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2008 - week 48 from 30 Nov

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:46 am
by Charlie ... lett.shtml

Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Psarantonis & The Ensemble Xylouris - O Chorós Tis Vrochis - Mountain Rebels - Crete - Network - 495123

2 - Buika - no habra nadie en el mundo - niña el fuego - Spain - Atlantic - 256 469 5477

3 - Vampire Weekend - Cape Code Kwassa Kwassa - Vampire Weekend - USA - XL - XLCD318

4 - Bombenga et Vox Africa - Simone - African Pearls: Congo 70 Rumba Rock - Congo - Syllart - 6139342

5 - Enzo Avitabile - Nuie e ll'Acqua - Festa Farina Forca - Italy - Il Manifesto - CD 180

6 - Taksim Trio - Gitti de Gitti - Taksim Trio - Turkey - Doublemoon - DM 0040


A mostly Mediterranean cruise, with a hop-over to Congo (directly and indirectly).


Based in Crete, the lyra player Psarantonis is well-known for his raw voice, so the track we start with is not at all typical. A gentle instrumental, it features him playing mandolin, mainly, but thanks to the recording technique trickery of he does also play the lyra as well.


Daughter of immigrant parents from Equatorial Guinea, Buika grew up on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca. Her third album, Niña el fuego, is a mainstream success in Spain, but cannot be dismissed as easy listening. Using the full range of her voice, Buika sometimes whispers, sometimes cries out loudly, always holding attention. Guitar is prominent throughout the album, so it was a surprise when she played a recent UK your with simply grand piano and kit drum for her accompaniment. It felt like a big challenge to fill the space between such different instruments, but Buika pulled it off with little sign that it was even unusual, still less that it was difficult. A major talent.


The Manhattan-based group Vampire Weekend is unusual, possibly unique, among contemporary American bands in daring to try to play in an African style, threading their guitar melodies to achieve a rhythmic drive without resorting to the standard 2/4 clump that make so much American rock music so ponderous and predictable. With its obscure rfeference to Peter Gabriel, the song’s lyric seems to mock a young socialite girl from the Upper West Side: Is your bed made?/Is your sweater on?/Do you want to/Like you know I do?/But this feels so unnatural/Peter Gabriel too/Can you stay up/To see the dawn/In the colours/Of Bennetton?

Bombenga at Vox Africa.

Nice try from Vampire Weekend, but we go back to the real thing, the kind of music that inspired them, with a track from the latest compilation in the African Pearls series, recorded in the 1970s by the rarely heard Bombenga at Vox Africa.

Enzo Avitabile

Returning to the Mediterranean, we replay the standout track from the latest album by the versatile Enzo Avitabile (the stress in his last name is ‘Avit-arbillay’) who writes, sings and plays soprano sax on ‘Nuie e ll'Acqua’. I’ve played it before but that doesn’t account for how familiar and classic it sounds.

Taksim Trio

I missed Taksim Trio from Istanbul on their recent visit to London, but Seb Merrick caught them and reported in the gig section of this forum: “Taksim had a beautiful sound and all three were fluid and virtuosic and contemplative. Husnu on clarinet cruised a little too much for my taste and the pieces were rather in the same mood but Ismail Tuncbilek on baglama and Aytac Dogan on kanun were stunningly good.â€


PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:04 pm
by Charlie
email from:

1. Dallas Simpson, Nottingham, UK

Brilliant programme! Yet another triumph of the World Service. World music at its best with intelligent comment.


2.Deborah Clarke-Blome, Seattle, WA USA

Dear Charlie Gillett: I discovered your program last night as I listened to the BBC on our local NPR (National Public Radio) station 94.9 FM. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the Nov. 29 show--very fresh sounds. Though everything was good to listen to, I particularly enjoyed Buika, Enzo Avitabile, and the Taksim Trio. I will be looking for their music. Thanks!


3. s.mineo

why do u always focus on Africa?? it's called "world of music" not African music show!! What about Japan, India, Russia, China, Australia etc, etc??

I'm sure they have musicians there...try 'em, I would love to be shocked...if that's too much work, try changing the title to truly suit the facts. thank you


4. Hector HUERTA, Oxford, Ohio. US

Mr. Gillett is such an inspirational figure, whose work brings people together through the sounds and music of our planet Earth. He also has this touch of finesse when interviewing people that makes me feel as if I were sitting in the studio with them. Thank you Mr. Gillett and the BBC for sharing world music to allow me to appreciate the diversity of our planet through so many musical genres. I will be honored to teach you Spanish any time. (*)
Hasta la vista y gracias


5. Ravenna, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I'm a professional, classical cellist and I happened on your program. It was of such quality and such variety; so informative. I'm hooked! I couldn't wait to show my daughter. Thank you very much!


6. simon James, Cleethorpes

This woke me up immediately as I'm prone to sleeping with the world service at present. Had to come on the net to find out who the songs were by. My Spanish comprehension isn't the best at 4 in the morn. Absolutely fantastic it's like being fed after years of starving musically in England. Thanks Charlie.

I'll learn Spanish with ya. (*)

Aspiring musician.



CG reply.

the references to learning Spanish are triggered by an item on the World Service site, following a moment some years ago when a young researcher asked me, what were my ambitions? I did not realise how long my casual answer would last


7. Suzana, Berlin

I love this programme

I've been in a very complicated and difficult situation and listening to this programme was one of the ways to escape and to overcome these difficulties. It wouldn't be exaggerated if I would say, that partly it has saved my life.

The very competent und unpretetious art of presenting and overall the very interesting choice of albums have made this programme for some time now a constant part of my weekends.

Thank you very much!


8. Uschi Schueller, Carlisle, MA. USA

Thank you for all the great music. I stay up all night to listen to 30 minutes of this superbly selected music. Now I just found out that I can listen to the show online. Wonderful!


9. Rebecca Sullivan, Machynlleth, Wales

Hi Mr. Gillett, Just wanted to let you know I loved Buika, Vampire Weekend and Enzo Avitabile. Discovered them all, in a wondrous dream-out-of-sleep in the middle of the night, thanks to you!

Some names I think you might like, if you don't know them already: Mor Karbasi (Israeli/Spanish singer), Alejandro Toledo (London-based Gypsy music) and Marino Perez (in particular the song "O la pago yo o la paga ella").

Thanks for the lovely music!

Re: 2008 - week 48 from 30 Nov

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 2:14 pm
by Chris P
Charlie wrote:Buika - no habra nadie en el mundo

What a song, just keeps growing and growing, and what singing.
Have the album, but hearing it on your Radio 3 prog last night, then today on this WS programme, really brings it home for me. You pick em well !

Charlie wrote: Vampire Weekend is unusual, possibly unique, among contemporary American bands in daring to try to play in an African style

hey not unique, two words : TOUBAB KREWE

email from

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:03 am
by Charlie
Rick Pook, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Hi Charlie, I listen to your programme avidly, and have written to you before complementing you on the music on the show......but that's not to say you don't screw up! Please don't play anything by Vampire Weekend ever again. They've listened to Paul Simon and figure 'We can do that!"

As a guitarist, who was the only white guy in a Jit band in London in the seventies.......the rest were all African......I can honestly say that Vampire Weekend completely miss the mark.


CG reply: that was my first response too, but hearing them by accident somewhere, I realised they were better than I had first thought