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Interactive Istanbul

Kutiman Mixes The Sounds From The Heart Of Turkey

Sad news from Turkey these days and most recently from Istanbul, our home away from home. As we think of our friends and the people we love around the globe and as we watch Kutiman's latest installment of "Mix The [...]

Sad news from Turkey these days and most recently from Istanbul, our home away from home. As we think of our friends and the people we love around the globe and as we watch Kutiman's latest installment of "Mix The City", we ask ourselves, could it not actually be this 'easy'? Look around the world, beautiful people everywhere producing a multitude of sounds, diverse echos and patterns, resonating within and reminding us that life is the only true symphony. 

Listen and watch Kutiman's sounds from Istanbul, following in the footsteps of his native Tel Aviv, then try mixing your own!

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Can You Name Them All?

A Short Animated Introduction To The Jewish Monkeys Ahead Of Their Fall Tour
Greedy

Just ahead of their upcoming tour of Germany, the Jewish Monkeys decided to drop a short, animated teaser video, introducing the band's individual creative geniuses. 

We were trying to win over the legendary Michael [...]

Just ahead of their upcoming tour of Germany, the Jewish Monkeys decided to drop a short, animated teaser video, introducing the band's individual creative geniuses. 

We were trying to win over the legendary Michael Buffer to voice these ringside announcements of the eight Jewish Monkeys. Due to monetary concerns however, we let main man Jossi Reich do the honours and introduce his band of merry men one by one. 

Check the video below and to see if you can name them all. And now, ladies and gentlemen, let's get ready to ruuummmbbbllleee! Find an up-to-date list of all upcoming Jewish Monkeys shows here and be sure to lend an ear to their "High Words".

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Gamelan Beleganjur

Music of the Ngaben Funerary Ritual in Bali

Thinking back to our very first visit of Bali back in 2010, one of our most cherished memories is that of the gamelan, the traditional ensembles, made up predominantly of percussive instruments and found mainly in [...]

Thinking back to our very first visit of Bali back in 2010, one of our most cherished memories is that of the gamelan, the traditional ensembles, made up predominantly of percussive instruments and found mainly in Java and Bali. The word itself comes from the Javanese word gamel, which refers to a type of mallet used to strike instruments. Gamelan ensembles today often accompany dance and wayang shadow-puppet performances as well as rituals and ceremonies. The Beleganjur style of gamelan is one of the most popular styles of gamelan to be found on the island. 

So you can imagine our delight, when we chanced upon the latest release by French independent label Akuphone, featuring field recordings "collected [in 2011] by Vincenzo Della Ratta, PhD in Ethnomusicology from the Sapienza University (Rome)", who specializes in "gong music from the Austronesian cultures of Southeast Asia". The source material on "Gamelan Beleganjur and the Music of the Ngaben Funerary Ritual in Bali" is presented in two forms: 

"The first one offers a display of Beleganjur music out of the ritual context, which can be differentiated by a more melodic form and a more dramatic and hypnotic aspect of the compositions. The second one presents the Beleganjur style in the ceremonial context of the Ngaben funerary rite in the village of Peliatan. The utmost vitality of these orchestras springs out throughout the different stages of these funerals, and the sound environment surrounding the musicians immerse the listener in the very heart of the procession following the corpse."

And so we jumped head first into this rare and intense record, a rhythmic celebration of death, accompanied by gongs, cymbals, drums and 'incantations'. Absolutely magical! Stream the entire release on Bandcamp.

While you're at it, make sure to check out King Gong's latest project on Akuphone, which we covered a few weeks ago. 

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The Kutiman Orchestra

Embarks On Ten-Stop Tour Of Germany & Switzerland

It is no longer a secret that we are true admirers of the prolific Israeli songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, orchestra-leader, mixmaster and film maker Kutiman, who keeps on adding to his already [...]

It is no longer a secret that we are true admirers of the prolific Israeli songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, orchestra-leader, mixmaster and film maker Kutiman, who keeps on adding to his already impressive repertoire. Labeled a "psychedelic space funk architect" by London's Straight No Chaser magazine, he continues his pioneering ways and is about to embark on tour early next month with his 8-9-piece psych-jazz combo, aka The Kutiman Orchestra, including acclaimed trumpeter Sefi Ramirez, whom you may remember from The Ramirez Brothers

Two years after his amazing debut album, Kutiman began combining video art with musical endeavours of his own, thereby fathering his mind-boggling mash-up series ThruYOU, which you can read up on here, here and here. The result were a staggering 10+ million views on YouTube in just under two weeks as well as a mention in Time Magazine's "50 Best Inventions of 2009", which lead Kutiman to delve even deeper into the audio-visual craft.

"A psyched-up groove monster that can't decide between vintage and modern and instead just has it both ways" (Pitchfork), The Kutiman Orchestra is now ready to embark on a ten-stop tour of Germany and Switzerland this October. Check the 9-minute live video below to get a taste of their playfully suspenseful sounds, somewhere in between the funky spirit of James Brown and the cosmic explorations of the otherworldly Sun Ra. 

Dates

09.10. Frankfurt, Brotfabrik
10.10. Munich, Feierwerk/Hansa39
11.10. Geneva (CH), La Gravißere
12.10. Vevey (CH), Rocking Chair
13.10. Zurich (CH), Bogen
14.10. Jena, Jazzmeile Festival
16.10. Bremen, Schwankhalle
17.10. Dresden, Jazzclub Tonne
18.10. Hamburg, Mojo Club

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Indian City

Canada's A Tribe Called Red Unleash Powwow 360° Virtual Reality Video To "Indian City"

We first reported on this hallucinogenic native Canadian producer and DJ three-piece late last year, to highlight their amazing third studio effort "We Are The Halluci Nation" as well as their politically active [...]

We first reported on this hallucinogenic native Canadian producer and DJ three-piece late last year, to highlight their amazing third studio effort "We Are The Halluci Nation" as well as their politically active ways, which tied in perfectly to the dramatic scenes unfolding around the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline project. While the outcome of the US government's plans for the pipeline remains up in the air, A Tribe Called Red continues to send positive musical 'smoke' signals our way. 

Earlier this year Bear Witness, 2oolman and DJ NDN, aka"the primary purveyors of powwow step", dropped the official music video to album track "Indian City feat. Black Bear", which has racked up over 270K views on YouTube and is nothing short of a massive, bass-driven stomper. 

Now the tribe returns with a visual masterpiece, a cool 360° virtual reality video to "Indian City", which just blew our minds. A Tribe Called Red is everywhere you look. Just open your eyes. And ears of course. With a tip of the hat to the Canada Council for the Arts, "which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country". The crew is now touring North America!

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Son Palenque

The Legendary Colombian Group Returns With Album No. 16 And Michi Sarmiento
 

Fresh off the press on pioneering Afrocolombian imprint Palenque Records, founded in 1996 by Lucas Silva, is album number 16 by the legendary Son Palenque. Founded in 1980 by Justo Valdez, the group has made a name [...]

Fresh off the press on pioneering Afrocolombian imprint Palenque Records, founded in 1996 by Lucas Silva, is album number 16 by the legendary Son Palenque. Founded in 1980 by Justo Valdez, the group has made a name for itself by re-working the strong musical tradition of San Basilio de Palenque in northern Colombia. Their innovative and surprising fusions include African rhythms ranging from "soukous, to afrobeat and highlife" as well as "Palenquero rythms such as bullerengue, chalupa, or cantos lumbalu".

Their latest 12-track effort "Kutu Prieta pa Saranguia", recorded alongside the tremendous Colombian sax player Michi Sarmiento, is a stunner, a quickening lightning bolt of sound, both energising and mesmerising. Right off the top this ensemble beckons towards the dancefloor and not once relinquishes its hold. Each track ist a vibrant source of body-moving chants, melodies and rhythms to keep your mood afloat and your ears attuned. 

Stream the entire album here on Bandcamp. Or listen to "La Negra" off their 2012 album "Kamajanes de la Musica Palenquera" in the SoundCloud player above.

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What's This Fall About?!

The Jewish Monkeys Announce New Live Dates For September/October
Greedy

Yes, dear friends. Playing the World Music Stage at Sziget Festival two weeks ago was an absolute blast. Take this Facebook video for instance of the Jewish Monkeys engaging their crowd in some intense physical [...]

Yes, dear friends. Playing the World Music Stage at Sziget Festival two weeks ago was an absolute blast. Take this Facebook video for instance of the Jewish Monkeys engaging their crowd in some intense physical activity. Talk about authority. 

In any case the band has just announced new Germany shows coming up in late September, early October. The Jewish Monkeys will be playing a string of shows in Wiesbaden, Konstanz, Mannheim, Viechtach, Frankfurt (am Main) and Reutlingen. So get your tuches over there. 

Find a list of all Jewish Monkeys shows here. And don't forget to bring your dancing shoes. Their current album "High Words" is available from Bandcamp.

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I Like Your Girlfriend

Straight Outta Accra: Bryte X Gaffaci's 'Word-Of-Mouth' Classic Gets An Official Release
 

Let's set things straight: We love the increased attention African artists have been receiving in recent years, especially on the global club circuit. Many a newish afrofusion genre is currently being concocted in [...]

Let's set things straight: We love the increased attention African artists have been receiving in recent years, especially on the global club circuit. Many a newish afrofusion genre is currently being concocted in studios across the world, by combining traditional African elements with dancefloor styles originating mainly in the Western hemisphere. While some may be quick to emphasise that this is just another modern-day form of cultural appropriation and thus a highly controversial matter, it is hard to argue that this obvious trend has upped the visibility and exposure of said artists in Western media, thereby creating new opportunities for hybrid and innovative sounds from the African continent to hit the market. 

What we have here then, is a prime example of a dangerously catchy homegrown production, a "word-of-mouth classic" about to set the world ablaze. After surfacing in several lo-fi dance videos on YouTube, the "impeccable grime-meets-afrohouse" sounds of Ghanaian music producer Gafacci and the "bizarro lyrics" of his compatriot Bryte on "I Like Your Girlfriend" have finally received an official release by ways of London-based imprint Ransom Note Records

"Coming from Accra’s booming Azonto dance scene, where tracks are knocked out in makeshift home-built studios then swapped through social media apps on smartphones, a proper release of 'I Like Your Girlfriend' has long remained a holy grail. Now, after months of searching, several Western Union transfers, hundreds of WhatsApp messages and no lack of determination, Ransom Note have finally managed to legitimately sign the track, and are all set to give a modern classic the 12” release it deserves - making history with what is quite possibly the first Azonto track to be released on vinyl."

"I Like You Girlfriend" is a "carnival-ready curveball", a definitive "afro-ghetto-techno-pop" anthem, blending "bouncing techy minimalism" with elements from house and UK funky to create a quirky genre-defying mutant of sorts. What at first sounds like the beginning to yet another cheesy EDM replicant, quickly cuts to the 128 bpm chase, waisting no time to unfold its irresistible charm in just under three minutes. 

The official vinyl release comprises the original, Gafacci's instrumental track, three hard-hitting remixes by Bawrut, Ahadadream and Oyinboy as well as a bonus of Bryte's acapella to serve as "the perfect mixing tool". What's more, the vinyl release is limited to 30(!!!) and we have already placed our order. But don't fret, the digital release is sure to get the job done. Listen in the SoundCloud player above or head over to Bandcamp now.

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Les Frères Mégri

Holy Grail 1974 Morrocan Prog-Psych-Folk LP Remastered & Reissued For First Time Ever

Thou shalt not judge a book by its cover. With records it's different though and so in this case we did, we trusted our gut feeling on this one and were rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime album. Recently reissued [...]

Thou shalt not judge a book by its cover. With records it's different though and so in this case we did, we trusted our gut feeling on this one and were rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime album. Recently reissued via Marseille-based label Sudiphone in a limited edition of 500, this highly sought-after album by the three Moroccan brothers Mahmoud, Hassan and Younès Mégri, known as Les Frères Mégri, was first released in 1974. The band originally formed in Oujda in the late 1960s and consisted of four members, including their sister Jalila Mégri. Previously the Mégri brothers had made a name for themselves as "popular session musicians, composers and producers in Morocco, starting in the late '50s". After releasing four singles in the early 1970s (El Harib/Heya Essamra, Galouli Ensaha/Kellemtini, Sebar/Ououd Ou Chouk in 1971 and Sabar/Chaaltiha Nar in 1972) this groundbreaking collaborative LP marked their second album release. 

Now beautifully remastered, this album was almost impossible to track down for the past 40+ years and is considered a holy grail among diggers today, "one of the finest examples of the early '70s progressive, psych, folk sounds coming from North Africa and beyond [...] and a high point for the genre globally. A baroque folk approach that demonstrates utterly mesmerising results, psychedelic, electric guitars, sitars, bongos, swirling multi-tracked vocals that sound like prime era Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Trees, and the first two Pink Floyd albums -- It is of that pedigree"

Listen to "Galouli Ensaha" below and head over to Staalplaat now, to place your order. Don't sleep on this one.

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Uhamiaji

Tanzania's Msafiri Zawose Premieres Two Tracks Off Forthcoming Album On Soundway
 

Browsing through the world wide web, we chanced upon a downright hypnotic track by Tanzania's vocalist Msafiri Zawose, "one of the biggest slept-on musical forces from the region". A descendant of the Wagogo people, [...]

Browsing through the world wide web, we chanced upon a downright hypnotic track by Tanzania's vocalist Msafiri Zawose, "one of the biggest slept-on musical forces from the region". A descendant of the Wagogo people, a Bantu-speaking, traditionally nomadic tribe inhabiting central Tanzania, "known for their musicality and made famous by Hukwe Zawose - Msafiri’s father, who toured the world as a part of Peter Gabriel’s Real World roster in the 80s and 90s", Zawose is now carrying the proverbial and musical torch. 

Back in August 2016, Santuri, "a vibrant and creative East African underground network that allows artists and musicians the freedom to experiment and grow" , took a trip to the town of Bagamoyo, located on the Tanzanian coast, along with Sound Thread's Sam Jones, a music producer, who most recently worked with Orlando Julius and delivered some much lauded remixes for Mugwisa International (see video below) and Sarabi

Zawose and Jones developed a mutually respectful yet "highly charged working relationship" and began laying the groundwork for a new album "that will redefine the boundaries of gogo music" and is set to be released on Soundway Records on September 1st. And if we are to judge by the first two tracks already premiered these past weeks, this collaboration promises to be nothing short of a revelation. The result is a body of work that "remains profoundly gogo, but is infused with an organic electronic aesthetic, brought about by Jones’ exceptional production and feeling for textures. The tracks give off a borderless feeling, soaking up influences from across the globe - an afro-futurist journey that takes in dub, balearic, ambient and electronic vibrations alongside Zawose’s hypnotic playing and emotive, plaintive vocals".

"Nzala Urugu" opens with a thrusting rhythm and ethereal vocal chants, before being carried away by a gorgeous flute line and descending deeper into electronic realms. The driving "Pole Pole" on the other hand, which you can listen to in the SoundCloud player above, embarks on a more rudimental sax solo and is then taken over by slighlty distorted sound effects and Zawose's emphatic verses, before returning to a more harmonic structure and suddenly finding an beautifully captivating 'chordial' groove. "Wow, what is this?", you may find yourself asking. And you may find yourself answering: "I have no idea, but I really dig this".

"Uhamiaji" will be released as 2LP, CD and digitally on September 1, 2017.

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Shake It 'Live' At Sziget!

Stream: The Jewish Monkeys Take The Stage At Hungary's Sziget Festival This Saturday
Greedy

Once again, it is festival time in good ol' fortress Europe, as Hungary's well-established Sziget Festival takes center stage and our very own Jewish Monkeys perform on the jam-packed World Music Stage. After an [...]

Once again, it is festival time in good ol' fortress Europe, as Hungary's well-established Sziget Festival takes center stage and our very own Jewish Monkeys perform on the jam-packed World Music Stage. After an already busy summer, including a raucous show at the Düsseldorf-based Asphalt Festival in July, the JMs are set to play their hearts out, alongside a well-nourished lineup of acclaimed as well as up-and-coming global players the likes of the Goran Bregovic Wedding And Funeral Band (SRB), The Klezmatics (USA), Leningrad (RU), Tuareg band Tamikrest, Bixiga 70 (BRA), Dakhabrakha (UKR), Gaye Su Akyol (TR) and many more. Check the entire 'World' lineup and time schedule here

What's more, the shows will all be available as a live stream on Sziget's YouTube channel and Facebook page as well as via ARTE. No excuses here folks! The Jewish Monkeys perform this Saturday, August 11 at 17:15 CET. So get ready to shake it at Sziget! 

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Vintage Afropop

The British Library Reveals Close To 8,000 Recordings From Guinea's Syliphone Archive

While this may not come as news to some of you, we just stumbled upon the amazing sound archive of The British Library, home to some "90,000 selected recordings of music, spoken word and human and natural [...]

While this may not come as news to some of you, we just stumbled upon the amazing sound archive of The British Library, home to some "90,000 selected recordings of music, spoken word and human and natural environments" to be explored/streamed at will, if time permits. Among this vast collection is a segment dedicated to world and traditional music, "available for non-commercial research, study and private enjoyment".

Moving deeper into the proverbial thicket, we were initially tipped off by a tweet via Open Culture, pointing us in the direction of close to 8,000 Vintage Afropop Recordings Digitized & Made Available by The British Library, hailing from the archives of Radio Télévision Guinée, "created in the Republic of Guinea under the Presidency of Sékou Touré (1958-1984) following independence from France". The sound database is accompanied by an 8-page PDF guide, "created by project holder Dr Graeme Counsel, which gives a history of the archive alongside some recommended listenings".

"Sékou Touré saw the development of a national identity as key to the progress of his nation. The development of culture was thus central to his government. State-sponsored orchestras were created and the government bought them their musical instruments, paid them a wage, and created national arts festivals in which their groups performed. Foreign music was banned from the radio, and here the government filled the gap by building a state of the art recording studio and creating its own recording label, Syliphone."

So without further ado, feast your ears on this rich collection of sounds from Guinea, to be browsed by language, performer, recording title or recordist. Or move on to other sections. Your choice. In any case, you can't go wrong. 

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Dig! Delve! Damn!

Tuscany-Based Producer Clap! Clap! Delves Into The Dutch Audio Archives & Digs Up Many A Treasure

It is a wild dream, unlike any other, textures of sound, part organic, part machine, layers upon layers of intricate audioscapes, evolving into a 20-minute soundtrack out of space and time, a journey to distant [...]

It is a wild dream, unlike any other, textures of sound, part organic, part machine, layers upon layers of intricate audioscapes, evolving into a 20-minute soundtrack out of space and time, a journey to distant lands of sonic temptation. By now you may have realised that we are absolutely overwhelmed by the latest 8-track offering from internationally acclaimed producer and performer Cristiano Crisci, aka Clap! Clap!, "one of Italy's brightest new talents, [known] to bring together disparate inspirations and styles onto the dancefloor of  his mind".

As part of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision's RE:VIVE initiative and realised in collaboration with the Research Centre for Material Culture's Unlocking Sounds project, Clap! Clap! as well as fellow producers Ash Koosha and Parrish Smith were provided access to the Amsterdam-based Tropenmuseum's sound archive, "which features thousands of original field recordings from around the globe dating back to the 1920s. This collection was started by Dutch conservationist J.C. Lamster and Jaap Kunst, who would eventually coin the term ‘ethnomusicology’: the study of music in its cultural and social context. The archives do not only include recordings of music, but also stories, narratives, languages, rituals, dance and other auditory signals from the past."

There, each producer was able to get familiar with the source material, while conferring with leading researchers from the University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Leiden University, and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies: "To have the honour of digging through the Dutch audio archives was like a dream come true! I was very excited to delve in and explore the vast differences between those countries. It was also an important responsibility to approach the project with respect for the sources of recordings, as many were from the ex-Colonies of the Netherlands", Clap! Clap! explains.

Clap! Clap! eventually proceeded to sample the source material and translate the various sounds via his own individual style to achieve fascinating results, as he "[stripped[ down his bombastic, multilayered take on global rhythms, jazz, and footwork, letting the samples take center stage. Drawing on the archive's recordings from Afghanistan, Suriname, Zambia, Bali, Libya, India, Uzbekistan & Morocco, accompanying and accentuating them with his singular voice".

Enter "DIG! DELVE! DAMN! (Dutch Archive Edition)", which you can stream and download for free right here. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what we're talking about. Stunning!!! 

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