Saturday, March 26, 2011

Herbs vs Raggamuffin

In early December last year, several key local staff left the organisation behind the Raggamuffin Festival, held in Rotorua, in conjunction with Australian promoters. The event still went ahead and attracted a crowd estimated at 30,000.

Late last week, someone anonymously posted this message on my previous post...

23 March 2011:
Court liquidation: Andrew McManus Presents (NZ) wound up on Herbs’ petition
Defendant: Andrew McManus Presents (NZ) Co Ltd
Directors: Andrew McManus, Gold Coast
Applicant: John Karaka, Joseph Lundon, Morehu Watene, Gordon Joll, Toni Fonoti & Thomas Nepia (trading as a partnership performing as the band, Herbs)
Liquidators: Official Assignee
Other details: Mr McManus was a director of Impact Talent Ltd (removed from register 2009). He set up the International Touring Co in Australia in 1995, selling it to Abigroup Ltd in 2000, then established Andrew McManus Presents Pty Ltd in 2001.

ADDED I just checked the Raggamuffin Festival website, can't see any sign of Herbs having played at the event, not listed in the lineup...  According to this story from the NZ Herald, Herbs were due to reunite for the 2010 Raggamuffin Festival. Did that happen?

Updated July 25, 2011: According to the Companies Office registrar, Andrew McManus NZ is in liquidation - Andrew Mcmanus was the sole shareholder.  According to the insolvency document posted on the Companies Office site, the petitioning creditor was Dilworth Karaka of Herbs.

The lineup that was due to appear at Raggamuffin in 2010 was calling itself Pacific Herbs, featuring former Herbs members Tony Fonoti, Spencer Fusimalohi and Carl Perkins.

The 2012 Raggamuffin Festival has just been announced, their website lists the event as being staged by McManus Entertainment, which does not show up as being registered in  NZ via the Companies Office.  It appears to be Australian-based.

There's also a company called Raggamuffin Festival Limited which was incorporated on the 5th of April 2011by Leesa Tilley, who quit working for Raggamuffin/Mcmanus in December last year.

Mystery wax

One of the one dollar 12" singles I picked up at the Record Collectors Fair was a white label tune. No info, nothing, just the label name, Unit 7 (pictured above). Was a bit of a gamble, but hey, it was only a buck.

Got it home, had a listen, googled the main lyric from the chorus - "Can't get over you". Turns out it's the debut solo single by Shara Nelson, from 1986, 5 years before she sung on Unfinished Symphony by Massive Attack. Score! (I digitised the vinyl, listen below)

Can't get over you was produced by Lindel Lewis, a UK reggae producer who has worked with a huge list of reggae artists, and who left school at 17 to join his dad's steelband, The Nite Blues Steel Band (who I posted a song by earlier this week!) Read his extensive bio on his Myspace page.

I also discovered that Shara's previous release was as part of a group called The Circuit, who released a single on legendary UK reggae label On-U-Sound Records in 1983.

Walk around the Record collectors fair...

Scored eight 12"s for $5, including Shriekback, Atlantic Starr, Galaxy and Phil Fearon, and Chas Jankel. Not a bad afternoon's digging.

Lafayette afrorock

The Lafayette Afro Rock Band started out in New York in 1970, and moved to Paris in 71. They eventually hooked up with French producer Pierre Jaubert.

They are probably most well known from those who have sampled their work (Biz Markie, LL Cool J, Naughty by Nature, Digital Underground, De La Soul, Black Moon, Montell Jordan, Public Enemy, Masters at Work, Wreckx-n-Effect, Heavy D & the Boyz, Jay-Z and more). They were also DJ staples with the early hiphop DJs like Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa.

Pierre Jaubert was interviewed in Wax Poetics magazine in 2004, but not much is known about him. NZ journalist Martyn Pepperell interviewed him around the time Strut Records reissued their compilation Darkest Light, in 2009.

He posted up the transcript of the interview this week. It's a pretty astonishing read. Turns out Jaubert had a hand in discovering Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Here's the story of how he started the Lafayette Afro Rock Band.

"I started making jazz. I did Alan Silva, all those guys. You know? You ask me how did I find [The Lafayette Afro-Rock Band]. I had a studio where I didn’t record too much, and I had another studio in Paris in. So I did some recordings there of course, everyone would go there. My friend who had a studio, he had a studio on the other side of Paris, but he didn’t do jazz. He called me once and he said, “Look, I have these guys from New York. He wanted me to record them. He said, “Please take these guys. I don’t want to see them again. They want money for their music, please take care of that; bye bye.

So, here came Frankie [Abel] and Donny [Donable] and the rest of [The] Lafayette [Afro-Rock Band. I told the guys, “Okay, we can try something, and of course I recorded a few records with them. First I recorded with them as a group named Ice. It all started with Bobby Boyd as The Bobby Boyd Congress, and when Bobby Boyd went back to the [United] States, they made their own group named Ice.

I made two or three albums with Ice, but nobody could sell it. You know? I liked the music fine, but commercially you could not put it out there. I was speaking with a friend, Manu Dibango. He was at my place and we were kicking and he said, “You should do more with Ice. Get them singing and get a hit song. No covers.” So, okay, I did that. I did the next album, and then I needed a new name. You know? I could not call it Ice, because first legally you cannot register the name Ice.  There are many names like this that you cannot record under or register commercially. 

That is why you have so many variations. Ice Cube, Ice T, everybody is using ice. I thought, I’ll make a name that is easy to register to record under. In France we use complicated names, so The Lafayette Afro-Rock band, that name was kind of complicated. So I invented that and registered the name immediately. It was a group that did not exist. So when you ask me how you found [The] Lafayette [Afro-Rock Band]? There was no such group as [The] Lafayette Afro-Rock Band. I had to invent them.”  

Dozens of people, musicians, would play, you know? Manu Dibango! Willie Mabon. [The] Lafayette [Afro-Rock Band] was a garbage can. Everybody would come there and play with Frank Abel. Of course Frank would be there. So [The] Lafayette [Afro-Rock Band] was made up of guest people, guest musicians, and I owned the name. so [The] Lafayette [Afro Rock Band], that’s my group. I didn’t have any stupid people to deal with. That is the story my dear friend. It was very practical..."

Read the full interview here, at Martyn's blog. Thanks for posting it!

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, March 26

Derrick Morgan - I'm the ruler
Havana boys  -Paul's dub
Frankie Paul - Pass the tu sheng peng
Dread squad and Tenor Fly - Sweet thing
Elizabeth Archer and the Equators - Feel like making love
Amadou and Mariam - Senegal fast food
Bonobo - Eyes down
P-bass expressway - Easy ride - Downtown Brown remix
Bill Withers - Can we pretend
Esther Phillips - Use me
Rose Royce - You can't please everybody
Ananda Shankar - Dancing drums
The Meters - Tippi toes
Nite blues steel band - Mongoose
Lynn Taitt - Steppin up
Eli Goularte - Meu samba - Nicola Conte remix
Sleepwalker - Brotherhood - Mitsu the beats remix
Sharon Jones - I got the feeling
Chairmen of the board - Life and death - Danny Krivit edit
One essence - Blackness of darkness
Ray Barretto - Mercy mercy baby
Luciano - Life - Da Lata remix
Charles Bradley - No time for dreaming
The Delegates - Pygmy pt 2
Allan Toussaint - Tequila
Candi Staton - Do your duty - Pepe Braddock remix
Little dragon - Constant surprises
Dubkasm  - No retreat - extreme shift mix

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday afternoon dub

Found this via Your Heart Out blog. Absolutely gorgeous, very mad dub version of Feel Like Making Love. Heavy, heavy sounds. By Elizabeth Archer and the Equators. Story below from Your Heart Out's post...

"... the strange story of Lightning Records ... completely defies the prevailing narrative about small labels in the late '70s. It was not a media insider's plaything. It was a genuine small business, and openly opportunistic.

"It had a bizarrely mixed catalogue (novelty numbers, football anthems, punk cash-ins) but it also picked up on and made available widely some of the greatest reggae records ever, and through a WEA distribution deal had some massive hits, including Dennis Brown's Money In My Pocket and Althea & Donna's Uptown Top Ranking. ... The only other place I have seen Elizabeth's name is as a backing singer on Prince Far I's Cry Tuff Chapter 3, along with Ari Up and Viv Goldman."

Sinatra, Satchmo and death metal

Nutty. Spotted via Dangerous Minds. Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra sing death metal.

Nite blues

From an album by Nite Blues steel band, called Steel band music of the Caribbean. Album also features a cool cover of TSOP.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

US visa problems

It's not just Fat Freddy's Drop who are facing major hurdles with getting work visas for the US (see earlier post on this).

They recently had to cancel their planned US tour, including their appearance at the prestigious Coachella Festival, in part due to the high costs around getting a work visa for the US.

The Guardian reports that British musicians are having similar problems.  See "Behind the music: the red tape that stops UK bands playing SXSW"... more than 140 UK acts performed at this year's SXSW music and media conference in Austin, Texas, one of the most highly regarded events in the US music industry calendar. But some of the acts scheduled to perform at the festival were forced to withdraw due to complicated and prohibitive visa procedures.

School kids sing with Little Dragon

PS 22 Chorus x Litle Dragon, spotted via Prefix mag. Coolest videos you will see all day. Just lovely. And check out the Q&A with the kids asking Little Dragon about their fame. "How many fans do you have?"

You need more records!

The Auckland Record Collectors Fair will be held this Saturday, 26th of March at The Freemans Bay Hall, corner Wellington and Hepburn Streets in Freemans Bay, Auckland. Doors open at 10am, runs til 3pm. $4 entry – cash only, no EFTPOS. Always some goodies worth digging for. Get along.

The Dead Kenny G's

This morning thanks to the internets, I came across one of the best band names I've heard in a long time -  the Dead Kenny G's (via @Roir). I mentioned it on Twitter, and Dubdotcom sent me a link to their awesome cover of Fela Kuti's Zombie. Which sounds like this...

Afro punk reggae dub

Steel an' Skin got a reissue a few years back on the Honest Jons label. Found this tasty edit of two of their tunes, prefer the Afro punk reggae dub tune to the vocal.

This came out on 12 inch vinyl, off an album reissue on CD. From the Honest Jons site...

"Great, great rewind from Afro-Caribbean London, 1979. The 20th Century Steel Band compounds intricate Afro-Trini rhythms with reggae and dub, funk, disco and soul, not to mention the eco-operatics. Bonus tracks on the CD — plus Steve Shaw's 1979 Arts Council film of the group on the DVD."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More steel funk

Here's the tune that gave the compilation I posted yesterday its name... By John Gibbs and the US Steel Orchestra (or Unlimited Sounds of Steel Orchestra). Off the album Steel Funk from 1977, which also features a dope version of Shaft, done steel drums style. I was given a copy of this magnificent record a  few years back my a couple of very cool people who knew how much I love steel drums. Thanks Jeff and Lisa!

Augustus rock

I'm working on a new Dub Asylum EP, all melodica business. Here's a sneak preview... Let me know what you think!

Augustus rock by dubasylum

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

RIP Loleatta Holloway

"Longtime manager Ron Richardson has reported that disco & house legend Loleatta Holloway passed away this evening after slipping into a coma. No further details are known at present. She was 64 years old." From Loudersoft.

General public

Chris Dempsey (Waitemata local board, Auckland Council) has posted this on Public Address...

Wearing my elected rep hat...

Mr Brown asked the following question:
"What powers does [Rob] Shields have, what policy was he acting under, what are the damn rules anyway?"

I asked officers and got the following reply from Mr Sheilds:

"Council contractors mistakenly painted over an aerosol art work on a wall in Poynton Tce after a complaint about it by a member of the public.

The authority of the property and business owners was not sought by council officers for the removal. Council is taking full responsibility to rectify the situation and install a new artwork as soon as possible. The relevant stakeholders including the property and business owners, the Karangahape Road Business association, and the original artist are being consulted during this process.

This incident is the first of its kind that we are aware of and has provided us with the opportunity to work more closely with business and property owners and our anti-graffiti volunteers to ensure murals painted with permission are not removed by council contractors."

What officers don't know is that I know the name of the member of public.

I'm aware that the reply doesn't actually address the questions ask. I'll try again."

So, the Mayor said the Poynton tce mural was removed at the request of an anti-graffiti Council volunteer. But Rob Shields says it was a complaint from a member of the public that led to its removal. Two different stories.

UPDATE: Russell Brown has told me via Twitter that the Mayor's statement is the correct one.

UPDATE TWO: Russell Brown posted this:
via the Mayor’s press officer...
"Tony Crampton is an Auckland Council officer and performs as part of his job graffiti education and volunteer project duties. He is not the Individual that Len referred to as an anti-graffiti volunteer and Chris referred to as a member of the public. Unpaid members of the public work in partnership with council as part of the council’s anti-graffiti programmes across Auckland."

Record store day is coming

Coming to a record store near you, on April 16th. Auckland has events at Real Groovy and Conch Records. And Frank Kozik has come up with this wee chap, called RPM... and then there's the exclusive Dennis Coffey seven inch single coming out on Record Store Day with a Steinski remix on it....

Steel Funk

Steel Funk is a mean compilation of some fine funky steel drum action. Aquarium Drunkard blog has a few tunes over here to catch. Cissy Strut (nice warmup for the Funky Meters gig on April 15) and Funky Stuff. Go get em.

full track listing... just to make ya jealous... I've got this comp and the second volume of it too.

Side A
01 - The Dutch Rhythm and Steel Band
02 - Sapodilla Punch - Hold on i'm coming
03 - Trinidad & Tobago Steel all stars - Do your thing
04 - Trinidad Steel drummers - Cissy Strut
05 - Original Tropicana Steel Band - Funky abbey road
06 - Carl Mc Knights Sweat and Steel Drum Band - Aint no sunshine

Side B
01 - Original Tropicana Steel Band - Calypso rock
02 - Earl Rodney - Midnight Man
03 - 20 th Century Steel Band - Heaven and Hell is on earth
04 - Nite Blues Steel Band - T.S.O.P
05 - Carl McKnights Sweat and Steel Drum Band - The Devils out tonight

Welli gets the cleanup

Following on from Len Brown's accidental blanking of the Poynton Terrace mural, I've heard of similar rumblings on Wellington. Anyone in Welli seen the outcome of this clean up? Please let me know via the comments.

Official press release, via (hat tip to Component)

'Spruce up' blitz for Cuba Mall

Wellington City Council workers will be in Cuba Mall from 7am to 2pm today (March 21) helping to 'spruce up' and remove graffiti in the mall and the Left Bank.

Council CitiOperations Manager Mike Mendonca says with increasing amounts of graffiti in the area and a record number of visitors expected for Rugby World Cup 2011 a blitz on graffiti is well overdue.

"Our crews will do more than their usual cleaning on targeted areas. They will be blasting away dirt, removing graffiti and stickers, touching up paint and improving the look of gardens and street furniture. The main clean up will be today but we will be finishing things up throughout the week.

"Council crews usually only work in public spaces, but the spruce-up will also see us working with private building owners."

With support from the Police, the Council staff will also be giving out clean-up kits to retailers containing graffiti remover, sponges and brushes and an information brochure with tips on how to continue to keep their premises clean.

"We want to encourage retailers to keep their premises clean on an on-going basis after we leave and keep it looking great and feeling safe for both residents and visitors."

Mr Mendonca says agreement has also been reached with property owners to block a private accessway from the Left Bank to Ghuznee Street. This is expected to reduce opportunities for further vandalism in the area."

Meanwhile in Melbourne...
Graffiti vandal's 'art' on show at Cat Food Press, East Brunswick (hat tip to Nigel for this)
"This loser is all that's wrong with this country. Work hard, get attacked. Be a criminal loser and you are an internet superstar..."

Monday, March 21, 2011

High Noon Tea playlist, KiwiFM

High Noon Tea is a NZ reggae and downtempo show I do on KiwiFM every Sunday from 3-5pm, repeated Friday 2-4pm. I also record a version of it for Air NZ's inflight audio, so check that out next time you're jetting off overseas. Here's what the radio show sounds like...

Cornerstone roots - Forward the sax
Fat Freddys Drop - Hope  -Sonsine remix
Jahlicious - Panicked
Pitch black - Unadrumma - Sunshine sound system remix
Sound foundation - Lethal dub
Ladi 6  -Burn with me
T-Son - March of the troglodytes
Shogun orchestra - Legane
Aquaboogie - Brown lawn
Onelung - Mystery cake love
Salmonella dub - Problems - Zion train remix
International observer - Vale
Karl Marx project - Mists
Recloose - Still beyond me
Illphonics - Deeper
Tubbs - Useless
Murk108 - The soldier
Stinky Jim - Triple agent
Scratch 22 - Medicine man
Plastic junk - Man from Atlantis
Wild Bill Ricketts - Loo loo

UPDATED: I was replaced as show host in June 2011, although the KiwiFM website still lists me as host.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Toy Selectah

Free tune of the new ep from Toy Selectah called Mex Machine, on the Mad Decent label.

"Toy Selectah's "Half-Colombian Half-Mexican Bandit" has been on our radar for a minute because of its innovative bi-visualed music video. The track pays tribute to his roots—from his national connections to his come up in rap music. You can grab it on his new EP Mex Machine, out now from Mad Decent. It features collabs with Mumdance and Isa GT."