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“..There’s beauty everywhere, from the smallest things, to the largest things in the universe. I feel, when I make music, it just comes through me. I’m just trying to be a part of everything else.” ERIC LAU ON MAKING MUSIC (Excerpt taken from The making of QUADRIVIUM2011)

RETURNING to Sydney for one night only is one of hip hop’s fastest rising and critically acclaimed producers – ERIC LAU (UK)! Grindin Music and Funkdafied have teamed up once again to host the return of Eric Lau who will be providing nu soul, jazz and hip hop revelers with a DJ set at The Burdekin (1st Level) on MAY 26TH, 2012. Supporting DJ’s on the night will showcase a talented pool of music aficionados who have worked tirelessly over the years by their own merits, developing and cultivating Sydney’s niche music community with a strong thread of music parties and events for us to enjoy.

The night will feature DJ’s FRENZIE, HUWSTON, JC (FUNKDAFIED) and CMAN for a night of quality music one searches the depths of dusty basements, locked in vaults that are only stumbled upon through endless digging in crates (or illegal downloading).

Join us for an education into the trajectory of music from the past, present and future.

WHEN:   26th of May 2012

WHERE: The Burdekin (1st level) 2 Oxford Street

COST:      $ 15.00 through Moshtix Or $20.00 at the door

BUY TIX HERE:      OR EMAIL for printed $15 Tickets


More information contact:




Who is ERIC LAU?

London beat-maker ERIC LAU needs no introduction amongst producers worldwide. With a number of international artists under his belt on collaborative projects from Georgia Anne Muldrow, Guilty Simpson, Lupe Fiasco, Oddisee, Tanya Morgan, Muhsinah, Chris “Daddy” Dave, Dudley Perkins and a host of others, it’s not that often relatively unknown beat producers get to collaborate with a stunning array of artists early on in their careers.


Furthermore to his production work, Eric Lau is also a well sought after DJ contributing mixtapes on various distinguished music platforms which include legendary Gilles Peterson WorldWide, Red Bull Music Academy, BTS Radio, and Put Me On It to name a few. His DJ career has provided him the opportunity to support high profile artists such as Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, and Questlove – all within a few short years.


Released through UBIQUITY RECORDS in 2008, Eric Lau’s debut album “New Territories” generated worldwide recognition landing him a spot in Gilles Peterson’s Top Albums of 2008 and additional support from music lovers, grounding his position in the music industry as a talented producer. With a string of instrumental albums that followed suit released through KILAWATT MUSIC, 2012 will see Eric Lau release a full length album entitled ‘One of Many’ amongst a host of other collaborative and instrumental production albums in the works.





Signed to the Californian soul and rare groove label Ubiquity Records, Eric Lau is finally hitting Australia thanks to Grindin’ Music, a tour hitting Melbourne and Sydney only. It has been a while since I’ve heard from one of London’s groundbreaking producer of soul, hip hop and rare groove music. His debut album ‘New Territories’ was given by  a DJ friend of mine, whose musical knowledge far surpassed anyone I had ever met or have yet to meet. I can’t recall in detail how this exchange was made, but once I had bumped that CD in my car, I began to obsess over his production without knowing a thing about him. Soon this obsession seeped into my social realm, playing his album at various social gatherings, at home, in the car – as long as there was a CD player, it was HIGH on rotation.


If you close your eyes and listen, his music production is reminiscent of  smooth soulful hip hop grooves heard from producers like J Dilla, SaRa or Pete Rock. It comes as no surprise when his influences stem from musical greats such as James Poyser, Shuggie Otis, Jay Dee, D’angelo and Roy Ayers. His blend of Soul samples fused with off beat drum production has him being admired from all corners of the globe from DJ’s to producers to musicians, to music lovers of all kind. Stonesthrow artist Dam Funk describes Eric Lau as being “In his top 5 artists”, Jay Electronica is quoted saying “when I talk with people about London, we talk Eric Lau”, Foreign Exchanges’ frontman Phonte labels him as “one of the illest beatmakers”.

There’s no denying this man’s potential of becoming one of music’s finest producer’s already having worked with artists from Dudley Perkins aka Declaime, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Lupe Fiasco, Guilty Simpson, and Tanya Morgan whilst producing quality soul hip hop within his more intimate family of musicians heard on his debut album. His family of talented musicians comprise of vocalists Rahel, Tawiah, Sarina Leah, Meshach Brown, and Tosin. Each vocalist is worth listening to on their own merits, so when you have the time, I IMPLORE you to check them out individually.


With the release of Kilawatt Volume 2 earlier in March of this year, you can be sure to know that this feel good EP is as he mentions in a recent interview on Soul Glow 2SER with Huwston,”an extension of his LP” . This 6 track EP is just a little taste on what is yet to come from Eric Lau. This EP features soul singer Muhsinah most notably known for her vocal work with Foreign Exchange, Kaidi Tatham from Bugs in the Attic and Oddissee.

During his formative years, Eric Lau had no intentions of pursuing music as a career, nor was he an avid listener as one would assume a producer to be, until the suicide of a close friend at university deeply affected him. From there,  his outlook and expectations shifted dramatically. There are a handful of artists that make you feel good. There are those that know a whisper is as good if not better than a grandiose note sung in one breath. At any given moment, whether it’s a stroke of a brush or a melody line, you can always refer back to those artists to make you feel good. That is all. Eric Lau’s music makes you feel good, it is light and airy enough for sounds to dance in and around each other, and heavy enough for basslines to take you for a walk.

He knows that less is more.

Audio Track from Kilawatt Volume 2:

ALWAYS WILL Ft. Muhsinah and Kaidi Tatham

NO REGRETS Ft. Oddissee

If you’re in Sydney, “RETURN OF THE REAL” Eric Lau will be at Melt Bar 12 Kellet St. Kings Cross featuring live performances by 13th Son with DJ Sandro, hot new Soul/Hip Hop/Reggae outfit 5 Coffees, and DJ’s Trey, JC Fundafied, Huwston and ERIC LAU. Don’t miss out!


Melbourne sees a double EP launch featuring Eric Lau (Ubiquity/UK) and Frank Booker (Wonderful Noise) in this all star DJ line up:


Catch Eric Lau being interviewed on Fbi 94.5 Stolen Records with Shantan, Wednesday evening from 6pm. You can find the stream link on the Stolen Records website. Just click image:

SOUL GLOW 2SER 107.3 Interview with DJ Huwston found on Spare Hands blog

Grindin’ Music has officially launched its highly anticipated new website which features up-to-date information on tours, music and events.


Where does one begin to describe this remarkable woman, or describe the immense legacy left in her passing? During a time when racial bigotry and hatred dangerously permeated the American political and social climate of the early 1930’s, Lena Horne stood poised and armed with fierce courage and determination, outspoken in her Civil Rights views, fighting the Hollywood ignominies that plagued her everywhere she would go. If you were to describe her as one of the pioneers for African-American’s in the entertainment industry, she was quick to reject being the first for anybody. Indeed she wasn’t the first but she was the first to make an impact. Hollywood didn’t know what to make of this woman who was not black enough to play a maid, but too black to star in lead roles. To those on the surface, Lena Horne was famous for her starring roles in ‘Stormy Weather’ and ‘Cabin in the Sky’, but underneath all that was a fighter.

“My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman. I’m free. I no longer have to be a ‘credit.’ I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else.” PBS interview, 1997.

Born June 30th, 1917 in Brooklyn, Lena Horne of Native American, African and European descent, was raised by her grandparents from a well-to-do affluent middle class family whom were members of the National Association of the Advancement of Coloured People. Even before understanding the consequences of being dark skinned, she graced the front cover of the NAACP at the tender age of 2. The NAACP is an organization that was first established in protest against black lynching, where 10,000 members marched down the streets in retaliation of the race riots in Springfield, 1908. This organization continues to break down the barriers of racial injustice with over half a million constituents and supporters.

Her childhood was far from a fairytale, so don’t be misguided by the fact that she grew up with an affluent middle class family. Lena Horne’s mother and father separated at age 2, her father a bookie and her mother was also an aspiring actress. As a child, Lena Horne was plucked from location to location by her mother who was living the black bourgeois lifestyle in Brooklyn trying to find work, dragging her daughter through the South, dumped in foster homes, even as far as being abandoned in a whore house. Her formative years took place in Georgia, Atlanta and from there her grandparents raised her from strength to strength. According to autobiographer James Gavin who recently penned her autobiography titled ‘Stormy Weather’, she was chosen by founding member Walter White as NAACP’s image of African Americans at the age of 24. The NAACP hoped that her face could sway the public’s opinion about black folks in the country. She did more than contribute to the history of America – she  opened doors in areas that many did not expect to remain open for long.

“My mother wanted me to be a star and I worked hard for her goal, though I hated it so much that when later I achieved what she wanted for me I could really not enjoy it,”

Lena Horne made a mark in the entertainment industry not on her sole merit as a singer, but as an entertainer heavily intertwined in the Civil Rights Movement. This big screen and Broadway thespian, singer and dancer first made her career move as a 16 year old chorus line dancer at the infamous Cotton Club, which mostly facilitated mobsters and class A actors, featuring only light dark skinned dancers. Focused largely on her nightclub career which most ‘coloured’ actors at the time were limited to, MGM executives discovered her at a club called Little Troc and signed her during most of the 1940’s in musicals that featured her role as subservient background noise, mostly starring as a sultry jazz singer in movies she appeared in.


Lena Horne was the one of the first black actress to be signed on to a major motion picture label, earning her the title of the highest payed Negro actress of her time. On set, segregation was enforced therefore it was rare for her to exchange dialogue with any white cast members during her early years in the industry. World War II was the catalyst for her fame, entertaining the USO troops on various tours, however, upon realizing her crowd consisted of German POW’s with the African American troops seated behind, she refused to continue which severed her business relationship with the USO, shunning her from the tour. That and her long standing ties with various Civil Rights organizations, her candidness towards women’s rights and friendships with NAACP’s founding members most especially acclaimed author and activist William E. B Dubois and leftist activists and singer Paul Robeson, Hollywood blacklisted her for years as a result of her ties. Furthermore, claiming affiliation with Communist parties had an even damaging effect, preventing her from progressing in her career labeling Lena Horne as ‘the bad little Red girl’.

Married twice, she had two children in her first marriage, with her youngest son dying from kidney failure in 1970. Her last marriage was to MGM’s primary musical director and composer Jewish born Lennie Heyton in December 1947, separating in the early 60’s to remain estranged not divorced, later confessing that she married him for career advancement. During their first 3 years of marriage, both had kept their marriage a secret when interracial marriages were illegal in California and most parts of the states, and in fear of Hollywood ostracizing them.

With 15 films to her name, her accolades includes 4 Grammy awards and 4 Grammy nominations between the years 1961 to 1995, a Tony award for her Broadway musical Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music and a Tony nomination for the broadway show ‘Jamaica’, an NAACP Image award for Outstanding Jazz Artist, Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award for Singers Hall of Fame, a special Kennedy Center’s Honour award (JFK Center for the Performing Arts), and was inducted in the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame (Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site) in 2006. Aside from all that she had managed to accomplish professionally under harrowing circumstances, her greatest moment was marching amongst 250,000 people during Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I have a dream’ speech in Washington’s Lincoln Memorial steps on August, 1963. Lena Horne had proactive participation in Eleanor Roosevelt’s campaign to abolish lynching and segregation. Although her visibility stemmed largely from the fighting the system of racial intolerance, Lena Horne made ‘Stormy Weather’ her signature track which shed light on the complications of career and the issue of race.  “I’ve had stormy weather all my life, and if anybody can sing about the trouble they’ve seen, it’s this old broad,” she remarked during her own broadway show in 1981.

Her legacy will forever be experienced by future generations – it’s the ripple effect. She wore the burden of racial slurs directed at her through-out most of her life, often fighting back verbally or physically in self defense. There are many detailed accounts of racism experienced by Lena Horne from people in the industry to strangers seated in restaurants. There was no denying her fighting spirit. Lena Horne is of Legendary status and will continue to live in the very fabric of American history, not just as a Civil Rights Activist, but as an entertainer who fought to achieve her dreams. She achieved her dreams HER unique way. Lena Horne found the key, unlocked the door and walked right on in without looking back. She is survived by her only daughter, 6 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.


Interview on the Johnny Carson show 1982 PART 1

Interview on the Johnny Carson show 1982 PART 2

In this interview she humorously explains the struggles of not being allowed to stay after shows, borrowing money from her father to attend her first audition, forging at strong kinship with Eva Gardener and sings her signature song “Stormy Weather”.

Just a side note which compelled me to write this: Take a moment to ponder those in your life who’ve made it possible for you to do what you’re doing now. Whether it be in your chosen profession as a woman or man of  a particular ethnic origin, or of a particular socio-economic background, or as the individual that you are, and consider those who have forged the way for your freedom and the possibilities made by our ancestors. We have it good growing up in a world where the struggles aren’t as limiting in the way it has been in the past. Our struggles are essentially the same and mostly carelessly self inflicted through selfish desires. With the amount of knowledge one can learn from the past to make our lives better, only to aimlessly wander this earth without purpose, then, there’s something you have missed. Educate yourself and look back at those in your family who’ve made it possible for you, or those in our history who’ve paved the road for endless possibilities. If you’re argument is that you as the individual is holding yourself back, true, but the freedom to move amongst options with ease is not to be taken for granted. I must learn that too. All good! Ah, wisdom with age is a funny thing that brings humility.

This track has got to be one of my all time FAVOURITE classic songs ever produced by eccentric musician Todd Rundgren called ‘Hello it’s me’, originally released in 1968 by American pop rock group THE NAZZ, which Rundgren was a member of. The mid tempo re-release of “Hello it’s me” on Rundgren’s solo record peaked at number 5 in the Billboard charts in 1973 and due to my unwavering healthy obsession with this track, I thought I’d post this and the many renditions by contemporary pop artists to date. This song is far superior in its 2nd re-production found on Rundgren’s solo album, but listen to the original composition by The Nazz, followed by the scores of different versions provided below. The lyrics are quite special too! I was tempted to post the lyrics, but without the melody, you wouldn’t be able to comprehend the emotions this song evokes, so I won’t post it.

Just listen.

Todd Rundgren

Born in Pennsylvania, Todd Rundgren  is a uniquely talented multi-instrumentalist blessed with a gift for pop melodies playing the saxophone, drums, piano, bass and guitar. I have to hear this at least once a day, much like the Nu soul/Hip Hop outfit Foreign Exchange but that group deserves a blog of their own VERY SOON!!

Original Version: “Hello, it’s me…” BY NAZZ (1968)

Todd Rundgren: “Hello, it’s me…” (1973) Due to violation, the song was taken off youtube. This live version will have to do. If you get the chance to listen to his studio album version, do it. Brilliant song!

ISELY BROTHERS version “Hello, it’s me…” (1974)

Lani Hall version “Hello, it’s me…” (1975)

Groove Theory version “Hello, it’s me…” (1995)

John Legend version “Hello, it’s me…”

Mary J. Blige version “Hello, it’s me…”

This last video is just for acoustic musical appreciation sung by youtuber Kendall Park:

When I have the energy, one day I’ll exhaustively post a blog on artists from the past that have helped shape my musical tastes heavily influenced by my parents taste in music. Everything from The Platters, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson to The Byrds, The Beatles, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, The Styx, Isely Brothers, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, The Bee Gees, 10cc, Chicago, Alan Parsons Project…yes, I could go on like any person who enjoys music would….but I won’t.

It’s hard to find sisters representing their own uniqueness especially as a producer in an industry dominated by men. We see more and more female emcees rockin’ mics, female DJ’s taking on the profession, female entrepreneurs, but what about producers? I can think of a handful of female producers from Lauryn Hill, Nigerian artist Nneka, Erykah Badu, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Missy Elliot to name a few. Beats I love, more so than lyrics depending on what I hear, one always out weighs the other when listening to music.

I came across this composer of all things rhythmical, lyrical and visual (yes, she’s an artist too!) whilst randomly checking out blogs in the wee hours of the morning last week sometime. One name kept popping up: PURSUIT GROOVES. I read blog after blog, short blurb after blurb, then decided to investigate this producer from downloading mixtapes, listening to releases, albums and watching youtubes interviews. I came to one conclusion: Vanessa Smith aka Pursuit Grooves can hold her own!

Being in the game for over 15 years, this Brooklyn native beat maker, DJ, singer/rapper is definitely one we’ll be hearing more from. Pursuit Grooves produces music that stretches over several genres from broken beat, dubstep, experimental hip hop to down tempo groove. It’s soulful, melody driven, atmospheric, sweet, mechanical, broken, dirty and heavy depending on which track you listen to. It’s music that you can use as a musical landscape to a movie scene in your head. I like that. Live performances often entail her behind turntables, a mic, banging on an MPC and on a loop machine – I won’t even pretend to know what kind!

Pursuit Grooves makes noise like her life depended on it.


What is the definition of ‘Yo’? It can possess several different meanings depending on the intonation one uses. How many more times can a person say ‘YO’ in one night without getting berated or ostracized, labeled and looked down upon as a hoodlum galavanting the streets? Well, it looks like this Saturday night you can test yo’ skills in the comfort of your own kind, showcasing your limited vocabulary by attending YO YO YO! I kid, we hip hop kids are deep thinkers, smart and witty! Look, I’m just talking shit…let’s move on!

The kids at Stolen Records Fbi 94.5fm present to you a night of dope ass hip hop party jams from back in the day till now. You’ll find a good dose of yes hippity hop, dancehall and….wait for it (drum roll) New Jack Swing – minus all the crack! What’s even more enticing is that it’s only $5  bucks!


DJ’s on the night are Bad Ezzy (Hoops), Joyride (Spit Syndicate) and the infamous fbi Stolen Records fellas Donny Trump and Shantan Wantan Ichiban! Come check this out this Saturday night, 1st of May at Bright ‘N’ Up Bar, corner Oxford and Riley Street.

I hope they play BBD’s POISON! Yo! Yo! YOoooo!