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IFRIQIYYA ELECTRIQUE

A Post-Industrial Recomposition Of An Ancient Adorcist Ritual
 

Adorcism in the sociology of religion is defined by Jean-Michel Oughourlian as a "voluntary, desired, and curative possession" and is thus, in a sense, the polar opposite to exorcism. "It consists of practices and [...]

Adorcism in the sociology of religion is defined by Jean-Michel Oughourlian as a "voluntary, desired, and curative possession" and is thus, in a sense, the polar opposite to exorcism. "It consists of practices and attitudes aimed at placating and integrating spiritual entities in a person or place. Unlike exorcism the presence of these entities is regarded as healing, empowering or beneficial. They are not considered necessarily negative, even if they appear to be so." 

Fast-forward to modern-day Tunisia, where, located between the Saharan Djerid desert of salt and the oases of the country's South, François R. Cambuzat (guitars, vox, computer) and Gianna Greco (bass, vox, computer) literally spent months documenting the adorcist and post-industrial ritual of Saint Sidi Marzûq, an annual festive, sacrificial ritual called the Banga, 'performed' by the Haoussas (or former Black slave communities) of Tozeur, Nefta and Metlaoui to commemorate him. Cambuzat and Greco gathered over 300 hours of material to later be projected during the concerts of their new musical project by the name of IFRIQIYYA ÉLECTRIQUE.

IFRIQIYYA ÉLECTRIQUE then is not your average band. Audiences that gather to hear Cambuzat, Greco and musicians of the Banga community play are not witnessing a performance per se, but rather the re-presentation of a positively haunting, archaic event: "The devils are communicating with computers and electric guitars to recompose this ancient adorcist rite of possession and trance. No music note and no tempo were changed, for a transcendental, now post-industrial ceremony."

Watch the extract below to get a better impression of this extraordinary project, enabled by the French Institute of Tunisia.  But don't get spirited away!

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Seitō {青鞜}

Akuphone Compiles Seven-Track Experimental Album Of Contemporary Female Artists From Japan

Paris-based label Akuphone, created by Fabrice Géry (aka Cheb Gero) in 2015, has made a name for itself with an abundance of rare and striking releases of global pop and folk, including Praed's "Doomsday Survival [...]

Paris-based label Akuphone, created by Fabrice Géry (aka Cheb Gero) in 2015, has made a name for itself with an abundance of rare and striking releases of global pop and folk, including Praed's "Doomsday Survival Kit", Mushapata's "Saba-Saba Fighting", Balinese funerary music on "Gamelan Beleganjur" or Kink Gong's "Tibetan Buddhism Trip". 

Back in June, the label released a fascinating compilation of contemporary "Japanese female artists from various electronic and experimental music fields", featuring a selection of seven tracks all recorded between 2017 and 2019. "Seitō: In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun" derives its title from "a cult feminist magazine printed in Japan in the 1910s" and presents a trip-inducing cross-section of the Japanese underground music scene with a host of trailblazing female protagonists.

This far-out compilation kicks off with a "gloomy folk song" by Fuki-Yuki, which almost seamlessly merges into a "haunted dub tune" by Kiki Hitomi, then moves on to more danceable realms behind a formidable deep house cannon by Mikado Koko, only to be followed by a spacey "electroacoustic performance", the noisy avant-garde folk vibes of Kakushin Nishihara, an trance-inducing "oriental psych blend" by Kuunatic and finally "Keiko Higuchi's 9-minute cover of classic Japanese folk song Okesa Bushi." You can watch the album preview or stream the full release below.

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Alefa Madagascar

Strut Records Drops Compilation Of Salegy, Soukous & Soul From The Red Island (1974-1984)

Strut Records continues its essential compilation series of Indian Ocean sounds with "Alefa Madagascar", the first compilation to document the unique culture of salegy, soukous and soul on the island during the [...]

Strut Records continues its essential compilation series of Indian Ocean sounds with "Alefa Madagascar", the first compilation to document the unique culture of salegy, soukous and soul on the island during the ‘70s and ‘80s. The selection, made by Réunionese DJs La Basse Tropicale and Percy Yip Tong (Mauritius) reveals the enormous diversity of sounds produced on the East African island from 1974-1984, many of them by the influential Charles Maurin Poty. 

"Originating as far back as the 15th Century through folkloric ceremonial music and an a cappella chanting style called antsa, salegy emerged as a fast- tempoed local dance style based on 6/8 and 12/8 rhythms. By the ‘60s, radio was bringing in new sounds from the Congo, Mozambique, South Africa and Kenya and Jean Francois de Comarmond’s Discomad label championed a new generation of artists breaking the mould with their own new fusions of styles as electric instruments replaced the traditional. The strong call-and- response dialogues, rich vocal choruses and rolling triplet feel in the rhythm sections all boasted a unique Malagasy sensibility and singles started selling tens of thousands of copies, rivalling any foreign music at the time," the album notes read. 

"Alefa Magagascar! Salegy, Soucous & Soul from the Red Island" presents 18 energetic tracks from a prolific era that shaped much of the popular  Malagasy music heard today, pioneered by artists and bands including Roger Georges, Jean Kely et Basth, Los Matadores, Mahaleo, the Terak'Anosy Group and many more. You can stream the full release via the Bandcamp player below. 

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Poli-ritmo

Internal N.Y. Rhythms' Debut EP On Optimo Music Is A Deeply Polyrhythmic Affair

Apparently there is a story to every song. Not just a story that reveals how the song came to be, but also a story that explains, how or when the song was first heard. For us it was about two months ago, on a bike, [...]

Apparently there is a story to every song. Not just a story that reveals how the song came to be, but also a story that explains, how or when the song was first heard. For us it was about two months ago, on a bike, listening to the Worldwide FM playlist, when we first heard of Portuguese producer/DJ Bruno Deodato's Internal N.Y. Rhythms project. 

It turned out, that the mesmerising, shaker-ridden firecracker of a tune we had just listened to was "Poli-ritmo II" off the "Poli-ritmo EP" released on JD Twitch's Glasgow-based imprint Optimo Music back in April. The EP consists of three, "dubbed out rhythm & bass tracks" that are sure to wreak havoc on the dancefloor. 

"Poli-ritmo I" and "Poli-ritmo II" are deeply satisfying polyrhythmic pursuits in tropical attire. While the first leads the way with a killer bassline and iMessenger-style 'pling' effect, the latter is an even niftier matter: "The EP sashays from the shakers, snaky bass and psychedelic electronics of ‘Poli-Ritmo I’ to emphasise the clipped clave patterns in ‘Poli-Ritmo II’, and then follow a rugged tribal hunch into the crunchy drums and nagging drone of ‘Futurismo’," the Boomkat review reads. You can stream the full release via the Bandcamp player below.

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Chimera

The Gökhan Sürer Quartet Presents A Fresh Take On Oriental Jazz

It's all about that jazz! Our most recent find comes by ways of Lausanne, Switzerland-based label Rocafort Records, whom we last covered a few weeks back for Kokoro Disco-San's "Isla Fantasià", a two-track [...]

It's all about that jazz! Our most recent find comes by ways of Lausanne, Switzerland-based label Rocafort Records, whom we last covered a few weeks back for Kokoro Disco-San's "Isla Fantasià", a two-track sun-drenched 45 that instantly struck a chord with us. Their latest release is a truly international affair, led by young Turkish pianist, composer and arranger Göhkan Sürer. 

The Gökhan Sürer Quartet consists of musicians from Mexico, Serbia, Catalonia and Turkey and is currently reshaping the oriental jazz genre. Their brand new "Chimera EP" sounds "like the soundtrack to a modern mythological journey across all sides of the Mediterranean and beyond. Anatolian magic is woven throughout the four titles, most of them filled with an elegant urgency and tension in the rhythmic composition with the intention of giving a modern jazz twist to Turkish and Armenian melodies along with elements of rock, funk and reggae." 

As the four tracks unfold behind Gökhan Sürer's inventive keyboard explorations in the vein of Chick Corea, attentive listeners will find themselves constantly questioning their whereabouts on this stimulating journey across time and continents. "It’s not a three-minute listen, but rather a sumptuous aural adventure complete with chirping crickets and Byzantian mystery," the EP notes read. You can listen to the full release below. 

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Onipa

Afrofuturist Duo Releases Two New Summer Singles & Music Video

This has been long overdue and seeing as summer is still alive and kicking here in Berlin, we thought now would be a good time to introduce you to ONIPA, a highly combustible collaboration between Ghanaian vocalist [...]

This has been long overdue and seeing as summer is still alive and kicking here in Berlin, we thought now would be a good time to introduce you to ONIPA, a highly combustible collaboration between Ghanaian vocalist KOG (of KOG and the Zongo Brigade) and UK producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Tom Excell (founder and band-leader of acclaimed afro-jazz project Nubiyan Twist). ONIPA first popped onto our radar in 2018, when they delivered their dancefloor-ready, afro-disco-infused debut EP "Open My Eyes" on Wormfood Records / Mawimbi and followed that up with an equally potent set of remixes.

"Drawing on a wide range of influences, including Ghanaian highlife, Congolese soukous, Mali blues, South African Shangaan electro & Township music, Nigerian afro-disco and Moroccan Gnawa combined with UK dance music, jazz and hiphop," Onipa (meaning 'human' in the Akan language) were quick to impress their mark on the global scene. A few weeks back, the duo released two powerful new summer singles.

"Maadi3" is an instant Ghanaian highlife classic, paired with modern production, catchy vocals and irresistible grooves, while "My Way" kicks off with a hypnotic flute loop and intricate rhythmic patterns, before KOG takes matters into his own hands: “This track started life as a vocal chant, then guitars doubled the vocal line to create a heavy, riff based, trance-like, hypnotic, repetitious feel. From there we formed the groove, a mix between dancehall and afrobeat rhythms, giving the framework for raga vocals, floaty electronics and Malian guitar interspersions," Tom Excell details.

"My Way" comes equipped with an official companion music video, which you can watch below. To stream/buy both releases, simply head over to Bandcamp.

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Motel Lazy

Istanbul Beatmaker Ozoyo Delivers Therapeutic Full-Length On Threefinger

Nearing the month of September and quite possibly the autumn season, this day finds us in a mellow mood. Summer was golden and continues to present itself in lush attire. And as we think back on those lovely, hazy [...]

Nearing the month of September and quite possibly the autumn season, this day finds us in a mellow mood. Summer was golden and continues to present itself in lush attire. And as we think back on those lovely, hazy moments, Istanbul-based beatsmith Ozoyo's debut full-length is just what the doctor prescribed. 

Following on the heels of his previous three EP releases "Wanderlust" (2016), "Lost Beats" (2018), and "333" (2018), Ozoyo is back to present his 15-track vacation-themed album. "Motel Lazy" is music to our ears and brimful with organic vibes, lo-fi beats and smoky samples. In other words, Ozoyo's sound is sunscreen for the 'dolce far niente'-soul.  

So stake out your favourite lounge chair, make sure that umbrella is in place and a cool drink in reach and enjoy your timeout for as long as it lasts. You can listen to the entire release over on the Threefinger Bandcamp page, with further contributions from the ranks of Wun Two, Jinsang, Engelwood and Mujo. Happy holidays!

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To Freedom's Defense

200,000 Euros For A Three-Year Freemuse & Roskilde Partnership In Ongoing Struggle For Global Artistic Freedom
Greedy

Born out of the very first World Conference on Music and censorship back in 1998, Freemuse"an independent international membership organisation advocating and defending freedom of expression" in music across the [...]

Born out of the very first World Conference on Music and censorship back in 1998, Freemuse"an independent international membership organisation advocating and defending freedom of expression" in music across the globe, continues to play a major role in exposing worldwide inequalities. Their regular newsletter keeps subscribers up to date on current affairs, namely transgressions or encroachments on artistic freedom and basic human rights.  

Early in July, Freemuse made the news, when it announced that the renowned Danish Roskilde Festival had donated 1.500.000 Danish Crowns (which corresponds to approximately 200,000 Euros) to ensure that the organisation can pursue its invaluable activities in the artistic realm. In fact, the Roskilde team published an official statement on the festival's website, sharing its motivation to partner with Freemuse for the next three years in the "fight for the global right to artistic and creative freedom of speech." 

The statement reads: "Everyone should have the right to express oneself creatively and artistically. But we know this isn't the case. It's a fundamental human right, and yet it's challenged in many countries. Roskilde Festival believes in communities, and we believe in the role of art in the community. Art and music create communities, move people, show new ways." 

At this year's Roskilde Festival, Freemuse launched a call-to-membership for its Artistic Freedom Defenders Network (abbr. AFDN), conceived as a global network tasked with doing as its name implies. The AFDN is an ambassador programme to create "a community of artists, activists, NGO's, professionals, students and everyone who is interested in – and supports – artistic freedom. It's an opportunity to connect, exchange ideas and help make the world a safer space to express oneself." 

The Freemuse-Roskilde partnership comes at a time, when censorship remains a critical issue for many individuals around the world. These are times to build like-minded alliances, but also to call attention and lend a voice to those, whose freedom and most fundamental human rights continue to be violated. It's a pressing call for solidarity in an age of increasing division and alienation and a world steadily building walls rather than tearing them down. But more importantly, "it's an opportunity to connect, exchange ideas and help make the world a safer space to express oneself," the festival declares.

We at Greedy for Best Music and our colleagues at FAIRPLANET are proud to support and encourage you to join the cause at artisticfreedomdefenders.org. Feel free to share!

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Bahasa

Young Marco Explores The Spirit Of Indonesia On Sophomore Album

Who would have thought that we'd venture into the club circuit, but Dutch DJ/producer Young Marco's latest full-length on Island Of The Gods Records left us no choice and you'll be quick to understand why. Some five [...]

Who would have thought that we'd venture into the club circuit, but Dutch DJ/producer Young Marco's latest full-length on Island Of The Gods Records left us no choice and you'll be quick to understand why. Some five years ago, the Bali-based imprint invited Marco Sterk alias Young Marco to visit the islands of Indonesia, including Bali, and immerse himself in the indigenous culture that is still present there to this day. Marco, whose late grandfather happened to be born and raised in Indonesia, willingly accepted the opportunity to 'return to his roots'.

And so, Marco set out to explore and "capture the spirit, ambience and atmosphere of the islands," in order to contribute to the label's "Island Explorer" album series. "A number of sessions were arranged, recording gamelan, gong and bamboo musicians from nearby temples. Island instruments and organic sounds meeting Marcos drum machines and synthesisers in a number of improvised jam sessions. Field recordings were also gathered from jungles, the ocean and wildlife, capturing both the ambient and chaotic side of life in Indonesia," the album notes read. 

Marco returned to his Amsterdam studio, where he later incorporated these sounds and recordings into his own contemporary, electronic forms of musical expression. Five years later, or rather last July, he finally released his sophomore LP with appearances from Mike Kivits (aka Aardvark), Jonny Nash (1/3 of Gaussian Curve) and The Desa Babakan Gamelan Ensemble. "Bahasa" is a lush, deeply meditative affair, "a typically sweet-natured and breezy collection of ambient tradewinds and colourful rhythmic plumage" – a transpacific encounter to forge lasting spiritual bonds.

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Demolición

Munster Records Releases The Complete Recordings Of Los Saicos, Peru's Pioneers Of Punk

After latching on to Radio Martiko's latest "Java Surf" 7" release a few weeks back, we were overjoyed to stumble upon influential Peruvian garage rock / proto-punk band Los Saicos. Widely and arguably considered to [...]

After latching on to Radio Martiko's latest "Java Surf" 7" release a few weeks back, we were overjoyed to stumble upon influential Peruvian garage rock / proto-punk band Los Saicos. Widely and arguably considered to be the global pioneers of punk, the band is definitely one of the most original and influential Latin American band of the 1960's. 

Formed in 1964 in their native Lima, Peru, Erwin FloresCésar “Papi” CastrillónRolando “El Chino” Carpio and Francisco “Pancho” Guevara served up "a raw, wild and visceral sound" that took Latin America by storm. That is until the group parted ways again some two years later. And that is until a new generation of music lovers picked up on the band's vintage recordings and Los Saicos (at least the surviving members) actually reunited in 2006 to play a couple of shows. 

Los Saicos released a total of six singles between 1965 and 1966, all of which were now compiled onto one release by Madrid-based independent record label Munster Records. "¡Demolición! The Complete Recordings" features said 12 tracks by Los Saicos that shall not go unheard. In 2011 the documentary film "Saicomania" was released and in 2013 Noisey did a 13-minute special on the band, which you can watch below. 

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Ikhlas

Singaporean Freeform Producer Fauxe Explores Past & Present Styles Of Malaysian Music
 

Originally released in an extremely limited run of 50 cassettes on Chinabot in 2018, Singaporean experimental hiphop and freeform producer Fauxe's album "Ikhlas" popped onto our radar just recently. In June The [...]

Originally released in an extremely limited run of 50 cassettes on Chinabot in 2018, Singaporean experimental hiphop and freeform producer Fauxe's album "Ikhlas" popped onto our radar just recently. In June The Analog Vault readied the album's first vinyl pressing and we felt this record needed to be heard by a wider audience.   

Why's that? Well, for starters, Fauxe has a knack for pushing supposed boundaries, combining different styles and experimenting with sounds to create something that we feel is highly original and deserves respect. Drawing from an eight-month visit to Malaysia in 2017, exploring the Kuala Lumpur music scene and collecting samples from "traditional Malaysian Tamil and Hawaiian Malay music," Fauxe began to "recontextualise" the project through "hiphop, disco and breakbeat-inspired textures." 

"Ikhlas", meaning 'sincerity' in the Malay language, is a groove-ridden, danceable 30-minute "ode to Malaysia and its sonic legacy." Or as Fauxe puts it: "Singapore and Malaysia to me had always been two different places. Right now it feels like we have always been one. I hope the music brings about a certain understanding and appreciation of what both countries share." And with that message in mind, we sincerely invite you to stream the full album via the SoundCloud player above or on Bandcamp

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Loé Loá

First-Time Vinyl Release Of Betsayda Machado & La Parranda El Clavo's Rural, Afro-Venezuelan Recordings

We doubt you'd disagree, when we say that Betsayda Machado is quite literally the life of the party or Parrando, a traditional Venezuelan genre. In fact, she is widely considered "the voice of Venezuela." Hailing [...]

We doubt you'd disagree, when we say that Betsayda Machado is quite literally the life of the party or Parrando, a traditional Venezuelan genre. In fact, she is widely considered "the voice of Venezuela." Hailing from the small town of El Clavo in the Barlovento province, Betsayda was practically raised by the local percussion and voice ensemble La Parranda El Clavo, whom she still plays with to this day.

"For nearly 30 years they've performed at town festivities, funerals and celebrations, preserving the style of Tambor, a cultural legacy of African slaves brought to work in the cocoa plantations." After having relocated to the capital city of Caracas in her early twenties, Betsayda returned to her small hometown in 2016 along with her producer and recorded a couple of sessions with La Parranda. 

The result of which appeared on CD/digitally in 2017 and gathered momentum as the group toured North America. A few weeks ago, Olindo Records released "Loé Loá – Rural Recordings Under the Mango Tree" on vinyl for the very first time and it is one great listen. Betsayda's remarkable voice takes the lead as La Parranda joins in to deliver "a spirit-shaking percussion and voice fiesta" rooted in Afro-Venezuelan traditions, spiritual, nostalgic and thoroughly yet positively haunting.

"However, not every song is about joy and celebration as the band often sing about many of the most painful topics of daily life in Venezuela, as prevalent in 2019 as they were in 2017 when originally released: hunger, poverty, and shortages of basic medicine," the Bandcamp liner notes read. 

You can stream/buy the full release here or watch their 14-minute appearance on NPR's Tiny Desk series below. 

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Real World Records Releases A Remarkable 1985 Live Recording Of The Legendary Qawwal

On July 20th, 1985, sometime 'round midnight, the late and legendary Pakistani vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his party took to the stage at WOMAD Festival in Mersea Island, Essex and delivered a performance for [...]

On July 20th, 1985, sometime 'round midnight, the late and legendary Pakistani vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his party took to the stage at WOMAD Festival in Mersea Island, Essex and delivered a performance for the ages. Now, 34 years later, Real World Records (a record label founded by WOMAD and Peter Gabriel in 1989) has released the carefully restored and digitised original recordings to celebrate its very own 30th anniversary. And what a release this is: 

"Looking back, it's impossible to over-estimate the significance of this moment of musical history. [...] The group sat cross-legged in two rows and for some minutes there was a silent pause. What unfolded over the following hours stunned the audience. And it impressed upon Nusrat his remarkable skill at communicating with audiences from a different culture and language and with no understanding of the deep and ancient traditions of qawwali music," the liner notes read.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is widely considered a musical phenomenon as well as the greatest qawwal of all time, who transfixed millions with his powerful voice and exuberant nature; up until his untimely death in 1997 at the age of 48. Qawwali is a Sufi Muslim form of devotional music, which is said to have originated in 12-century Persia and spread across India and South Asia and is "characterised by simple melodies, forceful rhythms, and energetic improvisations that encourage a state of euphoria in the listener." 

Although there is no shortage of recordings by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, "Live At WOMAD 1985" is a remarkable one. Or as Anastasia Tsioulcas put it for NPR: "Even now, more than 20 years after his death in 1997, there's no dearth of opportunities to hear his work, through a combination of sheer popularity, an enormous official discography, and literally thousands of pirated versions. All in all, no one has been suffering for lack for recordings of this Pakistani vocal master of qawwali, a staggeringly beautiful and ecstatic musical form."

Real World Records picked four songs from the 1985 concert for this "raw and visceral" live recording, including a 21-minute version of "Allah Ho Allah Ho", a 25-minute version of "Haq Ali Ali" as well as the songs "Shahbaaz Qalandar" and "Biba Sada Dil Mor De", each over 9 minutes long. Whether you are a first-time listener or a longtime fan, this magical release is bound to move you.

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