Saturday, January 22, 2011

Music publisher sues Beck, Busta Rhymes, King Tee, The Heavy

Music publisher Drive-in Music Co is sueing Beck, Busta Rhymes, King Tee, Ninja Tunes and The Heavy to name but a few, over their use of a song by Dyke and the Blazers.From the Hollywood Reporter...

"In 1969, the funk band, Dyke & the Blazers, had its biggest hit, "Let a Woman Be a Woman And A Man Be A Man." The song was written by the band's front-man Arlester Christian. He assigned rights to the song to Drive-in Music Company. Two years later, Christian passed away.

"For forty years, Drive-in Music has enjoyed copyright title to the song, but hasn't taken much action. Until very recently. Soon after the commercial ran, Drive-in Music sued Kia, CBS, the NFL, ad agency David & Goliath, Ninja Tune Records and various other parties for copyright theft." Read more here.

The parties settled 3 months after the lawsuit was filed. The song by The Heavy has recently turned up in the movie soundtrack for The Fighter. Audio below of The Heavy and the original from Dyke and the Blazers.

Clearly this success gave Drive-In Music the idea to go after anyone who has ever lifted this tune, so some of the lawsuits they've filed relate to songs going back to 1990. Simple lesson - if you're going to sample something, get it cleared. Or it might come back to haunt you 20 years later. lists a bunch of hiphop artists who it says have sampled this tune, from Tupac to Stetsasonic to Public Enemy to DJ Shadow.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Jan 22

Esther Phillips - Use me
Johnny Hammond - Higher ground
Lalo Schifrin - Macumba
Wood brass and steel  -Always there
Willie Bobo - LA descarga del Bobo
Camille Yarbrough  -Take yo praise
Mulatu Astatke - Yegelle Tezeta
Nas and Damian Marley - As we enter
Aim - Birchwood
Belleruche - Shudder and cry (playing at Splore City, on Feb 11-12 in Aotea Square)
Chico Mann - Harmonia
Project tempo - Tom tom dub
Dinosaur L - Go bang - Walter Gibbons mix
Adele - Rolling in the deep - Jamie XX remix
Resonators  -Sweet love affair - Cyentific remix
Roots manuva vs Wrongtom - Worl' a mine
Augustus Pablo - Cassava piece
Jah Batta - Informa (watch it)
Improvisators dub meets Iration steppas - Cornal dub
Funkmaster Flex and Ghetto celebs - Safe sex no freaks - Deep in Brooklyn mix
Supreme team - See Suite 
Treacherous Three - Heartbeat (have fun)
Diana Ross - upside down
Jean Jacques Perry - EVA
Nicola Conte and Gianluca Petrella - Tema per hifi
Lalo Schifrin - Black widow

Friday, January 21, 2011

R.I.P. Bobby Robinson

Robinson passed away late last week, aged 93. Oliver Wang at Soulsides remembers Robinson and his hiphop label Enjoy...

"I came to his hip-hop imprint, Enjoy, late in the game; in my “younger” days, I just assumed that anything released pre-Run DMC was old school schlock and then someone played me “Spoonin Rap” and my mind was blown.

Sugarhill, obviously, had the bigger rep and sales but while the Sugarhill sound in hip-hop’s formative years was loud, brash and fonky, the best singles I heard from Enjoy were the opposite: lean, sparse and funky. The secret was that Bobby had drummer Errol “Pumpkin” Bedward as his in-house producer, then still in this teens(!!!). Bedward and his band, Pumpkin and His Friends, produced the best of the early Enjoy singles including “Love Rap” b/w “New Rap Language,” one of the most potent A/B-sides I know from that era..."

Author Dan Charnas (The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop) remembers Bobby Robinson.

New York Times obituary here. Robinson was one of the first blacks to own a store on 125th Street in Harlem, a record store called Bobby's Happy House.

And here's Ego Trip's top ten Enjoy recordings, via Soulsides.

BigFM hit by big payout

Thane and Richard Kirby (Thane was involved launching GeorgeFM and ALT TV) announced plans last year to buy BigFM and were intending on launching BigtimeFM on May 1 2010. Never happened. Now a former employee has won $75,000 from them, after he worked for them as a radio manager for 5 months and never got paid.

Unpaid radio manager awarded $75,000 compensation

"A former radio manager fobbed off with false promises of pay has been awarded nearly $75,000 in compensation by the Employment Relations Authority.

David Gray was employed by Charity Works Trust in April last year and quit in August after not being paid at all during his employment.

Mr Gray was hired to manage the day-to-day business operations, and was preparing for the establishment of a new radio station, known as Big FM, his employer Richard Kirby was planning to buy through his company Winstone Investment Ltd (WIL).

Mr Gray approached Mr Kirby four times within a two month period requesting pay, and was turned back with a promise every single time.

Mr Kirby kept putting it off and requested Mr Gray's bank account information three times. In July, Mr Gray asked for payment for a fifth time and received no reply. Weeks later, Mr Kirby said he would pay Mr Gray the next day, but the money was never transferred.

During Mr Gray's employment, the purchase of the radio station was still pending. Mr Kirby told him the Trust and WIL was discussing funding possibilities with the Ministry of Social Development. In August, Mr Gray believed the purchase of the radio was unlikely, and with no payments made, he resigned."

Caddick report comment

There's been a sparsity of comment/reaction on the Caddick Report, an indepenedent look at the music operations of NZ On Air that was released just before Xmas. Timing of the release may have something to do with that, and it's also a lot to digest, at 158 pages. The NZ Herald's John Drinnan had a passing look at it, choosing to focus on the negative aspects, mostly.

NZ Musician's esteemed editor Richard Thorne weighs in with some thoughtful comments and analysis on the Caddick Report here. It's worth a read. A few excerpts below...

"... Most substantial among the first wave of changes will be the complete removal of album funding, the funding instead shifting to single tracks – in tandem with an allocation for music video making. Laxness of controls which favoured those already ‘in the system’ emerged as one of the greatest criticisms and eligibility criteria will be tightened across the board. Future funding will be weighted more towards emerging artists rather than established ones, and contractual aspects made more business-like.

"... A general dissatisfaction with the closed door approach of commercial radio to NZ music and the unbalanced influence of commercial radio PDs in deciding on what songs get funding is a recurring theme. Reallocated funding is sure to give greater consideration to a wider range of creative music which will inevitably benefit the bNet radio network.

"As Caddick observes, the slide of old media as a source of new music education is overstated by many, but irrespective a new and specific focus on gaining ‘broadcast’ results for Kiwi music online will need to be a future mandate for NZ On Air.

"This is a considerably better report than Caddick’s Phase Five review, with detailed backgrounding that includes the Broadcasting Act itself, explanation of intervention methods and costs, useful analysis of the music sector plus the author’s own observations. He includes direct quotes from each side of the spectrum, while frequently pointing out that large chunks of those interviewed didn’t know enough to comment. A glaring shortage of meaningful NZ industry-wide statistics is highlighted, while some of the statistical analysis of ‘Public Responses’ presented within the body of the report adds worthwhile insights to the abbreviated conclusions."

Deepgrooves - Sulata

Sulata had previously been in another outfit on Deepgrooves, called Colony. When that group imploded, she got picked up by Deepgrooves for a solo career. She appeared on several other Deepgrooves recordings for New Loungehead and Three the Hard Way (see earlier post).

Her debut album, Kia Koe, came out in 1996, and was produced by Simon Holloway, who also collaborated as songwriter with Sulata on most of the tracks. It's a laidback affair, not a million miles away from similar downtempo/acid jazz acts of the era, like Massive Attack or Incognito. It's also an album that didn't rely on samples, like most other Deepgrooves acts.

Musicians who played on the sessions include Nathan Haines, Dan Sperber (New Loungehead), Wayne Bell, Luke Casey, Rob Salmon (Urban Disturbance), Levani Vesasi, Gareth Price (Semi Lemon Kola, Slacker). It was recorded inhouse at Kaiun Digital by Chris Sinclair.

As I mentioned in the profile on Colony, following her solo work she was singing and performing  in Te Vaka led by her cousin Opetaia Foa'i. She's still involved in various musical activities, according to her bio on her employer's site.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Toy Love live

Simon Grigg has uncovered a 1980 live concert video of Toy Love and it's a wee beaut. Go see it on his blog here.

"Going through a bunch of old CD-Rs a couple of days back I discovered this 6 song live Toy Love set, which I worked out with the band was filmed at The Rock Theatre in Wellington in Feb, 1980. It’s a recording that was assumed lost but happily I seem to have had from some past trawl through TVNZ’s archives.

The recording was on an old UMatic I somehow had in a box and had dubbed onto disc a few years back. The sound and video may not be all that good but it’s still an amazing few minutes of live footage which leaves every other bit of footage I’ve seen to date in the dust."

Not many (facts), if any

There's a dubious piece of reporting on from Kirsty Johnston, with the headline "Scribe's music awards for sale". It's a woeful piece of reporting that basically says "Look, this famous Kiwi rapper is now on hard times! Lets poke fun at his fall from grace!" What a bunch of tall poppy CRAP.

So, are Scribe's music awards for sale? No. The story says a Christchurch pawnbroker, who refuses to use his full name (odd), is selling off five of Scribe's sales plaques, presented in recognition of sales of The Crusader album from 2003. Music awards get handed out at the NZ Music Awards, and sales plaques get handed out by record companies for sales. But hang on, he's only got four NOT FIVE plaques listed on Trade Me.

Johnston says she was unable to contact Scribe's management. How exactly she failed to reach any offical contact for one of the biggest selling NZ artists of the last ten years is beyond me. Last I heard, Scribe was managed by CRS Management, (headed by RIANZ boss Campbell Smith), the company responsible for the Big Day Out here. Not hard to find.

Johnston also appears to quote Scribe's Wikipedia entry, saying "Scribe, also known as Charles Gruar and Malo Luafutu..." That second name is correct, but quoting Wikipedia entries is never going to work out so good. He is NOT known as Charles Gruar. How many journos roll like this? Kirsty Johnston.

ADDED if you Google for Charles Gruar, you end up looking at this guy's Facebook page.

ADDED The wikipedia page for Scribe has been fixed (Charles Gruar ref is gone), but check this... "With the initial focus on the song "Stand Up", director Matua Murupaenga gave the video..." that should read director Chris Graham, not some kid from Gizzy.

UPDATED, Friday 20th - The Press has done a follow up story, interviewing the pawnbroker, who reveals his name as Shane Lilley. There's also a bit more detail there too behind the sale. Still no comment from Scribe or his management.

Here's TV3's news item on Scribe from last night's news.

Kirsty Johnston has posted a new story on this today - Strip club leads award bidding.
Also posted as Scribe's awards rocket up Trademe. Both repeat the error on Scribe's name, sourced from Wikipedia. This has been fixed.

EDIT - the headline on the first story has been changed from Strip club leads award bidding to match the 2nd story.


Wellington music site Musichype have just landed a $600,000 investment. They plan to use the money to open an office in Los Angeles, hoping to make inroads in North America. Musichype released the most recent recording from the Mint Chicks as a USB. From the Dominion Post...
"A Wellington-based website that connects bands with their fans is looking to take Kiwi music to North America after winning $600,000 in venture capital from the Rutherford Innovation Fund.

MusicHype is an internet platform that rewards music-lovers for promoting, talking about and spending money on their favourite bands and artists. The website has been operating for a year, and uses technology known as the 'Appreciation Engine' to track fans activity across social media and rewards them with merchandise, concert tickets and downloads.

"We can tell if a fan is tweeting about a band, becoming their friend on Facebook or watching them on YouTube and we can reward them for that," says MusicHype's Annabel Youens....

... Rutherford, a fund linked to Christchurch-based NZ Capital Strategies, says MusicHype's technology has the potential to be used in a wider sense. "We invested in MusicHype because the music industry has been disrupted by the internet and digital technologies," said NZ Capital Strategies director, and Rutherford Innovation Partner, Kenji Steven.

"Established business models are not providing adequate returns for record labels and artists, or satisfying experiences for fans," he said.

Full story here, from the Dominion Post

Deepgrooves - Jules Issa

Jules Issa. Photo: Sonoma Message. Published in Planet, 1991
Jules Issa's Diatribe cover was released on the Deepgrooves label in 1991 and featured Joost Langeveld (Unitone Hifi, Subware) on bass. It also came out as a single (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 these releases 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.

UPDATED August 2012 - I've now got a copy of this release, it came out as a mini album in 1995, seven songs and three dubs under the title Found In You. See full listing at Discogs.

I posted some of this info late last year, including the Diatribe original, hear it over here. Diatribe were contemporaries of Herbs, and recorded on the same label as them.

ADDED November 2012: the video of Dangerous Game, shot in 1992, director William Roberts.... I digitised this from the TV3 show Frenzy, voiceover by Kate Stalker, animation by John Pain, screened May 94...

ADDED August 2012: the Single Remix version of Dangerous Game, released in 1992....

Jules Issa biography (source: Multilingual archive, based on Wikipedia entry)

Jules Issa is an album recorded by Julie Ann Huhana Ryland. This album was released by Deep Grooves Entertainment when Jules was 25 years old.

Recording History

Her career started back with the band from Porirua called 'Styx and Shanty' and was co-writer for their album "Honey" She left before she could record anything with them, however her sister Barbara Ryland recorded and remained with the band until this album was completed.
Deepgrooves Entertainment saw the potential of this singer-songwriter and through 1993 to 1995 Jules and Deepgrooves made the album Found In You [track listing below].

She was nominated 'Most Promising Female Artist' and was granted 3 videos. She toured many countries performing songs from this album.

Today, Sony Entertainment has Found In You and one can often hear it playing on the New Zealand television programme 'Shortland Street'.

1 Prologue
2 Discomfort in their eyes
3 Found In You
4 Sweet Child
5 Growing Pains
6 No Rain No Shine
7 Don't B 2 shy 2 Love
8 Dangerous Dub
9 Tuffys Dub
10 Don't B 2 Shy 2 Love Dub

Jules' family information

Jules is a Māori descendant of Josef' Manuel and Charlie Ryland, who married Māori wahine (women). She comes from the Maori tribes Ngati Porou and Kai Tahu. Her father is Daniel Kopua Ryland and her mother is Hine Rungarunga Ryland. She is the 4th youngest of 14 siblings. She now resides in Auckland and has two children, Joshua Key and Whenua Key. She is an active member of The Twelve Tribes of Israel NZ and works in the New Zealand music industry to this day.

RELATED: Audio - Jules Issa - Found in you
Audio: Discomfort in their eyes and Tuffy Culture dub
Audio: Sweet child

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Prince and Sharon get down

Prince is doing s series of shows at Madison Square Gardens. Opening act for tonight's show was Sharon Jones and the Dapkings. They joined Prince for the encore - then Maceo Parker drops a sax solo. Jawdroppingly good. Thank you, magical internets.

And Mos Def was there in the crowd too, rather than in Auckland where he was due to perform this evening, before his shows were postponed due to illness of a key band member. Well, wouldn't you?

Deepgrooves - Anthony Ioasa/Grace

Baby You Know (Pacific Round House remix) is off the Deepgrooves compilation Deep in the Pacific of bass. Anthony Ioasa sings and plays keys and it's produced by Joost Langeveld at The Lab.

Anthony Ioasa was also part of the band Grace (also on Deepgrooves), along with his brothers Jason and the late Paul. They released an album (below) on Deepgrooves in 1995.

Jason says in the Youtube comments for this video below... "Firstly on behalf of myself, my late brother Paul and eldest brother Anthony- thanks for putting this video up. Really appreciate it. Yeah - back in those days no-one had ever shot in the museum before and it took a lot of harassing the managers to let us do it. We had to pay for a special overnight security guard."

ADDED: Hat tip to Simon Grigg for pointing me to this video from Desert Moon, from 1995, looks like it was shot at the venue on Queen St now known as The White House. What was it called back then? Spot the cameo from Bic Runga on BVs. She joined the live band Grace put together, along with Earl Robinson (The Chills, Peter Stuyvesant Hitlist). BVs on the album were sung by Caitlin Smith.

Also, Simon mentions on his blog that "there was a second album partially recorded for PolyGram, under the wing of Mark Tierney, which was equally glorious but suffered from the management mess that was Universal takeover of that company in 1998 and remains unheard." 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Deepgrooves - Ermehn

South Aucklander Ermehn arrived at the Deepgrooves stable with some serious credentials in hiphop - he'd been in Radio Backstab and DJ Payback (who featured on the landmark "Proud" compilation)  and was also part of the early lineup of the Otara Millionaires Club. His debut solo album dropped in 1998, and included some great tunes and killer singles, like Walls of Steel, featuring the Khaz the Field Style Operator (now known as The Feelstyle).

He recorded the album with Andy 'Submariner' Morton on mixing and production at Andy's studio, the Hut. Guests on the album included DJ Manuel Bundy, DJ Subzero, Francis Harawira, and Ermehn's cousin Marie Va'a.

Grant Smithies says in his book Soundtrack: 1118 Great NZ albums that Ermehn "...sees South Auckland primarily as a place of poverty, violence and crime, so that's what he raps about. His street soldier stories are bleak but skilfully told, and give insight into the hard life many rappers invent for themselves but this man seems to have actually lived. Contains the strong singles Walls of Steel, Don't be late, and Stranded in the city".

"Herman 'Ermehn' Loto was notorious for playing live dressed in a lava lava and waving a machete over his head ... Ermehn's Samoan heritage was represented not only by the track content but also by the cover which showed Mau leader Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III. The tracks also focused on South Auckland and 'Who holds the knife' talked about the devastating effect of the notorious South Auckland rapist who was operating at the time." (Source, originally published in the book Hiphop Music in Aotearoa by Gareth Shute).

Ermehn also had a fierce reputation, built on his gang affiliations with the King Cobras.  "I'm an ex King Cobra patch member. I've had the Chinese TRIADS put a hit out [on] me! I've had the Head-Hunters hunting me down. F#ck, I've even had my own King Cobras put a lifetime hit out on me and I still roll hard. I've made more money than any muthaf#cker I know! More money more dramas!" (Source)

"As Herman Loto in the mid '90s he was part of the Otara Millionaires Club, sharing writing credits for We r the O.M.C along with the Fuemana brothers, also involved in the 'Proud' album and touring party with Radio Back Stab. His own debut album 'Samoans Part II' was released during this time (1998) on Deepgrooves, and distributed by Festival. But not long after Ermehn's gangsta life took over.

"In Otara basically when you've got nothing, the only thing on the table at the time is either going out and hustling, selling drugs and joining a gang - or joining a rugby club and becoming a great rugby league star. I fell into the pitfalls of the hood and ended up hustling and put my music aside and just embraced the darkness.

"I came out of it a few years later and I thought I'd do an album. I had the money at the time and I thought, well NZ On Air aren't going to give me the money, so I funded the album on gangsta money - so it is a pure gangsta album.... With this album, if I was to perform it, it would probably be at a nice dodgy club - I don't think I'll be getting asked to perform at Pasifika any time soon." From NZ Musician interview, 2005.

In that interview Ermehn is talking about his second album Path Of Blood (Sony BMG, 2005) which featured the singles Bankjob and Silver and gold (videos for both songs were made by Oscar Kightly). Currently he runs a security company based on the Hibiscus Coast called Pride Security, and is involved in martial arts.

His most recent recording is a single with Chong Nee, called I Love The Way (from 2008). Watch the video here, shot at the Pasifika Festival in 2008, and watch out for Ermehn onstage performing. Looks like he DID get asked to perform at Pasifika.

ADDED (19/1/2011) Sean popped up in the comments to mention that Ermehn had released an album in 2006, called Drug House Raps, via itunes. Ermehn also got a video grant from NZ On Air for a song with PNC in late 2009, called Stare and Whisper. Thanks for the info.

CORRECTED: Ermehn joined in the comments below, saying "DRUG house raps' was just me guesting on tracks or ruff demos that got out - not really my album. i haven't even heard the trks. I guest on a lot of MR SICCS album trks, cos he from otara. mr sicc is pretty much the new and Better Me! he my favit rapper! and has my full respect!"

ADDED Ermehn's third album Trained To Kill is due for release October 4 2012. More info here.

Above images from the CD for Samoans Pt II

Monday, January 17, 2011

Deepgrooves - New Loungehead

New Loungehead were a splendidly jazzy combo, who dropped their debut album, Came A Weird Way, in 1997. It featured guest vocals from Sulata, and Mark James (Slave) on a song a piece, and won Best Jazz Album at the NZ Music Awards the following year.

The group's lineup at the time of recording was Dan Sperber (guitar), Isaac Tucker (drums), Godfrey De Grut (sax, keys), Chip Matthews (bass), and Matthias Sudholter (percussion).  The album was recorded at Okura, with Kaiun Digital Mobile in December 1996 by Chris Sinclair, and overdubs done at Kaiun Digital (Deepgrooves inhouse studio) in Central Auckland with Dave Rhodes in Jan - March of 97. Vocal overdubs were recorded by Simon Holloway. The band were managed by Frances Chan.

New Loungehead, from Rip It Up, August 1998

I got to know Chip Matthews several years back, when he and Buttafingers (Harlan) started doing the radio show after me on BaseFM on Saturdays - they both play in the Opensouls. I've got a lot of time for Chip, he's a very talented musician and knowledgable DJ. I asked him what he remembers of that time working with Deepgrooves. Here is his response. Thanks, Chip!

Chip Matthews: "Deepgrooves was quite a special time for me personally cause it was by and large my first consistent dealings with a label, recording on a label and being around a bunch of musicians who were all trying to do their projects. Around the time I was there, as well as being part of the New Loungehead's album, there were albums being completed by Breaks Co-op and shortly after, Sulata's album, an album I still say is one of the most under-rated NZ albums of the 90's.

"The studio then was on Victoria St. We were recording to ADAT (oh the days prior Pro Tools et al!) and would be crammed in the studio listening to take after take being done, the whirling of the ADAT machine as it cued up again, overseen by the big tapa cloth on the wall. For a freshy, it really was like being shown an exciting new musicial world.

Chip describes Ermehn's album Samoans Pt II as "an album still under-rated. I remember in about 97 or 98, Kane took a few of us to Australia to do a bit of a showcase. There was us [New Loungehead] and Erhmen with the mighty Submariner.

"That was a first for me in seeing people desperate about not missing out on some record digging (Submariner), [and] visiting some of the more salubrious bars up Oxford St whilst tripping out courtesy of some of the local whanau wanting to pull a fasty on us. And the trip for me and perhaps as a metaphor for Deepgrooves around that time, we had to share one room at a hotel down by Hyde Park. One room for about 8 or so of us! Luckily I spent a couple of the nights there hanging out until sunrise, so the need for me wasn't so pressing, but trying to find room for all those people to sleep was pretty funny.

In terms of the day to day running of the label, Chip says "I was largely unaware of any problems with the Deepgrooves label and Kane's running of the thing as I was so new to the townie side of being a muso. But I do remember that when it came to the more financial side of things, Kane was a little less forthcoming than the moments where money wasn't an issue. Again, with me being not so clued up, I was largely meh about it all. But I do know that we made some money off our album which we are still awaiting!!

For Chip, "the legacy of Deepgrooves is the main thing though. To me it was a label of opportunity when opportunities seemed harder to come by. This was before the halcyon days of the early 2000's where Che's Navigator album [which Chip played bass on] and King Kapisi's Savage Thoughts really changed the game in regards to "urban" music and how it was viewed as a local product in a market-driven almost exclusively from overseas.

"The albums that came through from my time there were just some of the best that have been created for mine, and in that regards, Kane invested so much into our community. It was still very much a no 8 wire mentality and in that regards, for me, he did a great job.

He says overall it was "a positive experience. Sure there were some downers, but it was a great learning experience for me personally. Being around watching Zane Lowe freeing up the studio for The New Loungehead by taking his keyboard into the kitchen area - I was a big fan since they were pre-Urban Disturbance, Leaders of Style - for me it was the very encapsulation of how I imagined a studio to be. It was a fun time cause there seemed to be less riding on it in terms of material - the thought of making a job out of music was just way too far fetched -  but [it] was so meaningful when you actually produced an album. Amazing times for me."

Dan went on to play in Slacker, the Relaxomatic Project, and currently plays as the Dan Sperber Complex. Chip and Godfrey ended up playing in Che Fu's band The Crates, and Chip currently plays in the Opensouls, and with Anika Moa. He's also the delightful breakfast radio host on BaseFM. Isaac went on to play with UK dance act Spektrum. Godfrey has done various session work, from Brooke Fraser to Nesian Mystik to Kanye West (read about that last one here, it's pretty funny).

Deepgrooves - Free Bass live

Deepgrooves was also home to a few jazzy acts, like The New Loungehead (featuring Dan Sperber, Godfrey de Grut, Chip Matthews, Isaac Tucker and Mathias Sudholter), and Free Bass.

This is from Simon Grigg's blog. He posted this with a track for download back in May 2009 (still there too), to coincide with the Box/Celebre reunion night, Take Me Back.

Cause Celebre, 1994. Photo: Simon Grigg

"Freebass were important for a number of reasons, but not least because it was one of the early vehicles for the Haines brothers, Joel and Nathan. Nathan’s next band was The Enforcers, who went on to record the globally released Shift Left ..the only NZ recorded album ever to appear on Verve.

I remember the night fairly well. Chris Sinclair had miked up the room and he and Mark Tierney taped it struggling against all sorts of adversity. They had to battle with odd acoustics, inebriated folks repeatedly tripping over cables and staff who really didn’t care who or what they were, they had to get that case of Mac’s Gold to the back bar without delay.

But it worked out pretty well, it was a landmark album at the time and, as I recall, sold pretty well. Released on Mark Tierney and Kane Massey’s quite crucial Deepgrooves label, it’s long been unavailable and quite sought after. My (signed) copy had walked somewhere in the past 19 years so I was forced to buy a new copy this week. I sourced it on EBay, from Sydney."

Deepgrooves, 1993

The reason this Deepgrooves release stands out from nearly all the others I've profiled, is it's back in circulation (since Simon wrote that post, I assume). You can buy the MP3s here from

Coming next - more jazzy bizznizz

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Just discovered there's a music video for this great soul scorcher from the Flirtations. Ace. Got reissued on one of Norman Jay's Good Times compilations a while back - you need this tune. "Filmed in colour at Tintern Abbey at Monmouthshire, south Wales."

But wait, there's more!