Tag Archives: BBE

New Interview with Max Weissenfeldt (Poets Of Rhythm / Philophon Records)


Check out my interview with Drummer, Producer and Composer Max Weissenfeldt here. He’s been ‘instrumental’ (geddit) in my evolution as a DJ, Music lover, radio programmer and record collector having played in and worked with such acts as The Poets Of Rhythm, The Whitefield Brothers, The Heliocentrics, Dr John, Polyversal Souls and more.

His latest project is Philophon Records – an amazing Soul label exploring the Universe of sound.

Check out their catalogue below


Roy Ayers 2005 Interview – Virgin Ubiquity II

Roy Ayers 2005 Int by Huwston

Roy Ayers has conquered Groove. The vibraphonist, producer and singer has maintained a level of consistency and continuity through his work since his beginnings in the seventies. With the release of a second volume of unreleased Virgin Ubiquity recordings, Ayers enjoys his success.

Roy Ayers is kicking back, doing the washing up at home soon before attacking shows across the States and Europe with gigs as diverse as Jazz festivals and free public shows with people like Platinum Pied Pipers. But this time is much different to the period when these recordings were collected…

‘These tunes were taken from sessions between four studios like Electric Lady and The Record Plant and I really loved the analogue sound of those recordings,’ says Ayers, ‘These days that’s what the Hip Hop guys talk about when they sample me; the warm analogue sound. (At that time) I was so into music that my head was only in a creative motif where the only other thing of significance was my family.’

Ayers then goes on to mention a number of people he was collaborating with then at-the-time and since such as Vanessa Williams, George Benson, Mary J. Blige and Rick James (Bitch!). Sure, the BBE releases of the Virgin Ubiquity series will have trainspotters salivating but for Joe Public who doesn’t know his Bootsy from his Phil Collins, how does the man himself feel about being compared to the more well-known legends?

‘I see myself as an innovator of creative styles,’ comments Ayers on the birth of the boogie. ‘I’ve always been able to voice myself and I’ve not excluded myself from any style or repertoire. My versatility and ability to play many different styles has got me to that stature,’ he affirms.

Ayers’ appeal is quite deeper than the more popular groove based artists like James Brown and George Clinton, though he has had his fair share of remixes and collaborations with emerging and chart topping producers. The recent resurgence in remix albums has seen many of his contemporaries, including artists of the era on Atlantic Records, Curtis Mayfield and of course the Verve Remixed series touched up in all different ways and Roy Ayers enjoys this kind of continuance.

‘It’s fine man, I love it!’ He says. ‘I just did something with an old Smokey Robinson song… I put the Roy Ayers thing on it. I played with Smokey and Curtis and I admired them both. But I don’t have the time to be listening to these remix CDs cos I been so busy, man. I haven’t stopped working since May of last year!’ Says the hardly weary Roy Ayers.

Whilst the line up has changed, the ethos has not. ‘Musicians were not as dependable then as they are now. I was in Chick Corea’s studio for midday and guys wouldn’t show till three PM… I was always like, ‘Why didn’t we book for three then?’’ says Ayers, cackling to himself. ‘Stanley Clarke and I were working together and I’d be asking why we hired these guys,’ he reminisces buoyantly.

Virgin Ubiquity II: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 should convey a time of hedonistic bliss but unlike its previous volume its grooves are more concentrated. Even including a demo version of Everybody Loves The Sunshine, these CDs are always a brilliant peek in time for fans of the funk, old and young.

Virgin Ubiquity II is out now on Bbe through Inertia. 

Keb Darge 2005 Interview

Keb Darge 2005 Interview

Keb Darge is the quintessential record collector and DJ. One of the world’s heaviest vinyl-weights this man’s reputation has gone from strength to strength after working with the likes of DJ Shadow and more recently the RZA. Huwston compares sizes and pales in comparison…

Keb Darge is one the best interviews a journalist can ask for in that he’s honest and frank yet playful and charming. Having slung vinyl for at least the last thirty years has proven his collection to be one of the world’s best and in chatting to him about his upcoming tour it was nice to hear his attitudes had stayed roughly the same since we last spoke.

‘I’m just doing what I do, you know?’ Keb says when asked how it feels to constantly be expanding on what he does. ‘ People are really starting to appreciate the older sounds of soul and the funk and are really realising I’m one of the best guys out there. I’m very pleased obviously because I’m so fed up with electronic music… All over Britain (on the telly etc) soul and funk is everywhere.’

In the last few years Keb Darge collaborated with Kenny Dope and Kay Dee records was born. Straying from the more Balearic housey sounds known from MAW, Dope’s influence has opened new doors in which Darge and the listener benefit fully.

‘We just got the tests of our first twelve by Johnny King,’ he says, wondering if it is indeed their first or second twelve-inch single. We’ve got a lot going this year, I’m just looking at the new website now as you’re talking to me and Kenny’s getting us all the access to a bunch of masters (to reissue) from the majors which is great cos they don’t know who the fuck I am but he’s a three time Grammy nominee,’ he says, constantly ‘whooping’ about the prospect. It’s an angle we continue on because Darge obviously doesn’t care that it takes someone else’s reputation to seal some of these deals so long as he can keep his mitts in there. Take for example his forthcoming compilation with the RZA on BBE Kings Of Funk.

‘I like those boys (at BBE),’ he says. The collaboration is one of the most unexpected yet exciting prospects seen on plastic of recent years, but again, Darge is a bit shady on the details.

‘I can’t remember whether he (the RZA) wanted to do it with me or Peter (Adarkwah of BBE) wanted me to do it with him or whatever but the process was sharing emails and a few phone calls where we mainly talked about Kung Fu movies but it’s all been a bit awkward now since his mate died.’

He is in fact talking about Russell Jones AKA Dirt Mcgirt AKA Wu Tang’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who passed away in late 2004 due to complications in his body caused by his crack-cocaine addiction.

‘I was going to have the RZA come over and play at my club but now that that selfish bastard’s died (he says in jest) it’s been cancelled.’

Whilst the prospect of chatting all things Hong Kong Phooey with the RZA is the sort of thing dreams are made of (if you’re a ‘spotty vinyl fiend) Darge is realistic about his place in these compilations.

‘They – and when I say ‘they’ or ‘them’ I’m referring to Americans who want to know but don’t really know about their own musical history – need me on their comps for a bit of credibility, so the big boy does the classics and I do the obscurities. They get to have their name with someone who’s well respected and I get to have my name next to a huge international star,’ he says smiling, and still, occasionally, whooping. ‘I don’t want to do a compilation of obscurities for the collectors, I want to do these sorts of compilations for the girl who works at the supermarket.’

Whilst Darge appears a purist, he has a liberal(ish) attitude to CDs and Re-edits, though don’t expect him to be playing them out anytime soon.

‘I played recently with Jazzy Jeff in Spain who had this laptop and little box thingy (Final Scratch) and I’ve got crates and crates of records and it would be nice to just travel with my overnight bag but it’s not what people pay me for.’ Regarding re-edits he closes with:

‘Show me a painter or decorator who can do touch ups on the Sistine Chapel, mate. I don’t need them because I pick the works of art that don’t need any fixing or editing. They are the way they are.’

Testify. Catch Keb Darge at Boogie Down (Candy’s Apartment) this Friday 21st January. Get there early or cry on Bayswater rd later.

Electric Wire Hustle Interview

Electric Wire Hustle play Sydney and Melbourne this week – the self titled debut album and new single ‘Chaser’ are available now on BBE.

The Gilles Peterson Love-In Continues…

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01. Fela Kuti – No Possible (Joystick Jay’s Vulgar Distractions Edit) (CDR)
02.Emmanuel Jal – Kuar (Henrik Schwarz Remix) (Innervisions)
03. Michel Cleis – Untitled (CDR)
04. Kink – E79 (Ovum)
05. Freaks – Conscious Of My Conscience (Vocal) (Rebirth)
06. dOP – Hard Knock Bootleg (CDR)
07. Agape – I&I (Simbad Voodoo Dub) (CDR)
08. Santiago Salazar – Jamilia’s Theme (CDR)
09. Ame – Junggesellenmaschine (Innervisions)
10. Aki Bergen – Shine ft. Astral T (Kink Remix) (Kolour)
11. Ferry Ultra – Let Me Do My Thang ft. Gwen McCrae (dOP Remix) (CDR)

Dimitri From Philly

I recently interviewed Dimitri From Paris about his ‘Get Down With The Philly Sound’ compilation out now on BBE. Unfortunately the line echoed like hell whenever I spoke so I re-dubbed the questions and they sound like piss. But Dimitri’s answers are what you want, and boy, does he deliver!!!!!