Thursday, June 30, 2016

Breathe Easy: Mercan Dede and "Breath"

Today's random song is by Mercan Dede. Dede is a Turkish musician living in France who draws inspiration from Sufi music. Dede is also known as DJ Arkin Allen, and is a composer, player of the ney (a Turkish flute) and the bendir (a hand drum). He fuses traditional Turkish acoustic music and other eastern musics with electronic sounds, horns, dance beats and his Sufi spirituality. Breath is the title song from his 2007 CD of the same name.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Barbilla Up: The Souljazz Orchestra and "Courage"

Today's song, Courage, is by Ottawa-based band The Souljazz Orchestra. Their music is a fusion of soul, jazz, funk, afrobeat and Latin styles. They came to worldwide attention when their 2006 song Mista President was voted into the top 10 of BBC DJ Gilles Peterson's worldwide radio program. They have shared bills with Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and Femi Kuti, bringing them more attention. They have released seven albums. Courage can be found on their newest 2015 release, Resistance.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Last One Left, Turn Out the Lights: Jambinai and "Time of Extinction"

An amazing riot of noise makes up our random tune for today. The song, called Time of Extinction, is delivered by Jambinai, a South Korean indie band that blends traditional music and instrumentation with hard rock. In their music, you will hear South Korean instruments such as the haegeum, piri and geomungo provide a meditative sound, but incorporated into electronic post rock and building into what Womex describes as "metallic sheets of postapocalyptic angst." While South Korea's indie music scene isn't as well known as K-pop, Jambinai is helping put it on the world map. You can find Time of Extinction on Jambinai's 2012 award winning album Différance.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Untarnished: Jaka and "Golden Halo"

From Santa Fe, New Mexico comes our random tune for today. Jaka is an afro-pop funk dance band begun by Dan Pauli in the mid 1990s. They play ancient songs and modern compositions using a mix of contemporary and traditional instruments, such as mbira and marimba. The band has a fluid lineup around five core musicians, and also offers marimba and drumming classes at their Santa Fe studio. This song, Golden Halo, is from their 2014 album Glow.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Longing for Return: Forro in the Dark featuring David Byrne with "Asa Branca"

David Byrne lends his voice to Forro in the Dark's song Asa Branca for our random tune today. A band from New York City made up of Brazilian expatriates, Forro in the Dark was formed in 2002 after a birthday celebration jam session at a New York nightclub. They were such a hit they became a weekly fixture and thus came to the attention of David Byrne (former lead singer of the Talking Heads), who collaborated with them on their first album. In their highly infectious music, they combine elements of the Brazilian dance music known as forró with rock, folk, jazz and country. You can find "Asa Branca" on their 2006 debut album Bonfires of São João.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Grave Secrets: The Chieftains and Mick Jagger with "Long Black Veil"

The Chieftains bring us today's random tune, with a little help from The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger. The Chieftains are an Irish ensemble, formed in 1962 in Dublin, who helped introduced the wider world to Irish music. They made a new and unique sound for themselves by playing their music primarily around the distinctive sound of uileann pipes. Besides releasing several critically acclaimed albums, they are just as well known for their collaborations with such artists as Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Sinead O'Connor and Roger Daltry. Mick Jagger, of course, is a singer, songwriter and actor and the lead singer for The Rolling Stones. You can find this song, Long Black Veil, on The Chieftains 1995 album of the same name. The song, written in 1959 by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin, relates a saga where a man is falsely accused of murder and will be convicted because he refuses to provide an alibi - on the night in question he was having an affair with his best friend's wife and will go to the grave rather than betray her.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Blues from Different Continents: Ali Farka Touré and Ry Cooder with "Lasidan"

The random song for today brings together two legends from very different places, but who have a common musical heritage nonetheless. Lasidan is by the great Malian guitarist and singer Ali Farka Touré and the American musician, songwriter, composer and producer Ry Cooder. Ali Farka Touré was a Malian singer, multi-instrumentalist and one of the most renowned African musicians. His music fits right into the intersection of traditional Malian music and North American blues. Known as the "African John Lee Hooker," he sang in several African languages. In 2004, he became mayor of a small town and spent his own money on improving infrastructure. He died in 2006 of bone cancer. Ry Cooder is an American producer and guitarist known for his slide guitar and his interest in roots music. He has collaborated with many musicians both from the US and abroad, and his albums have covered many different genres, including folk, blues, Tex-Mex, soul, gospel and rock among others. He also produced the worldwide hit album Buena Vista Social Club. Lasidan can be found on their Grammy-award winning collaboration Talking Timbuktu (1994).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

At Da Diner Dö Dep: Peter Behrens and "Dep De Dö Dep"

German drummer, actor, musician and clown Peter Behrens sings today's random tune, which is a mashup of Suzanne Vega's Tom's Diner with his own lyrics that he titled Dep De Dö Dep. Behrens is the illegitimate son of an American GI who grew up with an adopted family. He toured in Europe and Africa as a drummer for several bands, and played with the Krautrock band Silberbart in 1971 on a psychedelic record that is now a collector's item. In the late 70s, he attended circus school in Milan and became a clown and pantomime artist. In the 1980s, he joined the German band Trio, in which he played drums standing up, and which became well-known for the minimalist hit Da Da Da. He overcame a drug and alcohol problem in the late 80s and devoted himself to social work and solo music work (which was not successful for the most part). In 1988 Dep De Dö Dep was the official song for the European football championship, and in the late 80s he acted in a few movies. He is currently in a band again, called Peter Behrens (Ex-Trio) & Drei Mann im Doppelbett, which released a song written by ex-Trio fans and for which Behrens' first music video was produced. You can find this song, Dep De Dö Dep, on his 1990 album of the same name.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Keeping Culture: Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys with "Tiens Bon"

Our random tune for today, Tiens Bon (Hold On), is performed by Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, a Cajun band from Southern Louisiana. Founded in 1988, the band takes its inspiration from Cajun traditional legends Dewey Balfa, Belton Richard and Walter Mouton. However, the music of Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys has grown into a style that is distinctly Cajun but also very personal to them. They sing almost exclusively in Cajun French. They have been nominated twice for Grammys in the Best Traditional Folk Album category and have released 11 albums to date as well as one compilation album. Tiens Bon can be found on their Best of Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys CD (2008), and is an invocation of cultural heritage.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Long Live Papa: Papa Wemba and "Sala Keba"

Today's tune is by Papa Wemba, who recently departed this life while performing on stage on April 24th, 2016. A Congolese musician and singer who worked primarily in the genres of rumba, soukous and ndombolo, he was one of the most popular African musicians of his time. He performed with a number of bands in the 70s before starting his own group, Viva la Musica. He especially developed his sound after his group performed in Paris in the 1980s. He also became internationally known, especially after performing with Peter Gabriel on his Secret World Live tour in 1993. He eventually maintained two incarnations of his musical group, one in Paris and the other in Kinshasa. In the early 2000s, he ran into legal troubles after being suspected of trafficking illegal immigrants into France - he spent over three months in jail. Regardless, he had a deep impact on a younger generation of Congolese musicians, and will be deeply missed. This song, Sala Keba, can be found on his 1995 album Emotion.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Truth Is Out There: Brave Combo and "Flying Saucer"

Area 51 is jumping with this random tune by Brave Combo called Flying Saucer. Brave Combo is a polka, rock and worldbeat band from Denton, Texas that was founded in 1979 by multi-instrumentalist Carl Finch. They incorporate a number of styles including polka, norteño, salsa, rumba, cha-cha-cha, choro, samba, two-step, cumbia, charanga, merengue, ska and others. They also have played and recorded covers of well-known songs in styles very different from the original. They have won two Grammy awards, have appeared as animated characters on The Simpsons, and were an influence on Bob Dylan who recorded a Christmas song, Must be Santa, in a style almost identical to Brave Combo's version and acknowledged it in an interview. Flying Saucer can be found on their 1995 album Polkas for a Gloomy World.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Basque-ing in the Music: Kepa Junkera and "Arin Québec"

The random tune for today is by Kepa Junkera, a Basque musician who is a master of the diatonic accordion called the trikitixa. He has recorded more than 20 albums, and in 2004 won a Latin Grammy when his album K was voted best folk album. This song, Arin Québec, can be found on his 1999 album Bilbao 00:00h.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Tradition You Can Dance To: Balkan Beat Box and "Shushan"

Today's random tune is by Balkan Beat Box, founded in 2003 by Tamir Muskat and Ori Kaplan in New York City. An Israeli band, their goal is to take ancient and traditional music and combine it with hip hop to create a more modern sound that would appeal to people in dancehalls and clubs. They cite as influences Boban Marković, Rachid Taha, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Manu Chao, and Charlie Parker. This song, Shushan featuring Shushan, is from their 2005 eponymous debut release.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Oh What a Beautiful Morna: Bana and "Cabinda a Cunene"

Today's song is by the Cape Verdean "King of Morna" Adriano Gonçalves, who died recently in 2013. Known on stage as Bana, he was a balladeer and interpreter of the morna style which is considered the national music of Cape Verde. An imposing seven foot tall man, he began his musical career while serving as a handyman and bodyguard for the legendary Cape Verdean singer B. Leza. He recorded his first album in Senegal, and in the late 1960s moved around Europe where he joined a group of exiled Cape Verdeans called Voz de Cabo Verde. He settled in Portugal in 1969, opened a restaurant. He later established the first Cape Verdean-owned multinational record label in Paris. He had a 60 year career, the last part of which was devoted to traditional mornas and coladeiras. This song, Cabinda a Cunene, can be found on the 1997 album Gira Sol, and on the 1999 compilation Putumayo Presents: Cape Verde.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Return of the King: Khaled and "El Ghatli"

Today's random song is by by Khaled Hadj Ibrahim, an Algerian raï singer and songwriter known by his stage name Khaled. He started recording in his early teens under the name Cheb Khaled and since has become a superstar and the most well-known Algerian performer in the world - he is usually labeled "The King of Raï." This song, El Ghatli, can be found on his 1994 album Khaled.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Those Crazy Cats: Le Chat Lunatique and "Fou"

Happy anniversary to us! We come back home to Albuquerque for our second anniversary of the Global Music random tune (this just randomly came up, I promise!). Le Chat Lunatique is an Albuquerque band who style themselves purveyors of "filthy, mangy jazz." Their inspiration is the Hot Club of France, mixed with some western swing, Latin rhythms, reggae and "anything else we damn well please." This song, Fou, is from their debut 2008 release Demonic Lovely.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Morning Has Broken: Carlou D and "Begge Sa Reew"

Today's world random tune is by Carlou D, a Senegalese artist widely considered to be on the brink of international stardom. He first gained notice as a member of the African hip hop group Positive Black Soul, but has since branched out and incorporates a number of different styles into his music. This song, Begge Sa Reew, which hearkens back to 70s afrobeat, can be found on his 2015 release A New Day.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Over the Waterfall: John Cruz and "Hi'ilawe"

Today's song is from the islands. Hi'ilawe is performed by John Cruz, a singer-songwriter from Oahu, Hawaii. While he was born into a musical family (his mother loved Motown, his father played country, and his brother Ernie was a member of the musical group Ka'au Crater Boys), John didn't really develop his style until he lived on the East Coast while attending college, and acting in plays. He returned to Hawaii in 1995 to help his brother record an album, and in stage appearances he was invited to sing and play his own compositions which gained him a following even before he released an album. His first album was one of Hawaii's most successful. In his musical career, he was part of a compilation album that won the first ever Grammy Award for Hawaiian music, and his song Island Style has become known worldwide. He counts among his friends and fans Jack Johnson, Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Jimmy Buffett, Lisa Loeb, and Trey Anastasio, and he is the subject of a 2006 documentary on his life. You can find Hi'ilawe on his 2007 CD One of These Days. The song references a well-known waterfall.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Song and Dance: Beltuner and "Gnossienne No. 1"

Gnossienne No. 1 is today's random tune by Beltuner, a French band started in 2001 by four young self-taught musicians. First concentrating on gypsy swing, Parisian bal musette, tango, Yiddish and Balkan music, they found a unique sound by mixing the styles and adding in jazz, classical, rock, world music and funk. They are also known for their free-wheeling and energetic concerts. Gnossienne No. 1 can be found on their 2010 CD Album #1.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Reeling from the Jigs: The Chieftains and "The Kilfenora Set"

Some old friends bring us the random tune for today. The Chieftains are a legendary Irish ensemble who introduced the wider world to Irish music. Formed in Dublin in 1962, The Chieftains formed their music primarily around the distinctive sound of uileann pipes. They took their name from the title of a novel by Irish author John Montague. Besides releasing several critically acclaimed albums, they are just as well known for their collaborations with such artists as Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Sinead O'Connor and Roger Daltry. They have released 44 albums. This song, "The Kilfenora Set," is some jigs and reels from their 1999 album Water from the Well.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Biscuits and Griots: Badenya Les Frères Coulibaly and "Boroto"

Today's random tune is by Badenya Les Frères Coulibaly, a group from Burkina Faso who are members of the Bwa ethnic group and from a family of griots. Using traditional instruments, they attempt to keep the music and traditions of deep Africa alive. They opened for Miles Davis at the Montreux Jazz Festival, have appeared with George Clinton, and have toured with the likes of Zakir Hussein, Salif Keita, Cesaria Evora, and Johnny Clegg. You can find this song, "Boroto," on their 2001 CD Badenya Les Frères Coulibaly, and on the compilation CD Putumayo Presents: African Groove (2003).

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Plus Sign Vibes: Bob Marley and the Wailers with "Positive Vibration"

Reggae from a legend is on tap for the random song today. Positive Vibration is by Bob Marley and the Wailers, a reggae and ska band formed by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in 1963. Many of the band's early songs were recorded with the aid of Lee "Scratch" Perry and his studio band The Upsetters. The Wailers were known for recording some of the most notable reggae songs in history. Tosh and Wailer left the band in 1974, leading to a revamped Wailers lineup. Marley died in 1981 of malignant melanoma, and Tosh was killed in a gang holdup at his home in 1987. You can find Positive Vibration on Bob Marley and the Wailers' 1976 album Rastaman Vibration.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Traditional Club: Mahala Rai Banda and "Kibori"

Today's tune comes from Romania. Mahala Rai Banda is a gypsy band based in Bucharest. Formed by violinist and composer Aurel Ionita, the band plays in several styles and genres. They are often cited for their innovative and inventive arrangements that position them at the intersection between traditional popular music and club oriented music. They have played over 200 concerts in 26 countries and they have released at least two albums. Their music was featured in the movie Borat. This song, Kibori, can be found on their debut album Mahala Rai Banda, released in 2005.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Mediaeval Bowie: Richard Souther with Hildegard von Bingen's "This Honorable Fame (Deus Enim Rorem)"

Richard Souther reinterprets the work of Hildegard von Bingen in today's random tune, called "This Honorable Fame (Deus Enim Rorem)". Richard Souther is a composer, producer, arranger, sound designer and multi-keyboardist working in the areas of New Age, smooth jazz and contemporary Christian music. A child prodigy who studied piano from the age of three, he eventually became an in-demand session musician until his career was almost derailed by a near-fatal bout of botulism. During his four year recovery, he began to delve into electronic music. In 1994, he recorded his groundbreaking album Vision: The Music of Hildegard von Bingen with vocalists Emily van Evera and Sr. Germaine Fritz, OSB. Von Bingen was a German 12th century writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath who created one of the largest repertoires of any mediaeval composer and who stretched the boundaries of traditional monastic chant. Her music frequently had themes centering around the Virgin Mary, the heavenly in earthly life, and a desire to know the divine. This Honorable Fame can be found on Souther's 1994 album Vision: The Music of Hildegard von Bingen, and features the singing of Sr. Germaine Fritz, OSB.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Iran So Far Away: Abdulrahman Surizehi and "Bya Bya"

Today's song, Bya Bya, is by Abdulrahman Surizehi, an ethnic Baloch musician from Iran who lives in Oslo, Norway. He is a specialist in the benju, a keyboard zither, and is acknowledged as the instrument's greatest performer. Bya Bya can be found on his 2011 album Balochi Gowati O Damali Zeymol - Rakhshani Love Songs and Trance Music from Balochistan.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Imaginary Voices: DVA and "Nunki"

Today's song is by Czech duo DVA, made up of Bára Kratochvílová and Jan Kratochvíl, who create rich musical landscapes with vocals, instrumentation and electronics, creating an aural collage in pop, kitchen beatbox, tango, cabaret, circus, and radio noise. In their work, they write "pop for non-existing radio" and "folklore for non-existing nations." Their lyrics are most often in imaginary languages. This song, Nunki, is from their 2013 CD Nipomo.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Bad Luck: Habib Koité and "Tere"

Today's random tune is by Habib Koité, a Senegalese singer, guitarist and songwriter based in Mali whose band, Bamada, is a West African supergroup made up of many well-known musicians. Koité tunes his guitar to a pentatonic scale and plays it on open strings, much like the one would play the African ngoni. His music can be reminiscent of both blues and flamenco, two styles he has picked up in his musical career. He also has an intimate and relaxed vocal style that makes his music sound calm and even moody. Born to musician parents, he learned how to play by watching and listening. After graduation from the Bamako Institute of the Arts, he formed Bamada in 1988. He began touring outside of Africa in 1994, and his music got a huge boost when three of his songs were included with the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. He has released eight albums - his latest came out in 2014. This song, Tere, is from his 2001 CD Baro. The song refers to bad luck, especially that of women.

Friday, June 3, 2016

If They Play It, It Will Come: Eliyahu & the Qadim Ensemble with "Im Nin'alu"

Eliyahu & the Qadim Ensemble brings us Im Nin'alu as our random tune for today. From San Francisco, Eliyahu & the Qadim Ensemble features instrumentation such as the ney, oud, Arabic percussion, baglama saz, divan saz and persian sitar, and they feature Arabic, Jewish, Turkish Sufi, Hebrew-Yemenite, Armenian, Ladino and Moroccan music in their repertoire. "Qadim" is a word found in both Arabic and Hebrew and means both "ancient" and "that which will come." Im Nin'alu can be found on their 2014 CD Eastern Wind.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Avoid the Pit: Dokkerman and the Turkeying Fellaz with "Mango Season"

How many times have we heard you clamoring for some Hungarian afro-funk for your random tune? Pray no more! Nine piece outfit Dokkerman and the Turkeying Fellaz recycle gritty grooves from the 60s and 70s of the type that only DJs now spin, and in doing so serve as Hungary's only representative in the deep funk revival. You can find this song, Mango Season, on their 2015 CD Illegal Move.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Jump in the Stream: Jane Monheit and "Waters of March"

We have an American jazz artist singing the English lyrics to a Brazilian jazz song by Antonio Carlos Jobim for our random tune today. Jane Monheit, from Long Island, graduated with honors from the Manhattan School of Music in 1999 and received the William H. Borden Award for outstanding accomplishment in jazz. She also was a finalist in the 1998 Thelonious Monk Jazz Institute's vocal competition. She has released nine albums, two DVDs, and has performed for movies and television. She spends most of her year on tour with her band. This song, Waters of March, is a classic Brazilian jazz song, a stream-of-consciousness song, really, that paints a collage of images that was inspired by water gushing down city streets in a March Brazilian downpour. Jobim wrote both Portuguese and English lyrics, and in the English attempted to avoid as much as possible words with Latin roots. The song was voted by Brazilian journalists, musicians and other artists as Brazil's all time best jazz song. You can find Jane Monheit's version on her 2001 album Come Dream with Me. Listen to the lyrics and music, and after shedding all strain, feel the joy in your heart.