WorldBeatUK (2nd Show) - Broadcast Notes (7th March 2011)
Tagged with: WorldBeatUK Glyn Phillips Rhubarb Courtney John Macire Sylla Sierra Leone Petrona Martinez Thornato Shawn Lee Carvalho Baba Zula Gevende Va Fan Fahre Trilhos Batucada Tabala Ophex Saf Vetex Phil Beer Hijaz Farka Toure Tango Fado
Since February 2011 our editor, Glyn, has been broadcasting a weekly world music show called “WorldBeatUK” (Wednesday 7pm –9pm, UK time) on Rhubarb Radio live from Birmingham, England. After some requests from some of our regular listeners we are going to try an experiment - we shall be posting the full show transcripts (within our WorldMusicUK Blog section) to help our listeners find references to the past shows artists and to get a feel for the vibe of the show.
It will also help any listeners that missed a particular WorldBeatUK show to catch up on all the musical gems that Glyn finds. Let us know if you find it useful, as we really do appreciate the feedback, and look forward to giving you many hours of world music pleasure. And for any agents, world music PR staff, record labels, etc, please feel free to email us with any World Music artistes you might like us to feature.
So following are the notes for the WorldBeatUK show broadcast on the 7th March 2011. (We have no notes for the first one until we can transcribe the show).
Notes for Second WorldBeatUK show (07/03/11) –
1 VOICE OVER 1 [Theme music for the show is "Intro-Mat" by Diblo Dibala's band Matchatcha from the album "Nyekesse" (Melodie)]
Welcome to another edition of WorldBeatUK right here on Rhubarb Radio with me, Glyn Phillips! Coming up on the show tonight we’ve got music from Portugal, Colombia, South Africa, Turkey, Belgium, Mali, Argentina, New Zealand, Jamaica, Sierra Leone, Guinea Conakry and even some Kizomba from Handsworth Wood right here in Birmingham!
But right now let’s kick off with some Belgian Brass Band music! Well, kind of . . . !
2 "Moliendo Cafe" - Orch Int du Vetex - 'Flamoek Fantasy'
That was the huge brass ensemble Orchestre International du Vetex and their version of an old salsa hit, “Moliendo Cafe” off the album ‘Flamoek Fantasy’.
Staying in Belgium - and why not? - this next track is by a guy called “Saf”, off his album on the Zephyrus label - also called simply “Saf”. He’s been described as a sort of Belgian Tom Waits, combining Flemish wit and satire with musette, tango, waltzes, chanson and gipsy-swing. I’ve no idea what he’s singing about, - my sum total of Flemish being “Alles Kits Achter Der Rits” - but I really don’t care, because I love the way he just pulls you in to his Ghentish world. This track is called “t’Vertellement”.
3 "t’Vertellement" - Saf - 'Saf'
Here’s another face of the country that gave us Belgian chocolates, Belgian waffles and Tintin! Baloji is a rapper originally from Lubumbashi and Kinshasa in Congo and was previously the MC with Starflam. From his album “KInshasa Succursale” this is a wonderful track that goes by no less than three names: “Le Jour D’apres” (The Day After), Siku Ya Baadaye, and even “Independence Cha Cha”. Check out also the video on YouTube - B-a-l-o-j-i. Baloji!
4 "Le Jour D’Apres" - Balojji - 'Kinshasa Succursale'
Now then, if you’re into English Folk music at all, you can’t have failed to have come across the names Phil Beer and Steve Knightley of the duo “Show of Hands”. Phil was recently voted Musician of the Year 2010 in the Spiral Earth Awards, so I thought I’d play something celebrating that. This next track is off his 2010 box set album, named aptly enough, “Phil Beer Box Set One” released on his own Chudleigh Roots label. It’s the first in what should be a long series of archive material from Phil’s illustrious career, with some great fellow folk musicians thrown in to boot.
And because this is a world music show, and I like to mix it up a bit, I chose a track from the early 90s when Phil and Steve together with English accordionist and concertina player, Dave Townsend teamed up with some fine Chilean musicians Mauricio Venegas, Vladimir Vega and Sergio Avila in a project called “Alianza” (which is Spanish for “Alliance”); I was lucky enough to be able to see that show in Birmingham’s mac when I worked there - and it resonated with me on a couple of levels; firstly I was playing percussion with Birmingham based Chileno-Peruvian outfit Caliche at the time so I was very much into the folk side of Latin American music, and secondly because whilst living in South America during the mid-1980s I found out that my great-grandfather had actually lived and worked in the Atacama desert over 120 years ago.
So this connection between the British Isles and the far-flung reaches of South America, and the amazing journeys in sailing ships which Welsh, English and Chilean sailors took across the vast seas of the Atlantic and Pacific via Tierra del Fuego and the treacherous Magellan straits, up to central and Northern Chile, was brought wonderfully to life through this alliance of musicians. For landlubbers the seas are enormous barriers, but for the sailors they are merely pathways to another world. This track is called “Santiago”.
5 "Santiago" - Phil Beer (& Alianza) - 'Phil Beer Box Set One'
Now, if you board a ship in Chile’s Valparaiso, go up the Pacific coast of South America from Chile past the Atacama Desert and Peru, over the equator and past the mangrove swamps of Northern Ecuador you’ll eventually end up in the Colombian port of Buenaventura; from there go inland to the salsa city of Cali, and you might hear something like this . . .
6 "El Chontaduro" - Nancy Murillo - 'Tia Tova'
That was the sound of the Paris based caleña Nancy Murillo and a track called “Chontaduro” off her ‘Tia Yova’ album. You can find that on the French Label “Pure Son’g”.
More from Colombia later, but in the meantime I want to return to Belgium - or rather a mythical land that lies somewhere between Belgium, the Levant and North Africa. This is a jazzy track by the band Hijaz off their just released album ‘Chemsi’ on the Zephyrus label, and is named after an idyllic Tunisian town called “Sidi Bou Said”.
7 "Sidi Bou Said" - Hijaz - 'Chemsi'
And while we’re on a jazzy fusion tip, have you ever imagined Portuguese Fado mixed with jazz sensibilities? These guys have. This is the band Fado em Si Bemol (which translates as Fado in B minor) and a live track with a brazilianesque groove called “Fado Tropical”.
8 "Fado Tropical" - Fado em Si Bemol - 'Fado em Si Bemol'
Let’s leave Lisbon and sail South West to another great port, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and what else but the shimmering, soul-searching, sultry sounds of … TANGO! This is another band I had the honour of experiencing some years ago - one of the finest contemporary orchestras of Argentine tango, El Sexteto Mayor and a track off their ‘Vida, Pasión y Tango’ album (on the Intuition label): “Oblivión”.
9 "Oblivión" - Sexteto Mayor - 'Vida, Pasion y Tango'
Now, today, the 7th of March 2011, is exactly five years to the day of the death of one of Africa’s most famous and celebrated musical sons. I’m talking of course about the Malian guitar legend Ali Farka Toure. Born in 1939 and the only surviving child out of 10, Ali Ibrahim Toure was nicknamed “Farka” (which means ‘donkey’) by his parents in respect of his tenacity and stubbornness, presumably in managing to survive. He found international success relatively late in life and was still working as a sound engineer until 1980. The British record label, World Circuit (of subsequent Buena Vista Social Club fame) took him on board in 1990 and the rest as they say is history.
After the amazing success of “Talking Timbuktu” with Ry Cooder, Ali practically gave up his international career and went back to being a farmer on the banks of the River Niger, where he felt happiest. It was five years before he cut another album, 1999’s “Niafunké” and Ali refused to leave his village, let alone his country, so World Circuit built a studio on his land and recorded the album there!
A few years after that a French film crew went to find Ali in his village and shot a documentary about his life on the farm, interspersed with impromptu footage of him playing music. This absorbing film, shot by Marc Huraux and called simply “A Visit to Ali Farka Touré”, has been re-released on the Digital Classics label and can be found on their website DigitalClassics.co.uk or on Amazon, etc. It’s beautifully shot and really gives you a feel for what grounded this great guitarist in the soil of Mali. This next track was recorded not long before he died of bone cancer and is a duet with the great Malian kora player Toumani Diabate; it’s called “Ai Ga Bani”.
10 "Ai Ga Bani" - Ali Farka Touré - '2006 BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music'
From Mali to South Africa now and probably the most famous acapella group ever to come of out Africa, the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo, survivors of the apartheid era who shot to fame after being featured on Paul Simon’s “Graceland”. Like Ali Farka Toure they express their love for the land and agriculture on their new album called “Songs from a Zulu Farm" (out on the Proper Records label). This track is typical of their vocal style and is all about “Uthekwane” - an ugly bird who believes in her own beauty.
11 "Uthekwane" - Ladysmith Black Mambazo - 'Songs from a Zulu Farm'
Complete change of direction now: Ever wondered what you’d get if you crossed Bach with Brazilian Baile Funk? Ophex has . . .
12 "Bach Goes Baile Funk" - Ophex
13 "El Toche y La Cotorra" - Sexteto Tabalá - 'Con Un Solo Pie'
Ok, that last track was called “El Toche y La Cotorra” (‘The Bird and the Parrot’) by the afro-colombian palenqueros Sexteto Tabalá (it’s from their album “Con Un Solo Pie” on the OM Producciones label). They play a mix of bullerengue, porro and baile cante as well as son palenque music, which is related to - but distinct from - the more famous Cuban son: there are no guitars, or tres, and the double bass is replaced by the tumba drum and the marimbula (similar to the marumba box of jamaican mento). In fact the cultural traditions of the area of San Basilio de Palenque have been considered so important that the entire region and its traditions have been declared a “Master Piece of Oral Heritage” by UNESCO in 2005.
Now Colombia is bursting with unbelievable rhythms and musical traditions, the most famous of which is ‘Cumbia’ from the country’s Caribbean coast. So, let’s take some cumbia and drop it thousands of miles away in New Zealand in the hands of the Batucada Sound Machine and see what happens: it changes, it becomes... “Cumbia del Cambio” . . . !
14 "Cumbia del Cambio" - Batucada Sound Machine
15 "El Choclo" - Fabricio Gatta
16 Voice Over 2
Welcome back. Before the break you heard the beautiful tango “El Choclo”, performed by the Argentinian pianist Fabricio Gatta.
Next up, just to prove that it’s not just fado that comes out of Portugal this is “Celta 1” by Trilhos off their album “Avariação”
17 "Celta 1" - Trilhos - 'Avariação'
So, a shout out going to Michael de Schryver over in Ghent - hope you’re enjoying the show so far; if not then this should buck you up: More Belgian brass madness - Va Fan Fahre’s first tune off their second album (“Zet Je Maar”): This is “Mashki”!
18 "Mashki" - Va Fan Fahre - 'Zet Je Maar'
19 "Celick Comak" - Gevende
The last track was from Turkish psychedelic folk band Gevende entitled “Celick Comack” who sing their songs in a language they’ve completely invented themselves;
Following that, we’ve got their stablemates on Pasion Turca roster, pioneers of Turkish psychedelia and an amazing live band, Istanbul’s very own Baba Zula. Imagine if Hawkwind and Gong had been genetically transplanted into Asia Minor replete with electric saz, mind-zapping visuals and costumes, psychebelly dancers and some heavy-weight moustaches that make even Lemmy look like he’s only got teenager’s bumfluff on his top lip! Look for them on the Doublemoon record label. This track is called “Abdulcanbaz”.
20 "Abdulcanbaz" - Baba Zula
You think all world music is made elsewhere”? Then think again. Birmingham is just dripping with great musicians brimming with ideas. Handsworth’s Rob Carvalho has offered us up this Kizomba track: “One More Dance”.
21 "One More Dance" - Carvalho
Staying in Britain, London-based American composer Shawn Lee once again brings out his Ping Pong Orchestra to record another album on the Ubiquity label, this time called “World of Funk”. Featuring Clutchy Hopkins and Dengue Fever’s Cambodian singer, Chhom Nimol this is “Ghost In The Rain”:
22 "Ghost In The Rain" - Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra - 'World of Funk'
I’m sorry, I can’t resist it anymore - I jus’ gots to go back to Colombia! Right back to the village of San Basilio de Palenque and the Thornato remix version of “Sepiterna” by the great afro-colombian singer Petrona Martinez - la reina del bullerengue
23 "Sepiterna" - Petrona Martinez (Thornato rmx)
Last week I played a strange sexy tune called “Jungle Fever” by the Belgian based afro-Colombian band, Maguaré, which got some good feedback from you guys out there. The singer of that band, Paola Marquez, is also in another band on the Zephyrus label called ‘El Sur’, but they come from a very different Latin American tradition, that of the nueva trova. This is a beautiful ballad entitled “Canción de las Simples Cosas” - Song of the Simple Things . . . Esto es para ti, Marangita...
24 "Canción de las Simples Cosas" - El Sur - 'Música con Fundamento'
25 "Living Stone" - Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars - 'Rise and Shine'
You’ve just heard the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars from last year’s hit album on Cumbancha, ”Rise and Shine”, and a track called “Living Stone” - geddit? We are the Living Stone? Livingstone? “Livingstone, I presume”… Well, I enjoyed the pun, thanks guys.
Swiss based, but Conakry Guinean-born chanteuse Macire Sylla’s latest album ‘Talitha’ on the French Pure Son’g label is full of bubbling grooves and catchy afro-pop. This is a new version of an older song of hers called “Aidara”.
26 "Aidara" - Maciré Sylla - 'Talitha'
Getting near to the end of the show now. I’ve been receiving some really interesting releases and pre-releases from Jamaica recently and very much ‘hot off the press’ is Courtney John’s album “Made In Jamaica” and the wonderful lovers’ rock tune (with a great video to boot - check it out on YouTube), “Lucky Man”.
27 "Lucky Man" - Courtney John - 'Made In Jamaica'
*** Well thanks for listening. See you all next week!
I’m going to leave you with this ‘interesting’ little track. Enjoy the rest of the evening!
28 "Don’t Worry, Be Happy"- Bobby McFerrin, Cobra, Beanie Man
Womex 2010 - Editor's Highlights (Pt 3)
Tagged with: Womex Copenhagen Koncerthuset N'Faly Kouyate LaBrass Banda Blink Bomba Estereo Colombia Karina Buhr Dobet Gnahoré Mabon Wales Henrik Jansberg Baba Zula Denmark Baltic Nordic Emilia Amper Nyckelharpa Brazil Turkey Glyn Phillips Review
This is the third of my Editor's Highlights blogs from Womex 10 - the World Music Expo held in Copenhagen, Denmark last month. It deals with the third day of the expo - Sat 30th Oct 2010.
"... as if a whole battalion of brass bands was invading the hall"
"The daytimes at Womex were spent intensively networking at the Trade Fair, where we met some absolutely fascinating people and organisations; however whilst doing this there were often impromptu musical displays happening around the Forum. N'faly Kouyate, normally with the Afro Celt Sound System, was to be found at the Belgian Walloon stand playing his kora, the gentle sounds rippling out from his corner of the fair; two or three members of LaBrass Banda started a near stampede when they began to play in one of the stands - just they alone sounded as if a whole battalion of brass bands was invading the hall; a trio of what I think were very young musicians from the Lithuania/Latvia/Estonia area played some great music on bagpipes, guitar and tambourine, amongst other musical displays.
In particular a very sotto voce performance on the 'grassy hillock' at the centre of the Forum (in reality a mound of pallets covered over with rolls of real grass!) by the young Nordic folk quartet Blink was especially enjoyable. These "four women from five countries" - their own words - played a beautiful blend of music from their respective traditions, combining the voices of Danish-Norwegian Jullie Hjetland (a girl with a jaw-dropping length of hair in an enormous rope-plait) and the Finnish Lotta Hagfjors, with the Estonian fiddle of Johanna-Adele Jüssi and the Swedish nyckelharpa of the lovely Emilia Amper.
"... an energy level that could power the National Grid."
Sadly, I missed the young Welsh band, Calan, that night at the Koncerthuset (it was the turn of Wales to showcase its best in the offWomex Stage in Studio 2), which was a real pity since I'd very much enjoyed their 2008 album "Bling" and was looking forward to seeing them. However, I was able to catch and photograph the Colombian band Bomba Estéreo, a small band with an energy level that could power the National Grid. There was something about the intensity of the lead singer's performance that meant my camera was absolutely glued to her almost the entire time - even though she moved about so much it was difficult to get any decent pictures. Although they had a full-on punk and rock attitude and definitely a crowd-pleaser if placed in a festival type setting, I wasn't sure afterwards if I was even aware of the actual music they played. Certainly not music to put your feet up to . . .
Brazilian art-rock-pop singer Karina Buhr's set was marred by the fact that for almost the entire time you couldn't see her, since the only lighting seemed to come from the intense red back-lighting. The whole concert seemed to be given in silhouette. Again I can hardly remember the music, just the frustration of trying to work out what the cat-suited singer was doing with the large blow-up plastic props in her hands that looked huge spiky dumb-bells.
"beautiful voice, graceful movements, and trademark painted face"
On safer ground was the striking Ivorian singer, Dobet Gnahoré, who delivered a show full of confidence, artistry and grace in the main hall of the Koncerthuset (Studio 1). With her beautiful voice, fluid movements, and trademark painted face she held the concentration and the hearts of the packed hall. Too pregnant to safely dance - a big part of her show usually - she had one of the backing singers dance for her - and what a surprise that was. Dobet seated herself on a high stool at the back with the musicians and almost conducted the dance performance with her hands, whilst her singer leapt and swooped and spun and dropped with increasingly wild abandon to the music, getting more energetic and daring as the music took her someplace else. A great show that I wish I was able to see more of. But so many things to cover . . .
"A great live act, they were confident, professional and very tight"
Downstairs again to the very bowels of this amazing building and this time to see the last Welsh folk band of the night, Mabon. Although mostly Welsh, their approach is more accurately described as inter-celtic, since they weave many different strands and cultures into their music. Again, another exhilarating performance from a band I'd never seen before and had little idea what to expect. A great live act, they were confident, professional and very tight, accordion, fiddle, bass, guitar and drums working as one. The band's leader and main composer, the accordionist Jamie Smith, managed to dominate the stage even though he barely moved from his spot. Mabon soon had the crowd on their feet and there was a full-scale twmpath going on beneath the enormous Welsh Dragon pinned to the wall at the side of the auditorium. The Welsh supporters were obviously determined to show the rest of the world how to party and linked hands to dance like a huge human snake through the crowd. But Mabon are more than just a great live band; their album "Live at the Grand Pavilion" is as enjoyable played at home alone as it would be performed live at a venue (just close the curtains so the neighbours don't see your dodgy dance moves!).
"How much exhilaration can a man take?"
I wandered out of Studio 2, slightly shell-shocked and somehow found myself in Studio 4 where the Nordic Club was based. I seemed to walk into the Danish equivalent of Mabon! Full house and mad dancing everywhere by the home crowd and a band that swung every bit as much as the one I'd just seen. I only found out later that it was the award-winning Danish fiddler Henrik Jansberg and his band (two guitars, double bass and percussionist - cajón, washboard and assorted cymbals and lumps of metal). Again: tight, confident, professional and with an enthusiastic band of supporters egging them on. How much exhilaration can a man take?
"I can hear all the festivals ringing their manager right now…"
Upstairs now to catch Turkish psychebelly trance masters, Baba Zula, the inventors of Oriental Dub. All efforts to pigeon-hole this legendary Anatolian band are pretty much worthless, since they pull in so many influences from psychedelic rock through electro-beat and trance to whistles, spoons, darbuka and electric-saz. Frontman, Murat Ertel, and spoon-clacking, cymbal-basher Levent Atman, both sported impressive moustaches - which got my vote straightaway! Then out came the dancers - whirling around the stage in colourful psychebelly outfits - as if Hawkwind had been transported to Istanbul. The whole show was a full-on audio-visual assault - and Baba Zula most certainly came out the conquering heroes. I can hear all the festivals ringing their manager right now…"