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  • LIFE

    Preserving heritage

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 22/11/2022

    » Field recordings of ancient, traditional music in the Southeast Asia feature in this column. Northern Khmer Spirit Music in Thailand – Kantrum Dongman (Animist Records, 2022) covers the traditional music of "Northern Khmer" people in provinces like Surin, Buri Ram and Si Sa Ket that straddle the Thai-Cambodian border in Thailand's lower Northeast, while Exploring Gong Culture Of Southeast Asia: Massif And Archipelago (Sub Rosa, 2022) covers traditional gong music from 50 different ethnic groups in the Philippines, Borneo, Sulawesi, Vietnam's highlands and northeast Cambodia.

  • LIFE

    Tunes for the chill season

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 09/11/2022

    » The music scene has been given a boost this year with the return of tourists and the reopening of entertainment venues. Festivals are returning to the provinces this month and the local circuits for rock and luk thung are back, too. The summer festival season in Europe, Japan and North America also returned and coincided with lots of summer and now winter music releases. The World Beat desk is groaning under the weight of new music.

  • LIFE

    Nostalgia from Somalia

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 25/10/2022

    » Mogadishu in Somalia in the mid-1980s was a crossroads where Africa, Asia and Europe joined, where hotels like the Al-Uruba competed with other luxury venues to host some of the Indian Ocean's most potent popular music. Situated right on Lido beach, the distinctive Al-Uruba building with Arabic and Somali architectural influences had a little-known recording studio.

  • LIFE

    Seen and heard

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 11/10/2022

    » It has been nearly 30 years since Dr Grace Nono released her first album on a new label, Tao Music, which she set up with her late partner, producer and guitarist Bob Aves. With her musical collaborator, she set about searching for her musical identity.

  • LIFE

    House of the rising Son

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 27/09/2022

    » Son House is regarded as one of the greats of early blues, along with early recording stars like Charley Patton and Robert Johnson. He made 78rpm records in the 1930s but a spell in penitentiary halted his career and by the 1940s he had abandoned recording. It wasn't until 1964 that Nick Perls, Dick Waterman and Phil Spiro "rediscovered" him working at a gas station. He was completely unaware of the interest in folk blues at the time (Skip James and Bukka White were already playing crossover folk clubs).

  • LIFE

    Compilation honours legacy of Jamaican giant

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 13/09/2022

    » A year after the death of legendary Jamaican reggae musician and producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, the good folks at Trojan Records have released the very first posthumous anthology of the influential artist's unparalleled career, King Scratch (Musical Masterpieces From The Upsetter Ark-ive).

  • LIFE

    Womad festival returns in style

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 30/08/2022

    » In 1982, the first Womad music festival was held in Shepton Mallet, UK. The organisation, which stands for World Of Music Arts And Dance, was set up in 1980 by English rock star Peter Gabriel (Genesis), Thomas Brooman, Bob Hooton, Mark Kidel, Stephen Pritchard, Martin Elbourne and Jonathan Arthur.

  • LIFE

    Bangkok loses stalwart of city's music scene

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 16/08/2022

    » Bangkok's local Irish music scene has been in in mourning since news reached the City of Angels that resident Irish music expert Dr Mick Moloney passed away in his Greenwich Village apartment in New York on July 27. He was 77. Mick had been a part-time resident in the city for more than 20 years. Irish President Michael D. Higgins released a statement noting that "his passing is a loss to the musical heritage of Ireland, to Irish America, and to Irish music worldwide".

  • LIFE

    Mambo madness

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 02/08/2022

    » Latin music has been circling the globe for more than a century, creating dance crazes and inspiring local forms of music. From tango to reggaeton, with stops for mambo, rumba, son and salsa, bolero, Latin jazz and more, the Latin music juggernaut just keeps rolling on.

  • LIFE

    A woman in a man's world

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 19/07/2022

    » US R&B legend Big Mama Thornton is one of the forgotten "originators", to use Dr John's term for Professor Longhair, of rock'n'roll. The late Alabama native, who died almost exactly 38 years ago on July 25, 1984, recorded the first version of Leiber and Stoller's Hound Dog in 1952. After the record was released in 1953, it reached the top spot on Billboard's Rhythm & Blues Records Chart and sold 2 million copies. It was her biggest hit, but it paled in comparison to young Elvis Presley's version, which sold more than 10 million copies and helped propel Presley to global fame.

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