[Music] Various Artists – V Miracle: Music for Oceans


Belarusian record label Ezhevika Records had a very impressive 2018, coming up with impressive release after impressive release of all sorts of electronic music and electropop, as they call it.

Their latest release is a compilation of indietronica, future beats and other hard-to-describe genres put together for a record whose profits will be given to SeaLegacy, a non-profit society for ocean conservation.

Learn more at www.sealegacy.org

[Music] Steppe-Scape (Stars of Eurasia) – The Great Steppe Live


Stick Men guitarist/Chapman Stick player Markus Reuter participates in a stunningly good collaboration wedding progressive rock and improvisation with music from Central Asia. Featured on this record are the following musicians:

Steppe-Scape

Namgar Lkhasaranova: vocals, yataga, khomus
Radik Tyulyush: vocals, throat-singing, igil
Angela Manukyan: vocals
Markus Reuter: Touch Guitars® U8, soundscapes, musical director
Merlin Ettore: hybrid drums, arrangements for Volga, Mother River
Eugene Zolotarev: chanza, bass
Robert Yuldashev – kurai

Not a bad debut at all, especially considering what amazing talent each individual brings to this project.  Kudos to iapetus for releasing this.

[Music] คณะ เบียร์บูด/Khana Bierbood – คนแปลกหน้าจากดินแดนบูรพา​/​Strangers from the far east


This one sure as hell isn’t an ethnographic recording. It’s more along the lines of good, old-fashioned acid-psych. Start with the name of the band, for instance.  Khana Bierbood translates as Strange Brew in Thai, and you can hear the heavy cosmic vibes throughout this record.  What adds an extra notch to its cool factor is that it was produced by Go Kurosawa of Kikagaku Moyo, perhaps the best psychedelic folk band to come of Japan since Masaki Batoh’s Ghost.  I wonder what other monsters Thailand is hiding musically?

[Music] Various Artists – Hot Casa Records: Togo Soul 70 Edits & Rarities


One of the beautiful things about scouring the net, including sources like Bandcamp, Youtube and Soundcloud, is that you’ll run into scenes of music you had no idea existed just a few years ago.

A fine case in point is this 4-track EP of edits from Hot Casa Records. This compilation features tracks from the West African country of Togo’s disco scene, and it holds its own when compared to heavyweights from the US and Europe during the 1970s.

Bosq and DJ Pushin Wood remix the first two tracks, and the others are previously unreleased according Hot Casa’s Bandcamp page.

[Music] Zaur Nagoy – Djeguako: Live at Red Bull Music Festival Moscow


Ored Recordings produce some of the most unique and interesting music coming out of southern Russia.  They straddle the line between being a proper record label producing vital new music and preserving ancient artifacts.  Some notes about Zaur Nagoy’s release, courtesy of Ored’s Bandcamp page:

The Red Bull Music Festival took place on September 14-16 in Moscow. Red Bull conducts similar festivals around the world and every time tries to demonstrate the potential of local music and situate local sounds within a global context. The Moscow event was constructed around the same principles, with the slogan: “The unity of musical culture: from tradition to experiment.”

In regard to tradition and experiments, Ored Recordings was invited to give our perspective . Our portion was titled: Experimental Ethnographics, in which we spoke with the French documentarian, our friend and source of inspiration Vincent Moon, and the founder of the Morphine Records label, Rabih Beaini from Berlin. Vincent’s lecture and the collaborative audiovisual performance with Rabih features an experimental approach to ethnography and music and in this showcase Ored presented “original” sounds. For this we brought from Adygea the trio of Zaur Nagoy, Kazbek Nagaroko and Ramazan Daur – famous for their ensemble Zhyu, the film “Bonfires and Stars,” and our releases of their music.

At the last moment, due to a force majeure and only Nagoy reached the festival. For the festival, the label,and Zaur, these logistical changes became a real challenge. it became necessary to change the concept and format of the showcase.

In Circassian music, group performance is canon. In the choir (zhyu / ezhu) there is a saying: “The zhyu is a whip for a song.” The chorus of refrains and vocals largely determines the structure, rhythm and dynamics of a song. Even the outstanding Djeguako (minstrels) of the past have always had a small ensemble to back them up. At the same time, in archival records solo performance is quite common.

To this day, ethnomusicologists have been arguing as to whether or not there was mono-voiced performance before polyphony or that it is instead an indicator of the degradation of the singing tradition. Whatever it was, today, solo performance is a special, albeit not popular style of traditional Circassian music. Given the circumstances, Zaur had to demonstrate it.

For each song Zaur Nagoy gave comments on both the song’s content and context*. He did so not in an official/academic way, but with a liberating tone, reviving the story of the song with vernacular phrases and jargon. Thanks to this form of speech, the performace flet more like a ritual meeting in khachesh (guest room) combined with a stand-up show. And in the context of this release you may hear aspects similar to the genre of spoken-word.

Even if this experience of Zaur Nagoy’s solo release was an accident, we now want to work purposefully with this aesthetics and style in the future.