WorldBeatUK (13th Show) - Broadcast Notes (25/5/11)
Tagged with: WorldBeatUK Glyn Phillips Rhubarb Vampisoul Chico Trujillo La Big Landin Palmeras Kanibales Hamilton Loomis Roger Innis Jamie Little Sondorgo Lena Kovacevic Joanne Vance Sexto Sentido Olufemi Hijaz Va Fan Fahre Zephyrus Ieye Yeska Gypsy Sound System Strut
WBUK13 (25/5/11) Show Notes
1 “Intro-Mat” (1:47) - Matchatcha - ‘Nyekesse’ (Melodie)
You’re tuned into Rhubarb Radio, I’m Glyn Phillips, and you’re listening to WorldBeatUK - two hours of the best world music from around the globe!
On the show tonight - for your delectation and delight - I’ve got music from Cuba, Texas, Serbia, Nigeria, Belgium, South Africa, Ecuador, Hungary, Jamaica, Ghana, South Africa, Iran, California and Poland.
But we’re kicking off tonight with a couple of tracks from some re-issue compilation albums that I’ve been featuring over the last couple of weeks. The first track is from the album “Highlife Times Vol 2” which features Highlife music from Ghana and Nigeria from the 1950s and 1960s. It’s a compilation on the Spanish Vampisoul label and this track is a fusion of Highlife and Charanga by the band the Ramblers International, it’s called “Muntie”.
2 “Muntie” (5:21) - The Ramblers International - ‘Highlife Times Vol 2’ (Vampisoul)
Same vein, but this one’s from the album ‘Nigeria 70: Sweet Times, Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju from 1970s Lagos‘ on the Strut Records label and this is Ali Chunkwumah and his Peace Makers International and a number entitled “Henrietta”.
3 “Henrietta” (4:40) - Ali Chunkwumah & His Peace Makers International - ‘Nigeria 70: Sweet Times’ (Strut)
Well you don’t have to go to Nigeria or Ghana to hear some good highlife or afrobeat because Holland’s very own Mdungu have got it going on over here in Europe. This is the title track of their album on the Zimbraz label. Afro What!?
4 “AfroWhat!?” (4:55) - Mdungu - ‘Afro What!?’ (Zimbraz)
[CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS]
5 “Los Luchadores Jump” (4:42) - Los Flamers feat. House of Pain (Le Cumbianche Disco Remix)
That was a little bit of glitch-cumbia from Los Flamers featuring House of Pain called “Los Luchadores Jump” - all about the Mexican wrestling phenomenon known as ‘lucha libre’ where fat blokes dressed in silly costumes and lycra-covered faces jump around all over each in heavily choreographed performance-fights . . .
Nothing new to those us of brought up on Saturday afternoon British Wrestling during the 1960s and 70s through the likes of Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Mick McManus, Catweazle and of course, the Mystery Man himself: Kendo Nagasaki! (or just plain old Peter Thornley to his neighbours!)
Ok sticking with some wonderfully cheesy cumbia now, this is another example of the new wave of cumbia from South America’s Southern Cone countries - in this case, Chile’s Chico Trujillo - one of the leaders in la cumbia chilombiana and latin ska. This track is from their album "Chico de Oro" (Golden Boy) and a number entitled “Sombrero”:
6 “Sombrero” (4:48) - Chico Trujillo - ‘Chico de Oro’
Like many people who listen to this programme, I like me ska. Oh yes! I’m not a big fan of the 3rd wave of ska - the sort of million-miles an hour, shouty-punky stuff; I much prefer first wave Jamaican ska - more laid back: sort of Skatalites, Jackie Mittoo, Don Drummond, you know who I’m talking about.
However, there’s some great stuff, now coming out of South America, so I offer you a couple of bands from Venezuela. First up from their 2007 album “Skaterriza” is La Big Landin Orquesta and a piece of latin ska based on a very old Brazilian choro tune called “Proezas de Solon”:
7 “Proezas De Solon” (4:02) - La Big Landin Orquesta - ‘Skaterriza’
[CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS]
8 La Culebra (4:02) - Palmeras Kaníbales - ‘La Ruta’
So, first up was La Big Landin Orquesta from Venezuela and “Proezas de Solon”; and after that the wonderful Palmeras Kaníbales also from Venezuela, and from their 2006 album “La Ruta” an old Cuban tune called “La Culebra”. Wasn’t that magnificent! Just the kind of band I’d love to see live.
Talking of which, after last week’s show I went up to the Adam and Eve pub right here in Digbeth to see a band on spec that I’d never seen before. I knew the bass player, the highly talented and very funny Roger Innis - who I’d spent the afternoon doing photoshoots with, along with the rest of our new band The Funkawallahs - more of which in weeks to come! - and he’d said he was playing that evening with a blues/funk/rock band and to come along after my show.
And boy, oh boy, was I glad that I did! The band consisted of Roger Innis on bass, Birmingham’s own Jamie Little on drums and two Americans - a Mr Strat Doyle on sax and the most excellently named Hamilton Loomis from Texas on guitar, vocals and gob-iron (that’s harmonica for those of you who don’t come from the Black Country!). Easily, but easily one of the best live bands I have seen in years . . . Easily!
What a night! The band were tighter than a duck’s backside - and that’s watertight! The sax player could almost have blown up an entire tornado in the pub and Hamilton was just outstanding. Perfect. Just perfect, in everything he did. Half the crowd there were excellent Brummie musicians themselves - enough to form 3 or 4 more bands - a tough crowd under normal circumstances; but this band were just stupidly good!
And it was all free!! Honestly, Brum’s a great place for music - you jus’ gotta search it out. I won’t go on, except to say that this next track is by the aforementioned Hamilton Loomis Band from their album “Live in England” (on Ham-Bone Records). Obviously, as with all live recordings, it is but a pale imitation of the real experience, but it’s all I got. This is called “Best Worst Day”.
9 Best Worst Day (4:23) - Hamilton Loomis Band - ‘Live In England’ (Ham-Bone Records)
You’re listening to WorldBeatUK right here on Rhubarb Radio, with me Glyn Phillips bringing you 2 hours of great world music every Wednesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
From Digbeth to Dakar, from Birmingham to Belgium, from England to Ecuador WorldBeatUK brings a whole planet to your ears!
[mention ChatnGo/Facebook, shout-outs etc]
Söndörgo are a group from Hungary and this is taken from the forthcoming album “Tamburising: Lost Music Of The Balkans” on the World Village UK label. The release date for this has recently been confirmed as 27th June 2011 here in the UK on CD and digitally worldwide.
Their trademark instrument is the tambura - not the stringed drone instrument of Indian music - but a small mandolin-like instrument of the Serbian and Croatian communities resident in Hungary. In fact the band’s whole sound is distinct from the usual fiddle-led line-up of Hungarian tradition. This track is called “Opa Cupa”:
10 Opa Cupa (3:48) - Söndörgõ - ‘Tamburising: Lost Music Of The Balkans’ (World Village UK)
Yep, the wonderful traditional sound of the balkan tambura and vocals as played by Söndörgö from their album “Tamburising: Lost Music of the Balkans”. Well, I’m going to play three rather beautiful contemporary tracks from female singers now.
Staying in the Balkan area, the first one is an artist I played last week, the lovely Serbian singer Lena Kovacevic. Last time I played her singing in Srpksi; but she’s also pretty nifty in English too! So this is from her 2009 English language album “Haunt Me” and a jazzy track called “Shine Your Light”.
11 “Shine Your Light” (4:18) - Lena Kovacevic - ‘Haunt Me’
Lovely! Now, this next artist is the Ecuadorian singer, guitarist and composer Joanne Vance (not to be confused with the English painter of the same name). Yes, I know, it’s not the most hispanic sounding of names, but whilst her mother is Ecuadorian born and bred, her father was from North America.
Joanne makes mature jazz-tinged music which I would call pop, except that her songs have a greater depth and resonance than what you would normally expect from that term. You can hear the influences of people such as Ani DiFranco, Tori Amos, Jeff Buckley etc on the one hand and South America’s homegrown acoustic rockers such as the Argentinians Luis Alberto Spinetta and Pedro Aznar (both of whom I used to listen to back in the 80s) on the other.
But be under no illusions, this is no throwback or copycat music; Joanne is very much her own boss and this comes over in the confidence of her delivery and the maturity of her compositions. She’s a complete modern woman.
Which for me, is a strange thing to come to terms with since, I have to confess, I used to know her when she was just 10 years old (some 20 or so years ago!). Joanne and her sister Carrie and their lovely mother, Cecilia spent a year or so living right here in Birmingham whilst Ceci studied at the University. Jo’s mother would come along to the now legendary latin all-nighters at Los Andes where I cut my teeth DJing in the late 80s/early 90s. Happy times indeed.
So I was stunned when after two decades I made contact with Ceci and realised that little Jo (all goofy glasses and braces on her teeth when I knew her) had grown up - and to be a wonderful musician too.
So, I think they are listening to the show right now, out there in one of my favourite cities of the world, Ecuador’s capital, Quito - the second highest capital on the planet - way up in the South American Andes. Pues, chicas, Jo, Carrie y Ceci - besos de mi, saludos desde Birmingham y espero vertes un dia de estes!
This track is from her album “Silencios Incómodos” (Uncomfortable Silences) and it’s called “Versión Editada”:
12 “Versión Editada” (3:42) - Joanne Vance - ‘Silencios Incómodos’
[ CHANGE THE CD OVER!! - CHANGE THE CD OVER!! ]
Beautiful! Joanne Vance from Ecuador. You can find out more about Joanne from her website: www.joannevance.net.
And now the third in my trilogy of lush female singers. This time we’re going North from Ecuador to the Caribbean and touching down in La Habana, Cuba. And that’s where we’ll find one of my absolute favourite bands of the moment, the four girl vocal phenomenon that is Sexto Sentido (Sixth Sense in English).
I’ve played them quite a bit on this radio show and on the one I used to co-present before, and shall continue to do so. Quality is quality and these girls have it by the bucketful. They’re currently riding high in Cuba after having had their single “Guajiro” at No 1 in the Cuban charts for 7 weeks - which I also played on my last show.
Just to let you know the music you’re hearing is a UK exclusive - I’m the only person to be allowed to broadcast the music from their forthcoming album in this country, after hearing and writing about the band when I met them last year in Copenhagen.
Sexto Sentido are four Cuban singers and multi-instrumentalists, composers, arrangers to boot. Very, very talented ladies indeed. Oh, and beautiful too! You can read my review of their concert at Charlie Scott’s Jazz Bar in Copenhagen at www.worldmusic.co.uk/reviews if you want.
In the meantime this is from the soon to be released album “The Way” - which they’ve produced entirely themselves and is a mixture of lush, complex and sophisticated self-penned English and Spanish songs in a variety of styles. This is a jazzy bossa entitled “En Tu Cuerpo” (In Your Body):
(1) 13 “En Tu Cuerpo” (4:08) - Sexto Sentido - ‘The Way’
Sexto Sentido there from Cuba - and definitely more from them in the weeks to come.
OK, let’s move on and get some more Highlife dancing music in. This is an old track from West Africa - Ghana’s Melody Aces (not to be confused with the Belfast dance band of the same name!) from the album “Stars of West Africa - Highlife Hits” and a lovely lilting track - probably from the 1950s or maybe early 60s - called “Emase Puro O” [ ‘émashay puro-oh’]:
(2) 14 “Emase Puro O” (2:48) - Melody Aces - ‘Stars of West Africa - Highlife Hits’
Now, this next track popped onto my mat a few days ago entirely unsolicited and I thought, ‘Ok? Let’s see’. And what a pleasant surprise it was. The artist is called Olufemi, originally from Lagos, Nigeria and now operating out of South Africa - a singer, saxophonist and composer - and plays what he calls African South West Fusion. This is Olufemi’s debut album; it’s called “Just in Newtown” (referring to a part of Johannesburg I think).
It’s a good album, with a variety of musical styles - although I’m not yet sure whether that is its strength, or its weakness. It goes from straightahead jazzy soprano sax pieces (which wouldn’t sound out of place on a David Sanborn or Kenny G album - or at times even like Brum’s own Alvin Davis or Julian Smith aka Joolz Gianni) - right up to soukous-tinged dance pieces and afrobeat-fused workouts. Definitely a pan-african approach to his music.
However, the musicianship is good and there’s some very enjoyable tracks on it - including this one, which has a distinctly South African flavour. This is Olufemi and a track called “Thando Lwami”:
(3) 15 “Thando Lwami” (4:12) - Olufemi - ‘Just In Newtown’
Change of flavour and place on these next few tracks. I’ve been digging into my Persian music albums recently and came up with these offerings from a sampler entitled “Persia: Ancient Roots of Music”. The first piece is called “Agitation” and is by Kazem Davoudian from his album “Pearl”.
(4) 16 “Agitation” (2:02) - Kazem Davoudian - ‘Pearl’
[CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS]
(5) 17 “Blue of Dream” (2:02) - Farivar Kosrhavi - ‘Abi-e Ro’ya’
The track you just heard was by the Iranian Farivar Kosrhavi from his album “Abi-e Ro’ya” and translates as “Blue of Dream”.
Moving from Iran, but still staying in the Middle East by association is this next piece, by the band Hijaz. This is a six-piece group based in Belgium but consisting of various nationalities and cultural influences. Their music draws upon North Africa, The Mediterranean, India, the Middle East and European jazz traditions and infuses their latest album with a richness and a palette of flavours which allows them to endlessly serve up tantalisingly different musical courses.
This is probably the most jazzy piece I’m playing tonight and features the piano of Greco-Belgian Nico Deman - but for the non-jazzers amongst you, don’t let that put you off. It’s very accessible still - there’s some great oud playing from Moufadhel Adhoum and Indian tabla pitted against kit drums and bass as well. This piece is called "Mr J.P.S." from Hijaz’s album “Chemsi” (which means Sun) on the Belgian Zephyrus label.
If you’re in London or the South East of England this weekend you can actually see Hijaz live in concert at the Union Chapel, London this Saturday 28th May. This is their debut in the UK and their manager tells me that they’re very excited about performing over here.
[ The link for that is here: http://bit.ly/eDOjp5 ]
(6) 18 “Mr J.P.S.” (5.31) - Hijaz - ‘Chemsi’ (Zephyrus)
And also on the Zephyrus label from Ghent in Belgium here’s their flagship band Va Fan Fahre and a track from their last album - “Al Wa Debt” - which did really well on the European world music charts last year. It’s often been described as ‘balkan brass goes Arabic’. Zephyrus have just announced that they are now allowing free downloads of five of the tracks from the album.
[Just go to the following link to download that:
So here are Belgium’s Va Fan Fahre with the Arabic singer Aicha Haskal and a track called “Ya Habibi Taala”:
(7) 19 “Ya Habibi Taala” (3:04) - Va Fan Fahre - ‘Al Wa' Debt’ (Zephyrus)
[CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS]
(8) 20 “La Kumbia de Los Peregrinos” (3:52) - Grupo Kual (Le Cumbianche Disco Remake)
Couldn’t resist a bit of electro-glitch-cumbia ! That was the Le Cumbianche Disco Remake of Grupo Kual’s “La Kumbia de Los Peregrinos” - just to get you all stirred up!
And now a jingle to promote the forthcoming Reggae City 2011 Festival here in Birmingham on Saturday 11 June at the Rainbow - just round the corner from where I’m sitting here in the Custard Factory, Digbeth.
(9) 21 Reggae City Festival Ad Jingle (1:05)
[CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS - CONTINUOUS]
(10) 22 ”I Know” (3:15) - Ieye - ‘Fever Grass’ (Shengen Clan)
OK, that was one of my favourite female reggae singers of the moment - Ieye from Jamaica - and a track called “I Know” from her album “Fever Grass” on the Shengen Clan Imprint Label. Lovely stuff.
Quick couple of announcements now: Birmingham’s own ska and reggae favourites, the Heels will be performing mid-afternoon at next week’s Lord Mayor’s Parade on Bank Holiday Monday 30th May - so keep an eye out for them if you like your ska in a Skatalites stylee!
Also the following weekend you can catch the debut of el combo Kilombo - a brand new band formed from members of both the Heels and Flame Of Fervour at the Wagon and Horses in Adderley Street in Digbeth - again just around the corner from the Custard Factory.
That’s on Sat 4th June and it’s a night called Subvert, featuring also the dub band Relative, DJs Skeleton, Marc Reck (also from Rhubarb Radio), the Jam Jah DJs Robin Giorno and Bongo Damo, as well as Christy, Dodgy Greg and Stalingrad.
And it’s all FREE! Yep, not a penny for all that music! Keep an eye out for Kilombo’s drummer - he’s a right dodgy geezer. I’m sure I’ve seen and heard him before somewhere . . .
In the meantime, here’s one from the Gypsy Sound System’s Psio Crew from Poland - a little number from the “Iskra” album - this is “Dobry Gooral”:
(11) 23 “Dobry Gooral” (2:51) - Psio Crew - ‘Gypsy Sound System - Iskra’
Just got time now for goodbyes etc . . .
[THANK YOUS, SHOUT OUTS, REMINDERS, ETC]
I’m going to leave you with a brilliant latino band from Los Angeles. They are called Yeska (which is a play on the words ‘Yes!’ and ‘Ska’ and is also the Chicano slang word for ‘weed’).
Their music is what you get when you cross jazz with afro-cuban music with ska! Skafrocubanjazz of course! And that’s the name of the album that this track, “Skaliente”, is from. Don’t be fooled by the gentle ska montuno beginning - because about 3 and a half minutes in this bubbling piece of latin ska turns into an absolute monster!!
(12) 24 “Skaliente” (6:32) - Yeska - ‘Skafrocubanjazz’ (Aztlan)
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