Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM Feb25

Meshell Ndegeocello - Who is he and what is he to you
Johnny Hammond - Fantasy
Charles Mingus - BS II - RZA remix
Fat Freddys Drop - Bohannon dub
Art of noise - Beatbox
Hank Marvin - Sunday for seven days
Eddie Bo - Hook n sling
Nina Simone - Funkier than a mosquito's tweeter
Jackson 5 - Hum along and dance
James Brown - The bose - Geisha boys remix
African head charge - Dobbyn joins the head charge
Harry Beckett - Fantastic things
Konshens - She love money
Sizzla - Police oppression
Jackie Mittoo - Totally together
Richie Phoe - Sesame street dub
Dawn Penn - No no no
Linton Kwesi Johnson - Victorious dub
Manu Chao - A cosa - Prince fatty edit
Bonobo - Eyes down
Yellow magic orchestra - Computer games
Nona Hendryx - Transformation
DJ Day - Close your eyes
Clarence Thompson and the organisation - Express yourself
Dennis Coffey - Plutonius - Recloose re-dub
Wajeed - Funkin for Jamaica
Geiorge Clinton - Hey good lookin - mirror mix
Dub traffik control - Searghing for stalag

Yellow Magic Orchestra play live on Soul Train, followed by an interview with the late Don Cornelius (first clip)... he starts off with "In case you folks out there in television land were wondering what's going on, I haven't the slightest idea..."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Doug Jerebine live

Doug Jerebine pops up at the Silo Park this Saturday, along with The Cosbys and DJ's Johnny Baker and Matt Crawley, down at Wynyard Quarter, Auckland waterfront. DJs from midday, Doug Jerebine at 2pm, Cosbys at 4pm.

Oddisee live in En Zee

US producer and beatmaker extraordinaire, Live in NZ, March 10. At the Hard Luck Cafe, below Ironbank, K Rd, Auckland. Tickets from 

I want my MP3...

Trying to produce or reduce your music so it sounds good on weedy iPod headphones is a challenge every musician faces these days. You see kids walking round blasting music from their cellphone's crappy speaker and think "man, my music will end up sounding like that?" It's kinda grim, especially if you love bass... I love reggae and dub, but MP3s do nothing  for those styles - the format displays a distinct lack of bass. And everyone loves a big bottom end, right?

Here's a look at what's involved mastering for iTunes... hat tip to Flying Nun via Twitter.

Ars Technica: "Mastered for iTunes: how audio engineers tweak music for the iPod age".

excerpt... "ITunes Plus tracks available from the iTunes Store use the same 16-bit 44.1kHz quality as CDs, so the same master files created for CD production are typically used to generate the compressed files uploaded to iTunes. However, the compression process can eliminate or distort certain sounds that, while most listeners may not notice consciously, can degrade the listening experience.

"Mastering for iTunes was a different challenge," VanDette told Ars. "You can't get around it—when you throw away 80 percent of the data, the sound changes. It was my quest to make the AAC files sound as close to the CD as possible; I did not want them to be any more loud, hyped, or boomy sounding than the CD."

...Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Service agreed it's a bad idea to try and create masters for specific listening environments. "Most modern hits these days are sounding pretty fatiguing and less than ideal on any system to my ears," Ward told Ars. "Though that probably says much more about what is considered to sound good than the skills of the relevant engineers."

"I just try to make things sound as good as feasible for as wide a range of possible playback environments as possible," Ward said. "The only real tragedy would be to make decisions which would penalize listeners with good playback systems by making decisions to allegedly enhance enjoyment on inferior playback systems."

Read the full article here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Mayer Hawthorne Relationship Compatibility Scale

Mayer Hawthorne and his band The County return to Auckland to play their own show for the first time  tonight (at the Powerstation), after their debut at Splore City at the start of last year.

In honour of this exciting occasion, Josie Campbell and Paula Moody self-described "Lovers of eating and amusing infrographics", have created the following useful chart...

Four women

From 5000 Ways.... "Teremoana covers Nina Simone’s “Four Women”. Unlike the original, Teremoana omits the final lines of each verse which would name the woman being sung about. Instead of the song closing with the killer line “My name is Peaches!”, it meanders off with Teremoana murmuring “What do they call me?”

Teremoana’s vocals are laiden with trilling, which has the strange effect of making the lyrics hard to understand in places, as if she’s trying to disguise the fact that it’s actually quite an angry, political song.

The video sees Teremoana dressing as the four women. There’s Aunt Sarah with big hair and a floral dress, Saffronia with smooth hair and a stylish waistcoat, Sweet Thing with a 1960s updo, and tomboy Peaches with her hair in Bjork-style mini buns. All four women have long, talonous fingernails.

It’s filmed in black and white in a stylish cabaret setting with dramatic lighting. Teremoana performs with four quite distinct characters – Aunt Sarah is stressed and shy, Saffronia is confident, Sweet Thing is seductive, and Peaches is bold and twitchy.

The YouTube uploader [Teremoana] notes that the song suffered from lack of radio airplay due to its lyrical themes, but says, “Thank goodness a dope ass music video was created which gave it longer television air play.” And indeed the dope assness continues online. Best bit: Teremoana’s loooong fingernails."

Directed by Ross Cunningham. Players: Steve Harrop (upright bass), Steve (Grand Piano and Strings) and Miguel Fuentes (percussion). Recorded at York Street Studios, Auckland.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


"A year on, beneath the superficial layer of well-meaning but ultimately empty nods towards a rebuild, this city is dying."

Today marks the first anniversary of the Feb 22 earthquake in Christchurch, where 183 people died, and the inner city was decimated. Ed Muzik (govt name James Dann) is a Christchurch musician, who has survived the many earthquakes in his city. He wrote an opinion piece for the NZ Herald, talking about how his city is now.

"Quake - a year on: Key's NZ is failing the test".

Some excerpts...

"With an event as destructive, as complex, as difficult to describe as the series of quakes that my city has suffered, it is inevitable that the message becomes one communicated through symbols....

... One of the most notable symbols of the rebuild is the renovation of Rugby League Park in Addington, to become the new home for the Crusaders rugby team, Christchurch Stadium. The government has put up some of the money for the stadium, and despite the budget blowing out by $5 million dollars, they are doing all they can to have the park open for Todd Blackadder and his boys.

As with the Rugby World Cup, this government seems to believe that the economic benefits of the sport are both indisputable and so powerful that they they don't need to talk about it; that sport is inherently a "good thing" that will lift the spirits of all in the city....

...Whether he likes it or not, his [John Key's] response to this disaster will end up defining his Prime Ministership in years to come.... For some people, contented with rugby and retail, the government will get a pass mark. But as long as we have people struggling with insurance and EQC, trying to get their heads around the rainbow of colour zones, coming to terms with the loss of jobs, or equity, or both, then Key's New Zealand is failing that test."

Ed Muzik's website, and find him on Twitter: @edmuzik.
NZH: "He's reworked a hit by The Strokes, 12:51, to capture the spirit of his damaged city."

If you're from outside New Zealand and are wondering what Christchurch looks like after the earthquakes, watch this video. One of NZ's most popular hiphop MCs (and Christchurch resident) Scribe, remade a song of his for his hometown, to raise funds for charity. He lost a relative in the quake. Take a look.


DJ Format - Statement Of Intent album sampler. New album features songs with Edan, Mr Lif, Phill Most Chill, Sureshot La Rock, The Nostalgia 77 Quintet and The Simonsound. Out February 27 on Project Blue Book.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Boogie down

KRS One sailed into Auckland on a cruise boat yesterday and stopped for a few hours - on his way to Australia for some shows. Don't worry, he's announced he is coming back to NZ to play live in April.

He met a few locals while he was here yesterday, went up to Orakei Marae too... this is the coolest photo ever.

KRS One also did an interview with TV3 while here, watch the full interview, part one, part two.

ADDED Playing Wellington Town Hall April 20, Auckland (venue tbc) Apirl 21. Woop woop!

Photo credit: DLT

Get up, stand up

Marley is a new documentary on the life and music of reggae's first superstar Bob Marley, made with the blessing of his family. In cinemas April 20. Report from recent Berlin screening.

First shot of Bob speaking is from his interview with the late Dylan Taite, widely regarded as one of the most indepth interviews he ever gave, which may have been cos Taite played soccer with  Marley and his crew beforehand. Also spot the shot of Marley entering the stage at Western Springs.


"Bob Marley's universal appeal, impact on music history and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. MARLEY is the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, and legend, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.

From Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald (One Day In September, The Last King of Scotland) comes the story of a towering figure of musical history, whose music and message has transcended different cultures, languages and creeds to resonate around the world today as powerfully as when he was alive."

ADDED Here's ten minutes of Dylan Taite's interview, from Youtube...

Dance, dance, dance

Fascinating infographic, hat tip to Mark Cubey for this. The suggestion that Facebook might get into audio streaming/sharing is interesting  - or the idea that you could watch movies with your friends via FB. Original here. Or full size version

INFOGRAPHIC: Dance on Demand: A Look at the Modern Social Music Revolution

Yellow snot funk

New video from Homebrew, called Yellow snot funk. Charming, fellas. Homebrew said on Twitter "Thanks NZOnAir. Please don't sue us."

Directed by Askew One, music by Dandruff Dicky. Brandon Haru. Isaac Aeisili. Fave shot - the synchronised dancing in the middle of the K Rd/Pitt St intersection. More a that.

Kickin back

I was reading this great post on record digging on the cheap from  DJ Prestige, and he mentions a cool sounding record...  from Patrice Rushen, called Kickin back. He found a copy on 12-inch while digging for bargains.

"... Out of all the records I got that day, this is my fave. I’ve never seen it on the field before, so for me it’s a good pull. A promo, and from what I have gathered, one of the first in a group of 12″ records put out (besides being a promo), this side has pulled high $200+ prices in the past. Not that that really matters to me, I just want to play the thing. A solid 7 minutes plus of Disco Funk from Patrice on Prestige." There's an MP3 DL of it here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kiwifm 60% local

Press release on Kiwifm rejigging it's 100% kiwi music format.... will it affect their NZOA funding? [answer: no]

"Kiwi FM has announced that as of Monday 20 February it will diversify its music format to include 40% international music.

Andrew Szusterman, Group Programme Director – Music Brands for MediaWorks Radio, says the move is designed to secure a wider audience for the New Zealand music that the station champions.

“We know that audiences enjoy hearing their favourite New Zealand artists mixed in with international artists, so from now on Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Naked And Famous and Kimbra, will play alongside international artists such as Radiohead, Lana Del Rey and Phoenix.

“By adding the best alternative music from around the world, we believe we’ll bring a wider audience to the station and so provide a better platform for the New Zealand music Kiwi FM plays.”

In accordance with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage licence for Kiwi FM [amended by KiwiFM and the Ministry in March 2011 from 100% to 60%], the station will play a minimum of 60% New Zealand music and will still deliver up to three times more New Zealand music than is currently heard on any other commercial radio station. The specialist music shows and announcer line-up of Kiwi music advocates remain unchanged."

ADDED: From Radio NZ: "The programme director for Mediaworks' music brands, Andrew Szusterman, says Kiwi FM has been losing money for years. He says it attracts about 21,000 listeners a week, while the music station with the most listeners has more than 400,000.

Kiwi FM gets $300,000 a year from NZ on Air to produce several New Zealand only music shows and Mr Szusterman says that funding will not be affected by the change."

[NOTE: regarding comparing KiwiFM's 20,000 listeners a week with the station with the most listeners - a better comparison would be BFM or GeorgeFM, which pull around 35-45,0000 a week. ]

ADDED:  Range of responses to the changes at KiwiFM on their Facebook page some supportive, some negative - KiwiFM has replied to several folk critical of the change, saying "We are definitely not a commercial radio station, we are non profit and will stay that way."

[ Karyn Hay, then-GM of KiwiFM wrote an open letter in 2006  where she said the aim was for KiwiFM to work towards becoming a non profit organisation. Was that ever achieved?]

Scott Muir from (and deputy chair of IMNZ) quoted the then minster Steve  Maharey's press release on the initial arrangement for KiwiFM's frequencies...

"From Steve Maharey's press release: "The government is committed to working with radio broadcasters to grow music," Steve Maharey said. "We support the concept of a station that plays 100 percent Kiwi music, and we're keen that it has the opportunity to develop and expand the range of Kiwi music it plays....

...As part of the agreement to use the frequencies, the station's brief will be to significantly expand its content to include a greater range of New Zealand Music....

...Steve Maharey said airplay of music had doubled since March 2002 when the government and the Radio Broadcasters Association launched a Code of Practice for music content. Kiwi FM was one of the ways the industry could build on that success.

CanWest CEO Brent Impey welcomed the announcement: "CanWest has long been a strong supporter of Kiwi Music. Kiwi FM was launched a year ago to enhance this support. This agreement puts Kiwi in a positive position for the future."

Scott then asked "So exactly HOW does this change square with the above please KIWIFM ?

KiwiFM replied"The Ministry of Culture and Heritage, the Ministry responsible for the administration of the frequencies we use, is fully behind the change. That of course was their decision, not ours."

Martyn Bomber Bradbury (ex Channel Z, the station that KiwiFM replaced) weighed in on the KiwiFM FB page, noting that he has a column about the future of KiwiFM in the new issue of Metro, out next week.

From Martyn's blog: "Why Labour handed over $6million worth of radio frequency ($2million a frequency) to a foreign owned media company without so much as a plan has NEVER been explained to me by members of the Labour Party. When I bring it up with them now they cringe and get flustered.

Now it's not even 100% NZ music, why this scam continues is beyond me. As someone at Channel Z, I told the managers it wouldn't work, 6 years on, surprise, surprise it didn't work."

ADDED Mon Feb 20: NZ Herald has reported on the changes at KiwiFM, using a photo of Debbie Chote of Kiwi FM - unfortunately, it's the wrong station. Chote worked at Te Puke's now defunct KiwiFM community radio station, not Mediaworks' KiwiFM.

The story also states that Kiwi FM grew out of Channel Z - that's untrue. Channel Z was scrapped and replaced by KiwiFM.

The headline for the story says KiwiFM 40% less Kiwi from tomorrow. That's also incorrect. The changes come into effect today - the press release sent out for the changes came out yesterday, saying the changes take effect 'tomorrow'. [headline now reads 'Kiwi FM not so kiwi anymore']

The story closes by saying "Fully commercial radio stations are required to play no less than 20 per cent New Zealand music."  That's incorrect. The quota of NZ music is voluntary.

ADDED Feb 20: Dom Post reports that "Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss, who found out about the change from The Dominion Post yesterday (Sun), said he would be in Wellington today and look at the situation.

"I will be asking of my officials that all existing agreements with them are being adhered to and, if not, further discussions need to be had."

Since the New Zealand music quota was removed last year, commercial radio stations continued to play a lot of New Zealand music, he said."

If this last quote is accurate, the Minister is misinformed. The quote was/is voluntary (so can't have been removed as such), and I don't recall hearing anything about it being removed.

One commenter on that story asked "how is Kiwi supposed to achieve anything when it's essentially unmarketed?" That's a good question. KiwiFM has suffered because Mediaworks has spent barely a cent marketing KiwiFM, so they get tiny ratings. No marketing = no audience.

NBR reports that "Kiwi FM's frequency deal with the government expires in June."

ADDED Feb 20, 2.20pm: Radio NZ reports that "Mr Foss says the station was required to play entirely New Zealand music under its intial deal, but KiwiFM changed that provision to 60% when it re-signed its licence with the Government in March 2011."

ADDED Feb 20 730pm: From Radio NZ:  "Opposition parties say the Government has taken the Kiwi out of Kiwi FM by allowing it to reduce its New Zealand music quota." Listen.

Broadcasting Minster Craig Foss says that ICT Minister Amy Adams is now working out what will happen to the three frequencies. "It's part of the greater discussion about this block of spectrum in particular, so no, I am not part of that discussion at the moment," Foss told RNZ.

TV3: Kiwi music industry no longer props up Kiwi FM.

ADDED Feb 21 8.00am: From NZ Herald's media John Drinnan - Concerns over secret deal to cut NZ content. He reports that Steven Joyce was involved in the deal to reduce KiwiFM's local content from 100%  to 60%. "That agreement will be renewed in July, said a spokesman for Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss."

[AMENDED - the NZ Herald story had this note added to it - "This story has been changed from an earlier version that referred to a spokesman for Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss saying the agreement over local content would be renewed in July. An agreement over content will instead be considered in July."]

The story also observes that "deals involving public assets and tradeoffs in regulatory oversight have become commonplace under this Government", highlighting the Hobbit law changes, the SkyCity casino deal Steven Joyce is working on, allowing more pokie machines in the casino in return for them building a major convention centre, and the 2009 deferment of Mediaworks fees for its radio frequencies, effectively a $43 million loan from the Government. Steven Joyce is the former owner of Mediaworks.

A number of commentators, like AUT Radio Lecturer Matt Molllgard (a highly vocal critic of KiwiFM, who is doing his PHD on the station) have suggested the three frequencies, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with their commercial value would be far better left to tender but instead the current arrangement is “just sitting on them”. See also NBR - "There is a suggestion that National should now be putting Mediaworks’ three Kiwi FM frequencies up for tender."

It is my understanding that the frequencies KiwiFM currently uses are a block reserved by govt for community, non profit use exclusively, and cannot be put out to tender to the highest bidder, like standard commercial frequencies.

Of course the Government could regulate to change this, and, as Craig Foss noted on RNZ, these frequencies are currently under discussion by the ICT Minster Amy Adams.

[See Karyn Hay, then-GM of KiwiFM open letter from 2006  she refers to this]

ADDED 23 Feb Indie Music NZ respond to KiwiFM format change... IMNZ hopes that " doing so Kiwi FM's handlers will continue to programme "a diverse and interesting range of NZ songs, not just limiting itself to a formulaic 'Nature's Best' style playlist" said IMNZ's chairman Ben Howe.

Howe says "we would wish to remind everyone that Kiwi FM's frequencies were put aside for public access radio of some sort and we advocate a radio entity that has the ability to grow a decent audience, support local music and break new artists - as has been successfully done in Australia with Triple JJJ."

Declaration of interest: I DJed on KiwiFM for three and a half years til June 2011, hosting their High Noon Tea nz reggae and downtempo show.