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A Latin Grammy for Totó la Momposina

Congratulations to Totó la Momposina for her Lifetime Achievement Award which she received at the Latin Grammys in Las Vegas in November. She graciously said in her address that the Award was for all those who had helped her on the way – her family, all the musicians that have passed through her band, her son Marco Vinicio and her son-in-law John Hollis.

Totó recorded the legendary album ‘La Candala Viva’ for Real World Records in 1993 - a turning point in her illustrious career.

Watch Totó’s acceptance speech

Published 24th Dec 2013, 1:05pm »

The Gloaming - An Introduction

As the year comes to a close, here’s a reminder that our first new release for 2014 is The Gloaming’s much anticipated debut

Featuring a who’s who of contemporary Irish musicians (Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh, with American pianist Thomas Bartlett/aka Doveman), The Gloaming’s music is anything but simple nostalgia. Carving new paths connecting the rich Irish traditions with the New York contemporary music scene via Bartlett’s extraordinary playing, it’s haunting and emotionally charged, ancient without being mere reproduction.

For an introduction to The Gloaming this is a preview of ‘Moment to Moment’, an hour-long documentary about the project set for broadcast on Irish national network RTÉ on 30th December at 11.30pm.

The Gloaming is out on 20th January and available to preorder now

iTunes / Amazon / Real World

See a list of live dates in the UK/Ireland from 22nd January

Published 19th Dec 2013, 1:33pm »

Dub Colossus Dub Band to play Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners' Concert


The Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners’ Concert takes place at London’s Barbican Centre on Friday December 13th. Dub Colossus were the worthy recipients of the award for Cross Cultural Collaboration for their album ‘Dub Me Tender’. For this special event, the UK-based members of the band will perform. Fellow award winners at the concert will be Angélique Kidjo, Mokoomba, and Lo'Jo.

If you haven’t already got this amazing album, check it out.

“The shimmering Ethiojazz elements remain, but Dub Colossus mastermind Dubulah applies heavy one-drop pressure to hypnotic effect.” - Metro

Buy ticket for Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners’ Concert


Published 12th Dec 2013, 5:37pm »

Creole Choir's 'Santiman' picked by the critics


We’re delighted to see that The Creole Choir of Cuba’s Santiman has been picked by the critics for some of 2013’s Best Albums lists.

The album features in Uncut’s Top Ten Best World Music Albums, and is part of The Sunday Times’ Best 100 Records of the Year, described by Clive Davis as having “soaring spirituality and raw soul, with subtle shifts between the Caribbean and Africa.”

Santiman, the Choir’s second album, is well-deserving of this recognition. Freedom songs that have been passed down through generations of Haitian emigrants in Cuba are brought to life with vibrant harmonies, lilting melodies and rich, deep Caribbean rhythms. A hefty dose of Cuban flair creates a rich, soulful sound that evokes their proud history of resistance and resilience.

Discover more about Santiman

Published 12th Dec 2013, 4:33pm »

A cornerstone of African music - RIP Tabu Ley


News of the death of the great Tabu Ley Seigneur Rochereau on November 30th has reached us at Real World.  This great man, a cornerstone of African music, came to Real World Studios in 1989 to whip up an unforgettable party which we recorded to create the album Babeti Soukous.  

This recording by Tabu Ley –  one of over 150 releases – was made one cold night in January 1989, with an audience of friends and invitees dancing and clapping in the minstrel gallery of Real World’s main studio in a converted Wiltshire water-mill.

The band had set up in the big wood-lined studio during the afternoon and played their 20-odd numbers straight through in the evening, achieving precisely Real World’s intended blend of an authentic performed sound with the best of recording technology.  Seigneur Rochereau, as his junior musicians called him respectfully (“Lord “ Rochereau – the latter is a nickname from Tabu Ley’s Kinshasa schooldays and refers to a Napoleonic general) came over from Paris a few weeks later for a sweift mixing session, adjusting the solo (lead) guiar and keyboards parts painstakingly and leaving the rest to engineer Dave Bottrill’s discretion, before heading for Chippenham railway station thoroughly satisfied with yet another smoothly professional piece of music-making.

Tabu Ley was one of the two great starts of Zairean (and therefore all African) popular music.  His career bridged decades – from the 50’s, when as a high-flying teenage singer/composer he made his debut in the band of the Great Kalle, father of Congolese pop, to the 70’s and 80’s, when many of the new wave soukous artistes were graduates of his Orchestra Afrisa International.

The tracks he selected for this album comprise a broad retrospective of Zairean pop of the previous 20 years.  The latest guitar-and-snare rum numbers, with their racing skipping rhythms and “kwassa-kwassa,” “Madiaba” or “tshuka” dance-step calls, rub shoulders with older soukous an rhumbas featuring the delicious Latin-inflected hornchoruses and jazzy saxophone solos that had been abandoned by many younger group.  Snatches of rock, R & B, French variété and Zairean traditional rhythms season the mix.“ (Phillip Sweeny from the original sleeve notes to ‘Babeti Soukous’).

Discover more about Tabu’s 1989 album 'Babeti Soukous’

Published 2nd Dec 2013, 2:31pm »

The Gloaming - Debut album & live dates (UK/IR) - January 2014

An extraordinary meeting of five musicians poised to become a vital force in contemporary music. Fiddle virtuoso Martin Hayes, guitarist Dennis Cahill, sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, hardanger innovator Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and New York pianist Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) – The Gloaming creates a new musical alchemy between ancient Irish traditions, experimentation and modernity… read more.

22 January - Glasgow City Hall (Celtic Connections)

23 January - The Sage, Gateshead

24 January - Union Chapel, London

26 January - National Concert Hall, Dublin

Pre order their debut album ‘The Gloaming’

Published 13th Nov 2013, 1:52pm »

Joseph Arthur's Little Big Beat Studio Live Session

Joseph Arthur performed and recorded to tape in Liechtenstein at Little Big Beat Studios in front of a live audience.  Joe Benson caught him after the performance to talk about his tour and new album, The Ballad Of Boogie Christ (Acts 1 & 2).

Watch a playlist of the performance

Buy The Ballad Of Boogie Christ Acts 1 & 2 (2-CD, Digital, Double Vinyl)

Published 7th Nov 2013, 12:18pm »

The Gloaming announce UK and Irish dates in January 2014

Following sell out concerts in Europe earlier this year, we are delighted to welcome The Gloaming back to the UK and Ireland in January 2014 to launch their debut album, ‘The Gloaming’, due for release 20th January. 

22 January - Glasgow City Hall (Celtic Connections)

23 January - The Sage Gateshead

24 January - London Union Chapel  

26 January - Dublin National Concert Hall

The Irish post described The Gloaming as “truly dazzling, extraordinary musicianship meets with old Gaelic numbers – delivered with a contemporary twist”, while according to, they “spectacularly fulfilled, and surpassed, all expectations. … The music-making was sublime and the standing ovation entirely deserved.

The Gloaming are five virtuoso musicians: fiddle master Martin Hayes, guitarist Dennis Cahill, sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, hardanger innovator Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh and New York pianist Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman). Each have highly successful individual careers, but have together discovered a shared musical aesthetic which, although charged by the traditions of Ireland, is anything but simple nostalgia. 

Tickets are on sale now with more dates in Europe to be confirmed.

Discover more about The Gloaming

Go to The Gloamings official website

Published 1st Nov 2013, 4:10pm »

Spiro & Adrian Utley - The Vapourer - Out Now

New six-track mini album of Moog synthesizer mixes by Adrian Utley (Portishead) - which transport Spiro’s music to an ethereal place somewhere between Sci-Fi, Bach and Kraftwerk - plus a new recording and three dazzling live tracks.

For those already familiar with Spiro’s thoroughly modernist take on generations-old English tunes, The Vapourer presents something a little different. With tracks recorded by Portishead’s Adrian Utley - two arranged by Adrian for Moog synthesizers – and three live recordings, the new mini album spotlights this highly unique quartet’s approach to music making.

Buy from our online store

Published 28th Oct 2013, 2:53pm »

9Bach come to Real World

9Bach have grown from a group that rework and reinterpret Welsh language folk song to fully fledged contemporary song-writers looking deeply into their culture and opening it up to the wider world. Their unique mix of harp, harmonium, glockenspiel with bass, drums and driving guitar builds a haunting, beguiling sound. Singer Lisa Jen’s exquisite vocals rise above intriguing arrangements.

Following their critically-acclaimed debut 2009 album ‘9Bach’ their new release 'Tincian’ will be released on Real World Records in Spring 2014.  They will be the closing act at this week’s WOMEX Festival on Saturday night in Cardiff on the Horizons (Weston Studio) stage at the Wales Millennium Centre.   

Buy a ticket to WOMEX Nights - A Festival of World Music

Discover more about 9Bach on their official website

Published 24th Oct 2013, 1:15pm 2 notes on Tumblr »

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