April 13 2009
Well, given the "electronic-ness" of last week's sets, I thought it would be cool to get into the softer, melodic acoustic musics of the world. And boy did I ever today, and without the beats or the amps--human powered! With music from many places that I had not drawn from, like China and Mongolia, Iceland and Angola. In some ways this has really been new territory for me, with only a couple of the songs familiar to me before I started research for this show.
Finding this music was a task for me, and details are scarce, but working with what I got I went with an instrumental cut that sounds Indonesian, at the star. It's from the Lucky Dragons however, and the similarity to courtly Indonesian melody is passing, but the gaminess of this gamelan inspired tune makes it worthy. And the Mongolian folk of Hanggai Band, delivered after it, was nice as well. With the distinct, almost Tuvan style of delivery on the vocals to go with their otherwise otherworldly exotic-ness, expect this band to make some noise in the world music scene in the next year. Especially since they are one of the few from Mongolia on the major circuits.
The next one is a mystery. Speak Chinese? You tell me.
Retro Stefson winds in after the mystery cut, and this Icelandic band's acoustic "Papa Paolo III" grows on you like some strange cousins of Gomez, never knew Reykjavík was so fresh. I did however know that Cartola is the real deal, and his song "Alvorada" has long been a favorite of mine. Who is he? Y'all, this guy was very important to the development of the genre we know as samba, and must be considered one of the world's greatest, bold, but true. From Rio de Janeiro, his story is crucial in the history of Brazilian music.
So why not travel to Angola, for Elias Dia Kimuezo's impressive, samba-like "Semba." Angola, the ancestral home for many of Brazil's black population, is considered the cradle of samba, so it's interesting to hear a near contemporayry of Cartola's riffing off the shared memory in a different way. And the end of the set is in Spain, with Barçelona's Los Amaya, who were active in the rumba catalana scene there. Fronted by a pair of brothers, Jose and Delfín Amaya, these cats are nice, if a bit corny in an artsy sort of way, their music is a good end to a nice set of global acoustic music. If you missed it, find it here...
Sound Travels Monday : Global Acoustics I
Tracklisting & Media:
1. Lucky Dragons : "Mirror Friends" Dream Island Laughing
2. Hanggai Band : "Wuji" New Mongolian Folk
3. 赵光 : "小苹果公主" 黯然销魂饭 EP
4. Retro Stefson : "Papa Paolo III"
5. Cartola : "Alvorada" City Of God Soundtrack
6. Elias diá Kimuezo : "Semba" Angola - The Greatest From The 60's & 70's
7. Los Amaya : "Que Mala Suerte La Mía" Achillifunk