30 October 2011

George FM Playlist Sun 30 Oct "In The Pocket"

Loose Ends | Hanging On A String (Contemplating)
Tom Browne | Come For The Ride
Unlimited Touch | Love Explosion (Recloose Hit It & Quit It edit)
Incognito | Summer's Ended
Roy Ayers | Evolution
Mouzon Electric Band | Everybody Get Down
Lil' Louis | I Called You Why'd You Fall (Moton edit)
Change | Searching
Kabbala | Yo Yo Dance
Escort | All Through The Night
Jonzun Crew | Space Is The Place
Gwen Guthrie | Seventh Heaven
Nightcrawlers | Push The Feeling On (extended version)
Donald Byrd | Dominoes
Feel | I'd Like To
George & Glen Miller | Touch Your Life

26 October 2011

Review: Superheavy 'Superheavy'


Superheavy is the self-titled debut album from an unlikely grouping of genuine music superstars - Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones), Dave Stewart (Eurhythmics), Damian (son of Bob) Marley, Joss Stone and Indian performer/composer A.R. Rahman. Self-described as "a mad alchemist type experiment", SuperHeavy seems to aim to please everyone, with its open-handed approach to blending Western-styled rock and soul, reggae music's rhythmic pulse and the spiritual ound of Indian and Middle Eastern influences - but, as the old saying intones, you can't please all of the people all of the time. The main problem with this album is SuperHeavy seem unsure as to who they're appealing to. Reggae fans won't be impressed with Jagger's snarling, while Marley's patois-inflected toasting will be a stretch too far for Stones fans. At their best, SuperHeavy is a fun romp; but at their worst, they sound like they're rehashing Live Aid, and that's neither super not heavy.

2 and 1/2 stars from 5

(Originally printed in the Waikato Times)

24 October 2011

George FM Playlist Mon 24 Oct "In The Drive Pocket"

World Champions Drive

Jean Claude Gavri | Les Dance
Dez Andres | As We Rock On
Seductive Souls with Donald McCullum | Disco Jazz (Patchworks remix)
Legacy | Word Up
Drop Out Orchestra | Release Myself
Baja Domitia | Gangsta Party
40 Thieves with Qzen | Don't Turn It Off (Greg Wilson edit)
Yuksek | On A Train (Magician remix)
Two Door Cinema Club | What You Know (Redlight remix)
Kele | Tenderoni
Calvin Harris | Feel So Close
PNAU | Solid Ground (Adrian Lux remix)
Sanchez Last Stand | Done With You
Holy Ghost! | Hold On (Blackjoy remix)
Recloose with Dwele | Can't Take It (Milton Jackson remix)
Jay-Z & Kanye | Otis (A-Skillz remix)
Ron Basejam | Is The Word
Crazy P | Sun Science
Lette Mbulu | Kilimanjaro (The Revenge edit)
Eva Gina | Mandinga
Jayl Funk | Piece Of Mine
Lunatics | Vent (Matty Blades remix)
Editorial | Uptight (Space Disco Fix)
Ben Westbeech | Something For The Weekend
Jamiroquai | Cosmic Girl
Louis La Roche with Ad-Apt | Missing You
The Chemical Brothers with Wayne Coyne | Golden Path
The Awa Band with Tony Allen | Bababatteur (Quantic remix)
Linkwood Family | Miles Away

George FM Playlist Sun 23 Oct "In The Pocket"

Erykah Badu | On & On (Leo Zero remix)
Breakage with Roots Manuva | Run 'Em Out
Trinity Roots | Call To You
The Roots with Erykah Badu | You Got Me
Fat Freddy's Drop | Ray Ray
Al Green with John Legend | Stay With Me (Max Kane Slump)
Milez Benjamin | Chop That Wood
Blackstreet | No Diggity (B.Cause Sick Wit This blend)
Flevans | Lay Back (Regal remix)
Hot 8 Brass Band | Sexual Healing
The Illphonics | One Of Those Days
Lord Echo with Lisa Tomlins | Thinking Of You
The Black Seeds | Cool Me Down
PM Dawn | Set Adrift On Memory Bliss
Livingstone & Canosis | Walk On The Wild Side (edit)
Brother 2 Brother | Chance With You (Stickypod Connection re-boot)
Funk Ferret | Whole Loada Shizzle
Wick-It The Instigator | Rolling In The Fire
Dave Dobbyn with Herbs | Slice Of Heaven

20 October 2011

Review: Bella Kalolo 'Without The Paper'

Without The Paper
[Bella Sounds]

There's something about Bella Kalolo's debut solo album Without The Paper I just can't quite put my finger on. It's not the part-Samoan, part-Tongan, part-Maori songstress' velvety voice, which drapes itself languorously over mellow soul as srikingly as it tears through heavy funk stylings. It's not The Soul Symphony, the crack backing band - whose number includes master drummer Darren Mathiassen (Trinity Roots, Hollie Smith) and Bella's husband Alistair Isdale - as they're skin-tight and razor-sharp throughout. And it's certainly not her pedigree, as Bella recently performed at Glastonbury and has worked extensively as a vocalist for the last ten years performing and/or recording with Don McGlashan, Dave Dobbyn, Fat Freddy's Drop and Nathan Haines, among many others. Ultimately though, what lets the album down is the song writing, as too many of these tracks sound too derivative for Without The Paper to be anything other than a solid, but enjoyable debut.

2 and 1/2 stars from 5

19 October 2011

George FM Playlist Wed 19 Oct "Play It All Back In The Pocket"

Hello all. Filling in today for Roger Perry, covering his Play It All Back show. 'Twas fun, even on a moody midweek day such as this.

Ben E. King | Street Tough
George Duke | Shine On (Late Night Tough Guy edit)
Dianne Marie | I've Waited Much Too Long (Frico edit)
First Choice | Love Thang (edit)
Gap Band | Baby Boogie Baba (Noodleman's Chop Shop edit)
Patrick Cowley | Get A Little (extended version)
Blackwell | Boogie Down & Mess Around
Tiger & Woods | Gin Nation
Gazeebo | Shake Those Hips Bitch
Area Social | The Blow Is Back
Nigel Martinez | Better Things To Come (Ashley Beedle's Heavy Disco edit)
Digital Emotion | Get Up Action / Do You Wanna Funk? (Drop Out Orchestra edit)
First Choice | Let No Man Put Asunder (Ron Hardy edit)
Donna Allen | Serious (Rayko edit)
The Jungle Brothers | I'll House You (Rayko edit)
Angela Bofill | People Make The World Go Round (Seegweed edit)

17 October 2011

George FM Playlist Sun 16 Oct "In The Pocket"

Moodymanc | Black Paint (Larry Heard mix)
Miguel Migs with Aya | Don't Stop
Juan Atkins | Dayshift (Oliver's Nightshift remix)
Crazy P | Sun Science
Bah Samba with The Fatback Band | Let The Drums Speak (Phil Asher remix)
U-Tern | Amy's Missing (DCUPS edit)
Cassius | Cassius 99 remix
U-Tern x Drake & Lil' Wayne | Style Class Flair (Emynd "Money To Blow" blend)
MC Mellow Dee | And You Don't Stop (True School mix)
Carter Bros | Full Disco Jacket
Harvey Mason | Groovin' You
Heatwave | Boogie Nights (Slynk re-edit)
Fries & Bridges | Forever This
Jamiroquai | Emergency On Planet Earth (Masters At Work remix)
Harold Melvin | Bad Luck (Dimitri From Paris edit)
Don Ray | Got To Have Loving
Me&You | How Can I Hold You When Your Body Keeps Moving?
Marvin Gaye | Heard It Through The Grapevine (Rob Tex remix)
Ben Westbeech | Something For The Weekend

15 October 2011

George FM Playlist Fri 14 Oct "Key To 90's Pocket"

Always a pleasure, never a pressure - covering for Bevan Keys on George FM today...

Crazy P | Open For Service
Sleazy McQueen | Troutman Street Roller Disco
Five Special | Why Leave Us Alone (Larry Levan remix)
Fever | Dreams & Desire (Jim Burgess remix)
The Salsoul Orchestra | 212 North & 12th
Status IV | You Ain't Really Down
Ron Richardson | Ooh Wee Babe
Vaughan Mason & Crew | Jammin' Big Guitar
Zapp | Itchin' For Your Twitchin'
Jermaine Jackson | Erucu (AC edit)
Totalcult | Disco Call
Rayko | Getting Down
Odyssey | Going Back To My Roots (Fingerman's Maximum Fonk edit)
First Choice | Love Thang
Al Green | Piece Of Mine (Jaylfunk edit)

13 October 2011

In The Pocket Mixtape Vol. 1

An all-live, one take, continuous mix from yr Bro 90 aka Nyntee, assembled with Sunday afternoons in mind. From Aloe Blacc to Leroy Hutson, from Jean Knight to Jamiroquai, no stone is left unturned in helping you tune in, turn on and chill out.

Just click here.

Aloe Blacc | Billie Jean (live)
Al Green with John Legend | Stay With Me (Max Kane Slump)
Bebel Gilberto | Baby (Yam Who? Uptown Jazz Safari mix)
Marvin Gaye | Sexual Healing (Simon's Dark Keys remix)
Ike & Tina Turner | Livin' For The City
Jean Knight | Mr Big Stuff (Frico edit)
Bo Kirkland and Ruth Davis | We Got The Recipe
Raphael Saadiq as Ray Ray | I Know Shuggie Otis
Cardell Funk Machine | Shoot Your Shot
Sly & The Family Stone | If You Want Me To Stay
Azymuth | Dear Limmertz
Checker Kabb | By My Side
Snooky | Ease The Pain
T-Connection | Do What You Wanna Do
Jamiroquai | Alright (Frico edit)
Keni Burke | Risin' To The Top
Huba | Mary
Leroy Hutson | Cool Out

11 October 2011

Review: Dennis Coffey 'Dennis Coffey'

Dennis Coffey

Don't call this a comeback, he's been here for years. Detroit guitar legend Dennis Coffey's raw and funky playing can be heard on a roll call of seminal songs - The Temptations' Ball Of Confusion and Cloud Nine, The Sylvers' Boogie Fever, Edwin Starr's War, Freda Payne's Band Of Gold, among many, many others - as Coffey was a member of the original Motown Funk Brothers' backing band, popularising a heavy, funky guitar sound. But this self-titled set for Strut is no old timers' get-together: guests include Mayer Hawthorne, Mick Collins (The Dirtbombs) and Fanny Franklin (Orgone), and Coffey stylishly leads a crack band through a dense selection of new material and hand-picked covers (from The Parliaments and Funkadelic to 100 Proof Aged In Soul and more). The funk and fuzz levels are set to high, with a swirling, soulful psychedelica permeating most tracks. A rare treat from one of the originators.

3 and 1/2 stars from 5

George FM Playlist Tue 11 Oct "Free Range"

I sat in on Free Range this morning, covering for the big man, Soane. Considering the muggy and foggy day we were endowed with today, I had more fun than should reasonably be expected!

Hot Toddy | Late Night Boogie
The Haggis Horns | The Traveller (Pt. 2)
Crazy P Present The Syndromes | The Hit
Starsgarage | The Massage
Mid-Air | Ease Out (The Revenge edit)
Fat Freddy's Drop | Ray Ray (Slope remix)
Slynk v Ed Solo | I Wish
Recloose with Joe Dukie | Dust
Outkast | Spottieottiedopalicious (DJ Angola edit)
Spectral Display | It Takes A Muscle (Crucial Three edit)
Louis La Roche with Ad-Apt | Missin' You
Robyn v The Cure | Close To Konichiwa Bitches
Chromeo | Hot Mess (Oliver remix)
Ben Westbeech | Something For The Weekend
Lewis McCallum with Tama Waipara | Way We Live
Philly Blunt | Love California
Funk Ferret | Fonky Magnum

10 October 2011

George FM Playlist Sun 9 Oct "In The Pocket"

TY | Music 2 Fly 2
Choklate | Bigger Than You
Gotye | State Of The Art
The Players Union | All Green
Roy Ayers | We Live In Brooklyn Baby
Daz | Inside My Love (Daz Inside My Filter rework) (Get Down edit)
Killer Funk Disco Allstars | Look! A Van Gogh! (Good Groovin' edit)
Daz | Far Beyond (Get Down edit)
Rockers Revenge | Dubbing In Sunshine
Stephanie Mills | Put Your Body In It
Crown Heights Affair | Dream World
Crazy P | Bumcop
Gladys Knight & The Pips | Bourgie Bourgie
Heaven Sent & Ecstasy | I'm A Lady (LeBaron edit)
The Players Association | Turn The Music Up!
Cindy Rodriguez | What You Need Is My Love (Disco Tom edit)
Michael Henderson | Wide Receiver (Pt. 1)
Oliver Cheatham | Get Down Saturday Night

06 October 2011

Interview: Adrian Utley of Portishead


It's been 14 years since Portishead last performed in New Zealand - which seems reasonable considering there were 10 years between their second and third albums. Alongside Geoff Barrow and Beth Gibbons, Adrian Utley forms the core of the famed group. He had plenty to tell VOLUME about the band's beginnings, their forthcoming shows, and how they stay sane in the music business.

"I have really fucking had enough of this!" Adrian Utley was over it.

He'd been playing guitar since hearing Hendrix's Axis: Bold As Love, he'd kicked off a career in music in the mid-'70s, playing in country and western bands, British holiday camps, jazz groups and with legends like Jeff Beck and Big John Patton.

Utley was a noted session musician, a virtuosic guitar-slinger for hire, and he'd reached the end of his tether.

In stepped a young Geoff Barrow: "Geoff was working as a tape operator - which really meant making loads of cups of tea for the bands and engineers - and he sampled a band I'd played in," says Utley of his first meeting with his future band mate, "I heard him messing about with it, and introduced myself."

"He was 19 and I was 30. We were both listening to A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep and electronic avant-garde music, but while most of the people in my life were respectful of my desire to hear hip hop, they didn't like it," chuckles Utley, "But Geoff and I were as obsessed with Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation Of Millions as we were with making new sounds, so I was like: 'There's a new door here'."

The Portishead story is well-told: this 'new door' opened to worldwide fame as their 1994 debut album Dummy sold like hotcakes pretty much everywhere, winning the prestigious Mercury Music Prize and essentially breaking the band in the US even before they'd toured there. Dummy is rightly considered a classic, and in 1997 their self-titled follow-up cemented them as a big deal. Then, nothing. Well, sort of nothing, as the band disappeared from public view for the best part of seven years.

So, did Portishead split up? "No!" Utley exclaims, "We'll never split up! We'll always make music together, but at that point we just didn't want to do it anymore. I mean, we wanted to play music together, but the experiences we'd had, particularly in touring the Portishead album, affected the level of expectation on us," he says, referring to a combination of "pressure, press and misquotes".

"Don't get me wrong; I've played my whole life in shitty dives so I'm grateful for Portishead, The thing is, we care very much about the music and getting it across, but our home lives had fallen apart and it got so intense, so we just couldn't keep going."

Portishead played a scattering of shows in the mid-2000s before releasing the aptly-titled Third in 2007, which quickly silenced the doubters and was embraced as a worthy addition to their small but highly regarded catalogue.

Now, they return to our shores - what can we expect from the show? "We'll be playing the old tunes and loads of stuff off Third. We've got some very cool visual stuff going on, and we've worked very hard as a band to be able to play 90% of everything you'll hear live, with only a few samples," Utley enthuses. "Though it sometimes feels a little like a house of cards, it's exciting and gives us the opportunity to really cut loose. We're looking forward to it immensely!"

I press him again on how long this all might last this time - is this the 'final hurrah' for Portishead? Or can we expect another album, eventually? "Nowadays we really just play together when we want to," says Utley, "I don't mean to sound conceited about it - I mean, we've all got kids now - and we don't want to thrash ourselves anymore. Plus we've all got other projects on the go, and we've found that working with people outside of the group breeds enthusiasm for writing more Portishead songs, so we're all excited about working on the new album when we're home from the tour."

That grounded attitude must have helped hugely in dealing with the level of success Portishead has enjoyed. "Definitely. We all lived in Bristol when we started - and mostly still do - you know, we didn't all move to London and change the way we live. We didn't all suddenly come swishing into the studio wearing cowboy boots - none of us would've let the others get away with it!"

Trip Hop: The Birth Of A Movement. Or Not.

"They're just words, aren't they?" Adrian Utley is talking about 'trip hop'.

Alongside Massive Attack and Tricky, Portishead are considered originators of the sound, or at least responsible for popularising it.

"People need a vocabulary to describe music," he says, "but it is weird. And while there were lots of bands who got in on that sound, I thought they came at it the wrong way."

"Portishead were influenced by hip hop, electronic and avant-garde music, but we were always reaching for something new," Utley says of he and Geoff Barrow's early endeavours, "We came to this music from trying new things; putting the drums through shitty little amps but throwing really fucking heavy guitars on there."

"I guess us, Massive and Tricky were on a similar tip, but we never intended there to be a movement; we never shared what we were trying to do with those guys," he says, "I mean, one time we were recording in a studio in Bristol and we knew Mushroom [of Massive Attack] was in another studio down the hall, so we went to say hello. When we walked in the door, he pulled down all the faders and turned the computer monitors off!"

This interview originally appeared in Volume Magazine Issue #005, 4th October 2011.

Read the live review of Portishead's 2011 NZ show here.

05 October 2011

Review: She's So Rad 'In Circles'

In Circles
[Round Trip Mars]

Musical Chameleon. That sums up Jeremy Toy beautifully. The Opensouls' guitarist/songwriter has had his hands in many musical pies over the years - producing Hollie Smith's debut album, playing with local punks Sommerset and crafting wonky hip hop in his solo guise, Ota. For She's So Rad he has linked with Sami Sister Anji to add yet another style to his arsenal: shoegaze. Hazy indie rock informs much of their debut album In Circles, with beautifully bruised pop songs layered heavily with dreamy guitars, washed out vocals and dense, swirling atmospherics. Reference points include Ride, The Charlatans and Toro Y Moi, but mostly you'll hear a modern take on the Dunedin Sound, particularly the excellent Jean-Paul Sartre Experience. Guests include Julien Dyne, James Duncan and Nick Gaffaney, but In Circles mostly serves to illustrate that Jeremy Toy is fast growing into one of this country's true musical treasures. Very impressive indeed.

4 stars from 5

03 October 2011

George FM Playlist Mon 3 Oct "Groovadelica"

The Roots with Erykah Badu | You Got Me
Mitsu The Beats with Dwele | Right Here
Bebel Gilberto | Baby (Yam Who? Uptown Jazz Safari)
Dam-Funk | Hood Pass Intact
Brother2Brother | Chance With You (Stickypod Connection reboot)
Beatfanatic | Electromagnetic Colours
Amp Fiddler | Superficial
Miguel Migs with Evelyn "Champagne" King | Everybody
Rockers Revenge | Walking On Sunshine (Greg Wilson edit)
Los Charly's Orchestra | Rio Chico's Sunset
Kano | Don't Try To Stop Me
Slippery People with Leroy Burgess | Sweet Thing
Sanchez Last Stand | Done With You
Dennis Coffey with Mayer Hawthorne | All Your Goodies Are Gone
Am Ko | Just Chillin' Out
Sleazy McQueen | Oh Sheila (2 Spare Astronauts remix)
Drop Out Orchestra with Kinema | All The Time We Need
Corsican Brothers | Break You Off
Zapp | It Doesn't Really Matter

George FM Playlist Sun 2 Oct "In The Pocket"

Bobby C Sound TV | Boom For Rent
Funk Ferret | Whole Loada Shizzle
Slynk | Everyday Poppa
Marvin Gaye | Just Like Music (Eric Sermon remix)
Nel Oliver | Dream On (The Revenge edit)
Latyrx | Lady Don't Tek No
Blendcrafters | Melody
Raphael Saadiq | Skyy, Can You Feel Me?
John Legend & The Roots with Black Thought | Hard Times
The Avalanches | Since I Left You
RSL | Wesley Music
Kora | Flow (Crazy P remix)
PBR Streetgang | J2ThaB
Greg Wilson | C'mon (You Can Get It)
Norman Connors | Once I've Been There
Sharon Redd | Never Give You Up
Evelyn "Champagne" King | If You Want My Lovin' (Jay J edit)
Dez Andres | A Time To Boogie
Spanky Wilson & The Quantic Soul Orchestra | Waiting For Your Touch (Domu remix)
Uptown Funk Empire | Good Time (Bye Bye Mr Dynamite)