This is perhaps the most enlightening article I’ve ever read relating to reggae which doesn’t immediately start with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry or Bob Marley, both of whom did wonders introducing both reggae and dub to the broader world. Chinese immigrants played a massive role in recording, promoting and playing reggae of an exceptional quality, and all respect is due to Jared Proudfoot of Bandcamp for his engaging history lesson, complete with music samples.
What’s not to like about Khruangbin, who have released a series of absolutely classic psych-funk albums which reference old masters while developing a sound all their own. I came across this, their sophomore album, after watching some performances on Youtube, most notably their KEXP performance. A mellow, weird, sensual and hypnotic release.
Azu Tiwaline : It’s a new name for a new spirit. The one of a producer willing to find a new sound in her origins which take root in the Sahara and El Djerid region in the south of Tunisia. A sound from the desert, drawing on berberian and saharan transe music that connects human beings with Nature.
Peculiar translations and spellings aside, this album managed to hold my attention the whole way through. Thanks to being better connected to the world, we are beginning to hear more and more musicians come out of Tunisia and the Maghreb who are of an astounding quality. This is 21st Century Berber Music mixes techno, dub, and native Saharan rhythms. Fourth World music, updated.
I only expect the best from Habibi Funk, and I am not disappointed. Ahmed Ben Ali is a Libyan musician who combines North African music with dub and reggae sensibilities. Four tracks of bumping groove.
Automat are guitarist Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Haut, amongst others), drummer Achim Färber (Phillip Boa & The Voodooclub, Skip McDonald amongst others) and bassist Georg Zeitblom (known for his solo work and his collaborations with Fred Frith, John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, J.G. Thirlwell, Pyrolater, as well as others). Since 2014, the trio has released the three studio albums »Automat,« »Plusminus« and »Ostwest« and collaborated with several central figures from the world of experimental music, amongst them Genesis P. Orridge, Schneider TM and Max Loderbauer. For their album »Modul,« released in 2019 through Compost Records, they have again worked together with Loderbauer and invited Paul St. Hilaire aka Tikiman, Lydia Lunch and Mika Bajinski to contribute vocals for the record.
I don’t think you could have a much more stunning introduction than this. The three of these musicians have so much history in improvisational, post-Industrial music, dub and Darkwave that a book might barely be enough to document.
The beauty of this record is the deep, dark, yet thoroughly relaxed groove. This is crisp, precise, focused groove, not the sort of thing one would find in Lee “Scratch” Perry’s wilder moments. Think more along the lines of Adrian Sherwood. The vocals are nearly magical, hazy, and you still manage not to get too lost in the moment.
Compost Records is known for putting out records that are consistently as close to perfect as you can get. They can be very proud of adding this one to the canon.
It’s thrilling to see Michael Wadada, mastermind of world-dub fusionists Suns of Arqa, get his due. He was doing something along the lines of World Music far before many of his contemporaries, and he’s still going strong.
Ethiopian music is doing rather well in Israel, if this new single by the Hoodna Orchestra is any indication of what’s going on there. The first track is a warm paean to old 60s and 70s music out of Addis Ababa, and the next is pure dub meatiness.