Sunday, July 31, 2005

Lotek HiFi

I payed a visit to Auckland in the weekend and checked out a monthly gig called ‘The Turnaround’ held at ‘Rising Sun’ on K-Road. The Turnaround nights have grown steadily in size and are now big nights in the Auckland dance calendar. This month The Turnaround played host to Wayne Bennett, founding member of UK group Lotek HiFi, on the Big Dada label. Lotek HiFi have brought out a self-titled album and their next offering, ’Mixed Blessings’, is due out in September. They have been part of a movement of UK artists spearheading the production of highly innovative hip-hop, reggae, ragga and dancehall sounds.

By 1 am there was a solid crowd on the dance floor, enjoying the beats played the Stinky Jim. Lotek eventually stepped up, but instead of playing an expected DJ set, he stayed on the microphone for the night, allowing Stinky Jim to drop all the beats. They were varied, ranging from down-beat to electro to dancehall, and of course some of Lotek’s own.

What made the night for me was guest vocalist Spikey T. Spikey rocked the mic later in the night and his first-class singing and MC’ing picked up the vibe and complemented the sounds well.

Lotek had a promotional mix CD for sale for his upcoming Mixed Blessings album. This was a nice mix providing some tasters of what we can expect on the album. Look out for the release of Mixed Blessings in September, one sure to further set the standard for hip-hop artists worldwide.

On Saturday I checked Ruffian and MC Arme from Auckland sound-system Champion Sound and Cian at the Khuja Lounge. Nice hip-hop and dancehall beats were well-received from the dance floor.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Yardwise Players

Art, Kthrnak and the Mighty Asterix

Spin Zero


Steppa D

Photos by Paul Ballard

Monday, July 25, 2005

Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest Dancehall Night

A review of the Red Stripe Dancehall night held in Jamaica in the weekend. Notable for the amazing array of performers on the night - some of dancehall's finest.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Gentleman Interview Continued

Read on for Part 2 and Part 3 of the Gentleman interview in the Jamaica Star.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Gentleman Interview

An interview in the Jamaica Star about German reggae sensation, Gentleman.

What's On in the Weekend

Two gigs of note to check out this weekend:

Fat Freddy's, by popular demand, are playing two gigs at Shed 6 on Friday and Saturday nights. Support provided by the Mighty Asterix, Jnr Ranks and the Feelstyle, these nights are sure to be huge.

On Saturday night at Room 101, check out the Ruffneck Souljah Crew, laying down hip-hop, ragga, jungle and drum n bass.

Yardwise Session Review

Respect to the Ginger Ninja for her review of Saturday's inna Yardwise Session at Happy.

Saturday night delivered a good time on the dancefloor with the Yardwise Crew’s sixteenth mash-up, at Happy. Regular selectors Topknot, Spin Zero and Art lined up along side special guest Steppa-D, with vocals provided by Kthrnak and Mighty Asterix.

Feeling ever so slightly silly as I and the other Yardie faithfuls formed a rainbow of Yardwise T-shirts in the bar’s dim interior, I secured myself a good piece of dancefloor and settled in to enjoy the warm-up from Topknot. Next on, Spin Zero served up some gems, some of the highlights being Chuck Fender’s It’s All About the Weed, a series of tracks on the Jah Jah City rhythm featuring LMS and Prince Far I, and the killer track of the night, Dust Another Sound, out on the Sip A Cup label. Art stepped up next and entertained with a short and sweet set, as usual laying down the heavy tunes, and also throwing some well received hip-hop beats into the mix. Steppa D took us late into the night with some upbeat dancehall tunes, busting out some nice dance moves of his own.

The latest inna Yardwise Session provided some warm vibes on a cold winter’s night, and as always, I am keenly awaiting the next one!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Royalties for Reggae

A report on how "close to 200 of Jamaica's reggae artists are tipped to receive over 1,000,000 Euros (approximately $74,000,000) in royalty payments for their recordings that have been aired in France in the past 12 years".

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Vital Sounds

Check out another wicked night from the Vital Sounds Crew this Friday 15 July at Good Luck. DJs Manray and Topknot will be laying down the heaviest sounds, with Ras Stone on the mic. With support provided from the Spotlight Kid, this is going to be a mash-up of epic proportions.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Top Ten Selections - Steppa D

This month's top 10 comes from Steppa D. Now based in Masterton, Steppa D is a long-time reggae soundsystem enthusiast. He was based in London for some time and was also part of a soundsystem in Jamaica called Wauka, in the late 90s. Steppa D currently runs his own authentic soundsystem, Lion Sound and also hosts a show on Arrow FM. You can catch his crucial selections at Happy this Saturday, special guesting at 'inna Yardwise Session'. Big ups to the Steppa.

1. River Jordan - The Bases
2. Mafia - Peter Hunningale
3. That's Life - Sammy Levi and Beverly Lawrence
4. The Very Best - Intense
5. No Way Better Than Yard - Admiral Bailey
6. Champion - Buju Banton
7. Crazy Words - OJ Diamond
8. Music Lover - Shaba Ranks
9. Ghetto Queen - John Holt
10. Big Bad Girl - Coco Tea

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Luciano - On A Mission From Jah

An interesting article about Luciano and his mission to spread Jah music to the people.

Inna Yardwise Session

The Yardwise family return to Happy this Saturday 16 for another blazing night of reggae, dancehall and jungle. Art Official, Spin Zero and Topknot spinning tunes with special guest Steppa D, and the Mighty Asterix and Kthrnak on the mic, this will be a night not to be missed.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Mash-Up at Room 101

Another gig to check out on Friday night, Room 101 is hosting a night of heavy reggae and dancehall. DJs on the night are Art, Spin Zero and Topknot, all from the Yardwise Crew. 10 pm onwards, this will be a great chance to see these guys before another legendary 'inna Yardwise session', next weekend at Happy.

Katchafire and Kora

Two of New Zealand's leading reggae bands - Katchafire and Kora - playing at Subnine this Friday 8th July.

Morgan Heritage - Full Circle

Read on for a review of the latest album by Morgan Heritage - Full Circle.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Clancy Eccles

Pioneering reggae singer and producer Clancy Eccles sadly passed away late last week.

Friday, July 01, 2005

International Reggae Day

July 1st is globally designated as 'International Reggae Day'. Commemorate the day wherever you may be by making sure you listen to nuff phat beats.