Thursday, 24 July 2014
Top Fives: Campbell Ngata and Jeff Neems
The Undercover Brother from the Bay
Top 5: Killer Modern Soul LP Tracks That Are Overlooked Because Of Another Track
1. Emotions - You've Got The Right To Know (Columbia)
From the 1976 LP Flowers, 'You've Got The Right To Know' is overlooked because of the classic title track, but holds its own. And by classic, I mean Gisborne RSA Club classic.
2. Champaign - Do You Have The Time (Columbia)
Champaign's 'How 'Bout Us' was a slow jam chart-topper, and was my Mum's jam in 1981, but hardly anybody flipped it over to expose modern killer 'Do You Have The Time'.
3. Ingram - Music Has The Power (H&L)
Ingram has been destroying dance floors since 1977 with 'Mi Sabrina Tequana', however 'Music Has The Power' has the, erm, power - from the That's All LP.
4. Atlantic Starr - Love Me Down (A&M)
'Love Me Down', from the 1982 Brilliance LP is a soulful mid tempo treat with killer b-line, often overlooked in favour of 'Circles'... play both though.
5. Brothers Johnson - Celebrations (A&M)
OK, 'Celebrations' ain't a modern spin, but I love my jazz-funk - this masterpiece is ignored because of another 1980 staple, 'Stomp', from Light Up The Night. Get them out, flip them, give them another lease of life.
Aka Cpt Nemo: DJ, Writer, Record Collector and Family Man
Hear him spinning everything from deep Jamaican roots and dub to contemporary house, soul, funk, Latin, Afrobeat and hip hop every Saturday night at Wonderhorse, Hamilton's leading cocktail and fine liquor bar.
Top 5: Current High-Rotate
1. Kamal Abdul Alim - Brotherhood
Originally released in 1983, this gargantuan piece of gorgeous instrumental jazz funk stretches out over nearly eight minutes. A truly uplifting piece, recently reissued on the BBE compilation Kev Beadle Presents Private Collection. Total killer.
2. Byard Lancaster - Just Test
Philly saxophonist Byard Lancaster is largely unknown, but Kindred Spirits reissued his awesome 1974 album Funny Funky Rib Grib in 2008, and this three-minute ditty is the highlight. It could be on an endless reel and I'd never get sick of it.
3. Byron Morris - Kitty Bey
Gilles Peterson added a live version of this potent uptempo jazz-funk cut to his Sunday Afternoon at Dingwall's release in 2006. Just the ticket for the dancers in the place, it even features an introduction from the band leader.
4. Wildcookie - Serious Drug
I paid way too much money for an autographed copy of the rare Drugs EP, by Wildcookie - producer Red Astaire and vocalist Anthony Mills, A stripped back Latin-flavoured head-nodder provides the basis for Mills to sing about the dangers of cocaine. Must-have tune which I often use to open or close the night at Wonderhorse.
5. Moodymann - Misled
Moodymann (Kenny Dixon Jr) is the greatest house musician to walk the planet and the King of Detroit. 'Misled' is the opening tune on his 1997 debut album Silent Introduction, and it eases the listener into the most sublime album of soulful deep house ever released.
(*both of these excerpts are taken from Issue #4 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine. You can read the full issue, and all the other back issues, here.)
Sunday, 20 July 2014
Top Ten: Soul Sheets
The characters behind the records you love.
1. "Marvin Gaye: Divided Soul" (David Ritz)
Harrowing yarns from Motown's Trouble Man.
2. Miles Davis "Miles: The Autobiography" (Quincy Trope)
High curse word count from the ever-opinionated Miles.
3. Nina Simone "I Put A Spell On You: The Autobiography Of Nina Simone" (Stephen Cleary)
A hell of a life from Julliard to Liberia.
4. James Brown "The Godfather Of Soul: An Autobiography"
JB is a man of many titles, but you can add teller of unreliable tales to the list.
5. Ray Charles "Brother Ray: Ray Charles' Own Story" (David Ritz)
Forget the film, the autobiography is a rollicking, hedonistic ride with one of music's great characters.
6. Al Green "Take Me To The River" (Davin Seay)
Southern soul and selective stories.
7. Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson "Mo' Meta Blues"
Meta musings from The Roots' meter man.
8. Charles Mingus "Beneath The Underdog: His World As Composed by Mingus"
Mind expanding musical insights and tangential tales.
9. Frederick Dannan "Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business"
Fascinating industry backgrounder on the corporatisation of the record business.
10. Charlie Gillett "The Sound Of The City: The Rise Of Rock n' Roll"
The definitive backgrounder on the blues.
"Dream Boogie: The Triumph Of Sam Cooke" (Peter Guralnick)
"Prince: Inside The Music and The Masks" (Ronin Ro)
"To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown" (Berry Gordy)
Written by Jubt Avery.
Hear him on 'The Boil Up', alongside Kirk James and AWDJ, Thursdays from 8pm on Base FM.
(* this excerpt taken from Issue #4 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine. You can read the full ise, and the back issues, here.)
Monday, 7 July 2014
Last Record I Bought: Miles Tackett
Ray Sharp and The Soul Set - Earthquake
I heard this funky, syncopated, late-'60s psych-soul burner spun by my man Ray from East L.A.'s Spinout crew at a party last fall down in New Orleans, while hanging with Kris Holmes and other fellow Ponderosa Stompers. The record flipped my wig back a bit when I heard it, so I duly noted it - thanks to Ray's generous nature. Luckily there wa a copy sitting around collecting dust at Crazy Beat Records on the outskirts of London. (Incidentally, this was one of the first stores to buy copies of my first 7" Breakestra single 'Getcho Soul Togetha' in the UK.) Fortunately, I merely needed to go to musicstack.com to find out that 'Earthquake' was ready, rumbling and available to come back to the land of earthquakes for some spins at my Funky Sole party. Some records travel farther than the people who are looking for them...
Miles Tackett is the main man in Breakestra, runs L.A.'s Funky Sole party, and is an all round good dude.
(* this excerpt is taken from Issue #4 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine. You can read the whole issue, and all the back issues, here.)
Last Night A Soul Song Changed My Life: Neil Kaiser
Charles Sheffield - It's Your Voodoo Working
This is a song that has particular meaning to me because up until I played this for my wife (who at the time was my girlfriend) she had been somewhat reserved around me. We were in the new stages of our relationship and feeling each other out. She heard that song and just let go, dancing like a crazy woman; silly and goofy, but rhythmic and wild. I am pretty sure that was when I knew we'd be together forever. That was eight and a half years ago, and we just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary.
Neil Kaiser, out of Seattle, USA, is also known as DJ Zimmy.
(* this excerpt is taken from Issue #4 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine. You can read the rest of this issue, plus all the back issues, here.)
Strangest Place I Found Records: Tarik Thornton
I just picked up some records from an Adult Toy Store a few days ago. I found the spot on Craigslist, so I thought, let's go check it out. As I'm digging through a small section of 45s, I look back and there's a huge dildo - that was a little weird, I admit. I ended up grabbing three 45s and take them to the counter to check out. The owner says hey, I have some higher priced ones also, and points me to a box which has an OG copy of Mickey and The Soul Generation's 'Iron Leg'. I didn't pick it up, but hey, I was very impressed it was in an adult toy store!
Tarik is a DJ and Radio Host from Minneapolis, USA.
(* this excerpt is taken from Issue #4 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine. You can read the whole issues, and all the back issues, here.)
Monday, 30 June 2014
The New Orleans Report
Back in October I had the good fortune to be invited to DJ at the official opening night of the Ponderosa Stomp Festival in New Orleans. The night is called the Hip Drop and is curated by Brice Nice, a great guy who some of you may have met on his visit to New Zealand a few years back.
This was the 6th Hip Drop and was held at a great bar called DBA on Frenchman St. I had last been in New Orleans in 2008 (I had actually seen Walter “Wolfman” Washington at DBA back then) and my last time in the US was in 2010, so I was really itching to get back there, spin some 45s, catch up with friends, buy records and of course check out the Ponderosa Stomp. The Ponderosa Stomp is a long running festival held traditionally over two nights. This year it was held at a great venue called the Rock N Bowl which is a bowling lane and music venue - great combo - of course the bowling option was closed while the Stomp was on.
I started this American trip with a 7 hour stopover in San Fran, so I did what any self-respecting vinyl junkie would do in that situation: on-checked my luggage and then hopped a cab to Haight St to buy 45s. It was a Monday so my favorite shop Groove Merchant was closed, but across the street Rooky Ricardo’s was open for business, so I told the taxi to come back for me in 3 hours and set about digging. Made it back to the airport in time for my flight to NOLA with nearly 100 new additions to my record box.
I touched down in NOLA late at night (the Saints won on the flight so the other passengers seemed really excited about that…."Who Dat?" etc). Hopped a cab to the Hotel and tried to familiarize myself with the streets again as I was driven there. I had a couple days until the festival itself started but already a few people were at the official Hotel in readiness. The next morning I got my VIP pack and then went off to hit the Hard Rock Café for some late breakfast before hitting the Louisiana Music Factory looking for more 45s. LMF is a cool store located right in the heart of the French Quarter and is seen as something of a hub for the local scene. I spent the day there upstairs clearing out around 100 45s and got a heap of great titles for really good prices. I knew I had to get in quick before the rest of the Stomp tourists also hit the record stores (the reason I’d hit town a couple days early to be honest). I paid a visit to Drago’s that night for some of their must-try charbroiled Oysters; always a spot I hit in NOLA, words can’t begin to describe how good the oysters are and this is from a dude who doesn’t usually do shellfish.
The next day I got up, started to notice some of the famous faces (classic R&B artists) had started to appear at the hotel. Cool. I took a ride to Jim Russell’s Rare records on Magazine, once a legendary record store and a must hit spot; I was saddened to see it closed with a great deal of the stock still sitting inside half covered by tarps, to try to protect it from roof leaks I guess. Realizing I wasn’t going to get anything there I traveled across the other side of the town to Euclid Records, a newer store but a very worthy stop and definitely a must hit spot for records in NOLA. I spent the day there and came away with another 100 or so 45s. They had just put a load of 45s out especially for the Stomp crowd and luckily I was the first to get to them that morning. It was at Euclid that I first ran into Carlos and Elisse, two fellow 45 collectors from Mexico in town for the Stomp too. It was a great day digging and James at Euclid was really helpful and friendly, even coming to check out my set at DBA the next night. That evening a few of my friends had started to roll into town so I got in touch with my friend Miles and we rolled way out to a great restaurant he knew called Jacques Imo’s, beautiful food and a great time.
The day of the Hip Drop saw everyone hit town, there were catch-ups and autograph sessions and photo ops with all sorts of people. Early that evening there was a special screening held of the Muscle Shoals documentary film. A whole bunch of us filed into a local art gallery for this special occasion and we were even treated to Fame/Muscle Shoals recording artist Spencer Wiggins being in the audience.
Next up the Hip Drop. We all got there in the early evening and there was already a great crowd. The DJ lineup was incredible, some real heavy-hitters and deep collectors of the 45 world. The music policy incorporates Garage, R&B, Soul and Funk, as long as it is off of original 45s. Each DJ (invited from all around the world) has a half-hour set only to move the crowd. This years lineup was: Billy Miller and Miriam Linna from Norton Records in NYC; Miles Tackett from Breakestra/Funky Sole in LA; Beyondadoubt from Portland; Todd-O-Phonic from New Jersey; Pierre Baroni from Soulgroove 66/Soul-A-Go-Go in Melbourne; Kitty B Shake from Paris; Alex LaRotta from Houston; Emma Peel from Melbourne; the Alligator Chomp Chomp crew of Mitch, Matty and Pasta representing New Orleans; and myself from lil ol’ NZ.
A special mention must be made of Tony Janda, one of the original Hip Drop DJs who sadly passed away recently. This Hip Drop was held in his memory and I have fond memories of talking 45s with Tony over the years, a great guy who had a real love and knowledge for the music. My friends Brice and Eric spun a couple of 45s in his honor and spoke a little about the man. A poignant but nice touch.
Everyone played killer sets, I’d be hard pressed to choose a winner on the day and it was just incredible to be playing alongside some of these DJs and playing a packed out club jumping to vintage soul 45s again; a killer feeling.
After the high that was the Hip Drop we then had to face another couple days of the Hip Drop concerts, Record Fair and Music Conference. An overload of amazing experiences. I well and truly made out good at the record fair having had my friend Dave in Austin sort a local dealer to bring me a box of awesomeness that I got first hit at. Killer, so many great 45s. I must have grabbed at least nearly 100 more 45s for my collection.
It was just an amazing few days getting to hang out with great like-minded friends again, trade records, talk 45s like the mega geeks we are and be treated to live performances by R&B royalty. Getting to see artists like Lil Buck, David Batiste, Irving Bannister, The Sonics, Baby Washington, Chris Clark etc. etc. (the list is long) was like a dream come true and then getting to actually meet a lot of them over the few days and chat about their careers etc. was too cool.
The rest of the time in NOLA was a blur of friends, good food, records (I ended up coming home with 300 new addition 45s for my collection), live music and even karaoke. Hope I get invited back.
Special thanks to Dr Ike for organizing the Stomp every year, Brice for booking me on the Hip Drop and all my other friends; Miles, Alex, Kim, the other Hip Drop DJs, Ricky, Eric etc. etc.
So many people. Such a time.
Written by Kris Holmes
Picured (R-L): Kris, Miles and Ricky on their last night in New Orleans, all wearing their respective soul night T-shirts.
Kris is NZ's deepest funk and soul 45 collector, and we're delighted to be able to include this piece written about his time in New Orleans. We're hoping to be able to entice Kris to write further stories about his travails overseas digging for black gold. Watch this space!
Also check his blog Greenville And Beyond.
* An edited version of this piece appears in Issue #4 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine. You can read the whole issue, and the back issues, online here.
Monday, 23 June 2014
On a recent Saturday morning, my DJ partner and good friend, Stewart, and I went on a record dig to an old-timey (and self-proclaimed) ‘amusement company’, located somewhere deep in the heart of Texas – or, within a few hours drive from our hometown, Houston. (Excuse the vagueness, as I’m keeping said spot hush-hush – record fiends know the deal!)
Stewart had come here before, and I’d heard of it but was never able to track it down. Stories of rooms filled with stock 45s had caught my attention – “excited” to finally make the trip didn’t quite capture my eagerness. Some hours-long drive later, accompanied by plenty of strawberry-filled kolaches (a uniquely Texas-via-Czech breakfast pastry) we finally arrive, to a place seemingly untouched by the twenty-first century – my kind of joint! Among a heap of gutted, busted, and dusted Wurlitzer-brand jukeboxes and mid-century radios, the stock room contains wall-to-wall 45s, conveniently categorized and alphabetized for the digger’s pleasure. Truly a sight to see. Portable record players in hand, we plunge!
It was a great day of dusty soul singles and fantastic bargains. We’ll definitely be making our way back again, as there was far too much soul on wax for one days’ dig. (Not pictured is another room of bargains 45s where I pulled every Impressions/Curtis Mayfield 45 that I didn’t have yet, among other soulful treasures.) You can catch these favourites below and more at our monthly soul party – A Fistful Of Soul – every third Friday in Houston, Texas.
1. Jackie Hunt – Since You’ve Been Gone b/w Security Of Love (Jetstream, 1963/4?)
Groovy party R&B from my hometown, Houston, Texas! One more notch on completing the Jetsream label discography. Glad to finally track a clean copy. Nice moody soul ballad on the flip makes this a fantastic Texas two-sider.
2. The Third Guitar – Sad Girl b/w Lovin’ Lies (Rojac, 1968)
Scorching psychedelic soul from Harlem, New York via Miami, Florida – popular on the northern soul scene.
3. The Boys In The Band – Sumpin’ Heavy b/w The Boys In The Band (Spring, 1970)
Funky-ass instrumental funk! I don’t pick up deep funk 45s as much I used to (nor do I play ‘em out as much), but this here single is a bonafide funk stunner. Highly recommended for the drum heads. (Cheap on eBay, too.)
4. The Icemen – How Can I Get Over A Fox Like You b/w Loogaboo (ABC, 1968)
Exquisite low rider-inspired soul from this relatively obscure duo. The Icemen are best known (in some circles, anyways) for their earlier Shamar label 45, which featured a pre-LSD, Curtis Knight-era Jimi Hendrix on guitar. Haven’t met an Icemen single I didn’t wanna scoop – they’re all pretty damn good. File this little 7” gem under: “Baby-Makin’ Soul.”
5. Willie Hutch – Brother’s Gonna Work It Out b/w I Choose You (Motown, 1973)
Minted up on this smokin’ early-seventies soul 45 – with sides culled from 1973’s The Mack OST – from this storied soul legend. Not a pricey one, but definitely essential. ‘I Choose You’ goes over well as an end-of-the-night closer at A Fistful of Soul, popularly recognized as the primary sample/melody source for ‘International Player’s Anthem (I Choose You)’ – the 2007 hit single from Houston rap legends, UGK.
Written by Alex LaRotta, who did his Masters Thesis on South/Central Texas Soul. For real.
(* excerpt taken from Issue #4 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine. Read the whole issue - and the back issues - right here.)
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
In the early '90s, Scott and Steve (aka Cheeks), my two close friends from New Orleans, showed up to our bi-annual Austin Record Show (aka ARC) gathering with a magical record.
The tradition since the mid-80s was for a group of like-minded music fiends to spend Friday and Saturday nights in a motel room to play records and catch a buzz. Numbers at these gatherings have ranged from as few as ten to as many as fifty people, there to hear amazing, newly discovered and virtually unknown records. It started as a strictly psychedelic/hard rock music gathering with the odd garage rock record thrown in. It has evolved today into a wide variety of sounds from Disco to Rap to Heavy Metal, etc. etc.
If there is a seminal moment when this gathering became musically integrated, it was when Steve placed the aforementioned magical record, Del Jones Positive Vibes 'Court Is Closed', on the motel room turntable. From the opening notes I was sucked in... hard. This was some shit I had never heard the likes of before. A few of the hard rock/metal guys immediately squawked to take "this crap" off. Being the guy that paid for the room I had the leverage, and that LP stayed on the turntable - for almost three hours. The room slowly emptied until there were maybe five or six dudes that were completely under the spell of Del. None more so than Scott and myself. This record had crawled inside us like an inner city spirit that had travelled a thousand miles and twenty years to find our cracker ass vessels.
Scott grew up in Algiers, a section of New Orleans where survival of the fittest is a game and they talk like Brooklyn Cajun Mafioso. He connected with this Philly ghetto vibe immediately and had listened to it ad infinitum prior to springing it on the rest of us. There was virtually nothing known about this LP in the record world, mainly because there were only three hundred copies ever made and most were distributed in Del's neighbourhood. Once Scott knew I was hooked like him he said "We need to reissue this." And he was right. But I had my doubts it would happen: after all, the first thing we'd have to do was "simply" find a guy named Jones in Philadelphia.
About a week later I got an excited call from Scott, he had spoken to Del, and it just so happened he was going to be in New Orleans a week later - and then Dallas! I called Del and told him how much I dug his LP. He explained that the LP had been released twice. The first was the one we were familiar with. It was his labour of love and a stark portrait of Del's life and his life's work. He explained that his brother worked for a major record label and he told Del the LP wasn't "commercial enough". He took the original tapes to Electric Lady Studios in NYC and had horn-tracks laid over the original songs, really transforming them into something completely different, and a little sterile. Del was thrilled that we liked his version and was looking forward to meeting us.
Del was going to 'Nawlins' and Dallas to give "talks" at local colleges and was travelling with an entourage. Scott went to meet him at the airport and Del was genuinely shocked that he was a "white boy". The combination of the Algiers accent and the fact that he loved Del's LP, had given Del a totally different mental image. He knew what to expect when I met him for breakfast in Dallas. He made sure his entourage didn't see us together. We spent a good three hours discussing a reissue, his life and what he was doing in Dallas. I was so infatuated with this record I wanted to hear the story behind every song. He explained that one side of the LP was the "Anti-Drug" side and the flip was the "Kill Whitey" side. The title track is a mtter-of-fact announcement that even reparations could not square things up; Del was coming for your ass. That fate had already been decided, Court Is Closed.
Del was a militant, there is no other way to describe him, nor would he want you to; but I also found him to be a funny, honest dude who knew what his agenda was, but didn't let it get in the way of his everyday life. The night before he had appeared on local provocateur John Wiley Price's radio show who he described to me as a weak-ass country-somethin'. I asked him what I would see if I attended his speech that night and he immediately advised me not to show up. "I can't guarantee your safety; I get the brothers and sisters riled up". As we parted he gave me a cassette of what he was going to speak on that night, it was called "The American Nigger Factory". I listened to it on the way home and dude was powerful. Del also cared about his community, and walked the walk. His anti-drug crusade was strong but he laughingly related how people would come up to him on the streets years later asking him if he was "clean" having seen him perform his song 'Cold Turkey', the most realistic drug withdrawal song ever recorded.
Del was still in the neighbourhood. He published a monthly newspaper called The War Correspondent. He wrote many books about the inner city atruggle. We released the LP to a mediocre reception. The Funk and Breaks dudes liked the "horn" version better and bought a bootleg version of that instead of the rawer original. I gave the LP to anyone I thought would dig it (thanks Rich and Kris). Like with Scott and I, this record really hit a lot of people really hard and is a unique journey into a place no other record has ever been. A ballsy Gil-Scott Heron, who despises the drugs that destroyed genius. One of my most prized possessions is a letter that Del wrote me which is framed and on my wall. You can see his light in the letter defying the look on his face.
RIP Brother Del.
Written by Rich Haupt, from Rockadelic Records, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Read this great interview with Rich from It's Psychedelic Baby, in which he talks about pretty much every release on his label!
And here's a non-LP track from Del Jones' Positive Vibes to whet your appetite...
* excerpt taken from Issue #4 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine. Read the whole issue - and the back issues - here.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014
When I was at school my local St Heliers barber was the very hip Brit Barry Earle, who had cool vinyl imports and also managed local band Le Freme. I had joined the Atlantic Soul Appreciation Society in London and could not understand why I couldn't put my bright orange "UPTIGHT AN' OUTASIGHT" (name of fan club) sticker on the back of the family car. Anyway, Barrie put it on the rear window of his ultra cool mini for me.
I was in Melbourne ten years later (circa 1979) and I was informed that their punk label Suicide (that signed Nick Cave's Boys Next Door, but did not sign The Marching Girls, alas) was run by a "Barrie Earle", and I said, "That'll be my barber!" The Aussies said, "No, he's from London." I secretly thought, "No, he's from St Heliers!" That evening Barrie turned up at the Mushroom offices and barely said hello, but communicated: "Still into soul?" and in his low-key 'have I got a deal for you' manner took me to the boot of his car. He had some USA Hi Records pressings of Syl Johnson and O.V. Wright that he wanted to sell, so I paid him cash and we both lived happily ever after, I presume.
Written by Murray Cammick
Read more from Murray over at the excellent Audioculture site.
Listen to Murray's excellent radio show, Land Of The Good Groove, Fridays 1pm on 95bFM.
*this excerpt taken from Issue #4 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine. Check out the whole issue here.
(Pictured is Johnnie Walker, President of the Uptight An' Outasight Fan Club)
EMI Dumped The Last Vinyl Pressing Plant In Wellington Harbour.
The last vinyl pressing plant in New Zealand closed down in 1987, and, so the story goes, the plant's owners EMI dumped it in Wellington Harbour.
I've heard this story dozens of times from musicians and music fans in recent years, and no one knows the origin of this tale. It's one of those romantic notions that sound like you want it to be true - especially if you're a vinyl fanatic: "Evil corporation destroys local vinyl outlet". But is there any truth in it?
There are several variations on this story - one is that the pressing plant was dumped in Wellington Harbour by a radio station as part of some competition. Another is that EMI dumped it in the harbour to drive up CD sales. Why would a business dump perfectly good equipment in the sea when it was still working and saleable? What really happened?
Frank Douglas worked at EMI for 34 years running their recording studios. He told me that EMI NZ had twelve vinyl presses back in 1987. When the plant closed, the eight newer ones were packed into containers and shipped back to Australia - he saw them being packed - and the older four were stripped for parts. What was left was sold for scrap or auctioned off. EMI Australia wanted a new cassette duplicating setup, and EMI NZ had the best in the world at that time, so that was also shipped to Australia.
Music historian Andrew Miller suggests the most likely reason for the legend: "The Pye pressing plant equipment was dumped in the Manukau Harbour in the mid-'70s after Pye ceased record operations. A former employee who helped with the operation told me this."
Written by Peter McLennan
Read more about this story here, with a massive thanks to Audioculture.
Also check Peter's outstanding blog, DubDotDash.
And listen to him on your radio with 'Ring The Alarm', Saturdays 10am, Base 107.3FM
* this excerpt taken from Issue #4 os the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine. Check the whole thing out here.
Sunday, 6 April 2014
Issue #4 of the free fanzine we give away at our quarterly NZ Soul All Dayer events is now available online, along with all of the back issues we've published thus far. Go get amongst.
Monday, 10 March 2014
NZ's Premier Soul Music Event
An All Day Celebration Of Soul Music
THE NZ SOUL ALL DAYER
TYRA HAMMOND and JEREMY TOY (live)
Plus DJs All Day:
Free from 2pm
$10 from 6pm
SAT 5 APRIL
See YOU There...
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Last Night A Soul Song Changed My Life: Phill Most Chill, Kimberlee Fuller, Andrew Brearley and Sean Haydon
Last Night A Soul Song Changed My Life
PHILL MOST CHILL
(Legend of Digging, Diggers With Grattitude, Philadelphia / www.therealschitt.com)
Gil Scott Heron - We Almost Lost Detroit
There is no one song that changed my life, I love waaay too many songs to narrow that down to just one. But this is one that I heard as a child in the '70s; it resonated with me back then and it still does to this day. For me there is nothing greater than a song with a sound that feels good, coupled with lyrics that stir your soul. I had no idea who Karen Silkwood was when I first heard this song and wasn't really 100% sure just what Gil was talking about. But I knew he was talking about something. "When it comes to people's safety / money wins out any time". So powerful, so true.
(Aka Miss Shingaling, Precious Owl / www.etsy.com/shop/preciousowl)
Blair - Nightlife
It came out on LP, 12" and 45 (Solar Sound and Miracle), It's from my hometown, Buffalo, NY and the whole vibe always gets me in the mood to go out and party. It's the soundtrack I like to have in my head while driving along the Niagara River on the Scajaquada Expressway, heading towards downtown. The cover of the LP features the skyline of Buffalo and it really captures the overall, sleazy, '70s, gritty-vibe of the Queen City.
(Aka MeatyOgre, Head Honcho at Cherries Records, Chicago / www.cherriesrecords.com)
Gibson Brothers Band - Love Coming At Us
This is the song my wife and I walked into our wedding with. The first day we both heard this, we swooned over it and decided this was "our" song. Beautiful melody, beautiful message, and a song you can listen to over and over and not tire of.
(Co-productive genius at the Soul-Funk-Tion All-Nighter event out of Staffordshire, UK)
Willie Dale - Let Your Light Shine
I came across it whilst searching for another fantastic record, Waymond Hall's 'What Will Tomorrow Bring'. Someone had posted a sound file on Soul Source, covered as Waymond Hall 'Children of the World'. It blew my head off straight away on hearing it. I remember calling Karl Heard and saying "What the hell is this tune?" he said he'd heard it before and that it was a very rare record. Turns out that there were only eight ever produced. Typical! Not much chance of one of those then? I spoke to Dave Abbott about it: he'd heard the same file and was on the case. Within a couple of months we both had a copy. Think it was a matter of chasing 'em at the right time and asking the right people. Thanks to Brother Abbott for his hard work, persistence and negotiating skills; forever grateful my friend.
(All taken from issue #3 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine)
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Top 5 Lists
(Visual Artist / Creative / DJ / Qualified Builder / www.ericart.org)
Top 5: Favourite Soul Songs
1. Rick James - Glow
2. Curtis Mayfield - Right On For The Darkness
3. Marvin Gaye - I Want You
4. Isley Bros - Groove With You
5. Barry White - It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me
(Author / DJ / Hallelujah Picassos / Dub Asylum / www.dubdotdash.blogspot.com)
Top 5: Reggae Got Soul
There's a long tradition of Jamaican artists reworking songs they heard on the radio waves drifting in from Miami, taking R&B, Motown soul, Chi-town grooves and Stax vibes and making them their own. Their ability to invert contemporary tunes into something fresh and unique continues even today - check Busy Signal's clever reworking of 'Royals'...
1. Jimmy London - I'm Your Puppet
Gorgeous rendition of this song from the crooner Mr London. One of my DJ mates back in the Bassteppa Sound System used to tease me whenever I'd play it, saying "Hey Pete, he's singing 'I'm your pub pet!'" Cheeky git.
2. Pat Rhoden - Living For The City
On the Trojan label, there's a killer 3CD boxset of a ton of soulful reggae covers, but this one is tops in my books. Stevie done reggae style is always gonna make you smile.
3. Leroy Sibbles - Express Yourself
LA classic gets transported to JA. Still funky as hell. Respect, Mr Sibbles.
4. The Marvels - Rocksteady
Aretha gets skankified. Comes up trumps.
5. Shark Wilson and the Basement Healers - Make It Reggae
Straight up inversion of the Godfather of Soul, or just some crazy ish from the islands. Who knows? This rocks my soul. Make it reggae!
(A true doyen of the local scene - listen to him on bFM, 1pm Fridays)
Top 5: My Funkiest Concerts of the 20th Century
1. The Commodores, Auckland Town Hall, May 1977
'Brickhouse' blew our minds and they shot confetti cannons into the crowd, so the bros with afros lit up like Xmas trees.
2. Tina Turner, Auckland Town Hall, Sept 12, 1977
A high energy early solo show with Tina fresh out of the Ike and Tina Turner review.
3. James Brown, The Metro, Melbourne, Feb 8 and 9, 1988
He was okay at the Shoreline, Takapuna in 1978 but this time the James Brown band, with Maceo Parker on sax, played beyond perfection.
4. Barkays and The Trammps, New York, Oct 14, 1994
It was the first time these Stax label pioneers played New York in twenty years and they slam-dunked their big hits using tiny Korg keyboards.
5. Bootsy's Rubber Band, San Francisco, 1994
The sound system was quadrophonic with speaker banks near rear of hall facing back toward the stage. Bernie Worrell was on keys and after five minutes I hit funk overload, I wanted to run outside and tell somebody.
(All taken from issue #3 of the 'Soultearoa Shakedown' fanzine)
Saturday, 22 February 2014
The Most Unlikely Place I Acquired Records (Pt. 2)
A couple of years back 'Open Homing' with my then girlfriend in the mean streets of Kohimarama we came across a very cool old mansion, which was ultimately out of our price range when it came up for auction; but on that open home afternoon I was poking around a decrepit shed out the back of the property when I opened up the tool cupboards in a side wing of the shed and BAM! They were filled with LPs and 45s; lots of '60s/'70s rock and pop stuff. No one else around but I had no bag, so I stuffed a couple of interesting 45s in my pockets and my girlfriend's handbag, leaving a few hundred other LPs and 45s just chilling there waiting for the new owner to dispose of. I contemplated returning to the open home the next weekend better equipped but got busy. Unexpected!
Part One: In 1989 a block or so outside of Camden Market and this guy's selling tunes out of his car boot. I'll have those 2x12"s plus the 2x7"s of The Mohawks' 'The Champ'. 24yrs later and I can't find a single copy anywhere!
Part Two: In Christchurch sometime during the late '80s this English guy turned up and set up a record store in an arcade across Cashel Street to High Street, selling pretty much only rare groove 7"s. Me and a few mates went ballistic buying up pretty much everything he had. I'm not sure whether we were the cause of him suddenly disappearing but for a brief period we were shopping in a goldmine.
(Taken from issue #3 of the 'Soultearoa Shakedown' fanzine)
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Top 5 Lists
MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE
(www.markdeclivelowe.net / www.wepresentchurch.com)
Top 5: Favourite Shows I Played In 2013
1. Los Tres Marks with Money Mark and DJ Nu-Mark at Bootleg Theater (LA)
2. SF Jazz with Eric Harland, Chris Daddy Dave, Lil John Roberts (San Francisco)
3. CHURCH LA with Leon Ware and Jody Watley at The Lift (LA)
4. REMIX:LIVE at Amano (Berlin)
5. Harvey Mason with Patrice Rushen at Jazz in the Pines (Idyllwild, CA)
(www.pmoneymusic.com / www.soundcloud.com/p_money / www.dirty.co.nz)
Top 5: Stone Cold Grooves
1. Barry White - Strange Games and Things
2. B.T. Express - This House Is Smokin'
3. Leon Haywood - B.M.F. Beautiful
4. Isaac Hayes - Joy
5. Roy Ayers - We Live In Brooklyn, Baby
(DJ / Writer / Music Consultant and Lover / www.headsdown.org)
Top 5: Soul Songs
A couple of these are veering into soulful disco territory, but that shouldn't be a problem if, like me, you have two feet and aren't afraid to use them (badly).
1. Atlantic Starr - When Love Calls
Thanks to ex-Electric Chair resident Kelvin Andrew for putting me onto this b-side killer. This is one of my all-time favourite end of night records, right up there with Ned Doheny's 'Give It Up For Love'.
2. The Emotions - Rejoice
This album cut (taken from the 1977 album of the same name) came to my attention via witnessing DJ Maurice Fulton play his 10min edit to rapturous reception at a party I booked him for in London. I'm pleased to report the original is even better. Wildly uplifting.
3. Exit - Detroit Leaning
Creating by the one man band consisting of the psychedelic artist George Gullet. Originally from Detroit, George relocated to California in 1980 and soon afterwards began to reminisce about the "D". He decided to take home-studio action and recorded 'Detroit Leaning', a synth string's drive through a dark neighbourhood of Motor City. Deep vibes.
4. Yaw - Where Will You Be
Always makes me feel a little nostalgic and wobbly during my darker hours. This Chi-Town modern classic by male vocalist Yaw completely knocks it out of the park on this Nina Simone-esque outing. Blistering on so many levels.
5. Donny Hathaway - The Ghetto (live version)
Hamish Clark from Breaks Co-Op played this to me sometime in the mid-'90s one slightly hazy summer's afternoon. It is 15min of mind-blowing musicianship and consciousness. Real people feeling, questioning, communicating and celebrating real life. I remember thinking 'why am I even attempting music production?' after hearing this record. Life-changing.
All taken from issue #3 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine.
Last Night A Soul Song Changed My Life
(El Jefe at Friends of Sound Records, Austin, TX / www.friendsofsound.com)
Vicki Anderson - I Want To Be In The Land Of Milk And Honey
The year was 1997. A friend and I had been doing a radio show called "The Origins Of Hip Hop" on our college radio station for a year. In the process we had interviewed a number of James Brown related people on the phone, as well as Eddie Bo, Lalo Schifrin, and David Axelrod. In the process I got to know Vicki Anderson and Bobby Byrd personally. Turned out they lived not far from Nashville where I went to school. They invited my friend and I over to their house and I brought this record with me. After talking to them a few hours in their own home, looking at old photographs, and hearing old stories, I nervously took my record out and asked Vicki to sign it. 'Live At BBQ' was one of my favourites back then and this was one of the first samples I spotted in a record. She laughed and told me how James Brown had stolen her writing credits so she actually didn't think of the song fondly. She said she'd sign it, but only if she could correct the label. I smiled and said sure. That was the first artist's house I went to. It made a lasting impression in my mind about the context that the music I loved was created in. It, ultimately, led me to do the licensing and reissue work I do today.
(When your label name is your last name, you know it's good / www.recordkicks.com)
Betty Harris - Mean Man
When I was a teenager I bought by chance a compilation of Betty Harris on a second hand CD. At the time I was into Clash, Ramones, Two Tone Ska - but this CD opened a brand new world for me. Few years after when I started DJing around I bought it on 45 and played it a lot at the Boogaloo Club in the early days. I should look for it and play it again - such a great track!
(Otis Funkmeyer, NYC / www.facebook.com/otisfunkmeyerband)
Pamoja - Ooh Baby
Devastatingly sweet and funky. I sang this song to my wife the first time we ever spoke on the phone (we met online). She asked if I could song for her and this was the song in my head. Three years later, I had the lyrics "shake and shimmy" engraved on the inside of my wedding ring.
Ultrafunk - Funky Al
I was heading back to Penn State after attending a house party in my hometown, already feeling good, when I first heard this song. The heavy clavinet line grabbed my attention first but the wah guitar slapped me in the face so hard I had a visceral reaction in my body like an intense chill in my spine or like the effect of inhaling whip-its. I made a decision right then that "I will find this record" and that is the moment I became a collector and addict.
All taken from issue #3 of the Soultearoa Shakedown fanzine.
Sunday, 16 February 2014
TOP 5 LISTS
(Taken from issue #3 of the 'Soultearoa Shakedown' fanzine)
TRU THOUGHTS HQ
(Their pick of 2013? 'To Dust' by Alice Russell / www.tru-thoughts.co.uk)
Top 5: Record Shops in South England
1. Resident Music (a popular choice in the Laines, Brighton, with signings, gig tickets, etc.)
2. Juno (London - great selection of electronic records)
3. Phonica (London - superb collection, and supporter of Tru Thoughts!)
4. Rarekind (London - second hand hip hop, funk and soul)
5. Sounds of the Universe (Soho, London - ideal for niche genres)
Special Mentions: Rise (Bristol) and Piccadilly (Manchester)
PS. Watch for forthcoming albums in 2014 from Nostalgia 77 and Quantic...
(Big Cheese at Wah Wah 45s / www.wahwah45s.com)
Top 5: Current Favourites
1. Zara McFarlane with Leron Thomas - Angie La La (Osunlade remix) (Brownswood)
2. Paper Tiger - Irresistible (Debian Blak remix) (Wah Wah 45s)
3. Ashley Beedle with Zed Bias and Ricardo Da Force - Dett (Shock Tribute) (Girls Music)
4. Cuthead - Minerals (Uncanny Valley)
5. John Wizards - Muizenberg (Planet Mu)
(Grand Fromage at www.pusherdistribution.free.fr and www.favoriteshop.wizishop.com)
Top 5: Soul Songs Which Mean The Most To Me
1. Life Force - Slow Dancer
2. Greg Perry - I'll Be Coming Back
3. Lee McDonald - Gotta Get Home
4. Father's Children - Hollywood Dreaming
5. Leon Ware - Rockin' You Eternally