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NicheStreem

South Africa's Niche Streaming Service

Cape Town, RSA – Building on the idea that "niche doesn't necessarily mean small", entrepreneur Catherine Lückhoff is currently in the midst of creating a niche oriented music streaming service to cater to the [...]

Cape Town, RSA – Building on the idea that "niche doesn't necessarily mean small", entrepreneur Catherine Lückhoff is currently in the midst of creating a niche oriented music streaming service to cater to the more particular musical demands of like-minded individuals across the globe. While streaming juggernauts the likes of Spotify, Pandora or more recently Apple Music fail to take full advantage of such often overlooked, yet equally important segments of specific musical tastes, NicheStreem plans to take a strictly local approach to multiple smaller markets, offering more exotic yet clearly defined genres such as "Highlife" (Afro-pop) or "Naija" gospel. The platform's first spinoff app Liedjie for example features South African artists only, thereby focussing on the Afrikaans market. This is exciting news for music lovers around the world hoping to stream content actually curated to their liking. Let's see how this plays out.

via: ventureburn.com

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Tunis Tapes

Brighton's Hive Mind Records Shares Vintage Tunisian Cassette Mix

Brighton is probably not the first place you'd suspect to be behind a mix of vintage Tunisian cassettes. The so-called London-by-the-sea is however home to Hive Mind Records, a quality imprint specialising in [...]

Brighton is probably not the first place you'd suspect to be behind a mix of vintage Tunisian cassettes. The so-called London-by-the-sea is however home to Hive Mind Records, a quality imprint specialising in "vintage and contemporary sounds from around the globe". Credit them for posthumously releasing an 8-track vinyl album of the late Maalem Mahmoud Gania's final studio recordings as well as a 30-minute cassette tribute to fellow Moroccan legend Moulay Ahmed El Hassani

To close out the year and keep our ears perked, Hive Mind decided to drop a one-hour tape mix on December 31st via their Bandcamp page, containing dusty pop and folk sounds from Tunisia. The description reads: "From raw traditional folk songs, featuring the head-spinning sound of the zukrah (an oboe like reed instrument also known as the ghaita or rhaita) and the bendir and darbouka hand drums, to more modern sounds that blend synths and drum machines with the more traditional instruments, this mix is guaranteed to blow the cobwebs from your mind."

Well it did, to say the least. The Tunis Tape Mix obviously comes equipped with a Side One and a Side Two. Both are available as a free download. The only thing missing is a tracklist. And though the first minutes were hard to stomach, these distant sounds started to grow on us. That is until the zukrah returned in full effect. But hey, we asked for it. Happy New Ear everyone!

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Kokoroko

London's Innovative Afrobeat Collective Is Keeping The Groove Alive, New EP Out Soon

We first chanced upon this eight-piece, London-based afrobeat collective about a year ago, when they premiered their sublime track "Abusey Junction", that featured on the 2018-released Brownswood Recordings [...]

We first chanced upon this eight-piece, London-based afrobeat collective about a year ago, when they premiered their sublime track "Abusey Junction", that featured on the 2018-released Brownswood Recordings compilation "We Out Here" and was just recently shortlisted for the upcoming "Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards Track of the Year" (to take place this Saturday, January 19th at KOKO in London). In any case Kokoroko's is a music that travels, as the "all-star band featuring leading lights from the London jazz community" innovatively blends "West African roots with Inner-London hues"

Led by trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey, the group initially made a name for itself playing covers of artists the likes of Pat Thomas or Ebo Taylor, before eventually writing music of their own. "We love this music and want other people to love it the way we do," says percussionist Onome Ighamre. "We don't want this music to die."  In this vein, drawing on influences from West African Pentecostal churches, jazz and Western classical, Kokoroko's forthcoming, self-titled EP contains four tracks of stunning depth. 

"Uman" is the first track to be previewed. Opening with a pensive fanfare by the horn section, the track takes several turns and evolves into a "jubilant celebration of women, black women in particular," describes Maurice-Grey. "The track tackles the cultural trope of the 'black superwoman' and asks questions about why misrepresentations about black women exist. Ultimately, it's a redemptive track that makes space for both the unique struggles black women face, and their vulnerability." And we love it. You can listen to the track on Bandcamp or via the "Brownswood Basement Session" below. The "Kokoroko" EP releases March 8th, on Brownwood. They will also be performing live in Berlin for XJAZZ on May 9th. 

Kokoroko are:
Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet)
Cassie Kinoshi (saxophone)
Richie SeivWright (trombone)
Mutale Chashi (bass)
Oscar Jerome (guitar)
Yohan Kebede (keyboards)
Onome Ighamre (percussion)
Ayo Salawu (drums)

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FREYLEKHS'3000

Jewish Retro-Futurism Or Shake Your Tuches Like It's 2019
 

Have you ever wondered, what the Yiddish queens of swing, The Barry Sisters, might sound like today? Would they have gone for more of an R&B vibe? Or what kind of music would Mickey Katz be making, who humoured [...]

Have you ever wondered, what the Yiddish queens of swing, The Barry Sisters, might sound like today? Would they have gone for more of an R&B vibe? Or what kind of music would Mickey Katz be making, who humoured Jewish audiences with his musical parodies in the 1970s US of A? The newly established Berlin trio Freylekhs'3000 is here to answer the above and many more questions. Dubbed "Jewish Retro-Futurism", they combine klezmer, hiphop and Yiddish swing with potent beats to create a musical smorgasbord for groovers and thinkers alike. 

Freylekhs'3000 is yet another delectable project by the multi-talented Ukrainian Yuriy Gurzhy (RotFront, Shtetl Superstars Orchestra), whom we recently featured with his Disorientalists musical theatre venture. This time he's backed by Serbian and fellow Berlin-based producer Uros Petkovic (Shazalakazoo), whom you might remember aka DJ Uce from the Jewish Monkeys "High Words" remix,  and clarinettist Max Bakshish, Yuriy's colleague from the Emigrantski Ragamuffin collective RotFront, and leader of the legendary Bakshish Brass Band. 

After playing at the Jüdische Kulturwochen (Jewish Culture Weeks) in 2018 the trio is now getting ready to shake some serious tuches at Berlin's  P.A.N.D.A Theater on January 19th, 2019. See you there!

As a special warm-up, you can listen to “Kumbia Tradicion” by Freylekhs’3000 via the SoundCloud above or download it for free.

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Free Spirit

Liraz Features On ARTE
 

Late last year, while doing promo for her breathtaking new LP "Naz", Israeli model, singer, actress and songwriter Liraz was interviewed by Franco-German television network arte, the results of which were captured [...]

Late last year, while doing promo for her breathtaking new LP "Naz", Israeli model, singer, actress and songwriter Liraz was interviewed by Franco-German television network arte, the results of which were captured in a 2-minute clip, available on demand via arte.tv and entitled, "Liraz Charhi, chanteuse en liberté". 

The clip shows Liraz performing a short sequence in a gallery, while she provides some insight as to what inspired her album and why she decided to record this album in Farsi; a nod to her Iranian heritage. "Unfortunately I am no longer able to visit Iran. I thus decided to realise this project in order to explore my roots and myself as an artist," she explains. But the album is also a tribute to Iranian singers and female artists such as Googoosh or Ramesh, whose music was banned as a result of the Revolution, but who continued to perform outside of Iran.

You can watch the entire clip in French and in German from the following link. "Naz" is available to stream/buy on Bandcamp. Check Tel Aviv's Dead Sea Recordings for more info or listen to the album preview via the SoundCloud player above.

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Georgian Grooves

Re-listening To DJ Scientist's Epic 2014 Mix
 

We never stop digging for extraordinary tunes from around the globe. So when Laid Back Radio popped up in our News Feed a few days ago, teasing DJ Scientist's brand new mix of "German Boogie Essentials", we were all [...]

We never stop digging for extraordinary tunes from around the globe. So when Laid Back Radio popped up in our News Feed a few days ago, teasing DJ Scientist's brand new mix of "German Boogie Essentials", we were all the more surprised to discover his previous mix of Georgian Groove Essentials. 

Originally released as a free download in December 2014, DJ Scientist's epic "The Georgian Groove Essentials" mix was realised as part of a series of Soviet Groove mixes, leading up to his "The Soviet Tape" release alongside Fulgeance, and features material released on Soviet state label Melodiya: "This time my attempt was to cover some of Georgia's unique musical output from the 70s and 80s. I hope you enjoy the distinct Georgian flavour in the songs, mostly recognisable in the traditional rhythmic and melodic approaches in the vocals. Furthermore, Georgia’s Pop music had strong influences from Jazz and Rock, and musicians from the small Caucasian country weren’t shy of using western compositions and adaptations on their, always state-controlled, albums. This amalgamation of styles makes it one of the most wonderful music relics from the Soviet era," DJ Scientist explains. 

DJ Scientist, aka Günter Stöppel, has been on our radar for quite some time now, ever since he dropped his stupendous "Godly Grooves" mixes in collaboration with DJ Arok back in 2009. The avid record collector, DJ and former Equinox record label owner from Munich/Berlin never fails to deliver. That being said, enjoy his selection of Georgian Grooves Essentials via the SoundCloud player above, or head straight to LaidBack's Mixcloud for his German Boogie Essentials and more musical goodness. DJ Scientist also just announced that he is currently working on a vinyl guide in book form with record collector Christoph Rexa and designer/publisher Thorsten Breyer called "Boogie by Accident". 

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uKanDanZ

Franco-Ethiopian Group Readies Rocking Album Number Three

2019 is off to a rocking start as we present you album number three by Franco-Ethiopian group uKanDanZ, entitled "Yeketelale". Releasing on Buda Musique, the band was originally discovered by Francis Falceto and [...]

2019 is off to a rocking start as we present you album number three by Franco-Ethiopian group uKanDanZ, entitled "Yeketelale". Releasing on Buda Musique, the band was originally discovered by Francis Falceto and invited to perform at the “Ethiopian International Music Festival” in Ethiopia alongside charismatic veteran singer Asnake Guebreyes. 

From that moment on, uKanDanZ have thrilled countless audiences with their "heady brew of rock energy, saxophone zigzags, [hypnotic Ethiopian grooves] and crazy stage performances". After "Yechelal" (It's Possible) and "Awo" (Yes), here comes their latest 9-track feat "Yeketelale" ("It Continues"), as Damien Cluzel (guitars), Lionel Martin (tenor sax), Adrien Spirli (synth bass), Yann Lemeunier (drums) and Asnake Guebreyes "take on new colours and a new dimension, [...] more danceable than ever".

You can watch the companion music video to powerful opener "Gesse" below, which contains some great archival Super 8 footage, or simply buy/stream the full album via Bandcamp. Time to get moving, a new year awaits!

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Oy Oy Emine

Falling In Love With Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek's Catchy New Single

The "outernational pop-group" and Anatolian psych-pop sensation Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek are back with new double-sided 7-inch single, released earlier this month on Bongo Joe Records

Following in the [...]

The "outernational pop-group" and Anatolian psych-pop sensation Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek are back with new double-sided 7-inch single, released earlier this month on Bongo Joe Records

Following in the footsteps of their beautiful debut EP "Nem Kaldı" and their one-off "Üç Kız Bir Ana" release on Ironhand Records, the Hamburg-based five-piece is back with another traditional Turkish tune, a catchy lovesong about "about a man's mad love for a beautiful woman called Emine". Lead by Derya Yıldırım's superb voice, the track features the bağlama, wah-wah guitars, acid synthesizers and a dynamic rhythm section. "Oy Oy Emine" is also accompanied by a music video, which you can watch below. 

On the B-side we find an original track called "Kürk", which is more of a slow groover, folky, trippy and spacious. You can stream/buy both tracks on Bandcamp. The group is currently readying its debut full-length for 2019. We will be sure to keep you posted.

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Top Of The World

UK's Songlines Magazine Awards Victoria Hanna's Debut Five-Star Review
Greedy
 

After just recently receiving the German Record Critics' Award Israeli phenomenon Victoria Hanna's eponymous debut longplayer was just reviewed for the forthcoming January/February 2019 issue (#144) of UK's [...]

After just recently receiving the German Record Critics' Award Israeli phenomenon Victoria Hanna's eponymous debut longplayer was just reviewed for the forthcoming January/February 2019 issue (#144) of UK's Songlines magazine, where it received a highly gratifying five-star review along with the coveted "Top Of The World" label. 

Here's the entire review by Asher Breuer-Weil, which fills our hearts with joy: 

>> Israeli singer explores the space between rebellion and servitude

Victoria Hanna was born into an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family deep in the heart of Jerusalem. On one side of the family tree she had a grandmother named Victoria, a rebellious woman who stood up to the servitude of women in the Orthodox community, and on the other side she had Hanna, a woman far more withdrawn and submissive to her fate. Both, she says, were deeply important figures in her life.

The album embraces these two personalities. The first five songs are like Victoria: bold and dramatic, underpinned by wild drum beats and punchy Hebrew raps. The final five songs resemble the gentler Hanna, stripping back the compositions with singing over soft string and piano melodies. As can be heard on the aptly-named 'Kala Dekalya' (Voice of All Voices), the purity of her singing is simply breathtaking.

But there is more to the album than the juxtaposition between Victoria and Hanna. It delves into the very nature of the human voice, playing on the Kabbalistic differentiation between dibor (speech) and kal (voice). As Victoria Hanna says: 'Voice is abstract... Speech is concrete.' Her rapping of the Hebrew alphabet on one song conveys the concreteness of speech, while the unspeakable beauty of her singing also shows how fluid it can be. <<

If you haven't yet, you can listen to the entire album via the SoundCloud player above or stream/buy here

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Doomsday Survival Kit

Lebanese Psych-Duo Praed Unleashes Another Batch Of Electronic Chaabi
 

Yes, we are entranced. Initially drawn in by Lebanese artist Raphaëlle Macaron's trippy cover design, we gave the new Akuphone-release a concentrated listen and were absolutely wowed. "Doomsday Survival Kit" is [...]

Yes, we are entranced. Initially drawn in by Lebanese artist Raphaëlle Macaron's trippy cover design, we gave the new Akuphone-release a concentrated listen and were absolutely wowed. "Doomsday Survival Kit" is just what these chaotic times demand and Lebanese duo PRAED timely delivers its fourth album to answer the call. As expressed in the liner notes, "this is the ultimate kit to calmly prepare for the sixth extinction!". Seems about right. 

Paed Conca and Raed Yassin deliver a heady, electronically enhanced take on and "raging interpretation of" chaabi (meaning folk), which refers to different genres of popular Arab music typically found in North Africa and frequently heard at weddings or festive celebrations. Aided by synthesizers, drum machines, samples and other devices, the duo mesmerisingly explores the genre's "interconnectedness with other psychedelic and hypnotic musical genres in the world, such as free jazz, space jazz and psychedelic rock among others," basically all things trance-inducing. 

Founded in 2006, Paed Conca (on clarinet, electric bass and electronics) and Raed Yassin (on keyboards, laptop, electronics and vocals) have toured the globe extensively, regularly taking unsuspecting crowds by surprise and quickly establishing a sort of sonic delirium (positively speaking), as Paed's clarinet and Raed's vocals take center stage. It all sounds so familiar and uncannily fresh at the same time and we quite frankly cannot say we've heard anything quite like it before. What a trip?!

You can stream/buy the album in full here on Bandcamp or listen to the album preview in the SoundCloud player above. A limited pink vinyl + poster edition of 300 releases on January 14th, 2019. 

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Togo Soul 70

Hot Casa Records Previews Vol. 2 With Scorching Four-Tracker Of Edits & Rarities

It's only Tuesday and a rainy one in Berlin, but work came easy as we shook a leg or two to Hot Casa Records' recently released four-tracker of edits and rarities, inspired by its critically acclaimed 2016-released [...]

It's only Tuesday and a rainy one in Berlin, but work came easy as we shook a leg or two to Hot Casa Records' recently released four-tracker of edits and rarities, inspired by its critically acclaimed 2016-released "Togo Soul 70" compilation. 

Julien Lebrun and Djamel Hammadi's Paris-based imprint is most definitely finishing the year in style: Hot on the heels of Vaudou Game's "Otodi" comes this 12"/digital release featuring two torrid, dancefloor-oriented edits of original tracks by Yta Jourias and Roger Damawuzan, readied by Bosq (Ubiquity/FaniaRecords) and DJ Pushin Wood (Loft Party, Holland). 

The B-side reveals two "rare and unreleased Togolese soul tracks by Napo De Mi Amor, aka 'The voice of Lomé', and the tremendous artist Sewavi Jacyntho," previewing the forthcoming and long-awaited release of "Togo Soul 70 Vol. 2", expected in July 2019. Keep it coming!

You can stream/buy the entire release here

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Who Was Essad Bey?

Berlin's Disorientalists Musically Retrace The Footsteps Of A Legendary Persona
 

"Who Was Essad Bey?" is the title of a concept album by the Berlin-based three-piece The Disorientalists, aka the Essad Bey City Rollers, released at the tail end of 2016 on Oriente Records. This truly unique work [...]

"Who Was Essad Bey?" is the title of a concept album by the Berlin-based three-piece The Disorientalists, aka the Essad Bey City Rollers, released at the tail end of 2016 on Oriente Records. This truly unique work in progress features Yuriy Gurzhy (RotFront, Russendisko, Born in UA), whom you may remember from the "High Words" remix, Daniel Kahn (Daniel Kahn and The Painted Bird, Brothers Nazaroff, Semer Ensemble) and last but not least, Marina Frenk (Marina & Kapelsky, Real Baba Dunyah). Hailing from the Ukraine, the US and Moldova respectively, the three joined forces in their new home of Berlin a while back and eventually decided to write and occasionally perform a 'musical', telling the life story of the late, enigmatic Essad Bey, aka Kurban Said, aka Lev Nussimbaum, who is coincidentally also considered "one of the most exotic German writers of the early 20th century." 

And what a story it is: "Born into a Jewish family in Kiev in 1905 and raised in Baku, Lev emigrated to Berlin after the Bolshevik revolution. Fascinated by oriental culture and life, he soon converted to Islam. In fact, one of the reasons for Essad Bey’s success was that he wrote about things he knew well and which seemed extremely exotic and exciting to the German audience, i.e. Islam, oriental culture, or his life in the revolutionary Russian empire. Another factor for Nussimbaum’s success was his very appearance. Essad Bey went on to cast himself in the image of a true Persian prince and played this role throughout his Berlin days. Such an image also attracted Essad Bey’s wife, Erika Loewendahl, who later expressed her disappointment by saying that she believed her husband was an oriental prince, only for him to have turned out to be just another Nussimbaum. There was, however, one more, post-Berlin, part to Essad Bey’s story. In the 1930s the writer left for Italy, where he became an avid fan of Mussolini and even aimed to become his biographer."

Although his life was cut short at the age of 37 by a rare blood disorder, Essad Bey's veiled persona, with a little help from The Disorientalists, continues to intrigue and fascinate audiences to this day. Even more so, seeing as many of his supposed feats might really be fake. "Essad Bey was also known as a great mystifier. It turns out that a number of books he claimed to have written, later appeared to a have a different authorship, while many facts and details from his own works no longer seem entirely trustworthy either." That being said, The Disorientalists continue to seek out new truths on Nussimbaum, as they musically retrace this no doubt legendary figure's footsteps. Call it klezmer cabaret, oriental ragtime or historic theatre, you can listen to the album sampler in the SoundCloud player above, or watch this paparazzi-style footage from an early performance at the Berlin Gorki Theatre's Studio Я in the video below. 

"Well, who WAS Essad Bey?
It’s important to say
That he was born on a train
Somewhere in Ukraine
He grew up in Baku
He’s a Russian, a Jew
But was this who was
Essad Bey?
He lived in Berlin
To Allah he prayed
He once wrote a book
Called 'Allah is Great'
A poser, a fascist
In his very own way
But was this who was
Essad Bey?"

See The Disorientalists perform "Who Was Essad Bey?" live at P.A.N.D.A Theater in Berlin next Saturday, December 15th, 2018! Get your tickets here. This will be their only performance of 2018 so be quick.

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La Candela del Río

Paris-based Venezuelan Fourpiece Insólito UniVerso Releases Fascinating Debut
 

This might very well be the first Venezuelan release featuring on Greedy, but what a beauty it is. Based in Paris, Venezuelan quartet Insólito Universo just released its wondrous 8-track debut album "La Candela del [...]

This might very well be the first Venezuelan release featuring on Greedy, but what a beauty it is. Based in Paris, Venezuelan quartet Insólito Universo just released its wondrous 8-track debut album "La Candela del Río" on Colectivo Futuro's Olindo Records that has us all in frenzy, positively speaking. The project came together back in 2016, when lead singer María Fernanda Ruette and bassist Raúl Monsalve got together in a combined effort to take "Venezuelan music to unheard realms".

Fusing "traditional Venezuelan styles such as joropo, merengue caraqueño, or tambores de San Millán with psych, chanson, [baroque] and contemporary electronics," the group creates original compositions, unique in sound and arrangement, that evoke a sense of forward-thinking nostalgia, while retaining their organic feel and keeping listeners on their heels. As such, "La Candela del Río" is hard to pigeonhole; gleeful, borderline euphoric and danceable on the one hand, yet melancholy, poetic, mysterious and brimming with devotion on the other.  

The fascinating debut album was co-produced by none other than Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics and was preceded by a limited 7" release in July, featuring album track "Vuelve" on the A-side and "Décima" on the B-side. The latter is not on the album. Both tracks can be listened to in the SoundCloud player above. Head over to Bandcamp to stream/buy "La Candela del Río" in full. Also, don't miss out on Insólito Universo's new mix for The Vinyl Factory as they continue "to explore the roots and branches of Venezuelan music." 

Insolíto UniVerso are
María Fernanda Ruette (cuatro & vocals)
Raúl Monsalve (bass & FX)
Edgar Bonilla Jiménez (keys)
Andres Sequera (drums) 

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