Line up 2013
“From another world, from another place/ I’m just so glad that I’ve found you, spin me out to space.” (‘Little Star’ – Light Years )
Space: the final frontier. Four years after Kora launched its worlds-colliding debut album, masterfully connecting the dots between funk, rock, reggae, metal, hip hop and electronic rhythms, this five-strong collective of fearless sonic explorers returns with sights fixed on the stars, seeking out new soundscapes and frequencies to boldly go where no band has gone before.
On Light Years, brothers Laughton, Francis, Stuart and Brad Kora and brother-in-arms Dan McGruer have mapped a new constellation of future-shocked funk, soul and r’n’b they’ve dubbed ‘alien funk’, and the name points to the galactic transformation in sound the band has undergone.
Recorded in Dan’s inner-city Auckland studio, Light Years steps into the unknown on a bass odyssey four years in the making, eschewing guitars in favour of a high-tech arsenal of synthesisers, live and sampled drums, plus the otherworldly four-part harmonies of the brothers Kora. This marriage of live and programmed instrumentation powers the unstoppable groove that continues to drive Kora, providing the sci-fi soundtrack to a collective fascination with video game culture, cosmology and space exploration.
Leave behind all earthbound notions you have about this band. On 26th October 2012, Kora lift off with Light Years, before splashdown in Queenstown Feb 9 2013. Space is the place.
LIGHT YEARS in-store Oct 26 on CD, LP and digital download
With over 140,000 albums sold worldwide and a live show that has been slaming dance floors across the globe for over a decade, New Zealand’s The Black Seeds have just returned with their new fifth studio album, Dust and Dirt.
Described recently by Rolling Stone as "The Best Reggae band in the world right now" The Black Seeds infuse their incredible live show with raw energy and good vibes wherever they go, fuelling multi-platinum sales and a fast growing worldwide fan base.
While firmly based in the island grooves that inspired the birth of the band over a decade ago, The Black Seeds' sound casts a wide net, layering funk, soul, Afrobeat, and other eclectic elements over their dub/reggae foundations.
Artist, Producer, Engineer
Possibly one of the country's most well-known and diverse artists and producers, Tiki Taane is considered a pioneer in the NZ music scene, first rising to prominence as frontman of leading band Salmonella Dub before embarking on his solo career in Jan 2007.
Tiki's debut solo release "Past Present Future" achieved double platinum sales and picked up a swag of awards. His beautiful acoustic love ballad “Always On My Mind” rose to No. 1 and broke two all-time NZ records - it sat in the charts for a record 54 weeks and was also the first-ever digital single to achieve platinum sales. In July 09, Tiki released his remix album “FLUX” and in March 2011 his album ‘In the World Of Light’ which rose immediately to number 1 in the charts.
Renowned as much for his powerful, headlining live performances as he is for the anthems he writes and produces, Tiki's extraordinary ability to rock the mic as both a gifted performance MC and/or a solo acoustic performer is something to be experienced firsthand. Although affectionately known as ‘King of the Dubs’ in NZ, Tiki’s musical influences and appeal are broad, traversing from dubstep, traditional style reggae, old school drum and bass and hip-hop, to more contemporary pop/rock sensibilities. No matter the set he performs, we are always reminded of the sheer power of Tiki's ability to unify, warm and wow an audience as he seamlessly delivers a unique performance experience.
Fostering a strong artist community and collaborative mind set has always been part of Tiki’s ethos - over the years he has teamed up with epic Aotearoa vocalists such as P Digsss (Shapeshifter) Hollie Smith, Moana Maniapoto, Julia Deans and Spanish superstar Bebe. Recently his musical collaborations boast bonds with dubstep heavyweights Truth, Optimus Gryme, Bulletproof and Crushington as well as Drum n Bass legends Concord Dawn, Sambora and DUBXL.
Tiki is currently working on a highly-anticipated acoustic album for Australasian release in 2013.
A sultry voice with razor sharp wit and a stage show to match, Ladi6 is New Zealand’s leading hip-hop soul artist and in her own right, an emerging international star.
Highly decorated at home and abroad, Ladi6’s career, beginning with seminal all-girl crew Sheelahroc, is embossed with industry awards, considered critical acclaim, countless support slots alongside a who’s who of respected local and international music icons and tellingly, gold certified New Zealand sales of her 2008 debut long player Time IS Not Much (now available internationally via BBE Records). And having completed over sixty tour dates across Europe and the UK during the second and third quarters of 2010, with a view to return in 2011, she can now count amongst her friends and contemporaries Mayer Hawthorne, Masta Ace and Gil Scott-Heron.
Having developed her lyrically introspective smoky soul soundworld over years of consistent touring and considered features alongside an Antipodean elite including the likes of 50HZ, Shapeshifter, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Scribe amongst others, while Time Is Not Much represented a lucid summary of her career to date, her new album The Liberation Of… is a game changer. Recorded over two months in Berlin with production duties shared between her producer Parks and German beat auteur Sepalot, The Liberation Of… represents a logical continuation of the Ladi6 sound – deeper, denser and immaculately considered in sound and message.
As a statement of intent, The Liberation Of… clearly grounds Ladi6 and her collaborators as willing to dive headfirst without fear into the sea of creativity. At the same time, it issues a clear assurance that regardless of where the rollercoaster takes her, Ladi6 physically isn’t capable of forgetting where she comes from, who she represents and the concept which her music represents to many listeners - unity.
With six albums under his belt, a raft of accolades and well over a decade of producing genre-splitting music, Andrew Spraggon’s work as Sola Rosa has cemented him as one of the world’s most exciting and versatile producers.
From a humble, self-released one man project, Sola Rosa has grown to a high-octane live collective, successfully melding hip hop, reggae, jazz, latin, soul and funk. The group have collaborated with artists such as Spikey Tee (UK), Olivier Daysoul (USA/UK) and Julien Dyne (NZ), while a number of tracks have been remixed by producers as noteworthy as The Nextmen, DJ Vadim, TM Juke and J Star.
If you haven’t already heard the Sola Rosa sound feature on international compilations, atop iTunes charts or across episodes of Criminal Minds, The Protector, Gossip Girl and Mob Wives, then it will only be a short time before you do. With their new album Low and Behold, High and Beyond ready to drop, 2012 will see Sola Rosa push their unique brand of intercontinental grooves to the wider world.
'It’s a buzz and it’s bloody infectious! Frontman Aaron Tokona has an undeniable swagger on stage and a cheekyness that is endearing. His raw funk, rock goodness and on the spot uniqueness is paired with one of the best drummers in the country Riki Gooch plus vocal and synth work from LA Mitchell. Already a world class outfit, The Buzz sends an open invitation to the “bros” to jump on stage and add to the Horiness which often means guest spots from some of NZ’s most illustrious performers.'
In today’s heady climate of bass-fuelled dance music it could easily be argued that producer-DJs are the new rock stars. Climbing into that mould with a pair of schoolboy grins on their faces, The Upbeats have already been playing that role for years. Their anything-goes live performances are renowned for mosh pits, topless dancers (sometimes women) and crowd surfing, while their approach to writing hard-hitting, unique-sounding drum & bass is lauded across the globe.
Fuelled by New Zealand’s isolation from the rest of the world and its staggering natural beauty, The Upbeats’ unique take on 170bpm+ bass music has seen the duo work alongside scene stalwarts such as Ed Rush & Optical, Bad Company, Hive, Gridlock, Bulletproof, TREi and State of Mind while releasing tracks across a plethora of the D&B scene’s most respected record labels and are building up to the release of their 4th full length album on Noisia's label 'Vision recordings'!
Sunshine Sound System
Sunshine Sound System formed when DJ Downtown Brown (aka Simon Hendl) and P Digsss (aka Paora Apera) got together for a jam in Queenstown in 2000 and they have been smashing shows ever since with their trademark sound system style celebration of hiphop, reggae and dubwise music, adding more souljahs on the way. The magnetic freestyle force that is MC KPZ (Kyle Popham) aka Killa Puha, joined the family in 2001, followed by the precision lyricism of MC Switch (Staun Popham) in 2004. As P-Diggss commitments with shapeshifter expand, he manages only a handful of sunshine gigs per year, so the main touring lineup is typically DTB, Switch, KPz and occasionally their plastic surgeon and cut consultant DJ Turbohag. Fresh from Summer touring with Ladi6 & Shapeshifter, and playing firmly on home turf, expect nothing less than the kitchen sink.
Also check out the boys on
"My car runs on Funkommunity. Really digging it." DJ Fitchie of Fat Freddy's Drop
Funkommunity is a group founded by kiwi soul producer extraordinaire Isaac Aesili and singer Rachel Fraser, proving yet again that the new wave of New Zealand music just doesn't stop. Their sound is sitting comfortable alongside the likes of Electric Wire Hustle, Ladi6, Mark De Clive-Lowe, Sola Rosa & @peace.
Funkommunity’s highly anticipated full length album Chequered Thoughts, sold out its initial NZ pressing in record time and has since been released worldwide. “They have that old thing. And not meaning old thing like, 60’s or 70’s.No, but old thing like late 90’s early 2000’s when every r&b/soul song had a nasty bass groove, and a snappy off-beat snare, catalyzing headnods and handclaps like nothing that came before it. That future-retro sound that we know so well from the likes of Georgia Anne Muldrow, Sonnymoon and Muhsinah — the Dilla inspired. All of the elements that make up Chequered Thoughts, are stellar, but at the core is the soulfully infectious voice of Rachel Fraser.” Okayplayer. Funkommunity are currently touring Europe & Japan and can’t wait to come home for summer and rocking some of best festivals Aotearoa has to offer!
Who are Funkommunity?
The music of Soulsystem can be described as a fusion of heavy dub, soul and rock. Fronted by the powerful and unique voice of lead singer Tumanako Tinirau, and incorporating a diverse array of layers and ambient effects, the band creates a huge sound and delivers a high-energy live show that has already earned them dedicated supporters throughout New Zealand, performances along side some of the country’s most well-known artists, and slots at a series of major festivals.
Rhythmonyx, "impossible to define, wonderful to behold.” The Southland Times
Invercargill's 8 piece premier dub and dance band, Rhythmonyx are gearing up to breakout. With plenty of high-profile gigs in the past few years, Rhythmonyx have shared the stage with New Zealands biggest names in music such as Shapeshifter, Fat Freddy's Drop, Tiki Tane, Katchafire, Opshop, dDub, Hollie Smith, Opensouls, Ladi6 and Sunshine Sound System and have played support with international legends The Original Wailers and Dragon. As well as all this Rhythmonyx have played a huge variety of gigs, festivals and events around the south
island and have a 6 track self-titled, self-produced, self-everything debut EP to offer their audiences at the end of one of their stonking, sweaty gigs.
Rhythmonyx have been spending some time in the studio recently and are hoping to have a new album ready in early 2013. With a lot of new material since their self titled EP was released in 2009/10 it is about time some of the up-tempo drum & bass style that they have been capturing recently is enjoyed by more than just live audiences. With a sound somewhere between Dub and Hip Hop their stylistic mashups create a unique vibe and the enormous power Rhythmonyx generate live is infectious.
Catch RHYTHMONYX live. NOW!!
K+Lab and Analog MC
Combining his love for block-rockin hip-hop with skull shaking basslines and soul stirring funk, the K+Lab sound is a party rocking mother-ship full of musical booty. K+Lab live takes you on an eclectic odyssey through the underground swamps of bass music, with a set that’s laden heavy with his exclusive bootlegs, remixes and original tunes. Sampling everything from jazz, to Howlin’ Wolf, to De La Soul and Sedge Warbler he will leave you pleasantly disoriented as he drops brick after brick in to your earholes!
It is this bass-heavy uniqueness that has seen him become an in demand performer throughout Australasia, consistently smashing up the danceﬂoor in clubs, theatres and festivals!
Having learnt the ropes in the NZ drum & bass scene has led to him releasing some of the phattest and most progressive glitch-hop releases on the planet. His music has appeared in the “Beatport Glitch-Hop Top 10” multiple times and he has now released over 30 tunes on labels Simplify (USA), Skanky Panky (UK), Empathy Records (NZ), Glitch N Chop (NZ) and his own imprint Junkfood record- ings ( www.junkfood.co.nz ).
Joined onstage by big bro Joe aka Analog MC , this will be an upscale reunification jam for 2 of QT's prodigal sons.