April 2 2012
Every week, Sound Travels starts with the new. And this week I landed some interesting cuts from a legend Brazilian singer, some bluesy sound from Algeria, an artist whose work appears in the new Martin Scorsese movie Hugo as well as a reggae tune that bends the right way with a bit of dubstep embellishment.
El Aaiún Egdat (or El Aaiún on Fire) is the title of the new CD by Sahrawi music star Mariem Hassan. The title is also a vieled alusion to the Algerian city of Aiun, currently occupied by Morocco. On her new album, Mariem Hassan continues to make some of the best non-blue blues music. Though not called blues, the Sahrawi music tradition known as Haul, is crossroads music, developed from many different influences: North African Berber, Middle Eastern Arabic, Sudanese (brought by the caravans crossing the Saharan desert from one end to another) and the sub-Saharan black music brought from the South. The ideological route that this crosses with is the events of the past months, known as the “Arab Spring” and the her own peoples' struggle for independence, and is the subject of her new songs.
Mariem Hassan "Addumua" El Aaiún Egdat
Isabelle Geffroy, aka Zaz, is a French singer on the rise. Out of Tours, France, she was a regional performer in her native country , working the Basque regions and the Pyrenees and making soume rounds that have now put her in a position to make a greater impact. And that she is, having recently been featured on the soundtrack to the newest Martin Scorsese's film Hugo as well as having her 2010 self-titled debut re-released Stateside . An excellent album, Zaz manages to sound like classic gypsy jazz that France is famous for as well as feeling fresh and uncontrived.
Zaz "Ni Oui Ni Non" Zaz
On O Que Voce Saber De Verdade, Brazilian chanteuse Marisa Monte continues her long line of successes. Having gained notoriety for her singing in the 90's, she proves here that she's still got it. In her case, that is a sound that extends from traditional choro, to samba, jazz, rock, reggae, funk, and tropicalia and on the song I played today, forro. Though the album is a lil too mellow for me on many songs, I really like this one and hope that you do as well.
Marisa Monte "Hoje Eu Nao Saio Mao" O Que Voce Saber De Verdade
Zacharri & Roommate is an interesting collaboration between Jamaican singjay Bogle Broadie and San Francisco based artist Roommate (Justin McCauley) that yields some bass-heavy, but rootsy results. A perfect mix of reggae and dubstep that leans more toward the yard than the wobble. Highly recommended.
Zacharri & Roommate "Jah Rule" Rootstep