Wednesday, April 27, 2011

shomerde interview/mix

well, it took a while, but i finally recorded an original mix for shevan and the toronto-based shomerde posse. hit "that better enemy: sipreano mix/interview" for the link (wink, wink, catch 'er while ya can cause i don't know how long they'll have the file up for...). continuing along in the vein of two previous sets for tokyo's sandinista clothing company ("share the land" and "sweet grass music"), "april 6 mix" is an all-canadian set of vinyl 7"/LP tunes from out of the unknown, into my archives, and back into the ether in the form of a 60-minute live blend. while there's no track-listing, i'd be curious if any heads out there can ID any of the songs? couple obvious ones for seasoned collectors, but lots of off-the-grid material... "untapped MAPL" © if you will. stoked to officially license a couple of these tracks for upcoming reissues on light in the attic records... keep your eyes peeled and ears to the ground folks! peace

Monday, April 25, 2011

various artists-our lives are shaped by what we love: motown's mowest story (1971-1973) (LITA 064)

very happy to spread the word about this upcoming release, light in the attic records' various artist compilation, our lives are shaped by what we love: motown's mowest story 1971-73. i first pitched this project to the seattle-based label over three years ago, based on my love of motown's west coast soul, funk, and rock subsidiary. it's been a long time in the making, but we're just about ready to drop this historical anthology. created w/ love and respect, we ask you to please support this release in its physical form. there is no illegal download link here. the set is available on 2 LP, CD, and digital (iTunes) with audio masterfully re-mastered from the original motown master tapes by los angeles resident/engineer dave cooley (elysian masters), extensive liner notes, archival photos, and beautiful packaging (w/ design by pacific-standard's strath shepard). promotional one-sheet below...

You know the old saying, “Go west, young man”? Well, it’s far from cliché. Over the years, some have hit the road in search of Hollywood’s glitz and glamour, others, simply for warmer climes, but in the early 1970’s, Detroit-native and Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. brought his musical family to the left coast, one piece at a time. He began by launching the Mowest subsidiary in 1971, a new L.A.-based label dedicated to coastal grooves and an eye towards the top of the charts. Here's the first ever compilation of this now legendary label: Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love: Motown’s Mowest Story (1971-1973), an adult portion of sweet soul, heavyweight funk, and even a dose of potent West Coast hippy rock.

Regardless of talent, quality, and financial backing, Mowest faced an uphill battle. With the majority of Motown’s focus on the already established names of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, and their latest chart dynamos, The Jackson 5, there wasn’t as much attention being given to the diverse Mowest roster. Acts like Syreeta, Sisters Love, and G.C. Cameron seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Though the label released over forty singles and close to a dozen albums from up and comers like Odyssey to established veterans Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, the expected hits never materialized and the imprint quietly folded in 1973. While Mowest artists The Commodores, Thelma Houston, and the aforementioned Cameron continued on with Motown proper, the sub label’s catalogue quickly gathered dust in the cut-out bins of record stores throughout the States.

Gone but not completely forgotten, the best of Mowest gently reverberated around the world in the way that great yet under-appreciated music usually does, from word-of-mouth praise and burning hearts like UK Northern Soul devotees adopting Frankie Valli’s “The Night” as a dance floor anthem, Japanese rare groove DJs spinning Odyssey’s “Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love” at Tokyo free soul events, and NYC cut-and-paste king Danny Krivit’s notorious Sisters Love “Give Me Your Love” edit.

Forty years later, it’s time for the rest of the world to rediscover what a treasure trove of soulful sounds Mowest left behind. Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love is a lovingly prepared 16-track CD, 2 LP set with epic re-mastering from the original master tapes by engineer Dave Cooley (Blue Note, Warp, Stones Throw, Now Again), extensive liner notes from project curator Kevin “Sipreano” Howes (Jamaica-Toronto series, Doug Randle, Rodriguez, Monks), and Strath Shepard’s (Pacific Standard) impeccable graphic design. This is a slice of Motown like you’ve never heard or seen before, so let’s head to the beach, set up shop, and max out to the rhythm. Looking at the Pacific, it appears that Mowest’s surf is just about to break.

- Kevin “Sipreano” Howes (Voluntary In Nature, Light In The Attic)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

it's my life

*what an INCREDIBLE performance (and song)... conga/synth breakdown??? OMG!!! you ever hear a tune and know it'll play a thematic role in the next phase of life??? def predicting that the 12" dub of "it's my life" i recently copped will be my summer of 2011 OST (*that's soundtrack folks)!!! stripping down to my shorts and laying down by a giant lake under the hot sun this afternoon, couldn't help but have echoes of talk talk reverberate through the brain. goodbye winter. sh#t is on!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

touched by the hand of mod: sipreano mix #1

Sipreano mix #1 by touchedbythehandofmod

*made a quick lil' promotional mix for our upcoming touched by the hand of mod night at the waldorf tiki bar (april 21) to give you a taste of what's in store... hope you enjoy!!! tracklisting is as follows...

Touched by the Hand of Mod:
Sipreano live mix #1

1) Theme From The Boiler – The Special A.K.A. (2 Tone)
2) Say It Loud—I’m Black And I’m Proud – James Brown (Delta)
3) Where Were You – The Epitome Of Sound (Sandbag Records)
4) Wear You To The Ball – U Roy (Treasure Isle)
5) You’ve Got Me Hooked – Ansel Wyatt (Telco)
6) I Want My Momma – The Dells (Cadet)
7) Dracula Prince Of Darkness – King Horror (Joe)
8) Junior’s Jerk – Little Daddy And The Bachelors (RCA Victor Canada)*
9) Be By My Side – Barbara Acklin (Brunswick)
10) Melting Pot – Underground Vegetables (Faze Four)
11) Mr. Fortune – The Hitchikers Featuring The Mighty Pope (Heart Records)*
12) Here Comes The Nice – The Small Faces (Immediate)
13) I’m Glad I’m The Loser – Radiants (Chess)

*Canadian content

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


life is just beginning

touched by the hand of mod

touched by the hand of mod? well, sure... though i never owned a scooter, i did fancy myself as something of a UK-obsessed junior modernist in the early-to-mid 1990's, long after the first wave british mod revival of the late 1970's (the jam, paul weller, etc...). spurred on by my love of jamaican ska, rocksteady, and reggae, US black soul, funk, and jazz, not to forget original 1960's rockers the small faces and creation, i was only a parka and haircut away from the vast netherworld of subculture... in mid-1990's vancouver, night clubs played a large part in this scene. places where people drank, danced, and socialized w/ like-minded individuals. to get the desired "look," clothes and music often had to be ordered from overseas specialty shops. remember this was happening just as the internet started shooting its tangled webs and everything became accessible at the click of a computer. to be a mod, rude boy, skinhead or punk in those days required a lot of dedication. subversiveness through alternative consumption, rebelliousness through underground music, and expression through passionate dance and dialogue... today, it seems that much of this analogue spirit has evaporated, or at least the meaning lost or watered down (perhaps this was true of my era as well, something for debate). with the corporate world co-opting every ounce of cultural cool ever produced by the streets, the party may very well be over. going over to coquitlam centre to pick up your flash parka and 3-button suit jacket at H&M or urban outfitters simply doesn't have the same appeal to me... oh well, i look forward to seeing how the youths of today shape their own brand of subculture (*good luck my sons)... but in celebration of mod and the mod-minded folks that came before (and hopefully after) us, we pay tribute to the great soul, reggae, and R&B-influenced rock artists of the mid-1960's to early 1980's. armed w/ a stack of 7"s singles and trusty LPs, i, sipreano, and die-hard mod DJ limbo take it back to the essence. LOUD and PROUD music on vinyl, presented w/ style in a room w/ more than ample atmosphere and vibe (the waldorf hotel tiki bar). see you this thursday (april 21) and don't forget to leave your scooter out front...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

another (boss) tiki (jam)...



*here's a taste of what voodoo funk (aka frank gossner) is getting up to on the reissue front... don't, can't, and will not front... this is as raw, soulful, and funky as music comes... incredible... come and dance w/ us at the ANZA, saturday, may 7

voodoo funk (w/ sipreano)

*hey good folks, i'm playing rex (soul, funk, reggae, and psych) at this upcoming event (saturday, may 7)!!! for those who don't know, voodoo funk (aka frank gossner) is a serious record collector. over the years (and w/ much time, money, travel, and effort on his part) he has excavated a HUGE amount of long forgotten culture from africa and is ready (and willing) to share it w/ the world. DJ frank will play original vinyl, the likes of which you've never heard before. you know all of the african funk and psychedelic reissues that you bug out over at your local record store??? well, frank will be dropping original copies of these soulful slabs (and much more from the vaults). afro funk, mandingue, highlife, afrobeat and some sizzling nigerian disco. DO NOT MISS THIS VANCOUVER!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

five element ninjas (1982)

growing up in north york, ontario during the mid-to-late 80's i was lucky to catch imported late-night TV from buffalo, new york on WGRZ-TV, an NBC affiliate. one program that caught my young mind was the cat's pajamas, which often screened fantastical movies from hong kong-based shaw brothers film studios. supplemented by regular trips to the local video store and screening flicks like master killer (aka the 36th chamber of shaolin) (1978), i was hooked for life... at the last waldorf history of dance event, i brought a DVD of five element ninjas (aka super ninjas, chinese super ninja) to screen as visuals while dancing bear and i dropped vinyl tracks. behind the projection scrim was a pile of unused rattan chairs. they definitely added an extra dimension to the trademark sound stage sets favoured by the shaws and prolific director chang cheh. here's a few quick snaps i took from the memorable opening sequence...

Monday, April 11, 2011

picture book

*was gonna drop simply red's "picture book" youtube music vid, but this was too boss to pass up. never really watched miami vice back in the day... still, the sound + vision combo here is riveting...

little things

*this hemsley morris rocksteady 7" reminds me of dawn treading mid-90's north vancouver nights w/ lockjaw spitting tales of linking w/ lionel "sir tropical downbeat" young in the UK...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

tune in tiki (tonight)...

yes, another thursday is upon us!!! i've been vibing out w/ a lot of new/old music from my collection this past week and even laid down an hour-long mix yesterday afternoon (*i'll def link here when it drops)... but back to today and another 8 pm - 2 am sipreano in the tiki bar vinyl session. now you've likely heard me say this elsewhere, but the tiki bar is vancouver's best music listening room. each week i handpick an eclectic yet related selection of easy listening, folk, jazz, soul, reggae, post-punk, 80's, oddball, rock, psych, etc... and proceed to break it down, one LP, 7" or 12" single at a time. all receive their turn, presented w/ love for open ears. while this may be somewhat unconventional in today's ADD digital age, there's no doubt a firm need for this form of entertainment, a return to a simpler place and time... the basement stereo clubhouse, living room hi fi set up or your older sister's bedroom dansette... where records played and minds e-x-p-a-n-d-e-d... and while i'm nowhere near as cool as your older sister, i do play the music i love and share it w/ family and friends. sweet vinyl records played on a sound system that makes your MP3-fueled iPod or computer speakers blush in embarrassment at their lack of any real audio expression... ok señor sipreano, enough preaching (to the converted), but please join me at the tiki bar tonight if you can. there may even be a midnight (black) mass appearance/set from mr. dancing bear himself which would elevate this humble evening to something of a "happening"... "float on" by folks. "float on"...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

destroyer-ideas for songs (TCR006LP)

In 1997, Granted Passage Cassettes (now Triple Crown) asked Vancouver-based singer songwriter Dan Bejar for a contribution to a various artist compilation under the latter’s Destroyer moniker. Whether or not Bejar had an infinite backlog of extra material, wanted to play a lengthy practical joke, or was still gaining confidence regarding the strength of his emerging craft, the musician generously submitted over twenty tunes for consideration. Dubbed Ideas For Songs, Bejar’s home recordings were eventually issued as a sixteen-track private press Destroyer cassette and distributed amongst music fans across British Columbia. Emblazoned with an uncanny full-frontal image of a Bejar doppelgänger on the tape’s sleeve, it arrived on record store shelves less than a year before 1998’s City Of Daughters breakthrough.

In 2011, Triple Crown Audio Recordings is giving Ideas For Songs new life and the respect it deserves with a legitimate vinyl release . Enhanced by a fresh transfer of Welsh-born painter Sylvia Sleigh’s (1916-2010) original nude portrait artwork, top-notch tape restoration and dynamic audio re-mastering by Otic Sound’s Josh Stevensen, these formative 4-track Destroyer jewels, initially recorded between 1995-1997, provide Old Testament insight into the creative mind of a forward-thinking songwriter and far exceed the lowlife quality of current bootleg downloads. With nine full-length platters under his belt, Bejar has developed into Canada’s preeminent poetic troubadour—our generation’s very own Leonard Cohen if you will. Connected by a fearless approach to musical evolution and a deft literate touch, it’s easy to imagine that if Cohen and Bejar switched decades and Canadian provinces, we might have just caught Destroyer accepting his Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award instead of Mr. Leonard. Yes, our man Dan’s that good…

Ungovernable speculations aside, Ideas For Songs is guaranteed to deliver golden revelations and the purest of enjoyment to hard-core Bejar devotees as well as less obsessive Destroyer fans. More than just a collection of fly-on-the-wall recordings, the LP reflects an intimate capture of early twenty-something Bejar and his guitar, peppered to perfection with odd bits of tasteful effects, keyboards, and other instrumental bobs… Far from a wham bam cash grab and never before presented with such fine attention to detail, we encourage you to embrace this physical release, and Destroyer’s January 2011 Merge long player Kaputt, with that hard-earned bread. Your record player will thank you. Triple Crown thanks you too… Your vinyl collection deserves the best!

- Kevin “Sipreano” Howes (Voluntary In Nature, Light In The Attic)

the face

picked up a couple of early UK face magazines at the bi-annual vancouver record fair last weekend and they're proving to be very insightful. did you know that the jam's "the gift" album was released at the same time as the fun boy three's debut??? or that rhoda and the special a.k.a.'s "the boiler" was being described as "disco-rap" by the 2 tone camp before its release??? gulp... anyways, context... context... more music trivia for the musical mind. getting stoked for another tiki bar session at the waldorf this week. what to expect??? come and find out... if i told you what you'd hear, the thrill would be gone. put it this way. the cover is free. the drinks may or may not be too expensive for you, but if money is tight, get a water and dance on the spot w/ me for a few songs to keep me company. we'll call it exercise. i'll wear my roots sweatpants...

PS - "face" drawing pic above is by vastly underrated vancouver/toronto artist/musician/actor robert dayton from his "IMAGINARY FRIENDS AND FANTASY BEARDS" show at the paul petro gallery, march 18-29, 2009...

Monday, April 4, 2011

april 21, 2011


Mod is fashion. Mod is style. Mod is a way of thinking. Modernist.

To some, mod is mere revivalism, a retreat into the past. An era where youth subcultures clashed on the beaches of Brighton. When one dressed up, not down...

Well, today it's 2011 and we certainly know better. Still, we are faced w/ equally rough and tumble times.

Music is our salvation. Music is our sanctuary.

But when we look at the charts for inspiration, it's full of manufactured confection and electronic illusion...

Our antidote???

Sounds w/ soul and feeling... Low on irony. Heavy on iron...

Street tough. Black. Smart.

So let's look back w/ respect to move forward. This is no fantasy...

We've studied the masters for years and are now ready to share our
burning hearts, deep love, and explosive record collections w/ you...

DJs Sipreano and Limbo in Vancouver's best music listening room...

The world-famous Waldorf Hotel tiki bar is armed w/ 1950's JBL Lansing Hartfield speakers, tube amps, and 1970's Bozak rotary dial mixer + a beautiful selection of Edgar Leeteg's OG black velvet paintings and a well-furnished bar to cater to all of your drinking needs...

Power to the people!!! Keep the faith!!! Right on!!!


her story