Oakley Grenell – Between the sheets

Saturday, August 15th, 2009 | News | 1 Comment
Oakley Grenell - Between the sheets

Kia Ora people!

If you didn’t already know, Kia ora is the Maori (New Zealand native) greeting, like saying hello.

And if you didn’t already know, 2 cats from New Zealand; OG and Mark Vanilau have been raising the bar with a few projects they have teamed up for that are putting some soul back on the radio.  Kia ora Oakley and Mark.

I’m not suggesting that soul and blues music are not represented in Australasia, but it’s been some time since a pairing like this has come along. The first time I came accross this pairing of artists was when we interviewed Oakley not too long ago

The live video for ‘Moving On’ has a rawness and yet subtlety that just isn’t apparent in many artists work at this time. I guess only in a place like New Zealand could such a peaceful sound be created by a bunch of young fellas. mean

So a few months on, and Oakley Grenell is set to release his new album in October of 2009 “Departure Lounge in Session” with the first single again having the two paired. Perhaps the press release explains it best: “Once again Grenell joins forces with Mark Vanilau continuing on from the nu jazz soul liaison that started with last years ‘Moving On’. The achingly seductive  ‘Between The Sheets’ gives a nod to the lust and passion reminiscent of D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ album and aims to evoke similar stirrings”.

Funnily enough, I had already made the D’angelo comment before reading this, as i’m sure many others have. Not a lot of people can be compared to D’angelo sitting so far ahead of the game in his area. Mark however has a certain softness and delicacy that sets him apart from others including D’angelo, that can only begin to be described in my mind as the sound innocence and selflessness would have if they were audible.

‘Between the Sheets’ (streaming at the top of the article) is a real fusion of styles and genres which hints at Oakleys incredibly diverse career so far. A patchwork quilt of blues, funk, soul, rock, hip hop, jazz, & ragga, with incredibly simplistic and pre-mediated musicianship, tied together by Marks innocence and realness.


“Once again Grenell has collected some of Christchurch’s most talented and accomplished musicians to make up the
Departure Lounge band – the stalwarts – Johnny Lawrence (Bass), Cameron Pearce (Trumpet), Chris Burke (Sax), Nick Gaffaney (Drums), Sum Suraweera and Kurt Dyer (Percussion), guest vocalists Mara TK (Electric Wire Hustle, Fly My Pretties), MC KP (Sunshine Soundsystem) and the exceptional soulful talent Mark Vanilau alongside new additions Darren Pickering on keys and guest vocalist Roz Langdon.”

Kia ora boys and girls… Kia ora.

You can check out more from Oakley and his band at:




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Pataphysics unearths support for Indian Students

Saturday, June 6th, 2009 | News, VG News | 4 Comments
Pataphysics unearths support for Indian Students

……………… Music, It’s just like politics for the cool young people yeh? well it can be, and the response to Pataphysics new track ‘Cloaked Guerilla’  is very cool people, very cool.

It’s early and there’s a movie on Cocaine trafficking i’m keen to finish watching so rather then re-write the events of the past week, below is the press release that we sent out to media which sums it all up quite nice and tidily, as well as the brand new video clip for ‘Cloaked Guerilla’… enjoy.

Young Australians vote against Indian student attacks

With Indian student attacks bringing Australian racism into question in both Australian and International media this week, Australia’s youth and young adults have used one of the few vehicles of expression in the mainstream media available to them, to vote against the negative perception of Australia that is being created on the world stage… and the vehicle is music.

Melbourne based musician Patrick Marks, a.k.a. Pataphysics, has spoken out in an attempt to give young Australian adults a voice in a political arena in which their voice is rarely heard, and with his new release ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ hitting #1 on Triple J’s ‘unearthed’ chart this week, Australian youth and young adults voices are supporting a message of understanding.

Pataphysics - ‘Cloaked Guerilla’

When quizzed as to the meaning of a ‘Cloaked Guerilla’, Pataphysics, who is presently writing his thesis on ‘Indigenous Resistance’ through RMIT University explains “I guess you could say people who are marginalized or a part of a minority, who aren’t treated fairly, and who stand up and resist being subjected to the will of oppressing forces”. “The concept of a ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ applies neatly to the current outcries from the Australian Indian community’s anger with attackers, what is also important in this scenario though, is that these attackers motivations whatever they may be, are distinguished from young Australian adults cultural norms, and the world media carrying images of a racist Australia is not helping to address and solve the real issue.”

With various prominent world media outlets painting a bleak picture of the safety for international visitors to Australia, Australian young adults; as both peers of the accused attackers, and leaders of tomorrow, are only too aware that they are the generation that will face the consequences of the damaged international relations that this nature of publicity will inevitably result in.

Liam Salem, a 20 year old Melbourne man drawn into discourse after seeing Pataphysics music video clip for ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ expressed deep concern with the media coverage he had seen exclaiming “We are not a racist generation, and don’t want the world media to let the actions of the racially ignorant, and criminally violent minority, speak for the majority of a generation of harmonious, young adults who welcome travelers of the world to our beautiful country”.

Pataphysics draws from personal experience as well as academic and activist pursuits, as a first generation Australian who’s parents migrated to Australia from Sri Lanka, very shortly after the ‘White Australia policy’ was abolished in the 1970’s. “Given that these policies were only abolished one generation ago, of course many of the attitudes passed down will still exist today to some degree, however these are in no way the dominant view of young Australia, or Australia as a nation, and the world media needs to convey the current situation accurately: as serious in nature, but not as a fair representation of Australian society and it’s cultural norms”.

With wide ranging participation in Australian political networks, currently including a masters in social sciences, and active involvement in grass roots political group ‘Free West Papua’, Pataphysics uses music to communicate his message in a political arena where discussion from young adults is generally limited. “By using a language that is widely enjoyed by youth and young adults around Australia & the world (hip hop), I am able to get their attention for long enough to convey a simple thought, or ask a simple question, that will stay with them long after the performance is over, and ultimately involve them in discussions in which they’re opinions are typically neglected or unheard”. With ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ soaring to #1 on Australia’s prominent ‘young’ radio station ‘Triple J’ with such speed, it appears that the support for marginalized communities in Australia’s young adults is far more apparent than the world media is suggesting.

Pataphysics ended by saying “I cannot speak for my country (Australia), nor for the attackers in question. All that I can do is encourage those who have an opinion which goes unnoticed to contribute through the channels available to them, and with the support that we have been shown for ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ this week, it is even clearer to me now that I have a continued responsibility to strengthen communication channels for the disengaged youth in our community, who wish for the world to know that Australia is a beautiful, diverse, multi-cultural nation, where racism isn’t tolerated, and never will be”.

You can see (could have seen) Pataphysics perform ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ and more in an evening where Australian’s can have the opportunity to hear West Papuan refugee’s stories, and speak about the current situation in West Papua. but now it’s too late ya chump

An evening of film, music & info at:
Northcote Uniting Church
251 High St Northcote
Thursday June 4th


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Pataphysics – Cloaked Guerilla

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 | News, VG News | 1 Comment
Pataphysics - Cloaked Guerilla

Pataphysics released another sweet track this week to add to the collection… we caught up with him in brief to see where he’s at, and where he’s going next…

You’ve just dropped your new track ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ this month. So what’s a Cloaked Guerilla dude?
Guess you could say people who are marginalised or a part of a minority, who aren’t treated fairly, and who stand up and resist being subjected to the will of oppressing forces.

A line i keep noticing in the chorus is “When you win the war you get to write history”, am I sensing some Politics in your hip hop?, and is this about Australia’s history?

Yeah, Australia’s history is funny, one of our favorite icons is a cop killer (Ned Kelly), but we find it hard to

remember warriors who resisted invasion and protected their families, warriors like Pemulwuy and Jandamarra, comparable to figures like Geronimo and Sitting Bull.

So what’s up next for Pataphysics?

Got a film clip coming out soon for Cloaked Guerilla, as well as playing a show on the 4th of June with the Free West Papua campaign. These guys are fighting for basic human rights in West Papua . Check it out at www.freewestpapua.com.au/

And you can check out Cloaked Guerilla in

Pataphysics Artist Profile

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Sola Rosa – Get It Together

Monday, April 6th, 2009 | News, Reviews | 3 Comments
Sola Rosa - Get It Together

So it is now official: there is no such thing as “genres”. They were just generic classifications used to put music into arbitrary categories with stuff that sounded similar. Well these are now all outdated. The proof comes in the form of Sola Rosa’s diverse new offering ‘Get It Together’, which was recently released as the follow up to the 2005 masterpiece ‘Moves On’.

Sola Rosa has grown and developed over the years since beginning as essentially a one-man project,  started by New Zealand DJ/Producer Andrew Spraggon in 1999.  He has overseen the expansion to a fully-fledged band capable of powerhouse performances, both live and in the studio. There is a strong Latino personality and feel to the album, but it encompasses a wide and varied range of genres, which all seem to compliment each other perfectly.

Giving you the equivalent of a good mix CD or compilation album, except all the music is from the same band. Guest contributors from around the globe also add their influence, including Spikey Tee (Jah Wobble, Bomb the Bass, etc.); German globetrotter, poet and singer Bajka; UK MC Serocee; and emerging Wellingtonian songstress Iva Lamkum, who features on the new single Turn Around (which you can watch just below).  Because music is sound (and highly subjective) it’s better for you to sample it for yourself rather listen to a description, so go check out the official band site (links at the bottom).

This is an album balancing both organic and electric elements, that are fused with precision and intensity. Mixing effortlessly between all kinds of funky sounds the album incorporates parts of dub, hip hop, lounge, jazz and whatever else can help set the scene. It even includes a song that sounds like the next James Bond theme. The results of the flexible production is a eclectic mix of brilliant songs. ‘Get It Together’ is about as upbeat and party-friendly as you can get, while always remaining smooth and composed in a laid back jazzy style, it all ends up sounding like a party on a beach in South America, and everyone is invited!

Find out more about the diverse mixture of sounds from:

The band’s official website

‘Get It Together’ Album Website

Strickly uptown living

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Not such Good Vibrations

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008 | News | No Comments
Not such Good Vibrations

The unfortunate news has come that the legendary Roots Crew have pulled out of ‘Good Vibrations Festival’ due to committments in America in February, 2009. As one of the headlining acts for the popular festival (which is already sold out in Sydney), hip hop fans as well as most who have had the pleasure of experiencing their unique blend on contemproary jazz and hip hop will definitely be dissapointed with thisdevelopement, especially given that this was said to be the final tour we can expect to see them doing on our shores for at least the next 14 months. (see recent article on Roots ending touring)

On the positive side of things, Jam Music has somewhat made it up to fans by securing Q-Tip, front man for A Tribe Called Quest, a.k.a the brother abstract, to replace them on the bill. From his days in A Tribe, myriad of collaborations, and two solo albums, Q-Tip is a suitable replacement for The Roots being one of the forefathers of modern hip hop. For me personally having seen The Roots three times before, and never having had the fortune to catch Q-Tip, I feel the organisers have made the best out of a bad situation that all concert promoters have to face at some stage in their careers. Bumping Tip’s new album ‘The Renaissance’ a lot recently, I know that we are in for a great show from an equally heralded artist who

we otherwise wouldn’t have been likely to see on our shores soon. I’m guessing at the end of the day all of the people who signed up for their last opportunity to see The Roots live show won’t be as forgiving as I am though, as I can confirm the rumours that The Roots have one of the most powerful, dynamic, and theatrical shows I have ever seen…  straight up.

If you’ve got your ticket, and your a ‘lil sad… pucker up kid, find someone willing to give you a hug, and just think… with Q-Tip and The Pharcyde reuniting… Good Vibrations is almost becoming a little Rock The Bells tour for Australasia… and there’s some dude called Wale who has a few nice beats, but seems a little gangster for my liking.

Q-Tip – Getting Up


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