Tuesday, February 26, 2013

P-Money + Duck Down = done deal

P-Money has signed with US label Duck Down Music, home to Pharoahe Monch, 9th Wonder, Black Moon, Smif-N-Wessun, KRS-One and our own David Dallas, who has been working with the label for a while, since signing with them in Nov 2010.

P-Money's new single is out, called ‘Welcome To America’ featuring Skyzoo and Havoc of Mobb Deep - off his album Gratitude, due out later in the year. Have a listen/DL

ADDED P-Money's new track is featured on Nah Right, who say the new album is out May 21 in the US

Marbecks Lower Hutt shuts

I heard via Twitter earlier this week that Marbecks was shutting its store in Queensgate mall, in Lower Hutt, apparently one of a number of shops closing down in that mall. I asked Marbecks on their Facebook page what the story was.

Marbecks have confirmed this closure this morning via their Facebook page, posting the following:

"Yesterday marked the last day of trade for Marbecks Queensgate, we’re of course sad to close, but the closure had originally been planned for March last year, so we got an extra year over expectations, for which we’re grateful.

More importantly it marks the end of Chris Smith’s reign as music king of Queensgate, where he has reigned supreme for decades; I won’t let on how many ;-). The music man with the mullet has become a local legend!

Happily it is not the end of Chris’s reign in Lower Hutt, he is opening his own independent record store outside the mall, in a much more reasonably priced location & hopes to be the purveyor of all things music in the Hutt for many years to come – we wish him every good wish & blessing in his new venture.

Thanks to Chris & all the fine staff at Lower Hutt over our many, many years there. We wish all the leaving staff all the very best in the various new jobs & travels that they are going to, it was a great store, and you had a great reputation, you can leave with heads held high – job well done.

Great store, great people, good times.

Cheers, Rog"

ADDED: The new store that Chris Smith is opening is called Mint Music, check their Facebook page for how the store fitout is coming along.  It;'s at 258 High St, Lower Hutt.
UPDATE: Mint Music opened on March 8. Read 'Boutique retro feel to new music store' article from Dominion Post.

ADDED I asked Marbecks via Twitter this morning about reports their one of their Chch stores was advertising 'Last xmas sale ever' in their window, and were they closing - Marbecks responded that "as previously indicated, as & when leases permit we will be winding down our physical store footprint on a case by case basis."

ADDED 27 Feb: Have heard from someone in Christchurch that he was told by Marbecks Riccarton staff that they were closing that store, and the Merivale store is closing too, by Christmas.

Previous posts: Marbecks closes Queens Arcade after 78 years, opens Hobson St cafe
Marbecks Dunedin refocuses on cafe

Taite Prize finalists

 The Taite Prize finalists have been announced... Tom Scott makes it in twice with @peace and Home brew.

@Peace – @Peace (Frequency Media Group)
Aaradhna – Treble & Reverb (Frequency Media Group)
Collapsing Cities – Strangers Again (Pastel Pistol)
Home Brew – Home Brew (Young Gifted & Broke / Frequency Media Group)
Lawrence Arabia – The Sparrow (Honorary Bedouin)
OPOSSOM – Electric Hawaii (CRS Records)
SJD – Elastic Wasteland (Round Trip Mars)

And via Cheese on Toast here’s the judging panel:
Gary Steel (writer, editor, journalist at large)
Grant Smithies (Sunday Star Times)
Jan Hellriegel (IMNZ member / Native Tongue Music Publishing)
Lydia Jenkin (NZ Herald Entertainment)
Damian Vaughan (NZ Licensing Manager, APRA)
Leonie Hayden (Editor, RipItUp)
Murray Cammick (freelance DJ / music doyen)
Nick Atkinson (The Music Mix / Radio NZ)
Ren Kirk (Editor, theaudience.co.nz)
Sandra Hopping (IMNZ member/ Ode Records)
11th Man – John Taite (BBC America)

Mo Kolours: EP3: Tusk Dance

Mo Kolours has dropped his EP3: Tusk Dance, and it's up on Bandcamp as name your price. It's fruity as, give it a listen.

"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."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Owiny Techno

Owiny Sigoma Band - Owiny Techno b/w Nyiduonge Drums. 12" / Digital. Released 01/04/13.

Lead track from Owiny Sigoma Band's sophomore album 'Power Punch' forthcoming on Brownswood Recordings. Boom!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

RIP Cleotha Staples

Staple Singers, Cleotha on left

Cleotha Staples, founding member of the Staple Singers, dies at 78. Via Soulbounce.

From Chicago Tribune: Cleotha Staples, founding member of the Staple Singers, dies at 78

"Cleotha Staples, one of the founding members of the renowned Chicago soul and gospel group the Staple Singers, died Thursday at the age of 78.

She had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease for 12 years, and had been under 24-hour home care. Her longtime caretaker was with her when she died at 11:11 a.m. Thursday in her high-rise condominium on the South Side, according to her sister, Mavis Staples.

Cleotha Staples was a vital component of the Staple Singers’ distinctive harmonies. Her soprano voice, which rang out like a bell and descended with a distinctive twang, was among the key musical elements in the family group that sold tens of millions of records and scored hits such as “I’ll Take You There,” “Respect Yourself” and “Uncloudy Day.”

Cleotha is survived by her sisters Mavis and Yvonne and her brother, Pervis.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Feb 23

Al Green - Love and happiness - Shoes edit
Charles Wright - That's all that matters baby
 Laura Lee - Crumbs off the table
Keith Mansfield - Crash course - Wai wan re-edit
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Sankofa
20th century steel band - Land of a thousand dances
Pepe Braddock - Peer pressure
45nm - Rider
Manasseh meets Blood and fire (feat Michael Rose and Ranking Joe) - No burial
Groove corp meets Twilight circus (feat Big Youth) - Love is what we need - G corp remix
Dubkasm - No retreat - flute instrumental
Marcia Griffiths - Electric boogie - Dub 1
 Groove armada - Tune in
Tony Allen - Ole - Moritz von Oswald remix
Kenny Dope - Get down
Jay Z - Show me what you got inst
Eric B and Rakim - I know you got soul
Jurassic 5 - Quality control
Mark Ronson - No one knows
Charles Wright -Doing what comes naturally
Prince Tui Teka - Let's stay together
Rim D Paul and the Quintikis - Poi poi twist

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fat Freddys live - Mother Mother

New track from the lads. Fat Freddys Drop are out on the winery tour circuit, and having fun, by the sounds of it.

"The first leg across the North Island and down South has been awesome!" Freddy's saxophone player Scott Towers aka Chopper Reeds told the NZ Herald.

"NZ rules! Days off playing golf and eating scallops, crayfish, flounder and even slow-cooked goat in the Hawke's Bay, swimming in the river at Mangatainoka and flinging the frisbee amongst the feijoa trees in New Plymouth. "

The Winery Tour heads to Nelson this Friday and Saturday, Blenheim on Sunday then up to the North Island for the final three shows in Tauranga, Auckland and Hamilton in March. Joined by The Adults, and Anika, Boh and Hollie.

Authors on wax for sale

Greg Gatenby in his office. Photo: Michelle Siu for National Post
Via National Post: World’s largest collection of authors on vinyl up for sale

"Some years ago, Greg Gatenby found himself in a dusty old record store in Stockholm, Sweden. The shelves were piled high with old 33s and 45s, but Gatenby wasn’t interested in music. He approached the clerk behind the counter and asked: “Do you have any records by authors?”

Gatenby, sitting in his Toronto office on Tuesday morning, mimics the clerk’s puzzled expression; head tilted to the side, eyes narrowed, lips pursed.

Eventually, the clerk spoke: “Do you mean novelists and poets?”

“Yes,” replied Gatenby.

“On vinyl? Do you care what format?”


“I’ve been waiting for you for 28 years,” the clerk said.

“I don’t understand,” said Gatenby.

“Oh, you will.”

The clerk rose from his seat and walked to a far corner of the store, where he placed a ladder against the packed shelves and climbed high off the ground. He proceeded to take down several heavy boxes full of nothing but spoken word LPs from around the world.

“He said I was the first person in 28 years to ever ask for authors on vinyl,” recalls Gatenby.

It was the pinnacle of Gatenby’s record-collecting career, but the number he discovered in that Stockholm store — 70 or 80 in all — is dwarfed by the collection he has amassed since then. A man best-known for his commitment to live readings —he is the founding artistic director of Toronto’sInternational Festival of Authors — Gatenby has accumulated what he calls the world’s largest collection of authors on wax. And all 1719 pieces of vinyl are currently for sale.

“There’s no categorical way of knowing, except that for 35 years I’ve been talking to record dealers who are amazed,” he says.

“When I tell them I have 1700-plus their jaws drop, because they just don’t know anyone who’s that crazy.”

King Britt workshop

King Britt sez "A few months ago, I gave a workshop on creating samples for sample packs and the philosophy I use when creating them. Here are highlights."

Crate diggers: Nu Mark

Ex Jurassic 5 DJ Nu Mark has got mad records. Totally worth the watch.

Jurassic 5 reunion confirmed for Coachella too. And maybe some more shows...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

6 million recordings are rotting

Report: Roughly 6 Million Archived Recordings are Rotting As We Speak... [via Digital Music News  -excerpts follow]

"The whereabouts of a wire recording made by the crew members of the Enola Gay from inside the plane as the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima are unknown. Many key recordings made by George Gershwin no longer survive. Recordings by Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and other top recording artists have been lost."

The US Library of Congress reveals that a large percentage of America's recorded music history has been destroyed, lost, or is simply deteriorating as we speak. "Radio broadcasts, music, interviews, historic speeches, field recordings, comedy records, author readings and other recordings have already been forever lost to the American people," Librarian James H. Billington says.

The hard numbers clearly show a recording legacy under attack. In one survey that canvassed 46 million historic recordings across libraries, archives, museums, and societies, about 6 million works were deemed to be "in need" or "in urgent need" of restoration. On top of that, another 20 million are in an "unknown" state, suggesting a possible multiple of the 6 million figure.

When it comes to outright destruction or missing content, the reasons are varied. 'Acts of God' like a fire at a studio or radio station, or the recent Hurricane Sandy only compound problems like limited budgets and theft. But one of the largest culprits is US Copyright Law itself, which often handcuffs preservationists fearful of massive infringement penalties, even on stuff that is simply being left to rot.

Of particular focus are works created prior to February 15th, 1972, the date when copyright law was federalized. Go past that date, and you're dealing with a complicated patchwork of state laws, and often, 'orphan works' with unknown authors and origins.

"To complicate matters, state laws that prohibit unauthorized duplication of sound recordings make no provisions for duplication for preservation purposes by libraries or archives."

"Many pre-1972 sound recordings will deteriorate long before 2067, the year in which they will enter the public domain under current federal law," the report continues. "Sound recordings historically have been fixed on media that are much more fragile than many other types of copyrighted works."

Donald Byrd - Gilles P tribute

3rd copyright ruling out

Elton sez "How much? Ouch." Source
Yesterday the Copyright Tribunal announced their third ruling, over an internet user accused of uploading an Elton John song (twice), and a Coldplay song via torrent software. The user was fined $797.17, although RIANZ was asking for a $3931 penalty.

From Stuff NZ: "...The tribunal instead ordered $7.17 in direct compensation, the repayment of $250 in fees Rianz had paid to get the case to the tribunal and a deterrent of $180 for each of the three "strikes". The deterrent was slightly higher than the $120 benchmark set in its first Skynet judgement.

The tribunal explained the internet user had been found to have illegally shared a total of 97 tracks and offered no explanation for the offences.

The decision follows two awards, of $616 and $557, ordered by the tribunal in cases where Rianz had also sought thousands of dollars and appears to indicate the sums it will award against pirates in most cases are likely to remain in three figures."

Copyright lawyer Rick Shera (who works for clients on both sides of the copyright debate) commented on his blog that the ruling offers "Clear affirmation that file sharing networks, of themselves, are not illegal. Note however that the Tribunal implies that "much of the content" on such networks is infringing (although without referencing any evidence for that statement)."

Contrast this with comments from Rianz's Chris Caddick, who was reported by Newstalk ZB in January thus: 'Managing director, Chris Caddick says it takes effort to share content. He says it's a deliberate act to download a piece of software which enables peer-to-peer file sharing.'

I asked Shera via Twitter: "decision mentions there was 'no response of any kind from acct holder' - so how do they know the acct holder got the 3 warnings?"

His response: " That is part of the presumption of guilt", with this link to the Copyright Act, 122N Infringement notice as evidence of copyright infringement.

NBR notes that 'Under Section 122N of the Act - the "presumption of guilt section" as Shera and other legal critics call it - there's no requirement for a rights holder to even prove the defendant actually even received the notices.'

NBR also reports that "A rep for Rianz said the industry group had no detailed statement on the decision. But he did tell NBR ONLINE, "We think the decision is a good one and sends a message that if you illegally share files and are caught you can expect a fine. This particular fine would have bought the respondent five years of Spotify premium service. Why bother to illegally share music?"

Further reading: https://internetnz.net.nz/news/blog/2013/Early-Lessons-Copyright-Tribunal
NBR has the raw data - Third ruling (PDF) NBR also has the two previous rulings in full.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mara meets Moodymann

Electric Wire Hustle's Mara TK dropped a solo 7"single a little while back, and has pulled together some sterling names for a few remixes on the Taniwhunk EP. You get Moodymann and Simbad plus the originals on this 12" from German label OnGravity. Out now in UK/Europe, stand by for it to drop in NZ record stores very soon. Hat tip to Martyn Pepperell over at Vanguard Red for this one.

You can catch Electric Wire Hustle and family playing at Womad, doing a very special set where the band members will be joined by their parents - in Mara's case, that means his dad, legendary guitarist Billy TK, plays alongside him. Photo below....

Electric Wire Hustle with Billy TK, Sam Manzanza & LĂȘ Nuong

New Jet Jaguar bizz

The first of six eps due out this year from Mr Upton, aka Jet Jaguar, go check it! Listen below... and name your price.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Potatohead People newie

"Brooklyn-based Bastard Jazz Recordings is proud to present The Kosmichemusik EP by Montreal/Vancouver duo Potatohead People (aka producers Nick Wisdom & AstroLogical) who had previously created internet buzz through their digital-only releases on netlabel Jellyfish Recordings.

Their debut for Bastard Jazz is a trip through the mellow synth-jazz hip-hop style they’ve become known for.
The EP kicks off with “Kosmichemusik”, a chugging joint with humming bass, gritty drums and well polished glimmering synths setting the mood proper. Next up, “It Gets Good” features Vancouver mainstay MC and renaissance man Moka Only spitting mellow Sunday-morning style rhymes over Potatoheads deep and moody hip-hop vibes, while “Blossoms” features Canadian vocalist and frequent collaborator Claire Mortifee providing gorgeous, quirky vocals over a bubbling, bouncy track with subdued bass, guitar and Rhodes weaving themselves in. 

Next up, “Love Hz” is an instrumental cut with crispy drums, ghostly vocal stabs, a catchy bubbling bassline and pulsing keyboards, while “Back To My Shit" is a lovelorn tale of breakup and redemption featuring the rhymes of Detroit's Frank Nitt (Frank'n'Dank, J. Dilla) with very catchy yet deep synth-heavy production from the Potatohead People. The EP rounds off with “Journey”, an expedition the deeper realms of beat music with subaqueous synths, lifting strings, and neck-snapping drums.

Bastard Jazz will also be releasing a limited edition 7” from this project featuring “Love Hz” and “Back To My Sh*t” on Valentine’s Day for all the heart-breakers and/or broken hearted."

Purchase the digital: iTunes, Amazon, Junodownload, Bastard Jazz Shop.

Dubmatix w Mykal Rose, free DL

Yosi Horikawa w Grayson Gilmour

YOSI HORIKAWA - AOTEAROA from Tom Gould on Vimeo.

New one from First Word Records, recent visitor to Aoteaora, Mister Yosi Horikawa....

"Fresh from last week's Souleance release, we're back with more great new music for your listening pleasure. Whispers from An Angel is the second release on First Word Records from Japanese producer Yosi Horikawa. After the delicate instrumental electronica of debut EP 'Wandering' this release sees a collaboration with fellow Red Bull Music Academy alumni Grayson Gilmour [NZ], Anenon & Jesse Boykins III. Originally recorded at Red Bull's studios in Madrid, the track remained unfinished for almost a year. It was too good to stay incomplete however and is the perfect release ahead of Yosi's debut album later this year.

Yosi's idiosyncratic production style is the ideal counterpoint to Jesse's soulful vocals and some subtle keyboard work from Grayson. With the addition of a tasteful saxophone solo from Anenon this is a track that is a collaboration in the truest sense of the word. On the b-side is the instrumental 'Dots' - another intricate Yosi rhythm, with layer upon layer of strange pops and crackles slowly building into a trademark off-kilter beat.

The release is topped off with a remix from Anenon of the title track adding a brooding build and a more club-friendly beat - effortlessly taking the track into a new dimension. The lead track is also available on a limited edition 7" - due to huge demand we've put 'Bubbles' from the debut EP on the flip. So many of you wanted it on vinyl, we had to make it happen. 

Listen / buy it here. It's shaping up to be a great year for Yosi after XLR8R named him as one of their artists to watch in 2013 and Time Out Tokyo picked 'Wandering' in their list of Japanese albums of 2012. For those that missed it you can also check out the stunning video project above from Yosi's recent trip to New Zealand...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Third3ye - Moments video

Some fine, jazzy blunted Aoteaora hiphop. Potholes in my blog is up on this one, saying " The latest NZ act to land on our radar is the trio of Third3ye, which is made up of melodic rappers Angelo King and MeloDownz and jazzy producer SwervinMervin. Last November, they released the damn-good Earth Raps EP, which features standout tracks like “Moments”. The spiritual, uplifting song just received a complementary visual treatment."

Listen/download below

Thursday, February 14, 2013

P-Money, flashbacks

P-Money has recently posted up a ton of his back catalog on Soundcloud for your listening pleasure, ahead for some new music dropping from him, dropping in two weeks. Check his Che Fu remix...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Parris does Radz

The world champion dancers Parris Goebel and Re-Quest dance crew and freinds mix it up to Aaradhna's great ska inflected ditty Keep My Cool. Love it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Solomonix reggae

This album from Auckland reggae outfit Solomonix, produced by Riddim Central's Iron Will, dropped late last year, and has recently hit Bandcamp, pay what you like. Serious roots reggae from Aotearoa, tasty business. Check it.

Kimbra wins Grammys

Gotye and Kimbra. Photo: Grammy.com

Kimbra scored two Grammy nominations for her guest slot on Gotye's hit single Somebody That I Used To Know - Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and also Record of the year - and won. She arrived in Los Angeles a few days ago, saying she would be based there for the next few months, and first item of business was get all dressed up for Sunday night's awards ceremony.

Gotye won Best Alternative Album, then he And Kimbra won Best Pop Duo. She looked thrilled. Then the big one, Record of the year.

Kimbra told the NZ Herald's Russell Baillie that  she "didn't think they had much chance. Especially as unlike those fellow nominees they hadn't been asked to play the song on the night. "I kinda took that as a sign that maybe we weren't going to be main players in the awards ... but we were stoked to be at an award ceremony for the first time and we were able to relax and not have to worry about a performance."

The award was announced by Prince. Kimbra was pretty excited about seeing Prince, mentioning on Twitter earlier in the day "Prince will be at The Grammys presenting an award tonight. Breathe, breathe"

Check Prince's entrance... gif by Rich Juzwiak, who says  "Prince is still the coolest, no matter what he says."

Then Prince intros the nominees, thne says "The award goes to..." he opens the envelope, looks at the winners name., and says "oh, I love this song... Somebody That I Used To Know."

Cut to Gotye and Kimbra getting up in the audience, she looks completely stunned. They get up on stage, and Gotye makes a brief speech, and thanks Prince for his music, then Kimbra thanks Gotye and his producer, and also thanks Prince. He stands there, being all enigmatic. What a dude. Watch the clip on the Grammys site.Or watch below, if it's still up.

Previous Kiwi Grammy winners are jazz arranger/musician Alan Broadbent (7 nominations and two wins) and Flight of the Conchords.

ADDED:  Kimbra tweeted "Still can't believe this actually happened. Framing this moment forever in my mind"  - see photo below...

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Free Mr Chop

Wicked sampler of Mr Chop's mighty work, some great bleepy business...

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Feb 9

 Johnny Hammond - Higher ground
Buddy Miles - Them changes
Idris Muhammad - Express yourself
Mantarays - Originator
Quincy Jones - Hummin
Nat King Cole - Ay cosita Linda
Eli Goulart - Meu samba - Nicola Conte remix
Thelonious Monk - Straight no chaser
Madhouse - Two
Sheila E - Love bizarre
SOS Band  - SOS (dit dit dit dash dash dash dit dit dit)
Slim - It's in the mix
Womack and Womack - Teardrops
Laidback - Get laidback
Chancha via curcuito - Vaina
Comfort fit - Nitro
Stinky Jim - Get ready to talk
Cos ber zam - Ne noya - Daphni mix
Michael Olatunji - Soul makossa
Hugh Masekela - Languta (live in Auckland, March 14, and at Womad)
Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren band - Savannah
General Echo - Drunken master
Donald Byrd - Think twice
John Davis and the monster orchestra - Holler

Friday, February 08, 2013

Aaradhna signs US album deal

Last night on TVNZ's Seven Sharp, Aaradhna announced her new five album deal with US major label Republic Records (formerly named Universal Republic). Watch that announcement here. Exciting news!

Of course, now comes the hard work to make some kind of impact in the US market, but having a great album for starters is sure gonna help. Good luck, Radz!

Catch Aaradhna on the Summer Vineyard  Tour with Opshop, Missy Higgins, and Che Fu in February, dates here. Official press release on Aaradhna's album news here.

Previous post: Aaradhna live instore, Real Groovy

RIP Donald Byrd

photo: LastFM
Posted on Facebook by Byrd's nephew, Alex Bugnon...

"Donald Byrd 1932- 2013
Donald passed away Monday in Delaware, where he lived. His funeral will be held in Detroit sometime next week. I have no more patience for this unnecessary shroud of secrecy placed over his death by certain members of his immediate family ( NOT His children! We are very tight! ) who are "handling" it. I'm letting y'all know, so spread it as far as you can! Let's remember Donald as a one of a kind pioneer of the trumpet, of the many styles of music he took on, of music education. In sum, Donald was an avid, eternal student of music, until his death. That's what I try to be, everyday!!
Rest in peace, uncle!"

ADDED: from Potholes In My Blog: " His influence, as you may know, is massive, as he played with everyone from John Coltrane to Eric Dolphy to Ahmad Jamal while amassing a highly notable discography in his own right. Additionally, Byrd left a huge mark on the hip-hop community, and it wasn’t just through producers sampling his music. Fans of Guru’s Jazzmatazz albums know full well that Byrd’s trumpet could be heard throughout the first two releases.

For us here at Potholes, two of Byrd’s most treasured moments came when J Dilla and Madlib reinterpreted his tunes on “Think Twice” and “Stepping into Tomorrow”, respectively..."

ADDED Feb 12: New York Times obit:  Donald Byrd, Renegade Jazz Trumpeter, Dies at 80

Bio from LastFM:
Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II (born December 9, 1932) is an American jazz, rhythm and blues trumpeter. Born in Detroit, Michigan. He performed with Lionel Hampton before finishing high school. After playing in a military band during a term in the United States Air Force, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in music from Wayne State University and a master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. While still at the Manhattan School he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, replacing Clifford Brown. After leaving the Jazz Messengers in 1956 he performed with a wide variety of highly regarded jazz musicians.

In the 1970s, he moved away from his previous hard-bop jazz base and began to record jazz fusion and rhythm and blues. Teaming up with the Mizell Brothers, he produced Black Byrd, which was enormously successful and became Blue Note Records’ highest-ever selling album. The follow-up albums, Places and Spaces, Steppin’ Into Tomorrow and Street Lady were also big sellers, and have subsequently provided a rich source of samples for hip-hop artists such as Us3.

He has taught music at Rutgers University, the Hampton Institute, New York University, Howard University, and Oberlin College. In 1974 he created the Blackbyrds, a fusion group consisting of his best students. They scored several major hits, including “Walking In Rhythm” and “Blackbyrds Theme”.

Full bio at AllMusic...

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Igelese - Groovalation

Iglese, from Rip It Up issue 214, 1995
Igelese Ete released the single Groovalation in 1995, on local label Papa Pacific Records, run by Manu Taylor, then working at Marbecks (these days he is station manager at BFM). Papa Pacific also released early recordings by Dei Hamo, Johnny Sagala (Lost Tribe), Stellar, and Fieldstyle Orator [now Tha Feelstyle].

Igelese moved from Samoa to Wellington when he was 7. Rip It Up's John Russell (Issue 214, 1995) writes that "Igelese began singing in the choir at the church where his father was a preacher, and wound up as both a member and conductor of several singing groups, including the National Youth Choir. At age 15, he was resident pianist at the Park Royal Hotel in Wellington." Igelese went on to complete a music degree at Victoria University, with a major in performance singing.

Igelese says Groovalation was his "plan to combine different styles of music, and by doing that I hoped to get a unifying effect. I included the Polynesian styles because that's my background,  and Maori because I wanted to pay tribute to the tangata whenua. The other reason I wanted to do Groovalation was to prove to young people that if you have a vision, not to give up."

Once he had the song recorded, getting a NZ On Air video grant proved difficult without a record company backing it. Russell writes that "Igelese was turned down three times ... for video funding. He had no initial success when he began searching for a recording contract."

Igelese : "I'm no record company, but I think most of them were too scared to take a song that had a Samoan and a Maori rapper. Maybe they just thought it was too extreme to try and sell"

He eventually got a deal with indie label Papa Pacific (distributed by Warners), and RIU reports that there was an album planned for later in the year (95).

RIU: "Meanwhile,Igelese has begun collaborating with Gifted and Brown and former Rough Opinion rapper Kas [now known as Tha Feelstyle] on what he describes as a new urban sound. Igelese  "I think the next thing people are going to get into is Polynesian fusion - mixing up a lot of different styles. That will be the thing to look out for." [which neatly points to the rise of the likes of Urban Pacifika/OMC]

Groovalation proved successful at commercial radio, earning Papa Pacific a Radio Hits funding rebate from NZ On Air, given to acts that achieved a significant level of radio airplay. The song spent 11 weeks in the NZ singles chart (and 5 weeks in the top 20), peaking at number 13 on 2nd July, 1995. Video directed by Makerita Urale (one of King Kapisi's sisters) and Simon Beaufield.

From NZ on Air Kiwi Hit Disc #13 liner notes "Groovalation started life as Tutufa'atasi (Meaning "standing together" or unity) and was written for the 1994 International Festival of the Arts' finale concert."

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Haring meets Koch

photo: from Keith Haring the authorised biography

In 1984, Keith Haring was asked to design a logo for an anti-litter campaign by the New York City Dept of Sanitation, and to thank him for his efforts, he was invited to meet the mayor, Ed Koch, who was notoriously anti-graffiti.

In Haring's authorised biography by John Gruen, Haring says the campaign was called 'Don't be a litter pig', and he came up with a cartoon pig for them. He met Koch at the campaign's launch  and used the opportunity to present the mayor with Haring's book Art In Transit, which included photos of Haring's subway drawings.

Hearing about the meeting, Haring finds that "This is hysterical, because Mayor Koch is an avowed enemy of graffiti art [see below clip], but I go to the ceremony and present him with my book... [and get a snap] of the mayor looking completely horrified at this book of my graffiti art!"

Monday, February 04, 2013

Opensouls Lewis M mix n mash

" I've had this sitting around unfinished for some time now. Can't remember if it was sidelined because I was working on my albums or because my son was born - probably both! Anyways, it's far too epic (8min long!) to stay locked up so I knocked it out and here it is. Thanks to Julien Dyne for the percussion bits."

RIP Cecil Womack

Cecil Womack passed away aged 65 last Friday, Feb 1st. Via Potholes in my blog...

"Cecil Womack, who with his wife Linda formed Womack and Womack, passed away Friday, Feb. 1 at the age of 65. Soul Source reports that he died in an unknown African country, where he and Linda moved some years ago. His final request was to have his ashes spread over a river close to their house.

Cecil began his career as part of a gospel group with his brothers, including Bobby Womack, called the Valentinos. They were guided by Sam Cooke up until his death in 1964. During that time, Cecil was married to fellow soul legend Mary Wells, though they split in 1977 and Cecil later married Linda Cooke.

In the years following that, the Womack couple recorded several albums together with 1983′s Love Wars and 1988′s Conscience serving as their most popular efforts. The latter spawned their biggest hit, “Teardrops”, which charted high in the United Kingdom and New Zealand [the song hit no 1 in NZ and Australia].

They continued recording together in the ’90s when they moved to Africa and adopted the surname Zekkariya."

ADDED: From The Independent, 1994: How we met: Womack and Womack 

ADDED Feb 8: From Bobby Womack, on his official Facebook page: " I was terribly upset when I heard about my brother's passing, and I still am. We made music together for a long time, but we've had many differences over the years. Thankfully we got a chance to reunite last year after a very long separation - and little did I know that it would be the last time I would see him. I can only pass along what I have now learned, which is to not let anything - money, success, etc, come between you and your family.
- Bobby Womack"

Picassos - Clap your hands video

This video turned up on the revived Deepgrooves website, and has also surfaced on Youtube. I directed this video for my band Hallelujah Picassos, in 1989. I was at art school, and we knew Mark Tierney from BFM, where he was in-house studio engineer, prior to going to work at the Lab recording studio for Bill Lattimer. We recorded with Mark at both BFM and The Lab.

When Mark scored this tv co-hosting gig (alongside Robert Rakete and Lani Gifford), I was able to hit him up for some TVNZ film stock (16mm positive), and he got me into TVNZ to do the film to video transfer/telecine, and then scored me some editing time, all done via contra under the auspices of the tv show CV. This was how NZ bands got videos made before NZ On Air funding came along.

I hired a cameraman and his camera, we borrowed a studio to film in, and I bought fish and chips for all our mates who came along as extras. Total cost of video = $138. The other band in this clip, Drone, were also at art school, coincidentally.

from the Deepgrooves website:

"Mark's CV:  Bit of a tangent here, but note worthy none the less. Prior to forming the label in 1991, Mr. Tierney was quite a well known TV "personality" fronting, along with a couple of others, a music show called CV. We were at the time, oddly enough, fans of both of these bands.

Bob and Harold would later form the Riot Riddum Sound System (2R2S) and would go onto record a number of tracks for the label including Home Girl (produced by Mr. Tierney), which featured on our first compilation. Bobbylon would also later guest on 3 The Hard Way's Hip Hop Holiday. We currently have a number of 2R2S DAT tapes slotted in line to be digitized and uploaded. "

Como Mamas

Como Now is a fantastic acapella gospel album that came out in 2008 on Daptone Records, home to Sharon Jones and the Dapkings, Charles Bradley, Antibalas, and the Menahan St Band.

"In the summer of 2006, Daptone Records placed a small ad in local papers and on the radio inviting singers to come down to Mt. Mariah Church [in Como, Mississippi] to record their songs. The result is COMO NOW, a stirring collection of traditional and original acapella gospel from the voices of Panola County’s own families." You can read the background about that album over here.

Now Daptone are releasing a followup, from the Como Mamas. Out Feb 5th.

"There are only three instruments on this recording: The powerful, raspy voice of Ester Mae Smith, the deep soothing voice of Angela Taylor, and the energetic, spirited vocals of Della Daniels. There are no other musicians on this recording, yet the harmonies the Como Mamas create are so powerful, musical accompaniment is not missed.

"Recorded on a sweltering morning in the humble wood structure that is Mt. Mariah church, this record is sure to mirror that heat throughout your body and soul. Don't be fooled by the term Gospel for this record will move everyone from the pious Pastor to the staunchest atheist. The Como Mamas believe whole-heartedly that these songs have the power to help and inspire people in their everyday lives. As Della put it "We just want folks to listen and get an understanding." Audio previews on Daptone's site.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Feb 2

Willie Bobo - Descarga del bobo  -Masters at work remix
Chancha via circuito - Burkina
Skyy - Easy
Candi Staton - When you wake up tomorrow
Bill Withers - Railroad man
Pepperpots - Real true love
Aural exciters - Emile (night rate)
Shriekback - Lined up - disco mix
LCD Soundsystem -  45 33 - Padded cell remix
Shannon - Let the music play
Cherelle - Artificial heart - dance mix
Bassomatic - Funky love vibrations - Concrete mix
Common - Come close - Boozoo bajou remix
Nitin Sawney -Dead man - Fink dub
UB40 - One in ten dub (Ali Campbell's UB40 and Toots and the Maytals at Vector Arena, sunday night)
Toots and the Maytals - Funky Kingston
Albarosie - Sound killa
Bounty killer, Bunny rugs - Down in the ghetto
East side symphony - Hot pants road
Connie Price and the keystones - Western champion
Ohio players - Fire
Orgone - I get lifted
Sign of four - Jumping beans

Friday, February 01, 2013

HMV tweetoff

Via Adam Leyton on Twitter: "Tip: If you're going to sack your social media team, it's a good idea to change the password first"

Now all deleted, with HMV posting that "There have been job losses today, but not in our stores. We are still open for business, thx for your continued support... One of our departing colleagues was understandably upset. We’re still here thou, thx for supporting hmv thro these challenging times..."

ADDED Meet the woman who took over the HMV Twitter account: Her name is Poppy Rose Cleere.

Mt Zion OST

The local film Mt Zion debuts on our screens on Waitangi Day (and Bob Marley's birthday), Feb 6 - watch the trailer below. The soundtrack is out today, some great Kiwi acts in there plus some new recordings... Golden Harvest, early Herbs, Prince Tui Teka... and look, another Tem Morrison film with Max Merritt's Slippin' Away in it.


Take It Easy - Stan Walker
Mt Zion - Small Axe
Heat Wave - Small Axe
Dreadlock Holiday - 10cc
(You Gotta Walk)Don't Look Back - Peter Tosh
Now That We Found Love - Third World
The Harder They Come - Jimmy Cliff
Funky Kingston - Toots & The Maytals
Burning Spear - Marcus Garvey
I Can See Clearly Now - Johnny Nash
Hoki Mai - Prince Tui Teka
Soul Deep - Small Axe
Lion Trail - Small Axe featuring Troy Kingi
Maunga Hiona - Small Axe featuring Che-fu
Azania (Soon Come) - Herbs
I Need Your Love - Golden Harvest
Slippin' Away - Max Merritt & The Meteors
Army - Small Axe
Basket - Small Axe

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Illegal downloader fined

The first case under the new copyright act has been heard at the Copyright Tribunal. An unidentified internet user has been fined $616.57, of which "The tribunal ordered the pirate to pay the costs of purchasing the tracks ($6.57), $50 towards the costs RIANZ incurred for sending the notices and $200 for the cost of bringing the case to the copyright body. The offender was also ordered to pay a deterrent sum of $360 ($120 per infringement)."

Read the full judgement on NBR's site.

The NZ Herald reports that "The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) ... took an unnamed offender to the Copyright Tribunal last year for sharing songs on the internet - a track by Rihanna on two occasions and the other by Hot Chelle Rae.

NBR reports that "In a letter from the defendant included with the decision, she says she accepts responsibility for downloading the first song, Rihanna's "Man Down" although she had not been aware her actions were illegal at the time.

"She writes she subsequently had trouble deleting a BitTorrent file sharing programme called utorrent, which led to a subsequent inadvertent download. She did not know how another song, "Tonight, Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae, came to be downloaded over the connection. "It was not done by myself or anyone in this household," she wrote."

Rianz said in a statement that "It is disappointing some account holders do not take meaningful action when first advised their connection was being used to flout the law."

Its; worth noting that filesharing  programmes like utorrent generally set themselves up so they will automatically open when you start up your computer, and it appears this user didn't know it did that.

From NZ Herald:  "In a decision released today, the tribunal found in RIANZ's favour and ordered the offender (who was a Telecom customer) to pay a penalty $616.57.

The ruling was the first of its kind under a 2011 copyright law change that allows rights holders - like movie studios or music companies - to issue notices to users believed to be illegally downloading or uploading copyrighted content. After a third notice, rights holders can bring a case before the tribunal, which can fine an offender up to $15,000.

Although only two songs were involved in this case, RIANZ sent a second notice about the Rihanna song to the offender around seven months after the first.

In a submission to the tribunal, the music pirate claimed ignorance to the illegality of the offending. "The first song downloaded was a song called Man Down by Rihanna. I accept responsibility for this. I downloaded the song unaware that in doing so from this site was illegal," the submission said.

However, the offender did not claim responsibility for the Hot Chelle Rae track. "It wasn't [downloaded] by myself or anyone in this household," the submission said. While the pirate only referred to downloading the songs, RIANZ's claimed the offending was for uploading the music.

This was accepted by the tribunal, which also said it was possible the pirate only intended to download the music over the file-sharing network where the offending took place.."

ADDED Jan 31: Thomas Beagle of TechLiberty has written an interesting analysis of this test case and what it means, worth a read...

Snip: "... It seems clear from the quoted part of the respondent's submission that they have no real idea about how file sharing via bittorrent works. RIANZ and the Tribunal both also seem somewhat blind to the reality that a default uTorrent installation will set itselt to automatically restart whenever the computer is restarted, and will thus keep sharing until stopped...."

"this case once again demonstrates two of the key weaknesses of the law:

"There is no way to prove your innocence. No one in New Zealand keeps the kind of detailed network logs that would be necessary to prove that you hadn't done what you were accused of. All you can do is assert that you didn't do it and the Tribunal has just shown that they will ignore this.

"The responsibility falls on the account holder, not the people using the internet to infringe copyright. In this case the respondent admitted she had downloaded the first track, apologised and had taken steps to stop it happening again. She denied downloading the third track that triggered off the penalty and suggested that someone else might have done it. Obviously we can't know if she was telling the truth, but the reality is that most internet connections are shared and this could easily happen.

"These two points are going to come up again and again. It seems certain that in many cases justice will not be done, with the account holder taking the fall for sloppy detective work on the part of RIANZ and the ISP, or the actions of other people sharing their internet account..."

ADDED Jan 31: RIANZ MD Chris Caddick told NewstalkZB that  they "can measure piracy levels and they have not gone down over the past 12 months... we have really been waiting for this, a first decision, to send a clear message, that there are consequences..." He says he is confident that this test case will result in a drop in piracy.

ADDED: See this US report on Kim Dotcom's recently launched Mega: File-sharing site Mega fields 150 copyright infringement warnings...

"Mega, which launched on Jan. 20, allows people to store 50GB of encrypted content for free. The content, which can be shared between users by sharing a link to it, can be decrypted if a user also shares the encryption key.

Mega was developed with an eye to avoid the copyright infringement allegations that plagued Megaupload, which was shuttered in January 2012. Since uploaded content is encrypted, Mega cannot determine the content of files stored. But it will remove content upon receiving a valid notification of copyright infringement."

Menahan keep coming

Off The Crossing, the latest album from the Menahan St Band, dropped October last year.

New Dam Native video

Annie C - U soul me

Found this really cool track from Miss Annie Crummer on a vhs, nice mid-90s triphop production vibe. It was a single off her 1996 album The Seventh Wave, on Warner Music. When I posted it to my Youtube account, unfortunately Warners blocked it for New Zealand viewers, which was a bit stink.

I was able to get a contact to email at Warners NZ, and they kindly unblocked it. Why they would block an artist they released on their own label is beyond me. Especially for an NZ On Air-funded video. Let the taxpayers see it, peeps.

But this is something of a big problem with Warners, especially around the Flying Nun catalog. Although Warners no longer own the FNun catalogue, I'm guessing they clearly still have the artists listed in their database that Youtube use to source their copyright warning and geoblocking.

Russell Brown recently highlighted on Twitter the case of former member of the Headless Chickens Grant Fell, who uploaded some videos of his old band, only to have Warners block them for NZ viewers. At least their version of Abba's Supertrouper is still up!

Russell writes about this problem, noting "... Warner Music’s continued and unwarranted assertion on YouTube of copyright over the Flying Nun Records catalogue it no longer owns – each geoblocking claim needing to be sorted out on an individual basis – is probably not the only problem of its kind..." in a post discussing the launch of Kim Dotcom's new service, Mega.

At the Mega launch, Dotcom talked about his his yet-to-be-launched Megabox service, that will give artists a lion's share of the sales, 90%. That's nothing new. Bandcamp gives artists 85% of every sale. Creating an online service that cuts out the record labels is not new or innovative. Perhaps folk in the media can wake up to that and stop blindly repeating Dotcom's assertion on this like it was fact. If you asked some local independent musicians, they'd tell you they're already using Bandcamp very successfully, so why would they go with Megabox....

Anyways, the Annie Crummer video was directed by Mark Hartley. This single peaked at #21 in the NZ singles charts, and the album peaked at #5. The single also featured a rap remix produced by Anthony Ioasa, with Three The Hard Way on vocals.

New Charles Bradley single

album cover artwork

Charles Bradley follows up his fantastic 2011 debut album No Time For Dreaming with a new album, Victim Of Love, dropping April 2 on Daptone's imprint Dunham Records. Here's the first single ... US tour dates here. May 16 he's hitting the Apollo Theatre, that would be a very cool show to see...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

El Truento bizz

Some tunes from the back catalog of Christoph El Truento, name your price, over on Bandcamp - have a listen...

Monday, January 28, 2013

R.I.P. Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner (Ohio Players)

Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner of the Ohio Players (Fire, Love Rollercoaster, Funky Worm) has passed away aged 69. Found a couple of great old live clips of the band, below...

Official Family Announcement of the Passing of Leroy Sugarfoot Bonner (source: Kiss104FM)

"Yesterday, Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner passed away quietly in his hometown of Trotwood-Dayton, OH. While his family, friends, colleagues, and fans mourn his passing they celebrate fondly his memory, music, and legacy.

Sugarfoot, or Foot, or Sugar, was the founding and cornerstone artistic talent of OHIO PLAYERS and the face and sound of the OHIO PLAYERS brand, which he knit together and launched in 1964 with former members of The Ohio Untouchables. With a career spanning 56 years, he passed barely short of his 70th birthday.

Humble yet charismatic, soft spoken and of few words, the weight of his thoughts, lyrics, and music has influenced countless other artists, songs, and trends. He will be missed but not forgotten as his legacy and music lives on. More details and an official historical perspective of his career will soon be forthcoming."

Ohio Players frontman Leroy ‘Sugarfoot’ Bonner dies, from Dayton Daily News

Benjamin 7"

Cherries Records is a fresh label founded last year outta Chicago. Their latest release drops Jan 29, on 7" single and MP3, and sounds like this... damn, it's dope.... go check out their earlier releases too.

Flipside is over here, listen....

Some background... "Windy City singer and multi-instrumentalist Benjamin [Ben Pirani] has a fondness for ‘80s soul ... he cites Fatback Band producers Bill Curtis and Gerry Thomas as prime influences, and as such, the single contains two jams that channel the synth chic of the time, while adding a signature contemporary touch. “I have a bit of genuine nostalgia for that period of music,”

BENJAMIN muses wistfully, helping illuminate the audacious Jheri curl uptopianism of his formidable debut. Although, funk is just one color in this shining star’s musical palette. BENJAMIN also plays guitar and sings in Chicago Stone Lightning Band, a heavy blues rock affair who recently released an eponymous LP. He is also a founder of Chicago’s northern soul music staple Windy City Soul Club.

This broad scope of activity rests in solid foundation as BENJAMIN is from a family of pros. His mother’s opera career ran from the ‘60s to the ‘80s, while his father played piano on Terry Callier’s timeless 1972 LP Occasional Rain, as well as alongside leading lights of Chicago soul such as Charles Stephney and Minnie Riperton..."