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

      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)

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

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

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

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

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