There will be plenty more on WTM about the fantastic Kamal Keila in due course, being the next eagerly anticipated installment on Habibi Funk. Today the label drops the title track from this forthcoming gem. Kamal Keila sung about the unity of Sudan, peace between Muslims and Christians, and the fate of war orphans. Listen:
Backed by music influenced by Arabic sounds, American funk, as well as neighbouring Ethiopia, Kamal Keila has incredibly never released a record before his magic drops on July 8th. This fantastic artist’s unique blend of the Arabic and African – jazz, folk, soul and funk – took him around Africa throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s, spreading his message of togetherness.
The title track Muslims and Christians addresses the deep-rooted religious division which became one of the main drivers for the 22-year civil war between the Muslim North and Christian South. The saxophone-infused rhythm and up-beat tempo carry lyrics of optimism: “We are one nation, Sudan is one nation.” Keila’s plea for Sudanese people to come together was his message.
In 2011, many years after Keila wrote his song, Sudan divided into the majority-Muslim Sudan and majority-Christian South Sudan. The former would spiral into economic crisis and the latter into deadly and brutal conflict.
Kamal Keila’s music embodies the complex character of his home country – both African and Arab, local and international, traditional and modern, influenced by a whole world of music – but is distinctively Sudanese.
Pre-order: at habibifunkrecords.bandcamp.com
Chip Wickham’s dogged determination has seen him remain a lynchpin of the UK jazz scene and recover from throat cancer to continue his masterful musicianship. The release date of his second album Shamal Wind draws nearer – with some fantastic singles already whetting the appetite.
The UK flautist and sax player is dropping album track Snake Eyes on May 4th, following the Art Blakey-style Barrio 71. The album Shamal Wind is planned for May 25th. Fans of the artist include Gilles Peterson, Laurent Garnier, Craig Charles, Gideon Coe, Toshio Matsuura and Dom Servini.
An early lynchpin of the UK jazz scene in Manchester, Wickham has played with Matthew Halsall, Nightmares On Wax, Badly Drawn Boy, and Grand Central Records. Halsall guests on album track The Mirage. In 2017 Chip toured with both Matthew Halsall and Dwight Trible and his previous credits include Craig Charles Fantasy Funk Band, The New Mastersounds, The Pharcyde, and Roy Ayers
Australian label Left Ear Records reissued the cult electro-soul jam by Arabian Knight last year – here’s the amazing video of the track if you missed it. Now, another cult star of electro – the Egyptian Lover – is remixing.
These reissues, remixes and a new audience has reignited a flame in the Arabian Knight. Here he is performing in Melbourne last year.
From a lost Australian electro-soul gem we now have the Egyptian Lover’s remixes. The guys at Left Ear said: “Shahara-Ja’s I’m An Arabian Knight has gained much momentum since it’s 2017 reissue, so much so that the Egyptian Lover reached out to the label proclaiming he’d do a remix. The electro innovator, who the original release appears to be highly inspired by, seemed like a perfect fit for this sleazy late Night groover. The result is three fresh mixes using elements of the original session tapes and the perfect touch of the Egyptian Lover’s signature 808.”
Here is a preview of the forthcoming remix:
The Egyptian Lover started out as an L.A DJ and began recording around Los Angeles in 1982 as a member of the Radio Crew, as well as Uncle Jamm’s Army. He released some of the earliest rap LPs, but they were less popular than his singles. His most popular single was Egypt, Egypt. After a break in the early 1990s, Egyptian Lover returned in 1994 with Back from the Tomb, his first full-length album in over ten years. The Egyptian Lover also established his own record company, Egyptian Empire Records. His 2015 release, 1984, continued his tradition of using solely analog equipment, including his famed Roland TR-808. His music continues in 2018.
Shahara-Ja – I’m An Arabian Knight (Egyptian Lover Remixes) is out on April 1st.
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.