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22 Letters

Victoria Hanna Opens Conference Of Hebrew Language With 'Book Of Creation'

A few days ago, Israeli vocal artist Victoria Hanna, whom you may remember from her hiphop-tinged exploration of the Hebrew alphabet, opened a Conference for Hebrew Language with her acclaimed, kabbalistic "Book of [...]

A few days ago, Israeli vocal artist Victoria Hanna, whom you may remember from her hiphop-tinged exploration of the Hebrew alphabet, opened a Conference for Hebrew Language with her acclaimed, kabbalistic "Book of Creation" / "22 Letters" performance, which you absolutely need to watch. We actually have three videos to share with you. Here's the video she just posted of said opening and for those non-Hebrew speakers among us, here's her lecture / performance at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art from back in September of 2016 with English subtitles. And of course, last but not least, below you will find the official music video of "22 Letters" that will also feature on Victoria Hanna's eagerly awaited debut album. More to come... 

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Nozi Nozi

Liraz Returns With A Visually Captivating New Music Video To Her Debut Single

If you are not yet a fan, you will be in about five minutes, trust us. Israeli actress, model, singer and songwriter Liraz made her first appearance on Greedy back in 2016, when she first introduced her [...]

If you are not yet a fan, you will be in about five minutes, trust us. Israeli actress, model, singer and songwriter Liraz made her first appearance on Greedy back in 2016, when she first introduced her Rejoicer-produced debut single "Nozi Nozi" on Tel Aviv's Dead Sea Recordings; an enchanting nod to her Persian roots. 

Continuously seeking to "provide a voice for silenced Iranian women", she recently unveiled the single's official companion music video, directed by Nadav Direktor. The gorgeous work references "late '70s TV video clips of female singers from the Middle East" and provides a constantly shifting visual backdrop, as the "alluring singer" is superimposed onto "mesmerising landscapes and picturesque sites"

Lyrically the song points to traditional female role models in Iranian society and alludes to "the idea of 'noz', the Iranian archetype of a sweetly-smiling wife". See Liraz below in a stunning "visual remix of oldschool TV footage", turning her memories of Iran into "surreal symbols of  feminism and orientalism" and backed by an impressive lineup of talented fellow musicians:

Uri Shefi (violin & lyra)
Gershon Waiserfirer (electric oud & trombone)
Ariel Kasis (kanoon)
Amir Shasar (ney)
Yogev Glusman (bass & violin)
Amir Sadot (bass, double bass)
Gilad Abro (bass)
Roy Chen (drums)
Aviva Aleav (violin)
Erez Mounk (percussion)
Noam Havkin (keys)
Roy Hermon (keys)
Ben Aylon (percussion)
Mark Eliyahu (kamancheh)
Rejoicer (synths, rhodes & drum programming)

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Back To Budapest

The Jewish Monkeys Are Set To Take The Stage At Sziget (Again)
Greedy

It has been a while since we last updated you on the current state of affairs concerning our jolly Jewish Monkeys, not since their tour support for Shantel, the Shantel remix of "Fever" and their last tour of [...]

It has been a while since we last updated you on the current state of affairs concerning our jolly Jewish Monkeys, not since their tour support for Shantel, the Shantel remix of "Fever" and their last tour of Germany at the tail end of 2017 that is.

But the boys have not been monkeying around. Far from it: The band has been back in the studio readying new songs for album number three, the follow-up LP to their well received sophomore effort "High Words" released in 2017. 

After a standout performance at last year's renowned Sziget Festival and a recent show at the Viennese Donauinselfest (which was aired via the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) the Jewish Monkeys will return to Budapest again this year and take to the stage on Saturday, August 11, at 8pm. While there, they will also be taking the opportunity to premiere their first new single "Catastrophic Life" (to be released this fall) as well as their new track "My Jewish Girl".

Check out the new Jewish Monkeys teaser below to get you in the mood and stay posted for more updates!

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An Island Story

Strut Records Gains Access To The Archives Of French Caribbean Label Disques Debs
 

UK-based Strut Records have gained access to the archives of one of the most prolific French Caribbean labels out of Guadeloupe, aka Henri Debs' Disques Debs. Founded in the late '50s, the imprint went on to release [...]

UK-based Strut Records have gained access to the archives of one of the most prolific French Caribbean labels out of Guadeloupe, aka Henri Debs' Disques Debs. Founded in the late '50s, the imprint went on to release over 300 7" singles and 200 LPs, ranging from "early biguine and bolero to zouk and reggae", while "Debs played a pivotal role in bringing the créole music of Guadeloupe and Martinique to a wider international audience".

Volume 1 of the three-part series shines a light on the first decade of the label's existence from 1960 to 1972 and features "big band orchestras, home-grown stars, touring bands as well as a new generation that would emerge at the end of the ‘60s". Among these artists are Henri Debs' own sextet, saxophonist Edouard Benout of Les Maxel's, the Orchestre Esperanza, the Orchestre Caribbean Jazz, poet and radio personality Casimir "Caso" Létang or folkloric gwo ka artist Sydney Leremon as well as international touring artists, including Haitian trumpeter Raymond Cicault and Trinidadian bandleader Cyril Diaz.

Compiled by Sofrito's Hugo Mendez and Radio Nova's Emile Omar, "Disques Debs International" is the first-ever official release from the Disques Debs archive and makes for a thrilling, sun-drenched listen. Released at the end of June, along with many unseen archive photos, full sleeve liner notes and artist interviews, volumes 2 and 3 will follow in 2019. Head over to Bandcamp to stream the 21-track selection in full or listen to Guy Conquette's "Assez Fait Cancan" in the SoundCloud player above. 

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Introducing: Victoria Hanna

Greedy for Best Music Welcomes A New Voice To The Family & Announces Her Debut Album
Greedy

"The concept of being a singer is very boring. It’s much more interesting for me to feel that I am a sculptor, I am a painter in sound. The space is my canvas, my voice is the paint. The letters are my buddies." [...]

"The concept of being a singer is very boring. It’s much more interesting for me to feel that I am a sculptor, I am a painter in sound. The space is my canvas, my voice is the paint. The letters are my buddies."Victoria Hanna

While she is not new to our journal, we at Greedy for Best Music are more than happy to welcome the one and only Victoria Hanna to our musical family! You may have heard her on the catchy Balkan Beat Box track "Adir Adirim" or seen her in the official music video to her first single "The Aleph-Bet Song", in which she basically sings the Hebrew alphabet in the most mesmerising of ways, or her equally spellbinding follow-up single "22 Letters".

She is truly a phenomenon, an artist of the voice, who channels the power of language, while venturing into Kabbalistic rap, Aramaic hiphop and Israeli pop. AND on July 27th, we will be releasing Victoria Hanna's debut album internationally!

"My debut album consists entirely of ancient Hebrew texts with which I grew up. It is divided into two sections, two worlds that I explore – voice and speech. Voice is abstract, free in space. Speech is concrete, conceptual and rhythmic," says Victoria Hanna.

Raised in a strictly orthodox tradition, she has meanwhile liberated herself from the confines of that orthodoxy, while at the same time preserving and continuing its cultural heritage, which she has translated into an idiosyncratic and thoroughly contemporary context.

Her fascination with language was sparked by an inborn speech disability, as a childhood stutter turned out to be her greatest gift, leading her to explore the magical boundaries of sound and diction. She embarked on an inner journey to explore the mouth as creator, which became the inspirational and emotional journey of her life.

Victoria Hanna's debut features ten of her own original songs, tracing an arc from pop to hiphop to Israeli music, exquisitely combining the ancient, the traditional and the modern. In her songs and compelling videos, her image and design, Hanna creates a unique and distinctive world that is entirely her own.

She will be performing tonight (June 30th) at the Jewish Museum in Berlin and at Le Carreau Du Temple in Paris on August 8th. Feel free to visit her artist page for more on her background, upcoming shows, videos, reviews, related articles and more. Also, you can watch her 2015 TEDx talk on "Voicing Space, Sensing Speech" below. Stay tuned for more...

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Drumphilia Vol. 1

A Vision Of Early African Electronic Music & Modern Beats
 

It's been a while since we last heard from Berlin-based Italian multi-instrumentalist Andrea Benini. Back in 2016 he released longplayer number five under his Mop Mop moniker. Now he returns with a brand new project [...]

It's been a while since we last heard from Berlin-based Italian multi-instrumentalist Andrea Benini. Back in 2016 he released longplayer number five under his Mop Mop moniker. Now he returns with a brand new project on Agogo Records, an infectious rhythmic journey into African and Caribbean percussion, combining traditional instrumentation and analogue electronics "to create a hybrid sound in the tradition of artists like Francis Bebey"

What's even more remarkable is that "there are no traditional harmonic instruments on the recordings - the aim was to create melody and texture using only carefully tuned percussion instruments, whether organic or electronic. Basslines were created by blending drum synth tones with the acoustic marimbula, a traditional Caribbean instrument that was often used in place of abass guitar".

Andrea Benini's "Drumphilia Vol. 1" makes for quite the listening experience, melding warm textures with enticing rhythm patterns to hypnotic effect. You can stream the full album via Bandcamp or listen to Benini's African Mix for Magentic Magazine in the SoundCloud player above, which includes many a rhythm that inspired his latest release. 

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Turkish Ladies

A Long-Overdue Compilation Of Female Singers From Turkey
 

In 2015, Polish-born record collector, DJ, music journalist and curator Kornelia Binicewicz moved to Istanbul to explore the works of Turkish female singers. Digging her way through "dusty crates and blurred [...]

In 2015, Polish-born record collector, DJ, music journalist and curator Kornelia Binicewicz moved to Istanbul to explore the works of Turkish female singers. Digging her way through "dusty crates and blurred memories", gaining access to forgotten music archives and old Turkish music labels and publishing stories on the Turkish female music scene, she decided to place her focus on psychedelic pop and rock, arabesk, tavern and traditional/obscure folk styles; the common denominator being their highly infectious, groovy arrangements. 

Released earlier this year via Ladies On Records / Sony Music Turkey, her "Turkish Ladies" compilation marks the very first and, if we may say, long-overdue selection of female music from Turkey from the '70s and '80s, who were a vital part of the scene, but often missing from the missing from the male-dominated narrative. Originally issued on vintage labels the likes of Elenor, Türküola or Şah Plak, Binicewicz features music by better and lesser known female vocalists the likes of Huri Sapan, Handan Kara, Gönül Yazar, Esmeray, Neşe Alkan, Gülden Karaböcek, Gül Sorgun, Ferda Gül and Dilber Doğan (tracklist below), thus shedding a light on an important and increasingly popular era of Turkish music. 

"Sweet melodies and heartbreaking dramas are captured in edgy arrangements and compositions with eccentric synthesizers, mesmerizing arabesque string orchestras, wakawaka funky guitars and narcotizing rhythm sections of darbukas and drum sets [including a] variety of  influences and fusions – from classical Türk Sanat, Argentinian tango, Spanish flamenco, Egyptian classical orchestras, traditional folk songs to worldwide popular disco, psychedelia, funk," the description reads. And so, without further ado, we invite you to rediscover this essential part of Turkish music history. You can listen to a special mix for NTS Radio in the SoundCloud payer above and the compilation snippets here

Turkish Ladies. Female Singers from Turkey 1974 -1988

A
1          Huri Sapan – Bir Şans Daha Ver     
2          Handan Kara - Aşkım ve Gururum
3          Gönül Yazar - Sen BirYana
4          Esmeray - Ölmeden De Yaşamak
5          Neşe Alkan – Tut KalbimiTut

B
1          Gülden Karaböcek – Yanıyorum
2          Gül Sorgun - Ara Leyli
3          Ferda Gül – Yar Oy
4          Dilber Doğan – Yıkılla Köyler

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This Is Nigeria

Falz Covers Childish Gambino's Iconic Smasher "This Is America"

Following the breathtaking success of Childish Gambino's (aka Donald Glover) cutting-edge mise-en-scène of the American nations deep-seated, paradoxical and hair-raising ailments in the recently released video to "[...]

Following the breathtaking success of Childish Gambino's (aka Donald Glover) cutting-edge mise-en-scène of the American nations deep-seated, paradoxical and hair-raising ailments in the recently released video to "This is America", which is currently at over 270 million views and counting, Nigerian rapper, singer, songwriter and actor Falz The Bahd Guy (aka Folarin Falana) dropped his very own and equally impressive spin-off. 

"This is Nigeria" is Falz's take on the social and socio-economic issues facing his home country, while directly voicing his concerns with daily crime, corruption, lack of security (police stations closing at 6 pm), youth idleness, the media and religious violence. For instance there is also a scene with schoolgirls reminiscent of the Chibok students kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014. 

A controversy ensued after the video was aired, resulting in threats by the Nigerian MURIC (Muslim Rights Concern), demanding that the "inciting" video "promoting negative stereotypes" be withdrawn and that the artist apologize. Upon which Falz's management issued a statement and many Nigerians took to social media to speak their mind. The MURIC group has meanwhile backed down, claiming it would no longer seek legal action against Falz. 

Watch the video below.

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Unathi / Zaharila

NYC's El Michels Affair Drops New Bollywood-Inspired 45
 

This one definitely caught us off guard because let's just say we weren't expecting Leon Michels to go 'World' on us. Better known under his El Michels Affair moniker, the New York-based artist garnered [...]

This one definitely caught us off guard because let's just say we weren't expecting Leon Michels to go 'World' on us. Better known under his El Michels Affair moniker, the New York-based artist garnered international acclaim for his 2009 Wu-Tang Clan cover project "Enter the 37th Chamber" and its 2017 follow-up "Return to the 37th Chamber". 

Now, the El Michels Affair returns with a new 45 on Big Crown Records that is quite unlike his previous releases. Joining forces with vocalist Piya Malik, one half of the Brooklyn band 79.5, Michels delves into the world of Bollywood Funk. And even though we had trouble grasping the lyrics, we instantly hit repeat: 

"'Unathi' reels the listener in and keeps them through a journey of psychedelic arrangements, unexpected detours, and relentless rhythm. Lyrically, 'Unathi' is a song about progress, a vociferous call to arms urging people to come together and work collectively to achieve it. Gracing the B-side is 'Zaharila', a cinematic, dynamic, and almost visual number as if it were the score to a film that’s never existed. Bent guitar notes and blaring horn stabs ride the peaks and valleys of this epic tale about poisonous whispers that destroy a beautiful love affair." 

The amazing artwork was provided by Chicago-based Deadly Prey Gallery. The original painting was made by Ghanaian artist Mustapha Kemal for the Teshie-based Loversa Video Club, advertizing the 1991 Hindi thriller "Ajooba Kudrat Ka". 

You can listen to "Unathi" in the SoundCloud player above and "Zaharila" in the Visualizer below. Big up to El Michels Affair for this one!

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Huku

RSA Rapper Sho Madjozi Drops Music Video To Blazing New Single

Back to the Republic of South Africa, where early last year up-and-coming Tsonga rapper, writer, poet, style icon and actress Sho Madjozi, aka Maya Wegerif, popped (and locked) into the local music scene, [...]

Back to the Republic of South Africa, where early last year up-and-coming Tsonga rapper, writer, poet, style icon and actress Sho Madjozi, aka Maya Wegerif, popped (and locked) into the local music scene, collaborating with the likes of fellow rapper Okmalumkoolkat and appearing in the popular youth telenovela Mzansi Magic. 

"Dazzling audiences with her audacious lyrics, confidence and bright style," she is on a mission to blend her own musical heritage with a cutting-edge approach to what's happening right now and is definitely one to have on your radar as she plans to release her debut studio album later this year. 

Madjozi's blazing Swahili single "Huku" is the track that caught our attention. Hot on the heals of her 2017 banger "Dumi Hi Phone", it tells the story of a boy who is struggling to reveal his true feelings to her. Below you can watch the brand new accompanying music video directed by Garth von Glehn.

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Colours Of The Night

Maalem Mahmoud Gania’s Final Studio Recordings
 

Hailing from the port city of Essaouira, the late Maalem Mahmoud Gania ranks among the most prolific and highly respected recording musicians in Morocco. A singer and master guimbri player (a three-stringed lute [...]

Hailing from the port city of Essaouira, the late Maalem Mahmoud Gania ranks among the most prolific and highly respected recording musicians in Morocco. A singer and master guimbri player (a three-stringed lute used mainly in traditional Gnawa music), Gania released several albums on various Moroccan labels and collaborated with international artists the likes of Pharoah Sanders (US), Peter Brötzmann (D), James Holden (UK) and Floating Points (UK).

Last year, two years after Gania's passing in 2015, Brighton-based record label Hive Mind Records posthumously released an 8-track album of his final studio recordings. "Colours of the Night" features "deep, hypnotic Gnawa songs" ranging from 8 to 11 minutes in length and marked by Gania's wailing vocals. Trance-like in form, "Gnawa is a musical and spiritual tradition originating in sub-Saharan Africa that has survived as a subculture within Moroccan society for centuries. The roots of the blues can be heard in its hypnotic rhythms." 

Colours of the Night is Gania's first album to receive a vinyl release. You can listen to album opener "Sadati Houma El Bouhala" in the SoundCloud player above or buy/stream the album in full via Bandcamp.

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Le Retour De Toto

Mythical Guadeloupe Group Les Maxel's Returns On Atangana Records
 

It's barely been a month since the new Marseille-based Afro-Disco imprint Atangana Records issued its very first release, a reissue of Haitian singer Fédia Laguerre's phenomenally reworked 1981 single "Divizion". [...]

It's barely been a month since the new Marseille-based Afro-Disco imprint Atangana Records issued its very first release, a reissue of Haitian singer Fédia Laguerre's phenomenally reworked 1981 single "Divizion". Now label head Déni Shain serves up another killer cut, being the long-awaited reissue of a classic track by the mythical Guadeloupe group Les Maxel's.

Remastered and fitted with an equally impressive B-side rework, the 1976 track "Le Retour de Toto" is a flat-out "dancefloor killer" blending zouk, latino music, beguine and calypso flavours just in time for the summer season. "When we discovered this gem with my friend Likkle Ben over a night of digging, it was mainly the keyboard break that drove us nuts ! We were already hearing the edit that we’d make for our gigs," says Déni Shain. 

The Déni Shain and Papastomp remix just premiered on Bolting Bits and you can stream the full track in the SoundCloud player above. The full release will drop on June 8th and can be acquired via Bandcamp. 

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México Mágico Cósmico

Luis Pérez Delves Deep Into Mexican Musical Traditions
 

Fresh off the press at Mr Bongo is this highly recommended reissue of Mexican musical traditions by ways of Luis Pérez. Born in Mexico City in 1951, from 1971 onwards Pérez "dedicated much of his time to the [...]

Fresh off the press at Mr Bongo is this highly recommended reissue of Mexican musical traditions by ways of Luis Pérez. Born in Mexico City in 1951, from 1971 onwards Pérez "dedicated much of his time to the research of the pre-Columbian instrumentation of Mesoamerica. He learned directly from the living sources of the music and collected samples of musical instruments and the songs of different native speakers including Maya, Nahuatl, Mazateco, Yoemem, Comcaac, Raramuri, Wixarika and more"

With a vast personal collection of native Mexican instruments and archaelogical artifacts Pérez keeps the traditions and sounds alive at regular performances, concerts, lectures, etc. 

This specific recording entitled "El Ombligo de la Luna" (The Moon's Navel) delves deep into the magical Mexican cosmos and is quite a other-worldly trip. Buy/stream the release on Bandcamp or hit play in the SoundCloud player above.

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