Wednesday, November 26, 2014

African Offering, feat Nomo, Orgone, Bosq...

Great new compilation from Ubiquity Records: "African Offering" is a 17-track sojourn through Ubiquity's catalog of Afro-inspired tunes from NOMO's excursions into Afro-beat and Electronic music, to the Lions' Funk-tinged Reggae meets Soul, to Bosq's modern take on the Afro-disco sound.

Other gems include the horn-driven Funk of Brooklyn hard-hitters Ikebe Shakedown, library-inspired tunes by Shawn Lee's Ping-Pong Orchestra, percussion-driven Funk by Orgone, and heady Jazz from the Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra.

To round out the compilation the Warsaw Afrobeat Orchestra pay homage to the diversity of the African musical diaspora with 2 songs from their upcoming debut album."

01. NOMO - "Nu Tones"
02. Orgone - "A WOT"
03. Ikebe Shakedown - "The Offering"
04. Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra - "Gibbon's Dub"
05. The Lions - "Jungle Struttin"
06. Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra - "Ethio"
07. Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra - "Shaman"
08. Ikebe Shakedown - "The Hold Up"
09. Bosq of Whiskey Barons - "Dem Know feat. Kaleta"
10. Warsaw Afrobeat Orchestra - "Which Direction"
11. Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra - "Lagos Calling"
12. NOMO - "My Dear"
13. Ikebe Shakedown - "Tujunga"
14. Bosq of Whiskey Barons - "More Heavy feat. Kaleta"
15. Warsaw Afrobeat Orchestra - "Only Now"
16. Ikebe Shakedown - "Chosen Path"
17. NOMO - "Patterns"

Vinyl comeback, #266

Photo: ABC13

Vinyl records make a comeback - The Creightonian...
"... So why has vinyl experienced a resurgence of popularity in recent years? Simply put, there is more opportunity for cultural meaning in the music..."

Vinyl Comes Back From Near-Extinction - Jewish Business News

Inside the vinyl revival: Facts, fiction and rock 'n' roll - The Oregonian...

"... United’s Jay Millar told Billboard this year that they'd made an effort to make sure indies made their Record Store Day target.

"I wasn't aware of any indies that failed to meet the Record Store Day deadline, but I was aware of major label stuff that didn't make the deadline," he said, adding that the company has been on its round-the-clock schedule for two years. "It has gotten to the point where there really is no slow time. It's year-round."

It seems everyone is operating on a longer calendar, which complicates album releases as bands navigate digital and physical street dates and grapple with fan expectations. And with its twice-a-year schedule, Record Store Day is never far off.

"I was at the Warner Bros. Music offices and one of the guys there, he just got back from Amsterdam to check out pressing plants," Currier said. "He was running into the wall here in getting everything manufactured in a timely method. He's already putting things into manufacturing for April for Record Store Day."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Quiet Dawn feat Oddisee

New signing for First Word Records, French producer who works as Quiet Dawn... great mellow beat built on a sweet thumb piano sample...

FW say: "...Featuring the ever-excellent Oddisee and a remix from Eric Lau, we're stoked to be able to share this with you all. Over a lilting hip hop beat with sloping bass and shuffling percussion Oddisee drops trademark thoughtful lyricism in his inimitably languid style. 

It features a remix from in-demand producer Eric Lau, who adds heavy drums and an addictive hook to the original. Available as a limited edition 7", this is just the beginning for Quiet Dawn. We now have these in stock and will be shipping from tomorrow morning, so get your orders in! Click here to buy!

You can take a peek at an interview with QD over at Potholes in My Blog. Londoners can also come to our launch event at Ace Hotel next Saturday, with Quiet Dawn, Eric Lau and FW boss Gilla on the decks." 

From the Potholes IV, cool things about this track: " First, there’s the fact that Oddisee apparently turned his vocals in within a few days, and they were so perfect that Dawn didn’t have to do a damn thing to ‘em. And then Dawn mentions how he and his team in the studio were too lazy to go home and get shakers, so they recorded that part using brushes and jeans. Pretty rad, especially considering you probably wouldn’t have known that if he didn’t reveal it..." 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ring The Alarm playlist, Nov 22

St Etienne - Only love can break your heart
DNA feat Suzanne Vega - Tom's diner remix
Edwin Birdsong - Rapper dapper snapper
George Clinton - Hey good lookin' - Rush this mix
Gil Scott Heron - Grandma's hands
Lee Fields - In the woods
Magic tones - Together we shall overcome
Chuck Wood - Seven days is too long
Luther Ingram  - Oh baby don't you weep
Big Maybelle - I got a feeling
Len Barry - Bullseye
The Valdons - Stop wait a minute girl
Little Tommy - Baby can't you see
The Ringleaders - Grin and bare it
Benny Spellman - Fortune teller
Margie Joseph - One more chance
Sonny Knight and the Lakers - Sugarman
James Booker - Gonzo
Arthur Griswold - Pretty mama blues
Eddie Platt - Tequila
Bobby Moore  -Hey Mr DJ
John Gibbs and the US Steel Orchestra - J'Ouvert - Lord Echo Re-edit.
Mike Fabulous - (There's) something about Africa
Dennis Alcapone - Cassius Clay
Jo Jo Bennett - Canteloupe rock
The Orb feat lee Scratch Perry - Hold me upsetter
Pitch black - Flex - Sonsine remix
Rhythm and Sound feat Sugar Minott - Let Jah love come
Che Fu - Fade away - Soane remix
Rev Barrington - Cookie jar
Jamo Thomas - I spy
6ix- I'm like you

Magic Tones - Together we shall overcome 45

This gorgeous sweet soul tune is one of my faves right now. Here's some of the story behind this record.

From Soulful Detroit: "The Magic Tones rejoined forces with Mike [Hanks] and resuscitated his MAH'S label with a breath of well-timed opportunism. Their song, "Together, We Shall Overcome," was uncannily recorded just before the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, in April 1968, and thus coincided with the sense of despair and outrage that swept across America and around the world.

It's difficult to ascertain just how many copies sold, but it was a lot. Even though it doesn't have the dubious distinction of making Billboard's chart it was a red-hot song and lead singer Calvin Stephenson told me about his group's claim to fame: "We cut it at Magic City (studio on Grand River Avenue) on four track.

"We'd finished working on the tune, and the next day, that's when Martin got killed. I called Mike Hanks and said, 'Look, man, we got the perfect record for this situation.' He sent me down to United Sound and I mastered it. At the time Archer on Davidson was pressing 'em. We put it out the next day and (record store owner) Coachman was the first one to play it on his amplification (system) on the street.

"That's how the record got going. He called Mike and said, 'Man, I'm selling 'em as fast as I can get 'em!' My understanding is it sold 100,000 in the Detroit metropolitan area. Mike was making money distributing them himself."

Mr. Ed Wingate, the wealthy owner of Ric-Tic Records, had the song re-pressed in the hope of making it an even bigger hit. But things didn't live up to expectations, chiefly because Mike didn't do the deal until a couple of months after Dr King's death, by which time the tune was effectively out-of-date.

The Ric-Tic distributed pressing has a different B-side to the poignant and beautiful balled, "Fun To Be Young," which has Calvin Stephenson leading soulfully on the deceivingly jaunty title. This second release has a Northern Soul flavored song - "It's Better To Love" - on the flip, and these two songs were originally released on each side of a Solid Hit label 45 in 1967: a super-rare piece of Detroit vinyl.

The Magictones on all these sessions were Calvin Stephenson - who later joined the Undisputed Truth, Tyrone Barkley - who went on to cut a thumping record on the local Midsong label, ex-Baron Tyrone Douglas and Paul Willis..."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ron Moody and the Centaurs - The New Breed 45

I recently picked up this great 45 and looked up the story behind it. It travelled from Richmond, Virginia to the northern soul scene... It marks the one and only vinyl recording officially released by this band, although they reportedly have unreleased live recordings.

Ron Moody interviewed by

60s: Where and when was Ron Moody and the Centaurs formed?

Ron Moody: "The band was formed during the height of the British Invasion in 1964. We were junior high kids (now called middle school). We attended Brookland Junior High in Richmond, Virginia. The original members numbered five (no horns at the time). We were all classmates and neighborhood friends.

60s: What were the circumstances leading up to the recording of "If I Didn't Have A Dime"?

RM: "The great Gene Pitney originally recorded this song as a ballad. In the Southeast, there is a musical genre called "Beach Music". It is not to be confused with West Coast Surf Music. It is rooted in Rhythm and Blues and is indicative of Southern party bands in the 1960's (think of Animal House and that's the music we made!).

"There was a Carolina band called Bob Collins and The Fabulous Five who had reworked the song into more of a shuffle. We took that concept, changed it still more and added horns. By now we had a full blown horn section: sax, two trumpets and trombone.

"We picked an old obscure Jimmy Holiday tune called "The New Breed" for the B-side. The B-side is still a big song in England and is considered “Northern Soul", which is more or less the British counterpart of our "Beach Music".

"We borrowed $600 and found a studio outside of Baltimore. We drove up on a Sunday in March of 1969 and cut the two sides.

"The engineer was a young George Massenberg, who subsequently went on to worldwide fame as an engineer, audio equipment designer and producer.

"I remember being pretty much intimidated since this was my first attempt at recording under true professional circumstances. We were pleased with the results and proceeded home having no idea as to how the effort would be received."

from Mark Windle's It's Better To Cry blog:

Ron Moody: "New Breed was actually our choice for the A side, but Dime took off in the US. The Centaurs played all over south east US. We were still in high school and college for much of that period, so extensive travel was somewhat limited to the southern region, particularly Virginia and the Carolinas.

"Our first public appearance was as an opening act for Bill Deal and the Rhondels at college in Richmond, VA on January 15, 1965. We played every type of venue available, from outside festivals, big halls, private country club shows, high school proms, to college fraternity parties....and everything in between! We played with many of the area and regional bands of the day and opened for national acts including the Drifters, Jackie Wilson, the Impressions, Billy Stewart, and Percy Sledge. "

Ron himself has spent 35 years in sales and marketing with ABC/Dunhill, Polygram, and Universal. He also continues with his song writing and has produced material for several beach and soul acts including Paul Craver, the Holiday Band and Archie Bell. Ron Moody and the Centaurs continue to tour today."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Real Groovy turns thirty three and a third

"LP records spin at 33 1/3 rpm and on Saturday November 22nd Real Groovy turns 33 and a 1/3rd years old. In a year where the vinyl revival is stronger than ever we're celebrating our 33 1/3 rd birthday with a very special day in-store by:

1. Releasing A Day In My Mind's Mind, a double LP compilation of seminal NZ Pop/Psych from the late 60's, early 70's, all lovingly remastered for vinyl, in a gatefold sleeve with expansive liner notes detailing the time and place and history.

2. Presenting live in-store performances from four of the original vocalists featured on the album, backed by local retro rockers The Situations.

3. Offering on limited edition vinyl for the first time the chart-topping debut album We Rise from powerhouse Hamilton rock act, Devilskin, along with the new Live at the Powerstation CD+DVD set.

4. Welcoming Devilskin to perform a short live set.

5. Gathering together a handful of our favourite people to DJ and keep the party going.

Come out and see us on Saturday 22nd November at 438 Queen Street from 9am to 7pm and help us celebrate this numerical coincidence

Live Music Schedule
Starting at 2.00pm
Situations...Rock n Roll Jimbo (their new single)
Ray Woolf....Little Things That Happen
Gregg O'Donnell from The Music Convention...Belly Board Beat
Gregg O'Donnell from The Music Convention...Footprints On My Mind
John Ellis from The Spectres...Anything You Like
Glyn Tucker from The Gremlins...Blast Off 1970
Bill Ward from The Human Instinct....A Day In My Mind's Mind (with Ray Morgan from The Principals on flute)

Starting at 4.00pm - Devilskin

Guest DJs include:
12.00pm-1.00pm Jacinda Adern (MP)
1.00pm-2.00pm Paul Martin (Devilskin)
3.00pm-4.00pm Nathan Hickey (Beastwars)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tuxedo just do it

Stonesthrow Records say: 'Tuxedo emerged last year with three tracks of smooth, synth-heavy, disco funk, and accompanied by no information whatsoever about the group except a greeting – "Tuxedo is here! Stay classy." Some speculate that this is the work of Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One. 

Judging by Hawthorne's cameo in this new video for "Do It" we might assume either that the rumors are correct, or that he has moved into the valet industry.'

There are a couple more tracks to listen to over on their website,

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Secret stash o soul mix

I've been buying a bunch of 45s lately, so here's a wee mix of em. Some old 45s, and some brand new recordings from Minneapolis label Secret Stash, including a great cover of Sugarman by Sonny Knight and the Lakers, check em out. Enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2014

RIP Soane

Soane Filitonga

Well known Auckland DJ Soane (aka Soane Filitonga) passed away at the weekend, of a heart attack. He was in his early 40s.

I first came across Soane when he was one of the doormen at Box/Cause Celebre in High St. He was one of the very cool Polynesian bros on the door there, as King Kapisi recalled... "I was brother B, Manuel Bundy was brother M, and he was brother S. Over 20 years ago, I arrived in Auckland and met one of the most nicest poly brothers on the door with Rosetti (rip), Siaosi Junior Tagaloa down at the box. All of my Gifted & Brown Welli family will always love our brother Soane, for all the good times, fond memories and solid "poly brothership" that we found from a young Tongan when we were so far from home."

Soane moved to Sydney in 1995 to pursue DJing, and returned in 97, taking up an influential DJ residency at Calibre, up on K Rd.

Audioculture's bio of Soane notes that "Born in the village of Vava'u in Tonga, Soane Filitonga was a pioneering DJ and dance producer based in Auckland who had substantial success both in New Zealand and in the UK dance scenes between 1998 and the mid-2000s.

A doorman at Roma [in the Civic theatre basement] and Box/Cause Celebre nightclubs in Auckland in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was also spinning records as DJ Big Daddy by 1993 with a regular Sunday residency at Cause Celebre in 1994, having begun playing various parties around Auckland in 1989.

.... Calibre was the club of the moment and Soane was quickly the club’s superstar DJ. He was taken under the wing of the visiting DJ/producers from Manchester’s very hip Paper Recordings and Blackpool’s Shaboom Records and encouraged to write and produce.

Soane would release three singles for the label over the next two years – ‘Go Master’, ‘Herringbone’ and ‘Saxy Beast’ (the last with Dick Johnson). Each entered the UK club charts.

Soane also released three singles as a member of Troffman, with Englishmen Ben Davis and Dick Johnson, for the UK label Shaboom including ‘Le Saucier’, a big British club hit in 2000, with a Greg Churchill and Peter Van der Fluit remix on the B-side.

Soane toured the UK and France in 1999 and again in 2000, still finding time to remix DLT, Che Fu and King Kapisi for single release in New Zealand.

A DJ mix album In Music released by the label of the same name in 2002 was followed two years later by Soane’s first full album New Zealand release Tongan Chic, released by In Music in 2004, and partially funded by Red Bull.

Co-produced by Luke Tomes and Dick Johnson, the album was critically well received and included the single ‘Where Do We Go?’ with vocals from Anthony Gold (Anthony Ioasa), a substantial Auckland club and radio hit that year. The album also included vocal contributions from Sisters Underground's Hassanah Iroegbu, Boh Runga and Tha Feelstyle."

In a 2004 interview with Stephen Jewell for NZ Musician, Soane said that "... the defining moment was when I was working the door of The Box / Cause Celebre and standing at the top or the bottom door between the two rooms.

"There would be this 'oomph oomph' coming out of The Box but every now and again, someone would walk out of Cause Celebre and they'd be tinges of jazz filtering through over the top of the 'oomph oomph.' I'd be like 'this is amazing!' I was exposed to some really great music and great musicians.

"I used to hang around in Celebre as well because I was friends with Nathan and that. I remember before samplers had come out, Nathan and I would go into the studio and make loops off records, put them onto DAT and take the DAT player down to the club. Manuel Bundy would be in the booth and I'd be sitting there with a DAT player. I'd play the DAT with the backing track and then the band would come out and jam over the top of it. Then Nathan would cut the backing track and the band would play on."

TVOne News: 'Founding father' of Auckland hip hop, dance scenes dies
NZ Herald: Veteran Auckland club DJ Soane mourned

Soane - All I Need, feat Tha Feelstyle, Boh Runga, and Manuel Bundy...

Soane interviewed for tv show Tagata Pasifika, 2002...

RayCalver: RIP Soane Filitonga. Legend of house music, master on the decks and a nice guy.

Soane with Dick Johnson
Soane with Dick Johnson. Photo: Ray Carver

From NZ Herald notices: "FILITONGA Watkins, Soane Maimiso (Soane) Born 24-02-1971. Passed away on 09-11-2014. Soane Maimiso Filitonga Watkins peacefully passed away on Sunday, November 9th, 2014 at his home in Takapuna, Auckland. Adored father of Sesilia, loved partner of Nikki, beloved son of the late Ana and Teluo Filitonga, cherished brother of Sesilia, Maimiso, Siaosi, Sharyn, Sameini, Yoko, Lisa, Mikio and Leiko and all the fanau. Much loved family member of Esther and the Watkins family. Funeral service will be at St Benedicts Church, 1 St Benedicts Street, Auckland on Friday 14th November 2014 at 1:30 pm...."
Published in The New Zealand Herald from Nov. 12 to Nov. 13, 2014

Fulgeance & DJ Scientist 7

Via First Word Records: "The debut 7" from Fulgeance & DJ Scientist is now shipping! We had a little delay with the manufacture but they will be winging their way out of FWHQ from Monday morning! You can pick up your copy right here.

For those that don't already know, Scientist is renowned as one of Germany's most prolific record collectors. Trawling through his extensive collection he dug out a haul of rare samples for Fulgeance, MPC virtuoso and one half of Souleance, who transformed the source material into one of the most exciting projects on our label so far.

The full album 'The Soviet Tape' is out in early December - until then, get a slice of Moscow Nightlife comrades!"

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Ring The Alarm playlist, Nov 8

John Gibbs and the US Steel Orchestra - J'Ouvert - Lord Echo Re-edit
James White and the Blacks - Contort yourself - August Darnell remix
ESG  - Moody (spaced out)
Kid Creole and the coconuts - I'm a wonderful thing baby
Gwen Guthrie - Seventh heaven
Myron and E - Do it disco - Tom Noble remix
Rare earth - Big John is my name
The Pharaohs -The Pharaohs love y'all
Magic tones - Together we shall overcome
Isley Bros - Behind the painted smile
Len Barry - Bullseye
Impressions - Taking bout my baby
Bobby Moore - Hey Mr DJ
Linda Jones - Just can't live my life
Ron Moody and the centaurs - The new breed
David T Walker - Lay lady lay
Third coast kings - High tops
Bergendy - Tramp - Peter Mac edit
Bullwackies allstars - Boma ye dub
Prince Douglas - Jam love dub
Big Youth - Jim screechy - Smith and Mighty remix
Born Jamericans - Yardcore
DLT - Poison - Mario C remix inst
Tiger - Who planned it
Mo kolours - Little brown dog
Mandrill - Ali bombaye I & II
Candido - Candido's funk
Collie Buddz - Hustle
Bitty Maclean - Single barrel
Dream warriors - Wash your face in my sink
Quincy Jones - Soul bossa nova

Thursday, November 06, 2014

J-Star goodie bag

Wee sonic goodie bag from UK's J-Star, heading our way in early 2015 as part of the lineup for Splore. Check his Tooting Gangsta mashup, still good.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Funk, Soul and Afro Rarities : An Introduction to ATA Records

Go have a listen to the 5 preview tracks up online now, astonishingly funky UK bizznizz...

"With The Harmony Society's sleaze funk, The Lamplighters sounding like a cross between Isaac Hayes and Roy Budd, The Mandatory Eight with their Kool And The Gang horns and The Sorcerers amazingly sounding like Ethiopian Jazz, all very much ahead of its time. Plus throw sitar into the equation and just about all funk boxes are ticked.... 

...The story of this label  is set in the heart of the North of England, in the Yorkshire city of Leeds, where ATA's boutique analog studio spent years developing it's sound to create a vast, rich catalog of soulful music which utilised the handsome wealth of local musical talent and boasted a recording output to rival that of it's New York and Detroit contemporaries

The 12 recordings on this compilation encapsulate the high quality playing, performing and production which sealed the burgeoning reputation that ATA was gaining within Leeds and wets the appetite as to what the label could have achieved in the greater musical landscape of that period, both domestically and internationally.

Here & Now Recordings are overwhelmingly humbled to be able to share such a rich slice of UK Funk and Soul history with you where a commitment to carefully restore the material with similar 1960s and 1970s analog instruments and equipment was both a logical duty and personal pleasure."

Out Nov 10 on vinyl/CD/digital thru Here & Now Recordings

Mr Scruff - Ninja Tune "A really good, sleazy collection. The Reverend Barrington is a particular favourite, a slinky & sleazy monster, like a slightly wrigglier JBs"

Quinton Scott - Strut Records "Sounds great. Love the Sorcerers Ethio vibes !"

Kon - BBE "Sounding like Mulatu meets David axelrod... heavy !"

Monday, November 03, 2014

Māori HiFi drop compilation

Features Mara TK (Electric Wire Hustle), B-Haru  (Ladi6, @Peace), Morning Steppa, Choice Vaughn, DJ Spell, TDK... name your price.

"The Maori HiFi is a collective of like-minded DJs who have come together to tautoko (support) each-other in their individual endeavours."