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Celtic Connections Opening Concert 'Nae Regrets' - Martyn Bennett's GRIT

One of the main themes running through next year’s Celtic Connections festival is paying homage to the late and great musicians who have left their mark on the current musical landscape.

The Opening Night will be a show dedicated to the remarkable Martyn Bennett, one of Scotland’s great musical visionaries. To commemorate ten years since his passing, the Opening Night of the festival will feature a full orchestration by experimental cross-genre classical violinist Greg Lawson of Bennett’s last great work, the album GRIT. It was a fearless album that drew from the great voices of the tradition like Lizzie Higgins and Sheila Stewart MBE and placed them against a soundscape of beats and samples and started the evolution of celtic fusion.

The concert will take place on Thursday 15th January, 7:30pm at the Main Auditorium, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Find out more via the Celtic Connections website

Read more via BBC News

Published 15th Oct 2014, 9:57am »

Society of Sound 76: Mar De Leva - A selection from Polen

This month the featured music on Society of Sound takes us to contemporary Colombia.

Polen Records has produced or released some of the most important acts of Colombia and South America. In 2013, Polen was first nominated at the Latin Grammy Awards with Bomba Estéreo’s album Elegancia Tropical (2012) as Best Alternative Music Album. 

The compilation, on Society of Sound, Mar de Leva is a slice of that inspirational vision. 

Felipe Alvarez, the founder and visionary behind Polen Records says:

“The catalogue exposes the artistic line we helped to create and seek to maintain, revealing the multicultural identity of our country. Our roster includes cult bands such as Bajotierra and Sidestepper, singer Ella Fuksbrauner, Mucho Indio, Bomba Estéreo, Radio Cumbia, Cero39 and Mitú. Artists such as Chocquibtown, Pernett and Sol Okarina have also been part of the family and shared their music with us. 

At Polen Records we admire and appreciate the music our artists create and understand our job as a collective effort to get this music to the widest audience possible.” 

One of the key artists for the label are Bomba Estereo, who’s track El Alma y El Cuerpo features on the compilation - listen below.

Back in 2005, visual artist Simón Mejía began a collaborative project that explored the new sounds of Colombian traditional rhythms and melodies with electronic beats and western structures influenced by pioneer bands such as Sidestepper and Bloque De Búsqueda. For this project, Simón brought together different DJs and musicians in 7 tracks that eventually became Bomba Estéreo´s first EP, Vol.1, released in 2006 by Polen Records. This EP included the song “Huepaje” that featured guest singer Li Saumet and gave way to the first building blocks of what would later become Bomba Estéreo’s international debut, ‘Estalla / Blow Up’ (Polen Records 2008). Ever since, Li Saumet has been the voice and face of the band, teaming up with Julián Salazar on guitars and Kike Egurrola on drums, Simón on the bass and sequences and Felipe Alvarez in the musical production.

More details on Society of Sound

More details on the ‘Mar de Leva’ release

Published 9th Oct 2014, 5:37pm »

Martyn Bennett's "Blackbird" used in new Danny Macaskill film

Martyn Bennett’s “Blackbird” used in new Danny Macaskill film “The Ridge”.

“Blackbird” from Martyn Bennett’s album “GRIT” is being used in a new film, produced by Cut Media, featuring Scottish trials cyclist Danny Macaskill.

In the film, Danny climbs aboard a mountain bike and returns to his native home of the Isle of Skye in Scotland to take on a death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline.

Watch the film and listen to a full version of “Blackbird” above.

Published 6th Oct 2014, 10:42am »

Real World 25 - Out now

Today marks the release of Real World 25 - a beautifully packaged Clamshell Box with 3 CD wallets, 28 page booklet containing the story of 25 Years of Real World Records, and a collection of Real World Tales with contributions from musicians, producers, designer and managers.

Available via:

iTunes / Amazon / Real World / Proper Music

Published 29th Sep 2014, 12:47pm »

Great Musical Pioneer ‘Mandolin’ U Srinivas Dies

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We have learnt today of the death of the great Indian musician U Srinivas.  

Born on February 28, 1969, he started to play the mandolin, a little-known instrument in India, when he was only six years old. Even though, at the time, the mandolin was an alien instrument in South Indian classical music, Srinivas learnt to play Carnatic ragas on the mandolin with so much ease and dexterity that his name has become synonymous in India with the mandolin and he is popularly called Mandolin Srinivas.

Real World had the honour to work with him on two albums.  Rama Sreerama was a memorable live performance of traditional Carnatic compositions that took place in a candle-lit Wood Studio. Dream was the highly-experimental musical partnership with producer/guitarist Michael Brook featuring collaborations with Nigel Kennedy, Nana Vasconcelos and Jane Siberry.   

A calm, gentle and mediative young man, Srinivas was surprisingly modest for an artist of such international critical acclaim, as he said “Where is the end to music?  The more your learn, the more you want to know”.

Read more about U Srinivas

Published 19th Sep 2014, 1:27pm »

Aurelio "Lándini" out now

Aurelio’s new album Lándini (“landing” in Garifuna) is out now.  Listen to Aurelio performing some tracks from the album via our YouTube Lándini playlist.

Lándini is available via:
Real World / Amazon / iTunes

Published 17th Sep 2014, 3:01pm »

Don’t Miss The Gloaming's Return To London

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If you’ve missed their outstanding live performances so far, now is the opportunity to catch the exceptional experience of The Gloaming live, returning to London for a show in the beautiful main hall of the Barbican. With numerous sell out shows behind them already, make sure you book your tickets early as this is currently their only UK show planned for 2015.

Considered by many one of the world’s finest fiddle players, Martin Hayes will be joined by long-time collaborator guitarist Dennis Cahill, legendary sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, hardanger innovator Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh and experimental, mercurial New York pianist Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman).  This group of extraordinary virtuoso musicians each have their own highly successful individual careers, but have come together in this group with a shared musical aesthetic to form a band with a sound all of its own - sparse and beautiful, authentic and suffused with powerfully-emotional melodies.

“..it’s a remarkable set that sees the only standing ovation and the only encore of the weekend. Gaelic is the language and the tunes drip with the melancholy of the diaspora. As the five musicians shift gears effortlessly through The Sailor’s Bonnet, picking up the pace, feet start stamping on and off the stage, the crowd begins to whoop and one can only marvel at the intuitive understanding between the five. But it’s not just jigs and reels that make them remarkable: the opening Song 44, with Bartlett holding down his piano strings to mute them, and violins scraping ominously, has more in common with post-rock than with Christy Moore. It’s a staggering display of both emotion and virtuosity”.

The Guardian (Live review from Other Voices Festival, Derry)    

Book early to avoid disappointment!

Discover more about The Gloaming

Published 14th Sep 2014, 11:39pm »

Spiro - Pole Star (Out 8th Sep)

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Spiro first met on the Bristol music scene and have been together, their line-up unchanged, for over 20 years. Since their formation, it was clear these were not your average acoustic instrumentalists. They’ve been likened by The Word to “Detroit techno played by a travelling band out of a Hardy novel – or Steve Reich playing the cider-scented backroom of a village pub” and as “cinematic, breathtaking and beautiful” by Songlines magazine. 

This lost gem of an album, released independently by the band in 1997, is a wonderful addition to the Spiro collection, showing how their fascinating sound began and how fresh it remains even today.

Pre order Pole Star (Out 8th Sep): Real World  / iTunes / Amazon

Published 26th Aug 2014, 12:11pm »

New Society of Sound release: Roddy Woomble - Live at King's Place

This month’s Society of Sound release is the first of an occasional series of live recordings from London’s Kings Place. Roddy Woomble (Idlewild) and his band make the most of the bespoke acoustics playing a beautifully balanced set of songs mixing folk, Americana and Scottish influenced tunes. Roddy’s intimate vocals are backed by Hannah Fisher - fiddle & vocals, Sorren Maclean - ccoustic guitar & vocals, Luciano Rossi - Piano and Craig Ainslie - electric bass.

Recorded live at King’s Place by Dave Wells and mixed by Patrick Phillips at Real World Studios.

Since 2010 and the Idlewild hiatus, Roddy Woomble and his solo band have toured consistently playing hundreds of concerts in theatres, folk clubs, village halls and arts centres the length and breadth of the UK. Together they have released three albums ‘The Impossible song & other songs’ (2011). ‘Listen to Keep’ (2013) and ‘Live in the Inner Hebrides’ (2014). The show at Kings Place comes at the end of his solo band touring for a while as Idlewild gear up to release a new album and tour in 2015.

Subscribe to Bowers and Wilkins Society of Sound and listen to this as a high quality digital download

Learn more about King’s place

Published 22nd Aug 2014, 5:50pm 1 notes on Tumblr »

Aurelio's new album 'Lándini' out 15th September

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The new album, Landini, from Honduran songwriter, singer, and guitarist Aurelio is set for release on the 15th September.

The songs on Lándini are about Aurelio, his feelings, his family, and Garifuna life in general. There’s a sadness, a melancholy throughout, but the rhythms remain really lively. It affects the body, the brain, and the soul in a way that is very unique to Garifuna music. It always has a purpose, whether it’s dancing or documenting a tragedy or just poking fun at someone; there is never a notion of “I’m going to make a song because I need to make a record” - such a concept does not even exist in Garifuna culture.

Pre order Lándini

Published 8th Aug 2014, 3:17pm »