Saturday, December 16, 2017

Vocal Tradition: IYASA and "Helele Mama"



Our random tune for today is called Helele Mama, and is performed by IYASA. Short for Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts, IYASA is a Zimbabwe-based award winning performing arts school for youth which was established in 2001. The school uses workshops, classes, projects, training programs and performance to build awareness of and support for the arts in Zimbabwe, and also serves as an incubator for talent in the country in a wide range of fields, including poetry, acting, music, voice, drama, film and other areas. You can find Helele Mama on the 2016 album Best of African Mbube. Mbube is an African vocal genre which is commonly associated with the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and was originally developed in coal mines by young Zulu men. It is characterized by a strong four part a cappella vocal harmony with dancing.

Listen to songs like this and more on the KUNM Global Music Show every Monday night from 10 pm - 1 am Mountain Standard Time. Live streaming, program information and the two-week digital archive can be found at http://www.kunm.org.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Dr. King Might Have Approved: Mighty Sparrow and "Death of Martin Luther King"



It's hard to come up with an upbeat song about an assassination, but Mighty Sparrow did it in our random tune for today, called Death of Martin Luther King. Born in 1935, Slinger Francisco aka Mighty Sparrow is one of the giants of calypso music, and for his lifetime of work has received the highest order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and also was made a officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He is also known as the Calypso King of the World. Born in Grenada, he moved to Trinidad and Tobago as a small child and initially his love of calypso was thwarted while in Catholic school, where he sang in choir. As a teenager, he joined a steel band, and earned the name Little Sparrow during his early music career for his energetic performances. He later changed his performing name to Mighty Sparrow, and in 1956 he won his first Calypso King competition (he is a multiple winner). He was also a social activist - because he received so little for winning the Calypso King competition, he organized other musicians to boycott Carnival and he claimed to have succeeded in making conditions better for Trinidadian musicians. He also was able to take advantage of calypso's brief popularity, coinciding with Harry Belafonte's Calypso album, in the rest of the world. In the late 70s and 80s, calypso began to be eclipsed by soca, and Mighty Sparrow began performing hybrid music by mixing calypso, soca and local music called chutney. His style is described as witty, ironic and ribald, and he frequently comments on political and social issues, as well as themes of peace, tolerance and concern for the poor. You can find Death of Martin Luther King on his 2001 album Corruption.

Listen to songs like this and more on the KUNM Global Music Show every Monday night from 10 pm - 1 am Mountain Standard Time. Live streaming, program information and the two-week digital archive can be found at http://www.kunm.org.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Blue Skies Leave You Smiling: Vintage Culture & Santti Remix Charlie Brown, Jr.'s "Céu Azul"



Vintage Culture and Santti remix a Charlie Brown Jr. song called Céu Azul for our upbeat random song for the day. Vintage Culture is the performing name of Brazilian DJ Lukas Ruiz, who works in electronic and house music. Born in Paraguay, he was raised in Brazil. He was immersed as a child in the electronic music of the 80s, and after some brief studies in law school he dropped out to devote himself full time to music. With only a small computer, he began remixing songs, and he released his first remix on Soundcloud, a remix of a New Order song. He began DJing and performing in 2013, and fairly rapidly began to get a following. In two short years he made a world tour of countries such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Ireland, Spain and Belgium, and has since toured and played many other countries. I can't find much information on Santti. Céu Azul can be found on Vintage Culture's first full length album, Vintage Culture & Friends, released in 2017.

Listen to songs like this and more on the KUNM Global Music Show every Monday night from 10 pm - 1 am Mountain Standard Time. Live streaming, program information and the two-week digital archive can be found at http://www.kunm.org.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Oath: Oumar Konaté and "Allahidou"



Malian guitar master Oumar Konaté brings us today's random tune. Konaté started music at an early age, astounding his hometown of Gao with nightly performances on an old bucket, helmet and drum outside his family's home. He joined the Orchestra of Gao while in high school and accompanied them on their national tour. While in the orchestra, he was introduced to guitar. He went on to enroll in the National Institute of Arts in Bamako and recorded his first album there which brought him to the attention of many artists such as Vieux Farka Touré, Sidi Touré and Khaira Arby. He has performed in numerous festivals all over the globe, and has received accolades worldwide for his music. This song, Allahidou (The Oath), can be found on his 2014 CD Addoh.

Listen to songs like this and more on the KUNM Global Music Show every Monday night from 10 pm - 1 am Mountain Standard Time. Live streaming, program information and the two-week digital archive can be found at http://www.kunm.org.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Beauty: Gjallarhorn and "Hymn"



Today's random tune is from Swedish-Finnish band Gjallarhorn. Gjallarhorn was formed in 1994 in a Swedish-speaking portion of Finland and performs world music based in the folk music and traditions of that region. As such, their music tends to be Swedish in nature, but based in acoustic folk music unique to the Ostrobothnian area. Gjallorhorn is also known for their use of the hardanger fiddle, an eight or nine string violin (as compared to four strings on a standard violin), and lead singer Jenny Wilhelm's singing technique called kulning, a technique based on Scandinavian cattle herding calls consisting of high pitched wordless tones designed to be heard over long distances. The band's name derives from the name of the horn of the Norse god Heimdallr, who blows the Gjallarhorn signaling the last battle of the Norse gods. This song, Hymn, can be found on their 2006 release Rimfaxe.  (Note: even though it looks like it won't work, the video does work if you hit play).

Listen to songs like this and more on the KUNM Global Music Show every Monday night from 10 pm - 1 am Mountain Standard Time. Live streaming, program information and the two-week digital archive can be found at http://www.kunm.org.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Rapping Janitor: Die Fantastichen Vier and "Hausmeister Thomas D."



Die Fantastichen Vier (or Fanta 4), pioneers of German rap and hip hop, bring us the random tune for today called Hausmeister Thomas D. From Stuttgart, Die Fantastichen Vier was formed in the 1980s. They were one of the first groups to rap in the German language, and charted the first German rap hit in 1992. The group went to Los Angeles in the late 1980s for inspiration, but quickly realized that there was little in common between the experience of poor African-Americans in the US, whose circumstances fueled the creativity in the US rap and hip hop scene, and that of middle-class Germans. They moved away from gangsta rap influences to create a more German style which was often more serious and philosophical. The group has released 17 albums and 32 singles. Hausmeister Thomas D., referring to member Thomas Dürr who also calls himself the "janitor" ("hausmeister" is janitor in German), can be found on the group's 1991 debut album Jetzt Geht's Ab, and on their best hits compilation Best of 1990-2005 (2005). You will recognize the bass sample that they rap over from the Commodores' 1977 hit Brick House.

Listen to songs like this and more on the KUNM Global Music Show every Monday night from 10 pm - 1 am Mountain Standard Time. Live streaming, program information and the two-week digital archive can be found at http://www.kunm.org.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Tell Me Why: Amina and "Dis-Moi Pourquoi"



Today's song is by French-Tunisian singer-songwriter Amina Annabi, who is best known for finishing second in the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest. Her family was involved in setting up the Tunisian Tabarka Music Festival, and so at an early age Annabi was introduced to music through concerts by Joan Baez, James Brown and Algerian singer Warda. She also became friends with Senegalese star Wasis Diop. She formed her own group, but in 1982 she went solo, as well as developing a relationship with producer Martin Meissonnier of the French radio station Radio Nova. She won a music contest in 1983 with an Arabic-influenced rap song called Shehérazade, and began performing in Paris. She eventually married Messonier and had a daughter. She has recorded five solo albums and has released a number of singles, and she has also acted in 15 movies. You can find this song, Dis-Moi Pourquoi, on her 2001 album Nomad, on her 2002 album Le Best of, and on the Putumayo various artists compilation North African Groove (2005).

Listen to songs like this and more on the KUNM Global Music Show every Monday night from 10 pm - 1 am Mountain Standard Time. Live streaming, program information and the two-week digital archive can be found at http://www.kunm.org.