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Funkommunity are an Electronica/Soul outfit lead by multi-instrumentalist/producer Isaac Aesili and Singer Rachel Fraser. Hailing from New Zealand, Funkommunity are a relatively new band who recently wrapped up their first international tour following the release of their debut album entitled ” Chequered Thoughts”.
The opening track ” Pass it on” starts with a solid drum intro reminiscent of Classic Motown then continues to surprise and impress with the introduction of the refreshingly soulful vocals. You might also want to turn on a bass sub because the low bass will make this song that much groovy-er, if at all possible.
Other outstanding tracks, “Dandilion” and “The Light” are showcases of the bands electronic side. “Chequered Thoughts” is one of those albums that rewards when listened to through good headphones, so as to properly feel the groove of the music.
This video is the first song on the album called “Pass It On”. Listen carefully to each part adding to the song. The sweeping of the pads panning from one ear to the other, the contoured vibrations of the bass, the subtleties in the high hat of the drums, the floating interjections from the horns, the steady rhythmic “jank”-ing of the guitar and of course the controlled melody of the vocals.
The album “Chequered Thoughts” is available for purchase as MP3, CD and Vinyl from :
For more info go to:
I love Motown! I love Nickelback! The second is a lie but “A Motown Tribute to Nickelback” is exactly what it sounds like. The band have taken the famous Nickelback song ” How You Remind Me” and painted it on a canvas of Soulful Pop in the style of classic Motown. Don’t be put off by the association to one of the most hated bands in the world.
Lead by keys player, Scott Bradlee, ”A Motown Tribute…” keep it grooving with their dapper rhythm section, smooth saxophone lines, a soulful front man and the happiest tambourine player you’ll come across.
A Motown Tribute to Nickelback are set to release an album of equally catchy renditions of Nickelback hits. The albums is set to be released on the 21st of December and will be available from Itunes and at:
Thom York’s debut solo album in nothing short of genius. Released in 2006, this album is Yorke’s side project from Radiohead. The album consists of nine electronic tracks and is heavily sample based.
The title track was later covered by jazz trumpet player Christian Scott on his 2010 album ‘Yesterday You Said Tomorrow’.
The late Seba Jun, known by his stage name Nujabes ( Seba Jun backwards) was an electronic and hip hop DJ/producer hailing from Japan. His style of hip hop was a unique blend of jazz samples and mellow hip hop beats. The product being ambient, loungey hip hop. Nujabes released four studio albums until his death in 2010. He died in a car crash in Tokyo, Japan at the age of 36. Nujabes’ fifth solo album was released posthumously in 2011 called Spiritual State.
This track is from his 2003 debut album Metaphorical Music featuring American rapper Cise Starr.
A documentary about the life and music of Nujabes is in the making. More info can be found at:
I remember primary school assembly’s very vividly even though I guess it wasn’t that long ago. Sitting in the school hall with the hundred or so other kids eagerly waiting for the speeches to wrap up so that we could go outside and get back to handball or soccer or whatever game we were into at the time. The one thing that I always enjoyed and looked forward to in school assembly’s was the part where the music teacher would get up with his guitar and would get everyone to sing along to one of the school songs.
Nga Iwi E was of those songs and a favourite of mine. This traditional Maori song has been transformed from a slow folk song into an upbeat Ska-influenced instrumental courtesy of the Wellington based group, The Yoots.
Band Leader Joe Lindsay, Trombone player from Fat Freddy’s Drop, formed the group in 2006 of local Wellington musicians. Playing various shows and festivals around New Zealand including WOMAD and Splore, The Yoots then went on to record their unique sound. ‘Sing Along with The Yoots’ was released in 2010.
The album is entirely instrumental and consisting of revamped traditional Maori songs. The album encourages listeners to sing along to these classic Maori songs. Tracks like Tutira Mai, E Papa Waiari and Nga Iwi E will get your head nodding and your feet tapping. If you don’t know the words, the lyrics are provided with the cd booklet, so there’s no excuse for not singing along at the next Barbecue.
The album is available at their website:
Here’s an awesome new band coming straight out of Johannesburg, South Africa. The trio is called The Fridge and they have been described as Jazz meets African Folk, Urban Scape and Neo-Soul Jazz. A bold and refreshing take on Jazz and Soul music this relatively young band first started turning heads in 2011 with the release of a 5 track EP entitled ‘Bass, Drum & Sam’. This sparked more shows and festival gigs around South Africa which lead to a record contract and a full length album set to be released later this year. The Fridge are a unique and interesting new addition to the jazz music scene. They’re bringing a whole new sound set to the genre. It will be very interesting to see where these guys go with their music.
You can hear more of The Fridge at their soundcloud account:
Paul Van Haver, better known by his stage name, Stromae is a Singer/Songwriter hailing from Brussels, Belgium. ‘Alors on danse’ literally meaning “So We Dance” brought Stromae worldwide acclaim when the song went to number one in 12 countries in 2010. ‘Stromae’ being an inversion of the word ‘Maestro’, this french speaking new comer has definitely lived up to the name with his debut album ‘Cheese’. You may not be able to understand the lyrics but sing along anyway. You know it’s good.
After a long wait, power pop trio Opossom have finally released their highly anticipated debut album, Electric Hawaii. The band consists of members Bic Runga and Kody Nielson each swapping back and forth from drums and keys while Michael Logie holds down the low end on bass.
Not unlike Kody’s brother’s new project Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Opposom takes a great deal of influence from classic pop, punk and psychadelic rock and mixes them into their own brand of high energy music.Electric Hawaii is full of catchy, intense yet innocent tunes that suggest a more mature Nielson who has possibly grown up a bit since his Mint Chick days. Highlights of the albums are “Girl”, “Fly” and “Getaway Tonight”.
The album is available for download at:
Listening to this wanting to watch this:
This video is of the singer/songwriter Liam Finn playing his song “Last Chance” on the Later…with Jools Holland show. Liam Finn is the son of Split Enz and Crowded House’s Neil Finn. Liam is an awesome songwriter and an incredible showman on stage. On stage it is just him, his one backup singer and his guitar. With this ( and the help of a few effects pedals) he manages to create a sound scape of an entire band by looping different parts. Finn energetically bashes away at the drum kit to finish up the set. Very Entertaining.
This song is featured on Liam Finns 2007 debut album “I’ll Be Lightning”. He has this year released another album called “FOMO”. Check out more of Liam Finn’s music here: http://www.liamfinn.tv/
Opossom’s “Getaway Tonight”
The other Nielson brother, Kody’s new band with legendary singer/songwriter, Bic Runga on drums!? and ex Mint Chicks bassist Michael Logie. All three musicians are incredible and this band does show that the whole is as good, even better than the sum of its parts. Opossum opened for Unknown Mortal Orchestra when they played their New Zealand shows late in 2011. Bic Runga is a surprisingly competent and energetic drummer keeping up with Kody Nielson as the band blast through the catchy and aggressive Pop/Punk influenced tunes typical of Kody Nielson. This song is the latest single of their debut album “Electric Hawaii” set to be released in April. This track is available for free download on the bands Bandcamp and Facebook page.
DJ Danger mixes The Beatles with Jay-Z’? Yes! Titled “The Grey Album” due to combining The Beatles classic “The White Album” with Jay-Z’s equally important “The Black Album”, this entire album utilises samples taken from The Beatles “The White Album” and melds them with rhymes of Jay-Z’s “The Black Album”. This album is a breath of fresh air and a good listen for Beatles fans who want to dabble in some Hip-hop and Jay-Z fans who want to expand their listening. DJ Dangermouse, most well known for being part of Gnarls Barkley with Cee Lo Green. Dangermouse is a prominent producer having produced albums for Gorillaz, Beck and his own band Gnarls Barkley. He has been nominated five times for Producer of the Year at the grammys and won it in 2011.
check out the video for Dangermouse’s Encore:
This is an amazing tune that uses samples from the already awesome Radiohead song “Paranoid Android” and and mixes them into Jay-Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”. Produced by Max Tannone. There are heaps of these available for free download from his website as instrumentals or with vocals. Other notably well crafted mashups are “No Karma” and “99 Anthems”.
Download instrumentals and Vocal versions at Max Tannone’s website: