Blip Discs have released an enthralling collection of Islamic spirituals from Kampala, Uganda, performed and composed with the traditional mataali drum and vocal troupe Mubashira Mataali Group (pron: moo-ba-shee-ra).
The globetrotters at Blip Discs follow up their impressive label catalogue of forward thinking and genre fusing dance music with these songs composed for weddings, pilgrimages and worship. Although these themes may not immediately seem fitting with the label’s club-focused and dance-floor specific output, Tom Blip at the label assures us that these cuts will refreshingly surprise DJs and dancers alike. The work in Uganda follows funding being awarded in the UK for cultural exchange.
“I’ve played these out a few times and I never can quite believe what I’m seeing,” Tom says. “The reaction seems testament to the idea that we don’t have to keep on remixing and westernising contemporary African music in order to dance to it. This is Mubashira Mataali Group as we recorded them – with absolutely no electronic overdubs – just a few microphones, some drums and some vocals.”
Mataali is the music the people of Madinah celebrated to when the prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) arrived in their city in the 7th Century. It features spirited call-and-response vocals, visceral chanting and driving percussion. Mubashira Mataali Group is a troupe of 25 musicians led by Sulaiman ‘Sula’ Sulait, a film star-come-musician based in Kampala. The Blip Discs crew first saw the group at the capital’s Bayimba Festival – and inspired by their performance – promptly invited them to a recording session, which took place only a few hours later on the same day.
The fruit of Blip Discs’ musical labours in Uganda were recorded in 2016. World Treasures Music features four tracks from the EP. They are back-to-back during the latest show for KMAH Radio. Click below to listen, the tracks are at the 11 minute, 25 second mark and at the 1 hour, 31 minutes and 20 second mark.
Respect to all at Blip Discs for their work and courage in delivering this music to new audiences.
The Helsinki based trombonist, flute and tuba player will deliver his brand of exhilarating psych funk on his first LP later this month.
Early listens indicate the skill and dexterity of the front man alongside his band. Title track Scorpio Man displays their hardness and Street of Tears shows their ambience and mood shifting. Expect Cymande flavored instrumentals, obscure B movie tunes, hip-hop samples and library music cuts. There are also plenty of nods to classic soul and funk staples.
Scorpio Man – is a Diamond & Mink production – out on Timmion Records and is released on 23rd March. The music will be featured on the next World Treasures Music radio show.
Australian label Left Ear take their musical excavation to Spain and have compiled five deep and immersive compositions by Respuesta Alternativa on vinyl. Respuesta Alternativa, or ‘alternative response’, was a backlash production to traditional music at the time resulting in the cassette only album Grata Compania.
Jesús Mª Catalán (former keyboardist of Clandestine Modes) played keyboards and percussion, while also enlisting the help of Julián C. Pérez on guitars, bass and production. There were also collaborations by Fernando Largo and Carlos Redondo, the EP is dedicated to their memory. It was recorded and mixed at Estudios Frassinelli, in Oviedo, Spain, in 1985 and 1986.
The record is out now and is to the usual high standards of this trans-nationally orientated label.
Istanbul native Kerem Akdag delivers a fantastic debut album today for the Dimensions label – an imprint born from the supreme festival staged in Croatia.
Kerem’s self titled album follows several other essential 12″s featuring club ready weapons by artists from around the globe. The selection of familiar names and up and coming producers has been varied and expertly curated so far on the label. And in tandem with the festival – which is also continually bringing a wide musical spectrum and unique vision – 2018 looks like it will be a huge year for Dimensions. This year’s festival line up is again bursting at the seams with world class bookings and an intuitive programming that sets the collective apart from all others. WTM will be bringing more on what’s to come on the label’s next releases, but expect that consistency and high standard that the brand is famed for. Where the label will go next is an exciting prospect. The first release on the label featured two of the highlights of last summer: Mim Suleiman’s Pole Pole and Alma Negra’s Onga. It was on this first Dimensions Recordings release, An Introduction Part 1, where many first heard Kerem on the cut Getdownsoclose. The whole EP was a showcase of the international sounds that the label, as well as the festival, continues to champion.
Between the first release and Kerem’s, the label has covered electro, dub techno, house and more, featuring European and American artists that have impressed at Dimensions festival and numerous events. Now it is the turn of the Turkish artist to shine. This fifth release has already pricked the interest of influential fans such as Gilles Peterson and similarly minded selectors. Understandably so, as Kerem’s music trips through jazz, soul and funk through to house techno and left leaning electronica.
It’s been flying out already since its release – for a listen and to grab one, visit Kerem’s bandcamp.
Guy One has released a sensational debut for the Polyphon label called #1. His story is a truly inspiring ‘rags to riches’ tale – growing up in remote northern Ghana with no schooling, herding cows and goats, building his own instruments and teaching himself to sing. Guy One’s Frafra music is a style that originates from a small area in the north of Ghana and can be heard at weddings and funerals.
Two choice cuts from the album are featured on this WTM radio show from 41m. 58s:
Frafra music “made in Germany” is how drummer and producer Max Weissenfeldt has described it. The album is diverse and inspiring and features a range of elements including choirs, trumpet, organ, bass, drums, synthesiser, vibraphone, saxophone and piano.
Check out these great videos featuring Guy One below also:
Tahira is a name that many will become more familiar with now – after hearing his superb selection of Brazilian music for Jazz & Milk.
This is the first Afro-Brazilian compilation for the German label, which has specialised in jazz and funk influenced productions and reworks. It’s an insightful decision to team up with one of São Paulo’s most active DJs and music collectors. While many DJs tend to play Brazilian music that has more cross-pollination with jazz, soul, funk and disco, Tahira’s has selected tracks from the past four decades that display more wide ranging influences and roots – Levanta Poeira expertly encompasses Brazil’s various regional musical styles influenced by African and Amerindian forms and that is what makes it so special.
Most of these tracks will be made available on vinyl for the very first time with a highlight certainly being Tahira’s A Toda Menina Baiana remix (vinyl-only) of one of Brazil’s absolute musical heroes, Gilberto Gil.
Below is a video featuring Tahira discussing the project, with more words from the label underneath. More from Tahira and Jazz & Milk Recordings label boss, Christoph Doepke, can be read from their interviews, click here to access the WTM labels section.
“Tahira is a well known character and good soul of São Paulo’s music and digging community, regularly searching through record shops, private collections or dusty attics around the country. The passionate DJ dedicated the past four years extensively researching Brazil’s broader spectrum of musical styles and slowly started to introduce more and more African and indigenous elements in his DJ sets. Encouraged by the great acceptance and success during his shows he decided to curate his first compilation project to share his discoveries with the world. “Levanta Poeira” is a popular Brazilian expression meaning “kick up dust.” This is a phenomenon that can be found throughout the country, a cultural manifestation that exists where people gather to play, dance and party. Earth is hit by the foot of the dancers raising a cloud of dust. It is a sign that the heat of the Brazilian spirit is present!
“The compilation starts of with a key figure of Brazil’s music scene. Since the 1950s, the Genius Gilberto Gil has been gifting us with countless musical blessings. Very few artists were able to not only explore but embody the diversity of Brazilian music as well as he did. Gil’s endless row of classics include the wonderful track Toda Menina Baiana which has been revisited by Tahira himself. Adding Ijexá beats, as well as Afrobeat stlye guitars and a horn section on top of the original, Tahira managed to make this legendary song attractive to a young and modern audience. The remix starts of with a long percussion intro, builds up very slowly before finally introducing the first vocal verse – an arrangement especially designed for DJs who love to mix and blend Brazilian rhythms in their sets. This remix will be available on vinyl only!”
Click here for Jazz and Milk’s Bandcamp. To read more from the label and Tahira, click here to access the WTM labels section.