Episode 47

Episode 47 originally posted on April 29, 2019.

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01) “Ngaba” by Orchestre Bambala.

From the 1985 album Zaire: Musiques Urbaines à Kinshasa.

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

From Allmusic:

“Way past rousing, this collection of works from bands in Kinshasa is a stunning roundup of amplified sansas and likembes, makeshift percussion items (sardine cans with springs strung across them, etc.), and backing accordions. The musicians all use makeshift amplification in their instruments for multiple reasons -- some to make sure the ritual messages in the music make it through to the ancestors properly, and some simply to compete with the sound of neighboring bands. Despite the reasons, the overdriven likembes are surprisingly likeable, even with the amazing level of feedback from the "quality" of their amps.”

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02) “Push Wood” by Jackie Opel.

From the 1970 album The Best Of Jackie Opel [Studio One].

Bridgetown, Barbados.

The Wikipedias tell us: “Born Dalton Sinclair Bishop in Chapman Lane, Bridgetown, Barbados on 27th August 1937, Jackie Opel was a popular singer who possessed a rich, powerful voice with a high octave range.. He was known as the "Jackie Wilson of Jamaica" and was also a gifted dancer.” Allmusic adds that Opel “moved to Kingston, Jamaica, in 1962, quickly joining the legendary Skatalites as an occasional vocalist and bass player.”

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03) “Nuru” by Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar.

From the 2006 album Shime!.


According Music in Africa:

“Founded in 1958, the Culture Musical Club is Zanzibar's most prolific and successful taarab orchestra. The club performs widely at concerts in Zanzibar town, but also frequently travels overland with a fold-up stage and an electricity generator to bring its music to the rural areas.

They have released hundreds of songs on the local market and since 1988 have had six international CD releases. The group has been performing in Europe regularly since 1996, and in the past few years they have done shows in the US, Dominican Republic, Reunion and Japan.”

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04) “Night Rider” by Debashish Bhattacharya.

From the 2019 album Joy!Guru.

Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

The official website says:

“Indian Raga Music thrives on improvisation. No two performances by the same musician produce the same result. For a musician with substance, therefore, the sky is the limit. His improvisations within the framework of a Raga or within the limitations of the instrument he plays become a novel experience for himself as well as his listeners. Some go beyond Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya and open new horizons in the field of their work. Debashish Bhattacharya is one such most amazing music personalities of the world whose dynamism of artistry and creativity place him as a Genius.

Pandit Debashish BhattacharyaBlessed by the genes of his vocalist parents belonging to the My childhood - My Musicfamily of musicians for generations, Debashish carries music in his veins. His brother Subhasis is an exponent of Tabla and other rhythm instruments. Sutapa, his sister, is a very popular singer who during her first tour abroad has been popular in Japanese and Canadian festivals.”

  • Visit the official website.

  • Follow Debashish Bhattacharya on Facebook.

  • Purchase Debashish Bhattacharya music at Amazon.

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05) “Monster a Go Go” by High Rise.

From the 1986 album High Rise II.

Nishitōkyō, Tokyo, Japan.

The Wikipedias tell us that: “High Rise was a noise rock band from Tokyo, Japan formed in 1982. The core of the band has consisted of bassist Asahito Nanjo and guitarist Munehiro Narita.[1] The group named themselves after the 1975 novel High Rise by J. G. Ballard. Their music draws from psychedelic music, free jazz, and improvisational music.”

Continue your music exploration of the world by visiting our interactive map. See where each featured hails from. We currently use Google Maps, which only lets us feature 10 episodes as a time, so view previous episode maps here. In the meantime, this week’s artists are highlighted by grey map-points. Enoy!

Episode 46

Episode 46 originally posted on April 22, 2019.



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01) “Khon Kae Lok” by Khon Kae Lok.

From the album Khon Ba Kancha.

Bangkok, Thailand.

The excellent Monrakplengthai blog provides some background and provides the release for download:

“today, we'll hear from mr. khamron sambunnanon, singing songs of crooked politicians and ganja madmen! hailing from bangkok's chinatown, khamron sang what were called at the time phleng talat ("market songs"), as his lyrics were among the earliest examples of thai pop music to feature tales of common people; farmers, day laborers, and even more marginal figures like gamblers, vagrants, outlaws and drug addicts. because of this, khamron is considered by many to be the very first singer of luk thung, and many of the great luk thung stars of the 60s and 70s fondly recall singing along to khamron's songs during their formative years. this album, from the bangkok cassette co., ltd. (currently existing as maemaiplengthai), contains several songs that i've shared before on various collections over the years, but once again shouldn't hurt.. enjoy!”

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02) “Coma Cluster” by Outer Space.

From the 2016 album Chase Across Orion.

Barcelona, Spain.

A review on the Bandcamp page says: “Imagine The Polyrhythmics melting with The Budos Band, just add a dose a spanish flavor and you get the picture.” The Tucxone Records page says (through Google Translate):

“Without fears or prejudices. With soul and skill. That is how one must travel anywhere. And so Outer Space astronauts have explored the furrows of our galaxy. His first long-term manned mission to the blackest skies on the outskirts of our solar system is called "Chase across Orion". An operation that has been coordinated from the laboratories of the Tucxone Records sound, located in Madrid, leaders in the investigation of ebony atmospheres.”

  • Purchase the album at Bandcamp.

  • Purchase the album at the Tucxone Records website.

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03) “Jori” by Les Filles de Illighadad.

From the 2017 album Eghass Malan.

Abalak, Niger.

The Sahel Sounds page says:

“Les Filles de Illighadad come from a secluded commune in central Niger, far off in the scrubland deserts at the edge of the Sahara. The village is only accessible via a grueling drive through the open desert and there is little infrastructure, no electricity or running water. But what the nomadic zone lacks in material wealth it makes up for deep and strong identity and tradition. The surrounding countryside supports hundreds of pastoral families, living with and among their herds, as their families have done for centuries.

It takes its name from a drum, built from a goat skin stretched across a mortar and pestle. Like the environs, tende music is a testament to wealth in simplicity, with sparse compositions built from a few elements: vocals, handclaps, and percussion. Songs speak of the village, of love, and of praise for ancestors. It’s a music form dominated by women. Collective and communal, tende is tradition for all the young girls of the nomad camps – played during celebrations and to pass the time during the late nights of the rainy season.”

The group’s Bandcamp page says:

“Sublime recordings from rural Niger. Two very different sides of Tuareg music - dreamy ishumar acoustic guitar sessions, and the hypnotic polyphonic tende that inspires it. Guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghali and vocalist Alamnou Akrouni lead the troupe, named after the village.”

  • Visit the group’s profile at the Sahel Sounds website.

  • Follow the group at Facebook.

  • Purchase the album at Bandcamp.

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04) “Raga Hem Behag” by Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.

From the 1983 cassette Live in Eugene.

Comilla, Bangladesh.

The Wikipedias tell us that Ali Akbar Khan:

“was a Hindustani classical musician of the Maihar gharana, known for his virtuosity in playing the sarod. Trained as a classical musician and instrumentalist by his father, Allauddin Khan, he also composed several classical ragas and film scores. He established a music school in Calcutta in 1956, and the Ali Akbar College of Music in 1967, which moved with him to the United States and is now based in San Rafael, California, with a branch in Basel, Switzerland.”

  • Visit the official website for the Ali Akbar College of Music.

  • Purchase Khan’s music at Amazon.

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05) “Creation” by Burning Spear.

From the 1973 album Studio One Presents Burning Spear.

Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica.

The official website tells us:

“A music-maker, community icon, educator, spiritual uplifter; Burning Spear's importance to culture existed before the media spotlight, and has only grown since.

For nearly four decades and more than 25 albums, he has carried the torch of the gospel of political activist Marcus Garvey, promoting self-determination and self-reliance for African descendants through lyrics and rhythms that truly deliver the messages of peace and love to all.”

The Wikipedias add: “Winston Rodney (born 1 March 1945), better known by the stage name Burning Spear, is a Jamaican roots reggae vocalist and musician. Burning Spear is a Rastafarian and one of the most influential and long-standing roots artists to emerge from the 1970s.”

  • Visit the official Burning Spear website.

  • Visit Burning Spear at Facebook.

  • Visit Burning Spear at Twitter.

  • Purchase Burning Spear music at Amazon.

We invite you to continue your journey of musical exploration by seeing where each featured artist is from. This week’s artists are represented by Orange map-points. To see previous artists, visit the maps page here.