February 19, 2024

Charts February 12-18, 2024

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 AFRIKA MUYE MUYE! TANZANIAN RUMBA AND MUZIKI WA DANSI 1968-1970 | various artists | Recordiana
2 OTAVA YO | Loud And Clear | ARC
3 NATHALIE JOACHIM | Ki Moun Ou Ye | Nonesuch
4 FRANCK BIYONG | "Oladipo" (feat. Chief Udoh Essiet & Tony Allen) [Single] | Afrolectric
5 NEWEN AFROBEAT | "Es La Vida" [Single] | Lichens Family
6 MAMA SISSOKO | Live | Mieruba
7 WAGADU GROOVES: THE HYPNOTIC SOUND OF CAMARA 1987-2016 | various artists | Hot Mule
8 ORGONE | Chimera | 3 Palm
9 DIEUF-DIEUL DE THIES | Dieuf-Dieul De Thies | Buda
10 SUPER BITON DE SEGOU | Afro Jazz Folk Collection Vol. 2 | Mieruba

February 16, 2024

Platinum anniversary

Believe it or not, this week marks the 20th anniversary of the first episode of Global A Go-Go.  This radio show started on February 23, 2004 on WRIR's webstream, almost a year before we began broadcasting on 97.3 FM, and it's the longest running program on our station.
I wish I had a recording of that first show, but I first started archiving Global A Go-Go about six months later: radio4all.net/series/Global%20A%20Go-Go?page=30
I do have a copy of the first tracklist, though.  We couldn't add our playlists on the WRIR website yet, so the DJs were instructed to post them on LiveJournal (remember them, the Russian-owned competitor to Facebook?).  Somehow my account is still up there: global-a-go-go.livejournal.com/?skip=35
To mark the anniversary, I've gone back to that tracklist and selected a few songs to play once again.  Fortunately they're still good!  Of course, I have some new stuff for you as well (Franck Biyong from Cameroon, Chile's Newen Afrobeat and Russian folk-rockers Otava Yo), plus a listener request for Hugh Masekela.

And I'm giving away a pair of tickets to see a band that I played quite a bit back in 2004: the great Celtic punk band Flogging Molly, who will be at the National on Wednesday February 21.  So tune in, enjoy the reminiscences, and win tickets!

February 14, 2024

Charts February 5-11, 2024

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 LAGOS THUGS | Chaos | Immensum
2 MAMA SISSOKO | Live | Mieruba
3 WAGADU GROOVES: THE HYPNOTIC SOUND OF CAMARA 1987-2016 | various artists | Hot Mule
4 SAHRA HALGAN | "Sharaf" [Single] | Danaya
5 JEMBAA GROOVE | "Dabia" [Single] | Agogo
6 GHETTO BROTHERS | Power-Fuerza | Vampisoul
7 EXTRA MUSICA NOUVEL HORIZON | Conduite A Tenir | Universal Africa
8 AFCON 2023 | various artists [EP] | CAF
9 AZUKA MOWETA AND HIS ANIOMA BROTHERS BAND | Nwanne Bu Ife | Odogwu Entertainment/Palenque
10 DIEPKLOOF UNITED VOICES | Harmonizing Soweto: Golden City Gospel & Kasi Soul | Ostinato

February 9, 2024

Let it be known

An internet image search for "Lagos thugs" will bring up dozens of press photos of young Nigerian men carrying improvised weapons in the streets of West Africa's largest city, above stories decrying their uncivilized behavior.  No matter whether they're looting or protesting police violence, it seems like they're all called Lagos thugs.
A young Afrobeat ensemble has co-opted this dismissive pejorative for their band name.  It's their way of tweaking the powers that be: The real thugs in business suits and uniforms, Nigeria's ruling elite who in the last six decades have managed to turn their country into Africa's wealthiest failed state.
On their debut album, Chaos, Lagos Thugs are made as hell and they're not going to take it anymore, just like their forefather Fela Kuti.  You'll hear both the Thugs and Fela this week on an all-African episode of Global A Go-Go (Sunday February 11, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site), along with new music from Sahra Halgan (Somaliland), Jembaa Groove (Ghana via Germany), Mama Sissoko (Mali) and much more.

February 6, 2024

Charts Jan 22 - Feb 4, 2024

WRIR World's NACC Top Ten
1 WAGADU GROOVES: THE HYPNOTIC SOUND OF CAMARA 1987-2016 | various artists | Hot Mule
2 LONDON AFROBEAT COLLECTIVE | "Freedom" [Single] | Canopy
3 MAMA SISSOKO | Live | Mieruba
4 IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE | "Got To Be Who U Are" [Single] | Merge
5 LAGOS THUGS | Chaos | self-released
6 CHERRY BANDORA | Back To The Taverna | Rebel Up/Rumi Sounds
7 ANA TIJOUX | Vida | Victoria Producciones
8 GHETTO BROTHERS | Power - Fuerza | Vampisoul
10 TP ORCHESTRE POLY-RYTHMO | Le Sato 2 | Albarika Store

February 3, 2024


Richmond loves throat singing.  I know this to be true because there's usually a throat singing band at the Folk Festival, and they're always the band everybody is talking about during and after the Festival.
Well, throat singers aren't just for the Folk Festival.  The Alash Ensemble (Richmond Folk Festival class of 2013), from the Republic of Tuva in Russia, will be back here on Monday February 12 performing live at In Your Ear Studios (more info here: jaminc.org/the-other-worldly-sounds-of-alash-the-tuvan-throat-singers).  You'll hear Alash's music this week on Global A Go-Go along with some other like-minded polyphonic singers.  And one of you will win a pair of tickets to the Alash show that I'll be giving away during this week's program.
(What's throat singing, you might be asking?  It's the production of two or more notes in a single vocalization.  Probably the part of the world that's most famous for its throat singing tradition is northeast Asia, specifically Mongolia, China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Russia's Republic of Tuva.  Canada's Inuits, Japan's Ainu, Buddhist monks in Tibet and India, and Sardinians also practice throat singing.  And Popeye the Sailor Man's speaking and singing voice is produced with throat singing techniques.)

Also this week (Sunday February 4, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): New Anatolian rock from Berlin's Cherry Bandora, the latest from the beyond-category Hazmat Modine, and a very funky second hour featuring new music by London Afrobeat Collective and great new reissues of Benin's Orchestre Poly-Rythmo and the South Bronx's Ghetto Brothers.