Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lord Echo talks about his new album Harmonies, out April 7



Lord Echo's third album Harmonies is just around the corner, out April 7 on Soundway. Some background from his official press blurb:

“When I first conceived of this project I wondered if it would be possible to make the same album three times, mostly because I thought it would be funny and because people always try and do something different so why not try and do the opposite? This shows how rebellious and brilliant I am. So that’s why all three of my albums have the same type of cover, have the same sounding names (Melodies, Curiosities, Harmonies) and why they feature the same artists.”

There’s Toby Laing (Fat Freddy’s Drop), the long time associate and advisor, Mara TK (Electric Wire Hustle) - the golden voiced poster boy of soulful experimentation, Dr Leila Adu - the enigmatic and unique composer, songstress and muse, Lucien Johnson - the charmingly well read saxophonist and composer, and of course the fabulous Lisa Tomlins - who slayed everybody with her raw and soulful performance of ‘Thinking Of You’ in 2010.

The album was produced in his studio World of Sound, which he built by hand in an abandoned plastics factory in the backwaters of industrial New Zealand [also where Lawrence Arabia recorded his latest album Absolute Truth with Lord Echo producing]. His only neighbours were a lone skinhead, a handful of gang members and ‘TK’s’ - a brothel frequented by long haul truck drivers whose route terminated nearby.

“I lived alone out there for 3 years. It really was very odd. Of course I went completely nuts. But I also had periods of strange, other worldly happiness. Though that was mostly during a period in which I gave up trying to make music. I was a terrible alcoholic. I did a lot of yoga. I’m glad it’s over.”

It was in many ways a classic midlife crisis. Quitting his cushy gig in iconic New Zealand band The Black Seeds and facing financial and psychological ruin he ploughed ahead into the darkness.

“The midlife crisis is, for me, a time when two things happen. One, you start to really confront death if you’re that way inclined, and two you have been alive long enough and experienced enough stuff that it’s time to consider the things you’ve done and learnt and try to figure out a way to keep living. In other words, you think to yourself ‘how the hell do I keep doing this, what do I want?’

"And after fumbling about in the dark for sometime, you either decide to just give up and sleep walk through the rest of your life or you decide to get rid of the shit that doesn’t turn you on and fill your life with the things that do.

“Really, I think working is the most important thing, working is the point. You’ve got to have something to do in this god forsaken world. The making of something is the part where you exercise that uniquely human muscle - to make something just because you can or because you want to. Thats what draws us closer to the gods. Does it matter if it’s good or not? Ultimately, no. Let other people worry about that. Carry on working, don’t look back”

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The very first recording by Miss Sharon Joens out on 45 soon!




Okay, Record Store Day has devolved to be a poor excuse for major labels to clog vinyl pressing plants reissuing endless crap that nobody wants to hear (Africa by Toto on picture disc? NOPE). But then Daptone drop a gem like this, with a beautiful cover design that doubles as a picture frame. WANT!.


"Presenting the very first recording by Sharon Jones! Original composition and lead vocals by Miss Jones, "Heaven Bound" and "Key to the Kingdom" is a soulful slice of 70's era gospel-funk recorded with E.L. Fields Gospel Wonders.

In addition, the 45 comes in a picture frame style sleeve with easel-back, which boasts a two-sided print of Sharon's High School photo, backed with a group shot of the Gospel Wonders and released on our reissue imprint, EVER-SOUL Records. A must have!"

Sharon Jones with E.L. Fields Gospel Wonders - "Heaven Bound" b/w "Key To The Kingdom" 45 - available at your local record store on Record Store Day - April 22nd, 2017.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, March 18



Ladi6 - Diamonds
Lord Echo - Put it in my head
Ardijah - Give me your number
DLT - Liquid skies (Ultraneon mix)
Mala - Como como (Theo Parrish remix)
James Blood Ulmer - Are you glad to be in America?
James Brown - Hustle!!!
Ramsey Lewis - Uhuru
The Ringleaders - Grin and bare it
Four Tops - I got a feeling
Thee Enchantments - I'm in love with your daughter
Gladys Knight and the Pips - Letter full of tears
Mabel John - Shouldn't I love him
The Perfections - Why do you want to make me sad
Oliver Sain - London express
Grover Washington Jr - Masterpiece
Undisputed truth - Smiling faces sometimes
Adrian Sherwood - Stop the bloodshed
Top Cat - Request the style
Papa Levi - My god my king
The Wailers - Black progress/Say it loud
Bjorn Taske - Dub vendor
Risco connection  - Aint no stopping us now
Crown heights affair - Say a prayer for two
Dexter Wansel - Life on Mars (DJ Mila edit)
Mountain - Long red

Monday, March 13, 2017

Taite Prize finalists announced

"Independent Music NZ is very pleased to announce that the finalists for the Taite Music Prize 2017 have been confirmed. Now in its eighth year, the Taite Music Prize recognises outstanding creativity for an entire collection of music contained on one album.

Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of New Zealand’s most respected music journalists, the prize-winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 to be spent as they wish, thanks to Taite Music Prize founding partner Recorded Music NZ; recording time at Red Bull Studios Auckland; and a year’s supply of Red Bull product. This year’s eight finalists, from a lengthy list of 70 nominations submitted by record labels both independent and major from across the country, are:

Aaradhna / Brown Girl (Universal Music NZ)

Hopetoun Brown / Look So Good (Melita Music)

Lawrence Arabia / Absolute Truth (Flying Nun Records)

LEISURE / LEISURE (THE LEISURE COLLECTIVE)

Lontalius / I’ll Forget 17 (POD/Inertia)

Pacific Heights / The Stillness (Warner Music)

Shayne P Carter / Offsider (Flying Nun Records)

Street Chant / Hauora (Arch Hill Recordings)

This year the Taite Music Prize will be announced at a presentation at The Civic’s Wintergarden in Auckland on Tuesday 18th April 2017.

Alongside the main prize, two additional awards will be presented at the ceremony: the already established Independent Music NZ Classic Record Award and the newly created Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award, celebrating the freshest talent of Aotearoa, and including a $2,000 cash prize and a live performance slot at Auckland Live Summer in the Square 2017/2018 – Auckland’s biggest backyard summer party.

TAITE MUSIC PRIZE 2017
TUESDAY 18th APRIL – WINTERGARDEN, at The Civic

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, March 11



Booker T and the MGs - LA jazz song
The Groovesville Men - Genie
Staple Singers - We the people
The Mohawks - Tramp
Ike and Tina Turner - Sexy Ida
Bar-Kays - Holy ghost
Chuck Brown and the soul searchers - Busting loose
Kutiman - No groove where I come from
DJ Day - Land of a 1000 chances (Lord Echo remix)
Jorge Ben - Ponta de Lança Africano (Umbabarauma)
Azymuth - Periscopo (Marc Mac for 4Hero re-edit)
Mor Thiam - Ayo ayo nene
Fulgeance - Les voyageurs
Prince - Alphabet St
Gwen Guthrie - Hopscotch
Freddie Cruger - Running from love
Jennifer Lara - I'm in love
African head charge - Animal law
Bob and Gene feat the Inversions  - I can be cool
Hesitations - Gotta find a way
Barbara Acklin - Am I the same girl?
The Impressions - Don't let it hide
Charles Bradley - Heartaches and pain
Bar-Kays - Hole in the wall
Misha Panfilov sound combo - Offbeat comet
Manzel - Midnight theme (Dopebrother 7" remix)
T-Connection - Do what you wanna do
Maxayn - Life is what you make it
Hall and Oates - Can't go for that (Daz's deep dub)

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, March 4



Nina Simone - Seeline woman (MAW remix)
Esther Phillips - Home is where the hatred is
Impressions -We're a winner
Four Tops -You keep running away
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas - I promise to wait my love
Sam & Dave - Wrap it up
Rufus Thomas - Itch and scratch pt1
Freda Payne - Unhooked generation
Charles Wright and Watts 103rd st rhythm band - Sorry Charlie
Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes - Wake up everybody
Dizzy Gillespie - Manteca (Funky lowlives remix)\
The Elder Statesman - Montreaux sunrise
Anthony Johnson - Neckbone
Vin Gordon - Red blood
Soul Bros - Bugaloo
Skatalites - Coconut rock
One blood - Be thankful for what you've got
Ballistic bros - Prophecy reveal (James)
Fat Freddy's Drop - Hope (3 Generations Walking remix)
Freddie Hubbard - Red clay
James Brown - Funky drummer (Muro remix)
Bobby Byrd - I know you got soul
Joe Tex   Baby, be good
Bamboos - Tighten up
Betty Everett - Take me
Carlton Brasco  -Don't chain my soul
Benny Spellman - Fortune teller
Heaven 17 - Temptation
Material feat Nona Hendryx - Bustin out


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, February 25



Willie West  - I'm still a man
Geno Wshington and the Ironsides - Got to get through to you
Myron and E w/ Soul Investigators - Its a shame (inst)
Ollie and the Nightingales - Girl you have my heart singing
Rance Allen Group - I gotta be myself
March Wind - All the way down
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Genuine
Benny Spellman - Fortune teller
Lightning head - Area boy
Jamaica Playboys  - Makossa reggae
Jackie Mittoo - Disco Jack
Soul sugar feat Courtney John - All I know
Pitch Black - Flex (Sonsine remix) - catch Pitch Black live this Friday at Neck of the Woods
Dubmatix feat Tenor Fly - Showdown
Dem Juju Poets -Watusi fever
Idris Ackamoor & the Pyramids - Tinoge ya ta'a ba
Bajka - Invisible joy
Hackney Colliery Band - No diggity
Tanika Charles - Soul run
Hawk - Don't judge a book by its cover
Gene Dudley Group - Hilo bay halfway (disco dub)
ESG - Moody (spaced out)
Mr Chop - Rootdown
John Gibbs and the USO - J'ouvert (Lord Echo re-edit)
Fat Freddys Drop - The raft (Jet Jaguar remix)
Patrice Rushen - Forget me not
Chaka Khan - I was made to love him
Womack and Womack - Teardrops
Trouble Funk - Drop the bomb
 Hank Marvin - Sunday for seven days
Clarence Reid - Masterpiece (Kenny Dope edit)
Kashmere stage band - Superstrut

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Spiritual Jazz 7



Via Jazzman Records: "The seventh volume of Jazzman’s acclaimed Spiritual Jazz series examines the influence and impact of Islam on four decades of jazz innovation.

Through Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, the civil rights era in America saw African American liberation politics famously associated with Islamic belief.

This was not the first time that radical developments in African American cultural life had been widely associated with Islam - that distinction belongs not to political or sporting giants, but to the progressive jazz musicians of the bebop generation.

Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Sahib Shihab, Gigi Gryce, Idrees Sulieman, Ahmad Jamal, Yusef Lateef; all these legendary jazz pioneers - and countless more - were early converts to the spiritually charged Ahmadiyya school of Islam.

Their faith profoundly influenced the music that they made, and the presence of prominent and innovative Muslim musicians at the heart of jazz culture in America has been recognised ever since. The tracks on this collection follow the story of Islam and jazz from the 1950s to the 1980s. Spiritual Jazz 7 presents a selection of visionary music - inspired by faith, powered by jazz."

Out 17 March, 2xLP / CD / DIGI, listen to preview clips below


Monday, February 20, 2017

Cave Circles (Riki Gooch) new vinyl 12" out Feb 24

Cave circles 12 inch EP  cover art


Out soon on Welli label Rough Peel Records, check the individually hand painted covers: "Cave Circles is the main production name for musician, Riki Gooch (ex Trinity Roots, Fly My Pretties, Eru Dangerspiel).

After 20 years of performing music here and abroad, Gooch has always had a strong love of making music with machines. His latest release - My Heart Is A Beating Drum, is a 4 track, 12" release that sees Gooch explore the realms of techno with a faulty Drumtrax, some borrowed synths and the SP-404.

Drawing on musical influences as varied as soft-rock, jazz, country and dance, Gooch has presented his new work in the hope that people will dance with each other.

The release comes in the traditional 180gm 12" Vinyl format, with handmade artwork for each sleeve cover. Limited to 200 copies."

Preview the audio on Bandcamp (also name your price for digital)

Experience Roy Roberts

Roy Roberts album cover


From Perfect Toy Records, very cool reissue: "Critics and concertgoers love his live performances and call him a living blues legend. Record collectors of soul and funk 45s consider many of his early recordings on wax as a “must have”, some even as “holy grails”. No matter what Roy Roberts means to you, an album which collects his sought after 45rpm single tracks was long overdue.

Roy Roberts grew up in a small town in Tennessee, listening to blues and R&B on WLAC out of Nashville. When he turned 18 he moved to North Carolina. Roy played in makeshift bands until he landed a job with local hero Guitar Kimbers’ Untouchables.

Before long, Solomon Burke, took young Roy under his wing after letting him sit in as a bass player during a local gig. He was soon handling the guitar chores behind the future soul legend on tour. Roberts subsequently picked up touring gigs with such luminaries as Eddie Floyd, “Little” Stevie Wonder, and Otis Redding, while fronting his own band, The Roy Roberts Experience.

Roy began to cut records in the mid-60s, mostly as a session man. The death of Otis Redding inspired him to step up to the mic with a song dedicated to the late crooner. The record was released on Nina Simone’s label and backed by an ace studio band. Roy followed this effort with a string of 45s that carried him well into the 70s.

During the disco years, Roy turned to country music. After a brief hiatus from the scene, Roberts got the blues fever once again in the early 90s. Besides recording his own material Roy continues to record and produce records for his label, and tours the U.S. and Europe regularly."

Out 24 February, LP/CD/digital.

HMV Canada closng, 100 stores shutting

Via Music Bus Worldwide from late Jan: "HMV's Canadian operation has fallen into receivership, with more than 100 stores set to close by April 30.

The news could have a devastating effect on the physical music business in Canada - the world's seventh biggest recorded music territory.

According to IFPI data, Canada generated US$335.8m (CAD$429.8m) for labels and artists in 2015. 35% of this revenue (US$118.9m) came from physical format sales - actually up 5% on the US$113.2m generated in 2014. HMV Canada Inc. was placed into receivership in Ontario Superior Court on Jan 27th.

"The company and major suppliers were unable to reach an agreement, on mutually acceptable terms to sustain HMV's operations and support a recovery," revealed court filings.

HMV Canada apparently owed its major suppliers, including music labels and movie studios, CAN$56m (US$42.6m) at the end of 2016.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, February 11



Pointer sisters - Yes we can can (Bobby Busnach edit)
Paul Humphrey and his cool aid chemists - Detroit
Ernie Hawks and the Soul investigators - Scorpio man theme
Staple singers - Heavy makes you happy
Booker T and the MGs - Tic tac toe
Dottye Fultz - Jesus is a soul man
Nick Waterhouse - It#3
El Michels Affairs & the Shacks - No surprise
VV Brown - Crying blood (Andrew Weatherall remix)
Wreck allstars - Keep me dancin'
Roxanne Shante - Have a nice day
Mad Lion - Take it easy
Ermehn -Walls of steel
Ladi6 - Give me the light
Smashproof - Ordinary life (Moody Boyz remix)
The Specials - Ghost town (DJG bootleg)
The Orb feat Lee Scratch Perry - Hold me upsetter
Pitch Black - Speech (International observer remix)
Ambassa feat Nichola Richards - After laughter comes tears
Nextmen feat Cutty Ranking - Boy weapon
Frightnrs - Purple
The Fun Company - Zambesi
Bar-kays - Knucklehead
Herman Hitson - Aint no other way
Sam and Dave -You don't know like I know
Isaac Hayes - Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedelimistic
Jerry Butler - Hey Western Union man
Charles Bradley - No time for dreaming
The Impressions - Keep on pushing
Brenda and the Tabulations - California soul

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Tanika Charles - Soul Run single drops




Via Record Kicks: "Rising star of Canadian soul music Tanika Charles presents her first single “Soul Run” produced by Slakah The Beatchild (Drake).

“Soul Run”, produced by Slakah the Beatchild (BBE Records), best known for being Drake’s producer and collaborator, is the first single by Tanika Charles and it's coming out next 10th of February on Record Kicks. The song anticipates the release of the self-titled album that will hit the streets worldwide next 7th of April.

Considered to be the “next big thing” among the Canadian soul community, in a few short years Tanika Charles has transformed from an emerging solo artist to a commanding performer and bandleader, a staple in the Canadian soul scene both on stage and off. Although her career is only at the beginning, Tanika has already collaborated with the likes of Estelle, Lauryn Hill and Macy Gray, along with regular appearances on TV and National Network (CTV, Global, CBC Radio).

Edmonton raised Charles presents an immutable charm, at times endearingly abrasive and honest in her vulnerabilities: if Tanika’s singing it, she’s lived it! In fact, "Soul Run" comes from a tragic part of Tanika's life: trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship in rural Canada, she decided to "borrow" her then fiancée’s car and ran away to Toronto to begin her singing career, never looking back. Now she is ready to tell her story to the world."

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Record fairs in AK


A couple of record fairs coming up soon...

Feb 25 Browns Bay record fair
St Anne's Hall, Corner of Glencoe Rd & Beach Rd, Browns Bay
Early Birds 9am -10am: $5 / 10am - 3pm: $2 / Kids under 13 - free

March 25 Freemans Bay record fair,
Freemans bay community hall, 52 Hepburn st
9am - 2pm. Adult or Adult and child under 12: $5.00

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, February 4



Four Tops -You keep running away
Booker T & the MGs - Soul limbo
Carla Thomas - Something good
Staple singers - Love is plentiful
Sam & Dave -Wrap it up
The Glass House - Crumbs off the table
Aretha Franklin - Won't be long
Barkin Soul - Babybababebe
Patrice Rushen - Haven't you heard
Rafael Cameron - Funtown USA
Lord Echo feat Mara TK - Just do you
Overproof sound system - Watch what you put inna (G Corp version)
Spacek - Eve (Jay Dee remix)
DJ Spinna - Dilla is the G.O.A.T.
J Dilla - Take notice inst
Whitefield Brothers - Yakuba
Karl Hector and the Malcouns - Sahara swing
Village callers - Hector
The Cals - Amazon bossa novea
The Meters - Come together
Roy Ayers - Everybody loves the sunshine (9th Wonder remix)
Gary Bartz - Celestial blues
Sun Ra - Drop me off in Harlem
Hot 8 Brass Band - Get up
Mr Chop - Vitamin C
Dramatics - Get up and get down
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings -  Better things
Pittsburgh Phil - Total electric
Daphne Walker & Bill Wolfgramm and his Islanders - Haere mai
Nick Nicholson and Neketini Brass - Tararua tramp