The Colombian New Wave

Liking this French documentary a lot detailing the rise of the new wave of Colombian bands one foot in their folklore and the other foot firmly in the digital era. Love the fact that it’s so inclusive of some of the foreign producers like Quantic and Sidestepper that have been influential…none of the pointless arguments about who did what first and who is more authentic, seen so often in UK cultural phenomena like garage or grime. Just pure inclusive joy in making new music.

Que Pasa Colombia – Web-documentary (English subtitles) from Que Pasa Colombia on Vimeo.

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One of the things I like about writing a music blog is I only have to write about the things I love. Periodically I get asked to do reviews of music for people but I find it really hard if I’m not personally really excited about the music. In short I’m better at gushing than dispassionate appraisal. This is the latest thing to have blown me away. I don’t know anything about Abou Diarra but this combination of immaculately produced Malian music combined with blues harmonica is just perfect. I can’t really think of much else to say about it. From the uptempo stuff to the downtempo it’s an amazing album from start to finish.

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The KutiMangoes – Made in Africa

Got a promo this week that I really have to shout about. The KutiMangoes second LP is called Made in Africa and it’s one of the best I’ve heard all year. The story of the band appears to be that a group of hip Danish jazz musicians decided that there wasn’t enough music in world fusing the afrofunk genius of Fela Kuti with the melodic jazz of Charlie Mingus. Fair point. I mean we’ve all thought that at some stage haven’t we? Anyways. Their first LP Afro-Fire won all kinds of stuff and now they’re back. I’ll admit this is the first I’ve heard of them but it’s really really good. I remember reading an interview with World Circuit records don, Nick Gold where he said the challenge for releasing world music LPs was finding things that crossover and appealed to people that didn’t understand a word of what was going on lyrically. This is the first proper listen from start to finish albums I’ve heard in a while. And it’s remarkably varied. There are several uptempo afrofunk bangers that will be lighting up dancefloors near you soon like This Ship Will Sink, BIC or Adjoa. There are also more subtle but effortlessly funky tunes like Red Rain, Hunting and Bamako by Bus. Seriously it’s all great. Released Nov 4th.

 

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OK people. This is the big one. Rambunctious Social Club’s biggest night of the year…our annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration. Get the party started with your dearly departed. Two bands including the incredible Balkan gypsy fuelled mayhem of ‘Gypsy Hil’ who tore the roof off at Port Eliot this summer and support from the lovely Manushka. Four DJs including two special guests, Inko and Larry SKG from Carnibal Records in Greece and your residents Hodguez and Senor Griff. We are heading rapidly for a total sell out so get your tickets fast.
We still urgently need face painters so if anyone wants a free ticket and the opportunity to make a bit of money then contacted Lee Hodges or myself.

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Sublime Malian blues dance music from St Germain.

Hard to believe it’s been 15 years since St Germain’s epic LP Tourist gave us Rose Rouge, and some other seriously well produced jazz house tunes that still sound fresh as a daisy. Would you believe it, french producer Ludovic Navarre is back with a third LP called simply ‘St Germain’, and it’s every bit as slick as his previous work. The signs were clear in ‘Tourist’ that he loved the blues, after all the tune ‘Sure Thing’ featured John Lee Hooker. This time he’s followed a well trodden route taking the blues back to the supposed Malian source. Ali Farka Toure and Tinariwen have already made careers out of exploiting this link, but it’s a rich vein and a long way from being tapped out. Navarre manages to add his own trademark slickness to the production and some straight up dance music stylings that take the Malian blues thing into new territory. So many fusion experiments fail by reducing the styles being fused to a pastiche. I’m thinking of some of the appalling attempts to fuse Jazz and hip hop in the early nineties, which ended up being neither jazz nor hip hop. Navarre doesn’t do that here though. This works though and for anyone that loves Malian music already it will be a joy to listen to. In addition to the Malian vocalists, the LP features kora, balafon, n’goni and some sublime guitar. In short I love it.

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‘Through the Wire’ remix compilation from Captain Planet

Had to show this release some love. One of my favourite producers Captain Planet has a new collection of remixes out on Bastard Jazz recordings. A lot of them I had already and have been using heavily such as the sublime London Afrobeat Orchestra – Prime Minister remix. Also his contribution to my favourite LP this summer, the Luzmila Carpio remixes on ZZK records.

But there are other gems I missed along the way. Buyepongo’s future cumbia workout called ‘Maestros’ is standout. I like Ana Tijoux’s 3-ball style track ‘Shock’ too. Top of the pile though goes to CPs remix of Pimps of Joytime and their tune ‘Keep that Music Playing’ which I can’t wait to drop on a fully primed top-of-the-night dancefloor.

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Mindblowingly beautiful electro-andean from Luzmila Carpio on ZZK records

Wow. Mindblowing weekend. Absolutely HUGE tropical night at Rambunctious Social Club on Saturday night. Made great new friends in Chris Tofu and Cal Jader. Had a great Sunday recovery session with Cal talking about music and the people who make it. He just alerted me to this incredible project on Buenos Aires based label ZZK. It’s by a venerated Bolivian singer from Potosi called Luzmila Carpio and features seven tracks remixed by some of the best known talent in the ever snowballing Electro-Andean music scene. ZZKs Chancho via Circuito and Wonderwheel’s Tremor have cracks at the whip as does US world music ace Captain Planet. It’s everything I hoped would emerge when I started the Nueva Andina soundcloud group whilst I was still in travelling in Peru. This is raw, honest and authentic huayno k’alampeado music from Potosi district blended with modern electronica. I absolutely love it. The electro-andean movement is gaining pace.

Do yourselves a favour. I’ve included the Soundcloud mix of four tracks below for ease of listening. Go straight to Bandcamp and get yourself the full seven track LP. It’s only a minimum seven dollars….pay more! These kind of projects deserve support.

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Rambunctious Social Club – Chris Tofu and Cal Jader guest in a southwest rum shack carnival tropical special!!

We’ve got a tropical special going on at Rambunctious Social Club tomorrow night in Totnes. Delighted to be welcoming a giant of the UK alternative festival circuit and electroswing pioneer Chris Tofu. We also have the owner of Movimientos Records and leading light in the UK tropical scene mr Cal Jader. Aside from that there will be the usual blend of reggae, ska, cumbia, samba, salsa, electroswing, balkan and a fair dose of straight up jazz. The night will be hosted by resident DJs Lee Hodges and myself. Cannot wait! Doors open at 8pm.

Rum-Bumper-Ball-web

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Kanaku y el Tigre – Alternative indie/folk pop from Peru.

For those who thought Peru was all about psychodelic chicha and cumbia, here comes a timely reminder that Peru has a proud history of keeping up with whatever alternative musical phenomena are going on elsewhere in the world. This Lima based duo called Kanaku y el Tigre have just signed to Strut records in the UK in association with the delightful Tigers milk records. I absolutely love their videos. I remember Nick Gold of World Circuit records commenting on the difficulty of foreign language music crossing over in the English speaking world. The Manu Chao’s and Buena Vista artists tend to be the exception to the rule. Could this band have it? They seem to have something special. Check this video out from Lima. Reminds me of my wife and I doing a wacky races style charge down the pacific coast highway in 2012. Colombia to the Chilean lake district in three weeks with my wife 5 months pregnant. Happy days. Check out Strut records for their new LP Quema Quema Quema. https://strut.greedbag.com/buy/quema-quema-quema-0/

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Pervian digital cumbia scene

Just got sent this by Dj Caution from Ovni Guaraje. I’ve been following some of these artists for a while through the Nueva Andina group that I curate on Soundcloud. The hardcore electronic stuff is a little too much for me but I really love some of the old remixes of Amazonian chicha by bands like Los Destellos and Los Mirlos. I’d love to see some of these guys taking on the other forms of peruvian folk music. They have such an incredibly rich and diverse range of styles. Almost every region has it’s own distinctive sounds. Although people associate Peru with zamponas (panpipes) and quenas a lot of their music is actually heavily string led. Harps, guitars, charangos and a lot of violins. Peruvian huayno has a lot of accordion in it was well which is something you rarely hear in Bolivia. I’m working on a remix at the moment through Sounds and Colours magazine from a French field recording artist called Vincent Moon who has an amazing catalogue of field recordings from Peru. Will put up a link in the next post.

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