January 15, 2019

Program January 16, 2019

Andy McGraw from the University of Richmond joins me this week to discuss a fascinating concert he's involved in next Wednesday at U of R's Camp Concert Hall.

Andy's group Gamelan Raga Kusuma and the Richmond Symphony will team up under the direction of Indonesian master musicians Sumarsam and Darsono to premiere a reconstruction of the Javanese music that Claude Debussy heard at the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition.  The ideas Debussy got from gamelan music -- cyclicality, stasis, new ways of using counterpoint, and the unique harmonies of Java -- became key elements of his compositions and, through him, were integrated into 20th and 21st century Western classical music.

Andy and I will talk about the concert, about Debussy and gamelan, and we'll listen to some related recordings, possibly even transcriptions of 1889 wax cylinders.

Also this week: Bassekou Kouyate's new album, a wide variety of Latin American sounds from Andean pipes to Mexican banda, and some socially conscious klezmer.

January 14, 2019

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba | Miri

ARTIST: Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba
TITLE: Miri
LABEL: Out Here
At this point in his career, Bassekou Kouyate is synonymous with his instrument, the Malian proto-banjo lute called ngoni.

Charts January 14, 2019

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 DAKTARIS, THE | Soul Explosion | Desco / Daptone
2 STEP FORWARD YOUTH | various artists | Greensleeves
3 TARTIT | Amankor / The Exile | Riverboat
4 SALIF KEITA | Un Autre Blanc | Naive
5 JUANECO Y SU COMBO | El Gran Cacique | Infopesa
6 ALBOROSIE MEETS ROOTS RADICS | Dub For The Radicals | Greensleeves
7 IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE | "Tell Me (Doko Mien)" [Single] | Merge
8 STEEL PULSE | "Stop You Coming And Come" [Single] | Rootfire Cooperative
9 STRICTLY THE BEST VOL. 58 | various artists | VP
10 MAURICE LOUCA | Elephantine | Northern Spy

January 7, 2019

Program January 9, 2019

We're back to our normal programming on Global A Go-Go after reviewing the best releases of 2018 for the last three weeks.  And we'll feature a version excursion into "Uptown Top Ranking," Althea & Donna's 1977 proto-feminist dancehall classic, which was conceived as an answer record to a 1975 single by Trinity.  You'll hear both of them plus another answer record (see jacket above) -- in total, six releases all based on the same blueprint.

Also this week: the women of the Sahara Desert; chicha from deep in the Peruvian selva; Salif Keita returns to his Afro-pop roots; and the Daktaris, straight outta Nigeria Brooklyn.

The Daktaris | Soul Explosion

ARTIST: The Daktaris
TITLE: Soul Explosion
LABEL: Desco / Daptone
When Soul Explosion was first released in 1998, Gabe (Bosco “Bass” Mann) Roth’s Desco Records marketed it as the reissue of an early 70s Nigerian afro-funk album.

Juaneco Y Su Combo | El Gran Cacique

ARTIST: Juaneco Y Su Combo
TITLE: El Gran Cacique
LABEL: Infopesa
Here’s a reissue of the 1972 debut album by Juaneco Y Su Combo, super-collectible in its original pressing and a key marker in the development of chicha, Peru’s unique form of psychedelic cumbia.

Salif Keita | Un Autre Blanc

ARTIST: Salif Keita
TITLE: Un Autre Blanc
LABEL: Naive
Mali’s Salif Keita, the 69 year old “golden voice of Africa,” says this will be his last album.

Tartit | Amankor / The Exile

ARTIST: Tartit
TITLE: Amankor / The Exile
LABEL: Riverboat
We tend to think of desert blues as music that was sprung, fully formed, on an unsuspecting world.

Charts January 7, 2019

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 BARRO | Somos | self-released
2 MICHI SARMIENTO Y SU COMBO BRAVO | Salsa Con Monte | Vampisoul
3 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
4 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack To A Brazilian Western Movie, 1964-1974 | Analog Africa
5 SALIF KEITA | Un Autre Blanc | Naive
6 VAUDOU GAME | Otodi | Hot Casa
7 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Siri Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
8 DUR-DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
9 STEP FORWARD YOUTH |  various artists | Greensleeves
10 DEAD CAN DANCE | Dionysus | PIAS

December 31, 2018

Program January 2, 2019: The Best Of The Rest, 2018 Edition

It's time for Global A Go-Go's seventh annual Best Of The Rest program.  After spending the last two weeks recapping my favorite new releases and compilations of the year, invariably there are a ton of songs that made a big impact on me but didn't get played on either of those programs.

That's what this show is about -- all the great stuff from 2018 that didn't fit neatly into my year-end charts.  My favorite singles and EPs of the year, tracks from albums that didn't quite make the lists, that one killer song from the otherwise disappointing album -- you'll hear them all this week.

These aren't holiday leftovers -- every year, I get as much of a charge out of this show as I do from the Top Ten programs, and maybe even more.  Tune in and hear for yourself.

December 25, 2018

Program December 26, 2018: Top Ten Compilations Of 2018

It's time for show #2 in Global A Go-Go's recap of 2018.  This week: my ten favorite compilations, reissues and historic recordings of 2018, plus ten more honorable mentions.

The great wave of international music rediscovery certainly seems to have crested in 2016.  2017 and 2018 were both down years for compilations, reissues and historic recordings, with fewer titles than in previous years.

The good news is that the quality at the top of the heap remains stellar.  This year, Ostinato Records' two ear-opening  releases of Sudanese music lead my list -- if you haven't heard the music of Sudan from the 70s and 80s yet, you're in for a treat.  And Analog Africa Records keeps finding vital, underexposed Afro-funk, this year in Somalia and Benin.

Click "Read more" to see Global A Go-Go's Top Ten compilations, reissues and historic recordings for 2018 (with links to my reviews):

December 18, 2018

Program December 19, 2018: Top Ten New Releases Of 2018

It's the most wonderful time of the year ....  That's right, it's the time of the year when Global A Go-Go unwraps its favorite albums of the last 12 months.

This week, it's my Top Ten new releases of 2018, plus ten honorable mentions.  Next week, you'll hear my favorite compilations, reissues and historic recordings of the year.  And on January 2, it's the best of the rest: all the great songs that didn't fit onto the previous two programs.

Overkill, you say?  No way.  WRIR received 772 new world music releases in 2018; that's 41 percent more than we got just three years ago.  Who says the music industry is dead?

Then there's all the new stuff that was never sent to the station that I bought or streamed during the year.  In fact, three of my top ten new releases are albums that WRIR didn't get promos of.  Shape up, music industry!

Add them all up, and you'll see that my top-lists are just five or so percent of all the new music I heard in 2018.  That's not overkill -- it's selective company.

Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating -- tune in to Global A Go-Go over the next three weeks and hear for yourself just how good a year in world music 2018 was.

Click "Read More" to see my 2018 Top Ten, new releases division (with links to my reviews).

December 11, 2018

Program December 12, 2018

Wednesday December 12 is Jamhuri ("Republic" in Swahili) Day, one of three days on which the Republic of Kenya celebrates its independence; the others are Madaraka ("Self-Governance") Day on June 1 and Mashujaa ("Heroes") Day on October 20.  Three times the pleasure, three times the fun, I guess.

In honor of Jamhuri Day, Global A Go-Go celebrates with two hours of music from Kenya.  I'm not making any attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of Kenyan sounds -- I'll be playing the Kenyan music I dig the most.

And most of that fits into the broad category of what East Africans call musiki wa dansi -- no translation needed, I'm sure.  There are a bunch of different genres: benga, Swahili rumba, kamba.  They're all guitar-driven, closely related to Congolese soukous and, in my opinion, thoroughly addictive.  I'll dip into a few other styles as well: some folky/worldy stuff, soul, funk and even hip hop if time permits.

December 10, 2018

Charts December 9, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Siri Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
2 SALIF KEITA | Un Autre Blanc | Naive
3 LUIZ MELODIA | Maravilhas Contemporaneas | Vinilisssimo
4 NOVA MATERIA | It Comes | Crammed
5 MINYESHU | Daa Dee | ARC
6 LOKKHI TERRA MEETS DELE SOSIMI | Cubafrobeat | Funkiwala
7 CLARA LUCIANI | Sainte-Victoire | Universal France
8 TANYA TAGAQ AND DAMIAN ABRAHAM | "Run To The Hills" [Single] | Six Shooter
9 IDRISSA DIOP | L'Aventurier | Prince Arts
10 FLAVIEN BERGER | Contre-Temps | Pan European

December 2, 2018

Charts December 2, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 VAUDOU GAME | Otodi | Hot Casa
2 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Siri Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
3 DUR-DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
4 NEWPOLI | Mediterraneo | Beartones
5 MICHI SARMIENTO Y SU COMBO BRAVO | Salsa Con Monte | Vampisoul
6 PEREGOYO Y SU COMBO VACANA | Mi Buenaventura | Vampisoul
7 DOCTOR NATIVO | Guatemaya | Stonetree
8 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
9 BABYLON TRIO | Habibi | Rebel Up
10 JAH9 | "Heaven (Ready Fi Di Feeling)" [Single] | VP