FOLK MUSIC FROM JAPAN [coll.] – [Columbia Masterworks]

aarbor   11/20/2019   A Library

This is volume XI of Alan Lomax’s Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music. The music is from Japan, the Ryukus, (Okinawa) Formosa (Taiwan) and Korea. It was collected and edited by Genjiro Masu for the Japanese Music Institute of Tokyo. The recordings are very good, carefully done. There is some great material here. I especially enjoyed the Formosan and Korean recordings on the B side, although I’m not sure why they are included in a collection of Japanese folk music. Folk music is not boring! AArbor

Def Beat Remixes Vol. 1 presents … COLDCUT [coll] – [Def Beat]

aarbor   11/20/2019   12-inch, A Library

From 2005 this is the first of a series of 9 volumes featuring various DJs. Coldcut are Matt Black and Jonathan More (from the UK) the founders of the Ninja Tune label and trip hop pioneers. They produce electronic dance music which often includes cut up hip hop samples, breaks, soul, funk, jazz, spoken word (and other types of music and multimedia). This record is Coldcut working with other well-knowns like Steinski, Yazz and DJ Q-Bert, as well as remixing Red Snapper, Asian Dub Foundation, James Brown cut ups. Tracks 1-5 are fabulous. They’re funny, you’ll enjoy identifying the snippets of the tracks they’ve sampled, the first track has a cosmic outer space vibe. Enjoy! AArbor  


aarbor   11/13/2019   A Library

This is the soundtrack from the 2007 film Gili 45 ancora una volta (Gillian who is 45 once again). In fact this soundtrack is a compilation of other (mostly Italian) soundtracks. There’s something everyone can enjoy here. AArbor

LOS GUAPOS SENSIBLES – Bigaton/Decimas Del Desamor

aarbor   11/13/2019   A Library

On delicately pink vinyl, this is the 3rd release from Los Guapos Sensibles which came out last Valentines Day. A side: Bigoton was written by Alfredo Varela which features some vocoder vocals. On the B side: Decimas del Desamor (tenths of Heartbreak) was written by Ryan Drury (who is also part of Los Discos Duro and Los Jalogüines) and M. Juarez. This is danceable Cumbia music. AArbor

Valera, Kiki – Vivencias En Clave Cubana – [Origin Records]

aarbor   11/13/2019   CD, International

This is Kiki Valera’s Debut solo album. He is a Cuban master of the Quatro a 4-stringed chordophone now living in Seattle. He is a member of the Familia Valera Miranda – a century-old music dynasty which is known for Son Cubano, the infectious Cuban call and response song form which blends Spanish (song style and meter) and African (rhythm) musical traditions. Valera was exposed to Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery and Chick Corea through cassette tapes while in school and those jazz inspirations influence his cuatro solos. Valera is joined here by childhood friend, reknowned Cuban vocalist Coco Freeman. Valera and his ensemble pair 12 original songs with lovely instrumental work – put on your dancing shoes. AArbor

RITMOS TROPICOSMOS – Tumba De La Mamia/Beso De Muerte – [Discos Más]

aarbor   11/13/2019   A Library

The debut single release (09/19) for Ritmos Tropicosmos who are a 7 piece cumbia group from Oakland. These are perfect for Halloween. Side A is the Mummy’s Tomb – a story about an ancient mummy locked up for several centuries in a worm-infested tomb. After several centuries she is finally set free to dance all night by the power of the Cumbia. The B side – The Kiss of Death is an instrumental which gives a nod to various maestros de Organo Cumbia: Eduardo Surita, Tulio Enrique Leon and Gabrielle Meza.  AArbor

Anderson, Laurie / Choegyal, Tenzin / Smith, Jesse Paris – Songs From The Bardo – [Smithsonian Folkways]

aarbor   11/13/2019   12-inch, International

In Buddhism the “Bardo” is the period between death and rebirth. Tibetan Buddhists believe that when someone dies, their consciousness wanders through the Bardo for 7 weeks (49 days) before transitioning to a new life. The consciousness of the newly deceased becomes aware of and accepts the fact that it has recently died, and it reflects upon its past life. Here Laurie Anderson is your guide through the Bardo reading passages from The Tibetan Book of Dead (The Bardo Thodol) which is translated into Enligsh by Tenzin Choegyal. Feel the unknowable expanse of the Bardo through vibrations from various resonant instruments. Add a meditative set to your show while you reflect on your life.  Perhaps new inspiration will appear… AArbor

SONS OF KEMET – Your Queen Is A Reptile

aarbor   11/13/2019   A Library

The Sons of Kemet are a British jazz group formed in 2011. On this album (which was named Release of the Year 2018 by The Wire magazine), bandleader Shabaka Hutchings wrote and plays saxophone on all tracks, Theon Cross plays tuba, Seb Rochford and Tom Skinner play drums. It also features toaster Congo Natty and performance poet Josh Idehen. The album title and sleeve notes refer to the British monarchy and how it does not represent black immigrants; “Your Queen is not our Queen / She does not see us as human”. Instead the track titles all refer to influential black women throughout history.  Ada Eastman was Hutchings’ great grandmother from Barbados. Most Americans know who Harriet Tubman and Angela Davis are, but here’s a run down of who the other “queens” are. Mamie Phipps Clark was an American social psychologist who investigated the African American children’s attitudes toward race and racial self-identification which influenced the Brown vs. Board of Education court case.  Anna Julia Cooper an American who earned at PhD at the Sorbonne, was sometimes called “the mother of Black Feminism”.  Nanny of the Maroons was an 18th century leader of the Jamaican Maroons – she was named a National Hero of Jamaica. Yaa Asantewaa was the queen mother of Ejisu in the Ashanti Empire who led the Ashanti War of the Golden Stool against British colonialism. Albertina Sisulu was a South African anti-apartheid activist. Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, OBE promoted reforms of the police service after her son was murdered in a racist attack in South East London in 1993. AArbor

Ag Oumbadougou, Abdallah – Anou Malane – [Sahelsounds]

aarbor   11/13/2019   12-inch, International

Originally released on cassette in 1995, Anou Malane is one of the first studio recordings in the Tuareg guitar genre. Recorded in Benin with Nel Oliver, a West African producer known for his work on a number of seminal boogie and Afro-funk records, this release combines the Tuareg guitar sound with programmed drum effects and backing synthesizer, transforming Saharan political ballads into Afro-boogie anthems. The resulting album became a classic and pushed Tuareg guitar (and the rebellion) into the public consciousness. This reissue is first time the album has been distributed outside of Niger as well as the first time it has been released on vinyl or digitally. You’ll notice the “flickering” melody jumping from vocal lines to guitar lines which is typical of Tuareg guitar music. AArbor  

ANTHOLOGY OF BRAZILIAN INDIAN MUSIC [coll.] – [Ethnic Folkways Library]

aarbor   10/30/2019   A Library

From 1962, these are songs of the indigenous people of Brazil: the Karaja, Javahe, Kraho, Tukuna, Juruna, Suya, Trumai, Shukarramae people are represented here, as recorded by Harald Schultz and Vilma Chiara. This is a classic Folkways ethnomusicology record. The music is probably less interesting and more primitive than the rest of the culture which does seem to revolve around singing dancing. Given the destruction of their habitat in recent years, I wonder where these peoples are today? This may be the only living document of their musical culture. (the liner notes are definitely worth reading) AArbor 

NEW ORLEANS SOUL: The Original Sound of New Orleans Soul 1966-76 [coll.] – [Soul Jazz Records]

aarbor   10/30/2019   A Library

In 2014 Soul Jazz turned from documenting New Orleans Funk to focus on New Orleans Soul, and this is the result. In New Orleans Funk and Soul share a lineage that begins with the city’s enormous rhythm and blues explosion in the post-war 1940s and 1950s. New Orleans Soul incorporated the soulful vocals of the gospel church, the driving beat of rhythm and blues, as well as traces of the second-line parade bands and the latinized rhythms of the city.

You’ll hear the deep, deep soul of singers Aaron Neville, Willie Tee and Robert Parker, the storming northern soul of Maurice Williams and Eldridge Holmes, the funky soul of Eddie Bo, Lionel Robinson and Ernie K-Doe with soul sisters Irma Thomas, Betty Harris, Jean Knight, Inell Young to name a few.

The main force behind New Orleans Soul is Allen Toussaint, a one-man hit-making machine in the 1960s, writing, arranging and producing hit after hit for a long list of unbelievably talented local singers such as Eldridge Holmes, Maurice Williams, Betty Harris, Ernie K Doe and Diamond Joe all of whom are featured.    AArbor

Primitive Music of Africa [coll.] – [Mainstream Records]

aarbor   10/30/2019   12-inch, International

From 1964 these recordings were made by the “Denis-Roosevelt Expedition” – lead by Armand Denis and Lela Roosevelt who visited the Congo and the territories of Ruanada and Urundi. This is primarily music of the peoples of the Congo: Bahutu, Watusi, Babira, Manbetus, Pygmies, Mambuti and others. The term “primitive” is a misnomer! The sounds and rhythms here are very sophisticated. The Pygmies’ liquid sound is very notable and worth playing [B1, B5]. The other groups’ polyrhythms are well worth a listen, are the Circumcision rituals [B3, B4] which are well-documented on the back of the album. AArbor

Musicians of The Nile – Charcoal Gypsies [coll] – [Realworld]

aarbor   10/16/2019   CD, International

The Musicians of the Nile were discovered in 1975 and performed at the 1st WOMAD festival in 1983. They are apparently a part of the gypsy tradition. Listening to them the link to gypsy music is less clear. The tracks on this album are flutes and buzzy reed instruments which remind me of a homework assignment I had in an Ethnomusicology class once: to listen to a piece like this and transcribe it into musical notation. AArbor

Reflection – “Morerroronus World, The” – [Clear Records]

aarbor   10/16/2019   A Library, CD

On the Clear label out of the UK, Reflection is 2 Japanese brothers: Ichiro and Kenji Taniguchi. Their debut album in 1996 was Erroronus World, this album from 1997 is the remix album with offerings from such heavy hitters as Plaid, 4 Hero and Morgan Geist among others. Check out tracks 2,3,4,6 and 7. AArbor 

EEDIO – “Hero” – [Device Recordings]

aarbor   10/16/2019   12-inch, A Library

Bertrand Alix is EEDIO. He’s a producer from Chilhac, France. This EP is his 2nd from 2003. He claims that his influences include: Depeche Mode, Boards of Canada, Sigur Ros and Massive Attack. Check out B2 Modulation. AArbor 

Tejada, John – “Matrix of Us, The” – [deFocus]

aarbor   10/9/2019   A Library

John Tejada was born in Vienna, Austria, but now operates out of L.A. From 2000 this is his 2nd release. “Summer Spell” [1] has a warm, electro shuffle, while the spoken word and vocals on “Genetical Love” [2] act as a counterpoint to the piano and looped string section before the beat kicks in. “Disappear” is stringy synths w/ electro beats, and the deeper bass of “Can’t Tell Time Anything” continues the easygoing vibe. “reach for the Lights” [8] is a fun boogie. I liked this album better than some of his others. AArbor 

Afro-Peruvian Classics: The Soul of Black Peru [coll] – [Luaka Bop]

aarbor   10/9/2019   A Library

Afro Peruvian music is a blend of Spanish, Andean and African traditions. The language comes from Spain  along with the preference for the guitar, and poetic forms like the decimaand the copla. From the Andes melancholy musical forms. From Africa the dance rhythms. Pantheistic religious are common to both the Andes and Africa. In addition to the guitar, 3 instruments are important to this music: the cajon and the cajita – both musical boxes and the quijada de burro – a jawbone with loosened teeth which vibrate when struck.  The instrumental intro of each track gives you a clue as to what to expect. Try 2,3,4,8,9,12, 13  You may want to compare the renditions of the songs of the same name.  AArbor

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