10/12/2010

Jabrane M. Sebnat: Meditation of the Directions




Best chill out tape ever. This 90 min masterpiece - musically reminiscent of the most relaxing and dreamy Ashra recordings - will teach you the secrets of deep breathing.
It is the story of nine simple movements. They were received in dream-time by a young explorer from the Atlas mountains, a long time ago. The movements were among many other things that converged together to help him heal a terminal illness. After recovering, the young explorer set himself free to travel and experience the world. A Sufi master from Morocco, Jabrane Mohamed Sebnat lived in Sweden and traveled to France from time to time. Hear his beautiful, slowly growing guitar solos and haunting keyboard lines. Ripped from a Christmas limited bootleg rerelease put out by very dear friends of mine, this tape actually sounds like a demo version of the 1994 album that is available on CD.

Jabrane Sebnat received the inspiration for this meditation in the beginning of the eighties. Today many people around the world are enjoying practicing it. This meditation combines elements from the Sufi, the Americain Indian and the Taoist traditions. Balance, orientation, clarity and peace are the results of the daily practice of the directions meditation. To receive the description of the movements for this meditation, our catalogue and the programme of our activities, please write to Alifia International. Box 12067, S-24502 Hjärup Sweden. Tel: + 46 40 46 15 17. Fax: + 46 40 46 40 42

20/11/2010

Foreign Correspondents




hey dear friend. how are you man! miss you! Foreign correspondents is a tape of two artists. one side, the chinese side, is ALAN TAM, a pop karaoke singer from the eighties. the other side, the slowed down bollywood music, is BAPPI LAHIRI. both of their faces are on the front Charles Berlitz

Send me to Hasselt, May 27, 2007. I see fruits and second hand books on the merch table: apples, Mayan pyramids. A few tapes too, all black and white covers except this one: Foreign Correspondents. Dream Triangle had just played and I bought this cassette from Charles. I see the cover now... Diamonds and pearls as sky patterns, washed-out vivid colors. Special faces, Photoshop software ghosts. I see an island, a dolphin heading to it - the green area, the gorgeous zone. I clearly hear the sounds now. The tape starts with one and a half track by 80s French pop band Indochine. India. China. Indochina. May 27, 2007. Space... Time... Dream... Triangles...

28/09/2010

African Music Degree Zero

I watch this video very often and it never loses its appeal and beauty. Watch it and share it!!!



"The slaves' drums were taken away and for lack of better tools, the slaves then played the rocks they lived and worked on. You can see the grooves in the giant boulders where they have been chipped from the music. They didn't have their drums, so they used the hard earth".

20/09/2010

Last Copies



DJ Cool Brocoli / DJ Bongo Man summer mixtape sold out from the label but we still have a handful of copies... Please contact us if interested: lanouvellecite *at* gmail*dot*com

11/09/2010

Sound Poetry from the Rain Forest



Nature Recordings Vol. V: Jungle (Nature Recordings, USA, 1987, tape)
Producer and recordist: Richard Hooper.

In the early 1950s Dutch based
sound explorer Ernie McCracken traveled to South America in order to locate and record the Xul people, one of the most mysterious tribes of Amazonia. After months of research and observation, he was finally able to approach them. Although the Xul people first refused McCracken to record their music, they decided to make him one of them, kept him in their village, married him to the king's daughter and eventually initiated him to their secret rituals. Although it has never been proven, it is thought that McCracken never returned to Europe.

In 1985, a team of researchers from the Audubon Society,
a US organization committed to restoring and conserving birds' natural ecosystems, accidentally bumped on what seemed to be the ruins of a long left Xul village. In one of the empty huts, among the primitive stone tools, next to a broken amulet lied a few dusty reel to reel tapes bearing McCracken's writing on them and a torn, incomplete notebook where fragments of his story were related. It is thought that these recordings were later edited and mixed with original material for a tape release.

The South American jungle comes alive with exotic birds, chattering monkeys, the Amazon river, and the occasional downpour of the rain forest, along with native drums. Exciting, mysterious - a hint of danger lurking in the dense, dark steaming jungle of sound. A recording for the truly adventurous.

07/09/2010

The Golden Kings Band 76


The Golden Kings Band 76: Hera Thaga / Omiya Jossy (Kenya, Pluto, 1976, 7")

Led by Luo musician Peter Rachino Owino, The Golden Kings Band from Kenya played rumba and typical benga - as it can be heard on this stomping 7" published by Pluto records in 1976. Owino also played in The Golden Ugenya Band also known as The Golden Ugenya Boys. With one or the other of these bands, he recorded for the local Sokota, Apollo, Pluto and Rachar labels (Rachar being run by Owino himself) and for the US based Makossa imprint. Thanks to the helpful Ken Tanza Vinyl website for all the info. This one is for Fabian, who has been waiting for it for quite a long time.

11/08/2010

Ants on my keyboard



Mayaula Mayoni: "Ousman Bakayoko (instrumental)"

MAYAULA MAYONI FREDDY a former Franco's TP OK JAZZ member (guitarist & songwriter) passed away yesterday May 26th 2010 in Brussels/Belgium after a long illness from a stroke that he suffered in Dar-es-Salaam/Tanzania nearly 4 years ago; Mayaula started with a successful football (socker) career with one of the top Congolese team, the V. Club and with the national team: Les Leopards du Zaire 1969-1971, then he moved with his family to Tanzania where his father was a Congolese diplomat; afterwards he decided to pursue his studies in Belgium, after graduating he returned to Kinshasa where he started his musical career as a songwriter before joining the Franco Lwambo's band; among several bestsalers we remember: Cherie Bondowe, Nabali Misere, with TP OK JAZZ and Ndaya with the late lady singer Mpongo Love.

05/08/2010

Postcard




Enjoying a research residency on this wonderful island. Will be back sooner or later.

24/07/2010

Summer Mixtape! DJ Cool Brocoli & DJ Bongo Man



Finally available from Stenze Quo tape label...

DJ COOL BROCOLI & DJ BONGO MAN - SUMMER MIX TAPE
Summer is here! 90 minutes of heatwave jams by these two Music City inhabitants. On the A-side Brocoli is mixing primal hip hop gems on the edge between disco and rap. Slick productions including spaced out synth bubbles and sharp lyrics meet rough recordings of drunk kids practicing in the studio. The lyrical aspect makes it a super intense listen! On the B-side Bongo Man serves us his ever magical eclectic mix of sweet world music. He is a true missionary of the good times dance floor and this mix again shows his ability in guiding us through diverse styles in a smooth & suprising flow. African no wave, ecstatic Congolaise guitars, obscure dub pearls and more rarely heard sounds!
C90 in stencilprinted cover + tracklist. 4 euros.
Orders: stenzequo(aaaatt)yahoo(dotttt)de
http://stenzequo.blogspot.com
http://www.myspace.com/stenzequo


15/07/2010

Jeannot Ra: Exhibition Kuasakuasa



Visionary TV studio architecture, amazing colors and shapes, dreamy video effects, joyful dancing, children shouting in the background... and of course perfect summertime music, with such a nice and appropriate ice-cream-on-the-beach vibe to it. "Exhibition Kuasakuasa" by Jeannot Ra (obviously from the 1980s) is definitely one of the best and most refreshing congolese videos I've seen so far! Freshly ripped... Play it on the beach! Music: "Hi-Life" by Wally Badarou.

07/07/2010

Tsunky Shuar: Nunka Japam Ikiukip

Beautiful songs from the Amazon. Turtle shell percussion and guitar magic in a song calling to protect the rain forest.

22/06/2010

"El tren"



En voiture, on est en retard!
Diblo Dibala: "Super K"

15/06/2010

Robo Arigo: Sexy Thing




Robo Arigo: Sexy Thing (Supreme Stars International, Nigeria, 1982)

Please note: this is a major contribution to the internet music community. Justice and truth can be over-run by the absolute powers of power but that is only for as long as the populace remains illiterate and ignorant (Robo Arigo). Flash it download. And let me quote the excellent Comb and Razor blog here (C&B uploaded a track from Robo's LP a bit more than a year ago): Robo Arigo's Sexy Thing album is in my opinion one of the rarest and most rewarding funk LPs of the 1980s. I like the rough and demo-ish quality of it, with his vocals mixed down low throughout to showcase his funky chops. Burning hot tunes and serious bass playing indeed by this former member of Pogo Ltd: pure Konastone ponk - ponkier than punk. Play it loud while you cruise the streets of Music City.

08/06/2010

Prende la moto



More champeta... Sampled soukous guitars and Dee-lite infused video effects for this lost classic by Grupo Kussima: "Prende la moto" (Cartagena, Colombia, 1990s?). If any of our Colombian readers has more info about this, please let me know!

07/06/2010

Demon Channels



Following acclaimed screenings of his former video Rapture Adrenaline in Austria and Belgium in 2009, here comes the brand new work of Afro-American musician and visionary multimedia artist James Ferraro. Less based on found footage, Demon Channels features animation and original footage filmed on location by James Ferraro in the land of one million frost tipped dreams... Hollywood California. Just following his masterplan, digging the same obsessions a bit deeper and getting better and better. James is also acting in this one. A full length feature video will follow this Summer.

01/06/2010

Picós y picoteros



I came across this dream
collection of picós pictures on Africolombia's blog.
Picós are these huge, powerful, customized, hand painted, highly fetishized sound systems from the Colombian Carribean Coast (Barranquilla, Cartagena, Palenque de San Basilio...).

Surfing and digging for info about picós I landed on this page (which has a few nice pictures too) and on this interesting essay by Deborah Pacini Hernandez: "Sound Systems, World Beat, and Diasporan Identity in Cartagena, Colombia" (published in Diaspora. A Journal of Transnational Studies, Volume 5, Number 3, Winter 1996, University of Toronto Press). Although this paper has been written 14 years ago, describing a situation which since then has probably evolved (at least on the technological level I guess), it definitely still captivates. The author traces the fascinating cultural connection between this particular area of the country and Africa, a connection originating in the dark slavery days of the XVIIth century... and which among others lead - in the second half of the XXth century and particularly in the 70s - to the development of picós (i.e. local sound systems - the word picó deriving from the English pick up, referring either to the record player or to the truck transporting the whole thing) and champeta (the music played on these systems).


Pacini Hernandez not only traces back this cultural phenomenon but also focuses on the picós and picoteros technics and aesthetics - which paralleled the Jamaican developments on this field. These are among my favorite pages:



If the music originally played on these unreal sound systems came
from all over Africa (vinyl records being brought to Colombia by sailors), champeta has a particular connection with Congolese soukous - as mentioned by Elisabeth Cunin in her more recent essay:
"De Kinshasa à Cartagena, en passant par Paris : itinéraires d’une « musique noire », la champeta" (in Civilisations. Revue internationale d'anthropologie et de sciences humaines, Number 53, 2005, p. 97-117). So wait a minute: Colombian champeta originates in Congolese soukous, which derives from Cuban rumba (mixed with some Greek influence), rumba beats originating themselves from African music... Is that right? This continuous evolution based on travels and drifts across seas and through history makes the whole thing even more fascinating.

Picós played original versions of the songs but also covers by local Colombian bands and subsequent DJ mixes and remixes... Until today as picós are still pretty much a live reality that keeps on evolving all the time.

OK so now here comes the serious stuff (or more immediate food): the videos. Contemporary picós (or at least from just a few years ago) playing champeta. MCs toasting, street dancers moving while DJs spin soukous tunes. Rapid Casio SK5 keyboard drumpad fever on ecstatic congolese guitar solos. Dream music, heavy sound, serious street party vibes. Incredible mix. I think I played the first clip 100 times or something?!






(Drawing: 
Dairo Barriosnuevo)

Saludos a Magdalena!

27/05/2010

28, 29, 30



Music Citizens will travel and congregate this weekend... Which means we have a few friendly gigs, screenings and parties to announce - including a special release party for the brand new DJ Cool Brocoli / DJ Bongo Man summer mixtape published by Stenze Quo (more info about this in the coming days). Excellent bands will be playing. Here's the schedule. Be welcome.

May 28, 21:00 (Den Haag, Villa Te Koop, Alexander Gogelweg 12)

Eklin, Fyoelk, DJ Cool Brocoli, DJ Bongo Man

May 29, 21:00 (Amsterdam, OCCII,
Amstelveenseweg 134)
Orphan Fairytale, Bertin, Cotopaxi, DJ Cool Brocoli & DJ Bongo Man (Stenze Quo mixtape release party)

May 30, 18:00 (Den Haag, The Oceans Academy of Arts,
OAOA Salon, Weimarstraat 24a)
Congo Love video programme

20/05/2010

Dj Sun Papa "Sonotron Mixtape" (An Homage to Sonoton)


Dj Sun Papa "Sonotron Mixtape" (An Homage to Sonoton) by RBDX
Shout-out to Frank Dommert from A-Musik who introduce me to Sonoton (Germany, München music library label from the mid 80s).
Shout-out to HEY! MR.MELODY, a Japanese crew who know how to screw the funk.
More on Sonoton: http://www.discogs.com/label/Sonoton

16/05/2010

Afrokraut



They fiercely hated capitalism and colonialism and immoderately loved psychedelic drugs. They built self-managed nations and communities devoted to the inner space exploration, they were followers of polygamy and esoteric practices. They worshipped the rhythm.. and the ministers were Tony Allen and Jaki Liebezeit. At the out side, RAF urban guerrilla rioted and the Nigerian dictatorship put down the rebellion... and Allah could have been Marxist.
Can, Faust, Fela Kuti & Africa 70, Neu!, Ofo the Black Planet, William Onyeabor, Harmonia are the stars of Krautrock and Afrobeat. It’s a journey through the sounds of a buried period, looking for improbable resemblances between seventies Africa and Germany.

Brother Massimo Carozzi worked on this mix which tries to build a bridge between krautrock and afrobeat, or better said to reveal their common core. I heard him playing it in Bologna as a warm up to Boketshu's gig and it was a perfect opening. Check it out.

Afrokraut part 1 by massimo carozzi

12/05/2010

Zamrock!

Chrissy Zebby Tembo & The Nkozi Family

Feeling good, feeling bad.
Are you upset in your mind?
Come back to me we stay together.
You will find peace and love.
Please baby, come back to me.
I am lonely you are lonely.
If you really love me baby,
come back to my home today.
You know that I love you.
You are lonely and I’m lonely.
Don’t feel bad feel free.
If you really love me baby, Alright!”

Wendy Sulca



Hear the sad song of Wendy Sulca, a little Peruvian girl who wants to drink beer. Many more High Definition videos on her youtube channel. Beautiful harp on all tracks. Download her full album here: Wendy Sulca: Grandes Éxitos (2010).

Wendy also recently recorded this extremely retarded, politically deeply annoying though musically powerful track for Israel together with superstars Delfin Quishpe (Ecuador) and La Tigresa del Oriente (Peru) that we aren't posting here.

08/05/2010

Dactylo IBM (Illustre Bombardier Mombombo)



Here is the video alluded to in the former post: "Mombombo Dominé" by Lita Bembo & Stukas Boys, featuring the ecstatic guitar solo played by Jacques Bongo Wende aka Dactylo aka Dactylo IBM (Illustre Bombardier Mombombo). Dactylo great part starts at 1'36''. The spontaneous dance moves are also highly enjoyable, as is the excellent camera work.

This is a fragment of a whole TV show recorded by the band I guess in the Congolese television studios back in the 1970s. Other songs from this show can be found on Youtube. All of them are actually taken from a killer DVD release that also compiles fantastic video documentation about Trio Madjesi. This is a 100% fresh upload.

06/05/2010

Makes it look so easy

Makes me think of the great part on the Lita Bembo dvd, which was my first introduction to the world of Congolese music videos at la maison bongo!

05/05/2010

Crashes in Love



Just thought I'd make everyone happy with this beautiful and rare album by William Onyeabor. Crashes in Love was released in 1977 on the artist's own imprint, Wilfilms, like every of his records (all masterpieces). The album is said to have been composed as a soundtrack to a movie Onyeabor made - "a tragedy of how an African Princess rejects the love that money buys", as mentioned on the sleeve. Crashes in Love is actually William Onyeabor's first record and of course features a few mindbending tracks. Genius man.

William Onyeabor - Crashes in Love (Wilfilms, Nigeria, 1977, LP)

26/04/2010

Les Stars de Zaïko - Hôtel Bristol live DVD

A quick note to announce the imminent DVD release of this recent concert of les Stars de Zaïko at Hôtel Bristol, Brussels. Music Citizens are proud to appear in this video editing... Comprenez mon émotion!

24/04/2010

Mexican Animals



ANIMALES MEXICANOS - A video program curated by David Jarrín Zabala.

So if you happen to be in Brussels. Do not miss Tin Tan singing a rumba to the dinaosaurs, or the great Paquita del Barrio fighting a bipede monster or the inspiring videos of the No Grupo.

It's at the Palais des Beaux-Arts today - screenings at 20:00, 20:40 and 21:20!!!


21/04/2010

Essence



Excellent world music by Frenchman duo of Michel Sanchez & Eric Mouquet.
This is taken from their first album Deep Forest and is alltogether excellent, strictly emotional world music of the 90ies, made it to MTV even. Later on they went into producing material such as hungarian folk songs meet the chill buddha beats of ibiza or upbeat romanian tango etc.. you know the deal.
Heal the World.

15/04/2010

Congo Love

This Saturday
17 APRIL 2010, 5 PM
MUSEUM M LEUVEN
(L. Vanderkelenstraat 28, 3000 Leuven, België)
In the context of the Afrika Film Festival

CONGO LOVE
Refreshing compilation programme featuring great music videos, TV show appearances, live footage and other documents relating to 1970s and 80s Congolese pop music. Including artists like M'Pongo Love, Trio Madjesi, Orchestre Bella-Bella, Lita Bembo & Stukas Boys, M’Bilia Bel… These videos defined the stars. They also made fresh, inventive uses of the technology of the time, setting up playful ideas in mind blowing pieces that created a whole visual idiom. Historical documents, ecstatic music.
Curated by Xavier Garcia Bardon.

This is a short version of the Congo Love video programme I put together last January for the International Film Festival Rotterdam, commissioned by brother Edwin Carels.





PROGRAMME PLAYLIST
M'Pongo Love: Déception d'amour (7')
Orchestre Bella-Bella: Zamba (3”)
Sam Mangwana: Fati Mata (7')
Defao: Chagrin dimone (excerpt, 3')
Tabu Ley Seigneur Rochereau: Nzoto na ngai (7')
Lita Bembo & Stukas Boys: Mombombo dominé (4’)
M'Bilia Bel: Rockia (2'30”)
Orchestre Bella-Bella: Zizina (4’)
Trio Madjesi: 8e Round (13’)

08/04/2010

African China

African China: "Men wey sabi" (Globedisk Music, Nigeria, 2007)



My name is Chinagorom Onuoha, popularly and musically known as African China. The name African China stands for "African Children Have Ideas Natural for African". I was born in the ghetto called Orile in Lagos, Nigeria. I had my secondary education at Iganmu High School and my primary education at Metropolitan Primary School. I am from Imo state and I happened to be the last child of my mother. I started music in 1985 at the age of seven and went fully into music at the age of 18 in 1996, after my secondary school. I became a professional in the game in 1999. I got my first award at the Nigerian international song festival N.I.S.O.F.E. 99. before I had even released my debut album "Crisis" that later went on to win so many more awards like: *the best reggae/ ragga dancehall for Fanta Fame musical award 2003 merit award*, *Unfication peace award from the OPC*, *1st Nigerian Entertainment award*, *N.U.S.E.C award*, *Best award and Grand hotel award for best perfomance*...and many many more. Now I have another album out titled "Mr. President", the hottest selling album in the Nigeria. The track is also featured on the internationally released compilation "Lagos Stori Plenti - Urban Sounds from Nigeria" (Out Here Records), the first compilation of its kind concentrating on contemporary music from Nigeria. Part of the promotion for this compilation also saw me touring five German countries. My kind of music is basically African in nature, it's called PIDGIN Reggae/dancehall. My inspiration comes from the people on the street and GOD. I WANT TO BE SEEN LIKE EVERY OTHER NIGERIAN/AFRICAN, UNDERGOING PAINS LIKE OTHERS. NOTHING DEY PA...............................

http://www.myspace.com/africanchinang

22/03/2010

Love la vie!

abtal el 3alam hicham et said wlad sefrou 2010 love la vie...


11/03/2010

Smoothe da Hustler

Don't know if this is a good first post but i've been playing this song daily a bunch of times the last couple of weeks.

09/03/2010

Renova Band / Edia Sophie

Two versions of the same song, distant of about 40 years: "De Eglo Kanhluin" by Renova Band (Benin), vocals by Edia Sophie, around 1969... and the same Edia Sophie in this video from 2008 (note that the title of the track in this version is "Adjanouvi Kolo").


Renova Band, "De Eglo Kanhluin" (ripped from the 7", Albarika Store, 1969?)


Edia Sophie, "Adjanouvi Kolo" (2008)

For more on Renova Band and Edia Sophie, please check former posts.

08/03/2010

Wajia Rastagar

An incredible Afghan version of Sofia Rotaru's big hit "Bylo, No Proshlo" (It Was, But It Has Gone), with a mind bending video.

07/03/2010

Soviet Sounds



Russians are the largest ethnical minority in Finland. That's one reason why it's pretty easy to find Soviet LPs from Finnish flea markets. Another reason is that Finnish tourists and antique dealers have been carrying records from their trips to Eastern European countries for decades.

Most of these LPs are released by the USSR's monopolized record label Melodiya. After 1989 the variety of labels increases. Most of Melodiya's records contain classical music, Eastern European folk and pop songs and Soviet pressings of Western records. There's also some heavy rock, synth pop, electronic music and new wave among other more alternative genres.

For the last couple of years I've been collecting some interesting looking LPs from local flea markets. My main interests are in the strange and unique production values and synth sounds some of the songs have. The USSR had its own synth industry, which makes some of the songs very exciting and special.

I decided to post just a series of "best of" compilations, because most of the records I've found are not so exciting as whole albums. Usually on a record there are one or two real treasures among the more boring songs. Some of the featured songs were big hits in the USSR, some not. The first batch contains 70's and 80's disco and pop from USSR (except the Angel Vladkovic group is from Yugoslavia). Because of my crappy turntable there's some low brum noise in the tracks, sorry about that!

Tracklist:

Zdravstvuj Pesnja: Vokrug Ljubvi
Kruiz: A Top
Angel Vladkovic Group: Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Leisja Pesnja: Obruchalnoe Koltzo
Dispeyi: Noch
Forum: Blue River
Jury Chernavskogo: Spit Pridorozhnaya Trava
Valeri Leontiev: Attraction of Love
Dialog: Kosmicheskie Son
Alexander Buinov: V Gorode Sochi

Get them here.

02/03/2010

Beppe Maniglia



Beppe Maniglia: the Rambo biker, the street musician, the ex muscle man champion, the guitar hero. Born in
1943 Beppe Maniglia is a living legend in the streets of Bologna. This is how Beppe likes to introduce himself:
Cittadino italiano, figlio d'arte diplomato in Composizione al Conservatorio e laureato in Lettere Moderne. Solista di classe, dotato di grande talento interpretativo, muta il suono metallico delle corde della sua chitarra in vibrazioni cariche di sentimento. Giramondo per scelta di vita, trasforma le strade e le piazze in platee: l’asfalto è il suo palcoscenico. Amante della natura e degli animali, è assolutamente vegetariano.
I saw Beppe Maniglia a few times in the last years, playing electric guitar in front of Sala Borsa, Piazza Maggiore: sensitive solos, warrior outfit, speakers on top of his motorbike... Mitico every time. In 2009 Beppe ran for mayor but didn't get elected. The following video selection provides a good and approximately chronological overview of his activities.











Beppe Maniglia website. Beppe also runs Cimiteri Web, a death themed webpage.

24/02/2010

La Bamba


Yo no soy malinelo.
Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, 20.02.2010.

19/02/2010

Prehistoric Music

Party times in ancient times.


Il mondo di Yor (Yor, the Hunter from the Future, Antonio Margheriti, Italy, 1983)


Grunt! (Andy Luotto, Italy, 1982)

16/02/2010

Orchestre Renova-Band d'Abomey: Dada Segbo



I’ve been looking for anything by Renova-Band d’Abomey since I heard a short clip from the track “Dada-segbo” on the internet more than one year ago. The guitar playing was so cool, with such a nice lo-fi feel... and the voice of Edia Sophie was so fresh.

Renova-Band (or Renova Band, depending on the release) were part of the 60s scene in Dahomey, a country that became independent in 1960 and changed its name to Benin in 1975. Together with Super Star de Ouidah and Orchestre Picoby-Band among others, Renova-Band formed the first generation of modern music bands in Dahomey, mixing new genres like rumba, cha-cha-cha, salsa and jerk with traditional/local elements.

One of the peculiarities of the band was their female vocalist. Born in 1938, Sophie Aguidigbadja, better known as Edia Sophie, decided she would be a singer around 1965 after hearing a song by Renova-Band. She liked the song so much that she got in touch with one of their members, Nestor Hountondji. After some discussions between the musicians, Sophie joined the band and became the first modern female singer in the area, entering a world which till then was pretty much closed to female artists.

As Fortuné Sossa recently put it in La Nouvelle Tribune:

Les débuts d’Edia Sophie dans la musique remonte [sic] en 1965. Elle avait à peine 25 ans et vivait à Abomey. Marquée par un morceau de l’orchestre Renova Band, exécuté par Nestor Hountondji, elle décide de chanter. Elle se rapproche de ce dernier et se confie à lui. La plupart des membres du groupe pensent qu’en admettant une femme en leur sein, l’orchestre risque de voler en éclat. Car, de mémoire de Dahoméens (aujourd’hui Béninois), jamais la femme n’a daigné faire de la musique moderne. C’est un métier réservé exclusivement aux hommes. Donc impossible d’accepter qu’une femme vienne semer le trouble dans l’ordre naturellement établi. Mais la jeune femme ne perd point le courage. Elle est décidée, engagée comme poussée par une force surnaturelle. Deux choses armaient sa détermination. Elle se savait capable d’exercer le métier. Elle était déjà mariée et mère de famille.

Grâce à Dansi Zindjo, percussionniste du Renova Band, Sophie Aguidigbadja fait la connaissance du chef de l’orchestre, William Basile Cakpo. Bien que surpris, celui-ci lui pose à plusieurs reprises la question: «Veux-tu vraiment chanter ?» Le «Oui» de la femme ne souffre du moindre bégaiement ni de cafouillage. Le génie de l’art a déjà ensorcelé tout son organisme. Il circule désormais dans ses vaines comme la sève dans l’arbre. Alors, le chef du Renova Band la met à l’essai. Sans commentaire! Le résultat est patent. Sophie Aguidigbadja peut bien chanter!

«On va trop te critiquer», avertit tout de même William Basile Cakpo, en signant l’entrée officielle de Sophie Aguidigbadja dans le Renova Band. Et les critiques ne se font pas attendre. Elle était effectivement un objet de curiosité. Elle paraissait déshonorante aux yeux de l’opinion. Mais, dans le même temps son talent devenait rassurant. Loin d’un déshonneur, elle apportait d’emblée une révolution à un système rébarbatif.

(Fortuné Sossa, "Edia Sophie, une voix que l'âge ne déteint point", La Nouvelle Tribune, 12 Sept. 2009)

I finally found a copy of this 7" published by Impressions Sonores du Bénin (in 1969?). Not in the best condition – the vinyl is cracky as hell – but here it is, ripped for you. The guitar parts of each of these four tracks are fantastic. On “Me we non ko kou” the guitar and percussion sounds around 2'00" are so playful...

13/02/2010

The Pirate Flava Mixes by DJ Wrongspeed
(The Grime Matrix)



The Pirate Flava. Running from May 2002 to February 2003 this weekly radio show was a 15min collage of recordings from pirate stations in London. The show was eventually forced to close following a complaint made to the then Radio Authority. This selection draws together some of the characters & musics which make up London's chaotic radio space.

1) Mega Mix
2) Talk'n'Ads
3) Old Skool
4) UK Shed Mix

Dj Wrongspeed was obsessed with the grime and Uk garage pirates, but also with all the strange community radio stations you have in London (…) He constructed these really great collages out of this babble of opinion (some of it quite outrageous and not the kind of thing you would get on the mainstream radio stations, which follow a liberal consensus (…) all kinds of profane speech or what Foucault would call “forbidden popular knowledge”.
(Simon Reynolds)

Woaw! (Fabulator)

27/01/2010

Boketshu 1er - Bologna videos

Boketshu's gig in Bologna was totally incredible! I had planned to post videos of the show as soon as I'd be back home but my last night in Bologna was so ecstatic that I lost my camera in the plane. Someone found it back though (thank you!) so I'll be able to upload more videos and update this post soon. In the meantime, here come two first videos of the show... They were shot by my friend Mirco who was then standing behind the band, close to the guitar amps and the drums. (The next videos will be from the audience point of view). Here we go!





This band is addicted to coffee. I had seen Boketshu and his musicians playing very small scale shows in Brussels before but hearing them playing on this powerful sound system, live in Italy for the first time, and in such a different and new context for them was such a perfect experience... Getting high on espresso, travelling together, hearing them talking about music (their music as well as lap top music for instance), playing their forthcoming CD in the car while driving in the streets of Bologna made it even more perfect. I thought I was dreaming from the beginning til the end.

Thanks again to Boketshu (vocals), Cardinal Malula (guitar 1), Pappy Muntu (guitar 2), Jacquou Ilunga (bass), Alonso (drums) and Yannick Koy (percussions) for this amazing night! Thanks also to Andrea and Daniele from Netmage/Xing, Simone from the Palm Wine blog, Francesco and Michele from Locomotiv Club... for helping making this possible.

23/01/2010

Boketshu 1er, Grand Prophète de la Nation live in Bologna tomorrow!


Less than one year ago, in February 2009, I went to this bar for the first time: Bayombe, also know as Chez Brigitte, erroneously called La Nouvelle Cité by a few of us. It's hard to describe such an exciting and chaotic place. In this small and lively congolese club located somewhere close to Brussels canal, every friday from 3 AM until 7 in the morning, Boketshu 1er and his group were the best band in the world playing the best music ever. For real. La Nouvelle Cité sadly burned down last Summer... and everyone who had the chance to experience this incredible place will miss it forever.

Thanks to Netmage Festival in Bologna, I’ve had the opportunity to invite Boketshu 1er, Grand prophète de la nation to play their very first Italian gig.

Per tre anni BOKETSHU 1ER e il suo gruppo è stata formazione residente del Chez Brigitte, un piccolo bar congolese di Bruxelles (che qualcuno chiamava erroneamente La Nouvelle Cité), caotico e informale, con tanti clienti ed un minuscolo dancefloor, vicinissimo al gruppo. Per i fortunati che hanno potuto viverlo, il La Nouvelle Cité rimarrà un posto mitico e magico che ha rappresentato il vero suono undeground della città e che - solo ogni venerdì, fra le 3 e le 7 del mattino - ha ospitato la migliore band al mondo: Boketshu e i suoi musicisti. E la ospiterebbe ancora a lungo, se nell'estate 2009, non fosse bruciato.

Nei suoi irresistibili concerti Boketshu suona la musica dal Congo inventata dai gruppi di rumba e soprattutto soukous degli anni '60 e '70 (Franco, Zaiko Langa Langa, Afrisa International, Orchestre Kiam...) con bellissimi assoli di chitarra elettrica e ritmi potentissimi. Boketshu 1er, membro fondatore e leader dei Swede Swede (storica band nata a Kinshasa nel 1985), ha portato con successo il suo mix di musica tradizionale e moderna in Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Gabon, Senegal, tanto quanto a Londra, Parigi, in Germania, Olanda. Il concerto di Boketshu 1er, in prima nazionale, è l'ultima scia di suoni e di immaginari di Netmage 2010.

The english (and approximate) translation of my Italian lines can be read on Netmage website.

Tomorrow Saturday Jan 23 around 1.30 AM Boketshu 1er, Grand prophète de la nation, Mwana Nzambe is playing at Locomotiv club, Bologna. All of you Italian people should be there! http://www.netmage.it/2010/netclub.html






R.I.P. Nouvelle Cité (picture Mathieu Breckes)

06/01/2010

El Maalem Mahmoud Gania



Here you can download some of the greatest gnawa music ever recorded: Soiree au Canada, by the King El Maalem Mahmoud Gania.
My mom got this tape in 1978 - I was not born yet - during a trip to Morocco, where gnawa spirit and music are rooted. This may be already familiar to western audience, as Jace Clayton prophetically referred back in 2007 on his blog:

Gnawa music has flourished in the Western imagination completely out-of-scale with its popularity in Morocco, partly because of the basslines which can be appreciated in a dubby/reggae context by Western ears, and partly because of its backstory — the music of African slaves in the Maghreb, colonial music in the truest sense, Afro-Arab, ritual sounds used to cure snakebites & heal & cast out ill spirits in all-night ceremonies, etc.

I'd like to share this by the way and even to think about my mom while was choosing this tape at the Marrakech bazaar, completely unaware she was buying a rare piece of trance inducing music.

Check also my blog here:
http://palm-wine.blogspot.com/
cheers,
Palm Wine

05/01/2010

Kalambya Sisters 7"



The Kamba people live to the south and east of Nairobi. Their pop music is closely related to benga, but includes a second guitar that plays a melodious counterpoint to the primary guitar. The most popular Kamba pop bands arose in the middle of the 1970s. The Kalambya Sisters and their backing group, the Boys, have been popular performers in the Kamba area. (pasted from the www...)

I still feel totally stoked that i found this one a year or so ago in a dusty record store in Amsterdam.

Kenyan pop at its best!

03/01/2010

Larry Heard Too Hot Mix 1986



(...) You see House is a feeling that no one can understand really, unless your deep into the vibe of House. House is an uncontrollable desire to jack your body. And as I told you before this is our House, and our House Music.

And every House should understand there is a keeper and in this House the keeper is Jack. Now some of you might wonder who is Jack and what is it that Jack does? Jack is the one who gives you the power to jack your body. Jack is the one who gives you the power to do the snake. Jack is the one who gives you the key to the wiggly worm. Jack is the one who learns you how to whop your body. Jack is the one that can bring nations and nations of all jackers together under one House.

You may be Black, you may be White, you may be Jew or Gentile. It don’t make a difference in our house, and this is fresh!

(Can You Feel It!, Mr. Fingers)