Separate threads for releases from each and every country won't get many posts, hence this thread. Almost the same title as last year, but new year. You know the drill-
this is the thread for polyrhythmic, funky, bluesy,groove-filled new + reissued music from lots of different places that may include Mauritania, Ghana, Congo, Kenya, Niger, Mali, South Africa, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and other places that make cool music that doesn't always get enough press in the west. This music may be less "clubby" than on other threads, but its ok to lean in that direction too.I tend to lean towards countries from below the equator.
Plus I like to hear about live music.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 1 January 2018 19:43 (three months ago) Permalink
Still digging through picks on the Afropop Stocking stuffers 2017 list; and also looking to see what's on Said the Gramophone and other lists that I might have missed.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 1 January 2018 19:46 (three months ago) Permalink
Also listened a bit to slightly syrupy and operatic but still powerful veteran Iranian balladeer Ebi who is going to be appearing at the 4000 seat DAR Constitution Hall in Washington DC on January 27th. Don't know about other gigs
― curmudgeon, Monday, 1 January 2018 19:56 (three months ago) Permalink
3MA....I need to give this trio another listen. Supergroup with members from Mali, Morocco & Madagascar
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 4 January 2018 04:06 (three months ago) Permalink
As so many rock ’n’ roll stories do, the CBC Band’s began with the purchase of a guitar behind the back of a disapproving father.
When he was a young child in Vietnam, Tung Linh wanted a guitar, so his mother bought one for him. His father, Phan Van Pho, was a cook for French officials in Hanoi, and he wanted his children to become doctors or engineers, not musicians. When he found the guitar, he smashed it.
But his wife, Hoang Thi Nga, nurtured Tung Linh’s interest in American music, which he shared with two of his seven siblings: Bich Loan, a singer, and Tung Van on drums. When their father died in the late 1950s, Ms. Hoang went to work as a custodian on a Republic of Vietnam naval base. The family was poor, and those years were hard, but she wanted her children to be happy, so she nurtured their desire to perform American music.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 10 January 2018 05:04 (three months ago) Permalink
Jupiter & Okwess band from the Congo for free 6 to 7 pm est Fri. the 12th at Kennedy Center in W. DC. Video streaming live (k. Ctr website & Facebook live). Video archived too.
Also, heard an advance of new Tal National. First 3 cuts are raucous African funky rocky fun
― curmudgeon, Friday, 12 January 2018 15:40 (three months ago) Permalink
i really love tal national. i can't wait to hear the new one.
― Mordy, Friday, 12 January 2018 15:51 (three months ago) Permalink
goin' to globalfest on sunday
― Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Friday, 12 January 2018 20:00 (three months ago) Permalink
Jupiter & Okwess rocking those rumba meets psychedelic rock grooves right now
― curmudgeon, Friday, 12 January 2018 23:48 (three months ago) Permalink
I forget to read this thread but have we talked about 'Sweet As Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn Of Africa'? Because it's god damn incredible
― FREEZE! FYI! (dog latin), Monday, 15 January 2018 10:25 (three months ago) Permalink
Yes, talked about last year
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 16 January 2018 17:38 (three months ago) Permalink
also just discovered that and it is amazing!
I'm was thinking about starting a thread for the more recent wave of african reissues after listening to strut's fantastic Oté Maloya comp from last year. I kind of checked out of following the reissue market after picking up my nth afro-funk comp, but now that they've started to move into the 80s I think there's likely a bunch of good stuff I've missed (it's sad the reggae reissue market basically died before they got out of the 70s).
― rob, Tuesday, 16 January 2018 18:10 (three months ago) Permalink
Jon Pareles in his NY Times review of GlobalFest 2018 like Congo's Jupiter & Okwess live as much I did:
But the night’s fiercest, most diverse grooves belonged to Jupiter & Okwess: the singer, songwriter and bandleader Jupiter Bokondji and his band, from Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with songs that joyfully carried conscientious messages like “Protect women.” The briskly upbeat rhythm of Congolese soukous, well known worldwide, was only part of the set. Mr. Bokondji traveled extensively in Congo and learned many local, lesser-known styles that infuse his songs, giving them variety and bite. He’s also clearly fond of what a wah-wah pedal can do.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 05:02 (three months ago) Permalink
He reviewed many of the 12 groups including Paris-based Guadeloupean trio Delgres, Cuban artist La Dame Blanche, Brazilian post-tropicalia singer Ava Rocha and more
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 05:07 (three months ago) Permalink
hello international music friends -- if you have a little extra time/goodwill, please bookmark my thread:
help me with my class?
you wouldn't have to do anything more than contribute a small portion of your existing knowledge :)
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:38 (three months ago) Permalink
jupiter and okwess were fine; i loved iberi, jarlath henderson and miramar
― Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 17:42 (three months ago) Permalink
Will give them a listen. Actually I have seen and heard Miramar and like their quiet boleros and ballads. Watched Brazilian singer Ava Rocha and band from their Kennedy Center gig tonight ( via video stream). She’s theatrical and kinda Bjork like at times and the band adds postpunk guitar to the Tropicalia base.
A local promoter near me who was up there visiting, loved the Guadeloupe group with guitar and tuba. The video clip he shared though had a fairly conventional blues-rock sound.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 18 January 2018 03:18 (three months ago) Permalink
miramar was okay on tape but daaaaaang they were great in person Rocha didn't do much for me live or on tape, but it's very much a matter of taste with her i gather.
― Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Thursday, 18 January 2018 04:03 (three months ago) Permalink
Still catching up on 2017 releases- listened for 2nd time to the trio 3MA featuring Mali’s Ballaké Sissoko on kora, Moroccan oud virtuoso Driss El Maloumi, and Madagascar’s valiha player Rajery.
Mellow and pleasant with Sissoko's wonderful harp-like kora work often taking the lead.
Oh, listened to one track from Irish folkie Jarlath Henderson whom Ulysses liked at Globalfest 2018. Not a big fan of the genre, so would have to listen more to make up my mind. But I'm probably not the person to ask re his style.
Haven't listened yet to his other fave Georgian folk Group Iberi Choir.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 22 January 2018 19:05 (three months ago) Permalink
Listening to Blay Ambolley from Ghana's 2017 album Ketan. He's a highlife/hiplife bandleader/musician. Nice old-school sound.
Gyedu-Blay Ambolley was rather unknown outside of West Africa until Soundway Records included his seminal Simigwa-Do, which Ambolley released in 1973, on their first anthology, Ghana Soundz.
That's from Wiki.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 22 January 2018 21:07 (three months ago) Permalink
The album has a kinda Fela feel to it
― curmudgeon, Monday, 22 January 2018 21:28 (three months ago) Permalink
Been reading about the upcoming debut album by this Malian veteran percussionist but I haven't heard it yet--
Hama Sankaré --Ballébé - Calling All Africans
Alpha Ousmane "Hama" Sankaré (aka Pedro) is a legend. He has anchored the bands of many great artists of Mali: Ali Farka Toure, Afel Bocoum, le Troupe Regionale de Niafunké, l'Orchestre de Gao, Songhoy Allstars, and Mamadou Kelly's BanKaiNa, and he can be heard on many of the seminal recordings of Mali's music. He is the master of contemporary calabash percussion and defined it's the playing style. He has toured the world. Hama's influence is unchallenged as composer, arranger, and instrumentalist. Unbelievably, Ballébé - Calling All Africans is the first album in his own name
― curmudgeon, Monday, 29 January 2018 19:20 (two months ago) Permalink
Looks like the Africa Express project is recording again.
It's Day 4 for @africaexpress recording in Joburg....@gruffingtonpost @THEREALGHETTS @Damonalbarn @BombayBicycle @nonkulululu @MahotellaQueens @muziou #pote #otim the productivity is incredible. pic.twitter.com/I86lbFIvEC— Africa Express (@africaexpress) January 31, 2018
― afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 31 January 2018 15:11 (two months ago) Permalink
Wow, Mahotella Queens still at it
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 31 January 2018 15:56 (two months ago) Permalink
kind of amazing, right? I grew up listening to them!
― Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 31 January 2018 16:10 (two months ago) Permalink
They formed in 1964 I see on Wiki. In spite of the deaths of Mahlathini, Marks Mankwane and West Nkosi during the late 1990s, the Mahotella Queens continue to perform and record in the 21st century. In 2013, long-serving member Mildred Mangxola retired from the group. She was replaced by a new recruit, Amanda Nkosi.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 1 February 2018 02:44 (two months ago) Permalink
Not sure where to put this, but I'm currently obsessed by this site where you can see what's the most streamed track on youtube in cities around the world, and listen to said tracks on the site
― mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 1 February 2018 17:27 (two months ago) Permalink
#1 Song in Your City - Interactive, updated map for discoveryi will be curious to see if they update with January; that would make it a regular visit
― Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Thursday, 1 February 2018 19:05 (two months ago) Permalink
The mighty Mahotella Queens rehearsing with their new band of @gruffingtonpost @nickzinner @Damonalbarn @Georgiadrumming for tonight’s show #africaexpress pic.twitter.com/fPrWsqLjEa— Africa Express (@africaexpress) February 2, 2018
They're playing a show tonight.
― afriendlypioneer, Friday, 2 February 2018 14:33 (two months ago) Permalink
― Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Friday, 2 February 2018 16:14 (two months ago) Permalink
Fanta Sylla, daughter of legendary late producer Ibrahima Sylla , on her initial enjoyment of Vampire Weekend ‘s 1st album and then goes from there to discuss Congolese music and colonialism and more.
She also links to another interesting piece https://www.cairn.info/revue-politique-africaine-2005-4-page-69.html
― curmudgeon, Friday, 2 February 2018 16:49 (two months ago) Permalink
that Sylla piece is excellent, thanks for posting that. It should probably go on that recent tuneyards thread, but maybe that thing is best forgotten
― rob, Friday, 2 February 2018 18:37 (two months ago) Permalink
Ha. I need to listen to that Congolese/Canadian guy Pierre Kwenders you mentioned on another thread
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 3 February 2018 15:55 (two months ago) Permalink
x-post I wonder if any members of the Makgona Tsohle Band who used to back the Mahotella Queens are still alive and able to perform?
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 3 February 2018 22:08 (two months ago) Permalink
Fanta Sylla in Pitchfork Pitch piece linked above:
Growing up, I was ambivalent about what I perceived to be a general indifference towards African music. There was a rich history, a diversity of styles, and countless brilliant artists people didn’t seem to want to explore. It felt like people could only handle African music if it was mixed or filtered with something they recognized. But rather than calling out white artists who appropriate African music, I’ve always been more concerned that the African genres and artists that inspired them were given proper credit and financial support. I’m interested in the inclusion of African music in non-African publications, and in a passionate critical approach by African writers on the sounds that color their lives (look to Cameroonian writer Achille Mbembe’s beautiful piece on Congolese music for a great example).
It's nice that Pitchfork Pitch posted this, but alas I didn't see a single artist based on the African continent in the Pitchfork best of tracks or albums list for 2017. Periodically over the years they've posted stuff by Deej and others, but nothing consistently.
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 3 February 2018 22:46 (two months ago) Permalink
ANEWAL is the new trio of Alhousseini Anivolla, lead guitarist and singer of internationally renowned desert blues band Etran Finatawa. Formed in 2012
Listened to their 2017 album. They have that sound down.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 5 February 2018 15:33 (two months ago) Permalink
Seems Africa Express isn't being too well received by some of the involved musicians.
― afriendlypioneer, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:18 (two months ago) Permalink
Ouch. Terrible contract. No comments yet from Albarn or Zimmer or others associated with Africa Express
― curmudgeon, Monday, 5 February 2018 22:19 (two months ago) Permalink
Zinner I mean
Here's the response:
― afriendlypioneer, Monday, 5 February 2018 22:21 (two months ago) Permalink
"As we pay all the travel, accommodation and other costs for Western artists joining us on trips, we ask them to volunteer their time."
So Mr. Blur & Gorillaz's @africaexpress costs get paid for, but he can't afford to pay Africans for anything, or even promise them a specific percentage of any possible profits. Hmm.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 03:46 (two months ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 15:21 (two months ago) Permalink
Seeing complicating and contradictory comments about this Africa Express thing on Facebook . Some insisting this just relates to standard rules when recording a charity benefit album as they were apparently doing in South Africa in addition to the gigs. But the language in the contract seems problematic
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 15:35 (two months ago) Permalink
well when africa express rolled thru addis 6 or so years ago, the ethiop musicians here were not happy with the way they were treated, felt disrespected in their own clubs by ppl like flea and others general dissatisfaction has been the sense i've gotten over the years, was surprised still going on
― H in Addis, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 17:32 (two months ago) Permalink
Oh. That's not good. I had seen various references to gig appearances in the UK and Africa, but until now did not know of any recordings as they just did in South Africa. Seems like Albarn and Africa Express brought a number of fellow (white) musicians like like Blue May, and Mr. Jukes in addition to YYY's Zinner to South Africa to work with young South African gqom dance folks as well as Mahotella Queens. Blue May's defense of the project on FB makes a few good points and provides a bit more info but overall it isn't that understanding or impressive.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 7 February 2018 19:15 (two months ago) Permalink
just bought the Jupiter & Okwess album. nearly put off by the sticker on the front that mentions Damon Albarn.
― Badgers (dog latin), Friday, 9 February 2018 09:08 (two months ago) Permalink
Ignore that sticker.
Maybe not for this thread but I just read the below articles and haven't listened to these acts yet
I don't know any of these Congolese rappers and r'n'b acts-- Maître Gims and others
Sjava and 3 others.
I don't know these folks either
― curmudgeon, Sunday, 11 February 2018 05:55 (two months ago) Permalink
I did watch the video of Ethiopian Jewish musician living in Israel Gili Yalo. Nice blend of funk, pop and Ethiopian grooves
― curmudgeon, Sunday, 11 February 2018 06:05 (two months ago) Permalink
loving the heck out of that yalo ethiojazz
― Mordy, Sunday, 11 February 2018 17:16 (two months ago) Permalink
Interesting interview with Yalo from 2016
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 14 February 2018 15:53 (two months ago) Permalink
critic Richard Gehr has been reviewing international stuff for quite awhile. Perhaps I'm reading "once again on the rise" wrong, but North African/Sahel guitar has been around for a number of years now. Checking out BKO
Sidi Touré, Toubalbero | ★★★ 1/2BKO, Mali Foli Coura | ★★★ 1/2Tal National, Tantabara | ★★★★Imarhan, Temet | ★★★
With American rock bands looking to forward-thinking EDM and elsewhere for genre rejuvenation, African electric guitars and traditional instruments alike are once again yawping, screaming and blurting with new intensity after something of a genre hiatus. Over there, the romantic scenario of picking up chops down at the crossroads has been replaced by the vigorous international and inter-ethnic cultural trading going on in Mali, Niger and Algeria. Amid African music's myriad variations, rock is once again on the rise.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 13 March 2018 03:32 (one month ago) Permalink
I posted the below on the Afropop thread but its relevant here too:
No respect...For the second year in a row, the Nabisco (N.A.) edited NY Times Magazine special issue 25 Songs that Tell Us Where Music is Going has no artists based in Africa (mostly all US & UK this year except for 1 K-Pop, a hiphop remix with Puerto Rican rappers, and a Scottish pop group with 2 members of Liberian heritage )
The issue does have nicely penned pieces on Chicago footwork DJ Taye and one on a remix with Farruko, Nicki Minaj, and Bad Bunny; SZA ,and Bruno Mars's Finesse remix. But I was expecting more from a former ilxor who writes well and is very smart and who got a bunch of talented writers from elsewhere to contribute. An editor doesn't have to like Scandinavian whatever(pop or metal) or Nigerian Afropop to recognize that it should be included in something with the heading "25 Songs that Tell Us Where Music is Going," but he didn't do that this year or last year (the first time he edited this). Instead, as when he was the music critic at New York Magazine he generally followed his interests-US and UK pop, rap, and r'n'b.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 14 March 2018 03:21 (one month ago) Permalink
Just splashed out on the new album by Hailu Merga, 'Lala Belu'. Only 6 tracks at full price, which I feel is pretty steep but it's quality and I adore the title track.
Also picked up the Ernesto Chahoud compilation of Ethiopian cuts. Roll on 5 o'clock!
― loud horn beeping jazzsplaining arse (dog latin), Thursday, 15 March 2018 14:03 (one month ago) Permalink
New Fatoumata Diawara from Mali video/song "Nterini" directed by Ethopian director Aida Muluneh. Lots of bright primary colors
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 17 March 2018 21:29 (one month ago) Permalink
Oops, video link not working. I like Fatoumata Diawara's voice. Sometimes she tries to hard to crossover to Western audiences, but this one mostly works
― curmudgeon, Sunday, 18 March 2018 21:57 (one month ago) Permalink
Also liking Djeneba & Fousco and band from Mali on this song. Beautiful, lilting female & male vocals , mellow backing instrumentation. Have not heard their new album yet.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 19 March 2018 00:58 (one month ago) Permalink
Listened to some of the Djeneba & Fousco album. Not bad. Heard a little reggae flavor. Need to listen to it more
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 04:05 (one month ago) Permalink
Had heard the story that Tuaregs in exile in Libya had heard Dire Straits , and now there’s video evidence
― curmudgeon, Friday, 23 March 2018 02:33 (one month ago) Permalink
Thomas Mapfumo is going back to Zimbabwe for the first time in 10 years, now that Mugabe is out of power. Mapfumo is still nervous about the role the military is playing. They helped remove Mugabe.
Mapfumo was living in Oregon . I only remember him touring the US east coast once or twice over the years he was in the US. A good show the one time I saw him
― curmudgeon, Friday, 23 March 2018 12:24 (one month ago) Permalink
Thx for recommending Field Recordings from the Sahel and "Nterini"! Both fantastic in different ways.
― sbahnhof, Saturday, 24 March 2018 07:53 (one month ago) Permalink
touched upon by dog latin upthread but the chahoud ethiopian compilation is great
― nxd, Monday, 26 March 2018 10:35 (one month ago) Permalink
it's so good. i like the way each side of the vinyl seems to explore different avenues, from jazz to rock n roll to more traditional-sounding stuff.
My personal highlight is track 10 Tilahun Gessesse - Aykedashim Libe
That's how you do call and response.
― loud horn beeping jazzsplaining arse (dog latin), Monday, 26 March 2018 11:29 (one month ago) Permalink
saw Tal National over the weekend and (as expected) they were so entertainingcan anyone tell me the name of the song where the guitar player lingers on that one note really dramatically and then does like some exaggerated dramatic strums? (like a classic rock swinging arm strum) it was also the song where he went out into the audience. i wish i could describe it more accurately but that is the best i can do right now. it was probably their heaviest song?
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 28 March 2018 15:37 (four weeks ago) Permalink
Can't name the Tal National song.
Listening to latest Sidi Toure album Toubalbero. This Malian guitarist rocks on this, not as much as some but more than he used to. Nice enough vocals
― curmudgeon, Friday, 30 March 2018 02:16 (four weeks ago) Permalink
Seeing on twitter that Sierra Leone Bubu musician Janka Nabay who had lived in DC and elsewhere in the US for a bit has died. Based on his Instagram account it appears he was back in Sierra Leone. No details available yet on his passing
― curmudgeon, Monday, 2 April 2018 15:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink
― Moo Vaughn, Monday, 2 April 2018 15:27 (three weeks ago) Permalink
Just 54. Suddenly got sick there, and passed away.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 3 April 2018 18:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink
Sad. He was in NY often enough I didn't know he lived in DC.
― Moo Vaughn, Tuesday, 3 April 2018 18:22 (three weeks ago) Permalink
He used a Brooklyn based band but for awhile was down here ( both working in a food truck and doing gigs for either Sierra Leone immigrants or crossover audiences )
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 3 April 2018 19:02 (three weeks ago) Permalink
Jon Pareles notes in his Janka obit that after Janka’s 2017 European festivals tour, visa issues prevented him from going to the US, so he returned to his Sierra Leone homeland. There he recently had stomach issues and died.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 4 April 2018 12:38 (three weeks ago) Permalink
Fatoumata Diawara North American tour happening. She was great live a few years back.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 4 April 2018 20:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink
I missed latest local appearances by Venezuela's Betsayda Machado y La Parrando el Clavo, but the Instagram videos of their Afro-Venezuelan percussion and folk harmony vocals looked just as exciting as when I did see them for a bit at a festival
― curmudgeon, Sunday, 8 April 2018 17:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink
Malian guitarist Sidi Toure and band touring North America this month
― curmudgeon, Monday, 9 April 2018 21:09 (two weeks ago) Permalink
Just splashed out on the new album by Hailu Merga, 'Lala Belu'. Only 6 tracks at full price, which I feel is pretty steep but it's quality and I adore the title track.title track is incredible, so joyful
― niels, Tuesday, 10 April 2018 07:08 (two weeks ago) Permalink
Yeah that's become a staple track for me. So simple, so fun
― loud horn beeping jazzsplaining arse (dog latin), Tuesday, 10 April 2018 08:02 (two weeks ago) Permalink
Enjoying that Habibi Funk compilation. Touches on all sorts of R&B styles (as well as Cape Verdean coladera), but the overall feel to me is closer to Garage Rock - raw, sometimes somewhat amateurish, full of power. The ppl behind it seem very earnest and conscientious about it, though perhaps a bit lacking in knowledge of the music that inspired the music they go digging for - they omit that one track is clearly a cover of "Treat Her Right", and attribute "Harlem Shuffle" to a French artist (!).
― Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 11 April 2018 11:41 (two weeks ago) Permalink
Liked my one listen to that Habibi Funk comp and need to get back to it. On their Bandcamp page they assert:
Some of our favorite records are best described as Arabic zouk (a genre originating from the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe) like Mallek Mohamed’s music, Algerian coladera (a popular musical style from the Cape Verdean islands) or Lebanese AOR, which means the process of musical influences displayed on this compilation was much more versatile than just taking Western music as a blueprint and translating it with a local accent.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 11 April 2018 17:53 (two weeks ago) Permalink
Yeah, they say the same thing in the liner notes. Don't quite get how AOR doesn't count as "western music", but that's pedantry.
― Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 12 April 2018 09:18 (two weeks ago) Permalink
Habibi Funk is a great compilation, period. I guess it was a 2017 release.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 12 April 2018 14:08 (two weeks ago) Permalink
I need to hear that Habibi Funk compilation more (and read more about it)
― curmudgeon, Friday, 13 April 2018 16:36 (two weeks ago) Permalink
It's kind of a label sampler, the liner notes say something like "look out for a full release of this artist's album soon" on nearly every track.
― Daniel_Rf, Monday, 16 April 2018 09:27 (one week ago) Permalink
Drove 45 minutes north of me to a Maryland exurb of DC to see Mali's Fatoumata Diawara. A real nice show. She's multi-talented--- plays guitar, has a great singing voice with range, can dance. She's acted onstage and in movies. No backup singers in her band so she looped her voice at times, so she could then dance some more. She sings in multiple languages and did pleas between songs for peace and respect in African countries. I had just seen the documentary "Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba", and Fatoumata's power, charisma and down to earth sensibility reminded me of Makeba a bit.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 16 April 2018 14:54 (one week ago) Permalink
I think it's a shame Diawara couldn't have been on the Coachella bill-- lots of indie acts on the bottom of that bill that she could have taken the place of. Oh well, almost everything on this thread gets dismissed as obscure "world music" niche stuff that's not as relevant as American or Brit pop, rap, indie, r'n'b or country.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 16 April 2018 14:59 (one week ago) Permalink
I don't have a grand thesis to offer, but it's interesting (for lack of a better word) that the ease of access provided by digital/social media hasn't lessened the parochialism of north american music culture. I might even say it's worse now than, say, 15 years ago? Not sure I could back that up tbh, and a lot of it probably has to do with the reduction in venues for writing about music / metric-driven editorial decisions about what gets covered, but it feels to me like there hasn't been anything "world" that really grabs attention in a long while. I'm probably forgetting something big and obvious though
― rob, Monday, 16 April 2018 20:12 (one week ago) Permalink
tal national are pretty popular from the last show i saw of theirs
probably something about media outlets though
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 16 April 2018 20:23 (one week ago) Permalink
Songhoy Blues, Tinariwen, Jupiter & Okwess all seem to have a decent amount of crossover appeal
― brand new universal harvester (dog latin), Monday, 16 April 2018 20:32 (one week ago) Permalink
ha I was actually thinking of Tinariwen as an old band that got attention in an earlier era, so I guess this is all pretty relative. On that note, I don't know who Jupiter & Okwess are! and I need to check out Tal National
― rob, Monday, 16 April 2018 20:35 (one week ago) Permalink
and tbh I was thinking more of stuff at the Beyonce/Weeknd level of global pop (afrobeats, dancehall, soca, kpop, etc) rather than the stuff that usually ends up on this thread. I guess WizKid was supposed to play at Coachella but didn't?
anyway, media budgets are probably the main factor. there just isn't anyone willing to pay someone to report on what's going on in Mumbai or Rio de Janeiro or Johannesburg like there was in my probably rose-colored memories of music media around the turn of the century
― rob, Monday, 16 April 2018 20:41 (one week ago) Permalink
anyone else on here been enjoying the gumba fire comp on soundway? synthy 80s boogie from south africa, some amazing cuts on that thing but this is my favourite right now:
― i'm surprised to see your screwface at the door (NickB), Monday, 16 April 2018 20:58 (one week ago) Permalink
― rob, Monday, April 16, 2018 8:4
That's true. But alot of it really comes down to the individual writer (and if there's not a pr person hyping the stuff too). The Washington Post ran a freelancer's piece a year and a half ago about afrobeats/afropop; but they haven't had anything since. I was reading critic/author Amanda Petrusich in the New Yorker say that she doesn't use Spotify,and only occasionally looks at Youtube so I guess expecting her to cover music that isn't mailed to her or that she can't buy, would be difficult. Former NY Times jazz critic critic Ben Ratliff used to go to Brazil and current New York Times writer Jon Pareles has as well. Peter Margasak in Chicago covers African music like Tal National as well as avante-jazz stuff. But Pitchfork's coverage is so hit and miss.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 17 April 2018 02:11 (one week ago) Permalink
the ease of access provided by digital/social media hasn't lessened the parochialism of north american music culture
Well, has it done anything for North American cinema culture, or literature, or anything? I feel like this ease of access has been totally amazing for ppl already inclined to seek out stuff from other cultures in the first place, but it hasn't really lead to a more global world culture.
(I do wonder if ppl click on random Korean or Spanish shows on netflix sometimes. I hope so!)
Yeah, really nice. There's a lot of Boogie and a lot of House in there but I was surprised at how much it truly feels like its own thing.
― Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 17 April 2018 10:53 (one week ago) Permalink
curmudgeon: you're right that some established critics likely have the clout to follow their curiosity and write about something "riskier," but I can't really speculate as to why they aren't. tbf, I feel like the Quietus does a good job on this front, and while their tastes rarely match mine the Singles Jukebox consistently reviews non-anglophone pop songs that I never see mentioned elsewhere. I also haven't picked up an issue of the Wire in a very long time, and there are probably other venues doing work that I don't see.
Daniel_Rf: I think there are some pretty big format (meaning both digital file formats and length, not to mention differing language/translation issues) and consumption differences between music, literature, and cinema that make comparing them difficult. There aren't digital platforms for literature like there are for music; and as you mentioned, Netflix has actually invested quite a bit in offering "foreign" content, certainly compared to network/cable tv/your average multiplex. Of course, we have no idea how popular those shows & movies are, but they feel a little more visible to me than the music does. That said, I take your point that for lots of people, music (and lit/movies) not in English has very limited appeal and ease of access won't affect those attitudes.
― rob, Tuesday, 17 April 2018 13:49 (one week ago) Permalink
These things are very difficult to compare, I agree. I guess I was just thinking of the early promise of the internet - culture and infomation distributed across the world! - and how this has certainly come true for a small cadre of enthusiasts, but the mainstreaming of the internet has not magically brought it about for the majority. I guess it's pretty naive to think it could have.
― Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 17 April 2018 14:15 (one week ago) Permalink
Latest Sidi Toure and band album on Thrilljockey has a nice rocking Malian groove feel. They’re touring North America now.
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 21 April 2018 17:53 (six days ago) Permalink
Aww, I missed this Sidi Toure appearance streaming--Apr. 22 - Charleston, WV - NPR Mountain Stage Radio.
The Sidi Toure April 24th 6 to 7pm US EST gig at Kennedy Center will be video-streamed by Kennedy Center on Facebook Live, and video archived on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage website
― curmudgeon, Monday, 23 April 2018 13:01 (four days ago) Permalink
Got to admit only discovered this through James Yorkston tweeting that he plays on it.
Went back and checked out her other work thanks to it.
― Dan Worsley, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 10:40 (three days ago) Permalink
Try again with the youtube link:
― Dan Worsley, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 10:42 (three days ago) Permalink
― Mordy, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 14:32 (three days ago) Permalink
That video Dan W posted is of this Australia raised singer Manika Kaur who moved to Dubai . A bit too polished maybe but her voice still shines
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 14:21 (two days ago) Permalink
X-post —ooh, I like Hassan’s rhythms and the call & response aspect to the vocals. Looks like another nice effort from the Ostinato folks who did the Somali Broken Dates comp
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 14:38 (two days ago) Permalink