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.

January 17, 2020

The real boogaloo

This week's show happens on January 20: Martin Luther King Day and the Virginia legislature's annual Lobby Day, when citizens from across the commonwealth are encouraged to visit Richmond's Capitol Square and meet with their elected representatives.

It's also the day on which out-of-state militia groups, white nationalists and other "very fine people" (as our president has described them) are threatening to crash a gun-rights rally here in Richmond, part of their master plan to start a second civil war, which they refer to as The Boogaloo.

I usually defer to my colleagues on WRIR's News & Public Affairs team when it comes to covering gun nuts and other assorted limp-membered attention seekers.  But this co-opting of the term "boogaloo" will not stand, man!  Today on Global A Go-Go, you'll hear the real boogaloo: Spanish Harlem 1967, not Charlottesville 2017.

Also this week: new desert blues from Mamadou Kelly; klezmer meets funk; the music of Blitz The Ambassador, who's performing Tuesday at the ICA; folk music from eastern Europe; and a great new creole/coupe decale track from David Walters.

January 12, 2020

Charts January 4-10, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 SAIGON SOUL REVIVAL | Hoa Am Xura | INFRACom!
2 EL WALI | Tiris | Sahel Sounds
3 JOUWALA COLLECTIVE | Bazaar | self-released
4 LOS SHAINS | El Ritmo De Los Shains | Munster
5 ALEFA MADAGASCAR: SALEGY, SOUKOUS AND SOUL FROM THE RED ISLAND 1974-1984 | various artists | Strut
6 JAMBU E OS MITICOS SONS DA AMAZONIA | various artists | Analog Africa
7 LOCOBEACH | Psychedelic Disco Cumbia | Dorsal Fin/Peace & Rhythm
8 POUR ME A GROG: THE FUNANA REVOLT IN 1990S CABO VERDE | various artists | Ostinato
9 SONORA CASINO | Trompeteros | Vampisoul
10 DOWN IN JAMAICA: 40 YEARS OF VP RECORDS | various artists | VP

January 10, 2020

Introducing Eric Godsey

On the January 13th edition of Global A Go-Go, I'll be joined in the studio by Eric Godsey, a recent WRIR volunteer who, like yours truly, digs music from around the world.

Eric is a musician (drummer for Richmond band The Wimps among many other things) and a music teacher whose taste runs to the percussive side of things.  You'll get the idea when he spins sets of current progressive music out of Africa, Colombian electronica, and cumbia from in the tradition to out of left field.

As for me, I'll give you the sounds of Brazilians Seu Jorge and Roge, who have a gig coming up in DC on Friday night; Ghanaian highlife from the 80s and today; and more.

January 7, 2020

Charts Dec 7, 2019 - Jan 3, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ALEFA MADAGASCAR: SALEGY, SOUKOUS AND SOUL FROM THE RED ISLAND | 1974-1984 | various artists | Strut
2 WUTA MAYI | La Face Cachee | Sterns
3 JUANA MOLINA | Forfun [EP] | Crammed
4 JAMBU E OS MITICOS SONS DA AMAZONIA | various artists | Analog Africa
5 ZAIKO LANGA LANGA AND JOSSART NYOKA LONGO | Seve | Prozal
6 POUR ME A GROG: THE FUNANA REVOLT IN 1990S CABO VERDE | various artists | Ostinato
7 JULIAN Y SU COMBO | Noche De Fiesta | Vampisoul
8 GARIFUNA COLLECTIVE, THE | Aban | Stonetree
9 RACHID TAHA | Je Suis Africain | Believe
10 AGGROLITES, THE | Reggae Now! | Pirates Press

January 3, 2020

Top ten compilations, reissues and historic recordings of 2019

On the January 6 edition of Global A Go-Go, we welcome in the new year with a look at my favorite new/old recordings of the last year: the best compilations, reissues and historic recordings released in 2019.

This is always a fun category for me -- I learn so much from reissued recordings I wasn't even aware of when they first were released, and I truly enjoy the curatorial ear and eye that labels like Analog Africa, Strut and Ostinato bring to their compilations.

There's two more labels I'd like to shout out here for their great work in 2019: Vampisoul, in acknowledgement of the reissue series they're doing in collaboration with Colombian labels Discos Fuentes, Codiscos and INS; and BBE (short for "Barely Breaking Even," which is so apt for everyone working in this niche of the music business) who started a fabulous reissue partnership with Nigeria's Tabansi Music Publishers.

With that as prologue, simply click "Read more" for my top ten compilations, reissues and historic recordings of 2019, plus ten honorable mentions:

December 27, 2019

Top ten singles & EPs of 2019

This week on the December 30th edition of Global A Go-Go, I'll unwrap my favorite singles and EPs of 2019.

I've been doing top ten album lists since WRIR went on the air in 2005, but this is the first time I've ever done a singles chart.  It's an acknowledgement of changing times.  I became an adult in the album era: we listened to LPs front to back and valued them for their sequencing and artwork as much as for the individual songs.  Today we're living in a world of streaming and Spotify; the individual song is king again, much as it was when I bought my first 45 way back in 1969.

Everything I'm playing this week was initially released as a single or EP.  Some would be on albums later in the year, but none of the tracks are merely album cuts that I think would make good singles.  They're all the actual item.

Without further ado, simply click "Read more" for my top ten singles and EPs of 2019, plus ten honorable mentions:

December 20, 2019

Top ten new releases of 2019

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.

On the December 23rd edition of Global A Go-Go, it's my top ten new releases of 2019, plus ten honorable mentions.  On December 30th, you'll hear my favorite singles and EPs of the year.  And on January 6th it's my favorite compilations, reissues and historic recordings of the prior 12 months.

Without further ado, simply click "Read more" for my top ten new releases of 2019:

December 14, 2019

Tougher than tough

"Rougher than rough / Tougher than tough / Strong like lion / We are iron."  Rude boys take over Global A Go-Go on December 16: classic tracks from the 1960's and a new one inna rudee stylee by The Aggrolites.

Also this week: Afro sounds from coastal Colombia and northeast Brazil, West Africa's neo-garage bands, more Peruvian chicha, three from southern Africa, and Fat Freddy's Drop's new album.

December 8, 2019

Charts Nov 30 - Dec 6, 2019

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 STRICTLY THE BEST, VOL. 60 | various artists | VP
2 ONIPA | "Onipa / Makoma" [Single] | Strut
3 CHRIS DE WISE SHEPHERD | "Nera Wo'o Soke" [Single] | Lokalophon
4 KEITH AND TEX | Greatest Hits 1966-1970 | Rebel Sound
5 ADNAN OTHMAN | Bershukor: A Retrospective Of Hits By A Malaysian Pop Yeh Yeh Legend | Sublime Frequencies
6 KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND | Medaho | Ubiquity
7 TINARIWEN | Amadjar | Anti-
8 ALTIN GUN | Gece | ATO
9 ANTOINETTE KONAN | Antoinette Konan | Awesome Tapes From Africa
10 DOWN IN JAMAICA: 40 YEARS OF VP RECORDS | various artists | VP

December 7, 2019

A little dabke'll do ya

Omar Souleyman is back!  Syria's king of dabke (living in Turkey right now for safety's sake), the best thing to happen to electronic dance music since the drum machine, has a new album.  You'll hear a track on the December 9 edition of Global A Go-Go.

Also this week: Trinidad & Tobago's musical poetry called rapso, Latin soul with a rock 'n' roll beat, the Richmond group that's bringing together the sounds of Moroccan gnawa and jam bands, konpa from Haiti and beyond, and Malian remixes.

December 2, 2019

Charts November 23-29, 2019

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 KOKOLO AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA | 100 Fevers | Peace & Rhythm
2 LONDON AFROBEAT COLLECTIVE | Humans | self-released
3 LAKOU MIZIK | HaitiaNola | Cumbancha
4 OTAVA YO | Do You Love | ARC
5 HOPE MASIKE | The Exorcism Of A Spinster | Riverboat
6 XENIA RUBINOS | "Diosa vs Bugeisha" [Single] | Anti-
7 THIRD WORLD | "You're Not The Only One (feat Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley)" [Single] | Ghetto Youth International
8 JAY DOUGLAS | "Jah Children (feat General Trees)" [Single] | Slammin Media
9 ROOTS RADICS | 12 Inches Of Dub [Advance Tracks] | VP
10 RICHIE SPICE | "Together We Stand" [Single] | VP

December 1, 2019

Change at Jamaica for Babylon

In 1979, Vincent (Randy) Chin and his wife Patricia of Randy's Record Shop in Kingston, Jamaica started the VP Records imprint in Jamaica, Queens.  Forty years on, VP is the world's largest independent reggae label and the genre's biggest distributor as well.

Global A Go-Go is getting in on the 40th birthday celebration on December 2nd by spinning two sets of reggae and dancehall, most of it released or distributed by VP.  And we'll be giving away a pair of copies of VP's last release, Strictly The Best, Vol. 60.  Call in and win.

Also this week: unique rhythms from the Islamic funk belt; Tinariwen recorded in a desert camp-out; Southeast Asian rock of the 60s and 70s; and new and old Anatolian rock.

November 25, 2019

Charts November 16-22, 2019

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 JUANA MOLINA | Forfun [EP] | Crammed
2 POUR ME A GROG: THE FUNANA REVOLT IN 1990S CABO VERDE | various artists | Ostinato
3 ADOLFO ECHEVERRIA Y SU ORQUESTA|  Sabroso Bacalao | Vampisoul
4 FARAFI | Calico Soul | Piranha
5 KEITH AND TEX | Greatest Hits 1966-1970 | Rebel Sound
6 FLYING ORKESTAR | Les Yeux Qui Pleurent | Eben Productions
7 LOS AFROINS | A Gozar Salsomanos | Vampisoul
8 TINARIWEN | Amadjar | Anti-
9 GARIFUNA COLLECTIVE, THE | Aban | Stonetree
10 JAH9 | "Ma'at (Each Man)" [Single] | VP

November 23, 2019

Well-behaved women seldom make history

On the November 25 edition of Global A Go-Go, I'll feature two African women making waves right now by playing instruments that had been reserved solely for men.

Asmaa Hamzaoui plays the Moroccan guembri (bass lute) and leads the band Bnat Timbouktou (pictured above), which may be the first all-female gnawa group.  Hope Masike isn't the first Zimbabwean woman to play mbira (thumb piano); in fact, you'll also hear two of her predecessors on this week's show as well, Stella Chiweshe and Chiwoniso Maraire.

Also this week: mizik rasin (roots music) from Haiti, a throat singing version of Motorhead, Japanese minyo turned into Colombian cumbia, and new Afrobeat from London and New York.