Ten years have passed since the mesmerizingly haunting and thematic sounds of Syriana's Road To Damascus was released on Real World Records.
In those ten years the warfare and tragedy that has taken over Syria has affected the futures and histories of the people there, and the instigators of Syriana - Nick 'Dubulah' Page and Bernard O'Neill - have looked on helplessly as the civilian districts they had walked peacefully around when recording some of the original album in Damascus have been ravaged. Sadly, they have also learnt of the deaths of musicians they worked with and members of their families.
In response to this and to help the Greek island communities who are dealing directly to help the daily needs of the huge influx of refugees from Syria, the Ipiros Remixes EP has been put together with 100% of profits from sales going towards International Rescue: Greece and all the musicians giving their work free of charge.
Ipiros, was recorded for the original album but only previously released as a remix on the vinyl A Life in Film.
Ipiros Remixes tracklisting:
Ipiros (Kithara Remix)
Ipiros (Somo Arco Iris Remix)
Ipiros (Jazz Remix)
Ipiros (Liverpool Live Remix)
Ipiros (S40 Remix)
The July release on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound is Hannah Peel's third album Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia. A seven-movement odyssey composed for analogue synthesizers and full, traditional 29-piece colliery brass band.
The album explores one person's journey to outer space, by recounting the story of an unknown, elderly, pioneering, electronic musical stargazer (Mary Casio) and her lifelong dream to leave her terraced home in the mining town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, to see Cassiopeia for herself.
The complete brass band and rhythm section were recorded live on location in The Barnsley Civic Theatre by the Real World studio team.
"I wanted these huge slabs of planetary sounds to echo the excitement and wonder of our human need to explore and develop" say Hannah.
'Tu Tambor' is a previously unreleased track by Colombian singer, dancer and teacher Totó La Momposina, whose entire life has been dedicated to representing the music of Colombia's Caribbean coastline.
Originally recorded during the sessions for La Candela Viva album but only rediscovered during the work conducted for the Tambolero album, released in 2015.
The track celebrates Totó's long-time musical collaborator and master tambor player Paulino 'Batata' Salgado.
"It's good to hear my long-time friend and fellow traveller Batata again. He brought so much to my music; I have never come across a drummer since who plays the tambor like he did." ~ Totó
To accompany the track, we have released a new video from the Real World archive which captures the song as it was tracked during the legendary Wood Room sessions at Real World Studios in 1992.
Totó finishes her long run of live shows this weekend in the USA.
Real World Records is delighted to announce a brand new artist signing, Loney dear.
Swedish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanängen makes records and plays shows under the enigmatic name of Loney dear. In the early 2000s, in his Stockholm apartment studio, Svanängen made a name for himself by creating homemade CDrs with a minidisk microphone and a home computer, self-releasing albums which by 2007 had pricked Sub Pop's ears and they released Loney Noir.
Loney dear has built a significant reputation over the years, with some glowing reviews in The Guardian, BBC, Drowned in Sound, Pitchfork and earlier this year the Line of Best Fit went as far as calling him a "brilliant genius".
Consistently creating elegant, deeply stirring music, Loney dear has been described by The Quietus as "…the obsessive work of one man, albeit one that can sing with the vulnerable delicacy of an angel and makes bedroom recordings that sound like God's own orchestra". Multi-layered with instrumentation and Svanängen's fragile yet irrepressible vocals, Loney dear's songs bloom with a sense of both intimacy and openness, at once uplifting and heartbreaking, tenacious yet tender.
Loney dear's eponymous seventh album will be released on September 29th to tie in with a European Tour and a preview at WOMAD Charlton Park in July.
The 15th Anniversary re-issue of Joseph Arthur's Redemption's Son album is out today.
Available as 2CD and 2LP (the first time on vinyl) as well as digitally everywhere.
As well as the original album, this new release comes with nine previously unreleased songs, which now form a 'lost album' which Arthur has named Morning Star.
"We decided to turn these tracks into their own album called 'Morning Star' rather than a collection of this that and the other thing," says Arthur. "It's a great feeling when the past burps up a gift. Things forgotten and submerged by the vortex of time which reveals its illusions thru a process such as this."
Monday's edition of The Guardian included a feature on Sheila Chandra on her new book, Organizing for Creative People.
The article also features the street artist Stik, who Sheila began mentoring (when he was still homeless) in 2008. She wrote a version of Organizing for Creative People just for him and this book is an expanded version of her artist advice to him on how to build a strong foundation for his career. Stik has gone on to become one of the most famous and collectible street artists in the world.
Photos of Sheila and Stik for the piece were taken by our very own York Tillyer.
With the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System confirmed to return to the WOMAD festival for a fourth year this summer, the Society of Sound release for June is a timely reminder of what happened last year.
During the weekend, the WOMAD festival audience were treated to three days of eclectic musical programming, provided by a mix of DJs, live bands, presentations and hands-on events, all delivered through the unrivalled listening experience of the Sound System: the acoustic engineering of Bowers & Wilkins flagship hi-fi speakers on a massive scale.
Bowers & Wilkins Live provides a chance to experience the highlights of last year's programming, with each artist choosing a track from their performance to feature on the compilation.
The world's finest Sound System, created by British audio brand Bowers & Wilkins, once again returns to the WOMAD Festival this summer.
The Bowers & Wilkins Sound System 17 stage will present three days of eclectic programming at the festival, which takes place 27th to 30th July, including interactive events, talks, live bands and DJs including artists such as Nick Mulvey, Joseph Arthur, Loney Dear, Blue Lab Beats, Floating Points, Portico Quartet and many more.
Once again the Sound System 17 stage will boast Bowers & Wilkins four 3.5m speaker stacks which are designed to deliver an unrivalled listening experience.
Here's the full line up:
BBC Local Radio, the BBC Asian Network and the British Plaque Trust will unveil 47 new blue plaques on Thursday 15 June to commemorate people or places that have influenced the musical landscape across the country.
We're delighted that three of these new blue plaques commemorate artists who have a strong connection to Real World Records; two plaques will be unveiled on the day in East London in honour of Haroon Shamsher (founder of pioneering collective Joi) and Saifullah 'Sam' Zaman (aka State Of Bengal). Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan will then be commemorated with a plaque in Birmingham around the 20th anniversary of his death on 16 August.
The initiative is part of BBC Music Day a UK-wide annual celebration of music that aims to unite communities and generations through their love of music. Singers, musicians, songwriters, producers and broadcasters, as well as significant locations that played a major role in our musical heritage, are being commemorated.
"BBC Asian Network and BBC Music, with the British Plaque Trust, are really proud to honour three music icons with the first Blue Plaques for South-Asian artists. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Haroon Shamsher and Sam Zaman all made a profound difference throughout their careers and left a lasting legacy. Their cultural significance continues today. Real World Records are amongst a core number of platforms who have played a critical role in supporting and exposing them to wider audiences." Mark Strippel, Head of BBC Radio 1Xtra / Asian Network
Haroon Shamsher and his younger brother, Farook, applied a DIY aesthetic to their career from the very beginning, starting out as Joi Bangla Sound System, an outfit that saw them spinning records in local youth clubs around Brick Lane with a vibe that was inclusive and outward-looking from the get-go.
By the early 1990s Joi were at the vanguard of the Asian Underground, a clubland movement that also saw the rise to prominence of Talvin Singh, Asian Dub Foundation, Cornershop, Fun-da-mental and Nitin Sawhney.
"Real World first saw us playing at the Blue Note," says Farook Shamsher of the now-legendary venue in east London's Hoxton Square. "We used to get a very cool, very mixed crowd. We'd pin our mother's saris on the walls and get our incense going, and then we'd let our records speak for us. Wherever we played - London, Britain, Europe - we rocked it. We made music that changed minds."
Joi progressed through DJing to writing and recording their own music, releasing numerous singles - breakbeat workouts, techno experiments, mystical instrumentals - before signing to Real World Records.
They had just released their debut for the label One and One Is One and were gigging and travelling intensively when tragedy struck: Haroon Shamsher developed a blood clot and died from a heart attack. He was thirty-four years old.
After a period of mourning, Farook - as Joi - returned in 2000 with We Are Three, a tribute to his late brother "Haroon's vibe is there on every single track," says Farook.
Haroon Shamsher, musician, dj, songwriter and producer
Born Bradford 14 November 1965; died London 8 July 1999
Saifullah 'Sam' Zaman, the east London DJ and producer, aka State of Bengal, was a regular visitor to Real World Studios over the years and also released two albums on Real World Records, 1999's Walking On, with Ananda Shankar and in 2004 Tana Tani, a collaboration with Paban Das Baul.
He collaborated with many South Asian musicians, most memorably the celebrated psych-rock sitar maverick Ananda Shankar, but was always looking to bring something new to the music rather than simply falling back on traditional methods and approaches; "I want to feel that I'm moving things on, not just regurgitating music that's being played for centuries,"
As well as the album releases Sam was a key component in the burgeoning Asian Underground scene of the late 1990's and early 2000's and an accomplished DJ. He was also renowned for his innovative and exciting remixes for a host of other artists such as Bjork, Massive Attack and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Saifullah 'Sam' Zaman, DJ and producer
Born Karachi 16 April 1965; died 19 May 2015
Downtown is one of nine, previously unreleased, bonus tracks that come with the expanded edition of Joseph Arthur's Redemption's Son album, released on 23 June.
The 15th anniversary edition of Joseph's third album is available on double CD, 180-gram double LP and digitally.
It will be the first time the album has been available on vinyl.