This was going to be tomorrow’s post but as the cat is out of the bag and some of you out there have already got your subscription issue of Songlines breaking the news, I’ve brought this forward. Here’s how the announcement arrived with me this morning…
Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural awards, Songlines magazine is delighted to announce this year’s winners. The Songlines Music Awards recognise outstanding talent in world music and are voted by Songlines readers and the general public. There are four categories: Best Artist, Best Group, Cross-Cultural Collaboration and Newcomer – the results from the public vote generate the final nominees, the top four in each category. The winners, selected by the Songlines editorial team are published in the current, June issue of Songlines, (#68) on sale in the UK from newsagents tomorrow, April 30.
The winners will also be announced on BBC Radio 3′s World on 3 programme (follow the link through to the programmes home page), on April 30, by last year’s Best Artist winner, Rokia Traoré. I’ll try and get an i-player link if the listen again option becomes available and post that over the weekend. The audience for world music is greater now than it’s ever been,” says Simon Broughton, editor-in-chief of Songlines, “and it’s reaching out in ever more diverse directions. It’s still essential to have awards in which the leading names can be celebrated and the new and innovative names highlighted.”
Amen to that. We’re also very chuffed at Proper towers that three of the four winners are signed to labels we distribute. I should also remind you of the sampler CD feature above as it contains all 16 nominees and is only £5.99 from Amazon, just click on the sleeve for a direct link. Most importantly these are the winners…
Best Group Staff Benda Bilili – Tres Tres Forte
Staff Benda Bilili, who’ve been acclaimed by the likes of Africa Express, Massive Attack and Damon Albarn are the latest phenomenon to come out of the Congo. A group of paraplegic street musicians who live in and around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa, they make music of astonishing power and beauty. The band’s mesmerising grooves, overlaid with vibrant vocals , mix 70s funk, old Cuban son and mambo with the mellifluous flow of classic Congolese rumba that evoke the golden age of Franco. Four veteran singer/guitarists sitting on spectacularly customized tricycles are the core of the band, backed by a younger, all-acoustic, rhythm section pounding out tight beats. Over the top of this are weird, infectious guitar-like solos performed by a 17 year-old prodigy on a one-string electric lute he designed and built himself out of a tin can. This clip shows what all the fuss is about…
Cross Cutural Collaboration Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara – Tell No Lies
Tell No Lies is the new sound of Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara. The sound of a nation with no borders, a place that needs no passport, no visa. This is where the deep roots of African music nourish the raw electric groove of rock and roll, where Gnawa spirit rhythms come up against Chicago distortion, where snaky N’awlins rhythm has a West London howl, and a Sahel Wail. Justin and Juldeh have been playing together for two years, following the critically acclaimed Award Winning Soul Science in 2007 . Juldeh Camara is an African Master Musician. Playing the ritti, a one-stringed fiddle and West African ancestor of the violin, he participated as a griot (a West African poet, praise singer and repository of oral tradition) in traditional Fula society. Justin Adams has been at the cutting edge of world music alchemy since the 1990′s with Jah Wobble, Robert Plant, Natacha Atlas, The Festival of the Desert, Tinariwen and LO’JO. Taking influences from African, Arabic and Irish traditions as well as rock and roll and the Blues, his distinctive, driving guitar style is the missing link between Bo Diddley and Munir Bashir. Here’s Kele Kele from the album…
If that’s whetted you appetite then the Trance Sessions EP is also highly. Justin and Juldeh have been touring pretty much non-stop, taking their raw afro-blues to increasingly enthusiastic audiences. As their repertoire of music unfolds over time on many different stages, it takes on a character only hinted at on their studio albums. Juldeh stirs the audience to a frenzy while Adams’ drone guitar can provide sheets of sonic attack and the circular grooves create the trance like state that the title suggests. The current MOJO rates it **** calling it “Headbanging West African hard rock with a demented swing… Outstanding.” This is also a cheapy on Amazon at only £5.77.
Our final winner is
Best Newcomer Deolinda – Canção Ao Lado
Deolinda is a project from Lisbon (Portugal) inspired by fado and its traditional roots in order to create original songs based on Portuguese traditional and popular music. The Deolinda project has produced an irresistible début album that evokes vignettes from Lisbon life. In the short time since its Portuguese release at the end of 2008, Canção Ao Lado (The Song Next Door) has shot from nowhere into the Portuguese charts. After 22 weeks, it achieved Platinum status with over 20.000 sales and currently about to reach double platinum. Here’s the breezy Fon-Fon-Fon…
It’d be rude of me not to mention the 4th winner in the Best Artist category is Goran Bregovic on Wrasse Records.
Of course many people, including some in our office, found their way into world music through the enthusiasm of the late, great Charlie Gillet. He will be greatly missed but when news of this celebration of his life arrived with me I thought it only right to pass it on. It’s free too… Revered broadcaster & writer Charlie Gillett was a regular at Chilli Fried events. He tragically passed away earlier this year and tonight we invite everyone to join us at Darbucka’s beautiful basement bar to celebrate the man and the music he loved, with 3 special live performances + short DJ sets from Charlie’s friends and fans.
8 PM – 12 AM, Thursday 13th may 2010 at Darbucka, 182 St John Street, London, EC1V 4JZ
Special live performances from Adam Blake, Florence Joelle, Little George Sueref and
The Sound Of The World DJ Relay (Everyone will have their 15 minutes of DJ fame… playing music associated with Charlie)