March 29, 2020

Charts March 21-27, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 MDOU MOCTAR | "Ibitlan" b/w "Tiknass (Sunbone)" [Single] | Sahel Sounds
2 DZAMBO AGUSEVI ORCHESTRA | Brasses For The Masses | Asphalt Tango
3 BETO JAMAICA | Rey De Mi Folklor: Vallenato Y Cumbia Colombiana | OM Producciones
4 BAMBA WASSOULOU GROOVE | Dankele | Lusafrica
5 AFROINS, LOS | Goza La Salsa | Vampisoul
6 ANTIBALAS | Fu Chronicles | Daptone
7 DUBIOZA KOLEKTIV | #fakenews | Menart
8 BATUNGA AND THE SUBPRIMES | "Gates Of Ouantou" [Single] | Matasuna
9 KOKOLO AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA | 100 Fevers | Peace & Rhythm
10 LAKOU MIZIK | HaitiaNola | Cumbancha

March 22, 2020

Charts March 14-20, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ANTIBALAS | Fu Chronicles | Daptone
2 BLACK MARKET BRASS | Undying Thirst | Colemine
3 DZAMBO AGUSEVI ORCHESTRA | Brasses For The Masses | Asphalt Tango
4 BAMBA WASSOULOU GROOVE | Dankele | Lusafrica
5 AFROINS, LOS | Goza La Salsa | Vampisoul
6 MDOU MOCTAR | "Ibitlan" b/w "Tiknass (Sunbone)" [Single] | Sahel Sounds
7 BATUNGA AND THE SUBPRIMES | "Gates Of Ouantou" [Single] | Matasuna
8 TIME IS FIRE | In Pieces | Electric Cowbell
9 KOKOROKO | "Carry Me Home" [Single] | Brownswood
10 KOLINGA | "Nguya Na Ngai" [Single] | Underdog

March 15, 2020

Charts March 7-13, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 CORNERSHOP | England Is A Garden | Ample Play
2 BETO JAMAICA | Rey De Mi Folklor: Vallenato Y Cumbia Colombiana | OM Producciones
3 GUASA, CUNUNO Y MARIMBA: AFRO-COLOMBIAN MUSIC FROM THE PACIFIC COAST | various artists | Vampisoul
4 ANTIBALAS | Fu Chronicles | Daptone
5 DUBIOZA KOLEKTIV | #fakenews | Menart
6 DAVID WALTERS | Soleil Kreyol | Heavenly Sweetness
7 KOKOLO AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA | 100 Fevers | Peace & Rhythm
8 LAKOU MIZIK | HaitiaNola | Cumbancha
9 PERU NEGRO | Son De Los Diablos | Vampisoul
10 ANTOINETTE KONAN | Antoinette Konan | Awesome Tapes From Africa

March 9, 2020

Charts Feb 29 - Mar 6, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 BAMBA WASSOULOU GROOVE | Dankele | Lusafrica
2 EVRITIKI ZYGIA | Ormenion | Teranga Beat
3 MONEY CHICHA | "The Mexican / Enfermera" [Single] | Peace & Rhythm
4 MACKA B | "Cucumba To Di World" [Single] | Peckings
5 MDOU MOCTAR | "Ibitlan" b/w "Tiknass (Sunbone)" [Single] | Sahel Sounds
6 RICHIE SPICE | "Valley Of Jehoshaphat (Red Hot)" [Single] | VP
7 GUASA, CUNUNO Y MARIMBA: AFRO-COLOMBIAN MUSIC FROM THE PACIFIC COAST | various artists | Vampisoul
8 CORNERSHOP | England Is A Garden | Ample Play
9 TUAREG MUSIC OF THE SOUTHERN SAHARA | various artists | Smithsonian Folkways
10 SAIGON SOUL REVIVAL | Hoa Am Xura | INFRACom!

March 7, 2020

Lusophonics

Sao Tome & Principe is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Gabon; it was uninhabited by humans when the Portuguese landed there in 1470.  Today its population is about 200,000, making it the second smallest sovereign state in Africa (Seychelles is the smallest).

Ever since its 1975 independence from Portugal, tiny Sao Tome has punched way above its weight in popular music.  For the first time, it's now the subject of a compilation album (pictured above) bringing together 16 tracks from the early independence years.  You'll hear one on the March 9 edition of Global A Go-Go, along with music from fellow Lusophone African countries Angola and Cabo Verde.

Also this week: soul with a French touch, new releases by two of the longest-running Afrobeat groups in the USA, cumbia and vallenato, Senegal's psychedelic salsa, and Balkan beats meet dancehall.

March 3, 2020

Charts February 22-28, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 GUASA, CUNUNO Y MARIMBA: AFRO-COLOMBIAN MUSIC FROM THE PACIFIC COAST | various artists | Vampisoul
2 ANTIBALAS | Fu Chronicles | Daptone
3 DUBIOZA KOLEKTIV | #fakenews | Menart
4 NIKANOR | Bajo El Sol | Rebel Up
5 WUTA MAYI | La Face Cachee | Sterns
6 EL WALI | Tiris | Sahel Sounds
7 MAMADOU KELLY | Les Bateaux | Clermont Music
8 KOKOLO AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA | 100 Fevers | Peace & Rhythm
9 ADOLFO ECHEVERRIA Y SU ORQUESTA | Sabroso Bacalao | Vampisoul
10 FARAFI | Calico Soul | Piranha

March 1, 2020

Guitar heroes of the Sahel

I've long contended that the best rock 'n' roll music in the world right now is being made in North and West Africa.  The March 2 edition of Global A Go-Go reinforces my claim.

You'll hear three killer guitar bands whose music is based on the Wassoulou traditions of southwestern Mali, including Bamba Wassoulou Groove (pictured above).  Plus another three in the assouf or desert blues genre, including brand-new singles from Tamikrest and Mdou Moctar.

Also this week: un poco mas de chicha, the psychedelic sounds of Greece, Somalian disco-funk, and new reggae singles by Richie Spice and Macka B.

February 25, 2020

Charts February 15-21, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 GUASA, CUNUNO Y MARIMBA: AFRO-COLOMBIAN MUSIC FROM THE PACIFIC COAST | various artists | Vampisoul
2 AFROINS, LOS | Goza La Salsa | Vampisoul
3 MDOU MOCTAR | "Ibitlan" b/w "Tiknass (Sunbone)" [Single] | Sahel Sounds
4 DAVID WALTERS | Soleil Kreyol | Heavenly Sweetness
5 WUTA MAYI | La Face Cachee | Sterns
6 POUR ME A GROG: THE FUNANA REVOLT IN 1990S CABO VERDE | various artists | Ostinato
7 TINARIWEN | Amadjar | Anti-
8 PERU NEGRO | Son De Los Diablos | Vampisoul
9 JOUWALA COLLECTIVE | Bazaar | self-released
10 ADOLFO ECHEVERRIA Y SU ORQUESTA | Sabroso Bacalao | Vampisoul

February 23, 2020

It's carnival time

This week marks the end of a season characterized by excess in every dimension, a general reversal of everyday rules and norms, and mockery of authorities.  No, I'm not talking about Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign.  I'm talking about carnival season, which comes to a close this week on Shrove Tuesday.

Monday February 24 on Global A Go-Go we'll take a musical visit to the six largest carnivals in the Americas, starting with three in Brazil: Carnaval do Rio de Janeiro, Carnaval Baiano in Salvador da Bahia and the carnival in Recife.  We'll also touch down at the Carnaval de Barranqilla in Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago Carnival in Port of Spain, and Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

You'll hear the kind of authentic party music from across eight decades that you'd be digging if you were in any of those places today.  If you're not there, this will be the next best thing.

February 19, 2020

Charts February 1-14, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 DAVID WALTERS | Soleil Kreyol | Heavenly Sweetness
2 ANTIBALAS | Fu Chronicles | Daptone
3 LOS SHAINS | El Ritmo De Los Shains | Munster
4 LEVE LEVE: SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE SOUNDS (70S - 80S) | various artists | Bongo Joe
5 ALEFA MADAGASCAR: SALEGY, SOUKOUS AND SOUL FROM THE RED ISLAND 1974-1984 | various artists | Strut
6 MARCOS VALLE | Cinzento | Deck
7 DALLAS | "Love From A Distance" [Single] | Rain Tree
8 ETRAN DE L'AIR | Music From Saharan WhatsApp 01 [EP] | Sahel Sounds
9 NIKANOR | Bajo El Sol | Rebel Up
10 EL WALI | Tiris | Sahel Sounds

February 16, 2020

Nicotiana

Rumput is quite possibly the most unique band in Richmond: they specialize in keroncong, Indonesian string band music.  Last time I checked, they were the only band in the USA playing this popular and very cool style.  They're also unusual in that they're a true multimedia endeavor, with original visual art in the form of wayang (Indonesian shadow puppets) and crankies (Appalachian scrolling panoramas) integrated into their performances.

Their next performance is on Tuesday February 18 at the Firehouse Theatre (more info here), where they'll be rolling out (pun intended) a new crankie on the subject of the ongoing deadly colonial history of tobacco.  Two Rumput members, musician John Priestley and visual artist Beth Reid, will join me in the studio Monday to talk about the band, their upcoming gig and the surprising parallels between Virginia and Indonesia.

Also this week: a tribute to Joseph Shabalaba, cadence from the French Caribbean, classic 1970s salsa dura, the marimba music of Colombia's Pacific coast, and more funana from Cabo Verde.

February 4, 2020

Charts January 25-31, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND | Medaho | Ubiquity
2 GEOFF BERNER | Grand Hotel Cosmopolis | Coax
3 DUBIOZA KOLEKTIV | #fakenews | Menart
4 WUTA MAYI | La Face Cachee | Sterns
5 KOKOLO AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA | 100 Fevers | Peace & Rhythm
6 LOCOBEACH |  Psychedelic Disco Cumbia | Dorsal Fin/Peace & Rhythm
7 LONDON AFROBEAT COLLECTIVE | Humans | self-released
8 LOS AFROINS | A Gozar Salsomanos | Vampisoul
9 OTAVA YO | Do You Love | ARC
10 YORKSTON/THORNE/KHAN | Navarasa : Nine Emotions | Domino

February 2, 2020

Maximum enjoyment

Producer and anthologist Lucas Silva likes to call his home country of Colombia "the Soukous Republic of America."  Indeed, Congolese soukous is perhaps the most central element of champeta, the syncretic music of urban Afro-Caribbean Colombia (especially the cities of Cartagena and Baranquilla) that Silva has been championing for more than 20 years.

This week on Global A Go-Go, you'll hear a set of guarapo, the sub-genre that features DJs remixing specifically Congolese discs.  As with everything in the world of champeta, the goal is vacile efectivo: that's slang for "maximum enjoyment."

Also this week: the first edition of Sahel Sounds' Music From Saharan WhatsApp, some vintage early 80s Afro-pop, a set of lovers rock for Dennis Brown's birthday, new Peruvian chicha via Belgium, and the superb new album by Antibalas.

January 28, 2020

Charts January 11-24, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 AFRICA EXPRESS | Egoli | self-released
2 NIGERIA SOUL POWER 70: AFRO-FUNK, AFRO-ROCK, AFRO-DISCO | various artists | Soul Jazz
3 PUT ON YOUR BEST DRESS: SONIA POTTINGER, SKA AND ROCK STEADY, 1966-1967 | various artists | Doctor Bird
4 BATUNGA AND THE SUBPRIMES | "Gates Of Ouantou" [Single] | Matasuna
5 DAVID WALTERS | "Krye Mwen" [Single] | Heavenly Sweetness
6 EL WALI | Tiris | Sahel Sounds
7 MAMADOU KELLY | Les Bateaux | Clermont Music
8 KOKOLO AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA | 100 Fevers | Peace & Rhythm
9 FARAFI | Calico Soul | Piranha
10 ADNAN OTHMAN | Bershukor: A Retrospective Of Hits By A Malaysian Pop Yeh Yeh Legend | Sublime Frequencies

January 26, 2020

Please, machine, make my day

Bosnia's Dubioza Kolektiv is back with #fakenews, their ninth album of Balkan-flavored ska, punk, reggae, electronica, hip hop and rock.  And they're here to puncture some of that fake news, telling us that refugees aren't part of a grand conspiracy and marijuana isn't a gateway drug.

They're also not too concerned about robots taking over our jobs: "Go ahead, make my day" is their take, as you'll hear on the January 27 edition of Global A Go-Go.

Also this week: Cuba from son to salsa; the dulcet tones of Congolese singer Wuta Mayi; what's new in Afrobeat; psychedelic cumbia; and Attarazat Addahabia & Faradjallah's Moroccan funk.