Monday, September 16, 2013

Welli wax flashback: Soul Mine

There's a fascinating post over at Everything's Gone Green by Mike Hollywood, recalling a record store called Soul Mine, that used to be in Kilburnie, Wellington. The shop lasted two decades, closing in 2006. Mike writes...

"When I moved to Wellington in 1986, my first two flats were in the eastern suburb of Hataitai, with my third in the heart of Newtown. All three “homes” (and I use the word loosely) were a mere stone’s throw from the satellite suburb of Kilbirnie, which is where I discovered one of the best little record shops I’ve ever had the pleasure of stumbling into.

The Soul Mine was owned and run by a guy called Tony Murdoch, who’d moved to Wellington and established the shop in 1985, having previously run Vibes in Gisborne. Murdoch was a musician in a band called Marching Orders and his knowledge of music was (and remains) second to none.

Murdoch was clearly passionate about what he was doing at the Soul Mine. The shop had a sense of family, and of community, as much for its location as for those who worked behind the counter over the years – a close knit team that often included Murdoch’s mum, Doreen (RIP). 

It was a fun place to visit … you could catch up, get some tips, and hear the latest stuff. Murdoch would put something new on and spend the next five minutes shimmying and grinning from behind the counter, supremely confident that you liked his choice as much as he did; this man loved his work, and his enthusiasm was hugely infectious. It never really felt like it was only ever about the sale...."

"I caught up with Murdoch recently and asked him to recall some of the guys who spent a lot of time in the shop during what was – remember – a time of massive change for the musical landscape; as dance music evolved, as funk morphed into house, and Hip hop exploded from a small niche scene into something resembling a massive global phenomenon … and in Wellington terms, the Soul Mine was very much at the heart of that:

Tony Murdoch (Soul Man in chief 1985-2006) …

“(There was) the Lyall Bay collective - cats like King Kapisi (Bill Urale), Ian Seumanu aka DJ Raw, who currently does the Rumpshaker old skool gigs, and runs the DJ school out at Whitireia. Plus Shaun Tamou, who is now based in Oz.

The Newtown collective - cats like Kerry 'Aki' Antipas, who’s still doing it week in week out, DJ Rocket V, the Wright brothers, Douglas Swervone Wright and Andrew Kerb 1 Wright, break dancers and graffiti artists of the highest order. True upholders to this day of Hip hop’s finest traditions!

And the Island Bay boyz - Rodrigo Pantaga aka Don Luchito, now hosting Radio Active FM breakfast show, Danny Mullholland aka DJ Mikki Dee, who has regular gigs round town and overseas.

Then of course there were inner city cats like Kosmo Fa'alogo, now in Sydney promoting Hip hop parties and shows. And Tony 'DJ TP' Pene who was kinda the godfather DJ at Exchequers back in the mid Eighties, now in Colorado USA, in IT, and still mixing it up.

From the Hutt, the legendary Rhys Bell aka DJ Rhys B, big on Active's Famous Wednesday Night Jam (with Mark Cubey) and still phunking it up. DJ Laina Tiata also from the Valley and yep, still mixing it up.

Then of course the next wave featured guys like Jason 'Jaz' Ford, hip hop DJ/upholder extraordinaire. Also Cian O'Donnell, an English DJ who worked for me for a few years in the Nineties, (who was) into rare groove/soulful house/and a lot of tasty mixes. He now owns Conch Records in Auckland. We used to import huge quantities of all that stuff from the UK.

We can't forget of course the one and only Jason 'Clinton Smiley' Harding who was also there at the beginning and who traversed all the scenes and genres in his usual impeccable style. Not forgetting Matthew Poppelwell and Liam Ryan (ex Active breakfast host) who among other gigs now alternate each week at Boogie Wonderland …”

That’s a potted history of two decades worth of Wellington nightlife right there, and your humble blogger is thinking that if a Wellington equivalent of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life is ever to be penned then Murdoch himself might be a resource well worth preserving (place a heritage order on that man, quick).

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