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Albums released in the US this week

Portico Quartet - Portico Quartet

Portico Quartet’s third, self-titled album charts the band’s ever-expanding sonic horizons, melting together dub-step beats, electronic sparks, contemporary classical music and their trademark sound of eerie hang, ethereal sax, earthy bass and drums… read more

"Grooves and textures build into moody dreamscapes on which electronica mixes with the hypnotic churn of systems music. The foursome’s most involving album yet…" - The Times (UK)

"An endlessly absorbing third LP… Everything still sounds familiarly Portico Quartet, only fresh, forward-thinking and a little bit tougher." - BBC (UK)

Buy online: Amazon / iTunes

Various Artists - 30: Real World at WOMAD

A Special Edition 2-CD set celebrating 30 years of Real World artists at the WOMAD festival. Featuring The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Drummers of Burundi, Peter Gabriel, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Geoffrey Oryema, Papa Wemba, Portico Quartet, Spiro and many more… read more

Buy online: Amazon / iTunes


Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Mustt Mustt

This influential album has been unavailable for several years and is re-released as part of the Real World Gold series. The 1990 classic was the record that turned on many people to the voice of one of Real World’s most emblematic artists… read more

"A seminal album [that] completely changed the face of British music forever…" - Nitin Sawhney

Buy online: Amazon / iTunes

Published 15th Nov 2012, 11:30am »

Samuel Yirga peaks at #1 in US World Music charts

The young prodigy Samuel Yirga's debut album 'Guzo' has had a fantastic impact on its release in US. Championed by KCRW, the album reached #1 in the US iTunes World Music charts over the weekend.

"Yirga finds his way into Ethiopian standards, displays his flair for jazz over solo and ensemble pieces, and performs effortless homages to vintage soul, holding everything together with voracious talent that helps him savor each musical flavor. … While the Golden Age of Ethiopian music is in the past, a new one may be beginning." - Fresh Air NPR

Read the recent article on NPR: ‘Samuel Yirga Ushers In A Golden Age Of Ethiopian Music’

Buy Guzo (CD / Apple Lossless / MP3)

Published 14th Nov 2012, 10:50am »

Real World Gold Series 3 – on sale today


Continuing with our series of essential re-releases, the latest set of albums features more from deep catalogue artists Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Shahen-Shah), Papa Wemba (Molokai) and Sheila Chandra (Weaving My Ancestors’ Voices). There are Real World debuts from artists as diverse as Joseph Arthur (Big City Secrets), Daby Touré (Diam) and Adrian Sherwood (Never Trust A Hippy), and the fourth album from Afro Celt Sound System (Seed).

Eight Women of the World including Sheila Chandra, Susheela Raman, Estrella Morente and Yungchen Lhamo celebrate the themes of woman’s experience with the album Gifted, while Finnish avant-garde folk group, Värttinä, add their exhilarating concoction of wild female vocals.

Lastly – and in good time for Christmas – the holiday classic from The Blind Boys of Alabama (Go Tell It On The Mountain) with guests including Solomon Burke, George Clinton, Chrissie Hynde, Mavis Staples, Tom Waits, Aaron Neville, Richard Thompson, Michael Franti and more.

Listen to sample tracks and find out more about the 30 albums now available in the Gold Series.

Published 12th Nov 2012, 1:53pm »

Live Highlights from a Spiro Summer

"We’ve had a great 2012 on the live circuit, with a first airing of the Kaleidophonica material on our Spring tour, followed by some excellent summer festivals involving all squeezing into an unfeasibly small car and then being unleashed onto lovely spacious stages with fantastic audiences and some of the best backstage hospitality ever" (Spiro)

Catch some of those highlights from Spiro at the Cambridge Folk Festival in July.

Spiro can be seen next at showcase (open to the public as well as delegates) for the Association of Festival Organisers in Nottingham on Saturday 17 November and in Glasgow as part of Celtic Connections on Thursday 31st January 2013 at St Andrews In The Square. 

Find out why this extraordinary group are described as “Unsettling, exhilarating and highly impressive. … Fascinating and, I suspect, unique.” (fRoots)

See a list of upcoming live dates

Buy their latest album ‘Kaleidophonica’

Published 8th Nov 2012, 3:03pm »

New Real World Releases for America

Today marks the American release of three more Real World titles.

Addis Through The Looking Glass is the second album from Dub Colossus.  The follow up from their debut album sees another mighty cross-cultural blend of Ethiojazz, roots influences and dub reggae.  The new album from this startlingly original collective picked up numerous critics choice awards in the UK.

Looking back at classic albums from our back catalogue also released today are two new titles in the Real World Gold series.

Emotion, the second album on Real World from Congolese legend Papa Wemba, is acclaimed as being the brightest, most accessible album of his formidable career.   Exile by Geoffrey Oryema from 1990, is another landmark release  telling the struggles of this Ugandan singer-songwriter in a magical production by Brian Eno (featuring guest vocals from Peter Gabriel).

Discover more about ‘Addis Through The Looking Glass’

Discover more about ‘Emotion’

Discover more about ‘Exile’

Published 30th Oct 2012, 1:31pm »

Portico Quartet at The Roundhouse


Portico Quartet played to a packed home crowd at The Roundhouse on Thursday.  Enthralled listeners were taken on journey through the Portico’s sound and were certainly not disappointed.

Published 20th Oct 2012, 12:32pm »

Charlie Winston at the City Showcase London


Charlie Winston makes a rare UK appearance at London’s Apple Store, Regent Street at 7pm on Thursday 11th October.  City Showcase is a not-for-profit organisation showcasing new artists.  The biggest event they organise is the central London festival presenting an wide range of musical talent.  Charlie played a shop in Carnaby Street during City Showcase 2006. He is such a troubadour that he marched his entire audience up and down Carnaby Street, a total breach of the Westminster Council licence! But the crowd loved it of course.  Charlie returns this year to the lofty space of the Apple Store - and the concert is free! 

Discover more about the event

Published 10th Oct 2012, 1:14pm »

Listen to Portico Quartet Live at BBC Maida Vale Studios

Portico Quartet were invited into BBC Maida Vale studios to perform a live set for Gilles Peterson. 

The show was broadcasted on Saturday on BBC Radio 6 Music but the show is available to listen again on iPlayer now.

More programme information

Book tickets to The Roundhouse show (18th Oct)

Published 9th Oct 2012, 9:30am »

Portico Quartet in session for Gilles on BBC 6 Music (5 Oct)


Portico Quartet are guaranteed to deliver goosebumps as they take us on their adventures in sound.

Catch them do a session live from Maida Vale tomorrow on BBC 6 Music at 3pm.

More programme information

Published 5th Oct 2012, 6:10pm »

If you are in America watch out for these up and coming releases…

Today sees the release of Guzo, the debut solo album by young Ethiojazz piano prodigy and Dub Colossus band member, Samuel Yirga.

The Real World Gold series also kicks off today with two gems by American artists -- The Blind Boys of Alabama's first Grammy winner, Spirit of the Century (featuring David Lindley, John Hammond and Charlie Musselwhite) and alt-rock singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur's Come To Where I'm From - followed on October 2nd by Indo-UK songstress Sheila Chandra's retrospective collection, Moonsung.

Also set for October 2nd release is Go Tell It On The Mountain, the Grammy-winning Christmas album by The Blind Boys of Alabama, with performances by guest artists Tom Waits, Chrissie Hynde, Aaron Neville, Shelby Lynne, Michael Franti, George Clinton, Mavis Staples, and Richard Thompson, among others.

Later in the year, look out for two classic titles from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Mustt Mustt and Night Song, plus two great African releases - Uganda's Geoffrey Oryema with Exile, and Congolese star Papa Wemba's standout, Emotion.

Published 25th Sep 2012, 11:43am »