Monday, October 31, 2005

Kardinal Offishall

Article about Canadian hip-hop/dancehall artist, Kardinal Offishall and his new album, Fire and Glory.

Champion Sounds

Friday 18 November sees a dynamite line-up hit Subnine to celebrate Flex’s acceptance into the Red Bull Music Academy. Players on the night include Ruffneck Souljah, the Mighty Asterix, Soulnine, Jnr Ranks and Ddog. Dancehall, ragga, hip-hop and jungle - niceness guaranteed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sean Paul

Article on Sean Paul and his latest album, The Trinity.

Up and Coming

This weekend in Wellington:

Friday 28 - Monsta Riddims - Ruffneck Souljah @ Sandwiches

Friday 28 - The Spice Traders @ Good Luck

And in the future:

Katchafire - 4 and 5 November @ Indigo

Three Piece Suit & Ting - Duke Willis and Art Official, 11 November @ the Matterhorn

Ghetto Red Hot - Rhys B, Kerb and Art Official, 18 November @ Havana

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Salmonella Dub Review

Respect to Professor K for her review of the Salmonella Dub gig which took place at the Opera House on Saturday night.

Seeing Salmonella Dub perform the Dub Conspiracy concert was like the heady rush of alcohol. It was up-lifting and all-consuming at the time, but in memory the details become a little vague: there was the persistent textured jumble of liquid dub and reggae grooves morphing into hard and fast drum and bass, people flickered in the light show, time seemed to slow down and my heart rate sped up. Then, before I knew it, it was all over.

A slow-tapping sound, both moody and cavernous, marked the onset of the show shaking the Opera House walls. It was like a sudden transportation beyond those walls to a remote stretch of beach where you stood alone before liquid grooves rolled in and filled the space. This was followed by more resounding roots-reggae from their earlier successful albums including the sing-a-long ‘Love Your Ways’. Notably omitted were some of their earlier big hits including ‘For The Love Of It’.

Because this was a show built on rhythm rather than vocals, the roots-reggae became quickly replaced with the faster and more spirited drum and bass rhythms the Christchurch boys love to perform with so much style, energy and charisma. The slow, ballad beginnings morphing into pumped-up extended versions.

As a result the show became much more musical - the textured layers of instrumentation giving more depth and really highlighting the musicianship amongst the band. It was a shit-hot big live sound and the enormity of the music was humbling, their genre-mixing characteristic style had the crowd heaving.

Big shout out to the warped horns, which were fab, and to Tiki Taane’s animated style - was mint as always. Although the heavy use of pre-prepared lyrics was a bit disappointing – it would have been way cooler to hear the words breathed from Mr Taane’s mouth for a more live feel.

But I offer no further complaint. It was a damn fine way to spend 2 hours.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Rastafari Website

This page is part of the BBC Religion and Ethics website, and focuses on Rastafari. Contains a great deal of information about the history, beliefs, customs and subdivisions within Rastafari and also links to other useful sites.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Monsta Riddims

Fresh from their Australian tour, Ruffneck Souljah return to Wellington, playing at Sandwiches on Friday 28 October. With a massive line-up including Souljah Sensi, Taktik, Mr T and MC Antsman, this is sure to be a night of ragga-jungle mayhem. Expect to hear tougher than tough beats, nuff dubplate specials and only the best in jungle, hip-hop, reggae and funk.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Salmonella Dub

Salmonella Dub and Cornerstone Roots play the Opera House this Saturday 22 October.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Top Ten Selections - Don Luchito

Don Luchito is a major player in the Wellington and New Zealand hip-hop, reggae and dancehall communities. Multi-talented, Don Luchito is a DJ, MC and producer. He is part of one of the most longstanding crews in the city, the Dancehall Dons, an MC in Grand Scheme, and the soundman for hip-hop crew GND. He is a member of the Wednesday Night Jam Crew, who run one of New Zealand’s best and longest running hip-hop shows on Radio Active 89 FM, every Wednesday night (9-11pm) and he hosts the Monday Drive show each week on Firm FM (3-5pm). Check him out playing regularly throughout the city. Much respect to Don Luchito for his top ten tracks for October.

1. Welcome To Jamrock – Jnr Gong
2. It’s A Pity – Tanya Stephens
3. Living In Love – I Wayne
4. Poor People – Bounty Killer
5. Water Pumpee – Anthony B and Seed
6. Man A Rise – Gentleman and Bounty Killer
7. Mekey Burn – Richie Spice
8. Too Much Blood A Run – Future Troubles
9. Stay Away – Luciano
10. My Grade – Daville

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Top Shotta

This week the Yardwise crew and guests kick off a new residency at Bar Bodega's ROOM 101. Come along every second Thursday for a night of Dancehall, Ragga, Reggae, and Dub. The first few session dates are 20th Oct, 3rd Nov, and 17th Nov. Check the flyer for more details..

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sound Clash : Jamaican Dancehall Culture At Large

Carolyn Cooper is the Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies, director of the Reggae Studies Unit and an accomplished author, television presenter and cultural critic. In her second book, Sound Clash : Jamaican Dancehall Culture At Large, Cooper examines some of the themes present in Jamaican dancehall music and culture, highlights how the music and its meaning is often misrepresented/misunderstood outside (and in) its immediate cultural context and provides an alternative analysis of many dominant ideas.

The book is comprised of a series of essays focussing on varying topics. Some of these topics include a comparison of the representation of women in the music of Bob Marley and Shabba Ranks, the part of metaphor and role-play in dancehall culture (especially in relation to gun culture), and the use of fire imagery to show the connections and continuities between reggae and dancehall. Other interesting themes is how Jamaican dancehall culture adapts to new environments and methods of production, using UK artist Apache Indian to illustrate this, and how the dancehall can provide a liberating space for women, paying particular reference to dancehall artist Lady Saw, and how she can be seen as a feminist icon.

The book thoroughly examines gender politics in a Jamaican dancehall context, and is heavily grounded in feminist discourse. After finding it a somewhat difficult read in the initial chapters, once I progressed through the book I found the ideas both stimulating and challenging. This book will be of interest to anyone wanting to examine issues of race, gender and cultural politics, and how the music a society produces can provide deep reflections on these issues.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Nice Up The Dance

The Yardwise and Sounds Almighty selectors combine their collective bass power on Friday 14 October at Room 101, for what will be a night of pure roots and culture. 10pm till late, $10 on the door, free rum shot for first 50 people - this is not to be missed. Expect to hear only the very best in roots, reggae, dub, ska and dancehall.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Weekend in Wellington

Friday 7 - Sift Heavy - Cian, Duncan and Zen @ Good Luck

Saturday 8 - DJ Lemon @ The Last Supper Club

Saturday 8 - Rhombus Soundsystem, DJ Topknot and Kava @ the F69 Bar

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Fitness Assessment

Respect to DJ Art Official for his review of the Roots Manuva gig which took place recently in Auckland.

ROOTS MANUVA and friends: 21.Sept.05 @ Studio, Auckland.

Indeed a much anticipated event for reggae, dancehall and hip-hop heads was the return of Rodney Smith to Auckland for 2 shows last month. With support sets from Stinky Jim and Auckland hip-hop duo Frontline, we checked in to the ram-jam session alongside an excited crowd at Studio on K. Road.

Wasting no time at all Mr Manuva and his band sparked this one up with ‘Bashment Boogie’ and then continued to blaze things up with live takes of his remarkable and ever expansive recorded material. A pleasant surprise was the appearance of Ricky Ranking, whose impressive reggae singing and MCing talent fitted in just perfect alongside the man that everyone had come to check out.

The vocal duo tore through some big numbers such as Movements, Dreamy Days, Toothbrush, Awfully Deep, Witness the Fitness, and Too Cold, before returning to the stage again with Clockwork, which certainly was a highlight of their brief encore set. Ricky Ranking even performed his own tune, the soulful and thunderous ‘Cant Trick I’ (on Roots Manuva’s ‘Banana Klan’ label), which went down a treat for the many reggae heads in the crowd.

The 5 piece live backing band seemed perhaps a little tired, but certainly didn’t lack any firepower in their tight and polished delivery. Consisting of bass, drums, guitar, and a keyboard player who was probably the busiest on stage (handling duties on flute, background vocals, and FX), they effortlessly took on a variety of musical styles/rhythms and were obviously well experienced in the art of rocking dancehalls. DJ MK was no disappointment either, nice on the cuts like ginsu.

Overall, an awesome show at a packed out venue, though I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to see a full-scale Roots Manuva show at a bigger venue. Lets hope he hits Welli next time.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Reggae Culture Salute 2005

Interesting article from Brooklyn, New York, about an organisation called the Coalition To Preserve Reggae Music, staging an event - Reggae Culture Salute 2005 - to help "...raise the bar in the production, marketing and promotion of reggae within the community".

Saturday, October 01, 2005

DJ Art Homebass Session

Tune into Homebass every Thursday night from 11-1 on Radio Active. See below for a selection of tracks from DJ Art's last Homebass session.

African Brothers - Lead Us Father
John Holt - Police and Helicopters
Mikey Dread - Jumping Master
Eccleton Jarrett - Turn on the Heat
Horse Man - Raggamuffin DJ of the Year
Sugar Minott - Devil Pikney
Assassin/Freddie McGregor - Youth Well Cold
Damian Marley/Bounty Killer/Eek a Mouse - Khaki Suit
Sain Supa Crew/Ky-Mani Marley - Give Praise
Damian Marley/Nas - Road to Zion
Frakie Cutlass/Rayvon - Girls Fresh
New Flesh - Stick and Move
Shaggy/Kenny Dope - Gunshot
Frankie Paul - A No Nuttin
Ricky Rankin - Can't Trick I
Lotek HiFi - Sticks and Stones
Scientist - Gunshot (Dub)
Inspector Ital - Sumo

Ruffneck Souljah Australian Tour

Respect to Souljah Sensi from Ruffneck Souljah for his report on two of the gigs which took place on their September tour to Australia. Watch out for the up-coming Ruffneck Souljah gig taking place in Wellington, at Sandwiches on October 28.

Between the 15th and 25th of September Ruffneck Souljah Recordings returned to Australia for the fourth time in just over a year. This time touching down in Adelaide and Melbourne for four shows, the results were epic as always.

September 16th - Melbourne
Tonight we are playing on the top floor of a five level club called Brown Alley, enough with the jokes already aite!!! The space is massive, huge bass, heavy soundsystem, the promoters tell me they are expecting five hundred people tonight. Big up Lazydaze and Fractured for real!!!

We head home for a few hours rest then hit the club around midnight to see our good friends the “Turntable Terrorists” open up the dance for us. The boys play a great mixture of reggae, hip-hop and dancehall with excellent scratching and great live vocals from two MCs. Highlights include the acapella from “Forgot about Dre” over Doctors Darling Riddim and a live Hip-Hop remix of “Slice of Heaven” by Dave Dobbyn. Plenty of fresh upfront roots riddims and some great funk and soul classics. These guys really have their shit together and look set to go really far…

2am hits and we are finally on. Angela sets the pace with her Ruffneck Sound VIP acapella straight into Mr T and Mighty Asterix’s “Kill A Soundbwoy” collaboration over the “Woah Beat”. Mr T does his verses live and I drop machine gun fire over Asterix’s choruses totally tearing the place down. We hit them hard and heavy for the next two hours, alternating between dancehall reggae and live jungle/ragga jungle. Big tunes include Mr T’s cover of “Fuck the Police”, which actually gets the whole room chanting along with him, “Empress” by Mikey Dangerous and two Mighty Asterix dubplates “Truth and Rights” and “I Love to Smoke Marijuana”. Audience interaction and response is excellent from start to stop, and with around 400 heads in the place it’s a party from the word go. We close up around 4am and let the locals take back over, switching the night to straight drum and bass.

September 24th - Adelaide
Saturday morning and it’s time for the big show! Tonight we are playing at a two level party with D.Kay, Stamina MC, Bulletproof, Motive and many, many more. The promoters are expecting 800-1000 people and they are not joking as we find out later that night…

Sound check is a real drag and there are a few technical hitches that need solving but everything works out in the end. The whole town is super hyped for his event and we get recognized everywhere in our Ruffneck T-shirts. We chill for a few hours with our friends at the hotel and hit the club around midnight. The place is totally rammed and man, I did not realize how Rave the scene was going to be in Adelaide, Glowsticks and whistles everywhere…

We play upstairs for an hour following an Australian Hip-Hop act called Terra Firma and get one of the best responses we’ve ever had, despite sound issues. The crowd is extremely enthusiastic and very excited to be hearing something fresh, different and new. I really, really enjoy myself despite a general sense of exhaustion and lack of sleep…

Overall, big up Australia for real…Looks like we are going back in a few months!!!!!!!!!!!!