Sat. April 30
(Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing)

Sun. May 1
(The Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 5
Awesome Tapes From Africa dj set
(Treehou5e Open Air, Ghent)

Fri. May 6
Invisible Hands / Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex / DSR Lines
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Sat. May 7
(De Ruimte, Ghent)

Tue. May 10
(De Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 12
(DOK, Ghent)

Fri. May 13
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Sun. May 15
THRONEFEST (Taake, Inquisition, Mgla, Batushka, Inferno, Dysangellium, Wiegedood & The Commitee)
(Kubox, Kuurne)

Thu. May 26
(Den Trap, Kortrijk)

Fri. May 27
(Trix, Antwerp)

Wed. June 1
(Botanique, Brussels)

Wed. June 8
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Wed. June 22
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I recently blasted THE NOMADS’ ‘Where The Wolf Bane Blooms’ mini-album from 1983 out of my car speakers and was surprised to find out that the record hasn’t aged a bit in almost 30 (?!?!!) years! A friend of mine complained about "that horrible & clean 80s production" but I don’t think that the sound suffers from its production at all. The record still kicks ass and is on a par with other essential mini-albums from that period like THE CRAMPS’ ‘Gravest Hits’ (recorded at Ardent Studio, Memphis in 1977 and produced by Alex Chilton) and THE SCIENTISTS’ ‘Blood Red River 1982-1984’.

Jazzman Records has released another volume in their explorations into regional US funk obscurities called CALIFORNIA FUNK: RARE FUNK 45S FROM THE GOLDEN STATE. This new collection delivers 21 of the rarest, hardest and most coveted funk sounds from California, recorded 1968-77. Now Again Records has the exclusive license for these essential funk collections in the States and I must say I prefer these releases to the European ones as the artwork is much more appealing. Also available as a double vinyl album; both formats have extensive liner notes. Great stuff!

With all those beautifully packaged old time music compilations on Dust-to-Digital, Tompkins Square and Old Hat Records, one would forget that Document Records was one of the forebears of reissuing old time American folk music. Although their poor packaged albums aren’t really inviting, the music is mostly excellent. NASHVILLE 1928 for example features terrific performances by obscure bands like Paul Warmack & His Gully Jumpers and some Blind Joe Mangrum-Fred Shriver. Funny to read that the few tracks by the 6 featured bands are the complete recorded works! Check Document Records’ website for more info here.

San Francisco’s FRESH & ONLYS recently opened for TY SEGALL in Antwerp and I was really impressed by their great songs and sound. The band managed to mix a dark Flying Nun pop-sound with some raw Gun Club-style guitar sounds. Really excellent! Afterwards, I bought their latest record on In The Red and it has been on constant rotation over here in the last few weeks. In the meantime, the FRESH & ONLYS released a follow-up mini-album ‘Secret Walls’ on Sacred Bones that I have yet to hear. Don’t miss them when they play your neighborhood!

Two new & essential African reissues: L’ORCHESTRE KANAGI DE MOPTI’s eponymous album on Kindred Spirits Records from Holland and the RAIL BAND’s ‘Buffet Hotel de la Gare’ on Superfly Records from Paris. A great introduction to L’ORCHESTRE KANAGI DE MOPTI’s famous band leader SORRY BAMBA has been released by Thrill Jockey Records both on cd and 2lp. The RAIL BAND lp reissue on Superfly Records is even superior to the recent Bärenreiter album reissued by Mississippi Records, but unfortunately very expensive! The album reissued by Superfly Records was originally released in 1973 (RCAM 013373), the one Mississippi Records reissued dates from 1970 (BM 30 L 2606). For an exhaustive discography of Malian vinyl recordings, check Graeme Counsel’s giant’s labour here.

‘Rebellión Tropical’ is a wonderful compilation that teams up Colombia’s original bad boys of tropical music FRUKO and JOE ARROYO. FRUKO Y SUS TESOS became the premier powerhouse salsa band at Discos Fuentes in the 70s and 80s and served as a career starter for a series of talented vocalists and musicians, including JOE ARROYO. I am lucky to have witnessed both bands in top condition: FRUKO at the Antilliaanse Feesten in 2004 and JOE ARROYO at the Open Tropen Festival God knows when. CD 1 highlights FRUKO’s recordings, CD 2 those of JOE ARROYO: over 150 minutes of pure vintage jungle heat to get any rebellion started! An essential collection and dirt-cheap too!

Like most young parents who lived in the 70s, mine too owned a NEIL DIAMOND record (1973’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull - duh). Although I did want to like it at the time, I simply couldn’t. After all, the other records (Demis Roussos, Nana Mouskouri, The Cats, BZN, Engelbert Humptydumpty) proved that my parents had rather poor taste in music. A recent favorable cd review however got me interested in NEIL DIAMOND’s formative years so I bought that particular cd called THE BANG YEARS 1966-1968. I am really impressed. At the end of the 60s, Neil Diamond was just another struggling young artist which makes his music pure & interesting. I’ll probably stick to this only cd as far as NEIL DIAMOND goes, but this shouldn’t spoil the greatness of this great song-writing collection. Oh wait, I think I need this one too!

I’ll leave you with an 8Tracks compilation I made yesterday to spice up my Mexico/Guatemala trip. These might be dangerous & upsetting times but the fact that I will be able to listen to my mix in some remote jungle lodge (do they have internet access in Tikal?) makes me pretty happy to live in the 21st century! For those interested, here's a blog where I hope to post info about our family trip once in a while (in Dutch only).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I went to see TAMIKREST at the mighty 4AD club in Diksmuide last Wednesday. I was accompanied by my wife and oldest son (11) who really dug his “first ever rock show”. TAMIKREST are desert musicians from the Western-Sahara but they have an irresistible hypnotic groove that rocks for sure! I bought their new album afterwards called 'Toumastin' and it’s a real winner! Great music, a beautiful sleeve and 180 gram vinyl: thank you very much Glitterhouse Records!!!

This morning, I really enjoyed TAV FALCO & THE UNAPPROACHABLE PANTHER BURNS’ latest album which I think is released by Glitterhouse Records’ sub-label Stag-O-Lee Records although my vinyl copy states Bang! Records. Whatever, it’s a great album that no Tav Falco fan can afford to miss!

Bang! Records by the way has just released a deluxe gatefold double vinyl edition of the NEW CHRISTS’ ‘Lower Yourself’ album, limited to 1000 copies. Originally recorded and released in 1997 by Citadel Records, the record has been remastered with new artwork done all under Rob Younger’s (Radio Birdman) supervision in order to implement a still stronger sound and presence. Wonder why I mention this reissue? The NEW CHRISTS 2009 album ‘Gloria’ was my record of the year and proof that the NEW CHRISTS still rule after all those years!

I was recently diggin’ through the used records bins during a lunch break and found a copy of VIEIRA E SEU CONJUNTO’s ‘Lambada’ record, originally released by Stern’s Records in 1988. It was one of the first world music releases that became available in the West and one of the few that I forgot to buy at the time. I am glad I picked the record up recently because it’s a wonderful album full of inventive guitar playing and subtle rhythms. I am sure you can still find a copy on eBay for little money…

Ziya Ertekin (40) is a DJ from Rotterdam who prefers to call himself a musical anthropologist. For years, he travels the world around in search of old records and has released 2 cd compilations so far under the moniker Blue Flamingo. On ‘Congo Jazz’ he delivers 3 collections of old time world music: Jungle Crawl, Congo Jazz and That Old Religion. The first mixes Hot Jazz with Afro/Jungle Exotica, the second mix has old 78rpm tunes from the Congo while the third mix treats the listener to some great black gospel. I also bought his previous collection called ‘Blue Flamingo 78 r.p.m.’ which features 1930s Oriental Flavored Jazz-Exotica, 1930s-1940s Spanish & French Caribbean and 1950s Mambo & Rumba Flavored Rhythm & Blues. Both cd’s are available at a great price from Excelsior Records in Holland. I recently received a mail from Ertekin in which he tells me that he is just back from a 3 months backpackers adventure in Africa so I suppose he will treat us soon to some more exciting primal sounds from the jungle!

For one reason or another, I can’t really get into DAVILLA 666s latest album on In The Red Record (‘Tan Bajo’) but their previous mini album ‘12” EP’ on Rob’s House Records is definitely a must buy! I wish “Ohhh” and “Dos O Tres” were issued on a 7-inch so I could include them in my jukebox. Killer tunes!

Sundazed Records has released 2 amazing collections recently: SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET’s ‘The Mono Singles ’68 – ‘72’ and ‘The MGM Singles’ by SAM THE SHAM AND THE PHARAOHS. Both gatefold double vinyl, rather expensive but absolutely essential!

‘Beautiful Songs: The Best of JAD FAIR’ is a great 3cd digipack collection for a Jad Fair layman like myself. Cheap and great food for the iPod!

I recently found the Ace Records Catalogue 2011 in my mailbox and boy was I happy: 269 pages of musical delights, reissued w/ style and the best sound! Too many recent highlight but don’t miss the 3cd collection THE MUSIC CITY STORY, SWAMP DOGG’s ‘A Singles Collection 1963-1989’ and CANDI STATON 2cd ‘Evidence: The Complete Fame Records Masters’!

The other quintessential European roots re-issue label Bear Family Records has recently released THE BRISTOL SESSIONS: THE BIG BANG OF COUNTRY MUSIC 1927-1928, a 5 CD & 120-Page Book. Here are the facts that I copy from a Bristol Sessions Vol.1 RCA cd from 2002:
“In July, 1927 Ralph Sylvester Peer came to Bristol, Tennessee with a carload of state of the art recording gear and high expectations. Peer, a record business veteran, stumbled into Southern music during his days producing music for OKeh Records. Now employed by Victor Records, he was in the field recording all the rural Southern musicians he could find. In Bristol, Peer recorded 76 songs by 19 different acts, two of them fountainheads: the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. Along with brilliant music by other more obscure artists, the music of the Bristol sessions continues to resonate into the 21st Century.”

Need I say more?

That’s it for today. Expect a new post this week!