27 December 2011

Radio: George FM Selector Show

George 96.6FM
Selector Show Special Guest Host:
Nyntee aka Bro 90
From Midday 'til 3pm
Mon 26 - Fri 30 Dec
Local frequency: 96.6FM
Streaming live here...
Text the DJ: 966
Email the studio: studio@georgefm.co.nz

I'd love to have your ears!!

24 December 2011

Bumps: Daryl Hall & Chromeo 'I Can't Go For That'

Would you trust these men? Not with your daughter, perhaps, but almost certainly with your ears; as this is Daryl Hall (yes, from Hall & Oates) and Patrick Gemayel (from Chromeo), who recently jammed together on this Bump. And what a bump...

21 December 2011

Interview: Junior Marvin of The Original Wailers


"When you make a promise to Bob Marley you try to keep it!" says Junior Marvin, the singer and guitarist most widely known for his work in the late '70s with Bob Marley and The Wailers. He had plenty of stories to share with VOLUME magazine recently, about working with The Beatles and saying "no" to Stevie Wonder, as well as life after Bob.

Born in Jamaica, Donald Hanson Marvin Kerr Richards Jr. (variously known as Junior Marvin, Junior Kerr and Junior Hanson) moved to London when he was nine years old. Already a musical child, he landed a role in the Beatles' movie Help: "The Beatles were all pretty short and I was tall for my age," Marvin remembers, "We were at Pinewood Studios, and it was made up to look like the Bahamas, and I was the police, chasing Ringo."

"I was playing keyboards and singing then, but when I was sixteen years old I saw Jimi Hendrix and thought I had to play guitar!" enthuses Marvin, "And later, my friends in England were in bands which were part of what was known as the 'British Invasion', going to the US and touring with Jeff Beck and with Traffic - and I thought 'I gotta go!' because that's where everyone else is going!"

Marvin continues: "My original plan was to go to a music school in Boston, but I met a manager who had heard me playing and he said 'Look, T-Bone Walker needs a guitar player and I think you're good enough.' Of course I thought I was nowhere near good enough!" he laughs, "But I spent a year with T-Bone Walker, and I met Billy Preston, Ike and Tina Turner and Sly Stone."

When Marvin moved back to the UK, he worked with Steve Winwood, Toots and the Maytals and the Keef Hartley Band - and was a member of the London cast for the stage musical Hair - before forming his own group, blues-rockers Hanson.

And in February 1977, one of those right-place right-time moments.

"I met Chris Blackwell, and he says 'Hey, come to this hotel and meet a friend of mine' - he didn't tell me who it was," Marvin chuckles, "So on that day, just as I was walking out the door my phone rings - and it's Stevie Wonder offering me a job in his band. I said I would think about it and get back to him, as I had this meeting to go to. So I meet with Chris Blackwell and walk into this hotel room, and there's Bob Marley sitting there, and he says 'Junior, I want you to join my band'."

Marvin laughs again at the memory: "I got home and I had to call my friends and family and decide whose offer to accept! I went with Bob because he was Jamaican, and there was more encouragement to do it."

Junior Marvin appeared on four albums alongside Bob Marley, including Exodus, which Time magazine labelled the 'Best Album of the 20th Century'. After Bob's untimely death in 1981, Marvin continued with The Wailers, recording four more albums and performing across the globe.

"We were in Germany when Bob was ill," says Marvin, quietly, "And he said to us, 'Listen, if anything happens you should stick together', so we felt we owed him. We made a promise to him and it felt right, you know, everyone had the same vibe. Bob had a unique message, and I was very honoured to be able to continue to spread that message. I still think it was the right thing to do."

In the late '90s, Marvin decided to leave The Wailers, moving to Brazil (where he hung out with Gilberto Gil for a few years), before heading back to the US and joining with fellow guitarist Al Anderson to tour as The Original Wailers.

Junior Marvin released his long-overdue debut solo album, Wailin' For Love, in 2007, and songs from that album - alongside Bob Marley classics - are what New Zealand audiences will hear when Marvin brings his touring band with him to perform at Ragamuffin.

"I can't wait to get back to your beautiful country," Marvin says excitedly, "I was there with Bob, and again shortly after his passing. It's going to be an exciting, extremely lively show with audience participation encouraged. One Love!"

Top Ten Junior Marvin Musical Moments (in chronological order):

(1972) What It Is (from the Keef Hartley Band album Seventy Second Brave)
A foot-stompin' blues-rock bar brawler

(1973) Rain (from the Hanson album Now Hear This)
Funky psych-tinged blues rock

(1977) Three Little Birds (from Exodus) / (1978) Is This Love? (from Kaya) / (1979) One Drop (from Survival), all with Bob Marley and The Wailers
...we'll just call it a three-way tie...

(1980) Hail H.I.M. (from the Burning Spear album Hail H.I.M.)
Deep Rasta vibes

(1980) Spanish Dancer (from the Steve Winwood album Arc Of A Diver)
Gorgeous guitar-work for the blue-eyed soulman

(1982) Dub Softly (from the Sly and Robbie album Dub Rockers Delight)
Beautifully mellow guitar playing

(1989) Reggae Got Soul (from the Toots and The Maytals album Reggae Got Soul)
A storming stepper with a classic guitar line

(1990) One Draw (from the Rita Marley album Who Feels It Knows It)
An hilariously controversial ode to sinsemilla

(2005) Give Them The Rights (from the Congos album Give Them The Rights)
Righteous reggae and the characteristic falsetto of founding member Cedric Myton

(2008) Stillness Of Heart (live at the Nuke Festival, Austria)
A scorching guitar solo playing with Lenny Kravitz

(2011) Where Is Love? (from the Junior Marvin album Wailin' For Love)
Classic good-times reggae vibes

Nb. We at VOLUME highly recommend tracking down and listening to all of these songs listed above.

Interview and sidebar originally appeared in VOLUME magazine issue #016

18 December 2011

Playlist: George FM 'In The Pocket' Sun 18 Dec

J-Boogie's Dubtronic Science with Chrys Anthony | Undercover (DJ Nu-Mark remix)
Mark Ronson with Erykah Badu, Trombone Shorty, Mos Def & Zigaboo | A La Modeliste
Dutch Rhythm Combo with Joe Dukie | Venom (Dr Rubberfunk remix)
The Players Union | Pick Up The Telephone
Late Night Tuff Guy | Pull Us Apart (LNTG rework)
Blunted Funk Project | Warm Weather
Pumpkin Patch | Blueberry Jam
Drop Out Orchestra | It Will Never Be The Same Again
B-Jam | Sugar
360 with Pez | Just Got Started
Boogie Culture | Lipstick
Class Action | Weekend (Young Edits)
Shapeshifter | Electric Dream
Erykah Badu | Bump It
TY | Music 2 Fly 2
Choklate | Bigger Than You
Anita Baker | Sweet Love
Lowrell | Mellow Mellow
The Dynamics | Feel Like Making Love

15 December 2011

Live: Pork Meets Disco

Barrio and Old Mout Cider present
Free Entry / Kids Welcome / Courtyard Open
Pig On A Spit / DJs Spinning Proper Disco Music
Buy An Old Mout Cider and Eat For Free!
From 2pm Sunday 18 Dec

13 December 2011

Review: Thrashing Marlin 'Donkey Deep'

Donkey Deep
[Braille Records]

Reviewing this album is almost like reviewing the history of music - where should you begin? Donkey Deep is the fourth album from New Zealand group Thrashing Marlin, which is effectively the multi-instrumentalist duo David Donaldson and Steve Roche. The pair contribute all manner of musical styles and genres across this collection of fourteen songs, which vary from the country-folk opener Time Of Your Life to closing sing-along One More Time, which moves from a finger-picked acoustic guitar to Mexican-flavoured brass. The standout though, is Tangiwai Train, a raw, Nick Cave-styled murder ballad with all the necessary ingredients (death and damnation) delivered over a harmonica-laden, whiskey-soaked stomp; while the vaguely Middle Eastern Another Man's Grave sums up the darkness at the heart of this record. Deeply layered instrumentation, compellingly structured songs which straddle a variety of genres and deft, sophisticated lyricism make for a hugely enjoyable album which rewards repeat listens richly.

4 stars from 5

Check out the Donkey Deep album here...

This review originally appeared in the Waikato Times.

12 December 2011

Live: Jam

Fonk Presents
5 DJs - 2 Tunes - Back To Back All Night!
Lowe1, CoopaBlu, Nyntee, SarahTonen & Average White DJ
Friday 16 Dec
(On The Rooftop!)
Free Entry

Playlist: George FM 'In The Pocket' Sun 12 Dec

Moodymann | Ol' Dirty Vinyl (U Used To Know)
Moodymanc | Black Paint (Larry Heard's 'After Dark' mix)
Trus' Me v Chic | Working Nights / Rhythm Makers
Moodymann | Lake Shore Drive (Tangoterje edit)
GQ | Lies (Theo Parrish edit)
Wham | Lovemaker (Horse Meat Disco re-edit)
Linkwood Family | Miles Away
Blunted Funk Project | Think Twice
Late Night Tuff Guy | Come Inside Me (LNTG edit)
Marvin Gaye | Sexual Healing (Simon's 'Dark Keys' remix)
Drop Out Orchestra | Ego (extended)
Surface | Falling In Love (First Aid Disco edit)
Norma Jean Bell | I'm The Baddest Bitch In This Room (Moodymann edit)
Oliver Cheatham | Get Down Saturday Night (edit)

08 December 2011

Review: Gilles Peterson In Brazil & In Africa

Various Artists
[Ether Records]

Various Artists
[Ether Records]

While neither of these compilations are new releases, much of the music will be new to most of you. That's the way things are with compilations curated by Gilles Peterson, legendary UK DJ, label owner and talent-spotter. He has established himself as one of the world's most influential DJs - indeed, "taste-makers" - of the last twenty years, with a proven track records in exposing exciting music old and new. These two compilations, released on Ether Records in 2004 (Brazil) and 2005 (Africa), follows that pattern, each with two discs featuring a tailor-made selection from Gilles himself. The Brazil compilation's Classico disco does what it says on the tin, with tracks from Wilson Simonal, Sergio Mendes and Brasil '77, Mario Castro Neves and Tim Maia; while the second disc, Da Hora, brings the sound of the Latin nation's future, with DJ Marky and XRS (and the still-magical Moments Of Lust, with Vikter Duplaix), Drumagick, Spiritual South, 4Hero (with Patricia Marx) and Marcos Valle, alongside remixes from Edu K (featuring Bebel Gilberto) and Bruno E. The entire compilation sparkles like your stereotypical sun-kissed Brazilian beach scene, sambas nuzzling drum and bass while bikini-clad girls dance suggestively. The Africa compilation is also a joyful celebration, and tribute to the originators of Afrobeat. Disc one, Soul, features classics from Fela Kuti, Manu DiBango, Miriam Makeba, Lette Mbulu, Mulatu Astatqe and Oscar Sulley (with my favourite Afrobeat song, Bukom Mashie); and the second, Spirit, bringing together artists and remixers such as Masters At Work, Cesaria Evora, Carl Craig, IG Culture and Thievery Corporation. Though labels like Soundway have mined deeper into the musics of Africa, this selection covers all bases, providing the perfect introduction to the essentials. Indeed, both compilations are essential for fans of Latin and African music - and of Gilles Peterson. As usual.

4 from 5 stars (for both)

Check out the Brazil compilation here and the Africa compilation here...

07 December 2011


[Young Turks]

Finally there's good reason to get excited about pop music again. Well, some pop music, anyway. While many may argue, suggesting "post-dubstep" is a more accurate term to apply to the subject of this review; modern pop music is exactly what SBTRKT has aimed for on his self-titled debut, for Young Turks (home to other notable sound-of-nowsters, The xx). By and large he succeeds. Admirably, even. Unlike contemporaries and closest comparisons James Blake and Jamie Woon, SBTRKT aka Aaron Jerome (who had a handful of releases under his own name on WahWah45s some time ago) is undeniably accessible, with tracks like Pharoahs (which out-Basement Jaxx's Basement Jaxx) and the just-wobbly-enough Wildfire (featuring typically outstanding vocals from Little Dragon's Yukumi Nagano) far more digestible than anything from his peers' recent efforts (as excellent as they both are). The key difference is that Jerome makes room for his guest vocalists (also including Sampha, Roses Gabor and Jessie Ware) among his intricate arrangements, with the skittering, Timbaland-for-2011 beats only one part of the whole picture. With hints of dubstep and garage among these glitchy-yet-soulful grooves, SBTRKT has found a winning formula - and a label - which bodes well for the future of pop music.

4 stars from 5

Check out more from SBTRKT here...

Review: Adele 'Live At The Royal Albert Hall'

Live At The Royal Albert Hall

Do sales equate to quality? It's an age-old question for those from an independent background. Adele is a prime example. WTF? I hear you say. How can you sell ten million odd albums without being good? Fair question... kinda. I'm not suggesting Adele is undeserving of some success, but ten million albums? That's getting into Michael Jackson territory. Beatles territory. Elvis territory. Is Adele the equal of any of those folks? There's no doubt she has a handful of very good songs - Rumour Has It, Someone Like You, Rolling In The Deep, you've heard them - and a very real, girl-next-door appeal (the "she could lose some weight" calls hold no sway with me at all), but her singing range is limited, her lyrical content entirely one-dimensional and her between-song banter is far more entertaining than the songs themselves. I really couldn't imagine being the poor bloke her award-winning 21 album was written about - and he gets a fair few mentions during the course of this performance too - but that shared experience of "arsehole ex-boyfriends" goes some way to explaining her appeal. Alongside her fishmonger's wife's accent and personality. Good, without being great. Which is pretty much the definition of MOR.

2 and 1/2 stars from 5

Please click here for a list of the 12 Most Disappointing Facts About Popular Music, which puts a lovely bookend on the 'do sales equate to quality?' question. And prepare for serious disillusionment...

04 December 2011

Live: Strut

With Jay Jeffrey & Nyntee
Rare Grooves and Boogie and Soul and Funk and House
From 10pm
Saturday 10th Dec
No Cover Charge

Playlist 'In The Pocket with 90' George FM Sun 4 Dec

Freddie Cruger and Anthony Mills are Wildcookie | Jackson Miles
Benny Tones with Mara TK | Nevermind
Bah Samba | So Many People
Unforscene with Alice Russell | Don't You Worry
SBTRKT | Wildfire
Dam Funk | LAtrifying
Q-Tip | Manwomanboogie
Jack Mayforth | Disco People (Monk edit)
Wu Tang Clan v Aloe Blacc | C.R.E.A.M. (Theory's 'I Need A Dollar' edit) (inst.)
Aloe Blacc | I Need A Dollar (Theory's 'Get The Money' edit)
Mayer Hawthorne | Maybe So, Maybe No (reggae version)
Monk-One | Bossa Biz
Martha Vandella | Heatwave (King Storm remix)
Marcia Griffiths | Tide Is High
The Black Seeds | Make A Move
Red Hot Chili Peppers | Funky Monks
Natural Self | Feet Keep Moving
Linn & Freddie | Live 4 Love
The Jackson Five | We're Almost There (DJ Spinna remix)
Little Dragon | Constant Surprises
Sly Dunbar | Don't Stop The Music

Review: Nuyorican Soul 'Nuyorican Soul'

Nuyorican Soul
[GRP Records]

Nuyorican Soul is the name of the musical project assembled by "Little" Louie Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, aka production and remix duo Masters At Work. The self-titled album features appearances from Roy Ayers, George Benson, Vincent Montana Jr., Jocelyn Brown, Tito Puente, Jazzy Jeff, India and some of the Salsoul Orchestra. Original tracks (You Can Do It (Baby), with fluid guitar and vocals from George Benson atop a trademark MAW broken beat) crop up amongst covers of songs, often re-interpreted by some of the original performers (Sweet Tears, with Roy Ayers at his nonchalant best). Other notable tracks include the Jocelyn Brown-voiced epic I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun; an inspired and deeply respectful reading of Bob James' classic jazz-funker Nautilus (subtitled 'MAWtilus'); and the gorgeous disco floor-filler Runaway, featuring members of the Salsoul Orchestra - and lead vocals from Louie Vega's ex-wife, India. From hands-in-the-air house to laidback head-nod hip hop, slinky jazz to heavy Latin ibes and percussion - and plenty more besides, Nuyorican Soul is one of the most fully realised dance albums in the last thirty years. There is only one Nuyorican Soul album - and there may well be a reason for that. Essential listening.

4 and 1/2 stars from 5

You can check out music from Nuyorican Soul by clicking on the song titles highlighted above, or by taking a look/listen here at Last FM...

01 December 2011

Review: Tru Thoughts 'Shapes 11.01' Compiled by Robert Luis

Various Artists
SHAPES 11.01
Compiled by Robert Luis
[Tru Thoughts]

Throwing shapes. Making shapes. Whatever. For me, the word 'Shapes' will forever be associated with semi-regular lable compilations from Brighton-based independent Tru Thoughts. For the past wee while they've been putting out often double-disc (and recently on vinyl, too!) selections of tunes old and new; and 2011 is no different, with co-owner Robert Luis again compiling a bespoke collection reflecting the label's eclectic musical vision. Brand new signings (Mark de Clive-Lowe, Anchorsong, Benji Boko) nestle alongside old hands (Quantic, Kinny, Hint), plus all sorts of other goodies, including previously unreleased tracks (which are actually quite good, not just outtakes), new remixes and guest appearances from Aloe Blacc, Bembe Segue, Tawiah, Skream and Mark Pritchard. Shapes 11.01 is divided into two discs, and disc one is the clear winner in terms of sheer "listenability". Standouts include Lanu (aka Bamboos' main-man Lance Fergsuon) and Megan Washington's quirky Roosevelt Blues; Belleruche's classy, stripped-back dancefloor-pleaser Northern Girls; the effortless soulful pop of Lost Baggage, from Kinny (currently working with De La Soul on their next single); Portada Del Mar, my faourite track from the Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno album Dog With A Rope - plus Dr Dre re-interpreted cumbia-style with Nuthin' But A 'G' Thing given a radical rework by Quantic Y Su Conjunto Los Miticos Del Ritmo. All of this alongside the hazy glitch of Anchorsong's Plum Rain and the thrust and impetus of Hidden Orchestra's duelling drummers on Dust; while, elsewhere, Tawiah teams up with Maddslinky for the future funk twist of Hiding Place, Tenor Fly adds toasting style vocals to Smerins Anti-Social Club's mad reggae version of the Dr Who theme, and Anthony Mills and Freddie Cruger's hit-and-miss Wildcookie collab contributes one of their better tracks with Serious Drug. Even if it purports to be more mellow, CD1 really is an absolute belter of a selection. Standouts on disc two feature Bembe Segue and Nia Andrews adding funky, gritty prettiness to Push (itself one of Mark de Clive-Lowe's most complete pieces of tough future funk from his recent Renegades album); a trip back to Lanu's self-titled debut album for Tru Thoughts with the funky breakbeat of Mother Earth, featuring Quantic (guitar) and Aloe Blacc (vocals); J Boogie adding a little club-flavoured beat-spice to Quantic and His Combo Barbaro's already fetching Un Canto A Mi Tierra; electro-styled bleep-funk courtesy of Beta Hector and their Jupiter Mission - which sounds exactly as the title suggests; a mad mash up of glam synth funk and dubstep with glitch-tech via dancehall on speed, thanks to Be Electric, from the also appropriately monikered Randomer; and Maddslinky and Skream seriously upping the wobble-factor with 50 Shades Of Peng. Disc two, while inarguably fresh and exciting, is perhaps just a little too ambitious and varied in its musical spread to consistently please these ears - but that could be splitting hairs. Either way, the "future music" found - particularly on the second disc - on Shapes 11.01 brings not just freshness and excitement, but also a certain sense of balance, to what is ultimately yet another compelling collection showcasing one of the most thrilling independent music labels ever to really give a shit.

4 stars from 5

Check out the Tru Thoughts site and sign-up to their newsletter too!