Friday, 26 May 2017
Thursday, 25 May 2017
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Ifriqiyya Electrique – Rûwâhîne (Glitterbeat Records)
LP / CD / DL
26 May 2017
10 / 10
One of the first ‘rules’ I was told to observe about reviewing music was never to write in the first person. I’ve broken that rule once, a review of an album by The Fall which was the first time I’d listened to one of their long-players, and I’m breaking it again. I’m breaking it because this album has been an eye-opener, a journey into a sound that I’ve never heard before and even now, after many (and I mean many) listens, it is one of the most incredible albums I’ve listened to in recent years.
There have been few that have made the immediate impact that Rûwâhîne has made – Torment & Toreros (Marc And The Mambas), Furious Angels (Rob Dougan) and more recently, Tracks Of Wire(deux furieuses) – hitting me like a ballistic missile between my bulging eyes. It is described as music of adorcism – the method of placating and accommodating evil spirits in possessed beings rather than exorcism - and it’s easy to see why.
Rûwâhîne is a curious but incredible mix of desert rock, of multiple percussion, of chanting, hip-hop and hints of Nine Inch Nails. Intrigued? You should be, and enough to track this album down and play it. Admittedly, it may not appeal to the soft pop fans and the ones who want to experience something safe, but to those of you who want something to shake the bones and kick you in the proverbial bollocks then this is the one.
Growing up I ‘ve always loved the Burundi beat, first of all with Gary Glitter and the Glitter Band, then Adam And The Ants and whoever have insisted that one percussionist just isn’t enough, and with Ifriqiyya Electrique it clearly isn’t. At times, their sound is like the soundtrack from hell as guitar, bass and electronics combine and break all the rules. This is music that has been known to possess, making people leap uncontrollably into the air transfixed and dancing like their body has lost complete control.
When all seems to settling into place, a hip-hop ‘record scratch’ appears in the background, piano chords bounce unsettlingly and bass guitar thud with those incredible voices. Listen to Annabi Mohammad- Laa La Illa Allah – Deg El Bendir and tell me you aren’t affected in some way. Raw, gnarling guitars from the school of Trent Reznor screech and leave indelible marks.
Rûwâhîne is no ordinary album. In fact, the word ‘extraordinary’ doesn’t even do it justice. Rûwâhîne is one of the most amazing pieces of work you will ever witness, maybe never heard before and never to be heard again. An album catching a feeling, an emotion, a moment in a lifetime. Improvisation between tradition and technology. Quite literally blood, sweat and tears.
Published on Louder Than War 17/05/17 - here
Sunday, 21 May 2017
Saturday, 20 May 2017
David R Edwards - Dave Datblygu's Search In English For the House Of Tolerance (Recordiau Prin)
8.5 / 10
Book reviews are few and far between on these (web) pages and something that is to be rectified forthwith. David R Edwards, frontman of seminal Welsh band Datblygu (often referred to as a Welsh version of The Fall) has put together a bit of a gem with this collection of thirty-five poems.
It's not airy fairy, flowers and bunnies either. It's real moments and recollections of love, lust and heartbreak, amongst other things, that many of us can relate to, and will also contain pieces that we can't. It will shock and it will make you smile, in fact it will often make you laugh with it's incredible dark humour and honesty.
Accompanied by a cd (with backing music and sounds from Pulco) recited into a Dictaphone in his kitchen, Edwards slowly presents pieces of everydayness and heart-pouring frankness.
His poetry consists of observations sometimes sweary and sometime slurred, and always in that thick accent that adds a prevailing sense of human to the proceedings. You can almost imagine sitting at table with him as he appears thriough thick cigarette smoke whilst caressing a glass of Rocha and offloading his life to you.
It's wonderful stuff. It willl take you on highs and lows, and expel any hidden feelings tnat you may have. It is life, and life is sometimes shitty, but with expressionism like that of David R Edwards, it makes it seem a little better.
Had the right attitude
He'd set them on fire
In petroleum and flames.
Sits in the corner
Like the dunce I was
When I learnt how to play it.
Some people I know
Have a vast guitar collection -
And all that baloney.
The only thing worse
Are those fucking pianos
Friday, 19 May 2017
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Monday, 15 May 2017
Vieux Farka Toure – Samba (Six Degrees Records)
CD / DL
12 May 2017
7.5 / 10
Malian songwriter and bandleader release his new album.
Beginning an album with a near six minute instrumental is adventurous by anyone’s standards, even more impressive is to carry it off successfully, and Vieux Farka Toure does just that as Bonheur grips the listener from the opening bars. Often referred to as the ‘Hendrix of the Sahara’ Vieux returns with is first album since his collaboration with Julia Easterlin on 2015s Touristes and is in blinding form.
Recorded as part of the Woodstock Sessions, the unique opportunity for fans to be seated in front of the artist as they both play live and studio record, Samba is a refreshing mix of blues, funk, reggae and rock as Toure knows only too well. An audience of around fifty people are briefed that they are to witness the recording of a studio album with a truly live feel. It’s an interesting concept and one that, on the evidence of this album alone, works incredibly well.
The son of legendary Malian artist Ali Farka Toure, Vieux was the second born to his parents which in the Songhai language is called the ‘Samba’. It represents the head position in the family and bestows great honour and power. Ironically, his guitar playing does very much the same. Often exceptional and hypnotic the solos alone are something to behold.
Highlighted track, Homafau Wawa is nothing short of brilliant as Toure’s voice glides over incredible guitars and a backing vocals provided by the audience in a track that has been described as almost Church like. Maya features friend and regular collaborator Idan Raichel who plays some wondrous keyboards on a track that sees a Muslim and a Jew working together and endorsing tolerance and understanding.
A more indigenous feel can be heard on Nature, the shortest track on the album at little under four minutes, it conveys a feel of the griot tradition and expresses concern over conservation and the abuse of wild animals.
Samba is an album of immense feeling, of power and of commitment with an unrivalled live feel. Ten new tracks from a man in his ascendancy and an album well worth taking the trouble to listen to.