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2009 - week 40, from 3 October

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:11 am
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Trio Obscur - Million Tango - éclairage intime - Germany - Oriente - RIEN CD 32

2 - DVA - Vals Lipája - Fonok - Czech Republic - Indies - MAM435-2

3 - Omar Souleyman - Atabat - Highway to Hassake - Syria - Sublime Frequencies - SF 031

4 - Odade Wethu - Sengizokufa - Kuyoxaban' Amadoda - South Africa - Gallo - 505 1865 1745-5-4

5 - Calle 13 - La Perla, feat Ruben Blades - Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo - Puerto Rico/ Panama - Sony BMG - 8869 736801 2


After recording these programmes, I have one last duty, to record what the World Service management calls a billboard and what anybody else would call a trailer, which goes out ahead of the news bulletin which immediately precedes the broadcast. This calls for a certain amount of ingenuity, particularly in the case of programmes like this one which truthfully have no particular identifying theme. I’ve already forgotten what I came up with for this one, beyond declaring that it covers five different countries.

Trio Obscur

After enjoying the album éclairage intime by the the sax-led German group Trio Obscur when it came out several years ago, and playing a track or two, I misfiled it and could never find it to return to. Recently, my assistant Lilly and I have finally reclassified all my many thousands of CDs and in the process unearthed a few strays. So here comes a tango to set up the waltz in the next track.


Despite playing DVA several times already, I have had surprisingly little feedback, either in praise or complaint, but here is a previously unplayed gem from the adventurous Czech duo.

Omar Souleyman

Omar Souleyman is the Syrian wedding singer discovered and championed by Sublime Frequencies. Having been very scathing about his live appearance at the Dome, Tuffnel Park in the summer, I was spurred by comments in the forum to give him another chance and began to appreciate the appeal of his recordings, seemingly recorded live at gigs (you can sometimes hear sounds of an audience in the background) but mercifully without applause. A surprising amount of tension is generated by the remorseless repetition of the drum machine and synthesiser, which is then released in the following track.

Odade Wethu comprises two South African singers who look a lot like the Mahotella Queens and seemingly keep afloat that mbaqanga style that I had assumed had quietly died away, despite this being the only South African music most of us were interested in. Far from it, but the record label Gallo has made little or no attempt to carry the sound abroad, an oversight being set straight by Florence Halfon, the A&R decision-taker at Warner Classics & Jazz in the UK. [a search via Google images drew a blank]

Calle 13

This is the second play for ‘La Perla’ by Calle 13 (13th Street) from Puerto Rico, featuring Ruben Blades (from Panama) on vocals. Gets better each time..


PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:10 pm
by Charlie
email from:

1.A. Ms Rasma Mozere, Riga, Latvia

Hello, I wonder if you noticed that the song (waltz) by the German trio Obscure is, in fact, in Latvian, although it was with some difficulty that I could identify it.

I would very much appreciate if any background information on the trio or the singer could be made available.

The lyrics sounded like L. folk songs.

What about the composer?

The mood was distinctly Latvian as well.

Yours, Rasma Mozere, Latvia


very interesting, Rasma, thank you.

But in the light of Till's comment below, I think you have confused the artist names and it is the DVA tune (not Trio Obscur's) that may be Latvian


1.B Rasma Mozere, Riga, Latvia

Thank you, Charlie, indeed I have not been listening in carefully enough. My comment then refers to DVA (Czech Republic). I wonder if it's a Latvian tune, but the language is definitely Latvian.


2. Frankie Rockett, London UK

Hi Charlie

This weeks show is a pearl! Small in size but bursting with beauty and rarity - a true treasure! The decadence of Trio Obscur could seduce the angels, and the passion and controlled frenzy of Omar Souleyman makes me consider getting married just to have him play for me (well, almost!). Thank you so much for planning so attentively to bring us one of your best ever shows.




3. Richard Hoptroff, Paris, France

Message for Mr Gillett:

I was surprised to hear on last Sunday's CGWoM that you had not had any listener reaction from the first time you played Calle 13 on your show about 2 months ago. After hearing that first song, I went out and bought Los de Atras Vienen Conmigo immediately. It has given be great pleasure ever since. (As so many of your recommendations do.)

Richard Hoptroff

PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:00 pm
by CantSleepClownsWillGetMe


Charlie, the problem seems to be that Odadewethu should be googled as one word (although quite why it doesn't recognise the split title is a mystery to me).


PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:29 am
by till
by chance i switched on bbc tonight. couldn't leave the radio until your phantastic program was finished. if you look for someone to praise dva, here i am. something magic in that song, i hope, i can find more of that. (besides, that might be the latvian song, not the one of trio obscure, as supposed by rasma, but i guess you've got that already)
thanks, and i'm looking forward to the next time, till.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:45 am
by Charlie
till wrote: i'm looking forward to the next time, till.

Great to hear from Till Schulman, who is the director of Oriente Records, the German label whose most famous artist is Kroke, the Polish trio whose records I must also return to soon.

emails, continued

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:47 am
by Charlie
emails from:

4. Arta, Riga, Latvia

Dear Charlie,

I was listening to your programme just now and noticed that one of the songs was in Latvian, albeit it was sung with a strong accent. You later identified the singers as being Czech and singing in an invented language, or perhaps Hungarian. Just thought I'd let you know.

Thanks for a great programme though!


5. Angus Lindsay

Charlie Gillett
Thanks for years of beautiful music.
I think that the oud or guitar is a bouzouki.
Best wishes



CG reply - I think this is Angus' gentle correction after I mentioned the guitar on the Omar track


6. Tony Aspinall, Filey North Yorkshire UK

Dear Mr Gillett, Twenty odd years working for a branch of The Foriegn Office has left this 63 year retired chap a hopeless insomniac.

So I come to you by default.

Can I say just how much I enjoyed your 3/Oct/09 Show. The Omar Soulemann Atabat track. In the middle of the night on headphones was just haunting. I will try and buy the cd .

Also enjoyed The Sengizokufa track.

Thank you for introducing me to such amazing Music.

Keep up the good work.

Tony Aspinall.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:04 pm
by garth cartwright
Good selection Charlie. Like you I wasn't impressed by Omar's live show but the tune you played sounded great - exactly like what you hear in Middle Eastern souks! I picked up an NME a while back and he was listed as one of the Ten Coolest Musicians On The Planet. I kid you not. Sublime certainly know how to sell their artists to the youth!

Re: emails

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:37 pm
by Ian A.
Charlie wrote:4. Angus Lindsay
I think that the oud or guitar is a bouzouki.

CG reply - I think this is Angus' gentle correction after I mentioned the guitar on the Omar track

On the UK tour gigs it was a saz. Like what Lu plays.


Re: 2009 - week 40, from 3 October

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:08 pm
by TimDE
Charlie wrote:
DVA - Vals Lipája - Fonok - Czech Republic - Indies - MAM435-2

Despite playing DVA several times already, I have had surprisingly little feedback, either in praise or complaint, but here is a previously unplayed gem from the adventurous Czech duo.

I am surprised too, at so little response. DVA's Fonok is a gem of an album. Quite mesmerizing, to my ears, at times, DVA are redolent of French act Les Les Rita Mitsouko.