Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Go go gadgets!

Here's some interesting numbers on gadget prices from the NZ govt statistician...

The average price of a radio [in 1949] was about £21, or about $1460 in today’s terms.

Colour TV sets were around $80 in 1975 ($7950 in today’s terms) for a 26-inch set.

Typewriters were included in the CPI basket in 1977, when the average price was $175 (about $1030 today).

In 2006, a 32-inch LCD-display TV retailed at about $2750. The same size TV in the September 2012 quarter would have cost about $680.

Source: From typewriters to tablets – the changing face and price of technology

UK music retailer HMV in trouble

Via BBC: "Music and DVD chain HMV, which employs about 4,350 staff, has confirmed it will appoint an administrator, making it the latest High Street casualty. Deloitte will run the 239-store chain while it assesses prospects for the business and seeks potential buyers ...
In a statement late on Monday the company said: "The board regrets to announce that it has been unable to reach a position where it feels able to continue to trade outside of insolvency protection...

... As its debts mounted, HMV sold off parts of the business, notably its live entertainment arm and the Waterstones book chain.

Last week, HMV announced a month-long sale with 25% off prices, sparking worries that the company needed to shift stock after poor Christmas trading. The Financial Times reported that the final straw came over the past few days when suppliers, including music labels and film companies, declined to help HMV with funding so that it could continue trading...

Neil Saunders, the managing director of retail analyst Conlumino, said he felt the appointment of administrators at HMV "was always inevitable. In the digital era, where 73.4% of music and film are downloaded, HMV's business model has simply become increasingly irrelevant and unsustainable.

He said that although the HMV brand "certainly has some value" for potential buyers, the current business model was dead. TThe bottom line is that there is no real future for physical retail in the music sector," he said.

Updated Jan 22: Major record labels assemble rescue package for struggling HMV, via NME

Free Mo Kolours

Taken from the forthcoming OHM release, EP3: Tusk Dance. Pre-order the 12" here: mokolours.bandcamp.com/album/ep3-tusk-dance

More info: "Anglo-Mauritian pop-experimentalist Mo Kolours completes his trilogy of EPs for One-Handed Music with EP3: Tusk Dance. The most introspective collection so far, Tusk Dance is the best opportunity yet to glimpse the otherworldly visions of this unique singer, producer and percussionist.

Mo Kolours’ first two releases have established him as a singular voice as he explores the rhythmic possibilities of his mix of soul, dub, hip hop, the Sega music of his homeland, and various electronic styles."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Golden Dawn shifts to town?

Crane next door to Golden Dawn, cnr Ponsonby and Richmond Rds. Photos by Peter McLennan.
Golden Dawn is a popular bar in Ponsonby, but it needs a new home. Only ever intended as a temporary popup bar-type arrangement, the owners have kept it open as I imagine it has proved a good money earner for them.

Redevelopment plans on that site and next door mean it will most likely have to move by the end of summer, according to their Facebook page. The lot adjacent to them has been vacated by the Mini car dealership, and is now a construction site with foundations being drilled, and so on.

Former council depot, corner Wellesley and Nelson sts,
Weighstation pictured below, with Sale St and Glengarrys behind

One rumoured new location for Golden Dawn is at the revamped City Works Depot, in the former weigh station, near the corner of Nelson and Wellesley st (photo above).

[Update, Jan 15: Golden Dawn's Matthew Crawley contacted me via Twitter to say the "Sale St rumour is popular but false + looks like we've got this spot for a while yet."]

[Update Jan 20 - the Sunday Star Times reports that Bauer Media (ex ACP Magazines) has signed up to move in to City Works, and Foodtruck Garage and Al Brown are also confirmed as taking on a lease.]

[Update Jan 30 -NZ Herald's Viva section confirmed today that Al Brown is opening a bagel bakery in City Works, along with a New York-style deli in Federal st.]

After the two previous owners failed to get major redevelopment of the site up and running - most recently with a office/apartment project called Rhubarb Lane - the site is now owned by a car parking company, Tournament Parking, who have previously been using the space for parking for several years, while developers chased finance.

Unfortunately Tournament have stripped the site of all established trees, and painted out the extensive graffiti art murals, so as not to frighten off car owners, or new tenants, like ad agency Y&R, or Brothers Brewery. Al Brown is also rumoured to be starting a new venture there, a Montreal-style bagel joint. The site has major limitations for entertainment venues, as there are hundreds of apartments all round the site, which means noise will be a problem.

It's evolving into a vibrant spot again, after previous incarnations as art gallery spaces or the cafe Deus Ex Machina. But did they have to white out the walls?

Brothers Brewery, excellent spot for a cold beverage or two.

Photos by Peter McLennan.

Wilson Parking have done the same with their upper Symond st parking spot, painting out the graffiti murals that have been there for many years. Those parking companies really love bland walls.

At the time of purchase, last February, James Brown of Tournament told the NZ Herald that "We have no plans to undertake a big redevelopment. Our plan is to restore the existing buildings and then refurbish them."

The depot was originally built for the Auckland City Council in 1968, and designed by Ewen Wainscott. They won awards from the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1969 and 1970. See construction photos here.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan 12

Bomb the bass - Bugpowder dust - Kruder and Dorfmeister remix
Art of noise - Beatbox
Koliphones - Jungle concerto (moog)
Gwen Guthrie - Rockin chair dub
Funky 4 + 1  - That's the joint
Wajeed - Jeedo suave
Hot 8 brass band - Ghost town
Souleance - Strongest love
Backini - Cream
Blurum13 -Futuristic b-boys inst
Wrongtom and Deemus J - Old time stylee
Butch Cassidy sound system - The pressure
The Clash - Bankrobber dub
Black Uhuru - Party next door
Prince Fari -African queen
Tosca - Heatwave
Menahan st band - Sleight of hand
Gloria Gaynor - Tell me how
The Dells - Learning To Love You Was Easy (It's So Hard Trying To Get Over You)
Eddie Kendricks - Son of Sagittarius
Ray Terrace - You been talking about me baby
New swing quartet - Monkey see monkey do
Mongo Santamaria - Funk up
Ryuichi Sakamoto - Riot in Lagos
Cubalooba - Cubalooba

Nile n Bernard before Chic

From 74, a vocal group called New York City, their backing band included Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, pre-Chic. Live on German TV.

Friday, January 11, 2013

SB & Cosmo - Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2012

"Although using the calendar year is a great tool for cataloging and referencing releases, music moves at it's own pace, and we have found that songs have a way of finding you when they are supposed to find you.

Songs you grow to love are discovered in many ways: through hearing them at a club night, on a DJ mix, in a movie, in a friend's car, at a restaurant - and those songs aren't always new songs, or songs that came out the year that you hear them first. But they are songs that are relevant to YOU that year. And in each of our individual music experiences, they play a role in shaping your musical taste.

So here's our mix. A different take on things. Skratch Bastid & Cosmo Baker - Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2012."

More info & writing & DOWNLOAD: http://www.skratchbastid.com/?p=2832

New Charles Bradley in April!

A new album 'Victim of Love,' from Mister Charles Bradley, out April 2 on Dunham/Daptone. Look for the first single and tour dates to be announced soon.

Earlier this week I posted up a great list of music docos from 2012, on eof the films listed was a doco on Bradley - if you haven't seen the trailer, watch it below...it looks amazing...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Peanutbutter Wolf in AK Jan 26

This is gonna be a fun gig....[updated - gig has moved from Britomart CC to Galatos]

FINE-FORM and ARCADE in association with Conch Records Present PEANUT BUTTER WOLF (VJ SET) (USA - STONES THROW) 

" We are very proud to announce the return of Peanut Butter Wolf. Founder of indie raps most influential record label STONES THROW RECORDS (MF DOOM / J DILLA / MADLIB / MAYER HAWTHORNE) and long time producer and DJ, PBW will be performing one of his world famous VJ sets. PBW seamlessly blends between the decades and genres of visual achieves to create a spectacle for both ears and eyes.

With a huge line up of local support including Cian, Submariner, Truento, Ev Love and Joel Paydirt this is not a show you want to miss. Tickets are $28, available at UnderTheRadar and instore at Arcade and Conch.

New Tosca album

Richard Dorfmeister (of Kruder & Dorfmeister) and Rupert Huber return with a new album Odeon, dropping Feb 5. Here's a free taster.

"'What If' was the first track that we finished for Odeon," says Tosca's Rupert Huber. "The song's basic idea -”what if this was not the case”- can serve as a layout for the whole album: what if noise was a song? What if the sound of the sea was a symphony? What if the ears could listen?

Video: Mala in Cuba

One of my favourite albums from 2012 was Mala in Cuba, a great record mixing electronics, dubstep, and Cuban rhythms. Via Factmag, Gilles Peterson has posted this live clip off the album.

Matty J feat Dei Hamo - Somewhere you're there

Matty J feat Dei Hamo - Somewhere you're there, single peaked at #21 in the charts, late 1994. Film Archive credits the video to Craig (Jax) Jackson but it kinda looks like a Mark Tierney production. Song is produced by Mr. Tierney.

Music docos: 2012 snapshot

From Musicfilmweb, read this great article, titled "The Rodriguez Syndrome: Our Favorite Music Films of 2012". Hat tip to Jay for the link.

"No use denying it: in music documentary terms, 2012 was the year of the Sugar Man. Malik Bendjelloul’s dextrous telling of the too-good-to-be-true tale of lost bard Rodriguez opened the yearstealing everyone’s thunder at Sundance and closes it seemingly certain to cop an Oscar nomination, having hoovered up festival awards and critical kudos in between.

Little surprise, then, that Searching for Sugar Man dominates our annual review of the year in music film, wherein we asked an unscientifically selected baker’s dozen of judges to pick the best of 2012 (one top choice and a handful of honorable mentions). It showed up in seven of the 13 lists (it would’ve been eight – see below), topping three. A few participants seemed to feel almost obligated to offer homage, while one explicitly framed his choices as the anti-Sugar Men..."

Among the films they highlight include the Bad Brains doco, the Ginger Baker doco Beware of Mr Baker (above), Charles Bradley - Soul of America, This Band Is So Gorgeous! Sham 69 in China, Rock ‘n’ Roll Exposed: The Photography of Bob Gruen (dr: Don Letts), Punk Syndrome (About a Finnish punk band whose members are mentally disabled), United States of Africa: Beyond Hiphop, and many more cool sounding films... some trailers below...

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Son

From the debut album Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted (Tangata Records) from Dam Native, now sadly out of print. Production on the album mainly by Zane Lowe, with the Submariner and Hamish Clark (Breaks Co-op) on a few tracks. Someone needs to reissues this! Video directed by Steve Morrison.

Watch Urgh! 1981 live show

Urgh! A Music War (1981) ... 2 hours of great live footage... "... Featuring Devo, OMD, The Cramps, Pere Ubu, Wall of Voodoo, Echo & the Bunnymen, XTC, Klaus Nomi, Gary Numan, Joan Jett, Gang of Four, Magazine, and X... Urgh! is a two hour compilation of live performances by both well-known and obscure bands of the early 80's punk, new wave and electronic genres recorded live in LA, London, New York City and elsewhere..."

Watch out for Steel Pulse doing Ku Klux Klan, at 00.43.14... and The Cramps with Lux Interior (RIP) rocking out like a madman...

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Scotch Bonnet newies

New releases from Scotch Bonnet, out Jan 14 on vinyl/digital, preview below...

"Here are the next 3 SCOB's out 14th January 2013, with debut releases from Tradesman & Subactive sound system, the first excursion from Mungo's on the label since Jahtari artists, Disrupt & Rootah. This is bolstered with the first ever white label, featuring an exclusive vinyl only remix of the 90's classic "Your love", with the Mungo's Riddim on the flipside. Releases will be available from Scotch Bonnet Records shop.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Marbecks Dunedin refocuses on cafe

Otago Daily Times reports Marbecks Dunedin is shifting its focus away from music and books to the cafe side of its operation. The store will also take on much of the stock after the closure of Marbecks Queens Arcade in Auckland. Dunedin store manager is David James, ex Dead Flowers.

"... Marbecks managing director Roger Harper said ... there were no plans to close the store in the Wall Street mall. The Queen St store, which sold only music, had proven to be ''obsolete'' when faced with competition from online sales, but Dunedin's store opened three years ago with those new commercial realities in mind, he said.

Dunedin's shop mixed music with books and a cafe, which was proving successful, he said. Changes this year would shift the shop's focus more towards the cafe operation and away from music and books, although the sale of both would remain part of the business, he said..."

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.”

RELATED: Marbecks closing/opening...

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Flying Nun partners w US label for reissues

Via Pitchfork: "In recent years Captured Tracks have done a fine job of preserving material from indie labels of yesteryear with their various reissues, but 2013 will see them launching perhaps their most interesting reissues project yet. 

"The label has teamed with legendary New Zealand label Flying Nun to reissue "a large quantity" of records from throughout its influential catalog, including out-of-print and obscure records as well as the label's most popular material. The series will include boxed sets and expanded reissues of 12" EPs, 7" singles, and LPs, plus posters, shirts, and more...

"The first release will be a 2XLP compilation of singles, demos, and more from Toy Love, whose short lifespan (1979-1980) melded punk and 1960s pop, an inspiration to the Flying Nun aesthetic. ..."

From Captured Tracks site: “We at Flying Nun are super pleased to be setting up shop with Captured Tracks, who have recently been releasing some of the most exciting new music around. We think this brilliantly compliments Flying Nun’s 30 years of releasing some of the most interesting bands to come out of the remote south pacific. I can’t wait to get my teeth into helping people discover and rediscover some of these records.” -Ben Howe (Flying Nun Label Manager)

 We at Captured Tracks are beyond ecstatic to work with Flying Nun Records for this series of reissues. As a young record collector, I always saw the label as a recommendation of quality and a constant source of inspiration. I would comb the shelves of every record store imaginable to secure anything and everything I could find. When I first heard the news that they’d bought back the rights, this partnership was something that was lingering in the back of my mind.” -Mike Sniper (Captured Tracks Founder).

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan 5

Junior Murvin - Bad weed
Waireka hill sounds - One people - version
Courtney Melody -Stop inform vocal/version
Johnny Osbourne - Budy bye
Manasseh meets the equalizer - Pepper dub
Jah Stitch - Raggamuffin style - Smith and Mighty remix
Round four feat Tikiman - Find a way
Massive music - Find my way - Kode9 remix
Cos ber zam - Ne noya - Daphni remix
Billy Preston - Do it while you can
John  Davis and the monster orchestra - Love magic
The Staples - Colour me higher
Dalvanius - Chudka pa poy
Beanfields feat Bajka -  Tides - Carl Craig remix
Congos - Congo man - Carl Craig edit
Chaka Demus and Pliers - Murder she wrote
Butch Cassidy sound system - Echo tone defeat
Linton Kwesi Johnson - Victorious dub
Quantic & his combo Barbaro - Linda morena
Sound foundation - Ram dancehall (Dubhead reunited with Tuffi culture at Lion Rockers meets Channel One tonight, 420, K Rd)
Fred Wesley & the JBs - Use me
Nathan Haines - East river dr

Friday, January 04, 2013

RIP Tony Hopkins (drummer)

Just heard via Godfrey De Grut, legendary Auckland jazz drummer Tony Hopkins has passed away, sad news... I remember seeing him play often down at Cause Celebre, always played there with great energy and looked like he was having a ball...

Tony's bio from Creative Jazz Club... "Drummer Tony Hopkins is no stranger to Auckland audiences.. He started his full time career in 1958 as Johnny Devlin’s drummer, backed several famous American pop singers and was a regular at the iconic Montmartre Jazz club in Auckland in the 50’s. He was music co-ordinator at the influential “London Bar” in the from 1990 to ‘94, giving valuable support to kiwi musicians Nathan Haines, Tim Hopkins, Matt Penman, Matt Field, Kevin Fields ."

Chris Bourke notes that Bruce Morley (another fine local drummer, who sadly passed away in November 2012) "... wrote a piece in 1963 called ‘Drums By Four’, played by a quartet that also featured other leading local drummers Don Branch, Tony Hopkins and Allan Nash... [also in 1963] he [Morley] interviewed most of New Zealand’s top drummers for a monograph on the craft in New Zealand. All answered the same set of questions, and typically they came from a wide variety of music styles. Among those interviewed were Don Branch, Ted Croad, Eddie Croad, Lachie Jamieson, Tony Hopkins, Bruce King and Billy Nuku."

Tony won a NZ Music Award in 1993, for best jazz album, for Broadhurst / Hopkins / Haines - Live At The London Bar. He also played 'jazzy rides'on Nathan Haines' debut album Shift Left, which won best jazz album at the NZ Music Awards in 1996.

Video below from 2006, Tony Hopkins playing at Deschlers in High st, with Roger Mannins and Andrew Atwill. Not great sound... taken from the youtube channel of Hopkin's wife, more videos of him live in NZ and Brazil, here...

She writes of her channel: "About Tony Hopkins (not Hannibal the cannibal but a drummer). It is very enjoyable to organize these clips, most of them with Tony (my husband) playing Jazz, Rock,etc. in New Zealand and in concerts in Brazil. Check out his energy!"

ADDED: Chris Bourke has posted part of an interview he did with Tony in 2001 for Musical Chairs on Radio NZ... well worth a read.
excerpt: Tony Hopkins: "I left him [Devlin] after we went to Australia. I was becoming sick of the music and I was getting interested in jazz. I was living in a flat in Kings Cross, a place called Waratah House which was up the top of King’s Cross. There was about five of us guys living there, one of them was Mike Nock. I’ve known Mike since I was 17, we used to share a flat in St Georges Bay Rd in Parnell when we were 17, we’re both the same age.

I started to get disenchanted with rock’n’roll in about 1959, when I was sharing this flat with Mike Nock in Kings Cross. Mike used to play for Devlin in the very early years, not much, he played just a few gigs with him and we used to play together from time to time at the Montmartre in Lorne St – the building’s still there by the library, behind the St James – anyway, in this flat in Kings Cross, the boys were all into bebop and modern jazz and I started listening to it, and started to play it. So I became a little sick of the simplicity of rock’n’roll. I like the freedom to create that’s in jazz that isn’t so much in rock’n’roll..."

ADDED: Published in The New Zealand Herald on January 12, 2013: "HOPKINS, Anthony Leonard. Passed away at 1.18am on January 4th, 2013 after a short battle with cancer. He was cared for by his family and surrounded by them when he died. Tony The Big Boppa Hopkins, known for his impeccable timing and swing, was a legend in the NZ music scene. An accomplished and inspired musician, his contribution to both Christian and secular music will live on in our hearts and lives. He leaves behind four adult children, who invite you to join them in celebrating his life at a Memorial Service at 11am, Saturday 12th January at St Paul's Church, Auckland City and afterward from 1pm at his family's home in Ellerslie. Our Dad touched and inspired the lives of many with his brave and fiery spirit, and we thank him."

John Dix writes Tony was "One of the great NZ drummers and all-round good guys .... Tony's career was nothing if not eclectic - in the late 1950s he was in NZ's first great rock'n'roll band, Johnny Devlin's Devils, and in the 1960s his jazz workshops provided inspiration and a forum for many Auckland musos. In the 1990s Tony and saxophonist son Tim regularly entertained the cliquey set at Cause Celebre and more recently Tony has been playing with guitar ace Doug Jerebine. At home playing rock, jazz or hip hop, NZ's "oldest teenager" was one of a kind. Hei maumaharatanga ki te tino hoa..."

ADDED: I scanned two photos of Johnny Devlin and his Devils (featuring Tony on drums) at Western Springs, 1959, from the book Stranded In Paradise, by John Dix, who says these shows at Western Springs attracted over 10,000 people. Photos credited as sourced from Phil Warren.

Johnny Devlin... Photo sourced for Stranded in Paradise from Phil Warren
..and his Devils, Tony Hopkins on drums. Photo sourced for Stranded in Paradise from Phil Warren

ADDED: Found this photo blow in a Metro article on Doug Jerebine/Bob Gillett (Dec 2011)... caption says this is The Jazz Workshop at the Bali Hai, off High St (band later became The Embers), October 1962: Brain Smith, tenor sax; Tony Hopkins, drums; Bob Gillett, alto sax; Neville Whitehead, bass; Mike Walker, piano.

ADDED: One of Tony's last live performances, posted on youtube by his daughter Kathryn. There's another video she's posted (also below), of "Tony Hopkins being presented the Scroll of Honor music award by his son Tim Hopkins in Auckland, New Zealand on Sunday 28th October, 2012. Awarded for over 50 years contribution to the New Zealand music industry, his mentoring and charity work. We salute you Tony.

"What is special about this award, is that Dad has recently been diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer, that has already spread to his liver and that it is inoperable. The specialist has given him 12 months. This award of recognition and validation for all of his years dedicated to playing and sharing music is such a wonderful way of giving something back to him. It has meant a lot to him, as his so many people coming forward with their positive thoughts, prayers and words. Thanks to everyone for that. We love you Dad. Thanks to the Variety Artists Club for the award."

ADDED: "So What? The Jazz Show [on ALT TV]: Kevin Haines (presenter) - In this 1 h 47 min TV program Kevin interviews Mike Walker and Tony and they play together. Here we feature the playing and interviewing sections where Tony is directly involved." Watch interview below and more at nzjazz.co.nz

Bobby Womack has early signs of Alzheimers

Photo: Rick Rycroft/AP/ The Telegraph
From Bobby Womack's Facebook page...

"With regards to the recent widespread news of Bobby Womack's diagnosis with signs of early Alzheimer’s, Mr. Womack would like to release the following statement.

"Thanks to all of my fans for their prayers and well wishes. I truly appreciate and can feel your love. With the support of many good doctors, my family, and all of my wonderful fans, I will continue to write and perform and bring the good music to the people for as long as I can."

– With much love, Bobby Womack."

From the LA Times... "The doctor says, 'You have signs of Alzheimer's,' " Womack told the BBC's Gilles Peterson in an interview on the latter's Radio 6 program. "It's not bad yet, but it's gonna get worse."

Womack, 68, admitted that he's having trouble remembering things, including the name of Damon Albarn, who co-produced "The Bravest Man in the Universe" with XL Recordings chief Richard Russell. At October's Q Awards in London -- where Womack won the award for best album -- he introduced the Blur/Gorillaz frontman as "Damon Osbourne." (The singer first collaborated with Albarn on the 2010 Gorillaz set "Plastic Beach.")

"That's so embarrassing," Womack said of the memory lapse. "Here's a guy I work with -- I would never belittle him like that."

In June last year he told Spin Magazine "I had prostate cancer. I had colon cancer. I had my lungs completely cave in. I had walking pneumonia twice and I'm a diabetic."

UPDATED: Womack does NOT have Alzheimers, see this interview from 6 Feb 2013...

"... I ask him about the Alzheimer's. His face creases into something like a grin. To cut a rambling story short, Womack says that he was becoming worried at occasionally forgetting lyrics. And after his coma, when he couldn't recognise his ex-wife and had lost 40 pounds, his concern about his memory loss deepened. So he mentioned Alzheimer's to a writer, "because I didn't understand it".

So, you don't have Alzheimer's? "No."

Great news, clearly. But his ex-wife "cussed me out. Regina said, 'Why would you tell people you had Alzheimer's? Now you'll never get bookings!'" he laughs. "I'm saying, 'Bookings? I don't care about no goddamned bookings! I'm alive!'"

Pop culture vs Tarantino

Via Next Draft, "Quentin Tarantino is obsessed with including pop culture references in his movies. Here's every single one of them in a single video."

Thursday, January 03, 2013


This video popped up on the revived Deepgroooves.co.nz website recently...they comment that "We shot this clip in one of those semi-abandon[ed] buildings down town near the old bus terminal, another all nighter. The clip features Mr. Massey's recuring[sic] locked off camera shot (Sulata, Ermehn etc) which in this case ended up requiring literally hundreds of edits. Unfortunately, Sulata was not available for the video shoot due to her having just given birth to a lovely baby boy. We did however have quite a bit of footage of her that was shot for another project but never used. It seemed to splice in reasonably well."

More background on Deepgrooves over here.
Watch Deepgrooves videos...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

MdCL and Rotterdam Jazz Orch

Newie out soon from Tru Thoughts...expat Kiwi Mark de Clive Lowe drops some jazz stylings, free download... "Out February 4th/5th, ‘Take The Space Trane’ is the new album from producer, composer and musician Mark de Clive-Lowe in collaboration with the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra. Below is a free download of the title track, announced via The Revivalist.

The album brings together a selection of bespoke compositions and existing cuts from across MdCL’s highly prolific career, as well as a cover of the jazz standard, “Caravan” – all realised with traditional big band arrangements and instrumentation..."

"As per tradition, this final podcast of the year finds TT head honcho and A&R Robert Luis looking back over 2012; and what a year it's been – packed with releases of every shape, size and genre, and heaps of support from all over the world.

Here, Rob rounds up some of the sonic highlights from across 2012 - from the likes of Quantic and Alice Russell, Hint, Anchorsong, Belleruche, Nostalgia 77, The Bamboos, Sleepin' Giantz, Riz MC and more - as well as bringing you an upfront and exclusive peep into the new music in store for 2013."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Grace: Cool world

From 1995's debut album Black Sand Shore, Grace with a spaced out Mark Tierney-directed clip for Cool World, also released as a single, cover below.

Reviewing the single in Real Groove (Dec 1995), Simon Vita described it thus: "The Polynesian soul crooners drop in with something cool and sultry in a mock Latino kinda way ... This is what Julio Iglesias would sound like if he were 30 years younger and as sexy as he makes himself out to be."

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 29

Cinematic orchestra feat Fontella Bass - All that you give
Marva Whitney - I am what I am
Fred Wesley and the JBs - Transmograpification (Fred Wesley live in AK March 21 2013!)
James Brown - The bose - Geisha boys remix
Chakachas - Jungle fever - Greg Wilson edit
Red Astaire - Mambo dinereo
Larry Graham - Sooner or later
Gloria Gaynor - Casanova Brown
Isaac Hayes - Love me or lose me
Supercat - Dolly my baby - Bad boy extended mix
Grace Jones - Pull up to the bumper - 12" remix
The Orb feat Lee Scratch Perry - Soulman -Villad RMX B
Candi Staton - Do your duty - Pepe Bradock remix
Martin Brew - Sand steppin
Shut up and dance - Tan so back
Junior Murvin - Roots train
Resonators -Wandering
Jackie Mittoo - Sunshine of your love
George Faith - Turn back the hands of time
Curtis Mayfield - Doo doo wap is strong in here, Freddie's dead
 Billy Preston - It's my pleasure
Marva Whitney - It's my thing (live)

Friday, December 28, 2012

RIP Fontella Bass

Fontella Bass has died, aged 72. Reuters reports that "Bass died in hospice care in St Louis on Wednesday night from complications of a heart attack she suffered three weeks ago, her daughter, Neuka Mitchell, told Reuters. Bass had also suffered from strokes in recent years.

"She's going to be missed," Mitchell said. "Her big personality. Her love for family. Her big, giving heart and her cooking." She was known as the "queen of soul food" to her family, Mitchell said."

From the LA Times: Two sides of Fontella Bass -  "Any appreciation of soul singer Fontella Bass, who died Wednesday at age 72, must first acknowledge “Rescue Me,” the propellant 1965 R&B banger that became her signature. But equally vital in her -- and the American -- pantheon is “Theme de Yoyo,” her rousing vocal turn during the free jazz collective Art Ensemble of Chicago’s 1970 album “Les Stances a Sophie.”

The two works illustrate the range of the singer’s power: One is a gut-busting soul cry, the other a nine-minute thrill ride that drives funk and boundary-busting jazz through one instrumental climax after another.

Don't be late: 98

From Ermehn's debut album Samoans Pt II, the single Don't Be Late. Watch out for the blue neon backdrop behind Ermehn (at 2.28), that's the Palace Hotel on Victoria st, demolished in 2010 after the developers weakened the foundations while renovating the 124 year old building.

From the deepgrooves.co.nz website: "" We had known Ermehn since the early nineteen nineties, even prior to the original OMC days. Like a lot of artists from South Auckland in the ninties [sic, it was not about whether they had talent but really it was more of a question of whether they had the confidence and determination.

"With Ermehn however, it was different, we had tried for a couple of years to get Ermehn to do an album, however his "lifestyle" and "other factors" always seemed to get in the way. Credit here really has to go to Mr. Philip Fuemana for carrying the load, perservering [sic] and continuing to re-join the dots. By the time we actually got to the point of recording Ermehn's album, Mr. Fuemana had left Deepgrooves and was busy recording MOIZNA and LOST TRIBE in Kaiun Digital for his Urban Pasifika Records Label. Enter again, Mr. Andrew Morton, now reggae, hip hop producer extraordinaire.

"Coincidentally, around this time video production values jumped exponentially when we secured access to an Aaton XTR Prod equiped [sic] with a Canon 18-64mm (Without the right glass it is nothing) S16mm Zoom and struck a post production deal with the Film Unit (We believe it is now owned by Mr. Peter Jackson of "Brain Dead" Fame) in Wellington.

"We shot this clip in the Auckland Art Gallery. Credit goes to Rosanna Raymond for the styling and extras and Marc Swadel for the tireless camera operating (Dusk to dawn - Marc - "Is this the norm?" ... Us - "What do you mean?")." Deepgrooves now has a youtube channel too.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pon the twitters

Earlier this year, the NZ Herald did a list of NZ's 50 Top Tweeters (Twitter users) and somehow I got my name in there, which was both weird and cool. Yesterday the NZH published a follow up to that, with a list of their top tweeters' top tweeters. Here's mine....music-related, surprise surprise... @martynpepperell, @robyngallagher, @chipmatthews

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Vinyl revival: Mumbai/Dundee reports

Independent record store in Dundee says vinyl is making a comeback
"... Groucho's Record Store, which has featured in a pop video by Dundee rockers, The View, has said that 2012 has been its toughest year. But the store said it does have a future and that people are searching for old gems which can only be found on vinyl..."

and Vinyl market still not resurrected in India
"... There are a few major hurdles that need to be resolved for vinyl to be more feasible choice for consumers. For one the price has to come down. This of course has to do with the economics of demand and supply. An LP's steep price often deters buyers from making the purchase, but the purchase is pegged high due to the low availability of supply. Moreover, a number of records are collector's items which can fetch very high prices later on.

"The lack of proper record players in the market is also a drawback. The good machines- semi automatic and automatic ones are usually imported. And with the duties, it makes very little sense to purchase one. A turntable which costs Rs 5-600 in the US will cost three times in India...."

Captain Planet

From the Bastard Jazz crew... "In honour of this very special solstice, the ending of a 5,125 year Mayan calendar cycle, and the dawning of a new era of higher consciousness... I present you with this tropical tribal dancefloor heater." Free DL.

Monday, December 24, 2012

RIP Marva Whitney

"Marva Whitney, one of the greats of funk and soul and the woman whom James Brown called “Soul Sister #1″, passed away last night (December 23, 2012). She was 68....

...In 1969, Whitney made her first solo recordings for King, Brown’s label at the time. She scored a Top 20 hit on the R&B charts with ‘It’s My Thing (You Can’t Tell Me Who to Sock It To)’, which was a rewrite of the Isley Brothers hit, and the follow-up, ‘Things Got to Get Better (Get Together)’ just missed the R&B Top 20. Much of Whitney’s work has been sampled in hip hop tracks, most notably ‘Unwind Yourself’.

In December 2009, Marva collapsed on stage in front of thousands of fans at the Falls Festival in Lorne, Australia, while performing with The Transatlantics. Taken to Geelong Hospital and diagnosed with a stroke, she made a recovery and was performing again in 2010..." Source: Noise11.

Whitney's most recent recordings were an outstanding album with Japanese funk outfit Osaka Monaurail released in 2006, called I Am What I Am. There are some live clips of them playing together in London in 2009.

Jakarta Recs, feeling festive

"A little thank you gift for everyone's support in 2012 and a little preview what we have coming up in 2013.

"Festive season music" ranges from unreleased exclusive music like "Everyday is christmas" that Blu sent us earlier this month to songs that will be released on Jakarta Records in 2013 like Ta-Ku's & Mr.Troys tracks. Most songs are yet unheard, some are exclusive to this selection. The actual cassette tape will be given away to friends and partners of the label, some will be given away for free on our facebook site (grab one at facebook.com/jakartarecords), some thru our firends at vinyl-digital. We printed a total of 130 numbered copies.

Have a look at some of the releases we have coming up in 2013:

Ta-Ku - Dowhatyoulove
Mr. Troy - Introduction
Shuko - Sleepless
Umse - Wachstum
Raashan Ahmad - TBA
Blu & Sene - A Day Late & A Dollar Short (Vinyl Edition)
Tyra Hammond - TBA

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ten years today...

..since Joe Strummer passed away. I was lucky enough to see Strummer and his band play at the start of 2002, at the Big Day Out, he was in great voice. And he played London Calling. Here's their 1982 Tokyo show in its entirety.
Previous post: The Clash on Times Square.


In which Pagan Records label boss and Cosa mainman Trevor Reekie gets his forehead stroked gently by pretty young Asian women in a comfortable darkened room, because that's how life was in the music industry in 1996, kids. Downloading killed all that.

Tuffi Culture raps, Dubhead nods in a skanking fashion, and Daniel Barnes takes it all in, from a horizontal position. Still water runs deep, sometimes. Warning: video contains hippies twirling fire poi's.

More info: http://www.amplifier.co.nz/artist/14682/cosa-nostra.html

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 22

Rusty Bryant - Fire eater
Troubadours - Funk good feeling
Jose Feliciano - She's a woman
Boozoo Bajou - Night over Manaus
Herbs - French letter dub
Dennis Brown - Money in my pocket/Ah so we say (feat Big Youth)
KRS One - Bo bo bo
Wrongtom meets Deemus J -Wa do dance
The Clash - Magnificent seven
Kraftwerk - Tour de France -Francois K remix
Souljazz orchestra - Serve and protect - Frankie Francis Sofrito edit
The Soul Seven  -Cissy's thing
Pleasure seekers  -Give up the funk
World wonders - Funky washing machine
Clarence Thomas and the Organisation  - Express yourself
Charles Wright and Watts 103rd st rhythm band - What can you bring me?
Rosevelt Johnson & his spice islanders - Mt Royal
Carlos Garnett - Mystery of ages
Johnny Hammond - Summertime/the ghetto
The winners - Get ready for the future
James Brown - Soulful christmas
Como mamas - Trouble in my way
Donna Summer - State of independence - Justin's Get It edit

Friday, December 21, 2012

Who loves lists?

You do. Bet you do. Here's a few...

From Fact mag...Top 40 reissues for 2012 
The 50 best record sleeves for 2012

From Elsewhere.co.nz' s Graham Reid...The best of Elsewhere, the editor's top 40 plus Reader's Choice 

Simon Grigg's list of some of his favourite music of 2012
"... Mur­ray Cam­mick turned me on to my cur­rent favourite from years past, the George Faith album Super Eight pro­duced by Lee Perry. I mean, I knew and loved his cover of Diana, but never looked beyond it..." second that, great album...

From The Corner.. Top ten moments in NZ music for 2012
and The best and the rest of 2012

Andrew Dubber's 20 albums worth checking out in 2012 

Potholes in my blog: 50 best albums of 2012

DJ Food's 2012 favourites

Apollo's Bounteous Harvest: The Quietus Albums Of The Year 2012

Soulsides: 2012 rewind - five songs that left me banging on the dashboard
plus Oliver Wang on the Bill Withers 9 CD Complete Sussex and Columbia box set that dropped this year, how did I miss that one...

Cian from Conch Records posted his faves on Facebook...

TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2012 (In no particular order)
1. IG Culture - Soulful Shanghai (Kindred Spirits)
2. The Internet - Purple Naked Ladies (Odd Future)
3. Lone - Galaxy Garden (R&S)
4. Menahan Street Band - The Crossing (Daptone)
5. Greg Foat Group - Girl & Robot With Flowers (Jazzman)
6. Various Artists - Personal Space (Numero Group)
7. Mala - Mala In Cuba (Brownswwod)
8. Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes (warp)
9. DJ Nature - Return Of The Savage (Golf Channel)
10. Hazel - The Lost Tapes (The Beat Down)

TOP 10 TRACKS OF 2012 (In no particular order)
1. Falty DL - Hardcourage
2. The Insomniax - Daydreaming
3. Andrew Ashong - Flowers
4. Gaslamp Killer - Nissim
5. Joey Bada$ - Where It'$ At
6. Menahan Street Band - Keep Coming Back
7. The Stepkids - Sweet Salvation
8. Kendrick Lamarr - Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst
9. Colonel Red - Spaceface
10. Hiatus Kaiyote - Nakamarra

Any lists I need to check out? Hit me up in the comments...

Under liquid skies

I recently posted up a video for Joint Force (DLT/Slave/Otis) for Static Pt 2. DLT's daughter saw that on Facebook and mentioned she wanted to see the video for her dad's tune Liquid Skies, cos she's in the clip (at age 9 approx). I tracked down a copy, so here it is.... from 2000. She was pretty stoked to see it. Choice buzz!

Found this video too... some mean dancing in it...

Reflex Re-visions

Reflex Re-visions: ten tasty edits, incl Bob Marley, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Temptations, The Who, Wild Cherry and more. Go have a listen and grab em...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Aaradhna live

Aaradhna live instore at Real Groovy

I went into town at lunch yesterday, to catch Aaradhna singing live instore at Real Groovy. It was just her and a guitarist, which is the perfect way to highlight her fantastic vocals. Her latest album Treble and Reverb is easily one of the best local albums of the year. It's assured, soulful, and genuine as heck.

I last saw Aaradhna sing at David Dalla's fantastic popup store at Conch for the cd release of his Rose Tint album in November 2011, that was a fun night.

I remember running into P-Money on the street last year, and asking what he was working on and he let slip a little about the Aaradhna album, and how they were going for a 60s soul sound. I was intrigued to hear it, cos, if anyone could pull off that sound, it was P-Money, He is seriously under-rated as a music producer in this country, rather than just as that hiphop guy making beats. Dude KNOWS sound.

Treble and Reverb dropped early November, and it didn't disappoint. Sure, there's the obvious contemporary references like Amy Winehouse or Sharon Jones, but Aaradhna goes deeper than that.

At the instore at Real Groovy, Aaradhna introduced one of the songs by saying "how do I talk about this?" and then explained to the assembled crowd that she had been thru depression a few years back, and was living at her Mum's house, sleeping and eating all day, "being a real life couch potato", as she put it. That's when she wrote Wake Up, as a song to herself, saying "get out of bed, stop wasting time..."

Hearing Aaradhna talk about this was very moving - she's the real deal. She's not faking soul, she's not pretending, this is her singing about her life.

Watch the video below for a taste of Aaradhna's live sound. There's a moment at 2.45 in the video when she looks away from the mic for a moment, then turns back and belts out the next line 'I've been trying to get to you, I've been trying to get through to you..." the soul and emotion in her voice at that moment send chills down my spine every time I watch it. She is an incredible singer.

A few weeks after the album release, her label rep was in New York (as mentioned in Martyn Pepperell's interview with her in NZ Musician), with American record deals on offer from three labels (Epic, Universal Motown, E1/Koch), a possible management contract with William Morris Agency, and sync opportunities from tv and film. Things are looking up for Aaradhna.

Catch her playing live in February on the summer winery tour, with Che Fu, Opshop, and Missy Higgins. Dates here

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Questlove loves lists

Questlove Thompson (The Roots) has written a list for Rolling Stone, it's a corker. He's compiled a list of his choice of the top 50 hiphop singles of all time. It starts in 1979 when he first heard hiphop, and goes thru to 1995, which Questlove defines as "... the year my major-label debut with the Roots made its mark. I wanted to concentrate on the period that I was not professionally involved in the art form."

Here's his entry on Eric B And Rakim, one of my favourite hiphop acts ever. I own a pile of their records, probably more than any other artist in my collection. If you've ever read any of the liner notes for albums by The Roots, then you know Questlove can write, and he has some serious deep knowledge on music. Read on....(note, a reader of that RS post has put up a playlist of the songs on Spotify)

Eric B. and Rakim, "Eric B is President"/"Check Out My Melody" (1986)

"If I were given hip-hop's timeline wand and asked to draw the line in the sand that would define the moment that hip-hop stepped into the post-modern age, this song would have to be my choice. Rakim's no-nonsense, straight-laced, non-minstrel, dead-panned delivery is one of the hardest sells in hip-hop. I mean, think about it.

Some of our favorite characters in hip-hop are just that: characters. Colorful, all over the place, full of inflection and humor. Rakim was none of that. Pssssh, even his most humorous punchline – gotta remember, "President" was a part-time response record to Janet Jackson's unexpected red-hot "What have you done for me lately" – was dry enough to make Steven Wright take notice. "You scream I'm lazy?/You must be crazy/Thought I was a donut, you tried to glaze me . . . "

Rakim was John Coltrane personified as MC: all cool and steady hand. Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys were screaming hip-hop's power from the top of the mountains. Rakim was doing the exact opposite – mountains came to him. Just to prove this was no fluke, his every word on the B-side "My Melody" was like the holy scriptures. Damn near the 10 Commandments for any real MC worth his or her weight in gold.

There was no MC from this new Renaissance period that wasn't running for cover when Rakim was within earshot. Remember those old Westerns, when the cowboy dressed in all black comes to the saloon and the tavern gets all silent and even the piano player stops the music? I don't, either, but you get the picture I'm trying to make. Rakim turned MCing into a serious art. He was no joke."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jason Kerrison and end of the world

Jason Kerrison. Photo: Peter Meecham/Fairfax NZ

The NZ Herald recently had an article featuring comment from Opshop's Jason Kerrison, titled Ending the world on a high note, by Susan Edmunds and Andy Pickering, just caught up on this. Apparently Kerrison was unhappy with how he was represented in the article, and published his full email reply to Andy Pickering's questions on Facebook...

"It's a pity @thenzherald has become a second rate sensationalist magazine that doesn't actually report it's interviewees opinions. Here's what I actually sent to @andypickering in response to his questions.
(Pls excuse bad grammar and mistakes Etc...was never my strongpoint)..."

Read Jason's full answers here..."Talk of an ‘Ark’ was initially to pique the interest of the media to discuss the broader matters at hand around the 2012 phenomena, some of which I’ve raised in answering earlier questions..."

For more on that, in January 2010 Woman's Day ran an article titled "Opshop's Jason: Why I'm building a real ark!" Read about it at The Corner.

Losing you

Blood Orange (Dev Hynes) was featured a few issues back in Wax Poetics (issue #50). He's behind the very cool latest single from Solange Knowles (hat tip to Andrew Tidball for the link). It's off an EP called True, by Solange, that dropped 27 November worldwide on digital, the single is out on 12" vinyl.

Hynes (via his Tumblr): "I spoke to Maureen Seaberg of Psychology Today about my synesthesia, compositional techniques, and future projects. Click here to read the interview."

The Guardian (iv from Aug 2011): From Lightspeed Champion to Blood Orange, the many lives of Dev Hynes. And more recently, from The Guardian... Solange Knowles: Dev Hynes's beats suit my stubbornness but I'm no hipster

From Blood Orange's Tumblr, go Solange!

Shanty Sound Reggae Mixtape

Shanty Sound – 50 Years – Foundation Reggae Mixtape, via Music Selections, hat tip to Jason F for the link.

"Shanty Sound, aka Bergamo-Rula, from Italy, mixing foundation reggae tunes for our enjoyment. You got 50 minutes of classic gems from the 60′s, mixed live and direct from strictly 7 inch vinyls.

Music from Jamaica’s two most respected and iconic labels Studio One and Treasure Isle, no need to say more. This mix flows great, you’ll find some stuff that you already love, and some stuff you might have slept on as well. It’s a long way back to the 60′s: when music lasts so long you can bet it’s well built. The musical foundation of Reggae is rock-solid, that’s why this genre is still so popular. And its story is fascinating, if you’re interested in the subject, I suggest you to read this book."