What is 2017 going to be like we're all asking ourselves? Well, for starters it's full of Real World Records artists playing live in January, February and March. Not a bad start, we say...
Fresh from celebrating the release of their Repeater album, Spiro are back on the road for dates starting on 17 January in Cardiff.
Aurelio kicks-off his Darandi World Tour in earnest in January too, playing songs that feature on the Darandi album, released later in the month, which celebrates his 30 years at the heart of Garifuna music. A consummate live performer these shows are not to be missed.
The Breath's Winter Tour re-boots also in January with two London shows at Echoes and more dates being added.
9Bach continue to support their Anian album with their first live dates of 2017 starting at London's King's Place in February. The band are also currently nominated for a Songlines Award. You can vote for them here!:
Unbelievably, it is almost a year since The Gloaming released their critically lauded second album 2, but they're starting this new year at full throttle nonetheless, with a staggering seven sold-out nights in Dublin and dates in Europe and the USA throughout February, March and April.
We hope you can catch up with one of these shows and help kick-start your 2017 in style.
Congo Beat The Drum is a film following two musicians from Tel Aviv who travel to Jamaica to record an album with forgotten reggae artists from the past.
The film follows Kalbata (Ariel Tagar) and Mixmonster (Uri Wertheim), from their basement studio in Tel Aviv, all the way to the Kingston ghettos, looking for their favourite singers of days gone by.
In Jamaica, they encounter a strange, often challenging culture while trying to achieve their goal. A unique musical journey into the forgotten corners of reggae of the seventies and eighties, and a rare glimpse into the smoky, dusty world of Rub-a-Dub and its past champions.
You can watch the film now on You Tube.
Torchbearers of the Qawwali tradition, the Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali Group from Pakistan, will tour the UK in March 2017.
Rizwan and Muazzam have been performing together since the 1990s. Their incredible performances at festivals around the world, including WOMAD UK, are rare and transcendent experiences and have seen them develop a devoted worldwide following.
Performing songs that use hypnotic vocal repetition to induce a state of ecstasy, the brothers' soaring voices are backed by a gharana, an ensemble of harmonium and tabla accompanied by rhythmic handclaps.
The legacy of qawwali, a form of devotional music popular in South Asia, was brought to an international audience by the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and that legacy has now passed to his nephews, Rizwan and Muazzam, exceptional singers who carry on the Sufi tradition of musical devotion and exaltation.
Wed 22 Mar Luton Library Theatre, Luton
Thu 23 Mar St George's, Bristol
Sat 25 Mar Howard Assembly Room, Leeds
Sun 26 Mar The Sage, Gateshead
Mon 27 Mar The Barbican, London
Tue 28 Mar King George's Hall, Blackburn
Thu 30 Mar Birmingham Town Hall, Birmingham
Sat 1 Apr De Montfort Hall, Leicester
Three Real World Records artists, Totó La Momposina, The Gloaming and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan all feature on a CD celebrating 25 years of the WOMADelaide Festival.
The CD comes with the current issue of Songlines Magazine that is out now.
"WOMADelaide was presented for the very first time at the Adelaide Festival in 1992. The combination of the Festival's renowned high production standards, the late summer magic of Botanic Park and an inspired partnership with the UK-based WOMAD organisation was unique. Since these humble beginnings WOMADelaide has evolved to become an annual celebration that has changed the way audiences experience the diversity of cultures - through a window on the world that is welcoming and life affirming, where art matters and adds to the richness of so many people's lives. This compilation represents just a taste of the amazing artists who have enthralled us all over the past 25 years. We are grateful to them and everyone who has made this journey possible and a pleasure for all concerned." - Ian Scobie, WOMADelaide Director
The Real World Records tracks featured are:
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Mustt Mustt from the album Mustt Mustt
The Gloaming Sailor's Bonnet from the album The Gloaming
Totó la Momposina y Sus Tambores El Pescador from the album Tambolero
DJ, musician and remixer, Rob Smith (RSD), best known for making and playing breakbeat, drum & bass and dubstep, and as half of the duo Smith & Mighty (with Ray Mighty) provides the Bristol connection with his remixes.
Bogotá-based Richard Blair - from the band Sidestepper - retains the earthy Colombian sound of the traditional African-influenced drums and adds his own dub twist.
"I love the energy and 'upfulness' of the original track and wanted to retain the percussive dynamics in the first remix while adding a 'dub' feel even though it's not a reggae track," explains Rob Smith (RSD).
Adios Fulana is taken from Tambolero. Released in June 2015, the album is a recreation of La Candela Viva, a classic record from 1993, and Totó's most successful album worldwide that introduced many, including Colombians, to this music for the first time.
Spiro are celebrating their first ever vinyl LP release Repeater - a Spiro anthology - with a very special live performance at St George's in Bristol on Sunday 4 December.
Support comes in the shape of Melodeon super hero Andy Cutting.
Copies of Repeater will be available on the night.
The album contains tracks, chosen by the band, from their four albums for Real World Records: Pole Star (1997), Lightbox (2009) Kaleidophonica (2012) and Welcome and Joy Welcome Sorrow (2015).
The new video for The Breath's song For You is premiering now over at The Skinny.
"There's a rare power to vocalist/lyricist Ríoghnach Connolly's gentle croon, lending poignancy to McCallum's subtly dense soundscapes" so say The Skinny "posited alongside the graceful slice-of-life monochrome of the video, it's a winning combination."
The video was filmed at Real World Studios by York Tillyer.
This month's Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound release was recorded live at Kings Place, London on 5 May 2016, mixed at Real World Studios and features the sound of Slowly Rolling Camera.
Formed in Cardiff in 2013 Slowly Rolling Camera brought together four wildly talented musicians from diverse backgrounds in vocalist/lyricist Dionne Bennett, composer/keyboardist Dave Stapleton, drummer Elliot Bennett and producer/sound design artist Deri Roberts.
The result was a captivating hybrid of these influences: trip hop, jazz, soul, electronic music fused into a new and unique soundscape. In November 2016 they released their second album All Things on Edition Records that looks set to build their reputation and global audience.
This recording, live from Kings Place, confirms their promise as one of the most exciting live acts on the European circuit.
With thanks to all at Kings Place including Mike Green and audio engineer Dave Wells.
On Tuesday 8 November, Joseph Arthur played a stunning solo live set at Oslo in Hackney, London. Here's a small selection of images from the evening, taken by York Tillyer.
The gig included a number of songs from Joseph's current album The Family, including You Keep Hanging On and Machines of War.
Joseph played I Miss the Zoo to soundtrack the creation of a new painting.
The night ended with Joseph stood on the merchandise table for a rousing rendition of In the Sun accompanied by a faultless sing-a-long from everyone in the room...