26 September 2011

Review: Gilles Peterson 'Masterpiece'

Various Artists
[Ministry Of Sound]

Sometimes I wonder if I'm getting old. Listening to compilations like these, which blend together rare gems and classic old tracks with fresh new and cutting edge compositions only serve to make me feel older. Almost to a track, I prefer the classics; the Roy Ayers, Terry Callier and Freeez side of the selection, to the of-the-moment clattertronica of Kode9 and Spaceape. As it stands, you can rely on Gilles Peterson to please pretty much all of the people all of the time, and he has done exactly that once again on this Masterpiece collection, put together for Ministry Of Sound. With 49 tracks spread across three CDs, and tracks including SBTRKT, Four Tet and Scuba for the young bucks and Tom Browne, Young Disciples and Teena Marie for us older folks, there are plenty of reasons to add yet another Gilles Peterson-selected compilation to your collection. Essential, as usual.

4 from 5 stars

More Gilles Peterson reviews:
Gilles Peterson Presents Worldwide
Gilles Peterson In Brazil & Africa

George FM Playlist Mon 26 Sept 2011 "Groovadelica"

Stepped into Jason Eli's shoes today covering his Groovadelica show on George. Am still feeling "a bit dusty" from a very big weekend. The tunes were the perfect tonic.

The Fatback Band | (Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop
Cazbee | Get On Up (Cazbee's Did It Again edit)
Los Charly's Orchestra | Music For The Soul
Deadly Sins | Instant Dub (Dolce Gusto)
Touchsoul | Give You More (edit)
Skipworth & Turner | Thinking About Your Love (Koko Garito edit)
Kora | Flow (Crazy P remix)
Guru with Erykah Badu | Plenty
Stevie Wonder | Superstition (Jay "Dusty" Smith remix)
The Dynamics | Miracles
Electric Empire | Baby Your Lovin'
Grandmaster Flash | The Message (Roots Manuva remix)
The Skull Snaps | It's A New Day (Redux)
Anthony Mansfield | Son Of Zeus
Jean Claude Gavri | Flight 106 (Analog Synthology Trip)
Jayl Funk | Funky Song
Angela Bofill | People Make The World Go Round (Seegweed edit)
Drop Out Orchestra with Kinema | All The Time We Need

George FM Playlist Sun 25 Sept 2011 "In The Pocket"

I, Ced with Coultrain | Love... Meaning
Cherie Mathieson | 88 Days
James Brown & Earl Falconer | Traffic
One Funky Soul | Bless You
Livingstone & Canosis | Walk On The Wild Side
Jazzanova with Paul Randolph | Let Me Show Ya
The Impossibles | Give It Up
State Of Grace | That's When We'll Be Free (Eric Matthews mix)
Gotye | State Of The Art
Dennis Coffey with Mayer Hawthorne | All Your Goodies Are Gone
Guardian Angel | Last Funk
Gap Band | Baby Boogie Baba (Noodleman Chop Shop rework)
Syrup | Chocolate
Dil Jackson | Make Me Feel
Guru with Erykah Badu | Plenty
Zapp | Computer Love
Oneself | Fear The labour
Leena Conquest | Boundaries
PPP with Tiombe Lockhart | I Got You

24 September 2011

Radio Ponsonby Playlist Fri 23 Sept 2011 "Expansions"

TY | Music 2 Fly 2
Roy Ayers | Liquid Love
Gotye | State Of The Art
Ben E. King | Street Tough
Scrimshire | Long Time
Clausel | Let Me Love You (DJ Anonymous edit)
Love Unlimited | Move Me No Mountain (Bydesign rework)
Leena Conquest | Boundaries
Bo Kirkland & Ruth Davis | We Got The Recipe
Tom Browne | Come For The Ride
Dennis Coffey with Mayer Hawthorne | All Your Goodies Are Gone
Teena Marie | Portuguese Love
Byrdie Green | Return Of The Prodigal
Freeez | Southern Freeez
First Choice | Let No Man Put Asunder (Ron Hardy remix)
Odyssey | Going Back To My Roots (Fingerman's Maximum Fonk mix)
Incognito | Summer's Ended
Tata Vega | Get It Up For Love
Zapp | Itchin' For Your Twitchin'
Gap Band | I'm Ready
Boz Scaggs | Dirty Lowdown (Dave Allison remix)
Miguel Migs with Evelyn 'Champagne' King | Everybody
George Duke | Shine On (Late Night Tough Guy edit)
Outkast | Spottieottiedopealicious (DJ Angola re-rub)

22 September 2011

Live: Trusted Friends at Barrio

Barrio & It's All Good present
And special guest JAY JEFFREY
From 8pm 'til late, Sat 1st Oct

20 September 2011

Interview: Arthur "Artwork" Smith of Magnetic Man


You're there at the birth of a brand new strain of sound. A number of your subsequent tunes are now considered classics of the genre. So can you really blame Magnetic Man for wanting to get paid?

Magnetic Man is the Cream of the post-dubstep generation.

The supergroup is made up of three British producers - Adegbenga "Benga" Adejumo, Oliver "Skream" Jones and Arthur "Artwork" Smith - who, via Sony's Columbia Records, released their self-titled debut album late last year to a rapturous response.

Well, sort of.

Prior to the release of the album Magnetic Man was already well established as a fiercely exciting live act, pulling ever-increasing numbers of punters to their full-on sub-bass-and-lights onslaughts. The album though, was a game-changer. Thanks to the Top 10 single I Need Air (featuring dubstep's pin-up girl Katy B), Magnetic Man were catapulted into the ears of plenty of people who'd never even heard dubstep before.

The problem was the fans who'd been there from the start; the fans who went to the early club-nights, who bought and continued buying the records and supporting those producers and DJs who were laying the groundwork for what would become dubstep. Not only do a large number of these fans not like what Magnetic Man are doing, there's conjecture as to whether it should even be called 'dubstep'.

Artwork reads those forums and he's got an opinion, alright: "Is dubstep just this music from this club at this time? Does it have to stay this way forever? Benga, Skream and me have been friends for 10 years and working together for five or six, and now we want to push it on to the next level."

Before we talk next level, though, let's rewind to the foundations.

Back in Croydon in the late '90s, Benga and Skream began hanging out at Big Apple Records, a shop which started out selling techno and rave, but which was also deeply in tune with the emerging garage and two-step scene. Above the shop was a recording studio owned and operated by Artwork.

"These kids were 14, 15 years old," recalls Artwork, "And they were making beats in Playstation PS1's, and I was like 'What the fuck is this? How did they do that?' 'cause it was mad, right?" Recognising their raw talent, Artwork took Benga and Skream under his wing and into his studio.

In 2001 the club night Forward launched in London, giving this new music another vital platform. As Arwork remembers it: "Coki, Horsepower, Benny Hill, N Type, Loefah were there at the start, but it was really Hatcha. He was DJing at Forward, and he wanted to play darker tracks, with less beats. Like, it was initially his attempt at two-step, but with dub, so Hatcha called it dubstep, and it grew from there."

So far, so good. Artwork, Benga and Skream signed to Big Apple Records, recorded the label's first three singles and broke boundaries as soon as they were established. There were successful artist albums and the big singles got bigger and bigger - Benga and Coki's Night, Skream's Midnight Request Line and then the worldwide crossover hit remix of La Roux's In For The Kill. "Things had been going well for us, and we wanted to keep going," says Artwork.

"Anyone can make beats, but we've always loved songs, the emotion, the lyrics, the melody, giving a great performance - and with Magnetic Man, we wanted to experiment with that. It did feel like going out on a limb, but we said 'What do we want to do? What would we want to listen to?' Sure, we want as many people as possible to hear it, but that's because this is the music we love."

They're not alone. From those early anonymous shows to 50 punters to performing for 15,000 people at outdoor festivals like Roskilde, Magnetic Man have become the definition of dubstep for many. Perhaps that's what irks those early adopters?

"If you think we're only about I Need Air, then listen to our album: there's proper nasty dubstep, and orchestral stuff. At our shows we play our new stuff, and that connects anywhere in the world. We've got plenty of bangers, and we play some real dark stuff too, from Benga's old stuff, Skream's old stuff. This is dubstep, man, but it's really just good music, there's no agenda," he pauses, then adds: "And if you don't like it, then fuck off."

This interview was originally printed in issue #003 of Volume Magazine, 20 Sept. 2011

From the underground to the mainstream - a timeline in a nutshell

Underground. Croydon. Garage. Two-step. Grime. Drum & Bass. Dub. White Label. Bass Drop. Ketamine. Big Apple Records. Ammunition Promotions. Forward aka FWD>>. Velvet Rooms. Soho. Kode9. Hatcha. Artwork. El-B. Youngsta. Zed Bias. Oris Jay. Steve Gurley. Slaughter Mob. Jay Da Flex. Slimzee. Tempa. Horsepower. XLR8R. Rinse FM. Dubstep Allstars. Filthy Dub. Digital Mystikz. Mala. Coki. Benga. Skream. Plastician. Plasticman. Distance. N Type. Walsh. Chef. Cyrus. MC Sgt Pokes. MC Crazy D. John Peel. BBC. DMZ Records. Brixton. Mass. Sublow. 8-Bar. Eskibeat. Midnight Request Line. Mary Anne Hobbs. Dubstep Warz. Children Of Men. Burial. Joe Nice. Goth-trad. Hyaku-mado. Enna. Doppelganger. Tes La Rok. JuJu. Matty G. SubFM. DubstepFM. Dub Terrain. Shackleton. Ricardo Villalobos. Ellen Allien and Apparat. Modeselektor. Night. Untrue. Mercury Music Prize nomination. Gilles Peterson. Worldwide. Dubplate Drama. Skins. Generation Bass. Lee 'Scratch' Perry. Prince Far I. Iron Devil. Soulja. Vaccine. Subeena. Ikonika. Hyperdub. La Roux. In For The Kill remix. Chase and Status. Snoop Dogg. Rihanna. Britney Spears. Eve. Me An My. Magnetic Man. I Need Air. Katy B. Dubbox. DJ Fresh. Louder. Number One UK single. Lucozade ad. Nero. Crossover. Top Ten. Mainstream.

19 September 2011

Review: Miguel Migs 'Outside The Skyline'

Outside The Skyline
[Salted / Om Records]

Miguel Migs is a little like a George Benson figure for the San Francisco deep house music scene. In much the same way that Benson was sometimes derided for his slickly-produced, super-smooth sound, Migs cops plenty from folks who consider themselves authorities on what constitutes proper deep house. Like Benson before him, Migs walks his own path regardless, confounding the critics as he transcends the limitations of the scene he emerged from. Outside The Skyline is Migs' third album, and it follows in the footsteps of his previous works by melding early soul, dub, jazz, reggae, funk and Italo disco with his trademark house sound. Of particular note on this outing is the impressive roll call of guests: Meshell Ndegeocello, Bebel Gilberto, Georg Levin and Aya appear alongside reggae veterans Half Pint, Capleton and Freddie McGregor, and disco legend Evelyn 'Champagne' King. Very good, without being great.

3 stars from 5

Check out sound clips from the album on Miguel Migs' Soundcloud page.

18 September 2011

George FM Playlist Sun 18 Sept "In The Pocket" with special guest: Sene

It was an honour and a pleasure to have Sene up on the show today, sharing some of his favoured tunes with us on the wireless. Take a look at the young fulla in the middle in that pic above for a glimpse at the young days of our future Mayor of Grey Lynn.

Selections marked with an * from the bag of Sene.

Take | Dream Over
J*Davey | Dirty Love
Harvey Lindo with Philippa Alexander | Game Show (Low Risk Factor)
Julien Dyne with Mara TK | Layer
Latyrx | Lady Don't Tek No
Norman Weeks | I Just Wanna Sing For You
Raphael Saadiq | Skyy, Can You Feel Me?
Peven Everett | Testin' Me
*Patrice Rushen | Feels So Real
*Maxwell | Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)
Grandmaster Flash | The Message (Roots Manuva remix)
Rae & Christian with Veba | Spellbound (Old English remix)
*Delegation | Put A Little Love On Me
*Killer Funk Disco Allstars | Things You Do To Me
George Macrae | Rock Your Baby
Greg Wilson | Edit The Edit "Two Sides Of Sympathy"
*George Benson | Breezin'
*PM Dawn | Set Adrift
Bernard Wright | Haboglabotribin
*CeCe Peniston | Somebody Else's Guy (David Morales Classic Old School mix)
*Killer Funk Disco Allstars | Indecision
T-Connection | Do What You Wanna Do
Kid Creole & The Coconuts | Stool Pigeon (Sir Billy's extended edit)

16 September 2011

Radio Ponsonby Playlist Fri 16 Sept "Expansions"

Tony Ansell | Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
Gene Harris | The Look Of Slim
Up, Bustle & Out | Hip Hop Barrio
Ronnie Foster | Mystic Brew
Donald Byrd | Stepping Into Tomorrow
Greg Perry | Come Fly With Me
dZihan & Kamien | Ay Ay Ay
Tosca | Chocolate Elvis
People Under The Stairs | Tuxedo Rap
Arthur's Landing | Love Dancing
Amp Fiddler | Soul Divine
Grace Jones | Williams' Blood (Greg Wilson edit)
Frank Booker | El Salvador
Neil Diablo | The Feeling
Andy Ash | Hip Joint (Deep Space Orchestra mix)
Greg Wilson | Do It Any Way You Wanna
Bing Ji Ling | Home (Blackjoy dub)
Gay Marvine | Luv Thang
Ramsey Lewis | Spring High
Unique | What I Got Is What You Need
Beatfanatic | Electromagnetic Colours

11 September 2011

Radio Ponsonby Playlist Fri 9 Sept "Expansions"

Players Union | All Green
Wick-It The Investigator | Mashville Lowrider
Jayl Funk | I Got Ya
Five Special | Why Leave Us Alone? (Larry Levan remix)
Euro Funk | Take A Change (extended)
Juan Atkins | Dayshift (Oliver's Nightshift remix)
P-Money & Dan Aux | Kinda Lovin'
Ray Baretto | El Diablo Boom (Canosis edit)
Zeb | Revolutionary Dreams
Awa Band with Tony Allen | Bababatteur (Quantic remix)
The Yoots | Nga Iwi E
Recloose with Dwele | Can't Take It (Milton Jackson remix)
Miguel Migs with Peven Everett | Love We Had (Miguel Migs Salted Dub Deluxe)
Bah Samba | Let The Drums Speak (Phil Asher remix)
Screamin' Jay Hawkins | I Put A Spell On You (Jeremy Sole remix)
Charles Earland | Comin' To You Live
The Fatback Band | Are You Ready (Do The Bus Stop)
Nicolette Larson | Lotta Love (Disco Stereo mix)

Click here to watch/listen to the uStream broadcast, from Radio Ponsonby's uStream channel.

George FM Playlist Fri 9 Sept "Key To The Groove"

The Blackbyrds | Rock Creek Park (Onur Engin edit)
Flying Lotus | Do The Astral Plane
Miguel Migs | Love We Had (Miguel Migs Salted Dub Deluxe)
Drop Out City Rockers | Man On The Run
Chic | Soup For One (Frico edit)
Stevie Wonder | Uptight (Freddie Joachim remix)
Crazy P | Open For Service
Tinie Tempah v Bomfunk MCs | Pass Out (DJs From Mars edit)
Chromeo | Hot Mess (Oliver remix)
Rihanna v UB40 | Kingston Rude Boy (DJs From Mars edit)
Inland Knights & Sunloungaz | Weekend
Odyssey | Goin' Back To My Roots (Fingerman's Maximum Fonk edit)
Claudja Barry | I Wanna Dance (Tangoterje edit)
Livingstone & Canosis | Peg Leg
Mix Chopin | Move Your Body
Bonar Bradberry | Turning Loose (Ron Basejam remix)
Drop Out Orchestra | West Gothic Climax

07 September 2011

Review: The Adults 'The Adults'

The Adults

"Delicately pretty". Not words usually associated with Jon Toogood's band Shihad; but on what is effectively the whippet-thin frontman's debut solo album he has embraced them - and the spirit of collaboration, surrounding himself with some of New Zealand's finest songwriters and musicians: Ladi 6 (who provides vocals for album highlight 'Nothing To Lose'), Anika Moa, Julia Deans, Shayne Carter, Tiki Taane, Riki Gooch and plenty more besides. While calling the assemblage The Adults might be a less-than-subtle indication as to what to expect from the album, the fact is you won't hear this blasting from panel vans and student flats this summer. Yes, there is rock in here, but the diverse selection of styles (proper pop, country, folk and even funk influences) befits the breadth of guests present. Toogood plays ringmaster exceptionally, corralling all of this into an incredibly cohesive whole, which is also a hugely enjoyable listen.

3 and 1/2 stars from 5

06 September 2011

Live Review: TrinityRoots at Powerstation Fri 2 Sept

This week sees the launch of a brand new weekly street press title: Volume is edited by Sam Wicks (a scholar & a gentleman, both) and features interviews, reviews and plenty of opinion about music - good and bad. But mostly good. As evidenced by Issue #1 cover stars, Drab Doo-Riffs.

I've had the good fortune to be invited to write for the mag (#shamelessselfpromotion), and even managed to sneak into the debut issue with a live review of the recent TrinityRoots gig at Auckland's Powerstation...

With Tyra Hammond and The Bluebirds
The Powerstation, Auckland
Friday 2 September

TrinityRoots' third coming saw a refigured lineup looking to continue the legacy of one of New Zealand's best-loved bands. The diversity of the crowd underlined the esteem in which Trinity are held, with their fresh blend of deep roots reggae and psychedelic rock only part of their appeal. That undeniable bro-ish charm is undoubtedly another part; yet these are jazz school alumni with serious musical chops, unafraid of stretching songs live every which way. So shit was hype. Anticipation was high. And due to one of the founding members leaving the band only a few months ago, there was genuine excitement: who the fuck was going to replace sticks man Riki Gooch?

Opening act Tyra Hammond and The Bluebirds didn't so much heighten anticipation, as cause a certain amount of restlessness. Everyone loves each of those guys - and Tyra is a genuine star - but a handful of seemingly hurriedly put together blues covers did them no favours. Thankfully they closed with a couple of tracks taken from the Opensouls' excellent Standing In The Rain album.

Any concerns about the punters' attentions spans were dashed the instant TrinityRoots took the stage, opening with an expansive version of Two By Two. It must've been terrifying for new drummer Jean Pompey to step into this scene, but she showed no sign of nerves, as she set about pummeling her drums right from the outset. Lacking the power of Gooch, she made up for it with her dexterous and busy playing; and the group sounded as cohesive as ever, if not more so. Her warm vocals were a welcome addition, and the harmonies she, frontman Warren Maxwell and bass player Rio Hunuki Hemopo cooked up (alongside the shadowy figure of Mark Vanilau, who also added keys and guitar) stepped the sound to another level. Indeed, an unexpected highlight was Pompey singing Dawn Penn's No, No, No from behind the drums.

From a loping, lolloping ride through The Dream, a fiercely dubby version of Egos and an outstanding reading of Home, Land & Sea, it was clear to the adoring crowd that, even without one of their cornerstones, TrinityRoots are still capable of laying down music that breaks through barriers, transcends age and race, and unites those who really care to listen. Amen.

This review was originally pubished in issue #001 of Volume magazine, 6 Sept. 2011

04 September 2011

George FM Playlist Sun 4 Sept "In The Pocket"

Massive propers to the Frybread Bwoys, Tommy Flowers & the Average White DJ for helping celebrate Father's Day the right way: sunshine, mussels on the BBQ & cold brews. I only hope the music did the scene justice!

Electric Wire Hustle | Perception
Fat Freddy's Drop | Big BW (DJ Vadim remix)
Cherie Mathieson | 88 Days
Cazbee | Second Time Coming (Cazbee's Smooth Operator edit)
Gazeebo | Dirty Jazzy Jointz
Unforscene with Alice Russell | Don't You Worry
RAMP | Daylight
Wildcookie | Jackson Miles
The Roots with Erykah Badu | You Got Me
Electric Empire | Baby Your Lovin'
Isaac Aesili with Rachel Fraser | I'm All In
Onra | Relax In Mui Ne
Benny Tones with Mara TK | Nevermind
Kastil | Baltimore Thunder
Freddie Cruger with Linn | On My Way
Diverse | Jus' Biz
Choklate | Bigger Than You
Tosca | Chocolate Elvis
King Kapisi | Sub Cranium Feeling

03 September 2011

Radio Ponsonby Playlist Fri 2 Sept "Expansions"

Johnny Hammond | Shifting Gears (DJ Day remix)
Montana Sextet | Heavy Vibes (club mix)
T.J. Johnson Band | Dragonfly
Mighty 7 | Call Me
Trilark | Check It Out
Strafe | Set It Off
Class Action | Weekend (Larry Levan remix)
Tony Cook | On The Floor (Rock-It)
Skyy | Here's To You
Mike & Brenda Sutton | Don't Let Go Of Me (Grip My Hips & Move Me)
Change | Searching
Moodymann | Freeki Mutha Fucker (Egyptian Lover remix)
Fat Freddy's Drop | Shiverman (Soane remix)
Moodymanc | Black Paint (Larry Heard remix)
GQ | Lies (Theo Parrish remix)
G3Rst | We No Speak Cantina
Johnny Dynell | Jam Hot (Tensnake remix)
Marco Van Bassken | Minnie The Moocher (DJs From Mars remix)
Blue Rondo A La Turk | Me & Mr Sanchez

You can check the full show audio (and video! Complete with beer-drinking, daggy dancing & haircut adjusting!) by clicking right here. Watch the show live on Radio Ponsonby U-Stream every week.

01 September 2011

Radio Ponsonby Playlist Wed 31 Aug "Wenerei Drive"

Stepping up to the Radio Ponsonby Wednesday Drive plate today, for the absent Steve Steers. Threw down a mental selection of tracks from all over the show. It was fun!

Black Cards | Dominoes (Oliver remix)
Disco Deviance | Pushin' On (Situation edit)
Lunatics | Vent (Matty Blades remix)
Funk Ferret | Super Roller Rootdown
Tommy Ill | Second Hand Concorde
Moka Only | Lowdown Suite
Livingstone & Canosis | Walk On The Wild Side
Beatfanatic | Goin' Out (Drop Out Orchestra edit)
Midnight Magic | What The Eyes Can't See
Chromeo | Hot Mess (Oliver remix)
Wick-It & Axis | Baby Got Back
10CC | I'm Not In Love
Wu-Tang Clan v Nas & Damien Marley | As We Enter The Gravel Pit
Linkwood Family | Miles Away
Trujillo | Lookin' Up Through You
Lava Lava | Green Pool
Lava Lava | Burnt
Mix Chopin | Move Your Body
Peter Gabriel | Steam (Tim Livingstone edit)
Inland Knights & Da Sunloungaz | Weekend
Juan Atkins | Dayshift (Oliver's Nightshift remix)
Inland Knights & Da Sunloungaz | Everything But The Girl (Mezza mash)
Jazzy Jens | Undisputed
Crazy P | Stop Space Return (Ron Basejam edit)
Justin Simmons | I Need My Disco Fix
Wham | Lovemaker (Horse Meat Disco edit)