• Music

    Mariana Ingold – Cara A Cara

    Uruguayan vocalist and musician Mariana Ingold has a storied reputation for her albums of children’s songs, environmental work and collaborations with the indigenous communities of her native country, but in 1986, she started recording some rather fine pop music as well.  She mixed candombe music with synthesizers to make a fusion which caught on in the country’s capital, Montevideo.  She is still quite active as a performer, but it’s quite a treat to see some of these recordings see the light of day after several decades of being out-of-print.

  • Music

    Linda Ayupuka – God Created Everything

    Indeed, He did, yet as I’m new to the Fra Fra scene in Ghana, if Linda Ayupuka is a good example of what kind of music the genre produces, I think I’m going to like digging into it.  The music is a combo of tinny beats, lo-fi disco, and a joyous authenticity to the vocals.  African music even with the massive reach it has had over the past few years, needs to continue to branch out into the world consciousness, and this is yet another gem to share with the world.

  • Music

    Chouk Bwa & The Ångstromers – Ayiti Kongo Dub #2

    What a wild and heavy album out of Haiti!  From Chouk Bwa’s Bandcamp site: “Following on from the first edition released earlier this year, we’re please to announce ‘Ayiti Kongo Dub EP#2‘ by Chouk Bwa & The Ångströmers. As Afro-Caribbean polyrhythms meet bass-weight dub electronics, the two part EP has documented the group experimenting with a stripped back form which focuses on the dimension of trance. Opening with a cermonial chant and designed to enduce dancefloor delirium, the first track taken from the EP is the raw, high-octane, primordial techno of ‘Zemedo’.” Wild, dubby listening.

  • Music

    Various Artists – Wearing of the Green

    The Sound Of Shellac is a record label out of Norway which refurbishes old 78rpm discs, brightens their sound and releases these tracks into well-curated compilations.  What’s more, they’re offered as pay-as-you-like releases, so purchasing these comps helps show support for such a fine label. This particular disc features artists John McCormack, Paul Robeson and Jelly Roll Morton, but the real charm of this release comes from relatively unknown or forgotten artists like Mrs. Texas Gladden and Tito Schipa.

  • Music

    Banat Tamburitza Orchestra – Serbian Dance Band in New Jersey, ca. 1949​-​50

    Canary Records produces another excellent collection of archival music, this time from Serbia.  From his Bandcamp site: “The Banat Tamburitza band are said to have been formed around 1912 or ’13 in Elizabeth, New Jersey by Serbian immigrants from the village of Sânpetru Mare (then-population about 2,000) in the Banat region of present-day Timiș county of western Romania. A group by the same name recorded for Columbia in the mid-20s for Columbia and then in the mid-40s for the Sonart label with the renowned Bosnian singer Edo Ljubić (b. 1912; d. 1993) at which point a reference in Miriam Lidster…

  • Music - Spotify

    Yggdrasil & Vera Kondratieva — Timint Areh

    Yggdrasil are a Faroese project led by multi-instrumentalist Kristian Blak (whom I had the pleasure, many years ago, of meeting in Varna, Bulgaria) and a host of local musicians along with singer Vera Kondratieva from Siberia.  You would expect to hear a melding of Scandinavian and traditional Siberian music on Timent Areh, but this also adds elements of jazz, rock and maybe just a touch of post-punk.  It’s a fun album, not too terribly dark, sung beautifully and supplemented by a rather tight backing band.  Tutl Records, the record label Blak has run since the 1970s, has released another gem. …

  • Music

    Various Artists – Ten Songs from Houshang Ebtehaj

    Iranian poet and balladeer Hushang Ebtehaj passed away on August 10, 2022, but left an incredibly rich body of work.  This compilation, released by Tehran-based record label Khosousi, brings together Ebtehaj’s best interpreters, such as Mohammad Reza Sharjarian and his son Homayoun,as well as Alireza Eftekhari, Hossein Ghavami, Mohammad Motamedi and Alireza Ghorbani.  Each is a legend in his own right, and they do justice to the poetry of a bona fide maestro.

  • Music

    Soyuz (Союз) – Force of the Wind (​С​и​л​а в​е​т​р​а​)

    Belarus is not what one would think of as a Brazilian music hotspot, though, if my friends in the country could enlighten me to the local music scene, I would really appreciate it.  Still, Soyuz, led by singer Alex Chumak blend a Brazil-meets-Santana-meets-funk beat and this album engages you quickly, making the listener want to sway with the rhythm. From their Bandcamp site: “SOYUZ (which translates as ‘union’) is a creative collective from Minsk, Belarus, led by composer, arranger, and singer, Alex Chumak, multi-instrumentalist, Mikita Arlou, and drummer, Anton Nemahai. SOYUZ’s previous albums explored and reimagined the legacy of jazz-oriented,…

  • Deezer - Music - Qobuz

    Uusikuu – Karuselli

    Welcome to the world of Finnish tango as brought to you by Uusikuu, who celebrate their 16th year with this charmer of a disc.  As this wonderful release from the ever wonderful CPL-Music isn’t on Bandcamp, I would like to point you to their Qobuz website, as I’m not much of a fan of Spotify.  If this doesn’t work in your country, consider going to Deezer here. There is something special about Finnish tango.  One would think that Finland and the Rio Plata area of Argentina and Uruguay wouldn’t have much in common, but, in fact, they share a melancholy…

  • Music

    Verckys et l´Orchestre Vévé – Congolese Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 1969-1978 (Analog Africa Nr. 17)

    On October 13th,the African music world world lost an absolute demigod in the form of Verckys Kiamuangana Mateta. How important was he? Well, going by Wikipedia, he, “was a Congolese saxophonist, composer, bandleader, producer, record label founder, and music-business executive. He was renowned as a talented and prolific musician, and was the first indigenous African to own a record label, through which he introduced many major Congolese artists to the world.” Analog Africa introduced this giant to the greater music world in 2014, and he was the first Congolese artist I was introduced to before TPOK Jazz (which featured Franco…