SAIGON SOUL REVIVAL | Hoa Am Xura (INFRACom! 2019) Today’s listens come to you from WRIR’s weekly playlist email. Here we have a Vietnamese band doing an old school hippie blues/soul thing in their own language. Wild! The playing and the singing is energetic and they even rock a horn section. I congratulate these musicians for learning a musical style they must have gotten obsessed with. Outside of the ear catching juxtaposition that you’re listening to Blues Traveler or the Blues Brothers sing in Vietnamese I don’t love listening to it.
EL WALI | Tiris (Sahel Sounds, 2019) Regular readers know that I’m super into African music. Let me peep some geographical/biographical info on these guys. On bandcamp they describe themselves as being from Western Sahara which I guessed but I will leave it at that. The singer sounds very devotional and passionate the playing is less desert blues and even sports a few synth flavors. I like the way the synths change the listener’s perception of the music but it does soften the proceedings. Ah, these are programmed drums so this is a lo fi indie African thing and is not designed to be a rocking live band record. It doesn’t sound lo fi but it does have a programmed sound of a bedroom project.
JOUWALA COLLECTIVE | Bazaar (self-released, 2019) A collective of musicians in Virginia doing a blend of Gnawa music (in the Morocco area) mashed up with other musical influences. A little jam rock, a whole bunch of world music and maybe a pube of New Age business as well. I like the upbeat tunes more than the slow jams and the fourth tune, Samawi the best of what I heard. That’s a fat track.
ALEFA MADAGASCAR: SALEGY, SOUKOUS AND SOUL FROM THE RED ISLAND 1974-1984 | various artists (Strut, 2019) Apple Music says this is a peek into ’70s and ’80s music on Madagascar. To my ear they were a rocking with a funky African vibe. I like this compilation as it’s busting out with retro rock energy. Check it out!
JAMBU E OS MITICOS SONS DA AMAZONIA | various artists (Analog Africa, 2019) A compilation of music from Northern Brazil which has strong ties back to African culture due to the legacy of slavery. Oh man, this first tune is hot, uptempo with outstanding singing. I’m on the fifth tune and though I’ve thought Analog Africa has been a bit of an overrated imprint this record is hotter than two rats fucking in a wool sock. This record looks to be going onto my list of best of year.
YTD recordings listened to: 46
Good music, not list worthy: 28
Not good music: 18
Honorable Mentions: 0
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao