Innov Gnawa’s Amino Belyamani Sheds Light on Rare Moroccan Cassette Releases

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Amino Belyamani, the Casablanca-born multi-instrumentalist known for his roles within Innov Gnawa and Dawn of Midi, has established a fascinating blog entitled Moroccan Tapes. Much like Brian Shimkovitz’s Awesome Tapes From Africa platform, the site is designed to shed light on rare cassette releases that aren’t thought to have reached an audience outside of their region of origin. While ATFA looks for music from across the continent, Belyamani’s platform is focuses solely on music from Africa’s Northernmost country, with early uploads including the captivating work of Archach, whose music combines the low tones of the guembri and the high tones of the banjo to beautiful effect. If you’re a fan of Moroccan music or are simply keen to find out more, check out the site here.

Repeat Listen: Field Music – Making A New World  

Recent projects have proven that the Brewis brothers fear no subject matter. Such accomplished songwriters and producers they are, they have — occasionally separately, but more often than not, together — crafted moving and coherent songs that ostensibly concern privilege and ignorance, love, the mundanity of an evening after the kids are in bed, the 45th president of the United States, and plenty more.

Their latest album, Making A New World, hears Peter and David broadening their scope further still, tracing a wide range of 20th and 21st century phenomena back to the First World War. The idea to do so came to them during a project with the Imperial War Museum, in which they were presented with military graphs mapping gunfire from the vibrations it caused, and imagined those graphs continuing, like echoes, through the ensuing decades.

Rather than focusing on warfare and its legacy of anguish — which they certainly appreciate — Field Music begin their 19-track concept record with a short instrumental depiction of the ceasefire. From that 90-second introduction, they move forward chronologically, addressing soldiers returning home and acclimatising to normal life, peace-keeping, how surgical procedures to fix war injuries led to early gender reassignment operations, and arriving at events as recent as 2010, when Germany’s final WW1 reparation debts were paid.

The band’s experience and confidence is such that this challenging subject matter in no way inhibits them. The angular riffs, clever song structures, economical yet luscious arrangements and understated melodies are as effective as on previous albums, which is all the more impressive when one considers that the material was recorded live with their touring band: featuring Liz Corney on keyboards, Kevin Dosdale on guitar and Andrew Lowther on bass, rather than overdubbing part after part. Their sound on this record calls to mind the likes of Todd Rundgren, Genesis, 10cc, and Talking Heads amongst others, but that’s not to say that it’s a retro-sounding record, merely one that reflects the sonic ambition of such artists, who were pushing the equipment at their disposal throughout the seventies.

From the beautifully-paced A Change of Heir, with its sensitive vocals, sweet slide guitar and subtle arrangement, to the gritty, Bowie-esque R&B cut Money Is A Memory, with its crisp drums and huge snare, gritty injections of rhythm guitar and snarling electric bass, Field Music’s latest album is a courageous and inventive project that reaffirms their desire to create meaningful music with the capacity to get the listener thinking, without compromising the ease of the listening experience.

New Sounds and Visuals

The first track to be revealed from Makaya McCraven’s reimagining of Gil Scott-Heron’s I’m New Here is Where Did The Night Go, upon which he carefully layers flute licks, bass surges and subtle drum patterns, to complement the low musings of the great poet and musician.

On her new single Not Today Mate, Nottingham’s Yazmin Lacey asks judgemental eyes to let her be, singing soft, candid lines over a shuffling beat and feather-light keyboards. It’s a statement of intent for 2020 from the first-year Future Bubbler.

Love, the new Les Amazones d’Afrique single featuring guest vocalist Mamani Keïta, resoundingly denounces the practice of FGM. Over fat bass synths and steady breakbeat drums, Keïta sings with passioned and strength — her opening stanza translating to mean: ‘Today is not a day of celebration. We take this seriously. We women are engaged. To fight against mutilation.’ The video was created by Louise Mootz and you can check it out below.

Funk guitarist, bandleader and Vulfpeck member Cory Wong has dropped a new video for Golden ft. Cody Fry on vocals. Set in the retro ‘Golden’ sports bar, it captures Fry and Wong entering into a competitive pub sports battle with cinematic gloss. The pair go head to head a pool, darts and even boxing, before Wong tears into a Prince-esque guitar solo, providing brief break from the sweet falsetto lines and horn licks of Grandstand grandeur that define the rest of the tune.

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