Thursday, June 24, 2010

Worldwide winners...

Do you listen to Gilles Peterson's Worldwide (either on BBC Radio 1 or via his website) radio program? If you don't, you're missing out big-time. Dude is an unassailable taste-maker with crates so deep the bottom is in China and he frequently has great guests on who share choice cuts and interesting stories.

So why am I pimping Mr. Peterson? Well today's entry features two albums I was tipped off about on the June 8th Worldwide podcast episode featuring The Simonsound [Simon James and Matt Ford (aka DJ Format)] so credit given where due...

First up is The Bongolian, which is definitely a fun name for an act and also an apt one considering the percussive core of the music on Outer Bongolia. But Nasser Bouzida doesn't just play the bongos - every note and instrument was played by Bouzida (and with his live band he tackles the organ, keyboards and timbalis).

As much as percussion is a factor in the success of Outer Bongolia, the organ and keyboards are the not-so-secret ingredient; the warm tones Bouzida draws out of 88 keys have a throwback sound that could convince the average listener that this was one of those albums unearthed by the likes of Numero Group or Soundway. Take a listen to funk and Latin Soul of "The Horn" and see what I mean.

Here's a pretty sweet live video of The Bongolian doing his thing:

Don't forget to check out The Bongolian's website and Myspace page.

Another record that sounds like it could have been discovered in a dusty shop on one of Peterson's global digs is Tidings by London, UK quartet Wolf People - I swear I can hear crackles on some of these cuts like the CD was ripped from vinyl. Of course the fact that they have 'WOLF' in their name is a pretty blatant clue this band was formed in the past few years [see also: Bear, Beach, Trees, and Girls]. Unlike The Bongolian, Wolf People's album would have been discovered in Haight-Ashbury or some other former hotbed of psychedelia and stoner rock. The lengthy list of influences on their Myspace page includes Jefferson Airplane and Captain Beefheart and there are definitely echoes of those bands on songs like "Storm Clouds" and "October Fires." And while I don't see Jethro Tull on the list, Wolf People may be the first band since Ian Anderson & co. to rock a flute front-and-center.

The album was released on Jagjaguwar this past February and it represents a rare step off the continent for a label known for some fantastic Canadian and American bands [Ladyhawk, Okkervil River, Bon Iver and more]. I'm not sure what UK label would have been a fit for Wolf People, but listening to this album you could definitely picture them on a bill with label mates Black Mountain.

Here's one of the best things I've heard from Wolf People, "Tiny Circle" which for some inexplicable reason isn't even on Tidings:

Don't forget to check out Wolf People's website.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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