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    Magyd CherfiMagyd Cherfi
    Catégorie Reine
    (LKP, 2017)
    more details

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    Disco Inferno
    IN DEPT - 1995, REISUE - 2017

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    Uncle Earl Жанр : Bluegrass, Americana, Old-Time, Contemporary Folk Год выпуска диска : 2003-2007 Страна : 2000-, US Аудио кодек : MP3 Тип рипа : tracks Битрейт аудио : 320 kbps Продолжительность : 2:40:34 Albums: 01.

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    Although Cape Verde is a small country with only 500,000 inhabitants, this West African archipelago is home to many musicians and varied music styles. The 10 volcanic islands that comprise this nation, located roughly 500 kilometers off the west coast of Africa, are the birthplace of great artists such as Cesária Évora, Lura, Nancy Vieira and Elida Almeida. Showing the musical fertility of the islands and connecting Creole culture worldwide is the main focus of the Atlantic Music Expo (AME), a vibrant annual music fair featuring conferences and concerts that attracts musicians and industry professionals from across the globe. This year’s fifth edition was held in early April, followed immediately by the ninth edition of the Kriol Jazz Festival.

    The beautiful island of Santiago, the most African of the archipelago, sits at the axis of three continents, so it was the perfect setting for the Atlantic Music Expo. The lively event was held in Praia, the Cape Verdean capital, a very laid-back city which offers an interesting mix of Creole culture and evidence of the ancient Portuguese colonial power.

    Dancing in the streets, Atlantic Music Expo.

    Cape Verdean history is closely linked to the transatlantic slave trade. For centuries the Portuguese rulers used Santiago as a hub for African slaves being shipped to the Americas. Independent since 1975, Cape Verde is committed to being at the forefront of positive exchanges; a central point for spreading the vision of creolization (at the heart of the Cape Verdean identity); and to keeping peace in the region. “We are all Creole,” the former minister of Culture, Mário Lúcio, stated at the first edition of the AME in 2013. The majority of the population of the Cape Verdean peninsula has Creole roots, sharing European and African ancestry. Portuguese is used in official situations but in everyday usage Cape Verdeans speak their own creole, one of the oldest versions of creole in the world. The cordial way Cape Verdeans greet you is truly memorable: Tudu dretu? which means “Everything O.K.?” Your answer is Tudu dretu, a colorful expression to start your day.

    The Atlantic Music Expo, which drew around 500 local and international delegates from some 30 countries, was established by the Ministry of Culture of Cape Verde and is produced by Harmonia (label, distribution and event production). The expo was welcomed by UNESCO to boost the music industry across the Atlantic Ocean.

    Photos by Youri Lenquette.

    The heart of the AME was the Palácio da Cultura Ildo Lobo, a beautiful old colonial building on the Plateau, the center of Praia. Although the program was crammed with conferences, workshops, speed dates and showcases, the mood was relaxed and open: the perfect circumstances in which to do business, share ideas and meet new, inspiring colleagues from all over the globe.

    Lucibela, Atlantic Music Expo.

    Daytime was restricted to professionals, who were treated to good music. One of the revelations was Lucibela, a young Cape Verdean singer with an impressive, warm voice and charming stage presence. Her songs were quite reminiscent of Cesária Évora, the world-famous Cape Verdean diva who passed away in December 2011. When I remarked to one of the delegates about Lucibela being the new Cesária Évora, he replied a bit cynically: “Yes, but who needs a new Cesária Évora?’


    The trio Coladera brings together guitarist/singer Vitor Santana from Brazil, guitarist João Pires (Portugal), and the fabulous Cape Verdean percussionist Miroca Paris, nephew of the famous singer Tito Paris. Their refined blend of acoustic Brazilian samba and candomblé, Cape Verdean morna and coladeira, and Iberic fado and flamenco was the perfect mix for a hot afternoon in Cape Verde.

    Another intercultural showcase was performed by a trio consisting of percussionist Silvano Sanches, the excellent Malian guitarist Samba Diabaté, and Swiss multi-instrumentalist Vincent Zanetti. In their fascinating set, these three musicians fused traditional Cape Verdean and African rhythms. Diabaté is one of the best Malian guitarists at the moment, playing in the great tradition of such other Malian guitar masters as Djelimady Tounkara (Rail Band) and Ali Farka Touré. What a joy hear to hear these skillful musicians playing together, showing respect for the culture of their fellow musicians.

    Praia audience, Atlantic Music Expo.

    The night’s open-air showcases on Praça Luis Camões and in the pedestrian area of Praia were open to the enthusiastic public. Headliners on the opening night were the fantastic Spanish harmonica player Antonio Serrano, the alternative Portuguese rock band Dead Combo, and the legendary Cape Verdean band Bulimundo. In the 1980s Bulimundo was very successful in blending traditional funaná music with Western pop styles and instruments.

    Besides the emotive, sonorous morna ballads, made popular worldwide by the late barefoot diva Cesária Évora, the archipelago has another, lesser-known fascinating music style, funaná. When the Cape Verdean islands were still a Portuguese colony, this upbeat accordion-based style, developed by descendants of African slaves on the island of Santiago, was banned for being “too wild” and “too African.” It was not until after Cape Verde’s independence in 1975 that funaná began to spread. The high-tempo dance rhythms gave Cape Verdeans space to express their frustrations, worries and sorrows but also their happiness and hope for a better future.

    Bulimundo, Atlantic Music Expo.

    Originally the diatonic accordion (gaita) was accompanied by just a ferro or ferrinho ( metal scraper), producing fast rhythms with a very strong West African imprint. Texts were often about everyday life and special events, laced with double entendre and allusions. Playing funaná on electric and electronic instruments caused a musical revolution in the traditional Cape Verdean music world. Thanks to the success of Bulimundo, funaná was exported to all the islands in Cape Verde and Europe. No longer seen as a genre exclusively from Santiago, today funaná is composed, performed and appreciated by people throughout the islands. Bulimundo was in great shape at AME and all their old hits were welcomed with great enthusiasm.

    Lura, Atlantic Music Expo.

    Headliner on the closing night of the AME was the Cape Verdean singer-composer, Lura, With her beautiful, mellow voice, hip-swaying dances and natural elegance, Lura captured the hearts of the audience. Between 2005 and 2009 she released three lovely albums based on traditional Cape Verdean music, adding elements of pop, soul, Brazilian music and jazz. She was considered one of the most talented and charismatic of a new generation of Cape Verdean artists. Then, tired of the music scene, she decided to stop making music for a while,. For six years she didn’t record an album, but she made a comeback in 2015 with the album Herença, on which she re-explores the rich culture of Cape Verde.

    [Don’t miss Afropop Worldwide’s recent program “We Are All Creole: The Atlantic Sound of Cape Verde.”

    The ninth edition of Kriol Jazz Festival was scheduled immediately following the AME and offered three nights of concerts, for which an entrance fee was charged. This attractive festival represents Creole culture worldwide with great jazz musicians, and African and Brazilian stars.

    Leyla McCalla, Kriol Jazz Festival.

    The New Orleans-based Haitian-American Leyla McCalla sings in French, Haitian Creole and English and plays cello, tenor banjo and guitar. Her elegant, intimate songs are influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk. Exploring her Haitian and American identities, McCalla made a huge impression with her great show.

    The Brazilian singer-guitarist Maria Gadú is at the forefront of música popular brasileira ( MPB). She was spotted by Caetano Veloso, who once said “Maria Gadú is a popular phenomenon for her own generation and someone with an authentic musical vocation. The first time I saw her I was dazzled, and when she started singing it was spectacular.”

    With powerful pop and rock numbers Maria Gadú showed she is a very original and surprising Brazilian superstar, blessed with a unique voice. Her duet with the Cape Verdean singer Mayra Andrade, pictured above, was a memorable moment.

    Elida Almeida, Kriol Jazz Festival.

    The closing night of Kriol Jazz kicked off with a new Cape Verdean star, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter Elida Almeida. She was born in Pedra Badejo in the east of Santiago island and spent her childhood years with some difficulty in the mountains of Santiago. At 17, she sang at church and grew up in a place without electricity or utilities. Almeida later performed at local concerts and sang in bars in Cape Verde, where she was discovered by producer José da Silva, Lusafrica’s manager and label owner who presented Cesária Évora to the world.

    Elida Almeida’s star has been rising fast, ever since the release of her debut CD Ora Doci, Ora Margos in December 2014. In a very original way she mixes traditional Cape Verdean morna and tabanka rhythms with pop ballads and pan-African styles. Almeida is a very strong, elegant performer who invited the mainly Cape Verdean crowd to sing along. Naturally, everybody in the audience joined her. [Read Alejandro Van Zandt-Escobar’s interview with Elida Almeida here.]

    Pat Thomas, Kriol Jazz Festival

    Ghanaian highlife veteran Pat Thomas and the Kwashibu Area Band was the closing act for Kriol Jazz. The 72-year old Thomas was backed by excellent young musicians on horns, percussion and electric guitars. The ever-energetic Thomas presented a very danceable show, singing songs from his latest album and older hits like “I Need More.” Everybody, including the Minister of Culture and Creative Industries, Abraão Vicente, was dancing like mad. Thomas ended his show at 3 a.m. It was some party! [Read Afropop’s interview with Pat Thomas here.]

    With such attractive ingredients as its tropical climate, friendly people, tasty creole cuisine (cachupa), divine drinks (grogue) and inspiring music, Cape Verde is definitely among the most attractive places on earth. Here’s looking forward to next year!

    Bastiaan Springer is a producer for Radio 5 (Netherlands), and a world music journalist for FRoots and Songlines.

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    Віктор Пашник - 2 альбома Жанр : Фолк, бандура Год выпуска диска : 2009 Производитель диска : Украина, с. Кулачковцы Аудио кодек : MP3 Битрейт аудио : 320 kbps Продолжительность : 00:57:29 Этот релиз приурочен ко Дню Рождения автора — талантливого барда, кобзаря и просто хорошего человека — Виктора Пашника.

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    Віктор Пашник / Дискография Жанр : Народная музыка и песни, фолк, бандура Носитель : файлы от автора Год издания : 2009 Страна исполнителя (группы) : Украина Аудиокодек : FLAC (*.

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    Хор Пирогощі / Колядки та щедрівки Жанр : A Capella Страна исполнителя (группы) : Украина Год издания : 2007 Аудиокодек : MP3 Тип рипа : tracks Битрейт аудио : 128 kbps Продолжительность : 00:39:51 Наличие сканов в содержимом раздачи : да (только front и back) Треклист : 01 .

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    Lindsay Straw Жанр : British Folk, Irish, Scottish Год выпуска диска : 2015-2017 Страна : Boston, MA, United States Аудио кодек : MP3 Тип рипа : tracks Битрейт аудио : 320 kbps Продолжительность : 1:58:35 Albums: 01.

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    X-Mix Dance Series 213 (2017)

    Artist: Various Performers
    Title: X-Mix Dance Series 213
    Label: X-MiX Records
    Style: Electropop, Future House, Club, UK Garage, Synthpop, Tropical
    Release Date: 01-03-2017
    Format: CD, Compilation, Promo
    Quality: 320 Kbps/Joint Stereo/44100Hz
    Tracks: 12 Tracks
    Size: 129 Mb / 00:55:58 Min

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    320 kbps | 104 MB | LINKS

    Sandy Ross has been entertaining audiences with her own special blend of contemporary folk and acoustic blues for more than four decades. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, she spent the ’70s in Los Angeles, working as a staff songwriter for Warner/Chappell Music and producing demos on a single-song basis for nine other major song publishers including: Filmways Music, MCA Music, and Screen Gems/EMI. During that decade she had songs recorded by Kim Carnes and Anne Murray at a time when they were at the height of their careers, and indie released an LP of her own performances (A Lady of a Different Time – 1971). She was a regular singer-songwriter throughout the greater Los Angeles area and also booked other performers of many different genres at various Hollywood live-performance venues, including the Los Angeles Performing Arts and Folklife Festival and the internationally-renown Bla-Bla Cafe.

    Sandy released three indie recordings in the 90s and toured the greater US four times doing more than 48 live syndicated radio shows and 120 coffeehouse/bookstore performances. In 1995, her third album (and first CD), Portraits of Innocence made the FOLKDJ-L Top 50 and received airplay on folk shows on 387 radio stations including rotation play on 17 Americana reporting stations. The Portrait of Innocence cut, “All My Heroes Sang the Blues,” not only made the Americana rotation, but was featured on the CBC in Canada and made Top 40 rotation play in Hong Kong, China during that same time period. In 1998 her CD, Coloring Outside the Lines also made the FOLKDJ-L Top 50 (at number 9) when it debuted and in 1999 both CDs were incorporated into the Smithsonian Institute Folkways catalog, in addition to the Fast Folk recordings she made for the two Los Angeles compilation albums. (Sandy has the distinction of being the only Los Angeles singer-songwriter to have been included on both LA Fast Folk compilations.)

    In 2005 Sandy wrote and compiled the book A Place Called the Bla-Bla Cafe, which is an insiders look at Hollywood talent showcasing against the historically political backdrop of the 1970s. The book has received great reviews and accolades from indie book publishing organizations and readers’ websites, including a 2007 Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY).

    Sandy’s latest CD, Grandma’s Got a Boombox, 2015, was exceptionally well received by the folk/acoustic music community. It reached number 14 on the Folk Radio Top 70, was on the charts for 6 months straight after its release, and at year end was the 53rd most played album of the year (out of the top 300). “Distant Campfire,” from that album, reached number 6 on the Top Folk Songs chart, and was the 26th most played folk song for 2015.

    R.I.P. Sandy Ross: June 24, 1950 – May 6, 2017

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    320 kbps | 104 MB | LINKS

    Shanda & The Howlers is a Rhythm & Blues revivalist band from Las Vegas, NV playing 50s-60s influenced R&B, Blues, & Soul reminiscent of the Stax Sound. Influences in their sound can be traced to such artists as Big Maybelle, Ruth Brown, Otis Redding, The Crystals, LaVern Baker, and James Brown.

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    320 kbps | 105 MB | LINKS

    Paul Nipper and the boys play their own brand of honky tonk/Americana music. Whether in a smoke filled honky tonk playing over a crowded dance floor or picking at a bonfire with friends, his music is sure to make your blood flow. He also likes whiskey and Lone Star. Produced by Mike Hamier of Mike & the Moonpies.

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    The Official Asian Top 40 Music Chart 27th May (2017)

    Artist: The Official Asian Top 40
    Title: Singles Chart
    Label: BBC Radio 1, OfficialCharts
    Style: Bhangra, Religious, Punjabi, Hindustani, Indian, Bollywood, Desi Hip Hop, Dastgah, Ghazal
    Release Date: 27-05-2017
    Format: Top, Compilation
    Quality: 320 Kbps/Joint Stereo/44100Hz
    Tracks: 40 Tracks
    Size: 360 Mb / 02:36:11 Min

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    FLAC | 915 MB | LINKS


    01. Intro: Continental Drift
    02. Start Me Up
    03. Bitch
    04. Sad Sad Sad
    05. The Harlem Shuffle
    06. Tumbling Dice
    07. Miss You
    08. Ruby Tuesday
    09. Almost Hear You Sigh
    10. Rock And A Hard Place
    11. Mixed Emotions
    12. Honky Tonk Women
    13. Midnight Rambler


    14. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
    15. Can’t Be Seen
    16. Happy
    17. Paint It Black
    18. 2000 Light Years From Home
    19. Sympathy For The Devil
    20. Gimme Shelter
    21. It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll
    22. Brown Sugar
    23. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
    24. Jumpin’ Jack Flash

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    Εμμένοντας στο δικό του προσωπικό και οριοθετημένο από χρόνια δρόμο, ο Μανώλης Γαλιάτσος δίνει ένα ακόμη πολυδιάστατο άλμπουμ – πυκνό, εννοώ, προς κάθε υπαρκτή κατεύθυνση. Και συνθετικά, και στιχουργικά, και ενορχηστρωτικά, και χρονικά, και… και… και… Ένα 75λεπτο περίπου concept, με στοιχεία avant, «έντεχνα» και ροκ, που, σε κάθε περίπτωση, δεν είναι εύκολο ν’ αναλυθεί και να περιγραφεί. Η βάση αυτού του νέου CD τού Γαλιάτσου είναι η ποίηση του Γιώργου Βέη – μιας σημαντικής ποιητικής προσωπικότητας (ο Βέης εμφανίστηκε στον Κούρο του Λεωνίδα Χρηστάκη στα μέσα του ’70) με έργο μεγάλο, σε όγκο και σημασία, και φυσικά βραβευμένο.
    Δεν είναι «εύκολος» ποιητής ο Γιώργος Βέης. Και παρά το γεγονός πως ο Γαλιάτσος επιλέγει εδώ να μελοποιήσει ολιγόστιχα, σχετικώς, ποιήματά του, το «βάθος» των νοημάτων είναι τέτοιο που επιβάλλεται από μόνο του… και στον αναγνώστη και στο συνθέτη. Ειδικώς στο συνθέτη, ο οποίος θα πρέπει να καταβάλει μεγάλες προσπάθειες, προκειμένου να φέρει τον ποιητικό λόγο σ’ ένα μελωδικό ίσο. Ας το πούμε λοιπόν από την αρχή πως ο Γαλιάτσος το κατορθώνει. Κι αυτό ούτε αυτονόητο είναι, ούτε σύνηθες (στις μέρες μας).
    Με τις δικές του προσαρμόσεις των λέξεων στα μέτρα, με τις επαναλήψεις λέξεων ή φράσεων εννοώ, με τις μικρομελωδικές παρεμβάσεις του σε ειδικά σημεία, για την τόνωση συγκεκριμένων νοημάτων, με τις επιμελημένες ενορχηστρώσεις του, που επιτείνουν το ανά περιπτώσεις «βάρος» των λέξεων, ακόμη και με τα ουκ ολίγα ορχηστρικά κομμάτια του, που παρεμβάλλονται ανάμεσα στις μελοποιήσεις, προετοιμάζοντας ύφος και κλίμα, ο Γαλιάτσος δημιουργεί ένα πλήρες σχέδιο βάσης, με πολύ συγκεκριμένα εργαλεία.
    Προς αυτή την κατεύθυνση ο συνθέτης παίρνει τα μέγιστα, κατά πρώτον, από τους μουσικούς του – μια ομάδα διακεκριμένων οργανοπαικτών, που τους συναντάμε και σε προηγούμενα άλμπουμ του (ο ομποΐστας Παπαγιάννης, ο τρομπετίστας Άνθης, ο τρομπονίστας Φαρούγκιας, η βιολίστρια Avetyan, ο βιολοντσελίστας Ripo, ο κιθαρίστας Θανάσουλας…). Έπειτα είναι οι φωνές, με πρώτη όλων εκείνη τού ίδιου τού συνθέτη, που αποδεικνύεται η πρέπουσα, στην προσπάθεια να αποδοθούν οι λεπτές διακυμάνσεις που απαιτούν τα λόγια (άκου π.χ. την «Απορία» ή την «Πλατεία Αμερικής»), καθώς δίπλα του, για συγκεκριμένες βοήθειες, στέκονται η Μαριάνθη Σοντάκη και ο Αντρέας Καρακότας (αμφότεροι συνεργάτες τού Γαλιάτσου και σε προηγούμενα άλμπουμ).
    Ακούγοντας συνεχώς τη «Ζωή» [MLK, 2017], για κάμποσες ώρες ένα μεσημέρι-απόγευμα, θα πω πως πρόκειται για έναν σημαντικότατο σύγχρονο ελληνικό δίσκο (CD), που απαιτεί την προσοχή και την προσήλωση του ακροατή. Αν και ανιχνεύονται σ’ αυτόν στοιχεία από διαφορετικές δεκαετίες τής πιο ιδιοσυγκρασιακής «έντεχνης» δημιουργίας (ας την πούμε κι έτσι), στην πράξη έχουμε ένα άλμπουμ, που ξεπερνά ό,τι… δύσκολο ανάλογο τού παραδόθηκε (εγώ, για παράδειγμα, ακούγοντας τη «Ζωή», ανακάλεσα στη μνήμη μου LP του Μιχάλη Γρηγορίου από τα seventies, όπως τα «Ανεπίδοτα Γράμματα» και το «Η Αγάπη είναι ο Φόβος» ή τον «Κύκλο με την Κιμωλία» του Νίκου Μαμαγκάκη) προχωρώντας παρακάτω. Πολύ παρακάτω. Και το λέω τούτο, γιατί ο Γαλιάτσος αποδεικνύεται περισσότερο «λαϊκός» στην περίπτωσή μας, παρά «προχωρημένος».
    Καταλήγοντας θα τονίσω και πάλι πως μελωδίες είναι εκείνες που δίνουν στη «Ζωή» την πιο μεγάλη ώθηση και ακόμη θα μιλήσω για τη βεβαιότητα πως ό,τι ακούς εδώ εντάσσεται σ’ ένα γενικότερο σύνολο – πράγμα που δεν το βλέπεις να λειτουργεί, πλέον, τόσο γόνιμα στη σύγχρονη δισκογραφία. 
    Ένας πολύ σημαντικός δίσκος.
    Επαφή: Χρωμοδιάσταση ΕΠΕ, τηλ. 210 9926660,

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    256 kbps | 102 MB | LINKS

    FLOGGING MOLLY have announced that their long-awaited new album LIFE IS GOOD will be released on June 2nd via Spinefarm/Vanguard Records.

    Produced by Grammy Award-winner Joe Chiccarelli (U2, White Stripes, Beck) and recorded in Dublin, Ireland, LIFE IS GOOD marks FLOGGING MOLLY’S first studio album in six years – the follow-up to 2011’s highly acclaimed Speed of Darkness which reached #9 on Billboard’s Top 200 in the US.

    Founded by Dublin-born front-man Dave King and fiddle-player Bridget Regan, FLOGGING MOLLY have long been hailed for their compelling lyrics of exile, rebellion, history and struggle told through exuberant anthems fiercely blending raucous punk rock and traditional Irish music.

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    Synthesize the SoulIt feels like there’s been a rush on the national archives of Cabo Verde lately. No fewer than three major releases of vintage music have been mined from the island nation in the past year alone, letting loose a flood of rural revolution (on last year’s Bitori anthology Legend of Funaná) and old-school future funk (on Analog Africa compilation Space Echo). The styles on Synthesize the Soul fall squarely into the later category. Pulled from the 1970s and ’80s, the artists featured on this latest compilation play with early electronics and the catchy beats so common in all genres of Cabo Verdean music to make dance music that is simultaneously of its time and ahead of it.
    Cabo Verde won its independence from Portugal in 1975, and, as is typically the case for nations…

    178 MB  320 ** FLAC

    …coming out from under the thumb of European colonization, found itself a nation in poverty. The synthesizer—relatively cheap and easy to come by—became a symbol of moving forward and a new way of creating the infectious sounds embedded in the Cabo Verdean culture. For Cabo Verdean musicians immigrating to other countries, synthpop became a natural part of their musical landscape, something new to weave into their sounds with the changing times. The tracks on Synthesize the Soul have that distinct national flavor, rhythm-centric and repetitive, and a universal appeal that comes from strong beats and simple, compelling melodies. The synths add an extra otherworldliness to tradition, a juxtaposition that gets more interesting with more listens.

    Island music always has something unique about it, isolated as its development is from a good deal of mainland influence. Cabo Verde’s has a passing familiarity with Iberian, Latin, and West African music, but tracks like Manuel Gomes’s “Jelivrà Bo Situaçon” usher in Atlantic breezes and plucky guitar sounds that feel like sunshine and saltwater, while Tam Tam 2000’s “Melhor Futuro” sounds like a nighttime beach party with just a hint of nautical melancholy.

    Range is vital to Synthesize the Soul; some songs barely touch electronics—Bana’s softly brassy “Canta Cu Alma Magoada” is a masterpiece that sticks mostly with horns and fado-esque guitar, Dionisio Maio’s croons dominate “Mie Fogo” and allow for few synthetic gracenotes—while others go all-out. Val Xalino’s “Dança Dança T’Manche” spikes the punch with tightly wound new wave sounds, giving brightly colored Afropop a chrome finish that makes for a thrilling track. Kola’s “Lameirao” and Elisio Gomes and Joachim Varela’s “Chuma Lopes” favor more distinctly Cabo Verdean melodies played through synthesizers, adding superhuman energy to already upbeat songs. Tulipa Negra’s “Corpo Limpo” takes an updated approach to rural funaná, a perfect reflection of the era’s modern culture, balancing rapid growth and roots.

    Though groundbreaking artist Paulino Vieira contributes to the majority of songs on the album, every track offers something entirely new to the collection. There are two tracks from the psychedelically minded Pedrinho, whose grasp on integrating synths into acoustic dance music is near perfect and makes his songs sound like they could fill stadiums. There are experimental freakouts, sharp trumpets, hypnotic drums, and wild distortions (the Cabo Verde Show excels at these on the jazzy, instrumental “Nova Coladeira”). If Cabo Verdean musicians have done it, Ostinato Records has found the best of it and put it all in one place on Synthesize the Soul. — PopMatters

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    "Bakarangha Makrohing" mixed and mastered by Umbu Joseph Lamont, "Kia Wena Manu" by Palmer Keen.

    Note: This is the fifth in a five-part series called Sumba Strings. Be sure to also check out Part 1: Purra Tanya, Part 2: Hina Ranjataka, Part 3: Haingu, and Part 4: Ata Ratu.

    Location: Kendowela, Kodi Utara, Southwest Sumba

    Sound: Dungga (also called dungga watika, dungga Kodi, or juk)

    Pak Lukas’ dungga looks like a prop from the Flintstones. It’s asymmetrical and rough-hewn, the kasambi wood body seemingly scraped with a dull knife. In a way it reminds me of those kid’s drawings brought to life, something carried inconceivably from the world of imagination to reality.  This is not a critique: its wonky curves have real charm. 

    It’s a lute, you know, like a guitar or a ukulele (or even a jungga.) Try to play it like one of those, though, and you’ll find the impulse impossible: the strings are too wide, the outer lengths of fishing line floating in space, unfrettable. The four strings are asking to be plucked open and free, like a zither. Turn the dungga towards you and your thumbs will find the way, the sound escaping from a hole in the back. 

    A Sumbanese kada uma idol, used to protect a house from bad spirits. 

    A Sumbanese kada uma idol, used to protect a house from bad spirits. 

    Like the wooden idols he carves to protect his homestead from spirits, Pak Lukas’ dungga seems to harbor life in its organic curves. Just like Hina Ranjataka’s jungga, the Kodi people describe it with the anatomy of a living thing: from the head (katakuna) to the neck (kokon) and the body or stomach (perut). Other dungga I’ve seen in pictures and in an antique shop in Waikabubak are smoother, more refined, with bulging bellies and heads carved into skinny idols. 

    In Kodi, as in the rest of Sumba, the most powerful, sacred music is played on gongs. Played in interlocking rhythms with one or two gongs to a player, the music is closely tied to Marapu ritual and ceremony, especially funerals. Unlikely as it seems from the looks of it, the dungga exists in the same musical world of these gongs, taking those rhythms and transferring them to its four strings. While gong ensembles can have seven or more instruments, the dungga’s four strings are enough to replicate most gong melodies: the high string, plucked by the left hand, replicates the metronomic sounds of the smallest gong, ngaha; the two inner strings play the sound of the “middle” gongs, dopoduyo, while the lowest string plays the part of the large gong or kaduka

    Even when played together with vocals in a kind of folk song idiom, the dungga maintains this kind of gong-inspired rhythmic organization, the piercing high note of the ngaha keeping time throughout. As the player sings, the remaining three notes follow along with the restricted vocal melody.  With the dungga as accompaniment, the singer relates sad stories of love and loss in poetic verse sung in the Kodi language. Between the verses, a female singer or pakalaka may interject with vibrant ululations (kaghiliking) to enliven the sound.

    We heard two vocal songs in our recording session: one, “Ambupaneghe Ndenghegani Ole Ndahanghu” or “Don’t Seduce My Lover”, tells the story of a jealous man scaring off potential mates from the girl he loves. The other, “Bakarangha Matkrohing” or “Dead Pet” tells the sad story of a pet-owner who laments the death of his animal friend while reflecting on fate and our own mortality. 

    Heavy stuff, but cathartic. Pak Lukas, now nearing his fifties, says he’s been playing since he was twenty, sometimes for woleka or traditional ceremonies, but mostly just to relax at home. “I come home from the fields and while my wife cooks, I wait and play,” he tells me. This music seems to exist in a region between the sacred sounds of ritual gongs and the popular folk of East Sumba-style jungga. I get the sense that it's a music more private than performative: the dungga turns inwards, its face towards the player, strings singing for him alone. 


    Be careful in Kodi, they said. Folks in other parts of Sumba seemed wary of the locals in this part of southwest corner of the island. “They’re rough,” they’d say. “It’s best if you don’t go there alone.” This is an area renowned for its annual pasola festival, where men hurl spears at each other on horseback and masculine energy is vented in late-night bare-knuckle boxing matches.

    Luckily, we had a guide. A sweet midwife named Virgo had taken us under her wing at the request of her uncle, a musician who I’d met through YouTube. Smart and cheerful, Virgo and her boyfriend drove us from our hotel near the airport into the sparse, leafy villages of Kodi, a place she knew well from midwifing in the region's remote corners. I told her what we’d heard from folks on the other side of the island, rumors about the rough Kodi people. She shrugged it off, saying only some people were like that. 


    We arrived at our destination and were greeted with the warm handshake of Ibu Margareta, a dance teacher who runs a fledgling studio out of her home. We gathered in an airy thatched-roof hut behind her house where it soon became clear she was expecting us: a dungga lay on the bamboo terrace next to the requisite offering of betelnut and kids and curious neighbors peeked around corners in full bule-spying mode. Pak Lukas was sitting quietly in the shade, carving a protective humanoid icon from sandalwood. He offered his hand shyly, his lips rouged from betelnut, skinny legs poking out from a gorgeous woven ikat sarong. 

    Armed with a toothy smile and infectious laugh, Bu Margareta sat with us on the terrace and gave us a rundown of Kodi music with the air of a practiced tour guide. Dungga is the Kodi name for any stringed instrument, she told us: dungga watika, or plucked dungga, is the one I'd been most curious about, but there was also dunggo roro (bowed dungga, a kind of one-string fiddle) and dungga ngalolon (a one-string "bar zither" once common all across East Indonesia but now mostly extinct.) Would we like to hear them? 

    I admired Bu Margareta's expedience: we'd only been there for five minutes and already we were ready to start! Feeling out the location, we realized the hut's proximity to the main road was problematic, as the incessant parade of motorbikes and trucks would drown out the dungga's soft sounds. No problem, our new hosts said, we'll go farther from the road! We trekked past pig pens and out into some freshly planted dry rice fields, the young plants neon green against the soil. Some kids fetched some plastic picnic chairs for Lukas and Margareta, who seemed to be joining to bolster shy Lukas' confidence as much as for her trilling ululations. 

    We recorded the dungga roro first. In place of rosin, Pak Lukas ran the horsehair bow through his betelnut-stained lips, his viscous spit providing just enough friction to allow the fiddle to sing its shrill song. Lukas' voice was soft and pitchy, making Margareta's between-verse exclamations all the more jolting. The music sounded mournful, and for good reason: the song, Margareta explained afterwards, was about a drowned child. 


    Next was the dungga watika, the sound that had drawn me to Kodi in the first place. After some half-hearted tuning (the crude tuning pegs didn't allow for much precision!), Pak Lukas set into it, his thumb plucking out the high ngaha anchor, the other plucking out quarter notes along with his shy Kodinese poetry. After a few days basking in the confident, vibrant idiom of jungga in East Sumba, the sound came as a shock. 

    We'd come to Kodi expecting to meet pugnacious warrior bros, an instead had met a shy, sensitive artist, a soft-spoken farmer with beautiful red lips. Sitting on the bamboo terrace after the session, Lukas resumed carving his wooden idol, his sharp knife tracing warm eyes into the soft wood. Tourists would sometimes stop in on the way to nearby traditional villages and buy his work, he told me. He was used to sharing that artistic side of himself, but I got the sense that sharing his music with outsiders was something new. I can only hope that as we rubbed noses in the Sumbanese way and left, he could feel proud of sharing his art, his simple, tender creations. 


    Huge thanks to Kun Mally, whose YouTube video exposed me to dungga and who introduced me to Virgo, our lovely guide. Thanks, Virgo! And as always to Jo for his mixing mastery and Logan for his beard mastery.


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