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2007 week 28, from 14 July

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:30 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Fatai Rolling Dollar - Papa Rise Again - Papa Rise Again - Nigeria - Ekostar Records - EKOCD010

2 - Gert Vlok Nel - Beautiful in Beaufort-Nes - Beautiful in Beaufort-Nes - South Africa - Munich - MRCD 281

3 - Cam Ly - Em Gái Quê - Rough Guide to Vietnam - Vietnam - World Music Network - RGNET1183CD

4 - Rajery - Mandehandeha - Sofera - Madagascar - Marabi - 46820.2

5 - Tara Fuki - Slady - Auris - Czech Republic - Indies - mam400-2

6 - Felix Lajko - Zászló (Flag) - Remény - Hungary - A Productions - CDA 004


Fatai Rolling Dollar

I’d never heard of the Nigerian singer Fatai Rolling Dollar and assumed these were new or recent recordings. But as each song seemed to be in the style of more than thirty years ago, I looked more carefully at the notes, and discovered that he sang with various well-known bands back in the 1960s and 70s, and this is a compilation from that era.

Gert Vlok Nel

For reasons yet to be properly explained, the music of white South Africans has not only rarely matched the quality of black South African music, it hasn’t even been as good as the best pop music of Australia or New Zealand. So I didn’t expect much from the Afrikaans singer, Gert Vlok Nel. But he confounded me with the attractive, thoughtful title track of his new album, addressed to a woman he once had an affair with, now married and settled down with somebody else.

Cam Ly

Paul Fisher has previously provided us with well researched compilations of music of Thailand, Malaya, China, Japan and Okinawa, all for Rough Guides. Now he does the same for Vietnam, and as usual offers the whole range from traditional folk to commercially-produced pop music. Many of the source albums for all his Asian Rough Guide compilations are on sale via his website


Rajery’s album defies comprehension. To play the valiha, the many-stringed bamboo tube unique to Madagascar, requires virtuoso technique for a musician with two hands. So how does Rajery play it so well despite having had one hand amputated? Only he can know.

photo by Philip Ryalls

I’ve enjoyed previous albums by the Czech duo, Tara Fuki, but they’ve jumped a division or two with their latest. The two women play cello and sing in a style of their own, somewhere between jazz, folk and classical, and are more adventurous on Auris, adding other musicians and playing additional instruments themselves.

photo by Philip Ryalls

When the Hungarian violinist Felix Lajko played live during a BBC Radio London broadcast from the Barbican four years ago, he astonished the audience with his emotional intensity and melodic invention. I searched in vain through his recordings to find anything that matched the impact of seeing him live. Finally, the album has arrived which conveys at least some of it.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:48 am
by Charlie
email from

1. Keith Daborn, Zufikon, Switzerland

Dear Mr Gillet

Just a small point, but these things do grate sometimes. The 'Czech Republic' requires the definite article, ie: it is 'THE Czech Republic'. Dropping the article has become something of a trend of late. One newspaper last week talked about 'Haymarket' instead of 'The Haymarket' (which it has been all my lifetime anyway). The World Service often refers to 'Ukraine' and not 'The Ukraine'. How long before we have 'Hague' and 'Congo', 'Old Kent Road', 'Mall' and 'Strand'?

Yours sincerely
Keith Daborn


2. Susan, Palisade, Colorado, USA

I listened to your programme last night for the first time (12 pm MST USA) - what wonderful music, what a delight. Thank you.


3. sue davis, paris, france

Thank you for the wonderful music...I've discovered Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder,and now this week Gert Vlok Nel.

I cant find the cd on amazon. Can you tell me where I can get it?

UK distribution for the Dutch Munich label is by Cadiz, but elsewhere, I'm not sure



Sue Buck, Sheringham, England

I sometimes fall asleep with my radio on, and woke to hear a track by Gert Vlok Nel, which I couldn't get out of my head the next day. I managed to buy his CD, which has turned out to be a delight, despite not me not understanding Afrikaans, so nice to have a translation provided. The odd English words here and there put me in mind of the language the Cocteau Twins use! Many thanks for this introduction, and your interesting programme.

Best wishes, Sue.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:42 pm
by Gordon Neill
I can only agree with Keith. It's been a bad week for the BBC, with Her Majesty being shown, quite misleadingly, in a poor light... and now this. It marred what was an otherwise perfectly fine programme. It was no coincidence that I just could not enjoy the song by Tara Fuki. The only slighty extenuating circumstance is that I suspect most of your audience are old enough to know when they are being misled. I also suspect that you need to the check that you've been spelling your surname correctly for all these years...

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:00 am
by Tonie
Thank you for the Rajery track, he is one of my absolute favourite artists. I normally don't like the valiha too much when played by itself (too fragile a sound), but the way Rajery arranges it with song and lively percussion is simply superb, and his voice has such a unique warmth, it always brings me back to Madagascar. This new album sounds as promising as his fantastic Volontany album.