February 13 2009
Here we finish the circle. And as another week ends, Sound Travels, the Heavy Drum edition ends with a very dance-friendly set of music that features even more percussion-filled cuts. The idea behind the sets this week assume a connection between the rhythm of drums and the beat of the heart and of the heart, to love as we take a country road into the idea of love as we approach Saturday's Valentines Day activities. The idea I speak of is that rhythm and percussion engage the heart by way of the feet. That percussion is a language, used by some cultures as just that, and in the sense I mean ivokes the idea than to make a beat you have to pay attention to the timing to find the rhythm...just like love. No sappy love ballads here, just groove. Check it out again...
Sound Travels Friday : Heavy Drums
1. Tony Allen : "Ariya (Straight Afrobeat Mix)" ...Something from the master of Afrobeat, a cut that sees this septuagenerian syncopate a beat so nice...
2. Esau Mwamwaya (with Radioclit) : "Wena" ...Esau is a star in the making, and his collaborations with M.I.A. attest to it. On this song, we see him team with the producer Radioclit for some dancefloor madness and a rhythm that I feel should work in any dancing situation. His music has been described as a fusion of dance, hiphop, pop and the traditional music of Malawi. He sings in Chichewa, the national language of Malawi, in an Afro-pop style. And his release The Very Best Of(his first mind you!) features covers of Vampire Weekend and M.I.A. ...figures, he must be a listener.
3. Quantic & Nicodemus : "Puerto Rico Pa Gozar" ...Quantci and Nicodemus are two of the world's most innovative producers and they have been at it for a while, bridging global beats with dance floors worldwide. Though not normally working together, here they do with devastating effect, giving a little Puerto Rican rhythm the treatment and come out with some nice results.
4. Bajofondo : "Pa' Bailar (Siempre Quiero Max Vocal Version by Julieta Venegas)"...Some Tango nuevo from this Argentine/Uruguayan fits here with a stellar kit-driven beat and tasty vocals from Julieta. The band, which refers to itself as a "collective of composers, singers and artists", was formerly called "Bajofondo Tango Club", but shortened the name to "Bajofondo" after they felt their style had broadened. Pa'Bailar is a hot single from their latest release Mar Dulce.
5. Nossa : "Bruxas" ...Love this Baile Funk from Rio's Nossa, here they kick open my set with something familiar. It's "The Whisper Song," Funk Carioca style.
5b. Domenico +2 ...which I then mix with some vocals from Caetano Veloso's son's band, Domenico +2 (Veloso's son goes by the name +2, talk about a title!) , just to knock a bit of edge off of a song that is just a bit clubbier than I wanted to end this set with...
6. Anga : "Tume Tume"...and speaking of endings, this is a good one here with the tribal-sounding "Tume Tume" from Anga. He is the Grammy winning Cuban Percussionist of The Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Irakere, Danilo Perez, Roy Hargrove, Steve Coleman, Orlando Cachito Lopez, Ruben Gonzales, Ibrahim Ferrer, Orishas, Omara Portuondo, Omar Sosa ... Through a methodology based in tradition, Anga gives me something rootsy to end today's ST featuring heavy drums.
Tune in next week as I join in the Carnival mood of the week by playing celebratory, Mardi Gras music from around the world where the holiday is known in many other names, but always coming with a festive, musical vibe.
Feel free to let me know where you want to go with Sound Travels as you post your comments below.