August 29, 2010

Reviews and charts August 29, 2010

ARTIST:  Matorralman
TITLE:  Guateque Estelar (Stellar Party)
LABEL:  Nacional

REVIEW:  I recently compared the Budos Band’s sound to blaxsploitation soundtracks.  This album makes a good complement – it could be the soundtrack to another Austin Powers movie.  This Mexico City band channels the classic space-age bachelor pad sound of Esquivel (also a Mexican native) but gives it more of a muscular rock framework with pounding 4/4 drums (well, sampled drums anyway) and lots of twangy guitar a la Linc Wray or Duane Eddy.  All the tracks are instrumentals (many have sampled spoken word intros) and they’d work great as bed music for the right kind of DJ or board operator.  It’s a fun listen all the way through, stylistically very consistent with no bad tracks gumming up the works.  And I predict these guys will be able to license the hell out of this material for commercials and movies, natch.  WRIR has a bunch of DJs who like this kind of knowingly loungey thing – this one is definitely for them.  Oh, behave!
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
RECOMMENDED TRACKS:    1    2    5    7

A whole lot more reviews, plus this week's WRIR world music charts, await inside.  Just click "Read More" ...

August 26, 2010

Program August 27, 2010

Here in Richmond, we have three really interesting South Africa-themed art exhibitions in museums right now.  Darkroom: Photography And New Media In South Africa Since 1950 opened at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts last week and opens at the Visual Arts Center Of Richmond Friday evening, and Imaging South Africa: Collection Projects Of Siemon Allen also opens Friday evening at Virginia Commonwealth University's Anderson Gallery.  Here are links for all three venues:

With all this South African activity, I thought I'd pitch in with a set covering over 50 years of South African recording history, from Miriam Makeba (pictured above with the Manhattan Brothers) to the Tshetsha Boys (you gotta see this video:

Also this week:  a couple of sampler/samplee pairs, the early years of Franco & Le TPOK Jazz, and some wild Balkan tunes.

Click "Read More" for today's tracklist; click here for a podcast of today's program:

The complete catalog of Global A Go-Go podcasts is here:

August 22, 2010

Reviews and charts August 22, 2010

ARTIST:  The Apples
TITLE:  Kings
LABEL:  Freestyle

REVIEW:  The Apples are a nine-piece band from Tel Aviv, Israel playing a unique style of global funk, soul and instrumental hip hop that’s equally influenced by middle eastern music, James Brown, dub and J Dilla.  Cool instrumentation: four horns, bass violin, drum kit, two turntablists and live effects at the soundboard (no digital samplers or digital anything) is a great configuration for their clever writing (for example, track 2 is a composition that grows out of a sample from the Meters-Toussaint-Lee Dorsey classic “Occapella”) and groove-based improvisations.  On this release (their second for Freestyle), they collaborate with two disparate musical giants: trombonist Fred Wesley (tracks 1-4), famous for his work with both James Brown and George Clinton, and vocalist Shlomo Bar (tracks 5-8), whose band HaBrera HaTeevit was a pioneer of world music in Israel.  This band is new to me and I’m totally impressed – big ideas plus funky grooves plus killer horn lines and solos equals a totally Global A Go-Go concept.  Bravo!
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
RECOMMENDED TRACKS:    2    4    6    7

To see the charts, click "Read More."

August 19, 2010

Program August 20, 2010

It's great to be back after a one-week absence; thanks to Albert Green for sitting in for me.

Well, I haven't played much reggae lately, so how about a set of the hard stuff?  No pop, no style, just strictly roots, all from the 70s and 80s including a stone classic with Lee "Scratch" Perry (tanktop) at the controls, Max Romeo (white) behind the mic and the Upsetters (the rest of 'em) laying down the riddims.

And plenty more good stuff this week -- African singer-songwriters like Omar Pene and Nuru Kane, a great new band from Israel called The Apples, some electronic dance music from Africa and much more.

Click "Read More" for today's tracklist; click here for a podcast of today's program:

The complete catalog of Global A Go-Go podcasts is here:

August 15, 2010

Reviews and charts August 15, 2010

No reviews this week (they'll be back next week), but plenty of charts to look at if you click "Read More."  WRIR's two most-played world music recordings this week (The Budos Band III and Afro-Beat Airways) have already been pictured here recently, so here's a look at our number 3 recording.  If you haven't heard it yet, then (a) you haven't been listening to my show or to WRIR enough, and (b) you should.

August 8, 2010

Reviews and charts August 8, 2010

Another great release from Analog Africa is reviewed this week, plus a peek at all of WRIR's world music charts.  Just click "Read More" ...

August 5, 2010

Program August 6, 2010

The Budos Band (pictured above) is without a doubt Staten Island's number one instrumental Afro-soul collective.  Not much of an endorsement?  How about this: they're one of the hottest, funkiest bands in the world today.

Their third album is in stores next week; you'll hear a track from it on today's edition of Global A Go-Go, plus one each from their first two discs.  After that, you'll be prepared to write your own Budos Band hype.

Also on this week's program: soul music from the subcontinent, the funky 1970's in Ghana (including a preview of the new Analog Africa compilation, Afro-Beat Airways), and new desert blues by Tamikrest and Khaira Arby.

Click "Read More" for today's tracklist; click here for a podcast of today's program:

The complete catalog of Global A Go-Go podcasts is here:

August 2, 2010

Reviews and charts August 1, 2010

Here's WRIR's world music charts (our most-played recordings, new arrivals, and what we're recommending) for the week of August 1.  Plus reviews of two outstanding new releases: III by The Budos Band (pictured above) and Timbuktu Tarab by Khaira Arby.