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Mondo Times 2023 #3: April / Love in Exile
Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer & Shahzad Ismaily, Lankum, Yaeji, King Hannah, King Buffalo, Sangamam, Jah Shaka RIP, Ahmad Jamal RIP and more..
Hello friends, not much to say, been a busy month, the speed of life is accelerating, and once again I’ve been having trouble to keep upppp!
IN HEAVY ROTATION
Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer & Shahzad Ismaily
This sounds as good as it looks on paper. A pensive listening session will make you travel places without moving.
Love in Exile is the new album from Grammy Award winner Arooj Aftab (vocals), on which she collaborates with influential composer and pianist Vijay Iyer (piano, synthesizers) and renowned multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily (bass, MOOG synth).
PS: Mr. Ismaily is a member of Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog.
Go dig my grave / both wide and deep / Place a marble stone at my head and feet / And on my breast a snow white dove / To tell this world that I died for love
Lankum's latest offering on Rough Trade, their fourth album, showcases the Dublin-based avant-folk group's ability to make traditional Irish songs their own. With a psychedelic and haunting edge, their music takes listeners on a cinematic journey, reminiscent of Banshees of Inisherin, one of last year's most powerful films. The lines between folk, drone, ambient, and noise blur seamlessly to create mournful and atmospheric soundscapes that has been likened by one YT commenter as “a funeral dirge from hell”.
Korean artist Yaeji's debut album, "With a Hammer," was inspired by personal struggles and societal issues such as childhood trauma, isolation, rising violence against Asian Americans, and systemic racism during the Black Lives Matter protests. The album features dream pop and DIY dance music with a focus on Yaeji's vocals, showcasing her introverted club music style.
I had heard her name previously on the internet sure, but I was taken aback by the versatility of her debut on XL Recordings, especially the breaks on “For Granted”
Possibly discovered from some end of year list from last year, this charming indie rock album from Liverpool’s King Hannah stands out for its wit.
The new track is a slow-burner based around a driving, bluesy chord progression that stays static in drums, bass, and rhythm guitar while an electric guitar and a tasteful synth swell in the background. Merrick repeats the title refrain 17 times across the three-and-a-half-minute track in a crackling alto that gives gooseflesh in the track's tensest moments.
A few days ago I spent the whole morning listening to Rochester, NY heavy psych/stoner/post-rock trio King Buffalo and struggled trying to pick which song to share on twitter. One of the most balanced rock albums I’ve listened to in the last couple of months.
New project by old friend Smadj, a foray into Indian world music fusion with a violin & tabla trio.
Tunisian born, Parisian musician, Jean-Pierre Smadja (Smadj) grew up listen-ing to Oriental, Brazilian, funk, soul, and folk music.
UNDOMONDO DISCOVER WEEKLY
April edition of the Undomondo Discover Weekly, has 25 songs I picked in the last weeks. Starting with 2 good ambient electronic albums from Moon Mullins and Aindulmedir. Reggae vocalist Liam Bailey’s new album with St Francis Hotel; Khruangbin style middle eastern soul dub funk by Gitkin, UK trombonist Peter Zummo, All French vocal jazz album by Cecile McLorin Salvant, new album by Swedish faves Dina Ögon, posthumous album by Malian guitar mammoth Ali Farka Toure to name a few.. Enjoy for a couple of more weeks, and please share with your friends if you like what you hear!
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE NET
♩Until now, the primary use of AI algorithms has been to choose what videos we would like to see on YouTube, or whose posts we’ll see on social media platforms. Lanier believes it has made us lazy and incurious. Beforehand, we would sift through stacks in a record shop or browse in bookshops. “We were directly connected to a choice base that was actually larger instead of being fed this thing through this funnel that somebody else controls.”
♩Pirate Radio Stations Explode on YouTube : [nytimes]
A trick of YouTube’s algorithms has led to the blossoming of hundreds of unlicensed, independent radio stations on the site, reminiscent of an age of underground broadcasts in the previous century.
Dub legend and sound system pioneer, dies [RA]
Shaka, whose real name is unknown, was born in Clarendon Parish, an area of Jamaica famous for producing numerous reggae stars. He moved to the UK as a child in the early '50s, settling in South East London. His gateway into music came a few years later, when he joined travelling local sound system Freddie Cloudburst.
Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou,
Ethiopian nun and pianist, dies at 99. [The Guardian]
The musician, who spent nearly the last 40 years of her life living in a monastery in Jerusalem, has died.
Whose Spare Style Redefined Jazz Piano, Dies at 92 [NYT]
That moment when he plays the first few notes of Autumn Leaves and gets up from his chair <3.
Bebop pianists, following the lead of Bud Powell, became known for their virtuosic flurries of notes. Mr. Jamal chose a different path, which proved equally influential.
The critic Stanley Crouch wrote that bebop’s founding father, Charlie Parker, was the only musician “more important to the development of fresh form in jazz than Ahmad Jamal.”
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