July 29, 2010

Program July 30, 2010

I'll start out this week's program with a tribute to Willem Breuker, the Dutch composer and bandleader (that's his ensemble, the Willem Breuker Kollektief, pictured above; Willem is fourth from the right in, you guessed it, the top row) who passed away on July 23.

Breuker's music is beyond category to be sure -- it encompasses the full scope of jazz history from New Orleans to free improvisation, the vernacular music of Breuker's native Amsterdam, more than a pinch of broad audio and visual humor, and so much more. If you'd like to know more about this absurdly under-appreciated artist, Kevin Whitehead's tribute on NPR's Fresh Air radio program is really worth a listen:


Also this week: salsa and mbalax from Senegal, the intoxicating sound of Kenyan benga, and one of those uniquely Global A Go-Go sets that finds a mere three degrees of separation between American semi-commercial rock and Bavarian brass band music.

Click "Read More" for today's tracklist. Podcast is here:


July 25, 2010

Reviews and charts July 25, 2010

Check out the reviews (including one of the item pictured) and a table of WRIR's most-played world music recordings by clicking "Read More" ...

July 23, 2010

Program July 23, 2010

African music is enormously popular on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Of all the African records, why is this one arguably the most influential?

I know, it must be the cover art. But seriously, Afro-Colombians love Shakara by Fela Kuti as they love no other African song. You'll hear two pieces of evidence, in the form of two very different-sounding Colombian covers of the song, along with the original version that inspired them. And to keep the fun coming I'll have an additional set of Fela covers for you on today's show, including two by artists from right here in Richmond Virginia USA. All that and more this week on Global A Go-Go.

Click "Read More" for today's tracklist.  Podcast is here:


July 18, 2010

Reviews and charts July 18, 2010

WRIR's most played world music recording this week is Assume Crash Position by Konono No. 1.  Click "Read More" to read a review of the disc above, and to see WRIR's world music charts for the week.

July 16, 2010

Program July 16, 2010

The band Konono No. 1 (pictured above) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo ("konono" translates from Lingala roughly as "assume the crash position") is like a musical Rorschach test.  While their style is based on the folkloric music of the Bazombo ethnic group, Americans and Europeans hear a whole host of similarities to far more familiar sounds -- everything from Bo Diddley, punk rock and Krautrock to techno and Philip Glass.

Played primarily on homemade instruments (including bullhorns as speakers and pickups fabricated from discarded auto parts), Konono's long, loud jams are one of the world's most unique sounds.  You'll hear a track from their new album, Assume Crash Position, this week on Global A Go-Go.

Also this week: new English folk-rock; Malian guitar rave-ups, including a new live album from Vieux Farka Toure; Brazilian samba-soul, yesterday and today.

Click "Read More" for the tracklist.  Podcast is here:


July 11, 2010

Reviews and charts July 11, 2010

The most-played world music recording on WRIR this week is Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa on Honest Jon's Records.  No new reviews this week, but take a peek inside to see all the charts.

July 9, 2010

Program July 9, 2010

Super Champeta-Man (known to his family as Lucas Silva, on the right in the image) is the man most responsible for introducing the world beyond Colombia to champeta. Champeta is the brilliant dance music of Afro-Colombia that re-synthesizes African popular styles (such as Congolese soukous, Nigerian afrobeat and South African mbaqanga) with their Latin American cousins like salsa, cumbia and reggae. We'll hear selections from five of Lucas Silva's projects, including a track from his new compilation for Soundway Records, Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots In Colombia 1975-91.

Also on this week's program: 8-bit music from around the world; new reggae releases I've been enjoying; and music from the axis of Manu Chao.

Click "Read More" for the tracklist.  Podcast is here:


July 4, 2010

Reviews and charts July 4, 2010

WRIR's world music number one again this week is Gogol Bordello.  Great record but I'm tired of showing the same image, so pictured is our #2 for the week instead.  Lots of reviews inside, plus the charts.

July 2, 2010

Program July 2, 2010

We're at the halfway point of 2010, so let's take a listen to what I think are the best releases of the year so far.  Plenty to choose from, as it's been a strong year on the new release front so far. There's been an especially notable group of reissues put out in 2010, so the entire second hour this week's program is dedicated to old items (from the 60's through the 90's) that are new once again.

The first hour starts with a new song by Chumbawamba (their 2010 recording is pictured above) tweaking the British right-wing's attempt to align folk music with reactionary politics. If only America's teabaggers were so culturally literate ...

Click "Read More" for the tracklist.  Podcast is here: