Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cy Gorman drops 'Carmen'

"Having been pronounced a 'tastemaker' by none other than uber tastemaker Gilles Peterson on his legendary BBC radio show, it was about time for Ennio Styles to get serious with his label Heard and Felt. 

Following the acclaimed download comps 'Stylin' 500' and 'Stylin' 600' (feat. Sampha, Amin Payne, Andras Fox, Fulgeance, Kirkis, RAah Project, etc), Ennio has turned to fellow Melbournian Cy Gorman for the first Heard and Felt physical and artist release, with LA's Daniel Crawford on the remix. 

After laying down a highly unusual blend of latin, trap, G-funk and soul on a recent remix of London's Los Charly's Orchestra, Cy extends his palette further on 'Carmen'. Drawing on his skills as composer, producer, pianist, saxophonist and vocalist, the sound ranges from the feelgood synth-funk of 'Cool Change' and 8-bit baroque beats of 'Carmen San Diego' to the leftfield bossa of 'The Wishing Well' and smoky jazz club vibes of 'RDJ'.

The latter gets a remix from LA's Daniel Crawford, whose album 'The Awakening' (feat. Amp Fiddler and Vikter Duplaix) was a big favourite for Cy. Daniel adds a warm and soulful touch on his remix, recalling the days of George Duke teaming up with Milton Nascimento."

Release date: 30 March 2015 (vinyl), 13 April 2015 (digital)
For fans of: fLako, Flying Lotus, Amon Tobin, Sa-Ra, Daedelus, James Blake, Mo Kolours, Mizell Brothers

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Monophonics new album Sound of Sinning out April

"Raised amid the Bay Area's rich musical culture, Monophonics has proudly carried on the tradition of music native to their hometown, which flourished during the birth of Funk music and Psychedelic Soul in the late 60s and 70s.

Monophonics was formed in 2005, and since then have created a signature psychedelic soul sound, impressing audiences with their energetic live show. Originally an instrumental ensemble, the last two years have shown the band expanding their instrumental sound into vocals for the first time.

The first new track "Promises" was released 13/1/15 on a special vinyl edition via Ohio's Colemine Records. Frontman Kelly Finnigan says of the track, "Promises was a natural next step from our last record. It has a certain quality that really fits in the Psychedelic Soul pocket while also using elements of reggae with a driving bass line, cinematic music with kung fu like horns, and a shimmering 12 string acoustic guitar that reflects the sound of the 60's.

The bonus was having our talented friend and ├╝ber musical mind Shawn Lee on mallet percussion and tambourine.” 2015 is shaping up to be a huge year for Monophonics, with a heavy worldwide tour in the works as well as their newest record, recorded at Transistor Sound in San Rafael, CA. The album, titled Sound of Sinning, is out 14 April  2015."

Monday, March 23, 2015

One Love: The Very Best Of Aotearoa Reggae, out now, feat Hallelujah Picassos!

This cool new compilation aims to pull together a cross section of our nation's affinity with reggae, going back to the influence felt from Bob Marley's historic 1979 concert here.

You get early local pioneers Herbs (a great early cut, Dragons and Demons, later sampled by Che Fu, who also appears here), Aotearoa, and Dread Beat and Blood, thru to 90s acts like Upper Hutt Posse, DLT and the Mighty Asterix (who came up with the Twelve Tribes of Israel band and also appears on the Unitone Hifi track, a hugely underrated voice on the local reggae scene), Salmonella Dub and my own band Hallelujah Picassos, and  contemporary acts like Fat Freddys Drop, the Black Seeds, Cornerstone Roots, 1814, Kora and many more.

The compilation is out now on 2 x CD/digital on iTunesAmplifier etc


1. The Black Seeds – So True
2. Fat Freddy’s Drop – Roady (feat. Ladi6 & P Digsss)
3. Katchafire – Get Away
4. Salmonella Dub – Problems
5. Herbs – Dragons & Demons
6. Sons Of Zion – Good Love
7. Cornerstone Roots – Is It Real?
8. Upper Hutt Posse – Ragga Girl
9. Soljah – Message
10. House Of Shem – Thinking About You
11. David Grace & Injustice – Rua Kenana
12. Tomorrow People – Take It Away
13. 1814 – Jah Rastafari
14. The Twelve Tribes Of Israel Band NZ – Tribulation Soldier
15. Three Houses Down – She’s My Woman feat. Spawnbreezie
16. Paua – Crazy Bout You
17. Unitone Hifi feat. The Mighty Asterix – Guiding Star

1. Six60 – Don’t Forget Your Roots
2. Kora – Politician
3. Che-Fu – Fade Away
4. Tiki Taane – Faded
5. Dread Beat And Blood – I Unity
6. Rhombus – Clav Dub
7. DLT feat. The Mighty Asterix – One Love
8. Hallelujah Picassos – Rewind
9. Tahuna Breaks – Empower Me
10. Unity Pacific – From Street To Sky
11. dDub – Comfort
12. Aotearoa – Sweet Child
13. Knights Of The Dub Table – Small
14. Sweet & Irie – Sunshine Reggae
15. Southside Of Bombay – All Across The World
16. Brownhill – My Girl
17. Aotearoa Reggae All Stars – Sensitive To A Smile

Friday, March 20, 2015

KiwiFM canned, govt gets back frequencies

NZ Musician reports that KiwiFM is shutting down.

"Mediaworks have now confirmed that Kiwi FM will close down after 9 years on air as of March 31.

Kiwi FM has been broadcasting on reserved crown frequencies in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, which will be returned to the crown."
The station received almost no support from Mediaworks during it's lifetime, hardly surprising given they had got the frequencies for free, so had nothing at stake. 
Originally launched as a 100% Kiwi music station, they tweaked that to 70% Kiwi a few years back, in an attempt to grow their audience beyond consistently miniscule ratings, despite city-wide frequencies in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch..
They developed some great talent there, such as Wammo, Fleur Jack, Wallace Chapman and others. I enjoyed DJing on the station from 2008 for 3 years, before a restructure. But a station that treated Kiwi Music as a genre was never gonna work, long term. That's not how people listen to music.

Adrian Sherwood on Punky Reggae Party

 "Ahead of the release of a Sherwood At The Controls Volume 1: 1979 – 1984 – collection of early tracks he produced or remixed – on 6 April, producer and DJ Adrian Sherwood has turned dub detective for Q and in a guest column investigates the story behind the story behind Bob Marley’s (or is it?) 1977 12-inch single Punky Reggae Party and the time when artists from two musical cultures came together."

Guest Column – The Punky Reggae Party: A Personal View by Adrian Sherwood 

Compilation of early tracks produced or remixed by the legendary Adrian Sherwood; a pioneering blend of post-punk, mutant disco, dub, funk and electro.

Includes 6 tracks that have never been reissued in any format, and 2 completely unreleased tracks from the On-U vaults.

Adrian Sherwood is a name most commonly associated with dub reggae, particularly his own leftfield version of the sound that he developed over the 80s and 90s, having been mentored by the likes of Prince Far I, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Dennis Bovell, This compilation seeks to highlight another side of the story: in his capacity as a DJ and live sound engineer Sherwood also connected with the likes of The Clash, Public Image Limited and The Pop Group, and went on to work with a wide variety of artists including Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Primal Scream and Blur. The tracks on this album show how Sherwood blended a dubwise approach to versioning tracks with a desire to experiment in the studio and push musical boundaries.

First release in an extensive On-U Sound reissue campaign that will be coming out over the next few years.

01. Medium Medium – Hungry, So Angry (1981)
02. Maximum Joy – Let It Take You There (1982)
03. Nadjma – Some Day My Caliph Will Come (1984)
04. Mark Stewart + The Maffia – Learning To Cope With Cowardice (flexi version) (1983)
05. The Fall – Middle Mass (1981)
06. Gardening By Moonlight – Strange Clues (1983)
07. Shriekback – Mistah Linn He Dead (1984)
08. Voice Of Authority ft. Congo Ashanti Roy – Running (Feeling Wild) (1984)
09. The Slits – Man Next Door (1979)
10. Annie Anxiety (aka Little Annie) – Third Gear Kills (1984)
11. Prince Far I – Nuclear Weapon (1983)
12. Singers & Players – Reaching The Bad Man (1981)
13. African Head Charge – In A Trap (1982)
14. Vivien Goldman – Private Armies Dub (1981)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Scalper video, EP, album!

Here's the new twisted new video from Scalper for the song 'Lunatics' from the 'Lunatics' digital EP, out on March 23rd on JFXLab. Filmed at the old Coromandel Hospital.

The new Scalper album The Emperor's Clothes is out on April 18th on vinyl LP on

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Fela! The Concert hits Auckland

Fela! The Concert
Fela! The Concert

"Spectacular and inspiring, Fela! The Concert will ignite audiences from Thursday 19 –- Sunday 22 March at Auckland Arts Festival 2015.

Celebrating the songs of Fela Kuti, the founding father of Afrobeat, Fela! The Concert is a non-stop, riotous blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies.

Fela! The Concert, based on the highly acclaimed and Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, showcases Fela Kuti’'s pioneering music, revealing a man who was both an incredible artist and a strident human rights activist.

Featuring members of the original cast from the Broadway production, including a full ten-piece band, dancers and backup singers and set against film footage of Kuti’'s life in Nigeria, Fela! The Concert is a full-on celebration of the man’s most captivating songs.

FELA! The Musical premiered on Broadway in 2009, making the leap from off-Broadway  aided by producers Jay-Z, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and was nominated for eleven Tony Awards."

19 March - 22 March 2015 at the mighty Civic Theatre, Queen St, more details here


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ring The Alarm playlist, March 14

Rose Mitchell - Please dont go
Sonny Knight -Sugarman
Markeys - Last night
The Valdons - Stop wait a minute girl
The Demures - Raining teardrops
Larry Laster -Go for yourslef
Cornell Dupree - Teasin
Third guitar -Baby dont you cry
Eddie Hazel - California dreamin
Ballistic bros - Peckings
Skatalites - Collie bud
Prince Fari and Singers and Players - Water the garden
2Badcard  - Weed specialist
African head charge - Heading to glory
Gary Clail and On-U-Sound system - Two thieves and a liar
Skip McDonald - Hammerhead
La Toya Jackson - Are you ready
Stephanie Mills - Sweet sensation
Snap - Sidewalk city
Mr Magic and positive choice band  - 2001 kazoos
Trouble funk - Hey fellas
Alter echo and E3 - Eastwind dub
Mo kolours - How I
Theo Parrish - Flotation device
Fat Freddys Drop - Hope -Sonsine remix
Mighty Mocambos - Drifting stars
John Gibbs and US Steel Orchestra -J'ouvert - Lord Echo re-edit
Bacao rhythm and steel band - Pimp version

Ad-Rock on life after the Beastie Boys

AdRock. Photo: Rolling Stone
Following the passing of Adam "MCA" Yauch in 2012, Ad-Rock says he's working on a range of projects, doing some movie soundtracks, playing bass in a friend's band, partnered with his local sandwich shop to collab on a sandwich with his favourite sides, and writing a memoir with Mike D about the Beasties, described as more of an oral history, in the style of Grand Royal, the very cool magazine the Beastie Boys published in the early 90s.

"... Beastie Boys have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. But being in one of the most successful hip-hop groups of all time doesn't make leaving a job after nearly 30 years any easier. 

 Horovitz would like to score more films, but admits that "I hope that they'll be paying jobs in the future. That would be nice." Currently, he says, "it's more friends that say, 'Can you do this?'

"It’s a big challenge," adds Horovitz in a tone more resigned than sad. "It's like, 'What do you do with your life when your former life is no more?' I have to figure it out. I don't know if I ever will. 

" It's been fun to just play bass in a band and play live, but be in the background. I'm used to having other people [plan stuff] for me. I don't plan anything, so at some point, maybe I have to start doing that."

full article: Life after the Beastie Boys (Rolling Stone)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Local vinyl, streaming sales on the rise

I recently went to a briefing at Recorded Music NZ, where they revealed some fascinating music sales figures for the local market. Both streaming and vinyl sales are on the rise.

TV3 report "Vinyl LPs account for about 5 percent of the physical product sold last year.

RMNZ's Damian Vaughan says"I suppose over the past 15 years vinyl survived in the dance and hip hop world," he says. "But now it's more of a collector's item, or a novel piece of art, because they are great looking things. It looks great on the shelf."

Digital music now makes up 60 percent of all music sales, with physical sales accounting for the rest. Streaming ... accounts for 24 percent of all wholesale revenue, up from 9 percent in 2013."  In 2012 streaming income was $1.8m (3%), and for 2014 it had risen to $12.7m (24%). Sales for 2014 are down on the previous year.
For 2014;
Physical product: $21.4 million in wholesale revenue
Digital downloads: $19.1M
Streaming: $12.7M
Public performances and broadcast: $13M

More: 'Recorded Music NZ 2014 results: digital revenue on the rise while physical revenue decline continues' at StopPress

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Record collectors fair this saturday

Happening again, and I hear record fiends Stinky Jim and Base FM's Kris Holmes will be there selling goodies....  "The October 2014 fair received lots of positive feedback. People had fun, bought lots of vinyl, and could be seen bopping along quietly to the 'soundtrack' of the day so, we're going for it again on March 14, the Saturday before St Patrick's Day.

Here's what's up for grabs:
There will be one copy of the remastered 'Physical Graffiti' triple ( no longer a double) album to give away, values NZD $70, plus numerous music DVD's throughout the day.

More giveaways!
'Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy' single album re engineered release, and a copy of Ladi6 - 'Automatic'.

On the day: We'll be doing the 'early openers' thing again with 'Priority' entry @ $10, for 30 minutes from 9AM, for hardened enthusiasts keen to be in the first wave."

Sat 14 March 2015, 9:30am–2:00pm
Freeman's Bay Community Hall, 52 Hepburn St, Auckland
General admission: Adults: $5, under 12s are free. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mo Kolours - name your price EP

From One Handed Music: "Mo Kolours' How I (Rhythm Love Affair) is out now and ready for you to download. It's free but you can pay if you choose to. We greatly appreciate it when you do.

"How I (Rhythm Love Affair) showcases the Anglo-Mauritian producer’s addictive hooks, dub-influenced production style and skill as a percussionist. Mo Kolours focuses on developing his own strand of dance music over the first three tracks of this release, all naggingly catchy and slightly disorientating. Fans of Theo Parrish and Four Tet might find much to love here.

"We have just a handful of 12"s left here. It'll be in the shops in the next week or so. There are two bonus beats and it would be fair to let you know that they are absolute fire (we were just scared of the samples). You can hear them on Soundcloud."

Monday, March 09, 2015

Charles Bradley plays first ever Auckland show

Very excited about this one!

Interview from NZ Herald: "Charles Bradley is the ultimate soul survivor. The kid raised in a Brooklyn housing project, who endured years of hardship and who moonlighted as a James Brown impersonator, found fame as the so-called "Screaming Eagle of Soul" at the age of 62.

He's now 66 and still riding high on the success of his late-in-life debut, 2011's No Time For Dreaming and the 2012 documentary Soul of America, which took Bradley's rags-to-riches story to the world.

"I know one thing, they're putting me on every stage," chuckles Bradley, who had just performed three nights at the Apollo in New York, as part of the Daptone Super Soul Revue, when we spoke over the phone.

His voice is strained and croaky; he sounds exhausted. And no wonder. A quick look online at his touring schedule for the first half of the year shows this man is busy. The Ecuador Jazz Festival, a quick stopover in Auckland for a one-off gig, the Bluesfest in Byron Bay and Coachella in California, to list just a few of his shows..." 

Bradley returns to New Zealand in 2015 as part of the celebration of the release of his second album Victim of Love: an offering of gratitude to his fans and supporters, packed with joy and a broader musical scope, including experiments with the psychedelic soul The Temptations explored in the early '70s.

Show is Thursday March 26, at the Powerstation, tickets via Ticketmaster.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Generations of Soul: Lee Fields, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Raphael Saadiq

"Generations of Soul is an intimate look into soul’s resurgence, exploring the lineage and impact of the timeless genre with defining players of yesterday and today.

"Joined by iconic vocalist Lee Fields, Grammy-nominated Motown recording artist BJ the Chicago Kid, and Grammy-winning performer, producer, and songwriter Raphael Saadiq, E&J’s Generations of Soul looks to inspire new generations by celebrating the genre’s roots, its pioneers, and the contemporary artists who are shaping today’s music."

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Ring The Alarm playlist, March 7

George Clinton - Do fries go with that shake?
Digital underground - Humpty dance
Zapp - More bounce to the ounce
Graham central station - Hair
Aretha Franklin - Jump
Booker T Jones - Representing Memphis
Ann Sexton - You're gonna miss me
El Chicano feat Ersi Arvizu - I'm a good woman
Dapkings - Nervous like me
Daktaris - It's all a big hustle - Mad Professor remix
King Tubby - King at the controls
Tosca - Chocolate Elvis - Boozoo Bajou remix
Rhythm force - Clap, children
Neneh Cherry -Weightless
Black Velvet - An earthquake's coming
Fred Wesley and the JBs - Blow your head (undubbed)
Jurassic 5 - Quality control inst
Brand Nubian - All for one
George Duke and Stanley Clarke - Let's get started
Crown heights affair - Dreamworld
Wally Badarou  -Chief inspector
Donald Fagen - IGY
Julien Dyne - Fallin down  -Mitsu the Beats remix
Takuya Kuroda - Everybody loves the sunshine
Blu rum 13 - Futuristic b-boys inst
Liquid crystal prject - Tribue to Dilla