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2007 - week 44 from Nov 3

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:44 pm
by Charlie
hSeq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Rodolfo y su Tipica RA7 - La Colegiala - Cumbia Cumbia - Colombia - World Circuit - WC 016

2 - El Tío Carlos - Pares y Nones - Groove & Soniquete - Spain - Vania - promo

3 - Jali Fily Cissokho - Umbalafeyle Tetambulo - Doumajoulo - Senegal - Kaira Arts - KA1002CD

4 - Fiona Soe Paing - tamin sah pahade - No Man's Land - UK/Mayanmar - Mexonerecordings - 2005

5 - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Allah Hoo Allah Hoo - Very Best of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Pakistan - Manteca - MANTDBL511


Last month, Joe Boyd presented his all-time world top 40 in two programmes on BBC Radio 3 *.

Not knowing what his criteria might be, I jumped the gun and made my own list **. By limiting my selection to one artist per country, I pulled myself away from the otherwise irresistible lure of West Africa and recalled the excitement of hearing the Cumbia music of Colombia for the first time in the 1980s. Here was another rhythm to set alongside ska and reggae and all the many newly discovered dance musics from Africa.


It’s a bit arbitrary to choose just one song from all the contenders with a Cumbian beat, but ‘La Colegiala’ by Rodolfo y Su Tipica RA7 had additional impact by being used in an ad for a new brand of Nescafe. I never did like powered coffee, but the pictures of a steam train coming round the mountain bends will forever be conjured by the opening bars of this song about a schoolgirl.

El Tio Carlos

In addition to all the released albums that come through the door, quite a few pre-release CD-Rs are sent, tasters of what will follow in a few months’ time. It’s difficult to decide what to do with them. Set them aside, and they’re liable to disappear at the bottom of the pile that gets bigger every day. But if I play them and find something good, it’s hard to resist putting them out on the radio straight away. I haven’t been sent the released version of the debut album by El Tio Carlos (Uncle Charlie), but have included ‘Pares y Sones’ on the understanding that the finished album does actually exist. Contact them via

For every album released by a third party record label, another comes out on an artist’s do-it-yourself imprint. In this digital age, the distinction means less and less. You can download the tracks, or you can order the CD itself online. What’s missing is a third ear, an objective voice to say this track is too long, that song is not strong enough or you need a better singer. So I approach such CDs with a mixture of good will and suspicion, hoping to like them but not expecting to. But two such albums were sent in response to my requests, after hearing tasters on the artists' MySpace profiles, so I already knew in advance that at least one track would be good.

Jali Fily Cissokho

Doumajoulo by UK-based kora player Jali Fily Cissokho passes all the tests, full of distinctive songs that are well-played and well-sung.

Fiona Soe Paing

No Man’s Land by the UK-based Burmese singer Fiona Soe Paing is more uneven, but having played ‘tamin sah pahade’ from the unavailable CD-R (and subsequently including it on the compilation Sound of the World), I promised Fiona I’d come back to the album when she actually released it. Unfortunately, the spur to do so was the recent confrontation between Myanmar’s repressive military government and Monks protesting about its policies. Listening again, I came back to my first conclusion - ‘tamin sah pahade’, the only song based on a traditional Burmese melody, is much the strongest. Hopefully Fiona will follow that concept f or a whole album next time. By the way, as Burma has officially renamed itself Myanmar, how come the British media still refers to it as Burma?

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

It is widely acknowledged that the Pakistani qawaali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was one of the great vocalists of the Twentieth Century. Usually, compilers of albums claiming to be the best of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan restrict themselves to his shortest recordings, or edited versions of his long ones. But Manteca has released a double CD of tracks that are each longer than 20 minutes. To have played one in its entirety could have used up a whole programme, so I’ve cut to the chase on ‘Allah Hoo Allah Hoo,’ starting about six minutes in, just as the singers reach the chorus for the first time. Although he is always referred to as if he were a solo singer, Nusrat was actually the leader of a vocal ensemble, and part of the pleasure in his performance was the interplay between his voice, that of his much younger second singer, and the assembled voices of his percussionists.

[* Joe’s choices are listed under ‘other radio’ in the forum at]

[** presented in the same forum, under ‘Best of Everything’].

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:47 am
by uiwangmike
By the way, as Burma has officially renamed itself Myanmar, how come the British media still refers to it as Burma?

The question has turned up from time to time on World Service feedback programs. Here's an article that sums up the arguments.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:59 am
by Charlie
emails from:

1. Neil Cole "Djum Djum", London

Hello Charlie

Lovely programme (Monday 5 Nov 07, 03.30am) Always a listening pleasure.




comment from CG

hands up, who remembers Djum Djum? Made some good house 12" singles for Rhythm King in the 1980s, with African rhythms. Maybe I should dig them out and see how they sound now.



Great Shows. Hear something new and good every week.

Thank You Charlie


3. Charles Worth, Plymouth, UK

Great Program Charlie. Any chance at all you can add it to the list of podcasts?




CG reply:

At the moment no podcasts are allowed to include music, while the BBC and the rights owners hammer out an agreement that is satisfactory to all parties


4. Peter Hammarling, Barcelona, Spain

Re: Soniquete

According to "Clave" Dictionary of use of current spanish, they say "Sound of low intensity but continuous and generally bothersome. Voice with a particular tone, especially a monotonous one, eg, "The speaker read in a soniquete so boring that one could hear the yawns.

I'm going to see El Tío Carlos on Friday and looking forward to it.



5. Jaleh Van Wagner, London, UK

Charlie: Please play more of that wonderful Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan -- the WHOLE tract. Allah Hoo is totally mesmerising. I could listen to the full tract again and again.


6. Fiona Soe Paing, Brighton, England

Hello there Charlie,

Hope you are well....and to say thanks very much for playing my track again on your show. ....from what you said about me being from Burma etc, Id just like to clarify that my dad was Burmese, my mum is Scottish, and I was born and brought up in Aberdeen... but from hearing hearing what you said, It sort of gave the impression that I am from Burma originally- Hope I didn't mislead you at all...

. yes the language is Burmese, but I am making a very rough stab at the pronunciation. My father died when I was young, so I had no Burmese influence when growing up... I think that perhaps me wanting to sing a song in Burmese was my trying to connect with my unknown roots....I still have no contact with my family over there... we met a few years ago when I visited, but have since lost touch.

I hope this clarifies the story... and by the way they met at the Hammersmith Palais !

Best wishes


CG reply

You didn't mislead me, Fiona, I just made it up myself, as I am liable to do. Thanks for setting it straight. I wonder how many people are out there whose parents met at the Hammersmith Palais?


7. Juha Hyrsky, Turku, Finland

What a wonderful surprise to hear "La colegiala". It was my first contact to Columbian music as it used to be the theme for Columbian coffee here on Finnish Tv.

Thanks for a great programme, Charlie!

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:57 pm
by ian russell
well, I am very, very disappointed.

see, we are planning to visit barcelona in the new year to celebrate an important anniversary. I was fairly taken with ''uncle charlie'' and their myspace selection is fabulous and imagine my delight to discover they're a barcelona band!

but no gigs listed for january! if you have any influence, I would be eternally grateful.

great show - once again I find I do like this bite-sized half hour format.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:53 pm
by Peter Hammarling
In the same space where El Tío Carlos is playing, a couple of weeks ago I saw 4 young women, Las Migas, an improbable flamenco group - a young german playing violin, a frenchie on flamenco guitar, a catalana singing and, yes, one genuine sevillana. They were brill and went down very well. I noticed they've also got a MySpace page: ... =243561188

Ian, I notice that El Tío Carlos is playing in Rosas on the 4th Jan - if you're flying Ryanair to Girona, that's just up the road.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:24 am
by ian russell
Is it! I'll have to get the map out.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:29 pm
by Charlie
uiwangmike wrote:
By the way, as Burma has officially renamed itself Myanmar, how come the British media still refers to it as Burma?

The question has turned up from time to time on World Service feedback programs. Here's an article that sums up the arguments.

Email from Margaret Kazinsly

I think it was three weeks ago, you introduced a piece of music by saying that it was by a group from "Myanmar." "Myanmar" is the name adopted by the military junta for Burma, and by no-one else either in Burma or outside it. Some time back I heard the man responsible for the name at the BBC World Service explaining the World Service's policy about the name used, on "Over to You." He explained that it is the World Service's policy in all programmes to refer to "Burma" and thereby not lend support to the military junta. He also pointed out that this view is shared by the US State Department, and by the British Government, the PM, and the Foreign Office. I would add, by the Financial Times. I am sure that if you think about it, for instance, you can remember Gordon Brown recently speaking about "Burma." It is not like you to adopt a political point of view, and I believe that this was really ignorance and nothing else. Please don't use the cruel military's term for Burma again. Please follow the World Service's policy. Thanks!


CG reply: Yes, ignorance it was. I wish I had known this before, as I would not have used Myanmar in identifying Fiona on my compilation.