Around the World Preview – 9 & 11 January 2022
Here's what to expect in the first new show of the year.
Happy new year. The first week of the year is gone – our feet firmly and optimistically planted in 2022, as it always should be at the beginning of a new year. We leave an “interesting” 2021 and step boldly into the future. Where no one has been before.
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Around the World is on Slice Audio, Ferry FM, and Radio Larne on Sundays at 10:00 pm to midnight. On Tuesdays at 7:00 pm the show is broadcast on Bangor FM, Lisburn’s 98FM and FM105 Down Community Radio.
On the show this week: We go to Peru, Sweden, New Zealand, Cameroon and Syria via Berlin, as well as the usual places like South Africa, North America and Cyprus. The featured album is from Spain. We have folk rock, urban latino, jazz electronica, and afro-pop.
Album of the Week: This week’s featured album is from C. Tangana.
It was released almost a year ago – at the end of February 2021. Although I’ve played some tracks from it already, I didn’t understand the significance of the album until a few weeks ago when I was talking to Arne Berg in Norway.
This is much more than a Spanish language pop music album. It is an exploration of modern Spanish music … and beyond Spain. One of the tracks I’ll be playing, Comerte Entera, features the legendary Brazilian singer Toquinho – other musicians on the album include members of the Gypsy Kings, José Feliciano and Flamenco musician Niño de Elche.
In an interview with him, NPR wrote
"El Madrileño" — the man from Madrid.
That's the easiest way to describe Antón Álvarez Alfaro, who performs as C. Tangana.
But it's also the title of his 2021 album — an ambitious musical journey across generations, genres, and lyrical traditions that earned him a 2022 Grammy nomination for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.
There are hints of tango, urbano, rock , Spanish copla — and they're all seamlessly brought together by Tangana's modern approach to the rich musical heritage that shaped his worldview.
He spoke with NPR's Eyder Peralta about making a 180 from rap to folklore, working with the flamenco maestros and decolonizing Spain's cultural mindset towards Latin America.
After talking to Arne, I listened to the album all the way through and it is really impressive. El Madrileño is this week’s featured album.
And the videos are fantastic.
Remember, you can get the full running order and “listen again” function after the show is broadcast at my blog, davysims.com
Occasional feature: “Who is the Horslips of [insert name of country]?” This time we turn to Sweden. Is the answer Hoven Droven? They have been recording since 1989, but there has been a 10 year gap between their last and their new album Trad. I’ll be playing “Sprackarull'n” which (very) loosely translates as “Crack and Roll”. A bit of the auld crack from the Swedes, then.
Disappointingly, there is not a video to show from the Trad album. So here’s something from almost 10 years ago.
The man reputed to be Cameroon’s fastest rapper is Ko-C. He has a new single La galère. It’s not particularly fast, but it is entertaining.
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What about some digeridoo? From Australia’s Northern Territory – a town called Katheryn South –Maysie Jensen emailed me saying that while the show has plenty of fiddles and accordions there are not nearly enough digeridoos. And I agree. Two pieces of digeridoo music, in return for the email. Neither from Australia, though.
But there’s a story about each.
I was playing music from Sissy Mananga last year and I noticed one of the music credits went to Ronan Skillen. “Now there’s an Northern Ireland name”, thought I. Sissy and I follow each other on Twitter and so I sent her a DM and she confirmed that he is from Northern Ireland. Over the holidays I contacted him and he told me he is originally from Bangor, but his family went to live in Germany when he was young. He lives now in South Africa where he plays digeridoo, and several other instruments.
Lamia Bedious & Solis Barki are based in Greece, but their music stretches in time from the 13th to the 20th century and encompasses influences from Algeria, Palestine, France, Sephardic tradition of Bulgaria and Bosnia , Egypt, Lapland. I’ll be playing a track from Fin’amor voice / percussion / didjeridoo.
Web : www.lamiabedioui.com
YouTube : https://youtube.com/channel/UCYeqEeqpYxmrSuSUjbNHtVw
Facebook : www.facebook.com/lamiabediouimusic
Soundcloud : www.soundcloud.com/lamia-bedioui
What else to expect? In 1980 Talking Heads released Remain in Light. Almost 40 years later in 2018, Angelique Kidjo, focusing on the original afrobeat influences, covered the album track by track. I’ll be playing a track from that. Here’s a review from Pitchfork. And a live performance from 2018.
Recorded live – without an audience, outside, on a grass tennis court surrounded by bush on New Zealand’s south island there’ll be another track from Fat Freddie’s Drop’s Wairunga. Here’s the whole event on video.
Nani Noam Vazana – just known as Nani, who lives in Amsterdam. Her music style is Ladino – Sephardic Spanish music with its roots in the Middle Ages. She is one of the best modern interpreters of Ladino. [Here’s a useful guide to Ladino.]
I met her a few months ago and talked about her music. She is on something of a mission to revive and popularise these old songs – some of which she learned from her grandmother. The album is called Ke Haber.
Finally, how was your holiday? I spent a lot more time watching TV than usual and came across some music documentaries. One was about Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy. I was a massive fan of Lizzy when I was young. The other documentary was about Alan Hull. It brought back so many memories of the Geordie musician who wrote for, fronted and created the mighty Lindisfarne.
There are so many songs by Lindisfarne that we sang way back in those days; Lady Elenore, We Can Swing Together, January Song, City Song and Clear White Light (which I’ll be playing).
Both documentaries are on BBC’s iPlayer. If you have access to it do watch.
For me it was particularly poignant. In the years of Lindisfarne’s early popularity and after – especially around Christmas and New Year – my friends and I would meet up in the Seaside Tavern in Holywood then, all head round – with guitars – to the Winter’s or to the Woodman’s where we were always welcome. We’d play Lindisfarne songs, and Dubliners’ and Donovan and Jake Thackery songs well into the night and the early morning. And some of those people – though many are far away – hear the show from time to time. When I’m playing Lindisfarne I’ll be thinking of them.
Here’s the link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0011vbk
There is a stack more music. Please join me or go to Mixcloud after the show.
The Around the World archive on Mixcloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/davysims/
And on Radio Garden
Bangor FM 107.9: http://radio.garden/listen/bangor-fm-107-9/IycUhUbT
Lisburn’s 98FM: http://radio.garden/listen/facebook/ASeqAEl8
FM105 Down Community Radio: http://radio.garden/listen/fm-105-down-community-radio/K8lBDGFf