Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Radio Ponsonby closing down

Radio Ponsonby announced on their Facebook page today they are shutting the station... 

"Unfortunately, next Wednesday 30th April will be our last day on air. Despite 4 years and one month of making the best boutique Radio in Ponsonby, and the world, it is no longer viable to continue without the support of the advertising market. 

Our thanks to all of you, our supporters and friends and a special thanks to all the DJ's, Hosts and hangers on that have made this a great little radio station."

The station originally started out above Chapel Bar by Luke Dallow and co, and moved to Ponsonby Central when that opened.

Estere debut album, and it's free!



Wellingtonian songstress Estere recently wowed the crowds opening for Erykah Badu, and now she's dropped her debut self-produced album. Features guest spots from Tay Ninh and Mara TK from Electric Wire Hustle. Give it a listen.

Upcoming live dates for Estere: Sat 18 May - Erupt Festival, Taupo / Thurs 22 May - Tyler St Garage, Auckland

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Record Store Day videos



From New Plymouth's Vinyl Countdown...




Spelling Mistakes live instore at Real Groovy in Auckland...




And spot the New Zealander queueing outside Amoeba San Francisco...



And Jack White make the world's fastest record.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ring The Alarm playlist, April 19



Nina Simone - Seeline woman - MAW remix
Nightmares on wax - Ease Jimi
Fat Freddys Drop - Hope - Sonsine remix
Rhythm and sound feat Sugar Minott - Let Jah love come
Thievery Corp - 38-45
Jackie Mittoo - Voodoo moon
Esso Trinidad steel band - I want you back
Silvertones - Tamborito swing
Mala - Como como - Theo Parrish remix
James Brown - Get on the good foot
Bill Withers - You got the stuff
Gonzalez - Just let it lay
Parlet - Help from my friends
James Blood Ulmer - Litte red house
Mulatu and the Heliocentrics - Cha cha
Longsy D -This is ska - Greg Churchill edit
Laurel Atkin - Skinhead train
The Survivors - Rawhide
Adrian Younge and the Delfonics - Lover's melody
Dennis Edwards - Don't look any further - Bobby Busnach edit
Bobby Womack -You're welcome, stop on by - Beaten space edit
Dexys midnight runners - Geno

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lorde wins Taite

Lorde and Little, winning stuff since last year/forever

Lorde won the fifth annual Taite Music Prize this evening, collecting $10,000 and recording time at Red Bull Studio, plus a years worth of Red Bull. In her acceptance speech, via video from Las Vegas, she graciously offered to give up the prize money to the other finalists.

Lorde said "I think everyone is kind of sick of me winning stuff at the moment and other people are in more in need of the funds and exposure right now. So if you will accept it, the prize money and the studio time have been split between this year's nominees. If you don't want it, that's cool too."

The other finalists were Unknown Mortal Orchestra (who won the Taite Prize in 2012), Beastwars, Sheep Dog & Wolf, the Phoenix Foundation, David Dallas, @peace, and Jonathan Bree. They will get approx $1600 each. And a few Red Bull. If Lorde doesn't drink them all. [kidding]

Grant Smithies, one of this year's judging panel, said "Lorde's LP was a rare example of an underground pop record being so damn good, it went mainstream, not just here, but worldwide."

It seems a long shot to try and argue Lorde's album was ever going to be underground, given it featured a global hit single, and got released in late September 2013, on the last possible day of eligibility for this year's Grammys. There is no question it was going to go mainstream. Only question was how big would it get. Maybe Smithies is referring to the sound of the record. It will be interesting to see the reaction to such a commercially successful artist winning an award based solely on originality and artistic achievement, not taking into account any commercial success or otherwise.

The prize giving took place at Galatos in Auckland, the location for Lorde's first ever live performance. Also awarded was the IMNZ Classic Indie Album prize, with a very moving and funny speech from Kerry Buchanan, celebrating AK79. 

Buchanan noted that AK79 was part of the cultural change of 77-79 in NZ. It didn't happen apart from current events. 

He talked about the importance of AK79 in capturing a moment in time, and how that spread. He gave an example - of working in a record shop and this guy wearing a bunch of scarves wandered up and shook his hand and started talking to him about AK79  - it was Silvio from The Sopranos, better known as Little Steven - guitarist with Bruce Springsteen, and host of a radio show called Little Steven's Underground Garage. Steven loved AK79.

The award was presented to Ripper Records boss Bryan Staff, the man responsible for the legendary compilation but he wasn't in the room at that moment, so Kerry blagged off with it. Fair enough. NZ Herald's Hugh Sundae caught up with Bryan later in the evening, watch that here.

He tells Hugh about the practical aspects of getting AK79 out - Bryan had all these demo tapes of Auckland punk bands who had been on his radio show, and a colleague suggested he put out a record, and Bryan thought, why don't I do that? Aren't there laws against that sort of thing?

So he went to off Ode Records and asked them if they could take the compilation tape and make a record and bill him. They did that, and he got the record, the inner sleeve, the outer sleeve, and the hardest part about getting the record out was Bryan had to sit there putting the sleeves together, getting numerous cardboard cuts for the next week it took to do the initial 250 copies.

The Record Warehouse bought the lot and gave him a cheque, and Bryan went back and ordered another 500, then that sold and he ordered 500 more from the man at Ode [probably Terence O'Neill Joyce], who said "How can you do this? I've struggled for years to get acceptance and you have this crap record that no one will play, yet it's selling." Bryan said "Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye!"

SJD (the 2013 Taite Prize winner) and his band played a short but utterly delightful set to close the night. SJD made a speech earlier in the evening, highlighting all the joys winning the prize had bought into his life, noting that he with only 17,000 more plays on Spotify, he can afford a new guitar pick. That's the dream, kids. Watch SJD's speech here.

Record Store Day in AK and beyond



Southbound Records at 69 Mt Eden Rd have over 100 local and international Record Store Day releases available, plus 50% off all secondhand vinyl.Live in-store performances from Delaney Davidson and Tami Nielson. There will also be free coffee and homemade baking on offer, plus free eco music bags with purchases. Here's a list of RSD exclusives they've got in stock so far...

Real Groovy on Queen St has a bunch of exclusive Record Store Day vinyl they are releasing, plus live performances from Phoenix Foundation (2pm) and Spelling Mistakes (4pm), and DJs all day. DJ/performance schedule is here.

Conch Records at 115A Ponsonby Rd will also be getting involved with RSD special releases and goodies. They have a live instore PA from She's So Rad and Tyra Hammond, and also a huge collection of rare secondhand dance/drum n bass/jungle vinyl going out on the shelves (pulled from the collection of Nick D), around 3000 records.

My Generation over in Browns Bay will be taking part, with RSD specials.

Marbecks Classical in Queens Arcade has 25% off all vinyl for RSD.

Down in Wellington, Slowboat Records has a live instores from Louis Baker, Julia Deans, and Dave Dobbyn, and RPM Music has the Mantarays live instore plus DJs all day, and Deathray Records are also taking part.

New Plymouth's Vinyl Countdown is getting involved, check their FB page for more info.

Further down country we have...

Napier -  Just For The Record

Nelson – Everyman Records

Christchurch – Pennylane Records, and Galaxy Records get in on the act -Galaxy has X-Ray Charles live instore. 

Dunedin – Relics Music has Kahu and Paul Cathro live instore at 5pm. 14% sales instore all day.

There may be other stores in these towns taking part, but I can't find any sign online. Advertise your ish!

Local vinyl also out for Record Store Day: VARIOUS: DUNEDIN DOUBLE - The Chills, Sneaky Feelings, The Stones, The Verlaines (Flying Nun) 2 x 12" EP
BORED GAMES - Who Killed Colonel Mustard (Flying Nun) 12" EP
AND this gem: SUBURBAN REPTILES Saturday Night Stay At Home 7". A limited gold vinyl edition will be available to the first 20 buyers in-store at Real Groovy with a bonus colour photo print signed by photographer Paul Hartigan of the band in action.

Ikebe Shakedown new album out now

Following up their self-titled debut album from 2011, Ikebe Shakedown's new album has just dropped.

The band told Wax Poetics that “Our first two releases were very focused on capturing Ikebe’s live sound. Stone by Stone is more focused on developing rich textures and layers that we could achieve in the studio including putting a lot more keyboards on the tracks. Still, we’ve always been committed to tracking everything to tape. Being at Daptone gave us the freedom to explore creatively while keeping us tied to the traditional recording techniques that make the House of Soul [studio] unique.”. 

“We recorded our first releases, the EP Hard Steppin’ and some tracks off our self-titled LP with Tom Brenneck at Dunham Studios,” percussionist Dave Bourla recalls. “Off of that, a few of us started to play in the touring bands of Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones, while other guys were playing with Lee Fields [their guitarist Vince Jones was part of Lee Fields' band for recent Oz/NZ shows]. As a result, a bunch of us had gotten to know the tape engineer at Daptone, Wayne Gordon, whose talents we greatly respect. When he had a couple of days at the studio free, we jumped on the chance to record in a place that’s inspired all of us.”

York St Studios closing



York St Studios is closing down. The owner, Adrien De Croy (of Jelly Music, who own York St, and co-own Siren Records) apparently has plans to turn the space into apartments. 

In mid February NZ Musician reported that York St had announced their closure on April 20 2014 in their Parnell location via their Facebook page...

"Dear Friends.

It is with the deepest of regret I inform you that the lovely building we have occupied for the last 20 years is in the process of being sold. York Street Recording studios will, from the 20th of April 2014, no longer be able to continue to operate from the current Parnell studio.

Through 22 years of making music we have seen good times and bad and ironically business is currently thriving. We are not sure about the next chapter in the York Street Recording Studios story but are looking at various options including re-locating to other premises, and will keep you posted.

We are fully booked until the 28th of February and will be taking bookings at the iconic York Street location for March and April up to the last day. This could be your last chance to get that fantastic sound we offer from York Street and to be part of New Zealand music history!!

This is sad news for us all but please share with your music friends."


York St Studios opened in 1992, and was set up and run initially by acclaimed NZ producer Malcolm Wellsford, engineer Martin Williams, and Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman, who produced Shihad's debut album at York St in 1993. Coleman returned to the studio in late 2013 to produce the next album from Shihad, which they finished mixing in late February 2014.

However, the current studio manager Jeremy McPike, recently registered a company called York St Recording Studio Ltd, so there appears to be a relocation/move in the winds, as suggested above. The new company was registered on 24 February this year. According to the Companies Office website, McPike is the sole director and one of two key shareholders.

McPike told the Rockshop in January 2014 that when De Croy bought the studio in 2000 “The lease was up and the Studio was essentially bankrupt. Adrien bought York Street the business and the building to stop it being demolished by the developers. Adrien saved York Street”. 

But he goes on to say “York Street has not cost any money but has essentially been a break-even business for 12-13 years”. They have diversified to other areas, such as being the regular venue for the NZ Herald's Sundae Sessions live shoot (which have now relocated to Roundhead). 



York St is the current home a vintage 1974 EMI Neve 24-channel mixing console, one of only seven made.  It was first used here in EMI’s Wellington studio from 1975 til that facility closed in 1987. The original cost was 34,000 pounds.  It was first used at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London for nine months, while they waited on a 36-channel version to be built. It was then shipped to Wellington [source].

According to York St's website "There were 7 of these fantastic sounding consoles made by the legends at Neve specifically for EMI studios around the world, one of which was in Wellington New Zealand. We were able to track down all of our consoles relatives. One is at U2’s studio in Dublin, one is at ICP studios in Brussels, Belgium, two have been put together as one large console and is in Steakhouse Studios in Hollywood CA, Two are currently being put together at the Great Linford Manor in England and number 7 is here with us at York Street in New Zealand

All of these consoles have been heavily modified over the years and ours is the only one left in its original condition. Our console (serial number A3095) is fitted with 24 inputs all with the very rare and sought after 1093 modules (5 band EQ) and has 16 returns. The console uses 1977 channel routing units and 3415 line amps."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Apollo Brown: Cigarette burns [free EP]



Mello Music says " Two weeks from today Detroit producer Apollo Brown will be releasing his newest instrumental soundtrack Thirty Eight. The sound falls somewhere between the end of 70s heroin and the beginning of 80s crack, like day prostitution. The technicolor journey begins today with a three track collection of instrumentals from the project that Apollo has titled Cigarette Burns EP."

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mo Kolours - New video



Mo Kolours dropped his debut album last month, here's a video for a very cool song off it.

Album is on LP, CD and digital (pay what you like for digital at Bandcamp).

"There’s an exotic appeal to Mo Kolours and his music but there’s also something very British about this record. Mo Kolours follows in the footsteps of UK artists who have synthesised a variety of imported styles and added the indelible stamp of our rainy island, from The Specials and Cymande (who receive a tribute here in the form of Mike Black) to Massive Attack and Mala.

His humour reveals an idiosyncratic Britishness too, as when he shouts out forgotten budget rides such as the Datsun Sunny on Play It Loud (In Your Car) or titles his ominous environmental warning Natural Disasters Wish List."

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ring The Alarm playlist, April 12



Jackie Stoudimire -Invisible wind -Shoes re-edit
Quantic - Dreaming mind pt 1
Sola Rosa - Can we get it together
Rocky Dawuni - Freefall - Jeremy Sole remix
Vin Gordon - Steady beat
Bitty Maclean - I'm the one who loves you
Prince Fari - Give love
Orange juice - Rip it dub - Dicky Trisco edit
B52s - Planet Claire
Henry Mancini - Baretta's theme
Johnny Hammond - Rocksteady
Jimmy McCraklin -The walk
Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
Butta - O'kwawa se
Stephen Encina -Lypso illusion
Lion rock - Rude boy rock
Romanowski - Romjack steady
Derrick Morgan - I'm the ruler
Alton Ellis- Girl I've got a date
Brenton Wood - Oogum boogum
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Better things to do
Janet Jackson - Don't mess up a good thing
Zapp - More bounce to the ounce Pts I&II
Candi Station - When you wake up tomorrow
Hackney colliery band - All of the lights - Scrimshire remix
Nuyorican soul - Black gold of the sun - MAW remix feat Q-Tip
Yasiin Gaye - B stands for beef inst


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wah Wah 45s x Record Store Day



"Wah Wah 45s are proud to present their debut Record Store Day special release!

In 2014 the label celebrates not only its 15th anniversary, but, with this record, its 50th seven-inch release, and it's something very unique indeed.

Two of the imprints best loved artists, East End brass juggernaut Hackney Colliery Band, and funky Canadian piano maestro Henri-Pierre Noel come together on seven inches of wax for the first time, remixed by label boss Scrimshire and superstar disco re-edit king The Reflex.

Scrimshire's re-working of HCB's version of Kanye West's All Of The Lights is a horn fuelled left-of-centre club bomb, whilst The Reflex's 'revision' of Henri's classic Diskette is a disco fuelled take that's sure to cause plenty of dance floor devastation too."


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Pantha du Prince/Bell Laboratory doco



Via Ableton: "I don’t see my role as someone who gives direction,” says Hendrik Weber, aka Pantha du Prince, in our new short documentary. “I filter the sound from each musician.”

Coming from a background making electronic music as a solo artist, it was the sound of church bells that first piqued Hendrik’s interest in working with acoustic musicians. 

While recording the ancient bells from a variety of locations for his album, Black Noise, Hendrik envisioned a collaboration between himself (on electronics and laptop) and acoustic musicians.

The results can be seen in the short film below, and heard on Elements of Light, Hendrik’s collaborative album with The Bell Laboratory, a group of world-class percussionists. Assembling such a project required creative and technical thinking, bridging a gap between the raw expression of The Bell Laboratory and Hendrik’s effect-heavy role as a “filter”.

In the midst of a series of sold-out performances around the world, we managed to capture Hendrik and the Bell Laboratory as they performed Terry Riley’s “In C”, a landmark work of minimalist experimental music. The performance takes place at London’s Barbican Centre where the musicians were joined on stage by The Joshua Light Show, a veteran liquid light show founded in the psychedelic ‘60s."

Tommy Adderley - Whole Lotta Shakin Going On




Tommy Adderley w Max Merritt and the Meteors serve up a wonderful, rocking version of Whole Lotta Shakin Going On, w/ I Just Don't Understand on the A side, which was a chart success for Tommy in the US (on the Chess label, no less!) and Canada in 1964. I Just Don't Understand had previously been a hit for Ann Margaret back in 1961. I recently scored this on vinyl, very happy with it.

It was released in NZ and Australia by Viking Records (VS156), who licenced it to Chess in the US - they released it on subsidiary label, Mar Mar (Mar Mar 314). The song also came out in Canada on Quality Records (1672X), and also Chess (M314), which led to a contract dispute over who had North American rights, with both labels stopping pressing it, which led to the single rapidly dropping off the Canadian charts.



In her biography of Adderley, published in 2003, author Christine Mintrom describes how the session came about, saying "Max Merritt and the Meteors were the house band at Viking Records in those days. Tommy suggested to Max they cash in on the Liverpool mania and do a Liverpool waltz. Tommy had a Brummie accent, but he could do 'Scouse' ... he was performing lots of Liverpudlian hits, taking on the whole persona, and wanted I Just Don't Understand done Freddie and the Dreamers-style, with a kazoo.

"Tommy, Max and the band put down the track in about an hour at the Viking Studios, in a studio 4.5m by 1.5m. Johnny Dick, the Meteors drummer, obliged with a kazoo solo. The single received a lot of airplay in New Zealand and was reasonably successful. Another version of this song was recorded live, On the Peter Posa Show.

"Viking had done a deal with Chess .. a package of three New Zealand records went to Chess for release in North America. [Chess released the Adderley record, along with Sweet and Tender romance/Giddy up a ding dong by Max Merritt and the Meteors, while Peter Posa's White Rabbit was on Interphon].






"Well-known New Zealand journalist and music writer John Berry observed the song's progress on the American Cash Box listings. He rang Tommy when it was hovering just under the Hot 100. Tommy was informed as the single got on to the Cash Box listings and got to a position in the 80s. It has variously been noted as getting to No 86, 83 or 81. Chess Records often did well on Cash Box.

"I Just Don't Understand was released simultaneously in Canada and went to No 2 there, when A Hard Day's Night was No 1. For some unexplained reason the single, which was released on Mar-Mar, a subsidiary of Chess in the States, was released on Quality, a Canadian label in that country [the Quality label above states they had licenced it 'By arrangement with Mar-Mar Records New Zealand', which clearly isn't true]. It sold over 150,000 copies.

"Unfortunately there there was a dispute over who owned the release rights in North America. This contractual dispute meant neither company would release any more copies of the single, and its chart success stopped, quickly, just as it had started."

Christine Mintrom notes however, that in the course of her research for the book, she had been unable to verify the Cash Box listing or the Canadian chart placing. She notes that someone made money off it, just not Tommy.

Mintrom writes : "Graham Dent, was managing Tommy then: "They made a hang of a lot of money out of it. Tommy never got a cent". ... Right up to the time he died, Tommy stirred Graham about this every time he saw him: "Never got those bloody royalties, Gray."

"When he related this story for his oral history tape [recorded in 1992 with Roger Watkins, a year before his death], Tommy sounded indignant; both that he got little money from this successful single, and that he had received no press coverage in 1964 for having a hit which was doing so well overseas. He said he tried to find out what happened, but "Only got lies and bullshit." And then Viking Records folded."

Source: "Tommy Adderley (1940 - 1993): The man and his contributions to pop, jazz and rock music in New Zealand", by Christine Mintrom, published by iUniverse Inc, 1993.

Mintrom notes that Adderley wanted to do I Just Don't Understand 'Freddie and the Dreamers-style' -interestingly, poparchives.com.au lists Freddie and the Dreamers as doing a cover of that same song also in 1964 - did Tommy hear that version before he did his own? Who knows. That Freddie and the Dreamers record may never have been released in NZ. Poparchives lists Adderley's version as charting in Melbourne. The Beatles had played it for a BBC radio session in mid-1963. Did Tommy hear that?

This page lists US and Canadian radio stations playing Adderley's song. The Canadian charts of that era available online show the Beatles with Hard Day's Night (mentioned above) at No 2 in Sept 1964, behind the Supremes, no listing for Tommy. This archive of Canadian singles charts suggests that around the time the song was getting radio play in Canada (Oct/Nov 64), it failed to impact the charts, although this archive for 1964 charts is incomplete.


Read more about Tommy Adderley's life in show business, over at Audioculture. He was instrumental in getting our liquor laws relaxed, thru running clubs in the early 70s. You think staying out clubbing til 4 am is radical - you couldn't go out and drink after 6pm (aka 'the six o'clock swill') in New Zealand prior to 1967, the year when 10pm closing became the new norm, after a public referendum.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Wellington fire destroys storage facility, record collections gone

Danny Lemon's photos of just some of the rare records he lost in the fire. Photos: Danny Lemon

The first news report I saw of this horrible fire in Wellington last Friday (April 4) was about Weta/LOTR cinematographer Alex Funke, who had lost his Oscars to the fire - they replace them, but he was saddened by the loss along with a lot of his camera gear. There was also mention of classic car owners who stored their cars there and took them out at weekends.

Funke told reporters he did not realise the units did not have sprinklers until today. "It's very upsetting, you put stuff in a storeroom and you say 'Well, it's safe, nobody's going to steal it, it's never going to burn down' - well obviously next time put it in a place with sprinklers." The building contained 750 storage units, one of five buildings used by Kiwi Self Storage Units in the suburb of Kilbirnie.

Then I heard the heartbreaking news via Facebook that several Wellington DJs had lost their storage units to the blaze. Danny Lemon (of pioneering Welli sound system Roots Foundation, which included the likes of DJ Mu, now of Fat Freddys Drop), lost over 8000 records, cassette tapes and ephemera. DJ Topknot lost his records and Splash (ex Manaia Toa, BaseFM) lost his records, clothing, furniture, and many other belongings. My thoughts go out to them for their sad losses.

Lemon said on Facebook that "As many of you will know, I lost my entire collection of 8500 records, save for 3-400 I have at home, in the storage fire yesterday here in Wellington, NZ. Many thanks to everyone who has contacted me or posted messages relating to this event. Here is an interview I did this afternoon on NZs National Radio. My condolences to Splash, and also Topknot, who also suffered substantial losses in the fire. My worst nightmare has been realised ... "

Many many people left messages of support for Danny on his Facebook page, and some even offered to give him some of their records.

Radio NZ: Danny Lemon on Kilburnie fire: "Wellington's DJ Lemon talks with Kirsten Johnstone about the loss of his extensive roots, reggae and house music record collection in the Kiwi Self-Storage fire in Kilbirnie."

Now comes the news reports that the Devastating Wellington blaze was 'intentionally lit'

excerpt: "Danny Lemon, a Wellington DJ and founding member of Roots Foundation, lost up to 8500 records in the fire. The largely reggae collection was 35 years in the making. If he tried to replace them all today, he estimated only five per cent would be available, but said given the time and money he would be able to replace most of it eventually.

The thought the fire may have been intentionally lit was "just malicious", he said.

He had cancelled his home insurance due to the appalling service from his insurance company about a year ago when a water pipe burst, flooding his apartment. About 500 records suffered water damage but the insurance company refused to send an assessor.

He was still trying to clarify if he had insurance through Kiwi Self Storage and hoped word it was likely arson did not complicate insurance matters further."

Author Chris Bourke (Blue Smoke) wrote a piece on the loss in the Kilburnie fire of the photographic archive of classical musician and photographer Tom Shanahan, a former member of the NZSO, who had planned to donate his collection of stills to the Turnbull Library. He also looks at how our media organisations treat their archival material.

ADDED April 16: Roots Foundation Fundraiser at San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellingoton, on 1st June with DJs Lemon, Koa, Goosebump, Cian, DLT, Rhys B, Dubhead, K-Tel, Duke Willis & Riki Gooch. $20 donation/entry

MORE 


Via Radio NZ: No sprinklers at gutted storage building

excerpt: "Kiwi Self Storage Units director Andrew Fraser said it was not the industry standard to have sprinklers at storage units, but the company would look at installing them at its other storage facilities.

The company has fully insured the building, but people need to have individual insurance to be covered."