March 19 2012
Every week, Sound Travels starts the flow on Mondays with a taste of what's new. This week we got into it with a pair of Latin tunes to go with classic reggae and a reggae re-work of a timeless soul song.
The soul song in question is Aaron Neville's classic "Hercules," which gets a groovy, reggae-fied re-vision from French dub/reggae specialist Blundetto. I've been about Blundetto for a little while now as his first two albums, 2010's Bad Bad Things and the 2011 remix compliment to it, were both magical and dope. The species of specialness owing much to the quality of collaboration (ie. Budos Band, Hindi Zahra and many more) as much as the originaml takes of old classics along with interestiong originals, making it a favorite from late 2010. Fast forward to a present that finds this rad Frenchman, and programmer for France's Radio Nova, up to some of his same tricks. Collabs are once again fresh with Brooklyn's sing-jay Jahddan Blakkamore, Jamaica's Courtney John and multi-instrumentalist Shawn Lee all making their talents known through a rootsy reggae-meets-afrobeat-meets-soul vibe on the 11-track release that is Warm My Soul...hmm, indeed it does.
Blundetto "Hercules feat. Hugh Coltman & Shawn Lee"
La Chiva Gantiva began in Brussels with a group of Colombian students who got together initially to jam in drum circles, believing it helped with the homesickness, and ended up making a band that can indeed jam. In tune with the deep rhythms of the South American homeland, they craft a true sound that pays homage to some of their country's lesser-known sounds likela tambora, el alegre, the chirimia and the mapale. Using traditional Caribbean instruments with modern Western ones, the group sound authentic and fresh without sounding like anybody else. That's why I had to get them on the air...
La Chiva Gantiva "Pelao" Pelao
The band I played today that I know the least about, may have been my favorite. Intrigue aside, La Inedita, from Lima, Peru, is dope. Their take on the folky highland cumbias, aka chicha, from their homeland is the kind of modern update on the sound I've been looking for since the Chicha comps started coming out a few years back. Far from sounding like they're cashing in on the Third-world sound du-jour, these guys are minting their own tradition much like their much-hailed countrymen Novalima. It should be said the the sound of chicha is a distillation of an actual spirit and the chicha of La iInedita is bound to get you drunk.
La Inedita "Chicha Chicha" Chichamuffin
Last but not the least here on today's Sound Travels is a crucial cut from the son of Toots Hibbert of Toots and The Maytals fame. Although Junior Toots should be the tip off, it's the sweetness of his song that will remind you of his very famous father. And on the quite excellent A Little Bit Of Love, Junior Toots does a roots ting quite effortlessly, sounding like a veteran on what I beleave is his second international release. Letting the world know that the legacy is strong...
Junior Toots "A Little Bit Of Love" A Little Bit Of Love