonky bleeps and fried visuals, then the rhythm kicks in around a minute and a half in and it settles into a very cool electronic groove.

Ghost made his musical debut back in 2003, and has been steadily releasing tunes since then. His bio says that "Ghost was runner up in the Glastonbury Unsigned Talent contest in 2007 and had a track featured on the Glastonbury compilation CD for that year. Since 2007 Ghost has been touring and DJ’ing all over the UK and Europe (including stints at Glastonbury, Hip Hop Kemp, The Big Chill, Bestival and The Jazz Cafe). He’s also found time to work on a number of different projects including Lingua Franca and Invisible Inc (Synth/Electronic Hip Hop with Kashmere and Verb T)."

He moved to New Zealand in 2009, and is currently based in Christchurch, where he's Programme Director for Radio RDU, and does the Friday Drive show on that fine station.  For more of his music, check out his Bandcamp page.

He's also got a collection of his remixes for free download here, including mixes he's done of P-Money, The Heavy, Bonobo, Foreign Beggars and more.


Punking Out is a film by Maggi Carson and Ric Shore, saw these clips over at Dangerous Minds, who say "these clips of The Ramones and The Dead Boys at CBGB in 1977 capture the birth of punk in all of its raw glory.Punking Out is a terrific time capsule of a time and place and really should be more widely seen. You can order a DVD copy at the film’s website.  The site hasn’t been updated in a few years, but the ‘shopping cart’ appears to still be functioning. Dee Dee’s glue rant is hilarious."

Catch Lydia Lunch being interviewed at 3.54 into the Dead Boys clip - she's standing with James Chance. She's a charmer. The crowd shots in the first clip are a fascinating insight into what that scene must've  looked like. There are some very cool looking folk in there....

Spree Wilson

Photo credit: Greedmont Park

I first heard about producer/rapper/songwriter Spree Wilson in an article in a recent issue of Wax Poetics. Story goes, last June, he moved to New York city from Atlanta, where he'd been an intern at Dallas Austin's studio. He says he felt like he'd played every music venue in Atlanta twice, so he got up one morning, sold his car and bought a one-way train ticket to NYC.

He lived in the train station for a week when he got to New York, then moved in with a friend. From Wax Poetics: "A few weeks later he was on the phone with Q-Tip - the legendary rapper was a fan of Spree's music. Now the Tribe MC is exec producing Spree's debut album The Neverending Now," due out early 2011.

He's got a fascinating mix of musical influences from hiphop to classic rock to Beat Generation cats like Kerouac and Ginsberg.  Some tunes for you to check below, and his debut EP is over here. Where do we go tonight is off his new album and is produced by No ID, and the other tune is older.

Wilson has just signed to Jive Records  - watch the video of him signing his life away here.

Where Do We Go Tonight by spreewilson

1.Pick You Apart Ref 4 by spreewilson

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sweet latin soul

DJ Timber is an ex-Manchester fella, now based in Barcelona. Check out his Sweet Latin Soul III mixtape over here (download links). Listen below....

Tracks / Canciones:

1: Joe Cuba - Baby You're Everything
2: Eddie Lebron - My Vows To You
3: Orquesta La Solución - Te Quiero (I Love You) Part II
4: Los Exagerados - Contigo Aprendí
5: Johnny Colon - Looking In Your Eyes
6: Landy Nova - Quiéreme Mujer
7: Candido Y Su Movimiento - Baby Doll
8: Cheo Rosario - Tu Querer
9: Eddie Hernandez - The Time Was Yesterday
10: New Generation - Como El Agua Del Río
11: Manuel Y Sus Estrellas Combo - Palabras Vacías
12: Lebron Brothers - Tus Recuerdos
13: Sonora Ponceña - La Puerta Esta Abierta
14: Joe Bataan - Ordinary Guy

Hecho con 100% vinilo - ediciones originales!
100% Vinyl - Strictly OG Pressings

45s galore

This thursday night, get along to Real Groovy Auckland for a bonanza of 45s...

"In Auckland we have several large collections of singles just in. The first batch of the best, most collectible discs - OVER 2000 - will go on sale at 7pm sharp, this Thursday, December 2nd. As usual it will be a Dutch auction starting at $20 each and includes 50s/60s/70s/80s Pop, Punk, Reggae, Soul, RnB, Rock'n'Roll - you name it!"

London calling

Some bright spark has persuaded members of the Clash that it's a good idea to make a bio-pic based on the making of the London Calling album. It sounds like a perfectly dreadful idea, but hey, who knows. That Ian Dury movie turned out alright. Must get a copy of that.

The BBC reports that "former Clash members Paul Simonon and Mick Jones will executive produce the film, named after the 1979 record. Playwright Jez Butterworth will pen the script, which will tell how producer Guy Stevens worked with the band to create their most celebrated disc. It will be produced by Alison Owen and Paul Trijbits of Ruby Film and Television.

"Fans of The Clash all over the world have been waiting a long time to see their extraordinary story played out properly and accurately on the big screen," said Owen. "We're happy that Mick and Paul have given the project their blessing and are on board to help steer the ship."

Bonus: Read Perfect Sound Forever on the making of the Clash song Train In Vain, a last minute addition to the London Calling album. Excerpted from the book Route 19 Revisited: the Clash and London Calling.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hello, Holland!

U2 and Jay-Z blew through town last week, and jetted off to Oz - I went along and enjoyed the spectacle, my review is over here. Their U2 360 tour winds up next July.

By then, according to this NZ Herald story, they are expecting "it will have generated about $1 billion in revenue." This would be great news for cash-strapped Ireland, except U2 pay taxes in Holland. Bummer, Ireland.

Mark Thomson kindly sent me a link from the New York Times which backgrounds the shift to Holland as a tax haven.  It's titled The Netherlands, the new tax shelter hot spot. U2, the Rolling Stones, EMI, Elvis Presley's estate and David Beckham also use the Netherlands now.

U2 shifted their publishing to Holland last June, as Ireland's lucrative tax breaks were about to be removed. The NYT says U2's net worth is around $US908 million.

The NZ Herald's Adam Gifford went along to the U2 show as a guest of one of the technology companies involved in the show. Some facts and figures... "the Clair sound system is billed as the largest speaker assemblage in touring history...

...On previous tours U2 cancelled shows because of weather damage to video screens. The 500,000 LED pixels in the transforming screen are weather resistant, and they're made up into elongated hexagonal segments mounted in a way that allows them to spread apart with a scissor-like motion during parts of the concert..." There's 14 cameras providing live feeds for the video screen.

"The tour's architect, Mark Fisher, told CNET News that ... the technology behind U2 360° isn't new, the way it's being used is, from the large number of computers and electric motors that control the motion of the screen and the moving lights to the computers that map the video picture on to the transforming screen. "All of this automation and programming is possible because the computers available in 2009 (when the tour started) are more powerful and cheaper than they were when we created the Vertigo tour in 2005," Fisher said.

Gil Scott Heron gets XX'd

Gil Scott Herons' recent album I'm New Here is an outstanding piece of work. So it's pretty brave of Jamie Smith of The XX to undertake to remix the WHOLE album. The project is titled We’re New Here, and will be released as a CD and special vinyl box set on February 21 next year. It sounds like a radical departure from the original tracks based on the preview, which just might work. Listen to previews on the official site here.

Sounding off

A review of NZ On Air's music activities has recently been completed by music industry veteran Chris Caddick, and has been delivered to NZ On Air. I believe it will be released in the next week or so.

Caddick wrote a previous review for NZ On Air of their offshore funding activities (see Phase 5 PDF here), which boiled down to 'send more bands to Australia, forget the rest of the world'. This absurd attitude was what Flying Nun bands faced from our music industry in the late 1980s when they said they wanted to go to England. It's utter rubbish. To date this new funding push has produced no visible returns for our acts in Australia.

Rob Mayes of Failsafe Records has very definite opinions on what NZ On Air should be doing with its music programmes (and has expressed them fervently numerous times on the Public Address forums). He's written a discussion a paper on it, which collects a range of views on the subject, mostly disparaging. You can download the PDF of the paper here. He's also got a Facebook group, Sounds Like Us.

I posted a link to Rob's paper on Twitter and had some interesting feedback on it, mainly along the lines of some good points mixed with some personal jibes.

Mayes' FB group lends its name to an article written back in May during NZ Music Month by Vicki Anderson of Christchurch paper The Press. The article was critical of NZ On Air's role in our music scene. She published a full, unsubbed version of her article with Brendan Smyth in August (according to the date on  -the full version is here. Jane Wrightson, CEO of NZ On Air joins in on the comments also.

EXCERPT: "I ask Smyth why South Island musicians are under-represented in the funding allocation. This year, 83 grants have been awarded, only four of which went to South Island-based artists. We pay taxes too.
" Perhaps their songs just weren't good enough?'' Smyth says.
We stare at each other for a moment or two. For a fleeting second I can understand the urge someone else had to wrestle him to the ground...."

Not a very pleasant sentiment coming from any writer, really.....

Andrew Dubber sent me a link to an article he wrote for a UK audience on NZ On  Air - read it here (PDF). As Andrew notes, It's a few years old now but still relevant.

ADDED Vicki Anderson's original Sounds Like Us article is here. "At an industry gig late last year, one of the [NZOA] head honchos went to shake my hand as my name was being told to him by a third party. He pulled it away so fast he caused a breeze. "Oh, it's you, you wrote that story about us," he said, turning around rather deliberately, so I was left staring at his blue-suited back..."

ADDED Hugh Sundae posted a link to a story he did on TVOne's Closeup in 2005 on Phase 4 NZ On Air funding.  As Hugh says in the comments..."I remember receiving some very upset emails/calls the next day.. and I thought it was rather tame."

Lemmy is a SOB

There's a new documentary out early next year on DVD on Lemmy from the band Motorhead, and is currently doing the rounds of some film festivals. The documentary is called Lemmy: 49% Motherf*cker. 51% Son of a Bitch. The film comes to US theatres this January and DVD (with four hours of bonus features) is out February 15 (US) or Jan 24 (UK).

Watch the trailer below. Contains swearing. Lots of it.


Stonesthrow artist James Pants, sounds like he's channeling Bill Haley via Suicide on this tune - free mp3 below - listen and DL.

Zodiac digitised

About a month ago I heard some mighty exciting news, and it's finally seen the light of day. Amplifier/DRM announced late yesterday that they have signed the Zodiac label for digital distribution. They will be digging through the Stebbings vaults.

Now, if you take a look at Simon Grigg's discography of Zodiac's 45s (which is an incredible piece of work), you'll see there is some amazing Kiwi music in there. It's almost the audio equivalent of Chris Bourke's recent book, Blue Smoke: The lost dawn of New Zealand popular music 1918-1964.

There's names like The La De Das, The Keil Isles, Peter Posa, Claude Papesch, Daphne Walker, Ray Columbus and The Invaders, Sonny Day and The Sundowners, Tommy Adderley... I really hope they get the rights to Rim D. Paul And The Quin Tikis - Man River / Poi Poi Twist (from 1963) cos I love Poi Poi Twist. It's a great NZ rock n roll hybrid that deserves to be more widely heard. I've got a different version, by the Maori Hi-Five - but I need to hear this one!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Funky Christmas

There's a million crappy CDs you can play at christmas time - this is the antidote. In the Christmas Groove dropped last November on Strut, and now it's coming out as a 2LP set. The cover is a cheeky twist on a James Brown record.

"Following in the footsteps of classic Christmas albums from the Motown stable and James Brown, Strut released the first ever Yuletide compilation on the label in November 2009, IN THE CHRISTMAS GROOVE, featuring 12 rare soul, funk and blues cuts rediscovered from Christmases past.

In November 2010, Strut makes the compilation available as a super-loud 2LP gatefold for the first time, featuring the album’s original sleeve notes by James Maycock of Mojo magazine. For the digital version, we add two new and exclusive tracks, ‘Back Door Santa’ by Amsterdam’s finest analogue funk fiends, Lefties Soul Connection, and a neat twist on the JB classic, ‘Santa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ by Gary Walker & The Boogie Kings." Audio previews here

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mayer Hawthorne and Jazzy Jeff talk music

Mayer Hawthorne is coming to NZ for Splore next year, in February. Can't wait. (video HT:  Crate Kings)

Bonus -mp3 of Jazzy Jeff remixing Mayer Hawthorne here

DJ Nu-Mark mixtape

NuMark says "I was inspired to make a mix that captures funk inspired rhythms from music I’ve collected on my tours/travels around the world. The goal of this mix is to show the rhythmic similarities between Samba, Cumbia, Calypso, Rhumba, Afro-Beat and Balkan Beats in well blended mix."

Take Me With You mixtape. Free DL from Grandgood

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On to the next one.

I was a bit gutted when U2 announced their second show and I totally missed out on some tickets (as in affordable tickets, not the $350 ones).  I'd resigned myself to missing out on seeing Jay-Z's first appearance in NZ, then late last week the promoters released a bunch of $40 tickets, as the 2nd show hadn't sold out. Sure, they weren't the flashest of seats, but at least I could afford them.

Friday's papers were full of horror stories of poorly ventilated, overcrowded trains trying to get to Mt Smart (not helped by a passenger hitting the emergency stop button every ten minutes), so that plan went out the window, and we got the bus instead. Worked out fine - the driver skipped the motorway which was locked up like a typical Friday in Auckland, and went thru Mt Eden and Royal Oak. Got there in half an hour. Sweet!

Jay-Z made his entrance in fading daylight, after his band, The Roc Boys, had taken to the stage. They were a tight bunch of musicians. Bono even commented on it later, during U2's performance, thanking Jay-Z for warming up the crowd, and adding "How about that band? That band is scary." Bono, called Jay-Z "pound for pound, the heavyweight champion of the world". This may have been a subtle dig at Jay-Z, following his comments to a Sydney newspaper, where Jay said he was unconcerned about warming up for the biggest band in the world, using a funny boxing reference.

"The people don't care who goes on first, that's something the industry created. They're happy to get a great package, they're like 'I get to see Muhammad Ali and the Beatles?"  The rapper pauses for a moment, laughs and clarifies, "I'm not saying we are Muhammad Ali and the Beatles, I'm just saying it's a great package."

Jay-Z blasted thru a bunch of songs, and most of the crowd where I was - South stand, at the back of Mt Smart - got into it. That's probably cos a lot of them were last minute ticket buyers like me (and at least 7 of them in our row left right after Jay-Z) . And then he dropped it  -99 Problems, my fave Jay-Z song. It was amazing (see clip below).

He also played On to the next one, Izzo Hova, Dirt off your shoulder, D.O.A (death of autotune), and dedicated Forever Young to his lost friends, Pimp C, Biggie, Tupac, and also to the miners, who lost their lives. There was also some oddball snippets of Smack my bitch up (mashed with Jay-Z's onstage guest Memphis Bleeks' Is that your chick), and Mundian to bach ke remix from Punjabi MC. Check the full set list here.

Jay-Z closed out his 55 minute set by thanking the audience for welcoming him into our home, and said he'd like to do a song about his home, playing Empire state of mind, which was incredible. He finished with his Linkin Park collaboration of a mashup of Encore with Linkin Park's Numb, which, on record is utterly appalling. But somehow, his band managed to rip into it with such a huge amount of energy that it sprang to life and developed some teeth, which is quite an incredible feat considering how completely crap Linkin Park are.

Jay-Z finally mentioned U2 at the end of his set, saying, "there's four guys out the back, waiting to come on. Give them a chance,  think they're going places..." Cheeky git.

The stadium lights came on after Jay-Z, and then U2 made their entrance, to David Bowie. They left the stadium lights on tho, which was an unusual twist on most stadium shows, where the lights go off and the band comes on. U2 neatly inverted that, so you could see them walking out, on the video screen, and of course, they could see their audience. That must be an amazing rush, if you're in a band.

See the clip of U2's entrance  and first song below (hat tip to The Corner for video/set list - see  their review here)

U2 delivered a fantastic spectacle, and their fans adored it. They got all the big songs, plenty of singalongs, and an amazing light show. The clip below shows them setting up the stage and part of the performance as a timelapse video, which gives you some idea of the incredible scale of the show, with it's claw stage, which looks like something out of War of the Worlds.

Of course some of these fans didn't appreciate Jay-Z - go and read some of the hilarious comments on this review on U2 fans hating on Jay-Z for joining U2 onstage the previous night, adding some "Gangsta rap"on Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Messing with the classics, slippery ground, apparently. Didn't stop Bono from throwing in lyrical snatches of Dont stop til you get enough, Relax/Two Tribes and  a few others. It wasn't all rehearsed and slick - during Angel in Harlem, Bono said to Edge "Is this the middle eight?", then admitted to the crowd, "we haven't played this one in a while".

U2 also paid tribute to their friend, Greg Carroll, a Kiwi who worked for them on the mid 80s before perishing in a motorbike accident in Dublin. Bono said that Greg's families were here tonight, and went on to talk about the miners, lost at Pike River. The band played One Tree Hill, the song they wrote for Carroll. Towards the end of the song, the names of the 29 miners scrolled down the video screen above the band. It was very moving. Sure, it's a big stadium rock experience, but here was a genuine moment where the band reached out with sincerity to their audience, to share their grief. (see first photo here)

They threw in Until The End Of The World, from the Wim Wenders movie of the same name, which was a pleasant surprise. We hung in there til the band exited the stage, and headed for the free buses back to town, while they came back and encored with 5 more tunes, including Where The Streets Have No Name, and With Or Without You. A fine night out.

The pairing of Jay-Z opening for U2 still seems pretty odd. Sure, Jay-Z can carry off stadium shows - see his headlining slot at Glastonbury. But here's a guy who can sell out Madison Square Garden - he doesn't need to support another band to pull a crowd.

Groove Guide commented on this with a piece by Joe Nunweek in their latest issue, titled "Jay-Z is not a support act". They talked with some of his fans, like local rapper PNC, who said "I'm definitely going but its something I didn't get my head around since I first heard it". But local promoter Matthew Crawley noted that often the bands don't have a problem with their choice of support, it's their fans that do. He says that he thinks whoever is picking U2's supports, like Kanye West or Jay-Z, is really doing their job. "Full credit to the U2 person, whoever made that decision. You've got to look at it and think, well at least they didn't get Opshop to open." 

Groove Guide Jay-Z review.

This video below shows the setup of the claw stage. It's a pretty amazing chunk of technology, but we are talking about a band that was the highest grossing touring act in the world  last year - pulling in US$380 million. So a setup like this is within their budget, I'm picking They need 6 jumbo jets just to move it around. But check out that video wall in action as it expands, it's some seriously cool tech.

Why more New Zealand bands need to get the hell out of NZ and tour overseas

Beacuse you come back with tour stories like this one....

"I was really stoked when, in Oslo, James Mercer [of the Shins] introduced me to his friend/bandmate Brian. He said 'Brian, this is Ryan from the Ruby Suns'. Then Brian said something like 'Oh, Ruby Suns, I've got a couple of your records. Sea Lion, that's a great record.' and I said, 'Wow, thanks'. Brian is Dangermouse."

That's from Ryan McPhun of The Ruby suns, who set off touring their new record in Feb this year, and wrapped up in November. Read some of his tour highlights over at Amplifier.

The Apple

The Apple was a sci-fi musical made in 1980. The premise is it's "set in the dystopic world of 1994, when record label bosses rule the world. Considering what has actually happened to the music industry in the past decade, the premise no longer seems particularly relevant." From a great list on Flavorwire  - 10 Cult Films That Should Never Be Remade.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Nov 27

Romanowski - Flatpicker
Cornell Campbell and the Jays - Hell inna de yard
Gregory Isaacs  - All I have is love
Mulatu Astatke and Heliocentrics - Cha cha
Miles Davis - Freddie boi  - Applejuice kid remix
Roy Ayers - Boogie back
Jay-Z - Empire state of mind
Rae and Christian - It aint nothing like
Lakeside - Money inst
Prince Charles and the city beat band - Cash (cash money)
Jones girls  -Dance turned into romance
Chico Mann - Anima
Darryl Jennifer - Black Judas
Damian Marley - Move
Michael Rose - African girl
Roots radics - No follow fashion
Noel Ellis - Stop your fighting
Ernest Ranglin  - 54 46 was my number
Roots manuva vs wrongtom  -Big tings redone
The Clash - Magnificent dance
Ladi6 - Burn with me
Beat pharmacy - Assassination of the mind - Teddy G remix
Colm K and the freestyle mellowship - Dancing skulls - main mix
Mishkin vs Anna Mystic - Livin trouble
Johnny Osborne - Budy bye - Kenny Dope remix
Jay-Z - Show me what you got inst
Guinness city symphony - Sir duke
Pitchito - Frente Cumbiero

Friday, November 26, 2010

Glitch Mob vs Vadim

Fortune Days (DJ Vadim RMX ft. Yarah Bravo and Pugz Atomz) by Glitch Mob....
Grab DJ Vadim's remix of Glitch Mob here for free.

"DRINK THE SEA - THE REMIXES VOL. 1 & 2  will be released on January 12, 2011 through All proceeds will benefit relief for Haiti. There are still 1.3 million homeless that need our help.

The 25 track collection will feature remixes by following artists, all of which graciously donated their time and skills to the project: King Britt, ESKMO, Beats Antique, EPROM, DJ Vadim, Deru, SPL, Skeet Skeet, Mr. Projectile, Comma, Salva, Kastle, Nalepa, R/D, Virtual Boy, Machinedrum, Jogger, St. Andrew, Them Jeans, Chris De Luca, Camo UFOs, Adam.01, Pawn, Mirko Kosmos and Mindelixir."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Questlove interviewed

Questlove - Yamaha All Access 360 from Ben James on Vimeo.

Via Crate Kings.

Outer space

Hot Tanya is the new video from the Drab Do-Riffs (who include Mr Karl Steven, formerly of Supergroove). Spied this via Twitter after rapper Tourettes mentioned it, noting that ""now NZ on Air have funded two good bands in 20 years, Die Die Die and these talented chaps..." and they got funding despite extensive use of the f-word. Cheeky MotherUckers...

Jazz Pianos mix

Via Crate Kings, always excellent mixes from DJ Ian Head.... go grab it...

"Once again DJ Ian Head delivers a welcomed interruption to our automatic listening habits. Ian’s November 2010 mix entitled Jazz Pianos serves up a number of the original jazz piano masters including Herbie Hancock, Ahmad Jamal, McCoy Tyner, Junior Mance, Monty Alexander, and Oscar Peterson.
Anyway – here’s a couple cuts for folks to warm up to as the weather cools off. There’s only a little solo piano – these are just songs that I feel are “driven” mainly by the piano, even in the case that it’s on an artist’s record who isn’t a pianist, like Yusef Lateef.
Download: Ian Head’s November Mix

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So much music, so little moolah

There's an overwhelming amount of exciting live music happening in the first three months of next year , and thru December too. Big Bay Out, Splore, Laneway, Womad (now without Seu Jorge, who has pulled out due to promotional commitments in Brazil resulting from changes in their album release schedule, apparently), Aloe Blacc, Kitty Daisy and Lewis... the list just goes on and on. Trying to pick where you spend your hard earned money is a tough call.

One event that won't be going ahead is hiphop/r'n'b shows Boom Tunz.

From Rip It Up's site, "Boom Productions, the promoters behind next months two R&B Hop Hop Boom Tunz events in Hamilton and Wellington, starring  international artists; Kelly Rowland, T-Pain, Ludacris, and Third World have regrettably been forced to cancel the two inaugural concerts due to poor ticket sales.

Director, Neil MacLeod of Boom Productions announced today that whilst public and media interest in Boom Tunz has been exceptionally strong, this has failed to translate to sales.

“The international line-up for Boom Tunz is one of the hottest on offer in R&B and Hip Hop circles ... therefore we’re absolutely dismayed at the lack of support” said Mr MacLeod.

In New Zealand there is unfortunate trend with R&B and Hip Hop events cancelling. Mr MacLeod added; “Audiences need to break the cycle and support these ventures by purchasing tickets in advance so that promoters have confidence in presenting world-class acts in New Zealand – as well as ensure artists’ of this calibre actually want to perform in New Zealand.”

What Macleod doesn't address why this alleged trend keeps happening. Some in the media have painted this as a case of hiphop artists being unreliable (a dubious myth at best), when the reality is that there are some questionable promoters out there with chequered histories for advertising events where in some cases, they're haven't even confirmed the international acts they're advertising.

It simply isn't true that the public is to blame for this - I've been to a number of hiphop shows by visiting overseas artists in the last 12 months that were packed out, one of which sold out a few months in advance of the artist's show dates. Blaming the public is poor form.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Making Tracks

Making Tracks has returned to our tv screens, with that intrepid wee lad Nick D heading off around the globe to far-flung cities, finding musicians and persuading them to cover a New Zealand song.

Thankfully the cover songs from the show are now on sale while the series is still screening, which is a great idea  -worked brilliantly for the 1st series of Glee in the US, where the songs from each episode went on sale on iTunes as soon as the show had aired there, creating huge demand.

Grab them here at Amplifier. Songs for ep 2 & 4 up now. 
Bonus: go watch Supergroove's Can't Get Enough covered by 30-piece steel drum group Phase II Pan Groove in Trinidad. Mean!

Photo: Makjng Tracks website, Ghana episode.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blowing smoke

Free download of remix of Arc In Round's "3 A.M. All The Time" from their forthcoming E.P, by Brooklyns' own Smoke Machine. Follow him on Twitter here. Another cool remix from him here.

Pin Group

Spotted over at the excellent Mysterex blog. The Pin Group rehearsing, footage shot by Ronnie Van Hout in 1981. Playing their early Flying Nun single Coat/Ambivalence. Great stuff.

Ronnie Van Hout (via Youtube): "1981 film of The Pin Group. Shows band running through Ambivalence and Coat in practice room and gives a reasonably good idea of their dynamic and entertaining stage show. The first two and a half minutes feature verse by a Christchurch poet called Desmond Brice, who penned some of the Pin Group's lyrics including the above. Film closes with some flip remarks about Pin Group from local painter Marty Whitworth. Gives you some sense of how droll it was to live in this city in the early 1980s."

RIP David Wood (Straitjacket fits' bass player)

Straitjacket Fits, with David Wood far right.  Photo: Flying Nun

Very sad news indeed. Much love to his family and friends. He passed away suddenly Nov 17. A service was held earlier today for him. Read NZ Herald notice here.

David had some dry comments here in the Story of Straitjacket Fits, from 2008 - written by NZ Herald's Scott Kara on the occasion of their induction to the NZ Music Hall of Fame.

WOOD: With the Shayne songs he'd come along with a riff or a sketch of a chord sequence, play something like this, and we'd jam and bugger about with it. With Andrew he'd come along with a bit of paper with chords and words written out and go, "Here, play this". And if you tried to deviate from it he'd just stop you. But I like his songs.

The band's legacy?

WOOD: I wouldn't have a clue [laughs]. I just always thought I was the bass player in a band that really sparked your endorphins and got your neurons connecting with a bit of adrenalin, and that's what that band was like. We were playing these songs and it sounded incredibly unbelievable.

Jeff Goldblum covers the Biz

Jeff Goldblum on Jimmy Fallon's show, gets asked to sing a song for the audience, and comes up with  Just A Friend by Biz Markie, with some help from the Biz himself. Studio band is the Roots. Very funny. I know it's a week old, but I just came across it.... Go watch it at (video won't let me embed it, stink)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sidewalk city

The Music Machines event is now in its second year, and happens this Saturday Nov 27, 1-5pm. Lotsa synths and drum machines, live demos, beat battles, all sorts of goodness. Well worth checking out.  There's a clip I shot from last year's event at the bottom of this page to give you a wee taster for it.

One of the tunes that came up last year around a discussion on NZ electronica was this tune, from 1984. Possibly the earliest example of local dance culture taking on New York electro breakdance... Read more about the history behind this tune here...