Episode 35

Episode 35 was originally posted on February 4, 2019.



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01) “Svatba (A Wedding)” by the Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir.

From the 1987 album Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares, Vol. 1.


According to Wikipedia:

Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares (translated as "The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices") is a compilation album of modern arrangements of Bulgarian folk songs featuring, among others, the Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir, with soloists Yanka Rupkina, Kalinka Valcheva and Stefka Sabotinova; and the Filip Kutev Ensemble.

The album was the result of fifteen years of work by Swiss ethnomusicologist and producer Marcel Cellier and was released in 1975 on his small Disques Cellier label. Some of the recordings he made himself; others were taken from the archives of Radio Sofia.

In the 1980s, Ivo Watts-Russell (founder of the British 4AD label) was introduced to the choir from a third or fourth generation audio cassette lent to him by Peter Murphy, singer from the band Bauhaus. He became thoroughly entranced by the music, and tracked down and licensed the recordings from Cellier. So in 1986, it was re-released on 4AD in the UK, in 1987 the Nonesuch label in the US and on the Philips label in other territories.

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02) “어떤 꿈” by Say Sue Me.

From the 2018 album Where We Were Together.

Busan, South Korea.

Say Sue Me are a surf-inspired indie rock quartet from Busan, South Korea.” Pitchfork says: “These South Korean devotees of the ’90s indie-rock canon make delicate, bruising music about indecision and loneliness (and lots of drinking).”

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03) “Falling Babylon / Tony Tuff” by Yabby You.

From the 1977 album Deliver Me From My Enemies.

Kingston, Jamaica.

Vivian Jackson, better known as Yabby You (or sometimes Yabby U), was a dub and reggae vocalist and producer, who came to prominence in the early 1970s. Jamaica Observer says:

“When Yabby You died in 2010 not many outside the close-knit roots-reggae fraternity knew about him or the impressive cache of spiritual music he left behind. The songs and albums he recorded are recognised by purists as being among the best in reggae.

Yabby You (real name Vivian Jackson) overcame severe malnutrition in his teens and began recording in the early 1970s with legendary engineer/producer Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock. Backed by musicians named The Prophets (core members being bassist Aston “Familyman” Barrett, guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith and drummer Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace)”

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04) “Lo que más quiero” by Inti-Illimani 2.

From the 1974 album La nueva canción chilena.

Santiago, Chile.

Wikipedia says:

“Inti-Illimani (Spanish pronunciation: [in.ti.ji.ˈma.ni]; from Quechuan inti and / Aymara illimani) are an instrumental and vocal Latin American folk music ensemble from Chile. The group was formed in 1967 by a group of university students and it acquired widespread popularity in Chile for their song Venceremos (We shall win!) which became the anthem of the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende.”

La Nueva Canción Chilena was the second album recorded in exile in Italy by Inti-Illimani in 1974. It's their first album known also with a progressive numeration linked with the band name.”

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05) “Sol de Maria” by Gilberto Gil.

From the 2018 album OK OK OK.

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

According to Brittanica:

“Gilberto Gil, in full Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira, (born June 26, 1942, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil), Brazilian multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter who was one of the leading names in Brazilian music and an originator of the movement known as Tropicália (or Tropicalismo).”

Gil’s official website says:

“His career began in the accordion, still in the 50's. Inspired by Luiz Gonzaga, by the sound of the radio, by the processions at the door of the house. In the interior of the Northeast the sonority that explored was the one of the sertão, until joao Gilberto, the bossa nova, and also Dorival Caymmi, with its prairie songs and the littoral world, so different from the world of the sertão.”

  • Visit Gilberto Gil’s official website.

  • Follow Gilberto Gil at Facebook.

  • Follow Gilberto Gil on Instagram.

  • Purchase Gilberto Gil’s music on Amazon.

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06) “Kal Timasniwen” by Timasniwen.

From the 2018 album Tikmawen.

Niamey, Niger.

The group’s Facebook page says:

“The story of the group began to build in 2016, in Niamey, when two Tuareg childhood artists, Ibrahim Ahmed and Goumar Abdul Jamil, decided to merge their musical careers, already rich in experience, into a new band: Timasniwen. Surrounded by their own families and friends, Ibrahim and Goumar begin arranging their old songs and creating new titles, and in 2018 they start recording their first album.

Timasniwen in the Tamasheq language means transhumance to the north (Tamesna), being a very important framework for Tuareg relations and exchanges. In a wider design it means the nomadic way of life.

The group is currently composed of eight artists born in Niger and from Mali, being one of the few existing bands of Tuareg music that counts with women among its members. In their songs the traditional sounds of the djembe and the tense mix with the modern rhythms of the guitar and the bass giving a musical style of their own. Their first album, Tikmawen, was recorded at the Studio of Radio Fidélité in Niamey in 2018.”

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07) “Mamutora” by Oliver Mtukudzi.

From the 2016 album God Bless You The Gospel Collection.

Highfield, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Wikipedia says: “Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi was a Zimbabwean musician, businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Southern Africa Region. Tuku was considered to have been Zimbabwe's most renowned and internationally recognised cultural icon of all time.”

With Mtukudzi’s recent passing, it seems only fitting to draw a selection from his “Gospel Collection.”

  • Visit the official Facebook page.

  • Purchase Oliver Mtukudzi’s music at Amazon.

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08) “Chan Chan” by Buena Vista Social Club.

From the 1997 album Buena Vista Social Club.

Havana, Cuba.

In 2017, NPR wrote:

“Twenty years ago this month, Americans were introduced to the romantic sounds of the Buena Vista Social Club. It was an unlikely group of stars: mostly elderly musicians from Cuba playing very old-fashioned music. But when the group's debut album was released in 1997, it wound up selling millions of records around the world.

Buena Vista Social Club started out as a very different album from the one you know. The previous year, British record producer Nick Gold and American guitarist Ry Cooder had the idea to show the connections between Cuban and West African music. They arranged for a group of musicians from Mali to record in Havana with musicians from the island. But Gold says that, as often happens, bureaucracy got in the way.

"The Africans couldn't make the trip because [their] passports were sent to Burkina Faso to get visas — and they didn't come back," he recalls. "So the Africans couldn't come." (Gold did eventually manage to realize that Cuba-Mali project; AfroCubismwas released in 2010.)

Studio time had been booked at Cuba's national recording label, EGREM, whose main studio was built by RCA Victor in the 1940s. Before the revolution in 1959, everyone — from Cuban stars to Nat King Cole — recorded there. Gold raves, "The actual room has got the nicest sound I've ever heard in any studio. It has this beautiful natural reverb."

The rest, as they say, is history.

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