All posts by SpinTheGlobe

Scott Stevens produces Spin the Globe, a global music show airing weekly on KAOS 89.3 FM in Olympia, Washington, USA. www.earball.net/spintheglobe

Terrakota Is Recording its New Album in Dakar

Dakar, Senegal – Portuguese world music band Terrakota is recording its new album in Xippy Studios in Dakar-Senegal. The recording will be released in May on Zonamusica. The band is already confirmed to play at Rock-In-Rio Lisboa, at the world music stage, alongside Angelique Kidjo, The Klezmatics and Manecas Costa on May 30.Terrakota is a collective that came about after many a journey and quest.
Seven young musicians took to the road, and the many meetings and adventures
they had, turned them into Terrakota. This is how they describe their music: “Terrakota
is a crucible for organic music that has African roots but feeds on sounds from
the Sahara, the Caribbean, India and the West, all this while basking in the
Jamaican sun
“.

Share

A Musical Kaleidoscope from Hungary

Kiss Erzsi Music - Deladela
Kiss Erzsi Music – Deladela
Kiss Erzsi Music

Deladela (Bahia Music)

Kiss Erzsi Music makes fresh sounds in an irresistable kaleidoscope of musical
styles, topped sparkling vocals. Led by actor/singer Erzsi Kiss, the Hungarian
group has a remarkable knack for engaging rhythms, from the Middle-Eastern
flavor of the title track, to the hard-driving indie-rock sound of “Arö” to the
funky syncopated vocals of “Án Ájrere.”

Deladela is full of delightful surprises and genre-defying sounds. “Uuu,” for
example, begins with base and spare drums under a hypnotic vocal line that bears
the potential of jazz, or maybe punk.. Then the full instrumentation kicks in
with vocal harmonies, then some wild jazz drumming and a rap (or is it scatting?)
– and you’re left thinking: “How wonderful! What the heck is it?” The puzzled
wonderment continues into the next track, “Okatummate” an a capella delight of
multilayered female voices. And a complete change of pace comes with “Francia,”
a soft chanson with smooth French vocals, guitar and bass.”The unifying force in our music,” Erzsi Kiss said in a recent interview, “is language – a language which actually has no real meaning. It’s difficult to explain what this is – I’d call it a sort of musical language, because it’s born out of the laws that govern music, which can’t be ignored.”

Deladela concludes with one last flavor in the song “Reggae,” featuring a Jamaican beat but the same powerful, reedy, vocal harmonies. Kiss Erzsi Music will appeal to listeners across musical boundaries – any open-minded, adventurous music lover will return to this magical CD again and again. If, indeed, it ever leaves your CD player at all.

Kiss Erzsi Music is Erzsi Kiss (vocals), Gabi Kenderesi (vocals), Anna Szandtner
(vocals), Csaba Hajnóczy (guitar), Arpád Vajdovich (guitar, bass guitar) and
Hunor G. Szabó (drums). Five full songs are available for download at http://www.wizart.hu, including two songs from the 12-track CD and three live tracks: “Uuu,” “Tundirin,” and “Wattama Du.”

Share

A Rare Taste of Kenya

Jabali Afrika - Rootsganza
Jabali Afrika – Rootsganza
Jabali Afrika

Rootsganza (Converge Records, 2003)

Only a tiny amount of Kenyan music has made it to the US market, despite a great musical diversity in this country of 31 million people of 47 ethnicities. I won’t attempt to summarize Doug Patterson’s detailed account of Kenyan music , but suffice it to say that this is only the third Kenyan CD I’ve actually laid my hands on, and one of the others is oud music recalling Kenya’s time under Arabic rule.

Jaliba is Kiswahili for “rock” – not the musical genre, but the conglomerated mineral, specifically a large rock upon which band members used to meet. And their music is founded upon the African rock of rhythm blended with vocal harmony.

Opening Rootsganza is “Amatingalo,” a broad tribute Africa. Growly male voices run through the countries singing “viva Kenya…Uganda…Tanzania…Zimbabwe….” You get the idea. The singing isn’t polished, but it fits beautifully with the variety of songs about country, family, and love. Following the funky drumming of “Percussion Discussion” is “Sweetness (Utamu),” a beautifully harmonized a capella choral song. The piano-and-strings ode to motherhood “Letter to Mama,” is sweet nearly to the point of sappiness, with the refrain “Sweet mama, Super woman / I love you forever.”

There’s plenty of variety in the 16 tracks, including lead vocals by sweet-voiced Lois Mutua on “Forever Young” and “Nabhangu.” Making a social comment on joblessness and police brutality is the Caribbean-flavored “Eastlands Yard,” while “Grandma’s Milk Gourd” simmers with Afro-beat energy. Jabali Afrika is now based on the US east coast, so keep an eye out for live shows. Sitting on a festival lawn soaking in these warm, loose sounds would complete a summer’s evening. Or just pop in this CD for a rare glimpse of Kenyan tunes.

(c) 2003 Scott Allan Stevens, Earball Media

Share

Baikouba Badji and Modibo Traore – Babu Casamance!

Baikouba Badji and Modibo Traore

Babu Casamance! (Cafe Tilibo, 2003)

Modibo Traore has a mission. Visit his website and you’ll notice an emphasis on leprosy prevention as much as on his new CD. A dollar from each CD sold returns to Senegal for leprosy and sustainability projects. And the title track “Babu Casamance!” was recorded at a leprosy village in Teubi, Casamance. This CD completes a circle for Traore, who learned traditional songs as a youth by assisting with ceremonies, then pounding out the rhythms on his homemade tin-can drums with plastic heads. Now based in Seattle, Traore returned to Senegal in January 2003 to play and record with the people of Casamance and master bougarabou player Saikouba Badji of Gambia.

Close your eyes and you’ll find yourself under a shade tree in midday, or around a fire late at night, soaking in the rhythm, the clapping, the group singing. The recordings by Rebecca Zimmer are wonderfully clean and crisp, but the liner notes remind that the musicians are not professionals-special thanks are extended to the musicians who gave up valuable time away from their jobs to participate. Except for translations of song titles, no song details are included. But the titles alone convey a variety of real-life themes: “Father gave me a need to dance,” “Man is tired,” “She wants peanut sauce,” and “Shake it!” An authentic aural slice of rural African life, this music will transport you to a village far away, where people make wonderful music about familiar concerns.

Share

WOMAD USA 2003 officially cancelled

WOMAD-logoCiting "insurmountable visa issues" caused by world events, organizers of WOMAD USA officially cancelled the festival for 2003.

"Given current world events, which is causing insurmountable visa issues, WOMAD USA will not be taking place at Marymoor Park or any other location in the United States in 2003," WOMAD artistic director Thomas Brooman said.

His statement was issued by The Workshop, a local company under contract to produce the world music festival in Redmond’s Marymoor Park, just east of Seattle.

WOMAD USA, the only WOMAD festival in North America, was also canceled last year because of visa problems, as well as the economic downtown, despite assurances by WOMAD officials that the festival would be an ongoing event. The festival was last held at Marymoor in 2001.

Share