Monday, January 10, 2011

Deepgrooves - Urban disturbance

Carrying on digging in the Deepgrooves catalogue... some local hiphop from the mid 90s. Above is a tune off the Deepgrooves compilation Deep in the Pacific of Bass from 1992 by Leaders of Style, before they changed their name to Urban Disturbance. The song was produced by the group, with an executive producer credit for Andrew Dubber as "Daddy" Dubber. Andrew was involved with recording some of their early demos at the radio station Andrew worked for - Radio Pacific - alongside Zane's Dad (read about that here). This tune also appeared on the debut release from Urban Disturbance, the EP No Flint No Flame, released later in 92.

From Amplifier's site: "Urban Disturbance were an Auckland hiphop crew progressing from earlier outfit Leaders of Style. They released an album in November '94 on Deepgrooves called '37 Degrees Lattitude' as well as several singles (Robert Jane, Figure this kids, Impressions).

Their vibe was definitely jazzy and benefited from the beatmaking of member (and now MTV VJ and XFM radio presenter) Zane Lowe (although he favoured 'Zhayne' at the time). Zane also contributed production to records by Dam Native (formerlyNative Bass) and Breaks Co-Op. Zane just won a radio award in England and here's an interview on the xfm website [Zane went to BBC Radio One in 2003. He shifted to Los Angeles in 2015 to head up Apple Music 1, formerly Beats 1].

MC Oli Green was subsequently swallowed and spat out by the enticing bright lights of the advertising world and was at last stocktake wandering the red sands of Australia. DJ Rob Salmon has ditched the moniker 'DJ Fade' and has been thrilling crowds in NYC from his base in Brooklyn with selections and mixing skills and recently tunes of his own in a house vein. Rob's bio on Giant Steps". Check out some of Rob's productions on his Soundcloud page.

Urban Disturbance supported the likes of Ice T, Public Enemy, and Del tha Funkee Homosapien. They also toured successfully, including one jaunt they did with my old band, Hallelujah Picassos. We took them and Loves Ugly Children, a noisy punk pop Flying Nun outfit, on tour with us. It was just Oli and Zane with a DAT tape as backing, Rob didn't come along. I remember Oli sitting in the van with his head in his notebook for hours on end, writing lyrics. That was a fun tour, but that lineup confused the hell outta some folk.

The tune below is called Relay, featuring Danny D (Dam Native) and Hame (Hamish Clark, ex Christchurch outfit Beats N Pieces), with Joel Haines on guitar. Off the 37 Degrees Latitude album, from 1994, on Deepgrooves.

Figure this kids (featuring Sane Sagala, aka Dei Hamo), with cover photography by Oli Green, off the 37 Degrees Latitude album, also released as a single. I discovered after reading this thread over at that the little girl holding a mic in the bottom right corner is Manuel Bundy's daughter!

Zane was later in Breaks Co-op alongside Hamish Clark aka Hame, who released their debut album, Roofers, on Deepgrooves in 1997. It got reissued several years back when the second Breaks Co-op album saw the light of day, in 2005.

Urban Disturbance interview from music show Frenzy IceTV, 1995.


There's a great piece on Urban Disturbance over at Audioculture by Gareth Shute, take a look. 

Zane Lowe on life at Apple Music - The Denizen, Oct 2021.

Urban Disturbance - the lost 2nd album

Breaks Co-op 1998 interview

And for the commenter who wanted the Robert Jane video, added below....



Thanks to Substance for cover scans, via

Coming soon... doing things the hard way...


Anonymous said...

That interview isn't from Ice TV, it's from TV3's NZ music show 'Frenzy'. I know 'cause I did the graphics and worked on the segment with Ross Cunningham and Gregor Boyd. Should head over to Youtube and correct on up I guess...
heh. J Pain.

Peter McLennan said...

Thanks, Mister Pain. Have corrected it.

Riu said...

Wasn't there a video for the Robert Jane single?
I remember it was a black in white video set inside an apartment.
I had it on VHS and only ever saw it once on TV.
If you could track that down it would fantastic