September 28, 2022

Charts September 19-25, 2022

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 LEE SCRATCH PERRY | King Scratch: Musical Masterpieces From The Upsetter Ark-ive | Trojan
2 WGANDA KENYA | Africa 5000 | Vampisoul
3 VIEUX FARKA TOURE AND KHRUANGBIN | Ali | Dead Oceans
4 AL-QASAR | Who Are We? | Glitterbeat
5 ROBERTO LOPEZ | Ritual [EP] | Curura
6 WESLI | Tradisyon | Cumbancha
7 ALHAJI WAZIRI OSHOMAH | World Spirituality Classics 3: The Muslim Highlife Of Alhaji Waziri Oshomah | Luaka Bop
8 14 MAGNIFICOS BAILABLES | various artists | Vampisoul
9 GYEDU-BLAY AMBOLLEY | "Yekor Ye A Yeaba" [Single] | Agogo
10 TIMPANA | "Pajaro" [Single] | Sounds & Colours

September 23, 2022

King Scratch

Jamaican popular music has long been a producer's medium, and no Jamaican producer has ever been more prolific, confounding or just plain unique than Lee "Scratch" Perry.  Perry's oeuvre runs the gamut from unlistenable to transcendent (often from the same session), and his output was so vast that it's hard for the uninitiated to get a handle on it.
 
The folks at Trojan and Sanctuary Records have done all of us the great favor of putting together what is for the moment the definitive Lee "Scratch" Perry beginner's compilation.  Entitled King Scratch (Musical Masterpieces From The Upsetter Ark-ive), its short version includes 40 mostly essential tracks, and its long version expands to a box of 4 LPs, 4 more CDs and a 50 page book.  I'll play you a few tracks from the short version this week, and add a couple more that I assume they just weren't able to license.

Also this week (Sunday September 25, 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): Nigerian highlife's Etsako Super Star, new music from the James Brown of Ghana, Al-Qasar's Arabian fuzz, songs Bio Ritmo has covered and hot new Haitian mizik rasin by Wesli.

September 20, 2022

Charts September 12-18, 2022

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Sonbonbela | Sublime Frequencies
2 DOGO DU TOGO | Dogo Du Togo | self-released
3 DEERHOOF | "My Lovely Cat!" [Single] | Joyful Noise
4 BOMBA ESTEREO AND MANU CHAO | "Me Duele" [Single] | Sony Latin
5 LORRAINE KLAASEN AND MONGEZI NTAKA | Ukubonga (Gratitude) | Justin Time
6 SHOTNEZ | "Contagious" [Single] | Batov
7 AYAHUASCA VOL. 2: CUMBIAS PSICODELICAS PERUANAS | various artists | Repsychled
8 MOVERS, THE | The Movers Vol. 1 - 1970-1976 | Analog Africa
9 SUPER DJATA BAND DE BAMAKO | Authentique 80 | Numero Group
10 OMAR PENE AND SUPER DIAMONO | Direct From Dakar | Real World

September 17, 2022

Afrobeat groove in our Mandingo tongue

There's a lot of competition for this title, but I think Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band is my favorite African ensemble right now.  They're based in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, and as bandleader Mamadou (Baba Commandant) Sanou says, "we have chosen to make Afrobeat groove in our Mandingo tongue."
 
Baba plays donso ngoni, the hunter's harp, an instrument that until recently was only used for ceremonial music.  In combining traditional music and instruments with the modern, they're in alignment with the Authenticité movement of post-colonial Africa.  But they sound like 2022, not 1972: always aggressive, sometimes dissonant, they're like West African post-rock.

This week (Sunday September 18, 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 Baba Commandant's brand new album Sonbonbela alongside a new reissue from one of the bands that inspire them, the Super Djata Band.  Also this week: Bomba Estéreo meets Manu Chao, outstanding new Afropop from DC's Dogo Du Togo, a deep dive into South African township music, mbalax thunder and Middle Eastern Afrofunk.

September 13, 2022

Charts September 5-11, 2022

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 DOGO DU TOGO | Dogo Du Togo | self-released
2 SON PALENQUE (KAINE SOUND BAND) | Es La Idea | Palenque
3 ORCHESTRE SOMO SOMO | "Molengo b/w Menga" [Single] | LAA
4 TIMPANA | "Pajaro" [Single] | Sounds & Colours
5 VIEUX FARKA TOURE AND KHRUANGBIN | "Tonga Barra" [Single] | Dead Oceans / Night Time Stories
6 LEE SCRATCH PERRY | King Scratch: Musical Masterpieces From The Upsetter Ark-ive | Trojan
7 VIEUX FARKA TOURE | Les Racines | World Circuit
8 AFRODELIC | Dusunkun Hakili | self-released
9 DEATH BY DUB | Abundance | Color Red
10 KOKOROKO | Could We Be More | Brownswood

September 9, 2022

Rally round the red, gold, black & green

Living legends of reggae music Steel Pulse play the National in Richmond on Friday September 16.  Founded in Birmingham, England, they were one of the first British reggae bands to break out in the late 1970s, with a political message that naturally allied them with punk and new wave acts like the Clash, the Police and XTC, among other bands they've shared bills with.
 
Recordings like Handsworth Revolution and True Democracy are in the reggae pantheon, and ongoing touring (which never stopped even when they didn't have a new album) and their first new release in 15 years, 2019's Mass Manipulation, shows they still have it.  You'll hear two Steel Pulse tracks that bookend their career on Global A Go-Go this week, and I'll give away a pair of tickets for the National show as well.

Also this week (Sunday September 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): Noori & His Dorpa Band stretch out, Vieux & Khru channel Ali Farka Toure, two generations of Malian songbirds, Andean-Amazonian futurism from Bolivia by Timpana, and champeta classics from the 70s and 80s.

September 8, 2022

Charts Aug 29 - Sep 4, 2022

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 AYAHUASCA VOL. 2: CUMBIAS PSICODELICAS PERUANAS | various artists | Repsychled
2 LOS PAO PAOS | Los Pao Paos | Devil In The Woods
3 BALIMAYA PROJECT | "Season Of Baraka" [Single] | Jazz Re:freshed
4 SUPER DJATA BAND DE BAMAKO | Authentique 80 | Numero Group
5 SONIDO GALLO NEGRO | Paganismo | T-Vox
6 JOAO SELVA | Se Acabou [EP] | Underdog
7 PEDRO LIMA | Recordar E Viver: Antogolia Vol. 1 | Bongo Joe
8 BKO | Djine Bora | Bongo Joe
9 SAM REDMORE | Universal Vibrations | Jalapeno
10 SESSA | Estrela Acesa | Mexican Summer

September 1, 2022

Se acabou

Autumn is election season here in the USA.  And it's really election season right now in Brazil, where Jair (Bozo) Bolsonaro, "the Trump of the tropics," is running in October for a second term as president against Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (known to all simply as Lula), who was jailed after a 2018 show trial that prevented him from running against Bolsonaro.  No doubt about it -- it's a grudge match.
 
Singer João Selva has chosen his side: he released an EP in July called Se Acabou ("It's Over") that's more like a pamphlet aimed at Bozo.  You'll hear the title track this week on Global A Go-Go, which will lead us into a whole set of Brazilian carnival sounds.

Also this week (Sunday September 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): Latin psych and garage, spoken word Afrobeat, stinging Wassoulou rock from Mali, a larger-than-life new single by Balimaya Project, and danceable sounds from Lusophone Africa.

August 30, 2022

Charts August 22-28, 2022

WRIR World's NACC Top 10
1 VIEUX FARKA TOURE | Les Racines | World Circuit
2 CELESTINE UKWU | No Condition Is Permanent | Mississippi
3 LEE SCRATCH PERRY | King Scratch: Musical Masterpieces From The Upsetter Ark-ive | Trojan
4 SONIDO GALLO NEGRO | Paganismo | T-Vox
5 SUPER DJATA BAND DE BAMAKO | Authentique 80 | Numero Group
6 MOVERS, THE | Vol. 1: 1970-1976 | Analog Africa
7 GNAWA MUSIC OF MARRAKESH | Night Spirit Masters | Zehra
8 CROSSROADS KENYA: EAST AFRICAN BENGA AND RUMBA, 1980-1985 | various artists | No Wahala Sounds
9 SABABA 5 AND SHIRAN TZFIRA | Rali [EP] | Batov
10 ROBERTO LOPEZ | "Solo Tu Vibra" [Single] | Curura

August 26, 2022

Summer singles roundup

Well, I deserve a D for attendance this summer.  First there was the Chicago weekend, then the two-week European vacation.  Subtract another week for traveler's disease and two more for COVID, and I've been absent from the airwaves as often as I've been present since June.  Then factor in the two special programs (Madagascar independence day in June, Joe Strummer's birthday last week) and it's a wonder I've played any new releases at all this summer.
 
I'll remedy the latter situation this week (Sunday August 28, 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).  I'm spinning nothing but new material and new reissues, no track released before May, only one track from an album I've played anything at all from in past shows.
 
And most of what I'll play will be singles, either stand-alones or pre-issues from albums coming out in the fall.  Seems appropriate -- I've always thought 45s were the premiere summer format.  Tune in and mark the unofficial end of summer with Global A Go-Go's Summer Singles Roundup.

August 23, 2022

Charts August 15-21, 2022

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 NOORI AND HIS DORPA BAND | Beja Power! Electric Soul & Brass From Sudan's Red Sea Coast | Ostinato
2 ROMAN STEWART | "Never Too Young To Learn" [Single] | Pantomine
3 MONTE AND DINASTIA TORRES | El Duende | Palenque
4 AKAE BEKA | Ride Tru | Before Zero
5 HOLLIE COOK | Happy Hour | Merge
6 CLINTON FEARON | Breaking News | Baco
7 CAREY JAMES, THE | Self Fulfillment | Morelove
8 TIKEN JAH FAKOLY | "I Can Hear" feat. Winston McAnuff [Single] | Chapter Two/Wagram
9 KABAKA PYRAMID AND DAMIAN MARLEY | "Red, Gold & Green" [Single] | Ghetto Youths International/Bebble Rock
10 BARRINGTON LEVY | "Black Heart Man" [Single] | Jah Guidance

August 18, 2022

The future is unwritten

John Graham Mellor was born in Ankara, Turkey on August 21, 1952.  Who's that, you say?  Well, you might know him better by his stage name: Joe Strummer.
 
Strummer was, of course, the co-founder, front man and principal lyricist for the Clash, a band that, when I was younger, some people called "the only band that matters."  After the Clash disbanded in 1986, he spent the next 13 years being whatever the opposite of a rock star is: he worked on projects that appealed to him as a musician, songwriter, producer and actor, but mostly stayed out of the limelight until he founded the second great rock band of his career, the Mescaleros.

One of those projects was an radio show that Joe occasionally hosted for the BBC World Service called London Calling, where he got to explore all of the wide variety of music that inspired him: early rock 'n' roll, reggae, blues and jazz, music from Africa and Latin America, anything that pushed his buttons.

Joe and London Calling are among the primary inspirations for this radio program (which is named after one of the Mescaleros' songs; that song has kicked off this program every week for 18 years).  So it's only appropriate that Global A Go-Go celebrates Joe Strummer's 70th birthday today (Sunday August 21, 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) with a 2-hour tribute.
 
P.S.  You can listen to all 7 hours of Joe Strummer's London Calling BBC radio shows here: exchange.prx.org/series/27024-joe-strummer-s-london-calling
 
And here's a Spotify playlist that includes almost all the songs that Joe played on that radio show: open.spotify.com/playlist/0PWMzSdWNHNOESR912xQmg?go=1&sp_cid=33ef6cb3fc38155b67d61a8333e5df54 

One more thing -- a complete tracklisting for each episode of Joe Strummer's London Calling:  rateyourmusic.com/list/Zed/joe_strummers_london_calling_from_bbc_world_service

August 15, 2022

Charts August 8-14, 2022

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 STAR FEMININE BAND | "Le Mariage Forcé" [Single] | Born Bad
2 CUMBIAMUFFIN | Cumbiamuffin | Peace & Rhythm / Hyperopia / Sounds & Colours
3 RAY PEREZ Y EL GRUPO CASABE | "Lamento Del Campesino" [Single] | El Palmas
4 LOS CALVOS | Estos Son Los Calvos | El Palmas
5 PEDRO LIMA | Recordar E Viver: Antogolia Vol. 1 | Bongo Joe
6 BKO | Djine Bora | Bongo Joe
7 LUCIBELA | Amdjer | Lusafrica
8 JESUS PAGAN Y SU ORQUESTA | Salsa De La Mata 'From The Roots' | Peace & Rhythm
9 ORQUESTA LA JUSTICIA | Salsa Con Nostalgia | Numero Group
10 FERRE GOLA | Dynastie | Sony East Africa

August 10, 2022

Charts Jul 25 - Aug 7, 2022

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten, July 25-31
1 CUMBIAMUFFIN |  Cumbiamuffin | Peace & Rhythm/Hyperopia/Sounds & Colours
2 SHAOLIN AFRONAUTS, THE | "Broken Flowers" b/w "Sun Spiral" [Single] | Freestyle
3 LUCHO BERMUDEZ | The Coastal Invasion: Cumbia, Porro, Gaita And Mapalé From Colombia's Caribbean Coast (1946-1961) | Radio Martiko
4 JOAO SELVA | Se Acabou [EP] | Underdog
5 PEDRO LIMA | Recordar E Viver: Antogolia Vol. 1 | Bongo Joe
6 EZRA COLLECTIVE | "Victory Dance" [Single] | Partisan
7 LUCIANA DEMINGONGO AND DESOUZA SANTU MONGONGO ELENGI | Let's Go! | Une Plume Une Voix Une Guitare
8 PAHUA AND TERROR/CACTUS | Amuleto | Nacional
9 IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE | Electricity | Merge
10 S.E. ROGIE | Dead Men Don't Smoke Marijuana | Real World
 
 
WRIR World's NACC Top Ten, August 1-7
1 VIEUX FARKA TOURE AND KHRUANGBIN | "Savanne" [Single] | Dead Oceans
2 PEDRO LIMA | Recordar E Viver: Antogolia Vol. 1 | Bongo Joe
3 MADE KUTI | "No More Wars" [Single] | Partisan
4 OMAR PENE AND SUPER DIAMONO | Direct From Dakar | Real World
5 FERRE GOLA | Dynastie | Sony East Africa
6 SON ROMPE PERA AND GIL GUTIERREZ | "El Saleroso" b/w "Proteus" [Single] | Barbes
7 LOS CALVOS | Estos Son Los Calvos | El Palmas
8 BORGA REVOLUTION!: GHANAIAN DANCE MUSIC IN THE DIGITAL AGE, 1983-1992 (VOLUME 1) | various artists | Kalita
9 LEYLA MCCALLA | Breaking The Thermometer | Anti-
10 GWENNO | Tresor | Heavenly/PIAS

August 6, 2022

Global A Go-Go Classico: Top reissues & compilations of 2014

Well, the COVID finally caught up with me this week.  Seems to be a mild case so far, but I certainly couldn't come into the studio and I really didn't have the energy to put together a whole new program.  So I've dug into the Global A Go-Go archives and found you a gem of a show from all the way back on December 19, 2014, back in the days when I was on the air on Friday evening.
 
This edition (Sunday August 7, 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) pulls together tracks from my favorite reissues, compilations and historic recordings that came out in the year 2014.  The music spans 19 different countries, with songs originally recorded in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90, oughts and right through the 20-teens.  Each selection has stood the test of time, both before 2014 and subsequently.  I think you're going to enjoy this program.
 
I'll be out again next week on August 14; WRIR super-sub Sean Kennedy, who definitely deserves his own show, will be sitting in for me then.  And I have something very special planned for you when I return on August 21.  I'll see you then!