world . african . latin

WEEK STARTING 3 Dec

Genre pick of the week Cover of Afro-Jazz-Folk Collection Vol. 1 by Super Biton De Ségou.

Super Biton De Ségou

Afro-Jazz-Folk Collection Vol. 1

A collaboration between Deviation Records and the Mieruba label. The Super Biton has existed since the 60s, like Ségou, its orchestra, the Super Biton has always remained behind what was done in Bamako and in the big cities of Africa. The Ségou orchestra developed and incorporated amplified instruments that mingle with brass, in particular electric guitars, symbols of modernity at the time. It opens up to Cuban music, and congas and bongos complement the sound of the orchestra. The group drew a unique sound from it, a perfect balance between tradition and the modern. There are about fifteen artits on stage, singers, guitarists, drummer and percussionists.

The Super Biton has for years been the best known and most sought-after orchestra of Mali outside the country's borders, the Super Biton transcends the only Bambara heritage with its repertoire. Ségou is a crossroads between Bambara, Fulani, Mandingo and Somono cultures and Biton has drawn on all these traditions to create a repertoire extremely rich in rhythms and words. Some musicians completed their training in Cuba. They play "bambara jazz", incorporating a lot of brass instruments such as saxophone, trumpet, clarinet. The compositions are modern and sophisticated.

Mieruba Art Center is a place dedicated to the transmission and safeguarding of Malian musical heritage through musical exchange between the older and newer generation - artist residences, music lessons, rehearsals, workshops, masterclasses - and so on. Just as happy former musicians of Mali, the members of Super Biton give lessons on site. 


TRACK LISTING

Ndossoke
Super Biton
Kamalen Wari
Lebamfe
Primprin
Bwabaro
Sournousso Haba
Garan

Battlestar is the second single release from Bubaza; a collaboration between members of LA's Jungle Fire and San Diego's Sure Fire Soul Ensemble. It follows "Icebreaker", released on Colemine last year, and finds this new dub and funk outfit in fine form.

"Battlestar" on the A-side, combines hi-life and Afrofunk into a smoldering pot of drums, guitar and horns. Supremely rhythmic elements and syncopation, locked right in the pocket, show off the skills of this emergent group wonderfully.

On the flip, "Countdown (dub)" finds them rolling out exquisite dubwise pressure in the same vein as Sly & Robbie but with added new age / free party elements which should appeal to original JA rastas as much as it does the under 30s festival set.

Really strong stuff from these guys - if you don't know, get to know! 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Most people'll be feeling the A-side track, "Battlestar"; but its the free-party spiritual dub of the B-side that's been ruffling my tail feathers this week.

TRACK LISTING

Side 1
1. Battlestar (3:44)
Side 2
1. Countdown (dub) (3:00)

Theon Cross

Intra-I

    Theon Cross' new album, Intra-I, finds the gifted tuba player and composer creating a sound system powered by breath. This unique record is an uplifting celebration of Black music that, thanks to Cross' pioneering approach, helps to redefine the sonic possibilities of the tuba.

    Reflecting his own heritage, the young virtuoso melds jazz with dub, hip-hop, soca, grime and other sounds connected to the Afro-Caribbean diaspora. Additionally, the record - which features Remi Graves, Shumba Maasai, Afronaut Zu, Ahnansé, Consensus and Oren Marshall - is Cross' first music to include collaborations with guest vocalists, adding a further new dimension.


    TRACK LISTING

    Intro
    We Go Again
    Roots Feat. Shumba Massai
    The Spiral Feat. Afronaut Zu & Ahnansé
    Trust The Journey
    40tude
    Watching Over (Bless Up Dad)
    Forward Progression II
    Play To Win Feat. Consensus
    Universal Alignment Feat. Oren Marshal

    ‘Fleuves de l'Ame’ is the debut album of Paris-based Tunisan artist Houeida Hedfi, produced with Olof Dreijer of The Knife. Originally a percussionist, ‘Fleuves de l' me’, is an elegant marriage of traditional folk music and contemporary sound design drawing references from Hedfi's drumming expertise and the textures of Tunisian music alongside a startlingly broad array of global genres.

    Hedfi came to music late, getting her first drum kit aged 27 when she was already established as an academic in the field of economics / mathematics. Alongside teaching she toured playing a contemporary spin on stambeli, a genre of Afro-Arab sufi trance music heavy on rhythms. “I loved it,” she recalls, “but I had this need for melody. There was no room for that within our group, so I realised I had to start my own project.” She enlisted the help of Tunisian violin player Radhi Chaouali and Palestinian bouzouk player Jalal Nader and began rehearshals. Over nine years of travel between Tunisia, France, and Dreijer’s Berlin studio, Hedfi refined each composition with a perfectionist’s ear and found a home in melody.

    During composition it was essential to Hedfi that the songs contained the quarter tones characteristic of Tunisian/Arabic music. “I wanted it to sound like me. In my mind, if you delete these quarter tones, it’s like deleting all the verbs from a sentence.” While her musical influences are not limited to Tunisia, she still views her album as a modern take on Tunisian music. “It’s not just Tunisian,” she adds, “it’s also made by a woman. That makes a difference. My music doesn’t take up so much space, it has nuance. If I had to put a nationality to my music, I would also put a gender to it.”

    Each track is named for a different river, referencing both the safety found in the sound of water and the sinuous drama of each composition, which often starts peacefully, before evolving to encompass drama and tension, conflict and resolution. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: A beautiful marriage of swooning modern classical and traditional Tunisian folk music, with moments of elegiac pensiveness and more exuberant, shimmering beauty. A wonderfully written and beautifully crafted masterpiece.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    Souffles Du Nil
    Namami Gange (Obéissance Au Gange)
    Side B
    Envol Du Mékong
    Appel Du Danube
    Side C
    Baisers Amers De L’Euphrate
    Les Cloches De Yamuna
    Echos De Medjerda
    Side D
    Cheminement Du Tigre



    K. Frimpong And His Cubano Fiesta

    Me Da A Onnda

    “Me Da A Onnda” by K. Frimpong and his Cubanos Fiesta is a classic and essential hi-life & Afro funk album from one of the greatest Ghanaian singer and composer, finally reissued for the first time! This legendary K Fimpong's fantastic rare album was recorded in 1980.

    K. Frimpong was born on July 22nd, 1939 at Ofoase in the Ashanti - Akim district and entered right into music after elementary school by joining Star de Republic and later Oko's band after which he left to K. Gyasy's band where he worked for more than 6 years. As a prolific songwriter and singer, here's the reissue of his amazing album, a modern fusion of hi-life and soul. The excellent background is given by the famous Cubanos Fiesta with members of Vis-A-Vis band.

    Originally produced on the major Polydor, these four songs are a blend of danceable and spiritual soul and straight up hi-life. Remastered by Frank Merritt at The Carvery. Pressed on Replika format. Fully licensed by the Alhadji Kwame Frimpong Family.


    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Daben Ni
    A2. Me Yee Owu Den
    B1. Nye Mea
    B2. Me Da A Onnda

    Fauve lay out their mission statement - quite simply to link the musical worlds of west and east. The idea being that each artist invited to collaborate on each EP contributes a track each, and a remix of each other's track. 

    For their inaugural release, the duo of DJ soFa & Cheb Runner (appearing here as Mameen 3) - from Belgium & Morocco - are rostered in with Indonesian future legend Dea.

    "Dada Glitter", by Mameen 3 is a dark and slinky cosmic number; quick enough to grace the mid session but dark and weird enough to also receive spins well after the witching hour when the club's inhabitants are the more freakish leaning. Dea plays on the track's quirky idiosyncracis; drawing out those Arabic-informed scales and melodies whilst squelchy bass and skeletal drums give us that jerk and rattle we'd normally associate with some lost Andi Hanley edit.

    For Dea's side, "Mesopotamia" is as courageous as it is melliflous; long adventerous chord sequences and serpentine melodies its signature as it heads intrepidly and colourfully into the dance. Mameen 3 work their magic - imparting a definitive cosmic energy into proceedings. Strong, pungent sounds for the creative DJ and music lover - most recommended! 

    TRACK LISTING

    Side 1
    1. Mameen 3 - Dada Glitter (6:37)
    2. Mameen 3 - Dada Glitter (Dea Rework) (4:23)
    Side 2
    1. Dea - Mesopotamia (5:35)
    2. Dea - Mesopotamia (Mameen 3 Rai Not Raimix) (5:11)

    Bola Sete

    Samba In Seattle: Live At The Penthouse, 1966-1968

      Bola Sete - Samba in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse, 1966-1968 is the first official release of the legendary and influential Brazilian acoustic guitarist BOLA SETE's live recordings at the Penthouse jazz club in Seattle, WA featuring bassist SEBASTIÃO NETO and drummer PAULINHO MAGALHÃES.

      Produced by Grammy-nominated jazz detective ZEV FELDMAN, and remastered from the original tape reels in cooperation with THE BOLA SETE ESTATE, this deluxe 3-CD set includes an extensive 40 page booklet with rare photos from THE PENTHOUSE; essay by music critic and GREG CASSEUS (aka GREG CAZ); new interviews and statements by guitar icon CARLOS SANTANA, legendary composer/pianist LALO SCHIFRIN, Sete's friend, pianist and producer, GEORGE WINSTON, and Bola Sete's widow ANNE SETE; plus an effusive tribute by the late guitar great JOHN FAHEY. Samba in Seattle is a significant addition to the recorded legacy of an oft–sampled musician (A Tribe Called Quest, J Dilla and Dan The Automator) whose career straddled bossa nova, jazz–pop and early New Age.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Consolação – Baden Powell, Vinicius De Moraes
      2. Meditação – Antônio Carlos Jobim, Newton Ferreira De Mendonça
      3. Prelude No. 1 – Heitor Villa-Lobos
      4. Soul Samba – Bola Sete
      5. Deve Ser Amour – Baden Powell, Vinicius De Moraes
      6. Valsa De Uma Cidade – Ismael Netto, Antônio Maria
      7. Garota De Ipanema – Antônio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius De Moraes
      8. Malagueña - Ernesto Lecuona

      Disc Two (October 13 & 20, 1967)

      1. The Shadow Of Your Smile – Johnny Mandel, Paul Francis
      2. Webster
      3. Satin Doll – Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn
      4. Spanish Dance No. Five – Enrique Granados
      5. Prelude No. 3 In A Minor – Heitor Villa-Lobos
      6. Manhã De Carnaval – Luiz Bonfá, Antônio Maria
      7. A Felicidade – Antônio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius De Moraes
      8. Samba De Orfeu - Luiz Bonfá, Antônio Maria
      9. Samba De Avião – Antônio Carlos Jobim
      10. Samba De Verão – Marcos Valle, Paulo Valle
      11. Valsa De Uma Cidade – Ismael Netto, Antônio Maria
      12. Asturias - Isaac Albéniz
      13. Partita In E Major, BMV 1006a III. Gavotte ‘en Rondeau’ – Johann Sebastian Bach
      14. Flamenco Fantasy – Bola Sete

      Disc Three (July 26 & August 2, 1968)

      1. Tristeza – Haroldo Lobo, Niltinho
      2. Corcovado – Antônio Carlos Jobim
      3. Deve Ser Amour – Baden Powell, Vinicius De Moraes
      4. Consolação – Baden Powell, Vinicius De Moraes
      5. O Barquinho – Roberto Menescal, Ronaldo Bôscoli
      6. One Note Samba – Antônio Carlos Jobim, Newton Mendoça
      7. Satin Doll - Duke Ellington, Billy Strahorn
      8. Recuerdos De La Alhambra – Francisco Terraga

      Various Artists

      Essiebons Special 1973 - 1984 Ghana Music Power House

        Dick Essilfie-Bondzie was all ready for his 90th birthday party when the Covid pandemic hit - The legendary producer, businessman and founder of Ghana's mighty Essiebons label had invited all his family and friends to the event and it was the disappointment at having to postpone that prompted Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb to propose a new compilation celebrating his contributions to the world of West African music

        For most of the 1970s Essilfie- Bondzie's Dix and Essiebons labels were synonymous with the best in modern highlife, and his roster was a who's-who of highlife legends. C.K. Mann, Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Kofi Papa Yankson, Ernest Honny, Rob 'Roy' Raindorf and Ebo Taylor all released some of their greatest music under the Essiebons banner.Yet Essilfie- Bondzie had been destined for a very different career. Born in Apam and raised in Accra, he was sent to business school in London at the age of 20, and returned to the security of a government job in Ghana. But his passion for music, inspired by the sounds of Accra's highlife scene, had never left him, and in 1967 he figured out a way of combining music and business by opening West Africa's first record pressing plant.The venture, a partnership with the Philips label, was a huge success, attracting business from all over the continent. By the early 1970s Essilfie-Bondzie had left his government job to concentrate on his labels, and by the mid-seventies he was on a hot streak injecting album after album of restless highlife into the bloodstream of the Ghanaian music scene.Essiebons Special features a selection of obscure workouts from some of the label's heaviest hitters. But in the course of digitising his vast archive of master tapes, Essilfie-Bondzie found a number of Afrobeat and Instrumental maszterpieces tracks from the label's mid-70s golden age that, for one reason or another, had never been released. Those songs are included here for the first time.Sadly Essilfie-Bondzie passed away before the compilation was finished. But his legacy lives on in the extraordinary music that he gave to the world in his lifetime

        TRACK LISTING

        Kofi Psych - Ernest Honny
        Dee Mmaa Pe - Joe Meah
        Yeaba - CK Mann & His Carousel 7
        Shakabula - Santrofi- Ansa
        Tinitini - Seaboy & Nyame Bekyere
        Ahwene Pa Nkasa - Joe Meah
        Ernest Special - Ernest Honny
        Africa - Seaboy
        Medley - Nyame Bekyere
        Say The Truth - Ernest Honny
        Wonnin A Bisa - Black Masters Band
        Egye Tu Gbe - Sawaaba Soundz
        Fa W‘akoma Ma Me - CK Mann Big Band
        Odo Mframa - Ernest Honny


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