Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Om Kalsoum - Fakkarouni

Om Kalsoum (or Umm Kulthum, Om Koultoum, Om Kalthoum, Oumme Kalsoum, or Umm Kolthoum) was Egyptian and recognised as one of the most important Arabic singers of the 20th Century. Rumour has it that more than a million people filled the streets of Cairo on the day of her funeral, a measure of the extent to which her songs touched the hearts of the Egyptian people.

On this album she sings one long, plaintive song that aches and gnashes its teeth and claws at its tear-stained cheeks.

Here's a snippet of the the lady herself performing this very song:


01 Fakkarouni (Part 1)
02 Fakkarouni (Part 2)

Get it HERE.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Celina Gonzalez - Fiesta Guajira (1987)

Excellent album of Afro-Cuban music from the Queen of Cuban Country, of musica campesina or the songs of Cuba's rural population. The album was recorded in 1982 and Celina's gutsy voice shines throughout.

Here's a great clip of Celina singing 'Santa Barbara' with her son:

Also couldn't resist this homage to Fidel Castro:


01 Yo Soy El Punto Cubano
02 Muero de Olvido
03 Santa Barbara
04 Oye Mi Le Lo Ley
05 Guajiro Guarachero
06 Paisajes Naturales
07 El Refran Se Te Olvido
08 Aguacero Aguacerito
09 Mi Tierra Es Asi

Get it HERE.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Einsturzende Neubauten - Drawings of O.T. (1984)

Intense and cathartic, Einsturzende Neubauten's second studio album was released in 1982 and is still one of the most frightening and beautiful albums I have ever heard, bridging the gap between the all out sonic blitzkreig of their first album Kollaps and their later, more contemplative works. I first heard this band back in 1984 when I was a moody teen masquerading as a goth. I bought the (fabulous) Strategies Against Architecture lp, with money from my paper round and fell in love with this song, Kalte Sterne:

I have included mp3's of the two sides of this cassette, partly out of laziness, and partly because I think the album is best listened to straight through from start to finish. Here's a video for the album's most well known piece, Armenia:


A1 Vanadium I-Ching
A2 Hospital Istische Kinder / Engel Der Vernichtung
A3 Abfackeln!
A4 Neun Arme
A5 Herde
A6 Merle
A7 Zeichnungen Des Patienten O.T.
A8 Finger Und Zahne
A9 Falschgeld
A10 Styropor

B1 Armenia
B2 Die Genave Zeit
B3 Der Herrscher Und Der Sieger
B4 Affenroulette
B5 Durstiges Tier
B6 Wasserturm

Get it HERE.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Kuusumun Profeetta - Kukin Kaappiaan Selässään Kantaa (2002)

Gorgeous 6 song e.p. from this strange Finnish group. The music here is a gentle and bewitching blend of low key jazz and Nick Drake-esque spacey folk. The instrumentation is spare and slightly precarious, and always completely engaging, carrying Mika Ratto's melancholic vocal perfectly. Sounds nothing like Circle, with whom the band has shared a couple of members.

I can't really recommend this one enough.


01. Kovin lentäen kotiin kaipaan
02. Vuosisadan vaihteessa
03. Kynttilät syttyvät varhain
04. Kysymysten sali
05. Aamuyön tunteina
06. Akvaario

Get it HERE.

Glad to see people are enjoying this one. I'd better take the opportunity to tell you that Kuusumun Profeetta are still very much active, and their website is here.