Monday, December 05, 2011

You got the funk?

I love a good cover version. Here's a cool new comp that's just loaded with them...

From Cultures Of Soul, The World's Funkiest Covers (CD/LP)...

that's a pretty grand claim in the title, have a listen and see what you think...

1. Johnny Jones and the King Casuals – Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)
2. Mighty Mo and the Winchester Seven – The Next Message (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five)
3. Afrosound – Jungle Fever (chakachas)
4. Fruko y sus Tesos – Bang Bang (New Swing Sextet)
5. Nostalgia 77 – Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes)
6. Ray Barretto – Pastime Paradise (Stevie Wonder)
7. Mongo Santamaria – Cloud Nine (The Temptations)
8. Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra – I Turn My Camera On (Spoon)
9. Ebony Rhythm Band – Light My Fire (The Doors)
10. The Johnny Frigo Sextet – Scorpio (Dennis Coffey) * (CD bonus track)
11. Antibalas – Rat Race (Bob Marley) * (Cd bonus track)

World's Funkiest Covers Preview by Culturesofsoul

R.I.P Philip Fatis Burrell

I saw a bunch of rumours of Burrell's passing on social media over the weekend with contradictory reports that he was dead, had a stroke but was still alive...  Jamaica Observer has now confirmed his passing.

"PHILIP ‘Fattis' Burrell, CEO of Xterminator Records, has died.

Fattis, as he was called by most persons in the music business, made his transition last evening after slipping into a coma early that morning.

The producer and artiste manager had been a patient at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) Mona, where he was admitted two weeks ago after suffering a mild stroke.
Burrell took a turn for the worse last Tuesday when doctors discovered a blood clot near to his lungs.

The family of Philip ‘Fattis’ Burrell wishes to thank friends, well-wishers and the staff at the UHWI for their care and support and asks for prayers at this time.
At the time of his death, Fattis was the manager for reggae artiste, Sizzla. He has played a major role in establishing the careers of Sizzla Kalonji, Luciano, Pinchers, Thriller U and Sanchez on an international level.

Fattis has also worked with several of reggae’s greatest artistes including Beres Hammond, Frankie Paul, Gregory Isaacs, Charlie Chaplin, Capelton, Cocoa Tea, Gentleman and Ini Kamoze."

DJ Dubhead describes Burrell as "a huge force in the conscious roots renaissance, producing artists like Luciano, Cocoa Tea, Sizzla, Capleton, Prince Malachi, Turbulence and Ras Shiloh at a time when Rasta and one-drop rhythms were not fashionable in Jamaica."

ADDED: NY Times obit for Burrell. He died of a heart attack, according to his wife. Burrell had recently returned from a trip to Zimbabwe with the singer Cocoa Tea.

It's Monday - take five

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Fakery and bass

Today's Sunday magazine (in the Sunday Star Times) has a story on dubstep, written by Grant Smithies (not online yet). "The dubstep divide" talks to a variety of folk, like producer Jay 'Bulletproof' Monds (who appears to have changed his surname to Roland, if Sunday mag is to be believed), Jeffrey Stothers of Southbound Distribution who has sold 5000 copies of Ministry of Sounds latest dubstep compilation, and a few folk from GeorgeFM, including radio DJ Thane Kirby. The latter expresses his deep dislike for dubstep in no uncertain terms.

"When the Maui gas pipeline blew out a while back, I said that was the reason there'd be no dubstep on air that day. Another time, I invited people to bring dubstep CDs to the station and we set fire to them in a big metal bin on the deck. People were overjoyed to have an opportunity to torch the stuff".

That reminded me of another radio DJ by the name of Steve Dahl. He had a huge hatred of disco (perhaps because he got fired when his previous employer switched to a disco format), and in 1979, organised a disco demolition rally. in Chicago.

It took place at half time at a baseball game and resulted in a riot, which led to the game being forfeited  The stadium had a capacity of 52,000 and apparently 90,000 people turned up, for a weekday game.

Nile Rodgers of Chic told the Independent in 2004 that the disco demolition rally "...felt to us like Nazi book-burning. This is America, the home of jazz and rock and people were now afraid even to say the word 'disco'. I remember thinking - we're not even a disco group."

That  article also notes that "By the turn of 1979, the disco industry was estimated to be worth US$4bn, more, according to Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton's book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life..."

Read Panic at the anti-disco rally, written on the 30th anniversary of the riot, which says "Did you know that Nik Cohn's 1976 New York article "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night" -- the basis for Saturday Night Fever, and thus probably for everything you think you know about disco - was a fabrication? Instead of investigating the discotheques of America, the Brit writer conjured up a story inspired by his homeland's Mod subculture. So Saturday Night Fever is really Quadrophenia."

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 3

Masters at work - MAW expensive (Tribute to Fela)
Boca 45 - La bombonera
Patti Jo - Make me believe in you
Mayer Hawthorne - The ills
Eddie Palmieri - My spiritual Indian
Miriam Makeba - Lumumba
Mulatu Astatke - Yegelle tezeta
Patea maori club - Poi-e -disco mix
Prince Charles and the city beat band - Cash (cash money)
Max Coles - Who got the keys?
Lee Scratch Perry - Jungle youth - Congo natty remix
African head charge - Some bizarre
Bim Sherman - You are the one
Ticklah - Si hecho palente
Sound dimension - Man pon spot
Sister Nancy - Only woman DJ with degree
Yellowman - Nobody move nobody get hurt
James Brown - Time is running out fast
Booker T and the MGs - It's your thing
Banbarra - Shack up - Wiseguys edit
George Clinton - Do fries go with that shake? Extended mix
Cookin on 3 burners - Cars
King Erisson - Conga man

Let's go

Youtube poster Southwonnie says "Filmed by me on standard 8mm during a rehearsal of Let's Go in 1965. Location was NZBC WNTV1 studios in Waring Taylor Street, Wellington, New Zealand. Those people I can identify are Bruce 'Crud' Anderson (camera), Peter Morritt (lighting), Ian Cumming (floor manager), Pete Sinclair (presenter). I've no idea who the artists are. The cameras are Marconi Mk. IV (4.5 inch image othicon)." Hat tip to Simon Grigg for this.

plus, more Pete Sinclair...

Friday, December 02, 2011

Some light reading

From the Village Voice... "Da Capo's Second-Best Music Writing 2011: 112 Of Last Year's Most Notable Music Stories"

"The 2011 edition of Da Capo's annual anthology Best Music Writing— which this year was guest edited by The New Yorker classical writer and The Rest Is Noise author Alex Ross; Daphne Carr has been the series editor since 2006—contains 32 essays and is augmented by a a jumbo-sized "Other Notable Music Writing" section. This year's honorable mentions list (or at least the galley for it, which sometimes differs from the final version) contains 129 further recommendations, for which we found links to 112, presented below. (All are from 2010.) Happy reading."

Stacey Anderson, "The Jazz Evangelism of Woody Allen" (Village Voice, July 1)

Noah Arjomand, "Rap in the Capital: Hip-Hop Tehran Style" (PBS Frontline, April 22)

Jake Austen, "The Woman on the Right" (Chicago Reader, Feb. 11)

Zach Baron, "Flux = Rad" (Slate, March 18)

Mike Barthel, "Scissor Sisters, 'Night Work': Yay for Sex and Drugs and Pleasure" (The Awl, June 28)

Angus Batey, "The Hip-Hop Heritage Society" (The Guardian, Oct. 7)

Trish Bendix, "The 'If I Was a Boy' Trend in Music" (After Ellen, Nov. 16)

Larry Bluemenfeld, "How Treme Can Get It Right" (Village Voice, March 30)

Jonathan Bradley, "Just Being Miley" (American Review, April 21)

Norman Brannon, "So, hey Nicki Minaj. It's real talk time." (Nervous Acid, Nov. 24)

Frank Bruni, "An Ageless Diva of a Certain Age" (New York Times, Nov. 21)

Brett Campbell, "Gonzalo Ruiz, Oboist, Restoring Bach" (Wall Street Journal, July 15)

Jon Caramanica, "Seeping Out of Houston, Slowly" (New York Times, Nov. 4)

Rodney Carmichael, "The Making of OutKast's Aquemini" (Creative Loafing, June 24)

Conor Christofferson, "About a Grandson" (Seattle Weekly, Aug. 18)

Ta-Nehisi Coates, "Travelling Music" (The Atlantic, Feb. 19)

John Colapinto, "New Note" (The New Yorker, March 15; subscribers only)

Alex V. Cook, "The Ozzy Osbourne T-Shirt" (Offbeat, Nov.)

Sergeant D, "The Final Word on Metal Drumming" (Metal Sucks, Dec. 3)

Jane Dark, "Vomiting Up Tequila & Glitter: Pop 2010" (Lana Turner, Dec.)

Dessa Darling, "Dessa Reflects on Her Artistic Journey" (City Pages, Aug. 18)

Jonathan Dee, "New Orleans's Gender-Bending Rap" (New York Times, July 22)

David Dennis, "Curren$y: the new high life" (OffBeat, Sept.)

Rachel Devitt, "Justin Bieber Cracks Up" (Village Voice, Aug. 18)

Camille Dodero, "Live from Insane Clown Posse's Gathering of the Juggalos" (Village Voice, Sept. 8)

Sady Doyle, "Rivers Cuomo Messes You Up Forever" (The Awl, April 27)

Baz Dreisinger, "Reggae's Civil War" (Vilage Voice, March 2)

Andrew Earles, "Jay Reatard Remembered" (Spin, Jan. 28)

Chuck Eddy, Frank Kogan, Michaelangelo Matos, Katherine St. Asaph, John Seroff, Al Shipley, and Martin Skidmore, "Far East Movement ft. Cataracs & Dev--Like a G6" (The Singles Jukebox, Sept. 28)

Gavin Edwards, "Dr. Luke's Awesomely Trashy Pop Sound Is Ruling the Airwaves" (Rolling Stone, April 29)

Jeremy Eichler, "There Is Magic in the Music" (Boston Globe, July 11)

Tom Ewing, "Shiny Shiny: A Future History of the CD Revival" (Pitchfork, March 5)

Jonathan L. Fischer, "Our Year in Moombahton" (Washington City Paper, Dec. 24)

Sidik Fofana, "Refugee for Prez" (Corner Boy Jazz, Nov. 7)

Mick Foley, "The Wrestler and the Cornflake Girl" (Slate, Sept. 28)

Tad Friend, "Sleeping with Weapons" (The New Yorker, Aug. 16)

Yoav Fromer, "Message" (Tablet, Nov. 23)

Leor Galil, "Everything's Coming Up Kittens" (Chicago Reader, Oct. 14)

Luis-Manuel Garcia, "Showdown in Spreepark" (Resident Advisor, Nov. 26)

Gus Garcia-Roberts, "Scott Storch Raked in Hip-Hop Millions and Then Snorted His Way to Ruin" (Miami New Times, Aug. 22)

Rachel Kaazdi Ghansah, "He Shall Overcome" (New York Observer, Nov. 30)

Sarah Godfrey, "Private school go-go goes public" (, Aug. 12)

Thomas Golianopolous, "Jay Electronica: Man or Myth?" (Spin, July)

Peter Gordon, "Teenage Days with Captain Beefheart" (Nedslist/The Daily Swarm, Dec. 20)

Joe Gross, "In Praise of the Vuvuzela" (Austin American-Statesman, June 29)

Matthew Guerrieri, "Complexity Wars" (New Music Box, Sept. 8)

Jack Halberstam, "What's Paglia Got to Do with It?" (Bullybloggers, Sept. 14)

Shirley Halperin, "Who Destroyed Epic Records?" (Hollywood Reporter, Nov. 18)

Steve Haruch, "Women Account for Less Than 5 Percent of Producers and Engineers" (Nashville Scene, June 3)

Eric Harvey, "This Is Not a Photograph" (Pitchfork, Sept. 13)

Dave Heaton, "A Mexico State of Mind" (PopMatters, Nov. 9)

Virginia Heffernan, "Sound Logic" (New York Times, Feb. 19)

David Hepworth, "When the Last Recording Studio Goes, What Will Go with It?" (The Word, March 13)

Monica Herrera, "The Year That Went Pop" (Billboard, Dec. 10)

Geoffrey Himes, "Hillbilly Heaven" (Baltimore City Paper, May 26)

Marc Hogan, "What's the Matter with Sweden" (Pitchfork, March 29)

Hua Hsu, "The Passing of a Record Store" (The Atlantic, Sept. 7)

Steve Hyden, "Part 5: 1994: Kurt Cobain Is Dead! Long Live Soundgarden!" (The A.V. Club, Nov. 30)

Ethan Iverson, "Interview with Gunther Schuller" (Part 1; Part 2) (Do the Math, Sept. 19)

Vijay Iyer, "Theonious Monk: Ode to a Sphere" (JazzTimes, Jan./Feb.)

Maura Johnston, "Dirty Projectors, Solange Knowles, and the Perils of Music-Racism" (Village Voice, Jan. 19)

Maura Johnston and Christopher R. Weingarten, "The 20 Worst Songs of 2010, #1: Train, 'Hey, Soul Sister'" (Village Voice, Dec. 22)

Rich Juzwiak, "A Collage for a Collage" (Four Four, July 15)

Aryan Kaganof, "Aryan Kaganof Interviews Johnny Mbizo Dyani" (Kagablog, April 7)

David Kastin, "Fred Ho and the Evolution of Afro-Asian New American Multicultural Music" (Popular Music and Society, April 7; paid .pdf)

Lenny Kaye, "Dennis Wilson: Like the River to the Sea" (eMusic, Sept. 3)

Frank Kogan, "Ke$ha Day 2" (Koganbot, March 4)

Dan Kois, "Tickets Out!" (The New Yorker, Sept. 20)

Toshitaka Kondo, "Making Minaj" (Complex, Oct./Nov.)

Chris Kornelis, "Marco Collins Picks Up the Pieces" (Seattle Weekly, Dec. 29)

Molly Lambert, "In Which John Mayer Is a Douchebag for Possibly the Last Time" (This Recording, Feb. 11)

David Lowery, selections from 300 Songs)

Fiona Maddocks, "Bayreuth Festival 2010" (The Guardian, Aug. 1)

Sharanya Manivannan, "The Venus Flytrap: In Song and in Silence" (Sharanya Manivannan's Wordpress, June 12)

Chris Martins, "Flying Lotus Rising" (L.A. Weekly, May 13)

Michaelangelo Matos, "Three Singles Featuring 3OH!3" (The Stranger, July 13)

Erik Maza, "Cuban Punk Rockers Gorki and Gil Used Music to Take on Castro" (Miami New Times, June 24)

Anne Midgette, "Is Anybody Listening? American Opera Faces Crossroads as Audiences for Performing Arts Slide" (Washington Post, June 27)

Barbara Mitchell, "December Boys Got It Bad" (Blurt, March 24)

Larry Mizell Jr., "Taste That Crown" (The Stranger, Jan. 5)

Evie Nagy, "Devo: How to Get Ahead with Advertising" (Billboard, July 11)

Tavia Nyong'o, "Lady Gaga's Lesbian Phallus" (Bullybloggers, March 16)

Ben Patashnik, "A Day to Remember: The New Sound of Sacrifice Rock" (Rock Sound, Nov.)

David Peisner, "When the Bottom Fell Out" (Spin, July)

Matthew Perpetua, "At the End of the World with Gauntlet Hair" (The Awl, Dec. 28)

Chris Randle, "Curtis Jackson and the Jeweled Skull" (Social Text Journal, Oct. 1)

Gillian Reagan, "on Rap and Rape and Dudes in a Room" (Shield Your Eyes, Nov. 11)

Eugene Robinson, "Lena Horne: A glamorous revolutionary" (Washington Post, May 11)

Lisa Robinson, "Lady Gaga's Cultural Revolution" (Vanity Fair, Sept.)

John Roderick, "Chucked Profit: Benefit Shows Can Be Bad Business" (Seattle Weekly, Nov. 23)

Jody Rosen, "Joanna Newsom, the Changeling" (New York Times, March 7)

Katrina Stuart Santiago, "The Charice Challenge" (GMA News, Sept. 20)

Scott Saul, "Off Minor" (Boston Review, Sept./Oct.)

Rebecca Schmid, "To Teach the World . . ." (BBC Music Magazine, Aug.; .pdf)

Solvej Schou, "Hanging at Lemmy's Virtual Castle in ROCKTropia: Watch Out for the Demon Spawn" (L.A. Times, May 10)

Shea Serrano, "Out of the Box" (Houston Press, June 24)

Ben Sisario, "Looking to a Sneaker for a Band's Big Break" (New York Times, Oct. 6)

RJ Smith, "Debasement Tapes" (Spin, Nov.)

Deborah Solomon, "Straight Outta Wesleyan" (New York Times, Dec. 5)

Sam Stephenson, "Dorrie Glenn Woodson" (The Paris Review, Dec. 22)

Lisa Taddeo, "The Ke$ha-Loving, Command-Defying Army Auteur" (New York, Aug. 1)

Stephen Titmus, "Boy's Own: A History" (Resident Advisor, Jan. 12)

Aidin Vaziri, "Big Stage Exposes Justin Bieber's Limitations" (San Francisco Chronicle, July 19)

Gabe Vodicka, "Why the Caged King Sings" (Creative Loafing, Dec. 13)

Jesse Walker, "2010: The Year John Cage Broke" (Reason, Dec. 30)

Theon Weber, "The Iceberg Songs of Taylor Swift" (Village Voice, Nov. 3)

Christopher Weingarten, "The Life and Death of Alan Carton" (Village Voice, Jan. 22)

Jeff Weiss, "The Madlib Mystique" (L.A. Weekly, June 24)

Carl Wilson, "Busby Madoff Dreams" (Back to the World, Aug. 26)

Zach Woolfe and Seth Colter Walls, "Renee Fleming's 'Dark Hope': June Cleaver Does Muse" (The Awl, June 16)

Bill Wyman, "Please Allow Me to Correct a Few Things" (Slate, Nov. 5)

Rob Young, "Cloud of Knowing" (The Guardian, June 12)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FNun sound and pictures

Henrietta Harris is the talented artist behind the splendid collage artwork for the Flying Nun compilation Tally Ho: Flying Nun's Greatest Bits. She also was involved in the cover for Volume magazine's Nun tribute issue, using this artwork. Read an interview with her here, talking about the process of putting this cover together.

source: Chillblue on Flickr

I recall meeting another artist who was involved closely with Flying Nun when I was at Elam art school in the late 1980s. Lesley Maclean was from Christchurch, and she'd played in a few bands down there and in Akld (The Letter Five, with Richard James from Mainly Spaniards, an early FNun outfit - soundclip at bottom).

There is a ton of great art as well as music that was associated with Flying Nun over the years, like Chris Knox's art, or David Mitchell's magnificently twisted, gothic drawings for his various bands (Exploding Budgies, 3Ds etc) to name just two examples. There's a coffee table book in there somewhere, with all the FNun art.

Maclean had done a lot of poster designs for Flying Nun bands, and is most famous, I reckon, for designing the distinctive label (above) for Flying Nun's vinyl releases. I vaguely remember Lesley working on it as a holiday project during a term break at art school. Prior to that, every Flying Nun vinyl release had its own unique/messy label.

Below is Lesley's cover design for the very influential Tuatara compilation, which was important in exposing Flying Nun's stable to the world.

The current revival, helmed by the label's founder, Roger Shepherd, came to fruition in 2009, with the financial help of Neil and Sharon Finn, and Graham Cockcroft ex Netherworld Dancing Toys among others.  It's great to see some of the label's leading lights re-emerge, and its back catalog being revived and introduced to a new generation, along with new signings.

Flying Nun was part of the sale of FMR (Festival Mushroom Records) to Warners in late 2006 (see NZ Musician) and it can be argued that it spent most of the 2000s as a less than vital imprint and little more than a logo on the back of Mint Chicks releases. The Mint Chicks may have always claimed they signed to Flying Nun, but when they ditched the label in early 2010, they said they were leaving Warners. The irony being that Roger Shepherd had regained ownership of the label by then, once again making it independent (albeit tied to Warners for distribution).

Conventional wisdom is that Warners neglected the FNun back catalog, failing to even note the label's 25th birthday. Not true. There's a 17-track compilation  to commemorate the 25th anniversary available on iTunes, released in Feb 2007 (drawing on the 4 CD boxset malarkey from that year, compiled by Shepherd). Of course that date sounds wrong, but hey, Flying Nun's own website says they celebrated their 21st birthday in 2003, which aint right either. There was the release Under the Influence – 21 Years of Flying Nun Records, from 2002. They just love celebrating, so who's to stop them?

The Nun's 21st anniversary wasn't without controversy though - Gary Steel wrote a piece in the NZ Listener decrying the label's roster at the time, among other crimes. Numerous folk in the press and the music scene rounded on Steel - Chris Knox even performed a song about it entitled "The Late Gary Steel".

Russell Brown also responded in a robust fashion to Steel's comments (Brown recalls the song in question as being called "In memory of Gary Steel").

But that was 9 years ago, and a lot has changed with The Nun since then. Why, only yesterday Mr Steel was praising Flying Nun on Twitter. "It was very gracious of Flying Nun to gift me a pack of their delicious 30th anniversary ale. Has the disser been bought? More, please."

So, does time heal all wounds? Yes. That, and beer.

The Nun's connection with Mushroom Records (which was later sold to Festival Records) started in 1990, with them buying a 50% share in Flying Nun, helping to give that label some financial stability, and decent recording budgets for its acts such as Straitjacket Fits and JPSE.

I recall reading an article from  the early 90s where the JPSE were talking about their album budget, which was $60,000. That's a long way from Chris Knox hauling his four track reel to reel down to Dunedin and he and Doug Hood setting up in a hall to record The Clean.

Festival Records was part of Rupert Murdoch's News Limited, and in 1995 a 23-year-old James Murdoch took over as chairman at Festival. He reportedly dropped out of Harvard to start hiphop label Rawkus Records (source). I know John Peel was quite surprised to discover that Rupert Murdoch owned half of Flying Nun when he visited NZ in the early 2000s!

Now then, where's the Skeptics boxset?

Here are some of Maclean's poster designs from 1985-86, via National Library.

Below, a poster for the first two Flying Nun releases 
From the Christchurch Library's online poster collection, numerous FNun posters

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Adrian Sherwood - Dubwise Damage

Adrian Sherwood - Dubwise Damage from this week's edition of Volume. Interview by Stinky Jim, it's a bloody great read too. And it solves the mystery of whey there is a song on the latest African Head Charge album released earlier this year that namechecks Dave Dobbyn...

"Though Adrian Sherwood's production credits are impressively wide (Primal Scream, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Dave Dobbyn etc), it is the On-U Sound label built around artists like Dub Syndicate, African Head Charge, Singers & Players, Mark Stewart & The Mafia and Bim Sherman and Gary Clail that is the real legacy. From early experiments in noisy, post-punk afro-dustrial music in 1981, to 2011's sophisticated dubbed-out blues with Skip McDonald's Little Axe outfit, On-U Sound has remained a standard setter for adventurousness and sonic pugilism.

One of Sherwood's most consistent collaborators has been Lee "Scratch" Perry, the Jamaican dub pioneer and unhinged genius, whose work with others has been notoriously patchy at best.

However with Sherwood there's a real chemistry, and actual quality control - what's the secret?

"I care more probably. I get on well with him in the studio. He's got streams of consciousness that pour out of him and good ideas, and if you stop him in his tracks and say, 'Let's enlarge on that', he'll take you off on something amazing, even at the age he's at now."

On-U Sound may well have started off in debt and has had to endure various tough times and even ill-advised dalliances with major labels and shifty indies, but the sound and aesthetic has remained strong. Brand-building may not have been the intention, but three decades down the track, On-U remains an unimpeachable trademark for quality, innovation, sonic adventure and elephantine basslines. That's a point that isn't lost on the elders of the dubstep community like Digital Mystikz's Mala, Horsepower Productions, Moody Boyz and Kode 9 who all contributed to the stunning 2011 Lee "Scratch" Perry remix set Nu Sound and Version. The feeling is mutual.

"I got a good respect from that community. I big up the ones I like, and they all kind of give me a good respect - it's brilliant. I think it's important; the evolution of what came from Jamaica - roots and dub - is now kept alive by a lot of people in London because the Jamaican scene is pretty unhealthy. There's incredible stuff coming out of London at the moment."

Though he did his first DJ gigs in school lunch breaks as a 13-year-old, Sherwood remains primarily a backroom operator, only releasing a record under his own name in 2003. Previously the closest he came to the limelight was as part of Tackhead, the ferocious outfit who provided the backing for records like Grandmaster Flash's The Message and White Lines in New York, before being led to the outer limits with Sherwood at the controls.

"I got very disillusioned with the reggae because my friend, [Prince] Fari, had been killed I thought, 'F**k this, it's rubbish. What are you doing?' A lot of it was thankless, I wasn't making any money and I was doing it because I loved it. But how much can you love something when your friends are being topped by a***holes? Then I thought, 'Hang on a minute - we were going in an area with the noise and funk and the dub together, and it was really exciting and nothing had been done like that before'."

So what went so wrong with the big Tackhead album, Strange Things, then?

"Cocaine... cocaine, I think that's it. We suddenly got given lots of money and everybody wanted to make a record that was a bit of this, a bit of that, and Keith [LeBlanc] wanted to play acoustic drums, having made all the records with these fierce fucking drum machines before. So it was an absolute pile of shit, that record. Don't get me wrong - everything comes to an end eventually - but that turned into the epitome of Spinal Tap."
Disarmingly honest and down to earth after over 30 years in the business, Sherwood is an unsullied true original and, as his New Zealand show will testify, there's a good deal more woofer worrying and tweeter terrifying yet to come.

The NZ Connection
Mad bNet radio and DJ support alongside a series of scorching tours in the late '80s and early '90s solidified On-U's place in the New Zealand firmament. However while Salmonella Dub remixes are to be expected, Sherwood producing Dave Dobbyn [2008's Anotherland]... what the... ?

"His manager's an old friend of mine, and she suggested we meet. So we met and it was a really good experience, brilliant people. He's a really good lad, Dave, and I really enjoyed doing that - bit of a departure. I've always tried to do things that are different, so working with a singer/songwriter like Dave was really good fun."

And the rather splendidly titled track Dobbyn Joins the Head Charge on their latest album Voodoo of the Godsent?

"That track was derived off one of Dave's tunes, the horns. I thought it was like when Whitney joined the Justified Ancients of MuMu (on 'Whitney Joins The JAMs'). I thought that was quite funny."

Adrian Sherwood plays The Powerstation in Auckland on Friday 16 December, and Wellington Dec 15, at Bodega..

Slice of Dobbyn

This is deeply twisted. You will laugh, you will cry, you will go "What the hell?"

Slice of Heaven (Tom Cosm Remix) by TomCosm

Party in my pants

Party in my pants megamix from Romanowksi. "Party in my pants, you're invited..."



Dalvanius on Poi-e

Found this clip on Youtube, of Dalvanius and co (incl Alister Riddell) in 2003, talking about the origins of Poi-e. You can read a great interview Murray Cammick did with Dalvanius for Real Groove in 2001 here.

BONUS: Frank Jade and Dalvanius and Peter Morgan - Uh-huh-uh-huh - live, 1986

You got Guts?

I first came across Guts when he dropped a rather splendid tune several years back, called "And the living is easy" on Wax On Records, run by George Evelyn (Nightmares on Wax). He dropped his debut album on that label, his second one came out under his own steam on Pura Vida Records in 2009, and now he's back with his third. It's called Paradise for all, listen below.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monk Monday

Hat tip to Andrew Dubber for this... funky Hammond/guitar/drums from a trio from Iceland, Thelonius Monk covers... check it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


My old mate Johnnie Pain (ex Hallelujah Picassos) has made a video for his new song, Big Rock, recorded under the name Pain's People. It's cool.

New York boogie mix

From Mungos Hifi, free download too. Tracklist here, guests include Sugar Minott, Brother Culture, Sister Carol, Daddy Freddy, Eek a mouse...

New York Boogie Mix by mungoshifi

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov 26

Charles Bradley  - The world is going up in flames
Jackson sisters - I believe in miracles remix
Romanowski - Romjack steady
The Lions - Think
Hallelujah Picassos - Rewind - Roger Perry re-edit
Bob Marley - Stand up jamrock - Ashley Beedle remix
The Pioneers - Papa was a rolling stone
Barrington Levy - Dances are changing
Yami Bolo - When a man's in love
Jackie Mittoo - Disco Jack version
Lone ranger - Barnabas Collins
Justin Hinds - The higher the monkey climbs
The Specials - Another message to Rudy - Bombs edit
Boris Gardiner - Melting pot
Bobby Byrd - I know you got soul
Bill Withers - You got the stuff
Larry Gold - Aint no stopping us now
Patrice Rushen - Music of the earth - Danny Krivit edit
Electric jungle -Funky funky christmas
New mastersounds - Nervous - Kenny Dope bonus beats
Fat freddys drop - Hope for a generation
Jackson five - ABC - Tokyo ska paradise orchestra remix
Lee Scratch Perry - Jungle youth - Congo Natty remix

RSD - Forward youth

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Michele Bachmann was a guest on tv show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: her walk-on music from the Roots? Fishbone - ‘Lyin’ Ass Bitch’. Genius

Watch it over here

UPDATED: Michelle Bachmann has demanded an apology over The Roots' use of this song. "Questlove, the band's drummer who tweeted about the song before he played it on Monday, gave a semi-apology to ABC News on Tuesday, saying, "The performance was a tongue-in-cheek and spur of the moment decision. The show was not aware of it and I feel bad if her feelings were hurt. That was not my intention."

The beauty of this controversy is two-fold - one, it gives The Roots a blast of publicity right before their new album drops in December, and two, it returns Fishbone to the headlines, with a song they first released 26 years ago.

ADDED: clip has turned up on youtube so I can embed it...

ADDED Maura Johnson of Village Voice weighs in:  excerpt... "...Sure, this was an attempt to turn a title/hook into a 15-second punchline (leaving out the lyric about the titular character also being a slut), but the fact that this woman was obliquely being called a "bitch" on national television, and that it's an insult that would probably not be flung at her competitors, curdled any mirth that I might have felt..."

Scrimshire newie

"This November sees the return of singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, DJ and erstwhile Wah Wah 45s label boss, Adam Scrimshire, with his mesmerising second album "The Hollow".

The much anticipated follow up to 2008's "Along Came The Devil One Night" sees Scrimshire going back to his soulful roots, but at the same time, carving a more contemporary, electronic sound." Guests include members of The Resonators, Cinematic Orchestra, and Hackney Colliery Band.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Volume review of Picassos

DDot pops up

David Dallas and fans outside the Rose Tint pop-up store, in Conch.
Photo: David Dallas' Facebook page

David Dallas has been working the internets for a while now. He and his manager Che have been delving into podcasts, RSS feeds, Facebook and Twitter since 2008. The pay off for Dallas was it got him into America, giving him a presence there when he couldn't afford to be there physically - and led to Dallas getting a US record deal with Duckdown Records. Andrew Dubber wrote about their approach here. It's taken Dallas and his team four years, but he got there. NYC, baby! Home of hiphop.

There seems to be an endless series of New Zeland musicians and bands at present begging for followers on Facebook and Twitter, now that NZ On Air funding requires some evidence of an online fanbase, not just faces at gigs. I've heard some folk being rather scathing of this social media requirement in the Making Tracks funding, but then you look at David Dallas, and he has over 18,000 fans on Facebook. It works.

Dallas recently celebrated the deluxe CD release of his latest album The Rose Tint, with a pop-up store based in Conch Records (from last Wednesday to Saturday). The Rose Tint came out as a free digital download earlier this year, and has hit 50,000 downloads. So, did anyone turn up to buy the CD? Hell yeah.

Dallas was in the store every day, signing CDs, taking photos, selling merch (David Dallas piggy banks anyone?). And they had live instore performances every night. It also pushed the album back up to the top of the hiphop chart on NZ iTunes.

The theory goes like this: if you give away your music and your fans think it is something of value, they will pay for more of your music. Or in Dallas' case, they will pay for music they've already downloaded for free. Cause they think it's good music.

Not everyone got behind the physical relase tho - Dallas posted this to his FB page at the weekend: "Ha, looks like we're on course to crack the top 20 on the NZ charts next week - and that's despite some retailers cockblocking by not gettin it in stores cause we gave the original Rose Tint away for free and they reckon noone cares bout a 'Deluxe'. They're bout to get schooled."

ADDED: The deluxe edition of the album debuted on the NZ album charts at number three.
ADDED: Volume's Duncan Greive says one of the stores that refused to stock the album was The Warehouse.

I went down to check out the last night, with singer Aradhna dropping half a dozen tunes. Damn, she has mean pipes. Her next release is a collaboration with P-Money, heard a few whispers about it and it sounds very cool.

ADDED The Sunday Star Times says that Dallas had 5,000 people come thru in four days.

Here's the New York Times, writing about US three rappers who have released free music to build fanbase. Just like David Dallas. One of these artists just topped the Billboard album chart. Sure, the chart doesn't mean as much as it once did, it terms of sales numbers. Still, its an  impressive achievement.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top 5

Let's face it, lists are fun. I got asked to do a Top 5 list for Volume magazine, and slipped in a plug for the Picassos - Rewind the Hateman collection.  I came up with this list.. unfortunately Volume doesn't have space for pics, so I've added them in...

Top Five Cheesy Album Covers

Herb Alpert - Whipped cream and other delights
The king of cheesy covers. Super-sexy Dolores Erickson covered in cream, which was mostly shaving foam [and she was 4 months pregnant at the time].

O'Donel Levy - Everything I do gonna be funky
The title tells you all you need to know about this record. Almost everything. Seen the cover?

Herbie Mann - Push push
Guys who played jazz flute in the 70s liked posing shirtless.

Count Basie - E=MC2
there’s a weird bunch of records that came out in the 50s and 60s that thought they would sell by putting a picture of an atomic bomb exploding on the cover.

Bo Diddley - Big Bad Bo
The legendary Mr Diddley on a chopper, on loan from the Hells Angels. Kickass.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov 19

Koliphones - Jungle concerto (moog)
Mr Chop - Giving up food for funk
Lord Echo - Thinking of you

On-U-Sound 30th anniversary audio snapshot...
Dub Syndicate - Pounding systems
Singers and players feat Prince Fari - Bedward the flying preacher
Lee Scratch Perry - Train to Doomsville
African head charge - Heading to glory
Dub syndicate - No alternative (but to fight)
Gary Clail and On-U Sound System - Leroy Leroy
Strange parcels - Hearts desire
Bim Sherman - Nightmare
Lee Scratch Perry and Dub Syndicate - You thought I was dead
Lee Scratch Perry - Jungle youth - Congo Natty remix
African head charge - Throw it away
Singers and players - Snipers in the streets
African head charge - Somebody touch I
Little Annie - I think of you
Skip MacDonald - Hammerhead
Forehead bros - Circular motion
Dub Syndicate - Humorless journalist works to rule
(On-U main man Adrian Sherwood at Powertstation, Dec 16)

Macro dubplates  - Brooklyn rocks
Joint force - Burntime inst
Resonators - Gold getter
Centry - Melody of life
Barrington Levy  -Looking for love
Lee Scratch Perry - Spongy rubber dub dubmaster - Dialect and Kosine remix

Friday, November 18, 2011

Drink yourself more bliss

So, mate of mine sent me this link (thanks, Jubt), for a website built as part of Music Hack Day in Boston. "Garnish with glowstick". Seriously? That's pretty funny.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One for anyone enduring the New Zealand election campaign. Hat tip to @matthewdcrawley for image. See Teapot tapes...

Valerie Simpson...

"Valerie Simpson on Nick Ashford: 'I'm not used to him not being here yet'. In her first major interview since her partner's death, Simpson reflects on their work as one of music's most successful songwriting teams." From Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot.

Q: You went door to door, and I heard the first batch of songs sold for the princely sum of $64. Is that true?

A: I actually think it was $75 (laughs). That number has moved and changed over the years. We were introduced to (Josephine) Armstead, who wrote 'Let's Go Get Stoned' with us. She knew all the publishers and helped open some doors. She was about Nick's age, a former Ikette (Ike and Tina Turner's backing group) and had written some songs in Chicago. She knew more about the business than we did...

Q: What did you think of "I'll Be There for You," the huge 1995 hit for Method Man and Mary J. Blige that interpolated your song "You're All I Need to Get By"?

A: We loved it. We incorporated it into our show for a while. We'd start it off that way, and then go into the traditional version. I'm a big Mary J. fan, so anything she sings is quite all right with me. It was summertime when it came out, and it seemed to play constantly. There's a certain monotony to those types of songs sometimes, but because of those chords being what they are, that's a good type of monotony. Those are four good chords.

Q: Do you feel you got enough credit for your role in creating that song?

A: They didn't shout us out when they got the Grammy Award (for best rap performance by a duo or group), but we got the check (laughs)...


Brand new from Scribe...

Sleep when im dead (earlybird edition) by Scribe Music

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

99 problems and a tweet aint one

Twitter Not A Top Source For Music Discovery is the delightful title of a post over at Hypebot. When I saw this headline (via Hypebot's Twitter account) I wondered exactly what numbers they had to back up this odd assertion. It seems to be suggesting that Twitter is not where people go to follow up on finding out about something new, and instead use reccomendations from friends, or the radio/web to find out more.

A year ago I would have said I find out about new music from blogs. Now I follow all those blogs on Twitter. A year ago I would have said I get emailed new music tips by friends. Now I follow those friends on Twitter. Some of them share good music via their Facebook pages too. 

As one of the commenters on this posts says.."Twitter is a personalized experience, you follow the people, magazines and sources for new music YOU respect and appreciate, and you follow them because you value their opinions. HENCE, Twitter is the BEST PERSONALIZED source for Music Discovery..."

That's a view I tend to agree with. Hisham Dahudthe author of the post responds to the above commenter..

"I agree with you that Twitter is a personalized experience in of it's own. In terms of media content however, Twitter does not suffice in providing users the resources they need to complete a discovery other than word-of-mouth recommendations (as you so described)."

Saying that Twitter doesn't do a good job in providing resources for people to complete their music discovery largely ignores the fact that there are a ton of great services already doing that (Bandcamp, Soundcloud) and they are all easily compatible with Twitter. As the article says, if Twitter tried to do those things, it would stop being Twitter.

The article states that ".. Even after making their discovery elsewhere, only 2% of NPD’s respondents said they utilize Twitter to follow-up with their discovery. This falls well behind other follow-up activities like streaming the video (19%), purchasing the download (14%) and waiting to hear the song on the radio (12%)."

I recall having a discussion late last year with someone over the importance of online vs radio when the Caddick review of NZ On Air came out. 

Although most people I know discover new music thru the internet these days, the most recent survey done by NZ On Air (in 2009) found that 46% of New Zealanders discovered new music via radio, and 17% discovered new music via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. Of course these numbers don't take into how engaged the listener is, ie whether it's passive listening (ie radio on while driving) vs active listening (searching blogs etc). 

R.I.P Laura Kennedy of Bush Tetras

Sad news. I have been listening to a lot of music from the early 80s NYC scene lately, including ESG, Konk, Liquid Liquid, and the Bush Tetras. News sourced from Dangerous Minds.

"Laura Kennedy bass player and co-founder of the legendary New York punk/funk band the Bush Tetras passed away in Minneapolis this past Monday. She had been struggling for years with Hepatitis C and despite receiving a liver transplant in 2008 was unable to survive what she described as a “scourge of an illness.”

Kennedy was in the center of the musical vortex that thrived in downtown Manhattan through the 1970s and into the early 80s. It was a time in which rock and roll was stretching its wings while simultaneously banging its head against the walls and sidewalks of a city both bleak and beautiful.

The Bush Tetras pulled uptown downtown and showed the Studio 54 crowd that there was some tribal thunder brewing below 14th street and you didn’t have to beg to get in. The BTs made it clear: funk was Universal and could not be tamed or commodified. It was in our flesh and bone and in the concrete. The city’s jittery pulse ran from the Bronx to the Bowery, a visceric train on tachycardic tracks where each station crepusculated pinpoints of chakric light. The bloodbeat pinballed and banked against Time’s Square and then veered drunkenly and divinely into the throbbing core of Manhattan’s tattered rock and roll soul: CBGB.

Kennedy wrote of her time living in downtown NYC:

"Us New York City kids from the ‘80s, often transplanted from other cities, other countries, occasionally other planets (take a wild guess who I’m talking about) - we’ve kicked ass. We’ve taken names, too - and a good many of us have not only lived to tell, but are rockin’ the telling and rollin’ the living in a way that’s inspirational… We keep going, and going and going. I defy you to tell me that all of us weren’t defined by that moment in time that we shared. This has been apparent to me for a while, but more so now that we’re a decade into the oughts. We were blessed to come together in this life at a time that defined the End of a Century.”

"I remember seeing Laura jump up with her bass in some kind of rock 'n' roll move (which no No Wave person would ever do) and it forever blowing my mind," Thurston Moore wrote in his book No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980. "I saw her as the coolest girl ever at that point. She certainly remains that way in my consciousness." More from Thurston below.

See also RIP Laura Kennedy at CityPages.


Via Dangerous Minds, synth pioneer Jean Jacques Perrey drops bombs for ya  Moms...

"On this now more than half a century old clip, the pioneering French musician Jean-Jacques Perrey demonstrates the early synthesiser the Ondioline as part of a quiz show called I’ve Got A Secret. The year is 1960 and electronic instruments (in particular synthesisers) are still fascinatingly new.

The point of the show, as the name would suggest, is for guests to reveal a secret to the host and audience and then make the panel of judges guess what their secret is. And I gave away Perrey’s secret in the first sentence of this paragraph. Oops..." Check the tv show host smoking up a storm...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Crazy Clown Time

That's the name of the debut album from film maker David Lynch. He talks about the album with New York magazine here... snip:

Q: Do you miss that era [1950s]?

A: I miss what I call a fifties dream: slow dancing in the basement with a girl with a really soft sweater and these budding breasts. Then a slow kiss in the dark in the basement with certain music playing. You know, it doesn't get much better than that.

I grew up in the eighties, so I can only imagine.

You didn't slow dance with a girl in the eighties?

I was a metalhead.

That's a disaster with a girl then.

New record store in AK opens

Heard whispers a few weeks back about a new record store opening at the top of Mt Eden Rd.  They are now open for business... Some info via Murray Cammick...

"SOUTHBOUND is at 69 Mt Eden Rd, near the Powerstation. They import lots of cool vinyl. CDs and DVDs into NZ and you can now see their range in a retail store. Labels they represent include Soul Jazz Records, Vampi Soul, Light in the Attic, Acid Jazz etc. The vinyl records will be new and sealed and store hours are Tues-Sat 10am to 5.30pm. They have just got stock of Little Roy's reggae covers of Nirvana LP, Battle For Seattle. Contact details: (09) 302-0769 or"

And it's right near where Real Groovy once was a long time ago, before they shifted to the Queen st neighbourhood.

The Joint on Picassos

Picasso Core! God bless the Hallelujah Picassos. From The Joint radio show, RDU, Christchurch. Cheers, fellas.

"... First time I ever heard the Hallelujah Picassos was in 1989 on UFM (formerly Radio U and now RDU) with their track “Clap your hands”. Loved it so much I went out and bought the Pagan Records “Positive Vibrations” compilation.

At the time, with a lyric like “…clap your hands for Jesus…” I did wonder if they were a Christian band trying to put the “fun” back into “Christian Fundamentalism”, but a closer listen to the lyrics revealed that they probably weren’t.

The Hallelujah Picassos were active from 1988 through to 1996, and like contemporaries Salmonella Dub, Supergroove, and Head Like A Hole amongst others, brought some much needed colour to the local music scene.

I loved the Picassos because they crossed genres (garage, pop, reggae, dub), could be light and dark, and sounded like they were having a blast.

“Rewind the Hatemen” ... still sounds quite fresh. “Black Space Picasso Core” is still nutty sampledelic, “Bastardiser” still garage rocks, “Hello Pablo” still has sweet melodica action, and “Shivers” is still The Bats / Able Tasmans collaboration that never happened..."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov 12

Bo Diddley - Hit or miss
Lonnie Smith - Afrodesia
Mr Chop - The world is yours
Hackney colliery band - No diggity
Mulatu Astatake and the heliocentrics - Chik chikka
Ikebe shakedown - Tujunga
S tone inc - Arejar - Soulstance remix
Lord Echo - Long time no see
Lancelot Layne - you think it sorf?
Amrals Trinidad cavaliers steel orchestra - 90% of me is you
Gwen Guthrie - Padlock - Larry Levan remix
Liquid liquid - Cavern
ESG - Moody
LCD sound system - 45 33 - Padded cell remix
Billie Holiday - That old devil called love - Moodymann remix
Staple singers - Take your own time
Diders sound spectrum - Impuls
Henry Mancini - Baretta's theme
Border crossing - Jump down
Farm fresh sound system - Still lifted
Brother culture - Foundation rockers - Disciples dub
Etherealites - Rocka shaka dub
Noiseshaper - Ruff like a what
Disrupt - Robot version 

Friday, November 11, 2011

De La Soulviet

De La Soul paired up with Soviet funk, soul and jazz. Hat tip to Fleamarket funk.

Track listing:
1. Oooh
2. The Grind Date
3. Stakes Is High
4. Trouble In The Water
5. Shoomp
6. Hold Tight
7. All Good
8. More Than You Know
9) Jenifa Taught Me
10. Much More
11. Itzsoweezee
12. Rock Co.Kane Flow

All tracks produced/mixed/mastered by TenDJiz at TenDJiz Miami Studio

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fresh Splore acts

New acts added to the bill for Splore Festival 2012... DJ Qbert and beatboxer Reeps One doing The Bass Bizarre live show mixing dubstep, hip hop and drum n bass with digital art; Hudson Mohawke; DJ Sticky Buds; Latinaotearoa; Al Majik.

And then there's Soul II Soul, Erykah Badu, Gappy Ranks, Africa Hitech, Tiki, The Yoots, Ahoribuzz, Lord Echo and His Melodies, The Nudge, Disasteradio, J Star, Hermitude, Barons of Tang, Earl Gateshead, Shortee Blitz, @ Peace, Scratch 22, Alphabethead, King Kapisi, IM ENO, Smoke Eaters, DJ Amato, Optimus Gryme and Maya Vanya.

Spotify in NZ in Feb?

Just heard this via Indies NZ newsletter.. "According to well-placed sources, Spotify is likely to hit Australia and New Zealand 'in or around' February, and boots may already be on the ground. And, that will be complemented by a serious Asian expansion to be headquartered in Hong Kong, Singapore, or both.

"Spotify has declined any comment to Digital Music News, though sources are coming from label contacts in both the United States and Australia itself. The Australian & New Zealand headquarters will be in Sydney, and already, Spotify is seeking a label relations manager to liaise with hundreds of labels, distributors, publishers, and other content partner." More at Digital Music News

New from Tackhead

Fresh business from  Mr Wimbish, McDonald, Le Blanc and Sherwood. Tackhead covering Bob M. New album out early next year.

Tack>>Head - Exodus (dubvisionist 7" dub mix) by Echo Beach lifefidelity

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

BDO not so big

The 2nd announcement for the Auckland Big Day Out this morning revealed some changes to the festival, dropping several stages (from 8 to 4) and shrinking the lineup, including dropping Kanye West. Refunds are available for anyone who bought tickets on the basis of Kanye appearing, but only til Nov 30. Added to the bill were Noel Gallagher, Nero with live band,  Cavalera Conspiracy, and Das Racist.

So, lose Kanye, and gain Noel Gallagher. It's Noel's revenge for Jay-Z playing at Glastonbury, right?

The Lilyworld stage is gone, as is the Local Produce stage. I saw so many great, unexpected musical delights at the Lilyworld stage. There will now be only one main stage, not two as in previous years. The Adelaide and Perth BDOs also made similar announcements, downscaling their events and shrinking the lineup.

There's clearly some hard economics at work, as the organisers face rising costs. BDO NZ boss Campbell Smith said the restructure was ''vital'' for his team to be able to find a way to keep the Big Day Out in Auckland. "It's a very expensive show ... we needed to look at rebuilding it from the ground up. We want to make sure we still have a Big Day Out here," said Campbell.

But halving the stages and the number of bands, while keeping the price similar to last year doesn't seem likely to attract new punters.

So is it due to shrinking crowds? In 2009 the crowd was 40,000 punters, 2010 was 45,000 (sold out), and 2011 was nearly 45,000 according to news reports. Capacity for the event is usually round 40-45,000. So, the BDO audience isn't declining, it's holding steady.

Has the venue costs gone up dramatically, after earlier reports that the BDO might be moving to North Harbour stadium, due to urgent repairs needed to Mt Smart? There was also the suggestion that "It's believed that the council, who run [Mt Smart] stadium, want more money for the location hire and bar sales in the future."

Kat did some number crunching and came up with this chart, on her blog... click on it to enlarge it...

Kat writes about her chart: "It shows in cold hard numbers what has happened to the Big Day Out and what this reduction means to your pocket... These numbers came from my original tickets and the final timetables (obviously, with the exception of the 2012 event, which is yet to release the timetable.

"The numbers for that line are taken from the Big Day Out website). Up until 2012, we were paying less than $2 per ticket for each band. Now we are paying twice that for a lesser festival. You might get a $20 merchandise voucher with your 2012 ticket, but NOTHING is $20 at the merchandise stand..."

now, go read this story in Time magazine... Live, at a Field Near You: Why the Music Industry Is Singing a Happy Tune. "...Music festivals are a rare bright spot in the struggling music industry..."

ADDED Promoter Ken West explains Big Day Out issues (on Triple J)

R.I.P Heavy D

TMZ reports that Heavy D has died, aged 44.

"Heavy D - real name Dwight Arrington Myers -- was rushed to an L.A. hospital around noon today ... and was pronounced dead at the hospital at 1 PM. He was 44 years old.  We've learned a 911 call was placed from Heavy's Beverly Hills home around 11:25 AM to report an unconscious male on the walkway . "

Spin Magazine and its sources confirm Heavy D's passing. "[He] is best known for a consistently great stream of albums in the late '80s and early '90s that seamlessly mixed hip-hop with pop aspirations, culminating in the Top 20 single "Now That We Found Love."

His "chunky but funky" persona, cushiony delivery and high-velocity flow garnered him five Top 40 records and memorable guest appearances on albums by both Michael and Janet Jackson. [Heavy D performed in the MJ memorial concert in Wales on Oct 8]

More recently, Heavy performed on television for the first time in many years, closing out the 2011 B.E.T. Awards with a medley of his classic hits. Earlier this morning, he appeared on Radio 1Xtra to tell Tim Westwood the story about the performance, which he said had him practicing eight hours a day for six weeks and almost vomiting from nervousness."

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Don Dada

New production from P-Money, for Aussie MC Sky'high. Dope sample, dope tune.

Don Dada by Sky'high

...and the Kenny Dope/Madd Racket rework, Supa, from 1991.

Liquid Liquid vs The Roots

From April 2010. Mega-long jam, wait for the outro. Original 1983 video below

Monday, November 07, 2011

Monotron madness

I borrowed a Korg Monotron off a mate of mine a while back, they make fantastic squelchy noises. Now Korg have launched two new versions of the Monotron, a Duo version and a Delay version which sounds glorious. Watch... via Engadget

Factory Dance:1980-87

Fac. Dance: Factory Records 12" Mixes & Rarities 1980-1987

I knew there were like about a million other acts that got signed up to Factory, you just never got to hear about them down here in NZ, on the other side of the planet. Sure, we got Joy Division, New Order and A Certain Ratio, but this new collection goes way deeper...

Review from Turntable Lab: "The good folks at Strut shine some light on the dancier side of iconic Manchester label Factory Records for Factory Dance. Everyone knows the label's iconic acts like Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays, but here we get treated to some of the lesser known bands that graced the label during the early 80's when Factory was exploring jazz funk, experimental soul, and even reggae territories.

Boogie heads will want to check the 52nd Street material, especially "Cool As Ice(1)" and "Look Into My Eyes(2)," while X-O-Dus "See Them A Come" is perfect for the dancehall. Did you know Factory ever took it there? Neither did I! You also get the underground disco-not-disco classic from Quando Quango ("Love Tempo") as well as the slept-on cosmic vibes of "Genius," plus post-punk on the disco side of things from Section 25 on "Dirty Disco" and electro on "Looking From A Hilltop."

There's even some heavy industrial house beats (The Hood's "Salvation"), chilled-out balearic (Durutti Column) and a good dose of experimental no-wave business from Swamp Children, Biting Tongues, Blurt, and Minny Pops. An outstanding collection compiled by Bill Brewster (author of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life and founder). 24 tracks in all."