Justin Adams has long been an adventurous serial collaborator, but his album with Mauro Durante – leader of Italy’s premier pizzica band Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, who won the Songlines Music Award for Best Group in 2018 – ranks among his finest achievements. The meeting point for the musicians was a fascination with trance rhythms and their common role in otherwise radically different musical traditions.

Adams’ guitar prowess is well known, but what surprises here is the emotional power of his deep, bluesy voice with Durante’s higher tones offering a potent foil. Durante conjures thundering rhythms out of a simple frame drum while the pair execute a series of fiddle/electric guitar duets that are alternately fiery and filigree. Desert blues guitar combines with Maghreb chants, transported across the Med to the heel of southern Italy. On Still Moving (a Top of the World in the November 2021 issue, #172) there are traditional work songs and an old Carter Family number, as well as original tunes on which the duo create a heady Mississippi-to-Mediterranean blues trance with influences as diverse as garage rock and avant-garde contemporary classical thrown into the cross-cultural stew.

Read the full album review.

https://www.songlines.co.uk/awards/2022/justin-adams-mauro-durante

Nitin Sawhney in new Pink Floyd recording

Disgusted by the Russian invasion, David Gilmour speaks about band’s first brand new song in 28 years, which samples a Ukrainian musician now on the front line – and expresses ‘disappointment’ in Roger Waters. The song features Nitin Sawhney on keyboard.

A couple of weeks ago, Pink Floyd’s guitarist and singer David Gilmour was asked if he’d seen the Instagram feed of Andriy Khlyvnyuk, frontman of Ukrainian rock band BoomBox. Gilmour had performed live with BoomBox in 2015, at a London benefit gig for the Belarus Free Theatre – they played a brief, endearingly raw set of Pink Floyd songs and Gilmour solo tracks – but events had moved on dramatically since then: at the end of Feburary, Khlyvnyuk had abandoned BoomBox’s US tour in order to fight against the Russian invasion.

On his Instagram, Gilmour found a video of the singer in military fatigues, a rifle slung over his shoulder, standing outside Kyiv’s St Sofia Cathedral, belting out an unaccompanied version of Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow, a 1914 protest song written in honour of the Sich Riflemen who fought both in the first world war and the Ukrainian war of independence. “I thought: that is pretty magical and maybe I can do something with this,” says Gilmour. “I’ve got a big platform that [Pink Floyd] have worked on for all these years. It’s a really difficult and frustrating thing to see this extraordinarily crazy, unjust attack by a major power on an independent, peaceful, democratic nation. The frustration of seeing that and thinking ‘what the fuck can I do?’ is sort of unbearable.”

The result is Hey Hey, Rise Up!, a new single by Pink Floyd that samples Khlyvnyuk’s performance, to be released at midnight on Friday with proceeds going to Ukrainian humanitarian relief.

[Read the whole article HERE]

 

 

Sheltering in their homes in Kyiv and Baryshivka, Ganna from the Dakh Daughters cabaret troupe and rapper Alyona Alyona speak to us about the cultural sector’s role amid the war in Ukraine. The Dakh Daughters’ participation in an upcoming theatre production in France is now hanging in the balance; Ganna tells us why the all-female punk cabaret has always dealt with politics and current events in their performances. And as one of the only rappers to write and perform in her mother tongue, Alyona Alyona explains how her Ukrainian cultural identity has become an important facet of her music.

“We can’t make any music,” the singer and cellist Nina Garenetska said. “This is our life now: An air raid siren goes off.”

For years, the Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha has ended its shows chanting, “Stop Putin! No war!” What they had protested has now come to pass.

DakhaBrakha, based in Kyiv, has long served as ambassadors for Ukrainian music and culture, at once preserving and transforming them. The group gives the polyphonic harmonies of Ukrainian traditional songs a contemporary, internationalist makeover, using African, Australian, Arabic, Indian and Russian instrumentation alongside punk, scatting, hip-hop, trance and dance influences. Their appearance has always been equally striking, especially for the three women in the quartet: towering fur hats, long matching dresses and wildly colorful Iris Apfel-style jewelry.

“DhakhaBrakha often sings about love, heartbreak or the seasons, but as stand-in for bigger things — sometimes political things — and how they do it expands upon Ukrainian traditional music that uses metaphor in this way,” said Maria Sonevytsky, an associate professor of anthropology and music at Bard College, in New York, who devoted a chapter in a recent book to DakhaBrakha and gave a public lecture Wednesday on “Understanding the War on Ukraine Through Its Musical Culture.”

Link to full article