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WEST AFRICAN MUSICIAN ROKIA TRAORE

Posted by Billyjam, December 29, 2009 05:00am | Post a Comment
Rokia Traoré "Yankadi"
Rokia Traoré
Thanks to Amoeba Marc for directing folks to the music video for the great song "Yankadi" by talented West African artist Rokia Traoré. In the video, one of her accompanying musicians is sporting an Amoeba Music T-shirt. (He first appears at :12 but much clearer at :25.) An accomplished, award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist, the thirty something Rokia was born in Mali as a member of the Bambara ethnic group. She has toured extensively and recorded four albums over the past dozen years, including Mouneïssa (1997 & 1998), Wanita (2000), Bowmboi (2003), and Tchamantché (2008).

The multi-instrumentalist (she also plays flute and percussion) was fortunate to collaborate early in her career with Ali Farka Touré, which helped get her deserved attention. Over the years since, she has worked with a myriad of artists, including the Kronos Quartet, who collaborated with her on her album Bowmboï, released by Nonesuch six years ago. For more information on this artist (including some more music videos), check out her MySpace. And, of course, look for her CDs at Amoeba Music.

Top Forty World Music Releases of 2009 Vol-3

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 26, 2009 02:00pm | Post a Comment

juan son mermaid sashimi20. Juan Son-Mermaid Sashimi

Juan Son's first solo outing since the demise of Porter is a symphonic collage of songs in both English and Spanish. Musically, the arrangements are sophisticated, capturing the same imagination the likes of Brian Wilson and XTC had in the past. Juan's high, Bjork-like voice sometimes leaves me with a bit of a headache, but I also can’t stop listening to it, especially the track “Nad,a” somewhere between The Rolling Stones “She’s A Rainbow” and Café Tacvba at their best.






19. Tinariwen-Imidiwan: Companions

Tinariwen's latest release finds the band returning home after constant touring to the Sahara desert. Perhaps their homecoming sparked a return to a sound that I felt they lost on their last release, Aman Iman. Imidiwan has the band once again rocking out. In ways it reminds me of their second album, Amassakoul, but with more vision and clarity this time. With this release, Tinariwen continues to remain the standard of the Toureg rock scene that has grown over the last decade.



Top Forty World Music Releases of 2009 Vol-2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 20, 2009 08:39am | Post a Comment

30. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey - Echos Hypnotiques, Vol. 2

While last year’s collection of Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou work, From the Vaults of Albarika Store 1969-1979, dug deep into the group’s rare gems, this collection comes from sessions that they did at the E.M.I. studio in Nigeria. The result? Better sound quality and more great music from the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo. Their blend of Highlife, Funk and the Vodoun rhythms that come from their native country of Benin separate this album from the pack of retro-African releases that have been coming out this year.



29. Moncho Rivera - Yo Tengo Lo Mio

In Salsa music, there is nothing better than a great Sonero, a singer who is able to improvise off the top of the dome and give their musicians a run for their money. Moncho Rivera is the nephew of another great Sonero, Ismael Rivera, and continues a family tradition of singers who just destroy their contemporaries. Moncho and his band are red hot on this release, which is one of the few highlights in the Salsa music world this year.





28. V/A - Sensacional Soul Vol 2

I always felt that the best music ever made was during the worst of times. During the oppressive Franco era, conservative radio stations and record companies did not want to explore the Psychedelic movement. However, Motown was big in Spain and all the groups that emulated The Beatles started to get a little soul in them, often incorporating horn and foreign soul vocalists. Sensacional Soul Vol. 2 is a fine mixture of cover songs sung in Spanish and funky instrumentals with plenty of beat influences guaranteed to liven any dance floor.

Top Forty World Music Releases of 2009 Vol-1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 16, 2009 01:39am | Post a Comment

40. V/A-Legends of Benin

There is fallout from all the African funk compilations that have been released over the last couple of years and it’s that they are all too much for most African music listeners to keep up with. What differentiates Legends of Benin from rest is that it concentrates on songs over funky beats, with each song being full of melody as well as danceable. Analog Africa, the label who brought us African Scream Contest last year, has another gem on their hands.




39. V/A-Back To Peru Vol.2

Back To Peru Vol. 2 is chock full of nuggets from the golden years of Peruvian Psychedelic and garage music with a heavy emphasis on the early 70’s period. Peru’s rock bands are raw in comparison to most groups in Latin America that were around during this time and this compilation captures that spirit with plenty of fuzz guitar and snotty anti-establishment anthems.




38. Os Mutantes- Haih Or Amortecedor

A misunderstood album I thought. I think people expected the Mutantes of old to magically reappear after many years on hiatus. Original member Sergio Dias' songwriting and musicianship has preserved well over the years, only his energy has been transferred. Yes, it has modern instrumentation and a new batch of musicians but it also retains much of that great prankster spirit of the original group. This is one I hope people revisit as time goes on.

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Charts

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 3, 2009 12:57am | Post a Comment
Since I skipped October’s World Music bestseller chart last month, I decided to make a comprehensive chart that includes the best sellers for both October and November.

1. Poncho Sanchez - Psychedelic Blues
2. Shakira - She Wolf
3. Bomba Estereo – Blow Up
4. Rodrigo Y Gabriela –11:11
5. Bebel Gilberto – All In One
6. Gustavo Cerati – Fuerza Natural
7. Mercedes Sosa – Cantora
8. Aventura – Last
9. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou - Echos Hypnotiques Vol. 2
10. Buika - El Ultimo Trago

Both Poncho Sanchez and Bomba Estereo had recent successful instore performances at Amoeba Hollywood and their chart positions reflect that, with each of them coming in at number one and three respectfully. Shakira was a no-brainer at number two, as people have been waiting for She Wolf since rumors of its release over the summer. Her chart position is a cumulative number based on sales of the import version and the domestic release. Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Bebel Gilberto, Gustavo Cerati, Aventura and Mercedes Sosa continue to sell well into December. Wow, can you believe it is December already?

Here is a chart just for the month of November:

1. Bomba Estereo-Blow Up
2. Shakira-She Wolf
3. Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou-Echos Hypnotiques Vol. 2
4. V/A -Ghana Special: Modern Highlife, Afro Sounds & Ghanaian Blues 1968-91
5. Buika–El Ultimo Trago
6. Rodrigo Y Gabriela –11:11
7. V/A - Panama! Vol.3
8. Poncho Sanchez -Psychedelic Blues
9. Bebel Gilberto –All In One
10. Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos–Cantan En Español

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