Cedric Burnside Gets Bluesy with Jools
Mississippi bluesman Cedric Burnside made an appearance on Jools Holland’s BBC Radio 2 show earlier this week, performing a track live in the studio with the pianist and presenter, while discussing some essential cuts from his latest LP, Benton County Relic. Described by Jools as ‘a new Blues legend in his own right’ – he is notably the grandson of R. L. Burnside, who helped to define the Hill Country Blues sound of Mississippi’s northern region. His grandfather’s influence upon him was — and remains — significant, sparking his interest in the music of generations prior to his and leading him to a position where today, he includes at least one song R. L. used to play on each of his albums, in homage to musician he terms his ‘big daddy’. Catch up on the session and interview here ahead of Cedric’s visit to Band on the Wall on 28th May.
Resident Advisor Explore the Impact of South African Electro
A new short film by Resident Advisor explores how dance music crafted in 1980s South Africa, helped people to resist the the oppressive apartheid regime. Exploring the influence of American disco and boogie on the musical makeup of ‘bubblegum’ and Afro-synth music, it digs deeper still, looking at the meaning behind these superficially simple pop recordings, carrying important messages about the times they were created in. The film concludes with an exploration of kwaito, the musical style that emerged after the fall of apartheid, and looks at the marginal revival of Afro-synth music today. A beautifully-narrated and moving short film, we highly recommend giving it ten minutes of your time.
The Repeat Listen: Altin Gün – Gece
3 Hür-El – Hürel Arsivi, Various Artists – Bosporus Bridges Vol. 2, Golden Hands – Golden Hands, Mdou Moctar – Ilana: The Creator, Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
Altin Gün are a band plugged in to themusical lineage of Anatolia.While not all of the Amsterdam-based six-piece have Turkish roots, each of them feels an affinity with the folk, rock, funk and fusion music to have originated from the region. Their sophomore LP Gece is a vibrant homage to that multifarious musical history; nine-tenths of its material having been written, recorded and performed previously by Turkish artists, with just one album track being an original composition.
Despite that, their sound isfiercely original. Its fuzz-wah and delay pedal embellishment nods to the psychedelic rock of the late sixties and early seventies, while its shimmering lead synths recall the joyous Afro-electro-funk sound hit upon by William Onyeaborin the late seventies. Its underlying rhythms hail from regions all around the Eastern Mediterranean, while Merve Daşdemir’s vocals and Erdinç Ecevit’s licks on the three-string saz provide the most identifiably Turkish strains to their sound. Combining these elements within concise, inventive arrangements — each laden with beautiful production touches and flashes of awe-inspiring musicality — the band outline a singular sound.
Considering that they’re only 18 months on from their first public performance, they’re a remarkably assured and well-drilled outfit. Şoför Bey– the only original composition amongst the album’s ten cuts — combines spoken word delivery with a funky rhythm track and melody in the Dorian mode, fusing disparate elements with skill and assurance. Even tracks like Vay Dunya, which has a fairly common chord structure at its core, is given depth and intrigue with its synth-heavy breaks and slick turnarounds, Zombies-esque percussive panting and clever arrangement, dropping key instruments in and out to give a dub-like feel to the production.
There are heavy psych licks to please fans of Tame Impala’s early work, fast guitar trills that will impress fans of modern Tuareg guitar playing styles, and tender moments that allow the beauty of the source material to shine through. Front to back, Altin Gün’s second full length is a creative and finely executed work, that testifies to their explorative nature and love of historic music.
New Sounds and Visuals
Cellist, vocalist and songwriter Ayanna Witter-Johnson releases her debut album, Road Runner, today. Its third track, Rise Up, features a guest appearance from rapper, scholar and influential public speaker Akala, who rhymes over Witter-Johnson’s rich blend of rhythmic cello, organic percussion and vocal pads.
SOAK’s new video for Country Air features characters from Moominvalley, nodding to the dreamy cut’s inclusion on the Moominvalley official soundtrack. A gentle and lusciously-orchestrated track – it provides a perfect setting for SOAK’s tender voice.
The Fearless Flyers’ sound takes on an Afro-fusion edge with their new cut The Baal Shem Tov. Joey Dosik runs his alto saxophone through a wah pedal and Cory Wong rolls all of the highs out of his guitar sound, giving the cut the perfect warmth and grittiness.
Snarky Puppy have released a new bonus cut from their album Immigrance, today. Written by pianist and keys player Bill Laurance, Embossed is described as “a reaction to the social, political and environmental anxiety of the times,” by the group’s London-based contributor, who adds, “It’s a musical call to arms, asking the listener to engage both as an individual and as a member of larger movements for change.”