Habanot Nechama

September 13th, 2007 by Julija

israeli acoustic indie reggae

Clapping my hands and swaying from side to side, I enjoy listening to the sunny sounds of Habanot Nechama. Warming and comforting, as Hebrew word nechama indicates to consolation, the trio of experienced Israeli singers combines soothing and joyful tones in their music. The nechama girls’ soulful vocals, minimalist arrangements of acoustic guitars and drums, carrying reggae infusions, and the overall vibe of optimism, deliver more than a lovely reminiscence of fading summer. (Thanks dirkhaim!)

Uplifts the spirit, and makes it summer anytime.
Habanot Nechama – Hakol Kashura (Everything’s Alright)
Habanot Nechama – So Far Lihiot (To Be)
buy this cd

Detektivbyrån

June 24th, 2007 by Paul Irish

french folk fusion // musette waltz

While I typically prize innovation in music, this music seems flatly derivative of another favorite artist of mine. And yet, I’m still completely floored by how good it is. If you’ve enjoyed the music of Amelie, you’ve consumed the unique arrangements of Yann Tiersen, who has a delicious repertoire that includes Good Bye Lenin and Les Retrouvailles, etc. Until now, I’d call his music starkly unique, but Detektivbyran’s recordings seem to mimic the instrumentation and style of his alluring recordings. Toy piano, glockenspiel and squeezebox sprinkle across the mad hatter’s workshop of sound. (Thx Christian! A lot!)

Majestic yet innocent. Whimsically complex.
Detektivbyrån – E18
Detektivbyrån – Nattöppet

UPDATE 2007.11.25 ‘Nattöppet’ has been spotted in a new Sprint commercial. Woo!

buy this cd

Boom Pam

October 23rd, 2009 by Julija

surf // indie eclectic

During my year spent in Tel Aviv I’ve learnt about many indie artists and been to a countless number of local gigs. Many of these discoveries I have already shared with you, avid readers, yet there is one act both Paul and I have been wanting to introduce to a wider audience of music lovers. Tel Aviv-based Boom Pam sounds unmistakably Mediterranean. There are Greek influences (think energetic Greek wedding music), Oriental motifs (traditional Middle Eastern melodies) and Balkan rhythms (passionate and vibrant) in their music. You can easily say as well it’s a Tel Avivian vibe, multicultural, stylish and laid back at the same time. “Wedding song” an up-tempo track from their almost entirely instrumental self-titled record features tuba and surf guitars and gives you a good idea of what Boom Pam sounds like. Boom Pam’s interpretation of Dick Dale’s “The Wedge”, Puerto Rican Nights (2008), is a mixture of Mediterranean heat and an American western movie.

Mediterranean eclecticism played with tremendous energy.
Boom Pam – Wedding Song
Boom Pam – The Wedge
+ Purchase/Visit

Caroline Lacaze

July 8th, 2013 by Sjoerd

French soul // German funkCaroline Lacaze in car window

Sensual but tough, French chanteuse Caroline Lacaze’s sings from the heart on her debut ‘En Route’. After moving to Hamburg to write and sing her own music, she hooked up with Germany’s finest in Funk; The Mighty Mocambo’s aka The Mocambo Electric Sound Orchestra. She unifies a French style with mod revival; singing from the coeur about love, passion, anger and sadness. A full pocket of stories with lo-fi production that comes off as an honest homage to the seventies. Brash and bright, play this out loud to boost your day.

Gritty romance in Nouvelle Chanson
Caroline Lacaze – L’Etrange
Caroline Lacaze – Toujours Lui
+ Purchase/Visit

Okou

May 10th, 2010 by Julija

soul // blues // french acoustic

The story of Okou begins in a Parisian bar. Tatiana Heintz, originally from the Ivory Coast, and Gilbert Trefzger, a Swiss guitarist with Egyptian roots, are truly world artists. Their debut album Serpentine (2010) blends sounds from around the globe. Serpentine captures the spirit of soul, blues and roots music, evoking the best American folk traditions and New Orleans’ sound with a delicate European touch. The acoustic guitars and banjo arrangements with the somewhat old-fashioned groove make “To The Bone” a perfect road trip soundtrack. Seductively mellow, French sung “A L’aurore” is a real West Africa meets New Orleans musical gem. The outstanding song carries rich instrumentation that includes strings, banjo and tuba.

Soulful southern yet cosmopolitan vibe.
Okou – To The Bone
Okou – A L’aurore
+ Purchase/Visit

DobaCaracol

July 15th, 2008 by Julija

afro-beat // world // dub

Inspired by traditional African music and hypnotic tribal chants, Quebec natives Doriane Fabreg (Doba) and Carole Facal (Caracol) entwine the ethnic rhythms and modern grooves into a moving sound-journey. As the duo blends a variety of styles with a mixture of French, English and occasional African dialects, DobaCaracol delivers unique and organic arrangements. The standout percussion driven DobaCaracol’s tracks “Étrange” and “Baiser Salé” carry the earthy, warm vibe of afro-beat, dynamic Manu Chao-like nuances and a certain funky, relaxed attitude.

Catchy vocal harmonies and a vibrant quality of sound.
DobaCaracol – Étrange
DobaCaracol – Baiser Salé
buy mp3s

Gabriel Rios

October 17th, 2006 by Paul Irish

acoustic pop // turin brakes-ish

Master Rios was born in Puerto Rico but left at eighteen for Belgium in a search to find his passion. In his travels he ran into Jo Bogaert, whom you might know as Technotronic, renowned for the dance hit, Pump Up The Jam. The two collaborated and developed Gabe’s first solo album Ghostboy. I found his single “Broad Daylight” on the Nova Tunes 1.4 compilation (The whole Nova Tunes series is primo). In the track, Rios mixes clean vocals against clever production, creating a surprising presentation of the melody.

Atypical innovation in typical music.
Gabriel Rios – Broad Daylight
buy this cd

Mayra Andrade

February 5th, 2008 by Paul Irish

cape verdean // worldbeat

She was born in Cuba, grew up between Senegal, Angola, Germany and finally settled down in Cape Verde. You can feel the influence of all these locations her music; a soft and friendly accessibility met by a very developed melodic intellect. In much of her music, she sings in Cape Verdean Creole, which is a derivative of Portuguese. She’s not surprisingly up for Best Newcomer in the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards. Her song “Lua” is a warm tropical treat; while “Regasu” is a somber ballad in the style of Cuban son Cape Verdean Morna. (Thx, Andre!)

Sweet music from the African Cape’s barefoot diva.
Mayra Andrade – Lua
Mayra Andrade – Regasu
buy this cd

Windy & Destiny

February 13th, 2008 by Julija

indie-pop // psychedelic

Working in a minimalist apartment studio in Tel Aviv, Windy & Destiny present the psyche-reflecting soundtrack of their lives. The gentle pulsations, guitar waves and warm female vocals of their debut album evolve like an ever-changing mini-psychedelic experience, transforming into a rhythmic and relaxing musical structure. At times more uptempo and catchy, and at times tenderly melancholic with a shoegaze vibe, Words For Such A Riot (2007) is somewhere between adorably sweet and slightly menacing.

Dreamy notes and darker hints.
Windy & Destiny – In Another Day
Windy & Destiny – A House For You
buy this cd

The Chemical Brothers

January 17th, 2005 by Paul Irish

big beat // funky electronica

This powerful duo debuted originally with the name “The Dust Brothers”, but an American group with the same name (later well-known for the Fight Club soundtrack) pressed some litigation and forced a change. Though mildly bitter, the british Chemical Brothers carried on, releasing their first album appropriately named Exit Planet Dust. Now, ten years later, the two release Push The Button, a break-rocking record exploring their trademark dance-rock-rap mix. Though “Galvanize” has gotten the first-single attention, it’s the sophisticated dance track “The Boxer” that rocks this record. Hard.
Sorry Fatboy, they’ve come a longer way, baby.

The Chemical Brothers – The Boxer (Feat. Tim Burgess)
buy this cd