The countdown to the annual Womad gathering in Las Palmas is now beginning to gather steam. The line up for this year has been announced, so we begin this weeks edition with one of the acts I’m most looking forward to seeing live and direct, The Creole Choir of Cuba. They are so un-typical of what we, or at least I, think of when it comes to Cuban music. The Creole Choir celebrate the history of their Haitian descendents enslaved to the Caribbean from West Africa. They have revived the songs of their ancestors for modern times. “For us music is like food, it feeds the spirit and is a major inspiration for everyday life”.
The title for this weeks program comes from the unfortunate tale of R.L. Burnside, who recalls how his two brothers, his father and several uncles were killed in Chicago. He relays this through RL’s Story.
Four Tet delivers an epic eleven minutes worth of remixology for Bob Holyrod’s African Drug. Thumb pianos dancing to an evolving 4/4 beat with percussion subtly doing its job. It seemed like a perfect place to lay Linton Kwesi Johnson’s verbal tone over, with a couple pieces taken from his Live a cappella album.
Teebs, who I played over the last couple of weeks, brought the music of Laraaji back into my brain, something about Teebs’ sound has a certain quality that lends itself to a place of harmony, (sorry for that ‘Hippie’ moment!) so yes, I had to dig out Laraaji, who you may know for his albums from the En0-esque period of EG Records.
The original DJ Morpheus, Samy Birnbach, compiler of the groundbreaking Freezone compilations put together a comp’ for Tigersushi, I Can’t Live Without My Radio. The ’80’s always seemed to get slammed for producing crap music, people were just looking at the obvious but we know there was inspiring, challenging, engaging music then. So I pulled the title track, a cover by World Dom’ and Timezone with Afrika Bambatta and John Lydon for this weeks session.
I always liked the scope of the Language label that Tony (Moody Boyz) Thorpe used to run. One act they brought to my attention was Italy’s Bio-Muse. Noise, aggression, going completely against the grain of what was current or trendy. Many heads on the electronic scene didn’t get it, fine, others did.
Ear Conditioning 42 – Unsolved Mysteries
Creole Choir of Cuba / Edam Chanté (Real World)
RL Burnside / RL’s Story (Fat Possum)
Stateless / Ariel (Ninja Tune)
Madvillain / Figaro (Stones Throw)
Illum Sphere / Sweat the Decent (Hoya)
Bob Holyrod / African Drug – Four Tet Remix
Soil and “Pimp” Sessions / Pop Korn – Wafa Remix (Brownswood Recordings)
Linton Kwesi Johnson / Bass Culture / Tings and Times (LKJ Records/WEA)
Timezone featuring John Lydon and Afrika Bambatta / World Destruction (Tigersushi)
World Domination Enterprises / I Can’t Live Without My Radio (Tigersushi)
Bio-Muse / Socially Bankrupt (Language/Crammed Discs)
Burial / Prophecy (Nu Levels)
Laraaji / The Dance (EG Records)