In 1967, newly independent Nigeria descendant into a Civil War to stop a secession of Biafra known as at the Biafran War. Families were asked to choose sides. Friends were separated by ideological cleavages. The war lasted three years. A million Nigerians were killed. Right after this war a phenomenal music scene was created in search of a new society.
A newly released album and an accompanying book Wake Up You! Vol. 1 tells the story of this after Biafran War Nigerian music that sought to heal social ills and unite a very young Republic through explorations in Funk, Psychedelia, and Rock, that led all the way to Fela Kuti, by compiling songs of several bands that participated in the before-mentioned scene.Wake Up You! Vol. 1 is released by Now Again Records.
Rounder Records has reissued the album Master Drummers of Dagbon, V. 1 by Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulai & the Master Drummers of Dagbon. The reissue is part of Rounder’s back catalog world music albums released for digital distribution.
Musicologist and author John Miller Chernoff, who made these recordings in Northern Ghana, writes, “There are heavy spiritual repercussions when masters of drumming express themselves in a tradition of artistic genius. The singing of the drums resembles the breathing of the wind, and when the sound of the drumming dies, it moves away like exhaled breath. The bass drums vibrate inside the earth.”
Los Pleneros de la 21 are masters of the African-derived bomba and plena drumming styles of Puerto Rico. Led by drummer and composer Juan José Gutierrez-Rodriguez, this twelve-piece New York-based ensemble that also includes keyboards, bass, and string instruments, is one of the outstanding proponents of traditional Afro-Puerto Rican music.
Rounder Records has reissued Oy Chanukah! By The Klezmer Conservatory Band. The reissue is part of Rounder’s back catalog world music albums released into full digital distribution.
The Klezmer Conservatory Band, founded by Hankus Netsky at the New England Conservatory in Boston, has become an institution, with its deft celebration of klezmer music—both its roots and its new directions.
Oy Chanukah! Showcases the fusion of the traditional music of Eastern European Jews and American jazz.
Music of Morocco, a 4-CDs boxed set containing recordings by Paul Bowles is now available. The set includes a silk screened box with a 120-page, leatherette book, featuring extensive liner notes by Philip Schuyler. The booklet also includes field notes by Paul Bowles and an introduction by Lee Ranaldo.
From July to December 1959, Paul Bowles traveled throughout Morocco making recordings of traditional music under the patronage of the Library of Congress of the United States. Paul Bowles said: “The pieces with the greatest, and those with the smallest amount, of Arabic influence, are both to be found, strangely enough, in the same country: Morocco. This region’s contact with Europe has been that of conqueror: in its decline it has been comparatively unmolested by industrial Europe. By virtue of this, also because it once had colonies in Mauritania and Senegal, and thus has a fair amount of admixture of Negro culture, it is richer in musical variety and interest than Algeria and Tunisia. In the latter countries there is plenty of music, but in Morocco music is inescapable.”
Disc 1: Highlands — The Berbers Part 1
1. Maallem Ahmed and ensemble – Ahmeilou (Tafraout)
2. Rais Ahmed ben Bakrim – El Baz Ouichen Song for Male Voice (Tiznit)
3. Moqaddem Mohammed ben Salem and ensemble – Third Sqel (Zagora)
4. Moqaddem Mohammed ben Salem and ensemble – Second Aqlal (Zagora)
5. Chikh Ayyad ou Haddou and ensemble – Ouakha dial Kheir Women’s Chorus (Tahala)
6. Chikh Ayyad ou Haddou and ensemble – Aili ya Mali Mixed Chorus (Tahala)
7. Maallem Ahmed and ensemble – Aouache Men’s Chorus (Tafraout)
Disc 2: Highlands — The Berbers Part 2
1. Rais Mahamad ben Mohammed and ensemble – Aouada Trio (Tamanar)
2. Rais Mahamad ben Mohammed and ensemble – Chorus and Dance (Tamanar)
3. Chikh Hamed bel Hadj Hamadi ben Allal and ensemble – Reh dial Beni Bouhiya Qsbah Solo (Segangan)
4. Various – Sounds of General Rejoicing (Ait Ourir)
5. Maallem Ahmed Gacha and ensemble – Albazaoua Women’s Chorus (Ait Ourir)
6. Chikha Fatoma bent Kaddour – Mouwal and Izlan (Ain Diab)
7. Cheikha Haddouj bent Fatma Rohou and ensemble – Qim Rhori (Khenifra)
8. Mohammed bel Hassan and ensemble – Qsida dial Malik (Ait Mohammed)
Disc 3: Lowlands — Influent Strains Part 1
1. El Ferqa dial Guedra (Bechara) – Ounalou Biha Rajao Male Solo with Women’s Chorus (Goulimine)
2. Maalem Abdeslam Sarsi el Mahet – Aiyowa d’Moulay Abdeslam Rhaita Solo (Arcila)
3. Sadiq ben Mohammed Laghzaoui Morsan and ensemble – Rhaitas and Tbola (Einzoren)
4. Embarek ben Mohammed – Mellaliya Song for Male Voice (Marrakech)
5. Maalem Mohammed Rhiata and ensemble, from the region of Taounate – Taqtoqa Jabaliya (Fez)
6. An unidentified ensemble – Gnaoua Chorus (Essaouira)
7. Si Mohammed Bel Hassan Soudani – Gnaoui Solo Song (Marrakech)
8. Si Mohammed Bel Hassan Soudani – Fulani Iresa (Marrakech)
9. Maallem Taieb ben Mbarek and chikhats – Hadouk Khail (Marrakech)
Disc 4: Lowlands — Influent Strains Part 2
1. Hazan Isaac Ouanounou and members of the Hevrat Gezekel – Ya Souki hakim Secular Sephardic Song (Meknes)
2. Hazan Semtob Knafo and Amram Castiel. Hevrat David Hamelekh – Chalom Lakha Chébii “Peace on the Seventh Day” (Essaouira)
3. Maalem el Hocein and ensemble – Qsida Midh (Meknes)
4. Abdelkrim Rais and ensemble – El hgaz el Mcharqi Andaluz Chorus (Fez)
5. Members of the Family of the Chorfa of Ouezzane – Andaluz Music of Ouezzane (Ouezzane)
6. Early Morning Calls to Prayer – El Fjer (Tangier)
Scottish contemporary folk music band Breabach has a new album titled Astar (Breabach Records, 2016). After five years traveling the world, Breabach presents a recording inspired by the people and places they have encountered and collaborations they have been involved in.
Astar is a multiethnic celebration, embracing the music of four nations in partnership with their own. The band invited friends from Norway, Quebec, Australia and New Zealand to be part of this recording, all of which has been brought to life under the guidance and production of Greg Lawson.
The guests include Aboriginal artist Yirrmal Marika (Australia), Maori tradition keeper Scott Morrison (New Zealand), Hardanger fiddle master Olav Luksengård Mjelva (Norway), Quebecois fiddler Olivier Demers (Quebec) and Le Vent Du Nord (Quebec) with guest vocals.
The British Red Cross has released The Long Road, a concept world music album featuring Robert Plant, Scroobius Pip, the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Tinariwen and Kindness. The album is based on the real-life experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.
The Long Road album sees features the stories of individuals who have been forced to flee their homes and seek safety in the UK.
“This is a very special opportunity to create an album with a narrative that helps more people understand the realities of being a refugee and the journeys people go through,” said producer Ethan Johns. “Music is one of the oldest forms of storytelling, and these are important stories to be told.”
All earnings will go to funding the British Red Cross’s refugee work in the UK.
Augustus Pablo’s classic reggae album Original Rockers, originally released in 1979, is now available as a reissue on digital, CD and vinyl. Augustus Pablo (1954-1999) was the master of melodica and one of the most appreciated talents in reggae music. The Original Rockers reissue from Greensleeves Records features remastered sound and a 16-page extended booklet.
Original Rockers showcases Pablo’s haunting melodica and includes flashes of his dub inspiration on standouts like “Rocker’s Dub” and “Tubby’s “Dub Song.” The album was recorded in the legendary studio of the great reggae producer King Tubby.
Augustus Pablo was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica as Horace Swab on June 21, 1954. Augustus Pablo was a roots reggae and dub record producer, melodica player and keyboardist, who got his start in the early 1970s. He popularized the use of the melodica in reggae music and released many hits with a variety of producers, including his close friend Clive Chin (which created his breakthrough hit “Java”), Gussie Clark, Bunny Lee, Lee Scratch Perry and more.
In The Light, a classic 1977 reggae album by Horace Andy is now available through 17 North Parade.
Originally released in 1977, In The Light is one of Horace Andy’s most significant recordings. In 1977, Horace Andy recorded this legendary album for Everton Dasilva. The two established a musical partnership, but it came to an abrupt end two years later when Dasilva was murdered in New York City. In 1995, the Blood & Fire label reissued this classic for the first time.
Most of ‘In The Light’ was recorded in Kingston and included a combination of new songs and updates of two old favorites, ‘Fever’ and ‘Problems’.
Also available is the dub version mixed by King “Lloyd James” Jammy titled companion In The Light Dub.
The new editions include newly commissioned liner notes.
Multi-instrumentalist Ciaran Algar has a new album titled The Final Waltz (Fellside). Ciaran plays fiddle, guitar, banjo, and percussion and is one of the most highly-regarded young musicians on the Folk circuit today.
In 2015, Ciaran began working on a solo project that resulted in his debut solo album, The Final Waltz. The primary vocalist in the band is emerging singer, Sam Kelly. The majority of the album, nonetheless, is instrumental, and the tunes that are used in the sets are a selection of Ciaran’s favorites that he has learned over the last 11 years of playing Irish fiddle. Rather than recording every tune set with fiddle and guitar, Ciaran has combine traditional tunes with a contemporary-style of accompaniment. The Ciaran Algar band will be touring in 2016.
Ciaran’s musical influences come from deep within the Irish tradition. This Irish connection led to Ciaran taking part in the Fleadhs run by Comhaltas, in which he was really successful. Over 8 years of competing, he won 20 regional titles, 12 British titles and 1 All Ireland title across various categories (fiddle, fiddle slow airs, bodhran) all by the time he was 16 years old.
In late 2011, Ciaran met young singer and guitarist Greg Russell for the first time, and played a few songs with him. The duo has won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (and a third nomination) and released two albums, Call and Queen’s Lover, and a live DVD, Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar in Concert.
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