Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Specials tonight....

Playing times...

DOORS: 7pm

SXSW and beyond

King Kapisi with Rob Lowe, in LA outside Roscoes
A handful of Kiwi musicians recently ventured off to the annual music festival SXSW, held in Austin, Texas every March. New Zealand has built up a small but solid presence there over recent years (there's around 2000 bands playing), backed by the efforts of Outward Sound, the NZ Music Commission's initiative to support our bands get to new markets overseas.

This year's contingent at the official NZ Showcases ran to four acts: Electric Wire Hustle, Cairo Knife Fight, Kimbra, and Avalanche City. Other Kiwi-related acts playing SXSW were King Kapisi and Teremoana Rapley, and No, the new band from Steriogram's Brad Carter. King Kapisi was a late addition at the official NZ Showcase, (alongside Electric Wire Hustle, Cairo Knife Fight and Avalanche City) as he and Teremoana were attending SXSW as delegates, their second visit.

Read Cairo Knife Fight's tour diary here, and Electric Wire Hustle in Austin - 5 shows in 3 days, via Volume magazine.

Manager of Outward Sound Gary Fortune says that 35 bands applied to go to SXSW this year, 15 were chosen, and 5 went to the event.

The NZ Music Commission receives $1.378m a year from the government thru Ministry for Culture & Heritage - of that $400,000 goes directly to artists for international projects via Outward Sound. So, how do you get the money?

I spoke with Gary and Alan Holt (Outward Sound's export co-ordinator) late last year, to get some more background on how their programmes work. 

When Outward Sound started, it was in three stages, and it has evolved from there to its current form. Gary noted the original founding document for the programme from 2004, called Creating Heat, has been used as a template for similar initiatives in Ireland and Canada (see Creating Heat, pdf). The organisation is set up as a charitable trust, and uses an anonymous panel of 6 experts to select who gets the grants. 

Basically, if bands want to get that funding, they can't just turn up and say they're off to the UK or the US for a few shows and see what happens. They need say 15-20 shows and an album release, something solid. The goal with the Outward Sound funding is for growth stages for an act, not just return visits. 

They admit the success of the scheme does make it harder for new bands. But Fortune was keen to stress that they will help bands, even if they aren't successful with funding thru Outward Sound.

They have a range of contacts built up from networking at trade shows and events like SXSW or Midem and are happy to use them to help bands who are wanting to get offshore.

The funding is retrospective so bands have to spend the money first and front up with receipts, and is to half the value of the budgeted tour.

Read Outward Sound application forms, guidelines etc here.

Gary Fortune at SXSW, photo by Sam Wicks/Volume Magazine

Early last year, Fat Freddys Drop were successful in being granted funding to the tune of $30,000 for a proposed US trip on the back of being the first NZ act ever to be invited to play the prestigious festival Coachella, but the band eventually dropped out, saying that "... As an independent band that operates entirely within the confines of their own bank account, Fat Freddy's are unable to sustain the financial loss required to make this trip happen".

The NZ Herald's media columnist John Drinnan wrote a news story last June on NZ artist Ladyhawke getting funding from Outward Sound, which made the front page of the Herald with the rather absurd headline "Taxpayers' $60,000 gift for Ladyhawke".

I wrote him an open letter on my blog, pointing out that "When Ladyhawke gets $59,000 of taxpayer funds to tour overseas, and says she will remain based in NZ, that means shes going away and earning money and coming back and paying taxes here. In business I believe they call that EXPORTING."

Drinnan waded in on the comments on that blogpost, and several media folk such as Russell Brown and Paul Kennedy took him to task, and he did not like it one bit. He found the whole experience so distasteful he referred to it in print the following week, saying "the Ladyhawke debate was peppered with personal invective and swearing. The lesson was clear - you're in Blogland now."

The funny thing is, if you read thru the comments on that post, it is exceedingly civil, as internet debates go. I should have sent Drinnan off to Whale Oil for some real internet rage.

"Stalin was a probably big fan of state involvement in popular culture." - John Drinnnan, in the comments.

NZ On Air also funds some offshore initiatives, though to a lesser degree.

NZOA's 2011 annual report says they budgeted $5.5 million this year on music funding, of which $406,000 was spent on getting NZ acts noticed internationally (Aust/US)

For the coming year (2012), NZ On Air's Brendan Smyth says that budget has reduced to $380,000, as they are focussing on Australia. That country is now NZOA's sole focus, one of the outcomes of the review of NZOA's international music support programme done by Chris Caddick and released in late in 2009.

Smyth says "that [$380,000] is 6.6% of the NZ Music budget or 0.3% of the NZ On Air total budget.

"That $380,000 is pretty much half ($200,000) grants to bands for broadcast promotions campaigns in Australia (based on a 50% reimbursement of actual and eligible costs incurred) and half ($180,000) for other promotions like Big Sound, New Zealand music showcases, our deal with The Music Network, etc.

"Overseas is a pretty small part of our business really (as the % above suggest), partly because our core business is on-shore, not off-shore, and partly because international stuff is really the NZ Music Commission’s core business."

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Songs From The Inside

Songs From The Inside is easily the most compelling thing on our tv screens right now. The documentary series is a brilliant idea  - take four musicians (Anika Moa, Warren Maxwell, Maisey Rika and Ruia Aperahama) and send them into prison to teach songwriting workshops.

It's three episodes in so far -  you can catch up on demand on Maori TV's website. The first episode, where the musicians visit the prisons they will be working in for the first time, is very moving. The show screens Sundays 8:00pm on Maori TV, and repeats Fridays at 10.30pm from 20 April.

"I'm more nervous about doing this than doing a gig"- Anika Moa.

From Maori TV: "SONGS FROM THE INSIDE follows New Zealand musicians Anika Moa, Warren Maxwell, Maisey Rika and Ruia Aperahama, who went into Rimutaka and Arohata correction facilities to teach songwriting to prisoners.

Directed by Julian Arahanga (Once Were Warriors’ Nig Heke) the musicians taught 10 prisoners the step-by-step music programme developed by Evan Rhys Davies – a pilot programme he had tutored at Spring Hill Corrections Facility in the Waikato.

There will be a thirteenth, hour-long special in which the songs the prisoners wrote, sang and recorded will be revealed.

Music therapy is used in prisons throughout the world, but SONGS FROM THE INSIDE is the first production to bring in established musicians and record the workshops, challenges and outcomes on film."

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, April 7

Steel n skin - Afro punk reggae dub
Sly n Robbie vs Dubblestandart feat Dillinger - 10 tons of dope -Heavy heavy monster dub
Manasseh feat Johnny Osbourne - Rise up
Rhythm and sound feat Jennifer Lara - Queen in my empire
Lovejoys - It aint easy
Israel Starr - Summertime
Billy Preston - Struttin
Charles Wright and Watts 103rd st band - What can you bring me?
Princess - Say I'm your number one
Shannon - Do you wanna get away - dub version
Shirley Murdock - Teasing
Kraftwerk  -Tour de france
Diana Ross - Upside down
Anthony Joseph - Bullet in the rocks
Luis Bonfa - Jacaranda
Bo Diddley - Hit or miss
Ramsey Lewis Trio - The in crowd
Charles Wright and Watts 103rd st band - Can't get no satisfaction
Wally Badarou - Chief inspector - inspector dub
Colm K and the freestyle mellowship - Dancing skulls - main mix
Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren band - Savannah
King Tubby - Bag a wire - Avatars of Dub remix
Big Youth - Jim Screechy - Smith n Mighty remix
 Lundaland - Charlemane - Bigga's imperial delay mix

Friday, April 06, 2012

Digging Easter

Easter Friday, and all the shops are closed! Oh the horror. Hang on, Real Groovy Records is open. Off to dig for records then. Today's finds - 6 records for $6 each. Score!

Billy Preston - The kids and me. Funky as Billy on the keys, from 1974. Best track is this mad synth jam called Struttin'. That's Billy miming up a storm on Soul Train, with a cool Don Cornelius intro.

Princess - Say I'm your number one. My wife asked me recently "Do you have any Princess?" When I said no, she asked "Why not?" Situation rectified. Released in NZ by Stimulant, a label run by Simon Grigg, Peter Urlich and Mark Phillips. Charted at no 2.

Diana Ross - Diana. Classic album produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edward for the Chic Organisation. Motown hated the mixes they handed in and Berry Gordy had them remixed inhouse, much to the horror of Rodgers and Edwards. This was reissued on CD with the final mixes plus the unreleased Chic mixes.

Sheila E  - Romance 1600. Prince protegee, features album version of Love Bizarre, all 12 minutes and 18 seconds of it. Needed this ever since I was reminded of it after seeing the live clip of Prince jamming this last year with Sharon Jones and the Dapkings guesting with him and his band.

Shirley Murdock - Shirley Murdock! Murray Cammick put me onto her a few years back at one of the Record Fairs, hipping me to the fact that her producer was usually Roger Troutman (Zapp).

Shannon - Do you wanna get away. Most well known for the hit Let the music play, this one has a mean 80s Dub Version on the flip.

You know what most of those records have in common? All of them, apart from Billy Preston, were released in 1985. Anyone who tells you that the 80s was the decade good taste forgot clearly didn't like black music in that decade. EDIT: so, that Diana Ross album was 1980, not 85. Four outta six albums from 1985, then.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Special AK

The Newmatics live at XS Cafe. Photo: Simon Grigg

Just announced, Auckland 80s ska outfit The Newmatics will reform once more to open for The Specials, playing here on this coming Tuesday, April 10.

The Newmatics played an an afterparty for The Specials on their previous 2009 visit, when they played at The Logan Campbell Centre, or Logan Concrete Centre, as it's nicknamed, due to its appalling acoustics.

I'd love to know why the promoters for the return visit by The Specials have chosen Shed 10, as it is potentially a worse venue acoustically than the Logan Campbell. It's a tin shed on a wharf, next to The Cloud, and was used as a beer barn for the Rugby World Cup. Lacking in potential?


Came across this randomly, Wellington's own DJ Alphabethead covering ESG's tune UFO. Download it from his blog here.

Alphabethead says that it's an "unrealeased instrumental circa 2009. It’s my take on ESG’s amazing “UFO”. When I lived on Mt Kau Kau I used to frequently see flying saucers knocking about high in the Wellington sky. Unfortunately I haven’t seen a UFO since October that year. The video features documentary footage from the historical 1956 Washington flying saucer attack."

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Whitney cumbia dubplate

Los Angeles DJ Jeremy Sole has done a tasty remix for Sola Rosa, here's his Whitney Houston cumbia remix. DL too. Love the comment from someone who didnt like the airhorn. What's wrong with you?


Speaking of Sideways alumni, here's something special from Sola Rosa... free DL

Sideways 2000

ONSIDE: For a musical bit on the side, listen no further than the selections of sounds on local compilation Sideways. 

By Peter McLennan, Pavement magazine, 2000

Sixteen months ago, Auckland DJ/producer Stinky Jim (AKA James Pinckney) began developing a germ of an idea that he had bubbling away in the recesses of his dub-addled brain. The result of his labours is Sideways, a compilation that bears the endearing subtitle "a sizzling selection of stinking southern hemispherical sounds".

A collection of some of the finest sonic sorcerers from around these parts, the album delivers tracks mostly written and recorded especially for this disc, and includes such artists as SJD, Sola Rosa, Mood Unit, Pains People, Juse, Submariner, Dooblong Tondra, International Observer and Pinckney's own outfit Phase 5, to name but a few.

''It's an idea that's been kicking around for a while between myself and Richard Whittington from Rockers Hifi,'' explains Pinckney. "Richard has always taken an interest in New Zealand music. He's done stuff with Unitone Hifi, Phase 5 and Short Fuse. He's just an open-minded musical geezer.

"We discussed it as something from over here that could be good for their label [Different Drummer] over there. When they played here last year, it was just obvious that there's been a surge of lots of interesting music from lots of different angles. You could pull something together that would be cohesive enough but the quality would be there."

Pinckney fired half a dozen tunes across to the UK to convince Whittington it was a workable idea.

Once he got the thumbs up, he set about pursuing a swag of musical delights. "I wanted each tune to be hand-picked,'' says Pinckney. "I chose songs from people's live sets and so on. It's taken a long time to do it but it does stand out. The thing that attracts me to all of them is that none of them are just genre- peddlers. They're not just chucking out tunes.

They're all trying to do something a little bit sideways, a little bit bent. And, of course, I like them all."

All of the Sideways artists are independent in more than just their musical approach. "None of them are signed to a major label," observes Pinckney.

"They've all got an independent spirit and that comes across in their music. A lot of them have also released their own recordings. These people have all forged their own path and it's fantastic for me, having lived here for 10 years. It's the first time I've really felt that you could scoop up a dozen folks like that and make it work in that way."

Pinckney put his belief into action, fronting up the cash to pay for the release of Sideways on his own label, Round Trip Mars Records. No Arts Council hand-outs here, just a slice of savvy local enterprise.

The compilation is scheduled for release in the UK and Europe on Different Drummer early next year.

There is also the possibility of a US release too, leaving Pinckney confident that when Sideways hits foreign soil, at least four or five of the artists on the compilation will attract interest from record labels overseas.

"There's this surge of bubbling talent out there who don't want to play by the same old genre rules,'' enthuses Pinckney. "It's really exciting. Finally, the edges are getting more blurred again. It's cool!''

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Record Store Day love

Happening again on April 21, first out of the blocks is a very limited vinyl release from Toy Love.

Via Cheese on Toast: "Real Groovy will be the very first NZ record store to release vinyl specifically to celebrate International Record Store Day this April 21st – with a strictly limited run of 400 vinyl double albums (200 on pink vinyl; 200 on black) capturing the legendary Toy Love performing one of their last live shows – nearly 32 years ago on Friday 12th September 1980 at The Gluepot in Ponsonby, Auckland.

There will be NO digital or compact disc release of this item.

Fifteen / Blackboard Grin / Unscrewed Up / Amputee Song / Toy Love Song / I Wanna Die WIth You / Don’t Catch Fire / Bedroom / Photographs of Naked Ladies / Lust / Second to Last Song Toy Love Ever Wrote / Sheep / Swimming Pool / Fast Ostrich / Good Old Joe / I Thought I Needed You / I’m In Love / Green Walls / Horror Comic / Rebel / Cold Meat/ Don’t Ask Me / Squeeze / I Don’t Mind / Ain’t It Nice / The Crunch / Death Rehearsal / Bride of Frankenstein / Pull Down the Shades


When I heard at the weekend that Ashton Kutcher was tipped to play Steve Jobs in a biopic on the Apple head honcho, I figured it had to be an April fools prank. Turns out it's true. Pic above suggests it might work out. Via Laughingsquid.

Mo Kolours bizznizz

Mo Kolours tune remixed by Beautiful Swimmers - download it free along with the rest of EP2: Banana Wine right here. Or listen below...

Dub Combinations

Photo: Mat Baker
DUB COMBOS By Stephen Jewell. Published in Pavement, April/May 2000

Considering Aotearoa's long-standing affinity with reggae and dub, it was a natural move for Auckland's dance music factory Kog Transmissions to highlight the best of our dub producers on their latest release, Dub Combinations.

Calling in an expert in the field certainly worked on Kog house compilation, Algorhythm, thanks to the efforts and expertise of Subware's Joost Langeveld. For Dub Combinations, Kog's resident dub master, Andrew Manning, wasted no time in contacting 95bFM DJ Dubhead, who ranks as one of the counters finest dub and reggae authorities.

Dubhead's pedigree dates back to the beginning of his DJing days in 1983. "When I first started, I only played early '70s stuff like King Tubby,'' recalls Dubhead. "But, as I went along, I branched out and started incorporating hip-hop tracks and dancefloor and raggamuffin, At the time, no other DJs were playing dub. That's how I became Dubhead.''

Andrew Manning's roots lie in heavy metal and industrial music but his life changed when he first heard dub. "The first CD I listened to that made me go 'Wow!' was Pay It All Back. Volume Three," he remembers, citing Dub Syndicate and the On U Sound System as major influences.

''All I'd listened to up till then was heavy heavy metal. Once I started my metal thing, it just got heavier, until I got to Napalm Death and everybody else was commercial crap. Then, all of a sudden, right at the other end of the spectrum, I heard this spacey, soft music. It had hard drums and bass but, compared to heavy metal, it was so lush and amazing."

Dub Combination's line-up is about as eclectic as you can get, including tracks by artists not normally associated with dub, such as Epsilon Blue and 50 Hz, while Langeveld himself returns to his Unitone Hifi 'roots'. Patio, aka Involve Record's Bevan 'Aspen' Smith and Michael 'Jet Jaguar' Upton, provide a taster of their just- released collaborative album, Parallel Play.

Dubhead's own Sound Foundation also contribute, as do digital dub stalwarts International Observer and Salmonella Dub, with Andy Morton's Dub Mariner mix of Johnny.

''Even though this compilation is very studio and technology-driven, there's something about New Zealand and its environment which is reflected in the music, insists Manning.

"The dub thing in New Zealand is not a current trend. It's something that's grown slowly over the last 18 years as a mass, conscious thing. People are getting more and more aware of it. Ten years ago, you could say 'dub music' to people and they wouldn't know what you were talking about. But now, because of Massive Attack, they do know and that's reflected in the music that's made here.

''New Zealand also has its own dub sound," Manning argues. "We get all these influences from America, Australia and the UK and then we put our own twist on them. This music could only come from here.''

Shut up and play the hits

New clip from the highly-anticipated forthcoming LCD Sound System documentary. NME reports that the film has picked up distribution from Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys.

"Yauch's company Oscilloscope Laboratories, will be releasing the film in North America this  [northern] summer. According to LCD Soundsystem's Twitter, the movie will be out in the UK later in the year.

Adam Yauch has said of the film: "Perhaps having grown up in a band for most of my life – a band that formed when I was 16 years old – and having released our first record when I was still in high school, this film addresses so many questions. For instance, it can be pretty clear when a band starts, but perhaps less so when it ends, or how it should end. In that sense, it's brilliant of James [Murphy] to end it in such a definitive way."

Kim Fowley profiled

Kim Fowley in Auckland 1979. From Kim's Myspace.
Recall it was in RIU, so probably shot by Murray Cammick

From the LA Times. Fowley had a brief spell in NZ in the late 1970s, trying to make hits. He worked with the band Street Talk, recording their self-titled debut LP at Mandrill Studio.

The late Ian Morris describes the band on his site like this: "Streettalk were a pure blues band in the mid-late 1970s, so it was something of a surprise in 1981 when mad rock svengali Kim Fowley came to NZ at the behest of WEA head honcho Tim Murdoch to produce this slice of Springsteen-esque melodrama. Bemusement would probably be the best way to describe the band's reaction to the whole process."

LA Times: "Kim Fowley pulls DVDs, fliers, CDs, a hospital admission slip and more DVDs out of a jumble of media on the mixing board of a drab Hollywood strip-mall studio. Per usual, the infamous pop schlockmeister has a beautiful young woman by his side. Fowley wants to transform Snow Mercy, a scientist-turned-dominatrix/performance artist, into his latest star. But he's got a dozen other hustles going on too, and he hands a reporter one copy after another of B-minus movies. They all feature Kim Fowley.

"I'm the king of bad taste," says the man who started his songwriting, production and performance career with the 1960 novelty hit "Alley Oop." Fowley went on to work with artists including KISS, the Byrds, Helen Reddy and Frank Zappa and is perhaps most famous for helping form the 1970s band the Runaways..." Read the full story here.

BONUS: Kim Fowley’s Advice For New Zealand Musicians: Live Local and Think Global. By Alan Holt. Think it was written for Real Groove in mid 2000s.

"... I rang him [Fowley] ostensibly to talk about the Runaways but Kim declined this topic and decided he wanted to talk about “what’s wrong with New Zealand bands”. I thought “Sounds good” This is what he had to say.

“New Zealand needs to live local and think global. The musical community needn’t become a traveling circus rushing off to Australia, United States of America otherwise known as the USA, the UK or any other EU destination. Live local. Think global..."

Monday, April 02, 2012


Recent post on Andrew Schmidt's Mysterex blog... "Rip It Up and Start Again - Writing New Zealand Music History in 2012"  - cheers for the kind words.

"... Dub Dot Dash has marshalled a similar gathering of media around its interest area – urban dance related forms – but has always had the inclusive internationalist focus needed and isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions when necessary. Actual music journalism goes on here.

There is also a lot of community reassertion happening through sites such as Christchurch Punks on Facebook and the HTown Wiki.

In printed media, Volume is bringing a lot of reminisce into its pages, as is NZ Musician and Rip It Up, who have been doing it for a while, but again, this is not history, it is the stuff used to write history."

Awa, Che Fu

Former Nesian Mystik cat Awa with Che Fu. Deep tune! Video below...

"Toitū he whenua, whatungarongaro he tangata
." Land is permanent, man disappears.

Base FM’s Shake & Bake

Base FM’s Shake & Bake is back, this Easter Saturday, 7th of April, FREE! Midday til 6pm.

"This year’s Shake and Bake is moving to a brand, spanking new location down in Silo Park in the Wynyard Quarter. It’s all happening a little bit later than usual but here at Base FM we’re all about extending your summer as much as possible. So make sure you keep Easter Saturday, the 7th of April, free for some good times with the Base crew.

The line up is even bigger than ever – we’ve got Che Fu, Julien Dyne, Team Dynamite, Imagine This, Manuel Bundy, Junior, Jusayin’ and Zane:Tee all set to bring you the best day out to be had."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Purple Jose

Joes Feliciano blazes away on Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze, from 1985. Dude even drops the riff from MJ's Beat It at the end. Hat tip to Alan Holt.

This is my fave jam from Jose Feliciano, very groovy take on Beatles tune. I saw Mr Feliciano last time he played in Auckland in the mid 90s, it was downtown at a venue called Trillos, now long gone. I remember seeing Mikey Havoc race into the venue several songs after Feliciano had started. He dashed over to me and said "has he played Chico and the Man yet?" I replied "Yeah, that was his first song." Poor Mikey looked gutted. He loved that song.

Dub Terminator vs JStar

Free download over here, check this... tasty nz dub styles, remixed by UK producer JStar. Wicked vocal from Ras Stone.

Sir-vere ITFs 99

Scratch that itch

NZ ITF DJ Championship. By Peter McLennan, Pavement June/July 1999.

If all that scratching is making you itch, scratch the itch at the New Zealand finals of the International Turntablists Federation champs for hip-hop DJs in July and August.

Who’s got the skills to pay the bills? Always a pressing question. And if you’re a DJ, it’s one that will be answered at the New Zealand finals of the International Turntablists Federation Championships in July, when our best Djs will square off against each other for turntable supremacy and a chance to compete at the international finals in the United States.

‘’The ITFs were originally set up by Alex Aquino from San Francisco” explains Pavement hip-hop columnist and organiser of the New Zealand ITF finals, DJ Sir-vere (aka Philip Bell). ‘’He used to be the manager of the Invisibl Scratch Pikls, one of the best DJ crews on the planet. What happened was, the DMC champs put in a ban that the Scratch Pikls couldn’t enter their competitions because they were too good. They just kept winning every year.

“It’s the Q-Bert rule, so they can’t enter! And the DMC champs is only six minutes each. You do a routine and the judges decide who wins and that’s it. So they decided they’d have a battle version of it – DJs on DJs – and that’s the most ruthless competition to win in the world.

“For ITF, you do a three minute routine and out of all of them, they choose eight to go to the semi- finale’s continues Sir-vere. “And they do 30 seconds each, back and forth between each DJ, so you can directly diss the other guy in your routine, almost like a mini boxing match. You do two rounds, then two more, then the finals is three rounds. It’s way more dynamic. It’s super exciting to be there, it’s really hardcore, man! When we did it last year at [inner city Auckland bar)] Control Room, the crowd just went bananas, We’ve found that the standard of competition has got better each year.

“This year, I think they’ve finally got a grasp on it. In Wellington, they run them monthly, as a semi-battle, to get them into the form of them,

"This is the year we break through because, in the past, our winner would go to Australia and battle for the Australasian title, whereas we don’t do that now. We go straight to the world final because we’re to strong. Like in the final last year in Australia, there were three New Zealander’s and one Australian and the Australian won it. So I said to the guy in Aussie, ‘This is stupid, man! We’re obviously way stronger than you guys are.’ They wouldn’t want to hear that but that’s the truth, So I ended up doing a deal with the organisers and this year we’ll send the winner directly to the world final.”

Sir-vere has been to the world finals himself, travelling with NZ ITF champ DJ Raw from Wellington to San Francisco in 1997.

‘’It was pretty wicked, man!’’ exclaims Sir-vere, ‘’It’s exactly the same format but he was battling the world’s best. At the time, Raw was probably just slightly below the top four, whereas now he’s by far the best New Zealand DJ But he’s retired from battling now. It’s a real pity. He’d waste everybody easily, he’s so good. He got into the final 16 in the world. That’s awesome!

“The Wellington crew are so united and there’s such a huge DJ scene down there. Auckland is getting there but we’re two years behind them in organising ourselves. And I’m not saying two years behind them skillwise. But in organising a unified DJ crowd, Wellington is by far the best. They get together regularly. We have a unity problem in Auckland. And Wellington is so easy too, so central. In Auckland though, you’ve got P-Money from Papakura and, say, a whole bunch of guys here in central and it’s a long way out.”

Geographic problems aside, Sir-vere, former co-host of the sadly defunct Wreckognise hip-hop show on MTV with DLT, rates the local DJ chews very highly.
“Hip-hop here at the moment is pretty awesome,” he waxes. “Like on the True School hip-hop show [on Auckland’s 95bFM every Thursday night], we get all these guys to come up and freestyle on the mic. That’s going off every week.”

What is the attraction of the ITFs for Djs and crowds? “People like competitions, especially DJs,” insists Sir-vere. “I can’t think of how many times I’ve been to a gig and someone says, ‘Man, I can do better than that.’ With people who can scratch and mix, there’s an element of competition that will never go away. I just like the fact that we can represent Aotearoa New Zealand by sending somebody to the world champs.

“Initially, the reason I did it was because they had DJ Rockraida and he’s one of my favourite DJs I said I definitely want to get involved in that. I just wanted to do the gig with him, And then I realised that Rockraida was secondary to the fact that this was another way of advancing our local hip-hop scene, Look at it now. It’s awesome!”

The NZ ITF DJ heats take place in Auckland and Wellington in the first week of July. Guest DJ is Shortkut of the Invisibl Scratch Piklz. The New Zealand finals are held the first week ofAugust in Wellington, with a guest DJ to be announced shortly

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Half naked or infamous?

TV3 News is reporting that NZ band The Naked and Famous have been having words via Twitter with Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly, saying he stole a sample of their song Young Blood. Unfortunately for TNAF, the rapper has written permission to use it from the band. Or maybe their management forgot to tell them?

"[TNAF posted] “This guy… – This ‘artist’ has never once thanked, acknowledged or even asked our permission to use ‘Young Blood’,” the band wrote on their Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts.

The band has since deleted all online posts referencing the scandal, but not before MGK responded with a series of tweets.

“The band The Naked and Famous are the ones who cleared the song I sampled. I was paying hommage [sic] to them, not stealing, u f**kin idiots,” Machine Gun Kelly stated on his Twitter account.

@TNAF first and foremost, YOUR the ones who cleared the song in the first place. 2ndly I was referring to writing MY verses in that quote. I was actually a huge fan of yours and was paying hommage [sic] to yall by making a play off the name to describe my situation.

@TNAF yall deleted your tweet? Someone mustve showed u the paperwork of yall APPROVING that sample. Now apologize for ur bitchassness.”

ADDED Machine Gun Kelly also posted on Twitter :"I can't believe that weak ass group I was a fan of publically tried to make me seem like I stole their song last night... I have documents of The Naked and Famous giving us permission to SAMPLE their song, hence my version: Half Naked and Almost Famous."

UPDATED: Thom Powers of Naked and Famous has posted a clarification on their website: "When the Machine Gun Kelly work which samples our song and recording “Young Blood” first appeared online, it hadn’t been cleared by us. In fact we hadn’t even been approached about it. That was what I was referring to in my initial tweet. But, yes, our representatives did then work out a deal that permitted the use.

I do apologize for any confusion I might have caused. What I should have tweeted was:

“This artist has never personally thanked or acknowledged us for the use of Young Blood. He states he wrote this song - http://bit.ly/HhmDqn

ADDED: A commenter on TV3's story notes: "As found on the back of the Half Naked and Almost Famous EP [by Machine Gun Kelly]: “Half Naked and Almost Famous -(R. Colson Baker, B. Allen, A. Fitts, T. Powers, A. Xayalith, A. Short) -Contains elements of “Young Blood” written by T. Powers, A. Short, A. Xayalith and published by Sprit Two Music, Inc. (ASCAP), Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Used by permission. -This track contains a sample of the recording “Young Blood” as performed by The Naked and Famous. Courtesy of Universal Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises. Used by permission”.


Picasso Core Jukebox reviewed by Elsewhere.co.nz's Graham Reid

Hallelujah Picassos: Perfect (1995)

"Thanks to the enthusiasm of former member Peter McLennan, Auckland band Hallelujah Picassos -- once a fixture on the New Zealand music scene in the late Eighties to mid Nineties -- are being given their dues through a series of reissues.

First out of the blocks was the compilation disc Rewind The Hateman (reviewed here) and now there is an 11 track collection of their covers entitled Picasso Core Jukebox (which is available digitally here).

As mentioned previously, the HPicassos were pleasingly uncategorisable and often sounded like a collision between someone's classy reggae and ska collection and bus driven by a funkmaster containing a metal band. In fact when you think their peers were Supergroove, Head Like a Hole, Salmonella Dub and various hair-metal bands playing the "five bands for five bucks" nights at the Powerstation it all makes sense. Sort of.

They were like all of those (without the poodle hair) but sometimes hopped up on anger and most likely other things.

The Picasso Core Jukebox collection tosses out some very bent covers, among them Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love, Sixties garageband the Sonics' Psycho and Strychnine folded into one, Smokey Robinson's Tears of a Clown as reheard through Britain's The Beat, local singer-songwriter Greg Johnson's Talk in this Town . . .

In their own strange ways, they all made sense.

But this, a one-off previously unreleased run-through of The The's poised ennui of Perfect seems an unusual choice.

In the notes which accompany the collection, McLennan says they originally did it as a noisy grunge version as far back as '89 (that makes sense) but this version evolved over a day in the studio and what you hear is the first run-through with Bobbylon trying out a new drum pattern.

He thought they were just rehearsing it.

But folks, that was a take."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

That grates...

Australian band the Grates are fuming over Weetbix using a soundalike in their NZ tv ads. NZ Herald reports that " Kiwi fans of the group alerted them to the potential copyright breach after finding similarities to the 'Nothing Stops a Weet-Bix Kid' TV advert tune, which has been running for over 12 months.

Now, the cereal's manufacturers Sanitarium could face legal action over the dispute after the band's record label, Dew Process, confirmed to Australian media that they would look into it.

On the band's official Twitter account, The Grates, who consist of Patience Hodgson and John Patterson, wrote: "They asked us if they could record a version of this song for the ad. We said no. Can't believe they did it anyway, jerks.'' The tweet has since been deleted as they probe further."

FasterLouder note that "the Weet-Bix NZ Twitter account has been inactive since 2009 (yes, there really was a weetbixnz twitter account)."

According to the commenters in the Weetbix ad, the music was done by Franklin Rd Productions, composed by Jonathan Bree (of The Brunettes). Don't know if that's correct or not.

Compare the Weetbix ad with the Grates original and see what you think...


Brand new on Stonesthrow: 35 members, 41 tracks, 3 producers: Fuzzface (Geoff Barrow - Portishead), Katalyst, 7 Stu 7. Released on 2/LP, Digital and 2/CD with instrumentals.

Interview with Australian producer Katalyst about Quakers

MP3: Quakers "Smoke" featuring Jonwayne

MP3: Quakers "Fitta Happier" featuring Guilty Simpson & MED

Picassos - Groove Guide review

"I’ve always been a sucker for a good cover version, but suspicious of an entire album's worth. The willfully eclectic Hallelujah Picassos have cobbled together a range of favourites recorded over the last 20 years, and their dub/thrash remains incomparable, if somewhat of a mixed bag.

The James Brown, Bo Diddley and Smokey Robinson tributes are all dementedly worthy ...  the extensive e-booklet is jam-packed with behind the scenes insight into each songs genesis, and hearing them deliver an angry and evil take on ‘Air’ by Head Like A Hole (who have previously made the Picasso’s ‘Hitskin’ entirely their own) is worth the price of admission alone."

By Chris Pole, Groove Guide.

Available from Amplifier, iTunes and Bandcamp...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breakers wax

Photo: Jono Rotman

Facts Of Wax.

Story by Anna Thomson. Published in Pavement magazine, June/July 2000.

Breakers wax, a label dedicated to bringing New Zealand electronics to both local and international audiences, is a Wellington-based record label catering for the New Zealand breakbeat genre, including hip-hop, trip-hop, ambient and drum&bass, The Breakers Wax label was officially launched in July 1999 by Jo Pewhairangi and Steven King.

By November, the pair had two artists signed - Overwash vs Megalon and 5OHz (AKA Jeremy Goer) - and by the end of the year, their debut release, the Overwash vs Megaton 12-inch vinyl single, was selling in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Not bad for a fledgling label with designs on the international music market.

The first few months of Breakers Wax were feverishly spent trying to build networks in New Zealand, finding vinyl-pressing plants and distribution networks in the UK. One of the labels greatest achievements is signing 5OHz, who will release a 12-inch vinyl single at the end of the month. Then Pewhairangi and King's goal is to release and support as many local producers as possible on a Breakers Wax compilation. Earlier in the year, they called for submissions for the compilation from breakbeat musicians and were flooded with demos.

Pewhairangi took a wine-tasting approach to the selection process by playing the demos (minus any identifying labels) to a panel of experts handpicked for their roles and wide interests in the music industry.

"We had the submissions white-labelled and got the panel to judge." says Pewhairangi. "We wanted to choose the tracks on the merits of the music."

With the 50 original tracks submitted now culled to just 16, Pewhairangi and King say that what has brought them the most pleasure putting the compilation together is that the bulk of the tracks are mostly from musicians who are unknown and unsigned, So what's coming up next for Breakers Wax? "The submissions for the compilation have allowed us to identify producers we'd like to do a 12-inch release of, which we find really exciting," says King.

"One great thing about what we do is that because we sell the majority of our releases overseas, it doesn't matter if you are 'world famous in New Zealand' or not. The worldwide market responds to it purely on the merits of the music. We hope this encourages people to keep producing and working on what they do."

Pewhairangi agrees. "Some people say, 'Why do you bother with the music industry?' But it's a multi-billion dollar industry and we want to be a part of it. We've already made inroads establishing our label overseas and we want to cater for a specialised market in New Zealand".

I've digitised the vinyl or both tracks and uploaded them to Youtube so you can check them out. Listen below. Apopo is a very cool tune, slightly bent breaks.  

The Lions x Stonesthrow

Dub version of the title track from their upcoming Stones Throw album. Their debut on Ubiquity was a tasty slice of dirty old reggae, and their cover of Think by Lynn Collins was dynamite. Looking forward to this newie. 

"All the guys in The Lions grew up on classic Jamaican records so since we began we have wanted to give our records that same edge and roughness that we grew up hearing on LPs by The Upsetters, Soul Syndicate, The Rockers Band and Roots Radics. The rhythm section was all recorded to tape, the Hammond buzzed a little, fuses blew and good mistakes were left in. We basically made the dusty reggae soul LP WE have been wanting to hear for years." – Dan Ubick (ex Breakestra,producer) 

Download MP3 – The Lions - This Generation (Dub)
Download free via iTunes – The Lions - This Generation (Dub)
Website – The Lions

Cian flashback

Photo: Glenn Hunt

By Stephen Jewell. Published in Pavement magazine, August/September, 1999.

When the second summer of love first exploded in Britain in 1988, many New Zealand musicians, from Benny Staples to Jed Town, chose to base themselves in London, the epicenter of the burgeoning dance music scene. Hereford-born Cian O'Donnell, however, chose to travel in the opposite direction, ending up in Wellington, where, ironically, he was first introduced to the art of Djing.

O'Donnell left England at age 18 on a world trip which took in the American west coast and Australia before he arrived in Wellington with only $17 in his pocket. Fortunately, within a day of his arrival, O'Donnell found himself a flat and a job in a record shop. ''The DJing side was just something I fell into," reflects O'Donnell.

''A friend of mine, who is basically my inspiration, a guy called Koa, he saw my record collection and said, 'Look, you've got to buy some turntables.' And I was like, 'Well, maybe. He then went out and found someone who was selling some second- hand Technics. He basically conned me into buying them and moving in with him so that he had decks at his house."

After forming the Funky Monks with Mu, Leon and Matt Morrell, O'Donnell became a fixture in the Wellington music scene before shifting to Auckland a couple of years ago to take up a residency at the Khuja Lounge.

''The big difference between Wellington and Auckland, because of Auckland's actual size and how it's structured, is that there is a lot more interaction between the actual DJs,'' he muses. ''People seem to be a bit precious about what they're doing. A lot of things in Auckland don't turn me on. A lot of people ask me why l don't do more gigs and why I stay at the Khuja Lounge but I can actually nurture something at Khuja.

Auckland is so dominated by house and drum & bass but I like to feel that, through Khuja, I've offered an alternative."

O'Donnell has made quite a name for himself with his Latin-tinged house sets but is quick to point out that there is a lot more to his music than Basement Jaxx-style beats. ''People think I've been playing Latin the whole time, which definitely isn't the case," he asserts.

''I'm totally open-minded. I'll spin the whole musical spectrum over the course of an evening if I'm given the chance. I especially like playing music which is a fusion of lots of different bits and pieces. You can't call it world music but there's a lot of music coming out with traditional rhythms or instruments internalised with beats. What I play is such a big melting pot of everything. One minute you can be listening to phat beats or Latin, then it could go into breakbeat. But I like to think that it always flows.''

O'Donnell recently left New Zealand on a world trip which will take him to London and the year 2000 carnival in Rio before returning to New Zealand next year. But first up for O'Donnell is San Francisco, where he will DJ with Tom Thump from Love, Haight and Ubiquity. ''San Fran' is my kind of town," declares O'Donnell, ''especially with its musical background. It's got its roots firmly stuck in black music which is something the Funky Monks and I have always tried to promote".

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. 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.

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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...