Thursday, August 25, 2016

Raggamuffin promoter pleads guilty

Raggamuffin promoter Andrew McManus was back in court earlier this week, to plead guilty "to lying to police in relation to a mysterious suitcase containing $702,000 in cash which police seized from the Sydney's upmarket Hilton Hotel in 2011"reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

"On Tuesday afternoon McManus pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice. This offence attracts a maximum sentence of 14 years' jail.

Previous charges of knowingly participating in a criminal group and attempting to gain a financial advantage by deception by claiming the cash was his were dropped....

....In 2012 McManus told the police that the cash was part of a business deal. Because of problems with the Australian Tax Office, McManus told police that he had arranged for a Mr Hanson, "a very good friend of a friend", to pay US$700,000 to secure a ZZ Top tour but now McManus wanted it back to fund a Lenny Kravitz tour.

"In essence, I delivered back 700 grand I now need to borrow it again. As quickly as possible," he said."

Billboard reports "The impresario, now aged 55, was taken into custody in Melbourne in September 2015 following a joint sting involving the FBI and local Melbourne police into alleged drug trafficking and money laundering." He is due back in court Aug 26 to set his sentencing date. 

Godfrey de Grut - My Part in Kanye's Future Success

NZ Musician did a major overhaul of their website earlier this year, following a successful crowdfunding campaign. It looks great but their online archive of two decades worth of interviews is not currently available. I hope this gets restored as it's a valuable cultural snapshot. Like this story....

NZ Musician, April/May 2006 (Vol:12, No:8) By Godfrey de Grut

Godfrey De Grut was recently asked to do a keyboard session for Kanye West, possibly the world's most in-demand hip hop producer, and a multi platinum selling artist in his own right. U2 had invited Kanye to open for them on the Australasian leg of their world tour, but as we know, postponed the shows. This meant Mr West had some time to record at Neil Finn's studio in Newton, Auckland. Godfrey shares his experience with NZM...

The call came Thursday afternoon from Neil Baldock, whom I've known for years, first as the in house engineer at Revolver, and later working on Che Fu's 'Navigator' album and subsequent Crates' tours.

"Godfrey, can you do a session tomorrow?"

"Sorry, I teach at Dio on Fridays."

"That's a shame, it's for Kanye West."

Gulp... "Okay, when do you want me?"

Kanye requested a Yamaha Motif be used for the session. I'd organised to hire one from MusicWorks for the day, and also bought along my Korg Triton, showing up at Roundhead studios at 1pm.

I was greeted by Neil Baldock and given a tour of the nearly completed multi-million dollar Finn facility. The place is huge, littered with rare and vintage keyboards, guitars and amplifiers.

Neil had no idea what they wanted keys for but said much of the previous day had been limited to Kanye making beats on an Ensoniq ASR sampling keyboard and an MPC 2000 XL. These would later be recorded to Pro Tools and then dumped onto a CD.

I waited nervously for an hour before Kanye and entourage arrived. With him were MC Common plus bodyguard, stylist, manager, BV singers and two others whose job description I never fathomed. Every one had G4 Power Books, and started emailing furiously while Kanye got down to business on a beat he had begun the day before, and asked me to play keys along with it. I gave him a basic Ab to Eb minor 7 progression for a bar, which he seemed to like.

"Okay, where could this go for a bridge?" he asked. I responded with a quick 2-5 in the relative minor and landed us in Fmin.

The male backing vocalist piped up and began singing possible bridge melodies. He and Kanye riffed for a while and we began extending the bridge phrase to incorporate a shift to Db.

I felt electrified, here I was jamming with one of the biggest hip hop stars in the world and he seemed to like what I was doing.

Round and round we went, looping the verse and bringing in the Db bridge, but somehow it still lacked momentum. Kanye re-iterated his fondness for longer phrases that "... fly, and take it somewhere else".

After a quick calculation I re-jigged things to begin on Db (using an Ab stab in the sample as the upper structure to a DbMaj9. With a Bb minor 7 and C+7Alt to provide some harmonic rhythm I hit a Fmin7 the following bar. Next was a chromatic side step through Emin 7 to Eb min7 setting up a strong finish on chord 5 (Ab)).

It was pure gospel - they loved it. Hands were waving in the air; heads were nodding to the beat. I was stoked, trembling with excitement; all I needed now was a bridge.

"Just do the bridge you were doing before," said Kanye.

Tony the BV guy pointed out that it had been appropriated for the new verse.

"Try something else then," said Kanye.

I spent about five minutes trying just that, but to my dismay all the progressions were met with either indifference or outright horror.

"No no noooo," shouted Kanye, spinning around in his chair, arms flailing wildly at my attempt to jazz it up.

"Don't ever play that chord again," he menaced.

The sweat started to build in my armpits. Nothing I was doing would satisfy him.

He started to lose interest.

"I'm not a technical musician," explained Kanye. "I just know what I like - long phrases that build. You just keep playing the same chords over and over again. I don't want to spend too much time on this."

We wrapped the track up soon after. I played the four bar verse phrase into his sampling keyboard, and he began a new tune.

I was exhausted, and somewhat crushed.

The rest of the day was spent enduring long hours of boredom, interspersed with moments of panic when he would request additional chords, bass lines or little melody hooks to the beats he was building. The pressure was intense. Kanye was not patient, and would expect everything instantly.
I constantly had to keep track of what scale we were in, and what the progression was. This meant furtive trips next door to a spare piano to check the key, as Kanye constantly shifted the samples up and down in speed and therefore in pitch as well.

The biggest embarrassment occurred when Neil Finn arrived to see how the session was going. Kanye sang a melody to me and asked for it to be played with a glockenspiel sound. I tried to play back the riff while juggling with the Yamaha Motif's presets, fumbling terribly under pressure. Luckily Neil Finn intervened and saved my bacon by offering to track the part himself on a vintage vibraphone in the next room. I'd been up-staged, but was grateful nonetheless.

Kanye worked tirelessly, he didn't drink or eat all afternoon, hardly left the chair behind his work desk and ended up passing out at midnight from what I can only guess was exhaustion. That day he had built six tracks from scratch. His process was exclusively sampling bits of old soul and funk records. One chunk would be as long as 20 seconds - which were then cut up later into smaller pieces, usually molding the samples to chord changes rather than the start or end of the bar, but always allowing the phrase to contain a seamless groove. These were then spiced up with additional 808 samples from his G4.

He moved lightning fast and knew his gear inside out. Nobody interrupted him, but he didn't mind his friends bantering in the background. Every now and again he would ask Neil Baldock to turn the monitors up really loud, and would rap along with the beat, inviting Common to trade phrases and jam snatches of melody. All the while fielding international calls and emails from mates like Jay-Z and Nas.

It was unreal. At the end of the night they asked me to come back the next day. I caught myself thinking, "This is it. The highlight of my musical career. If I nail this I'll get asked to up stakes and tour the world with hip hop's number one star."

Fingers crossed.

Godfrey De Grut was a co-winner of the 2002 Silver Scroll with Che Fu. He has recorded with Brooke Fraser, Elemeno P, Nesian Mystic, and Amber Clare providing keyboards, guitar, sax, horn and string arrangements. He is currently preparing to tour Australia with Elemeno P in support of The Veronicas, before recording his own debut album.

(retrieved from Wayback Machine archive)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, August 20

Boca 45 - La bobonera
The JBs - JBs monarail
Clarence Reid - I get my kicks
Sugarman 3 - Chicken half
The Dapkings - Nervous like me
The Jones Girls - If you don't start nothing
Betty Everett - I'm gonna be ready
Carla Thomas - I like what you're doing to me
Penny and the quarters - You and me
Major Lance - Little young lover
Chaka Khan - I was made to love him
Roger - Do it Roger
Herbie Hancock - Rockit
James Brown - I feel good (Tall Black Guy flip up)
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Ballicki bone
Bacao rhythm and steel band - Pimp (version)
Junior Murvin - Cool out son
Johnny Osbourne - Truth and rights
Derrick Laro and Trinity - Don't stop til you get enough
Ray Barretto - Soul drummers (Tim Love Lee re-edit)
Cal Tjader  -Soul sauce (Fila Brazilia remix)
Bohannon - The Bohannon walk
Sparkles -Trying to get over
Misha Panfilov sound combo - Oliver robotron
Darondo - Luscious lady
Jackie Wilson - Somebody up there likes you
Durand Jones and the Indications - Smile
Ann Peebles - Beware
The Jam - Town called Malice
A Certain Ratio - Do the Du(casse)
Lord Echo - What is that feeling
Schoolly D and Joe Delia - The player (Ganja kru remix)
Beat pharmacy - Wata (deep dub)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ermehn in Real Groove, by Kerry Buchanan

"If I wasn't doing my music I would be hustling drugs to the baldheads down the South Island"

It's been five years since Ermehn released the under-appreciated Samoans Part 11 on the adventurous Deep Grooves label, it has since proved to be a prescient work. Influential on future artists like Deceptikonz, Scribe and the whole so called "Polynesian hip hop renaissance", next to Feelstyle's Break it to Pieces and Dam Native's Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted, arguably one of our culture's greatest achievements.
Now it's Ermehn's second time to prove why he's the MC with fire in his belly and more skills than Stott's Correspondence College. His Matai name, his family name, is Lealaialoto, meaning, 'To walk the path of blood' from which he takes the title of his new album out in July called The Path of Blood (Sony/ BMG), an interesting confluence of history's echoes and our troubled present.

He's had a vibrant, if not violent time since the last album, drug business and gang membership in the King Cobras; he calls it "hustling times". He makes no concessions to all of this, its just what happens, unlike many he can call himself a gangsta, straight up gangsta and no qualms about it. He told me this album was funded on drug money, on his hustle, and what flows is our first real hardcore work, our first gangsta creation. Perhaps also the most sustained work of Aotearoan street realism ever, you hear talk from "music experts" that now our music is too American, that we have no "drivebys", no history of cultural violence. These people know nothing about life.

Yes, the life, this is exactly what Ermehn wants to portray, certainly not directed at these cultural and musical arbiters but as he told me. "To never rap or write about what you haven't done...That this is for the bro's, what they want to hear, Mongrel Mob, Head Hunters, a voice for their life styles." He calls himself a few things on this album, "Your motherfucker from the city of sails" and "Otara O.G" being a couple, always emphasising the geography and pulse of South Auckland, Otara is where he came up and throughout it remains as the alpha and omega of it all. Maybe the hardest track here is 'Otara Street'.

Where he states "I was running these streets" and details events of a criminal lifestyle, of a young life falling. Extremely tough lines like "stick my cock up your arse like I'm loving it" and "need drugs not hugs" fly out like knives. The hardest line comes in the form of retribution, the result of some rift between equals. Yes, he attacks Dawnraid, or rather Brotha D with a few inflammatory lines like "Bring your guns, bring your money". Jesus Christ! Ermehn and Brotha D go way back to the glory days of the Proud tour and he assures me that all is well between them now. This is Ermehn as alpha dog running the pack.

Otara appears in numerous other tracks, as the dangerous existence of 'Snake City', the violent hallucinations that hang in 'Red Lights' and as an image in 'Savage Waters'. The latter is a track of extremes, concerning his time in the King Cobras, tough as iron and totally without sentimentality or any irony. It is as it is.
First track is 'Bank Job' and concerns hood economics where there is a dream of salvation in the act of robbery, that money will bring all. "I'm gonna buy me respect, buy me a car, buy me some kicks, fuck the benefit/ Plenty of money all around Showgirls here we come/We live like rich men, We smoke drugs in the kitchen." However this is a track with consequences, things do not go well, families become shattered. The bravado and warm desires of "Put another steak on the grill, mum and dad I've got the bills, I'm about to pay the rent" go the way of smoke, floating away. The acoustic styled 'Silver and Gold' is the antidote, a wonderful coming together, and a healing.

Certainly an unflinching portrait, punches are thrown and leave marks, however this is a work of redemption, interconnecting interludes - taken from actual media reports that Ermehn may or may not have anything to do with - build with intensity and tell a story, a journey that ends in reflection. Certain tracks cut into the social upheaval and portray differing approaches to life, as in 'Mama A Way', a celebration of Ermehn's early life in the "Pacific way" and 'Better Place' finds Ermehn wishing for "a place for the kids to play, where the dogs don't slay". These look back at youthful nostalgia and forward towards a comfortable existence, hem his life like bookends. Which way will he go?

Samoans Part 11 is a fantastic album that is raw and direct in subject matter and presentation, raw and real. Of course this wouldn't mean shit if it wasn't good in a musical sense, thankfully it's hot from beginning to end. His flow is old school, years of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and finding his own voice, riding rhymes with authority. Several crew tracks also add variety with guests from Mareko, Two-Face, Mr. Slick and Savage Poets. Production comes from Rob London, a name I don't know, and his style is open and deep giving great background to the vocals, nice Tina Cross sample as well.

Gangsta life and times in Aotearoa. Partly a celebration, partly a warning but essentially a truthful depiction that hurts and hopefully heals.

-Kerry Buchanan, writing in Real Groove magazine (2005). Copyright belongs to them folks.

Electric Wire Hustle - New album coming soon

Bastard Jazz say " We're happy to announce that Electric Wire Hustle 3rd full length album, The 11th Sky, will be out worldwide (ex NZ/AUS, out via Loop) via Bastard Jazz on CD, LP and Digital.

Expanding on their unique sound built over the last decade, the band laid the groundwork for this album with the acclaimed release of last years Aeons EP (which featured Kimbra, and Deva Mahal on vocal duties).

The brand new album is described as “David Lynch meets Motown” by frontman and producer Mara TK."

Out Sept 30th.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, August 13

Dele Sosimi - Sanctuary dub
Manu Dibango - Abele dance
The Hykkers - I want a break thru
The JBs - Hot pants road
Charles Wright - Express yourself (alternate version)
Major Lance - Hey little girl
Willie Mitchell - Bum daddy
Ted Taylor  -You give me nothing to go on
Teresa - He's a cooker
Sonny Knight and the lakers - Sugarman
Monica - I don't know nothing else to tell you, but I love you ...
Undisputed truth - Smiling faces sometimes
David Ruffin - My whole world ended the moment you left me
Amerie - One thing (Mr K organ edit)
Aaradhna - Drunken heart. smokey mind
Tom Tom Club - Wordy rappinghood (remix)
The Clash - Magnificent dance
Big Bud - Runaway
Fat Freddys Drop - Hope (Sonsine remix)
Unitone hifi - Sneeze off
Scratch 22 - Shivani strut
Jurassic 5 - Monkey bars inst
Eric B and Rakim - Microphone fiend
Tausani  -Teardrop
Oddisee feat Muhsinah - That day
Willie Bobo - La descarga del Bobo (MAW remix)
La crema de New York - Cisco kid
Tito Puente - Mambo beat
Main ingredient - Happiness is just around the bend (GW edit)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ross McHenry - new album out Aug 19

From First Word Records, features Kiwis Myele Manzanza and Mark de Clive Lowe, who played on his last solo joint: 

"Child of Somebody is the new album from multi-award winning composer, producer and bass player Ross McHenry. Known for his work as bandleader of The Shaolin Afronauts as well as his 2013 First Word release ‘Distant Oceans’, Ross has been described as “The Future of Australian Jazz” (PBS FM)

The album was recorded at Red Bull Studios in New York in mid-2015 alongside regular collaborators Mark de Clive Lowe, Myele Manzanza and Dylan Marshall as well as seasoned NYC players Marcus Strickland, Corey King, Tivon Pennicott and Duane Eubanks. The resulting album represents the arrival of a unique antipodean voice in modern jazz; one that sits comfortably alongside artists like Kamasi Washington and The Robert Glasper Experiment at the vanguard of contemporary improvised music."

Monday, August 08, 2016

Nichola Richards - After Laughter (Comes Tears) single

Nichola Richards
Nichola Richards

Debut release from London-based label Wakeditown Records, another single coming then the album coming later this year... first single picking up spins from David Rodigan, Bobbito Garcia, and  Mungo’s Hi Fi.

"A reggae cover of a great soul classic by Wendy Rene (also sampled by RZA of Wu-Tang Clan for “Tearz” back in 1993), After Laughter (Comes Tears) is the first single from an upcoming album which will see London-born singer Nichola Richards reinterpreting 11 famously sampled soul classics in a reggae style.

Produced by label founder Matia "Ambassa" Gobbo, the single is proof of Ambassa’s reggae roots filtered by his unfinished love for soul and hip-hop.

The album - to be released in early (UK) summer 2016 - is titled “Ride Di Samples” and will feature reggae versions of classic hip-hop sampled soul tunes such as “Ready Or Not” by The Delfonics, “One Step Ahead” by Aretha Franklin, “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” by Bobby Bland, “Hard Times” by Baby Huey and more." 

Richards has sung and toured with German funk/soul outfit The Mighty Mocambos, while producer/bass player Gobbo grew up in Italy, living near a huge reggae festival, Rototom Sunsplash. 

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, August 6

SOS Band - SOS
George Benson - The Ghetto/El Barrio
The Controllers - Hello
Bernie Hayes - Cool strut pt1
Carlton Brasco - Don't chain my soul
The Emotions - Blind alley
Gene Chandler - A song called soul
Charlene and the Soul Serenaders - Can you win
The Hesitations - Gotta find a way
Spanky Wilson - Kissing my love
Arthur Conley - Funky street
Patea Maori Club - Poi E (Peter Mac disco drums edit)
Erykah Badu - Honey (DJ Day remix)
Rae & Christian feat Bobby Womack - Get a life
Q-Tip - Manwomanboogie
Mr Vegas - Must come a road
Collie Buddz - Hustle
Manu Chao - A cosa (Prince Fatty remix)
Prince Jammy - A stalawatt version
Little Stevie and jay Dust Smith - Uptight
Gene Dudley Group - Tiger jaw (Wrongtom dub)
Baco rhythm and steel band - Jungle fever
Krafty Kuts and Dr Luke - Come alive
Mike Young - Si si no no (Bobby Dupea's mix)
Jackson 5 - Hum along and dance (United Future Organisation remix)
Aaradhna - Drunken heart, smokey mind
Phenomenal handclap band - 15 to 20
Kova and Miles - Clap clap
Sly and the Family Stone -Soul clapping
Allen Toussaint - Tequila
Tower of Power - Back on the streets again
Areha Franklin - Rocksteady

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, July 30

Jouvert singers - Stand by the word
Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens - Trouble in my way
The Redemption Harmonizers - Modern messiah
The Salem Travellers - Wade in the water
The Gospel Ambassadors - Send your cleansing power
The Impressions - People get ready
Marvin Gaye - Mercy mercy me (the ecology)
Issac Hayes - Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic
Lyn Collins - Rock me again and again....
Vicki Anderson - Message from the soul sisters
Patti Jo - Make me believe in you
Jackie Mittoo - Stereo freeze
Sound dimension - Real rock
Alton Ellis - It's a shame
Love Grocer - Salute to Sam
Manasseh - Skenga
Ballistic brothers - Prophecy reveal
 Bebe Williams - Thank you (MAW mix)
Brassroots - Good life
Fat Freddys Drop - Hope (3 Generations Walking remix)
Ikebe shakedown - Pepper
Kraftwerk - Man machine
Newcleus - Jam on revenge (dub version)
IQU feat Betty Anne Monga - Witchcraft
Lewis McCallum feat Mara TK - The almanac
DJ Vee feat Mighty Asterix - Best in me
Jet Jaguar - Now serving
Juse - Daylight
Recloose - So cool

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Misha Panfilov Sound Combo -Space jogging 45 drops

From Detroit label Funk Night Records, brand new 45 featuring some super groovy, spaced out modern funk from Estonia. This is freaking awesome.

Here's the flip...

Some background on Funk Night Records, via the ever knowledgeable Fleamarket Funk...

"...FNR’s DIY attitude has attracted artists from the world over, and honcho Frank Raines continues to innovate and bring quality records to the masses. This without even having a website. In the past it was social media and word of mouth. Fear not people, there is finally a FNR web store where you can load up on the massive amount of 45s (until they are all gone) that you don’t have.

... If you’re not up on Funk Night Records, you are now. Frank has been doing it for years. His formula is simple: put out good music. Repeat. If you love funk music, then there is no reason to not love Funk Night Records. These are the 45s that will be scarce in years to come and coveted by collectors. "

Best place to cop their 45s is Listen to more of their 45s on their Youtube channel.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, July 23

Saun and Starr - Blah blah blah blah
The Magic Tones -Together we shall overcome
The Ringleaders - Grin and bare it
Otis Redding - Loving by the pound
Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes -Wake up everybody
Mandrill - Feeling good (Theo Parrish re-edit)
Roy Ayers - Get on up, get on down
Bacao rhythm and steel band - Love like this (45 edit)
Juhani - Angular scoop
Gene Dudley group -Tiger jaw (Wrongtom dub)
Katrina Blackstone w DJ Vadim - Breath slow
Half Pint - One big ghetto
Dele Sosimi - Dance together (radio dub by Prince Fatty and Nostalgia 77)
Y-Bayani and his Band of Enlightenment, Reason and Love - Get away
Isaac Hayes - Walk on by
James Brown - Funky President (people it's bad)
Fred Wesley and the JBs - Watermelon man
United 8 - Getting uptown (to get down)
Vera Hamilton - But I ain't no more (GSTSKDTS)
Gladys Knight and the Pips - Who is she and what is she to you
Stovall Sisters - Hang on in there
Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band - Different strokes
Willie Johnson - Lay it on me
El Michels Affair feat The Shacks - No surprise
Primal Scream - Higher than the sun
Joe Cruz - Black widow
Magic circle express - Magic fever
Cedric Im Brooks - Blackness of darkness
Lee Fields and the Expressions - Ladies
Tyra and the Tornadoes - Hui hui
DLT feat Che Fu - Chains (unreleased mix)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Aaradhna talks about her new album, out July 22

"For her new album Brown Girl, Aaradhna has collaborated with Truth and Soul, the Brooklyn-based label and production team responsible for records from Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Lee Fields and The Expressions.

Here in the RNZ studio with Sam Wicks, she talks through the experiences that shaped her soul-searching new set."

Video interview above is 8mins. Listen to the full interview (19mins) at Radio NZ

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Ring The Alarm playlist, July 16

Keni Burke - Rising to the top (Aliooft edit)
Charles Bradley - You think I don't know (but I know)
Breakdown brass - Nautilus (hijacked)
Chico Hamilton - El Toro (Mark de Clive Lowe remix)
Archie Shepp - Attica blues (Chief Xcel remix)
Jerry Butler - Hey Western Union man
Durand Jones and the Indications - Smile
Gene Washington and the Ironsides - Got to get through to you
Penny and the Quarters - You and me
Big Maybelle - One monkey don't stop no show
Arthur Griswold and his Organics - Pretty Mama blues
Littler Esther - Hound dog
Screaming Jay Hawkins - I put a spell on you (unissued version)
Billy Preston - Advice
Soul scratch - Pacified
Chaka Khan - Fate (Todd Terje edit)
T Connection - Do what you wanna do
Dillard and Boyce - Back on the block
Peter Brown - You should do it
Grace Jones - She's lost control (long version)
Heptones - Give me the right
Nelly Furtado  -Turn out the light (reggae mix)
Beyonce - Ring the alarm (Tranzformas remix)
Tenor Saw -Ring the alarm
Lennie Hibbert - Real hot
Johnny Osbourne (Kenny Dope remix)
Bacao rhythm and steel band - Jungle fever
Shateish - I'm leaving
The Tibbs - Next time
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - I'm still here
Faze-O - Riding high
Labelle - Moon shadow
Team dynamite feat Che Fu - Coconut lime

The Frightnrs - new single

Midway thru last year our own Lord Echo took off for a work trip to New York - he'd been hired as extra guitar firepower by producer Victor Axelrod, for an album he was producing for NYC reggae/rocksteady outfit The Frightnrs at Daptone Studio. The fruits of those labours will be out very soon (Sept 2), but sadly, the band's singer Dan Klein won't get to see it.

The Frightnrs previous output includes a debut EP in 2012, and more recently releasing an EP in 2015 on Diplo's Mad Decent label, and a great lilting reggae cover of I'd Rather Go Blind by Etta James, their Daptone debut.

From Brooklyn Vegan: "Earlier this year, there was a benefit show in Brooklyn for Dan Klein, frontman of Daptone-signed Queens band The Frightnrs, who was battling A.L.S. (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease.) Dan sadly passed away at age 33 in June. A NY Times profile offered more details:

On June 8, a weakened Mr. Klein begged his family to help him attend a show by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings in Prospect Park. Excited by the gig, he texted friends, including Mr. Roth, who had performed with Ms. Jones. “That horn fugue was wicked,” he wrote to Mr. Roth at 12:30 a.m.

Later that morning, Mr. Klein died in his sleep.

Twelve days later, the surviving band members gathered at Daptone’s offices, deeply shaken but determined. “Dan said a couple of times: ‘Please do not stop. We can’t let this go to waste,’” Preet Patel said.

Mr. Terrana said that Mr. Klein drew on his dark wit for strength to the end. “He said: ‘Please use my death to your advantage. I’m not going out without a bang,’” Mr. Terrana recalled.

The surviving members plan to continue their mission to explore styles beyond rock steady, perhaps with revolving singers. When the album arrives, they say they will go through the awkward process of promoting it, though they’re unsure when they will perform again, or how they will bill themselves. “It may be ‘the Frightnrs featuring … (a singer),’” Preet Patel said.

That album has since been announced. It’s called Nothing More To Say, and it’s due out on September 2 via Daptone. You can listen to the reggae-tinged title track below.

As that NY Times article points out, Dan’s death sadly isn’t the only tragedy The Frightnrs are dealing with. Preet and Chuck Patel’s father Naishadh was recently struck by two cars while trying to cross Route 80 in NJ and was killed. “He bled to death in front of our mother,” Preet Patel told the NY Times.

That Times piece also has the final interview with Dan Klein. You can read the whole thing here.
From Daptone: "The Frightnrs escort Daptone into the world of long-playing reggae with both the sweetest and the roughest record of the decade.

Crafted under the meticulous eye of black-belt reggae mastermind/producer Victor Axelrod (AKA Ticklah), Nothing More to Say is a rocksteady masterpiece the likes of which has not reared it’s head since the golden era of Studio One.

However, you’ll find no imitation here - none of the faux-Jamaican cliches of lesser reggae bands. Like all things Daptone, this record is above all soulful and honest. 

With the exception of two soul covers (both from the Daptone catalog: Bob & Gene’s "Gotta Find a Way” and Saun and Starr’s “Gonna Make Time”,) the record is populated by original compositions of the highest order. They are simply great songs, and though their treatment here is masterful, each one of them has the melodic and lyrical substance to hold it’s own in any genre."