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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 »

Spiro and Adrian Utley "The Vapourer" out 28th October


A new six-track mini album featuring 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 from WOMAD Charlton Park 2012. 

iTunes Pre-order special offer: 

Pre-order from iTunes to save £1/€1 on the full retail price & get an instant track download. 

Pre order on iTunes now

Discover more & listen to track samples

Published 15th Oct 2013, 5:33pm 1 notes on Tumblr »

Listen to Joseph Arthur's live session on France Inter


Joseph Arthur dropped by France Inter at the weekend for a live in-studio performance.  Listen to the entire session here, Joseph’s part begins at around 25 minutes.

Joseph has just embarked on a 25 date tour of Europe to coincide with the release of his new double album The Ballad Of Boogie Christ Acts 1 & 2

Book tickets to upcoming shows

Buy The Ballad Of Boogie Christ Acts 1 & 2

06th Oct - Paradiso - Amsterdam, NL
08th Oct - Ancienne Belgique - Brussels, BE
09th Oct - The Musician - Leicester, UK
10th Oct - The Grain Barge - Bristol, UK
11th Oct - Heath Street Baptist - Church London, UK
12th Oct - Maison des Arts - Grand Quevilly, FR
16th Oct - Mama Festival - Paris, FR
17th Oct - Théâtre le Rex - Saint Flour, FR
18th Oct - Festival de la Guitare - Montpellier, FR
19th Oct - Le Poste à Galène - Marseille, FR
22nd Oct - Bogen F - Zurich, CH
24th Oct - Conrad Sohm - Dornbirn, AU
26th Oct - Porgy & Bess - Vienna, AU
27th Oct - Treibhaus - Innsbruck, AU
29th Oct - The Place Club - Rome, IT
30th Oct - S. Benedetto del Tronto - Teatro, IT
31st Oct - Teatro Comunale - Fontanellato, IT
01st Nov - Latteria Molloy - Brescia, IT
04th Nov - Mousonturm - Frankfurt, DE
05th Nov - PrivateClub - Berlin, DE
06th Nov - UT Connewitz - Leipzig, DE
07th Nov - Scheune - Dresden, DE
08th Nov - Steinbruch - Duisburg, DE
09th Nov - Gleis22 - Münster, DE

Published 7th Oct 2013, 10:44am 3 notes on Tumblr »

Bring Out the Best of the New B&W Headphones with Society of Sound Music


Bowers and Wilkins have just launched their new P7 headphones. To demonstrate the outstanding quality of these, B&W head of engineering Stuart Nevill has curated a mix of tracks in master-tape quality from Society of Sound recordings (many of which are Real World artists). 

Find out more about how and why Stuart rates these tracks so highly

Learn about the fascinating audio world of Society of Sound 

Published 1st Oct 2013, 8:53pm »

Joseph Arthur – Currency Of Love (Video Premiere)



Folk Radio UK are premiering the video for Joseph Arthur’s Currency Of Love over on their website. 

Currency Of Love is an orchestral pop album opener on which Arthur unveils a passionate croon unlike any vocal performance he’s ever given.  The track opens up his new double album The Ballad Of Boogie Christ Acts 1 & 2out now.

Watch the video now


Published 26th Sep 2013, 11:01am 1 notes on Tumblr »

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