We have a new guest column here at the Raw Music blog: Listen, Friends. (Almost) every Friday, I ask one of the musicians, filmmakers, activists, geniuses, bums or general music obsessives I’ve met in my travels to share what they’re listening to.
Allie Silver has made weird South American jams her life's mission. Five years ago she moved from Chicago to Buenos Aires to work with Argentina's innovative ZZK Records (just click and play through the whole page). She now runs the artist management company Free Radical Productions and has been touring North Africa and Europe with the incredible singer La Yegros.
Allie has introduced me to some heave heavy artists over the years, but La Yegros stands out. That bright little voice sounds warped through several continents worth of musical influences, and I've been listening non-stop. Hear La Yegros below, and read on for more of Allie's excellent picks and stories from the road.
Mo Kolours - Mike Black
Ever since I heard British-Mauritian artist’s first hit Banana Wine I’ve been hooked. Mixing delicate percussion and groovy vocals samples spliced between jazz and a fuzzy 70s funk sound, all of which he loops live, make his albums sound like a familiar vintage record yet refreshingly new. This is a track off of his new self-titled album (all of his albums you can download for free off of his bandcamp by the way) and make sure to also check out his epic Boiler Room set that I have listened to over and over.
Chancha via Circuito - Coplita
One of my favorites to come out of the ZZK Records crew from Buenos Aires, Chancha just dropped his new single with a video by South American psychedelic painter Paula Duró. Since his breakthrough album Rio Arriba in 2012, Chancha has been getting more mainstream play, including a big hit in the show Breaking Bad. His haunting spins on traditional South American folklore pulse through your core, creating a tribal dance party like no other.
Chet Faker - I'm Into You
Maybe I’m late to this parade, but you can’t argue with Chet Faker. Last month I was in Essaouira, Morocco after a tour and I had my iphone stolen. A friendly local surfer with gigantic afro helped me out to get a new phone that very same day, served me some fresh Moroccan mint tea, and introduced me to Australian Chet Faker. No greater musical medicine. Smooth soothing downtempo - it has been a staple in my travel soundtrack since.
Lindigo - Doumoun
Have you ever heard of Reunion Island? One of the world’s best kept secrets, it’s a tiny French island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Madagascar that has a vibrant culture that mixes African, Asian and French influences. As you can imagine, not only is the food amazing, so is the music. My first entree to Reunion was through this group Lindigo, who years later became our hosts when we came to tour with La Yegros. Olivier’s soaring vocals over the exotic mix of “Maloya” (native to Reunion) music, carry the message of Maloya pride and the stories of his ancestors. He has even written a book on Maloya culture, and when you hear the energetic spirit in his voice you know that the power has had to have come from at least several generations to make that sound! A totally new flavor compared to your typical African dance band - pure joy.
Skip&Die - Señorita
The first track I heard from Skip&Die was “Cumbia Dictadura” which seeped all the way through the electro cumbia interwaves from their hometown of Amsterdam down to Buenos Aires dancefloors. However their album “Riots in the Jungle” is all across the board, mixing African influences from South African Cata Pirata’s background with everything to dub step, Indian banghra, and Saharan Gnaoua music, and surprisingly - it works. I just saw them live at Couleur Cafe in Belgium two weeks ago and it was completely wild, and have since become completely entranced by their provocative new video for “Señorita”, of course directed by the ever-talented Cata herself. If they are coming to a town near you make sure not to miss them.