30 April 2012

RIP: Volume Magazine

It's a sad day today.

Here in New Zealand we're not exactly blessed with a high quality of street press or weekly magazines, zines or other printed reading matter. Costs prohibit, I understand that. But Volume magazine was supposed to be something different - bankrolled by APN Publishing and connected with the NZ Herald's large online following, this was a proper "yoof" magazine which had the backing of the big boys.

Or so we thought.

Despite stamping its personality on our scene almost immediately, and after only thirty three issues, Volume magazine is no longer. Apparently a lack of online audience was enough to convince its owners that there was no future in reporting on music that's slightly outside the realm of commercial Top 40 fodder.

More frustratingly, just at the beginning of NZ Music Month, one of the true champions of local content has been axed. You couldn't have waited another month, at least?

So, very sad news, as it leaves a gulf in quality street press here in NZ, and once more means that talented folks like Sam Wicks and Hugh Sundae are again forced to forge a path for themselves (and for those who they believe in) in a media world where the deck remains stacked against them.

Good luck, lads, I'll be aiming to do more than simply cheer you on.

RIP Volume Magazine

29 April 2012

Playlist: George FM 'In The Pocket' Sun 29 Apr

I was joined in the studio again today by Jay Jeffrey, whose selections are marked below with an *. Tasty business for sure.

Alice Russell & Quantic with The Combo Barbaro | Una Tarde en Mariquita
Lateef Dameer & Nurthice | Plateau
Kylie Minogue | Slow (Duff Disco edit)
Cheryl Lynn | Encore (Frankie Goes Deep rework)
Rick Astley | Sleeping (Frankie Goes Deep rework)
Bobby Caldwell | Carry On (MyKill edit)
Narada Michael Waldren | 2nite (Late Nite Tuff Guy edit)
LNTG | Imagination (edit)
*Robert Glasper Experiment with Erykah Badu | Afro Blue
*Vanessa Simon | Revelation
*The Naturals | Funky Rasta
*The Jackson Five | Superstition
*Evelyn "Champagne" King | I Don't Know If It's Right (Disco edit)
*The Spinners | I'll Be There (Lac's edit)
Marlena Shaw | Woman Of The Ghetto (DJ Raw Sugar edit)
Curtis Mayfield | Do Do Wap Is Strong In Here
*Gil Scott Heron | Willing
*The New Jersey Mass Choir | Yah Mo Be There (Mr Scruff edit)
The Lafayette Afro Rock Band | Darkest Light
Jimmy Smith | Root Down (And Get It)

28 April 2012

Highlight: V. B. Kuehl

It's always a treat to receive music "in the mailbag" (as it were) from folks anywhere, be they just down the road - or in Germany, as is the case in this instance. V.B. Kuehl is a producer based in Frankfurt, who makes electronic music with a twist - there are elements of live instrumentation throughout much of his work, most notably on the track I'm highlighting here, Arab Spring. A highly emotive piece of music as it is, listen to the song first and then take a look at the video for the track here, utilising some incredible photographs by Ferhat Bouda. It's a truly remarkable pairing.

For more music from V.B. Kuhl, check out his soundcloud page; and take a look at some of his design work here. Thanks Volker!

Arab Spring by V.B.Kühl

26 April 2012

Playlist: George FM 'In The Pocket' Wed 25 Apr

Unknown Artist | Climbing Girl
Moxie | Yes You May
Area Social | Daytons 2nite
Keep Schtum | Hang Together
Superbreak | Get Over (Superbreak edit)
Claws For? | Colour Theory
Mid Air | Ease Out (The Revenge edit)
Disco Tom | Goldie's Boogie
Deadly Sins | I Don't Know (Roller Boogie edit)
James Brown | Star Generation
RSL | Wesley Music
The Avalanches | Since I Left You
P-Bass Expressway | Easyride (Downtown Brown remix)
Duff Disco | Just In Time
Change | Hold Tight (Late Nite Tuff Guy edit)
The Fantastic Aleems with Leroy Burgess | Get Down Friday Nite
Cecile Grier | Don't Quit
Sister Nancy | Bam Bam (Sleazy McQueen Covert edit)

23 April 2012

Review: Quantic & Alice Russell with The Combo Barbaro 'Look Around The Corner'

Look Around The Corner
[Tru Thoughts]

I love the music of Will 'Quantic' Holland. I love the music of Alice Russell, too. I've been following them both for some time. Still the best-selling artists on the Tru Thoughts label, they were my (and probably many folks') introduction to the little Brighton-based label-that-could. Indeed, my love for both musicians runs so deep I was afraid my expectations of this album were too high, my hopes too great. And upon first listen, I didn't know what to think. However, it doesn't take long for the full charms of this fantastic record to reveal themselves. Recorded in Holland's adopted hometown of Cali, Colombia, during two visits from Russell, and utilising much of Holland's regular recording and touring band the Combo Barbaro, Look Around The Corner is (remarkably) the first album project Russell and Holland have worked on together. Like a great melting pot of the contributors' differing styles and blend of influences - blues, soul, gospel, an underlying Latin feel which is always present - the album has huge and varied appeal. Big string sections, memorable melodies, intoxicating percussion; the momentum barely lets up, the energy and enjoyment levels seldom dip. Russell is superb throughout, with her effortlessly powerful voice showing shimmering layers of subtlety. Special mention must be made of pianist Alfredito Linares and violinist Mike Simmonds (a regular Russell collaborator), both of whom seem to sprinkle gold dust over everything they touch (particularly on the outstanding instrumental track Una Tarde en Mariquita); while Holland's trademark warm production compliments the immaculate ensemble playing. Look Around The Corner is not only everything we could have hoped for from an Alice Russell/Quantic collaboration - deeply soulful, extremely funky and beautifully rendered - it is arguably the best work yet from either of these artists.

4 and 1/2 stars from 5

There are plenty of links to follow in the review above, but also check out the cover version of I'll Keep My Light In My Window below. Purchase your copy of the album on vinyl and/or on CD...

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Bárbaro - I'll Keep My Light In My Window by Tru Thoughts

Highlight: Unknown Artist 'Climbing Girl/La Groove'

'Climbing Girl / La Groove'

Due to a ghost in the machine the playlist from last Sunday's In The Pocket with 90 show was lost in the ether. Rather annoying that, as I had the pleasure of a guest appearance from CoopaBlu, who dropped a lovely selection of soulful funky stuff - more than appropriate for a Sunday afternoon.

In lieu of said rogue playlist, I've decided to highlight a piece of vinyl I played during the show, and which I purchased very recently from those fine fellows at Conch Records. By an unknown artist, this actually quite rare (I had no idea as I was making the purchase, I promise you) 12" white label is a tasty slice of what I'm calling 'slow disco'. Both sides revolve around an ever-repeating and steadily-building riff, with organs, guitars, percussion and subtle change-ups providing the impetus to keep the tracks bubbling along nicely.

Follow this link to have a listen to a little of each track from this worthy Japanese-released 12" single. I promise I'll drop it on another of my radio shows soon...

21 April 2012

Credit To The Edit: Late Nite Tuff Guy

Now it's not often I'll sing the praises of an Aussie (there are various reasons for this, most of which I won't be going into here), but in this case I really do need to make an exception. Late Nite Tuff Guy is a producer out of Australia that has been laying down some seriously good edits, reworks and remixes for a minute now. With releases recently from one of my favourite labels, House Of Disco, this is a guy who is making waves with his immaculate re-touches. I could've chosen any one of a bunch of edits to highlight here, but I've chosen his version of Narada Michael Walden's track 2nite, as he has made it available for free download to celebrate reaching 4000 followers on soundcloud. Enjoy!

Check out Late Nite Tuff Guys soundcloud page here and his facebook page here.

2nite [LNTG Re-Edit] by Late Nite Tuff Guy

18 April 2012

Playlist: George FM 'In The Pocket' Wed 18 Apr

R.A.M.P. | Daylight (Sleazy McQueen re-edit)
Xavier | Do It To The Max
Aaron Neville | Hercules (Alkalino edit)
A Taste Of Honey | Do It Good (Anthony Mansfielfd remix)
Cheryl Lynn | Encore (Frankie Goes Deep re-work)
The Heavy | How You Like Me Now?
Digable Planets | Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like That)
Moka Only | Lowdown Suite
Lateef Dameer & Nurthice | River On Glass
Sola Rosa | Back To Back
Latyrx | Lady Don't Tek No
Alan Wilkis | Wolfman
The Black Seeds | Make A Move
Mayer Hawthorne with Rizzle Kicks | The Walk (remix) (clean)
Duff Disco | Just In Time
Change | Change Of Heart (Lapelle edit)
Jermaine Stewart | We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off (Frankie Goes Deep rework)
Moodymann | Freeki Mutha Fucka (Egyptian Lover remix)
Blackstreet | No Digs (Harry Wolfman edit)
Santigold | Disparate Youth (The 2 Bears remix)
Livingstone & Canosis | Walk On The Wild Side (edit)

17 April 2012

Review: Lateef Dameer & Nurthice - River On Glass

River On Glass

For musicians these days a good backstory is as important as your image. (Oh no, you didn't think music had anything to do with gaining people's attention, did you?!) New Yorker Lateef Dameer and Bulgarian Nurthice have a great story: Dameer was working on an album project but had hit a wall. Upon hearing a beat sent to him by MySpace mate Nurthice the project was re-ignited; only the pair found there was real chemistry between them and, despite having never met (they still haven't), they continued sending tracks back and forth - in much the same way Foreign Exchange did in their early days. While that's not where the similarites with Phonte and Nicolay's project end, it would be lazy of me to draw the comparison and leave it at that as, besides the backstory, River On Glass really is something quite special. It's made up of very short songs, most around the two minute mark. Despite this, Dameer (in apparently his first real outing as an emcee only) gets his messages across succinctly and without fuss or bother, and because of the short song lengths, the listener's patience is never tested (aside from during the $1 Bin remix of the title track - I'd argue the remixes add little value to this package). Nurthice's beats are made of loose-limbed drum patterns, layers of synths, moogy keys and squelchy bass with lashings of live-sounding double-bass, pianos and guitars, sounding at times like Deodato jamming with Dam-Funk. Highlights include the title track, with its lovely, laidback groove; the spectacularly layered My Distance; and the majestically delivered Dreamswitch, with Dameer's inspring words of self-belief atop woozy-sounding beats. River On Glass is nothing short of impressive. My only gripe is it is too short. Search, discover, enjoy.

4 stars from 5

Check the album for yourself right here or listen to the title track below - and cop a free download!

Lateef Dameer - River On Glass (Prod. Nurthice) by Lateef Dameer

15 April 2012

Playlist: George FM 'In The Pocket' Sun 15 Apr

Terry Callier | Dancing Girl
Deodato | West 42nd Street
LA Carnival | Flyin'
Leroy Hutson | Love The Feeling
*Billy Hawks | O Baby (I Believe I'm Losing You)
*Urban Species | Listen
*The Haggis Horns | Hot Roach Grind
*Jo Stance | Hey Girl
*The J.B.'s | Doin' It To Death
*The Humble Souls | Beads, Things & Flowers
*Def Jeff | Here We Go Again
Earth, Wind & Fire | In The Stone
The Gap Band | Baby Baba Boogie
Jamiroquai | Cosmic Girl
Sheila E. | Droppin' Like Flies (Black Flag Club mix)
Lakeside | We Want You (On The Floor)
Ohio Players | Funky Worm
*Michael Henderson | Goin' Places
*Donny Hathaway | What's Goin' On
*The Modulations | It's Rough Out Here
*Archie Bell | Harder & Harder
Panache | Sweet Jazz Music

All selections marked with a * courtesy of Jay Jeffrey - thanks a million for gracing us with your tunes once more, squire. It's a real treat that I'm delighted to be able to share in. Nice one...

13 April 2012

Playlist: George FM ' In The Pocket' Wed 11 Apr

Masters At Work with India | To Be In Love (Frankie Goes Deep rework)
Mark Morrison | Return Of The Mack (Viceroy "Jet Life" remix)
Disco Tech | Get Lifted
Al Green | Here I Am (Lac's 9min Of Love For The Edit Groupers remix)
40 Thieves | Backward Love
Alan Wilkis | Wolfman
J-Boogie's Dubtronic Science with Chrys Anthony | Undercover (DJ Nu-Mark remix)
Little Dragon | Little Man (Benji Boko remix)
The Specials | A Message To You Rudy (J-Sound remix)
Ben Browning | I Can't Stay
Soulfiction | Sinatra
Norma Jean Bell | I'm The Baddest Bitch (In This Room) (Moodymann remix)
Amy Winehouse | Tears Dry On Their Own (PBR Streetgang remix)
Treasure Fingers | Rooftop Revival (Deep Future remix)
St. Germain | Alabama Blues
Donna Summer x Cassius | If It Hurts Just '99 (FGD edit)
Mayer Hawthorne x Finnebassen | It's Gonna Take A Long Time (Silly Pilly edit)
Calvin Harris | Feel So Close (P.Ben remix)
Todd Terje | Inspector Norse
Party Ben | You Take Me Lower Than I've Ever Been Baby
Foster The People | Pumped Up Kicks (LunyP's "Pumped Up" edit)
S Strong | Whitestick

ps. There's a stack of free music available if you follow some of the links above...

06 April 2012

Playlists: George FM 'In The Pocket with 90'

A couple of mid-week George FM playlists here, with Wednesday's 'Hump Day Pocket' and Good Friday's 'Breakfast Hot Pocket' shows detailed below. Cheers for your ears - or eyes... or both! Happy holidays...

Wed 4 Apr
Kwes | Bashful
2 Guys In Venice | Beard & Butter
OOFT! | Funtime
Mock & Toof | Farewell To Wendo (The Drifter's Dub edit)
Mic Newman | Keep On Dancin' (remix)
Jean Claude Gavri | (I Hear) Musik In The Street
Jason Eli with Imagine This & Cherie Mathieson | That's Right (Disco Dub)
Leg Jazz | Disco Dubbing (New Disco mix)
James Brown | Get Up & Drive Your Funky Soul (Jimi Needles edit)
Change | Change Of Heart (Lapelle edit)
DJ Steef | Simply Beautiful
Mayer Hawthorne | It's Gonna Take A Long Time (Finnebassen remix) (Silly Pilly edit)
Boogie Culture | Hino
Lewis McCallum with Cherie Mathieson | Where?
Aeroplane | Save Me Now
Chromeo | Bonafied Lovin' (Yuksek remix)
Tommy 3 Walker | School File
Toddla T | Take It Back (The 2 Bears remix)

Fri 6 Apr
Drop Out City Rockers | Man On The Run
Fabio Bacchini | Freakin' Jazz
Marc Hype & Jim Dunloop with Sara Bourgeois | The Mexican
Gazeebo | Latin Bandits
Greg Wilson | C'mon (You Can Get It)
Sleazy McQueen | Oh Sheila (2 Spare Astronauts remix)
Prince | Chelsea Rodgers
Teddy Pendergrass | The More I Get, The More I Want (Frico edit)
Switch v Toddla T | I Take It Back I Still Love You (Philly Blunt remix)
A-Trak | Trizzy Turnt Up
The Streets | Those That Don't Know
RSL | Wesley Music
Santigold | Disparate Youth (The 2 Bears remix)
Resin Dogs | She's Gone
Shapeshifter | Electric Dream
Prince Fatty | Insance In The Brain
Sepalot with Ladi 6 | Go Get It (AC Slater remix)
Chromeo | Hot Mess (Oliver remix)
U-Tern x Drake & Lil' Wayne | Style, Class, Flair (Emynd "Money To Blow" Blend)
50 Cent | Window Shopper (Drum & Bass remix)
Amy Winehouse x Pharoahe Monch | Rehab (remix)
Dublex Inc. | N.H.L. (I Wish Those Days)
Chris Malinchak | There I Was

05 April 2012

Credit To The Edit: Finnebassen

This is one of the cheeky edits which really isn't that much of an edit; in fact, the edit police would probably have me up for highlighting this version, as all Finnebassen does with his Silly Pilly edit is basically extend the intro's and outtro's and slap a 4/4 beat underneath one of the standout tracks from Mayer Hawthorne's recent How Do You Do? album. But it works, dammit, it really, really works...

A long time (Silly Pilly Edit) by Finnebassen

It's worth checking more of Finnebassen's edits and original music here...
And read my interview with Mayer Hawthorne right here.

01 April 2012

Playlist: George FM 'In The Pocket' Sun 1 Apr

Suite For Ma Dukes | Nag Champa
The Cool Kids | Mikey Rocks
Hearin' Aid with Tony Clifton | Higher
Major Swellings | Pole Vaulter's Delight
Radio City with Bajka | Everything
Sandboy | Lua Nua (Smiles Ahead Three Trees remix)
Joseph Malik | Take It All In & Check It All Out (Aqua Bassino's Groove remix)
Cro-Magnon | Galactic Mellow (Grooveman Spot remix)
Kompleks | Wheel Of Life (edit)
Eddie C | Migration
DJ Format with Chali2na & Akil | We Know Something You Don't Know
Bombs | Average White Five (edit)
Aloe Blacc | Patria Mia
Quantic & Nickodemus with The Candela Allstars | Mi Swing es Tropical (Zeb's Reggae remix)
Nickodemus with Zeb | Gibraltar (Sabo & Zeb remix)
Natural Self | Fire The Body (edit)
Gecko Turner | Afrobeatnik? (Seiji remix V.2)
The Kenneth Bager Experience with Gisli | Fragment Of One (...And I Kept Hearing)
Flying Lotus | Sangria Spin Cycles
Starkey with Anneka | Stars (Slugabed Did A Remix)
Huba | Mary