WorldBeatUK (14th Show) - Broadcast Notes (1st June 2011)
Tagged with: WorldBeatUK Glyn Phillips Rory McLeod Owiny Sigoma Fatamouta Diawara Saucejas Dagadana Los de Abajo Ikebe Shakedown Olufemi Vieux Farka Toure Barbad Gil Scott Heron Cedric Brooks Omi Akwaaba Karlon Rootsmamas Babayaga Canelason Pornoson Brownout
WBUK14 (1/6/11) - PLAYLIST
1 “Intro-Mat” (1:47) by Matchatcha from album ‘Nyekesse (Aimer La Danse)’ (Melodie)
You’re listening to Rhubarb Radio, my name’s Glyn Phillips and welcome to WorldBeatUK - 2 hours of the best world music from around the globe. Coming up on the show tonight we’ve got music from the USA, France, Spain, Jamaica, Iran, Portugal, Mali, South Africa, Kenya, Mexico, Sweden, Poland, Latvia, Russia and the UK. So stay tuned to WorldBeatUK as I take you around the world in weighty grooves . . .
Now first off a little plug for a gig that’s happening right here in Birmingham, this Saturday the 4th June - just around the corner from where I’m sitting in the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham - at the Wagon & Horses, Adderley Street. I’ve been rehearsing with a new nine-piece band recently called Kilombo and it will be our debut gig. The band plays a mixture of afro-centric based musics including merengue ska, soca-cumbia, bolero, bossa, rumba, jazz-funk and rhythm & blues and we formed it just for some fun - the chance to play the music we like without having to fit into some kind of marketing label.
If you fancy coming along, then the night starts at 8, goes on till 3am and will also feature dub band Relative and a fistful of DJs including Skeleton, Marc Reck, the Jam Jah DJs and more. And it’s all FREE!
For a little taste of what Kilombo play, here’s one of the tunes we’re going to be performing on Saturday. This is a ska version by the St Petersburg Ska-Jazz Review of the Zimbabwean classic “Skokiaan”:
2 “Skokiaan” (3:23) by St Petersburg Ska-Jazz Review from album “Too Good To Be True” (Megalith Records)
Another plug now, this time for the Celebrating Sanctuary Festival 2011 in London on the 19th June on the South Bank. As the name suggests it refers to raising awareness of the plight of refugees during Refugee Week (which takes place 20th -26th June). I’ll be featuring some of the artists involved in the Festival over the next couple of weeks or so on this show and first up is the UK’s Rory McLeod.
He carries with him that same mixture of idiosyncracy and integrity as people like Ash Mandrake, Roy Harper etc. I think it’s safe to say that Rory is an underground legend. Described variously as an amazing folk artist, traveller, troubadour extraordinaire and a one-man folk orchestra, Rory plays a multitude of instruments including trombone, harmonica, spoons, djembe, bandorea, guitar, finger-cymbals and tapshoe-driven stomp-box! He’s played and recorded with people like Ani Di Franco, Taj Mahal, Kathryn Tickell and Ali Farka Toure amongst many others.
I had the pleasure of performing with him back in the 90s right here in Birmingham - a great musician, and a true gent to boot. Luckily for us here in Brum he’s come down from the Orkneys and will be performing next month at the Kitchen Garden Café, Kings Heath, courtesy of World Unlimited. I urge you to go along - you will be drawn into his unique world and emerge with your senses buzzing. And talking of buzzing - this is Rory McLeod and a track from his new album (“Swings and Roundabouts”) called “Lassooing the Bees”!
3 “Lassooing the Bees” (4:00) by Rory McLeod from the album “Swings and Roundabouts” (Talkative Music - Talk004)
Wasn’t that fun! OK yet another plug now! Over the last few weeks I’ve been playing material from the debut album of an anglo-kenyan band called Owiny Sigoma. They are having their inaugural concert on Monday June 6th at Café OTO in Dalston, London. So here’s a track from their album - also called Owiny Sigoma, on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings label - this is a tune sung in English called “Here On The Line”.
4 “Here On the Line” (4:12) by Owiny Sigoma Band from album ‘Owiny Sigoma Band’ (Brownswood Recordings)
Meanwhile over in West Africa we come across the Cote D’Ivoire born, Mali raised singer Fatoumata Diawara (who I first came across last year singing backing vocals on the AfroCubism CD). Fatoumata will be playing the support slot for AfroCubism at their Royal Albert Hall concert on 27th June this year, but in the meantime here’s a preview from her forthcoming album (“Fatou”) to be released by World Circuit in September. This track is called “Kanou” and it’s just been released as an EP on digital download (check iTunes, Amazon, etc).
5 “Kanou” (3:56) by Fatoumata Diawara from EP ‘Kanou’ (World Circuit)
Ok let’s leave Africa for a while, and travel far to the North of Europe to the Baltic Sea for the next few numbers. First up is a choir called Saucejas from the small country of Latvia sandwiched between Lithuania and Estonia. They specialise in choral folk music and this tune is called “Nekukoji, Dzeguzite” which translates as ‘Stop calling, Cuckoo’.
6 “Nekukoji, Dzeguzite” (Stop Calling, Cuckoo) (2:50) by Saucejas from album ‘Native Music 5 - Latvia’ (Latvian Music Information Centre)
Just down from Latvia and Lithuania is Poland where you can find the young folk-pop trio Dagadana (formed by Dagmara Gregorowicz and Dana Vynnytska). A few months ago I featured them in an article that I wrote for WorldMusic.co.uk on the state of Polish world music after hearing their album “Malenka” (Offside Records 005) which was awarded the Polish Fryderyk Award for Folk/World Album of the Year 2010.
They’ve just contacted me to tell me about their forthcoming album “Dlaczego Nie” (which translates as “Why Not?”) and to share the first single from the album : “Wszystkie Maja Po Chlopoku” (Every girl has a man) which is their innovative and very jazzy take on a folk song sung to them by their mothers when they were just kids. The album won’t be released until Autumn, but here’s a taste of what they do.
7 “Wszystkie” (Every Girl Has a Man) (4:13) by Dagadana from album ‘Dlaczego Nie (Why Not?)’
Meanwhile on the other side of the Baltic Sea lies Sweden. This next band is a trio formed by Pelle Björnlert on Fiddle, Johan Hedin on Swedish nyckelharpa and Eric Pekkari on zither, two-accordion and fiddle. They tend to specialise in very old Swedish folk music and this is no exception. This tune is called “Flageolettpolska”.
8 “Flageolettpolskan” (2:58) by Pelle Björnlert, Johan Hedin & Erik Pekkari
Staying in Sweden but with a far more contemporary approach to folk is the duo Jonas Knutsson and Johan Norberg. In fact it’s almost folk-jazz, especially because for this album they’re joined by the wonderful German double bassist Eva Kruse who contributes this piece of Bavarian folk to their repertoire. This is called "Schwarzer Bua”.
9 “Schwarzer Bua” (3:15) by Jonas Knutsson & Johan Norberg from album ‘Skaren: Norrland III’ (Act)
OK, enough Nordic intensity for the moment - let’s have some fun. Everybody aboard the long-haul flight to Mexico City for the next one - Mexico’s ska-punk rebels Los de Abajo (Those From Below) and a rather groovy track full of swagger and street attitude called, naturally enough, “Actitud Calle”:
10 “Actitud Calle” (4:59) by Los De Abajo from the album “Actitud Calle” (Wrasse Records)
And from one great New World metropolis to another, New York! But maybe not as you expect. Most people associate afrobeat with West Africa - especially Nigeria and Ghana, but this next band are from the Big Apple itself and mix very, very convincing afro-beat with afro-funk, cinematic soul, deep disco and boogaloo that features a mighty horn section anchored by tight deep-pocketed grooves. The band - from Brooklyn - is called Ikebe Shakedown, the album is also called “Ikebe Shakedown”, it’s on the Ubiquity record label and this track is called “Asa-Sa”:
11 “Asa-Sa” (5:06) by Ikebe Shakedown from album ‘Ikebe Shakedown’ (Ubiquity)
[CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS]
12 “Ori Mi” (5:03) by Olufemi from album ‘Just In Newtown’
[ - Change CD! - Change CD! - ]
The last track was by the South African based, Nigerian saxophonist and composer, Olufemi from his debut album “Just in Newtown” and a track called “Ori Mi”.
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Now, there can’t be many world music fans who haven’t heard of Ali Farka Toure the Malian guitar maestro who was very much responsible for the initial successes of British record label World Circuit. Ali died 7 years ago, however, in that time his son Vieux Farka Toure has gradually emerged from the giant shadow of his father to become a respected musician in his own right.
Last year he performed to a television audience of a billion people in Johannesburg, South Africa during the World Cup. Vieux will be performing in the UK next month - 16th July at the Larmer Tree Festival and 30th July at Womad in Charlton Park.
Vieux has a new album out next month on the 4th July on the Six Degrees record label. It’s produced by Soulive’s Eric Krasno and features contributions from Derek Trucks of the Allman Brothers, John Scofield and Dave Matthews. The album is called “The Secret” and I have a preview of one of the songs right here for you. This track features Derek Trucks and is called “Aigna”:
(1) 13 “Aigna” (Feat. Derek Trucks) (4:53) by Vieux Farka Touré from album ‘The Secret’ (Six Degrees)
[CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS]
(2) 14 “Duet Flamenco” (2:13) by Vahid Hajikamali from album ‘Duet Flamenco’ (Barbad Records)
You just heard a track called “Duet Flamenco” from an album of the same name from - of all places - Iran! I have next to no details apart from the name Vahid Haji-kamali and that it was released by Iran’s Barbad Records sometime between 2007 and 2009. But I like it!
Also from my same Persian sampler is the following excerpt, originally from a soundtrack album for the box-office breaking Iranian film “M for Mother”, the music for which was composed by Arya Aziminejad who has worked with people like Peter Gabriel and Jocelyn Pook. This is called “As Time Goes By”:
(3) 15 “As Time Goes By” (1:43) by Arya Aziminejad from album ‘M For Mother’ (Barbad Records)
So beautiful and wistful and sad!
And here’s some sad news. It is with a profound sense of loss that I have to report the death on Saturday last of the great poet and singer Gil Scott Heron. He died at the age of 62 after returning from Europe from a virus, I think, that he picked up over here. A young age to die, but a man who in his years did as much as any and more than many to raise the consciousness of all those that came across his music and message.
A man of deep thought and incisive observation, Gil crafted magnificent opuses of life-changing and life-affirming positivity which he often set against minimal percussion and backing. The internet has been awash since Saturday when the news broke of his death with people of all ages and backgrounds testifying to the effect that Gil had on their lives, me amongst them.
The teacher is dead, but his lesson goes on. For a world music show like this, what other song than his reggae-based homage to the power of music and word; from the 1983 album “Reflections”, this is “Storm Music”:
(4) 16 “Storm Music” (4:59) by Gil Scott-Heron from album ‘Reflections’ (Sony)
[CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS]
(5) - Reggae City Ad Jingle (1:05)
[CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS]
(6) 17 “Mun-Dun-Gu” (3:16) by Cedric Brooks (Bamboo)
That last majestic track was “Mundungu” by the Jamaican saxophonist and flautist Cedric Brooks famous for his work with The Skatalites, The Light of Saba and - of course Count Ossie’s rasta outfit the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari. Cedric recorded that track under the moniker Sound Dimension - and it’s a killer! “Mundungu”!
If you like that track, then you can hear it played live by my new band, El Combo Kilombo, which - as I mentioned at the top of the show - is playing its debut gig at the Wagon & Horses, right here on Adderley Street, Digbeth in Birmingham this Saturday 4th June.
Kilombo play a mixture of musics from afrocentric bases including soca-cumbia, merengue-ska, nyabinghi-reggae, Township-jazz, bolero, rumba, bossa, jazz-funk and rhythm & blues.
It’s a free event starting at 8pm and going on till about 3am; it’s called Subvert and besides Combo Kilombo there’s the live dub band “Relative” and DJs including Rhubarb’s very own DJ Marc Reck, as well as Skeleton the Jam Jah DJs Robin Giorno and Bongo Damo as well as Christy, Dodgy Greg and Stalingrad - so there’ll be plenty of Reggae and Dub magic to keep you happy - and it’s all FREE! Yep not a penny on the door!
Ok, let’s go to Jamaica and to a new artist - to me at any rate. This is Omi who’s just been signed to Clifton Dillon’s Shang Records label and a love song called “Cheerleader”:
(7) 18 “Cheerleader” (2:56) Omi (Shang Records)
Now, the Akwaaba record label have been very active recently and one of their recent projects was to celebrate last week’s Africa Day which took place on the 25th of May. They decided to release an EP called “Mama Africana” in homage to one of the most emblematic figures of Africa - the Woman, the mother with her baby on the back carrying and selling goods, bringing food to the table at the end of the day.
Mpula from the band Batida took a hook from a classic 1960s Angolan Semba “There Goes Maria” and then challenged some of his favourite MCs to build a poem around this concept. The three versions selected are on the EP.
Here’s the contribution of Portuguese afro-rapper Karlon (aka Kota K) who talks about the generosity of the women in his life and his neighbourhood, mostly immigrants from Cape Verde.
This is “Lá Vai Maria” - There Goes Maria:
(8) 19 “Lá Vai María” feat. Karlon (3:36) by Batida from EP ‘Mamã Africana’ (Akwaaba)
Here’s an interesting cumbia refixed by Goy Karamelo; originally by the Barcelonian duo of Susana Abellán and Diana Feria - better known as the Rootsmamas, whose philosophy is “Life is simple, all is love, enjoy in peace”. And you can’t say fairer than that! This is “La Trampa”
(9) 20 “La Trampa” (4:04) by Rootsmamas (Goy Karamelo refix)
A nice bit of cumbia-pop there. And now some Balko-Klezmer fusion from Clermont Ferrand - this is a track called “Yvan Oreille D’Ours” by the French band Babayaga:
(10) 21 “Yvan Oreille D’Ours” (3:22) by Babayaga from “1er Album”
Staying with the French connection this is a track by the French latin-hip-hop band Canelason from their album “Sin Pasaporte” (without passport) and a track featuring Racko, called “La Rumba”. Let’s see if this gets you in the mood for moving . . .
(11) 22 “La Rumba” (Featuring Racko) (3:31) by Canelason from album ‘Sin Pasaporte’
OK, almost at the end of the show. And appropriately enough - since this is going to be the XXX rated part . . . 'What’s he going on about?' I can hear you thinking.
Well this next band are from New York and started out as a salsa and timba band led by the Cuban bassist and timbero Danny Rojo; however after a few years of playing standard fare, Danny started changing the lyrics of their tunes in the heat of the moment whilst doing gigs and, shall we say, ‘spicing’ up the words and commenting on the dancers in front of him. His new lyrics really added to the sexually charged atmosphere on the dancefloor and went down well with their fans.
From that moment they’ve never looked back and so they changed their name to Pornoson. Yep, that’s what I said, Pornoson. Just be careful when you’re googling it - you might get more than you bargained for… missus! Their stage show apparently makes Cuban timba legends, La Charanga Habanera look like choirboys - which makes the mind boggle, since I saw La Charanga Habanera on a couple of occasions in the 90s and can attest to their effect on the libido!
For those of a delicate disposition, fear not - it’s all in Spanish - so you’re safe (or deprived, judging on how you see it!) unless you’re a Spanish speaker in which case: disfruta a las delicias de la salsa pornografica! However, the music - which they describe as afro-cuban funk rock - is good quality whatever your attitude to the lyrics including people like Eddie Venegas on trombone and violin, Batanga on tres and electric guitars and the great Luisito Quintero on drums and percussion. So here you go, great music, raunchy lyrics - this is Danny Rojo y su Pornoson and “Nena La Playera”. Enjoy!
(12) 23 “Nena La Playera” (5:50) by Pornoson from album “Ah Sing Are” (Dan Red Music)
OK, that’s it for this week. Thanks . . .
(Shoutouts, don’t forget Kilombo at Wagon & Horses this Saturday, etc)
I’m going to leave you now with a wonderful bit of descarga workout from Texan latin funksters Brownout - this track is “Homenaje” from the album of the same name. Trust me, this is some serious groove. Good night!
(13) 24 “Homenaje” (3:28) by Brownout from abum "Homenaje" (Freestyle Records)
WorldBeatUK (9th Show) - Broadcast Notes (27/4/11)
Tagged with: Worldbeatuk Glyn Phillips Rhubarb Sergent Garcia Show of Hands Susana Seivane Anxo Lorenzo Ojos de Brujo Gnawledge Camarao de Rama Gypsy Groovz Owiny Sigoma Tamikrest Dub Colossus Shawn Lee Quique Neira C-Sharp Ebo Taylor Imam Baildi Bongomatik Strut
WBUK9 (27/4/11) Show Notes
1 Intro-Mat (1:47) Matchatcha Nyekesse (Melodie)
Hope you’ve all had a good Easter and enjoyed the good weather; now that it’s turned a bit colder, hopefully you’ll all be thinking “Nah, bit parky this evening, think I’ll stay in and be warmed up by the groovy choonz and tropical vibes on WorldbeatUK!” So without further ado and maybe even a little bit of adon’t, we’ll kick off with El Salsamuffinero Mayor, Bruno ‘Sergent’ Garcia, and a track from his new album (“Una y Otra Vez”) out on Cumbancha. This one is called “El Baile del Diablo” - The Dance of the Devil.
2 El Baile Del Diablo (4:00) Sergent Garcia Una Y Otra Vez (Cumbancha)
Now that last tune was all about the devil’s dance that the politicians and the world’s leaders indulge in as they continue to muck our lives around - as El Sargento says: “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”. Well this next group also wrote a song criticising those same politicians, leaders and power-hungry people - the track was called “Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed” off the album of the same name by English Folk giants Steve Knightley and Phil Beer of Show of Hands and I played that one a few weeks back.
So now another one off that same album, but this time spelling out their views (which I happen to share) about Creationism. This is called “Evolution”. With the rallying call of ‘Nail your colours to the mast’, the message is “The finger points in one direction, that’s natural selection”
3 Evolution (3:26) Show Of Hands Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed
(Hands On Music, 2009, HMCD29)
Well to show a bit of balance here’s a tune that’s related to a religious theme. It’s called “Camiño Longo” which means the ‘long route’ and is from an album (on the Do Fol Musica/Boa label from Spain) called “Cantigas de Camiño”. The album, which comes with an exquisite little hardback book, is dedicated to music based around the famous Pilgrims Route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain’s Northwestern region of Galicia. This is the beautiful singer and bagpiper Susana Seivane.
4 Camiño Longo (4:01) Susana Seivane Cantigas Do Camiño (do Fol Musica/Boa)
There’s been so much good stuff coming out of the Spanish region of Galicia that I’m including it as one of the three points of what I consider to be Spain’s Golden Triangle of Creativity (which also includes Catalunya in the North-East and Andalucia in the deep South of the peninsula).
Here’s yet another example from Galicia - the brilliant bagpiper Anxo Lorenzo and a track from his debut album “Tirán” (which also include guests appearances from Ireland’s Eoghan Neff on violin and England’s most famous exponent of the Northumbrian pipes, Kathryn Tickell). The album’s released on the Spanish Zouma Records label. This track is also called Tirán.
5 Tirán (ends at 4.10ish) (4:30) Anxo Lorenzo Tirán (Zouma)
Ok, over to the second point of my Golden Triangle: Catalunya, home to Barcelonan super-group Ojos de Brujo. They hit the scene with a bang just 10 years ago and have consistently delighted the world music fans and confounded their detractors with their very personal, idiosyncratic and uncompromising approach to music, business and life.
Word has it that they’re finally splitting up to concentrate on personal projects and so have just released what is, I suppose, their final album (which is released by Warner Brothers Spain). Some critics have accused them of laziness because it contains only two new tracks, the other 11 having all been released before on their other albums.
But the title kind of gives it away: “Corriente Vital: 10 Años” (which roughly translates as ‘the Essential Current - 10 years); it’s obviously a retrospective - but with a band of the quality of Ojos de Brujo, there’s an amazing back catalogue to choose from - so there’s definitely no fillers here!
What they’ve done is to hand all the tracks over to different producers and allow them to remix them as they want. So, yes, it is a new album - it’s like meeting up with an old friend for a last dance; they just happened to have had their hair redone and put on a new outfit - but they still move just as well as before! This track is “Todos Mortales” - originally from their 2009 “Aocaná” album - but here remixed and featuring Roldan from Orishas.
6 Todos Mortales (3:23) Ojos De Brujo Corriente Vital 10 Años (Warner Music Spain)
Staying in Spain still, we’re heading South to the final point of my Golden Triangle of Spanish Creativity, to the huge province of Andalusia on the South Coast, the jumping off point for the Moorish influx that so influenced Iberian culture.
And high up in the Sierra Nevada, the home of the amazing Moorish palace and gardens of the Alhambra you’ll find one of the most stylish, yet also most funkiest and bohemian of Spanish cities, Granada.
This is home to a brilliant band - or maybe I should call it a project - called Gnawledge. Put together by American musicologist Canyon Cody and rapper Gnotes, they fuse Andalucian flamenco with North African Gnawa music and jazzy hip-hop sensibilities and more, so much more, utilising a cast of top flight Granadan musicians including Juan Habichuela “El Nieto” on guitar, Otoman Almerabet on Laúd, Eneko Alberdi on guitar, DJ Doblegota on Scratch and loads more amazing musicians. I absolutely LOVE these guys! This is from their “Granada Doaba” album (on the Gnawledge label) and a track called “Perro Cruzado”.
7 Perro Cruzado (3:57) Gnawledge Granada Doaba (Gnawledge)
Ok, we’re going to leave Spain now, but just to show how difficult that is, this next track is a wonderful piece of maracatú-flamenco from Brazil! The band is called Banda Camarão de Rama and is based around the Miguez family: father, Gilvan, daughter, Aline and son, Daniel from Belo Horizonte, in Minas Gerais. The track is entitled “A Bala”.
8 A Bala (2:57) Banda Camarão de Rama
Complete change of pace and place now as we head back over the Atlantic to Europe and back to that Balkan Gypsy Music Festival in Guca, Serbia I mentioned a couple of weeks back. This is part of a 35 minute long jam between 75 balkan brass musicians and 10 nyabinghi drummers; the track is called “Hot Water Festival” (this is part 4) and it’s from the album Gypsy Groovz Orchestra Goes Tutti Mundi: “Night Train for Lovers and Thieves” on the German Network Medien label.
9 Festival Tople Vode Part 4 (3:10) Gypsy Groovz Orchestra Night Train for Lovers and Thieves (Network)
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10 Margaret Okudo (dub) (4:18) Owiny Sigoma Band Owiny Sigoma Band (Brownswood)
That last track was called “Margaret Okudo” by the Owiny Sigoma Band, and is from their forthcoming album. There’s an interesting story attached to it:
Two years ago on the eve of the inauguration of President Obama, five musician friends from London who’d know each other since school days pitched up in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa as part of a loose, informal collaboration organised by the voluntary organisation Art of Protest to promote local Kenyan musicians and partner them with British ones to see what came out of it all.
The London lads met with the phenomenal teacher and player of the East African nyatiti - an 8 string lyre - Joseph Nyamungu, a man steeped in traditional Luo music; he in turn introduced them to drummer Charles Owoko - also steeped in Luo rhythms and the 7 piece got together to find common ground in a disused factory in downtown Nairobi - the only studio big enough to take them all - since most studios in the capital cater only for rap and RnB productions, ie a computer and one mic!
They named the band after Joseph’s grandfather, Owiny Sigoma. Next year they reconvened in Nairobi, this time as a 10-piece band and recorded the album at the Kenya National Theatre - a collection of gloriously loose afro-grooves which sway between Luo and London.
Most of the songs are written by Joseph and based on Luo folk songs. However they must have done something right, because they were picked up by Brownswood Records and championed by none other than Gilles Peterson, who’s really into the drum and bass heavy sound, and Damon Albarn of Gorillaz fame, who also pops up on a couple of the tracks on the album. The album’s also called “Owiny Sigoma Band” and is due to be released next week on the 2nd May on the Brownswood Records label.
Ok, sticking with Africa, but this time shifting over to Mali, here’s a band I’ve also played before. Part of the new generation of Tuareg Desert Rockers, this is the young band Tamikrest, from Saharan Mali, and a track from their new album released only two days ago by Glitterhouse Records. The album’s called “Toumastin” and this track is entitled “Tidit”.
11 Tidit (4:15) Tamikrest Toumastin (Glitterhouse Records)
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12 Wey Fikir (4:20) Dub Colossus Addis Through The Looking Glass (Real World)
Wasn’t that dreamy and beautiful! You’ve just heard the brilliant Dub Colossus, an Anglo-Ethiopian collaboration between Nick Page, aka Dubulah of Transglobal Underground and Syriana, and masses of fantastic Ethiopian musicians from the Addis Ababa scene (which includes jazz and rock and hip-hop and soul as well as traditional music).
The wonderfully delicate vocals on there were handled by Ethiopian pop star Tsedenia Gebremarkos. So much great music on that album - it really repays listening to again and again to extract all the hidden flavours! I’m absolutely loving it! That track was called “Wey Fikir” from the album “Addis Through The Looking Glass” by Dub Colossus and it too was released only two days ago on the 25th of April and is on the Real World Records label.
Well, I can only really follow that with a track by Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra - who incidentally will be appearing at Birmingham’s Mostly Jazz Festival on Friday 1st July this year - and what else but a dark, jazzy piece called “Ethio” from the album “World of Funk” on the Ubiquity label.
13 Ethio (3:42) Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra World Of Funk (Ubiquity)
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14 Afrodesia (2:41) The Afro Soul-Tet Afrodesia (Ubiquity)
That last track - drenched in tropical rain storms - was an old track called “Afrodesia” from the heyday of jazzy afro-psychedelia and was by the Afro Soul-Tet from their album also called “Afrodesia”. Originally a very limited pressing of between 500-1000 on the Banyon label from Los Angeles sometime between 1968-71, it’s now been reissued by Ubiquity Records.
Something different now. This is a track I’d originally planned to play last week, but my interview and live session with Brazilian percussion genius Renato Martins overran somewhat and I had to drop it. Well, now I can reinstate this lovely piece of Chilean reggae - this is from the king of South American reggae, Quique Neira - off his album “Jah Rock” (on the German label GLM) - and a track entitled: “Dar y Recibir” (To Give and To Receive):
15 Dar y Recibir (4:35) Quique Neira Jah Rock (GLM)
And from a classic reggae style to very much up-to-date Jamaican reggae-pop with a latin-cum-RnB feel; this is C-Sharp - a band I’ve played a lot this year - and probably the most clubby commercial piece I’ve heard of their’s, with at least one verse in Spanish too! They’ve got a new album coming out this year called “The Invitation”. This is called “Dancin’ Like Crazy”.
16 Dancin Like Crazy (3:14) C-Sharp
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17 Calypso Cha Cha (2:52) Count Lasha & His Calypsonians Soundman Shots: The Caribou & Downbeat 78's Story (Snapper Records)
Ha ha! Bet you didn’t see that one coming did you? From contemporary Reggae pop to the sound of 1950s Jamaican mento (masquerading as Calypso) mixed with Cha Cha Cha taken from some rare 78’s! Very early fusion then!
And yet people forget that there has always been quite a bit of influence between the neighbouring islands of Jamaica and Cuba. Very many Jamaicans went to work on the sugar plantations in the East of Cuba and learnt Spanish and soaked up the rich cultural soup of Santiago de Cuba and took this back to JA; similarly I met many old Cubans who had learned English either from Jamaicans or in Jamaica themselves.
That was Count Lasha and his Calypsonians from a great compilation double album on the Snapper Records label called “Sound Man Shots: the Caribou and Downbeat 78’s Story” and a track entitled, funnily enough, “Calypso Cha Cha”.
Ok, sticking with the whole half-a-century ago feel, this is from one of my favourite labels, Soundway Records, (who recently released the excellent Colombian compilation of 1960s tunes called “Cartagena!”); this time it’s still in the Caribbean but looking at the French speaking Caribbean and an album released in 2009 called “Tumbélé! Biguine, Afro & Latin Sounds from the French Caribbean, 1963-1974”, which concentrates on the French-speaking and - to this day - still French-administered islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. A fantastic retrospective of yet another hidden part of the Caribe.
However, the track I’ve chosen is actually by a band from Haiti who happened to spend a few years living and working in Martinique and who recorded several LPs there, mostly heavy ‘compas’ for the Hit Parade label. The band is called Les Loups Noirs de’Haïti (the Black Wolves of Haiti), the track was recorded in 1972 and is a manic biguine written by Gardner Lalanne and featuring some bizarre, almost psychedelic, approximations of a jet plane taking off, with crazy sax, distorted guitar and a rhythm section that is almost tripping over itself with excitement. Absolutely love it! This is called, appropriately enough, “Jet Biguine”.
18 Jet Biguine (3:26) Les Loups Noirs D'Haiti Tumbele (Soundways)
Wonderful madness! OK, in the last of my oldies (for the moment at least) this is a funktastic, groovalicious slice of Ghanian Afrobeat from someone who I’ve featured before on this show, Mr Ebo Taylor from the excellent album “Life Stories - Highlife and Afrobeat Classics 1973-1980” - a double album of Ebo’s work with different bands and all very, very enjoyable. It’s on the Strut Records label and was released a few weeks ago. The track I’ve selected has guitar maestro Ebo Taylor alongside Uhuru-Yenzu and a track called “What Is Life?”
19 What Is Life? (4:38) Ebo Taylor & Uhuru-Yenzu Life Stories -
Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1973-1980 (Strut)
Did I say last of the oldies? Well, Yes and No. Those Greek brothers Lysandros and Orestis Falireas, better known as Imam Baildi (who incidentally take their name from a middle eastern aubergine dish which translates as “The Priest Faints”) - well, these inveterate mashers and mixers of rebetiko have worked their magic on yet another old Greek tune this time it’s the singer Meri Lida and a track called “Thlipsi”.
20 Thlipsi (Remix) (3:20) Meri Lida/Imam Baildi The Imam Baildi Cookbook (EMI Greece)
Ok, we’re slipping up to the last 20 minutes or so of the show, so let’s press on. This band I discovered only recently - and I’m so glad I did. They’re from the Netherlands, they’re called “Bongomatik” and they play the most delightful mix of latin, funk and pop.
This is off their eponymous debut album (and if you’re wondering why I’m using all those big words again - ‘eponymous’ is just another word for ‘self-titled’ - Aw, come on guys, there are thousands of words in the dictionary, it’s a crime not to try and use them all!).
It’s a great album, a whole lot of fun, highly recommended, not long released. It’s published by No Can Do Music on the Distribution label and this track is called “Donde” (if you like Cuba’s Omara Portuondo you’ll recognise it… eventually!).
21 Donde (5:11) Bongomatik Bongomatik (No Can Do / Distribution)
Continuing with the Cuba connection, this is a band that England’s Tumi Music label are pushing a lot. They’re called To’ Mezclao (which means “All Mixed Up”) and that reflects their musical standpoint - since the album covers salsa, latin pop, son-fusion, latin house, reggaeton, merengue, cumbia and bachata.
Naturally, the album is called “Hibrid” (or Hybrid), it’s on the Tumi Music label. They’ll be touring the UK this summer between mid-June and mid-July and promise to be a very exciting band live. The track I’ve chosen is a piece of latin pop called “Mango Bajito”
22 Mango Bajito (3:11) To'Mezclao Híbrid (Tumi Music)
Sticking with latin this is one of my all-time favourite salsa tracks. Of all the salsa dura - or hard salsa - tracks, this is one of the most ‘dura’. It’s by Mr Hard Hands himself, Ray Barretto. It’s from the double album compilation “Fania Records 1964-1980: the Original Sound of Latin New York” released this year by Strut Records. And the track is the MONSTER tune that is: “Indestructible”
23 Indestructible (4:14) Ray Barretto Fania Records 1964-1980:
The Original Latin Sound of New York (Strut)
Thanks to one and all etc…
I’m going to hand over to Olbi Iyah and his show “Version Galore” with reggae of all sorts and styles and periods. And to ease you into that, this is probably my favourite track of the night. This is LUSHNESS personified! Mr Sonny Bradshaw and the Sonny Bradshaw Seven from the Trojan Sixties Box Set 1, this is “Love is Blue”. Good night, see you next week for more worldly grooves!
24 Love Is Blue (3:19) Sonny Bradshaw Seven Trojan Sixties Box Set 1
WorldBeatUK (3rd Show)- Broadcast Notes (14/03/11)
Tagged with: WorldBeatUK Glyn Phillips Rhubarb Radio Cheik Lô Pressure Sounds Lee Perry Ranglin Jeremy Marre Inner Circle Vampisoul Majid Bekkas Tamikrest Soundways Poly-Rhythmo Owiny Sigoma Watcha Clan Rango Oy Moutinho Fexomat Chalice Gevende
Show Notes for 3rd WorldBeatUK world music radio show with Glyn Phillips
(broadcast on Rhubarb Radio - 14/03/11)
1 Jingle 1
Great show coming up this evening with quite an influence from Africa later on, as well as new releases and pre-releases from Watcha Clan, Lee Scratch Perry, Owiny Sigoma, Soundways, Vampisoul, Tamikrest, Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo, Pedro Moutinho, Sr Ortegon and Chalice.
But first off, some African reggae from Senegal’s Cheik Lô - this is “Warico Dub”.
2 “Warico Dub” Cheik Lô
Now this one’s for the reggae and dub heads out there. Just like to say thanks to Steve Williams of UKVibe for the heads-up on this one. Pete Holdsworth and record label Pressure Sounds have collated and released a very interesting selection of Dub Plate Mixes and Rarities recorded by The Upsetter himself, Mr Lee “Scratch” Perry, dating from 1973 to 1979. The album’s called “The Return of Sound System Scratch” (Pressure Sounds PSCD70) and it’s essentially a compilation of some of Perry’s more obscure - even extreme - recordings, most from the Black Ark period.
As well as Lee Perry there are many different variations of the Upsetters on this album with special guests such as Junior Murvin, Candy Mackenzie, Leo Graham, George Faith, Jimmy Riley and Jack Lord; there are also tracks by Aleas Juve, The Unforgettables and the Silvertones. Some of the tracks are previously unreleased and many are exclusive dub plate mixes; some are very accessible commercial tracks and others are pure Lee Perry fantasy world dub weirdness.
However, the cut I’m going to play is much more user-friendly and you don’t have to be swirling in a haze of holy herbalness to appreciate it. It’s by Candy Mackenzie & the Upsetters and is a previously unreleased track called “Long Enough”
3 “Long Enough” Candy Mackenzie
[Continuous - No Break]
4 “54-46” Ernest Ranglin ft Toots Hibbert
That was legendary Jamaican ska and jazz guitarist Ernest Ranglin on one of my favourite numbers “54-46”; I’m also a big fan of 634-5789 (by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper), 344-3025 (by Giraldo Piloto)! They don’t write numbers like that anymore… But hey, that just me! Vocals were from the equally legendary Toots Hibbert.
Now, while we’re still on a Jamaican tip, I want to play a very rare track recorded live during a field recording in Jamaica in 1977 for a documentary called “Roots, Rock, Reggae”. The documentary highlighted the real life street level music of Jamaica at a time when, apart from Perry Henzell’s “The Harder They Come” film, there was very little real film of music and life there getting out into the mainstream and even in Jamaica, reggae was viewed with scorn by many in power. And the guy who happened to be in the right place at the right time? Jeremy Marre. M-A-R-R-E.
Ring any bells? No? Well it should do - he’s the film-maker behind the legendary late 70s/early 80s “Beats of the Heart” documentary series on world music (from which this documentary comes) - this was before we even called it world music - an incredibly influential work documenting a seminal point in the global consciousness of the world’s music outside of the mainstream. Those of us involved today owe a big debt to pioneers like this.
Is he resting on his laurels? Nope. Last Month’s “Reggae Britannia” series on BBC was his, as was the brilliant series, “Latin Music USA” and also “Soul Britannia” as well as stuff on James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Phil Spector and more. Jeremy Marre, as they say, knows his onions!
For “Roots Rock Reggae” Marre had to play a sleight of hand trick with the Jamaican authorities at the time and pretend to be making a film about calypso and jazz to be able to get permission to film. Once there the team had to try and establish contact with reggae musicians on the ground amidst many difficulties and a background of gang wars, street violence and the mayhem created by the competing factions of the politicians Michael Manley and Edward Seaga.
It’s a fascinating documentary showing the reality of the late 70s for Jamaicans and the volatility which forged conscious reggae. It’s available (as are many of the re-issued “Beats of the Heart” documentaries) via the DVD label Digital Classics at www.digitalclassicsdvd.co.uk - I’ll try and put details up on my site later.
This track by Inner Circle was recorded live at an afternoon stage show in a Kingston street - complete with vocalist Jacob Miller berating the crowd beforehand for not behaving themselves! This is “Love is the Drug”.
* Inner Circle - “Love is the Drug” (audio from Roots Rock Reggae DVD)
Moving away from Jamaica we’re going to early 60s black urban America and the sound of early RnB from the vaults of King and Federal. Rhythm and Blues as world music. Yep! You’d better believe it.
The fantastic Spanish re-issue label Vampisoul has just released Volume 2 of their series RnB Hipshakers; this album’s entitled “Scratch That Itch” and this track is by a man who later was better known as a comedian, actor and film producer, Rudy Ray Moore. Most famous for his title role as the “uniquely articulate pimp” Dolemite in the 1975 Blaxploitation comedy film, this is Rudy Ray taking us all for a “Buggy Ride” . . .
5 “Buggy Ride” Rudy Ray Moore
Rhythm and Blues grew out of the Blues and here’s an example of how it all links back to Mama Africa. This is the Moroccan gnawa master Majid Bekkas from his 2002 album “African Gnaoua Blues” on the Belgian Sowarex Igloomondo label and a track called “African Blues”.
6 “African Blues” Majid Bekkas
Going south from Morocco over the Sahara you eventually end up in the desert area of northwestern Mali. We’re used to hearing the more southern sound of this vast country, but here’s a track from its Tuareg community 2,000 miles north of Bamako. Tamikrest are a young band who fuse more traditional Tuareg music and the Tamshek language with influences from Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley.
Never underestimate the power of music - the band’s leader Ousmane Ag Mossa didn’t have access to even cassette tapes until 2000 around the time he started learning guitar - and what did he listen to? Dire Straits and Bob Marley. As he said “That changed my musical vision completely and I stopped to classify music. Music is just music, no matter where it comes from”. Amen to that.
Tamikrest’s new album “Toumastin” won’t be out until April 25th but here’s a preview from it. This is “Arantane N Tinariwen”
7 “Arantane N Tinariwen” Tamikrest
Well I’m REALLY excited about this next release - I’ve been jumping up and down for joy for a few days now. The brilliant British label Soundways specialise (amongst other things) in digging out the lost and forgotten recordings of the world’s most vibrant musical cultures. Here they focus on the music of Colombia’s Caribbean coast and the output of Curro Fuentes’ recordings from Cartagena. And this is a gem of an album, with Roberto Gyemant aided by Miles Cleret and Quantic’s Will Holland assembling some diamond moments.
It’s full name is “Cartagena - Curro Fuentes & the Big Band Cumbia and Descarga Sound of Colombia 1962-72” and it’s chock-full of goodies! Anyone who knows me knows my longstanding passion for cumbias (especially from the golden years) and I wasn’t disappointed with cumbia, porro, gaita, merecumbé and tamborera all thrown into the mix; however it was the descargas that really blew me away.
This is the wonderfully named Clodomiro Montes y el Super Combo Curro and a track called Puerto Rico Zuuuuuuumbando!
8 “Puerto Rico Zumbando” Clodomiro Montes y el Super Combo Curro
[Continuous - No Break]
9 “Pardon” Orch Poly-Rhythmo
The last track was “Pardon” from the Beninese afrobeat band Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo. Now then, that was a preview track from their new album called “Cotonou Club” which is to be released on the Strut label in a fortnight’s time. Amazingly it’s their first new album in 20 years! With five members of the original 1960s band, two from the 70s incarnation and three new members, they also invited guests Angelique Kidjo, Fatoumata Diawara and member of Franz Ferndinand on their new release.
Here’s another new release. Owiny Sigoma is a new band formed by the combination of a collective of UK musicians brought over to Kenya on a grassroots level cultural exchange programme to work with Nairobi based Joseph Nyamungu who plays the 8 string lyre, the nyatiti and drummer Charles Owoko who specialises in traditional Luo rhythms. The resulting album recorded in a disused factory outside Nairobi has subsequently been championed by Gilles Peterson and is to be released by Brownswood Recordings on April 18th with a special pre-release of the 12” single “Wires” exclusive to Record Store Day - that’s April 16th in case you didn’t know! - backed by a Theo Parrish remix. This is the original version...
10 “Wires” Owiny Sigoma Band
Staying with the London-Africa connection here’s some Township jazz from Barnet, North London by the excellent ‘Rhythm-&-Blues-and-everything-in-between’ band Big Chief recorded live outdoors at the Ealing Blues and Roots Festival last July and on their new album “On Broadway”. This tune is written by them and features a great horn section of John and Chris Fry and Ed Benstead blowing out on “Africa Rag”.
11 “Africa Rag” Big Chief
Now then, think Brazil and you think Samba, Bossa, Baile Funk, Forro, Axe, Maracatú, etc, etc - a whole semi-continent of rhythm. However this next band look Northward to a tiny island far far away - as many of us do - for our inspiration. The Orquesta Brasileira de Musica Jamaicana are part of the latin ska phenomenon currently ripping up latin dancefloors from Argentina to Venezuela. This is from their album “Volume 1” on the Scubidu label and is a re-imagining of “Tico Tico No Fubá”.
12 “Tico Tico No Fubá” OBMJ
[Continuous - No Break]
13 “Perfection” Boogat (Geko Jones/N Ron) - cuts before proper end!
14 JINGLE 2
Before the break you heard the track Perfection by Boogat (big shout out going to Geko Jones and N Ron in New York for that one).
Now, remember I was talking earlier about British label Soundways and their new album “Cartagena”? Well it’s so good I’ve just got to play another track. This is Crecencio Camacho y el Super Combo Curro and a tune called “Santana en Salsa”. The background to this cut is that after a night’s playing the band have just finished a gig and are now starting to play just for fun. This is a monster tune with a heavy, heavy, groove. Just intoxicating… Pa’ to’os ellos que le ‘usten la musica colombiana de lo’ años de oro!
15 “Santana En Salsa” - Crecencio Camacho y el Super Combo Curro
[Continuous - No Break]
16 “March of the Morons” Oy Division
You just hear the traditional Jewish sounds of the gloriously named Oy Division and “March of the Morons”.
Here’s another brand new release due out on the 4th April here: this time it’s Marseille’s global beat outfit Watcha Clan and a track from their new album “Radio Babel”. They’ll be playing in London tomorrow at the Rich Mix Bar in Bethnal Green Road E1 to promote the new album. This is a wonderful piece of dubsteppy reggae worldness entitled “Im Nin’alu”.
17 “Im Nin’alu” Watcha Clan
[Continuous - No Break]
18 “Sawakin” Rango
What you just heard was a track called "Sawakin" from an album entitled “Bride of the Zar” by the Egyptian based but Sudanese descended band, Rango, (no relation to the animated gecko currently at the cinema I might add). Their back story is too long to go into here, but includes mystic healing ceremonies, Sudanese trances, Nubian weddings, a 190 year old xylophone, an Arabian vampire, ghosts, aerosol cans, chickens, sardines and recycled aerosol cans. Intrigued? You will be! Please check them out at www.30IPS.com (which is their label) and the other bands there too.
I’m a sucker for Portuguese music and fado in particular; this is the lovely soothing sound of Portuguese singer Pedro Moutinho - in a duet with the luscious Mayra Andrade from Cabo Verde from Pedro’s album “Lisboa Mora Aqui” on the Uguru label. “Alfama”
19 “Alfama” Pedro Moutinho & Mayra Andrade
OK, let’s up the adrenaline with some heart-pumping salsa dura from the very talented producer, composer and musician, Señor Ortegon from Cali, Colombia. This is right on the money - “Fiesta de la Calle”
20 “Fiesta en la Calle” Ortegon
If you like Gypsy music and also like Breakcore then this one’s for you; some diamond-tipped Balkan Hardcore from Berlin: Fexomat and Sum and a remix of “Golden Days”
21 “Golden Days (rmx)” Fexomat & Sum
[Continuous - No Break]
22 “Celick Comak” Gevende
You’re listening to WorldBeatUK with me Glyn Phillips and you’ve just heard a track that I had to move from last week’s show, the Turkish psychedelic folk band Gevende and a track from their first album “Ev” on the Baykus music label called “Celick Comack”:
OK, I’m going to take it down slightly now with some smooth Jamaican soulful reggae, this is Chalice and “Caravan of Love”
23 “Caravan of Love” Chalice
Now last week I got into terrible trouble with my missus, who threatened to beat me around the head with a fryingpan because I played a track with lyrics she didn’t approve of. It was a mash-up between Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and something by Cobra and Beanie Man with some rather heavy Jamaican Patois. Now, to be fair I didn’t really listen to the lyrics and couldn’t understand much of it anyway, revelling instead in the musical juxtaposition of the sounds and rhythms involved (I am a drummer after all!). How was I to know he wasn’t going on about a small kitten?
So to set matters straight here’s a song with words that I completely understand and it really IS about the singer’s loving relationship with his girlfriend’s faithful feline companion. And if you choose to interpret it in any other way, then that’s your filthy minds, not mine . . . This is Robert Crumb (yes, cartoon fans, he of the steatopygically robust ladies) and the Cheap Suit Serenaders. You’ll pick the title up as you go along!
24 “My Girl’s Pussy” - Robert Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders
Goodbyes, reminders for next week, thank yous, etc
NB: I'd like to thank Marc Reck for letting me have his slot!
I’m going to leave you with a real banger:
25 “Feelin Alright” Joe Cocker (Matty Blades remix)