Monday, July 23, 2012


It's been a while since we heard new music from Wellington's Adi Dick. He's just dropped a brand new ep, over on Bandcamp, pay what you want. Have a listen. It's tasty, spacey, dubby niceness.

Three strikes

The Dominion Post's Tom Pullar Strecker has obtained submissions by RIANZ on the copyright infringement review under the Official Information Act. It makes for interesting reading. Full story here.

"... The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (Rianz), which represents major record labels, said that between October and April 26 it ordered internet providers send 2766 infringement notices to people it believed it had caught pirating music, including tracks from Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

It wants to increase that to 5000 notices a month, but said the fees it had to pay internet providers for on-sending the notices would first need to be cut from $25 to $2 or less...

...Rianz said overall use of peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) services had fallen 18 per cent since Skynet, but it estimated that despite the "dent in piracy", New Zealanders were still big cheats.

....The information was contained in submissions made to the Economic Development Ministry, which is reviewing the fees right holders must pay for infringement notices, and were released under the Official Information Act.

....The submissions showed Telecom, TelstraClear and Vodafone each had one customer who had received a final "third strike" enforcement notice, which meant Rianz could have brought them in front of the Copyright Tribunal.

But all three enforcement notices have lapsed without Rianz taking action, meaning those internet users would be back on a clean sheet of "no strikes".

Rianz won't comment on why it hasn't taken action on those three offenders.

InternetNZ chief executive Vikram Kumar said he was pleased Rianz had resisted pulling the trigger. "We don't want to see anyone fined." But he disagreed with rights holders' approach to piracy. "Make material available in time, in the way people want it, and most of the problem will disappear," he said.

Rianz said there were now six music download stores and four "all you can eat" streaming music services operating in New Zealand, with another four streaming services planning to launch in the near future. Many had been encouraged to launch because of the crackdown on piracy, it said.

Fifty-eight of its 2766 infringement notices had been challenged by internet users, but it had adjudged only two of those challenges "valid".

Hold tight! It's Jay Epae

Jay Epae was a Kiwi singer and musician who sold 250,000 copies of his single Putti Putti in Sweden in 1960, after he left NZ for the USA in 1957 - Putti Putti also hit the singles charts in Finland and Norway, charting in the top 10. He eventually returned here, releasing his debut album in 1966, which has just been digitally reissued, more below. He also wrote the hit Tumblin Down for Maria Dallas.

But I reckon his greatest musical contribution is a fantastic dance song called The Creep. John Baker dug it out for his Wild Things Kiwi garage punk compilations in the early 1990s, and it is a totally wicked surf guitar tune. I found this cover of the original seven inch, which has a handy diagram of the dance moves if you want to do The Creep.

Added: I posted a link to the top cover with the photos of Jay doing The Creep on RNZ's Facebook page, and some clever person there made it into an animated gif (source).

From "Jay Epae (1932 -1994) was a Maori pop singer from Manaia, Taranaki, New Zealand. He moved to the United States in 1957. Nick Bollinger's excellent book 100 Essential New Zealand Albums (Awa Press, NZ) included the 1966 Viking release from Jay Epae, titled Hold On Tight! It's Jay Epae.

Now, thanks to Viking Sevenseas, DRM NZ and the good folk at Stebbings, we're able to digitally re-release this classic NZ rock'n'roll album." Listen/buy The Creep here.

From Bruce Sergent's Jay Epae page, at - original material sourced from Social End Product. "The liner notes on the album read as follows :-

"Jay Epae is a young man going places in both the record and song writing worlds. Jay was born in New Zealand and left for the USA in 1957. His first break-through was the recording of 'Putti Putti' which sold over a quarter of a million copies in Scandinavia alone. Listening to these mighty tracks, one immediately senses the strong influence of New Orleans blending with the relaxed Polynesian feel. Jay's own compositions, "Hold On Tight", "Creep", "Tumblin' Down", "What Can I Do", "I'll Cry Tomorrow" and "Under The Palm Trees" show off his natural song writing ability. May you hear a lot more of Jay Epae."

One last single was released on Viking in 1967 called "Your Tender Touch"/"You've Got What It Takes".

From Social End Product (1995): "In a period when cover versions were the overwhelmingly the norm, Jay Epae not only recorded his own material, the sublime "The Creep" being a good example, he wrote a massive 1966 chart hit for Maria Dallas.

Viking Records' Ron Dalton remembers the seeming ease with which Epae came up with the huge Dallas hit, "Tumblin' Down". Only one day after Dalton requested a song, Epae re-appeared with a tune, no guitar, no words on a sheet, the artist had written it in his head. He then sang it to Dalton, who promptly ushered Maria Dallas into the studio to record it, with Epae helping out with the arrangement."

Photo: Nelson Photo News
The follow obituary appeared in the Dominion, Aug 3, 1994 [date sourced via Index NZ], after his death on 29 July, aged 61. Republished in Social End Product.

"Kiwi singing talent rediscovered too late". By Warren Barton

The man who wrote the Maria Dallas sixties hit "Tumblin' Down" is more fondly remembered in Sweden than in New Zealand. Warren Barton reports on the sad end to Jay Epae's burst of fame.

When producer Owe Eriksson decided earlier this year to make a television documentary about the pirate station that in the sixties liberated Swedish radio, he launched a hunt for the man who was its superstar.

His name was Jay Epae and Eriksson found him in New Zealand. Would he, asked Eriksson, return to Sweden and sing just once more the catchy little tune that 30 years ago propelled him to the top of the pops for an astonishing 41 weeks on Radio Nord. He said he would, and got a haircut, but never showed for the television special.

What Jay Epae's disappointed middle-aged Swedish fans didn't know was that the aging Maori entertainer had only a few weeks earlier been rediscovered by his own family, whom he hadn't seen in 14 years. They had found him in the back streets of Brisbane, down and out and ill. That's why they brought him home and why he couldn't make the trip.

Instead he sang one night for nieces and nephews that he hardly knew and for strangers in a Wellington karaoke bar. They were to be his final, farewell performances.

The talented little man from Manaia died last week at the age of 61, better remembered at the other end of the earth than at home where his biggest claim to fame is writing "Tumblin' Down" which won the Loxene Golden Disk Award for Maria Dallas in 1966.

In Sweden, Jay Epae is remembered for "Putti Putti", which was on the flipside of a recording he made of "Hawaiian Melody" in 1960. The 45 sat around for months till suddenly it started getting air time on Radio Nord which for two years bombarded the mainland with pop music and commercials from the MS Bonjour, an old herring schooner anchored just outside the territorial limits.

The result was near hysteria, "Putti Putti" sold 50,000 copies and Epae toured Sweden. "He flared like a super nova" remembers Svante Liden, a reporter on Aftonbladet in Stockholm, "and disappeared as quickly".

Apparently he went back to Australia where he worked for most of his career in clubs before dropping out of sight about 15 years ago. "We didn't know where he was till someone saw him in Brisbane earlier this year" says his brother Roy, who now lives in Melbourne. "I went up to Queensland and found him".

Roy brought him back to Wellington to be near his sister Tui and Hector, one of two brothers who also made a career in show business. Wes was an impersonator with the Maori Hi-Fives [he had toured Sweden with that band, along with Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Their song Poi Poi topped the charts in Sweden in 1963].

Wes now lives in the United States and works the cruise liners, but Hector, who once played piano and sang with the Maori Volcanics, hasn't performed in years. He was there when Jay grabbed the microphone and started to sing in the downtown karaoke bar. "It was beautiful," he says. "Man, that voice of his..."

It's a voice, according to Svante Liden, that's still being heard in Sweden. "As a matter of fact, 'Putti Putti' came on the radio just the other day and everyone in the office stopped to listen. When the song had finished one of my younger colleagues said with a smile, "Things must have been a hell of a lot better in the old days, no?". "Maybe they were, I said. At least for Jay Epae they were."

Cover from Chris Bourke's blogpost on Jay, the Dutch release of the single

Making Tracks reviewed

NZ On Air's Making Tracks scheme celebrated its first birthday this month, and NZOA have announced their initial review of the scheme's progress.

From NZ Herald: Funding boost gives newcomers a start: excerpt... "There was a perception in the old days that the lists [of recipients] were dominated by the same old names," said NZOA's New Zealand music manager Brendan Smyth. "So what we tried to do with that cap was to open up opportunities for artists to come through."

"It's no longer only about commercial radio, it's more about the range of broadcast media ... the whole motivation behind that change was to increase diversity."
  • 1216 applications for funding
  • Funding approved for 324 projects
  • $1.51m for 151 recording and video grants
  • $1.038m for 173 video-only grants
  • Of those 324 projects, 172 deemed mainstream (53 per cent) and 152 alternative
  • 40 per cent of recipients are new artists
Source: New Zealand On Air

NZOA are also doing a more detailed broadcast outcomes and impacts report, due out in mid to late August.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

First Word

Great label sampler from UK crew First Word Records. Check the LeaLea Jones tune, very nice dub version of her tune The Road, that I posted recently. Plus Souleance, Lotek, Border crossing and more.

OMC comeback

Pauly Fuemana. Photo via Simon Grigg's site
Today's Sunday Star Times carries a report on plans to put out some music written by the late Pauly Fuemana...

" ...Now his family could have another reason to celebrate, with his unreleased songs soon to be recorded by musician friends of the Otara Millionaires Club frontman.

"We went out to a few other musicians, like Tiki Taane, to have a look at the unrecorded material," said Fuemana's brother Tony, a music producer.

"We also spoke to guys like Dai Hamo and the friends who knew him well... to pick up some of the vibe."

As well as work on an album of Fuemana's songs, the singer's family and musicians are discussing plans for a tribute tour later this year..." 

Review: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

I was gutted to miss out getting to see Hypnotic Brass Ensemble at their previous NZ appearance, at Womad in March 2010. Pretty much everyone I know who went that year came back raving about them. I also discovered that they had sold 800,000 albums. Seriously. (source: NZ Musician.)

They returned here as part of the huge lineup of The Gorillaz in December 2010, which I managed to catch. They made a great sight on the stage, but got lost in the massive sound of so many musicians. 

Their return here for some shows of their own saw them checking in at The Powerstation (and a show in Wellington) which was packed out. The band meandered onstage about 10.30pm, chatted to the crowd for a little, got themselves set up, and then let rip. 

They blasted their horns while doing some cool choreographed dance steps, it was great to watch. The sound generated by purely brass with a stonking drummer, was really quite incredible. That drummer rock-solid holding down the rhythm, damn, he was good. 

They put down the brass (apart from their tuba player holding down the basslines) and grabbed the mics, rapping for a while, "We get the party started, you get the party jumping..."  I heard after that not everyone dug the rapping but what did you expect? A bunch of young black men from Chicago, and you didn't expect some hiphop element? Get outta here. Purists, take a hike. 

Their set took in references from jazz, New Orleans funk, hiphop, juke and Chicago house. It was a funky, funky journey. 

They dropped Baliki Bon, War, and few brand new tunes which they haven't even recorded yet, they told us. They jumped and jived and worked up a sweat - several of the band took their shirts off, which the ladies in the crowd seemed to approve of. 

They did a shoutout to Taranaki, and to the Maori people. A friend of mine said "that's kinda random." I explained it's cos they went to Taranaki to play at Womad. They also taught the crowd some Chicago slang, like "aaaiiight", which means it's alright. Still don't know what they were talking about when they got onto "you got the noo noo." 

They decided to give away one of their CDs, and went to throw it out to the side of the room that screamed the loudest. They said to the crowd "make sure you catch this, cos we aint got no insurance."

They threw the CD out and it hit someone in the head. That someone was me. 

It whacked me in the face, bounced off my forehead, and the guy behind me caught it, He tapped me on the shoulder and said "You okay? That sconned you right in the face. Here, you have the CD, you deserve it after that." Lucky it was in a cardboard sleeve. 

Probably the trippiest moment of the night was when they got all the stage lights turned off, and made the crowd hold up their cellphones - "get out your lighter if you aint got a cellphone... we gonna take you to Mars..." The band then played an entire song with the stage lit only by cellphones some of which had torchlights built in. It was a freaky, ultra-modern sight. 

They finished the show, came back for an encore, and then headed over to the back to sell some merch and meet the ladies. Mean night. Danced til my feet hurt. Come back soon, please.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, July 21

The Jets - Crush on you - extended version
Afrodisiac sound system -Soul makossa mashup
Pointer sisters - Yes we can can
Rare earth - Big John is my name
Billy Preston - I want to thank you
Quincy Jones - Hummin
Kas Futialo - Kaufeai le nu'u
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Alyo (playing live at the Powerstation tonight, Wellington sunday night)
Wajeed - Jeedo suave
Bongmaster - Brothers and sisters (feat Joe Dukie of Fat Freddys Drop on vocals)
Hopeton Lewis - Sound and pressure
Matic horns - Beware
KC White - No no no
Tokyo ska paradise orchestra - Bg man still standing - Winston Hazel and Marc Woolford remix
Jet Jaguar - Ton - James Skylab rerub
Cotillion - If you give a dance
Meshell Ndegeocello - Who is he and what is he to you
Antibalas - Dirty money 45 edit
 Grover Washington Jr - Inner city blues
Rose royce - Put your money where your mouth is
Concept neuf - The path - Sofrito edit
Hypnotic brass ensemble -Party started

Thursday, July 19, 2012

R.I.P Ms Melodie

Complex Music reports that " Several sources have confirmed that rapper Ms. Melodie from Boogie Down Productions has died, the Urban Daily reports.

The MC (real name Ramona Parker), who was once married to KRS-One in 1988, released her first single in the same year called “Hype According To Ms. Melodie.”

The following year, Diva, was released in 1989 on Jive Records. Her biggest video was “Live On Stage” and gave a memorable performance on the single “Self Destruction.” Ms. Melodie also had the opportunity to appear in Queen Latifah’s video “Ladies First.” The cause of death is unknown, but we will keep you updated as the story unfolds."

ADDED: Washington Post obit. She is survived by two sons. Her maiden name was Ramona Scott, before marrying KRS One (Kris Parker) in 88. They divorced in 1992.

The enemy is US

Judge Harvey has stepped down from handling the Megaupload extradition case, following his reported comments at last week's NetHui conference. The news broke late yesterday afternoon.

"The district court's chief judge Jan-Marie Doogue said Judge Harvey had made the decision to step down from hearing the case.

"He recognises that remarks made in the context of a paper he delivered on copyright law at a recent internet conference could reflect on his impartiality and that the appropriate response is for him to step down from the case.

He [Harvey] referred to a tweet which had played on a reference to cartoonist Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy and he is [the] U.S." NZ Herald.

There has been much discussion on social media on what exactly Judge Harvey said. The reason for this is he said it twice, on the opening day of NetHui. 

Once, in a session led by Judge Harvey, called 'Regulating bad behaviour online'. See notes of that session here

Harvey said "The problem is not technology. The problem is behaviour. We have met the enemy and he is us", referencing cartoonist Walt Kelly.

Russell Brown (@publicaddress) then reported that comment on Twitter as: "Judge Harvey: "The problem is not technology. The problem is behaviour. We have met the enemy and he is us."#nethui" See that tweet here.

Later in the day, at the session on TPP, Judge Harvey said "if I may use Russell's tweet from earlier, we have seen the enemy and he is U.S." Listen to Judge Harvey on this podcast, at 11.10. That's not what Russell wrote, but Harvey's reworking of it.

So, strictly speaking, Judge Harvey rewrote Russell's tweet, and then attributed it incorrectly to Russell, even tho Harvey rewrote it, not Russell.

I asked Russell about this chain of events on Twitter last night as I thought Russell had 'remixed' Harvey's words (switching us to U.S.), and he told me "no, he said it, I tweeted it, *then* he remixed it." 

It's a shame that Judge Harvey won't be involved in the Megaupload proceedings, as he is widely regarded as our most internet-savvy judge, as witnessed by his insightful contributions to the discussions at NetHui.

UPDATED Russell Brown has written on this on his blog, noting that "...In making a play on his own words, Judge Harvey had created a perception of bias that has eventually led to him opting to stand aside from the Kim Dotcom case. He has done the right thing. But it bears reiterating that he was not discussing the Kim Dotcom case at the time..."

ADDED Nat Torkington has written on Judge Harvey's comment, saying the judge is stepping down "Because newspapers took his comments around the potential for more punitive copyright measures in the trade deal, and connected them to the Dotcom case. Once the scandalous connection was made and the implication that the Judge in the Dotcom case was biased, he was screwed. It is newspaper gold: scandal and Dotcom celebrity go hand in hand. So the lie sped around the world and the truth never had a chance to get its pants on." 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rise and fall of The Clash

 New doco directed by Danny Garcia and co-produced by David Mingay (Rude Boy) and Robin Banks, that tells the story of the collapse of one of the most influential bands of the punk era.

Do not buy

Chicago record store Laurie's Planet of Sound have had their Do Not Buy list leaked via Twitter, up now on Stereogum.

"... it makes sense for shops to have guidelines helping to clarify for employees exactly what music to avoid from patrons hoping to trade in old CDs. Still, it must have been embarrassing for Chicago’s Laurie’s Planet of Sound when their “Do Not Never Ever Buy” list leaked to Twitter, even if it is few years old.

The list is stocked with clearly unsellable detritus. Come on, if you have to be told that Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Big Head Todd albums won’t move, should you really be working in a record store?"

Fun supreme

Ja Ja Jackal band photo off single, back cover. From far left, Paul Casserly, ???,
Greg Johnson, ???, Joost Langeveld, ???
Last weekend I went to the Record Collectors Fair at Freemans Bay Community Hall (next one there is on Nov 17) and scored a few cool records. Got a nice album by Undisputed Truth, and a rare slice of Kiwi vinyl from Ja Ja Jackal, and early outfit for Greg Johnson, more on that in a minute.

I saw some even rarer Kiwi vinyl - a copy of the Skeptics first album for $120, and a release I'd never seen before for myself: the Suburban Reptiles - Megaton 12-inch, going for a mere $400. I talked with the seller about it and told him of the Spelling Mistakes single getting reissued by a US label, and he said that a lot of overseas collectors were much more interested in our vinyl history than many NZers were. Sad but true.

Back in 1984, Greg Johnson was in a band called Ja Ja Jackal, alongside Paul Casserly (later of Strawpeople), Joost Langeveld (later in NRA/Greg Johnson Set/Unitone Hifi), Mark Hatherly, James Charlton and Gordon Goodison.

They recorded a 12-inch single for Ode Records at Mascot Studios with Phil Yule engineering and mixing in May 1984 - Fun Supreme /w Back and beyond.  The music is picking up on the whiteboy funk coming out of England at that time from the likes of A Certain Ratio and others.

I've digitised the vinyl for you to check. Listen below. Back and Beyond is available to buy as an mp3 from

Following Ja Ja Jackal, Greg was drafted into another band. He says that "At some point Rafer [Rautjoki] asked me to join [his band] Diatribe. He was tres mellow and also very charismatic. His mother was a pretty radical film-maker called Merita Mita. Auckland’s Polynesian world opened up to me at that point and I met many great people and players."

Diatribe eventually split in two and changed into Seven Deadly Sins. I think the other half of the band formed Soul On Ice, can anyone confirm this or fill me in?

"Rafer and Ross France started the original band and recorded a wonderful self-titled EP [as Diatribe]. Then I joined, followed soon after by Fiona McDonald." She was recruited after a member of Diatribe phoned up BFM and asked who was singing their jingles - source.

"There were quite a few versions, which is why I’m a little vague. The music was essentially a blend of Pacific, ska, reggae and soul with Rafer and Ross doing most of the songwriting. We played everywhere from the Rumba Bar and Mainstreet Cabaret to the Black Power nightclub in South Auckland." From NZ Musician.

Compulsory Allies - No Oppression, off We'll Do Our Best compilation, from 1983.

Before Ja Ja Jackal, Greg was in Compulsory Allies. He says he played his first gig with them, opening for the Instigators at the Uni Cafe at the University of Auckland (source: NZ Musician). This tune is squeaky ska with a very earnest lyric, reflective of that grim post-81 Tour era when NZ was still under the thumb of then Prime Minister Muldoon.

From Simon Grigg: "The sequel to Class Of 81 - [this was] a compilation of new bands put together with Radio B's management. The album was far more experimental than its predecessor with several tracks representing the wave of new electronica sweeping Auckland - a direction Propeller would likely have followed if I hadn't wound it down.

Released March 1983. Recorded at Harlequin, Last Laugh, Mandrill, Progressive, Innovation and Mascot Studios. October 1982 - February 1983. Complied by Simon Grigg, Paul Rose for Propeller; and Andrew Boak, Andrew Hawthorne for bFm. Artwork by Simon Grigg."

 Related: Jules Issa, Dangerous game and Diatribe.

ADDED 9 April 2013: Ja Ja Jackal live, Sweetwaters 1984, 2nd Stage — from left to right: Gordon Goodinson, Mark Hatherly, Joost Langeveld,Greg Johnson and Paul Casserly (behind Greg). Photo from Gordon Goodinson.

Sole Project

Sole Project is on now at Artstation, 1 Ponsonby Rd, til August 4. There's some awesome art worth checking out. A very cool collaboration between artists acting as mentors to teenagers, put together by Sarah Longbottom and Nga Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative....

from the exhibition catalog, one of the young rangatahi talks about the project... Eroni Vesikula: "... working with Darryl [DLT] has been mean. It's the first time for me doing art with spray cans. He's taught me heaps. He's cool and he's honest. He makes me feel valued.

'" I've learnt when doing tapa designs, especially from your culture, to put all of your heart into it. I don't really think about my future much but listening to Darryl is making me think about things."

Darryl DLT Thomson: "This week has been like being with my family, laughing, joking and being serious all in the same breath. It's like going home, really. In a city full of upstarts, it's good to connect, y'know." Their collaboration is pictured below....

 Art by Eroni Veikula and DLT
"Come check out the ka rawe works created by our amazing rangatahi and their mentors, incuding Otis Frizzell, DLT, Dan Tippett, Cerisse Palalagi, Shona Tawhiao, Rongotai Lomas, Joah Paki, Salome Tanuvasa, Chris Ryan and Cora-Allan Wickliffe.

This week Artstation is buzzing with creativity - all works are created over 25 hours of one-to-one mentoring, you will be blown away by the mahi that has been done.

All artworks will be for sale for under $500. Proceeds of from the sale of the artworks are reinvested back into Nga Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative to help fund future projects and assist our rangatahi transition into tertiary art study...."

L-R: Otis Frizzell, DLT, Dan Tippett. Photo by Peter McLennan

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

R.I.P Bob Babbitt, Motown bassist

Motown bassist and Funk Brother Bob Babbitt dies at 74, From The Detroit News

"Bob Babbitt, a bass player for Motown's studio band the Funk Brothers, died Monday morning in a Nashville hospice, according to his son, Joe Kreinar. Babbitt was 74.

The veteran musician, born Robert Kreinar in Pittsburgh, had been battling brain cancer for some time.

"He was a tough man — strong," said his son, Joe. "He could take pain. Right now I miss him deeply, and it's only been a few hours."

Although Babbitt's musicianship was always known to other players, his fame spread to a broader audience after the release of the 2002 film about the Funk Brothers, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown."

Babbitt's bass solo on "Scorpio," the 1971 international smash by Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band, propels the song along so memorably, that, as Detroit bass player Ralphe Armstrong once said, every bass player in Detroit had to be able to play it or they couldn't get a gig.

"His bass solo on 'Scorpio' has not been equaled, when you get right down to it," Coffey said. "That set the bar pretty high for bass players."

It was Babbitt's bass providing the funky bottom on Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion," "Inner City Blues" by Marvin Gaye, among many others.

Yusef beats

Yusef is from Washington DC, and makes some tasty instrumental hiphop beats, have a listen, free download. Check out No Cares Allowed or Mellodrama, nice piano work.  In similar ballpark to his fellow DC resident Maverick, who I posted about here. 


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, July 14

Curtis Mayfield - If there's a hell below... live version
Marc Mac and visioneers - Runnin
Gonzalez - Just let it lay
Restless soul - Turn me out
Top cat - Remix the sytle
Overproof sound system - The model
Matic horns - Satta massa gana
Midnights - Regeneration - Dub asylum remix Free DL here
Zilver zurf - The moment is gone - Kieser Velten remix
Concept neuf - The path  -Sofrito edit 
The Temptations - Stop the war now
Ikebe shakedown - The viking
Bo Diddley  -Hit or miss
Jungle fever - Chakachas  -Greg Wilson edit
The Clash and Futura 2000 - Escapades of Futura 2000
Bing Ji Ling - Hold tight  - Colm K remix
Risco connection - Caught up
Courtney Melody - Stop inform
Audioweb - Faker - Justin Robertson remix
Nicola Conte and Gianluca Petrella - Tema per hifi
Milton Hamilton - We have all the time - Danny Krivit edit
Mr Chop - Giving up food for funk

Friday, July 13, 2012

Jetlag Jinetero

Tehimana Kerr, aka Jetlag Johnson, guitarist for Fat Freddys Drop, has some tasty tunes on his Soundcloud page, check this one out.

He put out as solo album, Defamation Of Character, a few years back as Tehimana Kerr. Available here on Amplifier.

Karriem Riggins debut

From the Stonesthrow crew.... "Karriem Riggins has recorded with everyone from Paul McCartney to Madlib, produced for the likes of Common, Badu and The Roots, but this will be his first album release under his own name. Alone Together, a 34-track instrumental hip-hop album will be released October 23. The vinyl will be released in two parts over US summer and fall."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Record Collectors Fair on saturday

The Record Collectors Fair returns to Freemans Bay Hall this Saturday July 14, 10am til 3pm. It's located on the corner of Wellington Street and Hepburn Street. Get in there! $4 entry fee.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Louis Baker RBMA

Louis Baker is the sole Kiwi selected for the Red Bull Music Academy, held this year in NYC, congrats, sir! He's one of 62 participants selected from 29 countries.

The RBMA team report that in this year's applications "Prince and Brian Eno were the most common musical inspirations. Girls seemed to like Prince more, however.... In comparison to 2011, there was nearly a two-fold increase in the amount of times Stevie Nicks was mentioned as an influence." Mores stats on the applications process here.  

From Red Bull Studios... "Hailing from Newtown Wellington, Aotearoa soul artist, Louis Baker, delivers songs that are matured far beyond his twenty something years.

Louis began playing guitar, writing and composing songs at a young age, which saw him winning various national accolades, including The Primal Youth Acoustic Sessions.

He acknowledges his mother for encouraging him to start singing, and is known for his abil ity to bring the room to a complete stand still with his soulful vocals and endearingly honest lyrics.

Being compared to artists like Jeff Buckley and Curtis Mayfield he draws his influence from greats like the Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, Sly Stone, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Playing regularly in the thriving Wellington music scene, Louis’ solo career is one man and a guitar. “I love the vulnerability of being there alone”, he says.

Having recently completed a tour with The Thomas Oliver Band, Louis can be found performing at various festivals throughout the greater Wellington region. Between performing and writing, Louis is in the studio recording his debut EP.

Sofrito preview mix

Sofrito: International Soundclash preview (mixed by Sofrito), album out July 24. Stream it below... More info at, album launch gig in East London July 20.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Searching for Sugarman

Searching for Sugarman is a very fine music documentary screening at The Film Festival later this month, looking forward to it - screening times here.

It tells the story of Detroit folk rock musician Sixto Rodriguez, who made two under-rated albums in the early 1970s (produced by legendary Motown guitarist Dennis Coffey and his production partner Mike Theodore), before fading from view.

But his albums later gained a huge following in South Africa, Australia and NZ during the 70s and 80s, but efforts by fans to find him proved fruitless, with some speculation that perhaps he was dead, by his own hand.

He wasn't dead - he had left the music industry and was working in construction to support his family. The film Searching For Sugarman tells the tale of his remarkable rediscovery and more.

Rodriguez had his debut album and its followup reissued by Seattle label Light In The Attic in 2008, which led to a resurgence of interest in his work along with live shows, including his live debut on the US west coast(!). He is preforming at the tenth anniversary party for Light In The Attic in September.

MORE INFO: from Huffington Post: 'Searching For Sugar Man': The Unbelievable True Story Of Rodriguez

PLUS watch Rodriguez live in January, with his own bit of advice on what the secret to life is...

Masekela edits

Couple of tasty Hugh Masekela edits, both off his 1984 album Techno Bush. The first is from Australian DJ Hober Mallow (Lachlan Holland).

The second edit is a great tune which got reissued on vinyl a few years back - I'm told it was popular in Auckland clubland back in the day on first release. The original 12-inch also had a great dub mix on it, which you may be able to find floating round the internets. This edit is from Serbian production duo Kompleks.

Monday, July 09, 2012


Spike Lee interviewed by New York magazine... 'Spike Lee Talks Obama, the End of Mookie’s Brooklyn, and the Hollywood Colour Line'

"... You are going to be misquoted, misjudged, or whatever, but this started early. Joe Klein said Do the Right Thing was going to incite riots ... I remember this one line: Opening this weekend, “in not too many theatres near you, one hopes.” So it is not new.

And now the president says it’s the film he took his wife to on their first date.

Yeah, I’d say Joe Klein maybe had that wrong.

It must be pretty amazing that Obama took Michelle to Do the Right Thing.

When he was sizing Michelle up, this fine woman, he said, “How am I going to impress her?” I always kid him, good thing he didn’t choose motherf#cking Driving Miss Daisy or she would have dumped his ass right there..."

New Dub Asylum video - modtastic!

Right at the end of last year I got out a new Dub Asylum EP, called Stereo Freeze. I recently bought a new computer recently (well, new to me) so I can do some video editing, and here's a funky little music video for Jumping Jack Skank, a tune off the EP.

Poi-e disco drums edit

A while back, Amplifier reissued the 12-inch disco mix of Kiwi classic Poi-e, by the Patea Maori Club. There is some great percussion bleeps and thumps in the disco dub mix, so I decided to chop em up into a saucy re-edit. Download and  enjoy! Cheers. More on the reissue...

From Amplifier: " It started with a question on Twitter. Peter McLennan (Dub Asylum, Hallelujah Picassos) asked "Any plans to release the Poi E 12?". That was news to us and Jayrem Records, we didn't even know it existed.

A quick search was done through Dalvanius's archive at Jayrem and a mention of the 12" was found in his recording notes, but frustratingly there were no master tapes.

Once again Twitter came to the rescue, with P-Money getting in contact to say that he had a mint condition copy of the 12" that we could borrow.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks Stebbings in Auckland transferred the tracks from the vinyl and carried out a restoration to bring them back to life.

And now, for the first time since 1983, here is the Poi E 12", released digtially, with 4 versions of Poi E and a live version of the haka, Taranaki Patere."

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, July 7

 MAW and George Benson - The ghetto/El barrio
Eddie Kendricks - Boogie down
Joubert Singers - Stand on the word
Nona Hendryx - Transformation
Owiny sigoma band - Nabed nade ei piny ka
Spontaneous overthrow - Money
Jet Jaguar - Timmix - Shanalog remix
Esther Stephens - Asahi feat Homebrew
Eric B and Rakim - Don't sweat the technique - Jim Sharp edit
Joanie Sommers - Don't pity me
Esther Phillips - Just say goodbye
Bill Withers - You got the stuff
Graham central station - The jam
Cubalooba - Cubalooba
Criminal element orchestra - Needle on the record
Deelite - Groove is in the heart - JT edit
Big Youth  -Waterhouse rock - Groove corp remix
LeaLea Jones feat Horace Andy - The road
Manasseh - Pepper dub
Candi Staton - Do your duty - Pepe Braddock remix
Antibalas - Dirty money 45 edit
MAW - MAW expensive

Friday, July 06, 2012

Sola Rosa remixed

Ahead of their forthcoming North American tour starting July 12, Sola Rosa has a bunch of great remixes up for streaming/free download over at Giant Step, go here.

Included are 4 brand new mixes, including the infectious “Love Alone” ftSpikey Tee remixed by KCRW’s Jeremy Sole.

Tracks are...
1. Turn Around ft. Iva Lamkum (DJ Alias Remix)
2. Love Alone ft Spikey Tee (Jeremy Sole ‘Dub Alone’ Mix)
3. Del Ray (Thomas Blondet Remix)
4. Turn Around Ft. Iva Lamkum (DJ Vadim Remix)
5. Humanised Ft. Bajka (Jason Eli’s Groovadelica Remix)
6. Turn Around ft Iva Lamkum (Dublex Inc Remix)

Tour Dates
July 12 – Victoria Ska Festival @ Club 9ONE9- Victoria, BC, CANADA
July 13 – Garibaldi Lift Co. – Whistler, BC, CANADA
July 14 – The Shakedown, Bellingham, WA
July 15 – Nectar Lounge (All Ages) – Seattle, WA
July 17 – Humboldt Brews (21+) – Arcata, CA
July 18 – HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol, CA
July 19 – Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA
July 20 – The Malibu Inn – Malibu, CA
July 21 – Levitt Pavilion @ Memorial Park – Pasadena, CA
July 22 – Levitt Pavilion @ MacArthur Park – Los Angeles, CA

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Pharcyde dates announced

The Pharcyde: Bootie Brown and Imani
Official dates for The Pharcyde's first ever trip to NZ have been announced, following earlier release of presale tickets for their Auckland show last Friday. Coming to Wanaka, Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. The lineup for this tour is Bootie Brown and Imani - the original lineup (including ex-members Slimkid Tre and Fatlip) reformed a few years back for the Rock the Bells tour, but they are not coming here.

As noted previously on this blog, former members Tre and Fatlip took part in a tribute to their debut album in May..." celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Pharcyde's seminal album, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, label Delicious Vinyl threw a huge party at the Roxy.... While SlimKid3 (pronounced "Slim Kid Tre") and Fatlip performed, the other two original members critical to Bizarre Ride's creation — Imani and Bootie Brown — were noticeably absent." The latter two retain the rights to the band's name.  More on that story here.

Tour dates...

Thu 16 Aug, Mint Bar, Wanaka - Tickets available online NOW via Dash Tickets -
Limited $45 + BF earlybird tickets available, followed by $55.00 + BF general release tickets.

Fri 17 Aug, San Francisco Bath House, Wellington - Tickets available online NOW via Dash Tickets - or physically at Dash Tickets outlets Cosmic Corner, Rough Peel Music, Marbecks, Hutt Valley i-SITE Visitor Centre and Student Central Massey Wellington
Limited $45.00 earlybird tickets available, followed by general admission tickets at a higher fee.

Sat 18 Aug, Studio, Auckland - Tickets available online NOW via iTicket - Also available physically at Real Groovy and Conch Records. Limited $40 early bird tickets available, followed by $59 first release GA tickets

Sun 19 Aug, Dux Live, Christchurch - Tickets available online NOW via Dash Tickets -
Limited $45.00 + BF Earlybird tickets available, followed by $55.00 general release tickets

Watch: Runnin by The Pharcyde, produced by a then unknown J Dilla back in 1995...


Groove is....

Another tasty mashup from Birmingham's own JT. Nice work. Check his Stevie Wonder reggae mashups.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Wu Tang

Last Thursday I ended up chatting on Twitter about Wu Tang Clan (called it #wutangthursday), and a bunch of people threw their fave songs from that crew in my direction - best one was this video for Gravel Pit, which I'd  never previously seen. Damn, its awesome.

As one commenter says, "Man, this video has it all, Wu tang clan, hot chicks, dinosaurs, ninjas, and most importantly, prehistoric gambling."

Staying with the Wu for a second... Via Potholes in my blog: "Calling all RZA and, well, Wu-Tang Clan fans in general: the trailer for his new movie, The Man With The Iron Fists, has finally hit the web. It’s produced by Quentin Tarantino, features a score composed by RZA along with tracks from Kanye West and the Black Keys, and looks pretty goddamn rad. And violent, of course, because what good Kung Fu film isn’t loaded with blood and guts? Plenty, I’m sure, but not this one. Watch the trailer below."

On U

Short On-U-Sound documentary, from 2009, talking about the state of the music industry, and how will studios or artists survive.

LeaLea Jones with Horace Andy

Great single from UK-based singer LeaLea Jones, love The Road. Think I need this on wax. Out now on First Word Records. Video for AK47 below.

"This single is the result of her collaboration with producer/drummer Jack Baker (Bonobo/Alice Russell) whom she met through award-winning singer Andreya Triana. These two tracks are the first products of a full length album that they are working on. Side A is the reggae influenced 'The Road' featuring vocals from the legendary Horace Andy whilst on the flip is the fiery 'AK-47' with conscious lyrics layered over a stuttering hook-laden beat."

The single is out now on a limited edition 7" and download. You can pick up a copy hereLondoners can catch LeaLea's live show at Wah Wah 45s' event at The Queen Of Hoxton on July 6th. Info here.

Monday, July 02, 2012

New Antibalas

New music on the way from Antibalas, their new self-titled album is out August 7, produced by Gabe Roth at Daptone Studio. Their US tour kicks off August 10, tour dates here.

Stream a radio/45 edit of their new single "Dirty Money" below, grab a download over here at The Guardian.

Ali Campbell owed $ by Raggamuffin Fest

Ali Campbell. Photo: Sunday Mercury
Ali Campbell's UB40 played at the last Raggamuffin Festival as headliners. Campbell is in the news here, as he is one of the judges announced for the tv show NZ's Got Talent.

The NZ Herald reported at the weekend that he "is returning to New Zealand to help uncover a new generation of performers - and banish unpleasant memories of his last visit.

...Campbell, who has been performing for 30 years, is still smarting about an Australian-based music promoter, Andrew McManus, and the row they are having after he headlined the Raggamuffin music festival in Rotorua in January.

McManus says he accepts responsibility for a $27,000 tax bill but he had already had paid Campbell £160,000 ($313,000).

Campbell, for his part, said he "did [McManus] a favour" by playing this year after slow festival ticket sales.

"UB40 played [in 2008], and then Ziggy Marley and then I played with my band but then they got Mary J Blige to headline - and she's not a reggae performer. So he [McManus] rang me and asked me to come [back]."

Campbell said that after he performed and "saved" the show, McManus failed to pay all of his bill. He would not say what he was paid.

"He said to me, 'I'd never cheat you, Ali, you're my brother' ... I won't be working with him again."

McManus Entertainment runs the festival in both Australia and New Zealand but pulled out of this year's Australian leg because of poor sales.

The Australian promoters' New Zealand company - Andrew McManus Presents - went into liquidation in March last year just before it was due in court for a legal battle with band Pacific Herbs. The company owed creditors $394,000.

McManus was emotional when he told the Weekend Herald that he would always be grateful to Campbell for his support and credits him with coming up with the Raggamuffin idea. He wanted to make things right.

"I owe Ali, Ali's going to get paid. Ali's my buddy, Ali and I have been through a lot together. I love him. I've never had a one-on-one to explain it to him. I didn't even realise it was an issue.

"If you said to me, Andrew have you made some wrong decisions in the last 24 months, I'd say 100 per cent yes, I have." NZ Herald story here. 

Previous posts: Herbs vs Raggamuffin (March 26 2011), The man behind Raggmuffin (Dec 28, 2011) Raggamuffin rumblings(Dec 8 2010)

UPDATED: Dec 4 2012, Ali Campbell's UB40 has been added to the bill at Raggamuffin, and he's also playing a show in Auckland, with Toots and the Maytals. Any outstanding issue must has been settled, tho Campbell has told the NZ Herald he thinks Raggamuffin went off-track when they booked acts like Mary J Blige, Billy Ocean and Lauryn Hill, and they should be reggae only.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pharcyde touring NZ

The Pharcyde have announced a live show in Auckland for August 18 at The Studio, presales up now at iticket... the 20th anniversary tour.... Wellington show rumoured for Aug 17.

The lineup coming here according to the promoter will be Bootie Brown and Imani, with a possible third member coming also.

As you can see from this recent story in the LA Weekly, Fatlip and SlimKid3, ex members of The Pharcyde recently performed their former group's album Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde in it's entirety, but Bootie Brown and Imani were absent.

"...Last month, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Pharcyde's seminal album, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, label Delicious Vinyl threw a huge party at the Roxy. The club was filled to capacity with fans eager to see the work performed in its entirety; it was so packed that even the show's publicist couldn't get in.

...While SlimKid3 (pronounced "Slim Kid Tre") and Fatlip performed, the other two original members critical to Bizarre Ride's creation — Imani and Bootie Brown — were noticeably absent. Turns out only the latter two, lesser-known, artists are legally allowed to use the Pharcyde handle, while the better-known ones (SlimKid and Fatlip) tiptoe around it."

ADDED: A different take on the Pharcyde, via

"Brown and Imani continued the Pharcyde Ride, having their attorneys look into their former record label’s accounting, as they felt they were never properly compensated for their works while on the label, which included never receiving any royalties for any of their recordings. They informed Tré of their plans to pursue this venture, asking for him to go in with them on it so they could all reap the benefits of whatever was being held back. According to them, Tré did the opposite, and reported their plans to Mike Ross and Delicious Vinyl.

While the end result of these actions is that that royalties are now indeed being paid, Imani and Brown believe the label being tipped off prevented them from obtaining everything they are rightfully owed...."


Great acoustic performance from the king of the meoldica, Augustus Pablo, with Hugh Mundell. First half is Augustus on guitar, then switches to melodica. Hat tip to Keegan for the link

Thursday, June 28, 2012

White Stripes free screening

White Stripes at Freemans Bay Primary. Spot the school piano on the right
"October 2003 - The White Stripes are touring the world in support of their acclaimed fourth album 'Elephant', which contains their massive world-wide hit 'Seven Nation Army'. 

Jack and Meg had always wanted to play at an elementary school, and finally got the opportunity at Freemans Bay Primary School in Auckland.

They played seven songs during an intimate lunchtime show for the pupils and staff in the school's auditorium, all recorded on one VHS camera. There was little advance warning and no media present.

The footage taken that day has never been released before. It is now being issued as part of Third Man Records 'Vault' series.

Real Groovy Records are pleased to announce they will be holding an in-store, one time only public screening of this unique performance on Thursday the 28th of June at 7pm. Admission is free."

Dominic Roskrow 91

I dug this article out after a conversation with ex-pat Andrew Dubber, who has crossed paths with Dominic Roskrow, now a reknowned whisky reviewer and writer. 

Dubber remembers Roskrow as a music journo at the Herald "...with whom I never, ever agreed – at first, as a matter of taste, and then, as time went on, as a matter of principle." He even wrote a piece in 2007 on how he bought records based on Roskow's reaction: "It got to the point that for quite a few years I was able to buy a record entirely unheard simply because Dominic Roskrow had hated it."

Now, Dubber is also a whisky blogger and he wrote in that piece "Just wait till I know a thing or two, and I’ll be happy to cross imaginary swords with Dominic Roskrow again." 

And then he did meet Roskrow, at a whisky event in Scotland in late 2010. They bonded over a mutual love of the music of Shayne Carter, after Roskrow had rumbled Dubber for his earlier post. "Dominic and I got on very well together indeed… which is just as well, really – because on day two, they gave us weapons...." 

Roskrow popped up on Twitter recently when Dubber and I were discussing that era, and mentioned he still had the interview I did with him. He's on Twitter here: @Whiskytasting.

From Stamp magazine, July 1991 by Peter McLennan

Dominic Roskrow: The Last Word

So, the Herald's infamous rock writer is leaving - a nation of black jerseyed Stamp readers rejoice loudly. But just who is Dominic Roskrow , and who the hell does he think he is? Well few people in this town even know what he looks like, a bit of an enigmatic figure, really. By the time you read this he will have jumped ship - yes folks, Dominic gets the last word.

This interview may enlighten you to his views, confirm your worst fears, or just plain upset you. Ah, ain't opinions fun? First big question, what suburb do you live in Dominic? "Grey Lynn." Well, there's that mystery solved.

He got his start in journalism at the Sheffield Star in England, moving into music reviews, came to New Zealand to work on the Sun, took over the Entertainment section and when that folded, moved to the Herald after Colin Hogg's departure. He's been here nearly four years now, so what made him leave his native land?

"Well, the mining strike killed off Sheffield as a community, I saw a lot of what I believed in destroyed, I was very disillusioned - the Sun advertised, I got the job, came here for six months, and stayed."

He arrived here already a fan of New Zealand music: "I got into REM, Thin White Rope, picked up on Aussie guitar bands, Hoodoo Gurus, Go Betweens, the Triffids, then it wasn't a big step to be given a Chills album, then I wanted the Verlaines - I imported a lot through a record shop in Sheffield, so I came here quite knowledgeable, I've always been fond of it.

“I think it was very hard to be accepted by people in the music scene - I never claimed to always get it right, I never claimed the way I approach my journalism was always right, I said this is how I do it, and my opinion is it's right and and your opinion is just as valid if it's not.

“You can't divorce what I do from what Graham Reid does, because we play off each others strengths - he's very knowledgeable about local music, its history, and I know more of what's happening with music overseas. We sit down each week, as a policy, and decide whats going to be covered, and if Graham wasn't there I would've done it,and could've done it, it's just he's better at it."

What changes has he seen in local music during his time here? "I've seen the rock scene break down barriers, the fact that Push Push will play with the Nixons and MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave is a big step up. In the heavy-rock scene, an area I checked out when I first got here, it's exciting to see bands like Push Push starting to identify a New Zealand sound within the genre, and I think New Zealand has got over its inverted snobbery toward heavy rock music - 'cos ' like it or not, those people are dedicated, they work hard at it, and even if it's not to everyone's taste, I think it's patronising to assume it can't be important. And the traditional viewof Flying Nun as electric folkies is finally going - perhaps the biggest change is people here are more open minded than when I first came here".

Now, here's where we put ol' Dom on the spot. What do you think of Stamp?

"Well, I think it's great that Stamp has got people going out and seeing new bands. I read every word of your magazine, cos as far as I'm concerned that's where the filtering process begins.

“Someone from the Stamp crowd once stopped me in the street outside Cause Celebre on Xmas eve last year and harangued me - they said shouldn't I be going out and breaking new bands and wasn't that my job? No it's not, that's the job of the Stamps, Monitors etc.

“Of course every journalist wants to be first to break a new band, but there's only one of me, and even if I did see everything, the Herald wouldn't publish it. I also know that there are people out there whose opinion is a lot more on the ball than mine is these days. At the same time I think Stamp should get past its problem of having to impress a certain number of people. I read the REM review in the last issued and it's an apology for liking a record, and I can't understand that.

“I think to be opinionated is great. Having to apologise for something is ridiculous, and I'm not having a go there, ifts just that Stamp is respected, and it should be opinionated - it can be opinionated about me, that's fine, but it can't be opinionated about REM without worrying what someone's friends think."

How do you feel about the term 'Roskrowed' entering popular usage? 

"I'm flattered. I've always taken issue with the term as its usage implies that I missed support bands and that isn't what happened. I didn't review support bands and thats a totally different thing. I find it funny though, the number of times I saw other people Roskrow, I think other writers do it more than I do. The fundamental difference between Stamp, Rip It Up and the Herald is that I only have twelve paragraphs, on an average of thirty words a paragraph. Now you tell me you can do justice to a band in three paragraphs or less - I don't think you can do it."

I suggest that for local bands, failing to get a mention at an overseas support, a high point in their career, is very disheartening.

"I accept that, after that point was made to me on BFM, I started to introduce the name of the support band on the heading, but it's very patronising to review an overseas band and at the bottom to add, oh one of our bands supported them. If you go over the support bands, a high numberof them have been reviewed in the Herald.

“You see, when people say they want to be mentioned in print, what they mean is they want to have a good review in print. If I see a good band supporting an international act, I will try and go and see them and review them in their own right. This argument goes round and round, people will go 'sure, but they were playing with an international act and should be recognised as such'. I choose not to. There's no right or wrong on it. I'm under pressure from the Herald's editorial policy to be reasonably populist, the restrictions, whether they're fair or not, are there.''

Dominic Roskrow, 1991. Photo: Stamp/Sonoma Message

As for live coverage after Dominic departs, who can tell? "The live reviewing side is a freelance job, I'm paid separately to do that, it's extra to what I do - my replacement Jill Graham works shifts on the news desk, and I at least had every night free, so I really hope live coverage stays, but there will probably be a period of readjustment.

“The old school journos at the Herald do not see music as a valid art form, they say to me 'what you're doing is promotional work, and lets face it, it's not very important stuff anyway'. And that's not the view of the editor and the features editor, who are very supportive. Every word we write has to be checked and approved. Mention drugs, big issue! I got pulled to pieces on a story I wrote on the Happy Mondays earlier this year, I was told the managing director was livid, that was the word they used. So it's hard.

'Rock criticism in this country |has improved a lot, I still think it needs to be more cocky. I read someone like Nick D'Angelo - he's opinionated and I take great offence at what he says- but I always read it because it's great entertainment and I think that we still have to understand that in rock journalism, at the end of the day it's entertainment - sure, it's important to the bands, important that it's taken seriously - but a very high proportion of the public aren't interested in po-faced journalism. It's the ability to accept where the job ends and where the entertainment begins.

“All anyone should ask for is that their rock critic is liked or disliked as critics, and not as people. I mean, people who'll never met me can't say what I'm like. For example, when I first met my girlfriend Natalie, she told someone that she'd met me, and she was told that I was a womaniser, she wouldn't last ten minutes with me, and I was someone to have no respect for. But I didn't know this, and I met these people sometime later and knew nothing of it, sat down and chatted, had a good time, and they later admitted to Natalie that they were totally wrong about me.

''I don't like that bitching behind the back scene, it's really destructive - it's bigger of someone to say 'we've got nothing against you but I dont like your writing'. I just hope the Butthole Surfers really do put their review on the cover of their next record.

''In this country I still think that if you climb out of the trenches, (and I hate using war analogies) you'll find most of the bullets come from behind. Its like, the only time you hear this term chart hype is when a local band gets in the charts - 'do you really think they sold that many records?' You never hear that when John Smith from England goes top ten, but as soon as it's a local band...''

In recent months, your reviews have been getting more extreme - either unqualified praise or hellfire and damnation - what's going on, Dominic?

"See I'm free now so as far as I'm concemed I can openly say exactly what I like about bands, I'm probably more opinionated now that I'm leaving than I've ever been. I think I've got as far down the road as I'm going to, and I'm aware that without going more over the top, I'm in danger of repeating myself - I find myself looking at my use of words and saying hey I said that weeks ago or whatever.

“I think I've started to lose the passion for what I do in terms of writing, I'm not enjoying music as much as I did, I'm looking forward to listening to music as a fan, rather than having to write about it. So when I come back, I'll come back as a fan, and I'll actually pay to get into bands.

"The other thing is, and I have to say this, all I've ever done - I don't care if people accept this or not - but I've always fought very hard to make sure there was a certain amount of integrity in the music scene - and what we're battling against is a corporatism of rock, to the point where journalists are meant to be under record company promotional guidelines.

"I'm very disillusioned with the way music these days is treated as a product and the people who work in the music industry (with some notable exceptions and I always say that 'cos I always get in trouble with this comment), those people don't love music, they don't go out and see bands, they're people who, if you're not doing them a favour by giving them a good review - they're not really interested in you. They are people who go home at six o'clock to a life that has nothing to do with music.

“I have an admiration for Stamp, 'cos they are people who care. Deep down, whatever these people have said about me at Stamp, the reason they've done it is cos they genuinely care, and that to me is the most important thing of all.''

What bought about your decision to depart?

''My reasons for going are personal ones, I need to spend time with my family, but I'll be back in New Zealand within the year. I'm passionately anti-Thatcher (even though she's gone), I've been back three times now, each time seeing my England drift away from me.

“It really dawned on me when - well, I've always been a snob about France, typical English, and last time I was back, I went to Paris, and it wasn't just seeing my girlfriend that made Paris, it was the Parisians, talking to them about nuclear policy, the Pacific, very friendly people. I made the effort to speak French, and the only time I was unhappy during my whole holiday was in Normandy, a group of young English tourists came through, they were beer nasties, out to drink and pillage - I know it's foreigners abroad and all that, but I looked at them and I refused to speak English, and it was like a small version of Dances with Wolves.

“When I was in Paris I thought, one; I do want to come back to Europe for a while; and, two, I do want to break my links with England so I can make my home in New Zealand. Maybe I'm over the top 'cos I'm leaving and I'm a bit emotional about is all; I sometimes think some people don't believe it... they say 'wow, you're so lucky to be going' and I am, I choose to go, I dont have to. There are things I have to do over there, and that's so I can come back here and break that link once and for all."

Say goodbye, wave hello.