Posts Tagged ‘michael messer’s mitra’

Michael Messer’s Mitra – Call of the Blues | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on April 12th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


Words by Nigel Williamson

Michael Messer's Mitra - Call of The Blues Cover

Bottleneck blues meets Hindustani slide guitar

After meeting at a festival in Mumbai in 2013, the British guitarist Michael Messer and Manish Pingle, who plays the Indian slide guitar known as the mohan veena, jammed together and found an easy concordance and natural empathy. Fusing the blues of the Mississippi Delta with Hindustani styles and forms, two years later they added the London-based tabla player Gurdain Rayatt to accompany them on a British tour.

At its conclusion, the trio spent two days in the studio recording this quite superb album. With the exception of one double-tracked vocal, everything was recorded live, thanks to the intuition and understanding they had developed on stage together every night. Messer’s regular blues repertoire is the source of much of the material – a brace of Muddy Waters numbers, Fred McDowell’s ‘You Got to Move’ and JJ Cale’s ‘Anyway the Wind Blows’ – but they’re transformed by the Indian musicians, as the dark, droning mojo of the Delta is lent additional mystery by the layers of raga-like atmospheric ambience. Best of all is ‘Bhupali Blues’, in which the exchange works in the opposite direction, with Messer’s bottleneck blues tropes blending seamlessly into the structure of a traditional raga as the two guitarists exchange licks with scintillating panache.

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Top of the World May 2016: The best new releases

Posted on April 1st, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the May (#117) issue.

Konono No 1 & Batida
Konono No 1 Meets Batida (Crammed Discs)

Konono No1 & Batida - Konono No1 Meets Batida Cover

Five years since their last album, the innovative Grammy-winning group Konono No 1 are back and are joined by Portuguese-Angolan DJ Batida on this hypnotising collaborative effort.

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Snowboy & The Latin Section
New York Afternoon (Snowboy Records)


With an illustrious discography going back to the late 80s, conguero Mark ‘Snowboy’ Cotgrove and his group release their first album on his eponymous label.

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Astar (Breabach Records)

Breabach - Astar Cover

Scottish group Breabach return with a new album packed full of global musical influences from their travels. A mix of original compositions and covers, Astar exhibits a new, exciting direction.

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La Yegros
Magnetismo (Soundway Records)

La Yegros - Magnetismo Cover

Argentinian nu cumbia singer La Yegros is accompanied by some noteworthy guests on her commanding and rhythmical sophomore album.

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Michael Messer’s Mitra
Call of the Blues (Knife Edge Records)

Michael Messer's Mitra - Call of The Blues Cover

Michael Messer’s Mitra transform Mississippi blues songs with Hindustani sensitivities for a delightful project that was mostly recorded live.

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Kris Drever
If Wishes Were Horses (Reveal Records)


A solo album from Lau’s Kris Drever, this showcases what may be Drever’s best work yet, with insightful lyrics penned against a backdrop of warm instrumentation.

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Veretski Pass with Joel Rubin
Poyln: A Gilgul (Golden Horn Records)


Traditional Polish and Jewish music are brought together and masterfully executed on a memorable album by Veretski Pass and Joel Rubin.

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Group Ekanzam
Every Song Has its End: Sonic Dispatches from Traditional Mali (Glitterbeat)

Every Song Has Its End - Cover

The diverse nature of Malian traditional music is showcased across 12 tracks gathered by Bamako-based producer Paul Richard Chandler.



Lakou Mizik
Wa Di Yo (Cumbancha)


Lakou Mizik’s debut is a passionate tribute to the people and culture of Haiti. Formed in the aftermath of the country’s 2010 earthquake, the collective deliver a project of celebration and hope.

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Full Attack Band
1001 (Full Attack Band)


Argentinian saxophonist Alejandro Toledo leads a new life in a new band, one that showcases a firm strength, fervour and clear experience in their musical arrangements.

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