[Music] Z’ev – Live in Iceland

We lost another legend today.

Percussionist Stefan Weisser, known to his fans and colleagues as Z’ev, passed on today at the age of 66. He left a body of work so important in experimental music that I expect tributes to pour out for days (including this one from our pals in Lithuania, Radikaliai!).

This free download is a release Z’ev did in Iceland in 2004. It gives a nice taste of what he could do with percussion.

[Music] Bandcamp Daily: The Best Albums of 2017

Here are this year’s (disappointing, as usual) Bandcamp toppers of 2017. No Santiago Fradejas. No A.M. Ferrari-Fradejas. Nor Jeff Gburek. Nor Marco Lucchi. Nor Noël Akchoté. Nor so many other deserving artists who don’t offer up a plate of decent, non-offensive pseudo-soul, hip-hop or tacky dance music. Ah, well.

For your perusal, click on the links below. You WILL find some gems in here.

#1-20
#21-40
#41-60
#61-80
#81-100

[Music] Various Artists – Ocean of Sound – The 3rd Annual Report Volumes I & II

Words fail to describe just how important Raffaele Pezzella’s contribution to dark ambient music is. He has singlehandedly curated compilations from artists as far away as Russia, Iceland, Iran and seemingly all points in-between while concentrating on his own venerable work. These two compilations house 229 tracks covering the best of the bleakest, blackest ambient available at the moment!

[Music] Mamadou Diabate, Dramane Dembélé, Claudio Spieler – Barokan

The month of September was rather spectacular for me.  First, I was able to see my beloved friends in Skopje, Macedonia, where people are almost as close as my own blood relatives.  The next little joy I experienced was going to the Without Borders World Music Consortium, where I had the pleasure to re-connect with comrades who spend their days promoting the best of World and Ethno Music in their respective countries.

I am especially indebted to seeing Stefanie Schumann of Delicious Tunes, who introduced me to the work of Mamadou Diabate, a balofon player originally from Burkina Faso (now residing in Vienna, Austria, if I’m not mistaken).  After being blown away by his band, who were showcased on the final evening of Without Borders (along with Breton sensations Plantec), I was given a CD which featured not only Mamadou and fellow countryman, the pelu (flute) player Dramane Dembélé and Austrian percussionist Claudio Spieler.

After having the honor of meeting Mamadou, I was given some rather impressive background information. He comes from a Samba “Jeli” family, and has several works available (all of which we hope to review in the future).

Throughout the disc, the musicians play very comfortably together, as if they had been a trio for a long time. As it turns out, Mamadou and Dramane perform together with some frequency, but Claudio’s percussion work underpins the the balafon and peul beautifully.

Where the album shines, however, is when Mamadou sings, especially on the song Koroya. His voice, in harmony with Dramane’s reminds me of the best of West African music, and the balafon adds even more body, serving, in some sense, as a third voice.

The record is pretty much flawless, and will we a welcome addition to World Music connoisseurs into their collection.  To purchase the CD, either contact Mamadou directly, or Delicious Tunes.