Saturday, 24 October 2009

Manitas de Plata - Manitas et les Siens (1967)

Absolutely stunning gypsy flamenco recorded live at the festival of Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer in the Camargue region of France. During the '60s and '70s, Manitas de Plata (Little Hands of Silver) was one of the most famous flamenco guitarists in the world, playing the Carnegie Hall, the Royal Variety Performance and at a United Nations gala. For purists, his music was too raw and unpredictable to be considered as flamenco, but the improvisational flair of his performances and his ecstatic immersion in the creative moment make for engrossing listening.
Here's some footage:

And just for a treat, here's another clip from Tony Gatlif's moving film about the Rom people, their journeys and their musics, Latcho Drom:


01 Eglise Maure
02 Sara La Noire
03 Hommage a Baroncelli
04 Benediction de la Mer
Side 2 Senor Carcelero - Galop de Camargue - Fandango de Manero et de Jose - Chant du Berger - Sola Lagrima

Get it HERE.

Monday, 19 October 2009

La Maya Y Otros 15 Exitos Para Su Fiesta - Various Artists

Picked up this fabulous compilation of Colombian Musica Tropical at a local bootsale. Full of cumbias and porros by some of the country's best bandleaders, it's a thoroughly entertaining listen that evokes the excitement of the dancehalls and fiestas of urban Colombia in the '50s and '60s.


01 La Maya - J. Nuncira Machado Y Su Orquesta
02 El Pelequero - Ramon Rupain Y Su Orquesta
03 Te Casas Con Ella - Rufo Guido Y Su Orquesta
04 Cojan El Hombre - Manuel Villenueva Y Su Orquesta
05 Boyo E' Yuca - Pedro Salcedo Y Su Orquesta
06 Nada - Carlos Roman Y Su Orquesta
07 La Diana - Cumbiamba Ritmo Baranoero
08 Bogota - J. Nuncira Machado Y Su Orquesta
09 La Pollera Colora - Pedro Salcedo Y Su Orquesta
10 O A - J. Nuncira Machado Y Su Orquesta
11 La Electrica - Manuel Villenueva Y Su Orquesta
12 Wellcome - Carlos Roman Y Su Orquesta
13 Falta la Plata - Rufo Guido Y Su Orquesta
14 Se Vold - Ramon Rupain Y Su Orquesta
15 Labriegos De Mi Tierra - Julio Ojito Y Su Orquesta Polonuevo
16 La Quebrada - Cumbiamba Ritmo Baranoero

Get it HERE.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Scratch the Upsetter - Revolution Dub (Anachron 1990)

"This is dub revolution: music to rock the nation"
Originally released in 1975, Revolution Dub is Lee Perry's landmark dub album. The record is the result of years of experimentation in his Black Ark Studio, exploring the phonic possibilities of the mixing desk and twisting the music of The Upsetters into impossible shapes. The group's easy rhythms are stripped bare and splashed with fragments of vocal or dialogue from a broken television set that burbles away in a forgotten corner. The whole thing is a bit reminiscent of the feeling you get when you sit in a dark room on a very sunny day.


01 Revolution Dub
02 Woman's Dub
03 Kojak
04 Doctor on the Go
05 Bush Weed
06 Dreadlock Talking
07 Own Man
08 Dub the Rhythm
09 Rain Drops

Get it HERE.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Chief (Dr) Sikiru Ayinde Barrister (The Africa International Music Ambassador) - Fuji Garbage (1988)

Here's some more of that frantic fuji music. This album has it all: frenzied talking drums, groovy out of tune keyboards and Barrister's rough toasting, it is delightfully demented.

Here's a taste of his fuji sound:


Side 1: Fuji Garbage / Lau Erebe / Four Jolly Friends

Side 2: O Dowa Agbagba / Psychology / Won Oma Doyika Ni / Awa Lolorun Fun / Hawaian System / Otunba Wahab Oshinubi

Get it HERE.

Georgian Voices - Georgian Songs

A friend recently spent some time in Tblisi, and they very kindly brought back this CD of Georgian polyphonic singing. This style of music has ancient roots and a rich warmth we don't often get to hear:
In Georgia culture polyphonic singing has been preserved as a vital part of the national identity. Georgian polyphonic tradition is likely to be older than that of Western Europe. In Georgia, it is primarily the men who do the singing. A typical Georgian song is sung a cappella by men, in three voices. However, occasionally the string instruments and panduri are used as accompaniment. In 2003 Georgian Church issued an ordinance according to which no more then three voice polyphony is eligible for official praying in churches and during official ceremonies. The chords are also the subject to be taken into account and singers are asked to avoid modern and innovative harmonic language. According to existing opinion the Georgian Church tries to preserve the old traditions and unique musical language of Georgian chants which are of hundreds of years old.

Polyphonic singing has always had its natural place in Georgian social life, both at festivities and at work. Today, the most common forum for the tradition is the dining table. Not only at banquets, but also in common restaurants, one may here a company of gentlemen singing a beautiful song in chorus. Many Georgian ensembles pass on the tradition in concert form as well.

The Georgian language, one of the four South Caucasian or Kartvelian languages, is very old. It is not related to any other living language, and its original traits are well preserved due to the land being geographically isolated. It has also served as protection from aggressors throughout the centuries.

The most significant feature of the Georgian language is its richness in consonants. Despite this, Georgian singing is never rough or angular. On the contrary, it sounds warm, generous and marrowy - both when softly affectionate, spiritually sincere or defiantly proud.

The songs had many functions in a traditional village community:
- Table songs did not only express joy at the festivities. The textual forms of blessing elevated the meal shared with a guest to the level of ritual, which both strengthened the individual participant and the community, and further affirmed the existing social norms.
- The songs of the two groups competing against one another during field work (Naduri), serve on the one hand, to organize the work and increase group productivity, and on the other, to transform the physically extremely strenuous days into a festival, where old fertility rites could continue to be celebrated.
- The perkhuli, or circle dance, also performed by two alternating groups, joins dance to words and music. Most of these songs are associated with festivals and customs of a religious nature. One finds them especially often in the high mountain regions, where religious concepts often have no more in common with the Georgian-Orthodox Church than the name.

These peasant songs, sung in region-specific ways, constitute only half of the traditional folk music of Georgia. The embodiment of this advanced Christian civilization was not only to be seen in the leading architecture of its many churches, its frescoes, icons, book paintings or its religious and secular literature. The spiritual centers of Middle Ages Georgia were also centers of religious vocal art. Here, peculiar within the Orthodoxy, a three-part form of liturgical singing developed, which for the most part, was also handed-down orally. Only in the 19th century, when Georgian churches lost their autonomy (Autokephalie) as a consequence of the Russian occupation of 1801, and the services became increasingly Russianized, did the priests and musicians begin to set down the orally-transmitted songs in written form. These constitute an important foundation for the re-birth of this vocal art, almost totally obliterated during the time of the Soviets (1921-1990).


Here's a rare glimpse of Georgian Voices singing round the dinner table:


01 The Lake Sleeps
02 Mado Chkimi
03 A Winter
04 Svanetian Lazjgvashi
05 Varado
06 Voisa
07 Bullock-Carter
08 Khasanbegura
09 Azari and Sharatini
10 A've Known You Since Long Time
11 Kakhetian Mravalzjamieri
12 Shemogmeoluri
13 O God (Choral)
14 Mravalzjamieri
15 Girl, You are so Good
16 Qalan
17 Moonset
18 Karkuchi
19 Dala Kojas Khelguajale
20 Mravalzjamieri

Get it HERE.