Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Meanwhile, in Hackney...

The Hackney Colliery Band drop their debut on Wahwah45s on July 4. Its big bold and brassy. Their covers of No Diggity and Africa (yes, that godawful Toto song) are wicked. Here's a free preview off the album...

"Formed in 2008 out of a desire to play music that appealed to the feet as much as to the ears, the Hackney Colliery Band (HCB) take influences including the Youngblood Brass Band and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and add their uniquely East London twist to the growing brass-band phenomenon."

Hollie and her electric hustle

Hollie Smith has been dropping hints via Twitter for the past month or two about her new album, written and recorded within a six week deadline. She's finally announced the details of the album, out August 1.

It's a  collaboration with Mara TK from Electric Wire Hustle, so you know the beats will be good. Spotted at Groove Guide.

"Band Of Brothers is a series of musical projects spearheaded by Hollie Smith which aims to experiment with different artists and aspects of production and collaboration. In Band Of Brothers, Vol: 1, Hollie has teamed with Mara TK from Electric Wire Hustle.

Hollie says “I have always been a huge fan of Electric Wire Hustle and after talking to Mara about helping me co-produce another idea, it developed and made more sense for us to establish a whole new project, which is what we did. We both wanted to do this before we both made our way offshore and made a 6 week deadline to write, record and finish it... we did it.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

London Calling, track by track

Saw this earlier today over at Dangerous Minds, it's extremely cool.

London Calling, the title track off the incredible album of the same name by The Clash. Love that album. Check out Topper's drums. Rock solid.

More Topper, BBC interview (2009) with him on the therapeutic qualities of drumming. He says one of his role models as a drummer was Keith Moon, and admits that probably not the best choice.

And here's Topper joining Mick Jones and Carbon Silicon, first time in 25 years those two have played together. Train in vain. Topper hits so freaking hard. Boom.


I was introduced to the magnificent funk of Collision a few years back by fellow BaseFM DJ Jubt Avery (of The Boil-up show). This clip came to my attention from Chris Bourke via his blog.

"Originally from New Zealand mill town Tokoroa, Maori funk band Collision emigrated to Australia in 1976 and got a gig at Les Girls in Sydney's King's Cross district. In 1978 they recorded their only album - Collision - for the Infinity label in Sydney.

The producer/engineer was Richard Batchens, house producer for Festival Records. Overlooking the production was Dalvanius Prime of 'Poi E' fame. Nick Bollinger's "100 Essential New Zealand Albums" (Awa Press, 2009) revived interest in the album; he says Lionel Richie encouraged the group to move to New York, but that was a step too far.

Collision were Harry Morgan (vocals, sax), Ali Morgan (vocals, guitar), Charley Hikuroa (vocals, bass), Colin Henry (vocals, drums), Philip Whitcher (all keyboards) and Mike Booth (vocals, trumpet).

These are the first three tracks of side one (the fourth and fifth tracks will by uploaded separately). 1. You Can Dance (A. Morgan); 2 You Give Me Love (Muggleton-Nobel); 3. Love Finds Its Own Way (J Weatherley)."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Len Lye Centre gets govt support

Green light for Len Lye Centre.
The Taranaki Daily News reports that on Saturday "... Arts Minister Chris Finlayson pledged $4 million over two years for the construction of the $10m centre. The cash is believed to be the last grant to come out of the Government's Regional Museums Policy fund, with the rest being diverted to the Christchurch city rebuild."

I love Len Lye. His work is incredible (whether in film, kinetic sculpture, painting, photography or writing), and he's one of the greatest artists this country has ever produced.

He left here in his early 20s, and spent most of his career in England and then the US, but maintained a lifelong interest in his homeland. He visited here for several exhibitions in the late 70s, including a show at the Govett Brewster Gallery, which he later bequeathed his works to. The Len Lye Foundation is based there and has an annual exhibition showing Lye's work.

Lye pioneered direct film making (painting/scratching directly onto film), see these examples... they give a you a general idea of what his work was like, though seeing these as projected films is really quite spectacular. He worked as a film maker for the GPO Film Unit (part of the British Post Office) and some of these were used as ads played in UK cinemas before a movie. Radical stuff, huh?

Digital surge

Sounds rude, dunnit?

Adele drives record surge in digital album sales From The Guardian.

10 million digital album sales at this point of the year - same time last year, only 7.1 m.

"... Four albums – from Adele, Rihanna, Bruno Mars and Jessie J – have sold more than 100,000 digital copies this year, compared with just one at this stage last year from Florence + the Machine. A total of 13 have sold more than 50,000 copies, compared with seven last year."

Questlove on Dilla

P-Money mentioned something about J-Dilla on Twitter the other day ("dilla had swing... too many of these other cats are just bad drummers."), and it reminded me of this interview I read with Questlove Thompson from The Roots about Dilla, and how he'd program his beats as 128 bar loops. Most beatmakers stick to 8 or 16 bars.

A few folk were keen to see the story (from Modern Drummer magazine, 2005), so I dug out the magazine and scanned it. View the PDF here (via Google docs). Dilla reference is on the last page. Or click on the image below.

Blue smoke

Just to let you know that Chris Bourke's book "Blue Smoke" about New Zealand popular music (reviewed Elsewhere by Mr Reid) is a finalist in the general non-fiction category of the NZ Post book awards. There is also a “people’s choice” award: voters are eligible for a prize of $1000 worth of books.

See here to vote for him and his awesome book:

People's Choice Award 2011 - Booksellers New Zealand

He's currently 3% behind the leading book, and the last day to vote is July 8.

To be in to win the $1000, enter your name and contact details and then proceeed to the voting page. Booksellers NZ need your details so that if you win they can deliver your prize.

Vinyl is making a comeback! #252

This is a great headline... love it.

Vintage Vinyl hits Moose Jaw.
...“The sound quality is way better. You get more of a clear true sound,” Vintage Vinyl & Hemp Emporium manager Dylan Baumet [pictured below] told the Times-Herald on Wednesday..."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Final High Noon Tea playlist, KiwiFM

My last show on KiwiFM! Lotsa favourites old and new.

Tiki - Burning fire - Oogun remix
Fat Freddys Drop - Hope - Sonsine remix
Lord Echo - Thinking of you
Che Fu - Fade away
Sound foundation - Ram dancehall
Salmonella dub - Loop 7 - DLT remix
Suizen - Cartesian space - 4D mix
Unitone hifi - Sneeze off
Julien Dyne - Fallin down
Sola rosa - Humanised
Eru Dangerspiel - Coq au vin
Wild Bill Ricketts - Riki
International observer - London dub
Cornerstone roots - Forward dub
Kora - Politician - Paddy Free
Hallelujah Picassos -Rewind
Ras Stone meets dub terminator - Bad mind
Shogun orchestra - Falko
Scratch 22 - For walking faces
Lewis McCallum - Fly or die
DLT - Black panthers
Zuvuya - Heavyweights
Midnights - Outside - Dub Asylum remix
Otautahi allstars - Shot
The Yoots - E papa waiari

Buju Banton sentenced to 10 years in jail

Tough times for Buju Banton... full story here. Excerpt below...

"Grammy-winning reggae star Buju Banton this morning was ordered to serve 10 years and one month in federal prison for conviction of cocaine trafficking.

The sentence could have been longer – a minimum of 15 years – had U.S. District Judge James Moody not granted a defense motion to dismiss a firearm charge because the singer did not have a gun during the crime, and the judge said Banton could not have known another conspirator had the weapon.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, did not speak at his sentencing hearing. He blew a kiss to his supporters in the courtroom as he was being led away, and a woman said, "We love you, Buju!"

The wildly popular Jamaican singer released a statement, read by his attorney, David Oscar Markus, after the sentencing, thanking his fans for their support and pledging to move forward: "The days that lie ahead are filled with despair, but I have courage and grace and am hopeful. And that is sufficient to carry me through."

...Markus [Banton's lawyer] said with time already served – Banton has remained incarcerated since his conviction – and credit for good behavior, Banton should be released in about six years."

ADDED August 9, 2012: Buju Banton's appeal denied, sentence upheld. via Prefix mag.

The Carstairs - It Really Hurts Me Girl

I've just started reading The Record Players, the latest book from Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton. It's a cracking good read. In the interview with northern soul DJ Ian Levine, he tells a great story about one of his record buying trips to Miami. He heard a song on a radio station while he was there by the Carstairs, and he tracked down the radio station to find it, as no one had heard of this record. They told him it had been sent in as a demo from the record company, who had then lost their distributor, so the record had never been released.

When he got back to the UK, a record dealer he knew got in a shipment of 100,000 demo records from radio stations and Levine eventually found three copies of the Carstairs record in there. Levine says he first heard the record in 1973, and found those copies in 1974.

I looked the song up on Youtube, and found a clip Levine had posted, with this story... "Back in the day,when there was no internet, we could never locate the group, despite many attempts. In 1998, for the unique one-off Blackpool Mecca reunion, I was just determined to find them, and after four months of searching, I did.

"Twenty five years after they thought their single had never even been released, they were on stage at Blackpool Mecca, singing it on the Saturday night in front of over a thousand people, in the Highland Room which was only supposed to hold seven hundred. They were moved to tears, especially Cleveland Horne, and founder member Ervin Langley.

"Tragically, within two years, those two of them had passed away. But at least they got to stand just once in the limelight. It could never ever happen again, it was a one time moment in history, and because of the iconic nature of the record, this footage is priceless beyond belief."


BONUS: Listen to The Carstairs - It Really Hurts Me Girl - Tom Moulton mix (1979), over at Boogie Banger blog.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Local producer Grassroots has just dropped his debut album, there's even a free download in there too. Give it  a spin!

Gold getter

Brand new single from UK reggae act The Resonators, who opened for Fat Freddys Drop at the Brixton Academy recently. Produced by Nick Manasseh. Well tasty tunes!

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM

Colm K and the freestyle mellowship -Dancing skulls
Toots and the maytals - Who knows better version
Ranking Joe - Dont follow Babylon - BAF meets wai wan mix
Silent poets - Shalom - Mad Professor dub mix
Junior Murvin - I'll follow you
Kion and murda feat Junior Murvin - #1 sound
Farm fresh sound system - Roots once again - Max rubadub remix
Ethrealites - Rock-a-shaka dub mix
Footsie - Cuss cuss - Footsie dub
Omegaman - Skankin riddim - original mix
Lewis McCallum - The almanac
Benny Tones - Odyssey - Kamandi headspin remix
Aloe Blacc - You make me smile
Charles Bradley - Why is it so hard
West coast revival - My mind is at ease
The Emotions - From toys to boys
Nina Simone - Taking care of business - Pilooski edit
Universal robot band - Dance and shake your tambourine
Admiral Dele Abiodun and his top hitters - It's time for juju music
Gay flamingoes steel band - Black man's cry
Louis Jordan - Aint nobody here but us chickens  -DJ Premier remix
Billie Holiday - That old devil called love - Moodymann remix
Philadelphia all-stars - Let's clean up the ghetto
Alan Moorhouse - Expo in Tokyo (As used in video below)
Chancha via circuito - Rio Arriba
Caribou - Odessa
Coati mundi - Me no pop I - Biggabush edit

Japan 2010 from Matthew Buchanan on Vimeo.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Prince: ringtones are evil

From The Guardian, interview with his purplenesss...

His management’s pre-interview list of guidelines insisted, “Please do not discuss his views on the internet,” but perhaps Prince hasn’t read them. “I personally can’t stand digital music,” he says. “You’re getting sound in bits. It affects a different place in your brain. When you play it back, you can’t feel anything. We’re analogue people, not digital.” He’s warming to his theme. “Ringtones!” he exclaims. “Have you ever been in a room where there’s 17 ringtones going off at once?”

Does he have a ringtone?

“No,” he says, looking as offended as if I’d asked him if he drove a clown car. “I don’t have a phone…”

Cartoon for John Drinnan

So, today my blog got mentioned by NZ Herald's media columnist John Drinnan. Woohoo!  Apparently after he waded into the comments on this post about his piece on Ladyhawke, the experience left him battered and bruised.

He has decided that the MSM engaging with its audience is not such a great idea. Someone suggested to me maybe it was his first day on the internet... Here's his comments, in full...


Wiser heads have warned to never get involved in debates in Blogland.

But a Herald item about taxpayer funding for Ladyhawke prompted such howls of indignation on the musos' website dubdotdash, I felt obliged to take part and the experience confirmed my impressions about blog debates.

What I found was that many of these blogs - though not all - seem to operate as opinion regulators with like-minded contributors supporting one another and defining the debate.

Differing opinions can be dismissed as trolls and there is a concerted effort to bring people into line. Inevitably the Ladyhawke debate was peppered with personal invective and swearing. The lesson was clear - you're in Blogland now.

It shows why the so-called MSM (mainstream media) so seldom ventures in - maybe it is better that way."

Hi John,

The lines between MS and Blogland are crossing over increasingly as new media evolves and the way people get their news changes - your own paper regularly uses them and their content as news sources, and also as writers (Bernard Hickey, David Farrar).

Your oversimplification of our discussion in the comments on that post overlooks who was making those comments - journalists, music industry veterans, and people who have some experience of the music industry. Some agreed with you, some didn't. That's the nature of internet debate.


Here's a wee cartoon for you. Enjoy.




Last show on KiwiFM

This Sunday will be my last show hosting KiwiFM's High Noon Tea. KiwiFM  have decided to let me go as host, after three and a half years. I'm also now longer hosting the High Noon Tea edition on Air NZ's inflight entertainment.

There will be a new host, new timeslot and new format for High Noon Tea. KiwiFM is also cutting most of its specialist shows, revamping a few, and keeping The Kiwi House, hosted by Karl Steven (Drab do-riffs/Supergroove). These moves are part of a drive to make KiwiFM more commercial, which I take to mean they are trying to increase its ratings.

I've enjoyed hosting High Noon Tea, and want to thank Dianne Swann for asking me to join the KiwiFM team, and also thanks to Michael Higgins and Sam Collins and all the team at KiwiFM, who are doing a great job.

Doing a show where you are restricted to just two genres (reggae and downtempo) and then narrowing that even further to just music from one country - New Zealand -  was a challenge. Thankfully, NZers love their reggae, and there's a wealth of good New Zealand music being made in those two genres. Thank you to all the local musicians I've played on the show who are making great music.



Tom Atkinson aka Tomachi dropped this solo joint on Capital Recordings in late 2005. He's recently released it back into the wilderness via Bandcamp.

"Drummer, keyboardist, and composer Tomachi's debut solo album ‘The Hotel Vermont Sessions’ was the culmination of several years worth of pent-up musical drive, held in check while playing in a variety of bands (SJD, One Million Dollars, Breaks Co-Op, Dam Native, Foghorn, The Roughness, Jungle Fungus and more).

Sexy, hip hop soul with a jazz-funk twist, the sessions required a rollcall of longtime friends and collaborators Dam Native on lead single ‘Mic Is Mine’ as well as the likes of Godfrey de Grut [Loungehead/Brooke Fraser band], Nick Atkinson and Tim Stewart [ex-Supergroove], Kingsley Melhuish, Nigel Gavin [Nairobi Trio], Hamish Clarke [Breaks Co-Op], John Highstead [Relax-o-matic] and many, many more."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Roots + Weird Al cover Madvillian

Original below...

Via Stonesthrow, more here.... oh yeah, somewhere in the world right now, The Roots are onstage playing, backing up Rakim. Gotta find video of that set....

Kirk in the time machine

Found this old web page I'd saved, from Xtra's site in 2001. Murray Cammick interviewing Kirk Harding.

Talking Hip Hop With Kirk Harding

11/10/2001 05:59 PM By Murray Cammick

While expat Kirk Harding was in Auckland for the Aotearoa Hip Hop Summit 2001 I had a chat with him about NZ Hip Hop and working for New York record label Loud. And by the way, there is a doco on the local Hip Hop event this Saturday Oct 13 on TV3.

The New York tragedy of Sept 11 was a daunting event only days before the Aotearoa Hip Hop Summit. Kirk Harding who signed DLT, Slave & Otis and Che Fu to BMG before he headed for his New York job, was safe in Australia on Sept 11. While he continued on to New Zealand his Loud Records boss Steve Rifkind cancelled his Summit appearance, choosing to return to the USA to join his family.

"He was mortified," said Kirk. "He had his three kids sitting in Los Angeles and soon as he saw that some of those planes were actually destined for Los Angeles, that completely freaked him. He was 'I am going to take the first flight I can.' About three days after it happened, he got the first plane from Sydney that could fly into LA."

Did Tha Liks enjoy New Zealand?

"Yeah, they loved it, they loved the whole tour. Those bands do not usually come down here and they hate Europe because of the language barriers, they do not like the food there and the weather is often horrible. Europe is a real grind for almost every act that we have on our roster."

Does that mean we have a better priced McDonalds?

"Better priced McDonalds? NZ and Australia have a better priced everything when you are coming down here with American dollars."

Redhead Kingpin was upset in Australia when he was taken to good restaurants by Virgin Records.

"Snoop was the same when he came down here, they tried to take him to Cafe Rikka and he was like 'I told you I wanted McDonalds.' I don't think people really understood at that stage. They can just handle themselves, they don't even really want any record company involvement because they're not part of that whole world really."

Our rambling suburbs would remind them of Los Angeles?

"Especially Auckland where they see a whole lot of Samoans here. It feels like they are in LA. They thought it was fantastic. Snoop Dogg said he had never felt more at home in another country in his entire life. Tha Liks they really loved it man, they said, 'When can we come back down here?'."

Did they get to see any NZ Hip Hop?

"All they saw was P-Money at the final of the ITF, before they came on stage and they loved what they saw. They met a lot of people, they were hanging out with the Dawn Raid guys. Sony had them working until midnight Friday night doing that Space show."

What is your current job description?

"It is one of those multi-job descriptions. Senior Director of International and I take care of a third of USA marketing and I am head of MTV promotions. The label had to downsize over the last six months because Sony have been cutting back staff. We are on the Sony payroll. Loud is 60 percent owned by Sony and they asked us to cut back. We have had to cut back 27 people from a staff of 80."

Is New York a vibrant music scene?

"Yeah. I do not know about other genres, but Hip Hop, it is all about the private parties. You have to go to private parties to see exactly how vibrant it is. They are packed with people from producers to managers to artists."

How many acts in a year would Loud sign?

"Sony shut us down last year, we were not allowed to sign anyone, we had to focus on what we had. But I think this year we are signing about 10 new artists."

That is a hell of a lot.

"Yeah. I think the idea is in the next couple of months we are going to axe a few of our bigger artists that are not doing so well, and putting the money that we are paying for those bigger artists into a wider spread of artists. Mainly demo deals initially, the idea at the moment is to start a 12 inch label and just have first rights to those artists if the 12 inches do well which is how Wu Tang started. The idea is to take it back to that."

Looking at New Zealand music being recorded at the moment Hip Hop is the most distinctively Pacific. Do you think NZ Hip Hop can fit into the world scene?

"I think that NZ Hip Hop has to focus on New Zealand. I do not know how it fits into the world scene. I think it could do reasonably well in Europe. In France or Germany, they are just focused on becoming stars in their own territories and do not have their eyes on exporting anywhere and they are selling platinum to four times platinum albums there without even caring what is going on in the States."

Is that French language Hip Hop?

"Yeah and German language Hip Hop. But the idea still applies that they are making music for their backyard. I would say there would only have been one international artist ever playlisted on [USA radio station] Hot97 in the last five or six years."

Do you think that because New Zealand hip hop is so different it might give it a marketability at some point?

"I think down the line definitely, because it is different. You look at how prominent Southern USA Hip Hop is now and five years ago nobody was listening to anything from the South. I think eventually, worldwide Hip Hop will come into the USA scene as well. Outside of the States people are really still obsessed with that very mid-90s, classic Hip Hop sound you know and bringing in the whole four elements of Hip Hop as well. Nobody cares about that in the States anymore. It is more about very electronic based beats and Timberland beats and going back to clubs and making it fun and dancing again. It is almost like we are talking about two different types of Hip Hop now? Because everyone in Europe and down here kind of embraces that Wu Tang and DJ Premier kind of sound and that stuff is history in the States. Like they have moved on to the next stage of development of that sound really."

What Loud recordings are part of that next stage?

"Dead Prez is definitely part of the next stage. Also a lot of our Southern stuff, Project Pat. We have this label out of Memphis called Hynotised Minds. They record everything out of their bedrooms and they do not have any guest artists on their records, just their own camp and everything they have done has gone platinum in the last two years."

Did you think the Hip Hop Summit was a success?

"Yeah, yeah, absolutely! 3,000 kids going to see Tha Liks and 3000 kids watching Che Fu and the DJ Battle. Now the Shore kids are coming across and wanting to be part of everything and you see all these new young turntablists coming up and new young bands. Everyone in the NZ Hip Hop scene seem relatively serious about what they are doing and I think that it is good to have someone like Tha Liks or someone who harks back to Run DMC days as far as performance goes, just to show people that they can have fun with what they are doing as well. It is not all about being super serious on stage all the time."

How do you view the role of the multi-national labels in NZ? The signings that exist now are the same as when you left.

"No, there are less than when I left. I do not think that anyone else has been signed. Hip Hop has to go independent. If I was to do a local label down here I would not do it through a major company. It is easier . . . it is not easy, it is a lot of work, but it is not hard to set up 20 interviews and to sell the records to the stores yourself or to get an independent distributor. It is not that much extra work for what you gain out of it at the end of the day."

"You are not going to get into every Sounds store but you are going to get it into core stores in every city to make sure that the right people get it. I think independent is the only way to do it. I was championing the whole major thing for so long, but I see how hard it is when you have got somebody that is not producing a 'Chains".

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ikebe Shakedown

Ikebe Shakedown ( pronounced “ee-KAY-bay”) have just released their debut album on Ubiquity Records recently, the vinyl version drops this week. This Brooklyn-based outfit recorded the album at Tommy Brenneck's Dunham Records studio (Menahan st band/Charles Bradley) and and also Killion Studio out in LA, home to the band Orgone. Check these cats out, they are funky as. Afro-funky.

"Most of the rhythm section met at Bard College, and the band rounded-out and officially formed when everyone settled in Brooklyn in 2008. From there, Ikebe has emerged as a compelling voice on the progressive local scene. After a run of dates around NYC, the band recorded their debut 7” single and the EP, Hard Steppin’, which was released on Colemine Records in 2009, receiving high praise from critics and fans alike.

The group was invited to record at Dunham Studios with producer Tom Brenneck and at Killion Sound in Los Angeles, home of engineer Sergio Rios of fellow Ubiquity act, Orgone. “The studios share a lot of similarities — the tracks were all cut live to tape with minimal use of headphones and overdubs. This basic approach allowed us to dig in and really focus on getting dynamic performances,” bass player Vince Chiarito explains. (from the band's website)

“A must have nugget for fans of Fela Kuti/Africa70, The JB’s, or Antibalas.” –

“The horns…are so deadly” –

Listen to the album previews at Ubiquity's site.

Ikebe Shakedown - "Tujunga" by Ubiquity Records

Lord Echo on wax

Good news, everyone! Lord Echo's scorching cover of Sister Sledge's Thinking of you is coming out on vinyl through Japanese label Wonderful Noise. So happy.

Lord Echo - Thinking Of You (Take from Album "Melodies" sampler 12") WN12020 by wonderfulnoise

"Lord Echo is the brain child of multi-instrument producer fellow, Mike Fabulous. For many years thought to be just a rumour, his debut release 'Melodies' showcases his penchant for mutant reggae-disco with some serious afro realism and a dubwise approach 'pon the mixing console. The reslut (sic) is a heady brew that no music loving foole could possibly deny, and his gritty reggae-disco rerubb of Sister Sledge's "Thinking Of You" has become a cult club favorite in the mean time. A well kept secret in New Zealand, this underground legend finally sheds his light upon an unsuspecting world." 

Release/catalogue number: WN12020
Release date: Jul 31, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dear John Drinnan,

When Ladyhawke gets $59,000 of taxpayer funds to tour overseas, and says she will remain based in NZ, that means shes going away and earning money and coming back and paying taxes here. In business I believe they call that EXPORTING.


See Taxpayer money promotes Ladyhawke from NZ Herald.
The front page banner of the NZ Herald reads "Taxpayers' $60,000 gift for Ladyhawke".

Background: The Music Industry Commission funded interational development grants in their latest funding round for Ladyhawke, Electric Wire Hustle, Avalanche City, Tiny Ruins, The Earlybirds, Frequency Media Group, Parachute arts trust, and  Isaac Aesili. Further info at

ADDED: TV3 quoted my blog in this story. John Drinnan also popped up in the comments here, below.
Also, the full press release from Music Industry Commission on its latest funding, via

Sunday, June 19, 2011

High Noon Tea playlist, KiwiFM

Mike Fabulous and the Jamboree sound - In deep space
Ras Stone meets the Dub Terminator - Love you so much
Joe Dukie and DJ Fitchie - Seconds
Fredericks Brown - Betrayal - Dusty remix
Unitone hifi - Hang on - Kinky electric noise remix
Salmonella dub - For the love of it - Pitch Black remix
International observer - Friday afternoon dub
Jules Issa - Dangerous game
Jahlicious - Want
Trip to the moon - Svenska takter
Lewis McCallum -Way we live
Electric wire hustle - Burn
Eru Dangerspiel - The hold up
Loudhaler - Refesher
Onelung - Cinema 90
The yoots - Tutira mai
Dub connection - Dub skuffle
DJ Vee - One for the mariner
NSU - West coast dub - Dub asylum remix
Conray - Space dub jazz
Benny Tones -Odyssey- Kamandi headspin remix
Bluevibe studio - Holdin on - Magowl remix
Israel Starr -Foundation
Recloose - Mana's bounce
Confucius -Shanti riddim - Pylonz edit

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Interesting article in light of  NZs new copyright laws, which also contain a three strikes clause.

"The Irish Data Protection Commissioner is investigating the Eircom / music industry three strikes system, a report in the Sunday Times has revealed. According to the story by Mark Tighe, predictions that Eircom would end up falsely accusing innocent users have now proved correct, with over 300 users wrongfully being sent a "first strike" letter accusing them of sharing music."
Read the full story here.

Big Day Out moving?

On May 23, The Corner music blog posted a story on industry rumours that the Big Day Out was not being held at Mt Smart Stadium  in 2012. This got picked up and mentioned in the NZ Herald's Time Out section.

On Thursday, TV One News reporter Joanna Hunkin had a piece listed as an exclusive, saying "Big Day Out organisers contacted North Harbour management just over a week ago to check availability, ONE News has learned." When the  story was first posted on TVNZ's website, it also listed the story as exclusive, though that was later removed. Is it really an exclusive when it's already been reported in two other media sources that the BDO is moving?

The TVNZ story also features comment from Australian promoter Andrew McManus, who said "it is a tight schedule, even for the most experienced promoters, and it could see the BDO cancelled here. Just doing a normal concert, you'd think six months is okay, but for a festival, you'd be starting to get worried. Most definitely," McManus said.

This is the same promoter who is currently facing liquidation of his NZ operation over the Raggamuffin Festival. Hunkin says in the story "Bands come and go, but one thing has been constant; Mt Smart has been the home of the BDO since 1994". Not true - they skipped a year in 1998.

The NZ Herald also reported (May 29) that Mt Smart Stadium was in need of $2.3 million in repairs. No mention of that in TV One's item. Today's NZ Herald has a follow-up on the BDO hoopla, noting that "... It is understood Mt Smart Stadium, run by Auckland Council-owned Regional Facilities Auckland, wants more from venue hire and bar profit from the Big Day Out."

"We are in continuing discussions with venue operators to ensure the event stays there," said BDO's Auckland promoters, CRS Management. "Leaving New Zealand or Auckland is the last thing Big Day Out wants to do." Patrons could be confident the BDO would return in January.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM

Dutch rhythm, steel and showband - Down by the river
20th century steel band  - Land of a thousand dances
New mastersounds - Nervous - Kenny Dope bonus beats remix
Kashmere stage band -  Superstrut - Kenny Dope remix
Jo-jo and the fugitives - Chips chicken banana split
Tony Benson sextet - Ugali
Wganda Kenya - Pim pom
Dit - You bring out the best in me
Nona Hendryx - B-boys
Kendra Lou and the miracles - Be kind to your mind feat Red Astaire
Eli Goularte e banda do moto - Meu samba - Nicola Conte remix
Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics - Chacha
Ruts DC - Love and fire - Dreadzone remix
Steven Stanley - Binghi riddim dub version

Tribute to Big Matt mix
Brentford allstars - Racetrack
Freddie McGregor - Rastaman camp
The Revolutionaries - Skanking
Carlton Livingston - 100lbs of collieweed
Marcia Griffiths - Feel like jumping
Phillis Dillon - Rocksteady
Skatalites - Collie bud
Horace Andy - Just say who
Sandoz - King dread
Courtney Melody - Bad boy
PD Syndicate - Ruff like me  -T Power and Shy fx remix
Yush 2k - Fade away
Le peuple de le herbe - Reggaematic
Joni Rewind - Uptown top ranking
Nightmares on wax - 70s 80s - Scientist remix 1
Kelis, Beenieman, TOK - Trick me twice Punchline mix
Jackie Mittoo - Hot milk
Tommy McCook and the supersonics - Beirut

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Karl Hector Presents: Jazz Modal Du Monde

Karl Hector mixtape, DL here. Karl Hector Presents: Jazz Modal Du Monde

"...Hector drops esoteric old Folkways and Blue Note gems, Sun Ra, Lloyd Miller, Mulatu Astatke, and a litany of stuff that I won’t even pretend to have previously heard." Hat tip to blog, wicked stuff.

Bonus - Karl Hector and the Malcouns live at Choicecuts in Dublin, at Steadybloggin (DL)

Cash Rules Everything Around Wu

Cash Rules Everything Around Wu is the name of a paper presented at this year’s EMP Conference by Tal Rosenberg and Jeff Weiss. Read it here. Fascinating stuff.

"... The Wu-Tang warned us that if it ain’t raw, it’s worthless. Most record executives originally disagreed—at least the ones who made power moves. They wanted suit and tie raps that were cleaner than a bar of soap. So said the Gza, and who am I to argue with a man whose own album cover claimed that he was a Genius?

Looking back 20 years later, the Clan’s rise seems pre-ordained, a divine alchemy of ability, acumen, and Ol’ Dirty Bastardry. But when they first emerged from the badlands of Brooklyn and Staten Island, they’d already suffered multiple failures. Less remembered are the RZA and GZA’s initial salvos, commercial flops that recast them as sub-Big Daddy Kane ladies men. In two years, they’d be admonishing you to protect your neck, but first they wanted you to come do them..."

Plus, from the comments in that story, which point to another article on the Wu-Tang approach to business, from the NY Times, back in 1996. 'Brash hiphop entrepreneurs.'

"... His [RZA's] introduction to business, he says, came from selling marijuana on street corners. ''You could sell weed and make a little money,'' he said, ''but most of it gets made for the guy you're selling it for. It's the same thing in the music business, except it's legal.''

That lesson was driven home after early recording contracts that he and Genius had went sour around 1990. RZA felt that he and Genius had been naive about the record industry, allowing themselves to be marketed poorly and shortchanged financially; vowing never to make that mistake again, he read up on corporations and decided to apply his street savvy to any future deals..."

Free ish!

Also over at LA Weekly, very cool free download from some of the hottest producers in Los Angeles, covering a variety of artists from Lady Gaga to Richie Valens...

LA's Coolest Producers (Daedelus, Shlohmo, etc.) Do Prince, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Soulja Boy and More (Free Download of Entire Album).

Pop Massacre:
1. Anenon - Wannabe (Spice Girls) -- Non Projects
2. Strangeloop - Wouldn't It Be Nice (Beach Boys) -- Brainfeeder
3. Shlohmo - Pretty Boy Swag (Soulja Boy) -- Friends of Friends
4. DNTEL - Paparazzi (Lady Gaga) -- Sub Pop
5. Asura - Always Be My Baby (Mariah Carey) -- Non Projects
6. Daedelus - I Would Die For You (Prince) -- Ninja Tune/Magical Properties
7. Sahy Uhns - Pieces Of Me (Briitney Spears) -- Proximal
8. Loden - Gimme Gimme (Abba) -- Mush
9. Mexicans with Guns - La Bamba (Ritchie Valens) -- Innovative Leisure/Friends of Friends
10. Groundislava - I Bet I Do (Supa Blanco) -- Friends of Friends
11. The One AM Radio - Take on Me (A-ha) -- Dangerbird
12. Big Spider's Back - Teenage Dream (Katy Perry) -- Circle Into Square
13. My Dry Wet Mess ft. Amir Yaghmai - I Want Her (Keith Sweat) -- Magical Properties

Best tracks: Two L.A. heavyweights, Daedelus and Strangeloop, are responsible for the best tracks on the comp. Check out Daedelus' twisted reworking of Prince's "I Would Die for You" and Strangeloop's remix of the Beach Boy's "Wouldn't It Be Nice." 

Little Roy sees the Rasta in Kurt Cobain

Little Roy Sees the Rasta in Kurt Cobain, from La Weekly.... "couldn’t you see this guy getting stoned before his shift at the coop? Playing a little acoustic “Redemption Song” around a fire pit in J Tree? In Little Roy vs. Nirvana the legendary reggae singer takes on both “Sliver” and “Dive” off of Nirvana’s 1990 7-inch single..." 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gil Scott Heron

Thoughtful piece of writing from Oliver Wang of Soulsides blog, at the LA Times.

A poet with soul: The ballads of Gil Scott-Heron

"The late Gil Scott-Heron was many things -- poet, activist, icon, cipher -- but it’s easy to forget: He could sing, too. Following his passing on May 27, a parade of accolades have lauded his achievements as a cultural figure, drawing attention to his powerful, incisive spoken-word pieces. No doubt, they inevitably mention “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," Scott-Heron’s best-known work (and rightfully celebrated) but it was originally recorded in 1970, early in his career, when the poet only had the slap of congas to accompany him. Even though he re-recorded the song a year later, this time backed by jazz sessioners, it was still the same spoken-word piece. 

If that song is all you know of Scott-Heron’s work, you might assume he was like other radical black poets of the ‘60s and ‘70s, rapping spoken word over sparse percussion. That style typified seminal albums of the era, such as New York’s Last Poets and their self-titled debut, or "Rappin’ Black in a White World" by Los Angeles’ own Watts Prophets. Scott-Heron’s first album from 1970, "Small Talk at 125th and Lenox" (which opened with “Revolution”) was no different except for one, notable exception.

On “The Vulture,” Scott-Heron first plays a rolling piano riff and then sings -- not recites -- his lyrics. Suddenly, the audience is made aware of a mesmerizing voice with a quiet growl and knack for flipping notes off a rumbling low end. By 1971, partnered with the (inexplicably under-credited) composer Brian Jackson, Scott-Heron began putting that voice on full display, and while he never stopped being a poet, he also blossomed as a singer.

For me, Scott-Heron’s baritone falls somewhere between the soaring, polished grace of Bobby Womack and steely chill of Rakim, but there’s also something distinctively mournful to his vocals. Turn on 1974’s "Winter in America," the first (and arguably best) album credited to both Scott-Heron and Jackson, and practically every song carries a deep strain of melancholy. My favorite track on that album, “Rivers of My Fathers,” borrows subtly from Horace Silver’s standard, “Song For My Father.” However, with Jackson’s downbeat piano and Scott-Heron reaching for the lower registers of his voice, the song actually makes me think more of Oliver Nelson’s “Stolen Moments” in how both riff on the spirit of the blues (indeed, in his later years, Scott-Heron identified himself as a “bluesologist”).

On their best songs in the 1970s, Scott-Heron and Jackson brought a sonic gravitas to bear on topics that tackled everything from apartheid (“Johannesburg”) to urban neglect (“We Almost Lost Detroit”), cultural disillusionment (“Peace Go With You Brother”) to drug addiction (“Home Is Where the Hatred Is”). Intellectually, they were certainly part of black nationalist/artistic movements, raising consciousness alongside Amiri Baraka’s noisy, squealing "It’s Nation Time" and "Don’t Play Us Cheap," a jazz/blues musical written by the brilliant, eccentric Melvin Van Peebles. But musically, Scott-Heron and Jackson also stood apart from these contemporaries.

Like Baraka, Peebles or the Last Poets’ Umar Bin Hassan and Alafia Pudim, Scott-Heron could hoot, holler and screech with the best of them, and most of his albums always included at least one spoken-word piece, as if to remind the listener of his literary roots. Yet, as humorous and biting a poem such as “H20Gate Blues” was on "Winter in America," you’re more likely to remember “The Bottle,” an unlikely proto-disco hit in which Scott-Heron sings about the ravages of alcoholism over a swirling, funky groove built around Jackson’s Rhodes piano.

That booming voice is what made Scott-Heron so unique as an artist. His songwriting was undeniably trenchant, but his singing is what also made it elegant. Those inflections lent his words layers of meaning that, at times, conveyed more than any literal reading of his lyrics could yield.

It’s that baritone that inevitably haunts me in these days, especially on “Rivers of My Fathers.” When Scott-Heron hits the chorus, crooning, “rivers of my fathers/could you carry me home?” he speaks to a multitude of desires: for political liberation, cultural emancipation and personal redemption. The song aches with the yearning to be free of shackles and burdens, whether from the world or those self-imposed. Especially this past week, in reflecting on Scott-Heron’s life, its triumphs and struggles, I keep returning to that chorus. As his voice trails off on it, I imagine the poet, with his perpetual, playful smirk, surrendering himself to the water’s flow, finally at peace as he disappears downstream, floating toward a distant home."

Remembering Big Matt

Four years ago today since the big guy left us... we miss you!

Big Matt Watson,  26-09-1964 to 15-06-2007.

Make Capital

Capital Recordings was a Wellington-based label active in the early 2000s, formed by Brent Gleave and  Jason Harding (aka Clinton Smiley). They produced a ton of great music, then faded mid-decade.

Amplifier has picked up a bunch of their releases and has them at a very special price, both CDs and 12"vinyl from the likes of Dub Connection (feat members of Fat Freddys, Jet Jaguar, Black Seeds), The Moodswingers (a cool little project from Toby Laing of Fat Freddys and Mephisto Jones), Jet Jaguar, Audio Sauce (features the above tune), and also Die Die Die, Fanatics and the Illphonics (feat Hollie Smith, P-Digggs)....

Full list of goodies here. CDs $6.95, vinyl $9.95.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rock it like this?

Very interesting case around reworking another person's creative work and claiming it as an original... worth a read.

Court Rules for Photographer in Copyright Infringement Case...
"As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, a California district court has granted summary judgment to Glen E. Friedman for his copyright infringement case against Thierry Guetta for creating, reproducing, displaying, and selling products incorporating Plaintiff’s photograph of the hip hop music group Run-DMC.

... more background on the case is available on The Art Newspaper.

As the court explained in its Order, Guetta obtained a copy of the Photograph from the Internet. The photo did not have a copyright notice on or with it. Guetta claimed that his works were not not substantial similar to the photograph, that he did not copy the copyrightable elements of the photo, and that his use of the Photograph was fair use.  The court disagreed and explained its reasoning in the Order.  Summary judgment means that the court has ruled that Guetta infringed Friedman’s photograph.  The court now will move to the damages phase, determining what amount Guetta will have to pay to Friedman."

Pitch Black pon de remix

Fresh out from Pitch Black this week, (CD and digital), is Rarities and Remixes, all sorts of sonic goodies.... love that Katchafire remix!

"Included in the remixes are tracks by fellow Aotearoa/NZ dub trailblazers International Observer (‘House of the Rising Dub’) and Salmonella Dub (‘For the Love of It’), along with ‘The Opaque’ by independent music producer Tom Cosm, and ‘Sensimillia’ by reggae legends Katchafire – all fed through the PB warping machine. Representing from further a field is ‘Mirror Beach’ by Mirror System (the ambient project of Britain’s System 7), and ‘A New Day’, a remix of a Sri Lankan track that Pitch Black remixed for the Laya Project, a collaboration of regional folk musicians affected by the 2004 tsunami." Plus some rare gems in there, like their tune that ended up in Whalerider - have a listen below.

From Mint Chicks to UMO

Duncan Greive interviewed Ruban Nielson for the Sunday Star Times' Sunday magazine. Ruban talked about his new band, Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO). It's a very open, honest interview.

He revealed some more information in the Mint Chicks spilt - a few weeks prior to their final incendiary gig where his brother Kody smashed up much of the band's gear, he says “I’d already told Kody that I was going back to Portland, but I wasn’t going to keep doing The Mint Chicks. And that was for a lot of reasons, but probably the main one was that I wanted us to be brothers again. I didn’t want to deal with all the weirdness that was going on between us in the band.”

Ruban returned to the US and his wife and family, got his illustration portfolio together and set about getting a job. He landed work interning at a film company, and worked on some music on the side.

snip... "He’d been listening to ’60s psychedelic music for years – starting with The Zombies and Love, and working on down. He was struck by a nagging absence. “I never quite found what I was looking for,” he says. “I had this idea that if I couldn’t find this record, I could make it.”

After a month or so, he had a set of songs. But, unlike other projects, which were scrutinised and salivated over, this one was just hanging in the air. On a whim, without quite knowing why, he decided to see if his creations had legs, and might run. “I put this made-up name on it and sent out a couple of emails to some blogs I liked,” he recalls. “I went to sleep, went to work, and when I came home the next day I checked to see if people had listened to it.”

I've heard that Ruban went to work, and later in the day one of his co-workers asked him if he'd heard of this cool new band called Unknown Mortal Orchestra. That's gotta be pretty surreal.

Ruban's live band consists of bass player Jake Portrait, and drummer Julien Ehrlich; the latter caught the attention of Questlove Thompson of hiphop group The Roots when he saw the band live in NYC back in April - "Watching the Unknown Mortal Orchestra for the first time. I dig these cats. Drummer has great range. Knows his rock & breakbeat ish."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pain's People

Pain's People is the work of one John Pain, ex Black Girls Machine/Hallelujah Picassos/Nudie Suits. He's just posted this cool twisted little tune, from 2004 - previously unreleased: A companion tune to 'I got flowers', which was released on the compilation 'Froth EP Vol 1' on Forth Records [corrected]. And it's available for download. Check it out.

say after me by pains people

But wait, there's more....

so long, negative creeps by pains people

Sunday, June 12, 2011

High Noon Tea playlist, KiwiFM

 Replays on Friday, 2-4pm NZT, listen online.

Mycroft Homes - Sideshow viewing
Bongmaster - Brothers and sisters
Katchafire - Sensi dub - Pitch black remix
Bender Inc - Apocalypse airwaves
Kingites - Together we grow
OG - Bam bam
Onelung - Bumblebeez
Pacific heights - Peace
Mara TK - Run
Pains people - Predestination
Dub terminator meets Ras Stone - Love you so much
The Yoots - Me he manu rere
Adi Dick - Jah jah is coming
Olmecha supreme - FH5 inst
Benny Tones - On my way - Flako remix
Aquaboogie - Brown lawn
The Politik - Money
Solephonic - Whats your style?
Zuvuya - Electric puha
Kevvy Kev - Midnight dub
Trinity roots - Just like you - Max Maxwell and Bluey remix
Bside beats - White collar dub
Spot X - nice dub
Recloose -Maui's lament

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Numero Group 'declined' invite to iCloud

Via LA Times...

"There have been lots of figures thrown around in the stories relating to Apple's iCloud service, yet none are sitting right with Chicago's famed reissue label the Numero Group .... Label co-founder Rob Sevier said Tuesday that as of now the company was not going to make its catalog available for iCloud's scan-and-match service, a concept the label cautioned as a "great risk" in a post on its site.

"What they are offering to do is analogous to the replacement of a counterfeit painting with an original painting," Sevier said in a follow-up email.

At issue is Apple's intention to this fall launch an online storage service dubbed iCloud. A free version will give a user 5 gigabytes of storage, and also house any songs or albums purchased via the iTunes store. Yet for an annual fee of $24.99, which Apple will split with record labels and publishers, Apple will host high-quality audio files of songs on its servers, saving customers the task of uploading each song individually.

The iCloud will not differentiate between purchased songs and those acquired via peer-to-peer networks, and Sevier said Numero is concerned about the long-term effects of such a service for the industry. For instance, one apprehension was that if the company made its catalog available to iCloud, then those who obtained the label's releases via file-sharing networks could upload them and potentially see them replaced with higher-quality versions..."


DJ Sirvere is one of the most respected DJs in the country. He's been in the music industry for years, working in record stores, record companies, radio, print, all over. Music is his passion, but sneakers are another. Specifically Jordans. About 5 years ago he got the idea to do a show exhibiting his collection, and that idea has finally come to fruition.

His show, A Jordan Journey with DJ Sirvere, is on this weekend in Auckland at 57 Tyler st, Britomart, finishing 5pm Sunday.  There's about 260 sneakers on display, including some rarities. It's an amazing show. These sneakers tell a story about Sirvere's life.

photo: Frank Liew/Hypebeast

There's a pair from 1992 (above), when Sirvere was working in a record store on Queen St (HMV - I remember seeing the Headless Chickens play in there once). One of his co-workers, Mikey Havoc, came to work one day and called Sirvere over to show off his new sneakers, that he'd got sent from the US. They were a pair of Jordans that Sirvere had been after for a while, and he was a little bit gutted (to put it mildly) that someone he knew had them before he did. Havoc wore them to work every day.

click on photo to enlarge and read the tale of Sirvere's sneaker battle with Mikey Havoc

photo: Frank Liew/Hypebeast

Then there's the Jordan golf shoes (above). Sirvere told me that he copped these when Gentry Humphrey, International Jordan Brand Director, was in Australia. Sirvere was over there working on a Nike event and had met Humphrey, who had these Jordan golf shoes with him. He'd played a round of golf while in Australia, and didn't want the hassle of having to clean the mud off them to take them thru Customs, so he left them behind and Sirvere got them. He told me there are only 5 pairs in existence.

Sirvere has got videos of Jordan's games playing down there too, going right back to his college days. It's mighty impressive.  He's even got a pair that have green stains on the sole, from when he used to wear them to mow the lawns, at his family home in Papakura.

Read Frank Liew (from sneaker store Qubic) writing in more detail on the exhibition here.


This mixtape jumps from Fela Kuti to Serge Gainsbourg. Wow. "Captain Planet & Murphy’s Law are back with another collection of raw, funky, pshychedelic, mind-melting tracks from around the world... from Brazil to Turkey to India to Nigeria..." Listen here (incl download link), or below...

International Thief Thief by Mixtape Riot

1. Sola – Tabu-Tabu
2. Ray Rivera – Sumptin’ Like Dat
3. Tim Maia – E Necessario
4. Baris Manco – Cit Cit Cedene
5. Fela Kuti – Colonial Mentality
6. Marcos Valle – Mentira
7. Mary McCreary – Singing The Blues
8. Los Mirlos – La Danza de los Mirlos
9. Catalino y su Combo – Tan Bella Y Presumida
10. Orquesta Riverside – En Casa Del Trompo No Bailes
11. Los Amaya – Caramelos
12. Mad Man Jaga – Hankuri
13. Las 4 Monedas Y Gregory – Trauma
14. Lafayette Afro Rock Band – Darkest Light
15. Yamasuki - Yama Yama
16. Serge Gainsbourg – Requiem Pour Un Con
17. Cortijo Y Su Bonche – Sorongo
18. Kamal Ahmed ft. Noor Jehan – I Am Very Sorry
19. Sapan Jagmohan – Meri Aakhon Mein (edit)
20. Sonny Okosuns – Dance Of The Elephants
21. Wganda Kenya – El Evangelio
22. Tortilla Factory – Cookin’
23. The Celebrant – Off Beats
24. Makonde – Manzara
25. Phirpo y sus Caribes – Y Esa Pava Que
26. Outro

Havana cultura

Gilles Peterson dropped the Havana Cultura comp a while back, he's been running a remix competition, here's some of the top entries... Read more about the winners here...

La Revolucion Del Cuerpo (Captain Planet Remix) by ChuckWild

Cultura Havana Giles Peterson - La Revolucion del Cuerpo (Pushin Wood reGroove) by Pushin Wood Soundsystem

Heres a couple of mashups from the overall winners Pushin Wood Soundsystem....

Afro Tip by Pushin Wood Soundsystem

If Fela Was Dangerous ft. Busta Rhymes by Pushin Wood Soundsystem

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM

Wajeed - Jeedo suave
Katalyst - Day into night
Clive Smith - Stepping forward
Pavlov and Mishkin - Mafia
Jackie Mittoo - Groovy spirit
Johnny Osbourne - Dance with you
Candy Mckenzie and the upsetters - Long enough
The Jamaicans - Baba boom time
Al Brown - Love and happiness
Big Youth - Jim screechy - Smith and Mighty remix
Conroy Smith - Dangerous
Cocoa T - Pirates anthem
Mr Vegas - Jack it up
Tiger - Ram dancehall
Foxy Brown - Baby can I hold you tonight
Ticklah - Si hecho palante
Mos dub - History town
Romanowski - Strudel strut
Chico Mann - Harmonia
Chancha via curcuito - Bussitpondem
Charles Bradley - Heart of gold
Colman bros - She who dares - lounge mix
Bonobo - Eyes down
Fredericks Brown - Betrayal
Scratch 22 - Shivani strut
Quantic - T.R.O.Y.
Kenny Dope - Get on down
The Koliphones - Jungle concerto (moog)
Stinky Jim - Triple agent

Friday, June 10, 2011

Broke-ass musos need help too

NZ Herald's media columnist John Drinnan has had another bash at arts funding. Unlike his previous efforts in his weekly Media column, this is written as a proper news story, so isn't riddled with delightful opinions such as means testing for the arts, an idea he picked up from Fran O'Sullivan.

In the article he picks apart the Creative NZ funding helping several NZ acts get to the Glastonbury music festival, such as King Kapisi, Bella Kololo, and Ladi6. He doesn't mention that several of the artists he refers to are currently based in Europe, trying to make a living from their art.

He also fails to mention that NZ bands attending Glastonbury under their own steam, like Phoenix Foundation and Electric Wire Hustle, are able to do so as they have record deals in the UK/Europe. God forbid we should export some interesting music.

"... Creative NZ spokeswoman Cath Cardiff said the return from its travel grants was enabling Kiwi acts to gain exposure. There might not be an immediate benefit but it enabled groups "to be more sustainable in the long term" ... But that was inevitable, given New Zealand's size, she said. There was no option but to export - and the pay-off was that it put NZ on a world stage. "

Drinnan: "The grants illustrate the array of taxpayer handouts for pop music from state agencies, even in tough times. "

We NEED music in tough times.

NZ Herald: "Taxpayers to help Kiwi stars shine at UK festival"

On U Sound rebounds

" Every Mistake Imaginable, that’s EMI. " Adrian Sherwood on his label's former distributor.

Spied this cool interview with legendary reggae producer and label boss Adrian Sherwood (On-U Sound label, producer of Dub Syndicate, Tackhead, African Head Charge, even Dave Dobbyn!).

The interview is over on,  and I found it via a blog worth checking called Skank Blog Bologna, which covers "a decade’s worth of reggae and dub tracks made by a bunch of punks (and post-punks if we’re gonna quibble over genres)." From Bad Brains to the Ruts to Jah Wobble.

The folk behind the blog are also working on releasing a compilation based round this theme, which should be a whole lotta fun. Hat tip to Craig M for the link.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Photo: Sonic Scoop/Jacob Blickenstaff

Found a couple of fascinating interviews with Gabe Roth of the Dapkings/Daptone Records. Well worth a read.

From Feb 2011, via The Afrobeat Blog. Roth talks about a lost project he started with Amayo from Antibalas ten years ago, which is finally seeing the light of day...

"When I had a studio in his basement at the Afro-Spot in Brooklyn where we recorded Dap-Dippin and Pure Cane Sugar and Talkatif and a lot of stuff I started recording with him the Fu Arkist-Ra record. We got through the rhythm section stuff, and we never really finished it and he got evicted and I got evicted and things went sour, not between us, but with the landlords.

"We always talked about getting back into it and re-recording, but I was always so busy with touring and he was trying to keep bands together ... he came to me and he wanted to record again, and I was out of town I didn't really have time, so I recommended him to Tommy Breneck to Dunham Studios to see if he was into it ... So Tommy said do you have some tape we can record on, so he said oh yea, we can record on this old blank tape, so the tape he brought on was the rhythm section tape we recorded ten years before. So Tommy put it on and was like wow, this shit is bangin, it's weird but it's been so long its been 10 years, but we forgot about that sound from that time. So Tommy brought in all the original guys, Stuart Bogie and Martin Perna, to do some overdubs, and I went in and mastered it the last time I was in New York ... Hopefully we'll put that out sometime soon."

The official Fu-Arkist-Ra site details upcoming live shows and info on classes for Amayo's own blend of Kung Fu, called Fu Rhythtm Fitness.
Fu-Arkist-Ra Myspace.

Other Gabe Roth IV, from November last year...
Daptone, Home grown: Gabe Roth’s cottage industry of soul, via Sonic Scoop

"... There’s a lot of hype about tube gear and tape machines and stuff, and even analog recording. As much as I tend to get lumped into that school I’m really not that dogmatic about it. If something sounds better or feels better on a computer, go ahead and use a computer!

We do a lot of blind A/B-ing in the studio. You need to do it blind in order to overcome so many biases that you have. If you spent $4,000 on some old microphone, then you really want it to sound good. But if you put it blind, up against an SM57, sometimes the SM57’s gonna win, but you’re never gonna know unless you do it blind. So, we do a lot of that, and we do end up using a lot of Radio Shack mics and common mics too.

It’s definitely interesting when you see a nerdy internet column about what kind of mics they were using on sessions for the Beatles or at Motown or something, because I think it’s really not all that useful. At the end of the day, if you wanna know how they made a John Lennon vocal sound amazing, the answer is that John Lennon was singing!"

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

One hundred days of inaction

Poynton Terrace wall, Tuesday June 6, 105 days after being painted out by Auckland Council

When Mayor Len Brown took office on November 1st last year, he decided to talk big. He came up with 100 projects in 100 days, aiming to show how he planned to get stuck in to Auckland's issues. It was a bold plan, and it worked, by and large. One of those items was to launch an anti-tagging initiative.

On Thursday February 24, Len Brown and the Auckland Council painted over an art mural in Poynton Terrace in the CBD without permission. This wall had been a regular painting spot for artist Elliot O'Donnell aka Askew, for ten years. He'd worked hard to develop a good relationship with the building owners, tenants and neighbours. Len Brown and his Council destroyed a successful community artwork in an afternoon. Read more about what happened here.

Brown fronted up and admitted that it had been a mistake, but never explained why a Council anti-graffiti volunteer had managed to get this wall painted out.

Brown appeared on TVNZ7's Media 7 on 17 March (watch it here) and was asked three times to explain why Council's graffiti prevention officer Rob Sheilds had approached the building owner to offer creative advice and a list of artists for the replacement mural (well outside his job description) - Brown dodged the question, instead talking about wanting to make sure Council followed due process, and that ultimately it was the owners decision about what goes on their wall.

Brown said he would sort this out and make it right, but 100 days later, this wall is still grey.

I have been told that Council is consulting with interested parties, which could take months, or years. Meanwhile, Askew has offered to repaint the wall for FREE. What's the hold up, Mr Mayor?

ADDED June 29: The Auckland Council has put out a call for expressions of interest from artists to replace the mural. See The Big Idea. The Council's Public Art Team say on their Facebook page that "we'd welcome an EOI from Askew. The bonus is that whomever is awarded the contract will get an artists fee, and materials paid, so won't have to fund it out of their own pocket."

That's not a bonus - that's what Len Brown undertook to do after admitting the Council made a mistake painting out the mural. Askew and friends paid for that mural out of his own pocket for ten years.

ADDED The EOI document says "...the building owner may give preference to a design with a historical theme... The design should not incorporate elements that could be mistaken for vandalism... The building owner asks that the mural is not signed..."