Thursday, 20 June 2019

The Waterboys ‎– Fisherman's Blues (1988)

Style: Folk Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Ensign, Chrysalis

Tracklist:
01.   Fisherman's Blues
02.   We Will Not Be Lovers
03.   Strange Boat
04.   World Party
05.   Sweet Thing
06.   And A Bang On The Ear
07.   Has Anybody Here Seen Hank?
08.   When Will We Be Married?
09.   When Ye Go Away
10.   Dunford's Fancy
11.   The Stolen Child


Credits: Producer – John Dunford, Mike Scott

Mike Scott had been pursuing his grandiose "big music" since he founded the Waterboys, so it came as a shock when he scaled back the group's sound for the Irish and English folk of Fisherman's Blues. Although the arena-rock influences have been toned down, Scott's vision is no less sweeping or romantic, making even the simplest songs on Fisherman's Blues feel like epics. Nevertheless, the album is the Waterboys' warmest and most rewarding record, boasting a handful of fine songs ("And a Bang on the Ear," the ominous "We Will Not Be Lovers," "Has Anybody Here Seen Hank?," and the title track), as well as a surprisingly successful cover of Van Morrison's breathtaking "Sweet Thing." [Fisherman's Blues was reissued in 2006 with a bonus disc containing fourteen outtakes, alternate versions and late-night studio jams. The re-mastered original included extended versions of "And a Bang on the Ear" and "World Party."] 
Stephen Thomas Erlewine / AllMusic

The Waterboys ‎– This Is The Sea (1985)

Style: Folk Rock, Pop Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Island Records, Ensign, Polystar

Tracklist:
           This Is The Sea
1.01.   Don't Bang The Drum
1.02.   The Whole Of The Moon
1.03.   Spirit
1.04.   The Pan Within
1.05.   Medicine Bow
1.06.   Old England
1.07.   Be My Enemy
1.08.   Trumpets
1.09.   This Is The Sea
           Additional Recordings
2.01.   Beverly Penn
2.02.   Sleek White Schooner
2.03.   Medicine Bow (Full Length)
2.04.   Medicine Jack
2.05.   High Far Soon
2.06.   Even The Trees Are Dancing
2.07.   Towers Open Fire
2.08.   This Is The Sea (Live)
2.09.   Then You Hold Me
2.10.   Spirit (Full Length)
2.11.   Miracle
2.12.   I Am Not Here
2.13.   Sweet Thing
2.14.   The Waves

Credits:
Written-By – Anthony Thistlethwaite, Mike Scott
Producer – John Brand, Karl Wallinger, Mick Glossop, Mike Scott

The Waterboys ‎– A Pagan Place (2002 Remastered) (1984)

Style: Folk Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Ensign, Chrysalis, Island Records

Tracklist:
01.   Church Not Made With Hands
02.   All The Things She Gave Me (Unedited)
03.   The Thrill Is Gone (Unedited)
04.   Rags
05.   Some Of My Best Friends Are Trains
06.   Somebody Might Wave Back
07.   The Big Music
08.   Red Army Blues
09.   A Pagan Place
        Bonus Songs
10.   The Late Train To Heaven (Rockfield Mix)
11.   Love That Kills (Instrumental)
12.   The Madness Is Here Again
13.   Cathy
14.   Down Through The Dark Streets

Credits:
Backing Vocals – Ingrid Schroeder
Bass – Anthony Thistlethwaite, Nick Linden
Drums – Kevin Wilkinson
Piano – Karl Wallinger
Saxophone – Anthony Thistlethwaite
Trumpet – Roddy Lorimer
Violin – Tim Blanthorn
Producer – Mike Scott

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The Waterboys ‎– The Waterboys (2002 Remestared) (1983)

Style: Folk Rock, Blues Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label:  Island Records, Chicken Jazz, EMI, Chrisalys

Tracklist:
01.   December
02.   A Girl Called Johnny
03.   The Three Day Man
04.   Gala (Unedited)
05.   Where Are You Now When I Need You?
06.   I Will Not Follow
07.   It Should Have Been You
08.   The Girl In The Swing
09.   Savage Earth Heart
        Bonus Songs
10.   Something Fantastic
11.   Ready For The Monkeyhouse
12.   Another Kind Of Circus
13.   A Boy In Black Leather
14.   December (Original 8-Track Mix)
15.   Jack Of Diamonds

Credits:
Bass – Nick Linden, Norman Rodger, Steven Tayler
Drums – Kevin Wilkinson, Ray Masseyt
Organ – Delahaye
Saxophone – Anthony Thistlethwaite
Guitar, Vocals, Piano, Written-By – Mike Scot
Producer – Mike Scott, Rupert Hine

Carlos Paredes ‎– Espelho De Sons (1988)

Style: Fado
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Philips

Tracklist:
         A. Coimbra E O Mondego
1.1.   Variações (Variations)
1.2.   Variações A (Variations A)
1.3.   Variações B (Variations B)
         B. Os Amadores – The Amatheurs
2.1.   Desenho Duma Melodia (Drawing Of A Melody)
2.2.   Amargura (Bitterness)
2.3.   O Discurso (The Speech)
         C. A Canção – Songs
3.1.   Melodia Para Um Poeta (Song For A Poet)
3.2.   Canção De Alcipe (Alcipe Song)
         D. O Teatro – The Theater
4.1.   A Noite (The Night)
4.2.   O Fantoche (Puppet Show)
         E. Lisboa E O Tejo
5.1.   Canto Do Amanhecer (Day Break In Town)
5.2.   Serenata (Serenade)
5.3.   Dança Palaciana (In A XVIIIth Century Palace)
5.4.   Canto Do Trabalho (Work Song)
5.5.   Jardins De Lisboa (Verdes Anos) – (Sunday In A Lisbon Garden)
5.6.   Canto De Rua (Street Song)
5.7.   Canto Do Rio (Tagus Song)
         F. A Dança – Dances
6.1.   Prólogo (Abertura Para Um Bailado) – (Opening For A Dance)
6.2.   Raiz (Dança Melancólica) – (Melancolic Dance)
6.3.   Dança De Camponeses (Peasants Dance)
         G. A Mãe E O Lar – Mother's Home
7.1.   Canto De Embalar (Lullaby)
7.2.   Canto De Amor (Love Song)
         H. Contrastes – Contrasts
8.1.   Sede (Winter Song)
8.2.   Canto Da Primavera (Spring Song)

Credits:
Classical Guitar – Fernando Alvim, Luísa Maria Amaro
Portuguese Guitar Built By – João Pedro Grázio Júnior
Portuguese Guitar, Liner Notes – Carlos Paredes
Producer – Tozé Brito
Recorded By – José Manuel Fortes
Written-By – Carlos Paredes

Cymande ‎– Cymande (1972)

Style: Blues Rock, Roots Reggae, Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Janus Records, GRT, RCA Victor, Philips

Tracklist:
1.   Zion I
2.   One More
3.   Getting It Back
4.   Listen
5.   Rickshaw
6.   Dove
7.   Bra
8.   The Message
9.   Ras Tafarian Folk Song

Credits:
Alto Saxophone, Flute, Bongos – Mike Rose
Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Derek Gibbs
Bass Guitar, Supervised By – Steve Scipio
Congas – Pablo Gonsales
Drums – Sam Kelly
Guitar – Patrick Patterson
Tenor Saxophone – Peter Serreo
Vocals, Percussion – Joey Dee, Ray King
Producer, Liner Notes – John Schroeder

Here’s a stone-classic album that’s still not widely known enough—even with its uplifting funk track “Bra” being sampled by De La Soul on “Change In Speak” from 3 Feet High & Rising and appearing in Spike Lee’s 1994 film Crooklyn. (Hip-hop and electronic-music producers have sampled Cymande at least 77 times, according to who-sampled.com.) Cymande put out three strong albums (I’ve not heard their fourth, Arrival), but their debut is the best, if only judging by how often I play tracks from it in DJ sets. It’s one of those rare funk full-lengths that you can play from start to finish without lifting the needle off a tepid ballad. 
But to call Cymande merely a funk band is inadequate. The English nonet—who featured musicians from London, St. Vincent, Guyana, and Jamaica—also incorporated jazz, reggae, calypso, and progressive rock in their inspirational tracks, and such hybridization resulted in highly flavorful material that is bathed in a spiritual glow that can’t be faked. Cymande call it “nyah-rock,” which they describe in the liners as “the music of the man who finds in life a reason for living.” I’ll say. 
Side 1 is largely mellow and meditative and marked by Patrick Patterson’s fluid guitar ruminations, Steve Scipio’s lithe bass lines, Mike Rose’s circuitous flute motifs, and Ray King’s soulful vocals that carry subtle hints of Caribbean patois. LP opener “Zion I” is the exception: a spiritual reggae tune with righteous massed vocals and a bass line on which you can trampoline. 
Side 2 is where Cymande really shines. “Dove” (sampled by the Wu-Tang Clan in “Problems” and the Fugees in “The Score,” among many other places) is simply one of the greatest pieces of music ever waxed. It begins in great intrigue, Patrick Patterson’s guitar modulating a Santana-esque wail, setting the scene for Steve Scipio’s world-beating, sidewinder bass line to lift the track onto a higher, more libidinous level. Stealthy, undulant funk beats and blissed-out “la la la la-la”s contribute to making the 11-minute “Dove” one of the ultimate sex jams. The aforementioned “Bra” is simply one of the most joyous pieces of music ever waxed. The next time you’re really down, play it and feel your worries dissolve amid its levitational rhythms, percolating congas and bongos, and triumphant horn charts. “The Message” is more subdued, but no less seductive with its nocturnal funk strut. “Ras Tafarian Folk Song” is definitely the album’s weak link, but that could just be my bias against religious belief systems talking. Thankfully, it’s over in three minutes. Everything else on Cymande, though, deserves to be blazed into your memory banks till your last breath—especially “Dove.” 
Buckley Mayfield / Jive Time Records

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Le Mystère Jazz De Tombouctou ‎– Le Mystère Jazz De Tombouctou (1977)

Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mali Kunkan, Le Kiosque d'Orphée, Kindred Spirits

Tracklist:
      Face A
1.   Leli (Folklore Peulh)
2.   Dina Waliji (Saints De L'Islam)
3.   Teiduma
      Face B
4.   Wale (Aguimibili)
5.   Tarekh
6.   Apolo (Bokar Hamdallaye)

Credits:
Directed By – Issa Traoré
Recorded By – Boubakar Traoré

Today’s post features a review written by Pieter Franssen of  “Le Mystère Jazz de Tombouctou”, a new release on the Kindred Spirits label. 
Dutch guest writer Pieter Franssen is a lifetime music lover who is celebrating his 40 years long career as a dj, starting in Amsterdam’s world famous venue Paradiso. As a (world) music writer and (disco/house)dance music expert he wrote for OOR, the leading Dutch music magazine, since 1973 amongst others. He also hosted a VPRO-webradio show ‘Globaal Kabaal’(2002-2005). 
Pieter made music-related trips to Jamaica, U.S.A. Cuba, Morocco (Gnawa, Essouira), Kenya and South Africa (Capetown and Jo’burg hiphop 1994) and interviewed a.m.o. Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Keith Richards, many Dutch key dj’s  and numerous musicians from Mali, Cuba and Brazil. He shares his borderless musical views since a long time with dj and Soul Safari founder Eddy De Clercq.

It is a very sour moment for the re-release of ‘Le Mystère Jazz de Tombouctou’, the holy grail among the eleven releases of the legendary Malian Kunkan label, just when in March 2012 extremist Touareg-rebels have taken over the mysterious Malian desert city Timbuktu and northern Mali and transformed the country into a kind of terrorist state.

The LP ‘Le Mystère Jazz de Tombouctou’  is without doubt the most precious, vital, curious and most sought after Malian album from the seventies and is now being re-released by the Dutch Kindred Spirit label. 
The Kunkan (Voices) label was established in 1975 by Malian Minister of Culture Youssouf Traore to capture the music of several orchestras from different regions of Mali. Technician Bouboukar Traore proved himself a master in the recording phase when he placed the four microphones and recorded the instruments, particularly the congas. 
It is hard to believe that a bunch of electricians, policemen, social workers, a nurse and a bassist / customs man were capable of creating this kind of musical landmark. The messages on these recordings are obviously carried with a holy fire.

The result is a magnum opus that sounds hypnotic, from the first to the last note, due to the constantly swirling guitar licks of the two brilliant guitarists; leader / guitarist Cheikna Sidi Mohammed, who joined the band as a singer in 1973 just as Bouboucar ‘Hamdallaye’ Toure who also came from Dirband Dire and Nouhoum Baby, who has been a soloist  in the group since 1974. 
The given combination resulted in fabulous, very tight playing but also the creative guitar-supportive horn section, consisting of veteran saxophonist Baba Napoleon in the front line and two trumpeters and the magisterial call-and-response singing -almost like the call of the muezzin- of Touareg Ag Milili complete the mesmerizing sound. 
A number of hymns and ritual songs of the Touareg and Peuls peoples were recycled by Sidi Mohammed with young Tamasheks who have been in this team since the seventies. 
As such the Orchestra made incredibly inspiring music, ranging from the desert-trance of “Teiduma” to really hypnotic anthems, all veined with handsomely arranged brass riffs and solos, instrumental outbursts of all kinds and almost unearthly Islamic hypnotic singing. 
“Dina Waliji (Saints Of Islam)” served as a blueprint for a track on Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder’s Grammy Award-winning collaboration “Talking Timbuktu” in 1992.  With an energy that explodes from each track this rather sublimely arranged desert suite is musically very uplifting. 
“Apolo”named after the lunar project in 1969 is the song where the band presents itself and “Wale” is a track where the masons and builders of the mud mosque Sankoré are honoured with a truly majestic salute by the horn section. We hear traces of the Super Djata Band arrangements inspired by Bob Marley’s horn section. 
Super driving congas, drums, guiro, a crazy almost free jazz sax solo by Napoleon and ecstatic singing instantly knock you out in “Leli”, a penetrating Peulh-story about hardships on a journey through the Sahel. 
And from that moment on, the sound of Le Jazz  Mystère captures the listener in an incredible musical and spiritual hold. 
Pieter Franssen / Soul Safari

Robag Wruhme ‎– Wuzzelbud "KK" (2004)

Style: Techno, Tech House, Minimal
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Musik Krause

Tracklist:
1.   Hugendubel
2.   Mensur
3.   Jause
4.   Pelagia
5.   Wuzzelbud "KK"
6.   Fittichklopfer
7.   K.T.B.
8.   Skrubbs
9.   Konnex

Credits:
Mastered By – Herb LF
Written-By, Producer – Gabor Schablitzki

Gabor Schablitzki has been very productive since the late '90s under a number of guises. In 2002, he began releasing tracks as Robag Wruhme for Germany's Musik Krause label -- the title of his first 12", Backkatalog, being just as backward as "Robag." The first Wruhme album follows a quartet of uniformly excellent singles (three for Musik Krause, one for Milnor Modern), and it lands as the profile continues to rise for another one of the producer's outlets, the Wighnomy Brothers (a partnership with Sören Bodner). Wuzzelbud "KK" is all new and is as consistent as the preceding singles. Schablitzki also thankfully treats it as an album in the pure sense, sequencing nine tracks that benefit from one another sequentially and allowing them to do their job in a grand total of 45 minutes. He isn't quite a minimalist, but he's able to do more with a couple elements than most of his peers. The refusal to rely on a simple 4/4 thump, the continual addition of new sounds, and the buoyant (if moody) drive all contribute to the effectiveness of the five straight-up dance tracks. When Schablitzki's in this mode, he thrives on grooves that click, roil, and wobble with as much restless vigor as the best Perlon releases. Of the four remaining cuts, two are in the Morr Music/City Centre Offices vein of melody-laced IDM; another is an unfortunate indie-rap slip; and the fourth is a placid ambient number that closes the album out in fine style. While tightly bundled, easily digestible albums are too few and far between in dance music, it's unfortunate that the true Wruhme back catalog remains available to vinyl buyers only. (Speaking of vinyl buyers, there are two releases titled Wuzzelbud "KK". One is the nine-track album on two pieces of vinyl, and the other includes the title track and a pair of non-album cuts.) 
Andy Kellman / AllMusic

Bowery Electric ‎– Bowery Electric (1995)

Style: Abstract, Post Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Kranky


Tracklist:
1.   Sounds In Motion
2.   Next To Nothing
3.   Long Way Down
4.   Another Road
5.   Over And Over
6.   Deep Sky Objects
7.   Slow Thrills
8.   Out Of Phase
9.   Drift Away

Credits:
Bass, Vocals – Martha Schwendener
Drums – Michael Johngren
Guitar, Vocals – Lawrence Chandler
Mixed By – Rich Costey
Mixed By, Producer – Bowery Electric
Recorded By – Michael Deming
Written-By – Chandler, Schwendener

Bowery Electric's debut full-length album is a droning, atmospheric affair. Guitars, drums, and hushed vocals suggest a definite Slowdive influence, but Bowery Electric approaches the shoegazer sound with more moodiness, tension, and space rock ethics. "Next to Nothing" and "Long Way Down" almost sound like Just for a Day-era Slowdive letting off steam; the distorted guitars and gentle drums of both tracks never sound lush, as there's an undercurrent of confusion and discomfort in the way the instruments mix. The music brings to mind imagery of rainy days or starless nights. There's not really a stab at traditional song structure with any of the tracks. "Another Road" sees vocalist Martha Schwendener nearly speaking her vocals, and she sounds quite caught up in the dreamy music that surrounds her. Neither Schwendener nor Lawrence Chandler seem to care if their vocals are audible or understood; their voices simply become additional instruments, as is common with shoegazer music. There are ample pace changes to be found throughout the album's nine tracks. "Over and Over" is a slow-burning, quiet number, which is immediately followed by the tense, dark "Deep Sky Objects." "Deep Sky Objects" sounds more than a bit like a Joy Division song, if not for the dreamy, processed vocals. Bowery Electric works equally well with short, moody song fragments (on "Sounds in Motion" and "Over and Over") as with grand, drawn-out movements (on "Next to Nothing" and "Slow Thrills"). "Drift Away" is an ambient joy. It's quite an achievement that the album, at over 50 minutes, never gets boring or even less than compelling, even though there's not much variation in mood from track to track and within individual songs. Despite the fact that the band is the sum of its influences, the album is quite fresh and interesting throughout. Bowery Electric is an extremely accomplished, beautifully moody debut. 
Tim DiGravina  / AllMusic

Monday, 17 June 2019

Lhasa ‎– Lhasa (2009)

Genre: Rock, Pop, Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Warner Bros. Records, Audiogram, Nettwerk

Tracklist:
01.   Is Anything Wrong
02.   Rising
03.   Love Came Here
04.   What Kind Of Heart
05.   Bells
06.   Fool's Gold
07.   A Fish On Land
08.   Where Do You Go
09.   The Lonely Spider
10.   1001 Nights
11.   I'm Going In
12.   Anyone And Everyone

Credits:
Bass – Miles Perkin, Thierry Amar
Drums – Andrew Barr
Guitar – Freddy Koella, Joe Grass
Harp – Sarah Pagé
Clapped his hands – Joe Grass, Miles Perkin
Megaphone – Lhasa De Sela
Pedal Steel Guitar – Joe Grass
Percussion – Andrew Barr
Piano – Lhasa De Sela
Resonator Guitar – Joe Grass
Violin – Freddy Koella
Voice – Andrew Barr, Lhasa De Sela, Miles Perkin, Sarah Pagé, joe grass
Producer – Lhasa De Sela