Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Powerspot Playlist 29 March 06

On the show tomorrow night, should you wish to tune in....
A selection of tracks from Daniel Lanois who will soon be performing in Sydney over two nights. I will be interviewing him next week so if you have any burning questions which you would like for me to put forward please email me offline (
Daniel Lanois- S/T Sling Blade- Blue Waltz
Daniel Lanois- For The Beauty of Wynona- Lotta Love To Give / Still Learning How To Crawl
Daniel Lanois- Belladonna-Dusty
Daniel Lanois- Shine- I Love You / Sometimes
Daniel Lanois- Belladonna-Panorama / Deadly Nightshade
Daniel Lanois- Belladonna- Slow Giving
Daniel Lanois- For The Beauty of Wynona-The Devil's Bed
Daniel Lanois- Shine-Shine / San Juan
Daniel Lanois- For The Beauty of Wynona-Brother L.A
Daniel Lanois- S/T Sling Blade-Orange Kay / The Maker

I am also re-broadcasting an interview with local musician Kim Sanders who will be performing April 2 with Bobby Singh (tablas) and Sandy Evans (saxophones) at The Harp in Tempe. Details below.

Music in this section comes from Kim's CD Trance N'Dancin'
Kim Sanders & Friends at the Harp
Kim Sanders and Friends return from rapturously-received performances at WOMADelaide Festival for a long-awaited Sydney appearance at The Harp in Tempe on Sunday April 2.
The trio will be joined by award-winning saxophonist Sandy Evans.
“Sandy has been busy with a big composing project, and before that Bobby was in India, and before that I was in Indonesia with Trio Dingo,” said Kim yesterday. “It’s always difficult getting the four of us in one place at one time. So I’m looking forward to it.”
“WOMADelaide was a blast. People are ready for this kind of stuff now - they loved it!”
The band’s eclectic mix of Turkish Sufi meditations, rocking Balkan Gypsy-style dance-tunes, Persian reggae and other uncategorisable grooves make it unique in world music.
Kim Sanders: Bulgarian and Turkish bagpipes, aardvark, mey, ney, kaval, tenor sax
Sandy Evans: Soprano and tenor saxes
Steve Elphick: Bass
Bobby Singh: Tabla
7pm Sunday April 2
The Harp,
900 Prince’s Highway, Tempe.
Tickets $15/12 conc
Enquiries: 9559 6300
Interviews, photos etc:
ARIA-nominated CD You Cant Get There From Here and latest release Trance’n’Dancin are available from the email address above. Samples on Kim’s website:

Karsh Kale- Broken English
Afro Celt Sound System-CD Anatomica-Anatomica

Daniel Lanois in Sydney April 12-13 The Basement

April 2006 will see legendary producer, composer and songwriter Daniel Lanois tour Australia with his telepathically-in-tune band of companions. Taking in a stop at the East Coast Blues & Roots Festival, the tour will reach major capital cities and is one not to be missed by all fans of captivating, spiritual music.
Daniel’s career to date has left a distinctive imprint characterised by its integrity and singular artistic vision. Without his enormous influence it is difficult to imagine how different our popular music landscape would be.
When Brian Eno recorded his landmark ambient releases of the 1980’s and ‘90’s, he transformed our perception of space, music, and performance. His collaborator on those albums, and on his subsequent ground-breaking production work with U2, was Daniel Lanois. Lanois took the techniques he developed with Eno and went on to produce career defining albums for Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris and (again) U2, earning him Rolling Stone’s accolade as “the most important record producer to emerge in the ‘80s.”
In total, Daniel has produced or co-produced 43 albums including acclaimed records with The Neville Brothers, Ron Sexsmith, Luscious Jackson, Willie Nelson and Marianne Faithful.
He is currently nominated for three 2006 Grammy awards. One for his production on U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb album, but two in recognition of his sublime new album, Belladonna (Best Pop Instrumental Album: Belladonna and Best Pop Instrumental Performance: “Agave”, a track from the album.)
Belladonna is an instrumental record featuring Daniel’s stunning work on the pedal steel guitar blended with the organic atmospherics and haunting sonic textures that he is known for. Both timeless and futuristic, the album blends his peerless gift for evocative sonic texture with the soulful mysteries of blues, folk, country and gospel.
CMJ magazine called Belladonna “an aural buzz of pedal steel guitar, dusty drum kits and layers upon layers of mood, mood, mood that reveal themselves after repeat listens”, while Performing Songwriter says about the record: “Belladonna is an immersive, alluring work, as mysterious and evocative as a dry wind.”
The Daniel Lanois live band consists of trusted cohorts Jim Wilson on guitar, Marcus Blake on bass, Steven Nistor on drums and Lanois himself presiding over guitar and vocal duties.
The Australian performances are sure to inspire, capturing Lanois in full flight as he creates sonic canvases as distinctive as they are memorable. Such artistry was not lost on New York Times critic Jon Pareles when he saw Lanois live in 2005:
“It was orchestral…the songs welled up to fill the room for a spellbound audience. Behind him, video screens showed angels, open roads, kaleidoscopic patterns. There's Celtic music in his open chords and picked patterns; there's spiky blues syncopation and the choppy primitivist rock of his fellow Canadian Neil Young. When Mr. Lanois switches to pedal steel guitar, the songs take on just a hint of country, but he also makes each hovering chord appear and vanish like an ectoplasm.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

22 March 2006

I have coming in this week Michael Rofe who is the world music reviewer for The Australian newspaper. The main thing he will be doing is having a retrospective on WOMAD which just finished up, the good, the bad and the plain ugly. No doubt he will be bringing in a swag of records as well to remind us how much beauty there is in the world of music. Try and tune in if you can.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Bombay Dub Orchestra review

Bombay Dub Orchestra (Six Degrees)

More orchestra than dub, the tracks on this double release would not be out of place on a Buddha Bar compilation. Lightweight and easy listening, there is a 'trippy' feel to the sound at times. It has that summer feel- everything's OK-life is good mood about it. It's all very pleasant in feel and carefully crafted. Indian sounds merge with ambient sounds merge with orchestral arrangements. The pieces amble along, tinkering piano lines, washes of synthesisers, strings, sitars, bansuri flutes, Indian voices, occasional dub treatments. Don't expect a King Tubby treatment though.

There have been others who have gone down these musical roads. I think of Nitin Sawhney and 1 Giant Leap though the roads they travel are more political and have more of an edge to them. Also Bill Laswell's Lost In The Translation ambient excursions spring to mind when I listen to this disc, especially some of the remixes on disc two.

Bombay Dub Orchestra are two English musicians, Garry Hughes and Andrew T. Mackay. Garry Hughes has had time playing with Bjork and Sly & Robbie, whereas Andrew T. Mackay has scored works for people such as Annie Leibovitz, LA Rockers VAST and ABC (the 80's group, not the TV network) Garry Hughes has also played keyboards and produced for groups like Pink Floyd and Art of Noise according to notes found on the net.

Six Degrees have been releasing interesting titles for some time now, cutting edge electronica merging with Indian rhythms.The danger with this release is that some people will write it off as good dinner party music, which would be a shame. It has a lot to offer depending on your state of mind at time of listening. This album will appeal to a lot of listeners. I like it immensely though I still want some sort of an 'edge' to my music when I am listening. Still it is one of the better release of the year so far. What would really be good now is for another remix album of this material to come out but from other artists on Six Degrees. Maybe this is already in the pipeline.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Powerspot Playlist 15 March 06

On the show tonight

Ba Cissoko- CD Electric Griot Land

Cheil Lo- CD Lamp Fall

V/A- Putumayo Presents Turkish Groove
In 2005, Putumayo’s head of A&R, Jacob Edgar traveled to Istanbul to immerse himself in Turkey’s culture and discover its music. Though its cities are filled with the ancient architecture of its long history, Turkey is considered one of the most modern Muslim countries in the world. This cultural juxtaposition is most evident in Turkey’s contemporary pop music scene, where classical traditions and instrumentation blend with sophisticated global pop and dance music. Putumayo World Music’s newest release, Turkish Groove, reflects this unique musical mosaic and joins the successful Groove series, which has sold over one million CDs.
Much like their Western pop counterparts, Turkish stars push the limit of their society’s standards of acceptability. As a result, Turkish pop music is crossing over to audiences outside Turkey, making inroads into the contemporary scenes of Europe and Latin America though remaining largely unknown in other parts of the world. Leading the way is Tarkan, with his boyish good looks, smooth voice and infectious rhythms. Now working on his first English language album, Tarkan is sure to continue storming the international pop scene.
Sertab found fame when she became the first Turkish winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, beating out the controversial Russian duo t.A.T.u. Dramatic and smoky, her track “Buda” weaves a mantra of layered vocals and classic instrumentation with electronic subtleties. Recognized as one of the most successful female singers in Turkey, Sertab has recorded duets with José Carreras and Ricky Martin.
Internationally recognized Mustafa Sandal could be considered the Justin Timberlake of Turkey, with his equally charming appearance and voice propelling him to superstardom in his native home. On “Kalmadi,” Sandal reflects his diverse musical influences; despondent lyrics are woven with the classical sounds of the kanun (a traditional Turkish instrument) and then mingled with a flamenco-esque guitar and polished mixing techniques for a truly modern effect.
Embellished with gypsy brass and string arrangements, Nilgül’s voice glides over Arabic rhythms on the track “Piş Pişla.” She released her first album in 2000 and, by her sophomore CD, had proven herself a creditable musician by writing all the music and lyrics for that album.
Tuğba Ekinci took a different route to success. She was launched to superstardom with a music video that rivals Shakira. Dressed in seductive military garb, Tuğba danced her way into the hearts of men across the country. “Oha Falan Oldum Yani,” her contribution to Turkish Groove, leaves an equally lasting impression.
As Turkish pop takes its place on the international stage, its fusions of cultural traditions and modern techniques play to an ever-expanding audience. Putumayo’s Turkish Groove hopes to serve as an introduction to the contemporary sounds of this culturally rich country.

V/A- Putumayo Presents Brazilian Lounge
It is impossible to deny the influence that Brazil has on today’s global culture. From music and film to fashion and dance, Brazil has become one of the world’s most important resources of popular art and entertainment. In appreciation of this extraordinary culture, Putumayo World Music will release Brazilian Lounge, a collection featuring the sultry voices and urban grooves of many of Brazil’s finest contemporary musicians.
Opening the album is a track by Paula Morelenbaum, who is known as one of the rising stars of Brazil’s “new Bossa” movement. With this and other tracks from her self-titled CD, Morelenbaum has reinvented herself using subtle electronica. Her pristine voice and graceful approach to song earned her a spot in Antonio Carlos Jobim’s band. She later embarked on a successful solo career and received a Sharp Award (Brazilian Grammy) as the “Best New Female Rock/Pop Artist.”
The fusions of samba, soul and funk by alternative Brazilian musician and producer BiD, combined with the vocals of international music and film star, Seu Jorge, make “E Depois”one of the stand-out tracks on the collection. Seu Jorge is best known for his gripping role as Knockout Ned in the film City of God. He also appeared in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, starring Bill Murray. It was from Murray that Jorge first heard a Putumayo release and he has since become a fan of the label.
It’s easy to see why Bebel Gilberto, with her exquisite voice and retro style, is one of the world’s most popular Brazilian artists. With over a million albums sold since her debut album was released in 2000, Gilberto is on the “most wanted” lists of the world’s leading electronic producers. On the remixed “August Day Song,” Gilberto compares a rainstorm to being in love.
The soulful sounds of Marcos Valle may have first experienced popularity in the 1960’s, but his voice and the bossa nova melodies he has written transcend any period. Having achieved fame in the 60s and 70s, Valle was rediscovered by British dance labels who remixed and re-released his earlier work to enthusiastic audiences. In the midst of this renaissance, Valle returned to the studio to record a number of contemporary albums. “Agua de Coco” comes from his album, Contrasts, recorded in 2003.
Stop everything!!! That’s what we did when we first heard the track “Há Dias” from newcomer Luca Mundaca. Putumayo was putting the final touches on this collection when we received an unsolicited, self-produced CD from Mundaca. We knew that there was something very special in the simple beauty of her voice and stopped the presses to make room for this sensual track. Dios Irmãos featuring Mariana de Moraes, who’s been called the “Nora Jones of Latin America.”
-->Brazilian Lounge will take the listener to the contemporary bars and lounges of Rio and Sao Paulo, where a new generation of musicians is reinvigorating the classic sounds of samba and bossa nova. Tri-lingual liner notes include a recipe

V/A- Putumayo Presents Afro Latin Party
Croatian salsa, Cuban ska, and Oregonian mambo!?!? These are three of the unlikely gems listeners will find on Afro-Latin Party. What started out as an effort to provide the perfect soundtrack to a Latin dance party became a tribute to the global appreciation and realization of the musical ricochet between Cuba and Africa.
Central to the Afro-Latin phenomenon is Africando, who provide three songs on Afro-Latin Party, each with a different African lead singer. In the 1960s and 1970s, the biggest names in African music—including such heavyweights as Youssou N’Dour and Salif Keita—were performing Latin music, thanks to vinyl that came over from abroad. Cultural exchange between Cuba and the socialist governments in Mali and other parts of West Africa was a regular phenomenon. Performers like the Fania All Stars and Celia Cruz toured Africa and became musical icons.
In 1992, legendary Africando founders Ibrahim Sylla and Boncana Maïga traveled to New York to record with top local salsa musicians, many who were taken by surprise by these Africans performing their phonetically learned Spanish lyrics. Interestingly, many of the band members on the three Africando tracks here, also play on other tracks on Afro-Latin Party.
“I once asked [Putumayo founder] Dan Storper, ‘If you could sign any band in the world ever, who would you sign?’” says album producer and VP of A&R Jacob Edgar. “He said Bob Marley and thought for a moment, and then said Africando.” The band, which uses a revolving roster of African singers, “takes these two separate worlds, and adds something to the style, in the way they sing and the way they arrange, that is so magical. It is almost better than the sum of these two powerful musical elements,” adds Edgar.
It is not surprising to find Nuyorican José Mangual Jr. on the collection. His song, “Ritmo con Aché” celebrates the African roots in Latino culture, referring to the West African Yoruba word, aché—a divine life force from the santería religion, which blends West African spirituality and Catholicism. In 1968, Mangual joined forces with Willie Colón and Hector Lavoe to record some of the most influential salsa albums of all time. Nor is it a shock to hear Chico Álvarez on the set. He’s probably best known for his highly respected New World Gallery program on WBAI radio in New York. Here he sings “Cógele el Gusto,” a song made popular by Celia Cruz in the early 1960s. It was also one of the earliest tracks to use the word salsa to describe Afro-Cuban dance music. This track was first released in 1981 on SAR, the same label that has put out much Afro-Latin music.
Things get interesting when Ska Cubano’s “Babalu”—another tribute to santería—rings through the sound system. Ska Cubano exists as if Cuba never closed its doors to the rest of the Caribbean in 1959. Before that, styles like Trinidadian calypso maintained great popularity in Cuba. With old school Cuban players and a young, stylish ska singer from South London, this band is sure to make waves as Americans hear more from them in the future.
Cubismo—whose presence on this album confirms the global reach of Afro-Latin music—is not only Croatia’s best salsa band, they pride themselves on being able to compete with the hottest groups out of New York or Havana. Jacob Edgar came across the band in his pre-producer days as a music journalist, when he wrote them up for world music mag The Beat, a review that Cubismo later quoted in their own liner notes.
Portland, Oregon’s Pepe and the Bottle Blondes—who are led by a former singer from Pink Martini—deck themselves out with an updated 1950s kitsch mambo delivery. “Cuéntame Que Te Pasó” is a taste from their self-released debut album Latenight Betty. Also from the west coast is Congo-born Ricardo Lemvo, who is equally at home singing in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Lingala, and Kikongo. The CD is rounded out with a salsified Martinique classic, first recorded by Rasta banjo player Kali, but performed here by Martinique-born, Paris-based zouk-super-producer Ronald Rubinel.
Even with all the geographic and era crisscrossing on the album, at its core Afro-Latin Party is still a dance record beckoning party-goers to traverse the planet while they navigate the dance-floor.

V/A- Traveler 06 (Six Degrees Records)

Bombay Dub Orchestra- Bombay Dub Orchestra
Welcome to a world of cinematic lushness, orchestral delights, global voices, rhythms, vintage synthesizers and electronic bleeps. This is Bombay Dub Orchestra – the remarkable debut album from the U.K.-based duo of Garry Hughes (Björk, Sly & Robbie) and Andrew T. Mackay (VAST, Annie Leibovitz). Bombay Dub Orchestra is music that will stroke the senses and enamour the soul, with its uniquely brilliant crossover of orchestral arrangements, modern, lush beats and synthesizers and a heavy slant to the music of India.
That territory has been mapped by bands like Röyksopp, Air and Zero 7, but no one had dragged a 28-piece Indian string section into the arena before. And while the name "Bombay Dub Orchestra" conjures up visions of the garish pop of Bollywood's song-and-dance numbers, or the reverb-drenched, proto-psychedelic sounds of Jamaican dub, this music creates and sustains a very different mood.
It all began some seven years ago when producer Garry Hughes and string arranger/composer Andrew T. Mackay, went to India to record some of that city's top session players for a project by the London based Indian duo Spellbound.
"I produced and Andrew arranged," Hughes recalls. "It was a fantastic experience recording these guys, and on the plane coming home we thought how great it would be to make an orchestral chill-out record with these players."
This was easier said than done, since both Mackay and Hughes had other irons in the fire. Andrew T. Mackay, who is classically trained and is a descendant of one Luciano Francesco Paggi, "the Italian flautist, painter and revolutionary," has a busy career writing music for films, television, and artists as diverse as photographers Annie Liebovitz & Herb Ritts and the late actor Peter Cushing as well as arranging string orchestras for the likes of L.A. rockers VAST and '80s legends ABC. Garry Hughes, who claims to be a direct descendant of "a long line of horse thieves," had gigs as a keyboardist and producer with artists like Björk, Sly and Robbie, Garbage, The Pink Floyd Orchestral Project, and The Art of Noise. When they finally had a chance to work on their long-delayed idea, the goal, according to Hughes, was simple: "to explore music that no one else had so far done."
Mid-tempo trip-hop propels a rich tapestry of orchestral strings in "Compassion," with occasional wisps of Indian and Western instruments and subtle hints of '60s cinema. The slow groove on "Dust" fits neatly beneath the lyrical flow of the strings and dreamy keyboards. By the time you reach "The Greater Silence" later on the disc, the ambient dreamscapes have completely taken over. This is a pure, floating soundscape from an orchestra. In classic "dub" style Hughes and Mackay have also generously provided a second CD of remixed "versions" of the original music tracks. These mixes take the material into new sonic realms, traveling from upbeat dancefloor fillers to ambient tone poems, which strip the material down to orchestral textures.
The majority of the music was written in the U.K., in Hughes' countryside studio and Mackay's West London studio. Mackay and Hughes then worked on the intricate, cinematic arrangements 'faking' them up with digital samples. They ended up with a pretty fair approximation of what their Bombay Dub Orchestra would sound like. But there was no chance that the two producers would be satisfied with that. "I love samples and use them a lot," Hughes says, "but some things you have to do with real players." Mackay added " There are some truly amazing orchestral sample libraries out there but there is nothing like the real thing, especially with the wonderful Indian musical intonations!"
In March 2005, Mackay and Hughes finally returned to Bombay and began putting the final elements of their long-awaited debut album together. "During that week, we recorded a 28-piece string section (12 violins, 8 violas and 8 cellos) on 10 different tracks. We recorded the orchestra several times to achieve the multilayered arrangements that we had scored."
That was during the day; in the evenings, they recorded the best of Bombay's Indian classical musicians - including leading players of the sitar, sarangi, tabla, bansuri (wooden flute) and some memorable vocal performances. As Hughes explains, "the great thing about Indian classical music is that it's all about improvisation. With Western classical musicians, it's sometimes hard to give them a melody and say, run with it. But with these players, we'd give them the written parts or melody and in some cases the vaguest sketch of a melody and hit the 'record' button."
The results were exactly what the producers wanted. And beyond this, some of the sessions inspired Mackay & Hughes to rescore and arrange several of the tracks. The vocals on "Feel," by Rakesh Pandit, a young Bombay-based singer brought in by engineering legend Daman Sood, were a complete surprise: he eventually leaves the melody completely and begins improvising in a beautifully energetic yet still somber way. The song would later have to be rebuilt when Mackay and Hughes got the sessions back to England, but it was worth the effort. "It was the most exciting week I've ever spent in a studio," Hughes states. "Then we took the whole lot home, and we spent some time extending the intro, outro and middle section to accommodate Rakesh's inspiring vocal performance."
What they made of it is a surprisingly varied group of pieces, given the overall mood of the album. "The Berber of Seville," for example, features not only a wacky pun in its title, but some killer North African singing by Khalid Kharchaf (who really is a Berber singer from Morocco via London's Portobello Road). "To The Shore" has a simple but appealing flute melody, supported by a striking orchestration of dulcimer, choir, strings and piano, all driven forward by steady percussion. And then there's "Beauty and the East." This epic mix of Indian instruments with electronica is one of the pieces that was further worked on in Hughes' studio out of the sessions recorded in Bombay and additional soloists recorded in London. Sitar, voice, tabla, bansuri, santoor and violin appear in rapid succession, over shifting electronic drones and a sturdy, rocking tabla and rhythm track. A sitar melody alternates with strings over redoubled percussion; the opening theme returns, and a solo Indian-style violin floats over a rich layer of drones.
Bombay Dub Orchestra also includes a few pieces that share in the album's more stark classical mood but which offer a surprising contrast in sound. "Sonata" is, as the name implies, a piece in more of a Western classical mode, featuring Andrew T. Mackay's piano. Even more striking is "Remembrance," a lovely, sparse piano solo, in a style that recalls the likes of Debussy, Fauré or Satie. The connection to the rest of the project may not be immediately obvious, Hughes says, but it's there: "My home is opposite an old church. Andrew went over one Sunday - it was Remembrance Day here (the U.K. equivalent of Memorial Day) and the pastor's theme was remembering the troops. He said that a lot of those people came from places like India and Africa and it was important to remember this when topics like immigration and racism come up. Andrew came back and wrote this piece." Violins followed by violas glide in at the end of the track seemingly from somewhere 'over the Himalayas' and then vanish as quickly as they appeared leaving the gentle yet poignant piano bare and fragile.
Garry Hughes is no stranger to Six Degrees fans: he has worked on recordings by Euphoria, Bobi Céspedes, and Continuo, among others. So while he didn't have a contract when he and Andrew T. Mackay were putting the Bombay Dub Orchestra together, he says "I did have Six Degrees in the back of my mind." He also says the experience of working with the musicians in Bombay was so rewarding that they're eager to do it again. The first sessions were filmed, so a visual document of the project may be in the works, and as for a potential follow-up, Mackay simply says, "much more of the album will be written in India and we certainly aim to get out there much earlier in the process."

Daniel Lanois- CD For The Beauty of Wynona
"Some of my favorite records take you on a journey," says Daniel Lanois. "I wanted to make a record like that, that would challenge the imagination, conjure up images and, most importantly, it would be a reliable friend -- it would take you to that place and never let you down."
Lanois' vividly cinematic new album Belladonna does take you on a journey, a journey without words. Instrumental music "can speak louder than singing," Lanois explains. "It leaves a window of opportunity for someone to use their imagination and build their own scenario. You can make your own movie."
Belladonna is also part of Lanois' own journey, which began with his early '80s apprenticeship with Brian Eno, making some of the greatest, most influential avant garde music of all time, albums like Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror, Ambient 4: On Land, and Aka/Darbari/Java. After going on to produce the likes of U2, Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan, Lanois has made an album that assimilates all of that experience, blending his peerless gift for evocative sonic texture with the soulful mysteries of blues, folk, country and gospel. Both timeless and futuristic, Belladonna reasserts Daniel Lanois' rightful crown as king of musical inner space.
Lanois played truly ethereal pedal steel on Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, the classic ambient album he made with Eno in 1983. The instruments' pure, glimmering presence on Belladonna, along with the music's wide-open spaces, lovingly recalls that earlier disc, but with a key difference: "Apollo was very wide-eyed and optimistic," says Lanois. "But these are different times and now, it's harder to believe it's all going to be roses and poetry. I never go into my music with those kinds of thoughts but you can't help but let what's going on in the world crawl under your skin."
So this is no ambient album: For all its sun-baked serenity, Belladonna is foreground music that rewards close listening; Lanois masterfully darkens the canvas with noise, dischord and uncertainty, imbuing the music with intriguing contradictions and subtle turbulence. "Telco," for instance, began as a straight guitar piece; then Lanois added effects that sounded "like divebombs and machine guns and ambulances," he says. "Then I overdubbed piano -- a lovely melody while the ambulances are taking the bodies away!"
Some tunes are studio creations, like the finale "Todos Santos," which wouldn't sound out of place on a My Bloody Valentine album. But then plenty of other songs stand as fully melodic creations, like the mariachi-flavored "Agave" or "Desert Rose," folk-derived music infused with Lanois' distinctive conception of spiritual space. While there's always a rootedness to this music there's also an otherworldly and almost troublingly modern quality, and that combination defines Daniel Lanois' unique place in the music world.
Belladonna began when Lanois sojourned in Mexico for a year, and, keen on vibing off the south-of-the-border ambiance for his next album, set up shop in the Baja Peninsula and brought in drummer Brian Blade (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell), vocalist Darryl Johnson, and an 18-wheeler full of recording equipment. Blade adds a lambent dub reggae pulse to "Frozen" and aqueous commentary on the incantatory "Sketches" (to which celebrated jazz pianist Brad Mehldau adds his own ineffably prismatic touches). And that's not a woman on "Oaxaca," it's Johnson singing in haunting falsetto.But it's Lanois' majestic pedal steel that redeems even the album's most troubled moments. "I like the mystery of the darkness and then the beauty represented by the steel," he says. "It gives you a glimmer of hope."

Monday, March 13, 2006


A friend emailed me this the other day. Normally I delete this sort of thing (and never speak to the sender again) but this rings a grain of truth and I thought I would share it with those who stray into this blog from time to time.

In honor of women's history month and in memory of Erma Bombeck who lost her fight with cancer . Pass this on to five women that you want watched over. If you don't know five women to pass this on to, one will do just fine.

( written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my new clothes and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said,

"Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you." More "I'm sorry."
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it . live it and never give it back.
Stop sweating the small stuff.
Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what.
Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.
Let's think about what we are doing each day to promote ourselves
mentally, physically, emotionally.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Powerspot 8 March 06

Here is a quick rundown of what's happening on Powerspot tomorrow night in case you may wish to tune in.

Cheb Khaled / Fadela / Rachid Taha CD 1-2-3-4 Soleil
Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabete CD In The Heart of The Moon
Sheila Chandra CD This Sentence is True
Jamshied Sharifi CD A Prayer For The Soul of Layla
Ashok Roy- cd-Master of the Sarod
Beautiful People CD-If 60's Were 90's( a reinterpretation of the
music of Jimi Hendrix)
Horace Andy CD- True Love Shines Bright
Misty in Roots CD- Roots Controller
Various Artists CD- Respect
Lee Perry King Tubby Augustos Pablo CD-Dub Chill Out

Monday, March 06, 2006

Circle of Rhythm

Circle of Rhythm Playing Global Beats

Heralded as Australia's most exciting rhythm trio; Greg Sheehan, Bobby Singh and Ben Walsh have between them changed the face of percussion in Australia. After ten years of defining and redefining what Australian drumming can offer the world they have formed a percussion trio with a difference, rich in culture from the various styles all three dynamic performers have spent their lives exploring.

Circle Of Rhythm will be performing at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday 19
th March as part of the Global Beats mini-festival of fusion flavours and cross-cultural collisions.
*Booking details below

Their debut Album titled "Ishq" is the result years of collaboration together through many different groups such as, Pablo Percusso, Utungan Percussion, Skin, Dha, The Bird, Taal Vadya to name a few...
ISHQ exhibits the masterful skill of their drumming as an ensemble but also does not shy away from melodic percussion, creating a very varied and accessible listening experience putting Ishq a step ahead of many drumming albums.

From the high energy, fast paced drumming styles of Japan and Polynesia to the ethereal and spiritually uplifting sounds of India, this ensemble boasts a full spectrum of styles and instrumentation that will delight your senses with their unique style and approach. Melodic and rhythmic, you can count on all things percussed with mastery as each member has dedicated their life to the study of the drum.

Their show is homage to multi-cultural Australia, borrowing rhythms and melding a collection of drum styles together in a truly masterful way that is both unique, and rich, in ancient tradition. Expect a power house of razor-sharp, precision beats and drumming of the highest order delivered in a sometimes humorous and relaxed Australian approach.

The Circle of Rhythm is a relatively new ensemble, with a fresh outlook, but collectively the members have accrued over 30 years of touring experience world wide. Each individual has forged a different name and musical identity in their own right.
Australia has produced a new force in world-percussion music that can do none other than present a fresh approach to the experience of the music of the drum.

They will make you laugh, share their stories and most definitely leave you breathless… expect nothing less than standing ovations.

Performance Highlights:
• Featured artists at Singapore International Arts Festivals “Drumming Explosion” series. 20-25,000 people.
• Featured at Woodford Folk Festivals “Rhythm Concert” 15,000 people.
• Featured at Sydney Opera Houses Asian Music Festival – Sold out concert.

*Booking Details: Ph. 02 9250 7777
Tickets are $25 for Adults and $20 for Concession