May 1 2009
The last day of the series today on Sound Travels for global hip hop and I think this was the strongest of the sets that I've presented for you throughout this week. Arts the Beat Conductor started it out right with a bit of song in his rap. His "Be Alright" tune is pretty nice, and follows his appearances at this year's SXSW Music Conference, which I can gather were noteworthy. Though he hails from the Netherlands, the style is pretty conventional, but it's good. And I threw the first of a couple from Argentina's El Hijo De Cumbia, an artist whose approach to the already mutant form of cumbia in Argentina happens with the edge of hip hop, "El Ghetto Va A Mover" raw stuff from the barrio's of Buenos Aires.
DJ Vadim, whom I was lucky to have interviewed about a year ago, has shown some new work lately, releasing some dubstep as well as a more conventional, though incredible and internationally flavored release unfortunately called U Can't Lurn Imaginashun, which is thankfully, rather good. Here, he's with nu jazz r&b singer Heidi Vogel, who is a musician's singer; deep, heady stuff from this sweet-voiced woman who looks like she's working with the best. And she sounds sick as hell next to this smoking cut I have from some Algerians named Collective Bled, about whom there are scant details, but a great Rai-hip hop cross-cut that practically makes the mix what it is-- tasty hot.
Which I hope sounds good to you, as we move into the second cut I have from El Hijo De Cumbia, whose new album Freestyle De Ritmos, is very nice and just came out late last year, more cumbia nueva goodness. Goodness goes with greatness, and great is the Juakali sing-jayed jam that was produced in the Bay Area by bass afficionados Kush Arora, a Sound Travels favorite(and my early song for early summer dreadiness...ie. heavy bass, raw ass attitude!). The Shanghai Restoration Project give a rare glimpse of the mot elusive of creatures, really good Chinese music that is not opera. Okay, so the old-school stylings of Yao Li are essentially just that, operatic and very European in influence, but the Shanghai treatment in this case hips it with a mellow beat. A beat that I wrapped up on the head of a pin and re-spun the musical thread with the last cut on the day, Cuba's Orishas, who are not only blessed with the flow, but are also important because they are among the first Cubans to address their AfroCuban identity within their music, and stronger for it. Good stuff, but I can't talk forever, listen...
Sound Travels : Global Beat Box
Tracklisting & Media:
1. Arts The Beat Conductor : "Be Alright feat. Skiggy Rapz & Wudstik" Progressions EP
2. El Hijo De Cumbia : "El Ghetto Va A Mover" Freestyle De Ritmos
3. DJ Vadim : "Beijos feat. Heidi Vogel" U Can't Lurn Imaginashun
4. Collective Bled : "Semitek Omri" Sawt El Bled
5. El Hijo De Cumbia : "Para Bailar" Freestyle De Ritmos
6. Kush Arora : "Come From Yard feat Juakali" The Dread Bass Chronicles
7. Yao Li : "Rose, Rose I Love You(Shanghai Restoration)" Remixed And Restored
8. Orishas : "Guajira" Cosita Buena