We are delighted to announce that Dub Colossus have won in the Cross-cultural Collaboration category in this year’s Songlines Music Awards.
From over 600 albums to a shortlist of 16, Dub Me Tender Vol 1 & 2 is a very well-deserved win. Congratulations to Nick Page (producer/multi-instrumentalist), Tsedenia Gebremarkos and Sintayehu ‘Mimi’ Zenebe (vocals), Samuel Yirga (piano), Feleke Hailu (saxophone) and Teremage Woretaw (mesenqo/vocals).
Syriana ‘The Road To Damascus’ (Available for the first time in the US)
“Atmospheric and menacing” Uncut (UK)
Imagine ancient Middle Eastern culture blending with surf guitars, spy novels and Cold War iconography, with an array of diverse instruments. The Road To Damascus is produced by Nick “Dubulah” Page (Dub Colossus, TransGlobal Underground) and features Syrian qanun virtuoso Abdullah Chhadeh & accordionist Mazin Abu Sayf; Egyptian percussionist Sherif Ibrahim; Palestinian singer/oud player Nizar Al-Issa, and Irish double-bassist Bernard O’Neill. Time was spent in Damascus to record strings and the stunning soprano, Lubana Al Quntur.
Ethiopia’s most promising young pianist, described by the LA Times as sitting “… somewhere in that fertile ground where jazz mingles with R&B and funk to create soulful beauty. … perfect for those interested in hearing an eloquent young voice express new ideas on the piano.”
Two more albums added to the Real World Gold Series…
Sheila Chandra ‘Weaving My Ancestors’ Voices’
"…a breathtaking tapestry of uncommon beauty.” Chicago Tribune
With this 1992 classic, the great singer explored the music of her spiritual ancestors, drawing upon South Indian, Celtic, Spanish and Muslim influences. Musical backing is minimal, allowing the vocals to rise and fall, soar and dip.
“It’s my own version of a kind of world music-sci-fi-dub-dancehall record.” Adrian Sherwood
Sherwood’s solo debut, featuring production maestros Sly & Robbie, young Jamaican dancehall musicians Bubblers, Jazzwad and Lenky, Indian singer Hari Haran, On-U artists Ghetto Priest and Mark Stewart, and legendary guitarist Skip “Little Axe” McDonald.
The futurist soundscapes of the Portico Quartet's electro-acoustic world filled London's Koko last night. They were launching their new double album Live/Remix to a packed audience. In a live context the beautiful cinematic sounds are delivered with a driving, powerful punch - it wasn’t just a gig but an enveloping immersive event.
Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara, known collectively as JuJu, together with their explosive rhythm section of Billy Fuller and Dave Smith have just returned from a tour of Singapore , Australia and New Zealand as part of Robert Plant’s new Sensational Space Shifters band. Wowing audiences of up to 20,000 with their futuristic take on Afro-Trance blues, the band are currently unveiling dates for a U.S. tour with Plant in June and July. Juldeh’s spotlight moments have become highlights of the show, and Robert Plant himself has been in unbelievable form, his voice steering the band to new psychedelic heights.
The press reaction has been outstanding:
The New Zealand Herald on April 12th said:’Plant and his guitar-powered band restructured Led Zep songs with unpredictable dynamics and arrangements, throwing in everything from swirling synthesizers to the traditional instruments played by Gambian musician Juldeh Camara, who helped drag many of those blues-derived riffs back to the sub-Sahara. ‘
This was the response from Canberra Times on March 30th: 'What’s going on is further proof that Plant is far more imaginative, playful and adventurous than any cliche of a clumping old rocker, a man who’s absorbed all the music he’s loved and played and sought out the musicians to explore that. For a start he has a band capable of power when needed but the flexibility and talent to glide from African rhythms to Arabic shapes to Moog-enhanced electronica and down into the blues via American roots. Bassplayer Billy Fuller, drummer Dave Smith, keyboardist and sound manipulator John Baggott and lead guitarist Skin Tyson offer all that and more, superbly. Then there’s the extra colourings added by guitarist/producer Justin Adams, whose knowledge of African music is immeasurable, and Gambian Juldeh Camara, mostly on the bowed, two-stringed riti and occasionally on keening vocals.'
It was with great sadness that Real World Records learned of the death of Phil Ramone; and with great happiness the memories of his trip to Real World Studios in the summer of 1991.
We were delighted when the pioneering producer, famous for his work with artists such as Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Paul Simon and Ray Charles (to name but a few), took up our invitation to work with traditional Colombian artist Totó la Momposina.
Phil arrived at the 1991 Real World Recording Week and was plunged into a world of powerful, driving folk music from the Atlantic region of Colombia lead by the vivacious and charismatic singer Totó. This was not the conventional recording situation Phil would have been used to and yet in a matter of days he had brought his outstanding skills of production to three songs, on what would become the album ‘La Candela Viva’. He understood immediately Totó’s significance as an artist: "Totó, in herself, is so strong spiritually and mentally. She gives you tremendous vibes of affection and love. Then you see a chemistry between the musicians: there is an intimacy that goes on in their eyes. Somehow something happens, seemingly unrehearsed, where a smile comes out of one of them and then the next, and a pattern develops. I suspect there is a great depth in what they’re communicating."
Kingston-quality reggae rhythms, funky brass, and trance-inducing percussive assaults from the dub-heavy Ethio-UK collective
Dub Colossus combine the golden years of Ethiopique beats and Ethiojazz with the dub reggae styles of the early 70s, of sounds like the Abyssinians and Mighty Diamonds. The dub element on Dub Me Tender has been pumped up — giving these tracks a full Dubulah workover. Includes guests Mykaell Riley (Steel Pulse), Nick Van Gelder (Jamiroquai), Dr Das (Asian Dub Foundation), and Bernard O’Neill (Syriana).
And as part of the Real World Gold series of reissues:
A compilation of ethereal beauty, celebrating the feminine and featuring eight great female voices from cultures around the world: Sheila Chandra, Susana Baca, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Yungchen Lhamo, Estrella Morente, Susheela Raman, Mamani Keita and Shruti Sadolikar.
“These women are all lionesses, but they never roar. The emphasis is on wit, strength and kindness - the inherent gifts of women everywhere.” Rhythm
Alex Vann from Real World favourites Spiro also spends time creating music with the instrumental trio Three Cane Whale. Together with Pete Judge and Paul Bradley they create spell-binding and delicate music - intricate but minimal, cinematic yet intimate. Inspired by natural acoustics and ambiences, each track is recorded in a different place in southern England and Wales - a chapel, a greenwood barn, an allotment shed, the top of a waterfall and even the underside of a Bristol flyover. With a range of entirely acoustic instruments including mandolin, zither, trumpet, guitar and even a bowed psaltery, the world they create is unique and ‘impressively original’ (The Guardian).
You can hear the exquisite universe of Three Cane Whale’s Holts and Hovers album first on Bowers and Wilkins Society of Sound, in advance of the CD release in May.
Listen to the track Laker Boo, taken from their forthcoming Live/Remix album, recorded live at the Roundhouse last year. Laker Boo is a dark, tense, hypnotic motif with a laid back, dance bass-drum drive.
Samuel Yirga has been nominated as Newcomer, with his debut album Guzo: “On his effortless-sounding solo debut, the young Ethiopian pianist deconstructs the tunes and arrangements of the gold age of Ethiopiques and then reinvents the music with an orginality and power that is smart, intelligent and entirely modern.”
Dub Colossus (the band with whom Samuel plays) are nominated in the Cross Cultural Collaboration category for their album Dub Me Tender Vol 1 & 2. “Woozy but sprightly dub remixes from former Transglobal Underground man Nick Page and his Addis/London collective. …mixing Ethio jazz with Jamaican reggae, the album impressively manages to combine an authentic 70s dub aesthetic with the crisp definition of modern production.”
Nominations are voted for by the public, and the winners are announced in the June issue of the magazine, out April 26th.