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Monday, March 14, 2016

WOMAD is nearly here!

As a celebration of the upcoming festival, Groove will feature a 2 hour show brought to you by the CoffeeBar Kid.  Tune in from 8 PM this Wednesday 16 March.

Below are 5 bands you must check out ...  
 [su:m] (South Korea)

Initially formed in 2007, by traditional musicians, the group expanded to include a Piri-Bamboo Oboe, Mouth Organ, a 25 string Gayageum-Zither and a steel string Gayageum.  TheIr manifesto was to 'start a new era of Korean traditional music that sheds light on contemporary spirit by addressing in musical sense sentiments and lessons learned from living a modern life'.  On vinyl, their sound is a mashup of the old and the new influences of western classical harmonies which will make Korean music not only more palatable but hopefully convert a few new followers in the process.
ORANGE BLOSSOM (France / Egypt)

This is one of those bands that is a result of living in a multicultural city, with all the tastes and influences of exotic and local flavours.  Orange Blossom are a musical concoction that marries suspense-heavy electronica with Arabic rhythms – Portishead relocates to the Maghreb, if you will.  Robert Plant's a fan, having toured with him.  They've been in hiding for a while making a new album, 'Under the Shade of Violets', a record that draws from all over, but especially Egypt, with an urgent sound these days, underscored by a refusal to stand still, a clear message about living today: “You have to travel,” they say.  “You have to move”.
They've been refenced as a Talking Heads funky…growlingly bluesy…contemplative and hypnotic…A triumph" : The Guardian

Songhoy Blues formed in 2012 after the group fled their homes in North Mali due to growing unrest and a ban on music. The four-piece have since collaborated with Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs for the Africa Express project, released their debut album to critical acclaim and have been in high demand on the international touring circuit.

With the band citing influences ranging from Malian greats such as Ali Farka Touré and Baba Salah to Jimi Hendrix, Songhoy Blues unique blend of traditional and modern sounds has been described as everything from desert blues punk, R&B, to the love child of Ali Farka Toure and US Bluesman John Lee Hooker.

‘The sounds that hit you first are sounds that you are familiar with; they sound folky, but once you start listening to the music and how it’s composed you hear elements of systems music – people like Steve Reich, Philip Glass, dance music. All sorts of musical influences are woven into this very contemporary music. This is soulful music, passionate music and I love it.’ Peter Gabriel

Signed to Real World Records by Peter Gabriel after years in obscurity, Spiro redefine English folk music with their very special blend of Northumbrian traditional tunes and systems music.  They have since performed at festivals in the UK, Europe, Canada, India and UAE, and have toured throughout the UK in support of four albums on Real World Records.  They attract fanatical enthusiasm from their increasing audiences who to follow their performances with an almost religious awe.  Their approach to their music is unique, breathtaking and seems impossible, even as you watch it.

‘We’re like a string quartet, but the most driving and exciting string quartet that you could imagine.’  Jane Harbour, the violinist of Spiro, is trying to put a neat handle on the essence of this instrumental four-piece.  It’s not an easy task.  Despite the group’s folk-friendly tools (violin, acoustic guitar, mandolin and accordion), they’re something of a slippery beast when it comes to being contained by mere words.  Guitarist Jon Hunt has a go.  ‘We’ve got more to do with minimalist classical and dance music than we have with folk.  Even though we use folk tunes, they’re raw materials that the rest of the sound is built around.  There’s no ornamentation to attract attention to one particular instrument.  In fact, there’s that feeling that each member of the band isn’t just playing that instrument, they’re playing the whole thing.’  This is what Spiro refer to as “the mesh”, the locked-in ensemble sound that’s a relentless, wonderfully overpowering assault on the eardrums.

Tulegur, a modern nomad group, rooted in traditional tunes of Inner Mongolia and influenced by rock music. Their sound is a great mixture of traditional music, rock, throat sing (Khoomei, traditional throat singing of Mongolian) and Mongolian and Chinese folk. This combination results in a unique style that is being called“Mongolian grunge” or “nomad rock” by the artists themselves.

Gangzi is the soul of Tulegur, educated in traditional opera, his voice can reach the lowest tone of throat singing. Attracted by modern music, Gangzi moved from Inner Mongolia to Beijing to perform and compose. A year later, he returned to his hometown, Hulunbeier, where he spend time with local farmers to learn Khoomei. This nomad experience became a revelation in his life and helped him to discover his own musical style. After years of solo
performances, Gangzi has achieved remarkable success all around China and in the world.

In the end of 2014, percussionist / guitarist Zongcan joint Tulegur’s new bigger picture. As an experienced guitarist and percussionist, Zongcan has travelled to many places both in China and other countries. He has special ways to embrace different cultures and combines them with his music.
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