Shem Tube - Country Music from Western Kenya by Cyrus Moussavi

Our latest from Raw Music International / Olvido records... mastered by Grammy winner Mike Graves from the personal collection of Kenyan guitar legend Shem Tube. All proceeds go to the artists. Limited run of 200 cassettes available in fine record stores worldwide.

Khun Narin's Electric Phin Band - Sports Day Jam by Cyrus Moussavi

The Raw Music International crew had the glorious opportunity to meet and record Khun Narin's Electric Phin Band, a gang of really nice dudes living and shredding in the sunbaked flat lands of north-central Thailand. They achieved considerable notoriety when a YouTube video they posted of a similar live jam went viral amongst music nerds worldwide. A subsequent album on the great Innovative Leisure label upped their profile. But back home in Thailand, they're unknown outside of their province, and they're bemused by the small stream of foreign visitors who make it up to Phetchabun. They were gracious hosts, treating us to an unending stream of Thai whiskey and grilled squid from 7/11. We spent three days with the crew and recorded hours of video and audio. It's all coming soon. For now, here's a quick piece from an all-day jam.

More info at the RMI Blog

And please check out their bandcamp to buy their music and support the artists (also available on vinyl):

Burma: The Yado Hymn by Cyrus Moussavi

We recorded this track in the remote mountains between Taungoo and Loikow. A 9 hour motorcycle ride turned into 4 days on hellish roads. The ghosts of Italian missionaries from the 1800s saved us.  It's illegal to stay with civilians in Burma, so we turned to the churches these fervent Italian Catholics built along the mountain range.  The Italians are long gone, chased out by the military government, but Burmese priests keep the faith alive. They were shocked to see bedraggled foreigners on their stoops, but took us in and fed us out of Christian duty.  

The churches have schools and dormitories attached.  Kids from the surrounding villages live, study, and work there.  At night, they pray with eyes clenched, shouting Latin hymns into the mountains of Burma. It's haunting and beautiful.  This is an example from Yado.  

Ukraine: Vy Soglashaetes [вы соглашаетесь] - 1984 by Cyrus Moussavi

Vy Soglashaetes means "You Agree," like when you fill out forms on the internet and they ask you to confirm.  Pavel writes the songs and records them in a bedroom in Kharkiv, on the border of Russia and Ukraine.  He calls his work "abstract hip hop," and he's one of the most powerful artists we've met in our travels. He features prominently in our Ukraine episode for NBC (see Videos page).  

Kenya: Raw Music Kisumu Mixtape by Cyrus Moussavi

Tracks recorded and collected on the first Raw Music trip to Kisumu, Kenya.  Hip-hop, reggae and the glorious sounds of blind Luo guitarist Olima Anditi (cover image). Enjoy