Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band - Was Dog A Donut

Via Fleamarket Funk: "the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band .. led by Bj√∂rn Wagner, the founder of The Mighty Mocambos, had spent some time in Trinidad & Tobago and fell in love with the steel drum, mastered it, and had a special drum made by master drum maker Louis C. Smith. ... enter Danny Akalepse. The two bonded over music and records, and after a 45 release on the Plain Jane label (“Bacao Suave”), they’ve joined forces to put out a full length called 55 on Big Crown.

Full of interesting covers (John Holt’s “Police In Helicopter”, Faith Evans “Love Like This”) and this track, Cat Stevens’ “Was Dog A Doughnut”, as well as tough as nails originals that stand out on their own, this full length has raised eyebrows since it was announced it was coming out.

The project was recorded to analog 8-track in Hamburg, Germany at Mocambo’s Studio and will be available on March 18th on a special 2-LP set as well as CD." Listen below:

Kiwi musician Bruce Lynch played with Cat Stevens for several years in the 1970s, on two world tours, and in the studio on his 1977 album "Izitso", which features the song Was Dog A Donut. He's also credited as co-writer for that song (his wife Suzanne Lynch also featured on the album).

That song was a DJ favourite with the likes of  Jellybean Benetiz and Carl Craig, ans was sampled by DITC, KMD, Jaylib, and  Fearless Four.

Lynch talked about it with Trevor Reekie for NZ Musician:

" A turning point for me was 1974 at Air London Studio. A Stevie Wonder track was playing as I walked past the open control room door. It was bass part that had me intrigued. It was not coming from a stringed instrument.

This prompted me to buy my first synthesiser, the ARP 2600. I later used this to program drums and bass sounds for a Cat Stevens’ track called Was Dog A Donut.

Some 30 years later, I was surprised to hear it described as one of the first ‘techno’ recordings and other musical labels, the meanings of which escape me."

Cat Stevens appears to have been equally surprised by the track's far-reaching influence, when Questlove from The Roots talked to him about it when Stevens guested on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, back in 2009.

“We talked about an obscure album cut from 1977 called ‘Was Dog a Doughnut?’ It was really just him creating a filler cut, experimenting with some electronic instruments – he f#cked around, man, and created a B-boy classic. What was just him messing around for four minutes in the studio wound up being a staple in the hip hop world, which he was very shocked to discover.”

Bruce Lynch talks more on the ARP sequencer he used, over at RBMA Daily

Monday, February 08, 2016

Magnificent Tape Band

Groovy, spooky, 60s vibes... free download for limited time too.

"The Magnificent Tape Band are the alter egos of ATA Records founders Neil Innes & Pete Williams, who were the creative driving force behind last years debut album by The Sorcerers, for which they wrote and produced all the tracks as well as contributing bass and guitar performances. 

Sheffield born, Rachel Modest developed her unique vocal ability within the churches and gospel choirs of her local community. Now based in Leeds she has developed a powerful and soulful vocal style that takes inspiration from artists such as Madeleine Bell, Dee Dee Warwick, Dusty Springfield and on "Patterns In My Mind" delivers a performance that occasionally resembles the falsetto of The Delfonics William Hart.

Recorded on original '60s equipment, using vintage instruments, "Patterns in my mind" immediately brings to mind the more experimental psychedelic soul records of the late 60s/early seventies by incorporating driving clavinet, loping drums and swirling organ alongside Rachel Modest's ethereal vocals."

Check the flip for an instrumental version, with added clarinet and vibraphone

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, Feb 6

Ramsey Lewis - Sun goddess
Earth wind and fire - Moment of truth
Ramsey Lewis Trio - Maiden Voyage
Bacao rhythm and steel band - Bacao suave
Noel Pointer - Living for the city
Nicolette - No government
Roberto Roena -Take Five (Nicole Conte remix)
Mike Nock Underground - Space Bugaloo
Prince - I wanna be your lover
Chaka Khan - This is my night
Patrice Rushen - Haven't you heard
T Connection - Do what you wanna do
Bootsy rubber band - Bootzilla
Mar-keys - Honey pot
Brenton Wood - Some got it, some don't
Gladys Knight and the Pips - Letter full of tears
The Registers - Sweatin'
Teresa - He's a cooker
Dave Baby Cortez - Happy feet
The Jamaicans - Chain gang
Jackie Mittoo - Hot milk
Bob Marley and the Wailers - Mr Brown
Sounds unlimited - Roadrunner
Butch Cassidy sound system - Brothers and sisters
Reggie Steppa - Drum pan sound
Top Cat - Request the style
Ragga Twins - 18" speaker
Million Dan - Dogz n sledgez
Wild Bill Ricketts - Riki
Shalamar - Right in the socket
Extra T's - E T Boogie

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, Jan 30

Bill Doggett - Pimento
Major Lance - Hey little girl
Four Tops  - I got a feeling
Wilson Pickett - Night owl
Willie Mitchell - The champion pt 1
Ann Peebles - Beware
Cannonball Adderley - Mercy mercy mercy
Jackie Lee - The chicken
Barbara Lynn - Second fiddle girl
Lee Dorsey - Get out of my life, woman
Oliver Morgan - Who shot the lala?
Mckay - Take me over
Marcia Aitken/Trinity - I'm still in love/Three piece suit
Q-Tip - Work it out (Grant Phabao remix)
Noiseshaper - The only redeemer
Round four feat Tikiman - Find a way
Zed Bias feat Juiceman and Simba - Jigga up (Ring the alarm)
Voice of East Harlem - Cashing in
Recloose - Robop
Gary Davis - The pop
Martin Brew - Drop the beat
Kendra Lou and the Miracles feat Red Astaire - Be kind to your mind
Hairy Diamond - Givin' up
Mike Young! - Si, si, no, no (Bobby Duprea's mix)
Nuyorican soul - It's alright! I feel it! (MAW 12" mix)
The Liberators - Power struggle
Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics - Cha cha
Lightning head - Bokoor sound special
Marva Whitney - Give it up or turn it loose
Digital Underground - Way we swing remix

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

African Head Charge LPs reissued

Via On-U-Sound: "We kick off 2016 with vinyl re-presses of the first four African Head Charge albums. Each LP includes printed inners with sleeve notes by Steve Barker (On The Wire), and digital download cards for full album.

To celebrate the first four crucial African Head charge albums being back on wax for the first time in 30 years, we’ve compiled a special AHC-themed mixtape (stream it on Spotify). 

This is a two hour night flight through the strange and wonderful world of African Head Charge, putting their early music in a wider context of influences, collaborators and intersecting sounds. Featuring Count Ossie, Brian Eno & David Byrne, Pyschic TV, Don Cherry, Jah Wobble, Sun Ra, Pere Ubu, Tortoise and more."

Buy the bundle of all four here (exclusive to the On-U Shop)
Buy each individual LP here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

RIP Clarence Reid aka Blowfly

Via The Guardian: "Clarence Reid, also known by his stage name Blowfly, has died aged 76 ... According to a statement on his Facebook page, Reid died on 17 January from liver cancer [they announced he went into hospice care on Jan 13].

The statement, written by his drummer Tom Bowker, says: “Clarence’s sister Virginia and I thank you for all the love you have shown this week. We also thank you for supporting Clarence’s 50+ year music career – especially these last few years. We love you and will keep you informed on services and tribute performances in Clarence’s honour.”

From Rolling Stone: "As one of the main songwriters for Miami label TK Records, Reid penned a string of songs in the Sixties and Seventies for numerous soul and funk artists, including Gwen McCrae's "Rocking Chair" and Betty Wright's "Clean Up Woman."

He also wrote tracks for KC & The Sunshine Band, Sam & Dave and Bobby Byrd before giving birth to Blowfly, his outlet for performing comedic, explicit songs that over the years traversed the genres of soul, R&B and hip-hop; Blowfly is considered one of the earliest rappers. "He laid the foundation for hip-hop with 'Shake Your Ass' and 'Rap Dirty' and taught everyone that their dick could fly," Bowker tells Rolling Stone.

His debut The Weird Wild World of Blowfly was released in 1971, with Reid's alter ego releasing upwards of 25 albums since then, bearing titles like Porno Freak, Blowfly's Party, Blowfly and the Temple of Doom and Fahrenheit 69.

His life was chronicled in Jonathan Furmanski's 2011 documentary The Weird World of Blowfly, which found the singer touring the United States and attempting to reclaim and augment his legacy as both a jovial parodist and serious R&B vocalist (though mostly the former). In the film, Reid explains how as a child, he would pass the time working on a Georgia farm by creating dirty lyrics to popular songs to anger his white bosses. They ended up loving his X-rated renditions..."

Wax Poetics has republished a great interview with Reid from 2005, read it here. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

AceTones debut cool reggae EP

Released late last year, this debut EP by cool Auckland reggae combo AceTones is some rocksteady niceness, give it a listen. Recorded by Dave Hine at the Dank Studios, and produced by Submariner, who has worked with Che FU, Tha Feelstyle, King Kapisi, Dimmer, and more

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, Jan 16

Tackhead - Ticking time bomb dub
Shriekback - All lined up (disco mix)
Rockers revenge - Walking on moonshine (Ray Mang edit)
Bohannon - Symphonic march
Collision - Run run run
Soul Severes - I got it (Kenny Dope edit)
Sonny Knight and the Lakers - Sugarman
Mighty lovers - Aint gonna run no more
Kenny Smith and the loveliters  -One more day
Jay Epae - The creep
Billy Karaitiana - Cool jerk
Howard Morrison - Keep on running
Opensouls - Stickmen inst
Tausani - Inner space
Boozoo Bajou feat Joe Dukie and U-Brown - Take it slow
Tony Allen - No accommodation for Lagos
DJ Shinya - Nigerian reggae edit
Letta Mbulu - What's wrong with groovin'
Keith Mansfield - Morning Broadway
Takuya Kuroda - Rising son
Luke Vibert - Officer's club
George Kranz - Trommeltanz (Din daa daa)
John Gibbs and US Steel Orchestra - J'ouvert (Lord Echo re-edit)
Benny Spellman - Fortune teller
Lee Dorsey - Give it up
Eric B and Rakim - Relax with pep
Calibro 35 - Ungawa Bay launch complex
Lonnie Liston Smith - Expansions

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

John Morales returns to AK this sunday

"Back in May this year Auckland's nightlife was treated to an education from one of the true pioneers of the disco scene - after more than 30 years in the game, John Morales made his NZ debut at an intimate club gig that many have hailed as the night of the year.

John never saw daylight in Auckland during his brief visit and was itching to get back and enjoy some kiwi hospitality good and proper, and so we're stoked to announce that the man behind the legendary "M+M Mixes" will be back in town for a very different daytime disco on Sunday 17th January 2016."

ShipShape with JOHN MORALES (NYC)
support from Frank Booker - Eddie Mac (MELB) - Murray Cammick - Nigel Love – Sweetpants.
Sunday 17 January 2016 – Mantells on the Water, Westhaven. Tickets from iticket

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, Jan 9

Extra T's - E T Boogie
Hot, cold sweat - Move like that
Mighty Mocambos -1-2 b boy suite in B flat minor
Paul Humphrey and his cool aid chemists - Detroit
Jean Knight - Carry on
Ann Peebles - Beware
Jackie Lee - The chicken
Willie Mitchell - Bum daddy
Little Johnnie - Johnnie's swinging organ
The Tams - I've been hurt
Ted Taylor - You give me nothing to go on
Bill Doggett - Pimento
Trinidad steel drummers - Cissy strut
Cameo - Rigor mortis
Peter Brown  - You should do it
The Time - Jerk out
Patrice Rushen - Haven't you heard
David Ruffin - Let's get into something
Lord Echo  -Thinking of you
Leon Bridges - Coming home
Betty Wright - Clean up woman
Howling Wolf - My baby told me
Ruth Brown - Sweet baby of mine
Bobby Marin - Cisco kid
Leroy Smart - Ballistic affair
Jackie Mittoo - Get up and get it
Butch Cassidy sound system - Brothers and sisters
Freddie Cruger - Bap yo head
Impressions - Woman's got soul
Major Lance - Little young lover
Saxie Russell - Psychedelic soul Pt 1
Gil Scott Heron - Grandma's hands
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Money
Lee Fields and the Expressions - Honeydove
Whitefield brothers - Breakin' thru
Menahan st band - Make the road by walking

Friday, January 08, 2016

Rip It Up changes hands

The Dec/Jan issue of NZ Musician noted that Rip It Up has a new owner. They also point out the magazine didn't publish a November edition.

A quick check on Rip It Up's website lists the new owner as Passion Publishing, registered with the Companies Office in September 2015 by Leanne Frisbee, who is listed as the sole director and shareholder.

Frisbee runs a PR company called Passion PR, which she set up in 2009. Rip It Up lists former owner Grant Hislop (who bought it in 2013) as still being editor.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Alright in the city - Kiwi 70s funk reissued on LP

Alright in the city  - front cover

I remember first hearing about this compilation several years ago, chatting with John Baker while in Real Groovy. While there was a ton of local bands playing funk here in the 70s, very few of them got the chance to make it into the recording studio and get a record out.

This compilation was originally going to come out thru Real Groovy Records, but Baker parted ways with them, and it dropped off the radar.

Then in yesterday's Sunday Star Times, there's Grant Smithies talking about this compilation (Smithies wrote the extensive liner notes and helped compile it), and it's out this week, thru Universal Records, in a very limited vinyl pressing of 300 copies.

Smithies notes in his article that "Given that many of these cuts lean towards soul, rock and jazz, some might argue whether this stuff is actually funk at all. But really, genre pigeon holes are for chumps."

He talks with Rip It Up founder Murray Cammick, who recalls "I once saw Mark Williams play an extraordinary version of Parliament's Tear The Roof Off The Sucker in the Hutt, and lots of amazingly skilled Maori and Polynesian bands played perfect funk covers in the clubs around South Auckland, too.

Cammick continues: "...During the 70s, a lot of pop-oriented [local] record companies decided most original music wasn't commercial enough, and it would have been even harder to get into the studio if you were a Maori funk or soul band, no matter how good you were.

"Decisions about who got recorded were often down to whether an older Pakeha producer or label owner liked your music, and these guys tended to be technician types who loved The Alan Parsons Project."

Go grab it - especially for a slice of the wonderful sounds of Collision, arguably the funkiest band ever to come out of Aotearoa. These guys were so awesome that when Lionel Richie of the Commodores saw them, he told them they should move to New York and bust a move. Their one and only album from 1978 (overseen by Dalvanius) needs a reissue!

Collision, with Dalvanius and the Fascinations. Via Audioculture/Murray Cammick collection
Press release: "Thunderous! Mammoth! And thats just the drum breaks! Add fuzzy guitars, full on wah-wah action, deep grooves and that KLASSIC KIWI D.I.Y attitude - ALRIGHT IN THE CITY is a collection of late sixties / early seventies F-U-N-K-Y hard rock from New Zealand.

Post-Woodstock, the NZ rock scene accelerated from the beat years of the mid sixties, gobbling some psychedelics on the way and concentrated on the G-R-O-O-V-E. With the availability of even-louder locally made amps and sympathetic producers, rhythm sections of the time could now easily compete with the screaming guitars.

Bass players who had cut their teeth on many a garagey nugget in the NZ sixties scene Neil Edwards from The Underdogs, Dave Orams (ex Breakaways, Underdogs, & Bitter End) with Quincy Conserve, Rick White (ex Tom Thumb) in Farmyard all lay down some philthy bottom end action in their respective combos.

The NZ guitar gods of the time are all present on Alright In The City: Billy TK with his self penned track Highway for the Human Instinct; Jesse Harper / Doug Jerebine from his legendary UK recordings of 1969; Eddie Hansen blazes with Ticket on their 4+ minute monster Highway Of Love; and Harvey Mann leads The Underdogs on It's A Blessing. Co-compiler Grant Smithies writes ...

"With its rhino heavy drum breaks ... Harvey Mann sounds seriously seedy throughout, with his petulant nasal whine and grubby off mic groans, and his treble heavy guitar solo is sharp enough to draw blood"

Quincy Conserve provide the title track and to quote Smithies "... it's a miraculous pile up of blaring horns, syncopated handclaps, and [singer] Hayman's distinctive husky howl all nailed to the floor by drummer Richard Burgess, who just won't quit banging out those funky breaks."

This is the same Richard Burgess who would go on to produce Spandau Ballet and have some hand in starting the New Romantic movement.

* All transfers from disc and original master tapes by Steve McGough at Stebbing Studio
* Four page insert with detailed liner notes, ephemera, and photos
* Compiled by Grant Smithies and John Baker
* Produced for reissue by John Baker
* Three songs with Highway in the title

1. Quincy Conserve - Alright In The City
2. Link - Highway Driver
3. Lutha - Stop! The Music Is Over
4. The Human Instinct - Highway
5. The Underdogs - It's A Blessing
6. Billy T.K. & Powerhouse - Marbles
7. Ticket - Highway Of Love
8. Jesse Harper - Hole In My Hand
9. Farmyard - All In Your Mind
10. Soundproof - The Bruiser
11. Collision - Run Run Run

Playlist of some of the songs featured on Alright in the city:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ring The Alarm playlist, Dec 12

Marvin Gaye - Got to give it up
Darondo - Didn't  I (Trishes edit)
Margie Joseph - Margie moves mountains (Scrimshire edit)
James Brown - Santa Claus goes straight to the ghetto
Jody Gayles - You gotta push
Thunder, lightning and rain - Superfunky pt 1
Howard Tate - Look at granny run run
Sharon Cash - Heighty hi
Aretha Franklin - Touch me up
Sylvester - Rock the box (radio edit)
Ardijah - Give me your number
Che Fu - Misty Frequencies (Manuel Bundy remix)
Lord Echo - Molten lava
Jackie Mittoo - Darker shade of black
Augustus Pablo - East of the river Nile
Karl Bryan and the Afrokats - Money generator
Matumbi - Law of the land
Impressions - Woman's got soul
Barrett Strong - Money
The Marvelettes - Locking up my heart
The Shaladons  -We can do it
Dena Barnes - If you ever walked out of my life
Sister Sledge - Love don't you go thru no changes
David and Ruben - I love her so much it hurts me
Esther Phillips - Just say goodbye
San Remo strings  - Hungry for love
Big Joe Louis - Go-go train
Luke Vibert - Officer's club
War - Galaxy 2000
Gene Dudley Group - Do the cookie dough throw
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Aint no chimneys in the project
James Brown - Let's make Christmas mean something this year
Mongo Santamaria - We got latin soul
Bobby Valentin - Use it before you lose it
Sunlightsquare combo - I believe in miracles

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Wahwah45s dubplates

Wahwah45s dubplates - mashups, edits of their own artists and others, all sorts of saucy goodies. Name your price digital DL, and some vinyl 7s too. Get in!

Monday, December 07, 2015

Louis Baker x Boca 45 on 45

Welli meets Bristol... "‘Soul On Top’ is produced by Boca 45 and features New Zealander Louis Baker on vocals. Louis, based in Wellington, N.Z. has an emotive vocal tone that produces shades of Motown-era soul, which earned him a place at the prestigious Red Bull Music Academy in New York, when he was chosen out of 4000 applicants to take one of only 60 places.

Boca 45 is a Bristolian legend who’s earned a mighty rep for his work with Andy Smith as Dynamo Productions, with Ben Salisbury as Dolman, with Gee Ealey as Malachai alongside his many solo records on various labels. Very much 2 talented artists that are successful in their own right who have found some common ground.

 Louis was on tour in Europe in the spring of 2015 and played a show at The Sugar Factory in Amsterdam, whilst Boca was the guest DJ at the Wicked Jazz club night the same night. They end up meeting and get on brilliantly.

The following day they reconvene on Red Light Radio, and having both been blown away with each others sets they decide that they must work together. Fast forward a couple of months and they start plotting Soul On Top - Scott makes the music / beats whilst Louis plays guitar, sings & plays bass."

Out now, vinyl/digital