Northern France

Skolvan - Kerzh Ba'n' Dans / Entrez dans la Danse (1991)

«Créé en 1984, a été l'un des moteurs du renouveau de la musique bretonne. Cette période s'impose par le formidable travail de la part des musiciens pour la sauvegarde de la musique traditionnelle en Bretagne, patrimoine alors en péril. C'est dans ce contexte que Youenn Le Bihan tenta une expérience de groupe en invitant deux professeurs du conservatoire de musique traditionnelle de Ploemeur (violon et accordéon), ainsi que le guitariste Gilles Le Bigot. Skolvan est né avec son premier fest-noz le 14 avril 1984. Youenn Le Bihan créa dans la foulée son célèbre "Piston", inspiré du hautbois baroque, qui fait en grande partie l'originalité du "son" Skolvan.

En 1994, après trois album, Skolvan sort Swing & Tears qui sera désigné l'album de l'année en France, au Royaume Uni et au Portugal.
Parmi les invités figure Dominique Molard aux Percussions qui se joint finalement au groupe en 1996 développant ainsi la palette sonore et les couleurs rythmiques à travers les tablas, le cajon, la derbouka, le bodhran associés à la batterie.

En 1996, Skolvan revient avec une création, Gouel ha daeroù, réunissant chanteurs traditionnels et musiciens de jazz, unanimement applaudie par le public et la critique.

En 2000, Chenchet'n eus an amzer, leur dernier CD, traduit l'évolution musicale du groupe depuis l'arrivée, en 1997, de Bernard Le Dreau (saxophones). Au début de l'année 1999, Loig Troel (accordéon diatonique) intègre le groupe, en y apportant sa virtuosité et son énergie. Avec cette nouvelle formation se libèrent un nouveau son et un nouveau répertoire.

Unanimement reconnu aujourd'hui comme l'un des chefs de file de la musique actuelle, Skolvan s'impose par la beauté des thèmes (traditionnels, composés) et la richesse des arrangements associés à une rythmique très efficace consacrant à Skolvan une personnalité immédiatement reconnaissable.

Fort apprécié en Festou-Noz par les amateurs de danse, Skolvan propose également des formules de concerts.» (Skolvan.com – Biography also available in Italian & English)

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The Rough Guide to the Music of Brazil: Rio de Janeiro (2005)

«Cutting down the usual mass of music contained in any given Brazilian compilation, and following the more regional focus of the Bahia Rough Guide, this album covers the more urban music of Brazil — the samba, bossa nova, carioco, and so on. Some electronic samba opens the album, followed quickly by a rendition of a classic Gilberto Gil piece. Fusions of samba with electronica, bossa nova with funk, and MPB with soul and jazz make themselves heard here. The classic compositions of Jobim, Gil, Powell, and others also find their way in simultaneously. Some of the most interesting stuff here is the least standard for the area. Ed Motta sounds like an old Michael Jackson dance record, Beth Carvalho enhances an old piece with notions of "Over the Rainbow." The sounds aren't as contemporary as one might expect given the massive life in Rio currently, but there are some interesting pieces here that make a decent cross-stylistic set.» (AMG)

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Star Band Number One - N°2 de N°1 (2000)

«Number 2 de Number 1 is the second instalment in the Senegalese salsa/mbalax story of Star Band and Number One de Dakar. Number One were the main rivals to Orchestre Baobab in the 1970s. Both had similar sounds apart from the guitars. Baobab's Barthelemy Attiso is the consummate technician and plays quietly but his understated leads creep up on you till you are totally engulfed in his sound. Yahya Fall is more of a chancer: he uses dramatic effects so tube screamer and fuzz-tone pedals pop on when you least expect them and jarringly remind you of acid rock. Star Band are well-known for applying the traditional Wolof instruments sabar and talking drum to Cuban rumba rhythms. Yahya Fall joined the Star Band in 1970 but quit 6 years later, feeling he wasn't getting his due from bandleader Ibra Kassé. He left with other disgruntled musicians and they formed a new band called Starband Numero Un, claiming they had the original members aboard. But Ibra Kassé had the Minister of Internal Affairs on his side and the breakaway group were told to think of another name and leave Star Band alone. Thus they switched the Numero Un to English and became Number One de Dakar. Founder Pape Seck (beloved for his work with Africando) was chef d'orchestre. Other vocalists included Mar Seck and Nicolas Mennheim. Ali Penda Ndoye also joined on trumpet.

But don't expect slick New York-style salsa horn charts, these guys ain't the Fania All-Stars: they have their own ideas about horn playing so there is some very ragged (but charming) soloing on here. And the guitar work shimmers. […] These 15 musicians were the hottest thing going and it was some time before the remainder of the band, fronted by Youssou Ndour, came to rival and then surpass them, as Etoile de Dakar. Two of the five vocalists of Number One were heavily into salsa at the time. Years later one of them, Pape Seck, enjoyed the accolades of the world fronting Africando as a salsero in his final years. But back in the day, like they say, there was still the smoky guitar styling of Yakhya Fall to contend with and, with Mamane Fall on tama or talking drum, it was clear that mbalax was the wave of the future rather than Senegalese salsa. There's a three-man horn section (the trumpeter is the weakest member of the ensemble) and a good bass and rhythm guitar adding momentum to Yakhya's far-out trips.

The tracks are drawn from their third through seventh album releases. (one of the best tracks, #7, listed as "Ngomar," is actually "Lii Lumuy Nuru.") On Mar Seck's "Mory," the guitarist stomps his echo pedals and works out, feeding back and landing the Roland Space Echo, and trying out all the effects at once, over a haunting sustained 4-bar repeated groove punctuated by the tama.» (Muzikifan)

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Coffee Time

Cuarteto Patria & Manu Dibango - Cubafrica (1998)

«Founded by vocalist and maracas player Maria Emilia Garcia, guitarist Pancho Cobas and the group's first director, Francisco Coba La in 1939, Cuarteto Patria achieved international success after guitarist/tres player and lead vocalist Eliades Ochoa assumed leadership in 1978. Under the guidance of Santiago, Chile-born Eliades Ochoa, the group expanded its early bolero and criolla repertoire to include a dance-inspiring mix of son montuno, guaracha and guajira.

Although they released no albums prior to Ochoa's arrival, Cuarteto Patria has released four memorable albums since – A Una Coquesta in 1993, Se Salto Un Leon in 1995 and Cubafrica, recorded with Cameroon-born saxophonist Manu Dibango, in 1998. Released in September 2000, Tribute To The Cuarteto Patria celebrated the band's 60th anniversary.

Cuarteto Patria was featured on Ochoa's solo albums, including his masterpiece, Sublime Illusion, a Grammy nominee in the category of "Best traditional tropical and Latin performance of 1999."» (Craig Harris, AMG)

«This CD opens with a veritable chestnut, the Mexican "Cielito Lindo," played by an African saxophonist and a Cuban son ensemble. The vocals are a bit hokey, yet it works. The idea to get together and record disparate material was born at a gig in France in 1996, and the studio was arranged tout de suite. Dibango plays with restraint, sinuously weaving his warm tones in, under, around and over the by-now telepathically tuned-in-to-each-other players of Cuarteto Patria. On a few tracks, he mostly lays out; on others, his guitarist, Jerry Malekani, joins the proceedings, and the two of them bring in a more African feeling. A very enjoyable session, though not as essential or as ultimately satisfying as separate releases by the participants.» (Janet Rosen, AMG)

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Tamara Obrovac &Transhistria Ensemble - Daleko Je... (2006)

Many thanx to Mladen from Zagreb for this post!

«The composer singer and flutist Tamara Obrovac from the Croatian city of Pula is one of the most impressive artists on the Croatian music scene, and in the past few years she has become very popular due to the influence of the Istrian folk music that has been the creative force of her works. Istria is a beautiful Croatian region, a North Adriatic peninsula, particular for its musical and dialectal tradition. She writes lyrics in a local dialect and sings in an ancient dialect which is not spoken any more – the Istriotic dialect.

In addition to her international concert activities she composes for theatre performances, cartoons, movies, musicals, etc. and she is also a member of the international Balkan winds ensemble. Tamara has released four author CDs; 1996 Triade, 1998 Ulika, 2000 Transhistria, and with the last one Sve pasiva / All fades away, 2002, she remains true to her expression bound with her native Istria. Her international Transhistria Ensemble incorporates elements of Istrian and Mediterranean national music, jazz, and many elements of modern music skilfully and naturally, “the warm bowed and stringed instruments played by the excellent musicians from her current Transhistria Ensemble make up genuine musical mohair, warming and softening even the chilliest of souls.”

Her music, completely original and autochthonous, goes beyond time and geographical boundaries, thus becoming a universal artistic message, establishing Tamara Obrovac as an exceptional artist who managed to create her own unique musical expression.

This creative musician has become known for her highly aesthetic performances, her interpretations are suffused with spontaneity, inventive improvisation, freedom, humour and the ability to communicate with the audience, an artist of a strong persona, a life and artistic force able to enchant any audience; there is undeniably more than a few ways to define Tamara Obrovac. It’s like those who write about her are competing to produce the most extravagant discourse to describe her stroke.»

More info and complete biography in Croatian, English, Italian & French at:


“My approach towards music went from jazz standards, through my own compositions, to my finding of an original expression by connecting the language of the folk music of my homeland (Istria, Croatia) with the rhythms and improvisation typical for jazz, so jazz is my freedom and my roots are my inner truth” - Tamara Obrovac

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The Rough Guide to Bhangra (2001)

«The Rough Guide to Bhangra marks a milestone in the history of Bhangra by bringing together, for the first time ever, most of the key artists and labels onto one CD. Every track is a classic, no padding, no 'fillers', just hit after hit. You don't need to understand the words, just get the vibe.

From humble beginnings in the North Indian Punjab region, where Bhangra began as traditional folk music, the last half decade has seen it transported to Western Europe, a million miles away, to be missed with every music style non-Asian could throw at us: house, hip-hop, swing, reggae, drum'n'bass and UK garage. British Bhangra has merged with flying colours in its own styles. Bhangra music is now Britain's major Asian export, accounting for huge sales across the world notably in other parts of the scattered Asian diaspora.

What hasn't changed from the Punjabi villages, though, is that the music is still simply brilliant. Vibrant, colourful, entertaining and exhilarating, this music is built for dance with the dhol, the tumbi, the alagozi, the electric guitars and synths, the hook lines, catching lyrics, 'chak de pahtteys' and 'hoi hois' amid the dance moves – playful skipping, jubilant arm waving and expressive facial expressions.» (DJ Ritu, Red Hot Curry)

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Les Bantous de la Capitale - 1963-1969 (1993)

«Attention, groupe mythique! En effet, son histoire commence lorsque six musiciens, auteurs, compositeurs jouant dans diverses formations déjà réputées (Rock-A-Mambo, OK Jazz, Négro Jazz…) à Léopoldville – aujourd’hui, Kinshasa – rejoignent leur Brazzaville originel au début de l’indépendance.

C’est précisément le 15 août 1959 que se créent les Bantous de la Capitale qui ne tarderont pas à devenir l’emblème de cette époque cruciale de l’histoire du pays et les pionniers de la rumba congolaise. Après maintes séparations et re-formations, le groupe compte encore aujourd’hui dans ses rangs quatre des membres originaux.

Le quartet de doyens que constituent Nino Malapet, Essous Jean Serge, Nkouka Célestin et Edo Nganga est désormais renforcé par la présence de jeunes et moins jeunes artistes.

Plus qu’un groupe, les Bantous de la Capitale représentent également une véritable institution et une authentique tranche du patrimoine historique de la musique africaine en général et congolaise en particulier.» (Les Bantous de la Capitale’s MySpace Page)

Les Bantous de la CapitaleLive in Njimegen (Holland), 2007
More (beautiful!) pics and concert review at Vibes d’Afrique

«On the 15 August 1959, les Bantous de la capitale played their first concert in Brazzaville, one year exactly before independence was granted to the Republic of Congo. At that time, quite a lot of local music fans were surprised to discover that the famous musicians who had founded this ensemble actually ranked among their fellow countrymen.

At that time, Jean-Serge Essous, Dieudonné «Nino» Malapet, Saturnin Pandy, Edouard «Edo» Ganga, Célestin «Célio» Kouka and Daniel Loubelo «De la Lune» were the forerunners of a musical movement which was to turn the culture of Central Africa upside down.

On the other bank of the Congo river, in Léopoldville (present day Kinshasa, capital of former Zaïre, and of present day Democratic Republic of the Congo), they lit the spark which was to give birth to the very first urban orchestras, which in turn unleashed a craze for Congolese rumba which was to spread to the four corners of Africa and beyond. Suave voices, elegant guitars, sensual melodies and a discreet beat – this was the style which became a musical expression of the Pan African ideal borne of the struggle against colonialism.

In fact, the Bantous played an important role in the breakthrough of two formations which were to dominate the Kinshasa music scene, African Jazz and OK Jazz. After having followed the launch of the former, they created the latter – Essous and De la Lune became its band leaders.

Later, a compilation called Pont sur le Congo, featuring hits by OK Jazz and the Bantous side by side, was a clear record of this filiation creating a sonic chain linking «the two closest capitals in the world». Kinshasa has often been the focus of musical interest, often at the expense of Brazzaville and this compilation aimed to put the record straight. It also emphasised the unique and irreplaceable role of the Bantous de la capitale in pushing rumba into the limelight.

This is a long story which started one summer, 48 years ago […]» (Bureau Export, Read more)

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Yellow Cups

Yalla - The Beard of the Camel (1996)

Pop music from Uzbekistan! Maybe not a masterpiece, but a curious piece of music indeed!

«Yalla, the leading popular music group in the former Soviet central Asian republics, is from Tashkent – the capital of Uzbekistan, one of the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. The group, whose name is an Uzbek word for a song accompanied by dancing, has become a popular icon in Uzbekistan, frequently serving as cultural ambassadors to international festivals or meetings abroad.

The members of Yalla are graduates of the Ostrovsky Theatrical Art Institute and the Ashrafi State Conservatory in Tashkent. They are not Russian but Uzbek, a Turkic nationality from the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road. Their music incorporates traditional ethnic folk tunes and poetry of Uzbekistan and other Central Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, along with contemporary pop and dance influences, into a unique international blend. They perform songs in more than 10 languages, including Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, Nepalese and French as well as Uzbek and Russian.

Formed in the early 1970's, Yalla has appeared on Soviet national television as well as performing in Moscow and elsewhere in the Soviet Union, and on concert tours in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, including featured appearances at the "Voice of Asia" festival.

Yalla has been named "State Merited Chamber-Instrumental Ensemble" (a musical equivalent to poet laureate), and winner of the Lenin Komsomol Prize of Uzbekistan. Farrukh Zakirov, artistic director of Yalla and composer of many of their songs, was elected to Uzbekistan's national parliament.» (Imagina Productions)

More info on Beard of the Camel here

Full English review here

Interview in Russian here

«Yalla is Uzbekistan’s equivalent of the Beatles…» (Laurel Victoria Gray, founder of Uzbek Dance and Culture Society, USA)

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Putumayo Presents: Nuevo Latino (2004)

«This is the perfect chill disc to throw in your musical rotation. A mix and match grab bag of musical styles with one common thread; it's in a Latin groove. The artists span the globe which is what one comes to expect from Putumayo. The styles of music run the gamut of Latin exotica but with an edge of electronica that results in world beats with a modern attitude. It is very exciting to hear traditional music getting a musical makeover; it is music steeped in tradition with wings for the future. There are long established artists like Jarabe de Palo, Aterciopelados, Los de Abajo and Sergent Garcia but there is much more. Lesser known but not necessarily less talented artists abound for your discovery. Hey! That is what Putumayo is all about, discovery of cool music from elsewhere. Speaking of cool, all these tracks are way cool, especially "Mi Negra" which has that Manu Chao Clandestino multi-layered, percussive lush sound, punctuated by horns and quirkiness, the reggae-Cuban flavored "Original" by Kana and "El Indio" by Los de Abajo, which has a modern tropical feel to it and the ever-lovely voice of Andrea Echeverri from Aterciopelados on "Manana," where she invokes an electronica-driven sambaesque beat that has a retro-futuristic vibe that is pure nirvana. This is good music for relaxing late night and finishing off a good night, or anytime, for that matter. Highly recommended for world music aficionados.» (Amazon)

More info here

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Raquel Tavares - Raquel Tavares (2006)

«Raquel Tavares edita um disco homónimo, que marca a estreia de uma jovem fadista genuinamente lisboeta, que tem feito carreira em vários palcos nacionais e europeus e, sobretudo, escola na numa casa de fados lisboeta. A descobrir.

Aos 21 anos de idade, Raquel Tavares já venceu a Grande Noite do Fado, em 1997, e actuou em vários palcos nacionais (como o Café Luso) e europeus (Paris, Roma, Bolonha). Actualmente, é presença habitual numa das mais prestigiadas casas de fado lisboetas, a Casa Linhares.

Considerada por muitos como um valor incontornável do fado lisboeta, Raquel Tavares é acompanhada neste seu disco de estreia por Custódio Castelo (guitarra portuguesa), Jorge Fernando (viola), Filipe Larsen (viola baixo) e Diogo Clemente (viola, nos temas "Querer Cantar", "Trazer Pedaços de Mim" e "Fado Raquel"). […]

O disco contou com as colaborações de Jorge Fernando, na produção, e Jorge Clemente, na co-produção, sendo que ambos assinam também a composição e escrita de vários dos temas que integram o trabalho.

Raquel Tavares nasceu em Lisboa, no dia 11 de Janeiro de 1985 e é oriunda de uma família com ligação ao panorama musical da canção de Lisboa. Desde muito nova frequentava os "cantos" e "recantos" a que alguns poderão chamar de "gueto" ou as "tertúlias do fado". Os estudos levaram-na a outros caminhos, seguindo um percurso normal de educação e amadurecimento, até ao momento em que o "seu" destino a levou a decidir a sua vida e carreira.

Assim, regressou aos locais habituais do Fado, já com 18 anos de idade. Passou pelas casas de Fado "Café Luso", "Sr. Vinho", "Arcadas do Faia", "Adega Mesquita", "Adega Machado" e por fim integra o elenco da "Casa de Linhares"». (Attambur)

Raquel Tavares is on MySpace

For a Raquel Tavares’bio in English and Portuguese click here

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Info Note

Hello everybody!

For those who could not download I.K. Dairo's file: as you can see, now the links are working - sometimes it takes time to reupload the file (especially if it's a big one) on fileservers. So, please be patient:)

As for the Tapas Box, the Box.net Team says: "the account is currently out of bandwidth. Bandwidth normally resets at the first of the month, but sometimes takes longer. If you find its being used up quickly, it might be due to the size of the files being shared as well as the number of users downloading it.".

So, we'll probably have to wait . In the meantime, I'll try to reduce the amount of files in the Tapas Box, but I can't complain about having too many visitors...

But, let me know: if many of you are interested, I could make available for download a zipped collection of the latest tapas.


I.K. Dairo MBE & His Blue Spots - Definitive Dairo (1996)

«I.K. Dairo is often called The Father of Juju Music. In the 1950s and 1960's Juju was considered music of the 'poorer' people because it wasn't modern enough for the elite of the class-conscious Nigeria. After independence, I.K. Dairo was the chief reason Juju took off. In 1957 I.K. Dairo founded his band, the Morning Star Orchestra, later to become the Blue Spots. He incorporated rhythms from all over the country, and even introduced the accordian and slide guitar. Dairo's lyrical skills gave him a string of hit records. In 1963 Dairo received an MBE [Member of the Order of British Empire] for his achievements, the only African musician to ever hold such a title.» (African Music Encyclopedia)

« So influential and beloved was juju godfather I. K. Dairo in his home country of Nigeria, that in observance of the four-day wake following his February 1996 death, the government-run Nigerian broadcasting network played only songs by Dairo, and professional musicians agreed not to perform in public. This disc partly explains the reasons why in an unusual collection of shorter Dairo pieces clocking in at under 8:00, which is a mere eye-blink by juju standards. The radio-friendly lengths reveal lots of hooks, strong melodies, and catchy vocal parts along with arrangements that pack the maximum amount of variations into a limited space. It's A+ juju from start to finish from one of the greatest innovators in African music.» (AMG)

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Cara Dillon - Cara Dillon (2001)

«Born in 1975 and performing since the age of 14, Cara Dillon has created many opportunities with an almost angelic voice. Born in Dungiven, Ireland, Dillon won the All Ireland Singing Trophy at age 14. She also became vocalist for Oige, an Irish band in her area. In 1995, she became the vocalist for Equation, an Irish "folk super-group" that toured Europe and the Middle East. In July 2001, Dillon released her debut solo self-titled album on Rough Trade Records. She has worked with several musicians ranging from Phil Coulter to Mike Oldfield. She has also received critical acclaim in British music magazines and in 2001 received two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, one for Best Newcomer (Horizon Award) and the other for Best Traditional Track.

Although this is her debut offering, Cara Dillon sings with a confidence yet fragility way beyond her years. From the Irish traditional lilt on “Donald of Glencoe” to the gentleness of Craigie Hill, the singer has a very distinct delivery that is greatly enhanced by a sparse arrangement that has an almost ethereal result. There is also an earthy quality to her voice, which is indicative of her traditional Celtic roots. “The Lonesome Scenes of Winter” is perhaps the highlight of the record, with a simple lullably-like melody about love and foreseeable marriage. Although there are certain areas which are slightly overproduced, the general feeling of purity isn't lost from start to finish. What is very attractive though about the album is how the songs have a lot of empty space within, allowing various instrumentation to come to the fore. The closing and longest track, “I Am A Youth That's Inclined To Ramble”, is very poignant and bittersweet. This album is hopefully a sign of things to come from a true gem.» (AMG)

Cara Dillon Live in Italy (Photo: Radu)

«With her self-titled debut album, Derry-born Cara Dillon joins the ever-growing band of young singers producing traditional albums that sit equally well with a more mainstream audience. Having shone in, and then left, the hapless Equation, Dillon has struck out with musical partner Sam Lakeman (and this is essentially a duo album in all but name) to stunning effect. The material featured is all traditional in source and performed to a largely acoustic backing, plus Lakeman's rolling piano and the odd inspired moment of electricity. Dillon has a voice that sets her apart from the more traditional singers, at times sounding as if she should be fronting a dreamy guitar band rather than a folk group. She handles the songs expertly, however, combining originality and understanding to perfection. And while to group her with Kate Rusby (another Equation alumni) and Bill Jones may appear an obvious thing to do, it is these three young women who are producing the sort of folk music that will keep the fire burning long into the 21st century.» (Amazon)

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Super Biton - Belle Époque (1999)

«Biton Coulibaly was the founding member of the Segou Bambara empire. This explains why he gave his name to Mali’s most representative Bambara music orchestra. This pentatonic music style with mesmerizing rhythms is very different from the Malenké music Western countries have discovered through Salif Keita or Kassemady Diabaté.

The Super Biton was formed just after Mali became indipendent. It was the result of three bands getting together: La Renaissance, Ségou Jazz and the Alliance Jazz. Under the direction of its founder member trumpet player Amadou Bâ, the band soon became the standard bearer of Bambara music. […] Super Biton owes its success to the warm mesmerizing rhythms of Bambara music, which is a lot easier to dance to than Malenké music.

In addition to the rhythms, one cannot but add a word about the efficient arrangements of the brass section and guitars, and Mamadou Doumbia’s voice. […]» (From the liner notes)

Click here for more info.

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Amman at Night (Jordan)

Pat Metheny - One Quiet Night (2004)

«Pat Metheny by himself with an acoustic guitar – for longtime fans it might not get any better. Always interested in blending jazz with folk and pop, the guitarist does just that, focusing heavily on the folk end of things on One Quiet Night. Featuring a nice afterglow interpretation of Norah Jones' hit "Don't Know Why" and an unexpected reinterpretation of "Ferry Cross the Mersey" which turns the Gerry & the Pacemakers classic into a poignant lament, the album also showcases Metheny as a melodic pop composer. "Song for the Boys" sounds surprisingly like an instrumental take on early-'80s British pop à la the Smiths, while "Last Train Home" brilliantly mixes Metheny's knack for taking simple chord progressions and beautifully tweaking them with odd harmonies. Perhaps a bit light for some straight-ahead jazz fans, listeners interested in thoughtful, folky, jazz-inflected ballads will find this rapturous.» (AMG)

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El Bicho - El Bicho VII (2007)

«Elbicho VII is Elbicho’s third album. Two years after their last album and with two golden discs in their pocket, the seven members of Elbicho (hence the name of the album), are back with their peculiar brand of flamenco fusion. 15 new tracks, with a special appearance by Bebe. A new and fresh approach that mixes rumbas, tangos and bulerías with jazz, rock and African and Moroccan rhythms. Their anarchic and visionary spirit pleases as much as their music. Their third album is intense and full of nuances where the group show that they are still very much inspired.» (EsFlamenco)

«Elbicho ha le idee chiare. Sette giovani (due di Madrid, cinque di Alicante e nessuno dell'Andalusia), che offrono una proposta differente con una sola parola d'ordine che ne testimonia l'esclusiva identità: una dedizione in diretta e senza pause che coniuga tanghi, seguidiglie o bulerie tra note di jazz e ritmi afro in una perfetta esecuzione musicale. È impossibile resistere all'incanto, al carisma e all'energia della voce di Miguel Campello, un vero "animale da palcoscenico", alla chitarra creativa di Víctor Iniesta, alle profonde note del basso elettrico di Carlos Tato, alla maestria nelle percussioni di David Amores unita alla contundenza di Toni Mangas alla batteria. Infine, al flauto di Juan Carlos Aracil e alla tromba di Pepe Andreu, entrambi di recente incorporazione. “Un concerto è l'insieme delle sensazioni vissute da tutti e sette durante l'intero giorno. Non vogliamo strafare, diamo quello che ci consente il corpo e siamo aperti a quello che ci chiede il pubblico. E' una esibizione molto sincera.” Per questo, Elbicho non è quel tipo di gruppo che firmerebbe un contratto di 24 concerti in un mese. “Amiamo approfittare al massimo dei luoghi, del pubblico e del nostro lavoro, preferendo la qualità alla quantità”. Da due anni questo gruppo, che nacque da incontri casuali nella Scuola di Musica Popolare del grande Guillermo McGill, si esibisce nelle sale madrilene e suona per le strade delle zone di Lavapiés, del Rastro e della Plaza Mayor di Madrid. Nessuno si poteva immaginare che quasi senza provini e grazie solamente al passaparola, nel giugno del 2003, il gruppo Elbicho riuscisse a mettere in circolazione il suo primo disco…» (ElBicho.itcontinua)

Many thanx to Guillermija for this post!

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Miró - The World in Maps

A video for Miró by Chris Draper. It was made in 1990-91? at the time of the 1st Iraq conflict and was released as a 7" single and film... (More info here)

Miró - Angel N1 (1990)

Some time ago, an anonymous reader (thanx!) left a link for the first Miró album in the comments section of my first Miró post, devoted to their beautiful The Divine E.P. Since it’s a very nice album, worthy of your attention, I thought it deserved a post of its own.

«Roderick "Roddie" I. Harris (v,g), nato nel 1963 da madre spagnola e padre inglese, influenze che vanno dalla Incredible String Band agli Status Quo, da Jacques Brel ai Clash, da Erik Satie a Scott Walker e a Marc Bolan, dopo varie esperienze in gruppi punk e rock […] nella seconda metà degli ‘80 riapre alla musica il Troubadour Cafè, un club che dall'inizio dei ‘60 alla prima metà dei ‘70 aveva visto nomi come Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello e tanti altri calcare il suo piccolo palco. Ben presto, il Troubadour diventa un luogo di ritrovo per tutti gli artisti emergenti della nuova scena acustica londinese. […] Uno dei nuovi gruppi più interessanti è quello dei Dinner Ladies, in cui suona anche Julia Palmer, violoncellista con esperienze di conservatorio ma anche con Sadista Sisters e Hollywood Beyond. […] Già dalla fine del 1988, Julia si unisce sempre più spesso alla nuova band di Roddie Harris, i Miró, nati nel marzo dello stesso anno dalle ceneri degli Harvey. All'inizio dell'89, i Miró si ampliano con l'inserimento in pianta stabile della Palmer e l'aggiunta di Richard Kirstein (cl,v) e Julian Jackson, violinista che aveva suonato anche con Darryl Way e Sonja Kristina, mentre alle percussioni si alternano Mark Louis Waldman, Pablo Cook e Fat Eddie. Alla fine dello stesso anno, con la produzione dell'ex-Metro Sean Lyons, viene inciso l'ottimo Angel N1. L'album, viene accolto molto bene dalla critica inglese (NME e Folk Roots su tutti), ma colpisce nel segno soprattutto in Italia, dove i Miró vengono praticamente adottati da stampa e pubblico…» (Continua)

For a Miró fansite in English, click here

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Vincent Delerm - Vincent Delerm (2002)

«Dans la lignée un peu bancale de son père écrivain qui s’attache à la description minutieuse et drôle des petits plaisirs quotidiens, Vincent chante les drames familiers de l’existence. Il se situe lui-même dans la lignée d’une tradition qui évolue avec le temps, celle de la chanson à textes estampillée "rive gauche". Sa devise ? Trouver la légèreté en chaque chose…» (Lisez plus)

«In the almost pure tradition of his writer father who is attached to the meticulous and funny description of daily pleasures, Vincent sings about the familiar dramas of life. He situates himself in the tradition which evolves with time, that of songs with lyrics stamped "rive gauche" (the left bank-hippie, left-wing). His motto? Look for the bright side in everything...» (Read more)

Per una recensione in italiano, cliccate qui

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