March 19, 2018

Charts March 18, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 HAILU MERGIA | Lala Belu | Awesome Tapes From Africa
2 LEVANTA POEIRA | various artists | Jazz & Milk
3 SIDI TOURE | Toubalbero | Thrill Jockey
4 IMARHAN | Temet | City Slang
5 DJENEBA AND FOUSCO | Kayeba Khasso | Lusafrica
6 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
7 LOS CHICOS MALOS | Los Chicos Malos | Vampisoul
8 HAMAD KALKABA AND THE GOLDEN SOUNDS | 1974-1975 | Analog Africa
9 BANDERAS | "Tema De Banderas" [Single] | Matasuna
10 FATOUMATA DIAWARA | "Nterini" [Single] | Shanachie

March 12, 2018

Program March 14, 2018

That Ethiopian guy who took you to Dulles Airport last time?  He might be the greatest musicians you've never heard.

Hailu Mergia (pictured above) has been working as a taxi driver in Washington DC since 1997.  Back in the 70s, he was one of the pioneers of Ethio-jazz.  He fled the Derg military dictatorship in 1981 and settled in DC, home to more Ethiopians than any city other than Addis Ababa.

In the last several years, his music has made a comeback; now 71 years old, he's just put out his first new recording since 1985, and it's fantastic.  On this week's program you'll hear a track, plus one from the supergroup he led in the 70s that also featured Mulatu Astatke and Girma Beyene, two more Ethio-jazz veterans who are having late-career renaissances.

Also this week: new Malian releases by Djeneba & Fousco, Fatoumata Diawara and Sidi Toure; the sounds of Brazil's Northeast; and the music of West Africa's Islamic funk belt.

March 11, 2018

Sidi Toure | Toubalbero

ARTIST: Sidi Toure
TITLE: Toubalbero
LABEL: Thrill Jockey
Guitarist, singer and bandleader Sidi Toure is one of the unsung heroes of Malian music. Born in 1959 in Gao in Mali’s southeast, he led the regional orchestra Songhai Stars in the 1980s and released an album on Stern’s Africa in 1996.

Charts March 11, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 VIBRONICS | Woman On A Mission | SCOOPS
2 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
3 SEUN KUTI AND EGYPT 80 | Black Times | Strut
4 SONIDO GALLO NEGRO | Mambo Cosmico | Glitterbeat
5 FATOUMATA DIAWARA | "Nterini" [Single] | Shanachie
6 LA DAME BLANCHE | Bajo El Mismo Cielo | Nacional
7 MO KALAMITY MEETS SLY AND ROBBIE | One Love Vibration | Sofia Thea
8 LUCIBELA | Laco Umbilical | Lusafrica
9 BANG DATA | Loco | Futuro Sónico
10 AFRIKA MAMAS | Iphupho | ARC

March 5, 2018

Program March 7, 2018

I saw Black Panther last week, and I thoroughly enjoyed the film's score, composed by Ludwig Goransson (pictured above seated, along with four Senegalese tama drummers), which liberally incorporates African popular and traditional music.

Most noteworthy to my ears was the voice of Baaba Maal, the great Fulani singer whose music, like Goransson's, employs a fusion of global elements in a search for the ecstatic.  Maal's most recent album, The Traveller, in particular sounds like a template for Goransson's score.  So I'll start today's program with two Maal songs that echo sounds you hear in Black Panther, then move on to the drum-driven Senegalese mbalax which is also a major influence on the film's soundtrack.

Also this week: deep dub; chicha and cumbia; and Super Djata vs. Toubab Krewe in a jam band showdown, West African style.

March 4, 2018

Charts March 4, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
2 IMARHAN | Temet | City Slang
3 THORNATO | Back It Up [EP] | Wonderwheel
4 DJENEBA AND FOUSCO | Kayeba Khasso | Lusafrica
5 CESARIA EVORA | Carnaval De Mindelo [EP] | Lusafrica
6 PALENQUE RECORDS AFROCOLOMBIA REMIX, VOL. 2 | various artists | Galletas Calientes
7 FEMI KUTI | One People One World | Knitting Factory
8 LOS NASTYS | "Veneno Del Serpiente" [Single] | Nacional
9 LOS YETIS | Los Yetis | Vinilisssimo
10 GUY ONE | #1 | Philophon

February 27, 2018

Program February 28, 2018

Some of the best rock music in the world right now is coming out of Africa, and that will be the focus of Global A Go-Go's first hour this week.  We'll start with the brilliant new album by Imarhan (pictured above) from Algeria, along with other artists from the second generation of desert blues.

Then we'll move on to another new release, this one by Mali's Djeneba & Fousco, plus rockers from Burkina Faso, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all within the last decade.  Also this week: music from Africa's lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) countries and some remixes of Colombian champeta.

Imarhan | Temet

ARTIST: Imarhan
TITLE: Temet
LABEL: City Slang
Imarhan is a five-piece band from Tamanrasset, the largest Tuareg community in Algeria. They’re led by Iyad Moussa Ben Abderahmane aka Sadam, whose cousin Eyadou Ag Leche is the bassist for desert blues standard-bearers Tinariwen.

Thornato | Back It Up

ARTIST: Thornato
TITLE: Back It Up
LABEL: Wonderwheel
Thor Partridge is a New York-based producer of Cypriot descent who was born in Sweden. So yes, he comes by his global point of view naturally.

Vibronics | Woman On A Mission

ARTIST: Vibronics
TITLE: Woman On A Mission
Vibronics call themselves “the future sound of dub”; coming out of Leicester England in 1995, they’ve produced a dozen albums and scores of singles in the digital dub (electronic-based reggae) genre.

February 25, 2018

Charts February 25, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 HECTOR "COCO" BAREZ | El Laberinto Del Coco | Obi Musica
2 PLENA LIBRE | Amores En El Camino | GN Musica
3 DA CRUZ | Eco Do Futuro | Boom Jah/Broken Silence
4 THORNATO | Back It Up [EP] | Wonderwheel
5 FEMI KUTI | One People One World | Knitting Factory
6 LUCIBELA | Laco Umbilical | Lusafrica
7 HOLLIE COOK | Vessel Of Love | Merge
8 ALEXANDRA JACKSON | Legacy & Alchemy | Legacy & Alchemy
9 ANGOLA SAUDADE, VOL. 1 | various artists | Sons D'Africa
10 ONDENO | "Mayolye" [Single] | Rocafort

February 20, 2018

Djeneba & Fousco | Kayeba Khasso

ARTIST: Djeneba & Fousco
TITLE: Kayeba Khasso
LABEL: Lusafrica
Djeneba Kouyate and Fousseyni (Fousco) Sissoko are both descendents of griot families from Mali’s Kayes region.

Cesaria Evora | Carnaval De Mindelo

ARTIST: Cesaria Evora
TITLE: Carnaval De Mindelo
LABEL: Lusafrica
Lusafrica Records is the house that Cesaria built – Jose da Silva started the label in 1990 to release Cesaria Evora’s first international album, and Cabo Verde’s “barefoot diva” remains Lusafrica’s biggest seller even though she died in 2011.

Program February 21, 2018

Percussionist Hector "Coco" Barez (pictured above) is known here in Richmond for his work in the bands Bio Ritmo, Afro Zen Allstars, Miramar, Hotel X and Mekong Express, among others.

What you might not know is that he's an in-demand session and touring musician -- he spent seven years with the Grammy-winning Calle 13, and he's played with everyone from Tego Calderon and William Cepeda to Ruben Blades and Femi Kuti.

Coco's first solo album, El Laberinto Del Coco, has just been released.  He'll come by the studio this week to talk about the album, playing everything from boleros to progressive metal, how one of Puerto Rico's top congueros came to live in Richmond, and a whole lot more.  And you'll hear some tracks from the new album as well.

Also this week: Puerto Rican plena in salsa, and the sounds of Haiti's RAM, who'll be playing live in DC on Wednesday.

February 18, 2018

Charts February 18, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 LES FILLES DE ILLIGHADAD | Eghass Malan | Sahel Sounds
2 HAMAD KALKABA AND THE GOLDEN SOUNDS | 1974-1975 | Analog Africa
3 HOLLIE COOK | Vessel Of Love | Merge
4 BUMBA MASSA | V70 | Cantos
5 LITTLE AXE | London Blues | Echo Beach
6 DRUNKEN FOREIGNER BAND | White Guy Disease | Electric Cowbell
7 PLENA LIBRE | Amores En El Camino | GN Musica
8 BOUBACAR TRAORE | Dounia Tabolo | Lusafrica
9 DA CRUZ | Eco Do Futuro | Boom Jah/Broken Silence
10 IMARHAN | "Azzaman" [Single] | City Slang