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The Red Bull Sound Select Block Party takes over Britomart

22 June, 2014

The Red Bull Sound Select Block Party takes over Britomart

The Nathan Club, Orleans Bar and Racket packed out with fans in a matter of minutes when #SoundSelect claimed Britomart last night for New Zealand’s first-ever Red Bull Sound Select Block Party.

With local rappers MZWÈTWO, Third3ye and Team Dynamite having set the scene with excellent showcases of their respective art-hop, earth raps and feel-good street music, highly anticipated New York hip-hop group Flatbush Zombies took to the Nathan Club stage after midnight. The three charismatic rappers, Meech, Juice and Erick Arc Elliot were elemental forces, pushing dense tongue twisting flows through rock-star beats. Running through a cycle of new material and cuts off their past mix tapes, they turned the already engaged audience into a mosh-pit.

Onehunga rapper and beatmaker SPYCC tackled the hard task of playing after Flatbush Zombies, followed by Wellington ghetto house producer/DJ Beat Mob, as he closed the night down with a hip-hugging set of deep tribal house mixed with club tempo rap music.

Connected to the Nathan Club by Roukai Lane, Orleans Bar played host to contemporary quartet Esther Stephens & The Means, sun kissed synth-popper HIGH HØØPS, Sydney based tropical synth rock band Panama (of Future Classic,) and UK Garage/2-Step revivalist Kakapo, all of whom steadily built the vibe and worked the room in their own unique fashion.

Orleans came alive when Los Angeles based rapper and beatmaker Azizi Gibson (of Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder Records) picked up the microphone. Backed up by emotive bass architect Kamandi (of Christchurch,) Azizi climbed onto a chair to make himself visible to the whole audience and launched into an introductory speech to let the crowd know how much he was enjoying New Zealand.

“I was born in Germany and lived in Zaire, Singapore and Thailand before moving to America,” Azizi recounted. “I’ve travelled through and lived around the world as a global citizen. So when I tell you guys that you’re cool as hell, I’m telling you that from the perspective of someone who has seen the world.”

Azizi’s raspy hungry rhyme schemes, flow and tone were an instant hit. Cleverly inserting references to New Zealand inside his songs, he continued to build upon his connection with the audience while Kåmnd¡ nodded his head away in the background working the controls. Their first collaboration ‘Crown Violet’ was performed, as part of a Red Bull Sound Select facilitated project in the Red Bull Studios Auckland. Palmerston North beat butcher Buska Dimes closed things down at Orleans.

Under the curation of Young, Gifted & Broke, The Departure Club, Madcap Music and Hit+Run, the evening turned morning was a considered introduction to some of the more talented new artists operating with the hip-hop, beats, bass and soul paradigms locally. Until next time. #BreakMusic.

Words from Martyn Pepperell. To read the full event review visit


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