[Music] Karolina Ossowska & Jeff Gburek – The Falls of Hyperion

The incredibly prolific Jeff Gburek, currently based in Poland and partnering with violinist Karolina Ossowska, put together their latest labor of love, and though I don’t normally engage in Top-Ten lists for year’s end, I think it fair to say that this release is his most beautifully crafted, most thoughtful and profound releases.

The album was recorded in Romania and Poland between September 2016 and October 2017. On top of the incredible range of instrumentation, there are many field recordings which give a life to each track that one rarely finds in experimental music.

Of particular interest are the spoken word portions of Track #4, Hyperions 4 (Lift Not The Painted Veil). From the notes left by Gburek and Ossowska, the first text is a piece written by Percy Bysshe Shelley bearing the same name.  The second is a work penned by Gburek himself.  Both are read with a warm but darkened tone which envelops the listener as much as the instrumentation does.

Easily one of 2018’s best releases, regardless of genre.

 

[Music] Foa-Hoka – Nevidomist​`

Believe it or not, this particular album was my introduction to Ukrainian alternative music. It has managed to stay on my CD shelf for two decades, and it’s quite nice to have this wonderfully digitized so that I can refer to it at my leisure.

Though I think Foa-Hoka are defunct, bandleader Dmytro Kurovskiy is still quite active making music.

[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] 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.

[Music] Various Artists – Africa Airways 03 (The Afro​-​Psych Excursion 1972 – 1984)

I have the pleasure to announce yet another amazing compilation of African psychedelica, courtesy of Africa Seven Records out of London, England. The music speaks for itself, but you’ll find a few familiar names here, including Manu Dibango.

[Music] Lost 1969 Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Vannier Soundtrack Released For The First Time

VF-SergeGainsbourgsoundtrack-B1

Wonderful news, courtesy of Vinyl Factory’s blog: Les Chemins De Katmandou, a soundtrack by Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Vannier presumed to be lost, will be reissued by Finders Keepers!

[Music] Edward Ka-Spel – High On Station Yellow Moon

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.