Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Natty Dread Magazine

Expected to open for business tomorrow is the brand new website of the excellent French magazine "Natty Dread." Anyone who has seen this publication before will know that a ton of hard work and effort is put into it. Expectation is high that the website will continue with the same quest for excellence. Makes learning the French language a pre-requisite too... j'ai souhaité

MusicMoz - Get volunteering !

If you are either a music enthusiast or have a much darker deeper interest into the inner workings of website search engine optimisation and rankings then this could be the site for you. A comprehensive directory of all things music, edited by volunteers, listing music-related reviews, articles, factual information, biographies, and websites. Why not get involved and influence the accuracy of website search engines biased towards the smaller ventures amongst us? Volunteer to be an editor of your chosen specialist subject.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Gone Phishing

For those of you who have had the wisdom to switch your internet browsing to Mozilla's Firefox there is a clever new extension called the Netcraft Toolbar. "The toolbar runs on any operating system supported by Firefox and displays the hosting location, country, longevity, popularity, and an abstracted risk rating for each site visited." "Additionally, the toolbar blocks access to phishing sites reported by other members of the Netcraft Toolbar community and validated by Netcraft." In other words a form of Neighbourhood Watch for web-surfers.

Microphonic gets a mention... Music Week

Music Week has been the weekly guide to Europe's most influential music market for more than 40 years. In this weeks issue they have written a three page article on Reggae entitled "Feelgood factor is flooding back."

Microphonic gets a mention; "The strength of the reissue market has led Blood & Fire A&R director Steve Barrow to set up two new labels - Hotpot and Microphonic. The former will focus on artists without previous exposure on labels; the latter will concentrate on reissuing the early works of Jamaican deejays. The first output will be a Glen Brown album on Hotpot and a Peter Rankin release on Microphonic."

Its great to get some PR. However, for accuracy, Microphonic will not be releasing Peter Rankin as a debut release. We currently have contracts for two albums and Peter Rankin is not featuring in either of them. More on these releases will be published on our website when we have mustered enough fuel to get this venture off the ground and actual release dates are known.

Music week is available from most high street news agents at a cover price of 4.25 (GB pounds). There is a link to Musicweeks website below but it is a subscription service and most articles cannot be viewed unless you are a subscriber.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Analogue heads breathe a sigh of relief

Seems that analogue tape heads will soon be stroking a fresh coating of oxide. Quantegy the worlds "only current manufacturer of professional audio tape" have resumed manufacturing tape at their Opelika manufacturing base. This follows a troubled period where the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the end of 2004.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Siberian Satta

Greetings to our reggae brethren in Siberia namely the 'Satta Sound System.' I have been checking out their pages and I am impressed by what I see, even more impressed by what I hear (check out the ЗАПИСИ section) for some of their bands output from 2004-2005. There is loads more on this website if you dig deep enough and it is obvious that these guys like a good party. Больш до siberian экипажа Satta, Как о соединении к microphonic.biz?

Warrior Re-charged

For those of you who havent been there for a while check out the website of Jah Warrior Records. His website has recently been overhauled, updated and relaunched in a new look style. Details and sound samples of new releases on the Jah Warrior label are in abundance. New sound clips from some veteran Jah Shaka dances have been added. I think we may well see a similar exercise on his e-commerce website Reggae-music-store dot com quite soon... keep em peeled!

Eurovision in Reggae

I got an email from Dadaman today making me aware of a website that covers the reggae scene in Montenegro. He is doing a grand job promoting the reggae vibes although complains about never getting paid for his works (now where have I heard that before)? Welcome to the club Dadaman. You should check out this site for very sweaty pictures of Rodigan if nothing else. I was looking forward to seeing the 'Mr Bobby' section but unfortunately that link does not seem to work, neither does some of the pictures (Rasta section) or sounds (Downloads section). Well I suppose thats what happens when you dont get paid... C'mon guys get your act together!!! Oh and BTW how about a link to 'Microphonic' (Linkovi section)???

Friday, May 13, 2005

Jah Bull R I P

Sad news from Jamaica is that foundation DJ 'Jah Bull' has passed away. He is a veteran of the early days of sound system and used to DJ for the system called 'Emperor Marcus' out of the Papine district. He made relatively few recordings but his most notable recordings were made in collaboration with and produced by the late Augustus Pablo. There are interesting interviews in issue no.30 of 'Natty Dread' magazine and also in a previous issue of Ray Hurfords 'Small Axe'. More information will be posted in the DJ Directory in due course.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Ahmad JAMAL at the Barbican 6th May

I've been a fan of the great Pittsburgh pianist since the early 1960s, when his records were released in the UK by Pye - first one I bought was "Listen!", and I swiftly graduated to many of the others he recorded in the period for Chicago-based Argo [a division of the legendary Chess label].

I don't know what it is about pianists from Pittsburgh, but they all seem to share a certain refinement and a distinctive clarity of 'touch' - the city has produced many of my own personal favourite pianists, including such Mary Lou Williams, Errol Garner, Billy Strayhorn, Dodo Marmarosa, Sonny Clarke, Horace Parlan, and of course Mr Ahmad Jamal.
In the far-distant past, Jamal wasn't a darling of the 'critics' - probably because he was popular, and was often characterised by those same 'critics' as a 'cocktail' pianist, which he most definitely is NOT, a fact underlined by the endorsement of Miles Davis, who dug him greatly and proved it by covering Jamal's "All Blues". [Another pianist who also recorded for Argo, King Fleming, also suffered from the same stereotyping.]

What we got on friday night was a beautiful exposition of straight ahead jazz piano, no obvious 'grandstanding', just definitive post-bop style, with the maestro delivering mostly selections from his recent albums on Verve/Dreyfus, although he did give us a piece of"Poinciana" [first recorded on his mid-fifties Epic debut, and a brief "But Not For Me" [most famous from his "LIve At The Pershing" album]. I enjoyed it very much, and it was also a great bonus to see Idris Muhammed, Jamal's regular drummer for a few years now. In short, friday night was a real treat for lovers of genuine jazz piano - a full house, decent sound and although the trio played for an hour and three quarters, it seemed to pass all too quickly.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Very predictable... apathy won the election!

So the predictable happened! I feel like the 3 dominant parties seem to be snugly convinced that they did everything right and are more than happy to re-assume their respective positions in the commons. I feel the same way when I look at Premiership highlights on a Saturday evening (or more often Sunday evenings these days). Maybe Politicians like Premiership footballers are just living far too comfortable lifestyles and are very happy with their lot to be really concerned? Tapper Zukie chanted "Time fe we av a revolution, man!" and I'm right there behind him with that ideology. The only good thing that spawned from this election in my opinion is a website that I found clunking around in the aftermath this morning -

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


I have been mulling over the whole election subject since the government chose to pursue activities in Iraq which in turn prompted me to write to my MP in protest. I have been trying hard to decide if I choose not to vote will it make any difference? I am now coming to terms that the only way to make a difference is to actually vote and not to abstain. If the two thirds of people who didnt bother last time actually get off their arses and vote against the current government then the government will change. I actually am fed up with party politics and cannot see any difference between any of the "big 3". What I see are politicians across all three parties who have good ideas and practice their profession with passion and efficiency. I also see just as many politicians across all three parties who have crap ideas, have no passion and are in my opinion "dead stock". Why can't we move away from party politics into an independent house of commons with a government made up of all sections of the community, no affiliations to political parties, doing the best job for each of their constituencies and the country/world overall? Just as their constituents vote them into the position we should also be able to vote them out of it if they don't perform or are discovered to be abusing their position of power. Why are no politicians/parties offering this as the main point in their manifesto? Because thats the vote I want to cast. Until this happens I want to vote for something different. What I have been forced to live with for the last 20 or so years as a potential voter is not something I wish to go back to. Time to try someone/something else. Bob was right, get up, stand up for our rights! Channel 4 seem to be giving good overall coverage to the election -