Thursday, August 24, 2006

Freedom at The National Maritime Museum

Last night I ventured 'south of the river' and surfaced in Greenwich which is home of the National Maritime Museum. I was there mainly because I had heard that Jah Shaka would be playing a part in an evening which was to commemorate the 'International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition' - The evening started with a debate titled "Freedom." We were greeted by the Director of Research & Collections Margarette Lincoln who raised eyebrows and a smile with her eloquent pronunciation of 'Jah Shaka' as part of proceedings. The debate was chaired by Bonnie Greer and she was joined by presenters Godfried Donkor, Keith Piper, Sonia Boyce and Faisal Abdu'Allah. Each gave a presentation all of which were clear concise and thought provoking, the only criticism being the failure of audio visual systems or timing of such. The debate ended with a question and answer session which raised a lot of intelligent comments.

We then ventured out of the lecture theatre and could immediately hear something vaguely resembling music coming from somewhere; it was difficult from this position to work out what it was due to the reverberation of the venue. We were then led up to a raised terrace, courtyard for want of a better description. It was huge in size and surrounded on three sides by glass cabinets full of maritime treasures and artifacts. At one end was a snack/bar in the middle was Jah Shaka setup on the edge of a square that was roughly the size of a professional boxing ring. He had 4 stacks of speakers setup in the four corners two facing away and two facing towards him. This square was roped off by a blue band leaving just Shaka, one of his crew who was happily dancing and another of his crew manning a video camera on a tripod.

Above this terrace was a huge curved glass ceiling. When Shaka who was playing at levels quite restrained at this point lifted the arm from a record the reverb decay time was something along the lines of 5 to 6 seconds. Unfortunately this location within NMM was probably the worst place of all to set up a sound system. When the music was playing the reflections just mudded up the music and was not enjoyable to my ears at all. Shaka was drawing a wicked selection of vintage roots tunes each with their own appropriate lyric content for the night. Industry characters I spied on the night were Jonah Dan, Terry Gad, Jah Surr Zema and Leroy Mafia.

I did take my camera along but while I was trying to find a vantage point to get some good shots I was approached by one of the Shaka crew and told not to take pictures. The single out of focus picture that I did manage to take is the one above. This is kind of ironic at an event called 'Freedom' and is even more ironic when you consider that the picture of Malachi on the flyer for his next gig at the Telegraph is actually one of my pictures from the free festival event at Brockwell Park 2005. I am happy to share that picture and would have supplied it to them at a better resolution than the web image it was taken from if only someone had asked!


Monday, August 21, 2006

Cargo re-unites dub clubbers

I popped along the Dub Club Reunion Party at Cargo last night organised by Culture Promotions. It was sponsored by rum distillers 'Wray and Nephew' as part of the Overproof 'rum and reggae' series of events. Sounds were provided by Entebbe sound system and they were joined by Mafia and Fluxy, Iration Steppas, Manasseh and JNR International. The climax was an amazing one for one session where every tune had to be caught short due to the midnight curfew but at the same time left everyone in attendance hungry for a repeat performance with no constraints! To view some pics from last nights event please click on the link below.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

VOIP phenomena

Been watching the voip (voice over internet protocol) scene for some time now and it has to be said - it is a very effective low cost way to communicate especially for friends and family but no reason why business shouldn't take advantage of the technology either. I have been using 'skype' for a while now and give it the thumbs up enough to recommend it on here. I am currently using the Tesco internet phone handset which I picked up on ebay for less than a tenner (£10). NB. If you do have the tesco handset and wish to use the buttons on the phone for skype then download the US Robotics software here. I'm sure Tesco's own software and service is just as good as skype but at this point in time I don't need to use the call-out to landline service I am just looking for free calls between contacts. So feel free to contact microphonic at no cost through skype* (* if we are online NB. see status icon in the right hand section of this blog). Download skype, add us to your contact list and chat away!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fantasy funtime - join the microphonicship

Join in with some premiership football fun in the 'microphonicship' - the league of champions.

Go to Register and create your team. Once you have created a team click on the 'Leagues' button on the right hand side and enter the code below. Its free and will be a lot of fun!