September 27, 2016

Alsarah & The Nubatones | Manara

ARTIST: Alsarah & The Nubatones
TITLE: Manara
LABEL: Wonderwheel
Alsarah & The Nubatones, Brooklyn’s own “East African retro-pop” outfit, are back with their sophomore LP. It’s a follow-up to Silt, one of my favorite albums of 2014.

Kottarashky And The Rain Dogs | Cats, Dogs And Ghosts

ARTIST: Kottarashky And The Rain Dogs
TITLE: Cats, Dogs And Ghosts
LABEL: Asphalt Tango
Nicola Gruev, aka Kottarashky (“Tomcat”), is a Bulgarian musician whose specialty is cutting and pasting Eastern European samples (including his own field recordings) into a very contemporary jazz-rock context.

Program September 28, 2016

I love reggae harmony vocal groups, and you'll hear a bunch of them on this week's program: a new track from The Frightnrs, classics from the Mighty Diamonds, the Congos and more.  I also have some British folk-rock cued up for you.

Caroline, a new WRIR world music trainee, will be my guest co-host.  She's going to impress you with the two sets she's selected: an African one that ranges from Kenya to Senegal, and one from the Middle East with a bunch of artists new to me, plus Omar Souleyman.  Caroline and I are both big Omar Souleyman fans, but we're not in the same league as the two guys pictured above.

September 26, 2016

Charts September 25, 2016

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 ABOU DIARRA | Koya | Mix Et Metisses
2 VIEUX KANTE | The Young Man's Harp | Sterns Africa
3 NOURA MINT SEYMALI | Arbina | Glitterbeat
4 VARIOUS ARTISTS | This Is Kologo Power! | Sahelsounds / Makkum / Red Wig
5 MAMADOU BARRY AND AFRO GROOVE GANG | Tankadi | Label Bleu
6 BACAO RHYTHM AND STEEL BAND | 55 | Big Crown
7 SAN LAZARO | Amor De Despedida | HopeStreet
8 JOE BATAAN | Call My Name | Vampisoul
9 IMARHAN | Imarhan | City Slang
10 PUPPA LEK SEN | Sweet And Tuff | Jahsen Creation

September 20, 2016

Abou Diarra | Koya

ARTIST: Abou Diarra
TITLE: Koya
LABEL: Mix Et Metisses
Abou Diarra is a musician from Mali’s Sikasso region who now lives in Paris. His main instrument is the kamale ngoni or youth harp, a secularized version of the donso ngoni (hunter’s harp) which has primarily ceremonial uses – it’s something like a cross between the small ngoni and the kora.

Noura Mint Seymali | Arbina

ARTIST: Noura Mint Seymali
TITLE: Arbina
LABEL: Glitterbeat
The second album by Mauritania’s Noura Mint Seymali continues and extends what she and her band accomplished on their outstanding 2014 debut, Tzenni.

The Ultimate Guide To English Folk

ARTIST: various artists
TITLE: The Ultimate Guide To English Folk
LABEL: ARC
English folk music, which lay mostly fallow in the 1980s after a great 60s revival and the flowering of folk-rock in the 70s, has come alive once again in recent years.

September 19, 2016

Program September 21, 2016

Banda Magda, who will be playing live on Global A Go-Go this week and headlining at the Broadberry later on Wednesday night, is one of those international bands that can only form in a polyglot city like New York: a Japanese vibes player, a guitarist from Argentina, and a Greek-born bandleader who sings in seven different languages.

Their music is hard to describe, but easy to list influences for: French chanson and jazz manouche, Brazilian bossa nova and forro, Greek folk and pop, and the list could go on and on.  Check 'em out on this week's edition of Global A Go-Go, in a live session from WRIR's Studio C that's scheduled to get underway at 3:30.

Also this week (time permitting): the music of Mali's female kamale ngoni star Kokanko Sata, who will be playing at the Neighborhood Resource Center on Friday (more info here); more virtuosi of the kamale ngoni (youth harp); and a new record from Noura Mint Seymali of Mauritania.

September 18, 2016

Charts September 18, 2016

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 FRIGHTNRS | Nothing More To Say | Daptone
2 VARIOUS ARTISTS | Quiero Creedence | Concord Picante
3 VARIOUS ARTISTS | This Is Kologo Power! | Sahelsounds / Makkum / Red Wig
4 KRISTI STASSINOPOULOU AND STATHIS KALYVIOTIS | NYN | Riverboat
5 JOE BATAAN | Call My Name | Vampisoul
6 YENI NOSTALJI | 2016 EP demo (final mix) | unreleased
7 VARIOUS ARTISTS | Urgent Jumping! East African Musiki Wa Dansi Classics | Sterns Africa
8 DZAMBO AGUSEVI ORCHESTRA | Brass Like It Hot | ARC
9 BACAO RHYTHM AND STEEL BAND | 55 | Big Crown
10 FANFARE CIOCARLIA | 20 | Asphalt Tango

September 13, 2016

Program September 14, 2016

Yeni Nostalji (Turkish for "New Nostalgia") is one of the most unique bands in Richmond right now -- hell, they're unique anywhere in the world.

Led by singer-songwriter Christina Marie Gleixner (pictured above, photo by Betty Clicker), they play original songs inspired by Turkish pop music of the 1960s (which itself was heavily influenced by European and American pop of the era), sung in the Turkish language.  The band has been gigging around Richmond for the last two years, and their current demo tape (which has garnered interest from international record labels) is one of WRIR's most played albums this year.

On this week's program, I welcome Christina Marie to the studio.  We'll talk about how she got interested in Turkish music, about writing songs in a new language, about finding your true musical calling and much more.  We'll also play music that Christina has selected: her songwriting influences, examples of the Turkish nostalji sound and what she's listening to these days.

Also this week: Latin soul, including a recent rediscovery from Willie Bobo; and one from Banda Magda, who will share the bill next Wednesday at the Broadberry with Yeni Nostalji, and who will play live on next week's edition of Global A Go-Go.

September 6, 2016

Program September 7, 2016

Mulatu Astatke (pictured above) is the man who invented Ethio-jazz. His recordings and arrangements from the late 60s and 70s revolutionized Ethiopia's popular music by adding elements of jazz and instruments from Latin music to the traditional pentatonic modes. And he's far from retired: at age 69 in 2013, he released one of the best albums of his career, Sketches Of Ethiopia.

I'm going up to New York this weekend to see Astatke perform (at this event: http://www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/met-live-arts/mulatu-astatke-fy17), and in honor of the event I'll spin a set of the music that made me such a big fan of the father of Ethio-jazz.

Also this week: musical prescriptions from Africa, the cumbia-reggae-salsa connection, and funk Caribbean style.

September 5, 2016

Charts September 4, 2016

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 VARIOUS ARTISTS | Quiero Creedence | Concord Picante
2 FRIGHTNRS | Nothing More To Say | Daptone
3 SAN LAZARO | Amor De Despedida | HopeStreet
4 DZAMBO AGUSEVI ORCHESTRA | Brass Like It Hot | ARC
5 JOE BATAAN | Call My Name | Vampisoul
6 FANFARE CIOCARLIA | 20 | Asphalt Tango
7 MONEY CHICHA | Echo En Mexico | Vampisoul
8 YENI NOSTALJI | 2016 EP Demo (final mix) | unreleased
9 VARIOUS ARTISTS | Rough Guide To Peru Rare Groove | World Music Network
10 MIRAMAR | Dedication To Sylvia Rexach | Barbes

August 31, 2016

The Frightnrs | Nothing More To Say

ARTIST: The Frightnrs
TITLE: Nothing More To Say
LABEL: Daptone
This is the debut long-player by the Frightnrs, a young band from Queens, New York that specializes in original music based on rocksteady, the mid-60s Jamaican genre that preceded reggae.

August 30, 2016

Program August 31, 2016

Juan Gabriel, Mexico's most revered pop music icon, died on Sunday at age 66.  It's impossible for non-Mexicans to fully understand his cultural role: imagine Elvis, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, James Brown and Liberace rolled up into one pansexual persona, and you'll start to get an idea.

Nothing was less hip than digging JuanGa, yet no one was more hip than he himself.  Here's a thoughtful tribute to the man: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-arellano-juan-gabriel-20160829-snap-story.html.

I'm not going to offer a full musical tribute to JuanGa (that's a statue of him above in Mexico City's Plaza Garibaldi, decorated with death offerings from his fans, in an AP photo by Eduardo Verdugo) -- I'll leave that to someone with more expertise.  But I will play you his last hit, a cover of a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival (no joke), and some more selections to get you thinking about the enormous influence of Mexico on American culture.

Also this week: descarga and salsa dura; Jamaican lovers rock; and Dzambo Agusev, the next Balkan trumpet star.

August 29, 2016

Charts August 28, 2016

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 YENI NOSTALJI | 2016 EP demo (final mix) | unreleased
2 MAMADOU BARRY AND AFRO GROOVE GANG | Tankadi | Label Bleu
3 ANTHONY JOSEPH | Caribbean Roots | Heavenly Sweetness/Strut
4 VIEUX KANTE | The Young Man's Harp | Sterns Africa
5 KRISTI STASSINOPOULOU AND STATHIS KALYVIOTIS | NYN | Riverboat
6 QUANTIC PRESENTA FLOWERING INFERNO | 1000 Watts | Tru Thoughts
7 VARIOUS ARTISTS | Space Echo: The Mystery Behind The Cosmic Sound Of Cabo Verde Finally Revealed | Analog Africa
8 JOSEPH ISRAEL | Paradise | Lions Of Israel
9 LENI STERN | Dakar Suite | self-released
10 DJELIMADY TOUNKARA | Djely Blues | Label Bleu