We were very sad to hear of the death of Doudou N'Diaye Rose last week, aged 85.
The Senegalese master drummer and band leader, who was named a "living human treasure" by Unesco, became an emissary of his native culture's joyous rhythms, touring with percussion orchestras in Europe, Asia and the United States.
He first caught the wider world's attention when, in 1959, US singer and dancer Josephine Baker invited N'diaye to perform with her shortly before Senegalese independence. He has since collaborated with musicians including Miles Davis, the Rolling Stones and Peter Gabriel.
"Doudou was an extraordinary musician and a delight to work with. He always struck me as a Yoda type of figure who's magic powers extended deep into the rhythmic arts. He would appear in various incarnations, in different family groupings, turning wonderful, complex rhythms into beautiful compositions.
"My favourite Doudou moment was seeing him perched at the top of a pyramid of Senegalese drummers in his dinner jacket, as part of Jean-Paul Goude's Bicentenaire celebration along the Champs Elysees, mustering all the pride and passion that he would always deliver." Peter Gabriel
The August release on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound comes from Sunderland-born singer/guitarist Marty Longstaff, better known as The Lake Poets, and is available now.
The Lake Poets' self-titled debut album was recorded in just three days in Nashville. That Longstaff recorded enough songs to seriously consider releasing a double album is testament to his dedicated work rate. That the 11 songs to make the final album are sparsely beautiful and set to see Longstaff mentioned in the same breath as John Martyn and Richard Thompson are credit to a startling ability to pare his finger-picked guitar playing to the bare essentials, just right for Longstaff's shimmering, pure vocals.
The Lake Poets is certainly an album that's easy to get lost in, drawing listeners in with intimate songs rich in painting the big picture about love and mortality by way of a keen eye for the vivid small details of life. "People are interesting and they've all got good stories. If you listen to them, you always learn something" says Longstaff.
Although made at Nashville's Blackbird Studio, a place where countless American music legends have recorded, Longstaff's voice echoes with the unadorned distinctively North East tones of Paddy McAloon and Martin Stephenson & The Daintees.
However it was another alumni of the North East, Dave Stewart, that has produced the album in Nashville with musicians including drummer Chad Cromwell (Neil Young, Mark Knopfler), pedal steel guitarist Dan Dugmore (James Taylor, Bob Dylan), bassist Michael Bradford (Ringo Starr, Stevie Nicks), plus Academy of Country Music Award winners Mike Rojas (keyboards) and Michael Rhodes (bass).
"Within seconds of hearing Marty's voice, I was scrambling to get directly in touch with him. I was sent a link to a YouTube video by a chap in my home town called Harry Collinson. He said when he heard this boy sing at a charity concert held in a church it made him well up with tears. Marty, aka The Lake Poets, is from Sunderland -which is also my hometown. So I not only connected with his voice, but every word that fell from his mouth was like a road map back home to the emotions and feelings I had growing up there. Marty sings the truth as it is - no holds barred, and his sense of melody is intrinsically linked to those huge stormy skies and the crashing waves that inhabit the North East of England - and weave their way into great songwriters minds. Marty is the real deal, one of the greats up there following a lineage of english songwriters from John Martyn, Nick Drake to Richard Thompson and Thom Yorke. The emptiness you feel in this recording comes from a deep sense of knowing - and allows the listener to follow the story all the way back to the heart." - Dave Stewart
Within three days, 24 songs were recorded. "Nashville is a long way to go to f*** up," laughs Longstaff, an effusive and innately inquisitive soul whose Master's degree in Linguistics can be detected in his love of using words to great effect both in his songs and in conversation. "I worked as hard as I could. I thought 'I've got an opportunity in a world-class studio here'."
Read more about the incredible story behind The Lake Poets' album and watch an exclusive video premiere of the track 'Your Face' at Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound.
Real World Records is delighted to announce that Sidestepper will be joining the Real World family with a new single and forthcoming album.
Come See Us Play, the first single to be taken from the band's brand new album Supernatural Love, is a prime slice of good-time summer vibes and is released today!
The single is accompanied by a fantastic video filmed on the Metica River, Puerto López (the geographical centre of Colombia) and is directed by renowned Colombian movie director Jorge Navas.
Supernatural Love will follow early next year.
"This feels like we're starting afresh, and what you're hearing this time has come from here, from Colombia, from a small community in the Candelaria. We've tried to put a sound and a voice to how we live here but most of all we've tried to put a call out to love in all its forms, and I guess we started with our love of music itself." - Richard Blair
Sidestepper have long been pioneers of electronic dance music but the inspiration for the sound of Come See Us Play (and the new album) comes from a desire to create an organic sound that goes back to the traditions of the incredible dance bands - the great 'orquestas' from Colombia, Haiti, Trinidad, Cuba and Africa - that existed before the electronic revolution in the '80s and '90s.
Strong and groovy, timeless and fluid: welcome to the next chapter of Sidestepper.
Following the success of last year's live outing for B&W Society of Sound, this summer we upgraded to a bigger tent this year as part of WOMAD Charlton Park.
- Hannah Peel live on the B&W Sound System stage, 25 July 2015. Photography: York Tillyer.
B&W Sound System brought an unparalleled festival sound experience. Each day the space celebrated the art of listening with talks, acoustic sessions, experiments in electronica; late into the night the tent throbbed with DJ sets.
The B&W stage line up, tailor-made for its 135,000 Watt speaker stack, brought absolute clarity to an audience that is passionate about sound.
It was a joy to the ears of everyone who took part: "I would describe the Bowers & Wilkins sound as a happy face, a funking bass with a loving race" (Jazzie B)
See more photos and read the story of the weekend in this Adobe Slate story by York Tillyer.
- John Metcalfe live on the B&W Sound System stage, 24 July 2015. Photography: York Tillyer.
We've had some outstanding remixes delivered and are giving you an extension to midnight 17 August BST for any final deliveries.
We will then announce the winner on September 10th 2015
Thanks for all your submissions
Real World Records
Rachel Martin talks with Felix Contreras about the story behind Tambolero. Listen here:
Read the Felix Contreras review of Tambolero:
In spite of a damp afternoon in an English field, crowds of festival-goers bounced their multi-coloured umbrellas in the air as Totó and her remarkable band transported the audience to sunny Colombia. The reviews have been unanimously outstanding.
"Totó... remains in magnificent voice at 74, and a commander of crowds, even those cowering under heavy sheets of English rain." **** The Independent
"She's in glorious, gutsy voice, backed by musicians and dancers including her children and grandchildren." **** The Guardian
"The joyous, dancing figure of Toto La Momposina was barely visible through the forest of umbrellas." Evening Standard
In advance of her live performance on the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System stage at WOMAD on Saturday 25 July, the Society of Sound release for this month comes from Hannah Peel.
Hannah Peel first came to recognition in 2010 with her mesmerizing, hand-punched, 'music box' EP Rebox (featuring covers of 80's bands Cocteau Twins, Soft Cell, New Order). Having released her critically lauded solo debut album The Broken Wave a year later, Hannah then formed The Magnetic North, a highly acclaimed collaborative project with Simon Tong (The Verve, The Good The Bad and The Queen, Gorillaz) and Erland Cooper (Erland & The Carnival). The band's Orkney: Symphony Of The Magnetic North album was a big success in France where the Le Monde newspaper named it as their Number 2 Record Of The Year. Her solo career has continued with the increasingly electronic three track Nailhouse in 2013 and the stunning analogue beauty of Fabricstate EP a year later.
In addition to her increasingly high profile career as a solo artist and producer, the Northern Irish born singer has also composed for TV, film, theatre and dance, winning a 2013 RTS award for the theme to the Channel 4 show Dates, as well as two British arrow awards for her Marie Curie Daffodil advertisement. Hannah Peel's music has featured on hit TV shows (American Horror Story, Bones, Reign, Ringer and the 2012 movie, Anna Karenina) and advertisements for Dior, Charlotte Tilbury and ITV.
Society of Sound showcases Hannah Peel with a special edition release bringing together the songs from 2014's Fabricstate EP and a preview of the brand new unheard Rebox 2 EP.
Rebox 2 features four new music box covers (Queen originally by Perfume Genius, Pale Green Ghosts by John Grant, Palace by Wild Beasts and Heaven, How Long by East India Youth) and three new instrumental pieces.
Read Hannah Peel's blog on working with the hand-punched Music Box here
It's been quite a journey to get here, but we're delighted to say that Tambolero, the new album by Totó La Momposina, is released today as a beautifully packaged 28-page hard back CD book with extended sleeve notes and rare archive photos.
Tambolero is a reimagining of Totó's album La Candela Viva - a hugely important record both in Totó's career but also in the history of Colombian music - but it only exists as the result of a strange quirk of fate and an unexpected discovery…
The deeper everyone went into the project the more profound it became and Tambolero is a real celebration of Totó's career, which will soon reach a landmark 60 years; six decades dedicated to preserving, researching and developing an ancestral tradition, the identity of a people, passed down through the generations. The album is also a tribute to Totó's long-standing musical collaborator, the legendary drummer Batata, the master of the tambores, no longer with us but whose presence permeates the album
Released on Real World Records is a brand new 2CD retrospective Best of from the Asian Underground pioneers Joi, entitled Joi Sound System.
The album has been compiled and sequenced by Joi founding member Farook Shamsher.
From 1999 to 2007 Joi - brothers Farook and Haroon Shamsher - recorded three gloriously inventive albums for Real World Records. Joi Sound System contains music culled from these three albums; One and One is One, We Are Three and Without Zero as well as three bonus tracks.
"I want young Asian people to feel, really feel, how beautiful the music is. I want the music to bring up fond childhood memories. To encourage forgiveness. Music can do all this. Music is freedom and understanding. It's peace and love. It's Joi." Farook Shamsher.
Joi Sound System is available as a 2CD package and download.