Proper Box has released a 4CD box set titled The Birth Of British Blues. The collection highlights the pioneering artists who laid the groundwork for the blues and rock boom of the 1960s in the UK. These highly influential artists had a profound effect on British, American, and global popular music.
Starting from Trad Jazz roots, through to Skiffle and Folk Blues, the anthology eventually lands on the harder edge Chicago Blues and R&B. This compilation documents the evolution of British music leading up to its golden age in the 1960s and 1970s.
All of the pioneers are included including Chris Barber, Ken Collyer, Lonnie Donegan, Cyril Davies, Alexis Korner and many more.
Jamaican band Mystic Revealers has released its all-star song “Herb Must Legalize Now (420 High-Grade Remix)” on VP Records’ label Dub Rockers. The remix includes reggae artists in support for the cause of ganja legalization worldwide, including Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, DJ Sojah, Jah9, Diana Rutherford, Fred Locks, Triga Finga, Suzanne Couch, Bobby Hustle, Jesse Royal, Kelissa, Cidade Verde and Snow.
The song’s accompanying video is directed by Kush Asher and Imani Wilmot and shot at Mystic Revealer’s lead singer Billy Wilmot’s Jamnesia (located in Bull Bay just outside of Kingston, JA). The famed skate, surf and music hub has become a local hang out spot and an essential incubator for breaking new music talent – including Chronixx, Kelissa, Jah9, Kabaka Pyramid and Jesse Royal – who are all featured on this supergroup remix.
Celebrated Senegalese musician and United Nations Ambassador Baaba Maal has released a track that will appear in his much anticipated 11th album The Traveller (Marathon Artists). The new recording is scheduled for release on January 15th, 2016.
The Traveller was recorded in both London and Senegal and was produced by Johan Hugo from The Very Best. The album includes Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons, who met Baaba Maal at his annual music festival ‘Blues Du Fleuve’ in Fouta, Northern Senegal.
The Traveller contains a mix of West African roots and more contemporary electronic influences all woven together at varying tempos.
The album Kibera Esbera [Kenya] by Kenyan act The West Bridge Band is now available in digital format. Kibera Esbera [Kenya] was originally released by Electric Cowbell Records in vinyl format for Record Store Day, 2015. The label has not made the album available on CD.
Belonging to the Luhya Tribe, The West Bridge Band is a four-man group led by Wamalwa Lusweti, who makes and plays the litungu, a nine-stringed instrument that he invented.
The members of the West Bridge Band live on the edge of Kibera, the world’s largest “slum” where open sewage runs along the streets. Over 2 million people live there. With the population increasing daily, the district stands in clear contrast to the tourists who visit Nairobi to go on luxury safari excursions.
This record was recorded in a small single room by award-winning producer, Ian Brennan, where the band leader’s entire family lives. It is smaller than the interior of many American cars, and without a kitchen or bathroom. They jerry rig electricity illegally through a ramshackle of wires cut into the city’s grid.
The West Bridge Band makes a living by playing traditional Kenyan music from other tribes to entertain tourists. They change costumes for the different numbers with few in the audience seeming to realize that it is the same performers over and over again rather than a rotating cast of ethnic characters.
In the off hours, the musicians live an awful reality, selling the instruments they build and writing songs such as “The Rich” and “Sadness”. Few of their compositions are more telling though, such as “I Will Not Lose Faith In You.”
The digital version of this album includes a bonus remix track of the song “Papa” by French-Chilean multi-instrumentalist, DJ, and producer Aillacara 2743, also known as Medline and Electroom Acoostap.
The West Bridge Band lineup: Geoffrey Simiyumunialo on litungu, vocals; Anyango Ochwila on vocals, sichenje ring; Wamalwa Lusweti on litungu, shiriri, vocals; and Thoya Baya on jembe, vocals.
Actor, comedian and reggae singer Eddie Murphy has released his second song of the year “Wonna Deez Nites” featuring celebrated Jamaican dancehall artist Beenie Man. The single will be released on June 30, 2015 on VPAL Music (VP Records’ subsidiary label and distribution arm).
“Wonna Deez Nites” is the follow-up follows to Murphy’s his 2015 reggae hit “Oh Jah Jah” (VPAL), which reached #1 on iTunes Reggae Single Chart and debuted in the Top 5 on the U.S. Billboard Reggae Digital Song Chart.
The CD and DVD set Ravi & Anoushka Shankar Live in Bangalore (East Meets West Music) is set for release on September 11, 2015. This sound and video recording was made on February 7, 2012, two months before his 92nd birthday. Ravi Shankar performed with his daughter Anoushka at the sold-out Bangaluru Palace grounds in Bangalore, India.
The program included ‘Raga Yaman Kalyan’, ‘Raga Tilak Shyam’, and ‘Raga Khamaj’. Ravi and Anoushka Shankar performed for over three hours in front of an ecstatic audience.
“It was my good fortune to perform worldwide in concert alongside my father over a period of nearly 20 years. It would be no exaggeration to say I’ve not shared the same level of musical intuitiveness and intimacy with anyone else. As our final live performance in the country of our, and our music’s, origin, this concert DVD is a beautiful example of my father’s inspiring mastery near the end of his life, and for me, a keepsake to remind me of what we shared together,” says Anoushka Shankar
Dub masters Alborosie and King Jammy collaborate on a new album titled Dub of Thrones (VP Records/Greensleeves). This is a historic pairing of one of Jamaica’s essential dub legends King Jammy with the modern day Italian-born dub maestro Alborosie. Dub of Thrones includes a fully-illustrated package by Tony McDermott, Greensleeves Records’ go-to artist for almost four decades known for his iconic cartoon imagery depicting Jamaican music.
Mixed by Alborosie at his Shengen studio and King Jammy at his studio in the Waterhouse district of Kingston, this old-school meets new-school clash delivers an authentic dub reggae listening experience.
Alborosie and King Jammy plan to tour in support of this release throughout the summer. They are already booked for California’s 31st Annual Reggae on the River Festival.
The Global Club Music Network (GCMN) and WOMEX have just released WOMEX 14 Re:mixes by GCMN. The album includes songs from eight WOMEX 2014 showcase artists that have been remixed by members of the GCMN.
DJ and producer Kosta Kostov together with Miriam L. Brenner and the whole
GCMN team acknowledged the core rhythm and instrumentation of each song while adding certain elements according to their own interpretation.
The Global Music Network (GCMN) is a worldwide collective of professionals committed to presenting forms of (live) electronic dance music, rooted within the rich sounds of the globe.
Popular comedian, actor and singer Eddie Murphy has released a new reggae song titled “Oh Jah Jah“.
This song is not the first time Eddie Murphy has dipped into reggae. “Oh Jah Jah” follows his 2013 composition “Red Light” featuring Snoop Lion. He also collaborated with the legendary Jamaican dancehall artist Shabba Ranks on his 1993 song “I Was A King.”
Eddie Murphy wrote and co-produced “Oh Jah Jah,” which was recorded and mixed at Soul Mountain Studios in Beverly Hills, California. Ralph Hawkins Jr. and Trenten Gumbs also participated in the production.
Dirtwire – Ondar EPOndar EP is the latest recording by San Francisco Bay Area-based electro-acoustic duo Dirtwire. The EP honors the musical legacy of Tuvan throat-singing maestro Kongar-ol Ondar (1962–2013), with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit Ondar’s legacy in Tuva.
The Ondar EP derived from an unplanned encounter in 2013 when Dirtwire’s Evan Fraser (Hamsa Lila and Stellamara) was invited to play mouth harp with Ondar — the “Groovin’ Tuvan” — during a private performance in Marin, California. Ondar’s vocals were recorded by David Satori (Beats Antique) in a home studio later that night. “Taiga,” the EP’s key track, is an ode to Bai-laa Taigam, an expansive steppe land in the singer’s home region of Tuva, Russia. Throughout the EP, the melodious interplay of acoustic and electronic music often makes it difficult to tell where Ondar’s otherworldly voice leaves off and Dirtwire’s ambient textures begin.
“It was a great honor and a privilege to get to collaborate with such a musical legend of the Earth,” says Fraser of his experience working with Ondar. “You can picture the natural beauty of his native Tuva as you hear him sing. Ondar will be missed and remembered forever.”
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