29 June 2011

Radio Ponsonby Record Review: Massimiliano Pagliara 'Focus For Infinity'

Focus For Infinity
[Live At Robert Johnson]

Patience is a virtue, as they say. The Berlin-based Italian producer Massimiliano Pagliara is clearly a believer, as his debut album demands and richly rewards patient listening. It's not that Focus For Infinity is a difficult listen; quite the opposite - crystalline synths and deep, warm bass drape themselves languorously over the sub-110bpm codeine-funk chug of classic drum machines, which threaten/promise to swallow the unwitting listener whole. It's only after repeat listens the album's subtle charms slid their way properly into your ears, and Pagliara's talent for arrangement is revealed. While there are a handful of songs featuring vocalists - including standout Gonna Get Your Love Gonna Find You with Sigrid Elliott - most of the tracks are slow burning instrumentals, with snatches of manipulated vocals sometimes bubbling up amongst the lush layers of sound. This is simple, incredibly effective stuff. The perfect soundtrack for a steamy, loved-up, 4am slow motion disco.

4 stars from 5

28 June 2011

Live: Dewey Decimal Sound System at Library Bar

With your hosts SWEETPANTS and 90
Spinning a selection of music suited to lounging, foot-tapping & soft-shoe shuffling
From 8pm til close
Saturdays in July: 2nd - 16th - 30th
Cnr Market Place & Pakenham Street East

26 June 2011

Review: Holy Ghost! 'Holy Ghost!'

Holy Ghost!

Apparently everything that goes around does come around. NYC duo Holy Ghost! have quite the pedigree - playing with The Juan Maclean, remixing MGMT and Mark Ronson - and the blogosphere has duly lit up with the arrival of their self-titled debut album on the DFA label. But why, exactly? While marketed as synth-heavy disco, boogie and sleek Italo, it sounds more like Yacht Rock got into New Wave's make-up kit after a night on the alco-pops. Obvious touchstones are New Order and Pet Shop Boys, but Holy Ghost! lack the latter's singwriting chops and the intensity and swagger of the former. Wafts of A-Ha, Pseudo Echo and Duran Duran are also present and there are a few really good, strong songs here, but little in the way of new ground being broken. The overwhelming feeling is that Holy Ghost! are more concerned with striking their hipster pose immaculately. Sad face.

2 and 1/2 stars from 5

George FM Playlist Sunday 26 June "In The Pocket with 90"

Once again I thank goodness the boss hasn't installed a webcam in the George studio yet, as I needed to shake a tailfeather today whilst playing these tunes...

Micronism | Constructing Space
Aaron Jerradji | NYCom
Drop Out City Rockers | Man On The Run
Neil Diablo | The Feeling
Timewarp Inc. | Discjoint (Onur Engin edit)
Jaylfunk | Let's Dance
Rockers Revenge | Walking On Sunshine (Greg Wilson edit)
Trujillo | Looking Up Through You
M.J. Cole | Sincere
2Trix & Ninia | Can't Stop Moving
Yaxkin Retrodisko | Bonanza
Symbol Skrip | Baby
Andy Ash | Freak
Justin Simmons | I Need My Disco Fix
Sir Mix-A-Lot | Baby Got Back (Mr Wick-It & Axis edit)
Prince | Chelsea Rodgers
Jean Claude Gavri | Les Dance
Dez Andres | A Time To Boogie
Sleeve | Get It On

24 June 2011

Radio Ponsonby Playlist Friday 24 June "Expansions with 90"

A bit of a Yin Yang type situation with regard the playlists from today's two radio shows - the uptempo Yin in the post below, and the downtempo Yang listed here. It should also be noted the sun came out in Auckland Town today during the 2hrs Expansions was broadcasting on Radio Ponsonby. True.

Roy Ayers | Programmed For Love
Bill Summers | Come Into My Life (Onur Engin edit)
Duff Disco | A Tribute To Barry
10CC | I'm Not In Love
RAMP | Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Al Jarreau | Ain't No Sunshine
Quincy Jones | Summer In The City
Sarah Vaughan | Summertime (UFO remix)
Handsome Boy Modeling School | The Truth
Jeffree | Mr Fixit (Recloose HIQI edit)
Sublime | Doin' Time (Marshall Arts remix)
DJ Fitchie & Joe Dukie | Midnight Marauders
Erykah Badu | Bump It
Lowrell | Mellow Mellow
John Legend & The Roots | Hard Times
Arthur's Landing | Love Dancing
Mid-Air | Ease Out (The Revenge edit)
Rayko | S&M (Sexy Music)
DJ Wick-It | Rolling In The Fire

George FM Playlist Friday 24 June "Key To The Pocket" or "90 In The Groove"

What a rainy old day today has been. Never mind. It's always sunny in the George FM studio, and I had a ball filling in for the salty ol' seadog himself, Bevan Keys, so who cares about the weather?

Isaac Hayes | Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile (Onur Engin edit)
Rayko | Sweet Sensation (edit)
Natalie Walker | Cool Kids
Nikola & Sasha | Gene
Killer Funk Disco Allstars | Shake Your Booty Baby!
Rock Master Rus B | Dirty Lowdown
Lindstrom & Christabelle | Baby Can't Stop
Yaxkin Retrodisko | Bonanza
PBR Streetgang | J2ThaB
The Drop Out Orchestra | Release Myself
Mr Fudgesickal | Mash The Right Thing
Eva Gina | Gappy Daze
Greg Wilson | C'mon (You Can Get It)
Drop Out City Rockers | Man On The Run
Justin Simmons | I Need My Disco Fix
Masters At Work | Backfired (Joey Negro remix)
Bob Sinclar | Ultimate Funk
Real El Canaria | International Style
Dez Andres | As We Rock On
Me&You | How Can I Hold You When Your Body Keeps Moving?

21 June 2011

Review: Beastie Boys 'Hot Sauce Committee Part Two'

Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

The Beastie Boys' first album, Licensed To Ill, was released in 1986 - alongside debuts from New Kids On The Block, Poison and Crowded House (!!). Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is only the Beasties' eighth studio album since, but we crave quality, not quantity, right? With Part One's release delayed due to a cancer scare for Adam "MCA" Yauch, most of the tracks from that album were jacked for this release. That's irrelevant though, as the trio show they still know how to rip it like few others, bouncing off each other with ridiculous ease. Disappointing guest spots from Nas and Santigold aside, this is a full-tilt, back-to-form party rocker from a resilient group of guys who've perfected their nerdy-braggadocio niche and flavour it just enough to keep it interesting, even after all these years. No-one else from the Class of '86 can say the same. Here's to growing old disgracefully.

4 stars from 5

19 June 2011

George FM Playlist Sunday 19 June "In The Rainy Day Pocket with 90"

Proper rainy ol' day inna Auckland Town today, which brought out the feelgood factor in the tune selection process; because there ain't nothin' quite like dancing in the rain...

Arthur's Landing | Your Motion Says
Johnny Adams | Feel The Beat (The Revenge edit)
Andy Ash | Hip Joint
Killer Funk Disco Allstars | Avoid The Question (I Gotta Go edit)
Rayko | S&M (Sexy Music) (club edit)
Curtis Mayfield | Love Me Love Me Now (Onur Engin edit)
Aaron Neville | Hercules (Anthony Mansfield's "Son Of Zeus" edit)
Gazeebo | You Ain't So Tuff
Neil Diablo | The Feeling
Greg Wilson | Booty Dance
Rock Master Rus B | Dirty Lowdown
Bing Ji Ling | Home (Blackjoy remix)
Nikola & Sasha | Gene
Yaxkin Retrodisko | Bonanza
Cool Million with Leroy Burgess | Cool To Make A Million (The Drop Out Orchestra rework)
Prince & Sheila E | Chelsea Rodgers
Prince | I Wanna Be Your Lover (Dimitri From Paris edit)
Kid Sublime | Fruitsugar

15 June 2011

Review: The Revenge 'Reekin'structions'

[Z Records]

Disco edits are de rigeur in dance music at the minute, with a number of so-called producers' content to slap a sixteen-bar intro and outro onto a track and call it an edit. Bollocks to that. Reekin'structions, released on Joey Negro's Z Records, shows them how it's done. The compilation features ten tracks given a re-rub by Auld Reekie's own Graeme Clark aka The Revenge, who has developed quite the reputation for his lovingly assembled disco and funk re-edits, showcasing an innate ability to encapsulate the essence of an older - usually lesser-known - song and repackage it faithfully for new ears. Clark tweaks basslines, beefs up the intensity and builds his edits brilliantly; in the vein of Greg Wilson or the enigmatic Onur Engin (who is also doing fantastically considered re-edit work at the moment). Sure, it's not rocket science, but it's most certainly rocket fuel for a dance floor.

3 and 1/2 stars from 5

12 June 2011

George FM Playlist Sunday 12 June "In The Pocket with 90"

Chocolate Milk | Video Queen
Ish | Don't Stop
Chemise | She Can't Love You
Mtume | Green Light
Lamont Dozier | Going Back To My Roots
Esther Williams | I'll Be Your Pleasure
China Burton | You Don't Care (About Our Love)
Jeanette "Lady" Day | Come Let Me Love You (Shep's Master Mix)
Donna McGhee | You Should Have Told Me (Discomix)
Richard John Smith | Baby's Got Another
Isaac Hayes | Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile (Onur Engin edit)
Sipho Mabuse | Break Dance (LaBaron edit)
Blackwell | Boogie Down & Mess Around
The Cool Notes | I Wanna Dance (Norty Boy edit)

Review: Jonny Love 'Courage'


Jonny Love's 2008 self-titled debut album was a limp acoustic pop offering which left your humble scribe cold, so this hard-hitting collection of ballsy ballads and stadium-sized rockers is a refreshing change and a serious step forward. Courage is the Auckland-based singer-songwriter's second album, and it's aimed directly at filling venues and racking up radio spins - much like Opshop, Muse or Mumford And Sons. Recorded in the UK with a cast of famous names, including producer/drummer Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers, Opshop), Courage is good old-fashioned rocking pop very well packaged. Love has a great voice and he doesn't over-reach, instead concentrating on hitting his notes effectively; with the huge, guitar-driven wall of sound behind him a more than useful foil. While I personally cannot stand this sort of shit, I also cannot deny this is a fantastic pop-rock record from someone clearly worth keeping an eye on.

3 and 1/2 stars from 5

11 June 2011

Radio Ponsonby Playlist Friday 10 June "Expansions with 90"

Onra | Relax In Mui Ne
Al Green | I'm Glad You're Mine
Nel Oliver | Dream On (The Revenge edit)
Mary Jane Girls | All Night Long
Linkwood Family | Miles Away
Greg Wilson | Full-Tilt Boogie
Sleeve | Get It On
Unlimited Touch | Love Explosion (Recloose HIQI edit)
Nigel Martinez | Better Things (Ashley Beedle edit)
Beatconductor | Blackbelt Funk
Skull Snaps | It's A New Day (Redux)
Curtis Mayfield | Tripping Out
Central Line | Walking Into Sunshine
Dianne Marie | I've Waited Much Too Long (Frico edit)
Henry Greenwood | The Rhythm
James Dallas | Highway Lover
Sly Dunbar | Don't Stop The Music
Mtume | Juicy Fruit
Minnie Riperton | Young, Willing & Able

08 June 2011

Review: Disco Love 2 - selected and mixed by Al Kent

"More Rare Disco and Soul Uncovered"
Selected and Mixed by Al Kent

According to his biography, an eight year old Al Kent ran away from his Scottish home to party in New York at The Loft with Nicky Siano, only to be deported back to Glasgow just two years later thanks to being caught in possession of PCP. He then promptly opened a nightclub in his hometown and had Walter Gibbons DJ the opening night. While much of that may well be a steaming pile of codshite, his newly released mix of rare disco and soul on BBE titled Disco Love 2, most definitely is not. Each and every tune here is an absolute floor-filling winner, and most are exclusive, painstakingly assembled edits put together by Kent himself. From backstreet crack-house recordings to uplifting dance floor gems, deep soulful and funky disco music abounds. No wonder he's the favourite disco DJ of Dimitri From Paris, Joey Negro and, why not? - me too.

3 and 1/2 stars from 5

Check out www.milliondollardisco.com
My review of Al Kent's Best Of Disco Demands here

05 June 2011

George FM Playlist Sunday 5 June "In The Pocket with 90"

The Long Weekend Edition

G.Q. | Lies (Theo Parrish remix)
Cool Million with Leroy Burgess | Cool To Make A Million (The Drop Out Orchestra remix)
Tiger & Woods | Kissmetellmemore
Savanna | Never Gonna Let You Go (Onur Engin edit)
Keep Schtum | I Want You For Myself
Jadoo | Kings & Queens
Eva Gina | Gappy Daze
Reel People with Angela Johnson | Can't Stop
Kid Sublime | Basement Works Vol. 5A
Cooly's Hot-Box | Lose Your Friends
Superbreak | Get Over (Superbreak edit)
Sebastian Tellier | La Ritournelle
Andre Orefjaro with May Yamani | Cookin'
Mayer Hawthorne | A Long Time
Holy Ghost! | Hold On (Blackjoy remix)
RSL | Wesley Music
Asa | Be My Man

01 June 2011

Wednesday Night Wax at Longroom

Wednesday Night Wax with 90
"All Vinyl Records, All Night Long"
From 6.30pm til late
Every Wednesday in June
Only at Longroom

Review: The Yoots 'Sing Along With The Yoots'

Sing Along With The Yoots
[Economy Records]

Call this novelty music at your peril! The Yoots are a veritable supergroup of homegrown talent, courted and corralled by Fat Freddy's Drop trombonist Hopepa aka Joe Lindsay - yep, the one with the big guts who wears tiny shorts and singlets on stage. Lindsay formed The Yoots back in 2006 with his brother Sam, alongside Freddy's cohorts Iain Gordon and Toby Laing, Mike Fabulous aka Lord Echo, and a bunch of others. Working the local live circuit hard with their inspired blend of calypso-ska and country-soul, The Yoots embraced music from East Africa to the Caribbean. However, early in 2010, The Yoots began looking at the musical traditions from their own homeland. Thusly, their debut album Sing Along With The Yoots, is jam-packed with reworked classic Maori tunes from Hoki Mai to Tutira Mai via E Nga Iwi, Me He Manu Rere and more. The true New Zealand songbook.

4 and 1/2 stars from 5