Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Kutiman - Maasai In Dub (free download)

New single from Kutiman, free download ahead of the release of  Wachaga In Dub on December 4th.

"Kutiman’s Tanzania-meets-psych-jazz album, Wachaga, released earlier this year, is an epic and incredibly uplifting work of art, blending traditional Tanzanian sounds with free jazz, psychedelia, afrobeat and soul. On ‘Wachaga in Dub’ we see Kutiman turn inward, amplifying the deepest sounds within the album’s standouts, in turn creating a far more psychedelic experience.

Born out of a profoundly affecting experience, following an invitation to collaborate with the Maasai & Wachaga nations in Tanzania, ‘Wachaga” has been championed by the likes of Gilles Peterson, Uncut, Jamie Cullum, & The Wire. ‘Wachaga In Dub’ takes the original source material as a starting point and adds delay, reverb and phasers to elevate the music into new hallucinogenic heights. 

In the spirit of classic dub albums of the past, Kutiman selects and rearranges parts of the original songs to present them to listeners in a different light."

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Ring The Alarm playlist, 14 November

 Grace Jones - Nipple to the bottle
Liam Bailey - Champion
Conray - The flower fair
El Michels Affair - C.R.E.A.M.
Lee Fields - My world is empty without you    
Charles Bradley - You think I don't know but I know
Stevie Wonder - Fingertips (pt1)
Brassroots - Good life
Cannibal and the headhunters - Land of a thousand dances
The Mixtures - Poochum
David and Reuben - I love her so much it hurts me
Mary Wells - Can't you see (you're losing me)
Shirley Ellis - Soul time
Melba Moore - The magic touch
Marvin Gaye - This love starved heart of mine
Joe Tex - Under your powerful love
Cloud One - Atmosphere strut remix
Bohannon - Summertime groove
Fonda Rae - Over like a fat rat
Sun Ra - Where pathways meet
Cedric Im Brooks & Sound Dimension - Mun dun go
Jackie Mittoo - Totally together
Pitch Black - Speech (International Observer remix)
Black Seeds - Make a move (Downtown Brown remix feat Mighty Asterix)
Lord Echo And Jennifer B - Rhythms of 77
Godtet - Cactus dance
Sola Rosa - My love

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Scrimshire X Omar

New single from Scrimshire feat Omar, off the forthcoming album Believers Vol 1 out Nov 13.

The final preview of new Scrimshire album Believers Vol. 1 features UK soul legend Omar alongside Mercury nominated Seed Ensemble collaborator XANA and Resonators front woman Faye Houston. The massive lineup deliver a deep piece of UK soul, with clear synth influences from classic 70s era Stevie Wonder and a powerful message about equality and unity. What initially seems like a mellow soul cut builds to an explosive crescendo of voices and rhythms.

“This song was an early part of making the album, and when I made it, I thought "Omar would sound amazing on this" and immediately put the madness to the back of my mind. But it turns out, it is possible to make mad things happen. It is 2020 after all.

To give it everything I could imagine, I also spoke with XANA who made a massive impact on me with Afronaut on the Mercury nominated SEED Ensemble album last year. And to truly sprinkle magic all over, I asked Faye Houston to be a part of the amazing energy amassed here.

‘Believers Vol.1’ represents warmth and hope. Everyone I worked with early in lockdown, seemed to want to express those longings for physical and emotional connection too. The whole album reaches out, I think it’s full of long embraces. But it is also, for me personally a love letter to black music and the black artists that shaped everything I care about sonically, from my very first memories of music until now. It draws from sounds I grew up around in the early to mid eighties, classic records from the seventies that I’ve never tired of, but important dance records from the late nineties and early 2000s that celebrated and subverted those ideas too.”

Ring The Alarm playlist, 7 November

Cookie Monster and the girls - C is for cookie (disco edit)
Risco Connection - Aint no stopping us now
Fat Freddy's Drop - The raft (Steppers dub)
Bongmaster - Brothers and sisters
Pigalle Connection - Vendetta James
Lucky Brown and the SGs - Bout to blow (rehearsal)
Darondo - Get up off your butt
Ardijah - Jammin'
Jonzun Crew - Space is the place (extended version vocal)
Goon Squad - Eight arms to hold you (dub)
Sylvester - Rock the box (dance version)
Redds & The Boys - Put your right hand in the air put your left hand down in your underwear
Kid Creole and the Coconuts - Darrio
Rip Rig and Panic - Storm the reality asylum
The Waitresses - I know what boys like
Lizzie Mercier Descloux - Hard-boiled babe
Owiny Sigoma Band - Lucas malore
Beanfield - Tides(Carl Craig - C's Movement #1)
Kahil El'Zabar - How can we mend a broken heart
Massive Attack - Bumper ball dub (Mad Professor remix)
Special AKA - Racist friend

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Ring The Alarm playlist, 31 October

Stance Brothers - On top (guitar and flute)
The Pro-teens - I flip my life every time I fly
Surprise Chef - Blythe st nocturne
Gripsweats - Ziggy's walk
The Commodores - Keep on dancing
Kool and the Gang - NT
Chosen Few - Collie stuff
Alton Ellis - It's a shame
Joe Tex and U Black - Standardisation
Professionals - Chapter 3
3 Generations Walking - Midnight bustling (Francois K dub)
Fat Freddy's Drop - Hope (3 Generations Walking remix)
Brand New Heavies - Sometimes (Ummah remix)
Carlos Nino and Miguel Atwood Ferguson - Find a way
O'Jays - 992 arguments
Barbara Lynn - Money
King Floyd - Groove me
Nite-liters - Tanga boo gonk
James Brown - The boss
Patti La Belle and the Bluebelles - Tear after tear 
Impressions - Woman's got soul
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas - Your love makes it all worth while
Jimmy Hughes  -Slippin' away
Pointer Sisters  -Send him back
The Dynells - Call on me
Unemployed - Funky thing pt1
Young Holt Unlimited - Wahwah man
Little Richard - Nuki suki
Sheelahroc - If I gave U the mic (phat beats down mix)

Friday, October 30, 2020

Spiritual Jazz 13 Now!

From Jazzman: "The first 12 volumes of our hugely popular Spiritual Jazz series have unearthed a wealth of historic recordings in the genre, collating a variety of works from the ‘50s to the ‘80s by artists from all around the world. 

And so, with Volume 13, we turn our attention to what’s happening NOW. Over the course of 24 tracks and spanning 2 x 2LPs, we present an overview of the contemporary exponents of Spiritual Jazz; musicians who are intent on bringing something personal to the table, as much as they recognize the importance of those who have paved the way for them. 

We feature music recorded within the past 20 years and from 15 different countries, including modern classics from veterans Steve Reid and Idris Ackamoor, providing a vital link between the past masters and the enlightened new generation.

It’s pioneers such as John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders et al, with their innovations in reaching another plane of consciousness that was and remains uppermost in the minds of exponents of Spiritual Jazz. Fittingly, several of the artists featured on this compilation, such as Cat Toren and David Boykin, are practitioners of the art of music therapy and sound healing, and have absolute conviction in the role of song as solace. 

The pioneers may no longer be with us, but their saintly selves loom large, shining a light in the darkness, inspiring many a brave new disciple today, as this album will testify: the new wave of jazz is gathering pace and still sounds fresh, vibrant and as relevant as ever.

Out 14 Jan 2021 on Jazzman Records, Vinyl/CD/digital, pre-order now

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Dawn Raid interview from 2001

Posting this up as the launch date for the brand new documentary on Dawn Raid has just been anounced - out in cinemas Jan 21 2021. Directed by Oscar Kightley. 

[I remember when I did this interview, Danny and Andy didn't want to come into the city to do it, they insisted I come out and see them on their own turf. I caught the bus out to Papatoetoe one friday night and they showed me round their shops and their studio, all self funded. I was mad impressed.] 

It's A Raid!

By Peter McLennan, NZ Musician, vol 9 no 6 Jun/July 2001

"For me, South Auckland is the centre of Polynesia,” says Brotha D as we walk back towards the offices of Dawn Raid Entertainment. He and his business partner YDNA have just taken me on a tour of their operation, out in the South Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe.

Up the road they have two shops; one selling their own clothing range under the Cocoland label, and a hair braiding shop called Klass Kutz. They've just bought a factory to house their screen printing operation, but they still haul their bags of T-shirts and hoodies off to the Otara markets every Saturday morning, just as they've done for the last few years.

We settle down in the comfortable surroundings of Dawn Raid HQ. They've recently opened up their own studio, right in the heart of South Auckland and close to their shops.

These boys are serious about their music, but they're also serious about business. Brotha D (Danny Leaosavaii) and YDNA (Andy Murnane) met while on a business course back in 1996.

"The original idea came when Danny was in Lost Tribe with UPR (Urban Pasifika Records), and they were doing really well,” says YDNA. "I came along in '96 and went on tour with Lost Tribe. We started thinking about it in back then, and started it in '98.”

Brotha D continues: "We actually thought the ride we wanted was the one with UPR. While this ride was going on, me and Andy were in business school together (they both left just short of finishing, when Dawn Raid started to take off). But then we saw the corporates get involved in it, and it's like a massive hand that slows the process of our wheel, that was spinning fine, you know? We saw that and went 'No way. If we do this, it's gonna be totally ours.' We're the ones that make the decisions, not some board meeting that decides how your album cover's going to look, and who they're marketing it to. Wouldn't we know best, cos we're doing the music?”

Brotha D says the idea for the first Dawn Raid compilation, 'Southside Story', came from his time with UPR and Lost Tribe.

"We were climbing, you know? Going to the music awards, doing the sets with Dave Dobbyn, and then I looked behind, and realised there was no one coming behind us. There was a major gap, from where Lost Tribe and UPR were and street level kids.

"With Lost Tribe, when Summer In The Winter broke out, it came in at number 16, so we knew the kids were listening to it. So we said let's grab these kids, and we'll develop them. All the acts on the first album, they're all unknowns. Now you tell me, which record label would ever go as far as doing something like that? No one, and we knew that.

"We knew we had to get the money ourselves. So Andy got the whole T-shirt thing together as our source of income. I went to find a studio that would believe in the same vision we had, because studios cost what, $80, $90, $100 an hour? Brothers ain't got that! I went to OMAC (Otara Music and Arts Centre) which is just down the road, and they put a big bill in my face. No way can we develop our kids in this way.

"Then we ran into Kev (Kevin Rangihuna) of One Luv Studios, in Surrey Cres. It's amazing, we had to take kids from South Auckland into the city, to Grey Lynn, to get recorded. To me, that is so barmy. That's why we always give our props to Kev, for believing in the same visions.”

While Brotha D was getting the music happening, YDNA was out there working for the cause.

"When the first album came out, we had a release party and we made a lot of money, not truck loads, but enough. Then we thought 'What do we do now, do we make more albums, or do we invest it in something else?' And we invested it into T-shirts, into clothes.”

Every morning Andy went to the flea market, with his wife and child, selling the T-shirts.

"That's still going on!” he says. "That's something people need to recognise too, it's bang on a year since the first album came out and here's another full length album, and look how professional it is, you know? And not only that, we started five businesses in that time too. When the first album came out, those two shops down the road didn't exist.

"It only took us 'til December to make the shops, and then we said, 'Damn, we need the new album'. At Christmas time we absolutely cracked it, made heaps of money and started to talk about a studio. We had Carlos 'C-Trax' Marsh (engineer) come on board, and we sat down and said 'What if we just do it?'.”

Brotha D sees the studio, not only as a way of recording young rappers from around his neighbourhood, but also as a training ground in production.

"We can start training our young fellas, put them into courses, and get them thinking about production. Then they can start developing others as well. We realised that a lot of money can be spent on studio time, so we just thought we'd take our cash and make our own. We need to get that message out to the kids too. If kids come up here struggling and they say 'We've saved $200', there's no doubt that Carlos would say 'I got a whole day for you, knock your song out'.”

YDNA knows the lie of the land: "As far as business goes, you have to set the standard. For some reason we have never got the funding, the video grants, people just don't seem to want to give it to us. So we just say 'Oh well, fine. We'll just step up to a level where you will have to help us.' We learnt from the first one and this time we did radio ads on Mai and in Sounds' magazine and we made a lot of business arrangements - but we're making $18 of the back end, so if we go gold like King Kapisi, well, you do the figures. ($135,000 for the calculator-challenged.) We'll be looking good.

"It's like, we're not getting the video grants, but that's cool, cos we've obviously made enough to do all this,” he says, gesturing at the studio. "'We don't buy flash cars and stuff, we buy flash businesses', is what we like to say.”

"That's why we are trying to get the funding people to come down here,” says Brotha D. "That's almost like our challenge to people, you know - 'Come and see for yourself'. A lot of people are skeptical.”

Unlike the first compilation, which featured fresh undiscovered talent from South Auckland, the second album adds several American hip hop acts to the mix. Brotha D explains: "It's not for comparison, the word here is 'contrast', and that's exactly what it is. What we're trying to say here is that we're coming up, this is the level we want to raise the game to. We've got to try and get our stuff up there, or that kid who's playing Snoop Dogg ain't never gonna touch our stuff. So, if that kid goes and sees our stuff, and the level is there, just as much as Snoop, maybe he'll check it out. These are stories about us, not about what's happening over there and these aren't established artists like Kapisi, or Ermehn. These are all fresh, new talent.”

The American artists on the album came through when YDNA visited the US last year, hooking up with acts like Boo Yah Tribe and Daz Dillinger. Dawn Raid has further Stateside connections, from supporting visiting acts like Naughty By Nature, Snoop Dogg, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

YDNA observes: "The thing is, hip hop came from America. I know everyone always tries to put their twist on it, like is there a Polynesian hip hop? Yeah, sure there is, we're Polynesians. But if you want to crack it in the hip hop world, it ain't in the three million people here, I can tell you that right now. For us to do well, if it's bringing in their music and selling it here for our people, or us selling ours over there, or in Tokyo or Africa or Australia, that's what we want to go and find out. What's going to make the kids go 'Snoop Dogg or Dawn Raid'? 

"We gotta put up a fight, and the thing is, when you listen to our album, our kids sound just as good. With this album, we're giving something to our community, cos we think what we're giving is best suited to here, and America. We concentrate all our time on this, right here. You can just do it - Brotha D wants to do an Island album - bam, he just goes in there and does it. That's the beauty of independence. Like Kog Transmissions - we've had a good talk to Kog, and they've told us not to sign to the majors, you know?”

When I ask them where Dawn Raid sits in New Zealand music, YDNA doesn't hesitate: "At the top of New Zealand hip hop!” (Cue more laughter from Brotha D.) "The thing with us is, see that? (he points.) There's album number one, that's number two. You name another New Zealand hip hop artist that's done that. I can only name one, which is DLT. So when we drop our next album or single, whatever we drop next, we go down in history as the first people to ever do it. And we ain't got signed, we ain't even got a video out. So we're gonna go down in history anyway, and we could call it quits then, and just say we're gonna do business ... we're not gonna do that, of course.”

Brotha D says it has taken a while for people to catch on to what they do, even within hip hop circles: "Like, the first Hip Hop Summit goes down in Christchurch, and they phone us up; 'We'd love to have you guys, we've got five tickets for you to fly down'. And I said 'Do you know anything about us?' and they said, 'Yeah yeah, we've got the album, it's beautiful'. I said, 'Man, we run 25 deep, you cannot get the full impact of Dawn Raid if you just take five of us, so either you've got 25 seats on that plane for us, or we ain't coming at all'.

"And hallelujah, we all flew to Christchurch!” adds YDNA.

Brotha D falls about laughing, then continues: "Now, imagine what it did to my young fellas, first time ever out of South Auckland. We stayed a whole week down in Christchurch, and it was mindblowing for them. They came back, and all these ideas just came flooding out of their heads. You know, if we can't do something, we'll tell you we can't do it. That's one of the big things about us and the young acts we do have - we're just straight honest with them. The big corporates aren't that honest, cos I've experienced that myself.”

They're currently working with Deceptionz, Kaos, 275, Ill Semantics, and have signed one year contracts with them.

"We say to the kids, 'We'll talk again in 12 months time, cos we don't want to hold you to nothing',” says YDNA. "With this second album, we came out with it cos we told people this is what we're gonna do. We'd just bought a factory, and obviously, factories aren't cheap, and we probably could've just sat back and relaxed for a bit.

"People talk shit all the time in New Zealand, even the majors, saying 'Yo, we're gonna get behind this product', then they find out people ain't buying it, so they hide that one out the back. It's like the industry telling us 'This is the way it is, this album sucks'. We knew the UPR album didn't suck. We knew it was awesome, but about a month or two after it comes out, we go up to Sounds, and on the bargain basement table are stacks of UPR albums for $10. The difference is, back then people out here knew we were UPR, with our stand at the markets. So I said sweet, $200, I bought 'em all. I went to the Otara markets, and sold them all for 30 bucks each!”

The ethnic mix on Dawn Raid may be diverse but Brotha D and YDNA know exactly where they're coming from: "On this record label there's every culture,” says YDNA. "Carlos is Maori, Fred is Nuiean, I'm Irish, he (Brotha D) is Samoan. New Zealand is a Polynesian island, we're all Pacific people, we all came from somewhere else, and that's what we try to bring, because hip hop is worldwide.

"I hate all the rules that go with hip hop - to me it is whatever you make of it. We do our own thing. I mean, do me and Brotha D breakdance? Hell no!”

Yes, Brotha D may not be busting head spins, but he does know that a man's gotta eat: "When people say 'We're all four realms' (graffiti, breaking, MC'ing, DJ'ing), I'm like, good on you, but we're providing for our community, know what I mean? That four realms ain't gonna feed some of these mouths that we're feeding at the moment. Like Fred and his family - they run the clothes shop.

His whole family is like 'Oh my god, here's my son, who I thought would never amount to anything', now look at him. He's been with us from the start, when we were first printing up T-shirts, and now he's in there, running the shop, and he hasn't changed, but the way people think about him has changed. We're just trying to give them hope that there is another way to look at it."

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Mighty Mocambos - live b-boy funk 7"

"German funk stalwarts The Mighty Mocambos unleash another sample of their explosive live energy, a 7" of two brand new tunes recorded straight to 8-track tape during JAM PDM! Breakdance Battle at Fabrik Potsdam on February 1st 2020.

"Arabesque Breakin' Suite" on side A is an original instrumental medley written for the occasion and delivers the raw, heavyweight sound that has made The Mighty Mocambos a staple of b-boy battles the world over. 

Side B is a cover of the Axel F Theme from Beverly Hills Cop, taking the tune from 80s synth-heavy electro-pop to soulful, tropical-flavored b-boy funk.

In these peculiar times without concerts, these live recordings are a real labor of love that capture the special vibes of a Mighty Mocambos performance while remaining suitable for DJ-use and enjoyable to the dedicated listener.

The 45 comes in a beautiful picture sleeve - a reproduction of the tape box used for the recording with a b/w photo from the event." 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Ring The Alarm playlist, 24 October

Sola Rosa - My love
Freddie Cruger - Bap yo head
Quantic - Mas pan (DJ Day remix)
Rae and Christian - Ready to roll
Quincy Conserve - That same feeling (Peter Mac edit)
The Beginning of the End - Come down  baby (Kenny Dope edit)
Kokolo - Soul power (Lack of Afro remix)
Clemon Smith - Brother man, sister Ann
Phobos Peepl - Bike ryder
Natural Yogurt Band - Space echo
Mr Chop - Greedy G
Jose James - Blackmagic (Joy Orbison remix)
Gilles Peterson's Havana Cultura Band - Urgent Rumba (Pépé Bradock remix)
Boot and Tax - Good Fela
Stance Brothers - On top (guitar and flute)
Mighty Mocambos - Axel F
James Brown - The boss
Lyn Collins - Give it up or turn it loose
Angie Stone - Wish I didn't miss you
Bobbi Humphrey - My little girl
The Controllers - Hello
Fuemana - Cool calm
Lewis McCallum - Having known you
Joint Force - AK 95
Unitone Hifi - Guiding star (MPLA burial)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Stance Brothers 'On Top’ 7" coming

Cool, funky bizz, similar to 'Rootdown' era Beastie Boys,... "Producer/drummer Teppo Mäkynen shares a new release with his celebrated alias The Stance Brothers. ‘On Top’ is a solid gold Stance groover coming in two versions on this 7” for We Jazz Records.

On side A, the track is led by guitar and flute (the latter courtesy of Diamond T aka Timo Lassy) and the flip introduces a soul jazz scorcher with organ & vibes. Both cuts are ripe and ready to be enjoyed by DJs and home listeners alike.

‘On Top’ follows the remarkably successful Stance sides ‘Resolution Blue’ and ‘Minor Minor’, all part of the ongoing 7" series by We Jazz Records. The 7" comes with old school heat-pressed labels and a stylish generic brown sleeve.

Drummer/producer Teppo Mäkynen (born 1974) is one of the key artists in the Helsinki scene and in We Jazz Records' roster, for that matter. He is widely regarded as one of the best drummers of his generation, and over the years, has enjoyed widespread acclaim as producer. 

His active projects include the award-winning jazz/electronic trio 3TM and his jazz/funk alias The Stance Brothers. In addition, he's known as the drummer of bands such as Timo Lassy Band, The Five Corners Quintet and Aki Rissanen Trio, to name but a few.

Mäkynen debuted The Stance Brothers in 2007 with the celebrated LP ‘Kind Soul’ on Ricky-Tick Records. Since then, the studio band mostly including Mäkynen alias Teddy Rok on all instruments, has popped up here and there, most recently on 7" remake singles released by Helsinki's We Jazz Records."

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Run DMC play Auckland, 1988

Run DMC concert poster for Auckland show, 15 Nov 1988

I remember going to this incredible show and being blown away by it, especially by the DJs. Run DMC told the crowd it was the last show of their world tour, so they were pretty loose and having fun. Rob Salmon from Urban Disturbance told me recently that the original lineup had Eric B and Rakim but they cancelled and got replaced by Derek B and DJ Scratch. Here's some recollections of the gig, via Volume mag (RIP) and RNZ...

History Made: Run-D.M.C, The Powerstation
13 Dec, 2011, Volume magazine. By Oscar Kightley

Oscar Kightley witnessed Run-D.M.C. play The Powerstation in Auckland on 18 November 1988.

At the time I was 19 and working as a junior reporter at The Auckland Star. This was back in the days when there were all these stations that used to play ads on TV that said ridiculous shit like "no rap, no crap" - bFM was the only station that was flying the flag for hiphop. That was the music we'd come up on, so it was weird to see that kind of stuff. It was kind of like a statement on what the country was like at the time.

Run-D.M.C. came here in their prime and at a time when no other hiphop artists were coming to New Zealand. I was walking down Queen St before the show and I saw Jam Master Jay walking down the street. No one else around me knew who he was, but I was like, 'F**k - that's Jam Master Jay!' He caught my eye and I tentatively threw up a peace sign in greeting, 'cause that was what we did back then, and he did it back. I will never forget that moment.

Being an impressionable young man, it was amazing to see Jam Master Jay onstage scratching - he was my favourite. And, the thing is, Run-D.M.C didn't just stand there and rap - they had a show and they rocked it.

Back at that time, hiphop was in its infancy in New Zealand, and the culture wasn't the same after that show. We had three kings of hiphop on that stage in Mt Eden, rocking it and getting the crowd involved. Back then, no one did that so it was pretty cool.

It wasn't at all what you'd expect a hiphop gig today to be, which would be a lot of baseball caps and brown people. It was packed and sweaty, and I remember being upstairs and looking down at this sea of young New Zealanders behaving like I'd never seen young New Zealanders behave at a concert, with their hands in the air, throwing them like they just didn't care.

It really wasn't about where you were from, it was where you were at, and that night everybody felt like they were at the same place.

What: Run-D.M.C.
Where: The Powerstation, Auckland
When: Friday 18 November 1988 [note - 18 Nov 1988 was a Tuesday, not a Friday]

RNZ -Under the influence - RUN DMC

On Tuesday 15 November 1988, DJ Run, D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay – the Hollis, Queens trio Run-D.M.C. – made history when they played The Powerstation in Auckland.

Supported by British hip hop pioneer Derek B and Brooklynite DJ Scratch, the show was attended by many of the characters who would shape the first wave of Aotearoa hip hop.

This is the story of how Run-D.M.C.’s one-night-only appearance altered the course of rap music in this country.

Kerry Buchanan – Critic, Music Writer

Run-D.M.C. were the first rap act to break into the white charts using a white rock classic – you know, Aerosmith ‘Walk This Way’. And the other thing that made them huge was being played on MTV, which was still… I’m not going to call it racism, but there was a definite bias towards white pop, and Run-D.M.C. being a black face on MTV I think was very important.

DJ Sirvere – Mai FM Content Director

“The Powerstation Run-D.M.C. gig’s a bit like when ‘E Tu’ dropped, when Scribe took the stage at the 2001 Hip Hop Summit, and everyone goes, ‘Man, I wish I had have been there!’ This was just one of those things I feel quite special that I was actually in the building at that time.”

Oscar Kightley – Writer, Actor, Broadcaster

“This was at a time in New Zealand… actually, I remember the commercials. When radio stations that played mainly Eurocentric ads where they would say, ‘No rap, no crap’. That was the climate of the time.”

DJ Rhys B – First New Zealand DMC DJ Champion

“[Derek B] had DJ Scratch DJing for him and he did all his routines from the New Music Seminar Battle. We’re talking about the times before the internet. There were limited scratch videos, so you could hear the scratches on record but you couldn’t actually see them. But when he came you could actually see what he was doing and his manipulation of the crossfader and the records … After that it was all on for me – I was in DJ battles from then on for the next bloody 13 years or something.”

Kerry Buchanan

“I cannot remember what they came on with – it might have been ‘Run’s House’, I don’t know. I have no idea of the flow of the music at all – but nearly everything they played were hits.”

Nick D’Angelo – ex-bFM Broadcaster, Hip Hop Promoter

“I wanted to get backstage. I’m thinking, ‘Well, I’m from [bFM] that’s putting this on and I’ve done all this work’. No, I couldn’t get backstage, didn’t have the right laminate. Low and behold, a few weeks later, I see these photos of Upper Hutt Posse with the guys from Run-D.M.C.. And so, yeah, I guess they had the mana.”

Run DMC with Upper Hutt Posse, 1988
Run-D.M.C. with Upper Hutt Posse (L-to-R: DJ Run, D.M.C, DLT, Rhys B, Tee Pee, D Word) Photo: Courtesy of Rhys B

DJ Sirvere

“You have to understand, I’m a young man who’s a huge hip hop fan, been influenced by this band since the day I touched the culture – and then to see them live, it was just a bit much. These are really important moments in ourselves as human beings. Like, I’m not seeing Ghandi for the first time, but it’s kind of like that because I had put it on it. I had made it that important so it just became that important.”

Oscar Kightley

“I had a Valiant Ranger at the time and after the gig I was on such a high and I was so happy, and then I got back to my Valiant and someone had ripped the stereo – ’cause this was in the days when stereos were getting stolen a lot – but even that didn’t sour my experience enough to ruin it for me.”

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Ring The Alarm playlist, 17 October

Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Matter of time
El Michels Affair  -Red rooster
Lee Fields - Ladies
The New Clarence Reid - Cadillac Annie
James Knight and the Butlers - Funky cat
Helene Smith - You got to be a man
Marie Queenie Lyons  - Your thing aint no good without my thing
Sister Love - Give me your love
Shuggie Otis - Ice cold daydream
Temptations - It's your thang
Richie Phoe - Eyes on the dub
Overproof Sound System - Watch what you out inna (G Corp version)
Sly & Robbie meet Dubmatix - Burro Saturday
African Head Charge - Animal law
Salmonella Dub - Push on thru (Adrian Sherwood remix)
The Yoots - E te ariki
Fat Freddys Drop - Hope (Sonsine remix)
Che Fu - Fade away (Solephonic remix)
Troy Kingi - Chronophonic disco
Eddy Senay - Rev. lowdown
The Capitols - Soul brother, soul sister
Little Tommy - Baby can't you see
Jr Walker - Hip city
Curtis Knight - Fancy meeting you here
Fatback Band - Do the Spanish hustle (Mr K edit)
Gwen Guthrie - Aint nothing goin' on but the rent
The Notorious B.I.G. - One more chance (hiphop instrumental)

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Ring The Alarm playlist, 10 October

The Pro-Teens - The Pro-Teens ruined my life
Romano - MaNiya
Big Sideways - One planet
Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band - My Jamaican dub
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings -What if we all stopped paying taxes?\
Barbara Lynn - I'm a good woman
Freddie Scott - You got what I need
Darondo - Luscious lady
Sugarman 3 - Pull my cart
The Bamboos - Tighten up
Dave Clark Five - No time to lose
The Valdons - Stop, wait a minute girl
Edwin Starr  - Cloud nine
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Party started
Lord Echo - Put it in my head
Donna Onete - No sabor do beijo
Ladi6- Goodday
Common and Mary J Blige - Come close (Boozoo Bajou remix)
The Kingites - Polynesian panthers
Black Uhuru - Solidarity
Tackhead - The game (dub)
Ruby Turner - It's gonna be alright (Brixton bass mix)
Less Stress - Don't dream it's over
Sade - Soldier of love
George Benson and MAW - The ghetto
Potatohead People and De La Soul - Baby got work

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Dub Asylum serves up steel drums and 80s drum machines on 'How bizarre'

I've been in the studio working on a bunch of new tunes (including writing some new Hallelujah Picassos biz) and have had this one sitting round for a while. This version of How bizarre came about after the great reaction to the steel drum take I did last year of French Letter by Herbs.

For this latest one, imagine a steel band jamming with an 80s drum machine borrowed from the drummer's uncle and you'll get the idea. Soild steel and 808 handclaps all the way.  Name your own price download.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Kahil El'Zabar - Sketches Of An Afro Blue (new single)

"Following his latest release ‘Spirit Groove’ ft. David Murray, the legendary multi-percussionist Kahil El’Zabar went into his musical vault to uncover for Spiritmuse Records works that he had scored for Daryl Roberts’ award-winning documentary, America the Beautiful. 

Kahil decided that the timing was right to release this music, in light of the tragic outbreak of COVID-19 and the global heartfelt tragedy of George Floyd’s brutal death. El’Zabar then went back into the studio recently to compose and score the rest of the music that would accompany the vision of what America the Beautiful has become.

'America The Beautiful' is the last recording of legendary World Saxophone Quartet co-founder, Hamiet Bluiett – this album is dedicated to him.

‘Afro Blue’ (written by Mongo Santamaria, based on a Yoruba Orisha song), has been reconstructed with original arrangements written and conducted by El’Zabar, to engage the listener in an audible landscape of thoughts and emotions that transverse the greater meaning of living in these times."

Album out 23 Oct on LP/CD/digital thru Spiritmuse Records