Saturday, June 25, 2011


Local producer Grassroots has just dropped his debut album, there's even a free download in there too. Give it  a spin!

Gold getter

Brand new single from UK reggae act The Resonators, who opened for Fat Freddys Drop at the Brixton Academy recently. Produced by Nick Manasseh. Well tasty tunes!

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM

Colm K and the freestyle mellowship -Dancing skulls
Toots and the maytals - Who knows better version
Ranking Joe - Dont follow Babylon - BAF meets wai wan mix
Silent poets - Shalom - Mad Professor dub mix
Junior Murvin - I'll follow you
Kion and murda feat Junior Murvin - #1 sound
Farm fresh sound system - Roots once again - Max rubadub remix
Ethrealites - Rock-a-shaka dub mix
Footsie - Cuss cuss - Footsie dub
Omegaman - Skankin riddim - original mix
Lewis McCallum - The almanac
Benny Tones - Odyssey - Kamandi headspin remix
Aloe Blacc - You make me smile
Charles Bradley - Why is it so hard
West coast revival - My mind is at ease
The Emotions - From toys to boys
Nina Simone - Taking care of business - Pilooski edit
Universal robot band - Dance and shake your tambourine
Admiral Dele Abiodun and his top hitters - It's time for juju music
Gay flamingoes steel band - Black man's cry
Louis Jordan - Aint nobody here but us chickens  -DJ Premier remix
Billie Holiday - That old devil called love - Moodymann remix
Philadelphia all-stars - Let's clean up the ghetto
Alan Moorhouse - Expo in Tokyo (As used in video below)
Chancha via circuito - Rio Arriba
Caribou - Odessa
Coati mundi - Me no pop I - Biggabush edit

Japan 2010 from Matthew Buchanan on Vimeo.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Prince: ringtones are evil

From The Guardian, interview with his purplenesss...

His management’s pre-interview list of guidelines insisted, “Please do not discuss his views on the internet,” but perhaps Prince hasn’t read them. “I personally can’t stand digital music,” he says. “You’re getting sound in bits. It affects a different place in your brain. When you play it back, you can’t feel anything. We’re analogue people, not digital.” He’s warming to his theme. “Ringtones!” he exclaims. “Have you ever been in a room where there’s 17 ringtones going off at once?”

Does he have a ringtone?

“No,” he says, looking as offended as if I’d asked him if he drove a clown car. “I don’t have a phone…”

Cartoon for John Drinnan

So, today my blog got mentioned by NZ Herald's media columnist John Drinnan. Woohoo!  Apparently after he waded into the comments on this post about his piece on Ladyhawke, the experience left him battered and bruised.

He has decided that the MSM engaging with its audience is not such a great idea. Someone suggested to me maybe it was his first day on the internet... Here's his comments, in full...


Wiser heads have warned to never get involved in debates in Blogland.

But a Herald item about taxpayer funding for Ladyhawke prompted such howls of indignation on the musos' website dubdotdash, I felt obliged to take part and the experience confirmed my impressions about blog debates.

What I found was that many of these blogs - though not all - seem to operate as opinion regulators with like-minded contributors supporting one another and defining the debate.

Differing opinions can be dismissed as trolls and there is a concerted effort to bring people into line. Inevitably the Ladyhawke debate was peppered with personal invective and swearing. The lesson was clear - you're in Blogland now.

It shows why the so-called MSM (mainstream media) so seldom ventures in - maybe it is better that way."

Hi John,

The lines between MS and Blogland are crossing over increasingly as new media evolves and the way people get their news changes - your own paper regularly uses them and their content as news sources, and also as writers (Bernard Hickey, David Farrar).

Your oversimplification of our discussion in the comments on that post overlooks who was making those comments - journalists, music industry veterans, and people who have some experience of the music industry. Some agreed with you, some didn't. That's the nature of internet debate.


Here's a wee cartoon for you. Enjoy.




Last show on KiwiFM

This Sunday will be my last show hosting KiwiFM's High Noon Tea. KiwiFM  have decided to let me go as host, after three and a half years. I'm also now longer hosting the High Noon Tea edition on Air NZ's inflight entertainment.

There will be a new host, new timeslot and new format for High Noon Tea. KiwiFM is also cutting most of its specialist shows, revamping a few, and keeping The Kiwi House, hosted by Karl Steven (Drab do-riffs/Supergroove). These moves are part of a drive to make KiwiFM more commercial, which I take to mean they are trying to increase its ratings.

I've enjoyed hosting High Noon Tea, and want to thank Dianne Swann for asking me to join the KiwiFM team, and also thanks to Michael Higgins and Sam Collins and all the team at KiwiFM, who are doing a great job.

Doing a show where you are restricted to just two genres (reggae and downtempo) and then narrowing that even further to just music from one country - New Zealand -  was a challenge. Thankfully, NZers love their reggae, and there's a wealth of good New Zealand music being made in those two genres. Thank you to all the local musicians I've played on the show who are making great music.



Tom Atkinson aka Tomachi dropped this solo joint on Capital Recordings in late 2005. He's recently released it back into the wilderness via Bandcamp.

"Drummer, keyboardist, and composer Tomachi's debut solo album ‘The Hotel Vermont Sessions’ was the culmination of several years worth of pent-up musical drive, held in check while playing in a variety of bands (SJD, One Million Dollars, Breaks Co-Op, Dam Native, Foghorn, The Roughness, Jungle Fungus and more).

Sexy, hip hop soul with a jazz-funk twist, the sessions required a rollcall of longtime friends and collaborators Dam Native on lead single ‘Mic Is Mine’ as well as the likes of Godfrey de Grut [Loungehead/Brooke Fraser band], Nick Atkinson and Tim Stewart [ex-Supergroove], Kingsley Melhuish, Nigel Gavin [Nairobi Trio], Hamish Clarke [Breaks Co-Op], John Highstead [Relax-o-matic] and many, many more."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Roots + Weird Al cover Madvillian

Original below...

Via Stonesthrow, more here.... oh yeah, somewhere in the world right now, The Roots are onstage playing, backing up Rakim. Gotta find video of that set....

Kirk in the time machine

Found this old web page I'd saved, from Xtra's site in 2001. Murray Cammick interviewing Kirk Harding.

Talking Hip Hop With Kirk Harding

11/10/2001 05:59 PM By Murray Cammick

While expat Kirk Harding was in Auckland for the Aotearoa Hip Hop Summit 2001 I had a chat with him about NZ Hip Hop and working for New York record label Loud. And by the way, there is a doco on the local Hip Hop event this Saturday Oct 13 on TV3.

The New York tragedy of Sept 11 was a daunting event only days before the Aotearoa Hip Hop Summit. Kirk Harding who signed DLT, Slave & Otis and Che Fu to BMG before he headed for his New York job, was safe in Australia on Sept 11. While he continued on to New Zealand his Loud Records boss Steve Rifkind cancelled his Summit appearance, choosing to return to the USA to join his family.

"He was mortified," said Kirk. "He had his three kids sitting in Los Angeles and soon as he saw that some of those planes were actually destined for Los Angeles, that completely freaked him. He was 'I am going to take the first flight I can.' About three days after it happened, he got the first plane from Sydney that could fly into LA."

Did Tha Liks enjoy New Zealand?

"Yeah, they loved it, they loved the whole tour. Those bands do not usually come down here and they hate Europe because of the language barriers, they do not like the food there and the weather is often horrible. Europe is a real grind for almost every act that we have on our roster."

Does that mean we have a better priced McDonalds?

"Better priced McDonalds? NZ and Australia have a better priced everything when you are coming down here with American dollars."

Redhead Kingpin was upset in Australia when he was taken to good restaurants by Virgin Records.

"Snoop was the same when he came down here, they tried to take him to Cafe Rikka and he was like 'I told you I wanted McDonalds.' I don't think people really understood at that stage. They can just handle themselves, they don't even really want any record company involvement because they're not part of that whole world really."

Our rambling suburbs would remind them of Los Angeles?

"Especially Auckland where they see a whole lot of Samoans here. It feels like they are in LA. They thought it was fantastic. Snoop Dogg said he had never felt more at home in another country in his entire life. Tha Liks they really loved it man, they said, 'When can we come back down here?'."

Did they get to see any NZ Hip Hop?

"All they saw was P-Money at the final of the ITF, before they came on stage and they loved what they saw. They met a lot of people, they were hanging out with the Dawn Raid guys. Sony had them working until midnight Friday night doing that Space show."

What is your current job description?

"It is one of those multi-job descriptions. Senior Director of International and I take care of a third of USA marketing and I am head of MTV promotions. The label had to downsize over the last six months because Sony have been cutting back staff. We are on the Sony payroll. Loud is 60 percent owned by Sony and they asked us to cut back. We have had to cut back 27 people from a staff of 80."

Is New York a vibrant music scene?

"Yeah. I do not know about other genres, but Hip Hop, it is all about the private parties. You have to go to private parties to see exactly how vibrant it is. They are packed with people from producers to managers to artists."

How many acts in a year would Loud sign?

"Sony shut us down last year, we were not allowed to sign anyone, we had to focus on what we had. But I think this year we are signing about 10 new artists."

That is a hell of a lot.

"Yeah. I think the idea is in the next couple of months we are going to axe a few of our bigger artists that are not doing so well, and putting the money that we are paying for those bigger artists into a wider spread of artists. Mainly demo deals initially, the idea at the moment is to start a 12 inch label and just have first rights to those artists if the 12 inches do well which is how Wu Tang started. The idea is to take it back to that."

Looking at New Zealand music being recorded at the moment Hip Hop is the most distinctively Pacific. Do you think NZ Hip Hop can fit into the world scene?

"I think that NZ Hip Hop has to focus on New Zealand. I do not know how it fits into the world scene. I think it could do reasonably well in Europe. In France or Germany, they are just focused on becoming stars in their own territories and do not have their eyes on exporting anywhere and they are selling platinum to four times platinum albums there without even caring what is going on in the States."

Is that French language Hip Hop?

"Yeah and German language Hip Hop. But the idea still applies that they are making music for their backyard. I would say there would only have been one international artist ever playlisted on [USA radio station] Hot97 in the last five or six years."

Do you think that because New Zealand hip hop is so different it might give it a marketability at some point?

"I think down the line definitely, because it is different. You look at how prominent Southern USA Hip Hop is now and five years ago nobody was listening to anything from the South. I think eventually, worldwide Hip Hop will come into the USA scene as well. Outside of the States people are really still obsessed with that very mid-90s, classic Hip Hop sound you know and bringing in the whole four elements of Hip Hop as well. Nobody cares about that in the States anymore. It is more about very electronic based beats and Timberland beats and going back to clubs and making it fun and dancing again. It is almost like we are talking about two different types of Hip Hop now? Because everyone in Europe and down here kind of embraces that Wu Tang and DJ Premier kind of sound and that stuff is history in the States. Like they have moved on to the next stage of development of that sound really."

What Loud recordings are part of that next stage?

"Dead Prez is definitely part of the next stage. Also a lot of our Southern stuff, Project Pat. We have this label out of Memphis called Hynotised Minds. They record everything out of their bedrooms and they do not have any guest artists on their records, just their own camp and everything they have done has gone platinum in the last two years."

Did you think the Hip Hop Summit was a success?

"Yeah, yeah, absolutely! 3,000 kids going to see Tha Liks and 3000 kids watching Che Fu and the DJ Battle. Now the Shore kids are coming across and wanting to be part of everything and you see all these new young turntablists coming up and new young bands. Everyone in the NZ Hip Hop scene seem relatively serious about what they are doing and I think that it is good to have someone like Tha Liks or someone who harks back to Run DMC days as far as performance goes, just to show people that they can have fun with what they are doing as well. It is not all about being super serious on stage all the time."

How do you view the role of the multi-national labels in NZ? The signings that exist now are the same as when you left.

"No, there are less than when I left. I do not think that anyone else has been signed. Hip Hop has to go independent. If I was to do a local label down here I would not do it through a major company. It is easier . . . it is not easy, it is a lot of work, but it is not hard to set up 20 interviews and to sell the records to the stores yourself or to get an independent distributor. It is not that much extra work for what you gain out of it at the end of the day."

"You are not going to get into every Sounds store but you are going to get it into core stores in every city to make sure that the right people get it. I think independent is the only way to do it. I was championing the whole major thing for so long, but I see how hard it is when you have got somebody that is not producing a 'Chains".

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ikebe Shakedown

Ikebe Shakedown ( pronounced “ee-KAY-bay”) have just released their debut album on Ubiquity Records recently, the vinyl version drops this week. This Brooklyn-based outfit recorded the album at Tommy Brenneck's Dunham Records studio (Menahan st band/Charles Bradley) and and also Killion Studio out in LA, home to the band Orgone. Check these cats out, they are funky as. Afro-funky.

"Most of the rhythm section met at Bard College, and the band rounded-out and officially formed when everyone settled in Brooklyn in 2008. From there, Ikebe has emerged as a compelling voice on the progressive local scene. After a run of dates around NYC, the band recorded their debut 7” single and the EP, Hard Steppin’, which was released on Colemine Records in 2009, receiving high praise from critics and fans alike.

The group was invited to record at Dunham Studios with producer Tom Brenneck and at Killion Sound in Los Angeles, home of engineer Sergio Rios of fellow Ubiquity act, Orgone. “The studios share a lot of similarities — the tracks were all cut live to tape with minimal use of headphones and overdubs. This basic approach allowed us to dig in and really focus on getting dynamic performances,” bass player Vince Chiarito explains. (from the band's website)

“A must have nugget for fans of Fela Kuti/Africa70, The JB’s, or Antibalas.” –

“The horns…are so deadly” –

Listen to the album previews at Ubiquity's site.

Ikebe Shakedown - "Tujunga" by Ubiquity Records

Lord Echo on wax

Good news, everyone! Lord Echo's scorching cover of Sister Sledge's Thinking of you is coming out on vinyl through Japanese label Wonderful Noise. So happy.

Lord Echo - Thinking Of You (Take from Album "Melodies" sampler 12") WN12020 by wonderfulnoise

"Lord Echo is the brain child of multi-instrument producer fellow, Mike Fabulous. For many years thought to be just a rumour, his debut release 'Melodies' showcases his penchant for mutant reggae-disco with some serious afro realism and a dubwise approach 'pon the mixing console. The reslut (sic) is a heady brew that no music loving foole could possibly deny, and his gritty reggae-disco rerubb of Sister Sledge's "Thinking Of You" has become a cult club favorite in the mean time. A well kept secret in New Zealand, this underground legend finally sheds his light upon an unsuspecting world." 

Release/catalogue number: WN12020
Release date: Jul 31, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

High Noon Tea playlist, KiwiFM

Mike Fabulous and the Jamboree sound - In deep space
Ras Stone meets the Dub Terminator - Love you so much
Joe Dukie and DJ Fitchie - Seconds
Fredericks Brown - Betrayal - Dusty remix
Unitone hifi - Hang on - Kinky electric noise remix
Salmonella dub - For the love of it - Pitch Black remix
International observer - Friday afternoon dub
Jules Issa - Dangerous game
Jahlicious - Want
Trip to the moon - Svenska takter
Lewis McCallum -Way we live
Electric wire hustle - Burn
Eru Dangerspiel - The hold up
Loudhaler - Refesher
Onelung - Cinema 90
The yoots - Tutira mai
Dub connection - Dub skuffle
DJ Vee - One for the mariner
NSU - West coast dub - Dub asylum remix
Conray - Space dub jazz
Benny Tones -Odyssey- Kamandi headspin remix
Bluevibe studio - Holdin on - Magowl remix
Israel Starr -Foundation
Recloose - Mana's bounce
Confucius -Shanti riddim - Pylonz edit