Friday, November 30, 2012

James v Hazard

"Vancouver-based rhymesayer Jason James and his NYC production partner Rodney Hazard (of HxH ) have unleashed their latest collaborative opus, Pyramids in Stereo. The follow-up to 2010's Marvelous World of Color, the 12-track digital-full-length comes heralded by lead singles "This Is My Rifle," "Forgetting How to Dream" and "Tomorrow."

Muzz shot rock n roll

"I usually said NO to photographing Gold Disc presentations. I said YES to Bob Marley"- Murray Cammick PHOTO: © MURRAY CAMMICK 1979, photo via Capture.

Murray Cammick is talking about his photography for Rip It Up as part of the events around the show on at the Auckland Art Gallery, called Who Shot Rock N Roll. Check out some of Murray's photos here at Capture - Blondie, Johnny Ramone, Toy Love, Screaming Meemees, and Bob Marley getting his gold record.  Murray wrote the commentary with the photos too, fascinating reading.

excerpt..."As a photographer you either contribute to the myths / bullshit of rock ‘n’ roll or you try and show some of the grind of promotion and touring. I recall being at Craccum in 1976 and being delighted that our photographer Paul Gilmour (I was designer/“Technical Editor” that year) came back from a press conference with a photo of Frank Zappa drinking a cup of tea.

Shooting un-rock ‘n’ roll photos became something to aspire to, so I was pleased to get Iggy Pop in his clunky reading glasses laughing at the Talking Heads story in Rip It Up magazine. As we arrived at Iggy’s White Heron Hotel room he was still in his pyjamas and I sneaked what seemed like a very un-rock ‘n’ roll shot but he heard or saw the camera and made it clear, “No photos in my pyjamas.”

Join music reviewer and writer Nick Bollinger in conversation with music journalist, photographer and record label founder, Murray Cammick and music photographer Milana Radojcic for an illustrated discussion on their experiences photographing and reviewing rock and roll. More info.
Sunday 2 December - 3pm, Art gallery auditorium - free entry

Also on Sunday at the art gallery, the Record Collectors Fair, north auditorium, free entry, 10am til 2pm. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Souljazz Orchestra - Serve And Protect (Frankie Francis - Sofrito Rework)

Dope re-edit of a Souljazz Orchestra cut off their latest album Solidarity, from one of the Sofrito crew.
SO Currently on tour round the US...

The Souljazz Orchestra North American Tour
Nov 29 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
Nov 30 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
Dec 01 - Washington, DC - Jammin' Java
Dec 02 - Philadelphia, PA - World Café Live
Dec 04 - Buffalo, NY - Nietche's
Dec 05 - Columbus, OH - Woodlands Tavern
Dec 06 - Detroit, MI - Pike Room
Dec 07 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle
Dec 08 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock

Nona, live

Nona Hendryx performing earlier this week on Later with Jools Holland. Hendryx released a new album, Mutatis Mutandis, in July, her first album in 20 years.

Weird Together live, free

On this Saturday, Dec 1, 12-6pm. At Silos, Wynyard Quarter. Check it out.

"Nick D and Dick Johnson will bring their world-famous 'Weird Together' experience to the stage with 'Weird Together presents World Together' - a mini day festival of music, food, dance and culture of the world.

Israel's leading producer and DJ, Kalbata, will headline the event, bring his sharp rhythms, frenzied MCs flows and cosmic echoes to the New Zealand stage. Considered one of the pioneers of Bass-music, Kalbata is a perfectionist producer and extremely talented DJ. In six years, Ariel has produced a dozen maxis and been involved in numerous collaborative efforts with talented artists like, among others, Spinks of Mixmonster.

Kalbata will be joined by Nick D and Dick Johnson, the Caribeanz Southern Stars Steel Pan Orchestra, Karima Mudat (Sudan), Maves Adegbite (Nigeria), The Mbira Master Benedict Tagutanazavo (Zimbabwe), The Steel Pan Allstars, DJ Hopepa (Fat Freddy's Drop) and Uncle Barnie + Dancers from around the world.

There will be international food stalls, market crafts from around the globe, Silo Climbs up the Silo 6 as well as the Silo Park Bar, which is well stocked with craft beers and gourmet wines."

Mulatu returns

Mulatu Astatke, the godfather of Ethiopian Jazz, returns to NZ for a show in March next year, accompanied by Australian outfit the Black Jesus Experience, who did an excellent job of backing him on his previous visit. I thoroughly enjoyed his live show, well worth checkng out.

"The most crucial figurehead in Ethiopia's recent musical history, Astatke is the central architect of Ethio-Jazz, a genre which blends Latin jazz and first wave soul and funk motifs with traditional Ethiopian musical ideas.

Raised in Jimma, Ethiopia, but musically trained in London, New York and Boston, Astatke has been recording and performing since the 1960s. In that time, his vibraphone and percussion heavy soundworld has slowly, yet surely become a pivotal influence on a younger generation of musicians. In the process, as his seminal vinyl releases gain more and more cultural currency, he has been sampled by the likes of Kanye West, Nas and Damian Marley.

Despite his length of time spent in service to music, Astatke's mainstream breakout moment was in 2005, when he provided the score and several songs for the soundtrack of Jim Jarmusch's film Broken Flowers.

Respected and loved by jazz, world music, hip-hop and beat music musicians and fans, Astatke is a phenomenal live entertainer. Energetic and always adorned with a smile, his talents and attitude are truly joyful to witness.

His last show in Auckland saw a healthy turn out of the vibrant and colourful local Ethiopian community who were very pleased to see one of their national identities performing in New Zealand.

As with his last appearance, Astatke will be backed live by The Black Jesus Experience, an Australian/Ethiopian ensemble. Fusing traditional Ethiopian song with jazz, funk and hip-hop, this nine-piece have toured with Astatke throughout Europe and Ethiopia.

Saturday 16th March 2013, Powerstation - Auckland
Presale tickets on sale Tue 4th Dec from &
General tickets on sale Thurs 6th Dec from Ticketmaster
For all show & ticketing info go to

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

All black

Written & Recorded by Margaret, mixed by Margaret & Rodi Kirk (Scratch 22, now based in Berlin). Mastered by Alain at One Million Mango's. Check it. Free DL.

Vitamin S Festival

Vitamin S Festival kicks off tomorrow night... click on flyer to enlarge...

Vitamin S Festival
Old Folks Association Hall, Auckland, Thursday 29 Nov

Vitamin S Festival
Wine Cellar, Auckland,
Fri 30 Nov

Vitamin S Festival
Alleluya Cafe, Auckland, Sat 1 Dec

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stars and moons, Pacifican booms....

These days Zane Lowe lives in London and DJs on BBC Radio One, Oli lives round the corner from him, and Rob Salmon lives in New York. Rob is back in Auckland briefly, he's DJing this Friday night at Ink Bar, more info here.

More on Urban Disturbance.
Urban Disturbance - the lost 2nd album?
Rob Salmon Soundcloud

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bad 25 screens tonight

Bad 25, the new documentary by Spike Lee, on Michael Jackson's Bad album, screens tonight on Prime TV, at 935pm. Here's Spike at the Venice Film Festival, talking about the film earlier this year - on August 31, 25 years to the day, since Bad was released.

PLUS : Bad 25: Michael Jackson Revealed on ABC: Why It's a Must See Event "... There [are] several tasty nuggets unearthed by Lee in the film, for instance, “Bad,” the single, was initially conceived as a Whitney Houston duet.." // From the Weekend Herald: Spike Lee's look back at the Bad old days

Rocket love

From Fuemana, led by Christina and Phil Fuemana. Two videos I found and uploaded (thanks Ross Cunningham for the VHS tapes of TV3's music show Frenzy). Rocket Love features a guest rap from Matty J, and excerpts from a 1994 short film Funny Little Guy, directed by Chris Graves, written by Chad Taylor, stars Rebekah Davies and Jeff Ganes.

READ: Loud and proud: Phil Fuemana interviewed in Stamp magazine, 1994.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov 24

Bloodfire - Lighters up dub
Foxy Brown - Fast car
Colm K and the freestyle mellowship - Dancing skulls - main mix
Richie Phoe - Eyes on the prize
Lord Echo feat Lisa Tomlins - Thinking of you 
BT Express - Give it what you got
Bobby Byrd - I know you got soul
Roots Manuva -Witness - Jesterman's bionic Barkay rub
New mastersounds - Nervous
Jackson 5 - The love you save
Port authority soul band - Superstrut
Philadelphia international allstars - Let's clean up the ghetto - Danny Krivit edit
IQU - Witchcraft
DJ Smash - Dah boodah
C Swing - Hoodlum
Maxayn - Bailout
Estere - Cruel Charlie
The Orb feat Lee Scratch Perry - Soul man - Villad Remx B
U Roy and Francois K - Rootsman
Toots and the Maytals - Monkey man
George Faith - Midnight hour/Yaya (medley)
Butch cassidy sound system - Echo tone defeat
Ray Charles - I got a woman
Madhouse - Six

Friday, November 23, 2012

RIP Bruce Morley

Bruce Morley in his back garden, 2008. Photo: Richard Cotman
Reknowned Auckland drummer and percussionist Bruce Morley has passed away, on Thursday 22nd November.

NZ Musician reports that "He had been unwell for an extended period with a recurrent cancer that had severely limited his normal high energy activities. Bruce was widely loved and held in high regard as a writer, drummer, percussionist and vibrant personality, with a quick wit and extensive back catalogue of personal tales and jokes. He will be sorely missed by NZM and numerous fellow musicians."

From NZ Herald, Nov 24: "MORLEY, Bruce Roland. Passed away on November 22, 2012. Loved partner of Sue and father of Matthew, Sam, Joe, Dan, Jesse and Roland and Grandfather of 11. A celebration of his life will be held at the Parnell Tennis Club, Maunsell Road, Parnell at 1pm on Tuesday 27 November 2012. Friends and family welcome. ENSOM Funeral Services Auckland (09) 524-6765."

From NZ Musician profile on Bruce, by Chris O'Connor (Oct/Nov 2006 issue).

"In the past few months Bruce Morley has played at Government House with The Dominion Centenary Concert Band (DCCB); Auckland University with the Prohibition Big Band; the Kings Arms with poet Murray Haddow; the Whitianga Scallop Festival with Tauranga’s Kokomo; Luxembourg Gardens with the Vitamin S Free Improvisation Collective; an art gallery fundraiser for a Warwick Broadhead theatrical extravaganza and the annual Concert Band Festival in Auckland Town Hall.

He has sat in with Caitlin Smith’s drummer-less group at the Rakino Island Jazz Festival; performed in an Arts Festival special in Nelson with Mark Hadlow; played a theatre season of the musical ‘A Funny Thing Happened On The way To The Forum’; and had a solo spot in composer Brigid Bisley’s ‘Waitakere Overture’ with the Waitakere City Orchestra for the opening of the new Civic Centre and Arts Laureate Awards. He has also played a duo with Puddle survivor George Henderson at the Indie Club; and at ‘old-time’ dances as far apart as Kelston and Belmont. Meantime he’s been gigging with the Louis Prima-styled Swing Cats.

Bruce is the ‘foley’ (sound effects) drummer for the touring children’s show ‘The Magic Chicken’, is rehearsing with singer/songwriter Immi Paterson’s new band George and Queen, and is putting together two very different jazz groups: an “absolutely traditional” trio called Mister Jelly Roll with clarinetist Yvette Audain and Mike Ryan on tuba; and the Pole Winners (a tribute to the poll-winning Barney Kessel/Ray Brown/Shelly Manne trio of the ‘60s) with Many Hands’ guitarist Kevin Timm and Auckland Philharmonia bassist Daniel Stabler.

All of which is really a ‘localised’ version of what he did for many years back then; touring New Zealand and Australia with performers such as comedian Spike Milligan, singers like Cilla Black, Tony Christie, Johnny Farnham and Cleo Laine, and most of our own top pop and MOR performers. At age 65, this guy is still busy.

It’s difficult to know where to start, because you don’t seem to have spent any length of time with one person or group - why is that?

Well, I never actually planned that. I came to Auckland from Hastings in the late ‘50s with this vague idea about playing the drums, and by the time I actually got started, far too late at 21, I was already married with a child on the way. I didn’t have time to muck around once I realised what I wanted to do, and all the gigs here were taken by the guys who deserved them - people like Tony Hopkins, Don Branch, Bruce King, Barrie Simpson (who was a great inspiration) - because they could play, and had a few years experience on me.

I took some lessons from Frank Gibson Snr, and eventually went to Sydney in 1964. As I was kinda too old to hook up with rock bands and lout about, I went into the club scene, learned to sight-read music very quickly, started backing acts, and it just went from there. I’m essentially self-taught because I had to be. In retrospect, I’m glad it went that way. I’ve had a huge variety of musical experiences as a freelance musician, and the band business can be pretty fraught. I tell the kids, if you’re gonna commit to a band, make sure it’s the Rolling Stones!...

Covering so many different styles, you must have a variety of favourite players and influences? 

We all probably have a primary inspiration: in Hastings it was Fred Huse, a local legend. I still think Shelly Manne is the greatest of all time, because he never let his intelligence get in the way of his swing, and vice versa. Quite recently I’ve felt a growing affection for Charlie and Ringo.

But times change, and if you keep your ears open there’s always some new guy, and something new to learn, every day. I’m really interested in Terry Bozzio’s solo works, and Thomas Lang was the most impressive player I’ve seen in the 40-odd drum clinics I’ve been to. Locally, I go out and listen a lot, and I’m usually the oldest person in the room. There are some younger guys here who can really play.

Black Friday special wax

photo: Chicago Sun Times
Check Real Groovy Records for some Black Friday vinyl special releases...

"BLACK FRIDAY – the day following Thanksgiving Day in the USA – is the beginning of their Christmas Shopping season and it’s become a major retail event for the music industry. There will be scores of Limited Edition LPs, singles and box sets and Real Groovy will be stocking a lot of it.

We’ll have many of the titles – but because most are in limited quantities and aren’t despatched until the last minute, we won’t know exactly what we’ll be getting until the day – and because of the time zone difference, not all will arrive beforehand. We will be receiving stock all day and probably Saturday as well!

We’re expecting stuff from Mayer Hawthorne, Lee Hazelwood, Band Of Horses, Coheed and Cambria, Incubus, John Mayer, M83, Gaslight Anthem, Tomahawk, Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, Skrillex, Velvet Underground and many more…

So check it out online – the Record Store Day Website is a good place to start – and if there are any releases that you desire, swing by Real Groovy – you may be one of the lucky ones!"

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Unitone hifi video

From 1992, a sunny, chipper wee video from Unitone Hifi, featuring Teremoana, my man Bobblyon (Hallelujah Picassos, 2R2S) and Just One. Directed by Josh Frizzell, and released as a single on Deepgrooves (and on the compilation Deep in the Pacific of Bass). Props to Bobbylon for wearing a Hallelujah Picassos t-shirt in the vid.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Marbecks closing/opening....

photo: Material Creative

From design company Material Creative, via Twitter: "@MaterialC: The new @Marbecks_co_nz cafe on Hobson st is coming along." They suggest it will be open this week.

The original Marbecks store in Queens Arcade is closing down (after 77 years), around March 2013, confirmed by staff They also told me the Hobson street site (near the Heritage Hotel, ex Farmers bldg) will be a cafe only at this stage, no decision has been made on whether to include a music store there. They also said the builders were still in the new cafe site, so it was unlikely to open this week. Marbecks head office is located in Hobson st. [note: Marbecks didn't close, but instead sold the Queens Arcade store back to Roger Marbeck in April 2013 - it is still open, see below].

The original Marbecks store in Queens Arcade has recently seen the consolidation of the Marbecks Classical store, which shut down and relocated to a corner of the existing store.

Roger Marbeck sold the family business to the CD and DVD Store in late 2006, and they changed the name of their stores to the Marbecks brand. They also opened several destination stores, in Dunedin and Palmerston North.

"... Yorkshireman Alfred Marbeck was a music fan who arrived from Sheffield and formed the store in 1934 with his brother in-law Noel Wade.

Wade left and Marbeck's sons Murray and Haydn joined the store in 1947. Haydn left the company in 1990 and was replaced by Murray's son Roger, who focused on popular music.For eight years during the 1990s Marbecks developed a large-scale outlet in Queen St, which later closed...

...Roger Marbeck bought Ode Records and is now operating in the wholesale side of the business." Source: NZ Herald.

Marbecks  shut its Rotorua store in July this year, the owner of that franchise noting that "nationwide the Marbecks chain had gone from 45 to six (soon-to-be five) stores in the past four years."

The Lambton Quay store shut in April, after trading for 17 years (previously as The CD & DVD Store). Marbecks closed its retail outlet at Wellington Airport in January.

ADDED: Local musician and former Marbecks employee Dudley Benson weighed in on Twitter on the Marbecks closure of Queens Arcade: "Marbecks - so sad, so inevitable. I worked there when those Christian fundamentalist capitalists bought a great store & began f#cking it up ... Now thanks to their atrocious 'rebranding' etc people have lost their jobs and we're minus some outstanding knowledge and NZ music history."

ADDED Nov 28: NZ Herald has picked up the story, with the inaccurate headline "Marbecks quits Auckland music scene after 78 years". Marbecks Browns Bay is still open, and is branded as Marbecks (not the CD and DVD Store, as the Herald's correction at the bottom of their story suggests - it looks like they got this information by looking it up on Google Street View, except the photo of the Browns Bay store is from 2009, before all their stores rebranded. I asked Marbecks via Twitter if the Browns Bay store was branded as Marbecks and they said yes it was).

.NZH reports the Marbecks Cafe in Hobson St is opening today, and the closing down sale at Queens Arcade starts next week.

ADDED Nov 29: Marbecks have released a statement via their Facebook page (with photos of the new cafe), from boss Roger Harper, have posted it below...

ADDED Dec 2: via Twitter, I saw this from @stevegallagher: Judging by the "last Christmas sale ever" signs, Marbecks Dunedin appears to be closing down.

I asked Marbecks about this via Twitter they responded: "no, not closing down, there will be changes to the store increasing cafe/food offer & reducing retail footprint."They will retain some music retail, and up to the middle of next year they'll be getting.lots of stock from other stores.

Marbecks are also appealing for former Marbecks/CD and DVD Store staff  via the Marbecks Facebook page to get in touch if they want some work over the holidays, as the Queens Arcade store has been overwhelmed with customers since the news was announced.

ADDED Jan 7, 2013: TV3 covered the closure of Marbecks Queens Arcade on their evening news on Jan 3, watch the story here. "The owners of the old store say closing down is a commercial reality. People get their music online now, so they're going to focus more on developing their cafes. “It's just change, you know,” says Marbecks managing director Roger Harper. “Things have evolved over time. We've had a great run in the music business, but that business model just can't be sustained.”

Otago Daily Times reports Marbecks Dunedin is shifting its focus away from music and books to the cafe side of its operation. Store manager is David James, ex Dead Flowers.

ADDED March 12 2013: Marbecks have announced they have started a 20% off everything sale at Queens Arcade: from their Facebook page... "Marbecks Queens Arcade as we know it will be closing at the end of March, we hope to retain a small footprint in Queens Arcade - but the range and selection we have enjoyed for so many decades will be a thing of the past. Get in quick to enjoy 20% off store wide before we close the doors - discount is off the marked price, and excludes customer orders, gift cards and online purchases."

ADDED April 10 2013: Marbecks offline, Queens Arcade revived by Roger Marbeck
Marbecks announced that it was selling its Queens Arcade store back to Roger Marbeck, who will run it as a specialist store focussing on Classical and jazz, retaining the classical staff only.

ADDED July 3 2014: Marbecks Queens Arcade expands, My Generation Music for sale, Everyman Records shuts
ADDED: Another photo from Material Creative posted Friday Nov 23, of the floor at the new Marbecks Cafe in Hobson st...

photo: Material Creative

Added Nov 25: I went for a walk down Hobson St and took some photos of the new Marbeck cafe. Entrance is down an alley off Hobson st, cafe is below street level.

Standing outside Heritage Hotel, looking up Hobson st. X marks Marbecks Cafe entrance

Had a look thru the door...

On Hobson st, their signs advertising the new cafe coming soon

From Marbecks Facebook page: "Marbecks Queens Arcade - a great legacy. Marbecks Kitchen - a new beginning.
The recent news that we are closing our Queens Arcade store at some stage early next year has natu
rally caused a lot of discussion in the market, and sadness on the part on our many loyal customers, many of whom fondly remember purchasing their first record at “Marbecks Queens Arcade”. But “Quitting the Auckland Music Scene” as the NZ Herald [28Nov12] put it – absolutely not! You’ve got to love the media, they just write what they want. We hope that we will remain part of the Auckland & New Zealand music scene for many years to come, just in a different way.

You can imagine that making the decision to close the store was an extremely difficult one, and only made after trying a number of options and considering many others. I could write an extremely long article, a book even, of all the changes & challenges that we have faced over the past decade as our industry has undergone significant change. I have read so many “The Day the Music Died” stories over those years, that I have no desire to add another one. The fact is our whole industry from artist, to music company, to music lover, has dramatically changed over the past few years, from piracy to itunes, to spotify, the way that we discover, enjoy and consume music has changed forever, and no longer supports the business model that the specialist music retailers thrived in for the past 50 years. 

As someone else in the music industry once said “Mistakes, I’ve made a few...” and yes we have, as it seems every armchair expert/blogger seems very keen to point out to us. Of course we’d do things differently if we had our time over again, but as passionate as we are about music & our customers, i suspect there is nothing we could have done to effectively combat, arguably, the largest technology shift there has been in history. 

Over the years, we’ve loved every moment of the music business, our wonderful customers, and of course the music itself, from classical to country, to punk, to hardcore and everything in between; in short, we’ve had a great ride. The Marbeck family, their wonderful business and store, their legendary customer service & knowledge, will live long in the memory long after the store is closed early next year. 

However, sad though closing Queens Arcade is, it is by no means the end of the Marbecks story. In the past few years we have begun to open cafes – Lambton Quay in 1998, Wall St Dunedin in 2009, and Palmerston North in 2010. This week we have just opened our first Auckland cafe in Hobson St [next to the Heritage Hotel], “Marbecks Kitchen” and even though we do say so ourselves, we’re rather pleased with it. It’s a great space, feels good, and has many connections to our music heritage – come in and check out our “Nod to Bob” collage wall. We’re very positive about Marbecks future in hospitality. Many of the emotions evoked by music are also evoked by food. Good music and good food are wonderful partners, and we believe that our passion & creativity for music will hold us in good stead in the hospitality business. Come in and enjoy Hobson Street, or any of our other cafes. We love great coffee, Supreme , mmmmmm, as much as great music, we hope you do too. 

We may well keep retailing music for many years to come, either through stores or online at and yes we do have our own digital store at We’ll keep looking for a business model that works in this brave new world, but if we need to change, we will. 

In the meantime, if you’re in Auckland [or visiting] get down to Queens Arcade to talk the talk with the most knowledgeable music staff in NZ, or to bag a bargain, or just for one last time pick up a great CD or LP [somewhat ironically vinyl is the fastest growing part of the business] – some of our wonderful CDs & DVDs may never see the light of day in New Zealand again. That is sad. Thanks.

Roger Harper - Marbecks

Freebass IV, Dec 92

Freebassing - By Paul Casserly, Stamp magazine Dec 1992.

Freebass are bassist Steve Harrop, his brother Ben on trombone, Nathan Haines on sax. Ben Holmes on alto. Ben Gilgan on keyboards, and Ritchie Campbell on drums. The band are new, (just 3 months old) but their brand of 'Acid Jazz' has already attracted a trailer-load of attention - partly because of young achiever/saxman Nathan Haines, but mostly because the music is so immediate and impressive.

The fusion of jazz and funk comes from the various backgrounds of the members - jazz players like the Harrops, and funksters like Gilgan who has played backing for the likes of Tina Cross, Ardijah and Randy Crawford.

'Acid Jazz' was coined in the UK in the mid eighties. ''It happened when all those English labels took black horn players and put them with a DJ backing rather than a live band'' explains Steve Harrop. Unlike Jazz Committee, Freebass perform all their own material and they practise!

''We never rehearsed with the Jazz Committee but now we've been forced to, which is great. We've had to get off our arses.''

The departure of Haines (who has gone back to New York to continue his scholarship) isn't an ideal part of the 'road to bigger things' but Harrop is certain the group will continue unharmed. ''It's a shame, but there are other players out there. Things will go on , but it will be different."

Nathan will appear, however, on a live album which has just been recorded at Cause Celebre and is due for release early next year. As for the interest (the album deal with Deepgrooves coming just weeks into the band's lifespan), Harrop is surprised. "Mostly by the people who aren't associated with jazz; the interest from them wasn't something I was expecting."

As for the name: ''it's spelt b a s s'' comes Harrop's well practised reply, 'FreeBASS!"

The Freebass album was digitally reissued in 2010, see here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy birthday!

Cheery birthday shout out to the one like STINKY JIM, his mighty bloggeration stylings have been going down for four years this very week. To celebrate, Jim has posted another of his fine mixes, this one on the loungey tip. Enjoy! DL too.

"Being as it’s a bit of a special week with 4 years of bloggerating under the proverbial belt here’s a rather special mix, one that quite a few have claimed as their favourite. As you can tell from the excess stereo test records, spoken word wibblings and intrepid interjections this came at a time when the op shopping was still running hot, and we were heading off in the sky blue Valiant, most weeks, in search of the crackly goodness. There’s hidden layers in some of that dialogical nonsense, for those who care to indulge in such aspects..."

Fat Freddys vs JetJaguar, unreleased jam

From Jet Jaguar: "In 2010 I remixed FFD - one version ended up on the single 'The Raft', but the other was never released. So here you go." The version that did get released is below...

Chris Sinclair - Deepgrooves engineer

from Deepgrooves website, 17 11 2012: 

"Chris “Scooter” - "Coke" Sinclair [as in Coca Cola], on location recording the Loungehead Album - 1997. Despite his hair color (colouring) and taste in T-Shirts ("haven't had a chance to do the washing"), Mr. Sinclair really does deserve most of the credit for line producing a lot of the Deepgrooves albums. In fact we would go far as to say that at certain times, he held the label together and without him we would certainly not have been able to produce the volume of quality albums that we did.

Originally recruited by Mr. Latimer straight out of SAE to fill Mr. Tierney's rather large shoes at the LAB in late 1992, Mr. Sinclair along a very young Mr. Andrew Morton jumped straight into the studio (they did look very young at the time) and began recording tracks for the Asterix album - (More on this later). In 1993 he teamed up with Mr. Tierney for the Freebass album and later that year, at a rather crucial watershed, Mr. Sinclair stepped up to provide Mr. Fuemana and Mr. Lowe with the support and opportunity for them to actually produce their own albums (New Urban Polynesian and 37 Degrees Lattitude respectively). 

Read the liner notes on the releases for Freebass, Fuemana, Urban Disturbance, Sulata, Grace, Jordan Reyne, Colony, Breaks Co-op, 3 The Hard Way, Color Climax and many more and you will find his name [except they are all deleted and no longer available]. Naturally his credits would later extend far beyond the label and still do to this day. To do the man justice, in this photo, he has dismantled Kaiun, packed it in a Saab [Kane's car], drove many, many miles and has just done 22+ hours of recording and is still not quite at the "Chris - control mix" stage. The man is a legend.

Mr. Sinclair deserves a listing in Wikipedia as one of New Zealands most influential engineers of the 1990s."

See Chris Sinclair on Audioculture

Monday, November 19, 2012

3 The Hard Way - All around

I recently found this video and digitised it, from the TV3 music show Frenzy. Video directed by Clinton Phillips, graffiti art by DLT. For more 3THW, check the interview below, also from Frenzy.

NZ Hiphop Summit Dec 8

The NZ Hiphop Summit is a one day free event packed with entertainment and urban cultural extravaganza that offers visitors the opportunity to experience the dazzling and spectacular day.

It returns for 2012, being held at Mt Roskill Youth Zone, 740 Sandringham Road, Auckland, on Saturday 8 December, with:

Live music
Live performances
Educational history panel discussions
Hip hop workshops (MCing /songwriting), DJing, breaking, beatboxing, aerosal writing)
Colourful air-brush & graffiti art exhibitions
Hiphop stalls
Community charitable support stalls
NZ music industry experts panel discussion

International guest speaker: King Excel (Universal Zulu Nation World Council Member)
To learn more about King Excel and other special guests please visit and look under Panel Discussions

Children and young people are spoiled for choice of music, art, workshops and entertainment

Along with a concert called Bring The Noise featuring Aotearoa's home grown hiphop and emerging new talent, it will be a day that the whole family will enjoy and remember.

Expected to become a major fixture on Auckland's event calendar, this year's theme is a dedication and salute to the Mighty Universal Zulu Nation.

Visit the event Facebook page at

Please email the organisers on if you would like to be part of the street team.

Big dumb future

My old band mate Gavin Downie (ex Picassos) asked me a while back if I had a copy of the music video for Future Stupid's song Big Dumb Future. After Gavin left the Picassos, he joined Future Stupid and was in this video. I managed to locate a copy, and have posted it online - watch out for the vocal spot from Slave (currently MC w Fat Freddys Drop), aka the Rhythm Slave.

I also found an item I directed for Ice TV (TV3) in 1995, while I was doing a tv production course. From memory, I hit up Richard Driver, the producer to let me get some work experience, and he said yes, amazingly enough. I came up with a piece on behind the scenes at a big music concert, this one was White Zombie. Future Stupid got the support slot, so I got them in the item too. Look for Jon Bridges moshing, it's pretty funny.

China Manchu and DLT

Adrian Woh/China Manchu. Photo by Haru Sameshima

Extract from an Welcome Home, an article by Emma Farry on four Asian New Zealanders, published in Stamp magazine, Dec 1993/Jan 1994. 

Adrian Woh, known onstage as China Manchu (formerly China Muffin), arrived in Auckland three years ago. He was 17, could speak very little English and had never been to school... now he writes and speaks English fluently, has a full time job in a bakery and spends the rest of his time rapping, toasting and practicing his singing.

“I've travelled all over Asia... I was crazy and got into a lot of trouble... and did petty crimes. I was born in Malaysia but I've lived in Hong Kong and Singapore. When I got to Auckland I thought it was so relaxed and easy. In this country I finally found myself and I'm now proud of who I am and what I do and my skin colour," Woh says.

"I used to be ashamed of my culture and of the European stereotypes... the way my eyes were and the fact that I had a centre parting and a round face..but different doesn't mean bad", twenty year old Woh says.

He has a number of Maori and Polynesian friends who have taught him about respecting himself and his culture. "I started doing research and realised that Polynesians are descended from Asians, so I give respect to all Polynesian peoples - they've taught me a lot." Woh says hiphop also taught him about himself and gave him an outlet to say what be feels is important.

"I take a hardcore hiphop gangsta approach even though I'm not a gangsta...I wanna be straight up and speak out proud. People should get conscious and speak out against whatever is not right in their lifestyle and the lifestyle of others. That's what I rap about. I don't wanna rap about everyday experiences - it seems like a waste of time.''

He doesn't consider himself to be political but "conscious'' which he believes is a totally different thing.

"It's just a matter of being aware of what's going on around you... with politics it just gets confused and complex."

He is happy that China's culture has stayed pretty much intact. He describes the country of his ancestors as "A staunch nation'' and is pleased that they are freeing up their society in terms of democracy and money-making, but not selling out to the West. He wouldn't want China to end up like either America or Japan.

"To me Japan is just like America.. they both do a lot of exploitation. They are becoming copycats of the Western way of life and I find that a shame."

Woh believes New Zealand is a special country because he has already been able to learn so much living here. According to him it is a more open society which allows more freedom than he ever found in Asia.

Although there are advantages about living here, Woh finds that sometimes mainstream culture still has difficulty dealing with the multiracial aspect of Auckland city. "Every day at work at the bakery I experience it. People will come in and look at the person behind me to serve them. Sometimes it annoys me and I feel like . throwing the tray in their face."

"People just don't realise how hurtful and unfeeling they're being. People aren't born racist it's just what they're taught and minds can be changed.''

"I basically wanna show people that whatever another man can do, a Chinaman can do it."

China Manchu appeared on DLT's debut album The True School, in 1996. Listen to his track below. It's very dope.

ADDED DLT saw this post and filled me in a little on China Manchu's whereabouts. DLT says the last time he saw him was about 3 years ago: "He lives out east I think he was teaching kids hiphop at a church in Glenn Innes last time I saw him."

Stamp mag cover featuring China Manchu, from

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Picassos, Yardie live, 95

I found this on an old vhs tape, there's a few minor dropouts but it's pretty entertaining. It's us playing Yardie, live on What Now, 1995. We had to get up ridiculously early on a Saturday morning in Christchurch to go play this, then drive to Dunedin for a gig that night, from memory. Quite how we looked so lively before coffee is beyond me, even now.

Yardie is available in a flash, remastered form on Rewind the Hateman (cd/digital).

And here's Bobbylon, interviewed by Stinky Jim from live footage of Bobbylon MCing at the Gluepot...

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov 17

George Clinton -Do fries go with that shake?
Maxayn - Bailout
Eddie Kendricks - Going up in smoke - G's smoking edit
Issac Hayes - Juicy fruit (disco freak)
Screaming Meemees - Stars in my eyes pt 1
New order - Blue monday
Zap mama - Bandy Bandy - Carl Craig remix
Fat Freddys Drop - Midnite Marauders - Electric Drop - Peter Mac edit

King Sunny Ade - 365 is my number/the message
Cutty Ranks - The stopper - Richard Dorfmeister remix
Damian Marley - Move
Derrick Herriot - I am the ruler
The Resonators - Try again
Steel n skin - Afro punk reggae dub
Slim - It's in the mix
Fatback band  -Wicky wacky
King Errisson - Disco congo
Bob James - Angles (Taxi theme)
Jackie Stoudimire - Invisible wind - Shoes re-edit
Madhouse - Six

Friday, November 16, 2012

Eglo Recs in conversation

L-R: Keegan and Alexander Nut (Eglo)
Eglo Records crew Fatima, Floating Points, and label boss Alexander Nut, are in New Zealand for the first time, playing a show in a secret warehouse location in Auckland this Saturday.

They were up at Conch Records last night for an informal workshop session, with Alexander in conversation with BaseFM/Justsayin 's Keegan, talking about how the label came about, and what the music business is like in the UK at present.

Alexander talked about his background in pirate radio, and his previous job, working in music PR for a number of years, which gave him a taste for how NOT to work in the music industry. He said if your music needs PR, then it probably needs CPR, suggesting that good music sells itself, and that people will find it, if it's any good. It's a very organic approach to the music business.

He seemed to have a fairly lowkey approach to running a label - it seems to have grown from doing his radio show on Rinse FM, where he gets sent a lot of new music. As an example, he told us when they went and got the first Eglo Records release pressed up, the guy at the pressing plant asked for a catalog number, and Alexander asked what's that, why do we need it? The guy explained that if it didn't have a catalog number, then the guys making the stamper for the vinyl wouldn't know whose record it was, and asked what was the name of their label? They didn't have one, so Alexander made up Eglo on the spot. But he swore us to secrecy on what Eglo means. Ask him at the gig and he might tell you. Listen to a recent interview with Alexander below.

L-R: Fatima, Gareth, Keegan, Alexander

Fatima also gave us some background on growing up in Sweden  and the golden age of local hiphop there, which coincided with the golden age elsewhere  - early to mid 90s. She also talked about how she got into music, singing in choirs at school etc. Thanks to Justsayin, the British Council, and Conch, for a fun night!

Thursday, November 15, 2012 revive

The Deepgrooves record label website has been resurrected by folk unknown, looks like the work of former label boss Kane Massey. Promises to dig thru the Deepgrooves archives for unreleased goodies etc...

from the website: "Deepgrooves was a small independent record label that operated out of central Auckland (NZL) from 1991 through to the year 2000. The label released approximately 20 albums and 50 singles during it's 10 year life span.

"However, the label and it's associated studio also recorded just as much material that was never released. In total, the Deepgrooves "storage room" holds approximately 1000 recorded, remixed, demo'd and instrumental tracks in various states of completion, many that as yet, remain unheard.

"Over the next 12 months we will be endeavouring to digitise every functioning (unfortunately many have already deteriorated) DAT tape, 2" Tape reel, ADAT, cassette, 1" Tape reel, S8mm, S16mm, 35mm film reel, Hi8mm, BetaSP and digital Beta tape that we have. We will also be tackling the numerous boxes of negatives, photos and unedited videos that have sat in storage, in some cases for over 20 years. Please be patient, we have been "away" for pretty much the last ten years."

ADDED The first post on the revived Deepgrooves website under 'Updates' is about digitising the original ADATs recorded for the Freebass album, featuring Nathan Haines. "Although someone has expressed an interest in possibly doing a double LP featuring all the recorded tracks as a 20th Anniversary release for next year, at this stage, the only plan in place is to have all the recordings mixed and mastered into the four live sets and made available as free downloads."

Mighty Asterix & Stinky Jim

Stinky Jim interviews Mighty Asterix, for TV3's music show Frenzy, 1994. Part 1 is the interview, part 2 is a fine tune with Jim on the turntables, Asterix on the mic, live at the Gluepot. Check it. Part 3, with the Bobbylon interview Jim mentions, coming soon uploaded and added.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Remembering ODB

8th anniversary of ODB's passing... ODB and RZA explaining what the whole Wu-Tang phenomenon is about while walking around the streets of NYC, early 90s... Hat tip to Egotripland - go watch "10 Videos of Ol’ Dirty Bastard You Must See".

Oh, and ODB and RZA on America's Next Top Model, 2003...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Soul in the hole (BBE)

This amazing collection of funk, disco, boogie and soul covers a lot of ground, but never once drops the ball. There's a massive amount of 'funk' compilations coming out these days, many of them riddled with mediocre tunes and 'unknown' tripe. Not this comp. What makes Soul In The Hole such an enjoyable listen is sheer quality here. Put together by Sadar Bahar and Lee Collins, who know their stuff - they've been DJing around Chicago since the early 80s. Well worth investigating.

MORE: Good indepth backgrounder on Sadar Bahar and Lee Collins here.

"Sadar Bahar is Chicago's best keep secret. One of the most sought after DJ's in the world of soul, funk and disco. He did a lot of DJ gigs in the US, Japan and Europe. Together with Lee Collins he selected 13 tracks for this compilation, all rare treasures."

Track listing:
01. Johnny Harris - Odyssey Pt 1
02. Calender - Comin' On Strong
03. Poetiquette - Soul Melody (Yam Who? Remix)
04. Maxayn - Bail Out
05. Seawind - Free
06. Moses - Striving For Tomorrow
07. Puzzle People - French Fried Boogie
08. Sparkles - Trying To Get Over
09. Carl Grubbs – Scorcher (Instrumental)
10. Chuck Higgins & The Wild Bunch - Funkyfied
11. Carlos Garnett - Mystery Of Ages
12. Sonny Stitt – Tornado feat. Eddie Russ
13. Frédéric Mercier – Spirit

Out Nov 12 on BBE, on vinyl (2x12" + 7") / digital. Listen to the album at Juno Download.

She Dubs Me Remix ep - Timmy Schumacher video

The Dub Asylum - She Dubs Me Remix EP is out now as a digital reissue, with a special bonus remix - the flipside off my Ba Ba Boom 7-inch single, the Oogun remix, available digitally for the first time. Here's the video Timmy Schumacher made for his remix, drawing on a pile of super 8 film footage he shot in the US.

Remixes by Timmy Schumacher vs Substax, Rob Warner and Josh Webb, Audioslut, and Oogun. Out now thru Amplifier, iTunes, Bandcamp etc. 

PLUS I found a few copies of the original vinyl remix EP 12", now on sale for a limited time only at Conch Records, comes with a bonus 7" and a free digital download of the remix ep.

New Black Seeds video

Graff art, unicorns, breaking, all the good ish...

Monday, November 12, 2012

RIP Major Harris (Delfonics)

Via Pitchfork: "Billboard reports that Major Harris, soul singer and former member of Philadelphia soul group the Delfonics, has died. He was 65.
Harris was a Richmond, Virginia native who performed with several groups in the 1960s, including the Charmers, Frankie Lymon's Teenagers, and Nat Turner's Rebellion. He joined the Delfonics in the early 1970s, replacing singer Randy Cain.
He left the group in 1974 to pursue a solo career, releasing four solo records between 1974 and 1984. He hit number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his solo single "Love Won't Let Me Wait" off his debut solo LP My Way. His final performance took place last year when he reunited with members of the Delfonics."

Allo Prince

New video for a singer called Andy Allo, produced by Prince. Like Nelson George said on Twitter, "More horns than a Basie band in this video."

Dangerous game video

I recently tracked down and digitised a copy of this music video by Jules Issa, one of the artists I'm writing about for my book on the Deepgrooves record label. It's a cool video directed by William Roberts with choreography by Jules, and a cameo from DLT.

The song was originally performed by Diatribe, contemporaries of Herbs - more on them here. More info on Jules Issa, including the remix of Dangerous Game that was playlisted on London's KissFM, here.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fat Freddys vs Sydney Opera House

Fat Freddys Drop live at the Sydney Opera House this weekend previewing their new album Blackbirds, with Otis Frizzell doing some live painting. Holy heck! Free download of new Far Freddys single over here.

Wee bonus... my edit of Fat Freddys/Vadim Electric Drop tune Midnight Marauders, enjoy. Free DL.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Who shot rock n roll?

Photo: Ian Dickson, The Ramones at Eric's Club, Liverpool, England, May 1977

I just got back from a great talk at the Auckland Art Gallery, listening to Gail Buckland, the curator of the Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 - Present photo exhibition. 

She talked about how the show is themed, and how she wanted to uncover some of the people who took the photos - we all know the famous people in front of the lens, but what about the person behind it?  She made an effort to track down as many of the photographer she included, and go and meet them and see their work. It's an incredible feat. 

At the end of her talk  I asked about what happens to all these photographer's work when they pass on, and she talked a bit about archival efforts she'd been associated with, but said just because something has been digitised doesn't mean its been preserved, so she said she didn't really have an answer for me. She said its much easier to get your work archived say if you're a famous photographer like Ansel Adams or similar. 

Photo: Henry Diltz, of Tina Turner, Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, 1985
Buckland talked about the above photo of Tina Turner, saying when she found it among the photographer's slides, he didn't even recall taking it, and had never used it. She asked Diltz to store it somewhere safe, til she needed it for the show. 

Later, her book publisher liked it after they saw a lowres scan, and wanted it for the book cover. Now, of course this rock n roll photographer was unorganised, Buckland says, and couldn't find it. It eventually turned up at the 11th hour, and features on the cover of the book cataloging the show. More photos at the bottom, see Wilson Pickett, backed by Jimi Hendrix...

The show is on now at the Auckland Art Gallery ($15 entry), til March 2013. There's a bunch of great activities going on around the show, live gigs, talks, a record fair, and heaps more... 

NOV11 Rockumentary film screening: The Stones in the Park

NOV11, 3pm Who Shot Rock & Roll: Graham Reid on Shooting the Beatles and creating the Sixties
Join well-known music reviewer, journalist, travel writer and music lecturer Graham Reid for a personal view of how photographers of the Beatles, Stones and others...

Open Late: Tuesday 13 November DJs (Shayne Carter), talks  (Tim Finn on his fave photo in the show)  food, drink and live music from Watercolours.

Sunday 2 December - 10am - 4pm, North atrium - free entry Who Shot Rock & Roll: Record Collectors Fair

Sunday 2 December 1pm Chris Mousdale on the design of rock and roll Chris Mousdale presents an illustrated year-by-year run down of the era's most relevant record covers.

Sunday 2 December 3pm Nick Bollinger, Murray Cammick and Milana Radojcic
Join music reviewer and writer Nick Bollinger in conversation with music journalist, photographer and record label founder, Murray Cammick and music photographer Milana Radojcic

Open Late: Tuesday 11 December DJs (Shayne Carter), talks, food, drink and live music from The Libres.

Wilson Pickett, with Jimi Hendrix as one of his backing band. May 1966

Open Late: Tuesday 22 January DJs, talks, food, drink and live music from Dear Time's Waste.

Open Late: Tuesday 5 February DJs (Murray Cammick), talks (Dj Sir Vere on his fave photo in the show), food, drink and live music from The Eversons.

Open Late: Tuesday 19 February, 6-9pm DJs (RIU editor Leonie Hayden), talks (Otis Frizzell his fave photo in the show), food, drink and live music from SJD.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov 10

Freddie Cruger-  Boogie down stureby
Johnnie Clarke - Bad days/dub
Courtney Melody - Bad boy
Singers and players - A matter of time
Yabby you - Conquering lion - Smith and Mighty remix
Lightning head - 2nd line stomp
Rhythm and sound feat Sugar Minott - Let Jah love come
Frente cumbiero - Pitchito - Sonora remix
Hugh Masekela - Languta
The emotions - I like it
Gladys Knight and the Pips - On and on
The Meters - Hey pocky way
Madhouse - Six
Alyson Williams - My love is so raw  - Baby love mix - remixed by David Dorrell and CJ Mackintosh
The Orb feat Lee Perry - Hold me upsetter

Jigsy knig meets the Viceroys - Give me the weed
George Faith - I forgot to be a lover
 The inversions - I can't stand these lonely nights
Seawind - Free
Manzel - Midnight theme - Dopebrother 7" mix
Fat Freddys Drop - Silver and gold
Eddie Kendricks - On my way home
Headshock - Land of jazz
Urban disturbance - No flint no flame
Jimi Hendrix - Foxy dub
African head charge - Dobbyn joins the head charge
Junior Murvin - Roots train
Skuff - The Jamaicans vs the good foot
Richie Phoe - Twilight chime

Friday, November 09, 2012

FFD new single

Free download, off the forthcoming album, Blackbird, due out early 2013. Get in quick.

FFD's Scott Towers told the NZ Herald that "The feeling we seem to be coming back to ... I guess, to me it feels like a dance record. I keep thinking about Grace Jones records with Sly & Robbie in the rhythm section [such as 1981's Nightclubbing], they are songs but they could really be dance tracks too. There is a crossed line there and Blackbird is a bit like that." Silver and Gold will be released with bonus instrumental track Bohannon Dub on limited edition 12" vinyl in December.

SJD - new album out Nov 16

From RTM HQ: "Like an early Xmas present, all wrapped up and ready for receipt, SJD's sixth album Elastic Wasteland is hitting stores and legit download locales as of Friday November 16. We'll furnish you with links to the physical, the digital as well as the possibly stratospheric and almost definitely imaginary, on the day, but in the meantime swoon at the cover above(r) and get ready to count your chickens - because this one is positively hatching.

Entirely penned, performed and produced by Sean himself without a single guest, and focusing on just synthesisers, drum machines and the human voice this is the purest, possibly deepest SJD experience yet. The certifiably legendary Angus McNaughton is the mastering maestro, Cherry Sprinkles designed the artwork from Sean's own images and with songs like The Lizard Kings, Lena, These Are The Names, Make Love Ask Questions Later, On The Driveway and Empty World this one is going to fry some minds and sear some synapses.

To celebrate the release Sean will be performing (again completely solo… it's the new style) at Golden Dawn on Wednesday 21st of November. Stinky Jim will be spinning a selection of the very finest from Round Trip Mars and elsewhere, before and afterwards - and admission is free."

ADDED Album is streaming in full over at NZ Herald.

First single below, pay what you like...

Phil and his phone

Phil Fuemana, photo by Greg Semu, Stamp, 1994.

Loud and Proud 
Stamp magazine, issue 45, 1994. Interview By Emma Farry

It's hard to miss Philip Fuemana – he's a big Polynesian brother. His size is matched only by his voice – he has been singing and producing music in South Auckland for the past decade. 

At last the work seems to be paying off with the release of the album from Fuemana ''New Urban Polynesian", released through Deepgrooves (we're not into self promotion, honest!) and the nationwide tour of Proud, a group of seven South Auckland based musical groups who will be touring the country to promote their compilation CD.

The musicians on the Proud tour make music described as "Urban Pacific." A new sound in the increasingly popular world music genre fusing Maori and Pacific rhythms with solid dance beats.

Names range from the more well known acts like the Pacifican Descendants, Semi MC's and Fuemana, to Sisters Underground, Otara Millionaires Club, acapella group Vocal 5. Radio Backstab and DJ Payback.

"Basically the idea behind the Proud tour and CD is to celebrate our colour. The music is mostly hiphop tinged - we call it street soul in the urban Pacific tradition."

The tour kicks off on February 19th and 44 will travel the country pedalling their wares from Auckland to Invercargill and everywhere in between.

The Proud artists will perform at theatres and underage venues and the aim, apart from the altruistic ''sharing of musical culture" is to promote the CD released in March thru Second Nature Records According to the promotional material, Urban Pacific music is receiving "considerable interest'' from the record industries in Australia and the USA.

So some major record labels are riding the Polynesian cool wave and that's fine by Fuemana who believes his time has come. ''The whole Proud thing in like a modern version of Motown - taking the talent and travelling around the country with it. It's about time this kind of music was taken seriously, the whole Pacifican thing is set co take off," Fuemana says with an authority few would want to contradict.

''The Pacifican influence can be found in the beats we use, our accents our singing inflections and language . We sound like Polynesians and we're proud of it. I hate that whole mimicking of America thing - we've got our music scene which is really strong."

Fuemana jokes that he gives good friend and sometime musical partner Matty J a hard time for rapping in an American accent, The unusual couple met first on the Christian music scene. Both wanted to be the best so they eventually got together with Fuemana's sister Christina to form Houseparty and took the music to the city.

The band had some local success but things really started to happen when Matty J left to go solo and Fuemana changed the name of Houseparty to one he found more culturally appropriate. Matty J now appears regularly with the band but is no longer a permanent member.

The Fuemana album. due out in late February, brings together the experiences of the brother and sister who have struggled to make their future secure through music. 

''We saw music as one way of getting out of Otara. The music is about survival and creating a future where my family and their kids can be comfortable.''

A rocky start in life bound the siblings of the Fuemana clan tightly together. It sounds like the stuff nightmares are made of. The kids were ''kidnapped'' back and forth between mum and dad until they finally ended up with their father who found it hard to cope with a young family.

''My mum would come and get us screaming and bundle us into a taxi - and then the next week the same thing would happen with my dad. I was the oldest and the whole thing made us really close," Fuemana says.

Things weren't always easy in the Fuemana household though. Growing up with violence took its toll and in his younger days Fuemana was not scared to throw his weight around.

At the age of 18 though Fuemana's life changed. It's the conversion story that's been round forever, but it never loses the drama.

"I had this weird experience and discovered Jesus, I didn't quite know what was happening to me at the time. My family were all really scared of me and someone had broken the strings on my bass and they thought I'd kill them - but it was like a turning point in my life and I just cried. It was like I could feel for the first time in many years. I felt like I'd been woken up."

Not one to clap hands and preach on street corners Fuemana is quietly grateful for the change in his life which he attributes to Christ. "I don't make a big deal about the Christianity thing but I was turned around and my whole life changed.''

For a few years his church thought Fuemana would be the great Polynesian convert who would lead the masses to the faith. (he toured New Zealand spreading the Good News four times) but now it seems his faith has led him elsewhere although he is still active as creative director for Manukau Christian City's 'Colour Blind Ministries.'

''None of the songs on the album are Christian based. I don't think I need to put my faith into every song because everyone who knows me knows what I think anyway." 

Fuemana is proud of his roots and he is fiercely loyal to South Auckland and is always promoting local talent. He is aware though that talent needs to be mixed with innovation.

''So many talented people just copy exactly what they hear on the radio and don't play any of their own stuff. There's women in Otara who can mimic Mariah Carey to the note but we'll never hear of them - people need to use their own ideas to get anywhere. I'd rather be poor and do original stuff."

Fuemana is critical of the fact that more Polynesians haven't become involved in the music industry.

"It's not Flying Nun's fault that there is so much white music around, we're to blame for it. We should have our own label - Flying Coconuts or something - we'd all be bloody rich by now. It's a typically Polynesian thing to sit back and say 'oh well'. but its now time for us to make our mark. We have to change our priorities,'' Fuemana says.

He hopes that by his example and involvement he can inspire others in the Polynesian community to follow their dreams.

"I really wanna get other people involved. I feel that I can be a leader and that other Polynesians may see what I've done and say 'yeah, I can do that' '' . 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Lion Rockers soundsystem

This local crew have built that incredible set of speakers you see on that poster above. Can't wait to hear what kind of bass pressure comes outta that!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

DLT - One love

I found this video on a vhs compilation of nz music videos called Screenage Kicks, released by BMG and put together by Chronic/Stuart Broughton, around 1997 (no release date on the vhs or cover pictured below).

DLT featuring the splendid vocal talents of Mighty Asterix, who appears on a few tunes on DLT's classic album The True School, which is sadly not currently available. This needs a reissue! 

The video is directed by Marcus Ringrose / V8. Spot the cameos from Tame Iti, Kirk Harding, and a couple of Gregs and a few Supergroovers and a Headless Chicken....  some nice shots down Tuhoe country too...

Screenage Kicks cover art

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Resonators album out

UK reggae outfit The Resonators drop their debut album today on WahWah45s, have a listen below... They are also touring the UK over the next month...The Resonators have opened for the likes of Lee Perry, Derrick Morgan, and Fat Freddys Drop.

"A return to dub music of rare subtelty and imagination - qualities that confirm this band as the UK reggae act to watch" (John Masouri, Album review in Echoes magazine)

 "The Resonators are easily one of the best live dub-reggae bands around, in this country or any other...The Constant is a great reggae record, fans of the band will be happy with it, new listeners will be drawn in by it." (Adam Tait, Shout 4 Music)