Loop Guru core members Salman Gita and Jamuud have been working together for many years. They function as a collective rarely playing two consecutive gigs with the same line-up. The music which has made the group a big favorite with the “Megadog” and “Whirl-y-Gig” club goers is put together using as a staggering array of instruments ranging from the electric (the Cora, the Sitar and various Gamelan pieces) to the electric to the monster made up of dustbin lids, metal cogs and hip replacement joints.
Regular band members include percussionist Mad Jym and lead vocalists Natasha Atlas who performed on the band’s second single ‘Hope’ in 1993 and Iranian-born Sussan Deihim who appears on Loop Guru’s debut album ‘Duniya’ as well as single ‘Sus-san-tics’ their ‘tribute to her. One track on the album also features the bass player talents of Transglobal Underground’s Count Dubulah.
Duniya (Nation Records 1994)
The Third Chamber (1994) Amrita (1995)
Catalogue of Desires Vol. 3: The Clear White Variation (1996)
Moksha…Peel To Reveal/The Peel Sessions (1996)
Loop Bites Dog (1997)
The Fountains Of Paradise (1999)
Loopus Interruptus…Forgotten Treasures & Lost Artifacts (2001)
Wisdom of the Idiots…Half a History and a History and a Half (2003)
Bathtime With Loop Guru (2003)
Elderberry Shiftglass (2006)
Ya Tosiba – Love Party (Asphalt Tango Records, 2017)
Modern electronica, Central Asian melodies and Azerbaijani poetry come together in Love Party by Ya Tosiba. This band is an electronic music duo featuring Norwegian-Azerbaijani vocalist Zuzu Zakaria and Finnish Tatu Metsätähti “Mesak.” Metsätähti is a skweee pioneer. Skweee is a type of funk-rooted electronic music from Sweden and Finland.
Zaindiveli is a remarkable project from Russia. The ensemble combines mesmerizing ambient electronics and trip hop with electric and acoustic musical instruments. The musicians are deeply influenced by Indian music and jazz as well.
Highlights include the opening track, “Sagar” that features rich electronic textures. Track 3, “Wheel Prayer (Prayer Wheels Remake”) features Indian tabla, bansuri and Indian-style violin accompanied by electronic textures and beats. The violin performance is spectacular and leaves you wanting more.
Other goodies include the rhythmic “Ouimix” featuring a combination of electronic and acoustic rhythms.
The Indian influences return on “Haldi” with more masterful violin work.
The final track is also a high point. It’s a meditative piece with electroacoustic ambience and Indian-style vocals.
Zaindiveli was developed by two Moscow-based multi-instrumentalists, Gennady Lavrentiev and Kirill Parenchuk in the 1990s. Additional musicians were later added, including Oleg Mariakhin on saxophones, Sergey “Grebstel” Kalachov on bass, Andrey Demidenko on dhrupad vocals and bansuri, Dmitry Losev on keyboardss and electroacoustics and Vladislava Yakupova on bila (Russian flat bells).
Despite the smooth jazz saxophone on a couple of tracks, the overall result is very satisfactory. The electronics and Indian music influences are beautifully composed and masterfully performed.
Omar Souleyman was born in 1966 in a town called Tell Tamer in northeastern Syria and currently lives in Turkey. Omar Souleyman’s sound is based on Dabke, a modern Eastern Mediterranean Arab folk circle dance of probable Canaanite or Phoenician origin.
Souleyman has become a worldwide phenomenon in contemporary world music and electronic music spheres, although he started his career as a wedding singer in Syria. He has released over 500 studio and live albums.
Artists like Björk, Four Tet (who produced his acclaimed album Wenu Wenu), Modeselektor and Gilles Peterson have worked with Souleyman.
Souleyman’s songs were first introduced to Western audiences through the compilation albums on the Sublime Frequencies record label. Since then, he has performed at major music festivals in Europe and North America.
Thornato, the artistic name of American producer Thor Partridge, takes the listener on a global electronica voyage across the Americas, southern Africa and the Middle East.
Using seductive electronic and acoustic dance rhythms based on Colombian cumbia, Jamaican dancehall, Central and South African beats, South Asian rhythms, and mesmerizing marimbas from Esmeraldas in Ecuador.
Even though Thornato produces a lot of the melodies and electronic global dance music, he features various guests throughout the album such as Afro-Esmeraldan band Grupo Taribo, African dance music collective Kongo elektro, Colombian vocalist Lido Pimienta, dancehall singer Gappy Ranks, and the Arabic oud of Spy From Cairo.
Bennu is an impressive global electronica debut album beautifully-crafted by Thornato.
Buy Bennu (available on CD, vinyl and digital download versions)
Vataff Project is a Bulgarian act that brilliantly mixes trance and ambient electronics with traditional musical instruments. Electronic music artist Victor Marinov is behind the project. He provides the electronic atmospheres, beats, samples and effects. He’s joined by three additional musicians who add a tasty world music vibe to the recording.
One of the guests is Veselin Mitev on duduk. The duduk by itself always sounds exotic and mesmeric. Here, the duduk is processed to sound even more mysterious and fascinating.
The other two guests are Anton Karadimchev on vocals and guitar; and Rossen Zahariev on flugelhorn.
Vataff has several meanings. One of them is leader or guide. In Bulgarian folk tradition the leader of the kalushar dancers is also called vataff. The vataff are considered the successors of an ancient privileged society of warriors, whose frontrunners most likely were initiated in a religious cult and had the capacity to heal through particular music as part of certain rituals.
Solьmen is a finely-crafted album that brings together cutting edge electronica, Bulgarian folklore and shamanic world music influences.
Natacha Atlas was born in Belgium, the daughter of an Egyptian father and an English mother. Natacha grew up in the Moroccan suburbs of Brussels, becoming fluent in French, Spanish, Arabic and English, immersing herself in Arabic culture, Egyptian “shaabi” pop and learning from childhood the raks sharki (belly dance) techniques that she uses during her spectacular live performances.
Even more remarkable than Natacha’s dance moves is her unmistakable voice, rich in nuance and grounded in Arabic music.
Natacha moved to England as a teenager and became Northampton’s first Arabic rock singer. Since then has involved herself in a wide variety of musical projects. Dividing her time between the UK and Brussels, she sang in a variety of Arabic and Turkish nightclubs, and spent a brief period in a Belgian salsa band called Mandanga. As she commuted between Northampton and Brussels, however, she began to attract the attention of the Balearic beat crew ¡Loca! and Jah Wobble, who was then assembling his Invaders of the Heart. Wobble was looking for an wide-ranging Middle Eastern singer and fell in love with her voice.
In 1991, both these projects became a reality. Timbal by ¡Loca! started out as a track on Nation Records’ Fuse Two compilation and became a massive dance club hit, while Wobble’s http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000007641/musidelmund-20/002-7906139-4219234?%5Fencoding=UTF8&camp=1789&link%5Fcode=xm2 | Rising Above Bedlam – five tracks which Natasha co-wrote – attracted much critical acclaim and a Mercury award nomination.
The success of Timbal consolidated Natacha’s relationship with the ground-breaking Nation Label, who introduced her to TransGlobal Underground (TGU), at that time enjoying Top 40 success with http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000DEO0/musidelmund-20/002-7906139-4219234?%5Fencoding=UTF8&camp=1789&link%5Fcode=xm2 | Templehead.
First guesting with TransGlobal Underground in 1991, Natacha became two years later a member of the core quartet of TransGlobal Underground, as lead singer and belly-dancer. A couple of years later, it was TransGlobal Underground’s Tim Whelan, Hamid ManTu and Nick Page (a.k.a. Count Dubulah, who helped her to make her first solo album, Diaspora.
Diaspora came out in the summer of 1995 to critical acclaim. Natacha combined the dubby, rhythmic-driven global dance of her longtime associates Transglobal Underground, with the more traditional work of Arabic musicians like Tunisian singer-songwriter Walid Rouissi and Egyptian composer and ud master Essam Rashad. The result was a collection of songs of love and yearning that genuinely fused West and East.
On her second LP, Halim, Natacha explored further her deeply felt affinity with Arabic musical heritage.
In parallel with the success of her solo albums she remained a full-time Transglobal Underground member, and Transglobal Underground composed her backing band, until they left Nation Records in 1999, and they have remained allies throughout her subsequent career. Atlas has appeared on most TGU albums and its members are usually involved in the production of her solo albums.
1997’s Halim followed, and then Gedida in 1999 , both creatively and naturally fusing Middle Eastern and European styles, and delighting an ever-increasing audience in both territories.
In 2000, Natacha released The Remix Collection, in which material from the first three albums was reworked by a variety of remixers, including Talvin Singh, Banco de Gaia, Youth, 16B, Klute, the Bullitnuts, TJ Rehmi, Spooky and Transglobal Underground.
Natacha’s fourth album Ayeshteni was released in 2001.
2002’s album, Natacha Atlas and Marc Eagleton Project’s Foretold in the Language of Dreams, was a considerable divergence. No beats; a calm recording, involving a slightly smaller group of musicians than normal, including Syrian qanun master Abdullah Chhadeh, whom Natacha married in 1999.
Aside from her own projects, Natacha remains very much in demand as a guest singer for the recordings and performances of a remarkably wide range of musicians, including Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook, the Indigo Girls, FunDaMental, Ghostland, Abdel Ali Slimani, Toires, !Loca, Musafir, Sawt El Atlas, Franco Battiato, Juno Reactor, Dhol Foundation, Jah Wobble, Jaz Coleman, Apache Indian (on his chart hit Arranged Marriage), Mick Karn, Jean-Michel Jarre’s Millennium Night spectacular at the Pyramids, Jonathan Demme’s film The Truth About Charlie, and David Arnold’s film scores including Stargate and Die Another Day.
Natacha Atlas spent a lot of time in her father’s homeland, Egypt. There, she worked with members of Transglobal Underground and Egyptian musicians. Her album, Ayeshteni, was recorded and composed there.
In 2003, she released Something Dangerous, a solo album of contrasts and collaborations, in which she injected Middle Eastern music into UK pop, pulling in dance music, rap, drum’n’bass, R&B, Hindi pop, film music and French chanson.
On Something Dangerous (2003), Atlas not only combined more styles than ever, but for the first time on an Atlas album it featured guest vocalists, and more singing in English than she did before. There is a collaboration with English composer Jocelyn Pook (who, among other things, created the score for Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut), it has Atlas’ Arabic vocal lushly surrounded by Pook’s western classical orchestration for the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Another guest is West Indian Princess Julianna, whom Atlas met when they were both guesting with Temple of Sound.
On the Arabic side, Atlas used Abdullah Chhadeh and one of Egypt’s finest shaabi trumpet players, the late Sami El Babli (deceased in a car crash shortly after the recording), to whom the track is dedicated. Atlas and Sinead O’Connor, who last recorded together on John Reynolds’, Justin Adams’ and Caroline Dale’s 2002 Ghostland album, trade aphorisms in ‘Simple Heart”.
With Mish Maoul (MNTCD 1038), released in April 2006, Atlas’ career came full circle to touch base with her roots.
The new album returned to the music she grew up hearing in the Moroccan suburb of Brussels, particularly when the Golden Sound Studio Orchestra of Cairo makes its entrance. It also reunited her again with Temple of Sound’s Nick Page (aka Count Dubulah), with whom she first worked in Transglobal Underground and who helped produce her very first solo album Diaspora.
Global electronica artist Nick DeSimone, better known as Nickodemus, developed his skill as resident DJ for Giant Step-produced events in New York City from 1995 – 1999. Nickodemus provided support DJ sets for live concerts from Gil Scott Heron, Jazzmattazz, The Pharcyde, Mos Def & Kweli, KRS-One, Us 3, Thievery Corporation, Groove Collective, Pucho & the Latin Soul Brothers, Angelique Kidjo and Femi Kuti.
In 1998, Nickodemus became resident DJ and producer for Turntables on the Hudson (TOTH) – one of the first late night outdoor events in New York City. The party was known for its eclectic musical blend of funk, house, hip hop and soul played along with Latin, Afrobeat and Eastern European gypsy sounds.
The Turntables on the Hudson parties took place every Friday at the Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City, Queens overlooking Manhattan and the East River.
Nickodemus’ style is known for adding something a bit more musical and spiritual to the mix, incorporating real culture and social themes.
In 2009 he released Sun People, on Thievery Corporation’s label, ESL Music. Sun People was made with songs made for people who love the sun, sunshine and brighter days to come. Songs were inspired by various people Nickodemus met and places he visited, along with his collective feelings of optimism. “Sun People makes the best of every situation. When that sun peaks out in the sky, it’s another day to feel and do something positive,” says Nickodemus.
Sun People mixes positive sonic vibrations from various parts of the world, with collaborators from various countries, including Guinea, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Romania, India, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
Born in London in 1964, producer, keyboardist, guitarist and DJ Nitin Sawhney is one of England’s most creative producer/musicians. Sawhney has become a latter-day Renaissance man in the worlds of music, film, videogames, dance and theater.
He has remixed for Paul McCartney and Sting, written for Sinead O’Connor, and produced part of an album from Algerian rai star Cheb Mami. His own recordings are remarkable Anglo-Indian fusion creations.
Sawhney’s success has been unusual. After studying law at Liverpool University he joined his flatmate Sanjeev Bhaskar in creating a comedy double act, The Secret Asians, that spoofed British racial attitudes and undermined Indian stereotypes. It led to a BBC radio contract, and ultimately to the hit BBC TV comedy series, Goodness, Gracious Me.
Linking up with an old school friend, English acid-jazz keyboardist James Taylor, Sawhney joined his band, then quickly created his own group, The Jazztones. A collaboration with fellow Indian tabla/producer Talvin Singh, as The Tihai Trio, inevitably saw Sawhney linked with England’s emerging “Asian Underground” movement, a term Sawhney himself rejects.
On his album Prophesy, Sawhney utilizes the guest talents of world music icons Natacha Atlas, Trilok Gurtu, Cheb Mami and Mandawuy Yunupingu, amongst others, as well as a voice snippets from a Chicago cab driver, bluesman Terry Callier and Nelson Mandela. Carefully crafting the mix, Sawhney creates a smoothly seductive combination of pop, jazz, R&B, flamenco and sound collage.
Novalima is a collective of four Lima-based producers: Ramón Pérez Prieto, Rafael Morales, Carlos Li Carrillo and Grimaldo del Solar. They combine the rich musical traditions of Peru with subtle electronic textures, bass tones and drums. The result is a fascinating percussive framework that includes acoustic musical instruments along with cutting edge digital sounds.
Novalima uses traditional instruments such as the native cajón, quijada, and congas to compliment programmed beats, funk-inspired bass lines, and contemporary piano melodies.
The founders of Novalima became friends while in high school in Lima. The children of artists and intellectuals, Ramón, Grimaldo, Rafael and Carlos were well-educated and well-traveled, and while they grew up listening to the popular and folk music of Latin America, they also shared a fascination for rock, pop, reggae, salsa, dance and electronic music.
Novalima developed with the help of modern technology. The group came was formed parts of the world. From their homes in London, Barcelona, Hong Kong and Lima, they started emailing song ideas to each other. These long-distance experiments resulted in their 2002 debut album, the self-titled Novalima.
The reception to the album exceeded their wildest expectations, eventually reaching platinum sales status in Peru, and for their next album they invited more Afro-Peruvian musicians to join their recording sessions, including Nicomedes Santa Cruz, Lucila Campos, Lucha Reyes and Zambo Cavero,. The result was Afro, an album that was released worldwide in 2006 to remarkable acclaim and put Novalima on the international music map.
The founders of Novalima have since returned to Lima and invited some of their favorite Afro-Peruvian musicians to become permanent members of their band: Juan Medrano Cotito, Mangüe Vasquez, Milagros Guerrero and Marcos Mosquera, as well as Constantino Alvarez, a renowned local drummer and percussionist.
The partnership between the original cosmopolitan quartet and members of the Afro-Peruvian community has generated a lot of attention at home, principally because the divide between black and white in Peru has made these types of collaborations rare.
On their album Coba Coba, Novalima expanded on the formula they developed with their two previous recordings, while taking their fusion in new directions. The album’s title is derived from an Afro-Peruvian expression used to incite musicians, much like shouting “Go for it!” or “Take it!” to a musician in the midst of a great solo.
On Coba Coba, Novalima explores further into the African roots of Afro-Peruvian music, bringing in influences from its Afro-rooted musical cousins such as reggae, dub, salsa, hip-hop, afrobeat and Cuban son. They took a more organic approach this time around, and the songs more accurately reflected the live sound of the band, thanks to time spent working together as an actual band rather than a studio project.
The 2012 Karimba takes the listener on a trip through the history and travels of Afro-rooted music.