Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Davenport - O, Too High Ditty for My Simple Rhyme (Time Lag 2004)

Two long, smoked out jams for twilight children. Bells, whistles, a harmonium and a chicken all battle it out in some shed in darkest Wisconsin. Probably great for blood-swapping ceremonies and peyote fueled ritual sex.
This chunk of howl and buzz came out as a cdr in 2005 on Time Lag Records, purveyors of all that crooked improv-folktronic-voodoo-drone stuff.
Get it HERE.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Fatima Tabaamrante - Amazigh Music of the Anti-Atlas

On my recent visit to Morocco we spent some time in the Anti-Atlas mountains around Tafraout:
This region is populated by the Amazigh Berbers, a fierce and proud people who managed to resist French colonialism until the early 1930s. During our stay I was introduced to Amazigh music (thanks to Rachid from Hotel Tafraout and Ahmed from the cafe along the Ameln Valley), this discovery was a real revelation...raw sounds from the banjo, the rabab (a one stringed violin), electric guitars and a variety of handdrums...and I hope you enjoy this stuff as much as I do.

So, in this post you'll find the first of the cds I brought back to England. It's by Fatima Tabaamrante, something of a Berber superstar. Her voice is really incredible, quite hoarse and rough sounding but with a texture that compliments the urgency of the music perfectly. She is from the region around Tiznit and is apparently popular for the poetry of her lyrics, many of which deal with Amazigh social issues.

Here she is in action:


01 Irbi Swlka
02 Isgharn Dwamane
03 Nswingm Sawlghe
04 Ighnofayat Njloyat

You can get it HERE!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Ernesto Dje Dje - Le Roi du Ziglibithy (Cote d'Ivoire 1977)

Ernesto Dje Dje was, until his death in 1983, the most famous singer from the Ivory Coast. On this great album, Dje Dje attempted to modernise the Ziglibithy dance rhythm and encourage other Ivorians to capitalise on their shared musical heritage. This is a hugely enjoyable album, fast paced and funky with great guitar and brass throughout.

01 Zibote
02 Zadie Bobo
03 Behdo
04 Lola
05 Gnizako
06 Assouna

Get it HERE!

And here's a little taster:

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Hassan Idbassaid - Gnaoua Del Son Int

Had a nice long break away from the computer, hence the lack of posts over the past three weeks or so. During this time I've spent a couple of weeks in Morocco with my family, travelling in the beautiful Anti-Atlas mountains and up the Atlantic Coast. Events in Gaza have coloured this visit. Al Jazeera was playing in many cafe's, restaurants and hotel lobbies (you're never far from some huge plasma screen t.v. even in the mountains around Tafraout), and my family and I watched the catastrophe unfold and the bodycount rise with a growing outrage that I'm pleased to see seems to be shared by many people around the globe. Click here to read the open letter sent to The Guardian by a large number of academics and writers.

On a brighter note, Morocco was beautiful, and the people we met amazed us with their warmth, friendliness and generosity. I heard lots of fantastic music, and managed to bring back some great cds which will be posted over the coming months. In the meantime, here is a cd by Hassan Idbassaid that I picked up from a stall at last years Essaouira festival. This is some kind of gnawa - berber fusion that blends traditional Moroccan instruments with modern electric guitars and synths...not normally my cup of tea, but the gentle melodies of this album have really grown on me over the past couple of months.


1. Dilou Lillah
2. Waiih
3. Rhi Lafou
4. Allah Allah
5. Ghzail Mail
6. Baba Moussa Ja

Get it HERE.