Posts Tagged ‘rich mix’

La Linea Festival returns to London, featuring Orkesta Mendoza, António Zambujo, Totó La Momposina and more

Posted on April 13th, 2017 in Live by .


Orkesta Mendoza, António Zambujo and Totó La Momposina are set to appear at this year’s La Linea Festival in London

The London Latin Music Festival, La Linea, founded by ¡Como No! has built a firm reputation as one of the world’s most unique celebrations of South American music since its inception in 2001. The annual event returns for its 17th year this April, hosting an eclectic range of artists in a number of venues spread out across the capital.

The festival will feature the fiery Orkesta Mendoza, who will bring their unique cultural fusion of cumbia, mambo, indie and rock’n’roll to Rich Mix on April 21. Portuguese singer and guitarist António Zambujo is also set to make a welcome return to La Linea, bringing the Chico Buarque songbook to London for the first time; catch him at Cadogan Hall on April 21. The legendary Totó La Momposina will also take to the stage at Cadogan Hall on April 28 in a rare UK appearance, representing the music of Columbia’s Caribbean coastline.

La Linea will take place between April 18-29 2017.


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Live Review | Kadialy Kouyate at Rich Mix, December 1

Posted on December 5th, 2016 in Live, Recent posts by .


Tutku Barbaros attends the launch of Kadialy Kouyaté’s new album, Na Kitabo, at London’s Rich Mix

In his interview on BBC Africa, Kadialy Kouyaté talks of his role as an artist:  “we have a responsibility to contribute to peace, to bring people together.” Hosting the launch of his latest album Na Kitabo at the ever vibrant Rich Mix reflected this sentiment beautifully, as audience members of all walks of life listened to the serenity of his music, moved by it and moving to it.

Kadialy is an incredibly skilled musician, playing the kora as easily as the rest of us clap to a beat. While the release of a new album is referred to as ‘a launch,’ Kadialy isn’t here to throw his music at us – he gives it and as an audience, we received it gratefully. His lack of showmanship was humbling; each time he asked the audience how we were, I felt that perhaps if someone said ‘I’m terrible mate,’ he would have paused the set, embarked on a conversation and then performed an improvised musical response to the audience member’s mood. To see an accomplished musician truly believe he is a man of the people is both rare and exciting.

The union of the ancient kora with guitars and percussion was mesmerising and proved that music needn’t be a battleground between old and new sounds, but a birthplace for new hybrids. While there were times where more prominent shifts in tempo would have been welcome, there is no questioning the richness of Kadialy’s work. The layering of sounds with his warm and flowing vocal style created an atmosphere akin to being shrouded gently in a thousand soft, orange fabrics on a breezy midnight looking up at the stars. Suffice to say, Kadialy would be an excellent addition to the festival circuit this summer, free of four walls and complemented by an epic skyline.

As the concert closed there was a collective energy of thoughtful calm. Not a calm that felt passive: a strong calm – a calm that can be worn like armour and, channeled correctly, could be more powerful than rage. A calm that could contribute to the exact peace Kadialy speaks of. This concert provided a welcome antidote to the current chaos of society, a legacy that will be carried forth by the album and the endearing artist behind it.



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Live Review | ÌFÉ at London’s Rich Mix, September 23

Posted on October 13th, 2016 in Live, Recent posts, Reviews by .


Words by Liam Izod, photo by Mariángel Gonzales

On the strength of the release of just two music videos, Puerto Rican group ÌFÉ were able to command a packed crowd for their UK debut at London’s Rich Mix in Shoreditch. An impressive feat given that producer/percussionist Otura Mun’s group are hardly your typical commercial proposition. ÌFÉ offer an experimental vision of organic electronic music, alloyed with Yoruban theology, the religion in which Mun is a babalao (priest).

Dressed in matching robe-like white shirts and kufi hats, and all sporting large headphones, ÌFÉ’s four percussionists looked like they had come direct from a silent disco at a theological conference. The somewhat shambolic impression carried through to the music. Clave rhythms ricocheted across the stage, triggering murky electro blips and plonks, by means of sensors rigged to the percussion. One woodblock –gaffer taped and trailing a cable – had the appearance of an improvised explosive, but ÌFÉ’s grooves were far from incendiary.

The group’s vocals were a highlight though, with every member singing in powerful chorus. It felt devotional at times, and clearly resonated with many in the audience, whether they understand the lyrics or not. Singer Kathy Cepeda cut a particularly charismatic figure, growling into the mic and exhorting the audience to dance.

While not revolutionary, ÌFÉ’s UK live debut had a raucous raw energy. As the group develop, there may be more than just the Shoreditch-istas at Rich Mix who will want to join Otura Mun’s groove infused guerilla movement.

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An ÌFÉ less ordinary

Posted on September 15th, 2016 in Live, Recent posts by .

ÌFÉ - House of Love

Liam Izod previews the UK live debut of the Puerto Rican group ÌFÉ, who undertake an experimental fusion of percussion, electronics and dance.

We live in an era of producers stepping out from behind their studio consoles to share top billing with performers and even eclipse them. So we perhaps owe thanks to this blurring of the boundary between producer and artist for Otura Mun’s intriguing new project and group ÌFÉ, who make their live UK debut at Rich Mix on September 23 amid much hype and mystery.

Otura Mun – a drummer by background – has been producing on the Puerto Rican scene since he arrived from the US in the 90s. Artists like Mima, Cultura Profética and Calma Carmona have all benefitted from his affinity with rhythm and groove. He decided to launch a solo project last year, after a chance engagement with the Life Magazine archive coverage of the 1965 Watts riots in LA, scenes that echo depressingly loud in the modern US of Mun’s birth. From ‘Life’ came ìfé, the Yoruba word for ‘love’ and ‘expansion.’

Expansion is an appropriate motto for ÌFÉ, as Mun takes a multi-sensory approach to music, treating dance and videography as equal partners. ÌFÉ’s most revolutionary expansion is to add a harmonic dimension to percussive instruments. Otura Mun has practiced some musical DIY, fitting traditional percussion with electronic sensors that trigger harmonic elements.

Otura Mun

In an interview with New York Based journalist and academic Ed Morales, Mun explains ‘I love electronic music, but it’s always seemed a little stiff and rigid.’ His electro percussion allows him to dispense with the strait-jacket of pre-programmed sequences without losing the expanded musical palette that electronics allow. The result – complex currents of groove punctuated by catchy electro squelches – is unsettling in its novelty but stays with you.

Otura Mun is ordained in the Yoruba religion as a priest or babalao, which literally means ‘father of mysteries.’ There is certainly a lot of mystery and mysticism around ÌFÉ, who have only released two tracks so far. September brings an opportunity for Londoners to see how the ÌFÉ experiment translates to the live stage. It promises to be an out-of-the-ordinary experience.

ÌFÉ play Rich Mix in Bethnal Green on September 23.

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