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.


Media: MISSING MAX
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 http://youtu.be/ixUc7Fw_Pxo

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’√Čtrange’ 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
1. SHOCKABILLY – DAY TRIPPER 3.43
2. MASSACRE – KILLING TIME 2.54
3. FERDINAND – TELE, APRES LA METEO 3.36
4. MATHEMATIQUES MODERNES - DISCO ROUGH (Long version) 4.45
5. THOMAS LEER & ROBERT RENTAL – DAY BREAKS, NIGHT HEALS 3.58
6. SNAKEFINGER – LIVING IN VAIN 3.43
7. WINSTON EDWARDS & BLACKBEARD – DOWNING STREET ROCK 4.54
8. LIGHTNIN’ ROD – SPORT 2.35
9. FUTURA 2000 (ft THE CLASH) – THE ESCAPADES OF FUTURA 2000 6.57
10. TIMEZONE – WILDSTYLE (12" Vocal) 9.14
11. DEADLINE – MAKOSSA ROCK 11.03
12. BOBONGO STARS – KOTEJA 7.39
13. TOURE KUNDA – AMADOU TILO 2.46

CD 2
1. NINI RAVIOLETTE – SUIS-JE NORMALE 6.34
2. RICHARD HELL & THE VOIDOIDS – DESTINY STREET 4.41
3. SAPHO – CARMEL (12“ mix) 6.34
4. GINGER BAKER – DUST TO DUST 5.32
5. LAST EXIT – BIG BOSS MAN 1.03
6. MANDINGO – HARIMA 6.05
7. MANU DIBANGO – ABELE DANCE (’85 remix) 7.00
8. TIMEZONE – WORLD DESTRUCTION (Original 12" mix) 5.37
9. MATERIAL, MICHAEL BEINHORN, BERNARD FOWLER, BILL LASWELL & NILE . RODGERS – I’M THE ONE (Dance version) 7.31
10. GRANDMIXER D.ST – HOME OF HIP HOP 7.12
11. B SIDE with BERNARD FOWLER – ODEON (Dance mix) 5.46
12. FAB 5 FREDDY – CHANGE THE BEAT (Male version) 7.37
13. THE LAST POETS – MEAN MACHINE CHANT / MEAN MACHINE 4.02

DIGITAL ONLY:
JIMI HENDRIX, BUDDY MILES & LIGHTNIN’ ROD – DORIELLA DU FONTAINE (Single Edit) 4.46
GRANDMIXER D.ST – CRAZY CUTS
SHANGO – SHANGO MESSAGE
MODERN GUY – ELECTRIQUE SYLVIE 7.38 (Full length version)
B SIDE – SO HOT (feat. Tony Allen) 4.05