February 3, 2023

Too much posing, not enough yoga

Global A Go-Go digs into some new Brazilian music this week, including a current song from Lucas Santtana whose title is an expression I'll be using in a lot of situations: "Muita Pose, Pouca Yoga" which basically means "too much posing, not enough yoga."  We also have the latest from João Selva and a reissue of one of my favorite Brazilian albums of the 21st century, Seu Jorge's Carolina.
 
Also this week (Sunday February 5, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): Bio Ritmo's salsa boot camp, new Turkish sounds from all over, the best klezmer-surf-mambo band I've ever heard, Kimi Djabaté's Afro-Lusophone music, and soca from Trinidad and beyond with Carnival just around the corner.

February 1, 2023

Charts January 23-29, 2023

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 GOOD SAMARITANS, THE | No Food Without Taste If By Hunger | Analog Africa
2 GRUPO KUAL | Konexiones | Discos Rolas
3 BILL CLINTON KALONJI | No Stress | self-released
4 LOS INVASORES DE PROGRESO | Selva Mia | Discos Fantastico
5 BAABA MAAL | "Agreement" [Single] | Marathon
6 DON LETTS | "Outta Sync" [Single] | Cooking Vinyl
7 MIGMAFRICA | "Run Buffalo Run" | Nikamo / Disques Passeport
8 INSOLITO UNIVERSO | Ese Puerte Existe [EP] | Olindo
9 ORCHESTRA GOLD | Medicine | self-released
10 FALLY IPUPA | Formule 7 | Elektra France

January 27, 2023

Abuelita!

I've been listening to a lot of cumbia sonidera in the early days of 2023.  It's a style of music from Mexico, where the listeners and dancers want their cumbia played hard and slow: 80 to 90 beats per minute.
 
The genre got started when DJs accidentally or intentionally slowed down cumbia recordings from Colombia, Peru and other parts of South America.  The first Mexico City band to play cumbia sonidera live was called Super Grupo Colombia (SGC), which featured several members of the Pedraza family of San Juan de Aragón, a small town that's now part of Mexico's sprawling Distrito Federal.
 
Ángel Pedraza, the son and nephew of SGC's founders, has his own band called Grupo Kual? (yes, the question mark is part of their name) who have a new album out now.  You'll hear a track from it this week on Global A Go-Go, plus some more examples of cumbia sonidera.
 
Also this week (Sunday January 29, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): three new reggae singles; more chicha from the Peruvian jungle; a tribute to Zimbabwean feminist pioneer Stella Chiweshe, who passed away on January 20; Afrobeat with a political bent; and some blazing Malian Wassoulou rock.

January 26, 2023

Charts January 9-22, 2023

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 LIRAZ | Roya | Glitterbeat
2 PERU SELVATICO: SONIC EXPEDITION INTO THE PERUVIAN AMAZON, 1972-1986 | various artists | Analog Africa
3 JUANITA EUKA | Mabanzo | Strut
4 BASSIDI KONE | Kaira | Remote
5 ORCHESTRA GOLD | Medicine | self-released
6 JOAO SELVA | Passarinho | Underdog
7 MASS KONPA | Sans Regret | self-released
8 FALLY IPUPA | Formule 7 | Elektra France
9 MAJID BEKKAS | Joudour | Igloo
10 ENEIDA MARTA | Family | Azziz

January 11, 2023

Global A Go-Go Classico: All about Moldova with Vlad Cuiujuclu

I'm on vacation today (Sunday January 15, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site) in New York City, where I'll be attending the annual Globalfest concert at Lincoln Center, with performances by a number of artists you've heard frequently on this show.
 
While I'm in New York, I'll also be getting together with Vlad Cuiujuclu, who was a frequent guest on this program when he was a high school and college student here in Richmond, and for a few years beyond that as well.  Vlad was one of my go-to sources for music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and he never failed to correct my pronunciations of both Romanian and Russian.

I haven't seen Vlad in a few years, so in honor of our get-together I've dusted off an episode he and I did together on August 26, 2015 in celebration of the 24th birthday of the country of Moldova, Vlad's homeland.  The show is more than 7 years old now, but it's more topical than ever as Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine enters a second calendar year.

January 10, 2023

Charts Dec 12, 2022 - Jan 8, 2023

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 LOS BITCHOS | Los Chrismos [EP] | City Slang
2 STAR FEMININE BAND | Star Feminine Band In Paris | Born Bad
3 VIEUX FARKA TOURE AND KHRUANGBIN | Ali | Dead Oceans/Secretly Group
4 BIO RITMO | Salsa System [EP] | Electric Cowbell
5 PERU SELVATICO | various artists | Analog Africa
6 CABRUERA | Sol A Pino | Polen
7 BALKA SOUND | Balka Sound | Strut
8 REDDY AMISI | Bailo Canto | Casa Do Canto
9 OLIVER NAYOKA | Oka Mmadu | Odogwu/Palenque
10 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Sonbonbela | Sublime Frequencies

January 6, 2023

Top 10 compilations & reissues of 2022

 
This week on Global A Go-Go (Sunday January 8, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site), I'm wrapping up a 3-week-long look at my favorite recordings of 2022 by playing my favorite compilations and reissues of the year.
 
When every year begins, I think to myself "Well, this just might be the year when cratediggers start running out of worthwhile historical recordings to reissue and compile."  And when every years ends, I say "Well, it was another big year for compilations and reissues -- those cratediggers really found some great ones this year."

2022 was one of the best years for historic recordings yet.  I personally added more than 50 compilations and reissues to my own personal collection last year.  Narrowing those down to a top ten and ten additional honorable mentions required a sharp pencil.  Tune in this week and hear the results.

Without further ado, here are my top compilations and reissues of 2022:

December 28, 2022

Top 10 new singles & EPs of 2022

In the current era of home studios, direct-to-consumer distribution, mobile listening and streaming, the single is no longer just for Top 40 music.  If you're not following singles and EPs in whatever genres you listen to, much of today's most compelling music is breezing right past you.
 
I've made a concerted effort in recent years to play singles and EPs on Global A Go-Go, and for the past 4 years I've done a year-end recap of the best singles and EPs of the year.  This year's recap (Sunday January 1, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site) once again has some killer material, just as good if not better than what I played on the top albums of 2022 episode two weeks ago.  Tune in and hear for yourself.

Without further ado, here are my top singles and EPs of 2022:

December 20, 2022

Irie Christmas Spectacular

Breadfruit roasting on an open fire / Mongrels nipping at your toes / Dancehall songs being sung by a choir / An' we dress up in we bashment clothes
 
Yes, nothing says "Deck the halls with lots of collie" quite like two hours of Christmas songs from the Caribbean.  Reggae, ska, dancehall, calypso, soca, steelpan -- you'll hear them all on this special Christmas Day edition of Global A Go-Go: Sunday December 25, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site.
 
Bill's guest co-host is an even bigger reggae fan, Eric Walters of Wide Ear Folk (alternate Tuesdays at 5 PM on WRIR).  Together they'll be putting the pum-pum back in rum-pa-pum-pum.  Fun for the whole family, if you're that kind of family.

December 16, 2022

Top 10 new albums of 2022


It's the most wonderful time of the year, the time to find out who's been naughty and nice.  No, I'm not talking about the holiday season; I'm talking about when everyone's Best Of The Year lists come out.
 
I'll be rolling out my own lists over the next three weeks on Global A Go-Go.  On this week's program (Sunday December 18, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site) I'll present my top ten new albums of 2022 plus ten honorable mentions.
 
Next week on Christmas Day it will be Global A Go-Go's Irie Christmas Spectacular: all reggae, calypso and soca Christmas songs with myself and special guest selector Eric Walters (host of Wide Ear Folk, heard alternate Tuesdays at 5 PM on WRIR) at the controls.
 
In two weeks on New Year's Day, you'll hear my favorite singles and EPs of the year gone by, and in three weeks it will be selections from my favorite compilations, reissues and historic recordings of 2022.
 
Without further ado, here are my top new albums of 2022:

December 13, 2022

Charts December 5-11, 2022

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 PERU SELVATICO: SONIC EXPEDITION INTO THE PERUVIAN AMAZON 1972-1986 | various artists | Analog Africa
2 SUPERFONICOS | "Primera Luz" [Single] | self-released
3 OLIVER NAYOKA | Oka Mmadu | Odogwu/Palenque
4 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Sonbonbela | Sublime Frequencies
5 PABLO MOSES | Revolutionary Dream | Baco
6 LA SONORA MAZUREN | "Charanga Mazuren" b/w "Cachicha" [Single] | Names You Can Trust
7 T.P. ORCHESTRE POLY-RYTHMO | Afro-Funk | Albarika Store
8 SHURWAYNE WINCHESTER AND DAVID RUDDER | "Bacchanal Come" [Single] | SW Limited
9 JULIVERT | A Tamarit! | Microscopi
10 AL-QASAR | Who Are We? | Glitterbeat

December 9, 2022

Land of the honest men

December 11, 2022 is Burkina Faso's 64th Independence Day.  This small (roughly the size of Colorado), densely populated (about 22 million people), landlocked West African nation formerly known as Upper Volta has had its struggles: eight coups d'etat including two in 2022 and a current bout of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism among them.
 
No Burkinabè musician has yet become a pan-African or worldwide star, but the music that has been produced in Burkina Faso since independence is superb in quality and variety.  This week on Global A Go-Go, you'll hear an hour of some of my Voltaic favorites, and I assure you that I'll only be scratching the surface of what's out there.

Also this week (Sunday December 11, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards on the wrir.org archive player, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): Latin soul and a new single from Austin's Superfónicos, and birthday tributes to Cuban bandleader Pérez Prado and Yugoslavian mischief-maker Dr. Nele Karajlić.

December 6, 2022

Charts Nov 28 - Dec 4, 2022

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 CABRUERA | Sol A Pino | Polen
2 SONA JOBARTEH | Badinyaa Kumoo | African Guild
3 FILA BASELE | La Kumba Music | Une Plume Une Voix Une Guitare
4 ZINA GASRINIA | Ya Ammi El Khateb | Star Voice
5 IFTIN BAND | Mogadishu’s Finest: The Al-Aruba Sessions | Ostinato
6 MOONLIGHT BENJAMIN | "Haut La Haut" [Single] | Ma Case
7 JOAO SELVA | "Passarinho" [Single] | Underdog
8 LUCIANA DEMINGONGO | Rando Une Plume | Une Voix Une Guitare
9 EL COMBO BATANGA | "Toca La Campana" [Single] | Lovemonk
10 LIRAZ | Roya | Glitterbeat

December 2, 2022

Album of the year?

Sona Jobarteh is the world's first female virtuoso of the kora, the West African harp-lute which is the characteristic instrument of the Mande musical tradition.  She and her band were a highlight of 2018's Richmond Folk Festival, but her performances in Richmond in no way prepared me for her new album Badinyaa Kumoo, which might be my favorite new record of 2022.
 
I still have a couple of weeks to make up my mind about that -- the December 18 edition of Global A Go-Go will feature my top 10 new releases for the last year.  But on this week's show (Sunday December 4, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards on the wrir.org archive player, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site) you'll hear a track from Badinyaa Kumoo for yourself.
 
Also this week: new Brazilian sounds from João Selva and Cabruêra, salsa con sabor cubano, electro-cumbia since last week's cumbia wasn't enough, Moonlight Benjamin's brand new single, and the amazing sounds of Somalia.

November 29, 2022

Charts November 21-27, 2022

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 C.A.M.P.O.S. | The 8th Door | Peace & Rhythm
2 BALKA SOUND | Balka Sound | Strut
3 18TH PARALLEL, THE | Downtown Sessions | Fruits
4 TINARIWEN | Kel Tinariwen | Wedge
5 SYSTEMA SOLAR | "Comer De Verdad" [Single] | self-released
6 SONIDO VERDE DE MOYOBAMBA | Limited Dance Edition Nr. 17 | Analog Africa
7 LOS SANDER'S DE ÑAÑA | Tú Y Yo | Discos Fantastico
8 SINERGIA | "S.O.S." [Single] | Guspira
9 ROGER DAMAWUZAN | Seda | Hot Casa
10 WGANDA KENYA | Africa 5000 | Vampisoul