Hello again and again, for subscribing to the Around the World weekly newsletter previewing this week’s show. There will be an update on Wednesday.
New and new to me: Their music has been around for almost 20 years, but until this week I hadn’t heard of them. Tokyo Incidents, sometimes known as Tokyo Jihen, and otherwise 東京事変 played from 2003 then stopped in 2012 only to resume in 2019. Their new album Music (音楽) – their sixth and but first in 10 years - is due for release this year. They are led by Yumiko Shiina – known as Ringo Sheena – who I describe in the show as Debbie Harry meets Kate Bush meets Mina Špiler meets Freddie Mercury. It’s a fast-paced start to the show.
Most of the music this week is very new. I won’t list it all here now but highlights include the new single from Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino a favourite band of mine which is also a preview to their new album Meridiana which will be featured next week. This Italian band have been a major force in the emergence of the traditional music of Salento, Puligia.
They are part of the annual La Notte della Taranta (Night of the Tarantula) festival celebrating the music of the region. CGS have evolved a traditional style into a modern form with superb arrangements and production techniques. More about them next week.
This video from 2016 is a perfect introduction to CGS.
Mdou Moctar (new album Afrique Victime) has announced that his band will be playing Belfast and Dublin – I’ve already bought my ticket for the gig at the Ulster Sports Club. It’s going to be a long wait, the gig isn’t until April next year. There will be plenty from the album to keep us going in the meantime.
Do you ever hear the opening seconds of and album and thin “Yep, this for me”? That’s reaction I had to Jupiter & Okwess’s Na Kozonga. Hear what I heard at the opening of part 2 of the show. I’ll be playing Telejayi (feat. Marcelo D2). (Or you could just watch the video.)
Antonis Antoniou is founder and driving force behind the award-winning bands Monsieur Doumani and Trio Tekke. These Greek Cypriot bands are well known to the show, but Kkismettin is the first solo album from Antonis. Both Monsieur Doumani and Trio Tekke are largely acoustic. Kkismettin is largely electronic and experimental. It can be challenging at times. The story of the album and the deeper meanings are set out on the Bandcamp page.
Album of the Week: Transglobal Underground’s A Gathering of Strangers 2021. They started out as two DJs in and early 90s. They began and continue to fuse dance music with Asian and African roots. Later they were to explore Gypsy and European music and were to eventually go further. “TGU started travelling further outwards, touring in India, Tunisia, Turkey, South Africa and playing regularly around Eastern Europe In between, some time was also spent in Egypt working with various Egyptian artists including Hakim, Riko, Mika Sabet and of course Natacha Atlas.” There is a very long and very interesting biography here.
I’ll be playing four tracks from the album which draws inspiration from European music including British and Irish folk songs and styles.
“Released February 19th 2021, available now on the Transglobal Underground.
“Reclaimed from a 2010 project originally released under the name U.N.I.T.E, ‘A Gathering of Strangers looked at Europe’s uncertain past as it moved into an uncertain future.
“In 2021, and now in the middle of that uncertain future, Transglobal Underground re-imagine the project, remix tracks and re-master the whole as a tribute from all who had to cross borders in the past to all who keep crossing them today.” https://transglobalunderground.net/a-gathering-of-strangers-2021/
Local Music: The Beyond Skin project in Belfast has been doing some excellent work with young musicians in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. I’ll be playing a track from Beyond Skin this week and probably next week too.
“Young musicians in Afghanistan & Northern Ireland have united to produce a music video based on a popular Afghan song ‘In Gham-e-be Haya’ meaning Audacious Sorrow composed by Ustad Salim Sarmast. This collaboration focuses on the International Women’s Day 2021 theme ‘Choose to Challenge’ and uses music to challenge the recent statement issued in Afghanistan banning girls from singing in school from age 12 years upwards.” More here
Brian Finnegan has been flautist with Flook for 25 years. His solo album Hunger of the Skin has just been released and is set to be a firm favourite of the show.
And Hannah Peel’s Fir Wave gets another airing, too.
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