Sunday, December 30, 2012

MdCL and Rotterdam Jazz Orch

Newie out soon from Tru Thoughts...expat Kiwi Mark de Clive Lowe drops some jazz stylings, free download... "Out February 4th/5th, ‘Take The Space Trane’ is the new album from producer, composer and musician Mark de Clive-Lowe in collaboration with the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra. Below is a free download of the title track, announced via The Revivalist.

The album brings together a selection of bespoke compositions and existing cuts from across MdCL’s highly prolific career, as well as a cover of the jazz standard, “Caravan” – all realised with traditional big band arrangements and instrumentation..."

"As per tradition, this final podcast of the year finds TT head honcho and A&R Robert Luis looking back over 2012; and what a year it's been – packed with releases of every shape, size and genre, and heaps of support from all over the world.

Here, Rob rounds up some of the sonic highlights from across 2012 - from the likes of Quantic and Alice Russell, Hint, Anchorsong, Belleruche, Nostalgia 77, The Bamboos, Sleepin' Giantz, Riz MC and more - as well as bringing you an upfront and exclusive peep into the new music in store for 2013."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Grace: Cool world

From 1995's debut album Black Sand Shore, Grace with a spaced out Mark Tierney-directed clip for Cool World, also released as a single, cover below.

Reviewing the single in Real Groove (Dec 1995), Simon Vita described it thus: "The Polynesian soul crooners drop in with something cool and sultry in a mock Latino kinda way ... This is what Julio Iglesias would sound like if he were 30 years younger and as sexy as he makes himself out to be."

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 29

Cinematic orchestra feat Fontella Bass - All that you give
Marva Whitney - I am what I am
Fred Wesley and the JBs - Transmograpification (Fred Wesley live in AK March 21 2013!)
James Brown - The bose - Geisha boys remix
Chakachas - Jungle fever - Greg Wilson edit
Red Astaire - Mambo dinereo
Larry Graham - Sooner or later
Gloria Gaynor - Casanova Brown
Isaac Hayes - Love me or lose me
Supercat - Dolly my baby - Bad boy extended mix
Grace Jones - Pull up to the bumper - 12" remix
The Orb feat Lee Scratch Perry - Soulman -Villad RMX B
Candi Staton - Do your duty - Pepe Bradock remix
Martin Brew - Sand steppin
Shut up and dance - Tan so back
Junior Murvin - Roots train
Resonators -Wandering
Jackie Mittoo - Sunshine of your love
George Faith - Turn back the hands of time
Curtis Mayfield - Doo doo wap is strong in here, Freddie's dead
 Billy Preston - It's my pleasure
Marva Whitney - It's my thing (live)

Friday, December 28, 2012

RIP Fontella Bass

Fontella Bass has died, aged 72. Reuters reports that "Bass died in hospice care in St Louis on Wednesday night from complications of a heart attack she suffered three weeks ago, her daughter, Neuka Mitchell, told Reuters. Bass had also suffered from strokes in recent years.

"She's going to be missed," Mitchell said. "Her big personality. Her love for family. Her big, giving heart and her cooking." She was known as the "queen of soul food" to her family, Mitchell said."

From the LA Times: Two sides of Fontella Bass -  "Any appreciation of soul singer Fontella Bass, who died Wednesday at age 72, must first acknowledge “Rescue Me,” the propellant 1965 R&B banger that became her signature. But equally vital in her -- and the American -- pantheon is “Theme de Yoyo,” her rousing vocal turn during the free jazz collective Art Ensemble of Chicago’s 1970 album “Les Stances a Sophie.”

The two works illustrate the range of the singer’s power: One is a gut-busting soul cry, the other a nine-minute thrill ride that drives funk and boundary-busting jazz through one instrumental climax after another.

Don't be late: 98

From Ermehn's debut album Samoans Pt II, the single Don't Be Late. Watch out for the blue neon backdrop behind Ermehn (at 2.28), that's the Palace Hotel on Victoria st, demolished in 2010 after the developers weakened the foundations while renovating the 124 year old building.

From the website: "" We had known Ermehn since the early nineteen nineties, even prior to the original OMC days. Like a lot of artists from South Auckland in the ninties [sic, it was not about whether they had talent but really it was more of a question of whether they had the confidence and determination.

"With Ermehn however, it was different, we had tried for a couple of years to get Ermehn to do an album, however his "lifestyle" and "other factors" always seemed to get in the way. Credit here really has to go to Mr. Philip Fuemana for carrying the load, perservering [sic] and continuing to re-join the dots. By the time we actually got to the point of recording Ermehn's album, Mr. Fuemana had left Deepgrooves and was busy recording MOIZNA and LOST TRIBE in Kaiun Digital for his Urban Pasifika Records Label. Enter again, Mr. Andrew Morton, now reggae, hip hop producer extraordinaire.

"Coincidentally, around this time video production values jumped exponentially when we secured access to an Aaton XTR Prod equiped [sic] with a Canon 18-64mm (Without the right glass it is nothing) S16mm Zoom and struck a post production deal with the Film Unit (We believe it is now owned by Mr. Peter Jackson of "Brain Dead" Fame) in Wellington.

"We shot this clip in the Auckland Art Gallery. Credit goes to Rosanna Raymond for the styling and extras and Marc Swadel for the tireless camera operating (Dusk to dawn - Marc - "Is this the norm?" ... Us - "What do you mean?")." Deepgrooves now has a youtube channel too.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pon the twitters

Earlier this year, the NZ Herald did a list of NZ's 50 Top Tweeters (Twitter users) and somehow I got my name in there, which was both weird and cool. Yesterday the NZH published a follow up to that, with a list of their top tweeters' top tweeters. Here's, surprise surprise... @martynpepperell, @robyngallagher, @chipmatthews

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Vinyl revival: Mumbai/Dundee reports

Independent record store in Dundee says vinyl is making a comeback
"... Groucho's Record Store, which has featured in a pop video by Dundee rockers, The View, has said that 2012 has been its toughest year. But the store said it does have a future and that people are searching for old gems which can only be found on vinyl..."

and Vinyl market still not resurrected in India
"... There are a few major hurdles that need to be resolved for vinyl to be more feasible choice for consumers. For one the price has to come down. This of course has to do with the economics of demand and supply. An LP's steep price often deters buyers from making the purchase, but the purchase is pegged high due to the low availability of supply. Moreover, a number of records are collector's items which can fetch very high prices later on.

"The lack of proper record players in the market is also a drawback. The good machines- semi automatic and automatic ones are usually imported. And with the duties, it makes very little sense to purchase one. A turntable which costs Rs 5-600 in the US will cost three times in India...."

Captain Planet

From the Bastard Jazz crew... "In honour of this very special solstice, the ending of a 5,125 year Mayan calendar cycle, and the dawning of a new era of higher consciousness... I present you with this tropical tribal dancefloor heater." Free DL.

Monday, December 24, 2012

RIP Marva Whitney

"Marva Whitney, one of the greats of funk and soul and the woman whom James Brown called “Soul Sister #1″, passed away last night (December 23, 2012). She was 68....

...In 1969, Whitney made her first solo recordings for King, Brown’s label at the time. She scored a Top 20 hit on the R&B charts with ‘It’s My Thing (You Can’t Tell Me Who to Sock It To)’, which was a rewrite of the Isley Brothers hit, and the follow-up, ‘Things Got to Get Better (Get Together)’ just missed the R&B Top 20. Much of Whitney’s work has been sampled in hip hop tracks, most notably ‘Unwind Yourself’.

In December 2009, Marva collapsed on stage in front of thousands of fans at the Falls Festival in Lorne, Australia, while performing with The Transatlantics. Taken to Geelong Hospital and diagnosed with a stroke, she made a recovery and was performing again in 2010..." Source: Noise11.

Whitney's most recent recordings were an outstanding album with Japanese funk outfit Osaka Monaurail released in 2006, called I Am What I Am. There are some live clips of them playing together in London in 2009.

Jakarta Recs, feeling festive

"A little thank you gift for everyone's support in 2012 and a little preview what we have coming up in 2013.

"Festive season music" ranges from unreleased exclusive music like "Everyday is christmas" that Blu sent us earlier this month to songs that will be released on Jakarta Records in 2013 like Ta-Ku's & Mr.Troys tracks. Most songs are yet unheard, some are exclusive to this selection. The actual cassette tape will be given away to friends and partners of the label, some will be given away for free on our facebook site (grab one at, some thru our firends at vinyl-digital. We printed a total of 130 numbered copies.

Have a look at some of the releases we have coming up in 2013:

Ta-Ku - Dowhatyoulove
Mr. Troy - Introduction
Shuko - Sleepless
Umse - Wachstum
Raashan Ahmad - TBA
Blu & Sene - A Day Late & A Dollar Short (Vinyl Edition)
Tyra Hammond - TBA

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ten years today...

..since Joe Strummer passed away. I was lucky enough to see Strummer and his band play at the start of 2002, at the Big Day Out, he was in great voice. And he played London Calling. Here's their 1982 Tokyo show in its entirety.
Previous post: The Clash on Times Square.


In which Pagan Records label boss and Cosa mainman Trevor Reekie gets his forehead stroked gently by pretty young Asian women in a comfortable darkened room, because that's how life was in the music industry in 1996, kids. Downloading killed all that.

Tuffi Culture raps, Dubhead nods in a skanking fashion, and Daniel Barnes takes it all in, from a horizontal position. Still water runs deep, sometimes. Warning: video contains hippies twirling fire poi's.

More info:

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 22

Rusty Bryant - Fire eater
Troubadours - Funk good feeling
Jose Feliciano - She's a woman
Boozoo Bajou - Night over Manaus
Herbs - French letter dub
Dennis Brown - Money in my pocket/Ah so we say (feat Big Youth)
KRS One - Bo bo bo
Wrongtom meets Deemus J -Wa do dance
The Clash - Magnificent seven
Kraftwerk - Tour de France -Francois K remix
Souljazz orchestra - Serve and protect - Frankie Francis Sofrito edit
The Soul Seven  -Cissy's thing
Pleasure seekers  -Give up the funk
World wonders - Funky washing machine
Clarence Thomas and the Organisation  - Express yourself
Charles Wright and Watts 103rd st rhythm band - What can you bring me?
Rosevelt Johnson & his spice islanders - Mt Royal
Carlos Garnett - Mystery of ages
Johnny Hammond - Summertime/the ghetto
The winners - Get ready for the future
James Brown - Soulful christmas
Como mamas - Trouble in my way
Donna Summer - State of independence - Justin's Get It edit

Friday, December 21, 2012

Who loves lists?

You do. Bet you do. Here's a few...

From Fact mag...Top 40 reissues for 2012 
The 50 best record sleeves for 2012

From' s Graham Reid...The best of Elsewhere, the editor's top 40 plus Reader's Choice 

Simon Grigg's list of some of his favourite music of 2012
"... Mur­ray Cam­mick turned me on to my cur­rent favourite from years past, the George Faith album Super Eight pro­duced by Lee Perry. I mean, I knew and loved his cover of Diana, but never looked beyond it..." second that, great album...

From The Corner.. Top ten moments in NZ music for 2012
and The best and the rest of 2012

Andrew Dubber's 20 albums worth checking out in 2012 

Potholes in my blog: 50 best albums of 2012

DJ Food's 2012 favourites

Apollo's Bounteous Harvest: The Quietus Albums Of The Year 2012

Soulsides: 2012 rewind - five songs that left me banging on the dashboard
plus Oliver Wang on the Bill Withers 9 CD Complete Sussex and Columbia box set that dropped this year, how did I miss that one...

Cian from Conch Records posted his faves on Facebook...

TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2012 (In no particular order)
1. IG Culture - Soulful Shanghai (Kindred Spirits)
2. The Internet - Purple Naked Ladies (Odd Future)
3. Lone - Galaxy Garden (R&S)
4. Menahan Street Band - The Crossing (Daptone)
5. Greg Foat Group - Girl & Robot With Flowers (Jazzman)
6. Various Artists - Personal Space (Numero Group)
7. Mala - Mala In Cuba (Brownswwod)
8. Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes (warp)
9. DJ Nature - Return Of The Savage (Golf Channel)
10. Hazel - The Lost Tapes (The Beat Down)

TOP 10 TRACKS OF 2012 (In no particular order)
1. Falty DL - Hardcourage
2. The Insomniax - Daydreaming
3. Andrew Ashong - Flowers
4. Gaslamp Killer - Nissim
5. Joey Bada$ - Where It'$ At
6. Menahan Street Band - Keep Coming Back
7. The Stepkids - Sweet Salvation
8. Kendrick Lamarr - Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst
9. Colonel Red - Spaceface
10. Hiatus Kaiyote - Nakamarra

Any lists I need to check out? Hit me up in the comments...

Under liquid skies

I recently posted up a video for Joint Force (DLT/Slave/Otis) for Static Pt 2. DLT's daughter saw that on Facebook and mentioned she wanted to see the video for her dad's tune Liquid Skies, cos she's in the clip (at age 9 approx). I tracked down a copy, so here it is.... from 2000. She was pretty stoked to see it. Choice buzz!

Found this video too... some mean dancing in it...

Reflex Re-visions

Reflex Re-visions: ten tasty edits, incl Bob Marley, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Temptations, The Who, Wild Cherry and more. Go have a listen and grab em...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Aaradhna live

Aaradhna live instore at Real Groovy

I went into town at lunch yesterday, to catch Aaradhna singing live instore at Real Groovy. It was just her and a guitarist, which is the perfect way to highlight her fantastic vocals. Her latest album Treble and Reverb is easily one of the best local albums of the year. It's assured, soulful, and genuine as heck.

I last saw Aaradhna sing at David Dalla's fantastic popup store at Conch for the cd release of his Rose Tint album in November 2011, that was a fun night.

I remember running into P-Money on the street last year, and asking what he was working on and he let slip a little about the Aaradhna album, and how they were going for a 60s soul sound. I was intrigued to hear it, cos, if anyone could pull off that sound, it was P-Money, He is seriously under-rated as a music producer in this country, rather than just as that hiphop guy making beats. Dude KNOWS sound.

Treble and Reverb dropped early November, and it didn't disappoint. Sure, there's the obvious contemporary references like Amy Winehouse or Sharon Jones, but Aaradhna goes deeper than that.

At the instore at Real Groovy, Aaradhna introduced one of the songs by saying "how do I talk about this?" and then explained to the assembled crowd that she had been thru depression a few years back, and was living at her Mum's house, sleeping and eating all day, "being a real life couch potato", as she put it. That's when she wrote Wake Up, as a song to herself, saying "get out of bed, stop wasting time..."

Hearing Aaradhna talk about this was very moving - she's the real deal. She's not faking soul, she's not pretending, this is her singing about her life.

Watch the video below for a taste of Aaradhna's live sound. There's a moment at 2.45 in the video when she looks away from the mic for a moment, then turns back and belts out the next line 'I've been trying to get to you, I've been trying to get through to you..." the soul and emotion in her voice at that moment send chills down my spine every time I watch it. She is an incredible singer.

A few weeks after the album release, her label rep was in New York (as mentioned in Martyn Pepperell's interview with her in NZ Musician), with American record deals on offer from three labels (Epic, Universal Motown, E1/Koch), a possible management contract with William Morris Agency, and sync opportunities from tv and film. Things are looking up for Aaradhna.

Catch her playing live in February on the summer winery tour, with Che Fu, Opshop, and Missy Higgins. Dates here

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Questlove loves lists

Questlove Thompson (The Roots) has written a list for Rolling Stone, it's a corker. He's compiled a list of his choice of the top 50 hiphop singles of all time. It starts in 1979 when he first heard hiphop, and goes thru to 1995, which Questlove defines as "... the year my major-label debut with the Roots made its mark. I wanted to concentrate on the period that I was not professionally involved in the art form."

Here's his entry on Eric B And Rakim, one of my favourite hiphop acts ever. I own a pile of their records, probably more than any other artist in my collection. If you've ever read any of the liner notes for albums by The Roots, then you know Questlove can write, and he has some serious deep knowledge on music. Read on....(note, a reader of that RS post has put up a playlist of the songs on Spotify)

Eric B. and Rakim, "Eric B is President"/"Check Out My Melody" (1986)

"If I were given hip-hop's timeline wand and asked to draw the line in the sand that would define the moment that hip-hop stepped into the post-modern age, this song would have to be my choice. Rakim's no-nonsense, straight-laced, non-minstrel, dead-panned delivery is one of the hardest sells in hip-hop. I mean, think about it.

Some of our favorite characters in hip-hop are just that: characters. Colorful, all over the place, full of inflection and humor. Rakim was none of that. Pssssh, even his most humorous punchline – gotta remember, "President" was a part-time response record to Janet Jackson's unexpected red-hot "What have you done for me lately" – was dry enough to make Steven Wright take notice. "You scream I'm lazy?/You must be crazy/Thought I was a donut, you tried to glaze me . . . "

Rakim was John Coltrane personified as MC: all cool and steady hand. Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys were screaming hip-hop's power from the top of the mountains. Rakim was doing the exact opposite – mountains came to him. Just to prove this was no fluke, his every word on the B-side "My Melody" was like the holy scriptures. Damn near the 10 Commandments for any real MC worth his or her weight in gold.

There was no MC from this new Renaissance period that wasn't running for cover when Rakim was within earshot. Remember those old Westerns, when the cowboy dressed in all black comes to the saloon and the tavern gets all silent and even the piano player stops the music? I don't, either, but you get the picture I'm trying to make. Rakim turned MCing into a serious art. He was no joke."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jason Kerrison and end of the world

Jason Kerrison. Photo: Peter Meecham/Fairfax NZ

The NZ Herald recently had an article featuring comment from Opshop's Jason Kerrison, titled Ending the world on a high note, by Susan Edmunds and Andy Pickering, just caught up on this. Apparently Kerrison was unhappy with how he was represented in the article, and published his full email reply to Andy Pickering's questions on Facebook...

"It's a pity @thenzherald has become a second rate sensationalist magazine that doesn't actually report it's interviewees opinions. Here's what I actually sent to @andypickering in response to his questions.
(Pls excuse bad grammar and mistakes Etc...was never my strongpoint)..."

Read Jason's full answers here..."Talk of an ‘Ark’ was initially to pique the interest of the media to discuss the broader matters at hand around the 2012 phenomena, some of which I’ve raised in answering earlier questions..."

For more on that, in January 2010 Woman's Day ran an article titled "Opshop's Jason: Why I'm building a real ark!" Read about it at The Corner.

Losing you

Blood Orange (Dev Hynes) was featured a few issues back in Wax Poetics (issue #50). He's behind the very cool latest single from Solange Knowles (hat tip to Andrew Tidball for the link). It's off an EP called True, by Solange, that dropped 27 November worldwide on digital, the single is out on 12" vinyl.

Hynes (via his Tumblr): "I spoke to Maureen Seaberg of Psychology Today about my synesthesia, compositional techniques, and future projects. Click here to read the interview."

The Guardian (iv from Aug 2011): From Lightspeed Champion to Blood Orange, the many lives of Dev Hynes. And more recently, from The Guardian... Solange Knowles: Dev Hynes's beats suit my stubbornness but I'm no hipster

From Blood Orange's Tumblr, go Solange!

Shanty Sound Reggae Mixtape

Shanty Sound – 50 Years – Foundation Reggae Mixtape, via Music Selections, hat tip to Jason F for the link.

"Shanty Sound, aka Bergamo-Rula, from Italy, mixing foundation reggae tunes for our enjoyment. You got 50 minutes of classic gems from the 60′s, mixed live and direct from strictly 7 inch vinyls.

Music from Jamaica’s two most respected and iconic labels Studio One and Treasure Isle, no need to say more. This mix flows great, you’ll find some stuff that you already love, and some stuff you might have slept on as well. It’s a long way back to the 60′s: when music lasts so long you can bet it’s well built. The musical foundation of Reggae is rock-solid, that’s why this genre is still so popular. And its story is fascinating, if you’re interested in the subject, I suggest you to read this book."


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Max TV remembered

From RipitUp, Jan 1998. Click to enlarge

I wrote an article for RipItUp published in April 1999, looking at the state of local music videos. For that piece, NZ On Air's Brendan Smyth told me “At one point there, around the end of 1997, we had about four hundred hours of music television a week, with Max, Cry, MTV, Dog TV, Juice. And then it went down to four hours a week, very much feast or famine.”

Here is a piece then RipItUp editor Murray Cammick wrote in early 1998 on the demise of Max TV. It was a huge loss for the Auckland music scene, at the time. I remember going up to the Max TV studio, above the Ponsonby PO on the final night, to say hello to my buddy John Pain who was operating the control desk for the final hours. It was a sad night.

By Murray Cammick, RipItUp, p7, #245, January 1998

The closure of Max TV on Wednesday Dec 3 was a confusing event. There was a willing buyer (TVNZ's company BCL) and willing sellers (the directors of Aztel Holdings Jeff Thorpe and Kevin Black) and a price tag somewhere between $1 million and two million.

There was a lot of anger vented on the day with Max TV hosts holding the buyer (TVNZ) responsible for the closure of the channel and Mikey Havoc of MTV sending an incendiary fax suggesting the sellers were responsible. To quote Mikey, ''you are championing the wizened husk of Max like children defending a runaway Father (or Fathers).''

The buyer TVNZ's BCL said they knew Max TV was up for sale and the sellers claimed that 'TVNZ boss Neil Roberts approached them to buy the frequency. 

So at the end of the day I guess the buyer is happy on four counts; Firstly. TVNZ have a frequency to use for digital television next century.

Secondly, they have removed a competitor in the field of music television (though I would argue the stations reached / or were programmed for different demographics).

Thirdly, Neil Roberts has made good on his MTV launch statement that '' I don't think they (Max TV) have a future." But fourthly and I think most importantly, TVNZ has moved to block an independent (irrespective of broadcast content) from operating in the Auckland market and pushed up the price of entry to the Auckland television market.

The sellers of Max TV should have been happy too, they were winners, they made good on an enterprise that was looking like a financial liability. They were up against tough competitive practices. The initial TVNZ sales line on MTV advertising was if you buy ''X value'' on MTV, you get ''X value'' of spots free on TV2.

So who are the losers? Well the obvious losers are Aucklanders who have lost a great local channel that did a lot more than just play videos, the people who work at Max TV who lost the chance to gain experience in the industry, and New Zealand musicians who enjoyed high rotates for their video clips

But there are other losers. Why can TVNZ find money to buy a frequency for unspecified future use when they cannot find the resources to let the MTV staff in New Zealand broadcast a credible selection of videos relevant to the New Zealand market? The million-plus figure could have been used to facilitate MTV improving the product it broadcasts. People in all centres that get MTV would benefit, if the dross content beamed from London was cut drastically.

An Auckland musician wrote to RipItUp to defend the outbursts of anger broadcast on MaxTV on the final day. ''Why didn't Neil Roberts inject this large sum of money into his own music channel to make it more competitive or more relevant to New Zealanders rather than Europeans.''

Does any New Zealander, whether a young teen or a young adult, want to see former members of Take That, Boy's Own, unplugged Bryan Adams, a Bon Jovi weekend etc. Sure the kiddies eight to 12 want their Hanson, Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys but that's all that is on MTV throughout the day. Is it just a pre-teen, kiddies channel? Well, if it is, it will not gain many viewers due to the closure of Max TV.

Sure, there's a kiwi oasis, the Havoc show in the sea of dross, but there's talk of it being cut back and there were many shows on Max TV as good as Havoc at a fraction of the budget - Peter Urlich's The Tube (everyone talked about that), |Risky Business, Aaron Carson's Rock bogan fest, the new cooking show with Karen Walker and the Mad Butcher was sublime. Who will. screen the shows we only saw trailers for?

I think the losers are not just whinging Aucklanders, on the day the million dollar deal was done we lost two video channels, Max TV, and the possibility of Enzed MTV, while the rest of the country have just lost the possibility of Enzed MTV. But, to look on the positive side, it's now easier to turn the tele off. I've read a book since Max TV went off the air!

Max TV's Hans Hoeflich

ADDED Hat tip to Steve Adams for pointing me to this - the final video ever screened on Max TV...  "Goodnight Auckland, whatever you are..."

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 15

Nina Simone - Seeline woman - MAW remix
Sly n Robbie - Boops
Butch Cassidy Sound System - Hang up
One blood - Be thankful for what you've got
Unitone hifi feat Bobbylon - Turn around
Fredericks Brown - Betrayal
James Brown - Santa Claus goes straight to the ghetto
Aquarian dream - Play it for me one more time
Stylistics - What's your name?
Manta Rays - Originator
East side symphony - Hot pants road
Joe Quijano - Fun city shingaling
Nathan Haines feat Paul Fuemana - Twelve
Fred Wesley and the JBs - Watermelon man (Fred Wesley live in Auckland March 21st next year)
Gil Scott Heron - B-Movie
The Orb feat Lee Scratch Perry - Soulman -Villad RMX B
Cos ber zam - Ne Noya - Daphni mix
Keni Burke -Rising to the top - AliOOFT edit
Sparkles - Trying to get over
Souljazz orchestra - Serve and protect - Frankie Francis Sofrito edit
JD Macdonald - Boogaloo Santa Claus

Friday, December 14, 2012

Big fresh!

Brand new beats and rhymes from local cats J Brown and the Mic Smith. Out today. Blunted, jazzy beats, laidback rhymes, and Oscar the Grouch. Nice.

Free Sola Rosa DL

Sean P is the Grinch who stole xmas

Cheery Christmas video from Sean Price (not safe for work). Hat tip to Potholes In My Blog.

"On December 18, Price, whose album 'Mic Tyson' is out now on Duck Down Music, will spread the Christmas cheer live, performing at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, alongside Talib Kweli, Flatbush Zombies, Pharoahe Monch, Buckshot, Skyzoo, Smif N Wessun and DyMe-A-DuZiN of Phony Ppl. Tickets available here." Directed & Animated by Kimson Albert / Concept by Dru Ha / Song produced by Khrysis

Static pt2 - Joint Force

Joint Force - Static, part 2, off the One Inch Punch ep released in 1995 thru BMG NZ. Directed by Josh Frizzell, camera: Darryl Ward.

Joint Force were DLT, Otis, Slave and Mo Delay (Angus McNaughton). These days you can catch Slave MCing with Fat Freddys Drop. Clip sourced from vhs compilation Screenage Kicks, put together by Stuart Broughton.

Watch Static Part 1 here

Screenage Kicks cover art

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Free ep from Scrimshire

From the WahwWah45 posse, a wee xmas gift from Scrimshire, includes covers of Stevie Wonder and Sun Ra. Give it a listen. More info on the ep over at Bandcamp.

Frank Jade: 80s NZ soul

Who was Frank Jade? From Amplifier: "Frank Jade (nee Strother, born 1946), was a much-loved popular US soul singer who lived and recorded in NZ during the 1980's.

Frank first toured NZ with The Platters in 1980, then returned as a solo performer. After a stint in ex-Commodores bassist Ron La Pread's Auckland funk band Time Out, Frank returned permanently to the US in 1989. He passed away in March 2011."

In the above video, you see Time Out playing at a Telethon in the Auckland Town Hall, and features a splendid closing comment from newsreader and mother of the nation Judy Bailey, "Oooooh, I love a bit of funk." Who knew?

Other band members include the late Martin Winch (gtr), Simon Lynch (kbds) and Eddie Olsen (drums).

Listen: Frank Jade - With Love, a recent digital reissue of mid 80s recordings, according to the folk at Amplifier, 9 tracks were recorded at Simon Lynch's flat on a Fostex 4-track tape recorder, 2 at Mandrill and 4 at Incubator. Also, Frank Jade on iTunes.

And P-Money made this rather fabulous animated gif of Judy Bailey's outburst, cos, he's busy making a new album but this is way more important. Shot, Pete.

"Ooooh, I love a bit of funk" - Judy Bailey
Below: Studio engineer Phil Yule talks about 80s kiwi soul and Frank Jade... apparently the tune I Found A love was recorded by Simon Lynch with Frank Jade in Simon's lounge, singing into a ghetto blaster, which explains the vocal distortion...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RIP Ravi Shankar

From the Times of India: Pandit Ravi Shankar, sitar maestro, passes away in California

"Shankar died today in San Diego at the age of 92. Shankar, whose health had been fragile for the past several years, underwent heart-valve replacement surgery on Thursday at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California where he breathed his last. The music icon was admitted to the hospital last week when he complained of breathlessness..."

New Menahan St Band video

Public Enemy join RnR Hall Of Fame

Public Enemy are among the acts announced to be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame for 2013. Other inductees are the late Donna Summer, Rush, Randy Newman, Heart and Albert King.

LA Times reports that "veteran record executive Lou Adler and producer-arranger-composer-conductor Quincy Jones will [also] join the hall of fame as recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award, named for the Atlantic Records co-founder who also was a driving force behind the creation of the Rock Hall.... the new inductees will be welcomed into the Rock Hall on April 18 in a ceremony that will take place for the first time in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre."

Acts nominated this year but who missed the cut include The Meters, Kraftwerk, Chic and NWA. 

MORE: Does Rush deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

For The Record (documentary)

Great documentary from James Meharry (Pylonz/RDU) on his recent overseas mission... “A expedition undertaken to discover, learn, meet and document the ideas and people behind the controls of vinyl record production.

“Recorded over 6 weeks, traveling through Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK – For The Record exposes a number of notions about why vinyl is such an indelible medium and how it continues to remain popular in the the face of opposing format change.”

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jacksons live in NZ

The Jacksons are playing in Auckland, March 26 2013 at Vector Arena, as part of their Unity world tour. Tickets are on sale this Thursday.

NZ Herald reports that " The tour marks the first time the Jacksons - made up of siblings and original members Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito - have toured together since 1984's Victory Tour. It is also the first time the group has toured as the Jacksons without Michael, who died in June 2009.

The current tour started in June and their set list is made up of all the Jacksons' hits and Jermaine's solo material, as well as a number of Michael Jackson hits including Thriller's Wanna Be Startin Somethin' and Don't Stop Til You Get Enough from Off the Wall.

By all accounts reviews of the show have been good with the Hollywood Reporter saying: "The 26-song set featured a well-chosen blend of their major hits, deep album cuts and just enough of Michael's solo smashes to feel reverential rather than exploitative."

In a press statement when the tour was announced Jackie Jackson said it was a dream come true being back on stage with his brothers. " I can't believe this is finally happening. This will be exciting for our fans around the world. And I know at each concert, MJ's spirit will be in the house with us."

Hollywood Reporter review, with set list

Fat Freddys: Silver and gold video

Caroline Lacaze

Mocambo and Legere Recordings proudly present "L'etrange", the new single out Dec 3rd by Caroline Lacaze, from her upcoming album due out in the northern spring.

"Young French singer Caroline Lacaze - who debuted on the Mighty Mocambos’ album “The Future is Here” and became a regular feature on the subsequent tour throughout Europe - now steps further into the spotlight with an adventurous new 45 of her own. ‘L’Étrange’ effortlessly blends raw soul with captivating French vocals, heavy funk drums and a mystic psychedelic vibe. Features an extended instrumental on the flip side."

Celluloid Records revisited

Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1980 – 1987 drops  February 19th 2013, on Strut. This comp looks pretty cool. If you've never heard of this label, check them out. Music from everyone from Futura 2000 and The Clash to Afrika Bambaataa and John Lydon.

"Strut kicks off its 2013 release schedule with the first definitive overview of one of the most revered, open-minded and influential labels of the 1980s, Celluloid Records.

Celluloid Records was formed in Paris during the late ‘70s by Jean Georgakarakos (often referred to by the shorter name Jean Karakos), who had spent the previous decade co-running French record shops and the spiritual jazz label BYG.

The label gathered steam following Karakos’ fateful trips to New York in the early ‘80s. It was there that he met Bill Laswell, who had himself landed fresh in the Big Apple from Michigan, Karakos began releasing the full spectrum of Laswell’s early work, from the avant-rock cacophony of Massacre to his fluid, dance / post-punk production outfit, Material.

During the early ‘80s, Karakos became involved in the nascent hip-hop scene In New York, releasing Time Zone’s breakdance classic “Wildstyle,” produced by UK DJ Rusty Egan and featuring Afrika Bambaataa and French MC B Side. In 1983, both he and Laswell worked with Herbie Hancock on his electro smash, “Rockit.” Spotting a keyboard riff that had been played towards the end of the original demo, Karakos suggested that this form the main hook of the track. 

From the resultant publishing income, Karakos and Laswell continued to explore early hip-hop culture and a slew of classics followed: successful 12’s by Hancock’s scratch DJ, GrandmixerD.ST, Fab 5 Freddy’s groundbreaking French / English slo-mo rap “Change The Beat” and graf artist Futura 2000 on the cult single “Escapades Of Futura 2000” backed by The Clash.

Time Zone would also re-surface with Bambaataa and collaborator John Lydon (PiL / Sex Pistols) with the apocalyptic chart smash “World Destruction.”

During this seminal period, Karakos also began working with US producer / entrepreneur Alan Douglas, licensing in recordings for release on Celluloid including early Last Poets albums, Ronald Shannon Jackson and more. The repertoire included a rare track cut by Jalal from The Last Poets, enlisting Buddy Miles and Jimi Hendrix on guest guitar duties for “Doriella du Fontaine” following one of Hendrix’ album recording sessions in a neighboring studio at Trident in London.

Celluloid would continue to support Bill Laswell’s varied and groundbreaking production work including his experimental sessions with Praxis and Last Exit and embarked on a glut of excellent genre-bending world / electro fusions. Karakos had already dabbled with music by African artists and had been instrumental in breaking Fela Kuti to a wider Western audience. 

Now, Laswell’s progressive approach spawned Manu Dibango’s landmark Electric Africa album pitching the Makossa Man against crunching electro arrangements. Laswell further explored world music hybrids on in Paris during the late ‘70s after anthem “Harima’ and his own roots-based Deadline project. Meanwhile, Celluloid continued to support music from back home in France, honing in on quality new wave and electronic music during the early ‘80s: avant-rock guitarist Ferdinand Richard, a one-off EP from cold wave vocalist Nini Raviolette and Moroccan songstress Sapho all adding considerable color to the Celluloid palette.

By 1986, Laswell's work for Celluloid became increasingly sparse as he was pulled onto major projects for Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, PiL and more. The label, meanwhile, continued its eclectic path with recordings by jazz legend Eric Dolphy, John McLaughlin and the Welcome To Dreamland compilation of out-there Japanese pop overseen by regular Laswell cohort, Fred Frith. African music also continued to feature heavily in the label’s later output through world pop stars like Kassav and Toure Kunda.

CD 1
10. TIMEZONE – WILDSTYLE (12" Vocal) 9.14

CD 2
3. SAPHO – CARMEL (12“ mix) 6.34
7. MANU DIBANGO – ABELE DANCE (’85 remix) 7.00
8. TIMEZONE – WORLD DESTRUCTION (Original 12" mix) 5.37
11. B SIDE with BERNARD FOWLER – ODEON (Dance mix) 5.46
12. FAB 5 FREDDY – CHANGE THE BEAT (Male version) 7.37

MODERN GUY – ELECTRIQUE SYLVIE 7.38 (Full length version)
B SIDE – SO HOT (feat. Tony Allen) 4.05

Saturday, December 08, 2012

The hip to the hop: Kirsten Zemke

On this weekend at the Auckland Art Gallery, as part of Who Shot Rock & Roll: Kirsten Zemke on the hip and the hop in rock and roll. Free talk this Sunday, 3pm. More info here. "

Kirsten Zemke (Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, the University of Auckland) is a recognised authority on several areas of modern music. Join Kirsten for an audio and visual talk that will trace the development of hip hop in America and its ongoing global influence."

Also on this Sunday at the Art Gallery auditorium, a free film screening of the hiphop documentary, Rhyme and Reason, made in 1997.

"This documentary explores the history of hip hop culture, how rap evolved to become a major cultural voice (and a multi-billion dollar industry), and what the artists have to say about the music's often controversial images and reputation."

The trailer below gives you an idea of who is featured... tho only going up to 97, it misses a lot out...

Friday, December 07, 2012

3THW - Many rivers

Three The Hard Way - Many rivers featuring Sulata and Cherie, directed by Clinton Phillips. We get to see Three The Hard Way in the great outdoors, wandering round west coast beaches, looking for Harvey Keitel, perhaps. This was released as a single, off their debut album Old Skool Prankstas, released on Deepgrooves (1994). Video taken from TV3's Frenzy NZ music show.

On the single this is listed as the video mix with additional vocals by Sulata and Cherie [Mathieson], while the radio mix features additional vocals from Leeza Corban.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Michael Kiwanuka live in NZ

Just announced today... "Michael Kiwanuka, one of the most thrilling new voices in contemporary soul music, makes his full New Zealand concert debut in April 2013. Winner of the prestigious BBC Sound of 2012 and a Mercury Prize nominee, the UK singer-songwriter will perform just two intimate New Zealand shows:

Thursday 4 April - Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland / Friday 5 April – Old St Pauls in Wellington.

Kiwanuka’s hugely successful debut album Home Again has seen his voice compared to the timeless sound of Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye. The BBC called it “a rich, weathered instrument that appears to carry more than 24 years' experience”.

Born in Muswell Hill in North London to Ugandan émigré parents, Kiwanuka grew up surrounded by huge cultural diversity. His songwriting, steeped in the folk and soul traditions, reflects that upbringing and echoes the inspiration of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Shuggie Otis, Roberta Flack and Bill Withers.

“It’s his rich, ragged voice that pulls you in. He sounds like his own man, not an imitator” Rolling Stone Magazine.

Pre-sales available Tuesday 11 Dec - Thursday 13 December.
General Release Tickets on-sale Monday 17th December
Tickets available through Ticketmaster and

RIP Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck has passed away, aged 91. Read the NY Times obituary here.

"Dave Brubeck, a pianist and composer whose distinctive mixture of experimentation and accessibility made him one of the most popular jazz musicians of the 1950s and ’60s, died Wednesday morning in Norwalk, Conn. He would have turned 92 on Thursday. He died while on his way to a cardiology appointment, Russell Gloyd, his producer, conductor and manager for 36 years, said. Mr. Brubeck lived in Wilton, Conn...

"... In 1958, as part of a State Department program that brought jazz as an offer of good will during the cold war, his quartet traveled in the Middle East and India, and Mr. Brubeck became intrigued by musical languages that didn’t stick to 4/4 time — what he called “march-style jazz,” the meter that had been the music’s bedrock. The result was the album “Time Out,” recorded in 1959. With the hits “Take Five” (composed by Mr. Desmond in 5/4 meter) and “Blue Rondo à la Turk” (composed by Mr. Brubeck in 9/8), the album propelled Mr. Brubeck onto the pop charts...."

"... Genial as Mr. Brubeck could seem, he had strong convictions. In the 1950s he had to stand up to college deans who asked him not to perform with a racially mixed band (his bassist, Gene Wright, was black). He also refused to tour in South Africa in 1958 when asked to sign a contract stipulating that his band would be all white. With his wife as lyricist, he wrote “The Real Ambassadors,” a jazz musical that dealt with race relations. With a cast that included Louis Armstrong, it was released on LP in 1962 but staged only once, at that year’s Monterey Jazz Festival..."

ADDED Dave Brubeck's impact on New Zealand musicians, by Chris Bourke...."the Maori welcomes had a big impact on him [Brubeck]. After the tour, he wrote a piece in 6/4 called ‘Maori Blues’, which was on his Time Further Outalbum, the 1961 sequel to Time Out (the ‘Take Five’ album)..."

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Ram Dancehall, ska party

Ad from Stamp magazine, 1992

I recently found this ad from 1992 for Sound Foundation, aka DJ Dubhead, Angus McNaughton, Tuffi Culture, and Danny D (later of Dam Native). Finally found a copy of this 12" single recently, via Ebay Aus. I never got one the first time round, so very pleased with it. Labels are featured below, along with the tune.

This was one of only two vinyl releases from the Deepgrooves record label.
More on Sound Foundation.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Yoots live in Paekakariki

The Yoots, led by Joe Lindsay (Fat Freddys Drop), play live this Friday Dec 7 at St Peters Hall, Paekakariki, details here.

The video above features the band recording, watch for the shot of producer Mike Fabulous dancing round the studio control room. There's a new album on the way from them, apparently. The song E Pari Ra "...was written by Paraire Tomoana who wrote the song E Pari Rā for his relation Maku-i-te-Rangi Ellison. Her son, Whakatomo Ellison, died in the First World War." Source.

Here's a previous performance by the Yoots in Paekakriki... check the guy on the right pointing to the words for a crowd sing-along... great night...

Toots and the Maytals play Akl

Toots and the Maytals will be playing live in Auckland in February next year, following their appearance at Raggamuffin Festival. The show is February 3rd at Vector Arena, with Ali Campbell's UB40 headlining. Tickets from Ticketmaster.

In July this year Ali Campbell told the NZ Herald he won't be working again with Raggamuffin Festival Andrew McManus, after his bill for previous appearance wasn't paid in full. Clearly, Campbell and McManus sorted out their differences, as Campbell is on the bill for Raggamuffin next year.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Louis Baker single drops

Louis Baker was lucky enough to get accepted into the Red Bull Music Academy this year, the sole NZer to gain this honour this time round. Here's his debut single, free download too.

He's opened for Fat Freddys Drop, and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, and is touring over summer, doing solo festival slots, and taking his band with him thru January. Dates below...

Fri 21 Dec Bodega, Wellington
Sat 29 Dec Rhythm & Alps, Christchurch
Sun 30 Dec  Rhythm & Vines, Gisborne
Mon 31 Dec La De Da, Martinborough
Sat 5 Jan Summer Tides Festival, Wairarapa
Fri 18 Jan Yot Club, Raglan
Sat 19 Jan Sawmill, Leigh
Sat 26 Jan Honey Jam, Kerikeri

Grace and Bryan

Youtube poster says "Raw footage of Grace, at Mt Smart, opening before Bryan Adams, 12 Feb 1994. Greg Fleming and the Trains got the support (they're in the footage too, hanging out backstage), and Deepgrooves added in Grace on the bill."

The closing song is Grace playing Winter Madness, to a great response from the crowd. More on this gig over at the Deepgrooves website, which notes that Johnnie Cash was wandering round backstage at the Bryan Adams gig.

It's interesting to think that the audience had never heard that song - Grace's album was still a year away from coming out. But the band was able to pull out a response from the crowd, just from sheer showmanship. Grace certainly weren't new to the stage - all three brothers had spent time playing in their father's covers band as kids.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Marley Marl recreates Eric B is President

This is very cool - Marley Marl breaks down the samples and musical elements of Eric B Is President, then reveals how he added ghost notes to the beat to make it swing, after James Brown's drummer Clyde Stubblefield taught him about them. Dope.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 1

Sound providers - No time - inst mix
DJ Spinna - Everybody get down - main mix
Mike Zoot feat Labba - Spread love remix
Mad lion - Own destiny
E's E - Scratch's skank pt 1
Roots Manuva - Again and again - Moody Boyz remix
Turbulence - Notorious
De-phazz - Plastic love memory
Aaradhna - Keep my cool
Souljazz orchestra - Serve and protect - Frankie Francis Sofrito edit
Carlos Garnett - Mystery of ages
Lee Oskar - Haunted house - Leftside wobble edit
The controllers - Hello - Simon S re-edit
Fat freddys drop  -The Raft - Jet Jaguar findaway remix (unreleased)
Solomonic sound - Children of Israel - Blakdoctor version
Narco Hz feat Don Carlos -  Favourite cup
Rebel MC feat Tenor Fly - Comin on strong
Kormac - Saturday morning TV
Wu Tang Clan - Gravel pit
Wreck allstars - Keep me dancin
Billy Preston and Syreeta - Go for it - instrumental
Blondie - Heart of glass - 12" instrumental
Jesse Johnson  -Drive yo cadillac