Today sees the release of Guzo, the debut solo album by young Ethiojazz piano prodigy and Dub Colossus band member, Samuel Yirga.
The Real World Gold series also kicks off today with two gems by American artists -- The Blind Boys of Alabama's first Grammy winner, Spirit of the Century (featuring David Lindley, John Hammond and Charlie Musselwhite) and alt-rock singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur's Come To Where I'm From - followed on October 2nd by Indo-UK songstress Sheila Chandra's retrospective collection, Moonsung.
Also set for October 2nd release is Go Tell It On The Mountain, the Grammy-winning Christmas album by The Blind Boys of Alabama, with performances by guest artists Tom Waits, Chrissie Hynde, Aaron Neville, Shelby Lynne, Michael Franti, George Clinton, Mavis Staples, and Richard Thompson, among others.
Later in the year, look out for two classic titles from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Mustt Mustt and Night Song, plus two great African releases - Uganda's Geoffrey Oryema with Exile, and Congolese star Papa Wemba's standout, Emotion.
Taken from their recent album, Portico Quartet, Steepless is the band’s first vocal collaboration and features the East London based Swedish singer, Cornelia. Features a new radio edit of Steepless done by the band themselves as well as a mix by London electronica artists Capac - the band’s favourite from over 200 entries to their Soundcloud remix competition in February. Also featured are two new mixes of the darkly hypnotic Laker Boo, one from Hyper Dub signed Rinse FM DJ Scratcha DVA bringing his unique take on UK bass music to the party and one from noted Berlin house producer and Berghain DJ Luca Lozano who takes the track to the dance floor with a deep house mix.
After careful deliberation Nick Page has chosen the winners the ‘My Head’ remix competition. Thanks to everyone for taking part, we’ve all had great fun listening to the remixes as they have been coming in. You can listen to the winner re-mixers below:
Winner - Cycloscope
“…great jazzy drum n bass version), makes me want to dance, great programming and spirit." Nick Page
Runners up - Przemyslaw Grzelak & BigPete
Keep your eyes peeled for future remix competitions on the Remixed section of our website page.
So popular was the special edition CD ‘30 Real World at WOMAD’ at this weekend’s WOMAD festival that it sold out. If you were disappointed to find out that you were unable to buy this anniversary CD, we have extended the reduced price for one week only.
This 30-track tribute is an assembly of those Real World artists who’ve been most closely connected with the festival over the last three decades – from the spirit-of-82 vibes of The Drummers of Burundi (along with Peter Gabriel’s The Rhythm of the Heat, premiered at the first festival all those years ago) right to the present with contributions from Spiro and Portico Quartet.
The Creole Choir of Cuba showcased their spectacular harmonies to a packed crowd at the Komedia in Bath last night. The choir were taking time out from recording their second album at Real World Studios. The rip roaring energy of the choir led for some audience members to get out of their seats and dance.
To celebrate the launch of Samuel Yirga’s debut album ‘Guzo’ we are giving you the opportunity to remix the track 'My Head’, taken from the album.
Listen to the track above, then download the remix stems and submit your track to our dropbox on Soundcloud. The closing date for entries is July 30th. Winners will be announced on the 7th August.
The winning remixer will get their hands on a Soundcloud PRO account along with a copy of the new album, two runners up will receive SoundCloud Lite accounts.
'My Head’ is an Ethio-Latin jazz track, which pays homage to John Coltrane’s “Africa Brass” album (McCoy Tyner on piano), with a nod to Horace Silver and Dave Brubeck. The piano riff-led sonic journey leads you through the east African highlands via a Latin nightclub in Addis Ababa and on to Brazil.
The track, like a lot of Ethiopian music, is in ¾ and 6/4 time signature. The Afro-Brazilian 2/4 pulse gives it danceability!
Samuel Yirga is a bright young musical talent exploring Ethiopia’s rich heritage. Pianist, composer and Dub Colossus band member, his album ventures into the world of jazz, soul and funk, into big-band brass ensembles and simmers with deeply-impassioned, introspective solo piano tracks.
“Incredible … this album has absolutely blown my socks off!”
Gilles Peterson BBC 6 Music – Album of the Week
“Impressive debut from Ethio-jazz pianist … Twenty-something Yirga is a man on a mission - to become Ethiopia’s greatest pianist. He’s surely halfway there.”
“… (a) staggeringly brilliant album.”
Sydney Morning Herald *****
“On Yirga’s solo piano pieces we get to hear a full flowering of his spirit and thus his huge potential as both musician and composer … A supremely gifted and versatile young pianist.”
The Arts Desk
On the show (which also featured a conversation with New York rapper Nas) Gilles played a selection of tracks from the album including, 'Firma Ena Wereket', 'Nou Se Soleil' and 'I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun'.
Re-listen to the show online via the BBC website (available until 7 July).
On a freezing cold snowy night last winter Real World Studios felt as warm as the tropics. The voices of the Creole Choir of Cuba infused Samuel Yirga's version of The Black Gold of the Sun with spiritual soulfulness. Samuel's delight as the Choir lifted the roof with their powerful harmonies was clear to see - his beautifully-arranged tune had come to life. Add the sparkle of Nicolette's voice on the verse plus the towering Horns of Negus brass arrangement and the track was ready to celebrate the coming summer.