by Caryn Havlik –
So overwhelmed was the staff this week by some seriously captivating music, that we completely failed on keeping the standouts to ourselves -like the two releases from the Garifuna Collective, and a preview of Montreal chamber rock via Turkey. Looks like Soundcheck is having the Garifuna Collective into the studio in July with their Canadian collaborator Danny Michel and John Schaefer has included Montreal musicians Esmerine in an upcoming show about music from or influenced by Turkey.
Now that we have admitted to our failures, the staff is very much looking forward to this new record, “Ayo,” from the Garifuna Collective, a multi-generational group of accomplished artists in the Garifuna community. The group was co-founded and led by Andy Palacio (1960--2008), a musician dedicated to preserving the Garifuna language and culture, unique to the tiny Central American nation of Belize. Despite his sudden passing, the collective continues to tour and perform in Palacio’s memory and with his commitment to keeping Garifuna tradition and language alive.
Garifuna Collective – Ayo & w/ Danny Michel -Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me
These tunes are a blend of acoustic Afro-Caribbean music with great melodies and stories, along the lines of folk spirituals, peppered by all kinds of percussion and carried by some surging waves of groove.
With this follow-up to their world music masterpiece, "Wátina," and the cross-cultural collaboration with Canada's Danny Michel, these Garifuna musicians are holding high the torch passed on by their late front man Andy Palacio.
They are on tour now with Danny Michel, and perform in New York at the Highline Ballroom on July 2.
Jeri Jeri – '800% Ndagga' and 'Ndagga Versions'
Jeri Jeri is what you get when you combine Berlin-based producer Mark Ernestus and a griot clan of Sabar drummers from Kaolack in Senegal, along with guest Mbalax musicians and vocalists. There is both a record with vocals and one without; '800% Ndagga' and 'Ndagga Versions.'
Suffice to say that it is some of the most percussion-heavy music we could have ever dreamed about by way of these Senegalese talking drummers (led by Bkane Seck.)
Esmerine - Translator's Clos Part II (EDIT)
Now then, this is Esmerine, modern chamber rock without guitars from Montreal featuring members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Set Fire to Flames, A Silver Mt. Zion, Hrsta and Land of Kush. “Dalmak,” Esmerine’s upcoming fourth LP, is full of cello, marimba, and tenor banjo as well as imported tools that include bendir, darbuka, erbane, meh, barama and saz. The group is also joined this time around by a visiting troupe of Turkish players.
"Dalmak" is not due out until September 2013.
Deveykus - "Wordless Ecstasy"
We were a bit distracted and intrigued by this bit of Hasidic Doom Jazz from Deveykus. Their name means “to cleave” to god and refers to both an ecstatic, trance-like state brought on by the singing of nigunim. Heavy riffs punctuated by Dan Blacksberg’s trombone, plus a two-part suite called “Four Worlds Of Creation,” the staff says two horns up, and it probably will never air on New Sounds. RIYL: Earth, Sunn O)))
Go to Alarm Magazine's review to hear
Bester Quartet - The Golden Land
Also in the same handoff directly from the brilliant folks at Tzadik, it’s Tango, it’s Klezmer, it’s chamber jazz from the Bester Quartet, (including members of the Cracow Klezmer Band) with an accordion-like instrument called the bayan.
And what maybe should be a recurring feature, here’s another Daft Punk cover, (thanks Boing Boing):Five pianists share “Get Lucky.”
John Lemke- Walizka EP
Neatly veering back from Daft Punk is this infectious and danceable music barely contained on this EP from Glasgow-based composer and sound-designer, John Lemke. There’s prepared piano, field recordings and hand-crafted beats. All mastered by Nils Frahm.