NiceUp talks to Patu Colbert from Aotearoa reggae band, 1814, about how the group has evolved and their works in 2009. (more…)
Pitch Black have been consistently producing high quality electronica since the formative days of New Zealand’s dance music scene in the mid-90s. Having first made a name for themselves by playing dubbed-out live sets at the legendary Gathering festival in Takaka, they are now firmly established at the cutting edge of local beat-makers.
Their latest release is a remix project that sees the duo give an electric array of local and international artists the chance to radically reinterpret tracks from their 2007 album Rude Mechanicals. To be honest I wasn’t exactly holding my breath prior to my first listen. Call me cynical – but I feel quite a few ‘remix albums’ are just slap dash efforts designed to squeeze out more cash from their faithful.
1814 are an 8-piece roots reggae band, hailing from Whangaroa Harbour and Kerikeri in beautiful Northland. The bands name relates to the date that missionary Samuel Marsden held the first sermon in Oihi, Bay of Islands, on Chrismas Day 1814. This being the inspiration behind delivering a message of peace, love and unity to all people, throughout the land. The band has been on the NZ music scene for a couple of years, including performances at Raglan’s Soundsplash and One Drop in Ngunguru.
Patu Colbert (guitar/vocals), along with sons Shaun (drums) and Jimmy (bass) formed the band in 2004. The line-up now includes Darren Katene and Katherine Te Haara-Atama (vocals), Reuben Heger (sax), KoreyAtama (guitar/vocals) and Des Brown on the keyboard.
Drumquestra is the debut album from Jamaican drum master Larry McDonald. Being far from new on the scene, McDonald is considered one of the finest percussion exponents in the world, with a career beginning at the heart of the Ska scene over 40 years ago. His list of credits includes collaboration with heavyweight artists Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Lee Perry, Toots & the Maytals, The Wailers, Bad Brains, Taj Mahal, Earnest Ranglin, and the Skatalites to name but a few.
As you might expect from a percussionist, Drumquestra is heavy on the drums. The album consists of fifteen tracks of reggae, dub and world music featuring a drum orchestra playing over 20 different percussive instruments. Often transcending reggae, the music explores rhythms of wide-ranging influence that McDonald has borrowed from Africa, Brazil, Cuba and beyond. Non-percussive instruments are sparse, with a ‘barely there’ presence filling in the gaps to give a warm sound.
The theme of the song matches the bands organic sound, with production handled by the band’s vocalist, Abdelraheem Kheirawi. The rhythm section of Dragan Stanic ‘Gaggie’ and Senad Isic ‘Sekey’ on bass and drums, provide a rock solid foundation of heavy roots-fueled dub. Played at a meditative tempo with serious conviction and enough space to allow for some superb guitar work from Vladan Jonovic ‘Vlaychelo’ and the lead vocals of Kheirawi.
Sounds Almighty, Don Luchito, Undercover, Jnr Ranks, Misteek, The Mighty Asterix & guests!
Where: Vintage Bar – Basement, 25 Taranaki Street
Come to Vintage Bar, Friday 15 May for The Adventures of Asterix in Oz – a night to farewell NZ’s legendary reggae vocalist, The Mighty Asterix, before he crosses the Tasman.
Featuring a killer line-up of top Welly selectors – Sounds Almighty (Topknot & Prince Alexander), Don Luchito, Jnr Ranks, Undercover, Misteek & The Mighty Asterix plus guests!
10pm start, koha entry.
Don’t miss the chance to celebrate and farewell one of the stars of reggae in Aotearoa!
When: Saturday 9 May @ The NZ Film Archive, Taranaki Street, 6.30pm nibbles by Calypso Caribbean Cafe, 7pm screening (75 minutes).
Film introduced by Ras Twig (Roots & Culture Crew).
Price: $6 unwaged/$8 waged.
DVD available for purchase on the night – thanks to Southbound Distribution.
Dub Echoes is a documentary directed by Bruno Natal (Brazil) that traces the origins of Jamaican dub music and its huge influence on the development of other musical forms including hip-hop and electronica.
In ’96 jungle jemmied the lock and stole Thief’s heart. From there his musical reconnoitres led him down the darkened alleys of drum and bass, hip hop, and dub. Deep soul-shaking bass was the commonality. In 2006 dubstep slipped the catch and padded across the floorboards of his mind, ransacking emotions and taking everything with it. (more…)