Friday, November 25, 2016

30 November 2016, World Cafe

Programme airs on 30 November 2016, 10 - 12pm South African time on Fine Music Radio, 101.3 Fm in the Cape Town area or via live stream or go to and press the "Listen Live" button at the appointed time

1 Noura Mint Seymali – Richa (Glitterbeat)
Album: Arbina

Noura Mint Seymali, step daughter of the great Mauritanian singer, Dimi Mint Abba, just put out a new record, her second one, with her power trio backing band.  “Arbina” means “A call to god”.  The band includes her husband, Jeiche Ould Chigaly, playing a guitar refretted for quarter-tone scales.  “Richa” was written quite a few years ago by her father, the celebrated composer Seymali Ould Ahmed Vall.  “Art’s plume is a balsam, and a guide for enlightening the spirits of humans.”

2 Imarhan – Tahabort (City Slang)
Album: Imarhan

From southern Algeria, a terrific young Tuareg rock band with family connections to Tinariwen.  Here’s something ultra-funky, from the jangly school of funk, from their first record out this year. 

3 Abd Al-Aziz Daoud – Iyak Wa Dary (unknown)

Abd Al-Aziz Daoud started his 50 year career as a singer, oud player in the 1930s and went on later to be an orchestra leader and composer for the Sudan Radio Orchestra, playing a style simply called orchestra – oud, voice and quite a diverse backing band. 

4 Nathan Bowles – Blank Range/Hog Jank II (Amoeba Music)
Album: Whole and Cloven

Nathan Bowles likes to mix the communal spirit of old timey music with some very blissed out moments of minimalist percussive ambient introspection – if that makes any sense.  I guess it’s that last ingredient that allows him to justify playing all the instruments.  His main instrument is the banjo, and he says he likes it because “it’s a drum with strings on it”.

5 Hiss Golden Messenger – Together’s just a word (Merge)
Album: Heart like a levee

The distinctly southern soul, R&B countrified blues funk of Hiss Golden Messenger off their new record.  Add stripped down to that string of epithets. 

6 Soccer96 – The Swamp (Slowfoot records)
Album: As above so below

I’ve been obsessing about British sax player Shabaka Hutchings all year.  He’s stuff really blew me away when I saw him quite a few times in Cape Town at the beginning of year.  One of his bands is The Comet Is Coming is an off-shoot of Soccer96 with the synth player and drummer.  Obviously I’m going to play the one track on their record on which Shabaka guests.

7 FOKN Bois – Tribe Chief (pr Peet) (Self-released)
Album: Ode to Ghana

FOKN Bois have been called the clown princes of Ghanaian hip-hop, or the “South Park” of Ghanaian music.  They often incorporate highlife and Afrojazz samples, but on the “Tribe Chief” the melody is culled from Outkast’s “So Fresh, So Clean”. 

8 Vaudou Game – Cherie Nye (Hot Casa Records)
Album: Kidayu

Very much channelling the great veteran band from Benin, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, here is Vaudou Game, based in Lyon, France, and led by Peter Solo, a singer guitarist from Togo. Cherie Nye is from their 2016 outing, Kidayu. 

9 Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou – Wolou (Because Music)
Album: Madjafalao

After Vaudou Game, we had to have Orchestre Poly-Rythmo.  Fortuitously they have a new record just out, Madjafalao.  It was recorded at the old Satel Studio in Cotonou and so sound pretty authentically Poly-Rhythmo.  Three original members from the 1960s line up are still there after about 50 years. We heard the tune “Wolou”. 

10 Meta Meta – Angolana (Jazz Village/PIAS)
Album: MM3

Meta Meta are based in Sao Paulo and mix samba, candomble, jazz and rock, and on their new record MM3, north African music, inspired by visits to Morocco.  At the centre of the band are singer Jucara Marcal, sax player Thiago Franca and guitarist Kiko Dinucci.  Here’s something they call Angolana.

11 Graveola – Sem Sentido (Mais Um Discos)
Album: Camaleao Borboleta

Graveola are from the inland city of Belo Horizonte in Brazil, and they mash up a bunch of styles from across Brazil including maracutu, bossa nova, tropicalia, MPB and you’ll hear reggae in here too.  Sem Sentido is from their new record Camaleao Borboleta (Chameleon Butterfly).

12 Sociedade Recreativa- E Camarada (Jarring Effects)
Album: Sociedade Recreativa

Lyon seems to a hot bed of great music in France.  So, out of the ashes of Franco-Brazillian trio, Forro de Rebeca, which combines forro or accordion-based song and dance from Brazil with the rabeca, a Brazillian fiddle instrument with linage from Andalusia, here’s Sociedade Recreativa.  The tune is E Camarada.

13 Trygve Seim – When I See Your Face (ECM)
Album: Rumi Songs

Norwegian sax player Trygve Seim has put a bunch of poems by Sufi mystic Rumi to music.  His new record, “Rumi Songs”, is with mezzo-soprano Tora Augestad, accordionist Frode Haltli and cellist Svante Henryson called Rumi Songs.  It starts out as Nuevo Tango with more and more Egyptian and Indian modalism coming through.

14 Kayhan Kalhor, Aynur Dogan, Salman Gambarov, Cemil Qocgiri - Malan Barkir – Berivane (Exile – Diary Maid) (Harmonia Mundi)
Album: Hawniyaz

An incredible band which draws its members from the Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iran, and Azerbaijan.  The two most famous are spike fiddle or kmancheh player Kayhan Kalhor and singer Aynur Dogan.  Cemil Qocgiri is on tenbur lute and the pianist is Salman Gambarov.

15 Xylouris White – Erotokritos (Opening) (Bella Union)
Album: Black Peak

Dirty Three drummer, Jim White, and Cretan lute player George Xylouris, met and played together in Melbourne 25 years ago, when The Xylouris Ensemble, a band George has with his nephews, were based there.  They have just released a second record as the duo Xylouris White. 

16 Shabaka and the Ancestors – Nguni (Brownswood Records)
Album: Wisdom of Elders

British sax player Shabaka Hutchings and the Ancestors, all from South Africa.  The wonderful singing there is by Siyabanga Mthembu from the band The brother moves on who hail from Kempton Park on the East Rand.

17 Burning Spear – Marcus Garvey (Mango)
Album: Marcus Garvey

Burning Spear’s long time trumpeter Bobby Ellis, who died a few weeks ago, was responsible for some of the greatest brass licks in reggae, and not just for Burning Spear.  He played for Peter Tosh and for The Revolutionaries.  “Marcus Garvey” is from 1975. 

18 Dubkasm – Victory (the Mala Remix single)

Some British dub from 2015.

19 Kate Tempest – We Die (Fiction)
Album: Let Them Eat Chaos

From Kate Tempest’s epic new hiphop poem, Let them eat chaos.  Seven lonely London neighbours trapped in various way by the capital’s grubby degradations, and all unable to sleep in the small hours as they contemplate their lives.  In “We die” Alisha grapples with the death of her partner. 

20 Prince Buster – One Step Beyond (Blue Beat)
Album: Fabulous Greatest Hits

Prince Buster or Cecil Bustamente Campbell created some of the most influential sides in early ska and rocksteady.  The second recent death of veteran reggae player – he died in early September.  “One step beyond” was originally released in 1964 – and was famously covered by Madness in 1979, who actually named themselves after a Prince Buster song.

21 Sarah-Jane Summers & Juhani Silvola – Bellag the Drover (Dell Daisy Records)
Album: Widdershins

Fom Scottish fiddle player Sarah-Jane Summers and Finnish guitarist Juhani Silvola – Bellag the Drover.  Summers plays in the fiddle quartet Rant, to whom we listened a few months ago.

22 The Furrow Collective – Chuir Mathair Mise Dhan Taigh Charraideach (Hudson Records)
Album: Wild Hog

A song in Scottish Gaelic which translates roughly as “My father caused me great distress” – literally – “sent me to a house of conflict”.  It’s a waulking song from Skye - waulking is the process of washing tweed.  Here it’s done by the Scottish/English supergroup of sorts, The Furrow Collective, consisting of Rachel Newton, Emily Portman, Alasdair Roberts and Lucy Farrell.

23 Kefaya with Deborchee Bhattacharjee – Manush (Radio International Music)
Album: Radio International

Kefaya are a kind of modular emsemble with UK based musicians and producers Guiliano Modarelli and Al MacSween at the core, and drummer Joost Hendrickx and bassist Kenny Higgins regulars.  What they pedal in has been called “internationalist music” or “guerrilla jazz”.  Here’s something they recorded in a small home-studio in Kolkata with a young Indian classical singer. 

24 Finis Africae – Hassell el oso hormiguero (EM Records)
Album: Amazonia

We’re going to go out with a tribute to the British trumpeter Jon Hassell and what he called Fourth World music by Spanish band, Finis Africae, which was active in the 90s.  The title translates as “Hassell, the anteater”.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

12 October 2016, World Cafe

1 Shabaka and the Ancestors – The Observer (Brownswood Recordings)
Album: Wisdom of Elders

Shabaka Hutchings released an instantly classic record a couple weeks ago, for the first time under his own name, with a killer SA band: basically, trumpeter Mandla Mlangeni’s Amandla Freedom Ensemble with quite a few reinforcements, like Nduduzo Makhitini on piano and the most spectral of Fender Rhodes.  My record of the year so far, in case you had any doubt.  “The Observer” is named after a veteran calypsonian whose song made an indelible impression on Shabaka when he was 15 in the Calypso Tent in Barbados.  Shabaka aimed at getting the melancholic feeling of the song he could never forget, not the melody. 

Download at Bandcamp:

2 M.A.K.U. Sound System – De Barrio (Glitterbeat Records)
Album: Mezcla

Staying vaguely in the Caribbean -  Colombia does have a Caribbean coast.  The MAKU Sound System is actually a NYC based band of mostly Colombian immigrants.  They started about 6 years ago, and we played a bunch of stuff off their first album.  The new one is also a great thing, called Mezcla, which roughly translates as a "mix of shared influences and differences".  “De Barrio” is a waltz about what it’s like to be an immigrant.

3 Anthony Joseph – Neckbone (Strut)
Album: Caribbean Roots

Anthony Joseph is a British/Trinidadian poet with a delivery very like Gil Scott-Heron, and on this song, Neckbone, he’s teamed with another Trinidadian, the calypso star David Rudder.  Shabaka Hutchings is there in the brass section, and those fantastic steel drums ("fantastic" and "steel drums" are not words and phases or whatever put together lightly) are by Andy Narell of all people.

4 Mala – Markos Swagga (Brownswood Recordings)
Album: Mirrors

The Shabaka Hutchings’s record, under the name Shabaka and the Ancestors, came out on the British label, Brownswood Records, and so here are a couple of fairly recent Brownswood Records recordings.  Mala, who the musical press like to call a "dubstep artist", for his second record had a deep dive into Peruvian tropical bass. 

5 Dayme Arocena – Madres (Brownswood)
Album: Nueva Era

Santeria is an Afro-Cuban religion that Dayme Arocena is steeped in.  She pays homage to the Yoruba gods Yemaya and Ochun on “Madres”.

6 Lee Perry – Music & Science Madness (On-U Sound)
Album: Sherwood at the Controls, Volume 2: 1985 – 1990

In 1987, Lee Perry put out a classic record that I ended up playing to death at the time. 

7 The Aggrovators – Dub Fi Gwaan (VP Records)
Album: The Aggrovators Dubbing at King Tubby’s

At least three of the most classic dub producers of all time there in those two tracks – Lee Perry, Adrian Sherwood, and King Tubby.  It was King Tubby studio at which the Aggrovators recorded Dub Fi Gwaan sometime in the 70s.  Not sure who the mixer was there – could have been King Tubby, Prince Jammy or Scientist.  Bunny Lee produced.

8 Getachew Mekuria & The Ex & Friends – Bati (Terp Records)
Album: Y’Anbessaw Tezeta

I’ve made the links between Shabaka’s playing and that of Getachew Mekuria, the incredible Ethiopian sax player who drew heavily on traditional warrior music called shellela.  Mekuria died in April of this year and the last album he made was with the Dutch band, The Ex, who started out as some kind of anarchco-punk band and ended up being something else altogether, with their spirit fully intact.  “Y’Anbessaw Tezeta” is Amharic for “The Memory of the Lion”. 

9 Skyjack – Tafattala (Werkstatt Records) (Shane Cooper)
Album: Skyjack

The SA-Swiss group, Skyjack, with an Ethio-jazz tune by Shane Cooper.  “Tafattala” means something like "weave or woven together".  Skyjack recently played at the Reeder Hall in Rondebosch and took the roof off the place: besides Shane Cooper who is serious Ethio-jazz fan – he said that he listened to nothing else in his car for months - they are: Kesivan Naidoo, Kyle Shepherd, Andreas Tchopp and Marc Stucki.  There’s Shabaka Hutchings connection too – but you can figure that out …

10 Kristi Stassinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis – Ouden Oida (I know nothing) (Riverboat)        
Album: NYN

Kristi Stassinopoulou and Stathis Kalyviotis have woven all kinds of things into traditional Greek lauto or lute music on their new record called Nyn – Now, in Greek of the ancient variety.  It’s a kind of personal take on Greece’s grinding economic crisis.  “Ouden Oida” is huge is scope encompassing all sides of the Mediterranean, with a devasting chorus: “The only thing I know is that I know nothing”

11 Lajko Felix – Szivaroztam (Hangveto)
Album: Most Jottem  

The seriously wonderful Hungerian fiddle player, Lajko Felix, with a song he calls “Smoked Cigars” from 2016 album, Most Jottem “I just arrived”.  Can’t figure out who the stunning singer is here – not enough info.  She’s one of three awesome singers on the record. 

12 Banda Nella Nebbia – Green Grove/Sitam Zaliam Gojuj (Unzipped Fly Records)
Album: Banda Nella Nebbia

Banda Nella Nebbia are a 10 piece orchestra from Poland headed by a bassist-composer from Lithuania, Franciszek Szpilman. Heavily influenced by klezmer.

13 Tumi Mogorosi – Gift of Three (Jazzman Records)
Album: Project Elo

“Gift of Three” is the last tune on drummer Tumi Mogorosi’s album for a sextet and 4 voices called Project Elo, that channels the spirit of John Coltrane hugely.  Mogorosi ended up releasing this record through a British label, Jazzman Records, because he was offered such a raw deal in SA.  You can and should download it from Bandcamp.

Mogorosi is the drummer on Shabaka’s album – and you need to check out the duet with the two of them on that record. 

14 Ayuune Sule – Who Knows Tomorrow (Makkum Records)
Album: This is Kologo Power!

A few months ago I spoke about the wave of kologo music hitting northern Ghana – the kologo being a two-stringed lute.

Some purple prose I really dig on the topic “the kologo becomes a vessel for melancholy and emotional sincerity, channelling human spirit in the scuff of nails and buzz of fingers pressed against the instrument neck … wiring itself into human reflex, accentuating every emotional sentiment with its urgent sound”. 

From a collection put together by King Ayisoba, the star of the scene, and Arnold De Boer, of The Ex (we spoke about them earlier). 

15 Mabiisi – Buuda Yembre (Akwaaba Music)
Album: Mabiisi

Mabiisi is a duo from northern Ghana and Burkina Faso, two linguistically and culturally very interlinked areas.  In both languages “Mabiisi” means the same thing: “Brothers of the same mother”.  Art Melody is a rapper from Burkino and Stevo Atambire a kologo player from Ghana

16 Sarathy Korwar – Eyes Closed (Ninja Tune)
Album: Day to day

The Gujarat-based Siddi are descended from seventh century migrants from East Africa – merchants, sailors and slaves.  US-born, India-raised, London-based composer, percussionist and producer Sarathy Korwar, has used the music of the Siddi as a launching pad for his debut recorded foray.  He builds his stuff around field recordings he made in Gujurat.  The Siddi have a bunch of mouth bow type instruments – very much like the uhadi and umrhubhe – one is called the malunga.  Here Salim Gulammohommad combines forces with Cape Town’s Cara Stacey, both on mouth bows.   

17 Tanya Tagaq with Michael Red – The Godson / Open Boreal (Caribou Records)
Album: Listen Up: Music from Canada’s North 

Tanya Tagaq is an Inuk throat singer from Cambridge Bay in Canada, I guess you could say if you’re looking for labels, and here’s her collaboration with Vancouver-based producer Michael Red from 2007.    

18 Sinikka Langeland – Jacob’s Dream (ECM)
Album: The Magical Forest

Finnskogen or the Magical Forest, the forested area in eastern Norway bordering Sweden has been Sinikka Langeland’s home since 1992, and she built new album on myths and legends from the area.  In mix are fellow Norwegians, trumpeter Arve Hendriksen, sax player Trygve Seim, Swedish bassist Anders Jormin and Finnish drummer Markku Ounaskari, plus the vocal group Trio Mediaeval.  Langeland sings and plays the Kantele, a Finnish table zither.

19 Marc Stucki – Perpetuum Mobile (Werkstatt Records/Unit Records)
Album: 172 Jours a Paris

In 2014 Marc Stucki, the Swiss saxophonist with Skyjack who we heard earlier, spent time in Paris recording in subways and under bridges near the Seine, so that the environment becomes the second instrument. 

20 Stein Urheim – Oh so nice (Hubro)
Album: Strandebarm

Stein Urheim mainly plays all kinds of string instruments, but he also plays harmonica, pocket cornet and tape recorders of various kinds.  His new record, Strandebarm, is named after a former ship building town in Norway, and he recorded it in Strandebarm Church.

21 Ryley Walker – A Choir Apart  (Dead Oceans)
Album: Golden sings that have been sung

Chicago based guitarist, Ryley Walker, channelling the best of 70s British folk rock.  There’s a line in there that everyone seems to like and identify with – “Wise ass wisdom, wasted on the young …”

22 Sarathy Korwar – Mawra (NinjaTunes)
Album: Day to day

Korwar’s Siddi inspired and infused music, this time with Shabaka Hutchings to the fore playing the bass clarinet.

23 Piccola Orchestra Gagarin – Krutitsa (Whatabout Music)
Album: Vostok

Piccola Orchestra Gagarin seem to be a Spanish Russian trio - and that’s about all I know about them, other than that they sound like a trio that Bill Fissell would head.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

3 August 2016, World Cafe

1 Fanfare Ciocarlia – Crayfish Hora (Asphalt Tango)
Album: Onwards to Mars!

Fanfare Ciocarlia have been going for 20 years this year – and are still largely intact from their early days when came up to storm the world from a tiny village in the NE Romania. A hora is a Romanian round dance. 

2 The Spike Orchestra – Hakha (Tzadik)
Album: Cerebus: Book of Angels, Vol 26

Since the early 90s, John Zorn has, so far, written 3 multi-volume books of tunes– the Masada songbook – 613 tunes in total.  He gets great bands to play them and usually records them on his label Tzadik.  The Spike Orchestra is an 18 piece group from London, and they’ve done a version of volume 26 of the Zorn songbook called Cerebus: Book of Angels.  10 tunes, each named after an angel. 

3 Debo Band – Blue Awaze (FPE)
Album: Ere Gobez

Ethiojazz band Debo Band from Boston have a new release out which translates roughly as “Call of the lionhearted”. It’s up there with there with their first release from 2012 – which I’ve been going on about of late.  “Blue Awaze” is their imagining of what it would have sounded like if Duke Ellington, on his African tour in 1973 when he actually visited Ethiopia, had played with the legendary Addis Ababa Police Orchestra.

 4 Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics – Chik Chikka (Strut)
Album: Inspiration Information 3

On the subject of classic sounds from the golden age of Ethio jazz and pop, a few years ago Mulatu Astatke, one of the great composers, pianists and band leaders of the golden age and beyond, teamed up with the London-based collective, The Heliocentrics.  The wonderful sax player, Shabaka Hutchings, was in the mix. 

Hutchings did an extended, blistering version of the Astatke tune, Chik Chikka, with the Kyle Shepherd Band at Straight No Chaser in January this year.  You can catch this on youtube, and you should definitely do that.

And then check out this preview of Shabaka’s new album recorded with SA musicians in Johannesburg recently – Shabaka & the Ancestors – The Wisdom of Elders (Brownswood Recordings) slated for release in September.

5 Dieuf-Dieul de Thies – Rhumba Para Parejas (Taranga Beat)
Album: Aw Sa Yone Vol. 2

The very excellent Dieuf-Dieul de Thies is from Senegal, and the vinyl re-issue label Taranga Beat has just released volume 2 of Dieuf-Dieul’s stuff made in the early 80s.  The singer on this slice of Afro-Cubism is Assane Camara.  BTW Dieuf-Dieul are back together again and touring after more than 30 years.

6 Adama Yalomba – Harkas (Allah’s Blessing/Personal Happiness) (Studio Mali)
Album: Waati Sera

Adama Yalomba is a big star in Mali, but not really known outside although he’s played with Ali Farka Toure, and plays with Rokia Traore, Oumou Sangare and others.  “Waati Sera” (The time has come) is his seventh album. 

7 Imarhan – Assossamagh (City Slang)
Album: Imarhan

Imarhan, from southern Algeria, are part of the second wave of Tuareg rock.  Their name means “posse” and they have ties to the first generation, wouldn’t you know.  Frontperson Moussa Ben Abderahmane is cousin to Eyadou Ag Leche, the bass player and a core member of veteran Tuareg rockers, Tinariwen.  Leche produced the album. 

8 Derek Gripper – Miniyamba (New Cape)
Album: Libraries on Fire

Capetonian Derek Gripper has a new album out and as you’d expect, it’s seriously great. Miniyamba is a tune by Toumani and Sidiki Diabate originally played two koras – about 40 strings – now played on 6 strings.

Check out this article about Gripper’s trip to Bamako earlier this year:

9 Guy Buttery – Two Chords and the Truth (Guy Buttery)
Album: Guy Buttery

Another SA guitarist has a nice new album out which seems to be called Guy Buttery.  Derek Gripper is in there, as well as Shane Cooper from Kyle Shepherd’s band. 

10 Carlo Mombelli – Picasso’s Dove (Mombelli Music)
Album: I press my spine to the ground

And while we’re on SA string instrumentalists, here’s something by one of bass player Carlo Mombelli’s many ensembles - pianist Kyle Shepherd, drummer Kesivan Naidoo and vocalist Mbuso Khoza who learnt his music in the mountains of KZN herding cattle, and from Zionist churches and Shembe songs. 

11 Luther Dickinson – Ain’t no grave (New West)
Blues & Ballads: A Folksinger’s Songbook

Luther Dickinson is son of the great US producer and generally amazing singer, musician and songwriter Jim Dickinson, and this song was written just after Jim died in 2009 and was recorded recently in one take with the equally awesome Mavis Staples.

12 Leyla McCalla – Les Plats Sont Tous Mis Sur la Table (Jazz Village)
Album: A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey

Leyla McCalla, the cello, tenor banjo and guitar player from Carolina Chocolate Drops has a new album out – it’s a collection of Haitian folk songs and stuff from the Louisianan creole tradition.  Here’s one from the Louisianan side.  Louis Michot from the The Lost Bayou Ramblers (from Pilette, Louisiana) is on fiddle. 

13 The Reveler – Juste Un Tit Brin (Audio & Video Labs Inc/The Revelers)
Get Ready

Sticking in Louisiana, The Revelers, from New Orleans, with a song written by band member Blake Miller.  Tres cajun with a tincture of swamp rock. 

14 Kia Kater – White (Kingswood Record)
Album: Nine Pin

Heading to Appalachia, well actually Canada.  Kia Kater is such a great banjo player, singer and song writer.  “Nine Pine” is her second album.  I went nuts about her first which came out the other day, and I’m going nuts about her second one.

15 Robbie Fulks – America is a hard religion (Bloodshot)
Upland Stories

Off his new Steve Albini produced album. 

16 Hackensaw Boys – Ol’ Nick (Free Dirt Records)
Album: Charismo

Sticking with the old timey music and religion of the American kind kind-of.  That rattling percussion is courtesy of a strange tin can arrangement they call the charismo

17 Rant with Julie Fowlis – Thug thu chonnlach as an t-sabhal (Make Believe Records)

A strathspey from the seriously wonderful all fiddle band, whose members hail the Shetland Islands and the Highlands.  A strathspey is a dance in 4.4 time similar to a hornpipe only slower, and the singing there is from Julie Fowlis.

18 9Bach – Brain (Real World)
Album: Anian

The Welsh band produced a pretty great record last year, and this year’s one is quite a lot better.  It’s called Anian (which translates as Nature).  The song, Brain, is told from a crow’s point of view – the crow is asking a child to accept the gifts it’s bringing.  Not as sinister and ominous as the set up suggests though …

19 The Heliocentrics – Into the vortex (Now-Again)
Album: From the deep

A record that came out earlier this year

20 Fahir Atakoglu – Trapped (Far&Here)
Album: Live at Umbria Jazz

Turkish pianist Fahir Atakoglu recorded live at Teatro Morlachi in the Italian city of Umbia in 2010.  Backing him are Canadian bassist Alain Caron and Cuban drummer, Horacio Hernandez. 

21 Natasha Atlas – Nafs El Hikaya (Decca/Universal)
Album: Myriad Road

Belgian Egyptian singer Natasha Atlas has being heading off into more jazzy territory of late, with quite sizable Arabic inflections.  She continues this on Myriad Road her collaboration with Lebanese-born trumpet player Ibrahim Maalouf. 

22 Melt Yourself Down – Yazzan Dayra (Leaf)
Last Evenings on Earth

Unhinged, brass-heavy and off their new record.  And yes, the blow-out, post Ayler sax towards the end is from Shabaka Hutchings.  The bonkers singer is Kushai Gaya.

23 Los Chapillacs – Marcha de Chullachaqui (Deltatron Remix) (Tigers Milk Records)
Album: Peru Boom! Bass, Bleeps and Bumps from Peru’s Electronic Underground

In June I played some Peruvian Tropical Bass.  Here is some more.  A bass-heavy retread done by Deltratron of a cumbia originally by Los Chapillacs, who tend to be quite rooted in the sound of the 60s and 70s. 

24 La Yegros – Atormentada (Soundway)
Album: Magnetismo

Mariana Yegros or La Yegros with her wonderful infusion of folky Argentinean and Columbian music into dancy stuff, I guess. 

25 Elza Soares – Firmeza (Mais Um Discos)
Album: The woman at the end of the world

In a similar, but more radical vein is the latest thing by veteran samba singer and songwriter, Elza Soares, from Rio. Her style of samba is called samba sujo or dirty samba.  Soares has had an epic life and career dating back to the 50s, which included being exiled by the military junta in mid 60s after she became a widow and then got involved with some soccer legend.  She teamed up with some of the best musicians is Sao Paulo for this new album, including guys from Meta Meta and Bixiga 70.

26 Victor Rice & Bixiga 70 – 100% (Victor Rice Dub)
Album: The Copan Connection: Bixiga 70 Meets Victor Rice

Speaking of Bixiga 70 their producer Victor Rice recently did a limited edition dub version of their third album for Record Store Day.  I’ve been struggling to find something to play off the third album – for some reason it lacks spark.  The dub album is much better, though.

27 Dub Specialist – Roots Dub (Soul Jazz)
Album: Soul Jazz Records Presents Studio One Dub Fire Special

Some dub from one of the many rough and ready pick-up bands that Studio One put together to back their singers in the 70s.  Some of Jamaica’s finest musicians ended up playing in these bands, and the dub versions often came out uncredited on B sides.  Soul Jazz Records specialize in rooting out this stuff.

28 New Age Steppers – Some Love (On U-Sound)
Album: Foundation Steppers

From 1983, a version of a Chaka Khan song “Some Love” which came out in 1978 at the height of disco.  Singer Ari Up really made this song her own. 

Here is the Chaka Khan original.

29 Fabes de Mayo – Vaqueiros (Fabes de Mayo)
Album: Fabes de Mayo

From the small town of Villaviciosa in Austurias, Northern Spain

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

1 June 2016, World Cafe

1 My Bubba – Knitting (Fake Diamond)
Album: Goes Abroader

My Bubba are a duo from Sweden and Iceland: My Larsdotter Lucas and Bubba Tomasdottir.  Their fantastic brief little tune has been called gothic twee. 

2 Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop – Midas Tongue (Sub Pop)
Album: Love Letter for Fire

The duo of Sam Beam (he of Iron and Wine) and Jesca Hoop are first time collaborators on their album of spacey laments.  They’ve tested the water with guest spots on each others stuff before - things worked out well and got deep.  The lovely cello is courtesy of Edward Rankin-Parker. 

3 Bombino – Iyat Ninhay – Jaguar (A great desert I saw) (Partisan)
Album: Azel

On his new album Omara “Bombino” Moctar, from Niger, has come up with a sub-genre he calls “Tuareggae”.  It’s always been there inherent in the lope of Tuareg bands like Tinariwen and Tamikrest, probably, but he and producer Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors have accentuated it.  Bombino says he’s been experimenting with Tuareggae for the last couple years in his shows.   “Iyat Ninhay – Jaguar (A great desert I saw)” is a laidback multi-part epic.

4 Noura Mint Seymali – Soub Hanallah (Glitterbeat)
Album: Tzenni

Mauritania has a music scene all about transposing traditional Moorish music, with all its modes, for a rock format.  String instruments the tidinit and ardine collectively called azawan, become heavily phased guitar and, well, ardine kind of stays as it is.  Noura Mint Seymali is probably at the forefront, after the death of her step-mother, Dimi Mint Abba. “Tzenni” is another one of those under-sung gems. 

5 Aziza Brahim – Abbar el Hamada (Glitterbeat)
Album: Abbar el Hamada

Heading north to the disputed territory of Western Sahara governed by Morocco at the moment … Aziza Brahim, who has spent a bunch of time more or less in exile in various Spanish speaking countries in different corners of the World, has a new album out  which translates as “Across the Hamada”.  The Hamada is the rocky desert along the border of Algeria and Western Sahara, which is host to many refugee camps of the Saharawis. 

6 Sahra Halgan Trio – Matis (Buda Musique)
Album: Faransiskiyo Samaliland

Sahra Halgan is from Somiland, another disputed territory, and for 20 years she’s lived in France, after fleeing during Somalia’s civil war.  She formed a band there - Sahra Halgan Trio.  She’s back living in Somiland, by the way.

7 Qwanqwa  - Gorage (FPE)
Album: Volume 2

In April I was singing the praises of the Debo Band’s 2012 release.  Since then I came across a project that their 5-string electric violinist, Kaethe Hostetter’s involved in – Qwanqwa – with three wonderful Ethiopian musicians – 2 playing electric krars (which are harp like lyres) – Mesele Asmamaw and Dawit Seyoum, and percussionist Samson Senekou.  They’re a jazz fusion band I guess, but heavily informed by Ornette Coleman’s concepts of harmolodics. 

8 The Comet is Coming – Cosmic Dust (Leaf)
Album: Channel The Spirits

Some kind of dubbed up Afrofuturism.  Saxophonist and clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings, who was recently in Cape Town, is in the band. 

By the way, here's an interview with him on SA jazz from BBC Radio 4:

9 Tribilin Sound – Negroide (Tiger’s Milk Records)
Album: Peru Boom! Bass, bleeps and bumps

Peru has this totally fantastic underground dance scene which I guess can be called Peruvian tropical bass.  One of the great things is that pillages wholesale from old and and not so old Peruvian styles, like chicha.  “Peru Boom! Bass, bleeps and bumps” is a pretty nifty collection of the stuff. 

10 Konono No1 – Nlele Kalusimbiko (Crammed Discs)
Album: Konono No1 meets Batida

I’ve played a bunch of stuff by the Congotronics band Konono No 1 over the years here.  They’re from Kinshasa and have a wonderful back story involving the street, and traditional instruments modified with car parts and ancient electronics for purposes of amplification.  Anyway they’re teamed up with the Portuguese-Angolan DJ, Batida (we’ve listen to him here too in the past), and the results and predictably cool. 

11 Three Cane Whale – Moon in the bottle (Fieldnotes)
Album: Palimpsest

Three Cane Whale are a Bristol based trio playing 20 instruments amongst them and still managing to sound uncluttered.  I guess they’re not playing them all at the same time. 

12 Fay Hield – Jack Orion (Soundpost/Proper)
Album: Old Adam

Singer and folklorist, Fay Hield has a lovely version of the Child ballad Jack Orion on her new album. Sam Sweeney supplies at least some of the fiddle playing.

13 The Gloaming – The Pilgrim’s Song (Real World)
Album: 2

An incredible version of the Irish traditional song.  The Gloaming is a kind of Irish-American supergroup. You might know the fiddle-guitar duo of Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill.  Also in there are the singer Iarla O’Lionaird, hardanger fiddler Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh and pianist Thomas Bartlett.  Their second album is out, and following a fine tradition, is called 2.

14 Yorkston, Thorne, Khan – Sufi Song (Domino Records)
Album: Everything Sacred

Fife born Scottish guitarist and singer James Yorkston put out one his best earlier this year – kind of like a toned down Incredible String Band thing with New Dehli sangari player and singer Suhail Yusuf Khan and bassist Jon Thorne.  

15 Shye Ben Tzur, Johnny Greenwood and the Rajasthan Express - Allah Elohim (Nonesuch)
Album: Junun

In 2015 Israeli singer and composer Shye Ben Tzur collaborated with the 19 piece Rajasthan Express and Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead to come up with a fabulous amalgam called “Junun”.  It’s a real grower.  From what I can make out “Allah Elohim” is sung in Hebrew and Hindi

16 Anoushka Shankar with MIA – Jump In (Cross The Line) (Deutsche Grammophon)
Album: Land of Gold

The lines they’re talking about here are national border lines.

17 Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – Meticulous Bird (Ribbon Music)
Album: A Man Alive

From San Francisco via a laundromat in Falls Church, Virginia, Thao Nguyen and her band.  Producer Merrill Garbus (aka tUnE-yArDs) is very much in evidence there. 

18 King Ayisoba – Akolbire (Makkum)
Album: Wicked Leaders

A small of wave of kologo music from the rural areas of north eastern Ghana has recently been breaking locally, well that happened 10 years ago, and over the world.  The kologo is a two string lute, and the star of the scene, King Ayisoba, learnt to play his from this grandfather.  Ayisoba recorded something fairly recently in the Netherlands with The Ex’s Arnold De Boer, who does some singing. 

19 Dillinger – Flat Foot Hustling (Blood & Fire)
Album: Microphone Attack 1974-78

Dillinger was part of the wave of deejay toasters that came to the fore in Jamaica in the mid 70s.  Produced by Niney, the Observer.

21 Khun Narin Electric Phin Band – Chakkim Kap Tokto (Innovatice Leisure Records)
Album: II

Khun Narin Electric Phin Band seemed to have been forever roving around Thailand with their custom speaker-cabinet plying their endless, cycling psychedelia on electrified phins, which are three-stringed lutes.  Some LA based producer latched onto them a couple of years ago. Anyway, here’s something from second album (another sophomore called II – they seem to be coming thick and fast in this show) which like their first was recorded at their outdoor concerts.

22 Maki Asakawa – Chicchana Toki Kar (Honest Jon’s)
Album: Maki Asakawa

Cult Japanese blues singer Maki Asakawa, deeply inspired by Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith, with something groovier and racier than usual.

23 Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Serey Sothea – Thevary My Love (Dust-to-Digital)
Album: Don’t think I’ve forgotten – Cambodia’ Lost Rock and Roll

Cambodia saw an upwelling of pop music in the 60 and 70 following independence from France and under art patron and music lover Prince Sihanouk.  Two of the greatest singers of love songs from that period in a duet. 

24 Cara Stacey – Dark Matter (Kit Records)
Album: Things that grow

Cara Stacey put together a great album last year sticking various kinds of Swazi musical bows into different contexts”.  Dark Matter has Ruth Goller is on bass sounding at lot like early Jah Wobble, and Shabaka Hutchings on clarinet.

25 Erlend Apneseth – Trollsuiten (Hubro)
Album: Det Andre Rommet

Erland Apneseth is an award winning traditional hardanger fiddler in Norway.  He has a wonderful trio – the other players are from the worlds of improv and rock. 

26 Rickie Lee Jones – Dark was the night, cold was the ground (Alligator Records)
God don’t never change: The songs of Blind Willie Johnson

Alligator Records recently put out a tribute to Blind Willie Johnson. In the original recordings Blind Willie Johnson wordlessly hums the 19th century hymn “Dark was the night, cold was the ground”.  Rickie Lee Jones has dug up the words from old hymnals and sings or kind of slurs them on her pretty fantastic version.

27 My Bubba – Going home (Fake Diamond)
Album: Goes Abroad

Bubba Tomasdottir wrote the song and sings it in Icelandic.