It is a rare record that gets a lot of play, is a suitable soundtrack throughout the day and is loved by all members of the Cortez family 😄
“Simmering grooves built from afrobeat-inspired basslines, palm wine guitar chords, space age organ lines, honking R&B saxaphone refrains, all of them laid over the solid foundation of the distinctive Etsako-rhythm, and held together by Oshomah’s confident, plaintive vocals. It’s quite a confection that serves well either for dancing or for quiet reflection”
It’s a small celebration: my Club Cortez blog is 10 years old?! Yes, surprising to me as well. No, I couldn’t have predicted that the blog format is now (back to being) quaint and obscure. All I know for sure is that I’m still standing and still very much into music. Here’s a virtually unknown record to celebrate..enjoy my 977th post.
When you think of Guyana, music is probably not the first thing that pops into your head (for me it was “Where is Guyana?“), let alone that you are intimately familiar with the yearly Mash(rami) Carnival. Now you know that both country and tradition exist we can move forward 🙂
Omar Farouk aka Terry Nelson aka Halagala (1938-2009) was a one-man cultural and economic force in Guyana (source), opening a recording studio and running a network of labels from the late sixties to circa the early eighties. The release dates and number of releases aren’t known (yet), but an evening of online sleuthing suggests the titles I linked in the Discogs database are only a part of his releases. According to the source linked above, Nelson used recycled vinyl (read: melting down second hand records, labels included), which makes finding a clean-playing copy of one of his productions a theoretical affair.
I chanced upon a copy of “Man from Afi” earlier this year and bought it based on the promise of the cover. It delivered: the record is filled with lo-fi songs that can be described as calypso-not-calypso, combining forlorn vocals with random synths and horns. Lovely stuff, and a perfect winter warmer.
Happy holidays everyone!
Here’s an overview of the music that soundtracked my year. Most of my 2016 listening was about inspiration, comfort and looking forward rather than dwelling on the past. I hope you discover some new sounds… and bear with me on the opening track. Kanye West often out-2016nd the running year, and deserves his place. Now go, listen, and get back to me with a reaction.
01. kanye west ft chance the rapper – ultralight beam
02. jeff parker – cliche
03. jameszoo ft. arhtur verocai – flu
04. kamaiyah – I’m on
05. anderson paak – the waters
06. terrace martin – think of you
07. ondo fudd – blue dot
08. archy marshall – arise dear brother
09. jamila woods – stellar
10. marquis hill – fly little bird fly
11. bullion – unless
12. duke hugh – loft nights
13. randomer – woodwork
14. cliff curry – let love come in
15. daniel schmidt – and the darkest hour is just before dawn
The subway ate my homework, the dog was closed and the railway crossing was late. It’s a monday alright.
Plant your feet on the ground, breathe down to your diaphragm and put the needle to the record for a dubwise antidote. Bim!
Gently hypnotic paeans from the Indian Ocean.
Alain Peters (1952-1995) was a French composer, poet and singer from the little-known island of Réunion.
While he started his career as a “regular” rock musician, and was in and out of bands in the sixties, seventies and eighties, it is his more experimental solo work that has caught my ear.
Fusing the Réunion Maloya and Sega with eastern instruments and his own particular brand of saudade a individual genre of music was born: Alain Peters. “Rest’ La Mayola” compiles hard to find and previously unissued recordings from a man whose music combines European, African and Eastern culture.
Use it to light a small autumn fire in your heart.
On the occasion of the release of the first proper Dexter Wansel anthology, I was reminded of:
- Dexter Wansel‘s work has aged gracefully, and an anthology of the work of this musician/composer/arranger was overdue.
- 1979’s “The Sweetest Pain” has it all: melody, hooks, crisp production and a sweeping sense of drama. Time for a rewind – or perhaps, a first encounter?
- Composing “Nights over Egypt” should be enough to guarantee being awarded the keys to a medium-sized city.