"Aotearoa's foremost indie dance label, Deepgrooves is the musical cross pollination of cultures that comes from the world's largest Polynesian city, Auckland. Reggae, dub, ragga, club, and hard beats from the mind and soul of the fresh crew with the new view - Riot Riddum Sound System, Leaders of Style, The Sound Foundation, Jules Issa and the Mighty Asterix, The Projector."
This is how the Deepgrooves label described itself in promotional material... (from an ad in Billboard Jan 1992, plugging various NZ labels).
It's a good insight into the minds of the folk behind the label, engineer Mark Tierney, Bill Latimer (owner of The Lab Studio) and Kane Massey, and captures something of the spirit in the music. Auckland central had a bubbling club scene that mixed and mashed styles every weekend - the hiphop and reggae heads all went to the same gigs, cos there was only about 200 people in central Auckland into those genres at that time. New Zealand hiphop was a long way from standing the eff up, it was still learning to walk.
Names like Stylee Crew, Native Bass (later Dam Native), DLT, Stinky Jim, Roger Perry, Teremoana, Slowdeck, Dubhead, Slave and Otis, Tuffy Culture and others, were all jumping on stage and having a good time at warehouse parties across the CBD, and in back yards like behind the Blue Tile Lounge on Symond St. That was the scene that gave rise to the Deepgrooves acts. It was a recorded representation of what was going on musically in the clubs in town.
Over the next few weeks I'm going to be profiling a bunch of Deepgrooves artists and posting up the music so you can hear it, starting today with Riot Riddum Sound System. Enjoy.