June 19, 2018

Program June 20, 2018

Desert blues superstar Oumara "Bombino" Moctar (pictured above), the "Sultan of Shred" from Agadez in Niger, has just released his sixth album.  It's the first in ten years that he's recorded in Africa -- there's no celebrity stars or crossover narrative here, just the best in Sahara Desert guitar.  You'll hear a track from it this week on Global A Go-Go, along with other artists from inside and north of the desert.

Also this week: vintage recordings from Central and East Africa, the Ethiopian tinge in jazz, and some hot dancehall and soca for this hot weather.

June 17, 2018

Charts June 17, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 DIALI CISSOKHO AND KAIRA BA | Routes | Twelve | Eight
2 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
3 YENI NOSTALJI | Yeni Nostalji | Ropeadope
4 LOS TEXMANIACS | Cruzando Borders | Smithsonian Folkways
5 ALI FARKA TOURE | The Source (Remastered) | World Circuit
6 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
7 BROWNOUT | Fear Of A Brown Planet | Fat Beats
8 LA DAME BLANCHE | Bajo El Mismo Cielo | Nacional
9 LUCIBELA | Laco Umbilical | Lusafrica
10 SEUN KUTI AND EGYPT 80 | Black Times | Strut

June 12, 2018

Program June 13, 2018

North Carolina has become an exporter of top-shelf West African music in recent years.  The trend started with Asheville's Toubab Krewe, followed shortly by Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba (pictured above) from Carrboro.  The latter's third album will be released on June 29, the former issued their latest in March, and you'll hear a track from both on this week's program.

Also this week: yet another cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" -- but this time in Yiddish, a trip to the Mexico-USA border for Norteno and rock 'n' roll, and Afrobeat and Afro-funk at drum & bass tempos.

June 10, 2018

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba | Routes

ARTIST: Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba
TITLE: Routes
LABEL: Twelve | Eight
North Carolina has become an exporter of top-shelf West African music in recent years. The trend started with Asheville’s Toubab Krewe, followed shortly by Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba from Carrboro.

El Dusty | Cumbia City

ARTIST: El Dusty
TITLE: Cumbia City
LABEL: Aftercluv
Dusty Oliveira is a young DJ-producer from Corpus Christi, Texas with a fresh take on electro-cumbia.

Angelique Kidjo | Remain In Light

ARTIST: Angelique Kidjo
TITLE: Remain In Light
LABEL: Kravenworks
Remain In Light by Talking Heads is one of the last albums I thought needed to be remade. This 1980 classic is the high point of that band’s career and a master class in employing an African sensibility without resorting to mere imitation.

Mystic Bowie | Mystic Bowie's Talking Dreads

ARTIST: Mystic Bowie
TITLE: Mystic Bowie’s Talking Dreads
LABEL: MTMB Entertainment
I didn’t expect to be reviewing two albums of Talking Heads covers this week.

Charts June 10, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
2 YENI NOSTALJI | Yeni Nostalji | Ropeadope
3 MYSTIC BOWIE | Mystic Bowie's Talking Dreads | MTMB Entertainment
4 EL DUSTY |  Cumbia City | Aftercluv
5 NICOLA CONTE AND SPIRITUAL GALAXY | Let Your Light Shine On | MPS
6 BOMBINO | Deran | Partisan
7 ALI FARKA TOURE | The Source (Remastered) | World Circuit
8 EL HIJO DE LA CUMBIA | Genero Genero | Nacional
9 AFRICAN SCREAM CONTEST 2 | various artists | Analog Africa
10 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | Orquesta Akokan | Daptone

June 4, 2018

Program June 6, 2018

Two legendary African singers passed away in recent days.  Kasse Mady Diabate (pictured above), the man Salif Keita called "the greatest singer in Mali," was a direct descendant of the jelis (professional musicians and historians) who served Sundiata Keita when he founded the Malian Empire in 1235.  He died on June 1 at age 69.

Singer and soldier Tsehaytu Beraki died at age 79 on May 24, Eritrean Independence Day, in the Netherlands where she was granted political asylum in 1988.  Tsehaytu, "The Sunshine Of Eritrea," helped popularize the traditional Tigrigna music of Asmara, a sound that has greatly influenced both Eritrean and Ethiopian music.

This week on Global A Go-Go, you'll hear a whole set of Kasse Mady's work, from his days with L'Orchestre National Badema in the 1970s to his remarkable 2015 final solo album.  And from Tsehaytu I'll play a pair of songs, one from the 70s and the other from her Dutch comeback album of 2004; you'll also hear younger musicians working in the azmari tradition.

Also this week: Angelique Kidjo and Mystic Bowie both remake Talking Heads songs, and a set of electro-cumbia to get you dancing.

June 3, 2018

Charts June 3, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 AFRICAN SCREAM CONTEST 2 | various artists | Analog Africa
2 BOMBINO | Deran | Partisan
3 LES POULES A COLIN | Morose | self-released
4 NICOLA CONTE AND SPIRITUAL GALAXY | Let Your Light Shine On | MPS
5 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | Orquesta Akokan | Daptone
6 SIDI TOURE | Toubalbero | Thrill Jockey
7 IMARHAN | Temet | City Slang
8 SONIDO GALLO NEGRO | Mambo Cosmico | Glitterbeat
9 AFRO B | Afrowave 2 | Marathon Artists
10 MYSTERY OF THE BULGARIAN VOICES, THE | BooCheeMish | Prophecy

May 29, 2018

Nicola Conte & Spiritual Galaxy | Let Your Light Shine On

ARTIST: Nicola Conte & Spiritual Galaxy
TITLE: Let Your Light Shine On
LABEL: MPS
Nicola Conte is an Italian guitarist, producer and DJ best known for his work in acid jazz, bringing improvised music and the dance floor together.

May 28, 2018

Program May 30, 2018

The godfather of champeta is back!  Abelardo Carbono (pictured above) made a series of brilliant recordings in Barranquilla in the 1980s that fused Afro-Colombian rhythms with sounds from the crates of records that entered Colombia's largest Caribbean port and became hits with the country's picos (mobile sound systems): Nigerian Afrobeat, Congolese soukous, Cuban mambo, Haitian compas, American funk and psych-rock.

It's been decades since Carbono released a new recording.  But here he is, working with a younger generation of crate-digging musicians who've all been inspired by him: Will (Quantic) Holland, Mario (Frente Cumbiero) Galeano, Lucas (Palenque Records) Silva and Felipe (Polen Records) Alvarez.  You'll hear their new single this week on Global A Go-Go.

Also this week: spiritual jazz from Italy and the USA; new desert blues by Sidi Toure, Bombino and Imarhan; and more classics from West Africa's golden age.

May 27, 2018

Charts May 27, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 BOMBINO | Deran | Partisan
2 YENI NOSTALJI | Yeni Nostalji | Ropeadope
3 LOS TEXMANIACS | Cruzando Borders | Smithsonian Folkways
4 NICKODEMUS | A Long Engagement | Wonderwheel
5 AFRICAN SCREAM CONTEST 2 | various artists | Analog Africa
6 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | Orquesta Akokan | Daptone
7 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
8 LEVANTA POEIRA | various artists | Jazz & Milk
9 DOMENICO LACELLOTTI | The Good Is a Big God | Luaka Bop
10 PIERRE SANDWINI | Le Troubadour De La Savane - 1978/1982 | Born Bad

May 20, 2018

Charts May 20, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 YENI NOSTALJI | Yeni Nostalji | Ropeadope
2 LOS TEXMANIACS | Cruzando Borders | Smithsonian Folkways
3 NICKODEMUS | A Long Engagement | Wonderwheel
4 AFRICAN SCREAM CONTEST 2 | various artists | Analog Africa
5 LISTEN ALL AROUND: THE GOLDEN AGE OF CENTRAL AND EAST AFRICAN MUSIC | various artists | Dust-To-Digital
6 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | Orquesta Akokan | Daptone
7 THORNATO | Back It Up [EP] | Wonderwheel
8 SONIDO GALLO NEGRO | Mambo Cosmico | Glitterbeat
9 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
10 EMPRESARIOS | Cambumbeo [EP] | Empresarios Musica

Bombino | Deran

ARTIST: Bombino
TITLE: Deran
LABEL: Partisan
Oumara “Bombino” Moctar is a Tamasheq guitarist and singer from Agadez, Niger. Of all the second generation of tichumaren (sometimes called “desert blues”) players he’s the one with the highest international profile, aided in part by his last two albums which were produced by Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) and David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), respectively.

Nickodemus | A Long Engagement

ARTIST: Nickodemus
TITLE: A Long Engagement
LABEL: Wonderwheel
Nick DeSimone, aka Nickodemus, is an NYC-based producer and DJ best known for his Turntables On The Hudson club nights (now in their 20th worldwide season) and for founding Wonderwheel Records.

Los Texmaniacs | Cruzando Borders

ARTIST: Los Texmaniacs
TITLE: Cruzando Borders
LABEL: Smithsonian Folkways
Grammy award-winning Los Texmaniacs, who played the Richmond Folk Festival in 2010, are one of the most accomplished Tejano bands in the USA today.

Yeni Nostalji | Yeni Nostalji

ARTIST: Yeni Nostalji
TITLE: Yeni Nostalji
LABEL: Ropeadope
If you want to be an artist, you need to follow your obsessions down their rabbit hole. That’s what Christina Gleixner did four years ago when she decided she had to write and sing in Turkish, a language she didn’t speak.

May 15, 2018

Program May 16, 2018

It's been two years in the making, and Yeni Nostalji (pictured above)'s debut album has now been released by Ropeadope Records.  It's a beautiful thing; you'll hear a track from it this week on Global A Go-Go.  BTW, their record release show is this Friday at Gallery 5.

Also this week: welcome to Areito's Estudio 101 in Havana; Norteno and forro; Hailu Mergia's return to the scene; and new music for the dance floor by Empresarios, Nickodemus and Thornato.

May 13, 2018

Charts May 13, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 AFRICAN SCREAM CONTEST 2 | various artists | Analog Africa
2 LISTEN ALL AROUND: THE GOLDEN AGE OF CENTRAL AND EAST AFRICAN MUSIC | various artists | Dust-to-Digital
3 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | Orquesta Akokan | Daptone
4 VIBRONICS | Woman On A Mission | SCOOPS
5 DJENEBA AND FOUSCO | Kayeba Khasso | Lusafrica
6 CESARIA EVORA | Carnaval De Mindelo [EP] | Lusafrica
7 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
8 LEVANTA POEIRA | various artists | Jazz & Milk
9 LITTLE AXE | London Blues | Echo Beach
10 JIMI TENOR | "Quantum Connection" / "My Mind Will Travel" [Single] | Philophon

May 9, 2018

Ali Farka Toure | The Source

ARTIST: Ali Farka Toure
TITLE: The Source
LABEL: World Circuit
For those of us who were just getting interested in African music around 1990, it’s impossible to overstate the impact of Ali Farka Toure.

May 8, 2018

Program May 9, 2018

Desert blues guitarist Mdou Moctar (pictured above) and his band return to Richmond Monday night at Strange Matter, on a killer triple bill with The Messthetics (Fugazi's rhythm section plus guitar shredder Anthony Pirog) and Time Is Fire (featuring Electric Cowbell's Jim Thomson on drums).

If you saw Mdou at the University of Richmond in October, you'll be back for more.  If you didn't, I'll play a track from his film Akounak Tedelat Taha Tazoughai ("Purple Rain" in Tamasheq) so you can hear what the buzz is about.

Also this week: I cannot give up rumba; what's new in reggae, spring 2018 edition; and the "101st century eucosmic raw soul" of Berlin's Philophon label.

May 6, 2018

Charts May 6, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 SIDI TOURE | Toubalbero | Thrill Jockey
2 EL HIJO DE LA CUMBIA | Genero Genero | Nacional
3 AFRICAN SCREAM CONTEST 2 | various artists | Analog Africa
4 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | Orquesta Akokan | Daptone
5 ALI FARKA TOURE | The Source | World Circuit
6 IMARHAN | Temet | City Slang
7 DJENEBA AND FOUSCO | Kayeba Khasso | Lusafrica
8 SONIDO GALLO NEGRO | Mambo Cosmico | Glitterbeat
9 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
10 SPANGLISH FLY | Ay Que Boogaloo! | Chaco World

May 1, 2018

Program May 2, 2018

First of all, I want to thank close to 600 WRIR listeners who donated $48,000 during the Spring 2018 Fund Drive.  For the second consecutive drive, we've set another all-time fundraising record.  Thank you so much for powering the Tower of Low Power!

You can still get in on the action: just visit wrir.org, fill out the online form, and get the groovy Spring '18 T-shirt, magnet and bandana.  If you donated and haven't picked up your swag yet, please email fundraising@wrir.org -- we'll set up a time for you to come by and get your premiums.

Fund drive season is also new releases season.  And after two weeks of special programs during the Spring '18 Fund Drive, I've got a backlog of excellent recent material to share with you.

Global A Go-Go premieres this week will include a reissue of Ali Farka Toure's 1993 classic The Source, TootArd's desert blues from the Golan Heights, electro-cumbia by El Hijo De La Cumbia and E Arenas, Pinata Protest's Tejano punk rock (playing Richmond in June), and the brand-new single from Colombian legends Atercioplelados (pictured above).

Also this week: Latin soul and boogaloo, and Afrofunk chestnuts from the golden 70s.

April 29, 2018

Charts April 29, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 HECTOR "COCO" BAREZ | El Laberinto Del Coco | Obi Musica
2 SIDI TOURE | Toubalbero | Thrill Jockey
3 IMARHAN | Temet | City Slang
4 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
5 PLENA LIBRE | Amores en el Camino | GN Musica
6 BALOJI | 137 Avenue Kaniama | Bella Union
7 NANCY VIEIRA | Manha Florida | Lusafrica
8 MELISSA LAVEAUX | Radyo Siwél | No Format
9 TOOTARD | Laissez Passer | Palmetto
10 GENERAL DEFAO | Irruption | JP Diamantino Production

April 24, 2018

African Scream Contest 2

ARTIST: various artists
TITLE: African Scream Contest 2
LABEL: Analog Africa
African Scream Contest, digging deep into the funk and psychedelic sounds of West Africa’s Benin and Togo, was Analog Africa’s third release and the one that put this intrepid label on the music map.

El Hijo De La Cumbia | Genero Genero

ARTIST: El Hijo De La Cumbia
TITLE: Genero Genero
LABEL: Nacional
Emiliano Gomez, who records and performs as El Hijo De La Cumbia, is an Argentine DJ and producer now living in Sweden who spins an urban, worldly musical mix based on Colombian cumbia.

April 23, 2018

Program April 25, 2018

WRIR's Spring 2018 Fund Drive wraps up on Wednesday April 25 at 11 PM.  Many of you have already donated during this drive or are monthly sustaining members -- thank you to all of you for keeping 97.3 FM, Richmond's tower of low power, on the radio and internet airwaves for another six months.  We can't do it without you!

If you've been waiting until the end of the drive to contribute -- well, now is that time.  We're so very close to our $40,000 goal, and that means your help right now can push us across the finish line and ensure that WRIR's next six months are just like its first 13 years: living proof that radio of, by and for the people is the independent media antidote to so many of our culture's current ailments.

Please consider making that donation today or tomorrow.  I'll be doing a special fund drive edition of Global A Go-Go Wednesday at 3 PM, featuring some of the most unlikely foreign-language cover songs that have crossed my path in the 14 years I've been doing this radio show.  And I'll be back on the air Wednesday between 7 and 11 PM, encouraging listeners to contribute during the drive's last four hours.  I'd love to be able to announce your name on the air, thank you for your support, and say that it's folks like you who make community radio in Richmond possible.

We have three easy ways for you to donate:
  1. Online at http://wrir.org/donating
  2. By calling 804-622-9747
  3. Or by visiting us in person at 1621-B W. Broad Street (2nd floor)
Thank you for considering it, and extra thanks if you've already contributed this spring or are a sustaining member.  Love live Richmond Independent Radio!

April 16, 2018

Program April 18, 2018

WRIR's Spring 2018 Fund Drive is now underway -- we're working to raise $40,000 by Wednesday April 25 to power independent community radio in Richmond for another six months. Thank you for your previous donations to Richmond Independent Radio; I'm writing to encourage you to make a donation once again this spring.

You can make that donation in two minutes by clicking this link: http://wrir.org/donating. Or you can call or visit us between 9 AM and 9 PM during the drive, now through April 25. Our phone number is 804-622-9747; our address is 1621 W. Broad Street, 2nd floor.

Charts April 15, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 HOLLIE COOK | Vessel Of Love | Merge
2 THORNATO | Back It Up | Wonderwheel
3 CESARIA EVORA | Carnaval De Mindelo | Lusafrica
4 LOS CHICOS MALOS | Los Chicos Malos | Vampisoul
5 LEVANTA POEIRA | various artists | Jazz & Milk
6 DRUNKEN FOREIGNER BAND | White Guy Disease | Electric Cowbell
7 BALOJI | 137 Avenue Kaniama | Bella Union
8 BANDERAS | "Tema De Banderas" | Matasuna
9 EMEL MATHLOUTHI | Ensenity | Partisan
10 MELISSA LAVEAUX | Radyo Siwél | No Format

April 10, 2018

Program April 11, 2018

Daniel Kahn (pictured above with his be-masked band The Painted Bird) is one of my favorite songwriters.  What can you say about a guy who lists his musical influences as Nina Simone, Tom Waits, Tom Lehrer, Woody Guthrie, The Bad Seeds, Howlin' Wolf, Brecht & Eisler, The Pogues and Leonard Cohen, other than "you need to hear his music right away"?  And you will, this week on Global A Go-Go.

Also this week: Cesaria Evora's music from beyond this mortal coil, new African sounds from Guy One and Seun Kuti, and Thailand's rockin' electric phin.  Plus a song dedicated to my favorite actor in the current Trump reality TV show, Michael Cohen:

April 8, 2018

Charts April 8, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 LISTEN ALL AROUND: THE GOLDEN AGE OF CENTRAL AND EAST AFRICAN MUSIC | various artists | Dust-to-Digital
2 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | Orquesta Akokan | Daptone
3 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
4 BALOJI | 137 Avenue Kaniama | Bella Union
5 SONIDO GALLO NEGRO | Mambo Cosmico | Glitterbeat
6 LITTLE AXE | London Blues | Echo Beach
7 ROBERTO LOPEZ | Criollo Electrik | Stonetree
8 RAS FRASER JR. | Journey To Greatness | Rebel Sound
9 EMEL MATHLOUTHI | Ensenity | Partisan
10 MELISSA LAVEAUX | Radyo Siwél | No Format

April 3, 2018

Listen All Around: The Golden Age Of Central And East African Music

ARTIST: various artists
TITLE: Listen All Around: The Golden Age Of Central & East African Music
LABEL: Dust-to-Digital
Hugh Tracey spent most of his life making field recordings of sub-Saharan African music; he probably did more than any other human to open the world’s ears to Africa’s sounds.

Orquesta Akokan | Orquesta Akokan

ARTIST: Orquesta Akokan
TITLE: Orquesta Akokan
LABEL: Daptone
Mambo is the big band sound of Havana’s glory days: the years before Castro’s revolution and the subsequent American embargo of all things Cuban, even (maybe especially) music.

Program April 4, 2018

This week's program has that Latin tinge throughout.  The show gets started with the unique sound of salsa Senegalaise, as Senegal celebrates its 58th anniversary of independence on April 4.

Then we'll dig very deep into classic Cuban big band recordings of the 1940s and 50s, plus one ringer -- the brilliant debut album by Orquesta Akokan (pictured above), modern music inspired by Arsenio Rodriguez, Beny More and their peers.

Next, it's over to Cuban-influenced recordings from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, starting with a track from the forthcoming Dust-to-Digital box set Listen All Around of Hugh Tracey's "town music" field recordings and finishing with Kekele's tribute to Franco and O.K. Jazz.

We'll wrap things up with some cumbia-based tracks, including recent releases by Roberto Lopez, Kumbia Boruka and Sonido Gallo Negro.

April 1, 2018

Charts April 1, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 HOLLIE COOK | Vessel Of Love | Merge
2 SIDI TOURE | Toubalbero | Thrill Jockey
3 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
4 EMEL MATHLOUTHI | Ensenity | Partisan
5 MELISSA LAVEAUX | Radyo Siwél | No Format
6 LE KARMAPA | Caligula Vol. 2 | self-released
7 IMARHAN | Temet | City Slang
8 THORNATO | Back It Up [EP] | Wonderwheel
9 VIBRONICS | Woman On A Mission | Scoops
10 DJENEBA AND FOUSCO | Kayeba Khasso | Lusafrica

March 25, 2018

Charts March 25, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 LITTLE AXE | London Blues | Echo Beach
2 LOS CHICOS MALOS | Los Chicos Malos | Vampisoul
3 SPANGLISH FLY | Ay Que Boogaloo! | Chaco World
4 HAMAD KALKABA AND THE GOLDEN SOUNDS | 1974-1975 | Analog Africa
5 BANDERAS | "Tema De Banderas" [Single] | Matasuna
6 FEMI KUTI | One People One World | Knitting Factory
7 TIBBLE TRANSSIBIRISKA | "100 Ar Av Langtan (BalkanBeats SoundSystem remix)" [Single] | Big Is Promotion
8 KHRUANGBIN | Con Todo El Mundo | Dead Oceans
9 HAILU MERGIA | Lala Belu | Awesome Tapes From Africa
10 BALOJI | 137 Avenue Kaniama | Bella Union

March 20, 2018

Program March 21, 2018

One of the pleasures of hosting a radio show is the opportunity it affords me to bang the drum for artists who deserve wider recognition.  Skip McDonald, who records as Little Axe (pictured above) is high on my list of those artists.

McDonald is best known as the guitarist in two of the seminal studio bands of our era: the house band at Sugarhill Records (where he played on the pioneering hip hop recordings of Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa) and Tackhead (the London band that powered Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound Records, uniting funk, dub and industrial music).

But he started with the blues, learning guitar from his father at age eight, and the Little Axe project ties together all of his musical experience -- it's the blues meets dub and trip-hop.  This week on Global A Go-Go I'll play you three tracks from the extensive Little Axe catalog (12 albums so far), including one from his most recent release, London Blues.

Also this week: a Latin music sampler - trova, bachata, Latin soul and salsa; brass bands from India and the Balkans; and new sounds from Fela Kuti's sons Femi and Seun.

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
LABEL: SCOOPS
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.