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Victoria Hanna

Hanna is blessed with one of those voices that demands full attention, holding audiences rapt with her acrobatic voice and leaving mouths agape.
(Time Out New York 01/06/18) +

“Hanna is blessed with one of those voices that demands full attention, holding audiences rapt with her acrobatic voice and leaving mouths agape.”
Time Out New York

If Bjork was Middle Eastern, she might sound something like Victoria Hanna. She is magically chameleonic.
(New York Music Daily 21/04/18) +

“If Bjork was Middle Eastern, she might sound something like Victoria Hanna. You don’t have to speak Hebrew to fall under her spell. She electrified a sold-out crowd. She is magically chameleonic.”
New York Music Daily

Victoria Hanna is the freshest, edgiest, weirdest artist on the Israeli airwaves today. How did she reach that status? By singing — the alphabet!
(PRI The World 23/02/15) +

“Victoria Hanna is the freshest, edgiest, weirdest artist on the Israeli airwaves today. How did she reach that status? By singing — the alphabet!”
– Daniel Estrin, PRI The World, 2015

Jewish Monkeys

If you like the wilder klezmer bands, then step right up to the Monkeys.
(Folkworld Review 01/09/17) +

“Klezmer punk is what I was expecting and it is what this collective delivered. The pace is there, but there is a lighthearted nature to their approach, which keeps it fun and invigorating. So much gypsy punk is based on pace and energy with a certain craziness within. This has much of that, but it is far more relaxed and focused on melody, even with a slower song here and there. So if gypsy punk is something you are only half into, this may be the half you are looking for. And if you like the wilder klezmer bands, then step right up to the Monkeys.”
David Hintz, Folkworld Review, September 2017

A fine statement against the all too politically correct thinking.
(Written In Music 02/07/17) +

“A fine statement against the all too politically correct thinking, with a very nice soundtrack … This produces a very exciting, danceable album, which is undoubtedly worth seeing live.”
Philippe De Cleen, Written In Music, July 2, 2017

Anarcho-klezmer with a wink.
(Rebel Base / Tropicalidad 19/06/17) +

“The title track of this new album is an indictment of the establishment that is trying to appease the people with the kind of demagoguery we can still remember from the last world war, instead of focusing on real problems like inequality and ecology. But the fact they also have a lighter side, the band proves with ‘Alte Kacker’ (loosely translated: “old fart”), a cynical song about the ungracefulness of old age. Anarcho-klezmer with a wink!”
– Rebel Base (Belgium), June 19, 2017

Also available on: Tropicalidad (Belgium).

On ‘High Words’ the notorious klezmer punks take another swipe at a broad range of topics and deliver a satirical blow to any and all presumed taboos.
(Bayern 2 03/05/17) +

“On their new album ‘High Words’ the notorious klezmer punks take another swipe at a broad range of topics and deliver a satirical blow to any and all presumed taboos. This includes mercilessly self-pitying Yiddish songs dealing with old age (‘Alte Kacker’), anti-love songs such as ‘Pupik’ or title track ‘High Words’, detailing a righteous fury towards the establishment in the age of Global Warming, that is currently making a return to the demagoguery of the former World War era.”
Tobias Ruhland, BR.de, Bayern 2 (Bavarian radio), May 3, 2017

To try and pigeonhole them would be ridiculous.
(Musikexpress 01/05/17) +

“Album number two by the Israeli Balkan/Klezmer/Punk band once again lays proof to the fact that trying to pigeonhole them would be ridiculous… They manage to turn their fragmented identity in a unique pop statement, while masterfully riding diverse genres as they do languages, dialects and topics.”
4,5 / 5 stars, Thomas Winkler, Musikexpress, 05/2017

Here you have a bunch of creative individualists making completely unorthodox music.
(konkret 01/05/17) +

“Here you have a bunch of creative individualists, two of whom met in the Frankfurt synagogue’s boys’ choir in the ’70s, making completely unorthodox music. And even though their musical blend of punk, jazz, rock, Balkan beats and klezmer is suitable for the masses, their provocative lyrics, a mix of English, Yiddish, Hebrew and German, are filled with (self-)irony and address a more particular kind of listener. Their songs are hardly the material most Yiddish-speakers, seculars or the ultra-Orthodox would relate to. This in part is also due to the fact that their Yiddish is not authentic, but rather a stylistic device to transport folklore and Jewish tradition.”
– konkret Magazin (Monthly publication), 05/2017

The Jewish Monkeys are never malevolent, as they wrap their pungent lyrics in a fine blend of vintage cabaret, folk punk rock and anarchic speed klezmer
(Westzeit 01/05/17) +

“And they are still as audacious as ever: politicians, women, compatriots, no one is spared. Much less the gentiles. That being said, the Jewish Monkeys are never malevolent, as they wrap their pungent lyrics (‘I Wonder’) in a fine blend of vintage cabaret, folk punk rock and anarchic speed klezmer.”
– Karsten Zimalla, Westzeit magazine, 05/2017

Their uptempo songs are forceful and dirty, basking in the glow of their corny ballads.
(Deutschlandfunk Corso 22/04/17) +

“Klezmer, punk rock, Balkan sounds: The Jewish Monkeys deliver another great album alias ‘High Words’. Their essence is not actually political, but they do love satire. Anything that crosses their path is ridiculed. Their uptempo songs are forceful and dirty, basking in the glow of their corny ballads. Once on stage they include bouts of improvisation on guitar or trombone. Music you can really dance to.”
DLF Corso (National German Radio), April 22, 2017

If this is what the proverbial post-midlife dance sounds like, then I do not want to be one bit younger.
(Plärrer Stadtmagazin Augsburg 01/04/17) +

“If the Jewish Monkeys’ beat is what the proverbial post-midlife dance sounds like, then I do not want to be one bit younger.”
Plärrer, Augsburg (Local monthly magazine), April 2017

When played live, this vibrant mix releases an energy akin to a punk rock show
(OX 01/04/17) +

“Musically the Israelis blend ska, pop, klezmer and Balkan sounds. When played live, this vibrant mix releases an energy reminiscent of a punk rock show.”
– OX Magazin Nr. 131 (Hardcore fanzine), 04/05/2017

A wildly danceable mix of klezmer, punk and circus music, paired with uninhibited satirical lyrics.
(taz, Die Tageszeitung 11/03/17) +

“A wildly danceable mix of klezmer, punk and circus music, paired with uninhibited satirical lyrics.”
taz, Die Tageszeitung (German daily), March 11, 2017

Great. Stunning. A unanimous exaltation.
(Darmstädter Echo 10/03/17) +

“Loud, snotty, blunt: these musicians want to provoke. Jewish Monkeys concerts are fun and never cease to entertain, baffle or even confuse audiences… Great. Stunning. A unanimous exaltation.”
– Darmstädter Echo (Local daily), March 10, 2017

Such is the group’s nonconformity that dictates their every move, starting with their choice of music.
(musikansich.de 09/03/17) +

“That the Jewish Monkeys are not ones to stick to the many conventions of the music business is no longer news to the well-informed. Such is the group’s nonconformity that dictates their every move, starting with their choice of music: Their self-determined brand of klezmer punk will meet any three-chord aficionado’s expectations, but equally cause nervous palpitations among klezmer lovers. Punk in this regard is the band’s said nonconformity, though paired with a hunger for the most diverse musical surprises, feeding on multiple styles, take Balkan elements for instance… That being said, their entire setlist comprises just three songs in a major key, the rest is minor. But their innate ability to turn that into a cheerful live event lays further proof to the fact that this is not your ordinary band, making them all the more valuable. If you get a chance, go see them!”
Roland Ludwig, musikansich.de, March 9, 2017

Their autonomous mix of klezmer, punk, rock, Balkan music and pop is nothing less than an extraordinary circus act.
(Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung 08/03/17) +

“Merry, socio-critical, cutting, highly frivolous and politically incorrect are ways you may choose to describe their songs. Oh and filled with innuendos. As the accordion squeezes out Europe’s final countdown, revealing hidden quotes from the Beatles, their melodies stir up memories. This wild bunch from Tel Aviv, comprising eight musicians in all, sings in Yiddish and English. Eight men and just as many musical influences. At least. Their autonomous mix of klezmer, punk, rock, Balkan music and pop is nothing less than an extraordinary circus act.”
– Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung, March 8, 2017

From the Frankfurt boys' choir to Israel and back: Their music is thrilling as ever.
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung 05/03/17) +

“From the Frankfurt boys’ choir to Israel and back: The Jewish Monkeys continue to baffle German audiences with their cheerfully frivolous brand of klezmer punk. Following a change in lineup, the still eight-man combo delivers another stellar album with High Words. Once again, the band digs deep into the profound Jewish tradition. Take ‘Titina’ for instance, a modern-day reinterpretation of the 1917 original, later used by Charlie Chaplin in his iconic film ‘Modern Times’. While ‘Romania’ pays homage to and equally mocks the glorification of Eastern European folklore, tracks such as ‘Post Midlife Dance’ or ‘Alte Kacker’ are gloriously self-deprecating. Their music is thrilling as ever.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (biggest German Sunday paper), March 5, 2017

Anarchists like the Marx Brothers the Jewish Monkeys are anything but kosher.
(Journal Frankfurt 01/03/17) +

“Tel Aviv’s impious rock & rollers see themselves as ‘Darwin’s final dillusion, the Jewish missing link of evolution’. Anarchists like the Marx Brothers they are anything but kosher. And although their two frontmen Jossi Reich and Roni Boiko originally met as choir boys in Frankfurt’s Westend synagogue, they were always more drawn to disco. The politically incorrect Jewish Monkeys are more than your ordinary klezmer punks.”
– Journal Frankfurt (Local magazine), 03/2017

No time to get all sentimental.
(AUDIO 31/03/16) +

“On ‘Mania Regressia’ the Jewish Monkeys demand listeners leave their sentiments at the door. The Tel Aviv trash combo employs an aggressive mix of cabaret, circus marches, Frank Zappa-ish horseplay and klezmer punk to shock its audiences, Jews and non-Jews alike.” – AUDIO, 04/2016

Building a Cultural Bridge between Tel Aviv and Dresden – An official statement
(Greedy for Best Music 21/01/16) +

“The concerts were a wonderful experience for the band. It was very moving to see how this ‘guerrilla event’ could magically transform the faces of these tired, fearful, uprooted and traumatised people. Young men danced the Dabke (a popular line dance in Syria) to old Yiddish songs and beaming children experienced their first rock concert. After the show they stormed the stage to touch the drums and guitars in awe. Careful at first, the band did not let the public know they were from Tel Aviv, however, some of the band members delighted their listeners with Arabic greetings and phrases of gratitude. During conversations with the public, when asked, ‘where do you come from?’, one of the band members, said: ‘Tel Aviv’. This answer did not cause animosity, but joy and surprise.”

– Greedy for Best Music

Hard times for a band specializing in klezmer-rock. A tour diary
(Die Welt 24/11/15) +

“Cooped up in a minivan, though way more comfortable than being in one of those cattle wagons from back in the days heading East, we embark towards our next destination, a street festival in Dresden. Upon arrival we face a small stage blaring Arab rap music for a bunch of belligerent looking adolescents, jumping up and down and waving their fists in the air. Then it’s our turn. We step on stage, Boiko and I share an awkward smile with the crowd, while Gael refreshes his Arabic. It all goes down as expected: They absolutely love us, singing along to our Yiddish ‘dai, dai, dais’ and dancing Dabke as if at an oriental wedding. It was delirious.”

– Jossi Reich, Die WELT (German daily)

In the end, entertainment wins.
(Badische Neueste Nachrichten 16/09/14) +

They pulled all the stops at their gig, engaging head and heart alike. They get people on their feet with familiar Balkan folk sounds and get them listening with complex rock arrangements and melancholic laments. How to describe Jewish Monkeys? A political band? Pure entertainment? Both? In the end, entertainment wins. The room is owned by ecstatic dancers.

– Badische Neueste Nachrichten

A fantastic live band in the spirit of punk
(Süddeutsche Zeitung 15/09/14) +

Jewish Monkeys pluck the flowers for their bouquet of clichés from a luxuriant garden of neuroses, burgeoning with self-irony, over-indulgent mothers and inferiority complexes. They are provocative, hounding their listeners out of their comfort zones and making them dance. Because this Klezmer ensemble living in the fast lane is first and foremost a fantastic live band in the spirit of punk. The trombone fires hot salvos at the singers while the guitar’s insistent off-beat rhythm pushes the band in the direction of Ska. Their live performance is overwhelming in its furiously unchained attack on tradition. At the anarchistic climax of the evening, Reich, Boiko and Zaidner launch Harry Belafonte’s famous Banana Boat off towards the Middle East, to bring peace to the region at last.

Süddeutsche Zeitung (one of Germany’s leading dailies)

A Sense of Nonsense: the Anarcho-Klezmer Band Jewish Monkeys!
(Deutschlandfunk Corso 10/09/14) +

A Sense of Nonsense: the Anarcho-Klezmer Band Jewish Monkeys!

Deutschlandfunk Corso(national German radio)

Shades of cinematic heroes such as Woody Allen
(Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 05/09/14) +

They ridicule the obscenities of international relations with the same tongue-in-cheek attitude they adopt toward their own culture, with a healthy mix of sophistication and anarchy. Shades of cinematic heroes such as Woody Allen, with an added dose of high-calibre party mood.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany’s leading daily)

Mildly disturbed eternal adolescents
(Spiegel Online 05/09/14) +

The Jewish Monkeys‘ album Mania Regressia plays on Jewish clichés and anti-Semitic reality. This post-Klezmer, post-Pop, post-Alija band from Tel Aviv has created an album brimming with love, rage and joy that reveals just how they are themselves: mildly disturbed eternal adolescents with a soundtrack for the panic attacks of our time. All of which makes Mania Regressia more than just music to listen to – from old and obscure songs with new geopolitical fire, such as Caravan Petrol or the satirical hit Johnny is the Goy for Me – and instead a rollicking, joyful, despairing peal of laughter on the margins of the western world.

Spiegel Online (Germany’s No. 1 political news website)

Spirited, disrespectful, Jewish humour at its finest
(3Sat Kulturzeit 03/09/14) +

Spirited, disrespectful, Jewish humour at its finest. A wild, cult-worthy mix of Klezmer, Balkan and Rock.

3Sat Kulturzeit (TV channel for Austria/Switzerland/Germany)

Trashy hits with lyrics that tumble helter-skelter between Yiddish and English
(Kulturnews 01/09/14) +

Their love songs are delightfully filthy, full of unexpected emotions and virtuoso hilarity. Jewish Monkeys wallow in trashy hits with lyrics that tumble helter-skelter between Yiddish and English. A truly international line-up!

Kulturnews(Germany’s largest culture mag)

An eagle eye on what is happening in the here and now
(Deutschlandfunk 29/08/14) +

They really do have some political cheek – highly critical, with an eagle eye on what is happening in the here and now. They make music that cuts to the quick, and that’s what I find so exciting: really good, thought-provoking lyrics.

Martin Kranz, Director of the Jewish Cultural Days, Berlin

If Hitler hadn’t nearly won the war
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung 06/07/14) +

If Hitler hadn’t nearly won the war, Jewish music would sound like this: naturally stoned, fast, and madly melancholic.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (biggest German Sunday paper)

Racing polka beats, calypso, rumba and gutter blues redolent of Tom Waits
(Nürnberger Nachrichten 18/03/14) +

The incredible Jewish Monkeys from Israel epitomise the inexhaustible experimental drive of Jewish music. Jewish Monkeys manage, seemingly effortlessly, to transpose Yiddish songs into an impressive alternative World pop context worthy of any indie rock festival. Racing polka beats, calypso, rumba and gutter blues redolent of Tom Waits, with a dash of trombone, accordion and a distinctive guitar twang give the three singers plenty of dynamic impetus to launch their wackily irreverent, witty songs. Energetic fun that fires up the audience to fever pitch.

Nürnberger Nachrichten (biggest Bavarian daily)

Roof-raising, rambunctious rock
(Nordbayerische Zeitung 17/03/14) +

Roof-raising, rambunctious rock by the Jewish Monkeys – three singers at once, like animators moderating between pop and funk, with a smattering of traditional songs.

Nordbayerische Zeitung (Bavarian local daily)

A satirical emancipatory coup
(Fürther Nachrichten 17/03/14) +

The Jewish Monkeys from Tel Aviv unleash a satirical emancipatory coup at the Kulturforum with a show verging on cabaret. Tapping into the tonal syntax of the present day, klezmer strikes on a contemporary note. And the audience spontaneously goes along with it, as evidenced by their enthusiastic participation.

– Fürther Nachrichten (Bavarian local daily)

Whatever people say they are, that's what they're not
(Haaretz 07/01/14) +

At an age when most people retire, these guys are releasing their debut album – in English, Spanish, Esperanto and Yiddish. […] When three middle-aged men perform with wild abandon on stage, it’s clear to anyone watching that they have to conduct a restrained family life for the rest of the year. This is not a supergroup composed of rock stars who first came to prominence in the 1970s, nor is it a choir project of the neighborhood community center. Despite the men’s ages, the Jewish Monkeys (are) a young band at heart, whose members prove that you’re never too old to start performing.

– Ha’aretz (Israeli daily)

MÃLØX

Klezmer and Caribbean rhythms meet film scores.
(Celtic-Folk-Punk Blog 27/03/13) +

“They play their own music in which klezmer and Caribbean rhythms meet film scores. There are no vocals, but they don’t need them. Their music is intended for dancing and they create atmospheres.” – Celtic-Folk-Punk Blog

From Balkan motives to cat's wailing.
(Habama 21/10/12) +

“MALOX – Eyal Talmudi’s crazy and impossible duet generates totally energetic music that fills the stage from Klezmer to Jazz. Warm and round sounds blend in distorted sounds. From Balkan motives to cat’s wailing. A crazy yet fascinating act” – Amos Oren, Habama

Referencing the Klezmer legacy.
(All About Jazz 11/01/08) +

“The bulk of Talmudi’s original compositions reference the Klezmer legacy. His energetic arrangements spice them up with updated sonic elements, including a bit of thick, and dub-influenced sax choir” – Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz

Cüneyt Sepetçi

Istanbul's Don Of The Roma Clarinet: Live In Berlin
 

When you visit Istanbul for the first time, it's the unexpectedness of it all that might catch you off guard; the unexpected views, the unexpected tastes and of course the unexpected sounds. Part of this megacity's [...]

When you visit Istanbul for the first time, it's the unexpectedness of it all that might catch you off guard; the unexpected views, the unexpected tastes and of course the unexpected sounds. Part of this megacity's indubitable marvel lies in its ability to reveal hidden beauty and meaning at any given moment, if only you look. In walking distance to Istanbul's famous Taksim Square and Istiklal Street is the now run-down neighbourhood of Dolapdere, which has meanwhile been heavily invested into and is soon to be turned into something more 'presentable'. For now, Dolapdere is still considered a no-go area by many locals, seeing as it has a reputation for sex work and drug trafficking. But it is and for a very long time has also been home to a large Roma community and master musicians, including clarinet virtuoso Cüneyt Sepetçi

In an article for The Wire (May 2018 / Issue 411), Heather Trost (aka one half of Albuquerque-based American folk duo A Hack And A Hacksaw and co-label head of the duo's Living Music Duplication imprint) relives her recent visit to the Dolapdere neighbourhood: 

"As we approach [...], the streets get smaller and less maintained. We pass by an austere yellowed cafe filled with men smoking, drinking tea, playing backgammon. This is where many musicians sit, gossip and wait for a gig when they're not playing [or busking] on the street. There don't seem to be a lot of set bands or groups here – everyone knows the same musical language and musicians are somewhat interchangeable. One day you're playing with your cousin, the next you're performing the same song with your neighbour. It makes for a very competitive environment. Sepetçi is one of the best, not to mention hardest working musicians in Dolapdere, and he adds his own musical style to familiar songs," she writes.

Along with her guide Özgür Akgül (also a musician and the director of the 2012 documentary "RomanIstanbul") she is invited into Cüneyt Sepetçi's home and later gets to attend a circumcision party, at which Cüneyt Sepetçi performs: 

"Things are slow to get going, but once they do, the party's on. Sepetçi takes to the stage to test out the PA, and without further ado begins. It's non-stop music for the next couple of hours. It's ear-shatteringly loud and almost psychedelic as it blasts into the changing evening light. The synthesizer player bends every possible note, ornamenting heavily as he follows the lilting, galloping clarinet; meanwhile Sepetçi trills, winds and whoops his way around the melody. The clarinet might have a pure tone, but he can make it howl and shriek if the song calls for it, alternating between sweet melodies and forceful, droned out marches," she describes, as the music and celebrations unfold around her. 

Cüneyt Sepetçi released his album "Bulgar Gaydas" on LM Duplication in 2017 and most recently took to the stage at Le Guess Who? in the Netherlands, dazzling the unsuspecting crown with his mesmerizing flourishes. This Sunday, November 18th, he will be playing live at ACUD in Berlin: 

"The indisputable don of Turkish Roma music and larger-than-life clarinettist [Living Music Duplication, Istanbul] Cüneyt Sepetçi will grace Berlin for the first time with an exclusive appearance. But beware, this is not for the faint at heart, uneven meters galore and musical adventures at break-neck speed," the event description reads. That being said, if you happen to get the chance, do not, we repeat, do not think twice. Also, feel free to listen to Cüneyt's 2014-performance at Roskilde Festival above or watch the official trailer to "RomanIstanbul" below to get yourself in the right mood.

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Guda

Hausa Rap Heir Kirani Ayat Shares Sublime Visuals To Latest Single
 

We're off to northern Ghana in the latest music video by Hausa rap heir Kirani AYAT of AYAT Music, who just dropped the wonderful music video to his equally impressive, NOVA-produced current single "Guda", directed [...]

We're off to northern Ghana in the latest music video by Hausa rap heir Kirani AYAT of AYAT Music, who just dropped the wonderful music video to his equally impressive, NOVA-produced current single "Guda", directed by David Nicol-Sey of North Productions. 

"Guda" is the second single off of Kirani AYAT's forthcoming debut album "Aisha's sun" and features his "signature blend of Hausa and English [as he] weaves a tale of struggle, perseverance, determination and the will to succeed," accompanied by beautifully captured images from Ghana's Bolgatanga region. "I want to show the world the Ghana they don't see everyday; the sounds, culture, dances and landscapes," he elaborates on Facebook

Kirani AYAT literally has his eyes on the throne and "Guda" embodies just that: "The song talks about me being the one. 'Guda' means the one, the chosen one. It also talks about a story of grass to grace; it's sort of like a motivational, inspirational song and also a bit braggadocious too," AYAT tells Okayafrica. Watch the official music video below, or listen to "Guda" in the SoundCloud player above and feel free to share.

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Asnakech

ATFA Readies Pivotal Release By Late Ethiopian Singer & Krar Player Asnakech Worku

Brian Shimkovitz's Awesome Tapes From Africa (ATFA) imprint is set to release another stunner on November 16th. This time the musical protagonist is the late Ethiopian musician, actress, dancer and cultural icon [...]

Brian Shimkovitz's Awesome Tapes From Africa (ATFA) imprint is set to release another stunner on November 16th. This time the musical protagonist is the late Ethiopian musician, actress, dancer and cultural icon Asnakech. As stated in the comprehensive liner notes"there is perhaps no woman more cherished in modern Ethiopian history than Asnakech Worku, [who] inspired and challenged society for decades, until her death in 2011. From her beginnings as Ethiopia's first theater actress in 1952 to her acclaimed film appearances to her days as a club owner-turned-master musician, [Asnakech] earned endless accolades across the artistic spectrum." She also became internationally known for her mastery of the krar, or six-stringed harp, "one of the oldest and most iconic traditional instruments in Ethiopia and Eritrea." 

Our first reaction to these distant, captivating and weirdly entrancing compositions was one of surprise. But as we listened, we became increasingly enthralled. As a matter of fact, this particular recording involves none other than legendary Ethiopian keyboardist and bandleader Hailu Mergia (check out his ATFA-reissued album "Lala Belu"): "In 1975, [Hailu] got a call from the owner of Misratch Music Shop to do a recording with Asnakech and he went for it. This recording is a nearly-forgotten artifact of the remarkable icon’s singular legacy, remastered and available outside Ethiopia for the first time. It also provides a rare glimpse into Mergia’s work as a arranger-sideman in the Addis Ababa music scene." 

Needless to say, Asnakech herself as well as their collaboration left a lasting impression on Hailu Mergia, who shares his personal admiration and adds his "Memories of Asnakech" to the release's liner notes, which we highly recommend you read. This quote here concerns the actual songs on the release: "Some of the songs are traditional, some are her compositions. You can listen to songs like these at home with family, while sitting or reading, in the after-hours at the club, while you’re washing the dishes. When you’re driving, a bunch of people listen while driving. It depends what time when you want to listen. Some people they listen to this kind of love music when they have a good relationship, somebody passed away or somebody stopped dating each other and have emotional flashbacks to what happened in their lives."

You can stream/buy the full release on Bandcamp. There you will also find more in-depth biographical information as well a track by track description. Thank you ATFA and thank you Asnakech.

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Roadtrippin'

The Jewish Monkeys Play The Netherlands Alongside Shantel And His Bucovina Club Orkestar
Greedy
 

Hot on the heels of an eventful summer, including another memorable show at Sziget, our Jewish Monkeys are well rested and ready to embark on another raucous roadtrip. 

This Sunday (November 11th) they will rev up [...]

Hot on the heels of an eventful summer, including another memorable show at Sziget, our Jewish Monkeys are well rested and ready to embark on another raucous roadtrip. 

This Sunday (November 11th) they will rev up their musical engines with an exclusive gig at Frankfurt venue Das Bett, before they head off to the Netherlands next Wednesday (November 14th) to support the inimitable Disko Partizani and friend of the Greedy family Shantel and his Bucovina Club Orkestar at five shows in Den Haag, Breda, Groningen, Amsterdam and Uden. You can find the details to all shows here

Rumour has it, the band is currently working on album number three, the follow-up to their 2017-released sophomore full-length "High Words". To set the mood, you can relisten to Yuriy Gurzhy and Uce's remix of the title track in the SoundCloud player above or watch the short JM teaser below. 

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Vaudou Game

Peter Solo’s Latest Album “OTODI” Is Nothing Less Than Spellbinding

Late last week, Paris-based Hot Casa Records served up another burner as they unveiled the highly anticipated new album by potent French-Togolese afro-funk collective Vaudou Game, the brainchild of bandleader, [...]

Late last week, Paris-based Hot Casa Records served up another burner as they unveiled the highly anticipated new album by potent French-Togolese afro-funk collective Vaudou Game, the brainchild of bandleader, singer and composer Peter Solo. Solo himself was born in Aného-Glidji, Togo, "the birthplace of the Guin tribe and a major site of the Voodoo culture". Meanwhile based in Lyon and backed by his band, he has channeled these ancient ritualistic sounds onto what is now his third album as Vaudou Game, entitled "OTODI". 

"OTODI" is the name of the former Togolese Recording Office, an abandoned yet fully functional recording studio in Lomé. "No one had been through those doors in years", the album bio reads. "Unchanged, seemingly untouched, just a guard watching over it. [...] Through thick layers of dust, the console was vibrating still, impatient to be turned on and spurt out the sound so unique to analog." The studio was closed in 1987, but reopened by Peter Solo and his crew earlier this year. And it is there that they recorded the 13 funk-heavy new tracks that now feature on the album. 

Vaudou Game had found the "space necessary to conjure the spirits of voodoo, those very spirits who watch over men and nature, and with whom Peter converses every day." As such, he was able to draw "the voodoo fluid directly from the source, once again using only Togolese scales to make his guitar sing, his strings acting as channels between listeners and deities." This time around he decided to entrust the rhythmic section to a Togolese bass and drum duo, "putting the groove in the expert hands of those, versed in feeling a type of musicianship that cannot be learned in any school." 

The album can be likened to a highly infectious ball of energy, enhanced by Roger Damawuzan’s James Brown type screams, a chorus of Togolese women or musical quotes from highlife and afrobeat. And, what's more, while referencing mystical, archaic rituals, "OTODI" remains absolutely modern in sound. In short, the entire affair is pulsating, trance-inducing and absolutely spellbinding. 

Preceding the album, Hot Casa dropped a 7" vinyl single containing the tracks "Tata Fatiguée" and "Anniversaire". You can listen to the latter in the live video below. As for the full album, you can stream/buy it on Bandcamp

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İstikrarlı Hayat Hakikattir

Istanbul's Gaye Su Akyol Releases Dreamily Insurgent New Full-Length On Glitterbeat
 

“Su Akyol’s voice is light but elegant, and her songs are by turns urgent, sultry and romantic and politically barbed. The new sound of Istanbul.” – The Observer

As trying as times in her native Turkey may be [...]

“Su Akyol’s voice is light but elegant, and her songs are by turns urgent, sultry and romantic and politically barbed. The new sound of Istanbul.” – The Observer

As trying as times in her native Turkey may be at the moment, Istanbul's Gaye Su Akyol is not one to shy away from the limelight or eschew artistic responsibility. With her first international, 2016-released album "Hologram İmparatorluğu" she quickly established herself as "one of Turkey's most compelling young voices and most exhilarating sonic explorers" as her multi-dimensional work "navigates the storied past, the hyper-connected present and the unscripted future". Growing up in Istanbul with influences as diverse as Selda Bağcan or Kurt Cobain, her artistic path sidesteps "tired Oriental/Occidental paradigmatic clichés", focussing rather on a richly nuanced sound that is as globally minded as it is locally anchored. Convincingly backed by her superb band, Gaye Su Akyol spent the past 18 months on the road, touring the Turkey, Europe, the Middle and Far East, "sharing her sharing her vibrant mix of raki laced traditional balladry, futurist surf and post-punk opposition".

Released last Friday on Glitterbeat Records, her latest full-length and third album"'İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir' [transl. 'Consistent Fantasy is Reality'] is a deeply poetic album; an album of personalized politics, an album that digs into the heart of our contentious, inexplicable contemporary experience. Never blinking. Always dreaming. Never giving in. Never giving up." Musically the album combines audible influences from the '60s/'70s Anatolian pop, rock and sub-genres thereof as well as Turkish folk. Also included in the diverse instrumental palette are more "conventional guitar-bass-drum trios and percussive elements, joined by violin, oud, cümbüş, bağlama, electronic beats and wind instruments". But there is a lot more to discover here as Gaye Su Akyol reveals:

"With this album I pursued new sounds in the deep waters of this geography, dug up the manifestation of my experiences, all the music, the people, the pain, the dreams and countries I have heard and was touched by, followed the footsteps of a personal archeology and tried to add my lost territories to these. [...] As a woman born and raised in Turkey, who makes her own music, who created a playground outside the masculine system by founding her own record company, who participates in every stage of this work from creation to production in a masculine dominated geography and an ever conservatized world, I think it is necessary to make these stories of 'consistent dreaming' visible and I hope to inspire other women and people who are producing and claiming their own dreams. In this sense this is an extremely feminist, revolutionary and idealist album."

Gaye Su Akyol and her band will be performing live at YAAM Berlin this Thursday (November 1, 2018), where they will lay further proof to their "growing reputation as a powerful live act", with local support from Mehmet Aslan and DJ İpek.

You can listen to the new album's title track via the Soundcloud player above or stream/buy the full album over on Bandcamp. Also, feel free to watch the companion video to the track "Yıllar Yılan" from Gaye Su Akyol's first studio album "Develerle Yaşıyorum" (2014) below.

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Souvenirs De Togo

My Old Friend Fred Martin Readies 45-Minute Mix Of African Treasures

Paris-based collective Les Mains Noires are back with another fascinating mixtape. In August, My Old Friend Fred Martin embarked on a month-long record digging trip to the West African nation of Togo, along with [...]

Paris-based collective Les Mains Noires are back with another fascinating mixtape. In August, My Old Friend Fred Martin embarked on a month-long record digging trip to the West African nation of Togo, along with Jean Toussaint of Les Diplomates

There he unearthed another batch of African treasures from Togo, Ghana, Nigeria and Benin, including two tracks by Togolese artist Ali Bawa.

He now compiled his best finds into a 45-minute mix, which you can listen to via Mixcloud. You can find more artwork on the LMN blog as well as a tracklist below. Enjoy!

Tracklist
MAMO LAGBEMA // Zambo Zambo (Togo)
CHRISTIE AZUMA and the Uppers International // Naam (Ghana)
ALI BAWA // Liwou Tikpe (Togo)
THON KOMLAN et orchestre Abass // Honam (Togo)
THE NIGERIAN POLICE DANCE BAND // Eko Ndun part 2 (Nigeria)
ALI BAWA // Labodja N°2 (Togo)
ANDY VANS // Dofo Nyi Ekyir (Ghana)
BB COLLINS // Anoma Antua (Ghana)
GNONNAS PEDRO // YirirYiribom (Benin)
GG VIKEY // Agoo (Benin)

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Gül Ahmet

Poland’s MLDVA & Çınar Timur Share Psychedelic Saz-Powered Track + Two Remixes
 

Heads up, here comes a 'sazzy' freebie for you! Earlier this year we shared a one-off track by Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek, taken from the strictly limited "Saz Power" compilation, released on Ironhand Records [...]

Heads up, here comes a 'sazzy' freebie for you! Earlier this year we shared a one-off track by Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek, taken from the strictly limited "Saz Power" compilation, released on Ironhand Records back in May. That being said, if you haven't yet checked it out, the selection features "eleven contemporary bands with saz-powered sounds from around the world, i.e. authentic sounds from distinctive saz minds". You can listen to the full album via the SoundCloud player above. 

This week, Polish combo MLDVA (Tomasz Jurecki, electric bağlama / Grzegorz Dąbek, synths / Szymon Piotrowski, drums) & Çınar Timur (acoustic bağlama), who delivered the compilation's opener "Gül Ahmet", shared their track along with two hallucinogenic remixes from the hands of Istanbul-based beatsmith Da Poet and Jerusalem-based producer/DJ Feller. The three-track release is available digitally on Bandcamp at a 'name your price' basis. So feel free to support. You won't regret it!

Below you can watch the beautifully animated "Saz Power" album trailer.

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Toto Bona Lokua

The Magical Trio Delivers Yet Another Timeless Body Of Work On “Bondeko”

Intrigued by the gorgeous album artwork, we just unearthed this equally inspiring and recently released musical gem on Parisian imprint NØ FØRMAT! by the wonderful trio Toto Bona Lokua. Composed of Gérald Toto [...]

Intrigued by the gorgeous album artwork, we just unearthed this equally inspiring and recently released musical gem on Parisian imprint NØ FØRMAT! by the wonderful trio Toto Bona Lokua. Composed of Gérald Toto from the island of Martinique, Richard Bona from Cameroon and Lokua Kanza from the Congo, this magical three-piece was quick to draw us in by its velvety cohesiveness. What struck us was the pure beauty of their vocal arrangements and utmost musicality in their delivery, providing a haven of soothing harmony and shared focus in times otherwise marked by so much noise, distraction and division. 

"Picked and strummed guitars, flute and discreet electro atmospherics (from producer Laurent Bizot) provide a dreamy backdrop, with the triumvirate of voices alternating between solo and immaculate sweet harmonies – an African Crosby, Stills & Nash, if you like. [...] it’s seamless stuff," Neil Spencer comments in his review for The Guardian. And indeed, Toto Bona Lokua provide listeners with somewhat of a blueprint for social togetherness or simply a mesmerising soundtrack to enjoy, when life seems all too rushed. 

More than thirteen years after their 2004-released longplayer "Totobonalokua", the twelve tracks on "Bondeko" are another timeless and ultra-modern body of work that cannot be unheard. Listen to the full album on YouTube or feast your eyes and ears on the official music video to album opener "Ma Mama" below.

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Masana Temples

Tokyo’s Kikagaku Moyo Ready Richly Flavoured Fourth Studio Album

Tokyo-based "psychedelic explorers" Kikagaku Moyo first came together in the summer of 2012 as street buskers, but quickly evolved into a tight-knit collective of free-minded multi-instrumentalists. Their sound [...]

Tokyo-based "psychedelic explorers" Kikagaku Moyo first came together in the summer of 2012 as street buskers, but quickly evolved into a tight-knit collective of free-minded multi-instrumentalists. Their sound "incorporates elements of classical Indian music, Krautrock, traditional folk and '70s rock", but "encompasses a broad spectrum of influence" and experimentation. Freedom and improvisation are key as the Japanese five-piece builds bridges "between the supernatural and the present"

Their recently released album "Masana Temples" is in fact their fourth full-length studio album, but the first we've heard of them. The longplayer's "shifting dimensions" are inspired by the band's mutual journey, including numerous tours and performances across the globe as well as a "pilgrimage" to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, to work with jazz musician Bruno Pernadas, who assumed production duties on the album. "The album's always changing sonic panorama reflects the spiritual connection of the band moving through this all together" and "challenging their own concepts of what psychedelic music could be". 

Nomadic in nature and multiplicitous in perspective, Kikagaku Moyo deliver a richly flavoured soundtrack that works on so many different levels it's hard to choose. That being said, this album will be sure to find appeal even among those, who may not consider themselves to be truly passionate about alternative rock or indie music. Stream/buy the full album here as well as their previous works and make sure to listen to their full live performance for Seattle's public radio station KEXP below. They'll be performing live in Berlin on November 13th.

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Ghosts & Robots

Den Sorte Skole To Open Berlin "100 Years Of Copyright" Festival W/ New "Ghosts & Robots" Live Show
 

Back in May Denmark's sample wizards Den Sorte Skole premiered their brand new audiovisual project "Ghosts & Robots" with three sold out shows at Copenhagen's grand Royal Theater (Det Kongelige Teater), treating [...]

Back in May Denmark's sample wizards Den Sorte Skole premiered their brand new audiovisual project "Ghosts & Robots" with three sold out shows at Copenhagen's grand Royal Theater (Det Kongelige Teater), treating audiences to "an experimental, dark and masterful piece of art combining music, sound, light-installation, video-projection and laser mapping" in collaboration with acclaimed Danish visual artist group Vertigo. 

"A complex 'Gesamtkunstwerk' that showed us how music - like life itself - can be violent, silent, beautiful, crazy, ugly and enchanting at the same time. Without compromises Den Sorte Skole give us a perspective on ourselves and the world we live in and should be considered the most important music project in Denmark at the moment," reads the rave 5-star Soundvenue revue.

Over the past years, the Danish sample-based producer and composer duo has been on a roll, unearthing and sampling countless records from across the globe, fusing multiple genres from various eras to create a magical tapestry of sound and take listeners on a trip through time and space. Their live performances resemble a dark symphonic journey, brought to life through samplers, turntables and effect-machines, though they've also composed classical symphonies and worked with choirs and live musicians from all over the world. 

Following the resounding success of their 2015 longplayer "Indians & Cowboys" the two-piece was awarded the Crown Prince Couples Award in 2017, which is considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in Denmark. "Ghosts & Robots" represents their latest, mind-stretching odyssey in sound, as they set out to explore "a parallel world, where ancient ghosts and future robots communicate through heavenly spirituals and poisonous rhythms".

On October 18th they bring their amazing new live show to the large auditorium of Berlin's iconic Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt (HKW) to open the "100 Years of Copyright" festival, which runs through October 21st. The festival digs deep into the controversial and hard-fought concepts of 'the original', copyright and intellectual property and features concerts, panels, screenings, installations as well as breath-taking performances (find the full program here). You can relive a few minutes from Den Sorte's Skole "Ghosts & Robots" premiere in May below or listen to the track “Aiona” from the project, to be found in the SoundCloud player above.

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Saigon Supersound Vol. II

Jan Hagenkötter Releases Second Compilation Of South Vietnamese Tunes From 1965-1975

Not too long ago we featured Frankfurt-based DJ, label head and electronic music pioneer Jan Hagenkötter's inspiring selection of "Golden Age" tunes from South Vietnam. Now "Saigon Supersound" returns with Volume [...]

Not too long ago we featured Frankfurt-based DJ, label head and electronic music pioneer Jan Hagenkötter's inspiring selection of "Golden Age" tunes from South Vietnam. Now "Saigon Supersound" returns with Volume 2, which this time focusses on the period between 1965-1975, during which a lively South Vietnamese pop culture emerged under difficult circumstances. You may see it as a continuation of Volume 1, which had not yet gathered enough material to tell the full story. 

As a matter of fact, the tireless efforts to dig up music from this era and the release of Volume 1 actually paved the way to more finds and ultimately enabled the team to not only collect enough quality material for a second release, but also realise more projects, including the Vietnam Now Festival in Paris and London as well as a documentary film to be released in 2019.

"Saigon Supersound Vol.2" comprises 18 tracks and is accompanied by detailed liner notes from the pen of An Pham, who puts the selection into context and distinguishes the various styles and influences to be heard. You can stream/buy the entire release here and experience "the beautiful music of a short but significant period in Vietnam's history." Great work, again.

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