Saturday, December 15, 2012

Max TV remembered

From RipitUp, Jan 1998. Click to enlarge

I wrote an article for RipItUp published in April 1999, looking at the state of local music videos. For that piece, NZ On Air's Brendan Smyth told me “At one point there, around the end of 1997, we had about four hundred hours of music television a week, with Max, Cry, MTV, Dog TV, Juice. And then it went down to four hours a week, very much feast or famine.”

Here is a piece then RipItUp editor Murray Cammick wrote in early 1998 on the demise of Max TV. It was a huge loss for the Auckland music scene, at the time. I remember going up to the Max TV studio, above the Ponsonby PO on the final night, to say hello to my buddy John Pain who was operating the control desk for the final hours. It was a sad night.

By Murray Cammick, RipItUp, p7, #245, January 1998

The closure of Max TV on Wednesday Dec 3 was a confusing event. There was a willing buyer (TVNZ's company BCL) and willing sellers (the directors of Aztel Holdings Jeff Thorpe and Kevin Black) and a price tag somewhere between $1 million and two million.

There was a lot of anger vented on the day with Max TV hosts holding the buyer (TVNZ) responsible for the closure of the channel and Mikey Havoc of MTV sending an incendiary fax suggesting the sellers were responsible. To quote Mikey, ''you are championing the wizened husk of Max like children defending a runaway Father (or Fathers).''

The buyer TVNZ's BCL said they knew Max TV was up for sale and the sellers claimed that 'TVNZ boss Neil Roberts approached them to buy the frequency. 

So at the end of the day I guess the buyer is happy on four counts; Firstly. TVNZ have a frequency to use for digital television next century.

Secondly, they have removed a competitor in the field of music television (though I would argue the stations reached / or were programmed for different demographics).

Thirdly, Neil Roberts has made good on his MTV launch statement that '' I don't think they (Max TV) have a future." But fourthly and I think most importantly, TVNZ has moved to block an independent (irrespective of broadcast content) from operating in the Auckland market and pushed up the price of entry to the Auckland television market.

The sellers of Max TV should have been happy too, they were winners, they made good on an enterprise that was looking like a financial liability. They were up against tough competitive practices. The initial TVNZ sales line on MTV advertising was if you buy ''X value'' on MTV, you get ''X value'' of spots free on TV2.

So who are the losers? Well the obvious losers are Aucklanders who have lost a great local channel that did a lot more than just play videos, the people who work at Max TV who lost the chance to gain experience in the industry, and New Zealand musicians who enjoyed high rotates for their video clips

But there are other losers. Why can TVNZ find money to buy a frequency for unspecified future use when they cannot find the resources to let the MTV staff in New Zealand broadcast a credible selection of videos relevant to the New Zealand market? The million-plus figure could have been used to facilitate MTV improving the product it broadcasts. People in all centres that get MTV would benefit, if the dross content beamed from London was cut drastically.

An Auckland musician wrote to RipItUp to defend the outbursts of anger broadcast on MaxTV on the final day. ''Why didn't Neil Roberts inject this large sum of money into his own music channel to make it more competitive or more relevant to New Zealanders rather than Europeans.''

Does any New Zealander, whether a young teen or a young adult, want to see former members of Take That, Boy's Own, unplugged Bryan Adams, a Bon Jovi weekend etc. Sure the kiddies eight to 12 want their Hanson, Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys but that's all that is on MTV throughout the day. Is it just a pre-teen, kiddies channel? Well, if it is, it will not gain many viewers due to the closure of Max TV.

Sure, there's a kiwi oasis, the Havoc show in the sea of dross, but there's talk of it being cut back and there were many shows on Max TV as good as Havoc at a fraction of the budget - Peter Urlich's The Tube (everyone talked about that), |Risky Business, Aaron Carson's Rock bogan fest, the new cooking show with Karen Walker and the Mad Butcher was sublime. Who will. screen the shows we only saw trailers for?

I think the losers are not just whinging Aucklanders, on the day the million dollar deal was done we lost two video channels, Max TV, and the possibility of Enzed MTV, while the rest of the country have just lost the possibility of Enzed MTV. But, to look on the positive side, it's now easier to turn the tele off. I've read a book since Max TV went off the air!

Max TV's Hans Hoeflich

ADDED Hat tip to Steve Adams for pointing me to this - the final video ever screened on Max TV...  "Goodnight Auckland, whatever you are..."

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 15

Nina Simone - Seeline woman - MAW remix
Sly n Robbie - Boops
Butch Cassidy Sound System - Hang up
One blood - Be thankful for what you've got
Unitone hifi feat Bobbylon - Turn around
Fredericks Brown - Betrayal
James Brown - Santa Claus goes straight to the ghetto
Aquarian dream - Play it for me one more time
Stylistics - What's your name?
Manta Rays - Originator
East side symphony - Hot pants road
Joe Quijano - Fun city shingaling
Nathan Haines feat Paul Fuemana - Twelve
Fred Wesley and the JBs - Watermelon man (Fred Wesley live in Auckland March 21st next year)
Gil Scott Heron - B-Movie
The Orb feat Lee Scratch Perry - Soulman -Villad RMX B
Cos ber zam - Ne Noya - Daphni mix
Keni Burke -Rising to the top - AliOOFT edit
Sparkles - Trying to get over
Souljazz orchestra - Serve and protect - Frankie Francis Sofrito edit
JD Macdonald - Boogaloo Santa Claus

Friday, December 14, 2012

Big fresh!

Brand new beats and rhymes from local cats J Brown and the Mic Smith. Out today. Blunted, jazzy beats, laidback rhymes, and Oscar the Grouch. Nice.

Free Sola Rosa DL

Sean P is the Grinch who stole xmas

Cheery Christmas video from Sean Price (not safe for work). Hat tip to Potholes In My Blog.

"On December 18, Price, whose album 'Mic Tyson' is out now on Duck Down Music, will spread the Christmas cheer live, performing at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, alongside Talib Kweli, Flatbush Zombies, Pharoahe Monch, Buckshot, Skyzoo, Smif N Wessun and DyMe-A-DuZiN of Phony Ppl. Tickets available here." Directed & Animated by Kimson Albert / Concept by Dru Ha / Song produced by Khrysis

Static pt2 - Joint Force

Joint Force - Static, part 2, off the One Inch Punch ep released in 1995 thru BMG NZ. Directed by Josh Frizzell, camera: Darryl Ward.

Joint Force were DLT, Otis, Slave and Mo Delay (Angus McNaughton). These days you can catch Slave MCing with Fat Freddys Drop. Clip sourced from vhs compilation Screenage Kicks, put together by Stuart Broughton.

Watch Static Part 1 here

Screenage Kicks cover art

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Free ep from Scrimshire

From the WahwWah45 posse, a wee xmas gift from Scrimshire, includes covers of Stevie Wonder and Sun Ra. Give it a listen. More info on the ep over at Bandcamp.

Frank Jade: 80s NZ soul

Who was Frank Jade? From Amplifier: "Frank Jade (nee Strother, born 1946), was a much-loved popular US soul singer who lived and recorded in NZ during the 1980's.

Frank first toured NZ with The Platters in 1980, then returned as a solo performer. After a stint in ex-Commodores bassist Ron La Pread's Auckland funk band Time Out, Frank returned permanently to the US in 1989. He passed away in March 2011."

In the above video, you see Time Out playing at a Telethon in the Auckland Town Hall, and features a splendid closing comment from newsreader and mother of the nation Judy Bailey, "Oooooh, I love a bit of funk." Who knew?

Other band members include the late Martin Winch (gtr), Simon Lynch (kbds) and Eddie Olsen (drums).

Listen: Frank Jade - With Love, a recent digital reissue of mid 80s recordings, according to the folk at Amplifier, 9 tracks were recorded at Simon Lynch's flat on a Fostex 4-track tape recorder, 2 at Mandrill and 4 at Incubator. Also, Frank Jade on iTunes.

And P-Money made this rather fabulous animated gif of Judy Bailey's outburst, cos, he's busy making a new album but this is way more important. Shot, Pete.

"Ooooh, I love a bit of funk" - Judy Bailey
Below: Studio engineer Phil Yule talks about 80s kiwi soul and Frank Jade... apparently the tune I Found A love was recorded by Simon Lynch with Frank Jade in Simon's lounge, singing into a ghetto blaster, which explains the vocal distortion...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RIP Ravi Shankar

From the Times of India: Pandit Ravi Shankar, sitar maestro, passes away in California

"Shankar died today in San Diego at the age of 92. Shankar, whose health had been fragile for the past several years, underwent heart-valve replacement surgery on Thursday at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California where he breathed his last. The music icon was admitted to the hospital last week when he complained of breathlessness..."

New Menahan St Band video

Public Enemy join RnR Hall Of Fame

Public Enemy are among the acts announced to be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame for 2013. Other inductees are the late Donna Summer, Rush, Randy Newman, Heart and Albert King.

LA Times reports that "veteran record executive Lou Adler and producer-arranger-composer-conductor Quincy Jones will [also] join the hall of fame as recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award, named for the Atlantic Records co-founder who also was a driving force behind the creation of the Rock Hall.... the new inductees will be welcomed into the Rock Hall on April 18 in a ceremony that will take place for the first time in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre."

Acts nominated this year but who missed the cut include The Meters, Kraftwerk, Chic and NWA. 

MORE: Does Rush deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

For The Record (documentary)

Great documentary from James Meharry (Pylonz/RDU) on his recent overseas mission... “A expedition undertaken to discover, learn, meet and document the ideas and people behind the controls of vinyl record production.

“Recorded over 6 weeks, traveling through Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK – For The Record exposes a number of notions about why vinyl is such an indelible medium and how it continues to remain popular in the the face of opposing format change.”

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jacksons live in NZ

The Jacksons are playing in Auckland, March 26 2013 at Vector Arena, as part of their Unity world tour. Tickets are on sale this Thursday.

NZ Herald reports that " The tour marks the first time the Jacksons - made up of siblings and original members Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito - have toured together since 1984's Victory Tour. It is also the first time the group has toured as the Jacksons without Michael, who died in June 2009.

The current tour started in June and their set list is made up of all the Jacksons' hits and Jermaine's solo material, as well as a number of Michael Jackson hits including Thriller's Wanna Be Startin Somethin' and Don't Stop Til You Get Enough from Off the Wall.

By all accounts reviews of the show have been good with the Hollywood Reporter saying: "The 26-song set featured a well-chosen blend of their major hits, deep album cuts and just enough of Michael's solo smashes to feel reverential rather than exploitative."

In a press statement when the tour was announced Jackie Jackson said it was a dream come true being back on stage with his brothers. " I can't believe this is finally happening. This will be exciting for our fans around the world. And I know at each concert, MJ's spirit will be in the house with us."

Hollywood Reporter review, with set list

Fat Freddys: Silver and gold video

Caroline Lacaze

Mocambo and Legere Recordings proudly present "L'etrange", the new single out Dec 3rd by Caroline Lacaze, from her upcoming album due out in the northern spring.

"Young French singer Caroline Lacaze - who debuted on the Mighty Mocambos’ album “The Future is Here” and became a regular feature on the subsequent tour throughout Europe - now steps further into the spotlight with an adventurous new 45 of her own. ‘L’Étrange’ effortlessly blends raw soul with captivating French vocals, heavy funk drums and a mystic psychedelic vibe. Features an extended instrumental on the flip side."

Celluloid Records revisited

Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1980 – 1987 drops  February 19th 2013, on Strut. This comp looks pretty cool. If you've never heard of this label, check them out. Music from everyone from Futura 2000 and The Clash to Afrika Bambaataa and John Lydon.

"Strut kicks off its 2013 release schedule with the first definitive overview of one of the most revered, open-minded and influential labels of the 1980s, Celluloid Records.

Celluloid Records was formed in Paris during the late ‘70s by Jean Georgakarakos (often referred to by the shorter name Jean Karakos), who had spent the previous decade co-running French record shops and the spiritual jazz label BYG.

The label gathered steam following Karakos’ fateful trips to New York in the early ‘80s. It was there that he met Bill Laswell, who had himself landed fresh in the Big Apple from Michigan, Karakos began releasing the full spectrum of Laswell’s early work, from the avant-rock cacophony of Massacre to his fluid, dance / post-punk production outfit, Material.

During the early ‘80s, Karakos became involved in the nascent hip-hop scene In New York, releasing Time Zone’s breakdance classic “Wildstyle,” produced by UK DJ Rusty Egan and featuring Afrika Bambaataa and French MC B Side. In 1983, both he and Laswell worked with Herbie Hancock on his electro smash, “Rockit.” Spotting a keyboard riff that had been played towards the end of the original demo, Karakos suggested that this form the main hook of the track. 

From the resultant publishing income, Karakos and Laswell continued to explore early hip-hop culture and a slew of classics followed: successful 12’s by Hancock’s scratch DJ, GrandmixerD.ST, Fab 5 Freddy’s groundbreaking French / English slo-mo rap “Change The Beat” and graf artist Futura 2000 on the cult single “Escapades Of Futura 2000” backed by The Clash.

Time Zone would also re-surface with Bambaataa and collaborator John Lydon (PiL / Sex Pistols) with the apocalyptic chart smash “World Destruction.”

During this seminal period, Karakos also began working with US producer / entrepreneur Alan Douglas, licensing in recordings for release on Celluloid including early Last Poets albums, Ronald Shannon Jackson and more. The repertoire included a rare track cut by Jalal from The Last Poets, enlisting Buddy Miles and Jimi Hendrix on guest guitar duties for “Doriella du Fontaine” following one of Hendrix’ album recording sessions in a neighboring studio at Trident in London.

Celluloid would continue to support Bill Laswell’s varied and groundbreaking production work including his experimental sessions with Praxis and Last Exit and embarked on a glut of excellent genre-bending world / electro fusions. Karakos had already dabbled with music by African artists and had been instrumental in breaking Fela Kuti to a wider Western audience. 

Now, Laswell’s progressive approach spawned Manu Dibango’s landmark Electric Africa album pitching the Makossa Man against crunching electro arrangements. Laswell further explored world music hybrids on in Paris during the late ‘70s after anthem “Harima’ and his own roots-based Deadline project. Meanwhile, Celluloid continued to support music from back home in France, honing in on quality new wave and electronic music during the early ‘80s: avant-rock guitarist Ferdinand Richard, a one-off EP from cold wave vocalist Nini Raviolette and Moroccan songstress Sapho all adding considerable color to the Celluloid palette.

By 1986, Laswell's work for Celluloid became increasingly sparse as he was pulled onto major projects for Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, PiL and more. The label, meanwhile, continued its eclectic path with recordings by jazz legend Eric Dolphy, John McLaughlin and the Welcome To Dreamland compilation of out-there Japanese pop overseen by regular Laswell cohort, Fred Frith. African music also continued to feature heavily in the label’s later output through world pop stars like Kassav and Toure Kunda.

CD 1
10. TIMEZONE – WILDSTYLE (12" Vocal) 9.14

CD 2
3. SAPHO – CARMEL (12“ mix) 6.34
7. MANU DIBANGO – ABELE DANCE (’85 remix) 7.00
8. TIMEZONE – WORLD DESTRUCTION (Original 12" mix) 5.37
11. B SIDE with BERNARD FOWLER – ODEON (Dance mix) 5.46
12. FAB 5 FREDDY – CHANGE THE BEAT (Male version) 7.37

MODERN GUY – ELECTRIQUE SYLVIE 7.38 (Full length version)
B SIDE – SO HOT (feat. Tony Allen) 4.05

Saturday, December 08, 2012

The hip to the hop: Kirsten Zemke

On this weekend at the Auckland Art Gallery, as part of Who Shot Rock & Roll: Kirsten Zemke on the hip and the hop in rock and roll. Free talk this Sunday, 3pm. More info here. "

Kirsten Zemke (Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, the University of Auckland) is a recognised authority on several areas of modern music. Join Kirsten for an audio and visual talk that will trace the development of hip hop in America and its ongoing global influence."

Also on this Sunday at the Art Gallery auditorium, a free film screening of the hiphop documentary, Rhyme and Reason, made in 1997.

"This documentary explores the history of hip hop culture, how rap evolved to become a major cultural voice (and a multi-billion dollar industry), and what the artists have to say about the music's often controversial images and reputation."

The trailer below gives you an idea of who is featured... tho only going up to 97, it misses a lot out...

Friday, December 07, 2012

3THW - Many rivers

Three The Hard Way - Many rivers featuring Sulata and Cherie, directed by Clinton Phillips. We get to see Three The Hard Way in the great outdoors, wandering round west coast beaches, looking for Harvey Keitel, perhaps. This was released as a single, off their debut album Old Skool Prankstas, released on Deepgrooves (1994). Video taken from TV3's Frenzy NZ music show.

On the single this is listed as the video mix with additional vocals by Sulata and Cherie [Mathieson], while the radio mix features additional vocals from Leeza Corban.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Michael Kiwanuka live in NZ

Just announced today... "Michael Kiwanuka, one of the most thrilling new voices in contemporary soul music, makes his full New Zealand concert debut in April 2013. Winner of the prestigious BBC Sound of 2012 and a Mercury Prize nominee, the UK singer-songwriter will perform just two intimate New Zealand shows:

Thursday 4 April - Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland / Friday 5 April – Old St Pauls in Wellington.

Kiwanuka’s hugely successful debut album Home Again has seen his voice compared to the timeless sound of Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye. The BBC called it “a rich, weathered instrument that appears to carry more than 24 years' experience”.

Born in Muswell Hill in North London to Ugandan émigré parents, Kiwanuka grew up surrounded by huge cultural diversity. His songwriting, steeped in the folk and soul traditions, reflects that upbringing and echoes the inspiration of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Shuggie Otis, Roberta Flack and Bill Withers.

“It’s his rich, ragged voice that pulls you in. He sounds like his own man, not an imitator” Rolling Stone Magazine.

Pre-sales available Tuesday 11 Dec - Thursday 13 December.
General Release Tickets on-sale Monday 17th December
Tickets available through Ticketmaster and

RIP Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck has passed away, aged 91. Read the NY Times obituary here.

"Dave Brubeck, a pianist and composer whose distinctive mixture of experimentation and accessibility made him one of the most popular jazz musicians of the 1950s and ’60s, died Wednesday morning in Norwalk, Conn. He would have turned 92 on Thursday. He died while on his way to a cardiology appointment, Russell Gloyd, his producer, conductor and manager for 36 years, said. Mr. Brubeck lived in Wilton, Conn...

"... In 1958, as part of a State Department program that brought jazz as an offer of good will during the cold war, his quartet traveled in the Middle East and India, and Mr. Brubeck became intrigued by musical languages that didn’t stick to 4/4 time — what he called “march-style jazz,” the meter that had been the music’s bedrock. The result was the album “Time Out,” recorded in 1959. With the hits “Take Five” (composed by Mr. Desmond in 5/4 meter) and “Blue Rondo à la Turk” (composed by Mr. Brubeck in 9/8), the album propelled Mr. Brubeck onto the pop charts...."

"... Genial as Mr. Brubeck could seem, he had strong convictions. In the 1950s he had to stand up to college deans who asked him not to perform with a racially mixed band (his bassist, Gene Wright, was black). He also refused to tour in South Africa in 1958 when asked to sign a contract stipulating that his band would be all white. With his wife as lyricist, he wrote “The Real Ambassadors,” a jazz musical that dealt with race relations. With a cast that included Louis Armstrong, it was released on LP in 1962 but staged only once, at that year’s Monterey Jazz Festival..."

ADDED Dave Brubeck's impact on New Zealand musicians, by Chris Bourke...."the Maori welcomes had a big impact on him [Brubeck]. After the tour, he wrote a piece in 6/4 called ‘Maori Blues’, which was on his Time Further Outalbum, the 1961 sequel to Time Out (the ‘Take Five’ album)..."

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Ram Dancehall, ska party

Ad from Stamp magazine, 1992

I recently found this ad from 1992 for Sound Foundation, aka DJ Dubhead, Angus McNaughton, Tuffi Culture, and Danny D (later of Dam Native). Finally found a copy of this 12" single recently, via Ebay Aus. I never got one the first time round, so very pleased with it. Labels are featured below, along with the tune.

This was one of only two vinyl releases from the Deepgrooves record label.
More on Sound Foundation.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Yoots live in Paekakariki

The Yoots, led by Joe Lindsay (Fat Freddys Drop), play live this Friday Dec 7 at St Peters Hall, Paekakariki, details here.

The video above features the band recording, watch for the shot of producer Mike Fabulous dancing round the studio control room. There's a new album on the way from them, apparently. The song E Pari Ra "...was written by Paraire Tomoana who wrote the song E Pari Rā for his relation Maku-i-te-Rangi Ellison. Her son, Whakatomo Ellison, died in the First World War." Source.

Here's a previous performance by the Yoots in Paekakriki... check the guy on the right pointing to the words for a crowd sing-along... great night...

Toots and the Maytals play Akl

Toots and the Maytals will be playing live in Auckland in February next year, following their appearance at Raggamuffin Festival. The show is February 3rd at Vector Arena, with Ali Campbell's UB40 headlining. Tickets from Ticketmaster.

In July this year Ali Campbell told the NZ Herald he won't be working again with Raggamuffin Festival Andrew McManus, after his bill for previous appearance wasn't paid in full. Clearly, Campbell and McManus sorted out their differences, as Campbell is on the bill for Raggamuffin next year.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Louis Baker single drops

Louis Baker was lucky enough to get accepted into the Red Bull Music Academy this year, the sole NZer to gain this honour this time round. Here's his debut single, free download too.

He's opened for Fat Freddys Drop, and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, and is touring over summer, doing solo festival slots, and taking his band with him thru January. Dates below...

Fri 21 Dec Bodega, Wellington
Sat 29 Dec Rhythm & Alps, Christchurch
Sun 30 Dec  Rhythm & Vines, Gisborne
Mon 31 Dec La De Da, Martinborough
Sat 5 Jan Summer Tides Festival, Wairarapa
Fri 18 Jan Yot Club, Raglan
Sat 19 Jan Sawmill, Leigh
Sat 26 Jan Honey Jam, Kerikeri

Grace and Bryan

Youtube poster says "Raw footage of Grace, at Mt Smart, opening before Bryan Adams, 12 Feb 1994. Greg Fleming and the Trains got the support (they're in the footage too, hanging out backstage), and Deepgrooves added in Grace on the bill."

The closing song is Grace playing Winter Madness, to a great response from the crowd. More on this gig over at the Deepgrooves website, which notes that Johnnie Cash was wandering round backstage at the Bryan Adams gig.

It's interesting to think that the audience had never heard that song - Grace's album was still a year away from coming out. But the band was able to pull out a response from the crowd, just from sheer showmanship. Grace certainly weren't new to the stage - all three brothers had spent time playing in their father's covers band as kids.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Marley Marl recreates Eric B is President

This is very cool - Marley Marl breaks down the samples and musical elements of Eric B Is President, then reveals how he added ghost notes to the beat to make it swing, after James Brown's drummer Clyde Stubblefield taught him about them. Dope.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 1

Sound providers - No time - inst mix
DJ Spinna - Everybody get down - main mix
Mike Zoot feat Labba - Spread love remix
Mad lion - Own destiny
E's E - Scratch's skank pt 1
Roots Manuva - Again and again - Moody Boyz remix
Turbulence - Notorious
De-phazz - Plastic love memory
Aaradhna - Keep my cool
Souljazz orchestra - Serve and protect - Frankie Francis Sofrito edit
Carlos Garnett - Mystery of ages
Lee Oskar - Haunted house - Leftside wobble edit
The controllers - Hello - Simon S re-edit
Fat freddys drop  -The Raft - Jet Jaguar findaway remix (unreleased)
Solomonic sound - Children of Israel - Blakdoctor version
Narco Hz feat Don Carlos -  Favourite cup
Rebel MC feat Tenor Fly - Comin on strong
Kormac - Saturday morning TV
Wu Tang Clan - Gravel pit
Wreck allstars - Keep me dancin
Billy Preston and Syreeta - Go for it - instrumental
Blondie - Heart of glass - 12" instrumental
Jesse Johnson  -Drive yo cadillac

Friday, November 30, 2012

James v Hazard

"Vancouver-based rhymesayer Jason James and his NYC production partner Rodney Hazard (of HxH ) have unleashed their latest collaborative opus, Pyramids in Stereo. The follow-up to 2010's Marvelous World of Color, the 12-track digital-full-length comes heralded by lead singles "This Is My Rifle," "Forgetting How to Dream" and "Tomorrow."

Muzz shot rock n roll

"I usually said NO to photographing Gold Disc presentations. I said YES to Bob Marley"- Murray Cammick PHOTO: © MURRAY CAMMICK 1979, photo via Capture.

Murray Cammick is talking about his photography for Rip It Up as part of the events around the show on at the Auckland Art Gallery, called Who Shot Rock N Roll. Check out some of Murray's photos here at Capture - Blondie, Johnny Ramone, Toy Love, Screaming Meemees, and Bob Marley getting his gold record.  Murray wrote the commentary with the photos too, fascinating reading.

excerpt..."As a photographer you either contribute to the myths / bullshit of rock ‘n’ roll or you try and show some of the grind of promotion and touring. I recall being at Craccum in 1976 and being delighted that our photographer Paul Gilmour (I was designer/“Technical Editor” that year) came back from a press conference with a photo of Frank Zappa drinking a cup of tea.

Shooting un-rock ‘n’ roll photos became something to aspire to, so I was pleased to get Iggy Pop in his clunky reading glasses laughing at the Talking Heads story in Rip It Up magazine. As we arrived at Iggy’s White Heron Hotel room he was still in his pyjamas and I sneaked what seemed like a very un-rock ‘n’ roll shot but he heard or saw the camera and made it clear, “No photos in my pyjamas.”

Join music reviewer and writer Nick Bollinger in conversation with music journalist, photographer and record label founder, Murray Cammick and music photographer Milana Radojcic for an illustrated discussion on their experiences photographing and reviewing rock and roll. More info.
Sunday 2 December - 3pm, Art gallery auditorium - free entry

Also on Sunday at the art gallery, the Record Collectors Fair, north auditorium, free entry, 10am til 2pm. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Souljazz Orchestra - Serve And Protect (Frankie Francis - Sofrito Rework)

Dope re-edit of a Souljazz Orchestra cut off their latest album Solidarity, from one of the Sofrito crew.
SO Currently on tour round the US...

The Souljazz Orchestra North American Tour
Nov 29 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
Nov 30 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
Dec 01 - Washington, DC - Jammin' Java
Dec 02 - Philadelphia, PA - World Café Live
Dec 04 - Buffalo, NY - Nietche's
Dec 05 - Columbus, OH - Woodlands Tavern
Dec 06 - Detroit, MI - Pike Room
Dec 07 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle
Dec 08 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock

Nona, live

Nona Hendryx performing earlier this week on Later with Jools Holland. Hendryx released a new album, Mutatis Mutandis, in July, her first album in 20 years.

Weird Together live, free

On this Saturday, Dec 1, 12-6pm. At Silos, Wynyard Quarter. Check it out.

"Nick D and Dick Johnson will bring their world-famous 'Weird Together' experience to the stage with 'Weird Together presents World Together' - a mini day festival of music, food, dance and culture of the world.

Israel's leading producer and DJ, Kalbata, will headline the event, bring his sharp rhythms, frenzied MCs flows and cosmic echoes to the New Zealand stage. Considered one of the pioneers of Bass-music, Kalbata is a perfectionist producer and extremely talented DJ. In six years, Ariel has produced a dozen maxis and been involved in numerous collaborative efforts with talented artists like, among others, Spinks of Mixmonster.

Kalbata will be joined by Nick D and Dick Johnson, the Caribeanz Southern Stars Steel Pan Orchestra, Karima Mudat (Sudan), Maves Adegbite (Nigeria), The Mbira Master Benedict Tagutanazavo (Zimbabwe), The Steel Pan Allstars, DJ Hopepa (Fat Freddy's Drop) and Uncle Barnie + Dancers from around the world.

There will be international food stalls, market crafts from around the globe, Silo Climbs up the Silo 6 as well as the Silo Park Bar, which is well stocked with craft beers and gourmet wines."

Mulatu returns

Mulatu Astatke, the godfather of Ethiopian Jazz, returns to NZ for a show in March next year, accompanied by Australian outfit the Black Jesus Experience, who did an excellent job of backing him on his previous visit. I thoroughly enjoyed his live show, well worth checkng out.

"The most crucial figurehead in Ethiopia's recent musical history, Astatke is the central architect of Ethio-Jazz, a genre which blends Latin jazz and first wave soul and funk motifs with traditional Ethiopian musical ideas.

Raised in Jimma, Ethiopia, but musically trained in London, New York and Boston, Astatke has been recording and performing since the 1960s. In that time, his vibraphone and percussion heavy soundworld has slowly, yet surely become a pivotal influence on a younger generation of musicians. In the process, as his seminal vinyl releases gain more and more cultural currency, he has been sampled by the likes of Kanye West, Nas and Damian Marley.

Despite his length of time spent in service to music, Astatke's mainstream breakout moment was in 2005, when he provided the score and several songs for the soundtrack of Jim Jarmusch's film Broken Flowers.

Respected and loved by jazz, world music, hip-hop and beat music musicians and fans, Astatke is a phenomenal live entertainer. Energetic and always adorned with a smile, his talents and attitude are truly joyful to witness.

His last show in Auckland saw a healthy turn out of the vibrant and colourful local Ethiopian community who were very pleased to see one of their national identities performing in New Zealand.

As with his last appearance, Astatke will be backed live by The Black Jesus Experience, an Australian/Ethiopian ensemble. Fusing traditional Ethiopian song with jazz, funk and hip-hop, this nine-piece have toured with Astatke throughout Europe and Ethiopia.

Saturday 16th March 2013, Powerstation - Auckland
Presale tickets on sale Tue 4th Dec from &
General tickets on sale Thurs 6th Dec from Ticketmaster
For all show & ticketing info go to

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

All black

Written & Recorded by Margaret, mixed by Margaret & Rodi Kirk (Scratch 22, now based in Berlin). Mastered by Alain at One Million Mango's. Check it. Free DL.

Vitamin S Festival

Vitamin S Festival kicks off tomorrow night... click on flyer to enlarge...

Vitamin S Festival
Old Folks Association Hall, Auckland, Thursday 29 Nov

Vitamin S Festival
Wine Cellar, Auckland,
Fri 30 Nov

Vitamin S Festival
Alleluya Cafe, Auckland, Sat 1 Dec

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stars and moons, Pacifican booms....

These days Zane Lowe lives in London and DJs on BBC Radio One, Oli lives round the corner from him, and Rob Salmon lives in New York. Rob is back in Auckland briefly, he's DJing this Friday night at Ink Bar, more info here.

More on Urban Disturbance.
Urban Disturbance - the lost 2nd album?
Rob Salmon Soundcloud

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bad 25 screens tonight

Bad 25, the new documentary by Spike Lee, on Michael Jackson's Bad album, screens tonight on Prime TV, at 935pm. Here's Spike at the Venice Film Festival, talking about the film earlier this year - on August 31, 25 years to the day, since Bad was released.

PLUS : Bad 25: Michael Jackson Revealed on ABC: Why It's a Must See Event "... There [are] several tasty nuggets unearthed by Lee in the film, for instance, “Bad,” the single, was initially conceived as a Whitney Houston duet.." // From the Weekend Herald: Spike Lee's look back at the Bad old days

Rocket love

From Fuemana, led by Christina and Phil Fuemana. Two videos I found and uploaded (thanks Ross Cunningham for the VHS tapes of TV3's music show Frenzy). Rocket Love features a guest rap from Matty J, and excerpts from a 1994 short film Funny Little Guy, directed by Chris Graves, written by Chad Taylor, stars Rebekah Davies and Jeff Ganes.

READ: Loud and proud: Phil Fuemana interviewed in Stamp magazine, 1994.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov 24

Bloodfire - Lighters up dub
Foxy Brown - Fast car
Colm K and the freestyle mellowship - Dancing skulls - main mix
Richie Phoe - Eyes on the prize
Lord Echo feat Lisa Tomlins - Thinking of you 
BT Express - Give it what you got
Bobby Byrd - I know you got soul
Roots Manuva -Witness - Jesterman's bionic Barkay rub
New mastersounds - Nervous
Jackson 5 - The love you save
Port authority soul band - Superstrut
Philadelphia international allstars - Let's clean up the ghetto - Danny Krivit edit
IQU - Witchcraft
DJ Smash - Dah boodah
C Swing - Hoodlum
Maxayn - Bailout
Estere - Cruel Charlie
The Orb feat Lee Scratch Perry - Soul man - Villad Remx B
U Roy and Francois K - Rootsman
Toots and the Maytals - Monkey man
George Faith - Midnight hour/Yaya (medley)
Butch cassidy sound system - Echo tone defeat
Ray Charles - I got a woman
Madhouse - Six

Friday, November 23, 2012

RIP Bruce Morley

Bruce Morley in his back garden, 2008. Photo: Richard Cotman
Reknowned Auckland drummer and percussionist Bruce Morley has passed away, on Thursday 22nd November.

NZ Musician reports that "He had been unwell for an extended period with a recurrent cancer that had severely limited his normal high energy activities. Bruce was widely loved and held in high regard as a writer, drummer, percussionist and vibrant personality, with a quick wit and extensive back catalogue of personal tales and jokes. He will be sorely missed by NZM and numerous fellow musicians."

From NZ Herald, Nov 24: "MORLEY, Bruce Roland. Passed away on November 22, 2012. Loved partner of Sue and father of Matthew, Sam, Joe, Dan, Jesse and Roland and Grandfather of 11. A celebration of his life will be held at the Parnell Tennis Club, Maunsell Road, Parnell at 1pm on Tuesday 27 November 2012. Friends and family welcome. ENSOM Funeral Services Auckland (09) 524-6765."

From NZ Musician profile on Bruce, by Chris O'Connor (Oct/Nov 2006 issue).

"In the past few months Bruce Morley has played at Government House with The Dominion Centenary Concert Band (DCCB); Auckland University with the Prohibition Big Band; the Kings Arms with poet Murray Haddow; the Whitianga Scallop Festival with Tauranga’s Kokomo; Luxembourg Gardens with the Vitamin S Free Improvisation Collective; an art gallery fundraiser for a Warwick Broadhead theatrical extravaganza and the annual Concert Band Festival in Auckland Town Hall.

He has sat in with Caitlin Smith’s drummer-less group at the Rakino Island Jazz Festival; performed in an Arts Festival special in Nelson with Mark Hadlow; played a theatre season of the musical ‘A Funny Thing Happened On The way To The Forum’; and had a solo spot in composer Brigid Bisley’s ‘Waitakere Overture’ with the Waitakere City Orchestra for the opening of the new Civic Centre and Arts Laureate Awards. He has also played a duo with Puddle survivor George Henderson at the Indie Club; and at ‘old-time’ dances as far apart as Kelston and Belmont. Meantime he’s been gigging with the Louis Prima-styled Swing Cats.

Bruce is the ‘foley’ (sound effects) drummer for the touring children’s show ‘The Magic Chicken’, is rehearsing with singer/songwriter Immi Paterson’s new band George and Queen, and is putting together two very different jazz groups: an “absolutely traditional” trio called Mister Jelly Roll with clarinetist Yvette Audain and Mike Ryan on tuba; and the Pole Winners (a tribute to the poll-winning Barney Kessel/Ray Brown/Shelly Manne trio of the ‘60s) with Many Hands’ guitarist Kevin Timm and Auckland Philharmonia bassist Daniel Stabler.

All of which is really a ‘localised’ version of what he did for many years back then; touring New Zealand and Australia with performers such as comedian Spike Milligan, singers like Cilla Black, Tony Christie, Johnny Farnham and Cleo Laine, and most of our own top pop and MOR performers. At age 65, this guy is still busy.

It’s difficult to know where to start, because you don’t seem to have spent any length of time with one person or group - why is that?

Well, I never actually planned that. I came to Auckland from Hastings in the late ‘50s with this vague idea about playing the drums, and by the time I actually got started, far too late at 21, I was already married with a child on the way. I didn’t have time to muck around once I realised what I wanted to do, and all the gigs here were taken by the guys who deserved them - people like Tony Hopkins, Don Branch, Bruce King, Barrie Simpson (who was a great inspiration) - because they could play, and had a few years experience on me.

I took some lessons from Frank Gibson Snr, and eventually went to Sydney in 1964. As I was kinda too old to hook up with rock bands and lout about, I went into the club scene, learned to sight-read music very quickly, started backing acts, and it just went from there. I’m essentially self-taught because I had to be. In retrospect, I’m glad it went that way. I’ve had a huge variety of musical experiences as a freelance musician, and the band business can be pretty fraught. I tell the kids, if you’re gonna commit to a band, make sure it’s the Rolling Stones!...

Covering so many different styles, you must have a variety of favourite players and influences? 

We all probably have a primary inspiration: in Hastings it was Fred Huse, a local legend. I still think Shelly Manne is the greatest of all time, because he never let his intelligence get in the way of his swing, and vice versa. Quite recently I’ve felt a growing affection for Charlie and Ringo.

But times change, and if you keep your ears open there’s always some new guy, and something new to learn, every day. I’m really interested in Terry Bozzio’s solo works, and Thomas Lang was the most impressive player I’ve seen in the 40-odd drum clinics I’ve been to. Locally, I go out and listen a lot, and I’m usually the oldest person in the room. There are some younger guys here who can really play.

Black Friday special wax

photo: Chicago Sun Times
Check Real Groovy Records for some Black Friday vinyl special releases...

"BLACK FRIDAY – the day following Thanksgiving Day in the USA – is the beginning of their Christmas Shopping season and it’s become a major retail event for the music industry. There will be scores of Limited Edition LPs, singles and box sets and Real Groovy will be stocking a lot of it.

We’ll have many of the titles – but because most are in limited quantities and aren’t despatched until the last minute, we won’t know exactly what we’ll be getting until the day – and because of the time zone difference, not all will arrive beforehand. We will be receiving stock all day and probably Saturday as well!

We’re expecting stuff from Mayer Hawthorne, Lee Hazelwood, Band Of Horses, Coheed and Cambria, Incubus, John Mayer, M83, Gaslight Anthem, Tomahawk, Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, Skrillex, Velvet Underground and many more…

So check it out online – the Record Store Day Website is a good place to start – and if there are any releases that you desire, swing by Real Groovy – you may be one of the lucky ones!"

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Unitone hifi video

From 1992, a sunny, chipper wee video from Unitone Hifi, featuring Teremoana, my man Bobblyon (Hallelujah Picassos, 2R2S) and Just One. Directed by Josh Frizzell, and released as a single on Deepgrooves (and on the compilation Deep in the Pacific of Bass). Props to Bobbylon for wearing a Hallelujah Picassos t-shirt in the vid.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Marbecks closing/opening....

photo: Material Creative

From design company Material Creative, via Twitter: "@MaterialC: The new @Marbecks_co_nz cafe on Hobson st is coming along." They suggest it will be open this week.

The original Marbecks store in Queens Arcade is closing down (after 77 years), around March 2013, confirmed by staff They also told me the Hobson street site (near the Heritage Hotel, ex Farmers bldg) will be a cafe only at this stage, no decision has been made on whether to include a music store there. They also said the builders were still in the new cafe site, so it was unlikely to open this week. Marbecks head office is located in Hobson st. [note: Marbecks didn't close, but instead sold the Queens Arcade store back to Roger Marbeck in April 2013 - it is still open, see below].

The original Marbecks store in Queens Arcade has recently seen the consolidation of the Marbecks Classical store, which shut down and relocated to a corner of the existing store.

Roger Marbeck sold the family business to the CD and DVD Store in late 2006, and they changed the name of their stores to the Marbecks brand. They also opened several destination stores, in Dunedin and Palmerston North.

"... Yorkshireman Alfred Marbeck was a music fan who arrived from Sheffield and formed the store in 1934 with his brother in-law Noel Wade.

Wade left and Marbeck's sons Murray and Haydn joined the store in 1947. Haydn left the company in 1990 and was replaced by Murray's son Roger, who focused on popular music.For eight years during the 1990s Marbecks developed a large-scale outlet in Queen St, which later closed...

...Roger Marbeck bought Ode Records and is now operating in the wholesale side of the business." Source: NZ Herald.

Marbecks  shut its Rotorua store in July this year, the owner of that franchise noting that "nationwide the Marbecks chain had gone from 45 to six (soon-to-be five) stores in the past four years."

The Lambton Quay store shut in April, after trading for 17 years (previously as The CD & DVD Store). Marbecks closed its retail outlet at Wellington Airport in January.

ADDED: Local musician and former Marbecks employee Dudley Benson weighed in on Twitter on the Marbecks closure of Queens Arcade: "Marbecks - so sad, so inevitable. I worked there when those Christian fundamentalist capitalists bought a great store & began f#cking it up ... Now thanks to their atrocious 'rebranding' etc people have lost their jobs and we're minus some outstanding knowledge and NZ music history."

ADDED Nov 28: NZ Herald has picked up the story, with the inaccurate headline "Marbecks quits Auckland music scene after 78 years". Marbecks Browns Bay is still open, and is branded as Marbecks (not the CD and DVD Store, as the Herald's correction at the bottom of their story suggests - it looks like they got this information by looking it up on Google Street View, except the photo of the Browns Bay store is from 2009, before all their stores rebranded. I asked Marbecks via Twitter if the Browns Bay store was branded as Marbecks and they said yes it was).

.NZH reports the Marbecks Cafe in Hobson St is opening today, and the closing down sale at Queens Arcade starts next week.

ADDED Nov 29: Marbecks have released a statement via their Facebook page (with photos of the new cafe), from boss Roger Harper, have posted it below...

ADDED Dec 2: via Twitter, I saw this from @stevegallagher: Judging by the "last Christmas sale ever" signs, Marbecks Dunedin appears to be closing down.

I asked Marbecks about this via Twitter they responded: "no, not closing down, there will be changes to the store increasing cafe/food offer & reducing retail footprint."They will retain some music retail, and up to the middle of next year they'll be getting.lots of stock from other stores.

Marbecks are also appealing for former Marbecks/CD and DVD Store staff  via the Marbecks Facebook page to get in touch if they want some work over the holidays, as the Queens Arcade store has been overwhelmed with customers since the news was announced.

ADDED Jan 7, 2013: TV3 covered the closure of Marbecks Queens Arcade on their evening news on Jan 3, watch the story here. "The owners of the old store say closing down is a commercial reality. People get their music online now, so they're going to focus more on developing their cafes. “It's just change, you know,” says Marbecks managing director Roger Harper. “Things have evolved over time. We've had a great run in the music business, but that business model just can't be sustained.”

Otago Daily Times reports Marbecks Dunedin is shifting its focus away from music and books to the cafe side of its operation. Store manager is David James, ex Dead Flowers.

ADDED March 12 2013: Marbecks have announced they have started a 20% off everything sale at Queens Arcade: from their Facebook page... "Marbecks Queens Arcade as we know it will be closing at the end of March, we hope to retain a small footprint in Queens Arcade - but the range and selection we have enjoyed for so many decades will be a thing of the past. Get in quick to enjoy 20% off store wide before we close the doors - discount is off the marked price, and excludes customer orders, gift cards and online purchases."

ADDED April 10 2013: Marbecks offline, Queens Arcade revived by Roger Marbeck
Marbecks announced that it was selling its Queens Arcade store back to Roger Marbeck, who will run it as a specialist store focussing on Classical and jazz, retaining the classical staff only.

ADDED July 3 2014: Marbecks Queens Arcade expands, My Generation Music for sale, Everyman Records shuts
ADDED: Another photo from Material Creative posted Friday Nov 23, of the floor at the new Marbecks Cafe in Hobson st...

photo: Material Creative

Added Nov 25: I went for a walk down Hobson St and took some photos of the new Marbeck cafe. Entrance is down an alley off Hobson st, cafe is below street level.

Standing outside Heritage Hotel, looking up Hobson st. X marks Marbecks Cafe entrance

Had a look thru the door...

On Hobson st, their signs advertising the new cafe coming soon

From Marbecks Facebook page: "Marbecks Queens Arcade - a great legacy. Marbecks Kitchen - a new beginning.
The recent news that we are closing our Queens Arcade store at some stage early next year has natu
rally caused a lot of discussion in the market, and sadness on the part on our many loyal customers, many of whom fondly remember purchasing their first record at “Marbecks Queens Arcade”. But “Quitting the Auckland Music Scene” as the NZ Herald [28Nov12] put it – absolutely not! You’ve got to love the media, they just write what they want. We hope that we will remain part of the Auckland & New Zealand music scene for many years to come, just in a different way.

You can imagine that making the decision to close the store was an extremely difficult one, and only made after trying a number of options and considering many others. I could write an extremely long article, a book even, of all the changes & challenges that we have faced over the past decade as our industry has undergone significant change. I have read so many “The Day the Music Died” stories over those years, that I have no desire to add another one. The fact is our whole industry from artist, to music company, to music lover, has dramatically changed over the past few years, from piracy to itunes, to spotify, the way that we discover, enjoy and consume music has changed forever, and no longer supports the business model that the specialist music retailers thrived in for the past 50 years. 

As someone else in the music industry once said “Mistakes, I’ve made a few...” and yes we have, as it seems every armchair expert/blogger seems very keen to point out to us. Of course we’d do things differently if we had our time over again, but as passionate as we are about music & our customers, i suspect there is nothing we could have done to effectively combat, arguably, the largest technology shift there has been in history. 

Over the years, we’ve loved every moment of the music business, our wonderful customers, and of course the music itself, from classical to country, to punk, to hardcore and everything in between; in short, we’ve had a great ride. The Marbeck family, their wonderful business and store, their legendary customer service & knowledge, will live long in the memory long after the store is closed early next year. 

However, sad though closing Queens Arcade is, it is by no means the end of the Marbecks story. In the past few years we have begun to open cafes – Lambton Quay in 1998, Wall St Dunedin in 2009, and Palmerston North in 2010. This week we have just opened our first Auckland cafe in Hobson St [next to the Heritage Hotel], “Marbecks Kitchen” and even though we do say so ourselves, we’re rather pleased with it. It’s a great space, feels good, and has many connections to our music heritage – come in and check out our “Nod to Bob” collage wall. We’re very positive about Marbecks future in hospitality. Many of the emotions evoked by music are also evoked by food. Good music and good food are wonderful partners, and we believe that our passion & creativity for music will hold us in good stead in the hospitality business. Come in and enjoy Hobson Street, or any of our other cafes. We love great coffee, Supreme , mmmmmm, as much as great music, we hope you do too. 

We may well keep retailing music for many years to come, either through stores or online at and yes we do have our own digital store at We’ll keep looking for a business model that works in this brave new world, but if we need to change, we will. 

In the meantime, if you’re in Auckland [or visiting] get down to Queens Arcade to talk the talk with the most knowledgeable music staff in NZ, or to bag a bargain, or just for one last time pick up a great CD or LP [somewhat ironically vinyl is the fastest growing part of the business] – some of our wonderful CDs & DVDs may never see the light of day in New Zealand again. That is sad. Thanks.

Roger Harper - Marbecks

Freebass IV, Dec 92

Freebassing - By Paul Casserly, Stamp magazine Dec 1992.

Freebass are bassist Steve Harrop, his brother Ben on trombone, Nathan Haines on sax. Ben Holmes on alto. Ben Gilgan on keyboards, and Ritchie Campbell on drums. The band are new, (just 3 months old) but their brand of 'Acid Jazz' has already attracted a trailer-load of attention - partly because of young achiever/saxman Nathan Haines, but mostly because the music is so immediate and impressive.

The fusion of jazz and funk comes from the various backgrounds of the members - jazz players like the Harrops, and funksters like Gilgan who has played backing for the likes of Tina Cross, Ardijah and Randy Crawford.

'Acid Jazz' was coined in the UK in the mid eighties. ''It happened when all those English labels took black horn players and put them with a DJ backing rather than a live band'' explains Steve Harrop. Unlike Jazz Committee, Freebass perform all their own material and they practise!

''We never rehearsed with the Jazz Committee but now we've been forced to, which is great. We've had to get off our arses.''

The departure of Haines (who has gone back to New York to continue his scholarship) isn't an ideal part of the 'road to bigger things' but Harrop is certain the group will continue unharmed. ''It's a shame, but there are other players out there. Things will go on , but it will be different."

Nathan will appear, however, on a live album which has just been recorded at Cause Celebre and is due for release early next year. As for the interest (the album deal with Deepgrooves coming just weeks into the band's lifespan), Harrop is surprised. "Mostly by the people who aren't associated with jazz; the interest from them wasn't something I was expecting."

As for the name: ''it's spelt b a s s'' comes Harrop's well practised reply, 'FreeBASS!"

The Freebass album was digitally reissued in 2010, see here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy birthday!

Cheery birthday shout out to the one like STINKY JIM, his mighty bloggeration stylings have been going down for four years this very week. To celebrate, Jim has posted another of his fine mixes, this one on the loungey tip. Enjoy! DL too.

"Being as it’s a bit of a special week with 4 years of bloggerating under the proverbial belt here’s a rather special mix, one that quite a few have claimed as their favourite. As you can tell from the excess stereo test records, spoken word wibblings and intrepid interjections this came at a time when the op shopping was still running hot, and we were heading off in the sky blue Valiant, most weeks, in search of the crackly goodness. There’s hidden layers in some of that dialogical nonsense, for those who care to indulge in such aspects..."

Fat Freddys vs JetJaguar, unreleased jam

From Jet Jaguar: "In 2010 I remixed FFD - one version ended up on the single 'The Raft', but the other was never released. So here you go." The version that did get released is below...

Chris Sinclair - Deepgrooves engineer

from Deepgrooves website, 17 11 2012: 

"Chris “Scooter” - "Coke" Sinclair [as in Coca Cola], on location recording the Loungehead Album - 1997. Despite his hair color (colouring) and taste in T-Shirts ("haven't had a chance to do the washing"), Mr. Sinclair really does deserve most of the credit for line producing a lot of the Deepgrooves albums. In fact we would go far as to say that at certain times, he held the label together and without him we would certainly not have been able to produce the volume of quality albums that we did.

Originally recruited by Mr. Latimer straight out of SAE to fill Mr. Tierney's rather large shoes at the LAB in late 1992, Mr. Sinclair along a very young Mr. Andrew Morton jumped straight into the studio (they did look very young at the time) and began recording tracks for the Asterix album - (More on this later). In 1993 he teamed up with Mr. Tierney for the Freebass album and later that year, at a rather crucial watershed, Mr. Sinclair stepped up to provide Mr. Fuemana and Mr. Lowe with the support and opportunity for them to actually produce their own albums (New Urban Polynesian and 37 Degrees Lattitude respectively). 

Read the liner notes on the releases for Freebass, Fuemana, Urban Disturbance, Sulata, Grace, Jordan Reyne, Colony, Breaks Co-op, 3 The Hard Way, Color Climax and many more and you will find his name [except they are all deleted and no longer available]. Naturally his credits would later extend far beyond the label and still do to this day. To do the man justice, in this photo, he has dismantled Kaiun, packed it in a Saab [Kane's car], drove many, many miles and has just done 22+ hours of recording and is still not quite at the "Chris - control mix" stage. The man is a legend.

Mr. Sinclair deserves a listing in Wikipedia as one of New Zealands most influential engineers of the 1990s."

See Chris Sinclair on Audioculture

Monday, November 19, 2012

3 The Hard Way - All around

I recently found this video and digitised it, from the TV3 music show Frenzy. Video directed by Clinton Phillips, graffiti art by DLT. For more 3THW, check the interview below, also from Frenzy.

NZ Hiphop Summit Dec 8

The NZ Hiphop Summit is a one day free event packed with entertainment and urban cultural extravaganza that offers visitors the opportunity to experience the dazzling and spectacular day.

It returns for 2012, being held at Mt Roskill Youth Zone, 740 Sandringham Road, Auckland, on Saturday 8 December, with:

Live music
Live performances
Educational history panel discussions
Hip hop workshops (MCing /songwriting), DJing, breaking, beatboxing, aerosal writing)
Colourful air-brush & graffiti art exhibitions
Hiphop stalls
Community charitable support stalls
NZ music industry experts panel discussion

International guest speaker: King Excel (Universal Zulu Nation World Council Member)
To learn more about King Excel and other special guests please visit and look under Panel Discussions

Children and young people are spoiled for choice of music, art, workshops and entertainment

Along with a concert called Bring The Noise featuring Aotearoa's home grown hiphop and emerging new talent, it will be a day that the whole family will enjoy and remember.

Expected to become a major fixture on Auckland's event calendar, this year's theme is a dedication and salute to the Mighty Universal Zulu Nation.

Visit the event Facebook page at

Please email the organisers on if you would like to be part of the street team.

Big dumb future

My old band mate Gavin Downie (ex Picassos) asked me a while back if I had a copy of the music video for Future Stupid's song Big Dumb Future. After Gavin left the Picassos, he joined Future Stupid and was in this video. I managed to locate a copy, and have posted it online - watch out for the vocal spot from Slave (currently MC w Fat Freddys Drop), aka the Rhythm Slave.

I also found an item I directed for Ice TV (TV3) in 1995, while I was doing a tv production course. From memory, I hit up Richard Driver, the producer to let me get some work experience, and he said yes, amazingly enough. I came up with a piece on behind the scenes at a big music concert, this one was White Zombie. Future Stupid got the support slot, so I got them in the item too. Look for Jon Bridges moshing, it's pretty funny.

China Manchu and DLT

Adrian Woh/China Manchu. Photo by Haru Sameshima

Extract from an Welcome Home, an article by Emma Farry on four Asian New Zealanders, published in Stamp magazine, Dec 1993/Jan 1994. 

Adrian Woh, known onstage as China Manchu (formerly China Muffin), arrived in Auckland three years ago. He was 17, could speak very little English and had never been to school... now he writes and speaks English fluently, has a full time job in a bakery and spends the rest of his time rapping, toasting and practicing his singing.

“I've travelled all over Asia... I was crazy and got into a lot of trouble... and did petty crimes. I was born in Malaysia but I've lived in Hong Kong and Singapore. When I got to Auckland I thought it was so relaxed and easy. In this country I finally found myself and I'm now proud of who I am and what I do and my skin colour," Woh says.

"I used to be ashamed of my culture and of the European stereotypes... the way my eyes were and the fact that I had a centre parting and a round face..but different doesn't mean bad", twenty year old Woh says.

He has a number of Maori and Polynesian friends who have taught him about respecting himself and his culture. "I started doing research and realised that Polynesians are descended from Asians, so I give respect to all Polynesian peoples - they've taught me a lot." Woh says hiphop also taught him about himself and gave him an outlet to say what be feels is important.

"I take a hardcore hiphop gangsta approach even though I'm not a gangsta...I wanna be straight up and speak out proud. People should get conscious and speak out against whatever is not right in their lifestyle and the lifestyle of others. That's what I rap about. I don't wanna rap about everyday experiences - it seems like a waste of time.''

He doesn't consider himself to be political but "conscious'' which he believes is a totally different thing.

"It's just a matter of being aware of what's going on around you... with politics it just gets confused and complex."

He is happy that China's culture has stayed pretty much intact. He describes the country of his ancestors as "A staunch nation'' and is pleased that they are freeing up their society in terms of democracy and money-making, but not selling out to the West. He wouldn't want China to end up like either America or Japan.

"To me Japan is just like America.. they both do a lot of exploitation. They are becoming copycats of the Western way of life and I find that a shame."

Woh believes New Zealand is a special country because he has already been able to learn so much living here. According to him it is a more open society which allows more freedom than he ever found in Asia.

Although there are advantages about living here, Woh finds that sometimes mainstream culture still has difficulty dealing with the multiracial aspect of Auckland city. "Every day at work at the bakery I experience it. People will come in and look at the person behind me to serve them. Sometimes it annoys me and I feel like . throwing the tray in their face."

"People just don't realise how hurtful and unfeeling they're being. People aren't born racist it's just what they're taught and minds can be changed.''

"I basically wanna show people that whatever another man can do, a Chinaman can do it."

China Manchu appeared on DLT's debut album The True School, in 1996. Listen to his track below. It's very dope.

ADDED DLT saw this post and filled me in a little on China Manchu's whereabouts. DLT says the last time he saw him was about 3 years ago: "He lives out east I think he was teaching kids hiphop at a church in Glenn Innes last time I saw him."

Stamp mag cover featuring China Manchu, from