Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mute unmute

Mute Records boss Daniel Miller interviewed, includes a DJ mix from Miller. Via The Quietus.

"When we last spoke with Miller around the time of the BBC Synth Britannia programme, he was in the middle of negotiating the departure of Mute from EMI. Now, 18 months later, Mute once again functions as an independent label, operating from offices down in Hammersmith. Incidentally, when I first visited the new HQ, the staff were complaining about all the drilling which, from a label who pioneered industrial music, seemed a bit rich...."

Plus "Electricity is love: Mute & Raster-Noton's Short Circuit triumph" live review of Mute showcase, pretty eclectic lineup from the Residents to Erasure....

"... it's nigh-on impossible to get back into the small room for NON, Pole and Richard H. Kirk, a shame but Ritchie Hawtin plays a fine techno set upstairs in the main room. Down in the bar after that, there's the strange sight of Daniel Miller DJing as people crowd round, not dancing but intent on what he's doing. I hope that, as on his mix for the Quietus, he might have played Twinkle....."

Black wax

There's a fantastic film featuring Gil Scott Heron that I've got on DVD, called Gil Scott Heron: Black Wax. It was directed by Robert Mugge, who has made a number of docos on music and musicians, and was reissued on DVD in 2003.

Shot in Washington DC in 1982, it mixes up concert footage with Heron walking around DC talking about the city and its people. He goes past the White House, thru the ghetto, and a rather funky history museum with mannequins of famous US figures. Here's few clips from it.

It's amazing to think that Heron was still putting out relevant, exciting new music as recently as last year. A full life....

Hopepa on The Yoots

Hopepa (Joe Lindsay) of Fat Freddys talks about his side project the Yoots and their new album, while hanging outside Conch Records. Then he ventures inside and digs thru the bins, spending up large on a stack of wax. "This place is worse than the casino, man!" - Hopepa.

RIP Gil Scott Heron

Posted to Twitter an hour ago by Jamie Byng, Publisher at Canongate Book:
: "Just heard the very sad news that my dear friend and one of the most inspiring people I've ever met, the great Gil Scott-Heron, died today.
He died around 4pm NY time at St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital. just had a teary chat with Aunt Mimi. so sad.
I wrote this piece last year for the guardian and it captures my love and respect for soul brother No.1"

ADDED Confirmed by New York Times: Gil Scott-Heron, Spoken-Word Musician, Dies at 62

ADDED Richard Russell of XL Recordings remembers his last phone conversation with Gil Scott Heron... "...He rang me on a Saturday, the day after my birthday, I answered his call whilst browsing in Foyles bookshop in London. We spoke for an hour. Conversation like this with Gil were a gift...."

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, May 28

Al Green - Love and happiness - Shoes edit
Charles Bradley - Heart of gold
Louis Jordan - Aint nobody here but us chickens - DJ Premier remix
Pepperpots - Real tru love
Emotions - Blind alley
Jean Knight - Carry on
Oddisee - Chocolate city dreaming
Eric B and Rakim - I know you got soul
Daddy Freddy - Haul and pull - Bobby Konders remix
Yellowman - Nobody move nobody get hurt
Junior Murvin - I'll follow you
Ras Stone meets the Dub Terminator - Love you so much
The Yoots - Me he manu rere
Pan dulce steel orchestra - Zig zag
Staff benda billili - Sala mosala
War - The world is a ghetto
The dynamites - It's a sunny day
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Better things
Skatalites - Fugitive dub
Patato and Totico - Dilo como yo - Antibalas remix
Fink - Sort of revolution - Sideshow dub
Beat pharmacy - Assassination of the mind - Teddy G remix
MAW - Zoe; tribute to Fela
Woima collective - Marz
Azymuth - Melo dos dois bicudos - Harmonic313 remix
Myele Manzanza - Me I know him

Friday, May 27, 2011

Groove Guide rises

This afternoon the news broke that Groove Guide had been sold, and would be relaunched on June 8. The story first appeared on (also owned by Tangible Media, who were shuttering Groove Guide).

The Groove Guide's new owner is Grant 'Grunter' Hislop who has spent many years in the music biz, most recently as Programme Director of Juice TV and former director of Channel Z and The Rock as well as A&R head of Warner Music. See The Corner , Under the radar.

Tangible Media publisher Vincent Heeringa has alternately blamed the demise of Groove Guide on shrinking ad revenue and no support from major corporates, social media and blogs, lack of support from the music industry, due that industry's declining  fortunes. He said "It's a sad day for the music industry and we tried very hard to make it work ... it's a reflection more of the nature of the industry than of publishing in general."

Pointing out the dilemma of another industry could be seen to be conveniently glossing over the failings of the publishing industry. If street media can survive in other major metropolitan cities around the globe (as Tangible Media highlighted when they relaunched Groove Guide), then what was Tangible Media doing wrong?

The possibility of a new owner emerged on Tuesday, with Heeringa saying "We are a reasonably large company now and that comes with expectations of return on investment. Overheads are reasonably high.

"We've got a set of publishers here like me who we've got to keep smoking cigars and driving fancy cars. There are costs to be saved by the owner being the guy who runs the business."

I have heard reports that Heeringa was seen to have his tongue firmly planted in cheek while delivering the above blather.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sing along

The Yoots have posted up their album to listen to on Bandcamp (strangely not for purchase tho - sort it out!). You can buy it from

Macro dubplates preview

Volume three of Macro Dubplates is set to drop soon - Brooklyn vs Kingston. Due out Northern mid-summer. The first two were killer blends of hiphop vocals over classic reggae jams - grab em from Macrodubplates

Vol 1and 2  also got bootlegged on vinyl too, some copies making their way back to the man behind them, Chris Macro. Vol 1 is Wu Tang vs King Tubby, vol 2 is Jay-Z vs the Wailers. Both wicked blends. ODB's Shimmy Shimmy Ya over a reggae beat is just incredibly cool.

You'll also find an EP there for download, that Chris did with Tom Scott from Homebrew, called Max Marx & Friedrich Calloway at Carnegie Hall.


These are the good times

Norman Jay is a legendary British DJ, and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his Good Times sound system he's dropping a new collection in his series of Good Times compilations. The track listing looks dynamite.
"Norman Jay presents Good Times 30 is released on CD, LP and download. For the CD and LP formats, leading journalist and author Lloyd Bradley interviews Norman Jay for an extensive career-spanning sleeve note. The package also features rare and unseen photos from across Norman Jay’s career as a DJ." Out July 19 on Strut
10. J BOOGIE’S DUBTRONIC SCIENCE feat. GOAPELE and CAPITOL A – TRY ME (People Under The Stairs Remix)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Twitter is a buzzkill

A New Zealander I follow on Twitter posted this earlier:

@francescadejong: "I may delete my twitter account -just got a email from twitter saying they've received a DMCA notice re a post i made.

"I posted a blog with music on it, apparently that's partaking in infringing activity. It was a well known music blog too, the music ninja." The link was to this music blog post by Bon Iver.

If this is true, the idea that Twitter would send out warnings to its users for sharing links, which is one of the fundamental uses of Twitter, is just insanely stupid. Especially as I think US copyright law doesn't apply to NZ citizens. That wouldn't stop Twitter deleting your account though.

ADDED - two articles: The Twitter DMCA Debacle.
How Much Copyright Infringement Can You Cram Into a Single Tweet?

ADDED: iTunes accidentally leaked Bon Iver's new album. As noted via Twitter, "Stores don't accidentally leak albums. Labels upload albums with the wrong release date."

ADDED I contacted the Music Ninja blog via Twitter and let them know about Francesca's issue. I asked if they had had any DCMA infringement notices from Twitter or elsewhere,and they replied no.

ADDED Here is the full DCMA notice sent to Francesca from Twitter (thanks to Francesca for letting me publish this)....

francescadejong, May-24 04:18 am (PDT):


The following material has been removed from your account in response to a DMCA take-down notice:

Tweet: - Listen to Holocene by Bon Iver at the bottom of this post. Beautiful. via @themusicninja

If you believe the material to not be infringing, you may send us a counter-notification of your objection pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(g)(3).

Please include the following in your counter-notification:
1. Your full name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and Twitter user name.
2. Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.
3. The following statement: “I swear under penalty of perjury that I have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.”
4. A statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the judicial district in which your address is located, or if your address is outside of the United States, the Northern District of California, and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notice under 17 U.S.C. 512 (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.
5. Your physical or electronic signature

Please send your counter-notification to us at the following address:
Twitter, Inc.
Attn: Copyright Agent, DMCA Counter-Notification
795 Folsom Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94107
Or fax to: 415-222-0922
Or email to:, subject: DMCA Counter-Notification

We will forward a copy of your counter-notification, including the information required in item 1 above, to the complainant. BY SENDING US A COUNTER-NOTIFICATION, YOU CONSENT TO THIS DISCLOSURE OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION.

If we do not receive notice from the complainant within 10 business days that the complainant has filed an action seeking a court order to restrain you from engaging in infringing activity relating to the material on Twitter, we will replace or cease disabling access to the material.

Further information and a link to a sample counter-notification may be found on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website at

THIS RESPONSE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND WE ARE NOT YOUR ATTORNEYS. We recommend you contact your own attorney in this matter.
Thank you,
Twitter Trust and Safety

ADDED I've just found that Bon Iver's label JagJaguwar have a free MP3 download of Calgary, the same MP 3 that is on the Music Ninja blog for download. 

Myele Manzanza

Me I Know Him ft. Sam Manzanza and Amenta by Myele Manzanza

Myele Manzanza holds down the drumseat for Electric Wire Hustle. Last year he was selected to attend the prestigious Red Bull Music Academy in London, and then spent several months in New York and Berlin. The outcome of his travels is his debut album, One.

"The first single 'Me I Know Him' featuring [Myele's father] Sam Manzanza and fellow Red Bull Music Academy participant Amenta started life with recording Sam's vocals in Myele's kitchen in Wellington on his inboard laptop microphone, while Amenta's vocals were tracked at the high end recording facility of London's Red Bull Studios.

“This rhythmical track touches on where I have come from, my African heritage, my history as a drummer and my love for jazz and dance music. Plus it's dope to be able to finally put my dad on something too!” says Myele.

'Me I Know Him' is the first single to be released from Myele Manzanza's full length album 'One'. The album will also feature guest artists Ladi6, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Charlie K, Bella Kalolo, Rachel Fraser, Mara TK and TaayNinh of Electric Wire Hustle and many other incredibly talented musicians."

Hello Eric

Eric Lau's new album Quadrivium dropped recently, this is a free tune off it. Tasty, beaty, groovy.

Another tune from Eric Lau, off his instrumental album from Sept 2010, Makin Sound.

Oddisee - Odd Seasons album

Washington DC producer Oddisee dropped a series of fantastic instrumental EPs last year around the seasons. My favourite was Odd Summer, cos the tunes were mellow, and I love summer.

This is a free download off the 31-track album Odd Seasons, out this week. It's available as digital download or CD, with vinyl coming soon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mayer Major

Mayer Hawthorne did an awesome live show earlier this year in Auckland, with his band The County. He was suave as, and a lot of fun. He's just announced he's leaving Stonesthrow and signing to Universal Republic for his second album How Do You Do, which is in the can. He has been recording it back in his hometown Detroit.

First single off the album is rumoured to be called “A Long Time”. Sounds like this, and I think he played it in Auckland too, I remember him teaching the crowd the Errol Flynn.... (via Potholes in my blog)

Happy birthday, Robert Zimmerman

From the inimitable Hugh Laurie, in the style of Bob Dylan

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