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Dam – "Dedication" – [Red Circle Music]

aarbor   10/20/2021   CD, Hip Hop

DAM is a Palestinian hip-hop group based in Lod, Israel. Formed in 1999 by brothers Tamer and Suhell Nafar and friend Mahmoud Jreri, who are Arab citizens of Israel. They’ve spent over a decade performing globally. The music is a fusion of East and West combining Arabic rhythms, Middle Eastern melodies, and urban hip-hop vibes. This is their first release from 2006. You’ll hear an excerpt of a speech by President Nasser, children, oud, bouzouki, rap and conscious tell-it-like-it-is lyrics – that you probably can’t understand. The English lyrics are in the booklet. AArbor

MISCELLANEOUS [coll] – [Language]

aarbor   10/20/2021   A Library, CD

According to the insert this is: “Music for Open Minded People”. From 1995 this compilation is the first of 2 only releases in the Miscellaneous series on Crammed Discs’ sublabel: Language. Cool dark electronics with noise and plenty of good rhythmic fun from the likes of David Toop, Fantomas, Ian Pooley and Endemic Void plus others. AArbor

Altin Gun – "Yol" – [ATO Records]

aarbor   10/20/2021   CD, International

Third [2021] release from Altin Gun – an Amsterdam-based project founded in 2016 by Jasper Verhulst. They mix Turkish folk, psychedelia, funk and rock. Here they add instruments not heard before in their music: synth, congas, drum machines and a Suzuki Omnichord. Some songs are taken from archaic sources: “Yekte” [11] is a traditional song from the Anatolian city of Kayseri, while “Arda Boylar”[7] comes from a region of the Balkans that once formed part of the Ottoman Empire. Every song works in the neo-disco psych environment; the despondency of the folk melodies blends with glittering pop production creating a stream of gilded melancholy. The music sits somewhere between 19th century Ottoman Empire, ’60s Haight-Ashbury, the bubblegum boogie of ’80s New York, and today’s pop. AArbor

Uzel, Nezih – "Mevlana: Instrumental Mevlevi Music" – [Kent Elektronik]

aarbor   10/13/2021   CD, International

In Turkey, Rumi is fondly remembered by his followers as Mevlana — which means scholar. When he died in 1273, Rumi’s followers founded the Mevlevi Order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for the Sufi dance known as the Sema ceremony. The Mevlevi Ayin is a form of Ottoman art music that evolved around an organized religious ritual: the Whirling Dance ceremony of the Mevlevi Dervishes . It was based on musical composition and poetry, taking the form of an original cyclical suite format. The instruments which accompany Mevlevi music are: the Bendir – a wooden frame drum, the Oud (lute) and Ney (and end-blown flute). The Dervishes consider this kind of dance and music a form of meditation. The dervishes wear long white robes and very tall conical hats when they dance. Nezih Uzel was a very famous bendir player and dervish. He once said that this is music for participation rather than just listening. I was surprised by the gentleness and pace of this music which accompanies Whirling Dervish dance/meditations. AArbor

Shirley and Lee – "Complete Singles As & Bs 1952-1962, The" – [Acrobat Music]

aarbor   10/13/2021   CD, Soul

Shirley Goodman and Leonard Lee were teenagers in New Orleans who were pioneers of the boy/girl R&B duo style in the early 1950s. Their biggest hit was “Let the Good Times Roll” [Disc 1 track 23]. They hardly ever harmonized. Instead they sang separate verses and choruses using a call-and-response style, mostly because Shirley’s voice was piercing, sat in a narrow range, and she often sang a bit sharp or flat – hard to harmonize with. They recorded at the important Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studios which created the New Orleans R & B sound. Shirley and Lee were dubbed “The Sweethearts of the Blues” although the relationship they supposedly sang about in their songs (on CD1) may not have been real. I preferred CD2 for the better arrangements and more interesting songs. AArbor

Brown Lung Cotton Mill Blues [coll] – [June Appal Recordings]

aarbor   10/13/2021   12-inch, Country

A history in song of the white (Southern) cotton mill workers and the mills they worked in. Brown Lung Cotton Mill Blues started at the end of the Civil War. Black people were excluded. Instead poor whites and especially women and children worked in these mills. Promises made by mill owners about schooling, good pay and realistic hours were broken. It was a tough life and the conditions were unsanitary, leading to TB. brown lung and other complaints. The workers unionized and had strikes in the 1920s and ’30s which eventually gained the attention of leaders like President Franklin Roosevelt. The music is largely Appalachian Southern song style with guitar, banjo and mandolin accompaniment. Learn the history you never learned in school through these songs. AArbor

Kondo, Toshinori – "Blow The Earth India" – [Subcontinental Records]

aarbor   10/6/2021   CD, Jazz

Toshinori Kondo, who departed this life last year, was a prolific Japanese composer, trumpet player and wanderer of the Earth. This release (from 2019) is a part of the series called “Blow the Earth” which he moved to Amsterdam to start in 1993. The film BLOW THE EARTH JAPAN came out in 2011 – it was his first project as a film director. He composed, performed and mixed all of the tracks on this album. After moving to New York in 1978, Kondo collaborated with many notable jazz musicians including: Bill Laswell, Eugene Chadbourne, Fred Frith, Ernaldo Bernocchi, John Zorn and Peter Brotzman. This is arguably one of his best releases. AArbor

Colombian Soul [coll] – [BBE Music]

aarbor   10/6/2021   CD, International

Dean Bagar a/k/a Tricky D a producer from Croatia, who now lives in Colombia, has compiled a magnificent collection showcasing the works of native Colombian musicians. Tricky D moved to Bogotá in 2013 after living in London, Berlin and Jamaica. He is active as a DJ, producer, remixer, and bass player, as well as teaching workshops on musical production. Since moving to Colombia, his new works contain Afro-Colombian influences. As a bass player, he’s now working on live projects which merge soul, dub and Afro-Colombian elements. His intention with this compilation was to find dubby, downbeat, minor tuned songs. Colombian Soul is soulful songs recorded by well-recognized Colombian artists. [ Most tracks updated traditional music: 6-world folklore and electronic dance music, 10 – Afro-Colombian reinterpreted, 11 – Latin drum ‘n bass, 12- Peruvian Cumbia reinterpreted, 13- Contemporary Colombian tropical, 14- Dub textures morphed with rolling bass, percussion and cumbia rhythms]. AArbor

AlHaj, Rahim Oud and String Quartet – "Letters From Iraq" – [Smithsonian Folkways]

aarbor   10/6/2021   CD, International

Rahim Al Haj has been an oud player since he was a child in Iraq. When he graduated from the Conservatory of Muisc in Baghdad he had won awards and had played in many parts of the world. When he refused to support Saddam Hussein’s regime he was twice imprisoned and tortured. Under threat of execution he went into exile in Jordan in 1991. Later he moved to Syria and then to the U.S. The 8 “letters” here are mostly very sad with accompanying very sad stories in the notes. Letter 7 is the most upbeat and Letter 8 is hopeful. According to Al Haj this is “Music to help us realize peace”. His wish is that this album will inspire listeners to choose love, wonder and hope. AArbor

Various – "[AMHARA] WEDDING SONGS" – [Domino Sound]

aarbor   9/29/2021   12-inch, International

These are well-known Amhara wedding songs from Ethiopia. Amharans are an indigenous group who live in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia, and have their own language. They are about 26% of the Ethiopian population. In Ethiopia Amhara families invite as many people as possible when there is a wedding. Festivities can start as much as a week before the actual wedding day. Read the notes for more details about what each song means and how it fits into the wedding festivities. AArbor

Lord Flea and His Calypsonians – "Swingin' Calypsos" – [Penny Records]

aarbor   9/29/2021   12-inch, International

Lord Flea was the stage name of Norman Byfield Thomas who was a Jamaican mento musician credited with helping start the calypso craze in U.S. With his band The Calypsonians, Flea toured the U.S. throughout the late 1950s, and released just this 1 album before he died (before the age of 30) in 1959.

Mento is a style of Jamaican folk music that predates and has greatly influenced ska and reggae music. It is a fusion of African rhythmic elements and European elements, which reached peak popularity in the 1940s and 1950s. Mento typically features acoustic instruments, such as acoustic guitar, banjo, hand drums, and the rhumba box — a large mbira in the shape of a box that can be sat on while played. The rhumba box plays the bass part of the music.

Mento is often confused with calypso, which is from Trinidad and Tobago. Although the two share many similarities, they are separate and distinct musical forms. During the mid-20th century, mento was confused with calypso, and mento was frequently referred to as calypso. As in calypso, mento uses topical lyrics with a humorous slant, commenting on poverty and other social issues. Sexual innuendo is also common. Mento draws on musical traditions brought by enslaved West African people. AArbor

Trible, Dwight – "Mothership" – [Gearbox]

aarbor   9/29/2021   12-inch, Jazz

Dwight Trible, who is originally from Cincinnati, is a versatile vocalist, and known as the godfather of the L.A. jazz scene. He’s collaborated with a range of musicians from J.Dilla to Pharoah Sanders for 40 years. He is best known for promoting and creating opportunities for others in the LA Jazz community, rather than in the spotlight. This release puts Trible firmly in the spotlight, showcasing his own compositions as well as covers of others’. You can hear his talent as a jazz vocalist quite clearly here. He is surrounded by some well-respected instrumentalists who support him with solid playing. AArbor

Central African Republic: Gbaya Music – Thinking [coll] – [Ocora | Radio France]

aarbor   9/22/2021   CD, International

The Gbaya are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Central African Republic. This is music of a Gbaya village called Ndongue. Music is performed either solo or in groups. Neighboring villages may have music that sounds quite different. The songs relate to activities: love songs, entertainment songs, lullabies, mourning or hunting songs. These are “Thinking Songs” which are performed by men with rattles and sanzas: thumb pianos: a small wooden resonator with metallic “tongues” as keys. The tongues can even be made with recycled ribs of an umbrella, or spokes of a bicycle wheel. Sanzas can be enhanced with metal rings that extend the resonating time or the instrument can be placed in a gourd (see cover picture) to increase the volume. The music is lovely: fluid, melodious. The audience can enter into the performance if they know the words or if a call/response is desired. The first 3 tracks are ensemble, and the last four are solos. All tracks were recorded in 1977. AArbor

MAP 71 – "Belladonna Sunsets" – [Fool Proof Projects]

aarbor   9/22/2021   A Library, CD

Another spoken word with drums, noises, etc. release from MAP 71. MAP 71 is Andy Pyne (drums, noises) and Lisa Jayne (words, voice, art). They like to push the envelope of what can be achieved with voice, synth and drums. This four-track EP is more dub-ish than the last one we added. The vocals are covered with echo, and the drums tend in a more tribal direction. Nude [1] is lovely with spacey echo and dubby drums, Aces [2] is more echoey with a rumba rhythm on the synth and disorienting drum patterns. Confessions of an Adrenaline Addict [3] is the sparsest track with tribal energy and a siren that seems a bit dystopian. Girlface Occupation [4} is lively and playful and rumba-ish. AArbor

Let The Juices Run Between [coll.]

aarbor   9/15/2021   A Library

Mande Dahl, who lives in Hermosa Beach, is the person behind this collection. It’s the recording of acts that played at a party on Hermosa Beach in the Summer of 2020. “Theatrical Punk rocker” Mande Dahl apparently was in New York during the late-’70s punk/new wave scene but may not have recorded any records since 1979. Two of the tracks here are from her band’s EP (Called MANDE DAHL) from 1979. She also has videos available on YouTube. The other bands/musicians featured here seem to be locals from Hermosa Beach: Funk, The Hollow Legs, Bar Nun and Kevin Sousa. Check out the party. AArbor

Bunnett, Jane and Maqueque – "On Firm Ground/Tierra Firme" – [Linus Entertainment]

aarbor   9/9/2021   12-inch, Jazz

Jane Bunnett is a Canadian alto sax player, flutist and pianist, with many recordings to her credit. With Maqueque she set out to mentor up-and-coming young Cuban women jazz musicians. The group has become very successful playing at high visibility festivals.They are being touted as the “New Queens of Afro-Cuban Jazz”. They are deliberately trying to sidestep the machismo of the Cuban jazz scene and have succeeded, although I find myself wishing for playing with a bit more grit or attitude. AArbor

Highways Over Gardens [coll] – [Carpet Bomb Records]

aarbor   8/11/2021   A Library, CD

A collection of several outfits on the obscure New York Carpet Bomb label from 1998. What’s notable is that even though there are a variety of band names: Livestock, Microstudio, Kundalini, Tripform and Unagi Patrol, most of these outfits contain the same musicians: Adrien Capozzi (now known as Adrien 75), Doron Gura, Pablo Manzarek, Norman Reed and Daniel Raffel. You’ll hear Carpet Bomb’s trademark mix of obscure-break, live instrumentation (tablas, guitars, etc), and extended minimal loopery. Tracks are of varying lengths from 3 to 22+ minutes. AArbor

Onda Sonora: RED HOT+ LISBON [coll] – [Red Hot Organization]

aarbor   8/11/2021   CD, International

Onda Sonora means soundwave in Portuguese. This collection was put together by the Red Hot organization which raises money on behalf of the AIDS epidemic – their slogan is “fighting AIDS through popular culture”. The collection features 40 artists from 11 countries (they are not all from Portugal or its colonies). The artists range from Caetano Veloso, Carlinhos Brown, Marisa Monte and Arto Lindsay to k.d. lang, DJ Wally, and Durutti Column and many others. The collection creates a travelogue of music tracing the Portuguese legacy from Fado to Samba to Morna ( a dance from Cape Verde), and explores the connections between different people linked by the random acts of history, language and rhythm. AArbor

GWP NYC TCB [coll] – [Ace Records Ltd./Virgin]

aarbor   7/28/2021   CD, Soul

GWP = Gerard “Jerry” W. Purcell a [white] “colorful New York music business man who used the best back music talent to produce fabulous soul sounds for his GWP label”. In addition to his record label, he was a TV, concert and music producer, songwriter and artist manager (he managed Al Hirt, Nancy Wilcox, Eddy Arnold and Hugo Montenegro). These 24 tracks were recorded between 1969 and 1970 for one of these 3 labels: GWP, NYC or TCB. Some of these artists did a number of recordings but none became big stars. AArbor

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