Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Hallelujah Picassos new single out Dec 9

My band Hallelujah Picassos are back with a ripping new single, Dirty Suits. Having spent a bunch of time in the studio this past year, the Picassos return with a song that’s a companion piece to Hang All Bankers off their last recording, The Bullet That Breaks The Key EP.

Originally written by the band’s singer Roland Rorschach with Darryn Harkness (current Picassos bass player) and first performed with Darryn’s band New Telepathics, here the Picassos reinvent the song, breathing new life into its twisted soul. The song follows themes from the EP, talking about money, politics and corruption.

Out December 9, 2016 on digital thru Bandcamp

Dirty Suits was recorded and produced by Darryn Harkness and Hallelujah Picassos at the Institute for Telepathic Research. Mastered by Angus McNaughton at Auralux. Cover art image by John Pain.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Garbato sessions - remixes

"Totó La Momposina has become a legend worldwide for her work with traditional music from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. As a singer, dancer and teacher she embodies that fertile place where Colombia’s African, Indigenous Indian and Spanish cultures mingle to create a unique musical tradition. Now in her 70s she continues to record, perform and collaborate, developing the music she loves.

Totó’s music has been sampled and remixed by countless DJs and producers from Timbaland to Michel Cleis - indeed the trance-like grooves of her tambores and the majesty of her voice continue to be an irresistible formula.

The Garabato Sessions bring influences from Bristol to Bogotá, with new remixes of Totó’s classic "Adios Fulana”. DJ, musician and remixer, Rob Smith (RSD), best known for making and playing breakbeat, drum & bass and dubstep, and as half of the duo Smith & Mighty (with Ray Mighty) provides the Bristol connection with his remixes."

Out Dec 2 on digital/vinyl, on Real World Records.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, November 26

Wabine - Sail on
Bohannon - Feel like dancin'
Dennis Edwards - Don't look any further (Bobby Busnach edit)
Dennis Coffey - Plutonius (Relcoose re-dub)
Adrian Sherwood - Dennis Bovine (Tribute to Blackbeard)
Bim Sherman - Golden locks
Herbs - French letter dub
Aretha Franklin - I am in love (Cutec edit)
Jose James - Blackmagic (Joy Orbison's recreation)
Tony Allen - No accommodation for Lagos
Shogun orchestra - Mifune
Labelle - What can I do for you?
Buddy Miles - Them changes
Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose - Good loving don't come easy

Sharon Jones and the Dapkings -
This land is you land / Better things / I got the feeling / Stranger to my happiness / How do I let a good man down? / Nobody's baby / Inspiration information / Mama don't like my man /

Breakdown brass  - Next episode
Scrimshire - Chaka's night in Tunisia
The Emotions - I like it
John Gary Williams - The whole damn world is going crazy
Booker T and the MGs - Melting pot
Phil Cohran and the artistic heritage ensemble - Frankiphone blues
The Pharaohs - The Pharaohs love y'all

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club compilation vol 4

That cover of White Lines, wooo... "In 2012 Freestyle Records teamed up with broadcaster, actor and DJ Craig Charles to release the first instalment in The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club compilation series, featuring many funk and soul classics as featured on his BBC 6 Music radio show and from his live DJ sets. Since then, two further instalments have been released and now Freestyle are proud to present the biggest edition yet; Volume 4.

Volume 4 opens up with three disco tinged bangers; Kylie Auldists’ “Family Tree” will transport you directly onto the dance-floor of New York's legendary Studio 54 discotheque, Smoove & Turrell’s cover of Hot Chocolates’ “You Could’ve Been A Lady” has got that Newcastle boogie vibe down, Lexsoul Dancemachine have marinated “Beef Grinder” in sizzling hi hat cymbals and a spicy clav riff so saucy Stevie Wonder would be shocked!"

Out December 9 on Freestyle Records, CD/Digital.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Aaradhna speaks out

Aaradhna's speech at the VNZMA's on Thursday night, where she gave away her award for Best Urban/Hiphop album (to fellow finalists, SWIDT), has been attracting a lot of comment.

In case you missed her speech, it's in full here at The Spinoff

Snip: "... this song is ‘Brown Girl’, and it speaks so many things. It speaks on racism, and being placed in a box. And for me, I feel like if I was to accept this, I feel like I’m not being truthful in my song. And I feel like if you’re putting a singer next to a hip-hop artist, it’s not fair. I’m a singer, I’m not a rapper, I’m not a hip-hop artist. It feels like I’ve been placed in the category of brown people. That’s what it feels like."

Later in the evening Aaradhna performed the song Brown Girl, ending it with the words of the song onscreen, saying "I'm not just the colour of my skin". It may not have appeared on TV, but she got a standing ovation at the end of the song.

The resonance of her performing this song at this spot, that was inspired by a series of racist outbursts that happened at a previous music awards is stunning. Here's that backstory....

Aaradhna: "I won my first award [at the 2013 nz music awards], and one of the girls heard – when I went up to get my award – heard a guy a few rows down from her say yell “fuck off back to India”. None of my brothers and sisters heard it, I’m glad they didn’t. He was talking a lot of shit.

"Then I won the second award and he goes “F off! Boo, Boo!” and stuff like that. That second time, my girl goes “oh you’d better be quiet, this is her brothers and sisters here and he goes, “I don’t give a damn, I don’t give a fuck”. And then I won the third award, and he got up and walked out. The whole time I didn’t know anything, and at the end of it she tells me about it.

"It was a good moment to win all the awards but that moment really ruined it for me you know? That one little thing is actually not little, it’s big and that’s the moment that made me feel like writing about it...."

Some of the commentary around her win and rejection of the urban/hiphop award has been along the lines of if she didn't want to be in that category, then don't enter. It's incredibly hard to get any recognition here if you work in the arts (not if you play rugby tho). 

Event organisers Recorded Music NZ (RMNZ) said they would consider looking at adding a soul/RnB category next year. RMNZ boss Damian Vaughn told The Wireless he thought her speech was the highlight of the show, and that her manager had already raised this issue of needing a new category previously (Aaradhna has also spoekn on this, as have other artists in these two genres that are lumped together).

"The category that she entered, that her management entered her into is Urban/Hip hop, and I think she used the time to point out that she doesn’t consider herself a rapper, and that the category doesn’t necessarily reflect the music that she’s making. How we define that category is working primarily within the urban genres of R&B, hiphop, soul and funk, and she was put forward by her management for that category.

"But it's not like the awards don’t evolve, so in the last few years we’ve tweaked a few categories with consultation with the artists who've entered into those categories previously."

It's good to see Vaughn responding positively to this  - I remember when the hiphop category was finally introduced in 2002, over a decade after people started making hip hop records here. The hiphop community here spent years agitating for an award at the music awards, and the industry here largely ignored it, just like they ignored rap cos they genuinely thought it was a fad that would die out., And then it become the biggest selling genre on the planet.

RIP Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones in full flight. Photo: Matthew Allen

Very sad news, Miss Sharon Jones has passed away, aged 60. I had the pleasure of meeting her at Womad, when she and the Dapkings performed there in 2008, their first time here. Got to tell her how much I loved her music. RIP

From Daptone:

May 4, 1956 - November 18, 2016

We are deeply saddened to announce that Sharon Jones has passed away after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings.

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations:
- The Lustgarten Foundation
- James Brown Family Foundation
- Little Kids Rock

From the New York Times:

"... Ms. Jones was that rare music star who found fame in middle age, when she was in her 40s.

In addition to working as a correction officer at Rikers Island and an armed guard for Wells Fargo, Ms. Jones, who had grown up singing gospel in church choirs, initially dabbled in professional music as a session singer and the vocalist in a wedding band, Good N Plenty.

After meeting Gabriel Roth, the producer and songwriter also known as Bosco Mann, Ms. Jones made the leap from backup singer to main attraction. Desco Records released her debut 7-inch vinyl single, “Damn It’s Hot,” in 1996. She was 40.

With the encouragement and songwriting of Mr. Roth, who co-founded the Brooklyn soul and funk revival label Daptone Records and serves as the bandleader of the Dap-Kings, Ms. Jones’s full-length debut, “Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings,” came out in 2002. She would go on to release four more studio albums and two compilations on the small label, a point of pride for the fiercely independent Ms. Jones.
With her late start, Ms. Jones recorded and performed at an unrelenting pace, and in the last year and a half of her life she made two albums, opened two national tours for Hall & Oates, was featured in a television commercial for Lincoln (performing the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider”) and starred in “Miss Sharon Jones!,” a documentary about her life.

The film traced her life from the diagnosis of Stage 2 pancreatic cancer in 2013 through her triumphant return to the stage in 2015. Ms. Jones is survived by four siblings, seven nieces and three nephews....

... During her illness, Ms. Jones and the Dap-Kings earned a Grammy nomination in 2015 for best R&B album with “Give the People What They Want.” (“Why is there not a category for soul?” Ms. Jones told Billboard at the time. “That’s my goal. Put me in the right category.”)

ADDED: Gabe Roth spoke to the LA Times about her last days:

Roth said in an interview Saturday, suffered a stroke on Nov. 8 — election night -- as she was watching the returns. He immediately flew to Cooperstown N.Y., where she was in the hospital, and summoned the rest of the band.

“She told the people that were there that Trump gave her the stroke,” said Roth, laughing.

Binky [Griptite, a Dap-Kings member] started to play the guitar and she started humming along. It was kind of remarkable. She was just moaning at first, and then she was moaning in tune and then she started following chord changes and pretty soon she was humming "His Eye on the Sparrow" with him.

We all just kept playing and singing with her, and little by little over the next couple of days she actually started moving her mouth and started singing lyrics. She just wanted to sing these gospel songs.

Every time we'd stop, she’d just keep singing -- “Amazing Grace” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” “This Little Light of Mine.” We just stayed with her and sang with her and played music with her.

She still couldn't talk, and couldn't answer questions, but that part of her that's singing, that part of her that made music and that loved music and that was musical just didn't want to go. It was just so strong."

Ring The Alarm playlist, November 19

Gary Byrd - The crown
Paul McCartney - What's that you're doing
Linda Lyndell - What a man
Mayer Hawthorne - Maybe so maybe no
Erma Franklin - Piece of my heart
Young Disciples - All I have in me (Musiqarium mix)
Nuyorican Soul  - I am the black gold of the sun (MAW mix feat Q-Tip)
Benny Spellman - Fortune teller
Tony Alvon and the Belairs - Sexy coffee pot
Fabulous  Counts - Lunar funk
Charles Wright - Doing what comes naturally
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Take me with u
Zapp - More bounce to the ounce
BT Express -Give it what you got
Misha Panfilov Sound Combo - Offbeat comet
Jean Jaques Perrey and Luke Vibert - Ye olde beatbox
Stetsasonic - Talking all that jazz (Dominoes mix)
Team Dynamite feat Che Fu - Coconut lime
Urban Disturbance - Figure this kids
Electric Wire Hustle - I light a candle
The Frightnrs - I'd rather go blind
Bob & Gene feat the Inversions - I can be cool
Chosen Few - People make the world go round
Alton Ellis - Too late
Ruts DC - Rhythm collision (RSD remix)
Dub Funk Association - Enter the chuzzler
Sly n Robbie - Superthruster
 James Brown - Licking stick

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Kerbside Collection gets remixed

From Légère Recordings: "Aussie rare groove ensemble Kerbside Collection’s second album of instrumental funk and jazz grooves "Trash Or Treasure" (from May 2015) gets the remix, rework and re-use treatment with a variety of re-interpretations with everything from downtempo hip-hop/neo-soul and dusty analogue lounge beats, to fuzzy, Balearic electronic club workouts and even some broken beat flavors.

Whether it's Street Rat’s modern neo-soul [he's an expat Kiwi and Jordan Rakei's guitarist], jazzy take of opener "Walk The Talk", DJ/Producer Sampology's sitar disco vibes on "Strawberry Fields", Kerbside drummer Paprika's re-rub of the title track, German producer Renegades of Jazz with his trademark funky breaks or Melbourne based Kallellak (bass player for The Seven Ups and Wvr Bvby) giving "Cypress" a crazy chopped-up and stretched-out rework, this record is guaranteed all killers and no fillers!"

Out November 14, digital/ltd vinyl 12".

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, November 12

James White and the Blacks - Contort yourself
Chaka Khan - I feel for you
Orange Juice - Rip it dub (Dicky Trisco edit)
52nd Street - Cold as ice
Heaven 17 - We don't need this fascist groove thang
Tackhead - Ticking time bomb
Prince Charles and the city beat band - Cash (cash money)
Parliament - Chocolate city
Staple Singers - Washington we're watching you
Curtis Mayfield - Can't say nothin'
El Michels Affair - Detroit Twice
Billy Butler - Right track
Shirley Ellis - Soul time
Edwin Starr - Back street
Esther Phillips - Just say goodbye
Syreeta - I love every little thing about you
Robert Glasper Experiment -Twice (Questlove's twice baked remix)
Tall Black Guy - Sexci Senhora
Fulgeance   -Tribute to Masekela
Pitch Black - Flex (Sonsine remix)
Rhythm and sound feat Paul St Hilaire - What a mistry
Fat Freddys Drop - Mother mother (Theo Parrish translation)
DNA feat Suzanne Vega - Tom's diner

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, November 5

Juhani - Bigger vat
Amrals Trinidad Cavaliers - It sure is funky
SOS Band - Take you time do it right
Rose Royce - Is it love you're after (Get down edit)
Chic - Would you be my baby
Dalvanius - Who said that
Fat Freddys Drop - Midnight marauders (El Head version)
Delroy Wilson - Dancing mood
Tommy McCook - Sampson
Andy and Joey - You're wondering now
Plastic junk - Man from Atlantis
Mike Fabulous - Rhythm 77
Patti Jo - Make me believe in you
The Winstons - Need a replacement
Major Lance - Hey little girl
The Impressions - Woman's got soul
The Fascinations - Girls are out to get you
Gene Chandler  - Nothing can stop me
Curtis Mayfield - Give me your love
Baby Huey and the Babysitters - Hard times
Aretha Franklin - Jump
Staple Singers -Your funky love
Mavis Staple - Chocolate city
Budos Band - Daytripper
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - I'm still here
Myron and E with the Soul Investigators - It's a shame
DJ Spinna - Abysmal
DJ Vadim feat Demolition Man - Leaches
KLF - Justified and ancient
Johnny Hammond - Fantasy (Marc Mac beatdrop version)
Kova and Miles - Clap clap

Thursday, November 03, 2016

MY NEIGHBOURHOOD Māngere-Ōtāhuhu by Anonymouz

This is well worth a watch...

MY NEIGHBOURHOOD Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Community Visual Music EP (produced by Anonymouz)

"Over 100 talented local participants, from emerging grassroots to established artists, primary and secondary schools, community groups and leaders from the Māngere and Ōtāhuhu area have contributed to the making of a combined Community music project, facilitated and produced by award winning sound and music producer Anonymouz aka Matthew Faiumu Salapu.

The voices of yesterday, today and tomorrow - all packed into a 45-minute short film. Make sure to watch it from top to bottom to get the full picture."

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

New Myele Manzanza album out Nov 11

Myele Manzanza, former drummer for Electric Wire Hustle, has a new album out soon, and is playing some very cool shows in Auckland (Nov 23) and Wellington (Nov 24) with label mate Ross McHenry. Guests on the album include Mark de Clive Lowe, Nia Andrews, and Miguel Atwood Ferguson.

Myele says "Been sitting on this for way too long, super excited to announce the release of my second album OnePointOne!" Sneak preview below:


New Lee Field album 'Special Night' out Nov 4

From Big Crown Records: "There are a few terms that get thrown around loosely, two of which are legend and retro-soul. One of these fits Lee Fields hand and glove, one of these doesn’t fit at all. Very few people in music have both earned the status of legendary and continue to solidify it. Fifty years in the game and only getting better, gaining more fans, and evolving his sound on each album, Lee is in fact a Living Legend. 

This brings us to the misuse of the term "retro-soul" when talking about Mr. Fields. You don’t have to look far to find a younger generation emulating the essence and styles of an era they've only experienced through music and movies. It seems unfair to tag Lee with a term that implies imitation when he is part of the generation that actually defined the genre. Plain and simple, this is not that. "Special Night" is a masterclass in soul music past and present.

“I feel that every human being’s purpose is to do what their inner voice says to do,” says Lee Fields. “And my inner voice, my driving force, wants me to put out music and keeping making better records.”

Produced by Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck, and brilliantly performed by the Expressions, Special Night was written, recorded, mixed, and mastered entirely to tape in three weeks at the legendary Diamond Mine Studios in Queens, NY."

Out November 4  on LP/CD/digital, listen/buy it from Big Crown

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Lord Echo new 12 coming

Lord Echo recently signed with Soundway Records for his new album called Harmonics, first single coming soon...

Via Lord Echo's FB page: "It is with great relief that I announce the release of this 12" titled 'Just Do You' coming out Dec 9th on Soundway Records and Wonderful Noise in Japan.
Links to worldwide preorders here : https://www.soundwayrecords.com/Shop/DownloadDetails… and for Japan here : http://diskunion.net/clubh/ct/detail/1007238311 .

"There's two vocal cuts from Electric Wire Hustle 's Mara TK and Fat Freddy's Drop 's Toby Laing, and this kind of disco dub thing that I'm particularly pleased with. Thank god, I've basically retreated from social media due to shame from the fact that I'm still just working on this record, so maybe I can start to show my face again."

Audio preview on Lord Echo FB

Lord Echo has also been added to the bill for next year's Womad Festival in New Plymouth.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, October 29

James Brown - Stone to the bone
The JBs - Giving up food for funk
Family of Eve - I wanna be loved by you (Kenny Dope remix)
Clarence Reid - Masterpiece (Kenny Dope Edit)
Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes - Wake up everybody (DJ Apt One re-edit)
Bill Doggett - Honky tonk pt 1
Lorraine Chandler - You only live twice
Barbara Lynn - This is the thanks I get
The Saintones - Sugar daddy
Mary Wells - Bye bye baby
Herman Griffin - Uptight
Stevie Wonder - Contract on love
Spanky Wilson - Sunshine of your love
Bobby Angelle - Its just gotta be that way
The Tibbs - Next time
Hannah Williams and the Affirmations - Woman got soul
Chaka Khan - What cha gonna do for me
Womack and Womack - Teardrops
Cutty Ranks -The Stopper (Richard Dorfmeister Meets Markus Kienzl remix)
Jules Issa - Dangerous game
Sound Foundation - Ram dancehall
Butch Cassidy Sound System - Cissy strut
Augustus Pablo - East of the River Nile
The Wailers - Black progress/say it loud dub
Jackie Mittoo - Earthquake
Confucius - Shanti riddum (Pylonz edit)
Lord Julien - Shades
Art of noise - Beatbox
Hall and Oates - Crime pays
Simonsound - Tour de Mars