Friday, September 30, 2011


Orchestra of Spheres are: Baba Rossa - biscuit tin guitar, sexomouse marimba / E=M303 - electric carillon / Jemi Hemi Mandala - drumkit / Mos Iocos - keyboard, gamelan.

"Born out of Wellington’s Frederick Street Sound and Light Exploration Society in 2009, the Spheres have developed a cult-like following in New Zealand. Playing house parties, dance parties, DIY shows and opera houses, the Spheres have built a reputation for musically and visually ecstatic live shows..." 

They are off to play at All Tomorrows Parties at the end of the year, after Caribou saw them play at Campus A Low Hum and invited them along (Caribou are co-curating ATP). They're also playing a handful of European shows while they're up over. Exciting stuff!

"As well as ATP, we're playing at Les Transmusicales festival in France, a festival in Utrecht, and other gigs in England, Germany, Czech Republic and elsewhere. European dreams: Hoping to check out lots of cool music. E=MC303 will be eating lots of cheese. Jemi Hemi wants to party and try heaps of new European fizzy drinks. Mos Iocos aims to twiddle the moustaches of 100 frenchmen. Baba Rossa would like to drive really fast on the Autobahn."

The Corner says " Orchestra of Spheres’ setup boasts a roots’n'phuture amalgam akin to Konono N°1 , a D.I.Y. mix of neo-traditional instruments jury-rigged from household objects (biscuit tins, mousepads, barbecue tongs, a futon slat) as well as the likes of the gamelan and theremin – it’s a heady brew..."

There's a tasty re-edit of one of their tunes coming out on vinyl (listen to an excerpt below), and their album is being released by Fire Records in early November, on CD/digital/vinyl....

WATCH: Orchestra of Spheres cover Bachelorette at the recent APRA Silver Scroll Awards.
READ: Q&A with the band over at Under The Radar.

Orchestra Of Spheres - Hypersphere.mp3 by AwesomeFeelingFive

Orchestra Of Spheres - Hyperspheres (Daphni Edit) by resista

Orchestra of Spheres on Bandcamp.

R.I.P. Sylvia Robinson

Via Dangerous Minds blog... "Sylvia Robinson, 75, the founder and CEO of the Sugarhill Records label in the 1970s, died died this morning from congestive heart failure at Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, New Jersey, Sister to Sister reports.

It was Robinson’s idea to “sample” the sinewy bass-line of Chic’s “Good Times” and turn it into “Rapper’s Delight,” the first mainstream hip-hop hit. Robinson also produced “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five and was part of soul duo Mickey & Sylvia.

Hip-Hop Happens (a 2005 profile of Robinson from Vanity Fair magazine by DM pal Steven Daly)."

That story mentions that Rapper's Delight was selling 50,000 copies a day at its peak.

via Prefix Mag... "Robinson had a music career of her own as Sylvia. Her biggest solo hits include "Love is Strange" and "Pillow Talk," the latter of which topped the R&B Billboard chart for two weeks in 1973. It also received a mini-boost in recent times when it appeared on the soundtrack to 1998's 54. Hip-hop heads will recognize another of her songs, "Sweet Stuff," for its use in J Dilla's "Crushin'."

ADDED New York Times obit for Sylvia Robinson.

You can watch Robinson perform "Pillow Talk" on Soul Train below.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

R.I.P. Dan Birch, Beat Rhythm Fashion

Just saw this via Failsafe Records on FB... "Some sad news today. Dan Birch, bassist and co-vocalist/songwriter for Beat Rhythm Fashion passed away today. Here's Dan taking lead vocal duties for their fantastic single Turn of the Century. Dan's brother said he was found asleep on his couch with a smile on his face and that's how we'll remember him, always with a wiry grin. Thanks for the great music Dan."

This is easily one of my favourite NZ songs of all time. 

Holy moley

Holy Shit - DJ Format & Mr Thing... "Holy Shit' is a mix of religious breaks,beats & music discovered mostly in charity shops and bargain bins of record shops over a number of years. I had been planning to do a mix of some of my weird & wonderful religious records for years and when i got chatting with Mr Thing about a new exciting discovery i had just made in a Leeds charity shop,it turned out he too had recently discovered the same religious LP!

"We decided to team up and do a mix together and Holy Shit was the result. Although some of the music is top quality and was cut up in a B-boy style,the mix was definitely supposed to be fun..hence the Monty Python bits! It was released as a CD in 2009(?) and is now available for free download for the first time...."  Hat tip to Groovement

Holy Shit - DJ Format & Mr Thing by dj format

Mr Fuemana, Mr Phil Fuemana

From 5000ways.... video shot at Cause Celebre from the look of it...

"The Fuemana family and Matty J are back with more of their smooth grooves, with influences galore, including a Monkees/Del Tha Funkee Homosapien reference with “Mr Fuemana, Mr Phil Fuemana”.

The video takes place in a day-lit club (or perhaps a cafe, which seems an Auckland ’90s thing). The group perform their song, with the Fuemanas being cool and Matty J trying to be cool.

When Phil does his keyboard solo, a very Catholic looking crucifix can be seen on the piano keys, implying that perhaps this song is about getting closer to God.

It’s funny to look at this video and think that within three years, one of the guys in this video was going to have a bonafide international mega hit single."


Over at Stonesthrow.

James Pants says "I bring forth the first installment of the Beat Archive; a 51-piece vast collection of oddities, soddities, and heresies from back in the days when I thought I could be a rap producer. Never worked out so well. But regardless, I hope you enjoy. Feel free to use for your own purposes, and spread around."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sly Stone is homeless

photos: NY Post/ John Chapple
Sly Stone is currently living in a campervan, according to the New York Post.

"He lays his head inside a white campervan ironically stamped with the words “Pleasure Way” on the side. The van is parked on a residential street in Crenshaw, the rough Los Angeles neighborhood where “Boyz n the Hood” was set. A retired couple makes sure he eats once a day, and Stone showers at their house. The couple’s son serves as his assistant and driver...

"... The singer claims his money troubles escalated in 2009, when his royalty payments stopped flowing after Stone accused his manager, Jerry Goldstein, of fraud. Stone says he was tricked into signing a rotten contract with Goldstein in 1989, giving the manager control of his finances in exchange for a weekly paycheck.

Last year, Stone sued Goldstein for $50 million, alleging fraud and 20 years of stolen royalty payments. (Contributing to the singer’s dire financial situation, he foolishly sold his valuable music-publishing rights to Michael Jackson for a reported $1 million in 1984.) Goldstein did not return calls seeking comment.

The performer’s cash-flow problems forced him out of his Napa Valley house that he rented with money from a 2007 European tour and into cheap hotels and the van in 2009. Stone hopes to soon put the lawsuit and his other woes behind him..."

UPDATE: Bootsy Collins posted this on his Facebook page yesterday (Wednesday 27th)... "Here is the latest I've heard about our pioneer Sly Stone! 'hey bootsy: just to let you know about sly he is ok. he stays at my mom and dads because he feels safe there. he has a house that he is renting but he likes being around my brother who cares for him and watches over him. oh yea my mom cooks for him whenever he is hungry. as for the boys in the hood thing; my hood is very loving of sly and watches over him. thank you for caring. ps. he would love to here from you. keep the funk alive and god bless you. yours truly randy austin'." 

60s crate diggers

From What Record Stores Looked Like in the 1960s. More pics, follow the link.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Free download. This is off the rather splendid collaboration between Lawrence Arabia and Mike Fabulous (Lord Echo/Black Seeds). Out October 3.

The whole album is streaming over at NZ Herald. Live shows - Oct 7, at Mighty Mighty Wgtn, Oct 9 at Kings Arms Akld, Oct 13 Nelson Arts Festival.

Why Len Lye didn't need to get high

ah, Vice Magazine, you have the best headlines.

"Len Lye was born at the turn of the last century on New Zealand’s then-mind-numbingly isolated South Island. Consequently, the likelihood that Len would eventually have a creative impact on the world was about as slim as him winning the lottery without a ticket.

Luckily, thanks to a crafty combination of talent, vision and relocation to London, Len’s work was able to divide audiences on a global scale. Len Lye’s fascination with movement and his experiments with film and celluloid were like nothing that had ever been seen before in the early 1900s and it’s a little known fact that he produced the very first ever music video.

Len Lye died an old man in 1980 but his long-time collaborator, Roger Horrocks, was obliging enough to speak to us on his behalf.

Vice: What was New Zealand like in the 20s when Len Lye started experimenting with film and art?

Roger: New Zealand was a small colony at the end of the world, dominated by the practical concerns of farmers and land speculators. There was some art, but it was mostly derivative, hand-me-down stuff, imitating the London art of earlier years. When Len started experimenting, he seemed to be the only artist in New Zealand with a knowledge of Cubism, Futurism, and any of the other modern ‘isms’. He tried to talk about his work and his ideas but people thought he was “potty” (his word), so he mostly kept things to himself.

So he was a bit of a creative anomaly?

He was a one-man modern art movement. Luckily, he was also incredibly self-motivated, which seems to have been a legacy of the fact that his father had died when he was three, at which point he was shunted off to a series of foster homes. So he learned to look after himself, and grew up like a tough little street kid. As a young man he was contemptuous of the establishment, including the art scene, and he developed fiercely independent ideas about everything. Len’s philosophy centred on the idea of individuality, and his slogan was “Individual Happiness Now.”

A still from Rainbow Dance (1936)

That sounds like a great, hedonistic mantra. Did he go to art school?

Len had to leave school at the age of 13 and he couldn’t afford to go to high school. He made extraordinary use of free public libraries and knew how crucial it was for kids who grew up poor to have access to them. Len used them so well that by the time he was in his early 20s, he knew more about new trends in art than any artist or art teacher in New Zealand.

You recently made a film about a “breakthrough” moment that Len had. Can you tell us about that?

When he was a teenager, Len was out delivering papers on a very windy day in Wellington (which is famous for its wind). Watching the clouds blowing around, he suddenly had two ideas—first, that movement could be the basis for a completely new approach to art, and second, that the way to think about movement was in terms of music. He called this “a figure of motion”. This was a big discovery for Len, and he spent the rest of his life as an artist developing it, both in film and in kinetic sculpture.

What were some of the techniques he pioneered?

In the 1930s he had invented a new way of making films—doing so without a camera by painting and scratching images directly onto the celluloid. The results were brilliantly coloured and had a funky look, with lines and blobs bouncing around with lots of physical energy.

Oh yeah, those films look amazing—like they’re alive almost.

Yeah, but he needed a way to fund his films so he could get them screened in cinemas. So he came up with the idea of combining them with popular dance music. He loved Cuban music, which had recently become trendy in Paris, and was just starting to be heard in London. He described his images as his “vicarious form of dance to the music”. These four-minute films had a huge impact all over England. It also helped him to find sponsors. I guess they were definitely some of, if not the first music videos.

Six frames from Tusalava (1929)

That’s a pretty big claim to fame for a guy from Christchurch.

Some European experimental film-makers such as Oskar Fischinger had already been making little music films for cinemas, but they had mostly used classical music, whereas Len preferred popular music. He valued it for being more rhythmic and sexy. Len’s films have influenced many music videos since then. They are still screened today on MTV in Europe.

What were some of the other films that Len made?

He tried to do something new with each film he made in terms of imagery or editing. His music films included A Colour Box, Kaleidoscope and Colour Flight. In Rainbow Dance and Trade Tattoo he came up with highly original ways of using colour film, transforming black and white camera footage into amazing, re-coloured, Cubist-like images. He made Free Radicals and Particles in Space by scratching black film. His scratches are incredibly alive, like flashes of lighting, or high-speed graffiti.

A still from Birth of the Robot (1935).All photos courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation and the New Zealand Film Archive.

I’ve read something about Len taking mescalin with his wife and friend and while they were tripping balls, Len was just fine. Was this a regular thing?

Len’s friends felt that he was one person who truly had a natural high. He almost never took drugs, but when he did, his friends could not see any difference in him. He was wild enough without chemical assistance. Even when Len was in his 60s he was celebrated by papers, such as the East Village Other, for being a great counter-culture role model. He had an extraordinary visual imagination and was totally independent and rebellious, and he and his wife Ann had for years practised a happy open marriage. Who needs drugs when you have all that?

What were some of the negative reactions to Len’s work?

One of his films was Swinging the Lambeth Walk, which he based on a popular new dance of the period. It was sponsored by the government’s fund to promote tourism and although today it would be perfectly normal to promote ‘swinging London’, in 1939 it was a really controversial idea. Some politicians were appalled.

That’s hard to imagine now.

In the cinemas, Len’s films also polarised the audience. Half the audience was horrified and booed and stamped their feet. Modern art with pop music was too much for them. But the other half of the audience would cheer and clap in delight. The films created so much controversy that every film reviewer was expected to offer an opinion, and Len gained both fame and notoriety. Most people shy away from controversy but Len embraced it and that’s what really made him such a special artist.

Summer Series 95

These photos turned up after I put out a call via Twitter/Facebook asking for any pics of the Picassos recently. If you've got some, please get in touch! Add them to our Flickr group too. 

These pics are from BFM's Summer Series in 1995, taken by Mark Walters - thanks for scanning them and sharing! We played last, and the crowd was a bit rowdy by that stage of the day. I had to stop playing guitar midsong at one point and drag a security guard off a punter cos he was punching him repeatedly in the head, not cool.

Then the head of security pulled all his staff off the front of stage, and then the PA guys decided since there was no security, they'd take away our monitors from the front of stage as well, Didn't bother us, we played on, the crowd started stage diving like mad, the PA started swaying, and we all had a good time. Those security guys were lugheads tho. If you look at that crowd photo above, you might spot Steve, from ' Nick and Steve' on BFM fame....


Cos everyone likes BAR-B-Q.... on Stax Records 1964....

As found on the Afterhours Northen Soul collection, 3 CDs of solid soul goodness...

Sunday, September 25, 2011


From, a project reviewing NZOA-funded music videos, by Robyn Gallagher...

"A song about relaxing and taking it easy, which seems to be the national genre of New Zealand. The “Rewind” video is a cruisy collection of a lively studio performance and scenes from New Zealand.

It’s a fun video that nicely captures the spirit of the song, with green screen used quite thoughtfully. The background images, scenes of both rural and urban New Zealand, are contrasted with the laid-back band.

The video also features the nice bright, highly saturated colour palette that was cool in the ’90s, and I think this kind of colour use has come back around. Now all we need is for chunky green screen to become cool again.

Best bit: the green-screened turntable.

Bonus: Peter McLennan of the Hallelujah Picassos has again been kind enough to share his experience of the video:

"We worked with Stratford Productions on this video, as we did for the previous video Lovers Plus. The latter video was directed by Bruce Sheridan, and for this one we worked with Clinton Phillips. I co-directed the video with Clinton, which was very generous of him, as he did a lot of the work, really. We shot Rewind at the Powerstation, using the stage for the band footage, and shooting from the balcony for the verses, looking down on Bobbylon, singing. We bounced round the stage Roland and myself wearing turntables strapped on like guitars, and Johnnie playing his korg synth, nicknamed the Hog.

The black and white footage in the verses was shot on super 8 film by me, while we were on tour. I gave it to Clinton to send off for telecine transfer over in Sydney and never saw it again, which was a bit sad.

There’s also footage shot on video of us clowning round on the roof of Civic House, next to DKD, which also makes a brief appearance in the video. The only green screen is on the record on the turntable, which also serves up my fave shot in the video, at 2.09 – Roland doing his best Michael Jackson tippy-toes dance move.

This song will be included on the forthcoming collection of Hallelujah Picassos tunes, remastered for CD/digital."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Will Sessions

Spied this via Stonesthrow, looks pretty cool...

"Eight-piece soul-funk ensemble Will Sessions began making a name for themselves by playing gigs with fellow Detroit natives Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, and Phat Kat, backing them with live interpretations of Madlib, Dilla and Black Milk beats. Now the group has dropped a free live album, Real Sessions, a compilation of live recordings with these MCs. Free download below, including album and digital booklet."


2. MIC CHECK 313 feat. Guilty Simpson
3. BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN feat. Guilty Simpson
4. NIGHTMARE feat. Phat Kat & Guilty Simpson
5. FRONT STREET feat. Phat Kat & DJ Dez
6. COLD STEEL feat. Phat Kat & Elzhi
7. GET RICHES feat. Guilty Simpson
8. SO GONE / NAUTILUS feat. Black Milk
9. PRESSURE feat. Black Milk
10. DANGER feat. Black Milk & Phat Kat
11. TAKE NOTICE feat. Guilty Simpson

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sept 24

Rare earth - Ma (excerpt)
20th century steel band - Papa was a rolling stone
Otis Redding - Hard to handle
Joanie Sommers - Dont pity me
Wendy Rene - BBQ
Menahan st band - Make the road by walking
DJ Spinna - Dilla is the G.O.A.T.
The JBs - You can have Watergate but gimme some bucks and I'll be straight
Karl Hector and the Malcouns - Toure samar
Israel Starr - Foundation
Unitone hifi - Up to eleven
The Yoots - Tutira mai
Mulatu Astatke - Yegelle tezeta (playing live at The Powerstation, Nov 25)
BT Express - If it dont turn you on, you ought to leave it alone
Cymande - The message
Bob James - Take me to Mardi gras
Bernard Wright - Master rocker
Lloyd Charmers - Look a py py
Tenor saw - Golden hen
Macro dubs -  No dubs til Brooklyn
Prince Jammy - Brooklyn dub
Fat freddys drop - Bohannon dub
Farm fresh sound system - Root once again - Max Rubadub remix
Lee Scratch Perry vs the Moody Boys - God smiled
Smith and Mighty - B line fi blow
Overwash vs megalon - Apopo
Apeanaut - Hardwired for Geisha

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Question marks


Here's the guff on this release... spot the New Zealand connection...

Now Again Records: Limited edition CD & digital-only African reissue.

"Nearly two years ago, Now-Again announced that it was assembling an anthology of the best Nigerian psych-fuzz-funk tracks from the country’s golden years of the early to mid 1970s in conjunction with Uchenna Ikonne and New-Zealand based psych-zealot Heavyfuzz [from Edendale, Southland]. There was a catch, though: After a series of missteps dealing with shady middle men and copyright “holding companies” who claimed to represent bands and artists that had no connection, Now-Again helped send Ikonne back to Nigeria to track down – and officially license – each track for their anthology from the bandmembers themsselves. That was, as far as we could tell, a first for a Nigerian comp of this sort.

The process took Ikonne the better part of a year, and, although he returned with stacks of licenses, records culled from radio stations tucked deep in Eastern Nigeria’s “psych-funk-belt,” never-before-published photos and scores of interviews, he wasn’t able to track down every artist he was after. Thus, the comp was delayed.

Back Stateside, though, Ikonne found one of the missing links: Question Mark’s bandleader Franklin Izuorah. Living in Texas, working as a family therapist, yet still playing music, Izuorah signed on. The timing was perfect – right around the release of Madlb’s Medicine Show #3, Beat Konducta In Africa. The Loop Digga drew from Question Mark’s “Love” for his “Endless Cold (Lovelost)” and Ikonne and Egon worked to put the finishing touches on their anthology.

Well, it’s nearly a year later – and their white-whale of an anthology is almost done.... But, in the interim, they teamed up with Germany’s Shadoks to reissue Question Mark’s album in full, packaged with an extensive interview that Ikonne conducted with Izuorah and percussionist Uzo Aguiefo."

Exclusively at Stones Throw: The latest in Now-Again's series of African funk reissues.

Monday, September 19, 2011

C is for Cookie

Cookie monster and the girls - C is for cookie, disco edit, Roy Thode mix. I've edited in the intro, taken from the song The Last Cookie Roundup, from the album C is for Cookie - Cookie's favourite songs.

This was reissued by Ninja Tune in 2003 with another mix of C is for Cookie, the first remix ever done by Larry Levan. Everyone has to start somewhere, and Sesame St was his start. The 3rd tune on the 12" reissue was a very clever edit of The Pinball Number Count, put together by DJ Food.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Q&A: Martin Mills, Beggars Banquet Group

Well worth a read, over here

Do you think the post-Napster challenges of the last ten years have been easier or harder for indie labels to deal with than the majors?

MM: Easier for indies because we’re natural licensors, we don’t have hang-ups about control, we’re less defensive and are more open to taking risks. Harder for indies because the four majors, or the two big ones in particular, are effectively monopolies that digital music services can’t do without. That gives the majors leverage, which can be unhealthy for the market and prejudicial to indies. Merlin was formed to address that.

Rubble Kings

RUBBLE KINGS TRAILER from shan nicholson on Vimeo.

Rubble Kings is a new doco that covers the late sixties and early seventies in New York, looking at the gang culture and the emergence of hiphop.

"From 1968 to 1975, gangs ruled New York City. Beyond the idealistic hopes of the civil rightsmovement lay a unfocused rage. Neither law enforcement nor social agency could end the escalating bloodshed.

Peace came only through the most unlikely and courageous of events that would change the world for generations to come by giving birth to hip-hop culture. Rubble Kings, the most comprehensive documentation of life during this era of gang rule to date, tells the story of how a few extraordinary, forgotten people did the impossible, and how their actions impacted the world over."

Via Voices of East Anglia.

There's a similar doco I saw recently, called 80 Blocks from Tiffanys, originally shot in the late 70s for Saturday Night Live and now out on DVD. It's based on an Esquire magazine article on gangs in the Bronx.

BONUS: Another doco from Shan Nicholson, Downtown Calling, on NYC 77-85. Watch the clip below, 0.50 in, see Keith Haring drawing on the subway walls. So dope.

"There was a lot of creativity amidst all the civic chaos..." Nelson George

DOWNTOWN CALLING TRAILER from shan nicholson on Vimeo.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sept 17

Kashmere stage band - Aint no sunshine - J-Rocc remix
Guilty Simpson - Mans world
Sparrows troubadors - Soulful strut
Jackson 5 - Hum along and dance
Ikebe shakedown - The viking
Los Reyes 73 - Adeoey
Fred Wesley - House party
Charles Wright and Watts 103rd st rhythm band - Brothers and sisters
Cookie monster and the girls - C is for cookie disco edit
Hugh Masekela - Dont go lose it baby
Grace Jones - This is dub
Lovejoys - It aint easy
Prince Fari - Mozabites
Linton Kwesi Johnson - Victorious dub
Lee Scratch Perry - International broadcaster
Resonators - Gold getter
Mad lion - Girlzz
Grandmaster flash - The message - Paul Nice mashup
Jurassic 5 - Quality control
Faith Evans - Mesmerised
Curtis Mayfield - Make me believe in you
Kashmere stage band - Superstrut - Kenny Dope remix
Esther Phillips - Just say goodbye
Joanie Sommers - Dont pity me
Lou Ragland - Since you said you'd be mine
Sister Sledge - Love dont you go through no changes on me
Jackie Stoudemire - Invisible wind - Shoes re-edit

Vinyl amp

Paul Cocksedge's converted vinyl speaker cone

From Rolling Stone, Paul Cocksedge, an industrial designer, has developed a way to use vinyl records as an amplifier for your iPhone.

"As part of Change the Record, a live performance happening from on September 20th at the 2011 London Design Festival, the artist plans to recycle old 12-inch albums into speakers for mobile handsets. Created through the application of heat, LPs are remolded to resemble funnel-shaped accessories which, by virtue of their natural shape, cause music playing from an iPhone or similar device to be amplified when placed inside. Illustrating the principles of acoustics without sacrificing aesthetic street cred, results appear readymade to make hipsters antennae perk up."

Friday, September 16, 2011


This film looks very, very cool...

PLUS go have a look over at Stonesthrow, who reissued a ton of their music, for a free download of Kashmere Stage Band - Super Bad (Egon Extended Edit).

There's a rerelease of the previous archival collection of Kashmere Stage Band, plus a bonus DVD...

"The DVD contains the shorts “Texas Jewels: The Making of Texas Thunder Soul,” by B+ and Flying Lotus, “Kashmere Stage Band on Jazz: Yesterday, Today, Forever,” and “Prof. and his Band: A Documentary by Charles Porter.” - 2CD/DVD, 3LP/DVD. 2011. Hat tip to Alan P

Thursday, September 15, 2011

SJDK newie

A collection of soul tunes from Ms Sharon Jones and her Dapkings, out end of October. A few of these tunes have popped up on compilations or on b-sides previously... just caught up with this, via Groovement...

Side 1
Genuine Pt 1
Genuine Pt 2
Longer and Stronger
He Said I Can
I’m Not Gonna Cry
When I Come Home

Side 2
What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes?
Settling In
Ain’t No Chimney In The Projects
New Shoes
Without A Trace
Inspiration Information

The Yoots, live

Buy the Yoots over at Amplifier (CD/MP3).

Previous post... Hopepa talks about The Yoots (video)

Mulatu is coming!

Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke is playing his first-ever NZ show, Friday Novermber 25 at The Powerstation, backed by the Black Jesus Experience.

"Considered one of the finest and most inventive composers by both beat-heads and jazz-cats alike; Astatke is also a lively and vibrant performer, bringing phenomenal skills, boundless energy and a broad smile whenever he takes the stage.

For this one-off New Zealand show, Mulatu Astatke is joined by The Black Jesus Experience, an Australian/Ethiopian ensemble who fuse traditional Ethiopian song with jazz, funk and hip hop. The nine-piece group supported Astatke for his recent sell-out Australian shows, having just returned from their own highly successful tour of Europe and Ethiopia.

Mulatu Astatke and The Black Jesus Experience perform at Auckland’s Powerstation on Friday 25th November, 2011.

Ticket pre sale Tuesday 20th Sept go to for all ticket and show information.
General on sale Thursday 22nd tickets from Ticketmaster and Real Groovy Auckland.

Here's Mulatu playing with Black Jesus Experience last year...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Al Teller

I was reading about Al Teller the other day, his name pops up in The Big Payback. He was the head of Columbia when the first Beastie Boys album came out on Def Jam, distributed by Columbia. Apparently he had to field an irate call for the top boss at CBS, telling him to pull the album, as the plane on the cover had similar marking to American Airlines, and the chief of American Airlines had threatened to pull his advertising from CBS tv stations. Teller refused, saying he would be the laughing stock of the record biz if he gave into this.

Frpm Hypebot...

"Al Teller ran CBS, Columbia and MCA Records, but in this interview with Ian Rogerson This Week In Music, he shares a visionary view of where the music industry is headed. It starts as a history lesson, but things get interesting around 17:30. Topics include how (sadly) mass-saturation radio play is still the most powerful way to connect with fans, and at 20:45 Rogers asks: “It seems that the music industry always relies on entities that don’t actually care about the future of music (Wal-Mart, iTunes)… Do you share that view?”.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sept 10

Blues Magoos - Cant get enough of you
Jackie Stoudemire - Guilty
Boo and the tru tones - Dont blame this joint
Jean Jacques Perrey and Luke Vibert  -Ye olde beatbox
Art of noise - Beatbox
Grace Jones - devil dub
Courtney Melody - Black liberation
Macro Dub - How many fishermen?
Unknown - Got to be at that party
Jimmy London - I'm your puppet
Jungle bros and Ernest Ranglin - Funky Bond st
EPMD - Strictly business
Steel image - Shango
Billy TK and Powerhouse - Move on up pt 1
Mel Brown - Swamp fever
In search of...orchestra - phenomena theme
Philadelphia allstars - Clean up the ghetto  -Danny K edit
Original concept - Pump that bass
The emotions - Blind alley
Ryuichi Sakamoto - Riot in Lagos
Grace Jones - Love you to life dub
Ackie - Rambo
Bob Marley - Mr chatterbox

Friday, September 09, 2011

Adrian Sherwood Dubspot workshop

On right now.... check out Dubspot

“The one thing I learnt early on was you got to have your own sound,” he says. As someone who considers himself tone deaf, the producer focused on creating new sounds and noises rather than melody. In the late 70s, he brought unique ideas to the table such as mixing backwards. 

The process involved adding effects to a song as it played in reverse, so that when you flipped it and played the track normally, those added sounds would play backwards. “I was one of the first people that did it,” Sherwood recalls. “In the 60s a lot of the hippies in the psychedelic movement, but not out of the reggae era, were doing that.”

RWC kicks off

But wait, there's music too! There's a big list of musical events happening at Queens Wharf in Auckland during the Rugby World Cup, quite a mixed bag too.

The opening tonight includes a rare concert from the Finn Brothers, but space is tight. As Neil Finn mentioned on Twitter yesterday..."appears the Finn brothers gig is very limited viewing and you will need to get there early. We do feel the public have been misled".

The NZ Herald reported that the capacity of Queens Wharf had been reduced from earlier estimates of 15,000 to 12,000, and the area where the Finns are playing has a capacity of 2000. The Finn Bros are on at 6.10pm. The post game lineup is 10.15pm: Dane Rumble, 10.45pm: Midnight Youth, 11.30pm: Kora, 12.50pm: DJ Manuel Bundy, til 2am.

A few other highlights...

Saturday 10 Sept  -10pm - P-Money,in The Cloud
Sunday 11 Sept -Family carnival, including The Caribbeanz Southern Stars Steel Band at 11am
Friday 16 Sept - from 530pm, Che Fu and the Krates; and 10pm post-game in The Cloud, The Turnaround DJs
Saturday 17 Sept - 10pm, Nick D & Yewala Soundsystem in The Cloud
Friday 23 Sept - from 6pm, Anika Moa; post-game - State of Mind
Saturday 24 Sept  - 10pm, Pitch Black, in The Cloud
Saturday 1 Oct  - 10pm, Sola Rosa Sound System, in The Cloud
Monday 3 Oct - 830pm, Goldenhorse in The Cloud
Wednesday 5 Oct - 830pm, Moana and the Tribe, in The Cloud
Saturday 8 Oct - 130pm, King Kapisi, on the main stage
Sunday 9 Oct - 10pm, Nathan Haines with Frank Booker & Taisha Kuhtze, in The Cloud
Monday 10 Oct - 830pm, Bella Kalolo and band, in The Cloud 
Monday 17 Oct - 830pm, Little Bushman, in The Cloud 
Saturday 22 Oct - 7pm, The Black Seeds, main stage

ADDED For all 830pm shows, capacity is limited. Tickets will be available on the day from the information booth.

Full schedule here. All events free.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Turn around

Cool new business from Sola Rosa, on Melting Pot Music... free DL too...
Digi single in stores August 5 (with remixes by Suff Dady, DJ Vadim + TM Juke)
Limited 7" vinyl single in stores September 2 (with Suff Daddy remix)
Sola Rosa - Turn Around Feat. Iva Lamkum (Suff Daddy Remix) by MPMCGN

I got life

Incredible live performance from Nina Simone. Wonder where it was shot? Video is tagged as Harlem, 1969. Hat tip to Wax Poetics.

If you want more of Miss Simone live, check out the DVD Nina Simone Live at Montreaux, 1976. It's a great show - she'd been away from performing for a number of years, living in Africa. She walks out onstage, the crowd duly applaud, and she stands there glaring at them, as if to say "Yes, it's me. Clap harder". Bonus footage includes some of her 1987 and 1990 performances at Montreaux.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Oddisee free

[Free Download] Oddisee "Mattered Much (feat. Olivier Daysoul)"

"Mattered Much was not initially made for Oddisee's new album Rock Creek Park, but after putting together nine songs for the album, Oddisee went back into the hard drive, rediscovered this song up, and realized it was perfect for the album. Oddisee's really proud of the drum programming on this track, it took him "a long ass time to program all those rolls". 
The guitars played byAndy Faus give it such a grimy feel while Lucan Pipkin’s strings polish the track. Definitely a track produced by the ’96 Reasonable Doubt in Oddisee, meeting up with the 4Hero in him. This is the official vocal version of the track featuring Olivier Daysoul. For the complete track by track breakdown from Oddisee, visit

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Raggamuffin cancels Aust shows...

Raggamuffin switched to smaller venues earlier this year in Oz, now Oz shows are canned... saw quite a lot of speculation online that the cancellation was due to the rubbish lineup... Billy Ocean not considered very reggae, surprise surprise...

From MTV Australia:

McManus Entertainment announced this morning that Raggamuffin festival will not be returning in 2012, instead taking a break and returning ‘bigger and better than ever’ in 2013.

The promoter Andrew McManus said in a statement:

“We are concentrating on building the New Zealand leg of Raggamuffin into a massive two day festival.

“With 30,000 people attending the New Zealand shows in previous years, we are looking to double this in coming years. This growth will enable us to return to Australia in 2013 bigger and better than ever”.

Australian reggae fans will, however, be able to see several Raggamuffin acts play during a theatre tour, the details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Refunds for ‘Raggamuffin 2012’ pre sale tickets are available from the point of purchase."

ADDED McManus plans to double attendance of the Rotorua event in coming years. Current venue, Rotorua International Stadium has a capacity of 40,0000, so either he changes venues, or cities.

Waiata - Billy TK moves on up

One of my favourite tunes off the Waiata compilation - Billy TK and Powerhouse covering Curtis Mayfield.

Monday, September 05, 2011


Rufus Rehu and Grant Gillanders. Photo: Kellie Blizard/Aucklander

Saw this great story in the print edition of The Aucklander a few weeks back, took a while to find it online. Well worth the read. Profiles Waiata CD compiler Grant Gillander and one of the featured artists Rufus Rehu of the Quin Tikis. Waiata is out now. Tracklisting here.

Good times roll again

"Maori entertainers were the toast of the world. They're back, hears Anastasia Prikhodko (The Aucklander, Aug 19).

Waiata is a Maori word reflecting different meanings surrounding music and songs. Many of those flavours are captured on a new two-disc album, Waiata, showcasing the contribution to music by Maori showbands, balladeers and pop stars from the 1950s to the early 80s.

The album collects many songs which have never been properly acknowledged or recognised. Music archivist Grant Gillanders compiled the tracks as a way of "giving back" to the music and musicians who inspired him.

"The CD is a way of giving back to the musicians and people, because the songs were a big part of my childhood," he says.

The project has been his main focus for the past five years and he admits it was difficult to find people with the same perceptions and passion as him.

Waiata crosses various genres. The first disc contains mainly rock 'n' roll and vocal harmonies from the 50s and 60s - artists like Johnny Cooper, who performs with Ken Avery & His Rockin' Rhythm Group in Rock Around the Clock, or Eddie Howell and the Bob Paris Combo performing Kansas City.

The second disc reflects the 70s, the era of disco, dance rhythm and Maori ballads, with Billy TK and Powerhouse singing Move On Up and Mark Williams' Sweet Wine. Also included are John Rowles (Tania) and Frankie Stevens (My Elusive Dream).

One of the artists delighted to see the music back on shelves is Rufus Rehu, who began his career with the Quin Tikis. The showband performed songs such as She's The Girl and What Now My Love.

Rehu, still performing around Auckland, began learning the piano at 8 and joined the Quin Tikis in 1960. In 1961 the band toured nationwide with the Miss New Zealand Pageant. Rufus impressed Des Cussins, who was looking for musicians to take to Sydney with the Maori Premiers. Rehu recalls one highlight as "performing in one of the top venues in Kings Cross, called Chequers Night Club".

In 1964, he left the Maori Premiers to rejoin the Quin Tikis in Australia.

Until 1967, the band released records in New Zealand and Australia, including Enchanted Sea, Get Me to the Church and Honky Tonk.

The band has a strong presence on Waiata, pictured on the cover and in five tracks, performing with artists such as Lisa Nuku, Rim D Paul and Keri Summers. Rehu, also remembered for his time with Quincy Conserve, earns Summers' accolade as the backbone of the Quin Tikis, and a truly great musician still sharing his passion for music with his audiences."

Sunday, September 04, 2011

I put a spell

SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS - I Put a Spell on You (Jeremy Sole's Zombie Stomp Remix) by Jeremy Sole

Spied this on the latest show from Gilles Peterson on BBC. He also gives Naked and Famous a spin too, sandwiched them in between a tune from Thelonius Monk and that Screaming Jay remix. Gilles pops up in this video below too...

More on Jeremy Sole - check his Soundcloud page, and his radio show on LA's KCRW.
Hat tip: OMGDelicious! blog.

 Bonus... GEORGE DUKE - Percussion Interlude (Jeremy Sole remix) by Jeremy Sole

Friday, September 02, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, 3 Sept

Cliff Nobles and co - The horse
Peoples choice - I likes to do it
Jimmy Soul Clark - I'll be your winner
Memphis sounds - Do your thing
Bob Brady and the con chords - Evrybody's going to the love-in
The servicemen - Are you angry
Clarence Thompson - Express yourself
Larry Ellis and black hammer - Do your funky thing
Elite1 - Funky cookie
DL Jones and DJ 2nd Nature - Cokane
Kormac - Harry's record machine
Hackney colliery band - No diggity
The Clash and Futura 2000 - Escapades of Dutura 2000
Konk - Soka loka moki
JMX feat Tikiman - Tikisong - Osunlade remix
Three generations walking - Midnight bustling
Rob Symeonn - Chosen one - Zeb's steppers remix
Leory Smart - Ballistic affair
Funk fusion band - Can you feel it
Ikebe shakedown - Refuge
Orquestra Maravilla de Florida - Baila guiro son wambari
Charles Wright and Watts 103rd st rhythm band - Jam#2

Trinity rerooted

Trinity Roots play Auckland this evening, as part of their ongoing reunion shows. The weird thing is, it's not really Trinity Roots. Not the original lineup, anyways...

The band decided to call it a day back in 2005, just as their popularity was at its height. Many fans were very disappointed by this.

"We split up for a good reason and it was basically after being in Trinity for five or six years, we all felt that we needed to explore other musical genres and Trinity was becoming some sort of machine. If you get to a certain level, there is a momentum that takes over. And you feel like you're not in control anymore and it is a bit unnerving," Warren Maxwell said, in 2010 (NZPA).

Speculation at the time was that they had spilt due to personal differences. The band reformed last year, with the original lineup, talking up possible new recordings and live shows. They performed in NZ and also Australia.

In late July 2011, however, the band quietly announced that original drummer Riki Gooch was departing...

From the band's official site: "It is with much sadness that we announce Riki Gooch has decided to move on and will no longer be beating drums in TrinityRoots. 

We thank him deeply for all that he has contributed to the band – we all know he’s an incredible musician and we wish him all the best for the future. ‘You leave big shoes to fill bro…’

TrinityRoots will however carry on, as will all our confirmed future shows – watch this space for further announcements."

That press release is a rather impressive piece of diplomacy. It says a lot without really saying anything. Whoever wrote it should get a job at the UN working for Helen Clark. The weird part is there is no explanation of why Gooch is leaving.

I have heard their new drummer is Jean Pompey. She also plays in Olmecha Supreme, and Mara and the Bushkas. Check her out tonight at The Powerstation.

8pm - Dubhead, 9pm - Tyra Hammond and the Bluebirds, 9.50pm - Dubhead, 1020pm - Trinity Roots.

ADDED Saturday Sept 3 - heard a few reports on last night's gig, apparently their new drummer ripped it up, and not only can she drum, she can also sing. That would add a cool dimension to Trinity Roots sound -they have of course toured in the past with a guest female vocalist, such as Hollie Smith. Heard that Pompey sang Dawn Penn's No No No from behind the drumkit. They are also using Mark Vanilau on keys live, and he's got a great voice too.

AK whiteout continues

Via Cut Collective..."More buffing over art without permission? Our friend who lives around Dominion Rd has been seeing the whitening of Dom Rd, badly painted, varying opacity white washing. This morning she saw they were setting up outside Liquid Cafe right over top of a piece by Elliot Francis Stewart, the cafe owners don’t know what’s going on… The people putting up the scaffold (apparently) don’t know what’s happening. So who does?"

UPDATE: Mayor Brown responded promptly via Twitter about an hour after I asked if he knew anything about this and was Council involved..."Art on Liquid cafe safe! Part of maintanance work being carried out by owner. Not Council work."  Thank you, Mr Mayor.Very relieved.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Vinyl is making a comeback! #255

The Economist ran a few stories recently on the music industry - one of which was picked up in last Friday's NZ Herald business section. That story was called Spotting The Pirates, and looked at illegal downloading and media investment.

The 2nd story, Back To Black, observed the usual rise is vinyl sales, rattling off the numbers and so on. This number is worth having a look at tho... "In Spain sales have risen from 16,000 in 2005 to 104,000 in 2010. That is an increase from a tiny base, but any rise in media sales in Spain’s ravaged market is noteworthy."

So, how is Spain's market ravaged? "Last year IDC, a research firm, found that 92% of 16- to 24-year-old internet users (and fully 70% of 45- to 55-year-olds) in Spain admitted to using peer-to-peer networks. Music sales have collapsed. In 2010 barely 10m CDs were sold in the country—down from 71m in 2001. Digital sales are puny, too. “You can have a number-one album in Spain with 3,000 sales,” notes David Kassler, who manages EMI’s operations in Europe." Source
The story also notes that the rise in vinyl started in the late 1990s with a surge of interest in dance vinyl from teens, but that crowd has now replaced that with laptops and memory sticks (this peculiar line of thought is commonly called "Blame Serato"). The latest vinyl wave, The Economist suggests, is driven by rock music.

"Chris Muratore of Nielsen, a research firm, says a little over half the top-selling vinyl albums in America this year have been releases by indie bands such as Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes. Last year’s bestselling new vinyl album was “The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire. Most of the other records sold are reissues of classic albums. Those idiosyncratic baby-boomers who were persuaded to trade in their LPs for CDs 20 years ago are now being told to buy records once again."

The notion that you can tell baby boomers what to do is hilarious. Anyways...

"Many vinyl records come with codes for downloading the album from the internet, making them more convenient than CDs. And fans like having something large and heavy to hold in their hands. Some think that half the records sold are not actually played."

Some think that Elvis is still alive too. 

Brooklyn Vs Kingston: Macrodubplates vol 3

Go grab it now!

"Macro Dubplates Volume 3 – Brooklyn VS Kingston is available for download here. 11 tracks of the highest grade Reggae-Hip Hop mashup available for free.

Featuring; Jay-Z, Notorious Big, Old Dirty Bastard, Bob Marley, King Tubby, Beenie Man, Lee Perry, Buckshot, Lil Wayne, Eek A Mouse, The Congos, M.O.P., Busta Rhymes, Dawn Penn, Blackmoon, Remy Martin, Mos Def, MC Lyte, Masta Ace, Special Ed, Wayne Smith, U-Roy, Prince Jammy and the Beastie Boys.

This is Rocksteady-Rap at it’s finest.

You can preview tracks HERE and HERE.

Mailing list members are going to get a chance to win the entire Macro Dubplates collection on vinyl at the end of September. If you’re not already on the mailing list, sign up HERE.

In case you don’t know, Macro Dubplates is a mash-up series, produced by Chris Macro. Mashing up the best Dub Reggae versions, with classic hip hop vocals. 200,000 Downloads since 2009. Volumes 1 & 2 have passed into legend, and are now bootlegged on vinyl.

You can Download VOL1 HERE & VOL2 HERE. It’s highly recommended that you do.