Thursday, August 31, 2006

Powerspot 6 September 06

Tonight's show starts off with an interview I did with Martin Kennedy from the group All India Radio. Imagine a mix of Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois' Apollo soundtrack, mixed in with a touch of Ennio Morricone spaghetti western music, and a twist of Angelo Badalamenti's Lynchian soundworlds. This might get close to what Kennedy achieves with his latest recording. This interview is available now for download via the blog. (

The majority of the program is taken from the excellent 2CD compilation entitled Desert Blues 2 Reves D'Oasis dedicated to the desert blues music and musicians bordering the Sahara desert; featuring contributions from Cheb Mami, Rokia Traore, Mansour Seck, Djelimady Tounkara, Momo Wandel Soumah, Djelli Moussa Diawarra & Bob Brozman and many more.
(CD 22762 Network label)

Tracks played in order as follows.

Daymallah- Majid Bekkas
Lees Waxul - Yande Codou Sene & Youssou n' Dour
Mouso Teke Soma Ye - Boubacar Traore
Laidu - Rokia Traore
Almany - Djeli Moussa Diawara & Bob Brozman
Felenko Yefe - Momo Wandel Soumah
Mande Djeliou - Djelimady Tounkara
Trab - Cheb Mami
Sufi Dialogue - Soliman Gamil
Azara al hay - Rasha
Aitma - Tartit
Yango - Mounsour Seck

It took something like two years to put this compilation together, Starting with over 1000 tracks, this compilation has 26 of the best pieces of music you will ever hear of North & West African music.

The great Calypso singer The Mighty Sparrow will be performing live on Saturday night at The Enmore Theatre here in Sydney. I hope that some of the regular local listeners will be able to attend what will be an amazing night of high energy music. If you haven't already bought tickets don't hesitate. This legendary performer will be putting on a very energetic performance and guarantees to get you out of your seats and in the aisles dancing. More information at I will be playing one or two tracks by the man himself on tonight's program.

Last week's interview with George Sapounidis aka Chairman George is also now available for download at

Powerspot Chairman George Special

George Sapounidis is a Greek Canadian who in his day job is a statistician for the Canadian government. He has a PhD in Mathematics and in general is a very clever man. At night time his musical persona comes out. He admits to being a folk singer, a troubadour, a romantic who sings in anything up to eight languages including Hebrew, Persian, Greek, French and oddly enough Chinese.

He has made somewhat of a name for himself in China, where he performs in various festivals often at the invitation of the Chinese government. He immerses himself into the local cultures as a result of having learned the Chinese language, and people relate to him easily and are drawn to him by his music, which in many ways is their music as interpreted by a foreigner.

George can possibly claim to be the only Greek singer in the world who can readily and confidently sing in Chinese. I haven't heard of too many others who can do this though remain open to correction.

George also had a dream, a dream which involved singing before the world when the Olympic flag was handed over by Athens in 2004 to Beijing in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. This dream was captured in a documentary entitled Chairman George which has been shown on a number of occasions in Canada to great acclaim and recognition.

I interviewed George Sapounidis at length this week about his being the only Greek singer who also sings in Chinese, as well as the amazing documentary Chairman George.

Most of tomorrow night's program will focus on George, a very likable man whose energy is boundless and inspirational. The music will be a little different but we feel listeners will enjoy listening to the man they call Chairman George.

For more information I urge you to go to
The interview will be available as an mp3 download in the next few days.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Powerspot 9 August 2006

Hi All,
There was a good response to last week's array of African sounds, so tomorrow night's program will feature more of the same. (hey...when you're on a good thing...stick to it) Most inquiries pertained to where they listeners could find the music I play on air. Rest assured I try not to play anything too obscure and if I do I normally make mention of it. Most of the material you hear is locally available. I tend to spend far too much time sifting through the second hand record shops down in Pitt Street, as well as weekend markets looking for material. Shops sucha s Birdland, Redeye and SO in Newtown are good starting points. Oddly enough JB Hi Fi have a decent range of world music to choose from as well. Maybe what I will start doing is inviting listeners to send me their favourite record shop details and I will compile a list to draw from on this blog. Feel free to contribute.

Musical treats and delights to entice from the following masters of their trade.
Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra- CD Boulevard de L'Independance
Ali Farka Toure (The King of the Desert Blues Singers)- CD Savane- Savane
Ali Farke Toure & Toumani Diabate- Live Bozar Brussels 2005 (Promotional)
George Sapounidis- CD From Athens to Beijing - Good Morning Sun / Youth Dance / Sad Song Jam

The find of the year for me. George is a statistician by day and mild mannered Canadian Greek troubador singer of Chinese folk ballads by night. Lovely stuff and a real character who is immensely likable. Next week I will be presenting extracts from a special which aired on Canadian TV entitled Chairman George, all about his sojourns into China, the journey towards the winning over of hearts and minds. The documentary Chairman George is amongst other things a chronicle of George's attempts to perform at the closing ceremony of the Athens Olympics, when the torch was handed over to the Beijing Olympic Committee, What the hell, this would have been a perfect moment for this Greek singing Mandarin musical genius, a two for the price of one never to be repeated bargain of a lifetime. I will be speaking with George about his journey in the next few weeks so stay tuned.

2SER are having a reggae night over at The Marquee this Saturday night. This is pretty timely as I had been playing a lot of old Trojan records on the home hi-fi over the last few weeks. In the second half of the show as such, you'll be hearing from a few of the artists on this amazing label. Contributions from the likes of Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus, Delroy Wilson, El Paso, The Heptones, Alton Ellis, Augustus Pablo & Fay, Dennis Brown, Dizzy & The Soul Syndicates, Johnny Clark, Ken Boothe, Little Roy, The Upsetter & more.

Information below regarding this night.Firehouse meet Top Ranking Sound at The MarqueeSaturday 12 August, 2006...2ser's Fire on the Wire crew - Firehouse bring Sydney a big bad selection of reggae, dancehall and exclusive dubplate delivered in deadly sound system style. Here they meet Yonatan, the man behind and who presents Top Ranking Sounds on Melbourne's 3RRR Radio. Tickets are $12 on the door or $8 for 2ser subscribers!I'll have some double passes to give away for this tomorrow night as well

I also rediscovered a four track CD by a local guitarist named Chris Raggatt, who had sent me his disc some time ago for consideration. Nice slide guitar work from a man who has a lot in common with the likes of Jeff Laing / Jon Butler / Bob Brozman. I'll be playing two acoustic tracks from his disc Voodoo Love Medicine-.

Don't know too much about him though I did find this blurb on the net.Chris has lived and played music on Sydneys Northern beaches for years. He is a dedicated guitarist who is passing on his knowledge and experience as a guitar tutor to many young guitar enthusiasts. When he is not teaching he is looking after his family, building guitars and developing music in his home studio in the hills of Avalon. He has played in Matt Finish, founded United Notions and is currently working with his new band called "Voodoo Love Medicine". This is also the title of his upcoming CD which provided the track "Save my soul" for ulu32.

Chris Raggatt- Voodoo Love Medicine- Secret Life / Save My Soul

Our good friends Kim Cunio & Heather Lee have asked we pass this message on to anyone who may be interested in this upcoming event. Two of the finest musicians and scholars living in Sydney exploring ancient Sephardic musical traditions. We will hear a track from one of Kim Cunio's earlier releases.

Kim Cunio- CD Under Eastern Skies- The Road to Bodhgaya

T h e T e m p l e P r o j e c tThe hit of the 2004 Melbourne Festival

The Temple Project was broadcast live around the country, stopping even the 7pm news! A one off show of this beautiful music is in Sydney for one night only. This is a night of spiritual music you will have never seen before.Saturday August 12 at 8.00 pm,At the "Stone Gallery on Oxford (Paddington Uniting Church)".395 Oxford St, (where the markets are.)$20 / $15Parking available at the Gordon St Church Car parkBookings 9331 2646 for more information

Features Kim Cunio, voice, instruments, Llew Kiek, Heather lee, voice, Llew Kiek, plucked strings, and Tunji Beier percussion.A b o u t t h e T e m p l e P r o j e c tIn 70CE the Second Jewish Temple was destroyed. The appalling casualties of the Roman invasion did not just include the innocent loss of life and those killed in resistance, but the destruction of a vibrant musical culture which included one of the great orchestras and choirs of the ancient world. The Temple project is an artistic speculation built upon the foundations of oral chant, archaeological records, and modern musicology. It is a rare project in our world, a chance to hear music as it might have been, performed by players at the top of their game. A mystical experience including yemeni shofar patterns, Baghdadi Jewish tunes from the ancient world, and stunning new compositions around all of this, featuring the angelic voice of Heather Lee.

I am hoping to catch up with Martin Kennedy from All India Radio later on this week for a chat regarding Echo Other their new disc. Also next week, music from Richard Khuzami, Duoud and other musicians leaning towards the sound of the East.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Playlist 2 August 2006

I have been somewhat slack with updating this blog in the last few weeks but here we go with tonight's program. Playing George Sapounidis' material was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to interviewing him soon regarding his release From Athens to Beijing as well as finding out what motivates him, keeps him focussed. I'm not sure of what the audience made of a Greek singing in Cantonese but to me he is a unique character who has a lot to offer.

For more information, follow the links.

Ardavan Kamkar- CD Over The Wind
Ballake Sissoko- CD Tomora (mp3 download from
Rokia Traore- CD Wanita
Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra- CD Boulevard De L'Independance
George Sapounidis- CD From Athens to Beijing
Peter Carolan- CD Overland
Various Artists- CD Traveler 06 (contributions from Midival Punditz / Niyaz / Bombay Dub Orchestra)