Thursday, 24 May 2007
.....is now up. Listen/download here.........
A very big thank you to Subversive Boy for his enormous contribution to "the surprise song at the end"....
I just thought as there will be a lot of stuff from all over the world and people might want to follow up stuff they like, that I'd put up some notes here - I know I'll forget all the important details when I come to do the talking bit! I don't know the running order yet, but I'm hoping to play the following, plus a few others...
There'll definitely be something by Cesaria Evora, from the island of Sao Vincente in the Cape Verde archipelago off the coast of Senegal. The album I have is called Cafe Atlantico and I was initially a bit disappointed when I played a few tracks for S. and Stray Photon last night in between the footy and The Apprentice. It's a grower though, and Cesaria teases out every last drop of fragile sadness from the beautiful tunes. The piano playing is also lovely - reminiscent of some of the flourishes with which Mike Garson graced the Aladdin Sane LP. Surprisingly perhaps for music that comes from a former Portuguese colony in sight of the African mainland, the feel is very South American.
Fatala hail from Guinea, although leader Yacouba 'Bruno' Camara travelled widely across the continent before pitching up in Paris, that hotbed of musical cross-fertilisation and musics from around the world. The group combine dance with the traditional tribal music of pre-independence Guinea. The more percussion oriented tracks are stunning, but they use guitars too and if I play the track I think I will, they can be evocative and delicate as well as drum-frenzied and powerful. Vocalist (the beautifully named) Mabinty Sakhu was, according to the sleeve notes, a mere child when the featured album Gongoma Times was recorded. She doesn't sound it.
Led by and named after Cuban percussionist Elio Reve, Orquesta Reve represent the more pleasant contribution to the world of Guantanamo Bay. The region around that now notorious place gave the world Changui, a highly percussive version of Cuban son adapted from that used in traditional religious ceremonies. If this music is anything to go by, those ceremonies would have been about as far as you can imagine from being 'church'. Like the Fatala album, their CD La Explosion del Momento! is available on Peter Gabriel's Real World label.
I'm listening to Orchestre National de Barbés as I type this. Their music is a wonderful blend of African, Arabic, dance and rock influences. Again, blame it on Paris. I remember hearing a piece on the radio that blew me away when I was there in the mid 80s, scanning the radio dial and taping snippets of stuff that sounded interesting. It was a massive sound - funky, ominous, strange and I clung on to the disjointed and static-heavy tape for ages just for that one song before it disappeared or was wiped. This group and some of the other North African music I've heard on the Rough Guide CD are the closest I've come to redicovering that elusive moment of clarity, otherness and power. I will probably play a couple from the RGTTMONA - it really is stunning stuff and is the best of that series I've heard. The range of styles and flavours it hints at - running from street-funky Rai grooves, brassy Nubian folk to the haunting yet familiar desert music that seems to contain the seeds of cajun and country blues.
I'll also be playing something from the Camille LP I mentioned in yesterday's post, possibly a Joanna Newsome (athough I fear that the lengthiness of even the shortest of her tracks may preclude that!) and, if Stray Photon can remember to mail the MP3s to me, a couple of songs by a pair of good old English legends...
L.U.V. on y'all,
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