Monday, May 07, 2012

Homebrew #1 debut

Homebrew's album has debuted at number one on the album charts. Last local hiphop act to do that was in 2003. Congratulations, boys, you made it!

Having wrapped up their 48 hour album launch this morning at 10am, word on Twitter is the boys are off out again tonight to celebrate. They are hardy buggers.

@Kidz_In_Space: "Just drove past@HazTweetz [Haz] on K rd raising his arms in victory."

Now, I better go buy a copy of it this week so it stays at number one, aye. Roll on payday.

ADDED Michael Upton (Jet Jaguar, Montano) has written a great piece called All Home Brew's producers' other releases,  including Christoph El Truento, Si Res, Soul Chef, Fire and Ice (David Dallas) and more. 

Bill Brewster in AK

Bill Brewster is visiting our shores for the first time, DJing at Ink Bar on May 26. The night before, he's giving a seminar at Red Bull Studio, 13 Hargreaves St, Freemans Bay, at 730pm, called Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, also the title of an excellent book he co-authored with Frank Broughton. It's essential reading for any DJ. He's definitely got something to say that's worth hearing.

Brewster is a founding resident DJ of Fabric, and author of several books, including How To DJ (Properly), and The Record Players: DJ Revolutionaries. Check out for more on Brewster and his great writing.

Bill Brewster. Photo: RBMA

From Resident Advisor: " One minute he’s rocking the roof off at Fabric with his tough and funky big-room underground house; the next he’s charming the pants off a more intimate crowd with everything from dubby disco, funk and hip-hop to trip hop and Latin batucadas. Armed with a sensitivity and sense of occasion that few DJs possess Bill Brewster knows how to work a crowd in the best possible sense.

Originally a chef, a football pundit (co-editor of fanzine When Saturday Comes) and record collector, Bill began DJing in in the late 80s, but he cut his teeth playing ‘Low Life’ warehouse parties in Harlem and the East Village – he moved to NYC to manage DMC’s US operation – and anyone hearing Bill today can see how these New York ‘roots’ shine through. For eclecticism, surprises, amazing unique music and sheer long-haul dedication to the dancefloor, Bill’s your man.

His other life is as a writer. Together with long-term pal Frank Broughton, Bill is author of the definitive history of DJing, Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, and has contributed his acid Grimsby wit and encyclopaedic knowledge of music to just about every dance rag there is, not to mention The Guardian, Independent and Mail On Sunday. The Brewster-Broughton double act unveiled their latest hit in 2002 with the uniquely sardonic DJ manual How To DJ (Properly).

He’s an industry insider, having brought Twisted records to the UK and launched his own highly successful deep house label Forensic. In his spare time he is often found in the studio, either with Fat Camp partner, Theo Noble, re-editing old disco, funk and rock records; or producing original music. They run a small edit label Disco Sucks.

As his hero Kid Creole would say, 'Annie I'm not your daddy.'

“What Bill Brewster doesn’t know about disc jockeying is probably not worth knowing.” Jockey Slut
“One of Fabric’s heroes is behind the decks for one of his multi-genre embracing sessions. It’s going to be a late one.” Metro
“The greatest book ever written about dance music.” Daily Mirror on Last Night A DJ Saved My Life

Via C-store blog, a Bill Brewster mixtape... "The mix, entitled Pre Season Optimist, offers a mix of cool super rare & hard to find records. Awesome nigerian funk, trippy dub disco, library grooves & other funky greatness."

And Bill Brewster - Live mix via RBMA Radio - he drops some Kora in there....


 Chuck D talking about the Beastie Boys, rock n roll, and Bette Midler, and sitting with two great songwriters, Carole King and Smokey Robinson at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and then bugging out about it on Twitter - "I tweeted my ass off!"

Chuck calls out urban radio for failing black music in America right now, it's some straight talk. He says Public Enemy got on the Licensed to Ill tour in 87 cos as replacements for Fishbone, and cos they were cheap.

Clip via Dangerous Minds - Read Chuck D's speech inducting the Beasties here.


Fascinating article from Bloomberg Businessweek, on the Numero Group label. Read it in full here

"...In an industry struggling to stay afloat, Numero is an anomaly: It’s a growing and profitable record company. Dedicated to unearthing lost musical treasures—primarily in the realms of soul, funk, and gospel—the eight-year-old label has amassed legions of devoted fans, including rocker Robert Plant, author Michael Chabon, and actress Zooey Deschanel. Numero, which grossed more than $1 million in 2011, has a grand ambition that belies its modest size: to be the world’s greatest reissue label.

It’s fitting that a record label that relies on serendipitous discoveries was founded by chance. Ken Shipley, 34, a former talent rep for Salem (Mass.)-based reissue label Rykodisc, met Rob Sevier, 33, whose résumé includes a stint at Merge Records, at a Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings concert in 2002. 

Around the same time, longtime advertising executive Tom Lunt, 60, who had previously logged time at record chain Sound Distributors, bumped into Shipley at a record store. Then they crossed shopping carts in a grocery store. Following those random encounters, the three discussed the idea that became Numero. In an effort to retain complete control, the co-founders decided not to solicit outside investors, instead relying on $23,000 of Lunt’s personal savings to get things going...." Read more

Dotcom, large and in charge

Kim Dotcom has released a rap song about John Banks and his apparent amnesia... "John Banks, he's got the vote, thats why John Key keeps him afloat, in his cabbage boat..."

Sure shot

This is a great piece from New York magazine, put together at the time of the release of Hot Sauce Committee Pt 2 in 2011."To mark that occasion, a look back at the birth of the Beastie Boys sound, as told by the people who lived it." It's an oral history of the early days of the Beastie Boys career, from 1981 to 87.

Hear from the band, Bad Brains' Darryl Jennifer, Dante Ross, Thurston Moore, Run and DMC. And Molly Ringwald, who was dating Adam Horowitz. She recounts the time she drank the Beasties under  the table while on tour, in 86.

Run DMC took them on tour as their opening act in 86... DMC: "For the first couple of days of the tour, the towns we were playing were in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee—this was the black South. We expected to hear boos, so we were reluctant to be on the side of the stage, to see them get disappointed.

"But then from the dressing room, we’d hear “Yeaaaaaah! Yeaaahhh!” It was the black audience, praising these dudes. The reason they were so good: It wasn’t white punk rockers trying to be black emcees. They wasn’t talking about gold chains or Cadillacs. They were white rappers rapping about what they did. Real recognize real."

And then there's this....


Saturday, May 05, 2012

Trinity Roots vs taxman

Photo: NZ Musician/Sarah Hunter

The Dominion Posts reports that Trinity Roots owe the taxman $100,000.

"Liquidators appointed this month have assumed control of Trinity Roots Ltd's finances, but say it has virtually no assets and any unsecured creditors are unlikely to be repaid.

The company's listed directors are founding members Rio Hemopo and Warren Maxwell. Maxwell also played with Fat Freddy's Drop and is the front man of Little Bushman.

Former members Riki Gooch and Darren Mathiassen are listed as former directors.

The band was formed in 1998 but disbanded in 2005. [They reformed in 2010, but original drummer Riki Gooch departed soon after and was replaced by Jean Pompey in mid 2011.]

Trinity Roots Ltd was fined $1560 in 2006 for 22 charges of failing to file tax and GST returns over three years. Its lawyer at the time told the court the returns had simply been overlooked.

Liquidator Paul Bartley said yesterday at least part of the current debt – totalling $99,140.59 in unpaid taxes and penalties – was linked to the historic charges.

Trinity Roots' co-manager Ange Kalogeropoulos – Maxwell's partner – said the financial troubles had a long history.

"It all [harks] back to when they were originally all together. The management they had completely failed them in the end.

Ms Kalogeropoulos said the tax debt was not the reason the band broke up.

"But after they did break up there were a lot of things that came to light that had been going on that the guys were completely oblivious to. In a business sense, they were directors of that company, they were responsible in that regard."

She declined to name the band's previous managers...."

A quick search reveals the band's manager prior to the 2005 split was Toby Larmer, who also managed Hollie Smith, Kora, Cornerstone Roots, and Phoenix Foundation. 

Sam Scott of the Phoenix Foundation, told me via Twitter that their manager at that time was  "Way too casual. [he was] disorganised, not into the details. Awesome dude though, being a bad accountant doesn't mean you're a dick."

Check your head

The Beastie Boys toured to NZ a lot - they played here in the early 1990s at the Powerstation, and later tours called in at the Logan Campbell Centre with Helmet, the North Shore Events Centre, the Big Day Out....

I remember when my old band Hallelujah Picassos got the opening slot for the Beastie Boys show at the Powerststaion, we were hanging round waiting for soundcheck and one of the band was skateboarding round the dancefloor of the Powerstation, so we gave him a copy of our album. Wish I could remember which band member it was.

On that visit I also remember seeing the Beasties around central Auckland a bit, up on Victoria st by the offices of Stratford Productions, the film company that shot their music video in Rotorua for the song Gratitude , watch it here.

Here's Yauch talking about his debut feature as a director, a b-ball documentary called Gunnin' for the #1 spot... at 1.10 he talks about how he got into film making, shooting super 8 film to project behind the band... he had his own film  production company Oscilloscope Laboratories, who were getting into film distribution too....

Download: Mick Boogie’s Beastie Boys: Grand Royal Mixtape "In honor of the Beastie Boys being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...I thought it’s finally the right time to do a Beasties mixtape. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time… something people have asked me to do for a long time, actually...but I wanted it to mean something. Now, it’s finally the right time. 

I present to you Grand Royal. 80 minutes of my favorite Beastie Boys rarities, remixes, demos, live versions, out-takes, and more... I called my friend Jonathan Mannion, the legendary photographer (8 Jay-Z albums, 3 Eminem albums, Lil Wayne, Nas, Aaliyah, the list goes on and on), and we decided to re-shoot the iconic cover from the Beastie’s 1989 classic Paul’s Boutique...."

The Beastie Boys put out their own magazine Grand Royal, from 93-97 - Grand Royal was also the name of their record label. It was an intermittent thing - the second issue came out a year late. I've got 4 of the 6 issues, they are great reading. From interviews with Lee Scratch Perry to Robert Moog... read Remembering Grand Royal magazine, from Atlantic Monthly...

Plus photographer Glen E Friedman has posted some previously unpublished photos of his of the band... hanging with David Lee Roth, Billy Idol and others... 

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM May 5

A celebrate the start of NZ Music Month, a ton of fine Kiwi reggae and downtempo, and a Beasties tune.

Fat Freddys Drop - Hope - Sonsine remix
International observer - Vale
Jefferson Belt - Creeping tings of the earth
Lord Echo - Thinkining of you
Fredericks Brown - Betrayal - Dusty remix
Snap - Sidewalk city dance mix
DJ Vee feat Mighty Asterix - The best in me
Eru Dangerspeil - Sun again
Joint force - Static - Mario Bros remix
Kas Futialo - Good morning Samoa
Cornerstone roots - Forward the sax
The Yoots - E papa waiari
Dub terminator and Ras Stone - Love you so much
Dub connection - Dub skuffle
Black seeds - Make a move - Downtown Brown version
Tiki - Burning fire - Oogun remix
Lost tribe - Summer in the winter
Ermehn - Don't be late
Che Fu - Misty frequencies - Submariner remix w Hype The Native
@peace - Home
Scratch 22 - For walking faces
Manuel Bundy - What's your style?
Dub Asylum - Ba ba boom
Herbs - French letter dub version
Beastie Boys - Hey ladies

The Beastie Boys - Gratitude, shot in Rotorua, early 1990s...

R.I.P Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys)

Adam Yauch has died of cancer, aged 47. Very sad news.

Yauch was involved in directing the group's videos, as Nathaniel Hornblower. Read a letter he wrote to the New York Times in 2004, regarding their negative review of their video - 'CH-CHECK IT OUT'; One Goat, on Account.

RIP MCA: Vintage Ricky Powell Photos From the 'Paul's Boutique' Sessions

ADDED New York Times reports "he died at 9 a.m. on Friday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan with his parents, his in-laws, his wife, Dechen Wangdu, and his 13-year-old daughter, Tenzin Losel Yauch, at his bedside. He had been admitted to the hospital on April 14 after a three-year battle with cancer of the salivary gland. He was conscious until the end."

Expat NZer Kirk Harding on the Beastie Boys..."...pauls boutique was monumental, but it was so different that it took me a minute to catch up. but check your head was whole other story. it was another leveling bomb-blast to my musical universe. it turned me on to a whole new world of music and for that moment the beasties couldn’t get any cooler. their magazine, clothing line, record label all spoke to me and hipped me to artists as diverse as lee scratch perry, jorge ben & at the drive in.

i recently sat with lyor cohen and asked after adam. lyor had just returned from the rock’n’roll hall of fame ceremony, where the beasties boys had been inducted. i could instantly tell by the look on lyor’s face that the news was bad. he responded by simply saying “he’s not well”. i knew at that moment that this day was coming and i was gutted. "

Bill Adler, formerly of Def Jam Records, remembers Yauch. Source.

“My first impression of the Beastie Boys—they were little punks, they were brats. That was my first impression of them. They certainly weren’t interested in making nice with me although I didn’t really take it personally, that’s just the way they were at a time. They got pulled into the Rush artists family and they started going out on tour with Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Houdini and the rest of our guys, and they relaxed a little bit. Not just with me, but with all of us who were working with Russell Simmons at the time, so became closer then.

Adam struck me as the angriest [member] of the Beastie Boys. He really wasn’t a happy guy and he didn’t mind expressing his unhappiness, and I don’t mind talking about it now because he really transformed himself. It was quite a long time ago, 20 years ago or more, that he found Buddhism and he managed to transform himself and calm himself down, so the last 25 years of his life were much more peaceful than the first.

Licensed To Ill came out in 1986 and that was everybody’s first taste of the Beastie Boys, and they lived up to their name. Then they came back three years later in 1989 with Paul’s Boutique and it was a very different album, it was very much in tune with the times, in terms of what was going on with hip-hop at that time. It was really a conscious rap album and it was deliberately that way. After Licensed To Ill, they felt some regret about the sexism on the album, and they really were regretful. It’s not like they apologized for it on Paul’s Boutique but it was going to be a lot more woman-friendly than Licensed To Ill had been.

The thing to remember about the Beastie Boys is that they were a punk rock band before they started making rap records. They started making records, I believe, in 1982 and a quasi rap record in 1983 with Cooky Puss. In 1984 they signed with Rick Rubin and Def Jam and they started to release rap singles produced by Rick, so that’s when I started working with them. I worked with them in ‘84, ‘85 and in ‘86 here’s comes Licensed To Illand in ‘87 Licensed To Ill was the biggest record in rock 'n' roll.

The whole idiom was so new, rap was so new, hip-hop was new, it’s not like there were rules about how one was supposed to compose himself. Nothing was set in stone at that point and they were unique—these were three white kids, they weren’t trying to use the model of some of the great black rappers who had preceded them. They were very much who they were and they brought their punk rock sensibility into it and they rhymed about the things that mattered to them, and in that way, they were precursors to somebody like Eminem. When Eminem came out he didn’t sound like Jay-Z and he didn’t sound like Snoop Dogg and he wasn’t writing about those kinds of things, he had his own personality and it was the same thing with the Beastie Boys then.

The thing to understand about the Beastie Boys is that the music itself was so magnificent and it was so effective. I remember the Beastie Boys go out at the bottom of the bill on the Raising Hell Tour in 1986—It’s Run-DMC, LL Cool J, and Houdini—and the Beastie Boys scampered out for 25 minutes at the beginning of the night every time. They were playing nothing but arenas and the crowd was about 95 percent black, so you’d imagine that that’d be a tough crowd for the Beastie Boys, but they went out and the music was strong and the performance was strong and they made friends every single night all summer long. It was not a problem, they were accepted because they were wonderful.

Their biggest contribution as a group might not even have been the effect within hip-hop. To me, it’s more about their effect on the rock mainstream. They emerged at a moment when rock ‘n roll, in the early-to-mid 80s was terribly bloated and self-important—it was decadent truthfully—so they brought a punk energy back into the rock mainstream. They were funny, they were smart, they were quick. The songs were well-shaped and hard-hitting and they were not pretentious at all. Their entry into the rock mainstream, I’d say really revolutionized things. There were many bands that followed in their wake and took inspiration from their example.

Yauch was the best conventional rapper of the three guys, he’s the one who sounded most like a “rapper” as far as I’m concerned but he was also a musician and he was a producer, so he always had a strong hand in the production of the band’s recording and I think his personal journey must’ve had its affect on his two partners as well. That transition from a Beastie Boy into a post-Beastie Man, somebody who grew up a little bit and had a better idea of how to treat women, because Adam himself went through that transition and it undoubtedly had an effect on his partners and on the group’s music."

Friday, May 04, 2012

R.I.P Lloyd Brevett (Skatalites)

Skatalites bassist Lloyd Brevett has passed away, aged 80. Story via

"Lloyd Brevett, the upright bass player and founding member of the seminal Jamaican ska group The Skatalites, died this morning at Andrews Memorial Hospital in St. Andrew, Jamaica where he was being treated following a stroke and a series of seizures. He was 80.

The Skatalites were the preeminent collective in popularizing ska, an early 60s creation melding R&B, jazz, calypso and Cuban musical influences, and characterized by its distinctive emphasis on the after beat, as opposed to the down beat of R&B.

Together for just 18 months between 1963-1965 The Skatalites recorded many timeless instrumentals including "Eastern Standard Time" and "Guns of Navarone" for a variety of producers, most notably Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd.

Backing virtually every singer of note during that era, including teen sensations The Wailers on their 1964 hit "Simmer Down," The Skatalites' pioneering efforts at the dawn of the island's recording industry laid the groundwork for the development of rocksteady and reggae later in the decade and the subsequent international embrace of Jamaica's various indigenous genres..."

Happy birthday Keith Haring

One of my favourite artists... there was a fantastic show of his art in Wellington a while back. I got to interview Tony Shafrazi, his art gallery dealer for the show, read that interview here.

Watch part one of the doco about him below.


 Some NZ 80s electro from Wellington outfit the Body Electric, this release now long out of circulation, but you may find it with a bit of searching. From Club Bizarre blurb on the band...

"One of the first electronic bands from New Zealand to break the alterno-mainstream, The Body Electric were formed in 1982 by Alan Jimson (aka Alan Jansson, formerly of 1980s band The Steroids) and Andy Drey.

During their initial rehearsals, they were then joined by actor-turned-singer Garry Smith. The group's debut single, Pulsing, was picked up by radio programmers and spent 27 weeks in the charts. Not entirely indicative of their sound, the track has a novelty quality to it, coming across as a parody of emotionless electronic groups like Kraftwerk. 

Following the success of Pulsing, Andy Drey was replaced by Spines bassist Wendy Calder and the group released two more minor hits (Dreaming In A Life and Imagination) and a full length album before fading into obscurity."


German site Tonspion has a very cool Strut Records Sampler up for free download, go here to read more. Track listing...

1. Ebo Taylor - Kruman Dey (Radio Edit)
2. Dr Victor Olaiya's International All-Stars -Kinrinjingbin
3. Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo - Pardon
4. Fania All-Stars - Descarga Fania (Live)
5. Ugly Custard - Custard's Last Stand
6. Dennis Coffey feat. Kings Go Forth - Miss Millie
7. Section 25 - Dirty Disco
8. Naked Lunch - Slipping Again
9. Julian Jonah - Jealousy And Lies
10. Kid Creole & The Coconuts - We're Rockin' Out Tonight

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Mr Lee Fields

 The brand new video for "You're The Kind Of Girl", taken off Lee Fields & The Expressions - "Faithful Man" album out now on Truth & Soul Records.


From Truth and Soul's site: Check out the video that Stolen moments put together of Lee Fields talking about everything from the first heartbreak to playing a show with 2 Live Crew in 80′s... "It was the nastiest thing I've ever seen in my life" - Lee Fields.

Hawkins and Hazard

I get sent some pretty random music for this blog sometimes. This popped up out of the blue, from two young fellas from the US. And it's damn tasty instrumental bizznizz.... like this track, some abstract, blunted hiphop...

"HxH, the musical duo composed of Kareem Hawkins and Rodney Hazard is a young musical group that blends their love for Hip-Hop with sounds and vibes that are unexplored amongst most genres. After essentially developing a love for music at a young age in two completely different regions of the US, the two came together during their freshman year of college to pursue a career in the music industry. Years before even releasing music, the two honed their music production skills and more recently have become lyricists after only starting to write months ago..." // HxH Bandcamp

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

C'est Chic 1978 tv ad

R.I.P Charles "Skip" Pitts

Charles "Skip" Pitts (left) with Dennis Coffey, 2009. Photo: Ed Mata
Charles "Skip" Pitts, Stax Records guitarist, has died aged 65. He was best known for the classic wah-wah sound on Shaft by Isaac Hayes. 

"Though nominally a "sideman," Mr. Pitts was a star among fellow musicians and dedicated fans of R&B. "His guitar style was very unique," said producer/musician Scott Bomar, Mr. Pitts' band mate in Bluff City R&B group the Bo-Keys.

"He took a little bit of the Bo Diddley rhythm, the Northern soul of Curtis Mayfield and the Memphis sound of Steve Cropper and Reggie Young and somehow came up with his own thing, a style that no one had."

A Washington DC native who grew up in the shadow of the city's famed Howard Theatre, as a child he rubbed shoulders with musical royalty, getting friendly with Marvin Gaye (who dated his sister) and Bo Diddley (who was a neighbour).

Mr. Pitts got his start professionally in the mid-1960s. As a teenager he backed up R&B stars the Coasters, Gene Chandler (he played on the live hit "Rainbow '65") the Isley Brothers, Sam & Dave and Wilson Pickett.

But it was a move to Memphis and a nearly 30-year collaboration with Isaac Hayes that yielded his greatest legacy, including the immortal guitar riff on the Academy Award-winning "Shaft" soundtrack.

Mr. Pitts' use of the wah-wah effect pedal on "Shaft" resonated for several generations. His work would be sampled by numerous hip-hop and rap acts over the years including Dr. Dre and the Beastie Boys, among others.

Deeply identified with the effect, Mr. Pitts is featured in the new documentary film "Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World" alongside guitarists Slash, Buddy Guy, and Eddie Van Halen...."  Read the full story at The Commercial Appeal, Memphis. 


 From Kas Futialo (Tha Feelstyle) off his 2008 album Lokokasi.
PLUS: Interview: Kas Futialo: The Making of Feelstyle

Pic from ColdRockDaSpot interview with Kas

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Too much static

Joint Force (DLT, Slave, Otis Frizzell aka MC OJ) from their mid 90s release. I liked this track so much I borrowed the name for a tv fanzine I started in 98 called Too Much Static, which eventually became a monthly column in Lava Magazine.

This version is off the Static single, from memory. This is the Mario Caldato Jr remix. He was out here in the mid 90s as part of the Beastie Boys touring lineup, which is when he probably hooked up with the Joint Force boys. Prior to that, he'd recorded the debut albums from Tone Loc and Young MC, among others. Have to go and dig out my cassingle of this....

Happy birthday Dirty Rec!

Local hiphop label Dirty Records celebrates its tenth birthday this month, with a special party on Friday night, featuring the label's leading lights - P Money, David Dallas, Scribe, PNC, Frontline and more.

Dirty Records was founded by P-Money with Kog's Callum August in 2001. He'd made a name for himself on the DJing scene, after winning a bunch of DJ titles at various competitions - he won the ITF NZ champs two years in a row.

He wanted to move into production, and I interviewed him for the February 2001 issue of NZ Musician - read that interview here. excerpt..."I got a Boss Dr Rhythm DR660 drum machine, after much persuasion of my father - 'Dad, I want a drum machine for Christmas!' It was that and my birthday present and half my own money. That was in my last year of high school. I was fully into making beats and I had a good turntable set-up by then." P-Money left school, got a job in a fish and chip shop, and saved up to buy a Tascam 07 four-track. He also had a toy keyboard from when he was a kid...

P-Money has written a piece on the start of his label, over on his blog... here's an excerpt...

"... Enter ‘The Professor’, one of the Drive show DJs at BFM who would often play and support my tracks. He spoke of a local independent record label by the name of Kog Transmissions that specialized in electronic music whom he thought I should meet with. Truth be told, at the time I had little knowledge of or care for local electronic music (my head was firmly stuck in hip-hop, funny how things change!) but on The Prof’s advice and encouragement we had the meeting.

I played my music and pitched them the idea of putting out an album of tracks similar to the demo’s I had been recording and successfully spinning on the radio. The crew at Kog were receptive to me but more skeptical of the potential of local rap music. They knew little of the genre and feared that Kog was not the right label to release such a project. I detected their reservations and pitched an even bolder idea. Which was to let me release the record through their company but under a different brand, in a sense creating a ‘sub-label’ scenario.

I’m sure there was a lot of debate as to the validity of my proposal but fortunately I had one champion inside Kog who would become my greatest ally and a life-long friend, Mr. Callum August. Callum was a lanky, weed smoking, skate board riding employee (read: mostly unpaid volunteer) at Kog who by some twist of fate or naive confidence was able to convince the rest of the board to take a chance on this album project and establish our yet unnamed rap ‘sub-label’. And they did..."

RELATED: Vinyl flashback #1 - P-Money - I interviewed P-Money about his favourite records (that's him pictured above with a few of them) and the record stores he got them from. It's a fun read.

Remix bizz

Some very tasty remixes from Adi Dick, up for free DL too. My faves are the Q-Tip one and the Opensouls one. Have a listen.


Black Keys make it up to NZ

After ditching us a week before their 2011 Big Day Out show due to exhaustion, and then recently announcing a run of Australian shows with no mention of NZ, the Black Keys finally make it up to us with two shows in November - Auckland, Vector Arena Nov 3, and Wellington, Nov 5 TSB Arena.

Tickets on sale now soon, on sale from midday May 1
November 3: Vector Arena, Auckland
November 5: TSB Bank Arena, Wellington

Here's their 2011 Coachella live performance in full....

Monday, April 30, 2012

Toy Love hit top 20

Toy Love - Live at the Gluepot has landed at #11 in the Top 40 Albums chart this week, on the back of its release for Record Store Day. There were only 400 copies pressed up as limited edition vinyl, and the record was only available from one store -real Groovy, on Record Store Day.

It's great to see Toy Love back in the charts, but now you know that if you can sell that many albums, or a maybe few more, you could crack the top ten. Toy Love's debut album peaked at #4 in the album charts on release back in 1980. The reissue of that album, as Cuts, made it to #23 back in 2005.

Fat Freddy's Ebb

Early recording from Ebb featuring Iain Gordon from Fat Freddys Drop, Reuben Sutherland and Lisa Tomlins, off an ep from 2001 released by Dental Records/Loop. DL up for 24 hours.

Volume mag silenced

The Corner is reporting that Volume Magazine, published by the NZ Herald's owners APBN, has been shut down. Their last issue (The Homebrew takeover issue) comes out tomorrow. The closure has been confirmed by Volume via Twitter.

Killing off a magazine that provided a lot of great unique content for the NZ Herald's website doesn't make any sense, especially after only 33 issues. There was some very talented people behind the mag, who put a huge amount of effort into making it special, and local. We need more of that, not less.

I remember going to the launch of Volume, down at Lucha Lounge in Newmarket. I ended up chatting with an APN sales rep, who told me all about how APN had researched the market and felt very positive about developing the title, that there was a niche there that was sustainable. I was a bit surprised to hear such positive sentiment coming from a corporate type, but apparently it was just a passing fad.

From The Corner: " Tomorrow’s issue of APN street press publicationVolume will be its last, with the magazine calling it quits after 33 issues.

The Drab Doo-Riffs graced the cover of the first issue back in September 2011 and subsequently we saw a whole bunch of local artists, including PNC, Lawrence Arabia, UMO, Rackets, The Checks and David Dallas, find themselves in that same position. This week that will continue with the Home Brew “takeover” issue which will see the band on the cover ahead of the release of their debut double-album this Friday.

Regardless of all that though, this is just another blow for local music journalism and we’ll be sad to see the magazine go. Rest in peace Volume, you were great."

ADDED in last Friday's NZ Herald, their media reporter John Drinnan said that the NZ Herald and its website were undergoing review by its owners APN, and they were looking at reducing the format size to a more compact one, as part of a proposed wider review of Herald titles. No mention of killing off Volume, but does report "a 7 per cent fall in all newspaper industry revenue last year and a big shift in media habits and marketing trends affecting the sector around the world."

UPDATED: John Drinnan tells me via Twitter that he wasn't in the loop on Volume's closure

ADDED Russell Brown has blogged over at Public Address about the closure, noting that the reason given was "...Volume’s failure to perform online... the nearest thing to an actual website has been Volume’s lively, well-stocked Facebook profile. When the best way into your content is a Facebook page, you’re basically failing at web publishing...

"...It appears that Sam, who is bright, creative and organised, will find work within the Herald’s growing online Entertainment division, and will take some of Volume’s regular features with him, but there seems to be something particularly inept about what has played out here. Having taken an interesting punt on a street press music mag, APN launched its new magazine without an online strategy – and then killed it because it wasn’t working online."

UPDATED: Audio - Sam Wicks talks with BFM's Charlotte Ryan about the closure...
Sam Wicks, BFM interview: " We didn't have the advertising dollars in there to keep an organisation like APN satiated... features like Talking Heads will tick over, so there's more room to build that [online]...

The execution wasn't there in terms of how we marketed this... if you found Volume content on the Herald's website there was nothing that screamed out Volume, it just looked like other stories that were in there...

"We never had an iPhone, and iPad app. We definitely had content that was used online but I think if there had genuinely been this 360 degree presentation of that content we had, it would have been a different thing, you know... the artifact aint going anywhere, it just has to be done better and smarter."

New Home Brew video

 Home Brew feat. Esther Stephens - Plastic Magic, produced by Christoph el Truento, video directed by Tom Gould

Swifty and PB workshop

UK designer Swifty will be blessing Conch Records front and back with his signature Typografik Art style, creating some unique artwork on the walls of the store. Come and relax, drink coffee and browse through some records as it unfolds. May 16-18.

Also, Swifty and Paul Bradshaw are giving a workshop (11am-4pm May 15-17) while they're out here. Swifty is speaking at SemiPermanent.

"Since his debut at Face Magazine, Swifty has held the role of creative designer for magazines such asStraight No Chaser (The Magazine of World Jazz Jive) and Area, designed covers for countless preeminent musicians through his work with labels Talkin Loud, Mo Wax and Source 360, produced animation for television, designed a camo clothing line, as well as founded his own company Swifty Toypographix through which he has published several books.

Paul Bradshaw is the man behind the iconic London magazine Straight No Chaser, as well as being a journalist and modern day UK music and culture consultant.

Join both UK mentors for an exclusive three day workshop exploring publishing technologies, UK cultural history, Music and fanzine production. To register please contact – places are strictly limited. This is a creative commons FREE event.

We are also holding an industry meet and greet with Swifty and Braders at Conch Records on Friday evening May 18th from 6pm, where some seminal UK tunes will be played, as well as a little chat from the two UK guests, and the completion of some artwork that Swifty will be blessing the Ponsonby shop with during the week..."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lee Oskar

Lee Oskar was the harmonica player for the band War, and he also dropped some very tasty solo joints. My favourite tune of his is Haunted House, one that Cian (Conch Records) put me onto.

Oskar's self-titled solo debut came out in 1976 and featured a number of members of War backing him, plus Greg Errico (Drummer  for Sly and Family Stone) on several tracks. Errico also produced part of the album, and held down the producer's seat for Oskar's second solo effort, Before The Rain (1978), which features Haunted House.

Oskar left his native Denmark at 18, landing in New York to make it big, with his harmonica in his pocket. Following his success with War (out in LA), he later developed his own line of harmonicas.

If you want the full story on War, get hold of Wax Poetics Magazine issue #44. That details the highs and lows of the band. They eventually had a falling out with their management (record producer Jerry Goldstein), who owned the band's name. They still tour, but are not allowed to call themselves War - they're known as The Lowrider Band, while another lineup (with one original member) tours as War.

UPDATED Just pulled out my copy of Lee Oskar's debut album, still got the price sticker on it from the record store I got it from, Open Mind Music in San Francisco, a store Cian worked in when he lived in SF in the early 2000s.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Roadrunner caught out

US label Roadrunner has been hit by major staff cuts, including shutting down offices in a number of countries. NZ band Avalanche City signed to Roadrunner in March this year, no word yet what the cuts mean for the band, who have a US tour scheduled for June according to Roadrunner's website. Roadrunner is a sub label of Warners, their NZ label.

Via Digital Music News... "Thursday was an extremely crappy day for the crew at Roadrunner Records. That's because parent Warner Music Group chose Thursday to slash substantial parts of the sub-label, with complete shutdowns happening in several offices outside of the US.

According to executives at the label, offices in the UK, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands are closing, with substantial chops also happening in the US. "Everyone's getting let go, including me," one source flatly told Digital Music News.

... Roadrunner is clearly a venerable brand that stretches beyond metal, and the brand itself definitely isn't getting laid off. Most roles and backend functions are getting rolled into Warner Music Group, though there is talk of skeleton offices or some superficial presence in the various countries.

That said, this looks like a serious gutting. Sources also noted that CEO Cees Wessels is also packing his things, and in terms of a layoff count, Billboard estimates that 36 are being let go - with 16 in the US.

Warner Music Group has been a majority owner for many years, but became the sole owner late last year. Warner has not issued a release on the matter."

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, April 28

James Brown - Blind man can see it
Foster Sylvers - Misdemeanour
Sly and the Family Stone - Thankful n thoughtful
Wild magnolias - (Somebody  got) Soul soul soul
 Nona Hendryx - Transformation
The Lions - This generation (dub)
Professor Oz - Waves and skank - Grant Phabao remix
Oneself - Paranoid - J-Star remix
Damian Marley - Move
Romanowski - Romjack steady
Akie - Call me Rambo
Rob Symeonn - Message in the music -Shanti Roots dubhouse mix
Zap Mama - Bandy bandy - Carl Craig remix
LCD Soundsystem - 45:33 - Padded cell remix
Sly n Mo - Sensisisms
Black samurai - Information critic
Black grass - Oh Jah
Manzel - Midnight theme - Dopebrother 7" remix
Roy Ayers - Brother green
Patea Maori Club - Poi E
Kas Futialo (aka Tha Feelstyle) - Kaufeai le nu'u
Modern sound corporation - Safari - Greg Wilson edit (free download)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dilla's record collection for sale

Via Pitchfork: "If you want to own a record that once belonged to J Dilla and you live near Detroit, here's your chance. The Detroit News reports (via the Daily Swarm) that Royal Oak record storeUHF has between 7,000-8,000 records that they believe belonged to Dilla. The collection is on sale at the store now.

According to the Detroit News, UHF's Jeff Bubeck got the collection from an abandoned storage unit in Clinton Township. Included in the collection were "mountains of 94-cent Earth, Wind & Fire LPs," but also lyric booklets, junk mail addressed to James Yancey, and cassette tapes labeled "Jaydee Beats." The store released the first batch of the collection on Record Store Day.

Bubeck intends to share some of the proceeds with the J Dilla Foundation, but his attempts to contact the foundation and Dilla's mother, Maureen Yancey, have been unsuccessful so far. Dilla was a notorious record collector, as illustrated by ?uestlove's heartbreaking "5-10-15-20" story about his prized Brazilian Stevie Wonder EP."

UPDATED Rolling Stone: Michigan Record Store Puts Sale of J Dilla Vinyl Collection on Hold
Detriot News: J Dilla's mother to help authenticate late hip-hop producer's record collection...

Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, the mother of late Detroit hip-hop producer James "J Dilla" Yancey, is meeting today [April 26] with the owner of a Royal Oak record store who says he acquired a stash of Dilla's personal record collection last month from an abandoned Clinton Township storage unit.

Yancey said Dilla indeed kept a large number of his records in a Clinton Township storage facility. When Dilla was notified in 2004 the unit would be closed due to unpaid bills, Yancey says she shipped the records he wanted from the collection to him in Los Angeles, where he was living at the time.

"He knew every record, where it was at, what record it was next to, what record was two records from it, which hand, right hand or left hand of each shelf," Yancey said Thursday. "He knew it like he knew his hand.

"We shipped out everything he had asked for," she says, adding bills ran up to the thousands of dollars. "But we did what we were told."

Jeff Bubeck, co-owner of Royal Oak record store UHF, came across the contents of the locker last month. At first, he wasn't sure what he had; but after digging through the records and finding personal items addressed to James Yancey, he determined it was the personal record collection of J Dilla...."

UPDATED Jan 24, 2013: NME reports that "After his Detroit studio flooded, Dilla put his massive collection of "records, personal test presses and audio master tapes" into storage before moving to Los Angeles in 2004. He passed away in 2006. After his death, the storage unit was lost, but last spring was recovered by Dilla's mother, Maureen 'Ma Dukes' Yancey, reports

Maureen Yancey is now selling off a portion of the collection on eBay, Every purchase comes with a signed and numbered certificate from Maureen Yancey. An online registry of the J Dilla LPs is planned.

The eBay listing reads: "All the J Dilla (Slum Village...etc.) test pressings, personal recordings, personal items, tapes, along with a large portion of the record collection are being held by Ma Dukes for inclusion in a possible future Hip Hop museum and upcoming record release projects."

R.I.P. 'Nanny' Hui Kahu

The vocalist and poi soloist of Patea Maori Club's hit 'Poi-E', 'Nanny' Hui Kahu, has died aged 73. News via NZonScreen on Twitter.

Via "The most memorable voice of New Zealand hit song Poi-E has lost her battle with cancer. "Nanny" Hui Kahu, 73, died this morning at her home in Hawera.

Known best for her work as the vocalist and poi soloist for the Patea Maori Club, those close to her say her death has left a cloud over Taranaki.

Family friend Steve Rangihuna told 3 News she was humble person "who put everyone else first - she was generous and giving".

She was a respected elder who was a great role model to all Maori and her death is a great loss to the country, he said. "She was a great performer and my kids really moulded themselves off her and not only how to perform onstage but off the stage too."

Kahu was a teacher at Hawera's Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ngati Ruanui, and was married to Syd Kahu.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Music man Murray

Another music doco... very cool too.

"It’s about an 88-year-old guy and his record collection. That describes Music Man Murray in its most basic form. But there’s a lot more to this music documentary... calling it a “collection” scarcely does it justice. Gershenz has hundreds of thousands of records and tapes – supposedly the world’s largest private trove of music . And he wants to sell it off for $1 million-plus. Or does he?

Following the music film’s broadcast Record Store Day airing on the Documentary Channel, Parks is making it available for free online viewing for a limited time. You can watch it below. Set aside a half hour and discover a real gem with Music Man Murray." Source.

Read more about Murray Gershenz on La Times: Murray Gershenz’s 300,000-plus record collection is no bestseller. "Director Richard Parks decided in 2010 to make his first documentary about the elder Gershenz after he read about his plight in The Times. "When I first got into records, my dad [composer-lyricist Van Dyke Parks, who scored the film] would tell me you have to go to Murray’s,” Parks said. “It was like the temple so he brought me here all the time.”

ADDED August 31 2013: Remembering 'Music Man Murray': Murray Gershenz dies at 91(LA Times)
Murray Gershenz, the record collector turned character actor, has died. The 91-year-old died of a heart attack Wednesday, a source close to Gershenz confirmed.

Better known as “Music Man Murray,” Gershenz spent nearly three-quarters of a century collecting the more than 300,000 records that filled the dusty wooden shelves of his two-story West Adams record shop....

Gershenz sold the collection earlier this year [2013] to a buyer from New York. It took a fleet of 52-foot-long trucks to load up the collection, which was housed in the store and three adjacent warehouses and contained enough records to refill the shop a few times over...."

Curtis #2

Here's the second installment from Pragmatic Theory: Curtis The Album, a tribute to Curtis Mayfield. Check also... Curtis The Beat Tape

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don Cherry mixtape

Beautiful Swimmers from Washington D.C. present a brilliant tribute mix to Don Cherry, the multi-instrumentalist best known for playing the cornet & pocket trumpet with the likes of John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. Whether this is an introduction to his vast catalogue of world jazz recordings or just a new way of hearing some of it, we hope you enjoy it.

Music by Don Cherry and friends. Mix by Beautiful Swimmers

1. Don Cherry - Brown Rice
2. Old & New Dreams - Song For The Whales
3. Trilok Gurtu - Shangri La/Usfret
4. Don Cherry - Moving Pictures For The Ear
5. Don Cherry & Latif Khan - Air Mail
6. Don Cherry - Journey of Malarepa
7. Don Cherry - Brilliant Action/Amejelo (drum solo Ed Blackwell)
8. Sonny Murray - Black Art (poem Amiri Baraka)
9. Terry Riley, Don Cherry, Karl Berger - Piece 1, Koln Concert 1975
10. Don Cherry - Kamapa Chenno
11. Don Cherry - Love Train
12. Tullio Di Piscopo - Stop Bajon
13. Bengt Berger - Tongsi
14. Old & New Dreams - Guinea

If you want to find out more about Cherry, this feature from The Wire magazine is a good place to start:

Wax docos

Hat tip to Jay for this, its from Musicfilmweb... plus one extra clip, thanks to The Joint.

"... check out these films devoted to the wheels of steel and the stacks of wax, and the places where they still reign supreme.

1. Record Store Day: The Documentary (2012, dir. Jason Wilder Evans)

Evans describes his Record Store Day experience as “a multicultural music lovers’ festival” and that’s the vibe of his short doc, built around testimonials and/or tunes from Buck, Duff McKagan’s Loaded, Telekinesis, and others. Along with a side trip to the famed Grimey’s New & Preloved Music in Nashville and the tale of a vintage Big Star white label, the film cuts in scenes from ’50s instructional films on record pressing that remind you just what a miracle it is turning blobs of wax into grooves of joy. The film is slated to be available on demand from SnagFilmson Record Store Day or shortly thereafter. [Update: it’s available now, right here.]

Vinylmania (2012, dir. Paolo Campana)

The official film of Record Store Day 2012 takes Italian filmmaker/DJ Campana around the world to explore his and others’ lifelong romance with records. In conjunction with RDS Vinylmania has been screening on college campuses and in record shops all month (including today in London and New York and on April 20 in Paris – check the film site for details), and it will be out shortly in a special edition double DVD in several European countries. (Learn more about the movie in our interview with Campana.)
3. Red Beans and Rice Vol. 2: Audio Vibes (2012, no director credited)

Following up on 2010 digging doc Red Beans & Rice, Milwaukee indie hip hop label Jamille Records offers up another heaping helping of tales from the stacks, with vinyl junkies ranging from a young punkette to a wizened British reggae hound recalling their first and best scores. Refreshing for its preponderance of women, considering how widely record collecting is viewed as a Y-chromosome thing. You can watch it in entirely below.

4. Last Shop Standing (2012, Pip Piper and Rob Taylor)

Based on the book by Graham Jones, Last Shop explores the “rise, fall, and rebirth” of British indie record stores, whose numbers have begun ticking up in recent years despite iTunes and the recession. Johnny Marr, Fatboy Slim, and Billy Bragg are among those offering dusty-groove memories. The filmmakers are in the final weeks of an IndieGoGo campaign to cover post-production costs in preparation for a festival run and autumn DVD release – have a look here to help out.

5. Brick and Mortar and Love (2012, dir. C. Scott Shuffitt)

With iconic Louisville shop ear X-tacy and its struggle to survive as his focus, filmmaker (andLebowski Fest co-founder) Shuffitt looks at the cultural and community role played by brick and mortar indies and what’s at stake if they disappear. After a Louisville premiere last week the movie makes its festival bow at the Nashville Film Festival, including an April 21 screening at the aforementioned Grimey’s.

and … Record Paradise: The Musical Life of Joe Lee (2012, dir. Michael Streissguth)

Less a traditional record store doc than a profile of a quirky keeper of the flame, particularly resonant for me in that my own audio education got a major boost at one of Joe Lee’s suburban DC shops. Johnny Cash biographer Streissguth tells the story of this black sheep of a blue blood Maryland family (son of a governor, great-grandson of a senator) whose music jones led him to open a series of locally beloved stores, all called Joe’s Record Paradise, and become a keystone in the Baltimore/Washington sonic scene.

SOUND IT OUT is a documentary portrait of the very last surviving vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England.

TRAILER: SOUND IT OUT - A documentary by Jeanie Finlay from Jeanie Finlay on Vimeo.

KRS One photos

Danny D of Dam Native, doing The Horified One. Photo: Volume/Milana Radojcic

KRS One  Photo: Volume/Milana Radojcic

Photo: Volume/Milana Radojcic

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Che Fu exits Sony

Che Fu announced on his Facebook page today that he's looking for a new record label to release his new music. Che says: "I've been shopping around for record deal with all the other major players this year as I've left SONY NZ.

"It has been great working with them over the 8 plus years, but their reluctance to put my music out and constant analysing of my single choices has led me to leave. Today was a good day. Im evaluating my options now as you read this..."

Review: KRS One at The Studio, Auckland

When New Zealand hiphop fans heard news reports that legendary New York hiphop MC KRS One was stopping off here on the way to Australia back in December, a lot of folk, myself included, started pleading on social media for some promoter to land a show here with him. He chooses to travel by cruise ship, so was due back here at some point. There were various whispers and then we got the good news - his NZ shows were announced in February after promoter Ginnen Group signed him up.

Opening acts for this hiphop pioneer included some of Aotearoa's hiphop pioneers - DJ Sirvere, MC Slave, and Hedlock, a group comprised of King Kapisi, Che Fu, and Teremoana Rapley.

Heldock also pulled in a few very special guests - like Manuel Bundy, Slave, and Danny D from Dam Native, who came out to deliver The Horifed One with Teremoana, and then the killer hit - Che Fu introducing DLT onto the stage, and DLT drops Chains, with Che upfront singing it (watch it above).

The whole place cheered and hollered, it was very special to see DLT acknowledged by the crowd for one of the songs that is a defining moment in our musical history. Chains was number one for six weeks, back in 1996, when NZ hiphop was all but invisible in the mainstream.

Che Fu. Photo: Mr Rimoni
DJ Sirvere returned to the stage, keeping the crowd energised, and then KRS One's DJ took over, dropping about half a dozen hiphop classics. KRS One's voice then boomed out from the PA, from backstage, calling on his DJ to play one more song, then he said "We're gonna get this started right." So KRS One was welcomed onto the stage by a powhiri. Damn!

A man with a conch shell walked out onstage and blew it into the mic. Two women joined him, singing a traditional welcome calling KRS One to the stage (they were from Ngati Whatua, I heard). He came running out and hugged each of the welcoming party, and then it was on.

KRS One spent the next hour and a half rapping up a storm, throwing down lyrics effortlessly. I won't attempt to name all the songs he dropped, but my favourite was hearing Jack of Spades (with a super cool reggae sample looped up), which he reminded us was from a movie by Keenan Ivory Wayans, called I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.

KRS One paused a few times, got his DJ to turn the music down so we could hear him. He dropped an acapella piece half way thru the show that was KRS One rapping lines from a ton of classic hiphop tunes, all jammed into one mega-verse. It was incredible. His energy level the whole night was just was insane. He even rapped over a piece of classical music at one point.

He told the soundman what to do, turn it up! was an oft-repeated phrase of the night. He also wasnt happy with the venue security people standing front of the stage, and told them to move away to the side, cos they were blocking the view of the people down front. They didn't budge.

So KRS One turned round and called to the back of the stage "Where's my security?"and out came two tall men in black suits, who waved the venue security to the sides, which they did. KRS One was in control of this show, and he wanted us to know it.

At one point the told the crowd "I'm gonna come down there and you can get some photos with me..." pointing to the side of stage. Next thing, he's plowing thru the crowd, still rapping, posing for photos, and then makes his way back to the stage, and says "I'm gonna go back down there in a minute." Dude was fully interacting with the crowd.

Finally he wrapped up the show, telling the crowd he will be giving a lecture on the foundation of hiphop at the museum tomorrow (Sunday), continuing the conversation of the show, but he stopped to check with the folk backstage - "they all know which museum, right? Cos there's more than one museum here... oh, they got it. Good!"

His last words were addressed to the police, who didnt want hiphop down at The Cloud because of fears of violence (see below for the official quote). He used that distinctive line from an NWA song on the cops (as also used by Tiki Taane), and he told us to tell the Police that hiphop isnt about violence, it's about peace, love, unity and having fun. And he was out.

It was a great night. You don't see hiphop shows like that here every day. When KRS One said that what we were seeing was a historic moment, he was dead right. It may have sounded like a grand claim, but he delivered on it. In spades.

KRS One. Photo: Mr Rimoni
The venue choice for the Wellington show was the beautiful Wellington Town Hall, but Auckland got The Cloud, a flash tent on the waterfront originally built for the Rugby World Cup. The promoter said they went with that venue as it was all they could secure at short notice.

Having attended The Specials concert in the space next to The Cloud, Shed 10, it was pretty obvious that you would have major noise issues at The Cloud. It has no sound insulation, no solid walls, and faces The Hilton and apartments opposite, and apartments on Quay St.

On the Friday before the show, the promoters announced they were moving it to The Studio, on K Rd, citing "strict sound restrictions and licensing issues which have recently come to our attention that does not help us to proceed with this event at the Cloud due to the Police not approving our license because of their negative view on “RAP MUSIC” being at the Cloud."

The statement from the Police that was doing the rounds on social media on Friday quoted Inspector Derek Davison, saying "Rap draws on a certain group within society which cause problems for the community as a whole". The Police felt this was the case in Auckland with a Council-owned venue, but as far as I know wasn't an issue for Wellington Police with the venue down there, also Council-owned.

While seeing KRS One on K Rd made a lot more sense than on the waterfront, cos let's face it, K Rd is way more hiphop than the waterfront, it still sounds odd. That quote is from an email from Police to the original venue and the promoters, and it would be interesting to see what context that statement was made in.

You have to wonder why we paid almost $10 million for a venue that we were promised would be of use to Aucklanders beyond the RWC, but now sits largely empty on the waterfront like a white elephant. In August last year, Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett said The Cloud will be on Queens Wharf for at least a decade. That's a very long time for a venue that was only actively used for six weeks, during the RWC.

The only public event I can find that has happened at The Cloud since the end of the RWC was the NZ Beer Festival. An event celebrating alcohol is okay but not one celebrating hiphop?

And hang on, Che Fu performed down on the waterfront at a recent event featuring a number of hiphop acts, BaseFM's Shake And Bake gig, at the Silo Park over in the Wynard Quarter. There were people sitting round drinking alcohol outdoors, and listening to rap music. No violence, no arrests, no trouble. Just people having fun.

Slave. Photo: Mr Rimoni

WOOP WOOP! Added: Russell Brown posted the full Police email on Public Address, Plus some more correspondence around the event...

Hi Connie and Cathy – to advise that NO SPECIAL LICENCE will be issued for this event.

There are a whole range of factors behind such a decision;

lateness of the application (although that has been disputed)
because of the lateness Police have not had adequate time to report on the Matter (and statutorily are not required to do so because of said lateness)
type of event – rap draws on a certain group within society which cause problems for the community as a whole
probability of abuse of alcohol causing disorder within and outside the event – alcohol is a crime driver there are many licensed outlets in the CBD to which patrons could avail themselves before and after this event

Otherwise, this event will be visited and monitored by Police on the night.

I will advise the Shift Commanders, Downtown staff and Northern Communications Centre accordingly.

Inspector| Special Operations Planning Group (SOG)

An email in which the promoter addresses the lateness question:

Now when he said the lateness of application…I was shocked as we submitted a while ago, then sat with council saying yes approved at compliance meeting with the Venue staff, my Security team, my bar manager and my business partners. The council apparently said it got lost for a week….

And a response from Davison to Greer Flynn, who was involved with the show:

Good morning Greer.

As I indicated in my telephone conversation with you this morning.

Police will not alter their stance in regards to your liquor licence application.

Had the Police been involved with your event from the outset, then this matter would have been better addressed.

I can say here and now, it would still be most unlikely that Police would have agreed to the granting of a special licence even had we been at that meeting given the nature/location of the event.

RELATED: Ingrid Grenar reviews KRS One's gig and lecture
KRS-One lectures Auckland in hip hop:  KRS One's talk at Auckland Museum...
Volume Mag's Danielle Street reviews KRS One

ADDED Sunday April 29 from today's Sunday Star Times: No home for rap at Queens Wharf. Unfortunately only half of the article is online, the other half, with comment from Waterfront Auckland's Bob Harvey saying that The Cloud was desperate for bookings - it only has 6 upcoming events booked for the main space - plus a list of events happening at the Cloud since Dec 2011 when Waterfront Auckland took over, doesn't appear online - print only.

It notes a list of 11 events that have been held in The Cloud and are reported to have attracted a total of 16,000 people. I looked up attendance on the NZ Beer Festival, and that accounted for a crowd of 10,000.