Saturday, June 18, 2011


Interesting article in light of  NZs new copyright laws, which also contain a three strikes clause.

"The Irish Data Protection Commissioner is investigating the Eircom / music industry three strikes system, a report in the Sunday Times has revealed. According to the story by Mark Tighe, predictions that Eircom would end up falsely accusing innocent users have now proved correct, with over 300 users wrongfully being sent a "first strike" letter accusing them of sharing music."
Read the full story here.

Big Day Out moving?

On May 23, The Corner music blog posted a story on industry rumours that the Big Day Out was not being held at Mt Smart Stadium  in 2012. This got picked up and mentioned in the NZ Herald's Time Out section.

On Thursday, TV One News reporter Joanna Hunkin had a piece listed as an exclusive, saying "Big Day Out organisers contacted North Harbour management just over a week ago to check availability, ONE News has learned." When the  story was first posted on TVNZ's website, it also listed the story as exclusive, though that was later removed. Is it really an exclusive when it's already been reported in two other media sources that the BDO is moving?

The TVNZ story also features comment from Australian promoter Andrew McManus, who said "it is a tight schedule, even for the most experienced promoters, and it could see the BDO cancelled here. Just doing a normal concert, you'd think six months is okay, but for a festival, you'd be starting to get worried. Most definitely," McManus said.

This is the same promoter who is currently facing liquidation of his NZ operation over the Raggamuffin Festival. Hunkin says in the story "Bands come and go, but one thing has been constant; Mt Smart has been the home of the BDO since 1994". Not true - they skipped a year in 1998.

The NZ Herald also reported (May 29) that Mt Smart Stadium was in need of $2.3 million in repairs. No mention of that in TV One's item. Today's NZ Herald has a follow-up on the BDO hoopla, noting that "... It is understood Mt Smart Stadium, run by Auckland Council-owned Regional Facilities Auckland, wants more from venue hire and bar profit from the Big Day Out."

"We are in continuing discussions with venue operators to ensure the event stays there," said BDO's Auckland promoters, CRS Management. "Leaving New Zealand or Auckland is the last thing Big Day Out wants to do." Patrons could be confident the BDO would return in January.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM

Dutch rhythm, steel and showband - Down by the river
20th century steel band  - Land of a thousand dances
New mastersounds - Nervous - Kenny Dope bonus beats remix
Kashmere stage band -  Superstrut - Kenny Dope remix
Jo-jo and the fugitives - Chips chicken banana split
Tony Benson sextet - Ugali
Wganda Kenya - Pim pom
Dit - You bring out the best in me
Nona Hendryx - B-boys
Kendra Lou and the miracles - Be kind to your mind feat Red Astaire
Eli Goularte e banda do moto - Meu samba - Nicola Conte remix
Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics - Chacha
Ruts DC - Love and fire - Dreadzone remix
Steven Stanley - Binghi riddim dub version

Tribute to Big Matt mix
Brentford allstars - Racetrack
Freddie McGregor - Rastaman camp
The Revolutionaries - Skanking
Carlton Livingston - 100lbs of collieweed
Marcia Griffiths - Feel like jumping
Phillis Dillon - Rocksteady
Skatalites - Collie bud
Horace Andy - Just say who
Sandoz - King dread
Courtney Melody - Bad boy
PD Syndicate - Ruff like me  -T Power and Shy fx remix
Yush 2k - Fade away
Le peuple de le herbe - Reggaematic
Joni Rewind - Uptown top ranking
Nightmares on wax - 70s 80s - Scientist remix 1
Kelis, Beenieman, TOK - Trick me twice Punchline mix
Jackie Mittoo - Hot milk
Tommy McCook and the supersonics - Beirut

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Karl Hector Presents: Jazz Modal Du Monde

Karl Hector mixtape, DL here. Karl Hector Presents: Jazz Modal Du Monde

"...Hector drops esoteric old Folkways and Blue Note gems, Sun Ra, Lloyd Miller, Mulatu Astatke, and a litany of stuff that I won’t even pretend to have previously heard." Hat tip to blog, wicked stuff.

Bonus - Karl Hector and the Malcouns live at Choicecuts in Dublin, at Steadybloggin (DL)

Cash Rules Everything Around Wu

Cash Rules Everything Around Wu is the name of a paper presented at this year’s EMP Conference by Tal Rosenberg and Jeff Weiss. Read it here. Fascinating stuff.

"... The Wu-Tang warned us that if it ain’t raw, it’s worthless. Most record executives originally disagreed—at least the ones who made power moves. They wanted suit and tie raps that were cleaner than a bar of soap. So said the Gza, and who am I to argue with a man whose own album cover claimed that he was a Genius?

Looking back 20 years later, the Clan’s rise seems pre-ordained, a divine alchemy of ability, acumen, and Ol’ Dirty Bastardry. But when they first emerged from the badlands of Brooklyn and Staten Island, they’d already suffered multiple failures. Less remembered are the RZA and GZA’s initial salvos, commercial flops that recast them as sub-Big Daddy Kane ladies men. In two years, they’d be admonishing you to protect your neck, but first they wanted you to come do them..."

Plus, from the comments in that story, which point to another article on the Wu-Tang approach to business, from the NY Times, back in 1996. 'Brash hiphop entrepreneurs.'

"... His [RZA's] introduction to business, he says, came from selling marijuana on street corners. ''You could sell weed and make a little money,'' he said, ''but most of it gets made for the guy you're selling it for. It's the same thing in the music business, except it's legal.''

That lesson was driven home after early recording contracts that he and Genius had went sour around 1990. RZA felt that he and Genius had been naive about the record industry, allowing themselves to be marketed poorly and shortchanged financially; vowing never to make that mistake again, he read up on corporations and decided to apply his street savvy to any future deals..."

Free ish!

Also over at LA Weekly, very cool free download from some of the hottest producers in Los Angeles, covering a variety of artists from Lady Gaga to Richie Valens...

LA's Coolest Producers (Daedelus, Shlohmo, etc.) Do Prince, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Soulja Boy and More (Free Download of Entire Album).

Pop Massacre:
1. Anenon - Wannabe (Spice Girls) -- Non Projects
2. Strangeloop - Wouldn't It Be Nice (Beach Boys) -- Brainfeeder
3. Shlohmo - Pretty Boy Swag (Soulja Boy) -- Friends of Friends
4. DNTEL - Paparazzi (Lady Gaga) -- Sub Pop
5. Asura - Always Be My Baby (Mariah Carey) -- Non Projects
6. Daedelus - I Would Die For You (Prince) -- Ninja Tune/Magical Properties
7. Sahy Uhns - Pieces Of Me (Briitney Spears) -- Proximal
8. Loden - Gimme Gimme (Abba) -- Mush
9. Mexicans with Guns - La Bamba (Ritchie Valens) -- Innovative Leisure/Friends of Friends
10. Groundislava - I Bet I Do (Supa Blanco) -- Friends of Friends
11. The One AM Radio - Take on Me (A-ha) -- Dangerbird
12. Big Spider's Back - Teenage Dream (Katy Perry) -- Circle Into Square
13. My Dry Wet Mess ft. Amir Yaghmai - I Want Her (Keith Sweat) -- Magical Properties

Best tracks: Two L.A. heavyweights, Daedelus and Strangeloop, are responsible for the best tracks on the comp. Check out Daedelus' twisted reworking of Prince's "I Would Die for You" and Strangeloop's remix of the Beach Boy's "Wouldn't It Be Nice." 

Little Roy sees the Rasta in Kurt Cobain

Little Roy Sees the Rasta in Kurt Cobain, from La Weekly.... "couldn’t you see this guy getting stoned before his shift at the coop? Playing a little acoustic “Redemption Song” around a fire pit in J Tree? In Little Roy vs. Nirvana the legendary reggae singer takes on both “Sliver” and “Dive” off of Nirvana’s 1990 7-inch single..." 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gil Scott Heron

Thoughtful piece of writing from Oliver Wang of Soulsides blog, at the LA Times.

A poet with soul: The ballads of Gil Scott-Heron

"The late Gil Scott-Heron was many things -- poet, activist, icon, cipher -- but it’s easy to forget: He could sing, too. Following his passing on May 27, a parade of accolades have lauded his achievements as a cultural figure, drawing attention to his powerful, incisive spoken-word pieces. No doubt, they inevitably mention “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," Scott-Heron’s best-known work (and rightfully celebrated) but it was originally recorded in 1970, early in his career, when the poet only had the slap of congas to accompany him. Even though he re-recorded the song a year later, this time backed by jazz sessioners, it was still the same spoken-word piece. 

If that song is all you know of Scott-Heron’s work, you might assume he was like other radical black poets of the ‘60s and ‘70s, rapping spoken word over sparse percussion. That style typified seminal albums of the era, such as New York’s Last Poets and their self-titled debut, or "Rappin’ Black in a White World" by Los Angeles’ own Watts Prophets. Scott-Heron’s first album from 1970, "Small Talk at 125th and Lenox" (which opened with “Revolution”) was no different except for one, notable exception.

On “The Vulture,” Scott-Heron first plays a rolling piano riff and then sings -- not recites -- his lyrics. Suddenly, the audience is made aware of a mesmerizing voice with a quiet growl and knack for flipping notes off a rumbling low end. By 1971, partnered with the (inexplicably under-credited) composer Brian Jackson, Scott-Heron began putting that voice on full display, and while he never stopped being a poet, he also blossomed as a singer.

For me, Scott-Heron’s baritone falls somewhere between the soaring, polished grace of Bobby Womack and steely chill of Rakim, but there’s also something distinctively mournful to his vocals. Turn on 1974’s "Winter in America," the first (and arguably best) album credited to both Scott-Heron and Jackson, and practically every song carries a deep strain of melancholy. My favorite track on that album, “Rivers of My Fathers,” borrows subtly from Horace Silver’s standard, “Song For My Father.” However, with Jackson’s downbeat piano and Scott-Heron reaching for the lower registers of his voice, the song actually makes me think more of Oliver Nelson’s “Stolen Moments” in how both riff on the spirit of the blues (indeed, in his later years, Scott-Heron identified himself as a “bluesologist”).

On their best songs in the 1970s, Scott-Heron and Jackson brought a sonic gravitas to bear on topics that tackled everything from apartheid (“Johannesburg”) to urban neglect (“We Almost Lost Detroit”), cultural disillusionment (“Peace Go With You Brother”) to drug addiction (“Home Is Where the Hatred Is”). Intellectually, they were certainly part of black nationalist/artistic movements, raising consciousness alongside Amiri Baraka’s noisy, squealing "It’s Nation Time" and "Don’t Play Us Cheap," a jazz/blues musical written by the brilliant, eccentric Melvin Van Peebles. But musically, Scott-Heron and Jackson also stood apart from these contemporaries.

Like Baraka, Peebles or the Last Poets’ Umar Bin Hassan and Alafia Pudim, Scott-Heron could hoot, holler and screech with the best of them, and most of his albums always included at least one spoken-word piece, as if to remind the listener of his literary roots. Yet, as humorous and biting a poem such as “H20Gate Blues” was on "Winter in America," you’re more likely to remember “The Bottle,” an unlikely proto-disco hit in which Scott-Heron sings about the ravages of alcoholism over a swirling, funky groove built around Jackson’s Rhodes piano.

That booming voice is what made Scott-Heron so unique as an artist. His songwriting was undeniably trenchant, but his singing is what also made it elegant. Those inflections lent his words layers of meaning that, at times, conveyed more than any literal reading of his lyrics could yield.

It’s that baritone that inevitably haunts me in these days, especially on “Rivers of My Fathers.” When Scott-Heron hits the chorus, crooning, “rivers of my fathers/could you carry me home?” he speaks to a multitude of desires: for political liberation, cultural emancipation and personal redemption. The song aches with the yearning to be free of shackles and burdens, whether from the world or those self-imposed. Especially this past week, in reflecting on Scott-Heron’s life, its triumphs and struggles, I keep returning to that chorus. As his voice trails off on it, I imagine the poet, with his perpetual, playful smirk, surrendering himself to the water’s flow, finally at peace as he disappears downstream, floating toward a distant home."

Remembering Big Matt

Four years ago today since the big guy left us... we miss you!

Big Matt Watson,  26-09-1964 to 15-06-2007.

Make Capital

Capital Recordings was a Wellington-based label active in the early 2000s, formed by Brent Gleave and  Jason Harding (aka Clinton Smiley). They produced a ton of great music, then faded mid-decade.

Amplifier has picked up a bunch of their releases and has them at a very special price, both CDs and 12"vinyl from the likes of Dub Connection (feat members of Fat Freddys, Jet Jaguar, Black Seeds), The Moodswingers (a cool little project from Toby Laing of Fat Freddys and Mephisto Jones), Jet Jaguar, Audio Sauce (features the above tune), and also Die Die Die, Fanatics and the Illphonics (feat Hollie Smith, P-Digggs)....

Full list of goodies here. CDs $6.95, vinyl $9.95.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rock it like this?

Very interesting case around reworking another person's creative work and claiming it as an original... worth a read.

Court Rules for Photographer in Copyright Infringement Case...
"As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, a California district court has granted summary judgment to Glen E. Friedman for his copyright infringement case against Thierry Guetta for creating, reproducing, displaying, and selling products incorporating Plaintiff’s photograph of the hip hop music group Run-DMC.

... more background on the case is available on The Art Newspaper.

As the court explained in its Order, Guetta obtained a copy of the Photograph from the Internet. The photo did not have a copyright notice on or with it. Guetta claimed that his works were not not substantial similar to the photograph, that he did not copy the copyrightable elements of the photo, and that his use of the Photograph was fair use.  The court disagreed and explained its reasoning in the Order.  Summary judgment means that the court has ruled that Guetta infringed Friedman’s photograph.  The court now will move to the damages phase, determining what amount Guetta will have to pay to Friedman."

Pitch Black pon de remix

Fresh out from Pitch Black this week, (CD and digital), is Rarities and Remixes, all sorts of sonic goodies.... love that Katchafire remix!

"Included in the remixes are tracks by fellow Aotearoa/NZ dub trailblazers International Observer (‘House of the Rising Dub’) and Salmonella Dub (‘For the Love of It’), along with ‘The Opaque’ by independent music producer Tom Cosm, and ‘Sensimillia’ by reggae legends Katchafire – all fed through the PB warping machine. Representing from further a field is ‘Mirror Beach’ by Mirror System (the ambient project of Britain’s System 7), and ‘A New Day’, a remix of a Sri Lankan track that Pitch Black remixed for the Laya Project, a collaboration of regional folk musicians affected by the 2004 tsunami." Plus some rare gems in there, like their tune that ended up in Whalerider - have a listen below.

From Mint Chicks to UMO

Duncan Greive interviewed Ruban Nielson for the Sunday Star Times' Sunday magazine. Ruban talked about his new band, Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO). It's a very open, honest interview.

He revealed some more information in the Mint Chicks spilt - a few weeks prior to their final incendiary gig where his brother Kody smashed up much of the band's gear, he says “I’d already told Kody that I was going back to Portland, but I wasn’t going to keep doing The Mint Chicks. And that was for a lot of reasons, but probably the main one was that I wanted us to be brothers again. I didn’t want to deal with all the weirdness that was going on between us in the band.”

Ruban returned to the US and his wife and family, got his illustration portfolio together and set about getting a job. He landed work interning at a film company, and worked on some music on the side.

snip... "He’d been listening to ’60s psychedelic music for years – starting with The Zombies and Love, and working on down. He was struck by a nagging absence. “I never quite found what I was looking for,” he says. “I had this idea that if I couldn’t find this record, I could make it.”

After a month or so, he had a set of songs. But, unlike other projects, which were scrutinised and salivated over, this one was just hanging in the air. On a whim, without quite knowing why, he decided to see if his creations had legs, and might run. “I put this made-up name on it and sent out a couple of emails to some blogs I liked,” he recalls. “I went to sleep, went to work, and when I came home the next day I checked to see if people had listened to it.”

I've heard that Ruban went to work, and later in the day one of his co-workers asked him if he'd heard of this cool new band called Unknown Mortal Orchestra. That's gotta be pretty surreal.

Ruban's live band consists of bass player Jake Portrait, and drummer Julien Ehrlich; the latter caught the attention of Questlove Thompson of hiphop group The Roots when he saw the band live in NYC back in April - "Watching the Unknown Mortal Orchestra for the first time. I dig these cats. Drummer has great range. Knows his rock & breakbeat ish."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pain's People

Pain's People is the work of one John Pain, ex Black Girls Machine/Hallelujah Picassos/Nudie Suits. He's just posted this cool twisted little tune, from 2004 - previously unreleased: A companion tune to 'I got flowers', which was released on the compilation 'Froth EP Vol 1' on Forth Records [corrected]. And it's available for download. Check it out.

say after me by pains people

But wait, there's more....

so long, negative creeps by pains people

Sunday, June 12, 2011

High Noon Tea playlist, KiwiFM

 Replays on Friday, 2-4pm NZT, listen online.

Mycroft Homes - Sideshow viewing
Bongmaster - Brothers and sisters
Katchafire - Sensi dub - Pitch black remix
Bender Inc - Apocalypse airwaves
Kingites - Together we grow
OG - Bam bam
Onelung - Bumblebeez
Pacific heights - Peace
Mara TK - Run
Pains people - Predestination
Dub terminator meets Ras Stone - Love you so much
The Yoots - Me he manu rere
Adi Dick - Jah jah is coming
Olmecha supreme - FH5 inst
Benny Tones - On my way - Flako remix
Aquaboogie - Brown lawn
The Politik - Money
Solephonic - Whats your style?
Zuvuya - Electric puha
Kevvy Kev - Midnight dub
Trinity roots - Just like you - Max Maxwell and Bluey remix
Bside beats - White collar dub
Spot X - nice dub
Recloose -Maui's lament