Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, July 28



IQU - Paper dolls
Sheila E - Love bizarre
Gwen Guthrie - Ticket to ride
Junior Murvin - Bad weed
Herbs - French letter dub
Mr Vegas - Lean wid it
Sister Nancy - Big beat bam remix
Krafty kuts - Come alive
Edwin Starr - H.A.P.P.Y. radio - Peter Mac edit
Rodriguez - Only good for conversation
Cymande - Gettin it back - Keep schtum rework
Roberta Flack - Go up Moses
The makers - Don't challenge me
Temptations - Masterpiece
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Sankofa
James Brown - The bose -Geisha boys remix
Joni Rewind - Uptown top ranking
Chinchillaz - Tiger
Silent poets - Shalom - Mad professor remix
Three the hard way - Hiphop holiday (digitial reissue out now)
Nuyorican soul - Black gold of the sun
War - Southern part of Texas


Friday, July 27, 2012

Reggae on screen

The SoundVision Reggae Film Festival. is coming your way from late July. A cosy Sunday night event of inspiring cinema on deluxe sofas, with a 5000 watt soundsystem, Kohu Rd gourmet icecream, good coffee and a full bar. Showing 5 films from around the world fortnightly, starting with... 

Opening night: The Upsetter- 29th July 7.30pm, at Galatos.
The definitive life story about Jamaican musical legend Lee 'Scratch' Perry. "The most eye-catching and electrifying archival footage of any music doc in recent memory"- Discovery Channel





Musically Mad 12th August 7.30pm 
Musically Mad takes you into the hearts and heads of the singers and soundmen, the backbone of the UK roots reggae sound systems. With them they bring the deepest bass and the highest chants, delivered by massive stacks of speakers and custom-built sound equipment. For some, attending a sound system dance is a religious experience, channelled through the music and the message. For others it`s the natural way to connect with the music they love. Either way, sound system culture is growing and changing.

The dances were crucial in lifting the spirits of the Caribbean exiles in the UK, helping them to forget their hardships. Something that reggae and sound system culture now does worldwide, regardless of colour or nationality. Musically Mad  is the story of the people pushing reggae to the masses.





Holding on to Jah 26th August 7.30pm
Holding On To Jah details the history of Jamaica, Reggae music, and the Rasta movement, bringing into focus the critical roles played by Marcus Garvey, and the 225th Emperor of Ethiopia, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie.

Reggae is the sound track that sets the history and struggle of the Rasta people, and of all Jamaicans, to music. Candid interviews with some of Reggae's greatest singers and musicians (some of whom are no longer with us) tell a collective story of hard times that were endured and overcome because of their great faith.

The film takes viewers on a journey to the heart of the Rasta movement and shows us how, against great odds, a message of salvation and redemption was born. With courage, tenacity, and faith, the Rastafarian movement emerged, struggled, and continues to thrive. Through all their tribulations they continue to stand firm in their convictions, HOLDING ON TO JAH.



Dub Echoes 9th September 7.30pm

“Dub Echoes” is a documentary that traces the origins of the Jamaican dub music and it’s influence on the development of hip hop and electronic music.The film shows how the Jamaican invention called dub ended up influencing much of the music we hear today, from electronic music to hip-hop, transforming the studio in a musical instrument and giving way to all of sonic experiments.

“Dub Echoes” was produced by a Brazilian crew, in Kingston (Jamaica), London (UK), NY, Washington, LA (US), Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (Brazil). Key names, from both reggae and the electronic music world, talk about the birth of this genre, how it helped to change the way we perceive music and how it’s presence can still be felt today.






Manfree 23rd September 7.30pm
Manfree is an honest look at everyday people in Jamaica. Rich stories told from the mouths of people like Masterblaster - a taxi driver and Brushy One - an amazing one-stringed guitarist. Man Free sheds a light on real life in Jamaica. It's not all reggae and good times. It's a land full of conflict and struggle and a yearning for a better life. But through all the hardships, you come to realise Jamaicans are truly people of grace



Closing night - The Upsetter 7th October 7.30pm

Hiphop Holiday!


Liner notes, for 3 The Hard Way digital reissue of Old Skool Prankstas, out today. The band had planned to reissue this back in 2003, when they released their 2nd album, but no one in the band had a copy! I found one in Real Groovy last month and passed it to their label, and whipped up some liner notes, and now....

THREE THE HARD WAY started out as a West Auckland hiphop crew consisting of Mighty Boy C (Chris Ma’ia’i), DJ Mike Mixx (Mike Paton) and DJ Damage (Lance Manuel). The group signed to Deepgrooves on a single by single basis in 1993.

The first single they delivered to the label was Hiphop Holiday, a very clever flip of 10CC’s hit Dreadlock Holiday with a cool reggae breakdown mid-song featuring Bobbylon of Riot Riddum Sound System/Hallelujah Picassos guesting. It came out in early 1994.The song was produced by the band and Angus McNaughton at Incubator Studio.

It hit number one in New Zealand - the first local hiphop song to ever achieve that - and stayed there for several weeks, and made it to number 5 on the Australian pop charts.

The sudden success of the single led to the band being sent on a 40 day Australian tour by their label with only seven days notice. “In the six days between then and when we left”, said Boy C, “we had to record our album.... and because we’d only been signed up on single deals, we only had two or three other songs that we’d even really played around with. So we were writing and making mistakes as we went.”

The Australian tour proved very successful. Boy C: “We were headlining gigs ... and playing to between 3,000 and 5,000 people. We did 50 gigs in 40 days ... it was quite mad, a definite eye opener. The weirdest thing was that Brisbane seemed to be populated with West Aucklanders: I was looking out at the crowd and saw people from school!” [Above quotes with Boy C from Hiphop Music In Aotearoa, by Gareth Shute, published 2004.]



The single’s success should have been a huge payday for the group, but Deepgrooves failed to clear it with 10CC’s publishers, even after its release. The group had replayed the melody from Dreadlock Holiday, not sampled it.

Three The Hard Way released several other singles, then their debut album Old Skool Prankstas in 1994, which went platinum the following year.

They took an extended break, reuniting in 2001 as a two piece (DJ Damage was no longer in the group) to work on a new album with Alan Jansson (OMC writer/producer), called Eyes on the Prize, which came out in 2003 on Joy Records, the label run by Alan and Simon Grigg.

The first single off the album It’s On went to number one in the NZ charts, knocking Scribe’s Not Many off the top slot.

In an interview with NZ Musician in 2003, the group revealed the reason for the extended break.
“We sat out the last four or five years of our recording contract with Deepgrooves,” says Boy C “We weren’t too happy. There were a few things that happened over that time and we decided that the only satisfactory way we could go about it was to sit out the rest of the contract and not release anything.”

The article says that at that time (2003) the group had only recently regained the rights to their first album. I understand they had planned to reissue it back then, but no one in the band had a copy!

I recently found a copy in Real Groovy and passed it onto Simon Grigg, and now it’s getting a digital reissue, with a few added bonus tracks from their singles, like the Zane Lowe remix of What I Gotta Do. Hip hop hooray!

— By Peter McLennan (musician, DJ, and author of a forthcoming book on Deepgrooves, due out in 2013).

You can download a copy of the liner notes and original cd artwork from here (2mb pdf)

Available from Amplifier.co.nz today, and iTunes (NZ and Aust).


ADDED: Interview I did with Radio 95BFM's Charlotte Ryan, on Aug 7, download podcast here.




THREE THE HARD WAY DISCOGRAPHY
Hip Hop Holiday, single, 1994
Many Rivers single, 1994
All around (for tha funk), single, 1994
Old Skool Prankstas album, 1994
What I Gotta Do single, 1995
Eyes On The Prize, album, 2003
It’s On single, 2003

BONUS TRACKS with this 2012 reissue:
Hip Hop Holiday (Radio Mix) from Hip Hop Holiday single, and What I Gotta Do - Zane Lowe Remix/Instrumental from What I Gotta Do single.




Resonators dub

Tasty dub from The Resonators, grab it!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jay Epae - Jungle speaks

Jay Epae headed to the USA in 1957, eventually scoring a record deal. Here's a few of his singles, my fave is Jungle speaks.

"His first single was released on the American Mercury label. It came out in 1960 and was "Hawaiian Melody"/"Putti Putti". This was followed in 1961 with "Hula Cha"/"It's Driving Me Wild". 1962 saw "Wassa Matta You"/"Dance With Me Lulu" and "Hokey Pokey Hully Gully"/"Jungle Speaks". A switch to the American Capitol label gave him two more singles in 1962, "Coffee Grind"/"My Girl" and "Surfin On Waikiki"/"Patu Patu". Source.








Jay Epae's brother Wes, was a member of the Maori Hi Five. They topped the charts in Sweden for several weeks in 1963 with their song Poi Poi and toured there as well, alongside Duke Ellington and Count Basie. Watch the excellent Maori TV documentary on them here - Mary & The Maori Hi Five - Unsung Heroes of Māori music.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Clash Canada Undertones



In which a random English girl talks about being a ligger, Kosmo Vinyl counts the number of ripped out seats at the venue post-show, and Joe Strummer disses the Buzzcocks  - "they're getting sloppy in  their old age." Then The Undertones turn up and explain what life is like in Northern Ireland, with a toy machine gun...

"Complete interview segment of the Clash backstage at the O'Keefe Centre in Toronto, Canada with the Undertones which was originally broadcast on CITY TV's New Music Program in 1979. The New Music was hosted by J.D. Roberts (aka CNN's John Roberts) and Jeanne Bekker. "

Searching for Mr Manuva

Border Crossing have recently signed with First Word Records, this collection pulls together a bunch of old and new tunes of theirs. Go grab Searching for Mr Manuva, it's a monster of a tune.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HxH Dirty Dishes




"The OBSG collective have come together to bring you their latest track entitled, "Dirty Dishes" "Dirty Dishes" features Hazardous Raisins on the production and Rodney Hazard, Pop, and Raisin on the vocals. As though lost in a meditative activity like washing dishes, each artist on Dirty Dishes navigates through his thoughts.

This is only the beginning of what is to come from their upcoming album, "Guns x Gold" hosted by The Find Magazine (www.TheFindMag.com) dropping August 14th."

Rose is a rose

Rose Royce edits. Cos you can never have too much Rose Royce...







Monday, July 23, 2012

Spacedust

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!



Jay Epae was a Kiwi singer and musician who sold 250,00 copies of his single Putti Putti in Sweden in 1960, after he left NZ for the USA in 1957. 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 Amplifier.co.nz: "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 Sergent.com.au - 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.