Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shalamar doco

Spotted via Twitter from Harry Allen (yep, THAT Harry Allen, PE alumni). Mean.

Doug Hream Blunt

Read this great story over on Martyn Pepperells' blog, damn it's a cool read. Doug Hream Blunt dropped a few tunes in the late 90s, then disappeared. Martyn tracked him down, after discovering his music "while trawling the internet for a Dam Funk remix of an Ariel Pink song. Googling both artist’s names together, the first entry to come up was a blog post in the Line Out Section of thestranger.com. Titled ‘Dam-Funk X Ariel Pink = Doug Hream Blunt’, writer Dave Segal’s post included a YouTube link to ‘Gentle Persuasion’."

“Yes, this is Doug Blunt! Who is this?”
Speaking down the line from San Francisco, Doug Hream Blunt literally can’t understand a word I’m saying. To be fair though, he has probably never had a phone call from New Zealand before. The loud background noise of a TV set playing and several children running rampage around the house isn’t helping either. For a moment I consider abandoning ship. “Oh, you’re from New Zealand right?” says Blunt, speaking with a tone which makes me realise he knows exactly who I am and why I’m calling.

Whist speaking with this highly underrated San Francisco singer and musician, this sort of dichotomy characterises all. With an accent which mixes American and Caribbean, Blunt will swing from having no idea what I’m saying, to connecting completely with my questions, in the process displaying an amazing degree of enthusiasm. On the other side of the scale, he’ll just as quickly disconnect from me, slowly trailing off with his sentences. And as someone familiar with his highly prized musical output, every answer or reaction sits perfectly with his sound.

I first became aware of Blunt’s work while trawling the internet for a Dam Funk remix of an Ariel Pink song. Googling both artist’s names together, the first entry to come up was a blog post in the Line Out Section of thestranger.com. Titled ‘Dam-Funk X Ariel Pink = Doug Hream Blunt’, writer Dave Segal’s post included a YouTube link to ‘Gentle Persuasion’.

An incredible song, ‘Gentle Persuasion’ blends the hazy lo-fi aesthetic Ariel Pink has become associated with, with the early eighties boogie funk/RnB feels often connected to Dam Funk; evening throwing some carribbean/tropical touches in for good measure. I was absolutely floored over by this waking dream of a tune. Faded as hell, the song sees Blunt alternate between singing macked out sexual innuendos and noodling away on his guitar. The sort of player who goes so out of key on his solos that he actually comes back into key, Blunt is aptly supported by some super beached keyboards, strutting bass, snappy drums and a gorgeous female backing vocal.

Completely captured by ‘Gentle Persuasion’, after some specific digging, I made contact with Blunt’s LA based label, OT Records and Fun. Through them I purchased copies of both Blunt’s 12inch ‘Gentle Persuasion’ record and a CD album of the same name. OT Records and Fun also put me onto a series of video clips on vimeo.com. Taken from CITYVISIONS, a public access TV channel in San Francisco, the three incredible clips show Blunt and what looks like a band of high school music students syncing along to three of Blunt’s songs: ‘Ride The Tiger’, ‘Love Land’ and ‘Caribbean Queen’. The clips are incredible, easily some of the most amazing examples of a hypnagogic state I’ve ever seen.

Rocking a mini-afro, slender black aviator shades and a cream suit, Blunt holds down guitar and vocals. His band consists of a white girl with big hair and blue denim jeans on guitar, another white chick with a cowboy hat and a leather jacket on keys, what appears to be an Indian woman in a lime shirt on bass, a funny little bearded guy on vibraphone and a spiky haired guy in a striped blue shirt on drums. Backed by a black backdrop, and positioned on a blue stage, in reference to Hypnagogic states, all three videos have a weird quality to them which makes you think they might not actually be real. It’s kind of like the sci-fi/fantasy story trope about the shop weird shop you visit once and get a gremlin from. The strange shop you can’t ever find again and seems to have been replaced by a brick wall. I was obsessed and I needed to know more.

Juggling talking with me on the phone with entertaining his three children (“They really are a handful,” he says with a happy sigh), Blunt slowly lets me in on the best kept secret that is his back story. The facts are interspersed with constant laughter and a reoccurring sense of disbelief that someone from New Zealand is talking to him on the phone. “I was born in Arkansas originally, but I came to San Francisco when I was younger, when I was seven,” he says, after repeating my question about where he is from back to himself several times. This parroted verbal repetition is a habit he displays throughout our interview.

While his parents were music lovers, they didn’t play any musical instruments themselves. That was something Blunt would have to pick up for himself later in life. Still, between them and the rest of the people on his street, he had the love of music drilled into him from young. ” I was raised in this poor neighbourhood in San Francisco,” he passionately reflects, placing emphasis on the word “poor”. “The only thing we had to do was listen to music. You know? It was really poor. You couldn’t go outside and stuff. All you could do was just listen to music. It was funny. I got addicted to it.” Raised on RnB and Rock and Roll, Blunt quickly became a record collector. As he puts it, in a very matter of fact way, “I was of that generation, so I collected, you know? I collected a lot of vinyl cause I was of that generation.”

Name-checking The Whispers and Jimi Hendrix (a name he will come back to later), Blunt had been playing guitar and singing for, in his words, “six or seven years,” when he hooked up with a young studio owner named Victor Flaviani to record at his Flaviani Recording Studios in San Francisco. As to when exactly this occurred however, Blunt is close to blank. The best he can hazard is sometime in the late 90s. “Victor [Flaviani] was a music teacher,” Blunt happily recalls. He had a music workshop so he was able to do the album for me in there.”
As to why he wanted to record a record at the time, Blunt is just as faded as he is with exact dates. “I don’t know why man? I have no idea?” he laughs. What he does remember though, is he recorded it in less than a week. “Victor was new to studio work,” Blunt says. “Since he was new, he didn’t ask a lot. And I didn’t ask a lot, cause I didn’t know a lot,” he explains, trailing off with a giggle. In terms of his studio band, Blunt teamed up with some musician friends, a couple of Flaviani’s music students, Flaviani’s sisters and even Victor himself on drums. It sounds pretty ad hoc and somewhat slapped together, and it kind of was, but not completely. “I wasn’t just whoever I could get though,” Blunt passionately states. “I felt that they could all do it you know. If I thought you could do it, I let you do it!”

Defining a capable musician as one who, as he puts it after a lot of serious thought, “Can keep a beat and keep the time and knows his chords,” Blunt’s ultimate musical icon is Jimi Hendrix. “I like Jimi Hendrix,” he enthuses with a touch of frustration. “I’ve been trying to get a weird sound like that, but I can’t get it!” “I want to sound like that, but,” seemingly on the verge of a big statement, he just trails off, dropping into silence for a few semi sad moments. Ironically, what Blunt doesn’t seem to realise, yet is constantly ticking over, and occasionally interjecting my questions with his own questions about, is his lionised cult status.

On ‘Gentle Persuasion’, an album inspired by, like he explains, “the life experiences of living all over California,” Blunt and his ragtag band of players throw down a series of seven fundamentally Californian (and cross-genre jams). Musically, the record is the sound of spending your whole life in a haze of weed smoke, whiskey and women on the beaches of California. They’re the sort of daydream funk meets glazed over radio rock jams that make doing nothing but staring at the wall all day seem like a pretty cool idea. You can literally feel how much time Blunt must have spent chilling on corners and stoops across the state, taking it all in, one breath at a time. Subconsciously drawing his lyrics from these languid days, Blunt views music as something which just pops out and comes through you. His favourite jam is his tune ‘Wiskey Man’, a tune built around the repeated refrain “I got to be mellow”. And if you ask him where he got his sound from, his answer is simple, and so damn cool. “I got it from California man!”

In terms of what he has done on the live circuit, Blunt is just as vague as he is with recording dates. He mentions having held a few gigs singing and playing guitar at the local hospital. Then there is the CITYVISIONS performance, which in typical Blunt fashion, he has minimal factual memories about and a maximum emotional response. “I don’t know man,” he says, speaking with a special emphasis which makes you realise those televised song were a special moment for him. “It was just something that happened, and I just did it. It was good. It was good to be on TV, and I did it!”

These days, Blunt is a lot more low-profile with the music. He’s a father with a young family. Worryingly though, the major reason he hasn’t been playing is he had a stoke recently. “I’m getting back on my feet, but that took it out of me,” he admits, with an underlying mixture of strength and sadness. “That was a lesson man. It doesn’t really bother me that much though, not now.” Still, as a result he isn’t playing guitar. As a replacement, Blunt has been playing the congas (perhaps an extension of flourishes of tropical feel on his earlier work?) and taking trumpet lessons. Alternating between happy and sad, he makes and amusing and really exciting musical threat. “When I’ve finished studying trumpet I will probably go back to record with Victor Flaviani and try and do some singing behind the trumpet .”

Blunt doesn’t use the internet and as a result is more or less ignorant of his cult artist status and the astronomical prices people attempt to retail copies of his twelve inch record and CD for on the internet. During our conversation I actually get the sense that processing the stories I tell him about the niche interest in his music and the manner in which it presages plenty of contemporary musical trends is probably making it difficult for him to focus on my questions. As alien as the idea is to him, he is very enthusiastic about it. The thing is though, as you can tell from listening to his songs and his earlier comments, he is one hell of a chilled out dude. People find him, he doesn’t find people. Equally, as opposed to seeking out opportunities, opportunity seeks him out. It’s situations like this which have lead to his current arrangement with OT Records and Fun, who have been pumping his CDs and vinyl records out to music lovers across the globe, for a fair, affordable price. Similarly, it’s thanks to OT Records and Fun that I’m able to interview Blunt.

Doug Hream Blunt might be unknown, he might be underrated, and he might even stay that way forever. I get the sense that none of that really matters to Blunt though. He’s made music, played music, has a family and is experiencing a late career resurgence he probably never even imagined would occur. It’s the “well ahead of your time” scenario that so many truly great artists suffer from. Regardless of what happens from here on in, one thing is certain, Doug Hream Blunt is gonna remain chilled out as hell, just like his awesomely casual musical output.

Bottling the essence of everything carefree about California isn’t easy, unless you’re so laid back, you didn’t even have to think about trying. Which in a nutshell is - the Doug Hream Blunt story.

If you want to purchase the vinyl or CD then you can contact otrecords@hotmail.com

Distance from view

Distance from view is the debut album from Auckland-based DJ and producer Scratch 22, and it's out this week. He's stitched together an epic sweep of sonic sauciness, that takes you on a rather splendid journey. There's student radio faves Medicine Man, and Window Rattle, plus a ton of other great tunes. Think DJ Shadow or RJD2, add in some David Axelrod and a healthy dose of Ennio Morricone and you're on the right track... Have a listen below.

Read Rip It Up's interview with Scratch 22 by Martyn Pepperell, over here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Love dancing

Preview a track off the album from Arthur's Landing, out now... download it too if you like

"Love Dancing" (Is It All Over My Face) (mediafire)

Arthur's Landing- Love Dancing (Is It All Over My Face) by Strut

"Strut is thrilled to present the debut album by Arthur’s Landing, a morphing collective of musicians who worked with the late and revered Downtown New York singer / songwriter and virtuoso cellist Arthur Russell at various times during his career, from his experimental pop (The Sailboats) and modern classical (Singing Tractors) to his avant-garde disco projects (Loose Joints, Dinosaur L)..."

WATCH: Arthurs Landing discuss their album project and the late Arthur Russell...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

High Noon Tea playlist, KiwiFM, 17 April 3-5pm

Tubbs - The professional
Illphonics - One of those days
Mycroft Holmes - Sideshow viewing
Rhombus - Piano dub
Opensouls -Sweet love - Mabanua remix
Tehimana Kerr - Xit
Joint force - Nightmare dub
Salmonella dub - Push on thru - Adrian Sherwood remix
Cornerstone roots - Future is now
Phase 5 - Realistic biscuit
Jellphonic and LP - Beatsreal flip
Riki Gooch - Ode to a vegetable
Chrostoph el Truento - Meow
Sola rosa - Del ray - Chancha via curcuito remix
Fat Freddys Drop - Shiverman
Pitch black -1000 mile drift - International observer remix
Lord echo - Thinking of you
NSU - West coast dub - Dub asylum remix
Pacific heights - TK funk
Karl marx project - Ares
Loudhaler - 30 degrees on the rocks
Onelung - Dark carousel
Downtown brown - Late edition
Scratch 22 - For walking faces

Show repeats Friday 2-4pm.

R.I.P Barbie

If you were in the music scene in Auckland in the late 80s and early 90s, you will have crossed paths with Barbie Francks. She was a ball of energy, a crazy, inspired woman always bursting with ideas. She was a BFM DJ, and I first came across her as she was good friends with Lisa van der Aarde, who managed my band Hallelujah Picassos (Lisa hosted BFM's Freak The Sheep show). She was also a music journalist - I recall her interviewing the Picassos for Rip It Up magazine.

Barbie came on tour with us once, as our driver. We were going down to do some shows in Napier and Gisbourne. She was a crazy driver too, from memory. Barbie died suddenly of a heart attack on Friday, aged 50. Much love to her partner Phil and her children.

From NZ Herald: FRANCKS, Linda (Barbie). On 16 April 2011 suddenly at Auckland City Hospital. Loved partner of Phil. Mother of Patrick, Bella and Lawson.
ADDED There's a wake for Barbie, this Friday April 22 from 1pm at The Thirsty Dog, 469 K Rd.

ADDED Some photos from the wake are here on Facebook, more on the event page here, plus a short video clip I shot, below.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Record Store Day tomorrow

The NZ Herald did a cool story on Record Store Day, talking to a few folk including Nick D, Rose Matafeo, Tanya Perrie, Dustin Lindale at Conch Records, and Sarah Williamson, store manager of Real Groovy Records AK.

"... Williamson says it is not only the tactile quality of records that is luring young people back from the MP3s. Some are drawn to the superior sound.

"And it's the nature of listening to music that they learn about. The process of sitting down putting a record on and sharing it with other people; this whole sort of "in ear" headphone culture is making music less accessible I think. It's too private."

While Real Groovy's clientele spans a vast range of ages and musical interests, Williamson says she has definitely noticed more young collectors spending their pocket money on retro albums.
"I've seen kids who look like they could be 11 or 12, they are the raddest little kids. They know what they want, they look around, they buy stuff."

Read the full story here


So, do they still make flexidiscs? Yes they do. Where? In Australia, as it happens... got this email yesterday from Vinyl Factory, the crowd that pressed by Dub Asylum - Ba ba boom 7" vinyl single and did a great job on it too.

"Vinyl Factory Australia is proud to announce that we have begun producing flexi-discs. We have been the very lucky recipients of the last remaining flexi-disc machine, formerly owned by Ambassador press, and last in operation in 1989 in Sydney!
For the last 20 years it has been stored in a shed in Canberra. Vinyl Factory has reconditioned the machine and updated a lot of the gear and are now very happy to be producing flexis.
Pricing is set at the introductory level of 62 cents per disc plus setup costs . Min qty of 1000. Single or double sided available." Contact Vinyl Factory online here.

Getting hitched

Here's a wedding invitation that folds into functioning record player + flexidisc. Classy.

Paper Record Player from kellianderson on Vimeo.

Hawaiian haka step

I recently finished a remix from NSU, a local electronica/techno producer. He's pulled together a handful of talented  local musicians and producers to remix his debut ep Escape, and it's coming out at the end of April. You can preview my remix below. A mate of mine called my remix "Hawaiian haka step" which I kinda like...

Full audio of all the tracks over here at Bandcamp.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Photo: Dustandgrooves

New post up at Dust and Grooves, the excellent site profiling record collectors, vinyl junkies, and wax fiends. This edition is an interview with well respected DJ Rich Medina. Go read it right now.

"... I come from a family of “collectors”, though their reasons were far different than mine when I started. My parent’s parents migrated north from Alabama and the Kentucky/Ohio border near the turn of the century, via The Underground Railroad.

With that, their need to keep and care for things they considered valuable stemmed from not truly having anything to call their own prior to migrating north...

... I really appreciate this gift from my family, because it taught me to care for my belongings and investments on a higher level now, as a man. I think I became a “collector” prior to leaving home for college...

... Vinyl is the origin of my personal love for music, aside from 8 track tape, my grandparent’s church, piano lessons, and 70’s radio. I was simply born during a time where these were the primary consumer mediums for music, so I really don’t know any better. I am not so much of a purist that I have bad thoughts or words for other mediums though.

"I think I went through that phase when the iPod hit the marketplace for like a year. Then, I found myself purchasing one and strolling the streets with 3,00 songs in this little machine. I found the merit in technology then for sure.

But beyond that, the sonic quality of the vinyl format is so warm and full when compared to all digital mediums it’s ridiculous. There is no reputable argument for that point. Storage space is not the baseline issue when discussing the collection of music. The music and your relationship with that music is the baseline issue..."

Oddisee vs Has-Lo

Dirty beats from Oddisee, remixing Has-Lo. Free DL too. Nice. Have a listen

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

J Rocc in Japan

This video is kinda fun. I dig it. "Mayer Hawthorne filmed this on his iPhone when the two were on tour in Japan, and edited it on his laptop on the flight back home."

Stay Fresh is a cut off J Rocc's wicked album Some Cold Rock Stuf.

Scratch 22 interview

Cheese on Toast interviewed talented young Auckland DJ and producer Scratch 22 about his debut album, out next week on Round Trip Mars Records, and also getting released in Europe thru Wax On Records (the label run by Nightmares on Wax).

Listen to Medicine Man, the first single off the album below. Single released this week.

Keep digging!

Via Fleamarket Funk...

" ... The last of the dying breed was Black Cat Records in Red Bank, NJ. Owned by former Lifetime vocalist Ari Katz, a seasoned veteran of music, it too eventually fell to the times, closing it’s doors for good in the early 2000′s. Let’s face it, with the portability of the CD and now MP3′s, us vinyl nerds are a dying breed.

That’s why on this Saturday, April 16th, we need to support our local vinyl slinger for National Record Day. So go on and do that, until then, click the link to check out 40 sad portraits of record stores that closed. You may have even shopped in one of them. Keep Diggin’!"

See 40 Sad Portraits of Closed Record Stores

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Record Store Day this Saturday

Record Store Day is happening again this Saturday. Here's a few shops locally putting on some fun n games...

Conch Records, Auckland
Conch will be celebrating the day with an in-store performance from Karlmarx (Isaac Aesili, ex Solaa, Opensouls). Karlmarx is the artist name for production duo Isaac Aesili (aka Karl) and Mark McNeill. Isaac is based in Auckland and his brother Mark is based in  Christchurch. Karlmarx have enjoyed radio support by Benji B (BBC 1Xtra) and Lefto (Brownswood). The song “Mists“ is featured on the Brownswood comp “Lefto & Simbad present Worldwide Family Vol.1“.
More info... http://www.conch.co.nz/word/?p=6521

Real Groovy Auckland
Real Groovy will be buzzing with DJs playing live their favourite tracks on vinyl including Dai Henwood, Tom Scott (Homebrew), DJ Sir Vere, Tina Turntables, Murray Cammick (Founder of Wildside Records), John Baker (Promoter) Stephen Heard (NZ Musician Magazine, Clap Clap Riot) Death Valley, Nick Bollinger (NZ music author), as well as Heart Attack Alley playing live; Plus giveaways, face painting and exclusive vinyl releases.

Beat Merchants  555 Great North rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland.
DJs (Dubhead, Merge, Tokyo Prose, Dave Seeka and more), live graffiti art and more. 11am til 6pm.

Slow Boat Records Wellington

Instore performances from APRA Silver Scroll and Taite Prize winning singer-songwriter Lawrence Arabia, plus a nifty duo performance from Nina and Matt from local indie faves The Family Cactus more tbc. And an array of exclusive Record Store Day vinyl. http://slowboatrecords.co.nz/

Sadly, Real Groovy Wellington is closing down over the next few months - but fear not, Record Store Day is all go! Their celebration will be of the history and legacy Real Groovy Wellington. They'll be hosting guest musicians (and customers) from 12 noon to play their favourite LPs; there will also be a sausage sizzle and prize packs to give away. Then It's over to the Southern Cross for a Record Store Day celebration night! A massive Music Quiz with a prize to fight for. Live bands and DJs. Special deals on the superb Southern Cross food. And a fun time for all!

8-bit rudeboy

Utterly mad reggae/ska made with gaming consoles. Amusing or painful? You decide.

"This album is a collection of reggae, ska, dub, and everything in between, played on a variety of game consoles. It was organized by Euan Lynn (TraceKaiser) on 8-Bit Collective (www.8bitcollective.com), and features a variety of artists from around the world."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why vinyl records are better

"Why vinyl records are better" from  Rotorua Daily Post, reporting on the record fair there last weekend.

"Craig Roberts bought three records at the Rotorua Record Fair at Ngongotaha Hall yesterday. He said he had recently got back into listening to vinyl, buying a new record player after finding some old LPs he had in the attic.

"I just fancied listening to them again."

He said he liked listening to records because they brought back memories from years ago and he considered the sound quality to be better than CDs, as long as the records weren't scratched."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Stac it up

Wahwah 45s have been running a remix competition for one of their artists, Stac. You can download the runners up for free. Go have a listen, below.

High Noon Tea, KiwiFM 10 April 3-5pm

Black seeds - One step at a time - JStar remix
Jahlicious - Minds eye
Unitone hifi  -Hair farmer
Paddy Free - Wairua
Eru Dangerspiel - Coq au vin
Stinky Jim - Triple agent
Electric wire hustle - Perception
Karl Marx project - Mists
Conray - Nice to come home
International observer - War memorial museum peace
Pitch black - Urbanoia
Katchafire - Dub did it - Mr Reliable remix
Fat freddys drop - Big BW - DJ Vadim remix
DLT - Black panthers
Scratch22 - Medicine man
Nathan Haines - Squire for hire
Trinity roots - Just like you - Jet Jaguar remix
Fruity - Sliced and diced
Jefferson Belt - Green termite
Projector - Principle dub
Snypa levi - Inna the dance
Wild Bill Ricketts - Riki

Show repeats on Friday 2-4pm.

Angry monster car

Best bit - triggered by turntables.... It's in Aotea Square now, til Tuesday. Runs 10am til 10pm. Looks way cool after dark too.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, April 9

African head charge - Mysterious happenings
Dennis Bovell - Rowing (version)
Morgan Heritage feat Shabba Ranks - Dem a brawl
Slim Smith - Conversation
Herbs - French letter - dub version
African head charge - African bredda
King Tubby vs Wu Tang - Dubbing it raw
Junk - 99c strut
The Meters - Tippi toes
Sister sledege - Lost in music
J-Rocc - Too many clowns
East side symphony - Hot pants road
Mo kolours - Biddies
Redds and the boys - Put you right hand in the air....
New order - Confusion
Dennis Coffey feat Mayer Hawthorne - All your goodies are gone
The Supremes - Your wonderful sweet sweet love
Village crusaders - Akiwawa
Shirley Bassey - Light my fire - Kenny Dope remix
Black velvet - An earthquake's coming
Ray Barretto - Pastime paradise
Willie Colon - Che che cole
Barrington Levy - Dances are changing
African head charge - Dobbyn joins the head charge
Ackie - Call me Rambo
Kabanjack - Dub to go - Ancient astronauts remix
J Rocc - Party
Riki Gooch - Bakade Vavoor

Friday, April 08, 2011

Come as you were

Business writer and former Flying Nun muso Nick Smith has written a piece for today's NZ Herald business section, and opinion piece on the death of recorded music.

The article is called "After the soundtrack, the silence." Subheading is "First vinyl and cassettes - now it's music itself that's facing extinction...."

some extracts... "... Long story short: Private equity and transnational banks bid up the price of music conglomerates, loading them with debt at a time when they had lost control of their revenue channels because of illegal downloads. Now they need to create new ways of making money from music or face oblivion. Their predicament has prompted headlines such as the Independent's "Labels face the day recorded music died" [republished by NZ Herald here].

".... An important occasion like a funeral does require a soundtrack. But for me, Nirvana's Nevermind, released in 1991 and the last piece of new vinyl I ever bought, is better listening than any fat lady.

"The song Come As You Are powered through a 1970s amp connecting two monstrous pairs of 1960s English speakers is punching holes in the walls as I type...."

"The reason I stopped buying vinyl is because record companies sold so few LPs they stopped making them...."

When I posted a link to Nick's story on Twitter earlier, it got a pretty negative reaction. The general tone was it was hopeless out of touch.

The music business is still making money, especially  off publishing, where you are dealing with legacy artists for example. As for suggesting "The reason I stopped buying vinyl is because record companies sold so few LPs they stopped making them"... Nick needs to do some research.

The other big story mainstream media like to write about the music industry, apart from "the music industry is dying" is the other chestnut, "Look, vinyl is making a comeback". Some journo writes this story somewhere in the world on average at least once or twice a week.

There is a wealth of artists releasing new music on vinyl. And a ton of legacy artists getting good quality reissues on vinyl. Maybe some nice person could take Nick record shopping.

ADDED one response on Twitter... "royalty income from music in 2010 was at record levels as was amount of music released..." from Simon Grigg.

ADDED Nick's article also includes this quote often attributed to Hunter S Thompson: "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

Dave Roper pointed out to me that it is incorrect (thanks, Dave). Thompson has had numerous variants of that quote attributed to him, with various industries inserted ie radio business, show business etc.

The quote comes from Thompson's book called Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80s. It reads...

"The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.

Which is more or less true. For the most part, they are dirty little animals with huge brains and no pulse. Every once in a while, they will toss up a token human like Ed Bradley or Edwin Newman or Hughes Rudd... and there are others, no doubt, like Studs Terkel in Chicago and the twisted Rev. Gene Scott, who works like a sleepless ferret in the maniac bowels of Southern California....

But these are only the exceptions that prove the hideous rule. Mainly we are dealing with a profoundly degenerate world, a living web of foulness, greed and treachery... which is also the biggest real business around and impossible to ignore. You can't get away from TV. It is everywhere. The hog is in the tunnel."
Source: Urbanlegends.com

On U

I saw this album on CD in a shop recently, but it had no date on the cover, so wasn't able to tell if it was new or a reissue. Happy to report that I've discovered it's a brand new album from amazing dub outfit African Head Charge, once again teaming up with legendary producer  Adrian Sherwood, the man behind On-U -Sound'. Audio previews below.

It is a UK label with an incredible back catalog of great reggae and dub, going back to the 1980s and 1990s. Think Bim Sherman, Dub Syndicate, Tackhead, New Age Steppers, Gary Clail, Little Annie... so many.... This year is the label's 30th anniversary too.

African Head Charge are responsible for one of my favourite albums ever, In Pursuit of Shashamane Land, from 1993. The new album is called Voodoo of the Godsent... here's the info from On U's website....

"The first release to mark On-U Sound’s 30th anniversary sees African Head Charge return with a brand new album, Voodoo Of The Godsent, out on March 28th.

Formed in the early 80’s by On-U head honcho Adrian Sherwood and percussionist Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah, African Head Charge have established a unique reputation over the years for producing exceptionally beautiful and deeply strange music.

This is their first release since 2005’s Visions of a Psychedelic Africa and sees Bonjo once again joining forces with long time On-U stable-mates Skip McDonald, Crocodile and the Crispy Horns together with contributions from legendary bassist George Oban, Dancehall pioneer Jazzwad and electronic wizard Adamski. All the elements of a classic Head Charge album; a triumphant mix of dub, psychedelia, trance, afro and tribal rhythms that have given them their own unique place in contemporary music.

Voodoo of the Godsent will be followed in April by the re-release of 3 seminal On-U Sound albums: Creation Rebel’s “Starship Africa”, African Head Charge’s “Off the Beaten Track” and The New Age Steppers’ eponymous first album that was the first ever LP release on the On-U Sound label..."

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Mo Kolours

Free tune from a new EP from Mo Kolours. Tasty, bleepy stuff.

"EP1: Drum Talking will be out in May featuring five tracks of Mo's unique combination of Mauritian sega music, dub, soul, jazz and various electronic styles, plus a heavyweight edit. Biddies is a bumping house-not-house gem propelled by Mo's handclaps, vocal manipulations and chants that draws an invisible line between the work of Theo Parrish and Gonjasufi while staying firmly in its own lane..."

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Riki Gooch on a roll

Last month Riki Gooch dropped a brand new EP, via Bandcamp, called Cave Circles, and this week he's released Cave Circles 2. Dude is a machine! Go grab it.

Scratch 22

Local producer and DJ Scratch 22 has his debut album Distance From View coming out in a few weeks. Here's a way cool preview mix of the album. First single out April 11.

Steel up!

A few weeks back, I did a series of posts of some cool steel drum tunes, like the Nite Blues Steel Band, John Gibbs and Steel funk, and Steel an Skin. Most of these are off obscure albums that are pretty damn hard to find.

So I am delighted to point you in the direction of a brand new compilation that has just come out, on CD and vinyl and is readily accessible to one and all. It's called West Indies Funk, and is the follow up to an earlier compilation called Disc-o-lypso.

West Indies Funk has a great track listing, including one of my fave steel drum covers of all time, I want you Back (original by Jackson 5) done by the Esso Trinidad Steel Band (listen above). Plus steel drum covers of Hot Pants Road, Funky Stuff (original by Kool and the gang) and Syd Jones and the Troubadours doing Cardova by The Meters.

Available at all good records stores, like Conch Records in Ponsonby. Listen to audio samples off the album here at Light in the Attic.

1. Syd Jones and The Troubadours - Cardova
2. The Troubadours - No Names Bar
3. Dutch Rhythm, Steel and Showband - Funky Stuff
4. St. Vincent's Supersound Latinaires Orchestra - Hot Pants I'm Comin
5. The East Side Symphony - Hot Pants Road
6. The Esso Trinidad Steel Band - I Want You Back
7. Willie Dickson and The Playboys - Licking Stick
8. Wendell Stuart and the Downbeaters - My World Is Empty
9. St. Vincent's Supersound Latinaires Orchestra - Roasted Or Frie
10. Dutch Rhythm, Steel and Showband - Down By The River
11. The Guinness Cassanovas - Stormy

I also just discovered that Hugh Borde, the leader of the Esso Trinidad Steel Band (also known as Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band) moved to the US in 1976 and settled in Ypsilanti, Michigan. According to the Recordo Obscura blog, "He still carries on doing shows with the band. Apparently they will be playing The Great Lakes Folk Festival this year (2009) and surely other shows as well."

Monday, April 04, 2011

LCD last show - go watch!

LCD Sound System played their last ever show last night, at Madison Square Gardens, to 20,000 fans. Pitchfork streamed the video of it live, and I'm surprised the NZ internets didnt come crashing down, cos everyone I knew was watching it.

Pitchfork have posted the ENTIRE video on Youtube, with handy time listings for each song. Bless em! Check the rousing version of North American Scum, followed by a hilarious intro to the next song from James Murphy, their splendid cover of Alan Vega's Bye Bye Bayou, which he says is the first and last time they will ever play that song live. "Welcome to our rehearsal".

Here's a great review of the show, hat tip to Owen H for the link

ADDED Troubled Souls Unite has posted all the audio as downloads.

Set 1:
2:10 Dance Yrself Clean (with "I'm Not In Love" by 10cc intro)
12:40 Drunk Girls
17:09 I Can Change
23:45 Time To Get Away
28:16 Get Innocuous!
35:18 Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
41:45 Too Much Love
46:53 All My Friends
55:30 Tired (with "Heart of the Sunrise" by Yes snippet)

Set 2:
45:33 Part One
45:33 Part Two (w/ Reggie Watts)
Sound of Silver
45:33 Part Four
45:33 Part Five (w/ Shit Robot)
45:33 Part Six
Freak Out/Starry Eyes

Set 3:
1:54:39 Us v Them
2:04:00 North American Scum (with Arcade Fire)
2:11:45 Bye Bye Bayou (Alan Vega cover)
2:16:30 You Wanted A Hit
2:24:07 Tribulations
2:29:15 Movement
2:33:48 Yeah (Crass Version)

Set 4:
2:45:30 Someone Great
2:53:06 Losing My Edge (With "Da Funk" by Daft Punk snippet)
3:03:36 Home

Set 5:
3:15:53 All I Want
3:22:18 Jump Into the Fire (Harry Nilsson Cover)
3:30:30 New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down (with "Twin Peaks Theme" by Angelo Badalamenti intro)

beatz n peaces

Found these local beat makers after checking this compilation... from Finest Ego Beatmaker Platform. Check em out.

Ben Jamin''(Soundlcoud)

Ben Jamin" x Y∆HN LøÔK∑ PIc∆RD - Seoul 85 by Ben Jamin''

LA Riot ►♫◄‼▲▼ by Ben Jamin''

Matt Miller (Soundcloud) - check his Rose Royce rework....

The Calm by mattmiller.

Love Dont Live Here by mattmiller.

One of the beatmakers listed on that site up top is local lad and BaseFM DJ Christoph El Turento. Check his new EP out, then give him some money.

Riki Gooch and The Grand Szechuan

Found this on Bandcamp, Riki Gooch (Eru Dangerspiel/Trinity Roots) playing an Eru Dangerspeil tune, Backfoot.

Info on the tune from Bandcamp.... "performed at The Toff in Town, Melbourne. 29th September 2010. Engineered and recorded by Brett Doig (Stereo mix from the desk.... what a legend!!) Playas.... Riki Gooch - Drums /  Adam Page - Tenor Sax / Jon Hunt - Alto Sax / James Brown - Guitar / CJ Rhodes - Bass frequencies." More live goodness from the same sessions over here.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

High Noon Tea playlist, KiwiFM

Broadcast Sunday 3-5pm, and replays Friday 2-4pm, on KiwiFM

Salmonella Dub - Problems - Sonsine remix
Jefferson Belt - Skylurking
Ota - Nuinui
Scratch 22 - For walking faces
Riki Gooch - Bakade varor
Benny tones - Odyssey
Dub terminator - Man like me
Fat Freddys Drop - The raft - Steppers dub
Hikoikoi - Vibraphone
Pitch black - Dub obscura - International observer remix
Zuvuya - Bamboo five
Tubbs - T's groove
Lewis McCallum - Take a step back
Audiosauce - Bee bo
OG - Moving on
Isaac Aesili - Use your mind
Lord echo (aka Mike Fabulous) - Thats right
Felix deluxe - Minstrel river
Shogun orchestra - Jacmel -
Video kid (aka Brett McKenzie) - DJz girlfriend
Lord jackson - Chillem inst
Recloose - Absence of one
Clanky B Tuffins - Visual pollution
Kevvy Kev - Midnight dub

Mayer vs Dennis

Motown guitar legend Dennis Coffey has a new album out April 26, one of the guests on it is Mayer Hawthorne, on the tune All your goodies are gone. Here's Mayer Hawthorne and his band The County (who visited NZ back in Feb and played a killer show at the Splore City festival) playing in Detroit, with Dennis joining them onstage for that song. Shredding.

"The two will unite in Detroit once again on April 16th, which Coffey will be honored with a Distinguished Achievement Award at the Detroit Music Awards."

Coffey also has a seven inch single dropping for Record Store Day, April 16, with a Steinski remix on the flip. More info here.

New Lee Scratch Perry tunes

Pitchfork reports that Lee Scratch Perry has a new album out May 10, produced by Bill Laswell. Sounds interesting. Pitchfork have an mp3 of it here, features TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe...

"On May 10, zonked-out dub eccentric Lee "Scratch" Perry will release his latest album, Rise Again, via legendary NYC-based producer Bill Laswell's (Motörhead, Herbie Hancock) MOD Technologies label. Scratch worked with Laswell on the LP; other contributors on the record include P-Funk's Bernie Worrell, Sly and Robbie's Sly Dunbar, Jahdan Blakkamoore, and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, who pitches in on "Higher Level".

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, April 2

Stevie Wonder - Masterblaster/Jammin - Radikal roots edit
Sound dimension - Drum song
Big Youth - Jim Screechy - Smith and Mighty remix
Scientist vs King Midas Sound - U dub pt 2
Invisible Spike - Spike's groove
Pepperpots - Real tru love
Charles Bradley - Golden rule
Wabine - Sail on
Atlantic Starr - Freak-a-ristic
Super cat - Dolly my baby - Bad Boy extended mix
The Meters - Look-a-py-py
Patti LaBelle - Most likely you go your way...
Sulata - Never
Mr Scruff - Get a move on
Lefties soul connection - Chop it
Fred Wesley and the JBs - You can Watergate but gimme some bucks and I'll be straight
Mr Chop - Shut em down
Souleance - La romance
Ohio players - Walt's first trip
Aloe Blacc - You make me smile
Sun Ra - Where pathways meet
Born Jamericans - Boom shak atak
Sizzla - Police oppression
Chalice riddim - version
Nando Fresh - High grade (Chalice riddim)
Joint force - AK2000

Friday, April 01, 2011

Real Groovy Welli closing

Following news that Real Groovy Christchurch wouldn't be reopening after the latest earthquake come the sad news that Real Groovy Wellington will be closing down May 31 (see stuff.co.nz).

Owner Mark Thomas says its due to a decline in business caused by the economic recession, rising fuel prices, big chain retailers able to sell at cut prices, file sharing, and competition from online retailers and auctions sites.

"This has been an incredibly stressful and sad time for my family and myself, but it needs to be done," he said. 12 Staff will lose their jobs. although he hopes to open a smaller store and employ some of them there.

The Real Groovy stores in Christchurch and Welllingon were independently owned, following the collapse of the Real Groovy chain in 2008 when the stores were placed in recievership.

I am the operator

Kraftwerk live. From 1997. Via Dangerous Minds....

1. [00:00 05:56] “Numbers”
2. [05:56 03:39] “Computer World”
3. [09:35 07:53] “Radio Activity”
4. [17:28 09:41] “Trans-Europe Express”
5. [27:09 11:21] “Pocket Calculator”
6. [38:30 05:30] “The Robots”
7. [43:00 04:32] “The Robots II”

Kraftwerk - Live PA, Tribal Gathering, Luton, UK: Essential Mix - BBC Radio 1 1997-05-24 by +dB

No time for dreaming

Single off the brand new album No Time For Dreaming from Charles Bradley and the Menahan St Band, out now on Dunham/Daptone.

The whole album is searingly good soul. Go hunt it out.

Dunham Records was started by in 2005 by Thomas Brenneck, who plays in The Dapkings, behind Ms Sharon Jones. He also plays in the Menahan St Band, who put out the first single on Dunham, a tune called Make the road by walking.

It was sampled by Jay -Z ("Roc Boys") which enabled Brenneck to set up his own recording studio.

Herbs w Freddys

Heard a rumour this morning via Facebook, Fat Freddys Drop to collaborate with Herbs on some new recordings? Could be kinda cool. Anyone know any more about this?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Soviet funk

Because everyone needs some Russian rare groove, right? Hat tip to Bluevibestudio for the links.

Check out Soviet Groove blog and some Ukranian groove, below.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Real gone

Amplifier reports that Real Groovy Christchurch won't be reopening after the latest quake, sad news. They had moved to their current premises after the September quake.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Real Groovy Christchurch will not be re-opening. The building - which we only moved to in October, following the September earthquake - is to be demolished and it is very unlikely that it will reopen. It is also unlikely that any of the stock or fittings will be able to be retrieved before the demolition - and, given the difficulty of finding vacant premises, we regret that we have no option but to close.

"It has been a rollercoaster ride since September 4th and, as we all put everything into the new store, we are devastated that it was all in vain. We give our heartfelt thanks to all those customers and supporters of the store, without whom we could not have recovered from the first setback. For those of you with outstanding vouchers and credit notes, we are working on ways of helping you and will make an announcement in due course."

ADDED I asked Ed Muzik in Chch on the status of the city's other record shops... "Penny Lane is open, at least the Sydenham store is. They have a branch in town which is within the cordon zone. Galaxy in cordon zone, as it Radar."

UPDATED: Real Groovy Christchurch owner Paul Huggins relocated the store to Wellington, opening a new shop in September 2011 as Rough Peel Music. Located at 140 Vivian St - read more about it on the Wellingtonista.


Found a few Deepgrooves videos, courtesy of Rob Mayes who has digitised, restored and posted them on Youtube. Rob has also been hard at work restoring and uploading videos from his label, Failsafe, including videos from YFC, Throw, Birdnest Roys, Cicada, Pop Mechanix, Malchicks and more. Failsafe channel here...

Here's Grace, and Sulata...

Beat rhythm

Beat Rhythm Fashion put out one of my favourite nz singles ever - Turn of the century. They only released three singles during their brief existence in the early 80s, but they are absolute gems.

Rob Mayes at Failsafe Records pulled together a great reissue of their output a few years back, plus managed to add some previously unreleased live recordings in the mix. He's also digitised some of their old videos too. Nice work!

Get Beat Rhythm Fashion - Bring real freedom CD from Failsafe, SmokeCDs, or Amplifier (CD/digital)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Vinyl is making a comeback #252

"She has a job, college plans, but also a peculiar passion for a16-year-old: She's a vinyl junkie. That's right, analog. And none of that hipster new stuff ..." Teenager Sarah McCarthy got given a stereo by her grandfather, after discovering a stash of old vinyl in his basement.

"This girl's in love with vinyl, and she's not the only member of Generation Digital with an ear for analog.

"My dad always had these old records in the garage and I never got to use them until just recently, when my uncle let me have his old record player," said 14-year-old Nick Spates, a Los Angeles eighth grader who plays guitar and piano.

What'd he find in his dad's two milk crates? A lot of George Clinton - "He's a genius. I swear," declared Nick..."

From "Vinyl makes a comeback, again." From theday.com. Originally from Associated Press, it got picked up locally by Bay of Plenty Times with photo of Sarah, the teen vinyl fan. "Vinyl revival led by teens with old souls".

I've been tracking the vinyl revival story for a few years now (thanks to Google News alerts), it seems to come up somewhere in the world every two or three months. Until recently. This year, I see this story popping up two or three times a week. Something is up. And it aint just vinyl sales going up...


Hat tip to Stinky Jim for this, discovered Sonora via his excellent blog Stink Inc. Tunes galore! Straight outta San Antonio, Texas.Go get em...

Curro Fuentes - Santa Marta (sonora mix) by SONORA

Frente Cumbiero - Pitchito (sonora remix) by SONORA

Sonora - Ojos Verdes by SONORA

Kinky electric noise

Some mad cumbia bizznizz from Miami's K.E.N. Also go check out their remix of NZ's own Unitone Hifi, and the K.E.N. Soundcloud page. Both free downloads.

Kinky Electric Noise - Pimpin' Riddim ft. Vybz Kartel by Kinky Electric Noise

Sunday, March 27, 2011

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 (1980). 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."