Episode 06

Episode 06 was originally posted on July 16, 2018.

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Tracklisting:

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01) "Deskovo Oro" by The Calais Sessions

From the 2016 album The Calais Sessions.

On the outskirts of Calais, France, there is a refugee camp known as "the Jungle." The project's website explains

There are many reasons why people are in the jungle. Many want to reach the UK as they have close relatives and friends there. Many speak Engish very well. There are all sorts of people in the jungle from many nations - Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan, Sudan and Ethiopia, amongst others. Worryingly there are many unaccompanied children - around 450. Around 200 of them have direct relatives in the UK which means that they have a legal right to be reunited with them.

Several professional musicians and sound engineers collaborated with refugees from the camp for an album to help benefit the camp and its citizens.The New York Times says of the album: "The music ranges from Middle Eastern-inflected pop to Iraqi rap to tunes from the Balkans and Spain. Some pieces are love songs. One mourns the death of a Syrian brother. Others are joyful instrumentals set against a backbeat of traditional percussion."

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02) "Hurria" by Yacine & the Oriental Groove

From the 2016 album Mediterranean Clash.

Yacine & the Oriental Groove were founded in 2011 in Barcelona. The and fuses Spanish and Greek flavors. Womex describes the band's sound: "The electric oud of Yannis Papaioannou, full of wah wah and effects, naturally draws Eastern Mediterranean melodies over North African, reggae or pop rhythms. Sometimes as if we were in a return of the 60's groups, sometimes traditional, but always very intense."

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03) "Crystal Frontier" by Calexico

From the 2011 album Road Atlas 1998-2011 [Ancienne Belgique - Live In Brussels 2008].

Allmusic describes Calexico as: "Fusing the dusty sounds of the American Southwest with spaghetti western soundtracks, Mexican mariachi themes, vintage surf music, cool jazz, and a broad spectrum of Latin influences, Calexico are an eclectic ensemble whose work is as distinctive as it is unpredictable." The Calexico story begins in 1990 at the University of California Irvine where bassist Joey Burns met drummer John Convertino. Convertino was playing drums in Howe Gelb's Tucson collective Giant Sand when Burns signed on to play bass for a European tour and soon relocated to sunbaked Tucson, AZ. Burns and Convertino launched their side-project Calexico (named for a town on the border of California and Mexico) in 1997 with the album Spoke. The duo continued eventually rotated out of Giant Sand to focus on Calexico as their full-time project. The band has released a series of tour-only live compilations and this version of "Crystal Frontier" is from 2011's Road Atlas 1998-2011 [Ancienne Belgique - Live In Brussels 2008.

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04) "Uneven Light of Day" by Howe Gelb & A Band of Gypsies

From the 2010 album Alegrías.

We like to keep our travels far and wide each episode, but sometimes you just have to trace the threads woven by other artists. After hearing from Calexico, we had to stay in the sunbaked Arizona desert just long enough to hear from Howe. Howe Gelb may have been born in PA, USA, but he is forever associated with Tucson where he pioneered a sunbaked sound rooted in improvisation. His primary vehicle has been Giant Sand, a sort of desert rock collective with rotating membership. Gelb, of course being the constant. Allmusic describes Gelb's sound as "a highly original take on Southwestern roots and garage rock."Here, the "Giant Sand leader takes a soft left into flamenco-tinged gypsy folk that was recorded in Spain with a group of Andalucian gypsies."

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05) "Burkan Cocek" by Kočani Orkestar

From the 1997 album L'orient Est Rouge.

Balkan Gypsy brass band Kočani Orkestar's Facebook page says

Oriental brass bands are a Gypsy specialty throughout the Balkan region, from Serbia to Macedonia. These brass bands were created in the 19th century, in imitation of the military brass bands of the Turkish janissaries. The sound of Oriental brass bands was introduced to larger parts of the Western public by Emir Kusturica’s film ‘Underground’"

"The band's original repertoire was based on Gypsy tunes from various parts of the Balkans and on Turkish/Bulgarian rhythms, with a sprinkle of Latin flavour." The group found some international attention with this 1997 album. 

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06) "マナウレラ - Matnaw Rera" by Oki Dub Ainu Band

From the 2006 album self-titled album.

Oki Kano (加納 沖 Kanō Oki) has focused much of his career on popularizing "the music of the Ainu people - one of Japan's indigenous populations whose culture was "banned" by the Japanese government 300 years ago." Oki plays "the tonkori, an Ainu stringed instrument," and fuses traditional Ainu melodies with Dub, Reggae and Rock. 


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