I have no idea what has gotten into the water over in Finland, but the country’s becoming a hotbed of amazing modern soul music. Timmion Records is releasing artists of astoundingly good quality like Willie West, Nicole Willis, and The Soul Investigators. You might want to check out some of their other brilliant artists over at their Bandcamp site here.
Guest blog post by Eli Coderoni Rigamonti, MLitt Theatre Studies, on placement in Archives and Special Collections. This article aims to draw a connection between artists Edwin Morgan and John Cage, focusing on their common interest for Modernist techniques, and their view on art and perception. Sometimes authors who never had a chance to meet […]
La Souterraine continue to be the best alternative music label out of France. Each release is a treasure in and of itself, but the fact that they are free means that they should be accessible to anyone who has the time or opportunity to listen to them. I would highly recommend downloading these files in the FLAC format, as the sounds tend to be so rich, but even a 320 kpbs mp3 file would suffice.\
Musically, Terre Battre’s instrumentation is sparse, harsh at times, but with vocals that straddle well between harsh and delicate. French is a fine language to make pensive, moody music in. The label continues to surprise and please me.
Warm gloom is a great way to describe this album. Darkjazz master E.E. Engström makes another appearance on the blog (and we’re honored to showcase his work, by the way), providing a smoky, twangy, slightly muffled and claustrophobic work to pound your bottle of homemade absinthe to. Each release has a gorgeous creepiness to it, so I intend on following his development as an artist.
At home, in the islands of Cabo Verde, there was grog, or grogu, a strong sugarcane moonshine not dissimilar to Colombian aguardiente, copiously consumed at Funaná parties.
In the diaspora, in Europe, there was leite quente (hot milk).
“I can still remember the taste of the first leite quente I drank in Lisbon,” says Antonino Furtado Gomes, Pilon’s drummer and current band leader.
Synthesize the Soul, Ostinato Records’ second compilation, revealed chapter one of the Cabo Verde cultural story in Europe, zooming in on visionaries like Paulino Vieira who made Lisbon the headquarters spearheading the musical revolution taking place within Cape Verdean emigre communities across Europe in the 1980s. Musicians from across the diaspora would eagerly travel to the Portuguese capital to record.
Grupo Pilon represents the second chapter of the Krioulu diaspora story. In smaller pockets, second generation musicians were independently contributing to one of the most lush periods of cultural innovation by immigrants in Europe. In Luxembourg, in 1986, a group of teenagers formed the largely unknown (outside of Cape Verdean circles) but consistently brilliant band named after the blunt instrument used in the islands to pound corn for Cabo Verde’s national dish, cachupa.
With only five members, Pilon combined searing estilo Krioulu drumming and the hybrid ColaZouk style with blissful synth work and rugged guitar licks, creating a stripped-down, addictive sound that masterfully straddled two worlds, a seductive electro-Funaná carnival born from the first few sips of hot milk.
The band drew from the inspiring political changes of the day: the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The right to democracy became a constant theme in Pilon’s songs.
With access to better opportunities than their parents’ generation, Pilon’s roster were part time musicians. Music was not part of their academic upbringing nor a full-time gig. Their rhythm and style were wonderfully imperfect, made out of rawer skills and inexperience. Pilon did not follow the templates established by revered Cabo Verde bands. Keyboard player Emilio Borges played off beat and the band preferred arranging their songs to start from the beat normally heard in the middle of a composition rather than the beginning. These two elements made Pilon’s music simple, unique, and inimitable.
From 1997 to 2015, a lack of concerts and professional musicians proved near fatal. Today, Antonino and what remain of the original quintet are slowly piecing back together the puzzle of their once mighty outfit from an unlikely pocket of Europe. In its heyday in the 90s, Pilon serenaded audiences in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Lisbon, Rotterdam and Frankfurt, securing their reputation as a respected and unifying cultural force.
This LP, drawing from the six most powerful songs from Pilon’s three-album catalog, is the serving of still fresh leite quente to spice the summer and maybe even fuel the next generation of musicians in the Krioulu corners of Europe.
Pilon are back in the studio refining their sound to revive their journey that looked all but lost to the world’s ears two decades ago.
MoonJune Records have established themselves as one of the premier record labels operating in the United States. Promoting jazz, progressive and improvisational music, they work with some of the finest names in these genres in the world.
It seems that La Casa Murada is a recording studio inside a farmhouse based in Catalonia, Spain, where some of the house musicians get recorded. This is where the label’s magic takes place, so this compilation is a great way to sample what the company has to offer.