Monday, 30 May 2011

This Week's Picks (#42)

I know it's been a while since I've posted, but I assure you that I have some great stuff coming up including some album reviews. So stay posted and in the meantime, please enjoy this week's picks!

"Dois Nordestes" - Matuto

Matuto is Brazilian slang for "country boy" or "country bumpkin" and that's exactly what this band brings to the table. The music is very "Carnival meets a jazzy Appalachia" as a fun blend of Brazilian rhythms, bluegrass and jazz improv.

"Tabsakh Dalet" - Bombino

A Tuareg from Niger, Bombino (Omara Moctar) is recognized as a great guitarist of the Sahel and Sahara regions. Bombino is the focus of a new film, Agadez by filmmaker Ron Wyman about Tuareg blues. He has also recently released a new album by the same name.

Monday, 16 May 2011

This Week's Picks (#41)

This weekend, London will be the battlefield for the Battle of the Balkan Brass.  It will feature Fanfare Ciocarlia and Boban & Marko Markovic Orchestra, fighting to see who is the best Balkan brass band. To get in the mood, here are some great Balkan brass tunes.

"Manea Cu Voca" - Fanfare Ciocarlia

Let's start with the groups about to battle it out. Fanfare Ciocarlia is a gypsy brass band from Northern Romania. This track is from their 1999 release Baro Biao. Fun and energetic, it's easy to see why they are in the running for best Balkan brass band.

"Voz" - Boban Markovic Orkestar (featuring Marko Markovic)

And in the second corner, Boban & Marko Marko Markovic Orkestar. This group is from Serbia and the track is from the album The Promise. It is more subdued than most of their tracks, but just as fun. It's going to be a close battle.  

"Paradehtika" - Goran Bregovic 

Another heavy weight of the Balkan brass bands is Goran Bregovic. Bregovic, however, tends to fuse other styles in with the Balkan brass including tango and popular music. This track is from his album Alkohol, which won last year's Songlines Music Awards for best artist. 

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Happy Birthday to Nomad's Playlist!

One year ago, I came up with the idea that people might be interested in music I've found via various media. As it turns out, not quite as many people are as interested as I had expected, but one year later and I've got a fantastic group of readers and have found a lot of great music. Looks like my blog is all grown up now.

In celebration of NP's one year anniversary, I've decided to collect some of my favorite videos from the past year. I hope you enjoy!

"Pesebre"- Axel Krygier featured in April

"A Namorada" - Carlinhos Brown featured in March

"Music for a Found Harmonium" - Penguin Cafe featured in February

"Djon Maya" - Victor Démé featured in February

"Crazy Train" - Iron Horse featured in January

"Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)" - Gotan Project featured in January

"Yegelle Tezeta" Mulatu Astatke featured in November

"Mast Qalandar" by Faiz Ali Faiz and Titi Robin featured in October

"Jolie Coquine" by Caravan Palace featured in August

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Meet the Musicians: Charlie Cawood

In this series, we get to hear from the musicians themselves. This month, I have interviewed the London-based musician and composer Charlie Cawood. 

Charlie began lessons at the age of 11, studying classical guitar and theory, as well as electric guitar. After GCSEs he skipped A-Levels and went straight to the Guitar Institute, where I became versed in the dark arts of rock fusion and jazz harmony. He has also studied Flamenco, Indian and Chinese music, as well as attended Sound Design courses at Point Blank Music Production school. Hold holds a Masters Degree in Music Performance at the School of Oriental and African Studies. 

1. How long have you been performing and what inspired you to get into music? 
I've been playing music for over 11 years and performing professionally for 6 of them. I was originally inspired by Rock/Metal bands, but a big change occurred when I discovered Indian classical music and flamenco. This naturally led to me getting into all kinds of world music, as well as electronica, contemporary classical and jazz.

2. What or who are your influences? 
Broadly speaking, I'm influenced by any artist who uses their creativity to explore deeper levels of themselves and strives to forge their own individual creative/artistic identity. This includes music, but also literature, film and visual art.

3. What are your all-time favorite albums? 
10,000 Days by Tool
Pandemonium by Killing Joke
Rant in E Minor by Bill Hicks 
Eternal Wheel by Ozric Tentacles
Kid A by Radiohead 
Sing To God by Cardiacs 
Monoliths and Dimensions by Sunn 0))) 
That list is off the top of my head, and totally inadequate!

4. What are you listening to right now?
At the moment, I'm listening quite a bit to an English band called Cardiacs, who, despite their musical and creative brilliance, remain relatively obscure. The last album I listened to was Music of the Mind by an English Jazz musician called Finn Peters. On this album, he creates compositions based on his own brain-wave patterns, to astounding effect. I'm also slowly getting into John Zorn's expansive back catalogue, as well as Cocteau Twins, Amon Tobin and the Master Musicians of Jajouka.

5. Have any upcoming gigs/shows we should know about?
In April, I recently performed a gig with Rachel Hatfield, a singer-songwriter I'm currently working with, as well as at the Turkish Cultural Festival in Tottenham, playing Turkish Gypsy music with clarinettist Nicki Maher. Rehearsals with also be starting soon with Spiders of Destiny, a Frank Zappa cover band I play in, so with any luck we'll be playing live within a few months!

You can hear tracks by Charlie on his MySpace page, listed above.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Nomad's Calendar: This Weekend

Some of the great shows coming up this weekend! 
  • May 12th Thursday 7:00pm: OuterIndia: Shusheela Raman @ Rich Mix (35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA) £8/11 We are proud to announce the trailblazing OUTERINDIA residency at Rich Mix on the second Thursday of each month. OUTERINDIA will weave a web of intense links between London, the Subcontinent and the world, showcasing visionary artists in the musical, visual and written arts. Celebrating the variety and influence of South Asian culture, OUTERINDIA is all about channeling the breadth of work by artists born in the Subcontinent, the Diaspora or drawn to the culture from outside, and offering it to the eyes and ears of London in new and magical ways.
  • May 12th Thursday 7:00pm: Gypsy Fever @ Green Note (106 Parkway NW1 7AN) £8 Gypsy Fever is a five-piece Gypsy band from London. Fusing their Balkan and Anglo-Saxon heritage, they draw inspiration from diverse musical backgrounds including jazz, rock, Balkan gypsy, folk and classical to create a unique sound all of their own.
  • May 15th Sunday 7:00pm: Amira Kheir @ Green Note (106 Parkway NW1 7AN) £6 Sudanese-Italian singer/songwriter Amira Kheir is creating a sound that is inspired by traditional Sudanese singing and instrumentation, and blended with elements of Jazz, Soul, East and West African as well as Middle Eastern music. 
Can't make any of these? Then, check out Nomad's Calendar for details on other upcoming shows. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

This Week's Picks (#40)

For some reason, I'm in an East African mood. Therefore, this week's picks are from the beautiful country of Kenya. Please enjoy!

"Sandore" - Suzanna Owiyo 

Suzanna Owiyo is a Kenyan artist from Kenya. Owiyo uses a fusion of traditional western Kenyan music and contemporary rhythms. Using both contemporary and traditional instruments including the nyatiti (Kenyan harp), Owiyo creates a music that is fun, danceable and unforgettable. This track is from her 2009 album Mama Africa. I would also like to point out that Owiyo owns the best pants suit I've ever seen.

"Otenga" - Kenge Kenge

  Also from Western Kenya, Kenge Kenge explores Benga influences. Benga evolved as a genre in the 1940s to 60s in Nairobi. Kenge Kenge performs Luo Benga which involves several traditional instruments including nyatiti, bul drums, the nyangile sound box, ongeng’o metal rings, asili flute, and the oporo horn.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Wednesday's Reader Picks

Yikes! I just realized I've missed an entire week! Time flies when you're having fun! I hope this week's reader picks makes up for lost time. This pick comes from reader DJ Socrates. Enjoy!

"Cordão da Insônia" - Cèu

Cèu is a Brazilian singer-songwriter and this track is from her latest album, Vagarosa.

Have you recently heard a great track that you would like to share? Send in your review of a track for our weekly "Reader's Picks" series. Here, we want to know what you listen to.