Friday, March 23, 2018

Deva Mahal drops debut album

Hawaiian-born Deva Mahal was resident in Wellington in the early 2000s, studying jazz and vocal performance, making a name for herself, then toured Europe as part of Fat Freddys Drop live ensemble.

She moved to New York in 2007, teaming up with fellow expat Steph Brown (LIPs) as the duo Fredericks Brown.

Her solo debut drops March 23 (CD/Digital), and features collaborations with Binky Griptite (Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings). She's recently been doing live appearances with him at SXSW.

Check it.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Ring The Alarm playlist March 17

Mike James Kirkland - Hang on in there
Donald Byrd - Love has come around (Combo re-edit)
James Brown - Stone to the bone
Mophono - The edge
Dave Baby Cortez - Happy feet
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels - Breakout
Billy Vera and Judy Clay - Really together
Barbara Acklin - Just aint no love
The Impressions  -I can't satisfy
The C.O.D.s - I'm  a good guy
Gene Chandler - No peace, no satisfaction
The Winstons - Amen, brother
Carlton Brasco - Don't chain my soul
Flying Stars of Brooklyn - My God has a telephone
The Harlem Gospel Travellers - He's on time
Mel Davis - Just another smile
Ikebe Shakedown - The prisoner
Gianmarco Liguori - Beat instrumental
Billy Stewart - Billy's blues
Bo Diddley - Roadrunner
Muddy Waters - Rolllin' stone
Ike and Tina Turner - Somebody somewhere needs you
War - Why can't we be friends?
Quantic - Make dub not war
Sly n Robbie meets Dubmatix - Great wall
Lee Fields - Wish you were here, Just can't win
El Michels Affair feat The Shacks, Lee Fields - Tearz
Nolan Thomas -Yo little brother (vocal/dub mix)
Myagi - I got beat up by a 303

4 Tha Lumana'i from Anonymouz

"A ground-breaking live performance led by music and sound producer Anonymouz, 4 THA LUMANA’I finds the parallels between traditional Sāmoan customs and contemporary Hip Hop artforms. Backed by compelling video projection, a cast of local Sāmoan tulāfale orator chiefs join rappers, poets and community performers for a living conversation between the past, present and future."

23 & 24 March 7.30pm, Mangere Arts Centre. Tickets are free, but booking is required to guarantee your place – book here

Anonymouz. Photo -NZHerald

From NZHerald: " South Auckland music producer Anonymouz - aka Matthew Faiumu Salapu - is bringing both Samoan oratory (lauga) and hip-hop music together in a ground-breaking performance as part of the Auckland Arts Festival's Whanui programme.

He leads 4 Tha Lumana'I , a performance which will highlight the similarities between traditional Samoan oratory customs and contemporary hip-hop using a cast of Samoan tulafale orator chiefs, rappers, poets and community performers.

It's being described as living conversation between the past, present and future and has its roots in a visit the recording artist made to Samoa in 2012 to mark its 50th anniversary of independence from New Zealand.

Tasked to make a contribution to the event, he recorded everyday sounds from the local environment and turned them into beats. He says that saw him move away from using old New York beats in his music and start thinking more about traditional culture and customs.

It wasn't long before he was keeping a keen ear out for the ways in which lauga are structured and delivered. Anonymouz saw parallels between the way in which both lauga and — especially in battle raps — seek to persuade and influence.

Having now seen a "battle" between a rapper and tulafale orator chief, he says 4 Tha Lumana'I will highlight to all involved the likeness between the two apparently disparate language arts and also helps them understand the skills needed in both forms.

"It's hard to have an appreciation of something you don't understand," says Anonymouz, "but this shows the older people why hip-hop is popular and the younger ones learn something about customs and traditions." 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Gumba Fire: Bubblegum Soul & Synth​-​Boogie in 1980s South Africa

Via Bandcamp Daily, some cool afro pop goodness...

'As the days of disco wound down in the early 1980s, pop music around the world mutated in various ways, all of it influenced to some degree by the proliferation and new accessibility of synthesizers and drum machines. In black South Africa, there was “bubblegum”—not related to Western manufactured teen pop, it was an effervescent mix of bouncy drum pads and funky synths with soulful, harmony-heavy vocals, meant for pure fun and uplift, something sorely needed during apartheid days.

And indeed, this compilation of rare tracks meant as an introduction to the sound is a true delight from start to finish, from the moody synth melody on The Survivals’ “My Brother” to the power vocals on the freestyle-esque “Do You Trust Amajita?,” by Ntombi Ndaba, to the whistle percussion on Condry Ziqubu’s “She’s Impossible.”

One can imagine these tunes soundtracking block parties then and now, bringing neighbourhoods together. Bubblegum might not have been built to last, but I’m incredibly glad these tunes have another life decades later; the sugar rush, hearing them, springs eternal.' – Jes Skolnik

Out now on Soundway, 2LP/Digital

Monday, March 12, 2018

Ring The Alarm playlist March 10

Dee Dee Sharp Gamble - Easy Money (Todd Terje edit)
Rev Gary Davis - Got to get your love (Kenny Dope edit)
Lavada and E Mallison - Game of life (re-edit)
The Bamboos - Tighten up
Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd st rhythm band - Express yourself
Tony Alvon and the Belairs - Sexy coffee pot
Freddie and the Kinfolk - Mashed potato, popcorn
The Mighty Hannibal - Somebody in the world for you
The Noble Knights - Sing a simple song
The Meters - Soul machine
The Stovall Sisters - Hang on in there
Jimmy James and the Vagabonds - Hi diddly dee dum dum (it's a good feeling)
The Ringleaders - Grin and bare it
Four Tops - You keep running away
Alice Clark - Never did I stop loving you
Lee Fields and the Expressions - Ladies, Honey dove (playing 14 March at Auckland Arts Festival)
Calibro35 - Modo
New Telepathics - Goat magic
Bei Bei and Shawn Lee -Year of the funky
The Flying Stars of Brooklyn - God has a telephone
Della Reese - It was a very good year
Bobby Byrd - Doin' the do
Yosi Horikawa - Wandering (Rough fields remix)
Jose James - Desire (Moodymann remix)
Billie Holiday - That ol devil called love (Moodymann remix)
Ray Barretto - Acid
Lord Echo - Digital haircut dub

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Ring The Alarm playlist March 3

Salmonella Dub - Problems (Sonsine Dat little thing dub )
Boozoo Bajou - Night over Manaus (Soulboy Collective remix)
Maxwell Implosion - Grasshopper
Adrian Sherwood - Dennis Bovine Pt1
Chaka Demus and Pliers - Murder she wrote
Top Cat - Request the style
Johnny Osbourne - Budy bye (Kenny Dope remix)
Tiger feat Q-Tip - Who planned it
Teremoana - Four women (Deez aka DLT remix)
Restless Soul - Turn me out
Funkadelic - Undisco kidd (Gay Marvine edit)
Parlet - Play me or trade me
Mark Williams - House for sale
Judy Clay and William Bell - Loveitis
Eddie Floyd - Under my nose
Otis Redding - Nobody's fault but mine
The Supremes - Everybody's got the right to love
Sweet inspirations - Sweet inspiration
Fontella Bass and Bobby McClure - Don't mess up a good thing
Len Barry - Like a baby
Linda Jones - Just can't live my life
Dee Dee Sharp - Gravy (for my mashed potatoes)
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels - Little latin Lupe Lu
The Dovells - Betty in Bermudas
Teddy and the Pandas - Sunny side up
Spanky Wilson  - Kissing my love
Brenda and the Tabulations - California soul
Bunny Sigler - Great big liar
The Music Makers - United
Cliff Nobles  - The horse

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Harlem Gospel Travelers 45 out

New 45 goodness on Ohio's Colemine Records, out now ... "The Harlem Gospel Travelers were brought together by Eli Paperboy Reed, as they were students that he was mentoring as part of a gospel class he was teaching. As the students began to develop their own style and write songs, Eli decided they needed to get into the studio and put something down.

So he enlisted the help of friends to serve as a band for his students, including drummer Aaron Frazer (Durand Jones & The Indications, The Flying Stars Of Brooklyn NY), and the results speak for themselves. Old-school, get up and shout southern gospel!'

Friday, March 02, 2018

Debut LP from Ernie Hawks drops March 23

Great soul flute biz from Helsinki's Ernie Hawks. Out March 23 on LP/CD/Digital, via Timmion Records.

"A new colossal star rises in the twilight of funky soul jazz as Ernie Hawks releases his debut album "Scorpio Man" on Timmion Records. The impressive trombonist/flutist, is known to hold no punches, when performing live in the ranks of The Soul Investigators. Here he delivers a fierce selection of S.O.U.L. and Cymande flavored instrumentals that also bring to mind some of the finest sample-fodder library music. 

The album's name, "Scorpio Man" might come from the stinging and slightly intimidating style Hawks handles the trombone slide, known to pierce the hearts and souls of the ladies in the front row during his live performances. On this album, Ernie rides to battle equipped only with the flute, but this does not mean we will be exposed to some smooth jazz snooze fest. Rather Ernie handles his instrument with muscular rawness at times and moody ambiance at others, sliding with ease into any groove that the extended Soul Investigators band lays down.

"Scorpio Man" is no one trick pony, and the listener will be shifted around from the exhilarating psych funk of "Scorpio Walk" all the way to the airy moods of "Street of Tears". Take a chance with the Scorpio Man, his sting will give you a funky high much better than what they sell in the streets."

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ring The Alarm playlist February 24

Gil Scott Heron - B movie
Ramsey Lewis - Afro boogaloo twist
Henri Pierre Noel - Funky spider dance
Mark de Clive Lowe - Ghaziya
Takuya Koroda - Rising son
Mongo Santamaria - Shotgun
La Lupe - Fever
Quincy Jones - They call me Mr Tibbs
Freddie Scott - Am I grooving you
Jackie Wilson - The who who song
Chubby Checker - Better believe it baby
Little Eva - Keep your hands off my baby
The Cookies - Stranger in my arms
Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters - Cry baby
Sylvia and the Moments - Sho nuff boogie
Isley Bros - Pride pt1
Vaughn Mason  -Bounce, rock, skate, roll pt1
Dalvanius and the Fascinations - Voodoo lady
Prince - Controversy
Cookin' on 3 burners - Enter sandman
Calibro 35 - Superstudio
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Rumours
Eric Boss - Closer to the spirit
Lord Echo - Just do dub
Frightnrs - Hey brother
Sly & Robbie meet Dubmatix - Shabby attack
Grace Jones - Peanut butter
The Nomad - Look around
Wild Bill Ricketts - Riki

Monday, February 19, 2018

Sly & Robbie meets Dubmatix

Okay, this has been out for a minute, but you need to check it... heavyweight business... great cover too...

"In reggae, all roads lead to the “Riddim Twins”, Sly & Robbie. They’ve been revered as style-defining icons for years, and together and individually have a massive influence on the genre. They are also renowned for their willingness to shatter boundaries and experiment with sounds. Over the past decades, they have never been shy of leaping over into other genres – for instance, their timeless, super-tight production work for Grace Jones...

Now, Sly & Robbie meet Dubmatix. The Canadian producer and multi-instrumentalist got his hands on original Sly & Robbie tracks and spent months crafting this new album, Overdubbed. Dubmatix is celebrated for his out-of-the-box thinking and willingness to experiment, and the album shines with fresh ideas.

Sly & Robbie’s tunes, which are originally without vocals, haven’t simply been dubbed: extracting the individual essence of each track, Dubmatix has added a plethora of tweaks, ideas and individuality, making his musical signature clearly audible. On some tracks, he invited vocalists, including Jay Spaker (John Brown's Body), Screechy Dan and Prince Alla, to contribute their unique style.

The result is an album that shines with eclectic diversity. From roots oriented tunes to dubs for the clubs, there’s a bit of everything. Dubmatix’s refreshingly playful, bass-heavy approach creates new highlights while at the same time paying deserved homage to two world-class musicians.

The guest vocalist line up is jam packed including: Prince Alla, Screechy Dan, Megative, Jay Spaker, Treson, Pato Irie, Bill King, Pablo Paul, Shaky, Illorn, Aaron Kazmer and The Heavyweights Brass Band."

Out now on CD/LP/Digital

Calibro 35 drop new album and video

"Italian cult combo Calibro 35 release the official video of the first single "SuperStudio", taken from their new album DECADE, their new album that celebrates 10 years of activity by the Milan combo.

Described by Rolling Stone magazine's as "the most fascinating, retro-maniac and genuine thing that happened to Italy in the last years" and already sampled by superstars such as Dr. Dre and Jay-Z, Calibro 35 count on a number of aficionados worldwide which includes VIP’s fans such as DJ Food (Ninja Tune), Mr Scruff and Huey Morgan (Fun Lovin’ Criminals)."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sandy Mill single release bash

Sandy Mill has a diverse list of releases, collaborations, live and guest appearances as a vocalist, songwriter & percussionist here in NZ and the UK.

She has shared stages and studios with Spacesuit, Pitch Black, SJD, The Bellbirds, New Telepathics, Ghost Town, Basement Jaxx, Placebo & Flood amongst others. She's pulled together a cool band for this, featuring Milan Borich, Ben King, Dianne Swann, and Darryn Harkness.

Single release party at Golden Dawn, Thursday 15th February. get along!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Estere - Rent

 "I don't need to ask nobody else to know deep down, I'm doing well..."

PR blurb: "In a society that values material possessions as a measurement of success, how do we rebuild the meaning of ‘ownership’ to give true power?

Singer-songwriter, producer and social anthropologist, Estère encourages us to think about the preceding question in her hyper-percussive new track 'Rent'.

This new track is accompanied by a stunning self-choreographed video, which sees Estère twist her way around various physical obstacles, including an army of pink pastel doors. The effortless and entrancing new clip was filmed in the lush surroundings of the Waitakere Ranges, and was directed by Alexander Gandar (Humans) and produced by Billie Ruck.

'Rent' is the first taste of whats to come from Part Two of Estere's forthcoming double album, My Design, On Others' Lives. The two-part work is due for release on Friday 27th April, and will be available on CD, vinyl and all digital platforms."

Monday, February 12, 2018

Ring The Alarm playlist February 10

Blue Mitchell - Dorado
Gary Bartz NTU Troop - Celestial blues
Herbie Hancock - Don't hold it
Peaches and Herb  -Roller skatin' mate pt1
The Oriental Express - Sexy bus stop
Bobby Womack - Where there's a will, there's a way
Holland Dozier - Don't leave me (inst)
The 8th Day - Rocks in my head
Glass House - Crumbs off my table
Nuyorican Soul - Nautilus (Mawtilus)
The Impressions - Can't satisfy
Gene Chandler - No peace, no satisfaction
The Triads - If you're looking for love
Joe Tex - I'm going and get it
Sam & Dave - You don't know what you mean to me
Eddie Floyd -  Hey now
Mable John - Shouldn't I love him
TSU Toronados - Play the music Tornados
Alvin Cash and the Registers - Sweatin'
Natural Yoghurt Band - Soft cheese
Jean Jaques Perrey & Luke Vibert  -Ye olde beatbox
State of Bengal - Chittagong hill
A R Rahman - Mumbai theme tune
New Telepathics - Goat magic (playing at Splore)
Electric wire hustle - Water
Kilodee - I want sushi and free wifi

New Telepathics drop new album, well fruity sez me

My Hallelujah Picassos bandmate Darryn Harkness has been working away on a brand new album by his outfit New Telepathics (in addition to playing in Loud Ghost and the HPs - busy chap!).

He gave me a copy of the album when it came out late last month, as I played guitar on a track, which I had completely forgotten about, but apparently it made to cut. Go me.

The album is called The End Of War. He says the album is "a powerhouse of punk ethics and intense groove, drawing upon the avant-garde, electronica, soul, dub, afrobeat..." In other words, it's well fruity!

New Telepathics are playing live in Tauranga at the Woodcock Festival on February 17 and at Splore on February 24. I caught their album release show at Wine Cellar late Jan and it was a super funky night of mad grooves. Nine piece band with extra percussion, check em out.

They've been described as "a vigorous synthesis of some of abiding influences: the cosmic vision and sound of Sun Ra's Arkestra, a touch of Afrobeat and James Brown funk-goes-rap, left-leaning politics...

"With a large band of guests (singer Sandy Mill,saxophonists Jeff Henderson and Nick Atkinson among them) and African vocalists Nuel Nonso and Phodiso handling the chantdown rap, influences from waiata, Congotronics, dub and more, this has a roiling energy..."

Here's the full album, have posted my fave track Never Know at the top...