Left Ear’s selection of Antipodean Anomalies brings us special music from an “isolating” place

The wait is finally over and Left Ear’s compilation of music from Australia and New Zealand – made in a “unique” time and space in the 1970s and 1980s – is finally here…and these Antipodean Anomalies sound like nothing else.

Compiled by Left Ear Record’s own Chris Bonato and  Umut Turkeri, tracks such as Rainbow Generator’s City Of The Sun is a psychedelic walkabout and is anchored by Balearic ramblings about the beach – but it is the more traditional sounding instrumentation and melodies that elevate this beyond mere new-wave, post-punk or leftfield music.

The duo at Left Ear Records explain how these lesser-known artists have constructed such culturally fused and unique visions in their compositions:

“For musicians inhabiting the Antipodean countries of Australia and New Zealand during the 70’s and 80’s, it was a geographically and culturally isolating environment. Boutique shops, community radio and mail order exchanges championed independent and contemporary music from across the globe. It was, however, this isolation that caused a number of small community-focused scenes to evolve, creating their own unique interpretation and reappropriation of outside influences. Through both these scenes and government initiatives, a vast amount of music emerged on self-released and independent labels.

“Yet, even among small scenes that were creating unique sounds, a number of artists seemed to be making music that was neither here nor there, often meshing together numerous genres and influences to create anomalous sounds.

“Artists like Olev Muska along with Ingrid Slamer meshed traditional folk songs of their Estonian heritage with cutting edge computer technology. Ngahiwi Apanui used his native language of Te Reo and a “cheap drum machine” to create a pulsating tale that highlights the creation of Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand); while the Free Radicals would sing through PVC pipes to construct their vision of post-apocalyptic tribal music. Sydney’s Nic Lyon used his classical training to craft a distinctive gem which matched eastern and African influenced instruments with synchopated drum machines, while artists like Delaney Venn and Toy Division managed to challenge their post-punk sensibilities by blending both dub and atmospheric sounds respectively.”

Once again Left Ear have shown their expert curation and diversity, although looking closer to their Melbourne home than with recent releases – having reissued Kingsley Bucknor’s electro-disco from Nigeria, undiscovered synth legend Omer Coleman (also Starship Commander Woo Woo), fellow U.S countrymen Workdub and their brand of dub experiments, Shahara-Ja’s soulful electro, Yoruba Singers of Guyana, the spaced out jazz-funk of Thesda, the rapso of Brother Resistance, Minoru Hoodoo Fushimi’s blend of Japanese tradition and electro-funk, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Andre Tanker.

Left Ear have also reissued Antipodean artists, including Peter Westheimer and Leong Lau, the latter just receiving a much needed repress. The documentary below provides a window into Lau’s world. You can also click here: for more anomalies from Australia and New Zealand.

New reissue label Time Capsule will focus on personal favourites and cult classics of audiophile community

Time Capsule is a new London based reissue label connected to a community of record collectors from the city’s venue Brilliant Corners and party turned record label, Beauty & The Beat. The label is headed up by Kay Suzuki and each release will be co-curated by one of the community’s music-obsessives. The music will also be beautifully repackaged and restored.

First up is L Guardiano Del Faro’s cult classic Oasis and is picked by Ryota OPP (Meda Fury), It drops next month. Oasis is an Italian proto electronic milestone with sounds moving between oscillating synth passages, out-there prog and psych, as well as space disco.

For the second release, Suzuki will reissue a set of five ’80s tunes from Yuji Toriyama, a Japanese fusion guitarist and composer. Toriyama is perhaps best known for his soundtrack work on video games such as Street Fighter II and Final Fantasy XII

“While there were so many talented Japanese guitarists in the ’80s,” Suzuki says, “Yuji’s production and arrangement in the era were very experimental and raw.”

There is a clear mission statement from Time Capsule – with these two selections already announced – and more vinyl gems can be expected from the precious vaults of a range of music devotees.

The record focusing on Yuji Toriyama, titled Choice Works 1982 – 1985, will land in October with new artwork from graphic designer Ben Arfur. The new sleeve design looks sublime, clearly inspired by Japanese label art and a colour composition that draws a listener to the beauty within.

Time Capsule will release Il Guardiano Del Faro on September 7th and Choice Works 1982 – 1985 on October 5th.

New single from J.P. Bimeni – a royal refugee turned soul survivor in the vein of Otis

Listen to the achingly beautiful soul of J.P Bimeni on  new single I Miss You.

J.P. Bimeni is the Burundian-born singer – who paired with Spanish funk band, Black Belts – sounds like a soul legend in the making.

The ballad sees Bimeni’s vocals in full bloom pitted against a gritty and cinematic sound of epic horns and soaring gospel tones. The track comes from his first ever album entitled Free Me scheduled for release in Autumn 2018.

Bimeni’s story is unique. “Burundi is a country at war with itself and my family is a microcosm of this”, says the singer, who was born to a republican-leaning, high-ranking military official father and a mother who was a descendant of the royal family. When the country’s civil war began in 1993 and became an inter ethnic conflict with massive loss of life, Bimeni was shot through the chest and left on the brink of death. After later hearing that he was on the wanted list from his hospital bed in Kenya he was subsequently poisoned by injection in the hospital.

Amazingly Bimeni recovered and was able to register as a refugee. He applied for a scholarship program run by the UN Refugee Agency and at 16 he left for a college in Wales with a chance of a better life and the opportunity to make music for a living. He is now based in London.

I Miss You is the debut single from J.P. Bimeni and is out now. His debut album Free Me is set for release on Tucxone Records on October 12th.

Digital cumbia pioneer Chancha Via Circuito progresses his electro-folk sound on new ‘Bienaventuranza’ LP

Chancha Via Circuita’s new album is called Bienaventuranza (bliss) and takes his Argentinian fusion of cumbia music – with an electronic aesthetic – to new heights. Releasing on US Wonderwheel Records, Chancha Via Circuito – a Buenos Aires native named Pedro Canal – combines Andean instruments and folklore to a distinctily Latin beat.

Formerly signed to ZZK and Crammed, previously acclaimed albums such as Rio Arriba (2010) and Amansara (2014), Bienaventuranza features collaborations with other stars on the digital cumbia scene – including Mateo Kingman, Kaleema, and Lido Pimienta. Also involved are Colombian dancehall don Manu Ranks and percussionist Federico Estevez.

The album is out now. Two tracks featured on the latest World Treasures Music radio show –  Ilaló (feat. Mateo Kingman) at the five minute mark and Kawa Kawa (feat. Kaleema) at 41m.44s.

 

New Emanative LP ‘Earth’ on Jazzman Records is a crowning moment for Nick Woodmansey and the band

This is one LP that needs to be heard. Earth is the fourth album from the jazz outfit led by drummer Nick Woodmansey – son of Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey  (who was the drummer with Bowie’s Spiders from Mars). Nick is joined on this masterpiece by a host of visionaries, including Idris Ackamoor from The Pyramids, Dele Sosimi once of Africa 80, Nat Birchall, Sarathy Korwar from Shabaka Hutchings’ set-up, Ben Hadwen from Ibibio Sound Machine, and The Heliocentrics’ Malcolm Catto.

This album brings a heady, multi-cultural strain of UK jazz with African, Indian and Middle Eastern influences. Emanative sound like no other on the current UK jazz scene and their LP comes at a time of great fertility. Their Sun Ra like mysticism and influences from around the world have created something more wonderful than their previous record – The Light Years of the Darkness – on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label back in 2015.

Nick Woodmansey

In 2008, when Emanative began, it was an output for Woodmansey’s more broken beat/nu-jazz productions on the Futuristica Music label. Nick’s musical journey has been an interesting one to trace. The Light Years of the Darkness in 2015 also featured work with Keiran Hebden (Four Tet), where a deep percussive, sometimes hypnotic sound (such as on tracks like Makondi and Four Tet’s edit on the Lions Of Judah projectdisplayed another side to Emanative. Drumming on the Lions Of Judah project – with Ahmed Abdullah and in dedication to Sun Ra’s drummer Steve Reid – was Nick’s best known work previously. All profits went to the Steve Reid Foundation, a charity which Gilles Peterson set up and where Nick is a trustee – all in the name of the legendary jazz-drummer. The charity helps musicians in crisis as well as supports new talent.

Emanative’s Ben Hadwen

Also featured on the new album are core members: Jessica Lauren on keys, Tamar Osborn (baritone saxophone and flute), Ben Hadwen (bass clarinet, flute, tenor saxophone), Suman Joshi playing upright bass, and three percussionists: Sarathy Korwar, Phillip Harper and Vince Vella.

It is exciting to think where Emanative will go next – with Nick’s links to the electronic world and the glitterati of jazz and world music. This new album’s quality and the evolution to this spiritual jazz-inspired collective puts Emanative in a new league. 

Two tracks from the Emanative album featured on the latest World Treasures Music radio show at 22m.35s. More tracks will also be featured next week on KMAH Radio, on Thursday, 2pm – 4pm (GMT).

 

World Treasures Radio show now available (with tracklist): 5th Notional and Ekiti Sound in focus

The latest World Treasures Music radio show is now available to catch up on and features a new interpretation of Japanese ambiance by 5th Notional and a track called Ife by new transnational outfit – Ekiti Sound.

Ekiti Sound is Leke, aka CHiF, a Nigerian and London-based producer, vocalist and musician who has just signed to Crammed Discs after working on soundtracks in the Nollywood film industry. He makes futuristic fusion music that transcends borders. This video is pretty natty too and is directed by Sam Campbell, who shot it in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria:

“Ife means the greatest love in Yoruba,” Lefe says. “The song weaves a traditional raspy vocal from Ekiti Sound collaborator Prince G. The deep sub bass energy rides on the signature heavy tribal drums and patterns of Ekiti sound lifting into a ethereal breakdown melody that sticks in your head.”

Ekiti Sound’s debut album Abeg No Vex is planned for release in November.

Also featured in the latest show is a track from the priceless reissue of 5th Notional’s Yawn Yawn Yawn by Archeo Recordings. Manu at Archeo has been reissuing grails from his native Italy since 2014. This mellow masterpiece of Japanese ambient music has been delivered in a three vinyl pack with new remixes from some of Japan’s finest – Chee Shimizu, Yabe, Kuniyuki, as well as Tokyo DJ Max Essa. All of these tracks are absolutely beautiful and they have been staples of recent World Treasures shows and mixes.

More selections from the latest show will be covered in the coming days, including features of new albums by Chancha Via Circuita, El Malon Del Gaucho and Emanative. Also coming up is a feature on Japanese visionary Haruomi Hosono and the forthcoming packages from Light In The Attic Records, as well as an interview with Romanian music pioneer – Rodion.

Listen to the show:

Tracklist

George Earnest – A Storm

5th Notional – Song With No Words (Laughing Instrumental)

Chancha Via Circuita – Ilaló (feat. Mateo Kingman)

Copenema – Te Faz Bem (mix master 2)

Bonnie & Klein – Iris

Emanative – Dawn Child (Sunrise)

Emanative – Iyaami (ft Dele Sosimi)

Chancha Via Circuita – Kawa Kawa (feat. Kaleema)

Falz – This Is Nigeria

Ekiti Sound – Ife

Haruomi Hosono – Laugh-Gas

Haruomi Hosono – Orgone Box

Omer Coleman – So Good (Instrumental)

Pat Ca$h – Cajibre

Omer Coleman – Lovin Babe Sure Is Fun (Vocal Edit)

El Malon Del Gaucho – Molina

Pastor T. L. Barrett – Jesus, Lover Of My Soul

Pastor T. L. Barrett –  Do Not Pass My By

Letta Mbulu – Kilimandjaro Take Us Higher

Bakambi N Kela – Kilimanjoro

Christy Essien – You Can’t Change A Man

Uta Bella – Enyin

George Earnest – A Sea

Christy Essien – Goodbye

Finally, posting this now that the controversy has died down a bit. Falz’s parody/pastiche/inspired take on Childish Gambino’s This Is America attracted praise and criticism in huge quantities. Positive perspectives focused on this comedian’s biting staire and social commentary. Negative perspectives focused on specific lyrics that stereotyped Nigerians, without the slightest recognition of irony or intention. It is hard to deny that art should create a reaction,