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Surf's Up

Radio Martiko's Latest 7" Takes Us To The Shores Of Java & Casablanca
 

This summer, Ghent-based Belgian record label, soundsystem and digging collective Radio Martiko returns with a host of highly collectible 7” reissues that will make like-minded seekers of “global eclectic [...]

This summer, Ghent-based Belgian record label, soundsystem and digging collective Radio Martiko returns with a host of highly collectible 7” reissues that will make like-minded seekers of “global eclectic supersounds” go, oh yeah!

Our favourite release of the batch is a green 45rpm gem containing two rare stunners, one from the Indonesian island of Java and one from Morocco’s Casablanca. Both tracks were dug up by Radio Martiko’s Fred Kramer, who shares his story on the Bandcamp release page.

Side A brings us the intoxicating, dream-like instrumental track “Es Lilin” (Ice Lolly) recorded in 1965 by Dutch-Indo ballroom band The Evergreens. Based on “a Sudanese (West Java) folksong (daerah) [and] composed on an ancient Gamelan scale” with laid-back guitar riffs we were amazed by this original love song’s distinct Ethio Jazz feel.

Side B unexpectedly serves up another fascinating find, recorded in 1962 by obscure Jewish-Moroccan formation Les Jaguar's de Casablanca, led by drummer/percussionist extraordinaire Jauk Armal, aka “the Okay Temiz from Casablanca”. A cover of British pop icons the Shadows, “Gonzales” reeled us in with its striking surf rock vibe and raw garage sound.

Do take a moment to read Fred Kamer’s words on “Java Surf” and make sure you add this to your collection. Once again, a big shout out to Radio Martiko on this superb release. Surf’s up!

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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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Dila

Far Out Recordings Reissues First & Only Album Of Enigmatic Brazilian Vocal Sensation

While somehow, if you think about it, 1971 doesn't seem that far back, we're sorry to break it to you, but we're talking almost 50 years ago. Yes, time keeps on ticking away, but luckily some things, including [...]

While somehow, if you think about it, 1971 doesn't seem that far back, we're sorry to break it to you, but we're talking almost 50 years ago. Yes, time keeps on ticking away, but luckily some things, including music, prevail. 1971 was the year enigmatic Brazilian vocal sensation Dila recorded her first and only album. That same year, shortly after the album was released, she allegedly died in a car crash and so, the woman behind that powerful voice remains a mystery.

Today, marks release day for the reissue of Dila's eponymous 1971 album on Far Out Recordings. Originally arranged and produced by Durval Ferreira and his studio band "Os Grillos" (The Crickets), "Dila is a rare glimpse into the authentic soulful Samba sound of Rio’s favelas in the late sixties and early seventies." And that voice, instantly demanding attention, captivating and well, hard to put into words. Timeless might best describe the twelve tracks on Dila's debut, "a blast of funky, percussive Brazilian breaks, scorching hot brass and swing-laden piano."

Without a doubt "Dila" is as striking as the record's cover. While the original LP is extremely rare, this iconic 180g vinyl reissue includes liner notes by composer Arnoldo Medeiros, who puts it this way: “Friend, look out! Because when this girl starts to sing, you’re in trouble. Hold the railing so you don’t fall down the stairs, because she’s coming this way and shaking up everything.” Click the YouTube video below for the full album stream or head over to Bandcamp to place your order. This one is a real treasure.

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Lines From Different Sources

Israel's Kutiman Releases Pleasantly Psycho-Active New Five-Tracker

One year after his ethereal album "Don't Hold Onto the Clouds", Israeli songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, orchestra leader, digital mixologist, and filmmaker Ophir Kutiel, aka Kutiman, is back with a new [...]

One year after his ethereal album "Don't Hold Onto the Clouds", Israeli songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, orchestra leader, digital mixologist, and filmmaker Ophir Kutiel, aka Kutiman, is back with a new five-track EP. Drawing from multiple musical points of reference, Kutiman embarks on another series of "intergalactic explorations of the lesser travelled spaces existing between all things funky, jazzy and psychedelic." 

"Lines From Different Sources" is clearly Kutiman's doing, featuring "swirling synth lines over tabla and percussive patterns, flutes conversing with distant horns and psycho-active liquid guitars paving the way for shifting melodies and grooves." Brilliantly orchestrated and densely composed, his sound here is easily digested yet equally nourishing, while "the wide range of instruments recorded are all played, overdubbed and sonically enhanced by Kutiman himself" (including contributions by Shlomi Alon [flute, saxophone], Sefi Zisling [trumpet], Yair Slutzki  [trombone]).

We've detected influences as diverse as afro, funk, jazz, psychedelic, surf and cosmic, but go ahead and check for yourself and let us know what you hear. You can stream/buy the full EP on Bandcamp.

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Back For More

The Jewish Monkeys Play Two Festival Shows In Germany This Weekend
Greedy

En route to their forthcoming third album "Catastrophic Life", our very own Jewish Monkeys are back in Germany for a short but sweet weekend layover and two live shows

Boasting a new look as well as their recently [...]

En route to their forthcoming third album "Catastrophic Life", our very own Jewish Monkeys are back in Germany for a short but sweet weekend layover and two live shows

Boasting a new look as well as their recently released current single "All the Great Things", ze boyz will take to the stage today, July 20th, at the 100% organic and possibly also quite kosher "Bio erleben" festival in the northern Bavarian city of Nuremberg. And, what's more, you will be able to see the show for free. If you happen to be in Nürnberg that is.

If not, you will get another chance tomorrow, when the band brings its antics to the "Horizonte" festival in the central German city of Koblenz, where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet. So grab your inflatable flamingos and pineapples and get ready to experience real heat.

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Varyete

Istanbul's Grup Ses & Cologne-Based Elektro Hafiz Deliver Mind-Twisting Full-Length

One could call this a timely meeting of Istanbul's avant-garde: "Prolific crate digger, sampling whiz and producer extraordinaire" Grup Ses joins forces with Cologne-based electric saz phenom Elektro Hafız for a [...]

One could call this a timely meeting of Istanbul's avant-garde: "Prolific crate digger, sampling whiz and producer extraordinaire" Grup Ses joins forces with Cologne-based electric saz phenom Elektro Hafız for a mind-bending potpourri of styles. Recently released on Debora Ipekel's Zel Zele Records, "Varyete" is the title to their collaborative new full-length and a dazzling display of variety is just what the two deliver, "from deep Anatolian psychedelic grooves to dirty electronics, playful beats and hip hop."

Listening to "Varyete" is quite an adventure, as we witness the two artists effortlessly bring together their parallel musical universes to create common ground. Head-nodding beats, cosmic chops, acid-induced forays into the unknown and arabesque melodies are only part of the picture; one track even includes Tuvan throat singing. "Varyete" ventures into the darker realms of our mind, guided by mutual flashes of brilliance that make for a riveting and wondrous listening experience. 

The full-length also features guest performances by Berlin producer Onofon, Istanbul's MC/producer Da Poet, Istanbul's Roadside_Picnic and a flipped sample of Egyptian jazz legend Salah Ragab. Naturally, you are bound to discover even more, once you give this record a spin or two. So head over Bandcamp now to stream/buy the release in full. You can also preview Elektro Hafız's "Mega Hafıza 2" as a Grup Ses Acid Cut below, just in case you needed any more convincing.

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Isla Fantasiá

Barcelona's Kokoro Disco-San Drop Sun-Drenched 12" On Rocafort Records

Sitting in Istanbul on a sweltering Tuesday morning, we can't help wishing we were on a tropical island, lying in a hammock, sipping something cold, anything cold, before walking over to the clear blue ocean and [...]

Sitting in Istanbul on a sweltering Tuesday morning, we can't help wishing we were on a tropical island, lying in a hammock, sipping something cold, anything cold, before walking over to the clear blue ocean and simply diving in. This is pretty much the daydream we just had, when listening to the latest 12" release on Swiss imprint Rocafort Records

Presenting two sun-drenched tracks by Barcelona trio Kokoro Disco-San (aka Lalo López, Miguelito Superstar and Thompson) side A features "Isla Fantasiá", a smooth-as-can-be disco burner, reminiscent of a Joey Negro/MAW (Masters at Work) production, complete with a loungy four-to-the-flour beat, "catchy synth riffs and echoey Brazil-inspired backing vocals" to take a cruise to. On the flipside is another laid-back tune by the name of "Sonic Feeling", which comes equipped with a driving, funk-filled bassline, disco flourishes and some extra fizz, perfect to sip on, while enjoying the Balearic view from your infinity pool. 

That being said, if you're looking for a new two-tracker to complete your set, get the evening crowd on its feet or simple zone out to, Rocafort Records has got you covered. Feel free to stream/buy this release as well as their other repertoire on Bandcamp. And most importantly, go find your fantasy island.

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