Sunday, April 30, 2006

Rebel Salute - 11th Anniversary

Another DVD from the Rebel Salute series, this one being the 11th Anniversary special which took place in January 2004. The Rebel Salute festivals take place yearly in Jamaica, and are organised by Tony Rebel, with the purpose of supporting conscious reggae and dancehall within Jamaica and promoting this to the rest of the world. Featured artists include John Holt, Culture, Ken Boothe and The Mighty Diamonds. This year also stood out with a special performance by Junior Byles. This was the first time this artist had performed live for many years, due to problems with his mental health. The DVD is also interspersed with commentary from Tony Rebel, who provides interesting information on the history of the festival and further illustrates the positive messages the festival tries to forward. Well worth checking out.

Friday, April 28, 2006

BBC - 1Xtra - Dancehall After Dark

In a special week-long tribute to dancehall, 1Xtra has a series of excellent documentaries focussing on the history and progression of dancehall worldwide. Standouts are two shows by 1Xtra host, Robbo Ranx. Both shows are two hours in duration, but with their first-class production, insightful interviews and classic tunes, are well-worth checking out :

Buju Banton Talks - In depth interview with Buju Banton at his Gargamel Studio in JA. Also features some of the musical highlights from his long and influential history.

Hail The King - A look at the last Emperor of Ethiopia's impact on five generations of music makers. Includes a first-class sound-track and interviews with Luciano, Damian Marley, Sizzla, Buju Banton, Brinsley Forde, Capleton and Burning Spear.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Yagga Yo

Things to check out this weekend in Wellington:

Friday 28 - The Spice Traders - DJ Manray and The Spotlight Kid @ Good Luck

Friday 28 - Passion Smash - Duke Willis, Barney Ferrari and Tony Chaing @ Havana

Friday 28 - Olmecha Supreme Album Release Party with DJ Pico 5 & Kerb @ The Old Studio 9

Saturday 29 - Pacific Bass Culture @ Seam

Saturday 29 - DJ Lemon @ The Last Supper Club

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Top Ten Selections - Conviction Roots

Originally hailing from Wellington, Conviction Roots has spent the last few years residing in London, amassing a vast collection of sounds and checking out the legends of the roots, rock, reggae world, a few of his favourite artists being Junior Delgado, The Heptones and Dennis Brown. He is also heavily into the UK soundsystem scene, including Channel One, Jah Shaka and Aba Shanti. You may have been lucky enough to catch him in the capital in the last few weeks, playing on Radio Active and around town. We hope to have him back in the city soon. Respect to Conviction Roots for his top ten track selections for April.

1. Country Boy - Heptones
2. Collie Weed - Barrington Levy
3. Sons Of Slaves - Junior Delgado
4. Lets All Unite - Hugh Mundell
5. Jah Can Count On I - Freddie McGregor
6. Children Of The Emperor - Albert Malawi
7. Oh What A Day - Dennis Brown
8. Inner Sanctuary - Shandi-i and the Shandi-ites
9. Wine Of Violence - Jah Marcus
10. Put It On - Love and Unity

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Skatalites

The Skatalites played a ram-jam session in Wellington on Saturday 22 with The Offbeats and The Managers in support. The crowd was treated to a night of top-quality ska and reggae - great to see such legendary bands playing in the capital.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sounds Almighty

Big ups to the Sounds Almighty Crew - Duke Willis, Topknot and Prince Alexander - for a wicked night at Havana on Friday. With a heavy soundsystem in effect (provided by Steppa D) and Art Official and Steppa D in support, the selections were first-class and the vibes irie until the wee hours.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Reggae Niceness - DJs Wanted

Munt FM is looking for a new DJ(s) to be part of their Friday afternoon reggae and dancehall show - Reggae Niceness. The show takes place from 3-5pm every Friday and DJs will run the show on a roster basis. If you have a good reggae and dancehall collection and are interested in getting involved, please email the Station Manager, Matt, on :

Wha Gwaan

Big weekend in Wellington for reggae heads, with a nice mixture of local and international gigs around town:

Thursday 20 - Safari with Duke Willis @ Cabaret

Friday 21 - Sounds Almighty Aotearoa - Topknot, Duke Willis, Prince Alexander and Ras Twig @ Havana (Wigan Street)

Friday 21 - The Undercover Brother @ Tupelo (Edward Street Precinct)

Saturday 22 - The Skatalites with The Offbeats and The Managers @ Indigo

Saturday 22 - The Spice Traders @ Havana

Saturday 22 - DJ Lemon @ The Last Supper Club

Sunday 23 - Sugar Minott Special - Active 89FM's Roots and Culture Show, 4-7pm

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

NiceUp Sugar Minott Interview Exclusive

Tune into Radio Active 89 FM's Roots and Culture show this Sunday 23 to hear DJ Art's exclusive interview with Lincoln "Sugar" Minott.

Lincoln Barrington Minott was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1956. He started his musical career as a child, working with soundsystems, until setting up his own sound as a teen and becoming a selector. Minott's distinguished career as a vocalist began in 1969 as a part of the first-class roots trio - The African Brothers - alongside Tony Tuff and Derrick Howard. When the group split, Minott continued his solo career and spent extensive time at Studio One. In 1979 and 1980 he produced the ground-breaking albums - Ghetto-ology, Black Roots and Roots Lovers. Around this time Minott also launched his own labels – Black Roots and Youth Promotion. Youth Promotion was set up as a way for young and emerging talent to have a means by which to express and promote themselves, and has voiced, then upcoming artists, Yami Bolo, Tenor Saw, Garnett Silk and Junior Reid, among others. Sugar has continuously worked to help and support up-and-coming talent, while still uplifting the dance with his own signature style. A conscious and collaborative individual, Sugar has the belief of reggae being much more than a means of achieving self-fame, and that "...reggae music is a fraternity - what everybody does effects the next person".

In this radio special, hear Sugar talk about his musical beginnings, the highlights of his career, the realities of the reggae music industry and the missions that drive him personally and professionally - the education of artists, investment in the youth and working with the philosophy of "...togetherness, awareness and love - unity is strength", to establish better facilities and resources for up-coming artists. Produced and hosted by DJ Art at Newtown Sound, this show also features highlights from Sugar's extensive discography, including his work at Jammy’s, Studio One, and from his own labels.

Listen in to Radio Active 89FM's Roots and Culture show this Sunday 23 April, 4-7pm for the Sugar Minott special, featuring the NiceUp interview exclusive produced at Newtown Sound, and a showcase of Lincoln Sugar Minott's music with guest selectors Duke Willis and Jai.

Baby Cham

Article from Reggae Vibes about Baby Cham - his musical beginnings, the dancehall smash-hit, Ghetto Story, and the way forward from here.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Bubble Up

The NiceUp Bubble Up fundraising party took place on Thursday 13 at Havana and the Niceup crew would like to say a big thank you to everyone that came along and made it a great night. Big ups to the DJs - Lemon, Jai, Misteek, DollaMix and Art for their wicked selections, respect to Havana and Datastream for all their support, and of course to all the peeps that made it down on the night. We're looking forward to the next one!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Damian Marley - Auckland Review

Damian Marley @ The Saint James, Auckland, Thurs. 6 April

When Bob Marley came to New Zealand in 1979 and played in Auckland, he did so amidst an atmosphere of great anticipation, positivity and celebration - the gig, and Marley himself being symbolic of the potential for human liberation and freedom, and the struggle of people worldwide to uplift and empower themselves and their communities. The Marley legacy was carried on by various members of Bobs' family, including his youngest son, Damian. Damian Marley released his first album in 1996, his second in 2001, and in 2005, the release of his third album, Welcome To Jamrock, saw the artist blow-up worldwide on a scale not seen by a reggae artist for some time. His biggest track, Welcome To Jamrock, is a politically hard-hitting, powerful statement about the grim reality of life for many in Jamaica and the hypocrisy and exploitation that takes place in regards to this country. It was with this backdrop – firstly, being part of one of reggaes biggest family legacies; secondly, with his own recent rise to prominence - that Damian Marley arrived last week in Aotearoa, to perform a one-off show in Auckland.

After unfortunately missing Katchafire who played a support set, we arrived to some nice tunes from the support DJ who warmed up the crowd well and kept the vibe flowing in-between the band change. With a near-capacity St James crowd buzzing with anticipation, Jnr Gong hit the stage with Confrontation and worked his way through the first part of the show with tracks from all three of his albums, including Justice, Beautiful, There For You, Love and Inity and Me Name Jnr Gong. He then went on to perform some of his fathers' classic tunes - Crazy Baldhead and Exodus which set the crowd ablaze. The Gong then brought it back to his original material, busting out In Too Deep, the classic, Khaki Suit, and Written, before ending with another true classic, Could You Be Love. The crowd was amped for more and Jnr Gong did not disappoint, coming back with a first-class encore. The Gong started out with a medley of classic Marley tunes that sent the crowd into a frenzy, then ending with For The Babies, Road To Zion and the smash-hit, Welcome To Jamrock.

Jnr Gong was backed by a 7 piece band - drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards - who throughout the whole performance were razor sharp. It was a true privilege to hear such an amazingly tight reggae band making beautiful music - obviously true professionals. The band were the lynchpins of the show, providing the most solid of foundations for the Gong to work with. Marley also had two brilliant women as his backing singers, who sang and danced vibrantly and added a powerful element to the show. Not to mention the spirited flag-bearer who also lit up the stage and kept the positive energy flowing.

Damian Marley himself was both charismatic and powerful on stage. He commanded the crowds' attention for the entire duration and his strong movements and presence combined with his excellent vocal skills were a pleasure to watch and listen to. The Gong also continuously chatted and sent out positive messages to the masses about upliftment, and living itally and consciously and reinforced these messages throughout the show. It was truly moving to hear the Gong perform some of his fathers' classic reggae anthems. He did so with a sense of pride, and this also provided a real sense of connectivity between the music and its historical and cultural background. Marley managed to mix the classics up with his own material, in such a way as to reflect his strong reggae heritage, while also highlighting his own musical influences and leanings. His performance, like that of his bands, was first-class, and had a maturity and strength not usually seen from one so young.

It is hard to sum up an event of such high calibre, and describe the vibe and feelings generated from a group of people gathered in recognition and celebration of reggae music, roots and culture and a Rootsman exemplifying this and spreading the message to the world. Big ups to the crowd on the night for their enthusiasm and positive energy – representing New Zealand well! Nuff respect to the band and the singers for their inspirational performance. And big respect to the one named Jnr Gong – representing himself, his family and roots and culture in only the best possible way.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Long Weekend

Whats On:

Thursday 13 - The Hot Cross Bubble Up - NiceUp fundraising party - featuring selectors, Lemon, Jai, Misteek, DollaMix and Art Official - early start, 8pm @ Havana

Friday 14 - The Open Souls with Ladi6 and DJ Parks @ Indigo

Sunday 16 - Sundaze - Coopa Blue and Kenese, 4.30-7pm @ The Southern Cross

Bobby Brazuka Meets The Undercover Brother

Check out The Undercover Brother with special guest from Auckland - Bobby Brazuka - at Tupelo (Edward Street Precinct) on Saturday 29 April. They'll be spinning Latin, funk, soul, hip-hop and reggae. You can also check The Undercover Brother on Friday 21 April at Tupelo, for a taster of what to expect the next weekend.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Morgan Heritage

Three part article from the Jamaica Star about Morgan Heritage - their history, what it is like working with family and the musical mission they are on.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Friday, April 07, 2006

Create A Sound

Tupelo is the place to be this Saturday 8th, with one of the cities finest selectors, Duke Willis from Sounds Almighty Aotearoa, in effect - spinning the best in reggae and dancehall until the wee hours.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Jah Shaka

Interview with Jah Shaka in which he speaks about the history and purpose of his sound, where and who he has worked with throughout the years, and his views on soundsystem culture.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

NiceUp Tracks Of The Week

Catch A Fire – Damian Marley

Damian Marley was born in 1978 in Kingston, Jamaica, and is the youngest son of Bob Marley. He has been performing since his youth and has released three albums – Mr Marley (1996), Halfway Tree (2001) and Welcome To Jamrock (2005). He has achieved worldwide success and often tours with his brothers, who together make up the Ghetto Youths Crew. This track is off the Halfway Tree album and is an example of his unique fusing of traditional reggae with contemporary hip-hop beats. The New Zealand massive will have the chance to check him, this Thursday 6 April, at the St James in Auckland.

Cuss Cuss – Triston Palma

Triston Palma was born in 1962 in Waltham Park, Kingston, and by the age of ten was singing backing vocals for Sugar Minott and Tony Tuff, as well as singing with Earl "Chinna" Smith's Soul Syndicate band. In the 80s, Palma worked and recorded extensively with producer, Jah Thomas. He also worked with Linval Thompson, Henry "Junjo" Lawes and other top producers of the day. In 2000, Palma linked up with Easy Star Records to put together his latest album, Two Roads. This track is a cover of the Lloyd Robinson original, was produced by Bobby Konders, and released on the Massive B label in 1997.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Hot X Bubble Up

After a lot of peeps asking - 'when’s Nice Up gonna have a party?' - we’ve decided it’s gonna be Thursday 13 April at one of our favourite joints, Havana. Thanks to everyone for the support and contributions over the last year. All proceeds from this gig are going towards the upgrade of to...

That’s right yo - niceup dot org dot nz. Hope to see you at the gig :)