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«Originally, Mich was interested in Fine Arts and went to the College of Art to learn Theatre Painting. Attracted by the visual effect of the double bass he decided to buy it just to have one of these wooden sculptures at home, and began playing around on it a little bit. He soon found out that he liked the vibe of the double bass and his fascination for this instrument grew. He played it more and more until he decided to go to a conservatory after he finished his education as a theatre painter. After his graduation from the conservatory in 1983 he played a few years in the classical Symphony Orchestra of Bern. He then left to play in various bands, experiencing all manner of styles from improvised music to Jazz, free Jazz, from Rock onto hardcore, and then in an Avant-garde classical orchestra with hardcore tendencies. Then at that point he made up his mind to pursue a solo career. Mich had developed quite an unusual style for a double bassist. His debut album, Mystery Bay, was filled with melancholic, middle eastern sounding melodies interspersed with smooth techno beats as well. His second album and his most recent Amor Fati melts tradition into modernity by melding the sounds of the double bass with DJ 'scratching'.» (Global Bass, read the interview)
Another exhaustive profile here
Official site (de/en/fr): http://www.michgerber.ch/
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«Per una giornata come quella odierna [25 aprile 2005] non c’è colonna sonora migliore di quella offerta dai Modena City Ramblers. La band guidata da Cisco Bellotti sin dagli esordi aveva manifestato la necessità della memoria, soprattutto nei confronti della Liberazione, attraverso canzoni a tema, o riproposizioni di canti partigiani come “Bella Ciao”. E proprio da “Bella Ciao” parte il nuovo “Appunti partigiani”, album che l’ensemble emiliano ha realizzato con un nutrito gruppo di ospiti e amici. E così le note del canto della resistenza per eccellenza si contaminano con i suoni balcanici dell’orchestra di Goran Bregovic, in un percorso sincretico decisamente interessante. All’appello non può mancare “Auschwitz”, conosciuta anche come “Canzone nel bambino nel vento”, cavallo di battaglia dei Nomadi, e qui proposta insieme al suo autore, vale a dire Francesco Guccini, che la interpreta al suo solito, con quella “erre” carica della tristezza e disperazione che la canzone vuole giustamente (ri)evocare. “Oltre il ponte” vede la partecipazione di Moni Ovadia, mentre la Bandabardò ha il compito di contribuire a rendere spumeggiante “I ribelli della montagna”, in un percorso sonoro irripetibile con i Modena, caratterizzato da venature celtiche. Dal repertorio di Fabrizio De Andrè arriva “La guerra di Piero”: la voce ospite in questo caso è quella di Piero Pelù. Il pezzo viene presentato in un arrangiamento piuttosto scarno ed essenziale, con chitarre elettriche sullo sfondo a sottolineare l’ambientazione bellica. I Modena City Ramblers ripropongono anche “Al Dievel” (era inclusa ne “La grande famiglia”) in coppia con il coro della Mondine di Novi (Modena). Ma la vera sorpresa è “All You Fasciscts” cantata insieme al re del rock progressista inglese, vale a dire Billy Bragg: mai una collaborazione di questo tipo poteva essere più appropriata, soprattutto in un momento in cui la musica si deve porre la necessità di ricordare ai giovani che 60 anni fa in Italia si è verificato un momento storico importante, che ha segnato l’avvento della democrazia, e la sconfitta del regime fascista. Modena e Casa del Vento propongono una bellissima versione di “Notte di San Severo”, mentre ne “Il sentiero” i Modena si ritagliano uno spazio tutto per loro, con l’unico inedito dell’album. Bunna degli Africa Unite contribuisce a rendere reggaeggiante “Il partigiano John”, che però non perde la venatura rock, mentre Fiamma presta la sua voce delicata ne “L’unica superstite”. Il finale è tutto pieno di sorprese: il comico Paolo Rossi offre il suo contributo per una energica “Spara Jurij” (ricordate i C.C.C.P.?), trasformata da punk rivoluzionario a canto folkloristico della resistenza, e non stona per tematica e ambientazione, pur essendo stata concepita negli anni ’80. I marchigiani Gang con “La pianura dei sette fratelli” e Ginevra Di Marco con “Pietà l’e’ morta” riscaldano l’ascoltatore al punto giusto per il pezzo finale. Ed infatti a chiusura di “Appunti partigiani” arriva una “Viva l’Italia” di Francesco De Gregori, che vede alternarsi alle voci, tra gli altri, Ginevra Di Marco, Piero Pelù, Morgan, Bunna, Marino Severini (Gang). La canzone di De Gregori, uscita nel 1979 e contenuta nell’album omonimo, può essere considerata un po’ la canzone simbolo del CD, oltre ad essere uno dei brani più amati dal mondo di sinistra. Perché questa canzone inizia e si chiude proprio con i richiami alla Liberazione (“Viva l’Italia, l’Italia liberata”) e alla resistenza (“Vita l’Italia, l’Italia che resiste”). “Vita l’Italia” è la frase che pronunciavano tanti partigiani prima di morire, o ancora scritta nelle tante lettere spedite nel corso della resistenza. In mezzo ci sono tanti fatti della storia italiana, come il terrorismo (“L’Italia con gli occhi asciutti nella notte scura / viva l’Italia l’Italia che non ha paura”) e la strage di piazza Fontana (“L’Italia del 12 dicembre”). E poi ci sono quell’“Italia che resiste” e quel “Viva l’Italia tutta intera” che in tempi recenti hanno reso la canzone incredibilmente sempre più attuale (il “resistere, resistere, resistere” pronunciato dal giudice Borrelli e l’avvento della Lega). Per questo la canzone di De Gregori nella versione corale offerta dai musicisti in questo nuovo lavoro dei Modena City Ramblers rappresenta un punto di raccordo tra la memoria storica e il futuro, un invito a non dimenticare e soprattutto a non mollare anche di fronte a proposte che vorrebbero far scomparire la festa del 25 aprile e riconoscere pari dignità ai repubblichini della Repubblica sociale di Salò.» (Musicalnews)
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In questo universo dadaista, violento e passionale, intrallazzone e generoso […] durar è un’impresa eroica. Sicché Luambo Makiadi Lokanga La Dju Penè François, alias “Franco”, fa parte dei miti. esordisce negli anni ’50 sulle orme del chitarrista zairese Tino Barosa, mago dello stile patengué, un compromesso tra pachanga (post cha-cha-cha) e merengue (salsa dominicana), poi firma una rumba dal ritmo rapido, la famosa rumba odemba, arricchita di elementi folkloristici e pompata da una tecnica di chitarra che ricama su due note intorno a un tema che prima veniva dato dalla kalimba tradizionale, una sanza locale. Per affrontare l’impresa, Franco si serve di un pezzo da novanta, l’OK Jazz […] un ensemble con cui questo figlio del Basso Congo immagina una combinazione di ritmi locali e influenze cubane su uno sfondo di loquacità popolare che partorirà decenni di grandi successi. […]
Nel 1965 una “rogna” politico-finanziaria manda al tappeto la giovanissima orchestra; Franco salva gli strumenti dagli artigli dei creditori e fa rinascere il complesso con il nome di TPOK Jazz, da “Tout-Puissant OK Jazz” (“Onnipotente OK Jazz”), un modo per affermare un’ambizione smodata. Questa rinascita segna l’inizio di un’incredibile competizione con altre formazioni, in particolare quella dell’Africa Fiesta National guidata dall’estroso Tabu-Ley Rocherau, erede stilistico del grande Kabaselé. […]
Tuttavia, la longevità del successo di Franco è dovuta al suo talento di cronista della vita sociale e alla sua verve satirica […] molte sue canzoni testimoniano una propensione alla morale che seduce il pubblico popolare. […] Franco […] è di fibra plebea. Attraverso i suoi avi tetela, ngombé e ngoma incarna una percezione meticciata del mondo congolese. Un vissuto che gli permette di cantare fuori dai denti il rigore di una società travagliata dalla cupidigia dei potenti, dalla crisi economica, dall’onnipresente bustarella […] una società di cui si perdono i valori. […]» (Frank Tenaille, Lo swing del camaleonte, Epoché, pp. 69-73)
«Of all the fabled dance bands in Africa, OK Jazz stand out for the quality of music, the quantity of output and their pan-African influence. The band was pre-eminent in African music for more than 30 years, linking the first generation of Congo rumba with the later exuberance of Zairean soukous.
This great musical institution [which was to become known as 'l'academie de la musique congolaise moderne'], was founded on June 6, 1956 when Franco, 'De la Lune' Daniel Lubelo (rh.gtr), Jean Serge Essous (sax), Bosuma Dessouin (conga), Pandi Saturnin (perc), Landot Philipe 'Rossignol' (vcl) Roitelet Munganya (bass) and some friends played their first dance under the name of OK Jazz in Kinshasa (Leopoldville).
The musicians were all session players at Loningisa studios where they had been tutored and directed by the guitarist Henri Bowane. As well as playing in the house band, Bana Loningisa (Loningisa Boys), most had released 78rpm records and had already scored several hits before they started as a gigging band. When they recorded these tracks later in 1956, the singers Vicky Longomba and Edo Nganga had joined. The following year, Antoine Armando Brazzo added his guitar accompaniment.
Franco had joined Loningisa in 1953 at the age of 15, initially playing with Dewayon and the Watam band. “At the time I was skinny, just a kid who played guitar which we called Libaku ya nguma (a hollow-bodied electrified guitar known as a 'lucky break') and the guitar was bigger than me.” He made such an impression that he was signed to a 10-year contract. Franco became Congo's first true pop star, sponsored to model clothes, endorsing products and enjoying a huge fan club. Musicians contracted to the record label were not supposed to work outside studio time, but in 1956 the Loningisa boys formally organised themselves into a working band, sponsored by Oscar Kashama, owner of the OK Bar. They still recorded under the names of individual members, while accompanists were also credited, sometimes as 'ensemble OK Jazz'.
Track 1, En Entre OK, On Sort KO, was a theme song and slogan for the band in which all the members are introduced. Considering its content, this can be counted as the debut release of Africa's greatest orchestra. Subsequent releases came regularly every few weeks, although the band's personnel shifted frequently. A major reshuffle occurred in 1957 but, throughout many upheavals and power struggles, Franco became established as the accepted leader. Loningisa closed down before Congo's independence in 1960, but OK Jazz evolved into a massive organisation and Franco' s personal reputation was never equalled. Throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s, OK Jazz was the yardstick for African dance music. And this is where it all started.» (Retroafric, read more)
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To learn (and listen!) more about this amazing band, search for their Berekis album here on Babe(b)logue. Otherwise, you can read the interview with Bpk Ismet Ruchimat from Sambasunda realised in January 2002 by Judith Shelley on behalf of Inspirasi Magazine and Suara Indonesia Radio Show BayFM.
A good starting point to dig the most recent developments in Indonesian music could be New Music from Indonesia, a weekly, 15-minute podcast covering the music scene in Indonesia, available here.
Enjoy the Salsa and the «Salse»!
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Tra il 1950 e il 1960 la musica dei due Congo (Congo Brazzaville e Congo Léopoldville) vive un momento cardine della sua storia. Nelle capitali e su entrambe le rive del grande fiume collegate dal traghetto nasce una musica che aggrega danze e canti rurali tradizionali, ritmi dell’Africa occidentale (high-life) o europei (come la polka pizzicata), influenze di fanfare dei coloni e canti di cori religiosi. I gruppi si moltiplicano intorno agli spacci di bevande, i congo-bar, e nasce un’industria musicale. L’elettrificazione degli strumenti, l’influenza del jazz e della musica importata dai Caraibi fanno nascere il famoso crogiolo musicale dell’Africa centrale, la cui figura di spicco sarà proprio il «Tino Rossi congolese».
In questo contesto, la nascita dell’orchestra African Jazz, dove Kabaselé ha coinvolto i suoi amici d’infanzia, rappresenta l’atto fondatore di un’estetica nuova: l’orchestra sarà il simbolo del cambiamento radicale della musica, ieri ampiamente legata a rituali collettivi, oggi finalizzata all’intrattenimento. L’importanza degli African Jazz consiste nel fatto che portano alla luce i gusti latenti di un pubblico cittadino in rotta con le abitudini di campagna, esprimono il multiculturalismo delle etnie presenti nella capitale e rielaborano le influenze straniere, in particolar modo quelle cubane (rumba, pachanga, cha-cha-cha), di cui Kabaselé è appassionato. […]» (Frank Tenaille, Lo swing del camaleonte, Epoché, pp. 17-18)
«Most of the great Afropop styles have grown out of a joining of urban and rural ideas, of indigenous roots and foreign borrowings. The story of Congolese pop music provides a complex and powerful example. By the closing years of the Belgian Congo, the city of Leopoldville (today's Kinshasa) was a place where city boys plucked out highlife songs on box guitars, phonographs and radios played the latest mambo and son hits from Cuba, and people from deep in the Congo's remote, culturally rich interior came to seek opportunity. Pop bands mainly existed to entertain the white elite, and played imitations of foreign music. The Cuban music, with African (including Congolese) rhythmic ideas at its heart, was naturally familiar and attractive to local musicians and listeners. So when musicians in Leopoldville began to make electric pop music for themselves, that music provided an obvious starting point.
Greek-run record labels (Ngoma, Olympia, and Opika) were the first to produce local records during the 1940s. But by the time African labels, Loningisa, and later Veve, entered the game, something had happened to the music. The Cuban piano parts had been adapted to guitars, and in the process, the cycling, polyrhythmic qualities of traditional Congo music, especially that of the sanza hand piano, had changed the colour of the guitar parts. Gradually, guitar would emerge as the dominant melodic and harmonic instrument in Congo bands. The biggest bands in the 1970s and 80s would typically feature three guitars, and sometimes as many as five, all playing different, interlocking parts.
Vocalists sang in Lingala, a composite language developed during the years when the Belgians used labourers of diverse ethnicities to build a cross-continental railroad. The language had a warm, liquid flow, and the singers were excellent soloists and harmonists. When the Belgian Congo became an independent, nation in 1960, the new capital, Kinshasa, was alive with a beautiful, new hybrid sound unlike anything else in the world.
Joseph Kabasele (a.k.a. Le Grand Kalle) and his band African Jazz heralded independence with the song "Independence Cha Cha." Kalle had a sweet, pure solo voice that inspired many imitators. But major credit for the band's massive popularity also goes to guitarist Nicolas "Dr Nico" Kasanda, a descendent of the Luba people of central Zaire like many of Congolese music's great contributors. […]» (Afropop, read the full story)
«Joseph Kabasele Tshamala was born 1930, Matadi, Zaire. The father of modern Zairean music, Kalle's earliest musical experiences were as a member of the church choir in his home town of Matadi. Moving to Kinshasa in 1950, he worked with Orchestre De Tendence Congolaise, a band that specialized in acoustic polka and mazurka rhythms, derived from records brought to the country by colonial settlers. In 1953, keen to develop a genuinely Congolese style, he formed African Jazz, based on the Afro-Cuban tradition and in particular the rumba, samba and cha cha, all played in a distinctively Congolese fashion. Over the years, the group included many of the future stars of Zairean music, including Dr. Nico and Tabu Ley, and provided a training ground for the next generation of Zairean musicians.» (PanafricanAllstars)
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«“Both China Forbes and I come from multicultural families,” says founder and pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale, “and all of us in the band have studied different languages and music from different parts of the world. So inevitably, because everyone in the band contributes in the writing and arranging of songs, the repertoire is wildly diverse. At one moment, you feel like you’re in the middle of a samba parade in Rio de Janeiro, and in the next moment, you are suddenly in a French music hall of the 1930s or in a palazzo in Napoli. It’s like an urban musical travelogue.” “We’re very much an American band, but we spend a lot of time abroad, in Europe, in Turkey, in Lebanon and therefore have the incredible opportunity to represent a different kind of America through our repertoire and our concerts – that is, an America which is the most heterogeneously populated country in the world – comprised of people from every country, every language, every religion.” “One of our goals is to make music which has broad appeal to people, no matter who they are or where they come from. We play the same set of music wherever we go, whether it’s in a small farming community in Oregon or in France or Turkey or with a symphony orchestra. My hope is that we’re creating music which can be turned up or down, and played on almost any occasion, from background music of a love affair to vacuuming around the house,” Lauderdale says.» (From the band’s Official Site)
Pink Martini lyrics here
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The music of Farmers Market is a mixture of Bulgarian folk music, jazz standards, popular music and humor. Farmers Market has become one of Norway's most popular live bands, playing at all kinds of venues and festivals: jazz, folk and rock. Farmers Market released their first CD, "Speed/Balkan/Boogie", in February 1995. This was a live recording from Molde International Jazzfestival 1994. The CD features 4 guests from Bulgaria; two singers from the women's choir "Lés mystére dés Voix Bulgares" (now known as "Angelite"), and two folk musicians.
The first Farmers Market saxophonist, Håvard Lund, left the band during fall of 1995 and the band had to look to Bulgaria to get a replacement. Through friends they got in touch with Trifon Trifonov. After an audition over the telephone (..!) he joined the band December 1995.
In 1997, Farmers Market released its second album with saxophonist Trifon Trifonov from Bulgaria. This was an extreme album with elements of many different styles and ideas from bluegrass in odd meters, to Metallica-like versions of traditional Balkan tunes, and slick commercial music mixed with Stockhausen! The album got very good reviews from many contemporary music magazines as well as rock, folk and jazz magazines in Europe. This album made a certain Mr. Mike Patton loose his breakfast and initiate a spam fest towards the band members the result of which might end up in a cd-shop near you. More on this at a later stage...» (Read more)
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«Hace muchísimos años, en una diminuta aldea de la lejana provincia de Santa Fe, llamada Casilda por sus habitantes y por otras personas, la Mala Suerte de la Música se anotó un garbanzo, tras lo cual sonrió malignamente, como es su costumbre. Unió a un grupo de individuos de dudosa calaña, comportamiento vagamente anormal y facultades mentales un poco argentinas y bastante rocanrroleras, y puso instrumentos musicales en sus manos. Luego les dio una palmadita en el trasero, y les dijo: “Vayan..., joroben”. Creo que corría la primavera del año 1993, después de Cristo. Los individuos se miraron y se encogieron de hombros, como los Superamigos después de la lobotomía. Estos individuos tenían nombres (Gastón Honczaruk, Alberto Castello, Leandro Meneghello, Alejandro Malfassi), pero la palabra con la que cada uno de ellos se autodenominaba (Waino, Beto, Perro, Cacha) tampoco eran los apelativos con los que los ancianos de la aldea los habían bautizado, actitud propia de maleantes. [...]
Y así los conocían los demás por separado. Si los ponían uno al lado del otro, como pasó por primera vez en el verano del '94, la gente señalaba a la formación y decía: “Ah, LOS GURUSES”, pero no se imaginaban por qué les decían así. No importa, porque así se presentaron en una ocasión a cierto concurso organizado por una radioemisora que emitía su programación en frecuencia modulada estereofónica, conocida en la Gran Ciudad de Rosario y aldeas satélites como FM T.L.105.5 de su dial. ¿Para qué?.¿Un concurso de qué? No está muy claro, pero la cosa era entre muchísimas agrupaciones como LOS GURUSES y ellos mismos. Y ganaron ellos mismos. Les regalaron como premio (creo) cincuenta horas de grabación de ruidos varios, que ellos hicieron con los instrumentos que la Mala Suerte de la Música había puesto en sus manos, hasta que el premio se agotó y tuvieron que salir a robar o a mendigar o a prostituirse para poder seguir registrando esos ruidos en los Estudios Godzila de la misma Gran Ciudad, en complicidad con otros como ellos mismos. [...]
La banda pagó las deudas de la grabación del disco con giras por la provincia, y encaró la producción del clip junto a una re-masterización para difundir su trabajo. ¿Qué más se puede decir? Lo ignoro redondamente, ya que redondo es el CD que la Mala Suerte de la Música hoy ha puesto en su mano. Que lo disfrute con salud.»
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The late Ntemi Edmund Piliso, leader and founding member of AJP, nourished the group from their humble roots to their current international acclaim.
In the early 1950’s Bra Ntemi and his Alexandra All Star band hit the cutting edge of South Africa’s music scene, blending American big band sound with traditional Majuba tempo’s and Marabi influences. The African Jazz Pioneers enjoyed enormous success and had a huge following in those days. Sadly, all this came to an end in the late sixties with the demolition of Sophiatown, when big bands went out of fashion.
However, in June 1981, Bra Ntemi decided it was high time to re-unite the band and get them back on stage. African Jazz Pioneers were back on the road, their first performance was at a church in Alexandra. Despite the pass laws, discriminatory practices and censorship, African Jazz Pioneers survived apartheid and evolved their music.
International fame came soon after their first overseas tour as part of the Casa conference in Amsterdam in 1987. After the easing of the boycott in 1990, the African Jazz Pioneers were among the first to travel all over the world and perform at festivals throughout Europe. During these years they shared the stage with the likes of Youssou N’Dour, Quincey Jones, Gilberto Gil, Nina Simone and Chick Corea, to name but a few. Their music has been released in more countries than can be named here.
Since that first performance in Alexandra, African Jazz Pioneers have evolved to a point where their invigorating concerts have become famous at venues throughout the country and neighbouring states. The band reaches everyone, from high society to liberation movements and political rallies, including the honour of performing several times for out country’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela.
The driving force behind the Pioneers has always been Bra Ntemi. Musicians have come and gone, but he was always at the core of the band, ensuring the continuance of its unique township jazz sound. But even he found it difficult to categorise the Pioneers’ music. It derives from Marabi and evolved to include the instrumental sound of the big swing bands of Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. Since the band’s early days, Bra Ntemi has changed from one structure to another without giving up anything along the way.
Just over fifty years ago the young Ntemi settled for the saxophone, after his cherished trombone got stolen. The saxophone soon became his trademark and he was one of the country’s best and most enduring saxophonists, fact for which he was honoured by Minister Ben Ngubane in August 2000, during a ceremony at Morelete park, Mamelodi. Bra Ntemi passed away on 18 December 2000.
The African Jazz Pioneers are honouring their promise to Bra Ntemi to keep the music going. The Ikageng Jazz Festival, established in 2001, has been named ‘The Night of the Pioneers’ and AJP closes each edition as top of the bill. […]
There are few bands in South Africa – and, indeed the world – that do the big band sound more infectiously and with more accomplishment and just plain love for the genre than the African Jazz Pioneers. There is profound feeling in their music, as well as humour too. Like Sip ‘n’ Fly, an ode to African tactics for sneaking booze past the police pass patrols. With their wonderful happy music that celebrates life, the African Jazz Pioneers will make your head spin with joy.» (Jam Ally)
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«The culmination of indigenous Chinese cartography is found in the contributions of Chu Ssu-Pen and his successors who, beginning in the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1260 -1368), established a mapping tradition that provided the basis of China's cartographic knowledge which was not seriously challenged until the early 19th century. The Mongol conquests, besides promoting the unification of Asia and extending its sphere of influence as far as the boundaries of Europe, also combined growing commercial and intellectual contacts with Persians and Arabs to bring to China a wave of fresh information about the countries beyond its borders. Taking advantage of this explosion of knowledge, Chu Ssu-Pen (1273-1337) built upon a scientific cartographic heritage that extended back to P'ei Hsiu (Chin Dynasty, 3rd century A.D.) and the astronomer Chang Hêng (a contemporary of Ptolemy). Chu synthesized and collated the work of his predecessors with new knowledge acquired through both personal travel and the increased contact with the West to produce, between 1311 and 1320, a large roll-map of China and the surrounding regions. […]
Apart from the general map of China, there were sixteen sheets of the various provinces, sixteen of the border regions, three of the Yellow River, three of the Grand Canal, two of sea routes, and four sheets devoted to Korea, Annam, Mongolia and Central Asia. […]In spite of Chu Ssu-Pen's caution about far-distant regions, it is remarkable that, as Walter Fuchs has pointed out, Chu and his contemporaries had already recognized the triangular shape of Africa. Among the map sheets of Lo Hung-hsien's atlas, one is entitled The Countries in the South-western Sea which covers a considerable portion of the Indian Ocean and a large part of Africa. In European and Arabic maps of the 14th century the tip of Africa is always represented as pointing eastwards, and this is not corrected until the middle of the 15th century; the atlas revised by Lo Hung-hsien, however, has it pointing south, and other evidence shows that Chu Ssu-Pen must have drawn Africa in this way as early as 1315. Furthermore, in the interior of the continent, two rivers are shown flowing north, one emptying into a large body of water and the other leading further north but terminated by the margin of the map. The name of the latter river was rendered as Ha-na-i-ssu-chin, which is a possible corruption of the Arabic words Al-Nil-Azrak , meaning the Blue Nile. The island off the east coast is called San-pa Nu, apparently designating the source of the Zanzibar Slaves. On the upper left corner of the map, the coastline turns sharply westward, suggesting the orientation of what appears to be the Guinea coast. Between the west coast and the inland water body, one sees an area named Sang-ku, a Chinese transliteration of the Arabic term Zangue, or the Black People, hence the Congo. Below the inland water area and to the southwest of the river discharging into the lake is a name pronounced as Che-pu-lu-ma. The first three syllables combined are recognizable as a corruption of the Arabic word djebel, meaning "mountains". An obvious conjecture is that it is an elevated area which the Arabs called the Ma Mountains, corresponding closely to the titled plateau of the Drakensberg, and evidenced by a later map produced in 1402 by the Ming cartographer named Ch'üan Chin. […]On the upper right-hand corner of the map, one sees the southern portion of Asia, gridded by vertical and horizontal lines and bulging out toward Sumatra, the largest island on the map, with Java next on the right. Near the edge of the continent are marked Such places as Chan-ch'eng [Champa or Vietnam], Mien-tien [Burma], Hsien-lo [Thailand] and Meng-to [the Tenasserim Coast]. Areas covered by a wave pattern are ocean waters stretching from the South China Sea in the lower right to Africa on the upper left and doned with a score of island names. The empty portions in the lower left and at the bottom of the map naturally suggest areas totally unknown. […]» (Read the full monograph)
Geoffrey's music is as affecting as his personal history. Growing up in war-torn Uganda during the height of Idi Amin's Reign of Terror, Geoffrey was the son of a governmental minister. Every night as a child in Kampala, Geoffrey would sit by his father's side and listen to him playing the nanga, a seven-string harp. He was lucky enough to grow up absorbing both the folk music of his culture through traditional routes and Western techniques through his schooling. However his family's position in Uganda's ruling class proved disastrous. In February 1977, at the age of twenty-four, Geoffrey's father was secretly assassinated and Geoffrey was forced to spend hours in the trunk of a car until he crossed the border safely into Kenya. Today, exiled in France, Oryema has emerged as the one of the most respected songwriters in Paris. […]
Geoffrey's sophomore release, Beat The Border, surrounds Oryema's soothing vocals with a spacious and virginal bed of synthesized and acoustic sounds. It was with Beat The Border that Geoffrey became one of the first world musicians to crossover into mainstream markets.» (RealworldUSA, read more)
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Dedicated to Andy Palacio
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Elle est pas jolie,
elle est pas moche non plus
Elle est pas a gauche, elle est pas a droite… (Louise Attaque, Léa)
French Bio here
Official site: http://www.louiseattaque.com/
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It was our first taste of the Zulu neo-traditional style of acoustic guitars, bass and drums, often with fiddle or accordion, brought to life here by the amazing Moses Mchunu, whose "Qhwayilahle" is still one of my all time favorite recorded works with its grinding fiddle (reminiscent of a good Holy Modal Rounders set) and thumping bass line.
The driving bass, drum and accordion sound of Nganezlyamfisa No Khambalomvaleliso was a revelation. And it was the proving ground for the classic vocal sound made famous by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, whose mix of traditional choral music and a touch of American gospel laid the foundation for Graceland a few years later. The Indestructible Beat Of Soweto is world unto itself, still one of my most frequently visited recordings, both at home and on my radio program. It sings of a time of political unrest and cultural hope. It is one of the few compilations I would ever call "perfect."» (Cliff Furnald, Rootsworld)
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Adé, with his percussive "synchro system," and Ebenezer, with his melodious "miliki" system, drove juju music to unprecedented heights as they competed to update the sound. Ebenezer introduced the three-guitar lineup and the trap drums; KSA overlaid a pedal steel guitar, and later synthesizers. But juju's core rested in percussion topped by eloquent talking drums, and in harmonized call-and-response vocals mixing Yoruba proverbs and Christian themes. Adé has a gentle, silky voice and diving, birdlike dance moves, which his four backup singers follow as part of the group's masterful stage choreography. With a tilt of his guitar, Adé damps his musicians down to a tap and a whisper, only to have them surge on cue with a rally of drums, shakers, bells and tangling guitars.
Returning to the USA in 2000, Adé recalled the legendary 1982 tour when he first introduced his expansive music to large American audiences. "Then I was a stranger," he said, "but now it's like we are all part of a family." […]
Born Sunday Adéniyi, the son of a Methodist minister, Adé left the religious path to pursue a musical career early on…» (Afropop, read more)
«After nearly 15 years as Nigeria's biggest musical draw and juju music's reigning monarch, King Sunny Ade went global in 1982 with a brief but fertile stint on the Mango label. The three albums that resulted – Juju Music, Synchro System, and Aura – gave Ade unprecedented exposure on the Western market and introduced a slew of music lovers to the sounds of Afro-pop. Juju Music was the first of Ade's Mango titles and remains the best of the lot. Over the course of seven extended cuts, King Sunny Ade & His African Beats lay down their trademark mix of talking drum-driven grooves, multi-guitar weaves, lilting vocal harmonies, and pedal steel accents; for this major-label debut, the band also chucks in some tasteful synthesizer bits and a few reggae-dub flourishes. Besides classic juju pop like "Ja Funmi" and "Ma Jaiye Oni," Ade and his 20-piece entourage serve up percussion breakdowns like "Sunny Ti de Ariya" and a heady blend of soul, dub, and synth noodlings on "365 Is My Number/The Message." Throughout, Ade deftly inserts Hawaiian slide guitar licks and Spanish-tinged lines reminiscent of Hendrix' "All Along the Watchtower." Juju Music should not only be the first-disc choice for Ade newcomers, but for the Afro-pop curious as well.» (AMG)
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Comme premier artiste grec, Theodorakis a alors donné des concerts publics en Turquie - ensemble avec Livaneli - et a exigé à plusieurs reprises une Confédération Gréco-Turque d'après le modèle scandinave.
Livaneli a enregistré un CD avec des chansons de Theodorakis en turc et a également donné plusieurs concerts en Grèce.
Auparavant, les deux artistes avaient passé de longues années en prison dans leur patrie et devaient par ailleurs aller en exil pour quelques ans.
Livaneli est aussi connu en Turquie que l'est Theodorakis en Grèce.
Les deux artistes sont devenus des symboles pour une mentalité anti-dogmatique et gênante, qui met la conscience au-dessus du calcul politico-politicien et ne se laisse pas intimider par la critique.
Musicalement, la même aspiration à la qualité et à l'expression d'une substance et d'un contenu dans leurs chansons et leurs grandes œuvres musicales les unit également.» (MikisTheodorakis.net)
Thanx to JTC for this post
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«The Great Indoors is an album of songs released in 1986 on the Bam Caruso lable. Although out of print it is still available second hand on LP and CD.
Extracts from reviews at the time of release:
“The best sixties-style psychedelic release of the week is not Sgt Pepper on CD but the debut by Nick Haeffner... an album that is varied, unexpected and wonderfully refreshing.” (Robin Denselow, The Guardian)
“...reminiscent of the best of English psychedelia” (Jon Savage, The Observer)
“Pink Floyd... Nick Drake... to undergo these influences, so well, is to demand a hearing.” (Paul Oldfield, Melody Maker”
“A truly great album that could only have been made by someone with real talent and a genuine understanding of music past, present and future.” (Underground)
“The Great Indoors is a melting pot of ideas strung out over melodious rhythms as diverse as folk, punk, psyche and classical... the lyrics are witty and embracing, the final delivery charming and effective... a remarkably good album... Just 12 inches that leap over all barriers.” (Music Week)» (From Nick Haeefners’s official site)
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« Singer, lyricist, guitarist and pianist. Eugenio Finardi was born in 1952 in Milan, the son of an Italian sound engineer and an American opera singer who had come to Italy to sing at the LA SCALA Theatre in Milan.
His first recording experiences came early in his childhood when he sang in children’s’ records and in recordings of American classics for the expatriate community in Europe.
As a teenager he started singing the blues with friends like Fabio Treves and Alberto Camerini.
He went to the American School in Milan and then studied theatre at Tufts University in Boston.
Upon his return to Italy he started working as a studio session man and as a radio DJ in the first underground FM radio stations.
In 1975 he released his first album, for “Cramps”, a pioneering “alternative” label, which single-handedly created Italian rock, blending lyrics inspired by the cultural and political issues of the seventies “movement” with a sound influenced by rock but with jazz, blues and traditional Italian folk influences. His highly original “Musica Ribelle” from Sugo became the soundtrack of that period and started the evolution of Italian pop music.» (Read more)
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«Strange and experimental but full of hooks--that defines almost everything Amy Denio touches, and certainly this disc. With some slightly mellower songs and a little more acoustic-sounding than most of Amy Denio's solo work (though really not very different from her solo work), this is a really lovely collection of songs. Amy Denio's sound (accordion, sax, her vocal techniques) is all over this, though. Highly recommended.» (Ectoguide)
«Denio (rhymes with ‘Ohio’ or ‘gennaio’) is a multi-instrumentalist composer and singer based in Seattle, WA. Home-taper since the Dark Ages of Analogue, she started her label Spoot Music in 1986, with the release of her first cassette, ‘No Bones.’ Since then, she’s recorded & released other cassettes, LPs and 35 CDs created solo and with an array of international musicians.
She has been creating & producing soundscores for dance, theater and film since 1983. She has received commissions to compose and produce soundscores for Berkeley Symphony, Italian National Radio, New York Festival of Song, Die Knodel, Victoria Marks, Pat Graney Dance Company, and many other inspired artists. […]She has toured solo and has played with various groups and musicians such as the Tiptons Sax Quartet, Kultur Shock, Francisco Lopez, Danny Barnes, Relache Ensemble, Curlew, Fred Frith, Tone Dogs, Matt Cameron, Bill Frisell, Chris Cutler, Guy Klucevsek, Pauline Oliveros, Pale Nudes, Danubians, Hoppy Kamiyama, Ronin, Il Parto delle Nuvole Pesanti and has played with Chuck D's Fine Arts Militia. […]A pacifist & practicer of non-violence, she is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union
Thanx to Toby for this post
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The Merdoum All Stars, Salim's band, add their funky sax and guitar to the young rapper's songs while his posse, the Reborn Warriors, get to throw down during the Merdoum pieces. (Merdoum is a 6/8 beat from Western Sudan's desert.) The result is not chaos but a great mix around the central theme of "Peace." The opener "Aiwa (Yes)" is a strong blend of rap over a thudding backbeat that reminded me a little of On-U Sound but overlain with atmospheric flute, xylophone and arabic bass rather than reggae bass. The first two tracks flow well together like a mini hip-hopera, but then we arrive at the familiar terrain of the Merdoum All Stars: accordion, hand-percussion and soothing vocals. Just when you get mellowed by the Merdoum kings, Jal drops his big one on you: track 6, "Gua," which has already appeared on the Rough Guide To Sudan, and went to Number One on the East African charts in September 2004. The word means "good" in Nuer and "power" in Arabic. […] A great encounter and a ray of hope for Sudan.» (Muzikifan)
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Footage from the documentary Lektionen in Finsternis (Lessons of Darkness) by Werner Herzog showing some of the destruction and enviromental issues that followed after Desert Storm in 1991.
The destruction seen is mainly caused by the heavy air and artillery bombardment from allied forces. The enviromental issues "Oil spill/fires" were caused by the burning oil wells sat on fire by the retreating Iraqi troops in the desert of Kuwait.
Music: Rob Dougan - Born Yesterday
Posted in YouTube by LoFFeN1987