Updated: Apr 29
A fresh tune to start your day with - Yoma Land music channel.
Today’s tune: ‘Virile’ by The Blaze (2017 Paris)
The track from Paris based duo The Blaze, who are cousins (suddenly makes me miss my cousins), is indeed about brotherly and sisterly bond. The underlaying story is of the fun moments that fix us in time, the affectionate clowning around and practical joke matches to the rhythm of ‘four-on-the-floor’ drum beat. 😉
‘Latin Fever’ (Chicago 1958)
This morning we have the energising, unstoppable king of bongos Jack Costanzo with ‘Latin Fever’ (Chicago 1958).
Costanzo first heard the bongos as a kid at a teenage dance class in Chicago. The ‘legend’ goes that he has then made his own drums out of wooden butter-churns by cutting down the stakes and tacking bass drum skins. Eventually at 21 he went to Havana to learn how to use the real thing. By the time he was 30 he was widely renowned as the ‘Mr. Bongo’, his hands were so fast we would rip the instruments. And aside for being a coveted drummer he also became a teacher to many eccentric Hollywood stars of the 50s and 60s. I’m talking about THE boys and gals of the times: Marlon Brando, Rita Moreno, Tony Curtis, Betty Grable, James Dean, and Gary Cooper. It must have been a gas 😊
Francisco Tenorio Junior ‘Nebulosa’ (1964 Rio de Janeiro)
Good morning everyone,
Today we have perky & jazzy bossa nova: Francisco Tenorio Junior ‘Nebulosa’ (1964 Rio de Janeiro)
Tenorio recorded only one album, despite being a virtuoso pianist. Then, one March evening in 1964 (he was 34 then) while touring in Buenos Aires, he left to buy cigarettes and disappeared from the face of the Earth.
This piece could easily be mistaken for a nu-jazz track by some French electro-wizard. In fact it was sampled numerous times by many. Check: Nomak, DJ Cam Quartet, A Forest Mighty Black, the list goes on…Incredible tune.
Bloodflow by Grandbrothers, sir Was remix (2018 Germany)
A German piano/electronic duo from Dusseldorf called Grandbrothers, this tune from their 2018 EP, featuring a package of exclusive remixes of ‘Bloodflow’, the standout track from the bands’ 2017 album ‘Open'. My fave version with pop polymath sir Was (same one we posted about yesterday), who rounds up the collection with a distinguished breezy remix.
sir Was ‘In the Midst’ (Sweden 2016)
Simple layering of bass guitar thrums and neat drums over indie/hip hop song with radio chatter sample. Smasher!
George Jackson with 'Aretha, sing one for me' (1962 USA)
Southern soul song, less popular than Motown but equally delightful.
Jackson sings of his girl leaving him, and that she has been spotted going to ‘an Aretha Franklin show’, and that in order to show her how much he loves her, Jackson pleads to Aretha to sing a song that ‘will let her know I’m as miserable as a man could be’. Hopelessly romantic...😂
A tune from Blinky Bill again (we posted about him before Thingyan) ‘Kalimu’ (Kenya 2018)
The featured field recording of folkloric music made by Hugh Tracey in 1950 comes from a village near Mombassa and is sung in the Mijikenda language and translates - "May this journey bring blessings".
In this song – a metaphor of ancestor’s guidance on the journey of life, Blinky Bill is rapping about maintaining positivity and dignity in the face of adversity on the road.
Tune from Pongo ‘Chora’ (Portugal 2019)
Pongo, a young artist originally from Angola musically connects the dots between kuduro, dancehall and electronic music. In this tune a lot less up-tempo then some of the insane carnival-like pieces (kudoro is a sample of carnival music with accordion and percussion), but still makes one want to sway a hip.
Bag Raiders ‘Shooting Star’ (2009 Australia)
Happy New Year everyone!
First day of the new year deserves a proper dance around the kitchen/ bedroom/ living room. My suggestion – POP!
Song only reached its popularity in 2017, thanks to a meme. And again in 2019, thanks to this silly and joyous video. Let’s not overthink it….
Big big virtual hug 😊
Orbital ‘Belfast’ tune (1991 Kent, UK)
In the name of variety let’s step into 1990s British techno.
I do love something special from any basket. This tune is it. Notice the vocal sample? This is a composer deserving post of her own- medieval mystic (circa 1100s) Hildegard von Bingen. I discovered her music singing in a school choir (yes, I did) but was only reminded about her through the rave scene – this Orbital’s trippy track ‘Belfast’, which uses a beautiful sample of ‘O Euchari’. Of course, I was way too young to go to raves back then, but I own my musical education to my older brother.
Orbital – an electronic duo from Kent, as you can hear were quite eclectic, influenced by punk rock, electro as well as obscure classics. Started similarly to so many ‘bedroom studio’ bands (think Moby) by recording their first album on dad’s cassette player (remember those?), only to become very successful commercially and perform at Glastonbury in 1994. As they say: it’s not what you’ve got, but what you do with it! Right?! 😊
Lay Phyu ‘Yone Kyi Yar’ (2013 Myanmar)
Hello everyone after a short break.
It’s the last days of this year and a good time for a motivational song. Myanmar’s king of soft and hard rock and one considered most successful commercially, Lay Phyu is synonymous with rock in the 1990s, appealing to both softer metal fans and mainstream pop music fans simultaneously. This tune, an ode to an ‘everyday man’ struggle (in free-style translation titled ‘Something to Believe In’) the style smoothed over the edges relying on simple, melodic song with singer-songwriter’s husky voice delivering an uplifting message.
Fantastic Man (1978 Nlgeria)
There is nothing else that sounds like William Onyeabor does. I discovered him coming across one of the albums at a market in Bangkok, the cover caught my eye, plus – it was called Atomic Bomb…
After the tense independence and civil war there was a boom in music- the one thing that kept people’s spirits up. Records were selling big time. In this busy market what set Onyeabor apart (aside for his apparently unusual character) was his completely unique synthesizer heavy robotic sound, using sequencers and drum machines not unlike dance and electronic music soon after.
Onyeabor was this mysterious figure of the Nigerian 70-80s performance scene, who’s songs were widely played, but no one quite knew who he was and how could he afford the synthesizers.
‘Fantastic Man’ is essentially a request for a woman to finally give her man some complements. I suppose at least we know he had a sense of humour 😊
This dreamy tune is perfect if you’ve not quite woken up yet…‘Running’ (2019) by Latin-American artist Helado Negro. The 2019 album ‘This Is How Your Smile’ is a synth-folk story on perseverance of embracing family, joy and laughter while growing up in immigrant household. Drums, synthesizer, with Helado singing and playing guitar. Easy listening!
A joyful Arabic pop piece from Hamid El Shaery ‘Ayonha’ (from sometime in 70s)
I discovered this fantastic piece at Beirut Funk Collective night called Habibi Funk. Hamid is a Libyan musician who escaped to Egypt for political reasons. The genre Habibi Funk never existed but the collective uses this term to describe a certain sound from the countries of the Arab world. The songs were created in places far from one another (Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco) and under very different circumstances. Some were written and recorded during war times, others in exile. Somehow there is a musical connection between them. This piece is a love song; In loose translation by my friend ‘her eyes sparkling shake his mind and the core of his existence’. Cute 😉
Today we shake off the slumber to: ‘Que Beleza’ by Tim Maia from 1975. Tim Maia: A music prodigy from Rio de Janeiro, started composing at 8, set up his first band called ‘The Sputniks’ (it was the 50s) at 15, which he left immediately after getting annoyed with his bandmates. Went to States, got arrested. Came back to Rio, got arrested. Recorded more. Joined a cult, recorded ‘Que Beleza’. Got annoyed, left the cult. Got signed by Warner Bros. Records, annoyed them and got kicked out. Tapped into disco, moved on. Through ups and downs Maia recorded an astonishing amount of 33 albums in his short 55-year long life. These days he is highly regarded as the Father of Samba Rock genre (you will hear it here in the guitar solo).
Con Todo El Mundo
One of my favourites for road trips (ah…the road trips) - Khruangbin – a hot trio from Texas. Taking influence from 1960's Thai funk, their name literally translates to "Aeroplane" in Thai. Steeped in the bass heavy sound of the era. Enjoy!
Joe Cuba – aka Gilberto Miguel Calderón, was an American conga drummer of Puerto Rican descent. He’s considered to be the father of Boogaloo – a genre mixing son Cubano, mambo, Rhythm & Blues, salsa…anything else? This album was a prelude to the birth of Boogaloo. Treat!
I’m Feeling It by Blinky Bill from Nairobi '18
A feel-good piece, something between rap, funk, nu soul and electro, which are favoured by the vibrant Kenyan urban scene. Blinky is a leading figure of the underground collaboration Just A Band: Africa's self-proclaimed Super-Nerdy Electronic Music/Art Collective. :* Constantly evolving and pushing forward. Love it.
Human Race -Grey Boy
Get a load of this Miami funk! Two sublime groove tracks. 'Human Race' rides on a irresistible Congaesque groove with Marvin Gaye like humming. While 'Greyboy' is an instrumental cut with smooth sax on top of a thin groove with sparse guitar, bass and drums; everything in the right place. Tip!