Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: The hard way back!

The story of 3 The Hard Way is one of those music industry specials. Back in 1994, their debut single, 'Hip Hop Holiday' came out of nowhere to become the first rap record to top the New Zealand charts. It stayed there for weeks, inspiring a young Tom Scott, then reached number five across the Tasman. They were swiftly sent in to record an album, then dispatched to Australia, where they played 50 shows in 40 days, to crowds as big as 5000. They were stars.

But then there were issues. That hit single was, you may recall, a clever flip of 10cc's 'Dreadlock Holiday' -- and they never cleared their use of melody (which was replayed, not sampled). Godley and Creme got the money for that. A subsequent contractual dispute with their label, Deepgrooves, meant four or five years without recording or releasing anything. They came back in 2003 with an album (Eyes on the Prize) and a number one single ('It's On') recorded with Alan Jansson.

That year, they also regained rights to their debut album, Old Skool Prankstas, which, like most Deepgrooves releases, has gone down the memory hole. Problem: no one had a copy of the album.

That's how things stood until about a month ago, when Peter McLennan found a tidy copy of Old Skool Prankstas at Real Groovy Records and contacted Simon Grigg, whose Joy label had released the second album.

Today, Old Skool Prankstas gets a digital re-release, via Amplfier (it'll be on iTunes next week). Peter, who is working on a book on Deepgrooves for publication next year, wrote some release notes and rounded out the album tracklisting with some items from his own collection, including a remix by Zane Lowe of the later single 'What I Gotta Do'.

And here it is. Well done, everyone.

Oh, and here's the video for 'Hip Hop Holiday'. I'd embed it, but the twerp who uploaded it disabled embedding. Dude, it's not your video ...


Staying retro for a sec: another bangin' Bobby Busnach remix is up on Soundcloud:

Grab it swiftly -- I suspect the download will be closed in a few hours.

Also fresh on Soundcloud -- but achingly up with the moment -- the first new recording from SBTRKT in quite a while. It's short and very sweet:


TheAudience is suddenly only five days away from the end of its second monthly voting period. What's good? I like this:

There's a download available on the site if you click to become a Hullakitty fan.

And there's this slinky little bedroom production from Slower Motion (download available):

There is quite a bit of acoustic/AOR-ish/folky stuff on TheAudience to which I would not subject you, but I quite like Bluebird Avenue. Here's a tune:

And, finally, if everyone who loved Louis the Zu at the Orcon Great Blend was to register and vote for this lovely little song (download available), perhaps he'd get there to the top:


The Independent has a nice interview with British DJ Richard Sen about his new compilation of British acid house, This Ain't Chicago. There's a one-hour promo mix available for download on Soundcloud:

Dear Times Waste (aka Aucklander Claire Duncan) has a fetching new video:

And, to conclude, a couple of surprise hits from Saturday's birthday DJ set (sorry neighbours) ...

Actually, strictly speaking, it was the housier Dancin' Danny Dee version on 12" that got the ladies on the floor:

Guys: chicks dig this a lot.

And a gorgeous mash-up of Soul Train dancers with the instrumental of the obscure and fabulous Pioneers/Sidney, George and Jackie verion of 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone'. You can hear other versions of the recording while you look at records going around and around on YouTube. But really, why would you?

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