On a freezing cold snowy night last winter Real World Studios felt as warm as the tropics. The voices of the Creole Choir of Cuba infused Samuel Yirga's version of The Black Gold of the Sun with spiritual soulfulness. Samuel's delight as the Choir lifted the roof with their powerful harmonies was clear to see - his beautifully-arranged tune had come to life. Add the sparkle of Nicolette's voice on the verse plus the towering Horns of Negus brass arrangement and the track was ready to celebrate the coming summer.
Everyone at Real World Records was saddened to hear of the death of Jan Fairley on Saturday 9th June. We have worked with Jan as a writer on a number of Real World releases sleeve notes and artist biographies over many years. Her fantastically knowledgeable and incisive writing has been a inspiration for music lovers, opening up the world of the artist to the reader. We will miss her huge and detailed experience of musical culture and her infectious enthusiasm and passion for the performers she loved.
Friday's concert features musicians who draw on traditional sources but rework them in a refreshingly innovative way - so Spiro were a natural choice with their unique sound world where traditional English music meets Steve Reich.
The Real World Gold series peels back the years to revisit some of the most inspirational and beautiful music from the archives. With great performances, unexpected collaborations and unique compositions the albums still sound as fresh today as when they were recorded all those years ago.
Real World Gold is launched on 21st May with ten outstanding titles. You can listen to full sample tracks, browse our media gallery and discover more about each re-release from the Real Wold Gold homepage. Watch out for more to come in July and September.
Guzo is released on 11 May in Australia and New Zealand. Samuel will tour Australia in June with dates in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
Guzo will be released in Europe on 9 July, in France in September.
"What a fantastic album is Guzo... It has all the ingredients of a masterpiece. Great balance between avant garde jazz and sweet r&b vibe in some tracks and those Ethiopian scales... all tracks are outstanding!"
JPR at Simply Out Of This World/ Radio Bracknell
"I feel very privileged to have an early preview of this fantastic album. (Samuel's) classical music experience shows in his sensitive and thoughtful approach to his solo piano work like Ye Bati Koyita and Drop Me There and at the same time can make a beautiful Charles Stepney tune like I am the Black Gold of the Sun sound fresh yet again. A thoroughly rewarding album."
AfroBase on Juice FM
A great night yesterday in the legendary Abbey Road Studios as the Portico Quartet recorded a live set to help B&W celebrate the launch of their instantly desirable new P3 headphones. Not only did the guests listen to the performance through a headphone mix but they were lucky enough to take the tracks, freshly recorded and mixed, away with them.
Portico Quartet played a new driving version of Lackerboo and the now epic Line/Rubidium sequence. Lots of happy punters nibbled their canapes and sipped their wine in the gorgeous Studio 2.
Charlie has been very busy recently touring Europe but he managed to take a short break to film the video for his new single 'Where Can I Buy Happiness' which was released last week. We caught up with the man himself and also the Director and Producer of the video filmed for the single, which was shot in the Big Apple.
The idea behind the video was to capture a voyeuristic observation of the city through the lens of the camera, a way to tell the story of Charlie's journey using a number of different photographic techniques and styles to really bring the video to life. Rather than using professional extras, Charlie and the film crew instead, approached every day people on the street to reflect the unique atmosphere of New York and give the video real integrity. "Portraiture was always going to be a very important part of this video and for us it was about speaking to, and giving a brief snap shot of the people of NYC." Said Tim Brown, Director from Rokkit
Charlie played a photographer in the video and equipped with his camera he approached all sorts of people from different walks of life. Charlie described his experience of shooting the video as a blast "I was amazed at how obliging everyone was, especially for New York. It's a real city for sure. One of my favourites." Charlie says "Long days, small crew, I saw more of the Big Apple than I think I had ever seen, including movies. People were what made the experience so memorable. That started with the crew of about 8. We all met on a windy street in the meat packing district at 8.00 on Monday morning, greeted by smiles, coffee and hot ham and cheese bagels wrapped in foil. Throughout the two days of shooting I got time to talk to all of them and it felt like a mini family by the end. But it wasn't just the crew I spoke to and that was partly thanks to the role I played in the film, as a photographer. The director gave me an analog reel Canon camera, like the one I took with me to India to make a photo story, and he gave me a bunch of camera rolls and said 'take pics of what you see'. That gave me a good excuse to approach people in the street and ask for their portrait."
Watch Portico Quartet performing a live combination of 'Line' and 'Rubidium' as part of The Guardian's "How I Wrote" sessions.
The Guardian "How I Wrote" sessions involve high quality video content of artists discussing their inspiration and background for current material/a song of theirs, as well as a live performance.