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Artist: BARGOU 08
Title: Targ
Format: LP
Label: Glitterbeat
Country: Germany
Price: $25.00
180-gram vinyl. Includes download code. "Lying between the mountains of northwest Tunisia and the Algerian border, the Bargou valley and the village named after it lie isolated, away from the world. Its poor, barren country, but standing apart, Bargou has developed its own culture that had never been documented until Nidhal Yahyaoui began the task. Born in the valley, he grew up hearing his parents and family sing the songs that belong to the region, and he was determined that the music and traditions shouldnt slip away into obscurity. "Nidhal began collecting songs from all over the valley more than ten years ago," explains producer and keyboard player Sofyann Ben Youssef, whos known Yahyaoui since they were both ten years old. "No one had ever done that before. He listened to the women, to the village elders, and he learned all the variations on the songs. This is his passion, and he asked me to join him." Together, they assembled a collective of both local and European musicians who spent three weeks playing in the Yahyaoui family home in Bargou village. They worked on the material, shaping a sound that harnessed the power of the tradition and connected it to something the young would understand. "It was important for us to record there and to use some local musicians on the record," explains Ben Youssef. "But we also wanted the young people in the village to see that something could be created right there and that they didnt need a lot of money to do it, to inspire them." Made over the course of three weeks in the Yahyaoui family home, Targ hews close to the tradition, taking its power from the root, with Ben Yousefs synthesizer adding subtle touches at the top and bottom ends. Bales of hay were piled up in the rooms to act as acoustic baffles. Ben Yousef set up in the kitchen, operating the recording equipment with one hand and playing Moog with the other. It was an improvised setup, but it captured the fire and energy of the musicians performances. But it all revolves around Yahyaouis voice. Raw and emotional, plaintive and passionate, it proudly bears all the weight of history. And underneath, the thick, fat bass carries the music firmly into the 21st century. The explosive rhythms of drums and percussion give a primal power to the bass grooves. Its the trance of the past emerging from out of the speakers. With Targ, Bargou 08 make sure that the valley and its people will never be forgotten. Lassaed Bougalmi: gasba and zokra (traditional reed instruments); Imed Rezgui: bendir (percussion); Nidhal Yahyaoui: vocals and wtar (oud-like instrument); Sofyan Ben Youssef: synthesizer and musical direction; Benjamin Chaval: drums." - Glitterbeat.

Artist: HASSELL, JON & BRIAN ENO
Title: Fourth World Music Vol. I: Possible Musics
Format: CD
Label: Glitterbeat
Country: Germany
Price: $16.00
"Originally released in 1980, Jon Hassell and Brian Enos collaborative album Fourth World Music Vol. I: Possible Musics is a sound document whose ongoing influence seems beyond dispute. Not only is the album a defining moment in the development of what Eno coined as "ambient music" but it also facilitated the introduction of Hassells "future primitive" trumpet stylings and visionary "Fourth World" musical theories to the broader public. These vectors continue to enrich contemporary audio culture. Enos ambient strategies are now fixed in the DNA of electronic music and the cross-cultural legacy of Hassells "Fourth World" concept is apparent not only in the marketplace genre "World Music" but also more persuasively in the accelerating number of digitally-driven, borderless musical fusions we now experience. By the time that Eno and Hassell met, Hassells experiments with a "Fourth World" musical vocabulary were well underway and in fact it was because of these experiments, particularly Hassells debut album Vernal Equinox that Brian Eno purposefully sought him out. Within a couple of months of Hassells performance at The Kitchen the duo entered Celestial Sound in New York City and began work on what would become Fourth World Music Vol. I: Possible Musics. Hassell invited previous collaborators like the Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos and the Senegalese drummer Ayibe Dieng to join the sessions. Most of the tracks carry a Hassell/Eno writing credit, though the 20-minute "Charm (Over Burundi Cloud)" was a carryover from Hassells concert repertoire. Hassell has made it clear in several interviews over the years that the albums shared billing was at least partly inaccurate and that Enos contribution was mainly as a producer. More spiky, angular and steeped in rhythm and exoticism than most of Enos records and more drone-based, reflective and sonorous than most of Hassells outings, Possible Musics -- whatever the actual division of labor in sound and concept -- is a seminal highlight in both of their discographies. A meeting of two of the late 20th centurys most restless and prescient musicians, the album sounds as beguiling, indeterminate and otherworldly today as it did 34 years ago when it was originally released. The impact of Possible Musics on the contemporary music conversation was almost immediate. Just ten days after it was mastered, Brian Eno and David Byrne convened in Los Angeles to continue experiments inspired in part by Hassells musical theories. The resultant album would be called My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. All parties involved agree that Ghosts was originally conceived as a trio project that included Hassell but the idea fell apart over disagreements about logistics and musical direction. Hassell still remains bitter about what he considers the projects un-credited appropriation of his musical signatures. From there it was a short jump forward to the chart-topping, Afro-futurism of The Talking Heads Remain in Light, an album that Eno co-produced and Hassell guested on. "Fourth World" strategies have echoed, and can still be heard echoing in the music of Peter Gabriel, Nils Petter Molvaer, Björk, David Sylvian, David Byrne, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Damon Albarn, DJ Spooky, Jah Wobble, Matmos, 23 Skidoo, Goat, Bill Laswell, Mark Ernestus, Adrian Sherwood, and of course, the ongoing projects of Eno and Hassell themselves. Glitterbeat is proud and honored to re-release and re-introduce this compelling, groundbreaking album." - Glitterbeat.

Artist: HAYVANLAR ALEMI
Title: Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara
Format: LP
Label: Glitterbeat
Country: Germany
Price: $25.00
"Formed by three school friends in the Turkish capital of Ankara in 1999, Hayvanlar Alemi have established themselves at the vanguard of global psychedelic sound. Their acclaimed 2010 album Guarana Superpower (SF 062CD) was released on the buzz-label Sublime Frequencies and showcased the bands unrepentant eclecticism and wide-eyed cosmic spirit. Interfacing with the golden age of Turkish psychedelic rock, surf music, Cambodian pop, West African guitar motifs, Middle Eastern traditional music, and the knife-edge of indie rock, it was clear from the beginning that Hayvanlar Alemi was an instrumental rock band for our radically interconnected millennium. But in 2010 they also recorded and released (online) a dramatically different sort of album. The band had flirted with dub-reggae stylings since their inception and with Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara they at last realized their dream of making a full-blown dub album, though clearly a dub album that also embraced their own agenda. The album includes covers of the Eek-a-Mouse classic "Assassinator" and a legendary Turkish radio jingle, and blends together re-workings of older Hayvanlar Alemi songs with freshly minted, dubwise explorations. Drummer Işık Sarıhan explains the albums inception this way: "We were listening to a lot of dub and reggae during the days leading up to this album. We even ended up playing in a reggae festival at some point; we were invited for some reason, maybe because we had some reggae rhythms on a bunch of songs on the previous demos. Anyway, we had this fantasy of creating a dub record, but in our own psych-rock fashion which led to Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara. The title is a reference to the African Head Charge album Vision of a Psychedelic Africa." Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara is the flashpoint where dub music and global psych-rock melt together. It is a feast for all well-appointed sonic explorers. This is its first vinyl release, pressed on 180-gram vinyl, presented in a gatefold sleeve, and limited to 500 copies. Side A is the complete Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara (2010) and side B is a collection of related, previously unreleased songs and experiments titled Selected Visions (2009-2011)." - Glitterbeat.

Artist: IFRIQIYYA ELECTRIQUE
Title: Ruwahine
Format: LP
Label: Glitterbeat
Country: Germany
Price: $25.00
Includes download code. "Sufi trance musicians and rituals -- from the depths of the Tunisian desert -- in conversation with post-industrial sonics. Ifriqiyya Electriques François Cambuzat -- a guitarist and field recordist (Turkey, China, Central Asia) -- is a veteran of the Mediterranean punk and avant-rock scene, which has always been more politically charged than its counterparts to the north and (far) west. With bassist Gianna Greco, he is half of Putan Club (and one third when these two fierce and uncompromising players are joined by legend of the NY underground, Lydia Lunch). Ifriqiyya Electrique was formed in the Djerid desert in southern Tunisia. The Banga is a key annual event in the lives of the black communities of the oasis towns of southern Tunisia, descendants of the Hausa slaves transported from sub-Saharan Africa. It is a ritual of adorcism, not of exorcism; of accommodating the possessing spirit rather than expelling it. The invitation has been issued by the rûwâhîne themselves, the spirits from whom the record borrows its title, and is taken up primarily in the streets and in private houses. The Banga is a musical tradition, with stark, metallic, cavernous percussion, and voices of cool urgency, but should not be felt as such, for it is most defiantly a ritual and remains so on this recording. Cambuzat and Greco are joined in live performance by the voices, krakebs, and Tunisian tablas of three members of the Banga community, Tarek Sultan, Yahia Chouchen, and Youssef Ghazala, with a fourth, Ali Chouchen, providing vocals and nagharat on the recording itself. The voices and rhythms are unaltered, of course. What is new here is the conversation the group initiates between guitar, bass, and electronics and the rhythms and chants of the Banga -- what Cambuzat refers to a post-industrial ceremony. It wont be an easy listen for purists and propagandists; but if post-industrial ceremony doesnt describe a large portion of the most challenging music of the last 40 years, what does? In short, the music can only be fully understood in the context of the events that gave rise to it. Happily, Ifriqiyya Electrique is a film and documentary project as much as a band. The footage is astonishing: of wild, ecstatic gatherings that seem, to the un-initiates, by turns other-worldly and utterly familiar. It is familiar because of the need for "new ways of forgetting," in Cambuzats words. But surely there is a need to remember too. For here is another deep tradition, another precarious music, on the brink: a vital part of a Sufi culture being pressed on all sides by the forces of reaction. Ifriqiyya Electrique will not be lamenting its passing -- because they will refuse to let it pass." - Glitterbeat.

Artist: JUPITER & OKWESS INTERNATIONAL
Title: Kin Sonic
Format: LP
Label: Glitterbeat
Country: Germany
Price: $25.00
180-gram vinyl. Includes download code. "With their second album, Kin Sonic, Jean-Pierre Bokondji aka Jupiter and his band Okwess transcend the Congos unexplored musical heritage and dive into a pool of modernity. Its a work of perfect alchemy, enriched by contributions from Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, violinist Warren Ellis of Dirty Three and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Robert del Naja aka 3D of Massive Attack. Del Najas input comes in the form of a unique and powerful album cover, the fee for which he decided to donate to an NGO called La Fondation Etoile du Congo de Madame Princesse Kibinda Mariam Rita, based in Lemba, the neighborhood in Kinshasa where Jupiter lives. At the beginning of the 1980s, Jupiter joined the band Famous Black, which later became Bongo Folk before finally settling on the name Okwess. Since then, Okwess has had many line-up changes but always kept the same captain at the helm. In 2006, a documentary called Jupiters Dance, directed by Florent de la Tullaye and Renaud Barret, revealed this extraordinary personality to the world -- this Don Quixote who, in a dilapidated and abandoned environment, has fought stubbornly against the odds to keep his band alive. In 2013, the release of the album Hotel Univers gave Jupiter a certain international legitimacy as well as the opportunity to tour the world several times over. Its follow-up, Kin Sonic, features a reading by French actress and film director Sandrine Bonnaire (a Jupiter fan) of an extract from the book Bandoki (The Sorcerers) by Zamenga Batukezanga, an African philosopher and author with a vivid writing style who, though little known outside the Congo, was a familiar face in his neighborhood of Lemba, where he died in 2000. Thanks to the Congos immense natural resources, half a century of independence resulted in the enrichment of a small handful of people and the impoverishment of everyone else, following a colonial era in which the seizure of natural wealth was the only rule. Just like Batukezangas writing, Jupiters lyrics focus on this painful past, and how to overcome it. Gathered around Jupiter are the Okwess faithful: Montana (of Staff Benda Bilili) on drums, Yendé on bass, guitarists Eric and Richard, and the singer Blaise. Produced by Marc-Antoine Moreau (Amadou & Mariam, Songhoy Blues) and François Gouverneur, Kin Sonic finds its voice in the exploration of a heritage that has remained totally hidden until now, and comes to take its place in a contemporary landscape where walls and borders are exploding in the face of a yearning to share moments of beauty and pure madness, all mixed up together." - Glitterbeat.

Artist: LARAAJI
Title: Ambient 3: Day of Radiance
Format: LP + CD
Label: Glitterbeat
Country: Germany
Price: $25.00
180-gram vinyl. Gatefold sleeve. Includes CD. 2015 remastered reissue. Includes lengthy interview with Laraaji. "Laraajis glistening 1980 debut Ambient 3: Day of Radiance has from the beginning been considered an outlier. Though widely celebrated at that the time of its original release (as the third installment in Brian Enos emerging ambient music series), the album also brought with it an aura of mystification. Where did it fit in? An uncharted synthesis of resonating zither textures, interlocking hammered rhythms, and 3-D sound treatments (courtesy of Eno), Day of Radiance seemed to push open many doors at once, ambient music being only one of them. Though there are certainly aspects of the album that find sonic common ground with other Eno-related "ambient" projects (on the tracks "Meditation #1" and "Meditation #2" in particular), the album is not easily boxed into a singular genre. Day of Radiance also mines the ethereal spiritualism of late-70s new age music (of which Laraaji is considered a pioneer), the harmonic and rhythmic repetitions of American minimalists Terry Riley and Steve Reich, and traditional global sounds from India and Java (particularly gamelan music). And while Laraaji never explicitly embraced the "Fourth World" theories of fellow visionary and Eno collaborator Jon Hassell, Day of Radiance echoes a kindred exploratory exoticism. In the late 70s Brian Eno had relocated to New York City from London and had begun a period of fertile intersections with musicians in his adopted home. Laraaji recounts how he and Eno first crossed paths: "I was playing [zither] in Washington Square Park and I usually play with my eyes closed because I get into meditative trance states that way, and opening my eyes and collecting my little financial reward from that evening, there was a note, on notebook paper -- it looked like it had been ripped from somebodys expensive notebook -- there was a note that says Dear sir, kindly excuse this impromptu piece of message, I was wondering if you would be interested in talking about participating in a recording project I am doing, signed: Brian Eno." The album was completed in two sessions; the first one produced the faster, pulsing "Dance" compositions (on the A-side) and the second session yielded something closer to Enos own ambient constructs -- slow zither washes and waves with more pronounced sound enhancements (on the B-side). While the album is deceptively simple in its construction, closer listening reveals its extraordinary depth of field and its polymath influences." - Glitterbeat.

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