January 18 2012
Every Monday on Sound Travels, The week that was is wrapped anew in the week that is by way of new music. Four new tunes from around the world is what it is and we started the third week of January with mostly Latin songs and a clever cover from some Mento masters.
Mento was the music of the Jamaican dancehalls before ska, rocksteady and reggae came along. A people’s music typically played in the countryside on acoustic–often homemade–instruments, it dates to the late 19th century. Its lyrics often dealt with rude or slack topics, or addressed the social issues of the day. Although often confused with calypso (largely because calling it “calypso” was a handy way of marketing it to tourists who didn’t know any better), it has a rawness and rhythmic feel that is uniquely Jamaican. And the best example around today is a band from yesterday, The Jolly Boys.
The Jolly Boys, legend has it, would play at Hollywood parties that film star Errol Flynn would throw at his Port Antonio estate on Navy Island (near Jamaica). Some accounts have the beginnings of the Jolly Boys dating back to the 1940s. In any case, it's clear these cats have been at it for a loooong time. You can also tell they keep themselves current by the song I played for you, Amy Winehouse's "Rehab." In their case however, the 'rehab' in question is one of currency and the fact that these living legends can still relate to a generation several times removed from their come-uppance. They even have a video...
We followed that up with a new one from The Titanix, a band about whom little could be gleaned by me. While my extensive digging often puts me in this position, I do know that the singer they have with them is the incredibly talented Miss Rosalia da Souza who is amoung the best in the new vanguard of Brazilian pop singers. Ironically, she was discovered in her current home Italy by Bossa Nova lover/producer Nicola Conte who produced her solo album, and here continues her flirtation with the music of her homeland from afar...
The Titanix "Cheia de Mundo feat. Rosalia Da Souza" single
In the mix for Monday was a certain bachata artist called Omega. An artist I know preciaous little about, I don't even know where he's from (probly the Dominican Republic if I had to guess.) Again, the issue is his ignomity on the internet, but the song I played I enjoy a lot, bachata has that way of grabbing you by the hips and feet refusing to let go till the song is done. The only known cure I am aware of is called the dancefloor. Peep this and find or make one yourself...
Omega "Dandole" El Dueno Del Flow 2
Lastly and certainly not leastlt is Argentine dancehall reggae artist Fidel Nadal. Extremely popular in South America and he has been featured there on the cover of Rolling Stone as well as being a contender to win a latin Grammy. The album I drew from however is not his latest though only recently been made available in the US, Great Expectations is nevertheless among his best work and new-to-you is new enough for me.
Fidel "Dos Tazas" Great Expectations