Posts Tagged ‘nicolas repac’

Top of the World: Nicolas Repac – Black Box

Posted on February 12th, 2013 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Words by Alexandra Petropoulos

An album that proves the whole world’s got the blues

In his 2004 album Swing Swing, guitarist, composer and producer Nicolas Repac took a futuristic journey through the history of swing, sampling old recordings and adding a contemporary, danceable flair. Similarly, Black Box unearths and follows the various lines of the blues sensibility through its many forms, from reworking classic bottleneck blues to highlighting soulful Balkan melodies. The album opens with ‘Chain Gang Blues,’ a dreamlike arrangement of African-American inmates recorded by folklorist Alan Lomax in 1947. Mysterious harmonies and guitar underline the time-keeping crash of axes and distant call-and-response hollers. 

There are other excellent samplings of Lomax recordings including ‘All Ready?,’ featuring a 1959 recording of John Davis and the Georgia Sea Island Singers that highlights the industrial, work-song aesthetic with heavy hits and off-kilter rhythms and ‘Betty Loop,’ which (perhaps unsurprisingly) loops a 1933 recording of ‘Black Betty’ by James ‘Iron Head’ Baker. Repac samples other classic blues singers – including Bo Diddley on ‘Bo’s a Lumberjack’ and Blind Willie Johnson on ‘Redemption Blues’ – but venturing further afield, he features Angola’s Bonga (‘Cenas de Gaby’), Senegal’s Cheikh Lô (‘Pulaar’) and Haiti’s Ti-Coca (‘Haiti Bottleneck’). Most surprising perhaps is ‘La Fuerza del Sentimiento’, in which subtle accompaniment beautifully supports Peruvian Guillermo Arévalo Valera’s shamanic chanting or ‘Slepa Ljubav,’ which samples Serbian Stana Selimovic’s haunting Balkan melodies over blues guitar. While not as danceable as Swing Swing, Black Box is still an exceptional album that is able to offer a contemporary take on the blues and its relatives without compromising the music’s original soul and beauty. 

TRACK TO TRY: All Ready?

Click here to buy the album on Amazon

Click here to download the album on iTunes

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March 2013 issue of Songlines (#90) is on sale in the UK from Feb 1

Posted on January 30th, 2013 in News, Recent posts by .

The March 2013 issue of Songlines is on sale in the UK from February 1 and includes our regular Top of the World CD with ten tracks from the finest new releases from around the planet. The CD also includes five tracks selected by American record producer and writer Joe Boyd. 

The Top of the World CD includes tracks from American duo Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer; Malian ngoni star Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba; Italian troubadour Vinicio Capossela; energetic Finnish fiddling from Frigg; long-established kora player Ballaké Sissoko and French DJ and producer Nicolas Repac.





The main editorial features include:

• Goran Bregovic – Philip Sweeney talks to the Balkan superstar about Gypsy music and why opinions about his success remain divided.
• Guide to Chanson – The official Songlines Guide to the artists and history of French chanson.
• Music and Food – In support of Refugee Action’s upcoming World Food Night, four musicians share their favourite food-related songs and recipes.
• Hip-hop Debate – Writers Rose Skelton and Nigel Williamson go head-to-head on the subject of global hip-hop.
• Enzo Avitabile – Simon Broughton goes on set with the Neapolitan musicians Enzo Avitabile and director Jonathan Demme.

• Beginner’s Guide to the Oysterband.
• Festival Profile: Tong Tong.
• Postcard from Jharkland, India.
• Backpage from Rio de Janeiro.
• My World – record producer and writer Joe Boyd.
• Grooves – American singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, Cape Verdean vocalist Carmen Souza and guitarist, producer and DJ Nicolas Repac.
• News, including the Nile Project and Birds Eye View film festival.
• Reviews of the latest CD, DVD and world cinema releases.

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