August 22 2008
This week's Sound Travels a bit different than in the past as I have a playlist that, rather than homing in on a particular pair of styles or a certain region of the world, is more in the flow and global in it's go go. Got to get away from the analysis this week as I cruise towards my 33rd birthday this weekend and I see no better way than flowing with where the music goes. As it turns out, there is enough here to be the equivalent of a sonic bootleg around a better world where music makes for movement. Here is the link to listen...
And some details. (Note: anytime someone says Sound Travels indicates a track change)
1. Seu Jorge : "Carolina" : Brazil From his first album Samba Esporte Fino (also released as Carolina by Regata Musica, MrBongo and Quantitum Solutions) in 2001. One Of My favorite songs, period. This cut was the first I ever heard from this Brazilian crooner who may be somewhat familiar for his obscure roll as a minstrel in the Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou film for which he provided much of the soundtrack in the form of Portuguese language cover versions of David Bowie classics in 2004. Or in the critically acclaimed film City of God or perhaps you heard him here on 88Nine... on Sound Travels.
2. Natasja : "Real Love" : Natasja Saad was a Sudani-Danish rapper and reggae singer whose vocals on a popular U.S. and European remix of "Calabria" gained her fame and a number one spot on Billboard's Hot Dance Airplay chart six months after her death in a car accident. And that cut is still hot, popping up on this year 's batch of dancehall comps. Here, I have a posthumous release that while not the smoker that "Calabria" was, is still a gem. Get Red Stripe with me on Saturday night at The Gig and I'm sure I could be talked into playing it.
3. Shamur : "Rock Your Body(Hu La La)" : Indo-Euro Here is another scorcher from Shamur, a music group formed by Italian producers, Emanuele Marascia and Alessandro Murru with an Indo-Euro dance style locked on a pop dancehall vibe with ethereal vocals a la Sardinian chanteuse Teresa Solinas and an uncredited Indian male vocalist.
4. Sanja Ilic & Balkanika : "Kermes" : Serbia - For many years he had been composing music for TV, movies and theatre, but he has also been famous for his brilliant festival hits performed by wide range of singers from former Yugoslavia, as well as today's Serbia. This pianist insisting on modern native inheritance he has become the founder of a new ethno-musical trend in Serbia.
5. Toumast : "Marou Oran" : Niger - Moussa ag Keyna's group Toumast, rockin' some Tuareg blues and a preview for next Friday's Sound Travels when I get all over that Saharan sound. This is from their debut album Ishumar, which is ripe with that desert sound and is almost otherworldly with electric blues riffing over desert nomad rhythms.
6. Juanes : "La Camisa Negra" : Colombia - Whereas many of his Spanish-language contemporaries undertook English-language crossover campaigns at one point or another in their careers, Columbian singer/songwriter/guitarist Juanes won global appeal in his native language exclusively and became perhaps the biggest and most important popular Latin music artist in the world in the early 21st century. This cut is from his album Mi Sangre and is a bit controversial in Italy where the "black shirt" is a neo-fascist symbol. All that aside, it's also a cool song.
7. Karina Nistal : "Viviendo" : Music captivated the native Houstonian at an early age. Karina indulged in old school hip hop, rhythm and blues, soul and jazz. But it was Karina’s mixed Hispanic heritage (Mexican and Cuban) that spotlighted Latin styles—traditional mariachi folk music and the Afro-Cuban beats of salsa. By 1998, Karina seriously took on singing and got busy with projects on Starlight Beats and Breaks, Rebel Crew’s Joe B. and Lion 808, Sista Stroke, Elliott Ness and on numerous other ventures. This is one such venture, from her first album Nistyle she rides the very fine line between poetry and rap, but it’s one that Karina interconnects with finesse and passion.
8. Bloco Electro : "Nyabinghi Riddim" : UK/Brazil - This group is the brainchild of samba man Gavin Lombos, who set up Reading’s Beatroots Bateria in the mid-1990s. The troupe became synonymous with the WOMAD festival’s parade and Lombos then set up BlocoElectro with five other percussionists to take their festival show into clubs. The group claim that everything must be played percussively – no keyboards, no loops, no decks. Their album, Global Beatbox Part 1 is like a beach party that teleports form Rio to Brighton to Mumbai to Miami to Cape Town and back. Hotness.
9. Xcaliba : "Bing Bling" : Don't know much about this cat other than that the song is from a crucial compilation called ItinualJah which compiles some of the rootsiest reggae from the Virgin Islands. A message to those who don't aim to see the soul of a man. Respect!
10. Tony Harmony : "My Body" : Ghana- Ghana-based Nigerian dancehall sensation, Tony Harmony, is the only act hot enough to conquer the Niger Delta. His hot new single, "My Body"off the brand new LP of the same title is right now the hottest thing in that region and parts of the South-East as the song has crept into the lips of both the young and old in Bayelsa, Benin, Warri, Port-Harcourt and environs. Guess what, it's hot here too. Scorching!
11. Swell Session feat. Earl Zinger : "Doing The Mambo In A Border Town" : Jamaica/Norway - A good one from Andreas Saag from his recent release Swell Session, you've heard "No, No" feat. Mr. Scruff, this is another bite from a tasty record.