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Havana Club Rumba Project

Posted on February 11th, 2016 in News, Recent posts by .


Gilles Petersons latest project with Havana Cultura is an insightful look at rumba music from the island of Cuba.

Peterson has joined forces with documentary film-maker Charlie Inman – who directed his last feature on the music of Brazil – to present a comprehensive look at the music, the dance, and the culture surrounding the rumba form. Expert batá drummer Ade Egun Crispin Robinson and singer Daymé Arocena accompany Peterson for the duration of the trip. 

This film is also accompanied by a remix album – entitled Havana Club Rumba Sessions - which features some wonderful remixes by a diverse roster of artists, including débruitMotor City Drum Ensemble, and Japanese duo Daisuke Tanabe and Yosi Horikawa. The tracks are based around samples of the three principal drumming styles within rumba - guaganco, yambu, and colombia - that were recorded during Peterson’s stay in Cuba. Arocena’s vocals also feature, most notably on the beautiful track from 22a label head Tenderlonius, entitled ‘Rumba Tierna’.  

Havana Club Rumba Sessions is released on March 11 via Brownswood Recordings, and you can catch the documentary throughout February at the ICA, the Lexi in Kensal Rise, and the Phoenix in East Finchley. Check out the trailer below:

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Album Review | Top of the World | Monsieur Doumani – Sikoses

Posted on May 18th, 2015 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


Monsieur Doumani will be performing at Songlines Encounters Festival on June 4.

Monsieur-Doumani---SikosesThat difficult second album proves a doddle for Doumani

The Nicosia-based trio Monsieur Doumani have returned with a truly sterling effort on their second album. It features reworkings of traditional Cypriot folk songs and new compositions; an ambitious and altogether rewarding project. Clocking in at just under an hour, this album covers a vast amount of ground. From the wistful opener ‘Gongs’ to the serene closer ‘Good Tidings’, Sikoses never once loses your interest and is consistently strong, both lyrically and sonically. The title-track is based on a traditional melody, and its music complements the sentiments of the lyrical content perfectly: lilting brass and mystical harmonies conjure up the sense of loss following the end of a carnival.

The couplet ‘sycophants and zombies would scheme all day/ and drink hot blood from sundown to dawn’ is not the kind you hear every day, and the astute social criticism throughout – notably on ‘That’s What the Kitten Wants’ – helps make this an outstanding work. The centrepiece, an eight-minute opus named ‘Black-Eyed Girl’, showcases the musical talents of the trio, with magnificent slide work by Antonis Antoniou on the tzouras (lute), a beauteous flute refrain from Demetris Yiasemides, and haunting vocals from Angelos Ionas. This is a wonderfully conceived album, from a masterfully accomplished trio.

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Preview | London Remixed Festival, February 6-7

Posted on January 22nd, 2015 in Live, News by .


The London Remixed Festival returns for two days in London at Rich Mix, in the heart of Shoreditch 

Following last year’s success, which saw the likes of Auntie Flo, Nubiyan Twist, and Dub Colossus take to the stage, the London Remixed Festival returns with an equally diverse programme.

Friday’s proceedings are headed up by John Fairhust, electro-swing/bass maestro Odjbox and Dj Chris Tofu.  There are also panels and discussions going on throughout the day.

The Saturday sees three stages specially curated to satisfy the most adventurous of musical palates. The Tropicarnival – hosted by Movimentos and Wormfood – are bringing the beats with the ten-strong London Afrobeat Collective heading up the bill, with support from fusion specialists Nomad Collective and the Cuban rhythm crew Orchestra Bombo. Sam and the Womp (pictured) headline the riotous Polka Club, backed up by the New York Brass Band, with the Folk Ghetto headed up by Stompin’ Dave Allen and the exquisite klezmer group Don Kipper, who were recently awarded Best European Newcomers Valley Klezmer Festival.

Early bird tickets have all sold-out, but you can still get single day tickets and two-day passes through Skiddle.

Global Local are celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, so to give you a taster of what to expect, here’s their newest compilation:

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December 2014: Top 10 UK Live Events

Posted on December 3rd, 2014 in Live, Music Travel, News by .

As the festive season draws ever closer, there are still a great deal of fantastic gigs to be seen that aren’t pre-occupied with carols and figgy pudding. 

Here’s a shortlist of the top ten gigs this December.


Rodrigo y Gabriela


The unfathomably talented Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela return to the UK for six dates this winter. They will showcase their new album 9 Dead Alive, and judging by their storming set on Glastonbury’s pyramid stage this summer it’s definitely not one to miss!

Where & When: Across the UK, Nov 30-Dec 6 More info


Cuban Classics: A Night In Havana


An evening of classical Cuban music will star young concert pianist Marcus Madrigal, who will be playing alongside tango songstress Ann Liebeck (pictured), and Omar Puente, a bright Cuban jazz violinist. The concert will include pieces by Manuel de FallaErnesto Lecuona, and Enrique Granados.

Where & When: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, Dec 2 More info




This month is the tenth anniversary of the wonderful British-Indian ensemble Tarang. The young group have had pieces commissioned for them by such esteemed composers as Gaurav Mazumdar and Tarun Bhattacharya (pictured), and this evening’s celebrations include some pieces composed specifically for the occasion.

Where & When: Purcell Room, London, Dec 5 More info


Susheela Raman


The intimate surroundings of Turner Sims in Southampton plays host to the exquisite Susheela Raman this December. She plays as part of a quartet that includes Aref Durvesh on tablaKartik Raghunathan (violin), and Sam Mills (guitar). Her album Queen Between was a highlight of the year, so be sure to catch her last UK concert in 2014.

Where & When: Turner Sims, Southampton, Dec 5 More info


The Great British Folk Festival


This year’s stellar line-up for the annual affair in Skegness includes BellowheadThe Full English, and Capercaillie. There is also a performance from Jethro Tull’s guitarist Martin Barre and his band.

Where & When: Butlins Holiday Park, Skegness, Dec 5-8 More info




If you’re one for a quiet evening in then the modern Klezmer powerhouse Tantz may not be for you! However, if you’re up for blistering tempos, cascading string lines, and some good-old foot stomping then look no further! The Leeds based group play four dates across the UK this December.

Where & When: Across the UK, Dec 5-13 More info


Auntie Flo


Glaswegian DJ Auntie Flo launched his Highlife label back in 2010 and has gone from strength to strength since. These days he’s regularly accompanied at his high-energy shows by South African drummer Esa. Catch him at three dates across the UK, which includes a performance at London’s Plastic People alongside Axel Boman.

Where & When: Across the UK, Dec 12-19 More info


Just Jam


Following the last minute cancellation of the originally proposed performance earlier this year, Just Jam is set to go ahead at the Barbican. Headed up by the Syrian wedding singer Omar Souleyman (pictured), the eclectic line-up features grime artists JME and Big Narstie, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, and Libson-based DJ Maboku.

Where & When: Barbican Centre, London, Dec 13 More info


Canto, Ritmo y Baile de Latinoamerica: Celebrating a Continent’s Love for Dance


Further north on the very same evening, and entirely different affair is taking place. Mestisa are a yorkshire based Latin-American folk quartet and will be playing a variety of musics from the continent. This concert is part of the University of Leeds Concert Series, and is free for under 16s.

Where & When: Clothworkers Centenary Workers Hall, Leeds, Dec 13 More info


Gilles Peterson


Who better to spend your New Year’s Eve with than the musical polymath Gilles Peterson? Having turned the Bedroom Bar into a Cuban haven at the launch of his latest Havana Cultura album last month, he’s sure to get the heart racing with the finest selections right through to the early hours. He will be supported by Simbad, a fellow DJ from Brownswood who helped co-produce the new Havana Cultura project.

Where & When: The Prince of Wales, Brixton, Dec 31 More info


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