Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, March 24



IQU - Witchcraft
Troublefunk - Drop the bomb
Tom Tom Club - Genius of love - long version
Jean Carn - Free love - Victor Rosado re-edit
Rose Royce - Make me feel like dancing
Chakachas - Jungle fever - Greg Wilson edit (soundcloud)
Ikebe shakedown - Tunjunga
Buddy Miles - Them changes
Ray Baretto - Acid
Bronx river parkway - Nora se va
J-Star - Fishfinger tentacle dub (soundcloud)
Hallelujah Picassos - Peanut butter (bandcamp)
Norma White and Brentford disco set - I want your love
Dub specialist - Kampala
Althea and Donna - Uptown top ranking
Mere Mortalz feat U Brown - Dis a boom
Herbs - French letter - dub version (Youtube)
Mighty diamonds - Right time
VV Brown - Crying blood - Andrew Weatherall dub 
Lee Scratch Perry  - Jungle youth - Congo Natty remix
Prince - Housequake

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beaten Generation

Hostage to the beat - front cover. Published by Tandem Press
By Robyn Pett, Pavement magazine, Aug/Sept 1995 issue. 

History never repeats, but it may come back to haunt you. In his follow-up to When the Rock Got Rolling, his tribute to Wellington's rock scene in the 60s, author Roger Watkins pays homage to the movers and shakers in the Auckland music scene during the 50s and 60s, an era as wild as it was weird.

A history lecturer at Welllngton's Victoria University and a musician during Auckland's rock 'n' roll years, Watkins new book, Hostage to the Beat: The Auckland Scene 1955-1970, is an alphabetically ordered retrospective that begins with The Acton and ends with The Zodiacs There are also dozens of other imaginatively named outlets like Feet Beats, Velvet Bubble, The Fair Sect, Hi-Revving Tongues, The Steam Packets and, best yet, The Four Fours.

The writing and attention to detail make it clear that Watkins is passionate about the music of his day. He's also pissed off it's been universally forgotten.

"Fundamentally, I'm really cheesed off that that period of our social history has become invisible," he chides. "I mean, so many contemporary musicians have no idea who Larry's Rebels or The Underdogs were. Or even who Johnny Devlin was. He was New Zealand's first rock and roll rebel, he was New Zealand's Elvis. And no one even knows about him. It's a real shame.”

Peter Posa and friend. Porbably something to do with his album called White Rabbit

It's Watkins' opinion that musicians today have nothing on their 60s counterparts. For a start, they have no political or social motivations to spur them on. In Auckland in the 60s shock value counted enormously. It was an age of unspeakable matricide and the incomprehensible notion that teenagers had sex.

Thanks to limitations in technology, it was also a time when talent counted as much as image, maybe even more. "The technology and the equipment didn't exist in those days," explains Watkins.

"Technology these days allows people that might not necessarily have the natural, raw talent as musicians, to create music.” Gaining precious airplay on radio and television is another burden contemporary bands have to contend with. But before the advent of music videos and Casey Kasem's Top 40, things were different.

If you were in a band the DJ was your friend, Somebody who had your best interests at heart. Somebody like Paul Holmes, perhaps, who fronted a rock show called Gruntmachine.

"Radio was a completely different beat," raps Watkins. "A lot of those jocks in the 60s saw the bands live, compered their shows, knew the bands personally. Nowadays radio is all programmed by computer, there isn't even anyone there. So it's much harder to get airplay. I think the bands now have it much harder. The 60s were a much more personable time. It was a people's time."

The Brew, left to right - Doug Jerebine. Bob Gillet, Tom Ferguson, Yuk Harrison, Trixie Willoughby

It was, argues Watkins, the definitive era in rock and roll throughout the world. "The 60s was a renaissance. Everything changed in the 60s. In New Zealand there was a staggering amount of recording done and there were a phenomenal number of bands.

“The music still stacks up today. It was loads better than anything that was coming in from elsewhere. The funny thing is that New Zealand music from that period is now in demand by collectors in Scandinavia and Germany. They recognise the vitality that was lacking In the British and American recordings But no one in New Zealand even knows this stuff exists.''

Republished here for archival purposes only - non-commercial use.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Temptations vs Universal


The Temptations are suing Universal Music Group (read more). "The group is filing against UMG over a number of royalty concerns, and part of a growing class action lawsuit sparked by Eminem's publishing group, F.B.T. Productions... Together, the major labels license 80 percent of the music downloads sold by music download providers to end users in the US.

Not only is it the issue of digital download royalties at stake but also revenue from streaming services.

"... Just last week, Spotify investor Sean Parker admitted that artists are frequently not getting paid a portion of upfront advances by their labels. Well, count the Temptations as Exhibit A: the group really has no idea what Spotify is paying UMG, or how much they should be getting paid.

[from the legal filing] "Some music streaming providers have paid large upfront fees to labels, such as UMG, to acquire rights to large catalogs of music. Due to non-disclosure agreements signed between music streaming providers and labels, artists (such as the plaintiffs and the class action herein) are not provided with any details about these payments, and there is little transparancy about how - and if - that money makes its way to artists. On information and belief, UMG does not provide appropriate royalty payments to its artists from the licensing income it receives from music streaming providers."

Mixtapes r us


From the weekend's Sunday Star Times, article on how the web's changing entertainment...
Living the iLife, by Elle Hunt.

excerpt: "... The brainchild of broadcaster James Coleman, Mixtape.co.nz lets you discover and share music. It's an extension of that same sense of High Fidelity-type community, but its reach is hugely greater. The premise behind Mixtape ("Browse. Create. You") is nothing new.

Sites such as iTunes' Ping, Rara, Spotify and Audioboo perform much the same function, effectively letting you turn your mobile devices into personal radios, either free and perhaps with advertising, or paid for by subscriptions. 

The difference is that Mixtape was made here, and it attracted public funding. Coleman's proposal received support from NZ On Air to the tune of more than $330,000. And it means TV3 personality Jaquie Brown can load a 12-song "dance mix to play when you are naked and alone, thinking about being a pop star" for all to enjoy.

"It's about extending our services," says NZOA chief executive Jane Wrightson, a self- confessed "non-digital native" who nonetheless raves about how the Apple iPad has revolutionised NZ On Air board meetings. "We were looking for original ideas for new content or services that had potential to find a decent audience."

Read the full article: Living the iLife

Ranking Casbah



The Clash with Ranking Roger on vocals - Rock The Casbah. What a dope version!

Ranking Roger pops up in the comments on this clip, talking about how this version came about.

"I recorded this for the Clash in London around 82-3 when the Clash and the Beat toured quite a bit in the U.S.A together. I also did a toast/rap over Red angel dragnet which I have not heard since. I did it as a one take in the studio.

"The Clash split up shortly afterwards so it was never released. What you guys are hearing here was just a rough mix for us to go away and listen to. It was never finished. Mick Jones was with me and a couple of engineers. We took the original 24 track and took the lead vox out. Anyway,it was not allowed to be let out to anyone,althouh i gave the late John Peel a copy of it (R.I.P.)"

Ranking Roger later worked with Mick Jones in Big Audio Dynamite - read more on that here.

LISTEN: The Clash with Ranking Roger - 'Armagideon Time' live, Santa Barbara 1982

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Splore boxed



Amazing visuals from Mike Hodgson (Pitch Black) at Splore.... hats off to all involved in this. Some very nice Len Lye-inspired moments, done by Greg Wood on 16mm film.

Stenchmeister speaks

The Listener, March 24, 2012, review by Jim Pinckney (Stinky Jim)

Stinky Jim contributed to the digital booklet liner notes for Rewind The Hateman, the best of collection from Hallelujah Picassos, released in October last year (buy it here on CD/digital). If you haven't seen that, here's what he wrote. Thanks, Jim.

"Gotta to be honest, it's hazy….. good hazy though - Picassos’ gigs, and in fact a fair chunk of time spent with the band (DJing, loafing, shuffling at gigs, call it what you will etc etc), was just like that back then - and you wouldn't have it any other way. So 20 odd years later (and the years were even more refreshingly odd back then, it should be said) and here's some random thoughts on one of the randomest bands Auckland, hell ….New Zealand, maybe even the Southern Hemisphere has ever thrown up (pun fully intended).

They blurred lines, constantly.... on all fronts. Sometimes it may not have been deliberate, most times it was. As a fully operational and downright rockulating live band they engaged with technology and the use of the mixing desk as an instrument, in a way that was infinitely far more effective, genuine and successful than the vast majority of their dilettantish so-called contemporaries.

When they covered a song it was delivered like a lovingly given shiner. Most times their covers sounded like originals, and conversely some of their originals came across like covers. Them kind of grey areas are sadly all but gone in today's overly sanitised, depressingly genrified, and stomach churningly commodified, conservative music scene.

We really don't need any f#cking reunion tour (from anyone at all any more... thanks) to remind us, but a few bands with the awareness, adventurousness and downright danger of the Picassos certainly wouldn't go amiss in Kommander Key's blighted millionaire’s playground right now.

Even as four individuals (and yeah.. I know.. there was more later, but no disrespect intended - the original four person iPicasso Classic line-up is the one that I refer to) they shouldn't have fitted together, yet... like all the wrongest right things, and many of the best…they just did.. gloriously.

Live they were a force of nature, some might say not always necessarily a force for good… but sod the sad sacks - they were never to be underestimated. Their releases weren’t so far away from exceptional radio shows or masterful mixtapes, some might say that you need to know the rules to ignore them but that doesn’t apply when you’re making it up as you go along.

They were, and remain, a bright splash of colour amongst a predominantly dreary monochrome music scene - for sure they didn’t do it entirely alone (potty mouth Hornblow, LVDA et al ...take a bow) but Bob, Harold, Peter and Johnny you cop the broader than Broadway biggest salute, Picasso core for life!

Kim Dotcom asset seizure ruled invalid

In case you missed this, "According to a Friday opinion by New Zealand's highest court, a simple procedural error could force the feds to return all of Kim Dotcom's seized belongings. 

"That is, roughly $200 million worth of luxury automobiles, overpriced furniture, and life-sized giraffe sculptures. Justice Judith Potter ruled the restraining order to be "null and void" and having "no legal effect," based on apparently sloppy paperwork. The development was first reported by the New Zealand Herald.... 

 "... The Herald reports that police commissioner Peter Marshall and advisors at the Crown Law Office have admitted making a 'procedural error' in its massive raid, and subsequently attempted to file the right paperwork - that is, after the raid had already occurred. That was approved, and the courts could cut the feds some slack and let the raid stand. Otherwise, Dotcom gets his stuff back, and MegaUpload lawyers could be preparing a dogfight over this..." Via Digital Music News.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Home, land and sea



Home, land and sea: Situating music in Aotearoa New Zealand is a recently published (2011) collection of academic writings on our music. It's edited by Glenda Keam and Tony Mitchell, and covers hiphop, reggae, Polynesian  and Maori music, sounds from the Mainland, and there's a chapter titled "DIY or DIT: Tales of making music in the capital" which starts off by quoting extensively from several pointed comments off a Simon Sweetman 2009 blog post where he rubbishes Fat Freddys Drop. Sweetman referenced in academic journals - there you go.

There's also a reference to AK79 that mistakenly credits it to Simon Grigg's Propeller label - it came out on Bryan Staff's Ripper Records. Grigg was involved in the 1993 CD release of AK79, released by Propeller/Flying Nun (p122  - sorry, Tony Mitchell. You also misspelled Propeller as Propellor. And the release date in the discography for that chapter says 2003).

Don McGlashan says in the afterword "The essays in this book all ask the question; Does New Zealand music sound like it comes from New Zealand, and if so, what does it sound like?"

In the chapter called 'Oh, reggae but different!' The localisation of roots reggae in Aotearoa, written by Jennifer Cattermole, there's a great quote from Herbs' member  the late Charlie Tumahai... it talks to the notion of the existence of Pacific reggae, and what that means...

"What I was playing was West Indian style reggae, roots reggae. It wasn't until I put one against the other - playing Herbs, then Marley, Herbs, then Black Slate, then it struck me... the key to it for me was Herbs have more of a roll. The roots reggae is more of a staccato style; they leave holes, take things away. It's very heavy. Whereas the Herbs rhythm is more of a rolling thing, quite smooth. It came home to me when the Wailers walked into one of our rehearsals, and they clicked. They said 'Oh, reggae, but different!'I said yeah - it took me a while too."

Offical blurb: "Home, Land and Sea presents twenty different viewpoints on music in Aotearoa,New Zealand. A selection of experts examine the vast range of music production in this country and relate it to what it might say about our homeland, our diverse population, our landscape and our identities.

The collection surveys traditional and popular music created by Maori and Pacific Islanders, distinctively Polynesian brands of reggae and hip hop, the music of migrants from such areas as Latin America, China, Japan and Greece, the electronic and instrumental music traditions made more local by Douglas Lilburn, the internationally recognised 'Dunedin sound' of the Flying Nun label, and the eccentric electroacoustic of 'outsider' musicians, revealing an ever-increasing diversity of music in New Zealand.

Home, Land and Sea is the first comprehensive academic study incorporating contemporary popular, experimental and art music practices in New Zealand. Written for a tertiary audience it will be of relevance to scholars of a variety of disciplines including music; media and communications; cultural studies; sociology; anthropology and geography."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, March 17

Rare pleasure - Let me down easy - Danny Krivit edit
Candi Staton - When you wake up tomorrow
O'Jays - For the love of money
Syreeta -  I love every little thing about you
Mantronix - Who is it?
League unlimited orchestra - Love action
Romanowski - Train song
Skatalites - El pussycat ska
The Specials - Do the dog (Live in Auckland, April 10)
Bob Marley and the Wailers - Simmer down
Michigan and Smiley - Rubadub style
Horace Andy - Fever
Sound dimension - Full up
Carlton and the shoes - Love me forever
Mr Vegas - Heads high
Short fuse - Planar I (slow motion)
Suizen - Cartesian space 4d mix
Lord Echo - Things I like to do
Booker T Jones - Down in Memphis
Flirtations - Nothing but a heartache
Joanie Summers - Dont pity me
Gladys Knight and the Pips - Bourgie bourgie
Scritti politti - Absolute - version
Bobby Womack - Please forgive my heart
Herbie Hancock - Palm grease

Friday, March 16, 2012

Don Zolo



Zolo and the Bantams included Don McGlashan, Tim Mahon and Mark Bell (Blam Blam Blam), and recorded this 45 7"single in 1981, with a group of schoolkids from Manurewa. The A side is a bent little original, and the flip is a charmingly wobbly attempt at Jimmy Cliff's The Harder They Come.

The inner sleeve lists the following people involved in this project: Jason Hutchinson, Phillip Whale, Leanne Hawkins, Rachel Irvine, Sean Harris, Chris Hughes, Nicky Sabbage, Adrian Croucher, Richard Shanks, Richard Horsfall, Marc van der Voorn, Sue Whelan, Meryl Killip, Helen Pye, Steven White, Gary Melrose, Jillian Stanton, Chris Lowrie, Dawn White, Bronwen Richards, Tim Mahon, Steve Galvin, Bruce Robertson, Frank Stark, Kippy Harris, Mark Bell, Don McGlashan, Gerard Carr, Peter Scholes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Remembering Darcy



Darcy Clay (Daniel Bolton) passed away 15 March 1998. Still missed by many.

Watch: Dylan Taite interviewing Darcy, 1997. Taite: "It's like nothing you've heard before, but in fact, it's like everything you've heard."

Watch: LA Vinyl



Hat tip to Doubtful Sounds for the link.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sh*t People Say At Record Stores

Sun Araw & M Geddes meets the Congos



From FRKWYS Vol. 9: Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras meet The Congos, a seven song record, recently released by RVNG Intl. Hat tip to Martyn P.

More info at www.igetrvng.com, check previous volumes in this series, some interesting collaborations...

FRKWYS VOL. 8 - BLUES CONTROL & LARAAJI
FRKWYS VOL. 6 - JULIANNA BARWICK & IKUE MORI (DNA)
FRKWYS VOL. 4 - PSYCHIC ILLS remixed by Juan Atkins, Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers). and Hans-Joachim Irmler (Faust)


Talking Heads: Hallelujah Picassos and Trevor Reekie

Photo: Ted Bagurst/Volume

Talking Heads: Hallelujah Picassos and Trevor Reekie, Volume magazine

"With their groundbreaking fusion of everything to reggae to nascent hip-hop to thrash, the Hallelujah Picassos defined a vibrant, close-knit and avowedly non-conformist time in the Auckland music scene that’s gone undocumented since – but a pair of retrospective compilations are putting the record straight.

Trevor Reekie was there from the start as a producer, Pagan Records owner and fan - for this Talking Heads, he and Picassos Peter McLennan and Harold 'Roland' Rorschach talked about what their music means now, fitting in then, and finally reveal why they ditched Trevor's label."

Listen to the full interview below. Thanks to Trevor Reekie, and Sam Wicks and Ted Bagurst at Volume.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pragmatic Theory present: Curtis the beat tape

"Curtis The Beat Tape" is a Curtis Mayfield Tribute featuring tracks from: ShainCaw, Keor Meteor, Glyphick, Ta-Ku, Constrobuz, Snakehips, Mononome, ManOnWire, Handbook, Keith Price x MadColour, A-Beats, AudioDoctor, Kam0, Jewbei, Byrdverson1 x Nextwon, JP Balboa, SE1DavidE, Cypria, DuckaDucka, Prozak Morris, ChromadaData, ProducerNature, Pawcut, Je$u$ & Funky Notes.

Alternative download link www.mediafire.com?n5b50xhfjo8mwrf


Doug Jerebine live, free!


Doug Jerebine is celebrating the release of his album Doug Jerebine Is Jesse Harper, with a live show on Wednesday March 14th at the Kings Arms for free. Doors open at 7pm and Jerebine and The World Band will be on stage at 8.15pm. CDs and LPs available at the show.

Here's the official blurb... "It’s been a 43 year wait to get his album released but with rave reviews in Mojo, Uncut, Record Collector, and the NZ Herald – this release has had psyche-heads the world over buzzing over the official release of this important document of New Zealand music history.

Doug’s tale is long – but briefly ...

Rock 'n' roll is awash with long, strange trips but few are longer and stranger than that of NZ psych-rock legend Doug Jerebine.

A revered session musician on the nascent NZ music scene of the late 50s/early 60s, Jerebine's influence cannot be overstated. His compositions became the cornerstone of The Human Instinct's seminal 'Stoned Guitar' album, and his blistering guitar work earned comparisons with Jimi Hendrix.

Jerebine relocated to London in the late sixties and recorded an album under the moniker Jesse Harper. However, despite strong interest from Atlantic the album languished unreleased. He toured with the Jeff Beck group and Junior Walker, but the music scene became increasingly an anathema to Doug's spiritual nature.

In 1973 he moved to India to live as a Krishna monk, and there he remained for some 30 years.

Upon his return to NZ in 2009, Jerebine was stunned to learn that his name was still being spoken of in revered tones by psych-rock aficionados.

Highly respected US label Drag City (home of Will Oldham and Joanna Newsom) have released the album 'Doug Jerebine is Jesse Harper' to much acclaim - Mojo magazine called it 'a real pinnacle of the heavy psych movement', and the Herald's Scott Kara wrote of its 'masterful mix of natural ability, conviction, and most importantly, unbridled soul'.

WORTH A READ: Doug Jerebine interviewed by Graham Reid, 2012.

RELATED: Doug Jerebine is Jesse Harper, backgrounder, audio...

Part time heroes



Part Time Heroes drop their debut album today, here's the single off it, below. For fans of Rotary connection, Zero 7 and Cinematic Orchestra, very tasty. Album out now on Wahwah 45s. Plus, free download...





Monday, March 12, 2012

Synth Britannia



I watched an earlier installment of this series, called Reggae Britannia (watch here), which was an outstanding documentary. Have seen lots of mates raving about this one, check it out.

KRS One presales - tues 9am



BONUS: Watch KRS-ONE speaks at Orakei Marae 20.2.2012. Not great quality, but interesting clip

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lucky Paul

Photo: NZ Musician

Lucky Paul is an expat Kiwi drummer, who has been based in Berlin for several years. He breezed thru Auckland recently, holding down the drumseat for Feist in her band when they played at Laneway. When Feist introduced him, the crowd cheered like crazy. He must've loved that!

There's a great interview with him in the latest issue of NZ Musician magazine. Ep out now, thru Somethinksounds. Features Mara TK (Electric wire hustle) on vocals. Listen below.

BONUS: Lucky Paul rework of Etta James - I'd rather go blind (free download)

R.I.P. Jimmy Ellis (Trammps)

Via NYTimes: "Jimmy Ellis, the soulful lead singer of the Trammps, whose 1970s hit “Disco Inferno” was immortalized in the film “Saturday Night Fever,” died on Thursday in Rock Hill, S.C. He was 74.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, Erika Stinson, his daughter, said.

Mr. Ellis’s melodious voice overlaid the funky guitar riffs and driving bass and drums of the Trammps’s dance music. He sang lead on most of the group’s songs, backed by the bass singer Earl Young, and later harmonized with Robert Upchurch, who joined the band in the mid-1970s.

The Trammps were formed in the early ’70s, according to their keyboard player and manager, Edward Cermanski. Mr. Cermanski said the second “m” in the group’s name came from the days when Mr. Ellis and his friends sang on street corners.

“The police called them tramps,” he said. “So they said they wanted to be high-class tramps, with two ‘m’s in the name.”

Their first recording was a remake of one of Judy Garland’s signature songs, “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” which reached No. 17 on the R&B charts. They went on to have hits like “Hold Back the Night,” and in 1975 were signed by Atlantic Records, which released seminal disco records by the group like “Where the Happy People Go.”

The Trammps peaked with the album “Disco Inferno,” whose title track climbed to No. 11 on the Billboard pop chart in 1977. It became emblematic of the disco era when it was used as background music in an extended John Travolta dance sequence in the 1977 movie “Saturday Night Fever.”


From The Guardian... "The Trammps' chart career was short-lived. A year after the soundtrack spent 24 weeks at the top of the US charts, their album The Whole World's Dancing struggled to No 184, despite a guest performance from Stevie Wonder. It was their last chart appearance.

"If their entanglement with disco curtailed the Trammps' lifespan on the charts, it undoubtedly prolonged their live career. Ellis would tour with a version of the band for the next 30 years, until his diagnosis with Alzheimer's in 2008. Two years later, he made a final appearance with the band in Atlantic City, where he had performed in talent contests five decades previously...."


Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, March 10

Patrice Rushen - Music of the earth - Danny Krivit edit
Sergio Mendes - Mozambique
Black blood - Chicano
Pleasure - Reality
Risco connection - Aint no stopping us now
King Tubby - King Tubbys dub
Black seeds - Pippy pip
Prince Buster - Girl why don't you answer
Winston Francis - Don't change
Barrington Levy - Under me sensi
Honey boy Martin - Dreader than dread
Cimmarons - We are not the same
General Degree - Pot cover
Erykah Badu - On and on - Adi Dick remix
Sulata - Never
Manzel - Space funk
Bobby Womack - Please forgive my heart
Mandrill - Ali bombaye pt 1
Connie Price and the keystones - Sucker punch
Rose royce - Bad mutherfunker
Manu Dibango - Soul makossa
Ikebe shakedown - Don't contradict
Scrimshire - Everything you say - LV remix
Mo kolours - Banana wine
Gil Scott Heron - New York is killing me

Friday, March 09, 2012

Friday soul



Hat tip to Russell Brown for this. Electric Guest drop their album Mondo, on April 24. Produced by Dangermouse.

Record Shop Dude #05



Sean's Guide To Why Punk Sucks - Record Shop Dude #05. Hilarious.

And from across the Atlantic, this dude...

New Bobby Womack!



Like the folk at The  Fader say, I was not expecting anything new from Mr Womack, but here it is and holy heck, it's gorgeous. Produced by Damon Albarn (who took Mr Womack on tour with him as The Gorillaz) and Richard Russell (producer of the final Gil Scott Heron album). Free download too. From the album The Bravest Man in the Universe is out June 12th on XL.

Record retails woes?

Marbecks on Lambton Quay is closing after 17 years, reports Wellington's Dominion Post. Lots of doom and gloom in the story, but no mention of the new record stores opened recently in the capital, like RPM Music or Evil Genius.

"... The closure is the latest in a slew of specialist record shops closing in Wellington including Cuba St's Real Groovy last year as well as franchises like Sounds and Tower Records and Marbecks outlets at Cuba Mall, Courtenay Place and Wellington Airport... two [Marbecks] stores in the North Island and one in the South would likely shut this year."

Marbecks are "looking at moving into second hand vinyl sales and high-end portable audio.... one of Marbecks' key growth area was in vinyl. "

Captain Planet

New out on Bastard Jazz - who recently dropped a new single from NZ's own Lord Echo - his album is out on vinyl now too - here's some cool remixes from Captain Planet, including a free download of the tune below. Nice slice of boogie funk. Taken from the upcoming Captain Planet "Remixes / Remixed" 12" + Digi Rls - out on Bastard Jazz.




"Captain Planet returns to Bastard Jazz after last fall’s debut album Cookin Gumbo with a treasure trove of remixes both by and for the slicing + dicing chef of global dancefloor delights! This brand new 12" and digi-EP features scorching remixes of Los Chicharrons (Tummy Touch) and Chip Wickham (Lovemonk) by the Captain himself, as well as the Captain's own electro-boogie take on "Get You Some", a remix of "Samba Radiante" by BBE / Music of Substance artist Chris Read, and another remix of "Get You Some" by our contest winner Aphrololo.

"Digital bonus cuts include our two contest runners up, Lil' Dave and PDF, as well as a burning dancehall remix from Bastard Jazz's own Erik The Red.


Captain Planet guestmix on Bastard Jazz Radio!

"To celebrate the release of the new 12", the Captain has returned to his radio roots and put together a special episode of Bastard Jazz Radio on Brooklynradio.net for us -- lots of current favorites, some tracks off the EP plus a few new exclusive and unreleased remixes from C.P. Listen on Mixcloud or download the mix HERE. And don't forget to check out some older episodes of Bastard Jazz radio in the archive."

RELATED : Free download - Bastard Jazz meets Tummy Touch album. Well worth checking out.

Hiphop don't stop

photo: Flea market funk

Over at Flea Market Funk, one of their regular features is Ten Questions with various DJs. Its a great read. The latest one is with Noah Uman, a DJ who hosted a hiphop radio show on WFMU called Coffee Break for Heroes and Villains for seven years (and now presents the show via the net). In 2004 he started working on reissues. He produced the first four Run DMC reissues for Sony.

He says "Talking to everyone involved, going through photo and audio archives was all amazing, but the two highlights were spending the afternoon with [their] producer Larry Smith, and going to the listening party for Rev Run's solo album... Run got out of his car, looked at me and said "Noah's in the house!" That was it, I was done.

"Sadly, hiphop reissues still have a long way to go until they join the ranks of materiel that labels like Norton, Numero Group, or Sundazed release...

"...if someone is going to put something out again, do it so people will WANT it. Liner notes, tell the story of the group, get quotes from other people, dig up old, flyers and photographs, track down those radio freestyles or demos. Just make a real effort to go the extra mile."


That sums up what we've been trying to do with the Hallelujah Picassos reissues so far. Tell some stories, share some photos. Make it worth your while.

Read the rest of the Q&A here. His Best Digging Story is freaking nuts.

My fave comment from Noah - "No sense in keeping a record that does not get turntable love."

Check out Coffee Break Radio’s home online. Get all the new shows on SoundCloud.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

P-core with Wammo



KiwiFM interview with Wammo, from monday. Cheers, fella!

Tune in to Radio BFM this afternoon at 315pm, I'm chatting with Cameron about the new reissue, Picasso Core Jukebox

Taite Prize finalists

Here's the finalists for the 2012 Taite Prize... winner announced April 20th.

Andrew Keoghan - Arctic Tales Divide (Brave Beluga Records)
Beastwars – Beastwars (Destroy Records)
David Dallas – The Rose Tint (Dirty Records)
She’s So Rad – In Circles (Round Trip Mars)
The Bats – Free All Monsters (Flying Nun Records)
Tiny Ruins - Some Were Meant For The Sea (Spunk Records)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Seeing Records)

The voting panel to determine the finalists was made up of a broad section of music media/industry specialists plus all current members of Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ). There will be a second round of judging by a selected music panel to decide the eventual winner. The judges will make their decision based entirely on the artistic merit on the album(s). Sales, genres, artist recognition or popularity are not contributing factors in their decision- making process. The selected music panel for 2012 is made up of the following persons:

FINALIST JUDGING PANEL FOR THE TAITE MUSIC PRIZE 2012
- Jon Bywater (Programme Leader, Critical Studies @ Elam School Of Fine Arts)
- Hugh Sundae (Entertainment Editor, NZ Herald Online)
- Stephen O’Hoy (IMNZ / Amplifier / DRM)
- Jeremy Morrow (Warner Music)
- Leonie Hayden (Editor, RipItUp)
- Richard Thorne (Editor, NZ Musician)
- Andrew Tidball (Editor, Cheese On Toast)
- Russell Brown (Public Address)
- Charlotte Ryan (95bFM)
- Glenn Williams (Wammo) (KiwiFM)
- 11th Man – John Taite (BBC America)
- The Judge Wrangler – Damian Vaughan (APRA)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Cookies!

I love music. I love cookies almost as much as I love music. And today is the 100th birthday of Oreo cookies. I think I first heard about Oreos when LL Cool J rapped about them in his song "I'm Bad" (watch), back in 1987 - "...forget Oreos, eat Cool J cookies, I'm BAAADDD!". Took them a long time to turn up in New Zealand though. Now they're in almost every Asian supermarket.

A flashmob in Los Angeles.  Picture: Frazer Harrison / Getty
from News.com.au "... Flash mobs celebrated the centenary in seven US cities including Los Angeles, where country rock trio Lady Antebellum led a shopping-mall crowd of several hundred in singing "Happy Birthday" to the venerable comfort food.... there were fireworks in Shanghai, birthday fetes in Saudi Arabia, special playgrounds in Indonesia and pinata-breaking in Venezuela....

...They first popped out of the oven at the Nabisco factory in New York's Chelsea district ... and sold by a grocer on the other side of the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey....

Among African Americans, in the Black Power era, calling someone an Oreo - black on the outside, white on the inside - was a painful put-down, as Gerald Thompson recalled in Reflections of an Oreo Cookie, a 1991 memoir.

"This was 1970, a year of no middle ground," he wrote, remembering the day he was slapped in the face and likened to a mere cookie. "You allied yourself black or white, but I was not aware of any of this."

P-core Jukebox review

Johnnie and Roland, photo from the ebooklet that comes with the album. 

Review: Hallelujah Picassos 'Picasso Core Jukebox'
By David Carroll (aka Bro90)

"I want to educate people to the fact there are always more possibilities than the situations you have encountered. Naivety is still so strong among people. The Picassos are about social and cultural observation." - Harold 'Roland' Rorschach, Hallelujah Picassos (1992)


I remember coming to Auckland from a rather rural upbringing in Waihi Beach, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and first encountering the Hallelujah Picassos. I was gobsmacked. As a young man wanting to get my teeth into playing in a proper band, these guys blew my mind. They played reggae. They played rock. They played most everything - hard, and loud. I was sold.

What's more, they hung out at what became my local: DKD Cafe. What was curious to me was they never really received their dues. Shit, there are kids worldwide right now trying to piece together what these guys did years ago! Perhaps Picasso Core Jukebox (alongside last years' originals collection, Rewind The Hateman) might address that? Probably not. 

That's a shame, as these guys were the real deal and even now, well over a decade later, the excitement, the genine intent, the sheer passion seeps through these incredibly diverse grooves. Imagine what this sounded like to a fifteen year old kid from the country!? It was like nothing I'd ever heard before. Scratch that. It was like everything I'd ever heard before, thrown together in an aggressive, vibrant, liberating whole. 

Put aside the decidedly average recording quality on some of these tracks and put yourself into the shoes of early 1990s New Zealanders as the Hallelujah Picassos tore through a set littered with these (severely) re-imagined covers alongside their own material. 

One of the criticisms these guys have always copped is that their records sounded like compilations. Fuck that. And fuck the Great New Zealand Songbook, while we're at it. If you want some proper NZ music history, and you want to pay respect to some of the actual originators in our scene, buy Rewind The Hateman, and then buy this. Makes me proud to be a Kiwi again.

4 out of 5 stars.

Available from AmplifieriTunesDigiramaMarbecks Digital, and on Bandcamp (MP3, FLAC, etc).

Safari time



Modern Sound Corporation 'Safari' (greg wilson edit), love this. Cos it's got steel drums, and is funky as hell. Free DL for you too. Thanks, Mr Wilson. Check out the story behind this, Greg explains..

"The original, ‘Safari’ by Modern Sound Corporation, [is] a track I used to play at my hometown club, New Brighton’s Golden Guinea, back in 1979. For my edit, I placed the emphasis on the superior instrumental ‘Pt 2′ version, which found favour in UK Jazz-Funk circles at the time, its unique combination of African and Caribbean flavours setting it apart as a dubbed-up percussion driven Disco hybrid.

"Arriving on import via TK’s Sunshine Sound label, prior to its UK release on Epic, it was assumed that this was hot out of Miami – but there was a strange but true twist to the tale, as it turned out to be of Swedish origin, having first surfaced in this unlikely location the previous year. It was, however, remixed by Florida’s finest, Harry Wayne Casey & Richard Finch, from KC & The Sunshine Band."

Just figured out that the steel drums on this tune were played by Rudy Smith, who recorded a very wicked album in Sweden in 1971 with the Modern Sound Quintet, called Otinku. Modern Sound Quintet later changed their name to Modern Sound Corporation.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

KRS One dates and venues announced


Wellington: Friday 20th April @ The Town Hall. Tickets- www.ticketek.co.nz
Auckland: Saturday 21st April @ The Cloud on Auckland’s Waterfront. Tickets- www.1-night.co.nz
Ltd $69 + BF early bird tickets on sale Tuesday 13th March at 9am

Myele Manzanza, behind the scenes



Electric Wire Hustle's drummer talks about his debut album, One. Hat tip to Martyn P.

RELATED: RBMA introducing Myele Manzanza (March 2010 q&a)
LISTEN: Myele Manzanza on Soundcloud

Off to Mars


Le Peuple de l'Herbe - Mars - Official Video by phofficial

Last time I heard from these cats, they were dropping some skanking reggae styles - that was a while back. This is on a totally different tangent, but what a great video.

Off the new album A Matter Of Time, from Le Peuple de l'Herbe. Download a track off the album free, here.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Erykah on and on



More quality tuneage from Adi Dick... "Erykah Badu has just been to New Zealand to play at Splore festival which everyone said was amazing... I couldn't go so I was inspired to create this. Respect goes out to Badu for her constant inspiration and consistent quality music!"

Ghost town soon come



BBC Inside Out tv programme celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Specials song Ghost Town. Hat tip to Murray Cammick for the link. The Specials (minus Jerry Dammers) return here to play Tuesday 10 April at Shed 10, Queens Wharf in Auckland.

Picasso core jukebox out now!


The brand new Hallelujah Picassos reissue Picasso Core Jukebox hits digital stores (try Amplifier, iTunes, Digirama, Marbecks Digital, etc) today! Very exciting. It's a collection of our cover versions, newly remastered and sounding rather splendid. Listen to it below.

You can catch Peter talking about the new reissue on the radio today (Monday) on KiwiFM at 835am, and on Radio Ponsonby at 1130am, and also on Tuesday morning, Peter will be on GeorgeFM at 7.20am, and  BaseFM Breakfast around 8am.

We've also had coverage online from NZ Musician, Cheese On Toast, and Conch Records.  Cheers! More coming. And big thanks to BFM's Stinky Jim and Andrew Tidball for giving us a spin last week.


Sunday, March 04, 2012

Vinyl is making a comeback #261

And here's the three latest installments in this long-running saga... love it...

Vinyl records make a comeback, from The Herald, "informing Arkansas University since 1921."

snip..."My biggest turn on with vinyl records, versus a digital format, is I feel that I can appreciate the artwork and overall product better than that of digital formats," Kyle Cherry, a senior CIT major and record collector, said. Cherry has been collecting since 2006 and currently owns 817 records. Broken down into categories, 603 of his records are 7-inches, one 9-inch, three 10-inches, and 210 are 12-inches ...."


Analogue obsessives: Low-tech movement's proponents find satisfaction doing things the old-fashioned way, from Winnipeg Free Press.

snip...  "... rather than download and share MP3 files by the thousands, they flip through bins of vinyl LPs at neighbourhood record stores and make mix tapes. Instead of camera phones and Photoshop, they're [shooting] film and making prints in "wet darkrooms." Instead of e-books and Tumblr, they're keeping the printed page alive through bookbinding, 'zine publishing and letter pressing.

A recent New York Magazine article referred to "a neo-Luddite counterculture" populated by artists, tinkerers, DIY enthusiasts, hipsters, and "the merely tech-weary."

Nostalgia for yesterday's technology, From NewsTimes.com, - from pay phones to pagers, record players to VCRs.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Israel Starr - new bizznizz



From Desta Israel Buchanan (son of Mighty Asterix) and co. Fun tune, give it a spin. Free DL too.

Riddim produced by FIZZLE @ SOUL-FORCE, Germany, recorded and mixed HEART OFFISHAL @ NEWTOWN SOUND, Aotearoa.

RELATED POST: Israel Starr, Foundation

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, March 3

Masters at work - Nautilus (MAWtilus)
Johnny Hammond - Higher ground
Candido - Candid's funk
Chaka Khan  - I feel for you
Q-Tip - Breathe and stop - Adi Dick remix
Superspirit - We belong to the cosmos - Jugoe remix
Hortense Ellis - Woman of the ghetto
Lee Scratch Perry - Like the way you should - Mala Digital Mystikz remix
Horace Andy - Aint no sunshine
Tommy McCook - KT88
Hallelujah Picassos - Peanut butter
Shogun orchestra - Jacmel
Modern sound corporation - Safari - Greg Wilson edit
Harlem river drive - Idle hands
Mo kolours - Banana wine
Graham central station - It's alright
Chakachas - Jungle fever - Greg Wilson edit
Jose Feliciano - She's a woman
Donald Fagen - Green flower street
Blackbyrds - The runaway
Rose Royce - Sunrise/Richard Pryor - monologue
Freez - IOU

Friday, March 02, 2012

Kim Dotcom speaks

TV3's Campbell Live played a half hour interview with Kim Dotcom last night, following an earlier interview published yesterday in the NZ Herald.  Read the full transcript of the TV3 interview here. It makes for fascinating reading.

JC [John Campbell]: the FBI indictment against you alleges, and I quote, “Copyright infringement on a massive scale with estimated harm to copyright holders well in excess of 500 million US dollars”.

KD: Well that’s complete nonsense. If you read the indictment and if you hear what the Prosecution has said in court, it’s at least $500 million of damage were just music files ... just within a two-week time period. So they are actually talking about $13 billion US damage within a year just for music downloads. The entire US music industry is less than $20 billion. So how can one website be, you know, responsible for this amount of damage, it’s completely mind-boggling and unrealistic...."

Kim Dotcom says that "there are a hundred other companies out there that offer the same service like us. Why has not something happened to them?"

He then names some: "Mediafire, Rapidshare, Fileserve, Filesonic. Microsoft has their own service called Skydrive. Google is launching a new service called Drive. Everyone is in this cloud arena, in the same business, has the same problems that we had battling piracy. But we are not responsible for the problem and this is, I think, what everyone needs to understand."

NBR reports that Mr Dotcom's defence revolves around claiming "his company, Megaupload, had too great a volume of traffic to police. It made a best-effort to monitor content, and was not liable for allegedly pirated content....

"Dotcom said last night that 800 files a second were transferred via Megaupload.com... Users were asked to check a box agreeing to terms of service prohibiting copyright infringement. No music or movie company ever attempted to sue Megaupload, Dotcom said."

The wider implications for cloud storage that Dotcom talks about above could affect music services like Apple's iCloud. Or any service you use to store data. It's a fascinating case.

And then there's the aspect of watching the NZ Government bending over backwards to accommodate the US.

NZ is currently involved in secret negotiations around the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) which, from the leaked documents that have emerged, could result in NZ being forced to adopt US intellectual property law amongst others.

"InternetNZ said a proposed chapter in the [TPP] agreement drafted by the US risked "crippling the internet" by preventing internet providers from caching copyright material on their servers without the agreement of copyright owners and would ban the parallel importing of copyright works [ie DVDs], extend the length of copyright and force internet providers to terminate the accounts of customers who repeatedly infringed copyright."  Source.

How TPP affects NZ artists and what the US wants our police to do next

RELATED: Prosecutors refuse to release Megaupload data, Crown claims that cloning seized hard drives would cost $200,000.
From SocialMediaNZ: Kim Dotcom’s master class in public relations "Whether Kim Dotcom is guilty or innocent remains to be seen but his performance was a masterful exercise in public relations".

PREVIOUS POSTS: Mega what? Interview with Kim Dotcom, Youtube takedown of Megaupload song.
Dotcom dotgone? Kim Dotcom arrested.

Witness the phatness


I got the opportunity to check out Roots Manuva playing live at the Powerstation last night (thanks, Gavin!). He bought a 4 piece band with him, along with fellow MC Ricky Ranking. There was enough bass coming off the stage to rearrange your organs, it was phat. He played for an hour and a half and left the crowd well satisfied.

Roots Manuva kept his interaction with the crowd to a bare minimum, saying "Auckland city!" for the most part, but he did talk to the crowd at length at least once. After dropping a monstrous version of Witness (1 hope), he told the crowd "I've been coming here for ten years now, and you've shown me nothing but love. But Auckland, I have to have a moan. Cos I hear you had an election recently, and some of you didn't vote! Now, how can you sing One hope one quest when you didnt even vote? Sort that out. That's my moan for the night..."

His band consisted of a DJ, female keyboard player also on BVs, a rock solid drummer, and a guitarist who looked like he used to play in a White Zombie/Korn covers band - that dude was hugely entertaining. He thrashed and posed and riffed like his life depended on it. And the funny part was he was so low in the sound mix that you couldn't hear a damn thing he was playing. Which was no great loss. I heard his effects units included a Metalzone pedal. Guitarists in the house say UGH.

David Carroll from Volume Magazine interviewed Roots Manuva recently, read it here. Excerpt... "When asked if his approach to making music has changed since he first began, his answer is typically disarmingly honest - and tongue-in-cheek: "Oh yeah, I think it's just growing up as a professional, tax-paying musician, I kind of learned how to condense and compartmentalise the kind of emotional tantrums into the context of song."  He's a funny guy.

Adi Dick

When I was down in Wellington recently DJing at a very cool conference called Webstock, I met a talented musician by the name of Adi Dick. He sent me thru one of his latest tunes, a tasty rework of a Q-Tip jam. Check it, and his Electric Wire Hustle dub... both up for download too...




Keith Moon Introducing Stevie Wonder....

Hat tip to Voices of East Anglia... rare concert footage of Stevie Wonder, introduced by Keiht Moon in a ringmaster's hat...

"The 1972 Coliseum concert took place in California. And along with Stevie and Keith, other artists who performed included The Four Seasons, The Bee Gees and Sha-na-na. His set clocks in at just over twenty minutes, so take a seat and enjoy an interview, a Temptations cover, Some classic Stevie tunes, the underrated "Love having you around" and some mean harmonica and vocoder action from the genius that is Stevie Wonder..."





Thursday, March 01, 2012

Askew One - Smoke Signals art show



Smoke Signals - 16-22 March, The Australis Room, Australis House, 36-38 Customs St
Weekdays 10-6, weekends 10-4.

Slice of the pie

Not actual pie shop. Just a cool pie shop. Hmm, pie....

"In March, the UK’s first pie-selling record shop – imaginatively titled ‘Pie And Vinyl’ – will open for business [via Stool Pigeon]. You can stay up to date on all things Pie And Vinyl via their Twitter feed, or alternatively watch the store being constructed on their Facebook page. " Hat tip to Alan P, via Fact Mag.

Payola killing Jamaican music

Spotted via Dave Rodigan on Twitter... "The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) says the practice of payola in the electronic and print media is effectively crippling the entertainment industry and stifling the creativity of the country's talented artistes.

Speaking at the Observer's weekly Monday Exchange yesterday, members of JaRIA complained that the practice has become so rampant in the indigenous music industry that some artistes actually include payola in their promotional budgets.

JaRIA Vice Chairman Charles Campbell said he is aware that a popular dancehall entertainer has budgeted wads of cash to be doled out to disc jockeys who are in his pocket.

"A popular deejay budgets $100,000 every month to pay out to disc jockeys. When he voices a song, he e-mails the song to his people and it is played on radio. It does not go through the system," he said....

Read the full story at The Jamiaca Observer.

Rammellzee uncovered

Photo: NYTimes

Via Grandgood/NYT....  "Soon after the Sept. 11 attacks the building on Laight Street that housed the Battle Station was sold to make way for luxury apartments, and Rammellzee and his wife, Carmela Zagari, were pushed out, relocated to a conventional, smaller place in Battery Park City. Almost 20 years’ worth of his obsessive artwork, enough to fill a large truck, went into a storage locker, where it remained unseen for years, in danger of being forgotten for good.

But pieces of it are now starting to re-emerge, in a way that Rammellzee most likely would have approved of: in fighter formation. A bunkerlike, black-lighted re-creation of the Battle Station was one of the most talked-about pieces in “Art in the Streets,” a sprawling graffiti survey last year at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, organized by the museum’s director, Jeffrey Deitch, who as a New York dealer had courted Rammellzee for years."

Read the full story at New York Times. Rammellzee  died aged 49, two years ago.

Do you love peanut butter?



Off the newly remastered collection of covers from Hallelujah Picassos, out on Monday. More audio previews on Bandcamp.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Taxi Fare

Mr Vegas ft Lexxus - Taxi Fare (Dub Boy's digital refix) - free download. Hat tip to Stinky Jim for the linkage.

RBMA drops 'Various Assets' comp

Red Bull Music Academy releases 'Various Assets' compilation, tunes recorded at the most recent session in Madrid. "... features collaborations and contributions from an array of up-and-coming producers like Ghosts on Tape, Brenmar, xxxy, and many others, not to mention appearances from more veteran acts like Addison Groove and Mark Pritchard. Stream or download the 35-song compilation below."  Free download.

Greg Wilson talks


Last night Conch Records hosted a session with legendary UK DJ Greg Wilson, talking about his DJ career, his approach to edits, and showing us how he worked a Revox B77 reel to reel. It was a fascinating talk, and he has some amazing stories.

Like how he taught Fatboy Slim to scratch. That story was funny as hell. Dated back to 1983, when Greg was doing a tour round the UK called the Hacienda revue, and it stopped off in Brighton. There was this enthusiastic kid called Quentin (aka Fatboy Slim/Norman Cook) who was hanging round the DJ decks asking questions, so Greg showed him the basics of scratching.

Fast forward a few years to Beats International hitting big with Dub be good to me, and Greg is reading an interview with Norman Cook of Beats  International, and he cites his influences as Grandmaster Flash and Greg Wilson. Greg goes, what the heck's that about? He asks an old mate of his (Kermit from Black Grape/Ruthless Rap Assassins), and they remind him of that moment back in 83. Greg tells it way better than I do.




When  Greg got onto the internet, about 15 years ago, he noticed all the various dance scenes being documented, but black culture wasn't being included. He talked about that black culture in the UK going back to the 50s and 60s, even earlier with US GIs coming over to England, bringing jukeboxes with them. The dance scene there didn't start with a bunch of DJs coming back from Ibiza and suddenly inventing dance culture.

He mentioned that some folk say the northern soul scene led into rave, but he noted that there was a 7 year gap between the Wigan Casino closing and rave hitting in 88.

Discussing his edits, he said he's rubbish, technically, but he's got a mate who is really good at all that technical stuff. He put Greg onto a program that he said was prefect for Greg, called Acid, which was ideal for making loops, the basis of a good edit.

He talked about black music from the UK not being taken seriously in its country of origin, as it wasn't American. He namechecked a handful of UK acts, like Cymande and Freez.


He talked about the New York hiphop scene. I asked him about Afrika Bambaata, who used to go downtown to the record pools to get records that no one else in the Bronx had, and wanted to know how Greg went about getting records that were exclusive.

He answered by going into a story about the northern soul scene, which thrived on DJs scoring exclusives that no one else had, using an example of a record DJ Ian Levine found. The rumour went round that he had discovered this amazing, rare record called Theres a ghost in my house and was going to play it that weekend. And he was right, says Greg, it was an amazing record, and later went on to be a chart hit in the UK.

But on the way home from the casino at the end of the night, some folk had stopped off at a service station (gas station) to get a feed, and they were flicking thru the record stand in there. EMI put out these cheap compilations for a pound (records were 3  pounds then) called Music for pleasure, and on the track listing was Theres a ghost in my house.

He wanted to highlight that kind of exclusivity that riddled the northern soul scene, as he said he was not interested in it at all. He wanted to popularise the tunes he found, share his discoveries with everyone.

Don't quite know why this guy on the left was more interested in texting than paying attention to the legendary UK DJ right in front of him, but I do know that 15 minutes after I took this photo, he dropped his cellphone on Conch's wooden floor, and it landed with a resounding thud. Hilarious.


Greg talked about when he got into DJing at 16, he bought a book by a famous UK radio DJ named Emperor Rosco, called Emperor Rosco's DJ Book, and in the back were the addresses of the record companies. Greg wrote to them all and started developing contacts to send him the latest records and US imports, getting on their promo lists.

Greg pointed out that these record promo lists started in 1971, predating the arrival of the much-trumpeted record pools started by David Mancuso and co in NYC by 4 years.

He talked about with his current approach to DJing, he is always "looking for the balance between the past and the present." He mentioned DJing off laptop, but had reintroduced the Revox reel to reel in his DJ setup.

One way he uses it is to drop sound effects and samples into his mixing. He also uses it in the Jamaican dub style, dropping the reel to reel into record, then feeding it back into the mix, creating a live tape delay effect.

So, does he still make edits on tape? For the romance of it (as he put it)? "Madness! No!" He uses a computer, much easier say to make a 16 bar loop - he only has to edit it once, then enter repeat 15 times and it's done.

He talked about when he got back into DJing, after a 20 year break, which was on the back of an old mate of his, Kermit, playing him the first Black Grape album, and asking what he thought of it. Greg could hear where the edits needed to be, so he learnt digital editing using a system popular in radio, called Sadie.

He finished with a quick demo of the Revox, how to chop up tape and find the edit points. It was a very entertaining few hours. Big thanks to Conch Records, Murry Sweetpants, the British Council, and everyone involved in making it happen.

Go see Greg Wilson 1st March at Debajo, Queenstown, and this Friday night at the Nathan Club, Britomart, Auckland. 

RELATED: Greg Wilson in NZ! (Listen to his mixes)
Gregwilson.co.uk // electrofunkroots.co.uk
WATCH: Greg and his flash perm on The Tube, 1983, showing Jools Holland how a DJ mixes records, the first DJ ever to do this on UK TV. Greg talked about this event last night. The song was from David Joseph... Have added Greg's edit below, its's a free download...

"With the new Electrofunkroots site just launched a week ago [late Jan 2012], I thought this would be a good time to share this edit of David Joseph’s ‘You Can’t Hide (Your Love From Me)’, a track I’ll forever have a strong personal association with, given that it was with 2 copies of this 12" that I made my claim to fame as the 1st UK DJ to mix live on TV – on February 25th 1983 at Newcastle’s Tyne Tees TV studio, on the classic British music show, ‘The Tube’."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wax on film contest!


DJ Prestige over at Flea Market Funk has hooked up with Eilon Paz from Dust and Grooves for a very cool contest... open worldwide....

"If you have a record collection, we want to see it. We want you to get creative and show us your collection in the most creative way. It’s a photo contest. It could be a straight on shot, a collage, a digital manipulation or any other image in the medium of photography. Judges are Eilon Paz, DJ Prestige, Rich Medina, B+, Dreams in Audio.

The chosen winners will receive Wax On Film gift packages from Nixon, Tucker & Bloom, Rare Byrds, Listen Clothing, 101 Apparel, Tropicalia In Furs, Cultures of Soul, Hot Peas & Butta, and more! Go here for more details."

If you need some inspiration on ways to photograph your record collection, go and check out Dust and Grooves, where Eilon Paz shoots folk and their collections with incredible style. Get in there!

Picasso core jukebox

Newly remastered swag of Picassos covering everyone from James Brown to Greg Johnson.  Out next monday. Have a listen!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Muppets and McKenzie make award-winning music together

Bret on the red carpet. Hat tip to Gareth A for the pic via Twitter

Wellington's Bret Mckenzie has won an Oscar for his song for the Muppets movie. From The Black Seeds to Flight of the Conchords to Hollywood. Congratulations!

Just checked Bret's EGOT status - he has won a Grammy and an Oscar, but missed out on an Emmy even though he has been nominated 5 times. Still, plenty of time.

ADDED: At Bret;'s post-Oscars interview, he said "I'm looking forward to writing with Jemaine in the future again. Because I'll be able to pull out the Oscar card and say "Mmm, I think we should use this chord . . ." and "I won an Oscar!" See NME.com.

Here's a song from Bret's solo record under the alias The Video Kid. Watch out for the skate cameo from Toby Laing of Fat Freddys rocking the cool headband styles.