Friday, November 26, 2010

Middle Eastern West Indies?

An Italian [Luca Gatti], a Frenchman [Stephane Rene] and an Arab [Baheeg Ramzy Mikail] walk into a recording studio...

Seems like it could be the beginning of an off-colour joke, but it's actually the genesis of Diaspora and their new album A Jamaican In Cairo. As the title suggests, AJIC blends the seemingly disparate musics of Jamaica (dub and reggae) and the Middle East and North Africa(the Maqam, i.e. the Arabic scale system and Tunisian fundi rhythms) into an engaging and enjoyable album. No surprise that Gatti has in the past collaborated with Asian Dub Foundation, an act that successfully fused disparate sounds into something new.

I'm not entirely sure if Amina Annabi is an official member of the group or simply a guest vocalist (as she's credited on "Nile," one of the standout tracks), but Bob Andy [who has worked with Jackie Mittoo] and Raiz [who has worked with Bill Laswell and Massive Attack] most definitely are.

This 'project' is as good as the mental picture you get when you combine dub basslines with sitar, which to my mind is pretty darn good. For proof, visit Green Queen Music's Soundcloud page.

Be sure to visit the Diaspora Myspace page and their label page.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Get this now.

Seriously, don't sleep on this opportunity. Pete Samples, formerly of Vinyl Republik, is offering up his latest and last record, Bekonscot, for free on his website.

The very same Mike B of Planet Shhh that I mentioned in my Seapony post will be playing Bekonscot front-to-back on Cross/Pollination in about 10 minutes [1pm CST, Wed. Nov 24] so you can sample the merchandise before you download if you don't trust my advice to just GET this record - like a lot of 'electro-pop' artists, Samples appears to be leaving the electro part behind and burrowing deeper and deeper into pop's peculiar crevices.

Donations are encouraged, enjoyment is guaranteed.

I'll leave you with "Awkward Goodbye," which is NOT from the new record:

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mare de mer...

Kudos to Mike B over at Planet Shhh on this one. A few weeks ago he played Seapony on his show at UMFM, Cross/Pollination and brought this great Seattle trio to my attention. I tracked down their self-title EP and have been playing the hell out of it since then. They come across like the love child of Lush and Ride which takes me back to the last years of high school and the first years of University, which knowing the ages of bands I've been listening to lately means Seapony weren't alive yet.

I'll just console myself by listening to "Dreaming" for the umpteenth time.

The band is on Double Denim Records, whose Blackbird Blackbird is definitely another act to check out.

Check them out on Myspace and Facebook, and be sure to hit their Bandcamp page to download the EP.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Like the kids do...

Not sure if it's a trend or not, but the young 'uns these days appear to be making the most blissful pop music going. The man behind Baths, Will Wiesenfeld is only 21 years old and while the shroud of mystery surrounding Teen Daze means he might not actually be a teen, I'm pretty certain he's part of the youth movement.

Joining the fray (though NOT, as Drowned In Sound has it; "a little too late") is 22 year old Texan Spencer Stephenson and his debut on Western Vinyl (a great label that keeps surprising me), Feeling Today. Pieced together in part by incorporating found and recycled sounds (a la Bibio on Vignetting The Compost) into a soundscape that is well worth sinking into - this isn't the Texas vista you imagine when you watch Friday Night Lights, and it's more likely to be the soundtrack to The Farm than Riggin's acreage.

Take a listen to "Waterparker" courtesy of Western Vinyl and be sure to visit Botany's Myspace page and the bookmark the WV page as well since Feeling Today is only an appetizer for a main course promised for early 2011.

I'm going to try writing shorter entries more often for the next little while so we'll see how that goes.
Thanks for reading, now start listening...