Monday, September 25, 2017

Sunny and the Sunliners collection coming on Big Crown

Sunny and the Sunliners LP cover

"When it comes to living legends in the Texas and Latin Music pantheon, few have been at it longer and are more revered by their fans and peers than soul vocalist and Mexican-American songwriter and bandleader Sunny Ozuna. Born and raised in San Antonio, where he still resides, Sunny became a star right out of high school in the late ‘50s and hasn’t looked back in the six decades since.

Among countless other honors and notable achievements, Sunny was the first Latino artist to appear on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” (in 1963). Songs like “Put Me In Jail,” “Talk To Me,” “Should I Take You Home,” “My Dream” and “Smile Now, Cry Later” still bring crowds to their feet throughout the Southwest and California and around the world at “oldies” and “lowrider soul” events. And after releasing dozens of albums since the mid-1960s (in Spanish and English), Sunny still keeps a busy schedule and loves performing as much as he did as a teenager. His classic 45s regularly change hands for hundreds of dollars among collectors around the world, affirming his timeless appeal.

This new compilation on Brooklyn’s acclaimed Big Crown label – home to Lee Fields, Lady Wray, The El Michels Affair and many more – is a lovingly curated selection of songs from the years 1966 to 1972. All compositions were originally released on Sunny’s Key-Loc label, formed after his national star had been established, so he could have control of his own musical destiny.

“For me the reason why Sunny is important is very simple,” says Big Crown’s Danny Akalepse. “He contributed all this great music to the world, but that is just scratching the surface. He’s a huge part of the Tejano music scene and one of its creators. And he started his own label in the ‘60s, they did everything inhouse. As an indie label ourselves, this hits home for us for obvious reasons.”

As Akalepse explains about the Ozuna-approved tracklist, “We chose our own Sunny favorites and laid everything out so the LP would be a great listen, first and foremost. There are several cuts on here that I have played out and loved – as a DJ and record fanatic – for many, many years. ‘Mr. Brown Eyed Soul’ is not necessarily a ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation, although it obviously has a bunch of them on here. In the end, this is our take on the crème-de-la-creme of Sunny’s English language soul tunes.”

With Sunny hits – a mix of originals and some great covers thrown in – ranging from ballads like “My Dream,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and “Outside Looking In”; to mid-tempo soul groovers “Should I Take You Home,” “Put Me In Jail” and “The One Who’s Hurting Is You”; and the ultra funky “Get Down”; Mr. Brown Eyed Soul is an excellent celebration of Ozuna’s amazing body of work, and a perfect introduction to Sunny for newcomers.

Lovingly chosen by the owners of Big Crown and in full collaboration and cooperation with Ozuna himself, the CD and LP packaging includes liner notes by Texas Music scholar and archivist Ramon Hernandez, and features dozens of rare photos provided by Sunny himself."

Out Friday  22 Sept, get it from Big Crown Records

READ: Great backgrounder that talks with Sunny and Danny about how the collection came together, from The Village Voice

Sunday, September 24, 2017

RIP Charles Bradley

Sad news from Daptone Records:

Charles Edward Bradley
November 5th, 1948 - September 23rd, 2017

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles Bradley.

Charles was truly grateful for all the love he’s received from his fans and we hope his message of love is remembered and carried on. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations:
- All-Stars Project:
- Music Unites: 

Bradley made two visits to NZ, I was lucky enough to catch him on the 2nd one, at The Powerstation. He was a wonderful performer, soulful, earthy, and so happy to be on stage, singing for the people.

From Rolling Stone: "Bradley notably began his career as a James Brown impersonator in 1967 and would perform periodically over the next several decades while he drifted across the United States, battling illiteracy, poverty and chronic unemployment.

His luck turned, however, after Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth saw his James Brown act and linked him with Tom Brenneck, who would go on to produce Bradley's three albums. After recording numerous singles during the 2000s, Bradley released his debut album, No Time For Dreaming, in 2011 at the age of 62."

Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer in October 2016 and he took a break from performing. He successfully completed treatment and returned to live shows, promoting his third album Changes that came out that year. At the start of this month news broke that Bradley's cancer had spread to his liver and he stopped touring to get further treatment.

Daptone says Bradley passed away on Saturday in Brooklyn, "surrounded by family and friends including members of the bands he worked closely with: Menahan Street Band, His Extraordinaires, Budos Band and the Jimmy Hill Allstarz."

from NYT: '... Concerts often ended with Mr. Bradley in the crowd, embracing people one by one, with the singer near tears.

“I think he wanted to hug each person on this planet individually,” Gabe Roth of Daptone said. “I mean that literally, and anyone that ever saw him knows that he honestly tried.”

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, September 23

3 Generations Walking  - Midnight bustling (Midnight rockers mix by Francois K)
St Germain - Sure thing
Nightmares on Wax - Damn
Orange Juice - Rip it dub (Dicky Trisco edit)
Bonobo feat Erykah Badu - Heaven for the sinner
Andreya Triana - Far closer (Mr Scruff remix)
Lord Echo feat Lisa Tomlins - Creator has a master plan
Junkyard Band - The Word
KRS One - Jack of spades
Katalyst feat Stephanie Mackay - Say what you feel
Bunny Sigler - Let the good times roll
Otis and Carla - Knock on wood
Etta James - Seven day fool
Darondo - Luscious lady
Sonny Knight and the Lakers - Sugarman
The Triads - Now I can hold my head up high
Jimmy Castor - E Man Boogie 82
A Different Bag - Let's put it together
Ardijah - That's the way
Uncle Louie - Full tilt boogie
Kenny Dope & Mad Racket - Supa
Black Samurai feat Daddy Freddy, Ragga Twins - Information critic
Collen and Webb - Golden (Jamaican jerk off)
Kion and Murda feat Junior Murvin  -No 1 sound
Skatalites - Coconut rock
Sound Dimension - Heavy rock
Cedric Im Brooks - Mun dun go

Sunday, September 17, 2017

New Zealand Hip Hop Summit is back

The New Zealand Hip Hop Summit is back and will be held at the Toia Recreation Centre & Ōtāhuhu Pātaka Kōrero Library in South Auckland on the 25th November 2017.

"This will be our 3rd event since 2012! Another fantastic opportunity to come along with your whanau and experience a dazzling day with live music, colourful aerosol art, live breaking and Deejay scratch jams, song writing and beat making workshops and showcase of Aoteraoa's best of the best in Beatboxing, Emceeing, Deejaying, Breaking and Popping, ending the day with our very own Hip Hop awards.

"Our aim is to bring communities together to celebrate NZ Hip Hop success with the focus on engaging with our young people in a positive fashion and developing their skills and talents thru the 9 elements of Hip Hop culture. Our Kaupapa is peace, love and unity and safely having fun. It will be a day the whole family enjoy and remember" - Queen Shirl'e.

Nicole Willis and UMO Jazz Orchestra album coming

My name is Nicole Willis album cover

"Nicole Willis, known for her collaborations with The Soul Investigators & Jimi Tenor, presents "My Name Is Nicole Willis", an album that includes some of the tracks she composed with the former as well as originals composed specifically for a fresh collaboration with UMO Jazz Orchestra.

Multi-faceted artist and musician Jimi Tenor has penned all arrangements for the big band and their talented rhythm section. Pete Toikkanen who is a mega-talented guitarist from The Soul Investigators, along with both Jimi and Ms Willis, composed those original tracks that highlight their alternative influences.

Indie god & personal hero of Ms Willis, Ian Svenonius introduces her on the first track and wraps up the LP on the closer. Ms Willis delves into her Northern Soul anthems with "One In A Million", "Together We Climb" and "Break Free (Shake A Tailfeather)" and with the never released "(Everybody) Do The Watusi".

For their part UMO Jazz Orchestra add extra horn dynamic and Tenor's arrangements shine throughout, as they have on The Soul Investigators' records. Pete Toikkanen, whose unique style has been a defining asset of the group, gives the UMO Jazz Orchestra a rawness in treatment that they have never quite exhibited before. The mixes flatter all involved and are full-bodied and rich."

Out Sept 29 on Persephone Records , LP/CD/Digital. Audio preview over at Kudos  Recs

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, September 16

Booker T and the MGs - Day tripper
Sugarman 3 - Turtle walk
Charles Bradley - The world is going up in flames
Ann Sexton  -You're gonna miss me
Laura Lee - Crumbs off the table
Barbara Trent - Heartbreak hotel
Big Mama Thornton - Hound dog
Zilla Mayes - Calypso woman
Four Blazes - All night long
Allen Toussaint - Tequila
Benny Spellman - Fortune teller
Nadine Brown  -Leave me alone
Rufus and Chaka Khan - Tell me something good
Bernie Worrall - Insurance man for the funk
Zapp - More bounce to the ounce
Dexter Story  -Eastern prayer
Ramsey Lewis Trio - Slippin' into darkness
Jimmy McGriff - Bug out
Lee Field - Ladies
King Floyd - My girl
Judy Clay and William Bill - Loveitis
The Emotions - Boss love maker
Freddie Scott - Run Joe
Manzel - Evil wicked mean and nasty (Dopebrother mix)
Radio city feat Bajka - The hop
Marc Mac presents Visioneers - The world is yours
Grace Jones - She's lost control (long version)
Ruts DC - Whatever we do  (RSD remix)
Specials - Ghost town (DJG bootleg)
Poets of rhythm  -Serengeti stroke
Fela Kuti  -Water no enemy

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Frightnrs - versions galore, out Oct 20

The Frightnrs dropped a glorious reggae/rocksteady album back in 2016, now here comes the version excursions...... looking forward to this one...

"It's rare for a debut album, especially one in such a polarizing genre like Reggae, to garner the kind of universal fanfare The Frightnrs' 2016 long player Nothing More To Say received.

Mainly because it's a record that transcends genre specific qualifiers and rhetoric that pigeonhole many albums. It is in the truest sense of the phrase, a great record.

Shortly after its release a single for Dispute (a featured track) was pressed, and like many classic reggae singles, it included a Dub (version) on the B-Side courtesy of famed reggae producer Victor "Ticklah" Axelrod. The single was a smash success which in return inspired Axelrod to produce Dub versions for all the songs on Nothing More To Say."

The result is More To Say Versions. Out October 30 on Daptone Records

Victor Axelrod has worked with the band for a while, you can cop their earliest recordings from 2012 on their Bandcamp page as Name your price downloads, like their single Never Answer, with a tasty dub from Mr Axelrod on the flip. Quality vibes. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Clean out of their minds

The Clean, 1981
The Clean, 1981

Dunedin band The Clean will be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame as part of the APRA Silver Scroll Awards at the Dunedin Town Hall on September 28.

The Clean have rejected the Hall of Fame accolade twice in the past five years.

Last month the band were in the news regarding the supposed snub of Salmonella Dub for induction into the NZ Music Hall of Fame, with The Clean's Robert Scott saying "I think when we were asked it just didn't feel right for us. We feel we are outside the industry, and in the past we were shunned and dismissed and it seems like by saying yes we would be forgiving the industry for that. Of course, with time they are proved wrong as our music has stood the test of time. It's a strange thing dealing with other people's perception of your music and what you stand for as a band."

However, The Clean's David Kilgour explained the change of mind to the ODT this week: "I think the last time we were offered to be inducted, we joked ‘only if you did it in Dunedin’. So this time around ... it is in Dunedin."

ADDED: More background from Hussein Moses at The Spinoff:
The Clean have finally agreed to be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame. Here’s why they changed their mind.

Robert Scott tells Moses "I guess the planets aligned and they got us on the right day. Also, with Peter Gutteridge’s passing, it seemed like a good opportunity because he’ll be inducted with us as well. So it’s recognition for him as well."

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, September 9

Bassomatic - Fascinating rhythm (Henry's lost dub)
Massive Attack - Spying glass
Manu Chao - Merry blues
Cookin on three burners - Cars
Sam & Dave - Can't you find another way
King Floyd - Do your feeling
Len Barry  - Like a baby
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas - I tried
James Dockery - My faith in you is all gone
Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose - Treat her like a lady
Prince - Controversy
Extra T's - ET boogie
George Kranz - Din daa daa
The Bose  - James Brown (Geisha Boys edit)
Jackson 5 - Get it together (4Hero remix)
Shirley Horn - Return to paradise (Mark de Clive Lowe remix)
Beanfield feat Bajka - Tides (Carl Craig remix)
Salmonella dub - Problems (Sonsine remix)
Rhythm and Sound feat Willi Williams - See me yah/version
Randy's Allstars - Mission impossible
Augustus Pablo - Aquarius rock
Music Doctors - Bush doctor
Henry and Louis - Love and understanding
Wayne McGhie - Fire (she need water)
Jo-Jo and the Fugitives - Chips chicken banana split
Booker T and the MGs - Can't be still
Lonnie Mack - Memphis
Jimmy Castor - Ham hocks espanol
Henry Mancini - Baretta's theme

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, September 2

DJ Shinya - Nigerian reggae edit
Chief Ebenezer Obey & his International Brothers - Ajoyio
Ikebe Shakedown - Tujunga
Mulatu and the Heliocentrics - Cha Cha
Issa Bagayogo - Fimani
Sahara Allstars of Jos - Take your soul
The Fantastic Johnny C - Boogaloo down Broadway
Otis Brown and the Delights - Southside Chicago
Eddie Billups - I need someone
Ron Moody and the Centaurs - The new breed
Undisputed truth - You got the love I need
Syl Johnson - Back for a taste of your love
Temptations - Papa was a rolling stone
Ray White Revival - Superstition
Johnny Rocco band - Funky Max
Bootsy Collins - Body slam!
Carl Grubbs - Scorchers (inst)
Womack and Womack  -Teardrops
Gwen Guthrie - Seventh heaven
Cutty Ranks - The Stopper (Richard Dorfmeister meets Markus Kienzl vocal remix)
Ballistic bros - Peckings
The Ethiopians - I'm gonna take over now
Bill Deal and the Rhondels - May I
Bacao rhythm and steel band - Pimp version
Human League - Being boiled
Mantronix - Scream
New Order - Confusion
Gary Clail - Human nature

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Misha Panfilov Sound Combo LP coming

En Route LP by Misha Panfilov Sound Combo

Last year I picked up some great 45s from an Estonian outfit called Misha Panfilov Sound Combo, on the Funk Night label (outta Detriot). Fleamarket Funk described them as "...combining the best of deep funk, cinematic soundtracks, psychedelia and more, they are quite honestly the funk you have never heard of." 

They are about to drop an album called En Route, out Sept 3rd via - video trailer below...

You can cop their 45s back catalog over at Bandcamp.

This is one of the 45s I copped, great tune...

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, August 26

MAW - Zoe
Boca45 - Last word
Lee Oskar - Haunted house
Jorge Ben  -  Umbabaruma
Azymuth - Melo dos dois bicudos (Harmonic 313 remix)
Kode9 - You don't wash (dub)
Antibalas - Che che makossa
Ray Barretto - Acid
Cal Tjader - El watusi
Joe Bataan - Theme from Shaft
Willie Hutch - All American funkathon
Rose Royce - Funk factory
Ramsey Lewis - Jungle strut
Eddie Warner - Brutus drums
Houseguests - What so never the dance
Fabulous Counts - Lunar funk
Clarence Reid - Nobody but you
Gladys Knight and the Pips - Who is she and what is she to you
Marvelettes - Locking up my heart
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas - Honey love
Marvin Gaye - Troubleman
Shriekback - Lined up (Disco mix)
Bomb The Bass - Bugpowder dust (Kruder and Dorfmeister remix)
The Nomad - Look around
International Observer  -The international pt 1&2
Breaks Co-op - Sound advice
Sulata - Mancini (inst)
Frightnrs - I'd rather go blind
One Blood - Be thankful for what you've got

Friday, August 25, 2017

Martyn Pepperell dropping wisdom on the freelance life and how to survive

My mate Martyn Pepperell (writer /DJ/broadcaster/cool cat) got interviewed by K Rd venue Neck of the Woods last month for their blog, ahead of his DJ slot at their monthly night The Boog.

It's pretty amusing seeing Martyn being on the receiving end of questions, cos he's used to being the interviewer, not the interviewee. He said lotsa smart stuff, but I dug this solid advice on survival for aspiring creatives, in any field...

I know a lot of young creatives entering the freelance world today struggle with the budgets, deadlines, and competition. What advice would you give to them based on what you have learned over the last ten years?

MP: This whole thing definitely isn't easy, and the landscape looked very different ten years ago. I've had to evolve, adapt, diversify, and really stretch myself at times. Some years have been harder than others. This year has been okay, but I've also been sick three times this winter, which is pretty stressful when you're freelancing.

I suppose the main things I'd say is this: don't be afraid of having some kind of part-time job alongside doing freelance creative work, or even just doing it on the evenings and weekends while you have a day job. Having the title of being a freelancer isn't worth it if you're stressed out, broke, and behind.

That being said, if you absolutely have to do it, save up a chunk of money first, that way you'll have a buffer. Try to find ways to minimalise your living expenses as well, that's a key. In terms of the actual work, be professional, communicate clearly, meet your deadlines (or at least explain why you aren't going to be meeting them, and when you can hand your work in).

Also, stay open to feedback and critique, and don't be afraid of regularly pitching and presenting yourself to prospective clients. The work isn't going to turn up if you don't ask for it sometimes."

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Stylin 800

"Just in time for his 800th episode of Stylin' on Melbourne's 3RRR-FM, comes Ennio Styles' imaginatively titled new compilation, Stylin' 800. This is the fourth chapter in the free download series that launched the Heard and Felt label in 2011 with Stylin' 500.

... For the first time, this edition includes some brilliant 'Stylin' Sessions', performances by Jordan Rakei, Oddisee, Olivier St Louis, I'lls, Silentjay and Häzel, captured in the 3RRR studios and broadcast live to air between 12-2pm on a Friday afternoon."

Give it a listen, name your price download. Some great new music in thre...

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, August 19

Bobby Womack  -You're welcome, stop on by (Beaten Space edit)
Sam and Dave - Soul sister, brown sugar
The Emotions - Blind alley
Jimmy Hughes - What side of the door
TSU Tornados - Play the music Tornados
Major Lance - Girls
The Impressions - I aint supposed to
The Esquires - You've got the power
Cliff Nobles - My love is getting stronger
Detroit Emeralds - Showtime
Bacao rhythm and steel band - Was dog was a doughnut
Aurra - Make up your mind
Five Star - Let me be the one
Sly and the Family Stone - Thank you for talkin' to me Africa
Terry Reid - Superlungs my supergirl
Lothar and the hand people  -Sister lonely
Hank Marvin - Sunday for seven days
Keil Isles - Monkey stomp
Nash Chase - Gimme little sign
King Kapisi - Sub cranium feeling inst
DLT feat Che Fu - Chains hiphop mix (unreleased)
Mephisto Jones - Chocolate hot sauce
Mr Chop - Greedy G
Jackie Mittoo - Juicebox
Augustus Pablo - East of the river Nile
Butch Cassidy sound system - Cissy strut
The Clash - Magnificent dance
Hugh Masekela -Don't go lose it baby (dub version)
Tackhead - Ticking timebomb dub
James Brown - Let yourself go
Rufus Thomas - Jump back
Bill Doggett - Honkytonk popcorn
Peggy Scott and Jo Jo Benson -Soulshake