Monday, May 23, 2011

Dr Tree

Eugino D by Dr Tree (featuring the late Martin Winch), gloriously funky jazz tune.... originally released on LP in 1976, reissued on CD in 2007, easy to track down.And it's got steel drums in it.

RIP Martin Winch

From Amplifier: "Martin Winch, creator of the acclaimed Espresso Guitar albums and former member of The 1860 Band, The Mermaids and various other acts has passed away.

Martin was an esteemed guitar player, adept at sight reading and skilled in rock and jazz. As well as having a great on-stage presence, his work has been audible in many TV and radio commercials over the years - Toyota's Welcome To My World TV campaign being but one of them.

He also toured with various musicals during his career, tutored in jazz guitar at the University of Auckland School of Music and played a part in helping artists create their albums.

Winch was 62."

Added; Interview with Martin Winch from NZ Musician, 2005. He was also part of legendary jazz funk outfit Dr Tree, who released one album, in 1976, which got reissued in November 2007. Graham Reid wrote the reissue liner notes, read them here. "... although they seem to be written out of the texts on Kiwi rock history, it is worth being reminded that Dr Tree won two major music industry awards on the release of this album: most promising group and top group performance. And they were both in the “rock” category..."

The band did a one-off gig at the Kings Arms to celebrate the reissue, it was a very groovy night (the date on the youtube video below is incorrect, I think). Dr Tree's lineup was Frank Gibson Jr, Kim Paterson, Martin Winch, John Banks, Bob Jackson and Murray McNabb.

ADDED June 30 - NZ Musician has an obit to Winch in their latest edition written by Neil Hannan, also online here, and below.

"Our dear friend, gentleman and gentle man, Martin Winch, began his musical journey comparatively late; it has now ended, at 62 years young, tragically early.

From Nottingham, England, Martin’s family immigrated to New Zealand when he was a young teenager. The Northcote College boy used to ‘borrow’ younger brother Rob’s guitar, usually forgetting to return it as he became obsessed with an instrument he couldn’t put down.

Largely self taught, Martin immersed himself in the study of the British blues guitarists – Clapton, Gallagher and Green and their mentors Freddie and Albert King, Buddy Guy, Elmore James et al.

Descending from a long line of British Bobbies, this was somewhat an anathema to his elders. “That’s not going to be a real job is it?” Despite this he became very competent, very quickly and his early years in rock groups included extended stays in Australia and Japan. By the mid 1970s, he was a member of the great Auckland band Salty Dogg, and the zenith of inspiration at the time, jazz/rock outfit Dr Tree.

Martin realised early on that to have a career as a professional guitarist, learning to be a better reader of music was essential, telling various members of the popular music community at the time they were ‘mugs’ if they didn’t become so.

During the late ’70s, his time with the 1860 Band and The Rodger Fox Big Band certainly helped achieve this and set Martin on course to become the brilliant jazz stylist that he was. In a buoyant NZ music scene of the ’70’s, ’80s (and much of the ’90s), Martin did it all; club bands, backing international acts, (Randy Crawford, Shirley Bassey, Elaine Page to name a few), orchestral calls, many, many jazz gigs, soundtracks and commercial recording and teaching – all the while writing and recording his own material.

His work on Jacqui FitzGerald’s ‘The Masquerade is Over’ the 1985 Jazz Record of the year, shows Martin and a stellar band at the peak of their powers. All his skills came together in his 2002 album ‘Espresso Guitar’ and the follow up ‘Guitar Song’ (2004). I know Martin was extremely proud of these records and the well-deserved commercial success gave him a bit of breathing space.

More recently, Martin’s version of Freddy King’s Hideaway (and other tracks) were released on prestigious New York-based label Bohemian Productions – a company specialising in instrumental guitar music, whose stable includes Joe Satriani, Stanley Clarke and John Scofield.

It’s no mean feat to have lived the life of a professional musician in NZ, but a better all round musician you will not find; sensitive accompanist, great ensemble player and rip roaring soloist.

On a personal note, with all the trials and tribulations of family life, of which Martin had many, I only ever knew a compassionate and kind man. His was a passionate life, well lived, and he will be sorely missed by many.

Groove Guide gone

Just announced via Twitter, "It's all over now, baby blue – issue 171 [next issue] of Groove Guide will be our last."

Publisher Tangible Media closed down Real Groove in October last year and kept Groove Guide, now shuttering that title too. Sad loss for the music scene here.

ADDED NZ Herald covers the closure, noting that Editor Sam Wicks and brand manager Emily Govorko would lose their jobs. The publisher, Vincent Heeringa, points the finger at the rise of social media and amateur blogs as part of the reason for the closure. Heeringa: "We're heading into the age of the amateur. We're actually already in it, which is good and bad. It's hard for people to make a career out of it now."

RIP Dave Beniston

From NZ Herald, May 21 : "BENISTON, David. Founding bassist with the Able Tasmans died suddenly 7 May 2011 in Melbourne. We remaining Able Tasmans; Craig Baxter, Graeme Humphreys, Leslie Jonkers, Peter Keen, Stuart Greenway, Craig Mason, Ron Young and Jane Dodd salute his memory and offer our sincere sympathies to his family. His name was always on the door-list no matter where we played."

Listen to Graham's tribute on RadioLive to Dave Beniston here. He leaves behind a partner and daughter.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

High Noon Tea playlist, KiwiFM, Sunday May 22

Show replays on Fridays, 2-4pm on Kiwi FM. Stream it online

Isaac Aesili - Stranjah
Nomad - Check the pitch
Katchafire - I&I - Mad professor remix
Snypa Levi - Inna the dance
Dub terminator - Let it blaze
Conray - Flower fair
Benny Tones - Firefly
Julien Dyne - Behind the forage
Fat Freddys Drop  - Midnight marauders - Mu's triple 5 steppas dub
Unitone Hifi - Sneeze off
NSU - West coast dub - Dub Asylum remix
Sola rosa - Lady love - Richie Phoe remix
The Yoots - E papa waiari
Patio - Syrup
Knights of the dub table - Sing it to me - Tiki remix
Mycroft Holmes - Sideshow viewing
Snake Salvador - Delta
Scratch 22 - For walking faces
Eru Dangerspiel -Sun again
Shogoun orchestra - Falko
Kingites - Polynesian panthers
Jahlicious - Panicked
Karl Marx Project - OSC
Recloose - Robop
Tubbs - The storm

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Peanutbutter Wolf of Stonesthrow Records dropped an all-45s set in San Francsico on Friday, alongside Mayer Hawthorne, J-Rocc and Baron Zen. Here's an interview he did with the SF Weekly.

Peanut Butter Wolf on His History with 45s and Why the Vinyl Comeback Is Overhyped.

[excerpt...] Do you think vinyl is making a comeback these days?
No. Overhyped in the media in my opinion.

How extensive is your personal record collection?
Lost track years ago. All I know is I started buying vinyl on a weekly basis in 1979 and still buy it regularly. I just went record shopping yesterday actually. Main difference is from 1979-1986, I only bought "new" records. From 1986-1996, I bought a combination of new and old. From 1996 until now, I mainly buy older records. I buy new music through iTunes, but not new vinyl so much.

Lastly, you don't live in the Bay any more, but what are some things you miss from here?
Of course my family is number one. They all still live in San Jose and I visit them when I can. As for S.F., it would be nice to be able to go to Groove Merchant weekly like I used to, and the restaurants out there can't be beat.

Ticklah vs MIA

Was searching for other remixes by Ticklah after copping his remix from the LA Noire EP, and found this, from a while back.... M.I.A "Steppin Up" (CHLLNGR meets Ticklah DUB). Free download too.

M.I.A "Steppin Up" (CHLLNGR meets Ticklah DUB) by CHLLNGR

Bonus: here's CHLLNGR (from Denmark) reimagining classic reggae tune Truth and Rights as a dubbed out accordion number, remixed by Dr Echo.

CHLLNGR "Truths and Rights" (DR ECHO remix) by CHLLNGR

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, May 21

Dub traffik control - Bantu
Louis Jordan - Aint nobody here but us chickens - DJ Premier remix
Gay Flamingoes steel band - Caterpilla
Jackie Mittoo - Grand funk
Viceroys - Give it to him
Al Brown - Aint no love in the heart of the city
Blend Mishkin feat BNC - Disco vampire - Turntable dubbers remix
Love Unlimited orchestra - Theme from King Kong - Danny Krivit edit
Dennis Coffey - Ubiquitous - Steinski mix
Charles Bradley - Heart of gold
Chico Mann - Harmonia
Nina Simone - Seeline woman - MAW remix
Sun islanders steel orchestra - Perhaps
Paul Murphy - Soul call
Fat Freddys Drop - Hope - Sonsine remix
The Yoots - Me he manu rere
The Congos - Congoman - Carl Craig edit
Zap Mama -Bandy bandy - Carl Craig remix
Hugh Masekela - Languta
Mayer Hawthorne - Work to do
Hawk - Dont judge a book by its cover
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan - Stone cold dead in the market - Ticklah remix
Junior Murvin - Jack Slick
Konshens - She loves money
Barrington Levy - Fuss nor fight
Brentford allstars - Greedy G
Nile Rogers - Land of the good groove
Third world orchestra  -Cumbia de Gary
Little dragon - Constant surprises

Friday, May 20, 2011

La cumbia de Gary

From Argentinians Third World Orchestra, some cumbia vibes on Gary Numan to get you warmed up for his AK show tomorrow night.

Third World Orchestra - La Cumbia de Gary by Third World Orchestra

Epsilon-Blue ... get down to business.

(originally published in NZ Musician magazine, 2002)

'We have a responsibility to our shareholders' is the delightfully obtuse title for the latest album from Epsilon-Blue, one of the aliases used by a talented young chap called Leyton, who also records under the names Son Sine, and Rotor+. The different monikers indicate differing styles of electronica, from house to techno to more ambient experimental material.

Epsilon-Blue is best known for the beautiful song One in a Million (from his debut album Waterland'), which has been hugely popular with student radio across the country. That album, released in 1998 on Kog Transmissions, has sold 1500 copies here. The Epsilon-Blue sound is an enticing blend of techno, deep house, and dub, dishing up sexy melodies and funky rhythms.

Leyton started working on his new album about a year ago. "I'd been heavily involved with the Rotor+ album (Aileron), and when that was all done with, I started thinking about, what is the next thing? Is 'it Epsilon-Blue? I didnt know, so I just started writing, and as it went along, it became an Epsilon-Blue album. I wanted to write things that worked sequentially - I'd write a track and then go 'okay, what happens after this track?' It's definitely a journey, with a start, a middle and an end.

"This time I wanted it to be more about the body. The first one was quite mind-orientated. That's how I saw it, anyway. Five of the tracks on the new album are oonsty, they've got a really good pace to them. That sense of movement brings it back to a dance angle. It's about moving."

The recording has been done in The Library (Leyton's studio], surrounded by books, with mix down and mastering completed in Kog Transmissions studio room. The Epsilon-Blue sound is generated with a Mac B3 500 laptop running Logic and Digi 001. Leyton also used an Emu 6400 sampler, Yamaha C52X and 0X100 keyboards, Korg EX8000 and Emu Virtuoso sound modules, and a Yamaha 01V mixing desk.

Vocal contributions on the new album include Bamaby Weir from the Black Seeds on the track We B Moving, Tama Waipara, a New York-based classical oboeist and jazz singer on May U B Free, and Josephine, an Auckland singer/songwriter on U R a Star. The simple, repetitive vocal lines add character to Leyton's highly melodic take on house styles, giving the album a real warmth.

Leyton explains that the delightful album title evolved from thinking about the body. "I was thinking of the earth as a body, this big chunk of rock hurtling through space, an organism complete of itself. Then one morning on the radio, I heard this interview with a CEO talking about restructuring their company, making people redundant. Then he said 'We have a responsibility to our share-holders', and I just laughed out loud. "That's the be all and end all these days, and it just sucks. I thought of the birds, the animals; we're all here, we're all shareholders, we're all sharing this body of the earth."

LA Noire

Rockstar Games and Verve Records have teamed up to drop a very cool comp to celebrate the new game LA Noire. Moodyman remixing Billie Holiday, DJ Premier remixing Louis Jordan. Truth and Soul remixing Gene Krupa, Ticklah remixing a Louis Jordan and Ella Fitzgerald tune and more....

If you're a Wax Poetics US subscriber, you even get two tracks off it on 7"single with your next copy of the mag (#47). It's available now, via iTunes NZ etc. Listen below

L.A. Noire: Remixed by RockstarGames

1. Stone Cold Dead In The Market (Ticklah remix) – Louis Jordan and Ella Fitzgerald
2. Hey-Ba-Ba-Re-Bop (Midnight Sun remix) – Lionel Hampton
3. Slick Chick (David Andrew Sitek remix) – Dinah Washington
4. Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens (DJ Premier remix) – Louis Jordan
5. Sing Sing Sing (Truth & Soul remix) – Gene Krupa
6. That Ol’ Devil Called Love (Moodymann remix) – Billie Holiday

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jazz herd

Kinda random... was searching Bandcamp for steeldrums and stumbled upon this - beat producer by the name of Chief from Switzerland drops a tribute to Chick Corea. Free download too. Preview below.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Roger Perry: mixing it up

For New Zealand Music Month, I've hauled out some old magazine articles on local musicians and DJs that I wrote a while back. They give you a snapshot of artists earlier in their career...  originally published in NZ Musician magazine June 2001.

Roger Perry has been at the forefront of dance culture here since back in the day when he started DJing at a club run by Russ Le Roq (now known as Russell Crowe).

Roger's name became connected with all the best clubs throughout the '80s, Club Mirage, The Asylum, The Playground and The Siren to name but a few. He spent some time in the UK in the early '90s, returning here in '93, hooking up with the Stylee Crew, a DJ posse comprising DLT, Stinky Jim, Dubhead and Slowdeck.

Roger then drifted away from house - a style of music that he was particularly fond of - but was drawn back to it when promoter Chris O'Donogue from Lightspeed asked him to mix a tape with some of Chris' records, which were fuelled by funk. He started DJing at Calibre nightclub, building its enviable reputation as the happening place for house sounds in the City of Sails.

Late last year saw the release of 'BPM Mix 02', a collection of Roger's favourite DJ tunes covering a bunch of funky dance gems, mixing foreign and local sounds seamlessly. Included are some of Roger's own compositions, put together with Joost Langveld (Unitone Hifi, Subware) as Reactor Music.

Former Box resident DJ Rob Salmon pops up from his New York base with a tune, and Soane's collaboration with UK DJs Dick Johnson and Ben Davis as Troughman gets remixed by Greg Churchill (responsible for 'BPM Mix 01') and Peter Van der Fluit (ex Screaming Meemees). Roger is keen to jump further into production and is now the proud owner of an Akai MPC 2000 sampler. Some of his productions have already been released overseas on vinyl and have also featured on the 'Algoryhthm' compilations from Kog Transmissions, whom he has also worked with, under the Toolbox and Kingsland Housing Project monikers.

"Since I got back into DJing at Calibre and getting into house again, I really like taking two records and messing with the beats, mixing them up. A natural extension of that is getting in the studio and making original music. I'd like to get to the stage where I'm producing music, and DJing a lot less. I'm not so into just being a gun for hire. It's too easy to play yourself out.

"The local tracks (on 'BPM Mix 02') are showing that we're doing it here, and they're all very different too. We've got to push our own thing. I've been in and out of this business for almost half my life now, and I've watched so many people try and emulate the overseas thing. You're never going to see a local identity coming through if you do that. We should be proud of where our music is going."

Given Roger's long involvement in DJing, what does he make of the local dance scene at present?

"From where I'm standing, like, with Gatecrasher, where they get 4,000 people along, that hard house scene, it's like the new rock music. It's a mainstream thing and man, it's getting big. The dance scene here is really good. I travel the country a lot now, and to go to somewhere like Whakatane and get 500 people, by the end of the night all going like this (hands in the air) and loving it, that's crossed over, ay. And it's not radio support for it. I think there's a lot of youth coming through who think differently and like different things."

Top Five tunes? Roger ponders for a minute: "That's a hard one, ay. The Clean - 'Boodle Boodle Boodle'. Anything by The Clash - the way that they took reggae, disco, and punk and mashed it and made something out of it. New Order - 'Everything's Gone Green', or any of their early EPs. And Joy Division - These Days, from the B side of Love Will Tear Us Apart. Definitely anything by Roy Ayers. Masters At Work - Just A Little Dope. Anything by The Fatback Band, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.

"Grandmaster Flash on The Wheels of Steel. That's the record that made me go 'Fuck, I want to teach myself how to mix!'. A Certain Ratio - Shack Up. I gave that record to my sister when she moved to Wellington, and I've been looking for that record for 15 years, mate. I picked it up in Dunedin, at Roi Colbert's shop last year. Shack Up was this weird ass funk. Killing Joke - 'Requiem', The Sound - 'In Jeopardy'. With Reactor Music, with Joost, we draw a lot on that period of early '80s music, especially the British stuff, like The Associates, Orange Juice. I couldn't give you just five, but there's a few!"

Vinyl comeback #253, with video

From Al Jazeera English: "A small but devoted following of music lovers is trying to save one curio for the analog dustbin..."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blue sky

Mayer Hawthorne dropped a new EP last week, here's a video of one of the songs as it was recorded. ELO's Mr Blue Sky. According to Mayer's liner notes, it was recorded live, in one take, in a tiny makeshift tent, at a festival in Dour, Belgium. Read an interview with Mayer about the EP on the LA Times.

X Marx the spot

The Karl Marx Project is the work of Isaac Aesili (Opensouls, Solaa) and Mark McNeil. Their debut release is out now thru European label Melting Pot Music. There's an audio preview of their album up on Soundcloud, with a few free downloads going too. Nice, beaty, bleepy disco electronica.

Karlmarx - The Karlmarx Project (album sampler) by Loopcrew

The album drops June 3 on MPM. There was a limited edition album sampler that dropped on Loop for Record Store  Day in April.

Tu meke!

The Yoots are led by the exuberant Mister Joe Lindsay, aka Ho-Pepa, the man who holds down the trombone for Fat Freddys Drop. He formed the group with his brother Sam in 2006.

They've played at festivals such as the Cuba St Carnival, bringing the warm sound of calypso and ska to the Capital. With this album Sing Along With The Yoots, they've taken the sounds of the Carribean and melded them with Maori songs such as Tutira Mai, and E Papa Waiari, to great effect. It's a glorious collection of tunes that make you want to sing along (as the title would suggest), and The Yoots have thoughtfully provided all the lyrics in the CD booklet. How helpful.

Out now on Economy Records, the folks who bought you the magnificent debut from Lord Echo (aka Mike Fabulous).

The Yoots - Sing along with the Yoots MP3s at Amplifier (incl audio previews), CD at Conch or Mighty Ape

Track listing
1. Nga Iwi E
2. E Papa Waiari
3. Pupu Ake Mai
4. E Te Ariki
5. Me He Manu Rere
6. Huai Huai
7. A, E, I, O, U
8. Ka Ru Ka Ru
9. Hoki Mai
10. Tutira Mai
11. Toia Mai
12. Po Atarau

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Karl Hector and the Malcouns are about to drop a brand new vinyl EP, you can download a track off it for free over at Stonesthrow.

"For all intents and purposes, Karl Hector might as well be another nom-de-plume of Jay Whitefield (producer and guitarist for the Poets of Rhythm and the Whitefield Brothers) who, along with Thomas Myland and Zdenko Curlija, founded Karl Hector and The Malcouns in the early 2000s. Alongside Bo Baral, other members of the Poets of Rhythm and crack Munich-based session musicians, Whitefield, Myland and Curlija crafted nearly twenty tracks for their debut, Sahara Swing, an album that swung with influences from across the African diaspora.

The trio will now release a series of vinyl-only EPs – of which Tamanrasset is the first – that will culminate in their second album. Tamanrasset‘s five songs demonstrate The Malcouns’ deft handling of musics from Eastern and Northern Africa alongside Western psychedelia, jazz and funk; the song “Girma’s Lament” -  its title an homage to the great Ethiopian pianist, arranger and vocalist Girma Beyene -  is a great representation.

High Noon Tea playlist, KiwiFM, May 15

Replays on KiwiFM, Friday 2-4pm NZT. Listen online

International observer - Minicell
Zuvuya - Black sheep
The Yoots - Me he manu rere
Moodswingers - Recede to flourish
Mood unit - Hat trap
Jellphonic and LP - Beatsreal flip
Solaa - Pharoah
Opensouls - Falling in
Scratch 22 - Communication
Electric wire hustle - They don't want
Onelung - Not over
A hori buzz -Turnaround
Fredericks Brown - Betrayal - Dusty remix
Mike Fabulous - There's something about Africa
The Yoots - Tutira mai
Otautahi allstars - Mosquito
Jefferson Belt - Creeping tings of the earth
Hollie Smith - Hiding  - Dub Asylum remix
Jet Jaguar - Gomennasai
Natan - Circus girls go wild
Riki Gooch - Ode to the vegetable
Recloose - Landed
Lewis McCallum - Fly or die
Unification - Guru

Library of Congress' Jukebox hits

I featured a story on the US Library Of Congress and their 100 miles of shelves last week. Now the Library and Sony have set up a National Jukebox, with 10,000 recordings for streaming. It  had one million pages views in its first 48 hours since launch.

National Jukebox website logs 1 million page views, 250,000 streams in under 48 hours (LA Times)

"The project has opened up the library’s archive with an initial posting of more than 10,000 pre-1925 recordings from the Victor record label, now under the Sony Music umbrella. The recordings span jazz, blues, ethnic folk, gospel, pop, spoken word, comedy and other genres dating to the early 20th century.

Sony has given the Library of Congress blanket permission to make the recordings accessible to the public, retaining the rights to issue any of them in the future for commercial release.

The National Jukebox site also has been a hot topic on Twitter, which shows numerous tweets about the site, including specific recordings users are flagging to their followers."

One reaction on Twitter: "I am so enamored with the National Jukebox. Where else could I listen to prohibition-era popular music online?"

Some background on the digitising process behind this digital jukebox.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, May 14

The Yoots  - Me he manu rere
Syd Jones and the Troubadours - Cordova
Dutch rhythm steel and show band - Down by the river
Guinness cassanovas - Stormy
Charles Bradley  -Why is it so hard
El Michels affair - Detriot twice
Joy Denalane - Change inst
Hugh Masekela - Dont go lose it baby
Fishbone - Everyday sunshine
Beat pharmacy - Assassination of the mind - Teddy G dub
Seed - Sound a goody goody
Turntable dubbers feat Brother Culture - Get lively now - Blend Mishkin mix
Ruts DC  - Whatever we do - RSD remix
Gulls - Mean sound - strategy dub
Delroy Wilson - Can I change my mind
Roots radics - Babylon dont touch my sensi
Barrington Levy - Why you do it
Pavlov and mishkin  - Mafia
Centry - Melody of life
The Yoots  - Tutira mai
Futura 2000 and The Clash - Escapades dub
The normal - Warm leatherette
Material w Nona Hendryx - Busting out
Fredericks Brown - Betrayal
Esther Phillips - Home is where the hatred is
George Benson - Theme from Good King Bad

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Stay at home

Simon Grigg popped up on Twitter earlier today with some very exciting news... He announced that "as of today, I now have 9 previously unreleased Suburban Reptiles tracks, thought lost for 30 yrs. Quite excited." He found them in a cupboard belonging to a guy who now lives in Bangkok and who used to hang with the band. He also found some unreleased Swingers songs. He posted a pic of one of the tapes, see above. Simon says that Hospital is a Jonathan Richman song. So Fucked Up is 1969 - Stooges.

3 Sided Dream

The latest issue of Wax Poetics magazine returns to the theme of jazz, with Jazz's Mad Men. One of the albums profiled in the mag is The case of the 3 sided dream in audio colour, by Rashaan Roland Kirk. The tale behind it is pretty crazy.

Kirk cut this album while his producer at Atlantic Records, Joel Dorn, was leaving the label, as it had morphed from jazz and soul into a rock monster, with Led Zep, Cream and CSN&Y. Unfortunately for Kirk, he wanted to depart too but still had two albums to go to fulfil his contract. So, he cut two albums simultaneously. As you do.

Only hitch - the budget was a mere $21,000, and they ran out of money after only recording three sides. Solution? He handed in a double LP with music on three of the four sides of vinyl.

This blog on the album describes it a concept record and fills in the story... " the fourth [side of the record] is a blank 12-minute track with 30 seconds of conversation at the very end." Nutty.

These impressions...

Some fresh goodness from Mr Mayer Hawthorne. No covers of The Impressions tho.

Free download, 6 song EP of covers.

Jakob: nice day for an earthquake!

For New Zealand Music Month, I've hauled out some old magazine articles on local musicians that I wrote a while back. They give you a snapshot of artists earlier in their career... This interview with Jakob was originally published in Pavement magazine, 2001. Jakob are playing two shows soon; Auckland - Kings Arms on June 4  and Wellington - San Francisco Bathhouse on June 11. Jakob member Jeff Boyle is also playing as part of the lineup for Rhian Sheehan's live show Standing  in Silence at the Mercury Theatre in Auckland, May 23.

Set of Subsets is the moody debut album for Napier band Jakob. Its a heady concoction of minimalist guitar, offset with bursts of distortion and melodic delights. Following on from their entrancing EP, the album finds them still inhabiting a world of swirling guitars and thunderous dynamics. The band started out in the middle of 1998.

"Maurice (Beckett) our bass player had just come back from Sweden and Germany, and was ultra-keen on getting things happening," says guitarist Jeff Boyle, who, along with drummer Jason Johnston, makes up the Jakob lineup. "We'd been jamming together before he left, at the start of the year, and we just pushed things along a bit, and the ep songs just came out of nowhere, and we recorded it, and its just been snowballing from there ever since, really.

"The first recordings we did, for the ep, was just a fleeting idea. We had a friend with a bit of studio gear, and he said 'flick us $300 to do a little experiment with you', and so we did it over a weekend, and it was basically one-take stuff, and it ended up being sweet as. With the album we tried the same thing, and it didn't really work too well. So we re-did everything with a lot of overdubs and samples. We started recording the album in late November last year, and finished in May this year."

Playing live in the studio is crucial to the band. "That's how we write, that's how we play, so that's how we record. That's the whole basis of our approach. There's no actual physical song writing ever involved in our musical creation.

"It comes down to us getting into a room and just taking whatever comes our way basically. We try and keep all preconceptions of music out, and just let something come to us, or just fiddle around til something happens naturally between the three of us, and then once something does, then we work on it. That's just one way of trying to keep our music completely original and completely ourselves. We've got a standard-o-meter, you know what I mean? It basically comes down to if we enjoy it enough, if we all end up with nice big smiles on our faces then that becomes a Jakob song."

Once the album was nearing completion, their thoughts turned to the next step; getting the music out there. "We didn't have any plan, release-wise; all we wanted to do was record the songs we had, cos we were sick of them! We'd been playing these songs for about a year, and everyone liked them, and we just wanted to get them out, and move on to the next step. We know Paul Maclaney, who released his album Permanence through Kog, and he's been a friend and a fan of ours for the last few years. He told Kog 'check these guys out', and they gave the album a listen and they loved it. So they said 'do you want to go with Midium?' (Kog's guitar label) and we said 'yeah'. They treat us like brothers; whenever we go up to Auckland, we stay at the Kog studios. They treat us real good, we're absolutely over the moon to be on that label."

The band are quite content to continue to call Napier home, and have no burning ambition to move to the Big Smoke. "I'd much rather be in a band here, than in Auckland. There's a lot of crap you have to deal with in Auckland. I was living up there in 96, 97, and I tried to get a few things together with a couple of people, and that went nowhere, basically. It's just really hard to focus when you're in Auckland, for me it is.

"Everything is much more relaxed here, there's no media bullshit you have to deal with. There's no 'hip' scene down here in Napier, there's just a bunch of musos hanging out, jamming with each other and coming up with cool music. No one's like, keeping up appearances, trying to be real cool. Its makes it easier to just sit back and create music."

There's plans afoot for a few music videos, some travel around our fair shores and also further afield.

"Our main goal is to get overseas and play, mainly in Europe, because that's where a lot of the bands we're influenced by come from. Bands like Godflesh, Slint, Bardo Pond, Mogwai, etc etc. We just want to keep going and keep progressing, and never do the same thing twice. We think there's a whole huge space in music that hasn't been filled yet, and we want to fill it up." ok?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Awards tour...

Taite Prize finalist Dudley Benson has written a thoughtful piece on the judging and presentation of the Taite Prize, over at The Corner blog. Sure, he didn't win, but this isn't simply a case of a sore loser. Benson touches on the nature of competitive awards and how does one judge them. It's an interesting read.

In Defence of Creativity (& The Greater Problem Of The ‘International Quality’): An Artist’s Response To The 2011 Taite Music Prize.

"...I’d firstly like to pre-empt any inevitable interpretation of this response as one of upset in my being a finalist but not winner of the award. My motivations here grow both from an overall concern that I’ll go on to describe, as well as a result of receiving significant feedback from others – both in and out of the music industry – who are also interested in discussing the judges’ decision, specifically in relation to the award criteria.

"Also compelling is my observation that when something of an imbalance occurs within our music community, very few people seem prepared to make their concerns public. I suspect artists fear being blacklisted from future chances of recognition within the circles in question, while others in media positions have business and personal relationships that they are afraid of bruising. These anxieties do not personally concern me, especially in comparison to the responsibility I feel in contributing positively to the dialogue of what in New Zealand music we consider to be creatively successful work...."

London's burning

My friend Hans wrote his thesis on punk rock when he was at university in his native Belgium back in 1980. It was a photocopied self-published document of the punk rock scene at that time.

"It explores the sociology of punk in Britain, its history and cultural aspects such as music, imagery, fanzine publications and independent record labels. The analysis section embeds the phenomenon in the rich tapestry of British post-war youth cultures.  It has a new (2011) preface and is concluded with short essays and updates. It contains original punk rock band photography and a substantial bibliography and URL resource list."

He's recently completed the huge task of translating it from Dutch into English ready for publishing, and I designed the cover for it (with a photo from Jonathan Ganley, of The Clash in Auckland). The e-book is out now on Amazon (for Kindle) and there's a print version on the way too.

London's Burning: An Exploration in Punk Subculture (Amazon)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dub plates: Salmonella Dub

For New Zealand Music Month, I've hauled out some old magazine articles on local musicians that I wrote a while back. They give you a snapshot of artists earlier in their career...This interview with Tiki has a tale about him walking round the streets of Dubai with people pointing at him... the explanation why is pretty funny...

(originally published in Pavement magazine 2001)

The last 12 months have been an exciting time for Salmonella Dub. Following the commercial and critical success of their last album Killervision, they launched themselves out into the big world, touring to Australia, Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East, after securing release of the album in these countries. In between all this travel, they started laying down the foundations for their fourth album, Inside The Dubplates.

Soundman and vocalist Tiki says its been a year of exciting new places and strange adventures. "I got in trouble in Dubai," he recalls, relaxing in the record company boardroom in Auckland, a long way from the political hotspots of the Middle East.

"It was so hot, I went out in shorts and a t-shirt, and people would cross the road, freaking out at me, big time. I couldn't understand why. People were stopping their cars and watching me. I spent the whole day walking round, just going 'why are these people freaking out at me?' I went back to the hotel and the reception guy was totally freaking out, going 'oh my god, you didn't go out like that did you?'

"I said 'what do you mean, like that?' And he said, 'oh, you should cover yourself up'. I said 'why?', and it was something to do with the tattoos, the moko and the dreads, it meant they thought I was the devil, basically. When you're born, I think they believe that you should die as you were born, without any markings or anything. If you do mark yourself then you are going to spend the rest of your life on earth in eternal damnation! And then I understood.

"The cool thing was, I had a bunch of kids running up and touching me, checking me out, going 'where are you from?' I got talking to them, and they were saying you just don't get bands here, it's really hard to get exposed to anything else that's happening in the world. The kids there are really starved for Western culture. That made me realise how lucky we are. Even though we're from the South Pacific, these guys were way closer to the rest of the world than what we are, but they still so isolated."

"Paris was amazing too, its got this vibe about it, it's just so old. The people there are just awesome. They're just confident, and strong in their culture and really supportive as well, and really interested in Aotearoa and the South Pacific, and the lifestyle here. A lot of the interviews I did there, they didn't talk about the music, they just wanted to ask me questions about home. They wanted to know what my moko meant, what the scene was like: Once Were Warriors always came up, they'd ask 'is it really like that?', and I'd say, 'well its like that everywhere in the world'. One question as if we all had pet sheep, which was hard case. The All Blacks always came up; I remember in a subway in Paris, there's this big billboard with Jonah Lomu selling Adidas!"

Yes, the Dub have come a long way from their Christchurch origins, back in the mid 90's. "When I was 19," remembers Tiki, "we had just started coming up to Auckland and Wellington, and that was like, the big time for me! Back then the guys were talking about playing in Australia. I couldn't believe that. The next year we went to Australia, and then we talked about going to Europe, and the next year we went to Europe, so it's starting to become a bit more realistic. I think learning that anything can happen, that its not so much of a dream, even tho we're from the South Pacific, and things are quite hard with the dollar and we're so far away, it not that unrealistic for a Kiwi band to go out there."

The new album uses the mixing skills of several talented local engineers, rather than following the path of their last few releases that utilised UK producer David Harrow. "We used David Wernham, who does live sound for Shihad. We bought him over, and he took care of all the drums, he knows how to get a good sound. We did it all with Paddy Free co-producing, so its all New Zealand flavours. It was a tight crew, we're all friends. The other thing, Dave our drummer went a bit more crazy on this one, and also not doing so many ballads, if you know what I mean. They're more instrumentals, which is kind of where we started out. "We did the last album in two weeks. This one we've had a couple of months to do it. We've had a bit more time to prepare. Rather than have such a tight deadline, we've had a bit more time to experiment.

"This is the closest album we've done that sums up the band as a whole, and captures that live feel that we've got. The character of the band has changed quite a bit, just from being on the road a lot. We've been overseas, and been checking out what other people are doing, and checking out how crowds overseas take your music, and what they go off to. For example, in France, they liked the more spacious, crazier stuff, than the funkier, groovier stuff, which is quite interesting."

The overseas experience has strengthened their belief in what they're doing. "If anything, the travel we've done in the last year, because we've taken it to different parts of the world, has made us realise is actually original. Most people who came along said 'wow, we haven't heard anything like this'. That makes us think 'okay, well, don't aspire to be anything else that's happening, this is where we're from. We're from the South Pacific, and living here is just so much different from the rest of the world, so much cleaner, open space, just a different lifestyle. I think that's something we should treasure, and be proud of. I think it's okay for us to be completely Kiwiana, South Pacific, and not try and aspire to be a UK style dub reggae act or whatever."

Tiki says the plan for this year is "get the album in the stores, release it, let the public get into it, then hit the road. We've got some gigs around New Zealand, then it's off to Australia, and France is on the cards. Canada is another area we want to nail. We'll definitely do a big New Zealand tour at the end of the year, when its nice and warm". Ah, dub in the summertime, nothing's finer.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Whiskey barons

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley - Simigwa do (whiskey barons rework) by flavorheard

Tune and a half. Check it.

But wait. There's more...

whiskey makossa by flavorheard

Osibisa - keep on trying (whiskey barons edit) by flavorheard

More from the Whiskey Barons over at Soundcloud. Lots for download too. Woohoo!

100 miles of shelves

Gene DeAnna in the Library's vaults  (Los Angeles Times)

There's a great article on the LA Times site, "Library of Congress builds the record collection of the century." It's got some fascinating facts in the Library's archive. The storage facility had  a former life as a cash depository during the Cold War.

It's "a repository containing nearly 100 miles of shelves stacked with some 6 million items [taking up 45 acres]: reels of film; kinescopes; videotape and screenplays; magnetic audiotape; wax cylinders; shellac, metal and vinyl discs; wire recordings; paper piano rolls; photographs; manuscripts; and other materials. In short, a century's worth of the nation's musical and cinematic legacy.... It's here that a recent donation from Universal Music Group, nearly a quarter-million master recordings by musicians including Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Bing Crosby, is now permanently housed."

"As part of the Library of Congress, this trove is available to anyone, free. But because of the complexities of copyright law, access is restricted to the library's reading rooms in Washington and Culpeper..."

Their collection sounds amazing, including such delights as every 78 rpm disc recorded by Jelly Roll Morton, or "half a million LPs, among which are dozens of surf and hot-rod music-themed discs that Capitol Records issued in the '60s to capitalize on those crazes, including "Hot Rod Hootenanny" by Mr. Gasser & the Weirdos, with cover art and songs co-written by fabled car designer Ed "Big Daddy" Roth."

The story also discusses the various formats the Library has to archive, from cylinder recordings to DAT tapes. 

"I love to give the example that the cylinder from 1900 may be easier to play back than the DAT [digital audiotape] from 2001," sound curator Barton said. "Seriously. There are a lot of DATs that just won't play now."

The most enduring formats? Not CDs or MP3 digital files.  "Vinyl discs properly stored will last hundreds of years," Miller said. "Shellac too."

Of course, getting access to this material runs into copyright issues.

Museum director Loren Schoenberg said, "My goal is to have all of it, every last second of it, available on the Internet. If it was up to me, I'd just throw it on the Internet, let everybody sue each other and happy new year. But you can't do that, because you're dealing with [musicians'] estates, labels, record companies and publishers."

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Listen: Charles Bradley live on KEXP

What an incredible voice. Live session from SXSW recorded by KEXP. Listen here.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, May 7

James Brown - Stone to the bone
The JBs - 40th anniversary mix
Charles Bradley - No time for dreaming
Bo Diddley - Hit or miss
Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics - Chikk chikka
Amadou and Mariam - Coulibaly
Leroy Sibbles - Express yourself
Conroy Smith - Dangerous
Reggie Stepper - Under me sin tang
Barrington Levy - Why you do it
Junior Reid - Boom shak-a-lack 12" mix
Junior Murvin - I'll follow you
Joe Ariwa - The train
African head charge - Dobbyn joins the head charge
Delroy Wilson - Can I change my mind
Skatalites - Beardsman ska
The Wailers - Put it on
James Brown - Don't tell it
Booker T and the MGs - It's your thing
Oscar Brown Jr - Who knows what goes when the doors close?
Aloe Blacc - Green lights
Bei Bei and Shawn Lee - East
Smith and Mighty -B line fi blow
Arken - Step off
Unitone hifi - Sneeze off
Overwash vs megalon - Apopo
NSU - West coast dub - Dub asylum remix
Lord Echo -Blueberry jam

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Mr Bradley and Mr Brenneck

Charles Bradley. Photo: LA Times

Tommy Brenneck is a guitarist with Sharon Jones and the Dapkings, and also runs the Dunham Records label, an offshoot of Daptone records. Their latest release is a fabulous soul album from Charles Bradley and the Menahan St band, led by Brenneck.

The LA Times had a nice piece on Brenneck and his collaboration with Bradley. Brenneck lists some of his favourite artists, and lets slip that he may be producing the third album from Rodriguez, who's first and second album were produced by Motown legend Dennis Coffey way back in the early 70s. They were reissued recently on Light In The Attic.

“You could tell he [the 63 year old Bradley] was just in this shell,” said Brenneck, who continues to work with the Dap-Kings in a studio-recording capacity. “He was a James Brown impersonator and he was dressing like him all the time, rocking a James Brown wig, full time. He had not found himself as an artist.”

About four years ago a collaboration between Brenneck’s own Menahan Street Band and Bradley started to take shape. “The music came, and then he slowly crawled out of his shell,” Brenneck said. “I think he’s finally casting off that James Brown mask. Even if he does do a James Brown spin or mannerism, he owns it now.”

Dub dub dub

I posted this last week, but just want to remind you folk to check it out. Enjoy! Thanks

This past week saw the release of Rescape, a remix collection from local producer NSU and I've got a remix on there of his tune West Coast Dub (listen here). I've pulled together a collection of some of the remixes I've done as Dub Asylum, kinda like a demo tape, and a few of them are available as free downloads, including one that is previously unreleased.

The first remixes I did were for the Midnights and Kolab - I hit them up via Myspace, how old fashioned is that? Funny thing is, I did the Kolab remix without ever talking to the guys - did it all via email and IM. Even though they live in the same city as me.

Devine No 5 -
The Onleung remix was done for a proposed remix collection of Onelung's 2006 album Binary Pop Songs, but that never happened due to record company stuff. Have a listen and download it for free. Thanks to Onelung for letting me make it available.

Sideways - I did a remix for Kolab when their debut album, What Comes Next dropped in 2008. You can download it for free too. Thanks to Kolab for letting me make it available. They are also available for download from

Outside looking in - The Midnights, a tune that appeared on their debut album, Outside (2010) This remix was done when this tune was knocking round student radio in 2007. I'm currently working on another remix for them.

Hiding - The Hollie Smith remix was for a remix competition she had in Oct 2010. Some cheesy House mix won. Sucky, that. Still like it, tho. Do more reggae, Hollie!

West coast dub - The remix of NSU is off the album Rescape, a remix collection of NSU, out April 25, 2011.  That's the cover below.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Kog turns

Seeing as it's New Zealand Music Month, I thought I'd dig out some old magazine articles on local musicians that I wrote a while back. They give you a snapshot of artists earlier in their career...

Coming up, Shayne Carter, Dawn Raid and a few others, written for Pavement, Real Groove and Lava/Selector magazines. This is the first of several posts over the next few weeks, keep your eyes peeled for em.... This article was originally written for North and South magazine in 1999, but they never published it.

Kog Transmissions is the name of a collective of enterprising young long haired musicians, who specialise in making and releasing dance music.

Within an astonishingly short space of time, they have established themselves on the local music scene, with little or no help from the music industry. They have done it all their own way, setting up their own recording studio, releasing their cds on their own label, and selling them at their own cd launch gigs; you pay $15 to get into the gig and get a cd to take home with you.

It's great value for money, and a great night out. The business equation reads like this: they manufacture 500 cd's, get 500 people along to their gig, and hey presto, their cd sells out in one night, rather than sitting in record shops for months and months.

Last year the Kog team released one cd a month, a very ambitious plan, but one that paid off handsomely, rapidly building a loyal following for their musical activities. This clever technique bought them to the attention of major record label Universal Music, who offered to step in and help with the distribution of their cd's around the country.

"We started the studio about three and a half years ago", says Chris Chetland of Kog, "when we moved into this warehouse [situated in Kingsland, Auckland]. Back when we started the studio we had a Metal band at the time [the delightfully named Raw Meat For The Balcony], and we wanted to record our own album, and were getting more into the technology side of music. All the people here knew each other for quite a few years before that, because we all went to school together, and had been in bands together."

They mostly went to Sacred Heart, aligning them with a musical legacy that includes such local music luminaries as Dave Dobbyn, Tim and Neil Finn, Rikki and Ian Morris, Peter Urlich, who also attended that school.

Fellow Kog member Andrew Manning says that "Kog is a place to pool talents; we try to enjoy what we're doing as much as we can, we don't work with anyone we don't like. It's a group of friends, basically." Chetland notes that "By the fact that you're enjoying doing something, you do far better at it." The Kog collective is comprised of six people, most of who live and work together in the Kog warehouse.

Overseas dj's who have visited Kog have been amazed to see them doing everything in-house, unlike the standard methods where the tasks of music production get farmed out; recording, mastering, cd-rom, artwork, video etc are all done on site at the Kog warehouse, hence, they have a lot of creative control over what they do.

Also, having their own studio means never having to pay for studio time, which usually costs up to $150 per hour. Chris estimates that to set up a computer based recording studio would cost $10,000 for new equipment and software, or under $3,000 second hand. This is where computers are making it much easier for musicians to have their own home studio, bypassing the traditional methods of recording in expensive studios, where your creativity is hampered by constantly watching the clock, as your money ticks away.

Musically, the Kog releases have been exploring various musical styles within the dance genre: Chris says "Every release we do is in a different style, which from our point of view is interesting, because you get to learn a different style of music each time, and you get to meet people out of that particular scene. And if someone likes say one of our releases that is in the House style, then maybe they'll trust us and try another one of our releases, like Pitch Black, so it breaks down a lot of those barriers."

That diversity runs from Mark de Clive Lowes jazzy dance to Pitch Black's reggae/techno, to Epsilon Blue's melodic trance, to Baitercells drum n bass. They have also ventured into commercials, doing music for Sky TV, Saatchis, Telecom, and tv shows like Havoc, Queer Nation, and even reworking the Holmes Show theme for their feature on dance music.

Chris has studied complex systems theory and philosophy at university, which has influenced their business approach. "It's like looking at it more from that angle, rather than the standard, strict hierarchical business structures that a lot of businesses operate on. It's like the elephant and the mouse; one is big and lumbering and can squash you, but if you can keep on moving around, you're always evolving, continuously and and quickly there is never a fixed point, you never become a dead state. being able to offer new angles means you can offer a fresh perspective.

"It's the number 8 wire approach; you might not have all the super slick gear, but you just find different ways of doing it. We're putting it (the music) out there in the first place in ways that are unconventional, but also getting really good placement in that environment.

"We could've done it the standard record company way, where you do one release a year, put huge amounts of money in, and wait for it to trickle back in over the next year, or you can pay it all off in one night. We just reconfigured the rules to suit ourselves, rather than just do it like any other record label.

"When you look at any system, you assess what anyone else has done, then you look for different pathways that you can bypass the things that don't fit what you are doing. We wanted to get lots of music out there, and there was no way we could do it using the standard mechanisms that record labels operate under, or most businesses, in fact. By treating it less mechanically and more organically, it grows itself."

Kog are currently putting together a cd for The Gathering, an annual dance party held on Takaka Hill out of Nelson. This is the second year they have compiled a cd for this event, highlighting some of the leading lights in the local electronic music scene, who have also played at The Gathering. The first cd was supported by tv advertising from Universal, and sold over 3,000 copies.

Read more: Kog Transmutations, from NZ Musician, 2003.

The Don Isaac Ezekiel Combination – Ire

Free download from the new Nigeria 70 compilation, out very soon.

Bola Johnson & His Easy Life Top Beats The Don Isaac Ezekiel Combination – Ire  (soundcloud) (mediafire)
From: Nigeria 70- Sweet Times Afro-Funk Highlife & Juju From 1970s Lagos (May 10th, Strut)

Strut announce the return of their pioneering ‘Nigeria 70’ compilation series with an exclusive new third volume: ‘Sweet Times: Afro Funk, Highlife & Juju from 1970s Lagos’ compiled again by series curator Duncan Brooker. 

Excavating another choice batch of rare grooves from Nigeria’s label archives, the new edition places the spotlight on some of the deeper fusions happening across the country during the 1970s as traditional guitar highlife blended with jazz and funk, hypnotic juju grooves became more progressive and young Nigerian bands came through with their own heavy West African take on U.S. soul, funk, disco and rock.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Party at ground zero

Party at ground zero, by Fishbone, 1985.

Party at ground zero, by Americans on hearing of the death of Osama, last night. NYC.

Quick cut of footage from Ground Zero - May 2, 2011 from Dewi Cooke on Vimeo.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Dennis Coffey interview

Last week, the Hit It and Quit It radio show,hosted by Recloose and Frank Booker, ran a special on Dennis Coffey, including an interview with the man. Both Recloose and Coffey are from Detroit. Check it out.

"... Before recording his solo work Dennis was a member of Motown's surest house band 'The Funk Brothers', featuring on soul classics such as the Temptations' 'Ball of Confusion' and 'Cloud 9', Edwin Starr's 'War' and Freda Payne's 'Band of Gold'.

Little did Dennis realise that as he jammed, experimented and recorded his music that he was inadvertently laying down the bedrock for dozens of hip-hop and jungle classics to ensue over the following forty years. Some of Dennis' biggest hits were heavily driven by their infectious breakdowns, quickly becoming rhythmic fodder for the earliest hip-hop DJs and later producers of the 1980s and beyond.

We checked in with Dennis in Detroit just before the release of his brand new record, self-titled 'Dennis Coffey' on the mighty Strut Records. The album hit shelves April 25 and features collaborations with Mayer Hawethorne, the Dirtbomb's Mick Collins, Fanny Franklin, Paolo Nutini and Kings Go Forth. Also be on the lookout for a Dennis Coffey remix project in the very near future featuring 14KT, Apollo Brown, Dabrye and yours truly (Recloose)."

Listen to the show here. Also features 'Constellations: The A - Z of Dennis Coffey' mix by DJ Houseshoes.

Where's Biggie and Tupac?

President Obama suggests that now that Donald Trump has solved the 'issue' of his birth certificate, he can get onto more pressing questions, like what really happened at Roswell, and where's Biggie and Tupac? The Donald got schooled.


Little Dragon have a new album on the way, called Ritual Union, out July 16. Here's a live preview of the first single, Little Man (hat tip: Potholes in my blog)

This track sounds kinda familiar, I think Little Dragon may have played it in their opening set before the Gorillaz show at Vector Arena last December. I really hope Little Dragon come back and play their own show, I'd love to see em in a club setting.

Bonus DL: Little Dragon remixed by Unknown Mortal Orchestra (ex Mint chicks) Presents: Little Dragon "Little Man" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


Here's an interesting history of Christchurch record stores... written by Paul Gilbert.

"In post-earthquake #2 Christchurch (2011), the number of independent record shops sits at a precarious five with a question mark still remaining over four of these. Galaxy Records , Selwyn Street and Radar are all in premises hit badly by the quake. The week before the second quake ‘Evil Genius’ opened a shop in Lyttelton. The timing and location could not have been worse. I hope they all make a Lazarus like resurrections."

Read it in full here.

PLUS photos of Christchurch record shop ads/flyers.


US hiphop producer Oddisee is currently working on the new album from his group Diamond District, due out later this year. Their debut album dropped late 2009, and you can download the instrumentals from that album now for free. Preview them below, nice dirty hiphop drums with jazzy samples....

High Noon Tea playlist, KiwFM, Sunday May 1

Show replays on KiwiFM on Fridays 2-4pm, listen online.

Salmonella dub - Mercy - Mu's remix
Mighty Asterix - Sweetest girl - toughest dub
Katchafire - Sensi dub - Pitch black remix
Tehimana Kerr - At three
Fredericks Brown - Betrayal - Dusty remix
Riki Gooch - Bakade varor
Recloose live band - Racetrack in France
Onelung - Mr frisky
Scratch 22 - Devotion
Lewis McCallum - The almanac
Adi Dick - Jahjah is coming
Conray - Space dub jazz
Hikoikoi - Jah armour
Jahlicious - Want
Lord Echo - Thinking of you
Rub a dub brothers - Respirator
Tubbs - Five day night - Fat Freddys remake
Loudhaler - Sea monster run
Trip to the moon - Trance ebo express
Julien Dyne - Scissorhands
Karl Marx Project - Anti gravity
Mephisto Jones - Remember me
Module - Faultlines - Jet Jaguar remix
Unitone hifi - Up to eleven
Joint  force -Burntime inst

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Cool free tune from Blend Mishkin (straight outta Athens, Greece), off their new Disco-Vampire EP. Check out more from Blend Mishkin over at Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

And here's a DJ mix they did, full of reggae dancehall niceness... listen and download... it's 24 mins long

Blend Mishkin - It's a Dancehall Ting (DJ Mix) by Blend Mishkin

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, April 30

East side symphony - Hot pants road
Herbie Hancock - Palm grease
Jay-Z - Show me what ya got inst
Digital underground - The way we swing
Queens tag team - Jump around - Big Willi reggae mix
African head charge - Timpanya
Blend Mishkin feat BNC - Disco vampires - Turntable dubbers remix
Dreadsquad - Sweet thing inst
Roots Manuva vs Wrongtom - Big tings redone
De Phazz - Plastic love memory
Dub colossus - Uptown ranking
Shark Wilson and the basement heaters - Make it reggae
Moneyman and the super 5 international - Life
Tunde Mabadu - Viva disco
Pepperpots - Real tru love
The Emotions - Bind alley
Black velvet - An earthquake's coming
Fred Wesley and the horny horns - Between two sheets
Kashmere stage band - Thank you - extended version
Charles Bradley - Golden rule
Colman bros - El nino - big band mix
Henry Mancini - A shot in the dark theme
Melvin Jackson - Black and bold
Pete Rock - Appreciate
Funkmaster Flex and ghetto celebs - Safe sex, no freaks
Kormac - Join together

Friday, April 29, 2011

Keep it down!

From 1981, Auckland band the Newmatics, off the double 7 inch EP, Broadcast O.R. The Riot Squad rose to infamy during the 1981 Springbok rugby tour, but the Newmatics had encountered this particular group of coppers the previous year, at one of their gigs.

On the remix

This week saw the release of Rescape, a remix collection from local producer NSU, and I've got a remix on there, of his tune West Coast Dub (listen here). I've pulled together a collection of some of the remixes I've done as Dub Asylum, kinda like a demo tape., and a few of them are available as free downloads, including one that is previously unreleased.

The first remixes I did were for the Midnights and Kolab - I hit them up via Myspace, how old fashioned is that? Funny thing is, I did the Kolab remix without ever talking to the guys - did it all via email and IM. Even though they live in the same city as me.

Devine No 5 -
The Onleung remix was done for a proposed remix collection of Onelung's 2006 album Binary Pop Songs, but that never happened due to record company stuff. Have a listen and download it for free. Thanks to Onelung for letting me make it available.

Sideways - I did a remix for Kolab when their debut album, What Comes Next dropped in 2008. You can download it for free too. Thanks to Kolab for letting me make it available. They are also available for download from

Outside looking in - The Midnights, a tune that appeared on their debut album, Outside (2010) This remix was done when this tune was knocking round student radio in 2007. I'm currently working on another remix for them.

Hiding - The Hollie Smith remix was for a remix competition she had in Oct 2010. Some cheesy House mix won. Sucky, that. Still like it, tho. Do more reggae, Hollie!

West coast dub - The remix of NSU is off the album Rescape, a remix collection of NSU, out April 25, 2011.  That's the cover below.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

R.I.P. Poly Styrene, Phoebe Snow

Poly Styrene passed away after a battle with cancer, aged 53. She had released a new album in March. Guardian's obit here..

From Dangerous Minds blog... X Ray Spex live in London, 2008

Phoebe Snow was 60, and died of of complications from a brain hemorrhage she suffered last year.
LA Times: Phoebe Snow obit

Phoebe Snow and Linda Ronstadt - It's in his kiss (from 1979)

Ebo highlife

Free download from Ebo Taylor- "Peace On Earth" (mediafire)
From: Life Stories (out April 12th, Strut)

Ebo Taylor- Peace On Earth by Strut
From the Life Stories liner notes:

Ebo acknowledges the influence of US jazz rockers Blood Sweat & Tears and – less obviously, perhaps – Deep Purple on this easy going mid-tempo piece, written a few years before it was recorded, when Osibisa and various ‘blaxploitation’ themes were hip. “I was trying to fuse rock and jazz together with highlife,” Ebo recalls. “This kind of music was ahead of its time – not very popular when we recorded it!”

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

R.I.P Margaret of K Rd

Photo by Stephen Hardy
She sat outside Verona or St Kevins arcade, asking for change or a ciggie, for 28 years (source). She passed away in her sleep, according to staff at Alleluyah. Have had her passing confirmed by someone from K Rd Business Association. Apparently she lived in Parnell and used to take to bus to K Rd every day.

ADDED Sofia Mella from K Rd shop Tattooed Heart has written a tribute to Margaret on their blog.

TV3 news item on Margaret - watch here. More on the story from
Her last name was Hofman. A service is planned for next Tuesday at the Baptist Tabernacle, at the top of Queen St.

ADDED Found a messsage board with tales of Margaret, posted in 2009...

"  took Margaret to the Casino once after she kept questioning me about what it was like...she got all dressed up, but when we got there they wouldnt let her in, because one of the bouncers knew her...There was quite a fuss, as I demanded to speak to a supervisor...eventually they let us in, on the proviso that I was responsible for her...waste of time, as we were there 5 mins, when she suddenly realised that you couldnt smoke in we went & ate Burgerking instead, before walking home! "

"Margaret was never a model...she was however, one of Aucklands "it" girls, in the 1950, about town in a sportscar, drinking at all the upmarket supper clubs...she comes from a wealthy family! She has been married, & has had a child, who died at a young age...this tragedy split her marriage up...I was told all this by an elderly friend who knew her in those days...I asked her about it once, & she nodded her head, then told me "its in the past, I dont want to talk about it".. "