The Sway Machinery feat. Khaira Arby "Gawad Teriamou" The House Of Friendly Ghosts
"The music of The Sway Machinery invites the listener to become like children wandering in the forest, discovering something mythic and wonderful." Bold words that could've only come direct from the band's website and yet are apt to describe what these cats are doing. And why not, with members from several other excellent acts like guitarist Jeremiah Lockwood of Balkan Beat Box, drummer John Bollinger of Barbez, bass saxophonist Colin Stetson of Arcade Fire and Tom Waits' band, and the trumpet and tenor sax horn section of the band Antibalas, Jordan McLean and Stuart Bogie; they really should sound good. And they do, especially when you consider they've teamed with legendary Malian singer Khaira Arby on this single from their debut album The House Of Friendly Ghosts. Arby, famous in her native country for championing women's rights, finds a fit group to back her first foray on the international scene on this haunting song.
Foster Mangyani "Fambani" Ndze Teke Riendzo
“Foster Manganyi is a pastor from Giyani, in Limpopo, South Africa. His sublime music shares with the Honest Jon’s compilation Shangaan Electro a startling palette of sampled, synthesized sounds – the signature whistle and marimba, no bass, a little wonky high-life and rough, fast skittering drum patterns. Yet these are gospel songs, intensely sincere, brimming with aching, plaintive, mournful spirituality, without a trace of R&B, mangled or not; and however fractured, multi-faceted and fresh the music comes across, the surging lines and harmonies of the support singers are unmistakably rooted in the traditional vocal music of South Africa. Just in time for Christmas, this is the reissue of a hit cassette from 2008.” -Honest Jon’s
…couldn't have said it better myself… plus Honest Jon's was kind enough to make this a freebie.
The Dread Flimstone Sound "Ghetto Life" Disconnect
Awesome little comp I picked up while I was on vacay last week; Disconnect, compiled by Leo Zero for Strut Records as a part of an ongoing series intended to show the deepest parts of of a DJ's record crate, does just that. With cuts from long-forgotten bands like The Pirhanas or Desmond And The Tutus, Leo shares songs most of us never knew to ever remember. I love comps like these because they manage to be bot new and old, on the fringe yet relevant again– dinosaurs brought back to life. The song I'm sharing today is from a band that began as a joke, hailing from Venice Beach, CA, producer/musician Rex Morgan grew up in an ethnically diverse environment, wholeheartedly soaking in the influences of R&B, funk, and soul sounds. After flirting with a punk rock career, Morgan became a Rastafarian, growing dreadlocks and playing reggae. Morgan released one album, From The Ghetto in 1992, then sort of dropped out of the scene after a short tour with Burning Spear. Fortunately this song was released, and now hard enough to get that it's new for us today.
The Beautiful Girls "Rockers! (Downtown Upstyling)" Spooks
Lastly, a new roots reggae tune from an Australian band that sounds a bit like The Police and has won praise and toured with other notable acts like Mason Jennings and The Cat Empire. Interestingly enough, the band's frontman, Matt McHugh claims to not really like reggae… "But the reggae I do like, I love, love, love."
Fair enough, especially when you consider he loves the deep dubplate specials of roots originators like King Tubby or Johnny Osbourne. The new album isn't quite a classic, yet the songs are good and this one stood out in particular.