Percival Elliott isn’t the name of a musician, but a friendship. Two musicians, Olly Hite and Samuel Carter-Brazier, paired to make a deeply touching indie-folk sound which reminds me of the best of artists like Jeff Buckley (may his memory be eternal). If you’re curious about following their exploits, consider “liking” their Facebook or Twitter feeds.
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.
Here’s some really relaxed folky-vibed psychedelic music from Sintez, a hip band out of Uzbekistan.
All thanks go to Christian Pliefke who sent this magnificent two-track single by Svavar Knútur, a bear of a man from Iceland whose vocal stylings remind me of Nick Drake or more than a few English and Scottish folk bards of the 1960s.
The first track, Girl From Vancouver is a cheeky, upbeat tune, but While The World Burns switches to minor key, and mesmerizes the listener with simple, gorgeous lyrics.
Canary Records owner (and a rather fine experimental musician himself) Ian Nagoski should be commended for his work in bringing to life so many wonderful albums from the turn of the 20th Century cut by Balkan and Jewish musicians who left their home countries and made quite good names for themselves in places like New York City. These recordings are lovingly restored, and apparently are leftover tracks transferred from 78rpm discs for a forthcoming 5-volume / 6-LP series to be issued in early 2019. Considering how lovingly Ian treats this material, this upcoming collection sounds like a grand project!
Though I loathe that I can’t simply buy a download from Edward Ka-Spel (too many of his latest Bandcamp releases are truncated version so that you’re forced to buy a hard copy, be it vinyl or CD), that’s his prerogative. The music is up to the standards one expects from the Legendary Pink Dots‘ frontman.