Will Holland (aka Quantic)

E is for Electronic Music Infiltration

‘E’ in Beaver’s A to Z of Fusion goes to the sounds of electronic music for their like-it-or-not, rapid infiltration of almost every type of music in just about every part of the world since their beginnings at the end of the 19th century.

electronic music

A Shallow History of Infiltration

The history of electronic music is long and involved.  It’s not a story I’m qualified to properly tell, nor do I want to try. The over-simplified, short, sketchy version is this…

The Beatles - Moog SynthesizerFirst came the creation of electronic musical instruments like synthesizers. The Beatles weaved them into their music in the late 1960’s, as did artists before them. Pink Floyd did too, even Herbie Hancock, and countless artists since them.

The development of electronic music technologies continued, including digital audio to rapidly thereafter replace analog.

The creation of music using only electronic means became increasingly common.

Computer software advanced. Access to computers and other technologies became easier for most of the world.

electronic music

Certainly electronic music got its grips on ‘less-developed’ (ie. poorer) parts of the world sooner than the richer ones, but it eventually infiltrated just about everywhere. Seven years ago in Havana you can imagine my dismay when a young man in the technologically un-advanced, insulated Cuban bubble, proudly played me the reggaeton (an electronic-music-Evil) track he’d just finished making on his archaic equipment.

Some consequences of the world’s electronic music infiltration I’m into, some I am most definitely not.

Post-Infiltration

Nowadays it’s rare to find music made in the warm, living analog world. That’s a tragedy of epic proportions. Thankfully some artists still deliver it – most recently D’Angelo with Black Messiah, and regularly by Will Holland (aka Quantic).

Digital music consumption now dominates – another tragedy of epic proportions.

Nowadays and for a long time it’s been open to any man, woman or their dog with a computer to make music on it. It’s great that so much creativity is flowing from people around the world, but the truth is that I have little tolerance for listening to music produced wholly and solely in the electronic domain.

It’s not all doom and gloom though – the infiltration of electronic music has had its benefits too. Today some of my favorite music from around the world is by artists/groups who innovatively utilise and blend the sounds of electronic instruments into their musical mix whilst valuing and maintaining the living, human, conventional sounds.

It is the sounds of those instruments, and the people playing them, that is the living chi of music. They make the music sound and feel alive to me. They physically and emotionally connect me to the music. Without that living element, with purely electronic sounds, the music is a lost cause for my ears.

Infiltration Samples

Check out these sample tracks by a handful of contemporary artists from different countries who mix up the sounds of electronica and the living to produce killer musical results. Remember these are just super-compressed mp3 versions of the songs. Buy the music on vinyl where you can, or at least cd, to hear it in its full, living sound glory.

1. NGAIIRE (Papua New Guinea/Australia)

Lamentations (2013) - Ngaiire

NGAIIRE – Lamentations (2013)

‘Fireflies’ – NGAIIRE – Lamentations

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Check out more NGAIIRE music + footage from live shows here.

2. Flying Lotus (USA)

Flying Lotus - You're Dead! (2014)

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! (2014)

‘Never Catch Me’ – Flying Lotus feat. Kendrick Lamar – You’re Dead! 

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Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes (2012)

Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes (2012)

‘See Thru To U’ – Flying Lotus  feat. Erykah Badu – Until The Quiet Comes

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Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma (2010)

Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma (2010)

‘German Haircut’ – Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma

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Check out more Flying Lotus music here and stay tuned for a rundown of his upcoming live performances in Australia.

3. Will Holland – aka Quantic (UK)

Tropidelico - The Quantic Soul Orchestra - Tropidelico

The Quantic Soul Orchestra – Tropidélico (2007)

‘I Just Fell In Love Again’ – The Quantic Soul Orchestra – Tropidélico

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Check out more Quantic tracks + footage of his DJ set at WOMADelaide 2014  here.

4. Myele Manzana (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

Myele Manzanza - One (2012)

Myele Manzanza – One (2013)

‘Elvin’s Brew’ – Myele Manzanza  – One

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5. Hiatus Kaiyote (Australia)

Hiatus Kaiyote - Tawk Tomahawk

Hiatus Kaiyote – Tawk Tomahawk (2013)

‘Sphinx Gate’ – Hiatus Kaiyote – Tawk Tomahawk

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Hear more Hiatus Kaiyote tracks + videos of live shows here.

6. Sidestepper (UK + Colombia)

(pioneers in live/electro Colombian fusion)

Sidestepper live at WOMADelaide 2011

Sidestepper live at WOMADelaide 2011

Sidestepper - 3AM: In Beats We Trust (2003)

Sidestepper – 3AM: In Beats We Trust (2003)

‘In The Beats We Trust’ – Sidestepper – 3AM: In Beats We Trust

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7. Bajofondo (Argentina + Uruguay) 

(pioneers in Latin American live/electro fusion)

Bajofondo - Mar Dulce (2007)

Bajofondo – Mar Dulce (2007)

‘Pa’ Bailar’ – Bajofondo Tango Club – Mar Dulce

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Hear more Bajofondo tracks + videos from a live show in Bogota here.

8. Roberto Fonseca (Cuba)

Roberto Fonseca - Yo (2012)

Roberto Fonseca – Yo (2013)

‘Rachel’ – Roberto Fonseca – Yo

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Hear more Roberta Fonseca tracks + videos from his live performance at WOMADelaide 2014 here.

9. Electric Wire Hustle (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

Electric Wire Hustle (2010)

Electric Wire Hustle (2010)

‘Burn’ – Electric Wire Hustle

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10. Little Dragon (Sweden)

Little Dragon - Ritual Union

Little Dragon – Ritual Union (2012)

‘Please Turn’ – Little Dragon – Ritual Union 

 

Hear more Little Dragon songs + videos from live shows here.

Little Dragon live at Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

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So musical people, what say you about the infilitration of electronic music…like it, or not?

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Look Around The Corner – Quantic & Alice Russell With The Combo Bárbaro

I bought Look Around The Corner without ever having heard one note from the album.

Quantic + Alice Russell + The Combo Bárbaro made it.  What more did I need to know?

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Bárbaro - Look Around the Corner (2012)

Quantic (aka Will Holland) – whose many differently-flavoured, all fantastic musical concoctions you already know, and if you don’t can check out here.

Will Holland (aka Quantic) @ WOMADelaide 2014

Quantic DJ Set @ WOMADelaide 2014

Alice Russell – whose beautiful soul music and inspiring lyrics have been heard and loved by me and countless others in the world in the know about her, for a long time.  If you’re not in that group of Knowers, sample Alice Russell’s music below.

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro - Look Around the Corner

Alice Russell

The Combo Bárbaro – a collective of incredibly experienced and brilliant (mostly Latin) musicians with whom Will Holland/Quantic has collaborated with on past albums.

Quantic And His Combo Barbaro - Tradition In Transition

So did my blind faith in Quantic, Alice Russell and The Combo Bárbaro based on their much-loved past musical creations pay off? Did I get my money’s worth in buying Look Around The Corner?

The amount of play-time this album’s had so far already, tells me Yes to both questions. More importantly the very unique sounds of this music mean I’ll probably want to listen to it for a lifetime.  And that’s ultimately what makes any album become part of the “most valuable” group in my music collection.

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro - Look Around the Corner (2012)

Look Around The Corner is fusion as defined here in Beaver Land. Great fusion. Twelve tracks of soul and funk tastefully and subtlely blended with the sounds of Latin jazz, cumbia and boogaloo. Ain’t no music in the world I’ve yet heard that sounds like the music created here by Quantic, Alice Russell and The Combo Bárbaro.

The sounds of the violin in this group’s music (Mike Simmonds) adds an especially unique sound to the mix. As does the magic of Peru’s Alfredito Linares’ hands on the piano.

Check out these sample tracks (mp3-only versions) from Look Around The Corner. The album was released by Tru Thoughts and feel-in-your-hands, smell-through-your-nose, see-with-your-eyes, good sound quality versions are super-easy to buy direct through their site. Or you can find it at any good independent record store yes? Look Around The Corner even comes in sweet vinyl.

Quantic & Alice Russell with The Combo Barbaro - Look Around the Corner (2012)

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro - Look Around the Corner (2012)

‘I’d Cry’ – Look Around The Corner – Quantic & Alice Russell with The Combo Bárbaro

 

The next track’s here for Alfredito Linares’ piano especially – and because this great contemporary take on a 1974 song covered by many artists since, is a great reflection of the fabulous global evolution of music.

‘I’ll Keep My Light In My Window’ – Look Around The Corner – Quantic & Alice Russell with The Combo Bárbaro

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Anyone who’s not yet in that group of ‘Knowers and lovers of Alice Russell music’ can check out these here sample tracks from my favourite of her solo albums Under The Munka Moon

Alice Russell - Under the Munka Moon (2004)

Alice Russell – Under the Munka Moon (2004)

‘Someday’ – Under The Munka Moon – Alice Russell

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‘Tired Little One’ – Under The Munka Moon – Alice Russell

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You can also buy Alice Russell’s albums on-line through Tru Thoughts.

If you’re not yet convinced you need to buy Look Around The Corner for yourself, you can check out a video here of Will Holland, Alice Russell and The Combo Bárbaro recording the album’s title track at Sonido Del Valle, Will Holland’s recording studio in Cali. The short glimpse of the delightfully-vast vinyl collection is enough reason alone to watch. The music played in it is more.

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro - Look Around the Corner (2012)

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Magnetica – Quantic At His Most Diverse Yet

Each album I hear from U.K producer and musician Will Holland, the latest being Magnetica (released as Quantic), I wonder at how one artist can be responsible for producing so many musically-diverse bodies of work of such goodness.

Quantic (aka Will Holland) @ WOMADelaide 2014

Will Holland (aka Quantic)

Magnetica probably contains the most diversity of all Will Holland’s previous albums so far. Thirteen tracks, each one totally different to the next in terms of music genres, vocal languages and contributing musicians and singers from different corners of the globe.

Quantic - Magnetica (2014)

Magnetica (2014) – Quantic

You’ll hear on Magnetica

The sounds of music from Brazil, Colombia, England, Ethiopia, Angola and Jamaica…

Elements of folk, soul, jazz, groove, curulao, kuduro, semba, chandé, electronica, highlife, cumbia, reggae, dub, ska, dancehall, salsa & more…

Vocals sung in English, Portugese, Amharic, Spanish and English – including by Quantic himself ending Magnetica with the beautiful, dreamy track ‘Painting Silhouettes’…

…and instrumental and vocal contributions from incredible worldwide artists including Pongo Love, Alice Russell, Dereb the Ambassador, Shinehead, Nidia Góngora, Julio Ernesto “Fruko” Estrada, Michi Sarmiento, Angel Hernandez, Thalma de Freitas, Iara Rennó and Anibal Velasquez.

The common thread amongst it all is Quantic’s always great tastes in music and innovative electronic production style.

I love musical (and all other diversity) – I am a Gemini 🙂 . I love the particular musical styles that make up the mix of Magnetica. I was also already a long-time fan of many of the contributing artists on this album – as well as Will Holland himself. For those and other reasons, Magnetica has already had countless listens by me over the past month and will get many, many more in my lifetime.

Quantic - Magnetica (2014)

Magnetica

Given the diversity of tracks on Magnetica, picking ‘sample’ ones to give you an idea of the album’s sound is almost impossible.

I’m choosing ‘Sol Clap’ just because I’m a sucker for horns and the song brings back good memories of dancing to it amongst the trees at Quantic’s recent DJ set at WOMADelaide 2014 (check out the video below).  ‘Arada’ is here because I’m excited about checking out a live Dereb the Ambassador gig at The Basement in Sydney next week.

Quantic - Magnetica (2014)

Magnetica (2014) – Quantic

‘Sol Clap’ – Quantic – Magnetica

 

‘Arada (Featuring Dereb The Ambassador)’ – Quantic – Magnetica

 

Hear all the sounds of the diverse musical goodness on the album in non-mp3 format – and have them in your music collection forever after – by buying Magnetica on vinyl or cd from your local independent record store or through Quantic’s label Tru Thoughts.

Quantic - Magnetica (2014)

Magnetica

You can also read more about and hear sample tracks from Will Holland / Quantic’s other music projects here.

And check out a video of a recent Quantic DJ set in Australia at WOMADelaide 2014 here…

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‘C’ is for Cumbia – Old School & New

‘C’ in the A-Z of Music Genres, Beaver Style (ie. ‘fusion’) goes to Cumbia – old school and new.

Older (But Still ‘New’) School Cumbia

In its original form Cumbia music developed around the Caribbean coast of Colombia during its period of colonization by the Spanish.  It became a fusion of music styles and instruments from the indigenous Colombian peoples of that region (the colonized), the Spanish (invading colonists) and African slaves bought to Colombia by those colonists to work.

A tragic history for Africans and Colombians yes…which brought about the awesome sounds of Cumbia that have since spread throughout the world and morphed into its many different forms.

 Cumbia Colombia

Here you can sample some older (but still ‘new’) school Colombian cumbia songs.  They’re the oldest I have in my collection anyway – cumbia goes way back a long, long time before this…

La Cumbia Colombiana - CD 2

La Cumbia Colombiana

‘La Zenaida’ – Armando Hernández – La Cumbia Colombiana

 

‘Yo Me Llamo Cumbia’ – La Integracion – La Cumbia Colombiana

 

New School Cumbia

Cumbia has come a long way since its origins.

Throughout history countless artists from around the world have taken cumbia and mixed it with their own regional music styles and/or modern ones like hip-hop, electro and jazz to create new and unique forms of music.

Here you can feast on the sounds of the newer school of cumbia music. Check out these sample (mp3 only) tracks by 10 current artists whose music I know and love from the USAFrance, England and of course Colombia.

Toto La Momposina (Colombia)

To my ears Toto La Momposina is the Queen of Contemporary Cumbia. She’s also on my ‘Live Music Experience Bucket List’.

Hailing from Talaigua Nuevo, a town in Northern Colombia, Toto La Momposina’s music draws heavily on traditional cumbia music and dance (amongst other Latin music styles like Cuban son, bullerengue, chalupa, rumba and guaracha).

Her music is celebrated in Colombia, the rest of Latin America and the wider world through which she has toured extensively in her long career.

Check out some sample tracks from some of Toto La Momposina’s albums, including her version of one of the older school sample tracks above…

Toto la Momposina - La Bodega (2009)

La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina

‘Yo Me Llamo Cumbia’ – La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina

 

‘Manita Uribe’ – La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina

 

Carmelina (1995) - Toto la Momposina

 Carmelina (1995) – Toto La Momposina

‘La Sombra Negra’ – Carmelina (1995) – Toto La Momposina

 

La Candela Viva (1993) - Toto la Momposina

La Candela Viva (1993) – Toto La Momposina

‘El Pescador’ – La Candela Viva (1993) – Toto La Momposina

 

Ondatrópica (Colombia/England/Chile/ Peru+)

Ondatrópica - Ondatrópica (2012)

Ondatrópica (2012) – Ondatrópica

‘Cumbia Espacial’ – Ondatrópica (2012) – Ondatrópica

 

Read more about Ondatrópica and hear more Ondatrópica sample tracks here.

Ondatrópica

 

Bomba Estereo (Colombia)

Bomba Estereo - Elegancia Tropical (2012)

Elegancia Tropical (2012) – Bomba Estereo

‘Bailar Conmigo’ – Elegancia Tropical (2012) – Bomba Estereo

 

Kartel Pacifico (Colombia)

Coctel (2012) - Kartel Pacifico

Coctel (2012) – Kartel Pacifico

‘Care Cumbia’ – Coctel (2012) – Kartel Pacifico

 

Puerto Candelaria (Colombia)

Cumbia Rebelde (2011) - Puerto Candelaria

Cumbia Rebelde (2011) – Puerto Candelaria

‘Cumbia Veracruz’ – Cumbia Rebelde (2011) – Puerto Candelaria

 

Here you can check out more sample Puerto Candelaria tracks and a video of a live Puerto Candelaria show in Medellin last year.

 

Papaya Republik (Colombia)

Vol. 1 - Papaya Republik

Vol. 1 (2010) – Papaya Republik

´Cumbia Del Pescaito´ – Vol 1 (2010) – Papaya Republik

 

Read more about Papaya Republik & listen to other Papaya Republik tracks here.

Papaya Republik live

Papaya Republik

 

Monareta (Colombia)

Monareta - Fried Speakers (2010)

Fried Speakers (2010) – Monareta

‘Cumbia de la Sierra’ – Fried Speakers (2010) – Monareta

 

The Quantic Soul Orchestra

(aka Will Holland – England – + his global music collaborators)

Tropidelico - The Quantic Soul Orchestra - Tropidelico

Tropidelico (2007) – The Quantic Soul Orchestra

‘Los Olvidados’ – Tropidelico (2007) – The Quantic Soul Orchestra

 

Check out more sample tracks from The Quantic Soul Orchestra + other Will Holland albums here.

You can also find these Quantic cumbia fusion albums

 

Here you can also check out a video of a DJ set by Will Holland (aka Quantic) at WOMADelaide Festival 2014

Sergent Garcia (France)

Mascaras (2006) - Sergent Garcia

Mascaras (2006) – Sergent Garcia

‘Yo Me Yoy Pa’ La Cumbia’ – Mascaras (2006) – Sergent Garcia

 

Hear more sample tracks from Mascaras + Sergent Garcia’s other albums here.

 

 

Ozomatli (USA)

Ozomatli (1998) - Ozomatli

Ozomatli (1998) – Ozomatli

‘Cumbia De Los Muertos’ – Ozomatli (1998) – Ozomatli

 

Cumbia certainly has made an incredibly profound musical mark all through Latin America and the rest of our big wide world.

I love cumbia in all its many diverse forms, old school and new.  Don’t you?

I Love Cumbia

 

‘C’ is for Chutney & More

Along with Cumbia, ‘C’ is for so many other music genres from around the world, fusion Beaver style.  Here are a few of the ones I like the sound of…

Candombe – fusion of African and Uruguayan styles developed by African-Uruguayan slaves in the 19th century.

Chicken scratch – fusion of Native American, White American, Mexican, and European styles, performed by the Native American Tohono O’odham people.

Chutney – Caribbean pop music that fuses calypso and cadence with several Indian styles.

Conjunto – fusion of Mexican and German styles developed by Mexican-Americans who had bought German instruments in Texas; it also introduced elements of Caribbean and Cuban music.

Crunk – fusion of hip hop and EDM, known for its heavy basslines and shouted, call-and-response vocals; often used incorrectly as an umbrella term for Southern hip hop.

Crunk&B – fusion of crunk and contemporary R&B.

Crunkcore – fusion of crunk and scream.

Anyone got some Chutney or Candombe music to share?  

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The WOMADelaide Experience – What Everyone Wants

Everyone I know who experiences WOMADelaide festival, wants to experience it again. Everyone I know who’s heard about the WOMADelaide experience, wants to have it.

That’s because it’s one of the world’s best musical festivals, and Australia’s very best. Fundamentally for the quality of music and its friendly festival people, but for so many other reasons too.

So declares I anyway – and anyone I’ve ever spoken with about it who’s in the know.

Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote - Live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Cherif Soumano (with Roberto Fonseca) live @ WOMADelaide 2014

I’ve just experienced WOMADelaide 2014 with about 90,000 other people. Over four days I was reminded over and over again (as they probably were too), of all the reasons we were counting down the days to WOMADelaide 2014 since the end of WOMADelaide 2013.

WOMADelaide 2014

WOMADelaide 2014

The People Will Come

Artists love playing at WOMADelaide. They are treated well, and valued, as artists should be valued. They get to play their music (and sell CDs on-site) to friendly, musically-open-minded and appreciative crowds of people who might otherwise never be exposed to it.

Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014Artists not playing at WOMADelaide, who don’t usually take themselves to festivals or gigs unless they are their own, love to go to this festival to hear its global artists.

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Femi Kuti

Hanggai live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Hanggai

The friendly people of Adelaide love to go to their home festival – set up base-camp under an old, shady Botanic Park tree – and enjoy the festival with family and friends. Some of them have been to every WOMADelaide since 1992.

WOMADelaide 2014

WOMADelaide 2014

Parents love to go because they can relax and enjoy the festival knowing their kids are happy and safe somewhere nearby on-site.

WOMADelaide 2014WOMADelaide 2014

Lovers of diverse music who live in other parts of Australia, love to make the music pilgrimage to WOMADelaide whenever possible.

Ngaiire live @ WOMADelaide 2014

NGAIIRE

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Sounds of the Planet

“It doesn’t matter which artists are in the line-up.  Turn up to the festival any ole year and you’ll hear amazing artists from all over the world.”

My musician friend who “hates most music”, said that to me about WOMADelaide many years ago. At every WOMADelaide I’ve been to since, his words about the festival’s line-up have rung absolutely true.

WOMADelaide 2014 saw about 500 very diverse artists, representing 20+ countries, performing across 7 festival stages.

All of those artists were good, most were fantastic and many were phenomenal.

Australia Represented

Australian music that I absolutely love, is rare to find. Last year I found two musical diamonds in Ngaiire and Hiatus Kaiyote.

WOMAdelaide programmed both of them at this year’s festival – and their shows were amongst the best I saw.

Hiatus Kaiyote live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Hiatus Kaiyote

Ngaiire live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Ngaiire

Hiatus Kaiyote

A live Hiatus Kaiyote experience amongst the trees at Botanic Park…it was all a bit magical really.

Hiatus Kaiyote live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Hiatus Kaiyote

The spunky Nai Palm on guitar and vocals, smiling all through the set – plus her incredibly talented band members – put a huge and long-lasting smile on my face too.

Hiatus Kaiyote live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Nai Palm – Hiatus Kaiyote

Hiatus Kaiyote live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Hiatus Kaiyote

Hiatus Kaiyote’s music, along with Cuba’s Roberto Fonseca’s music, was the most inspiring and happiness-inducing music of all the music I heard at WOMADelaide 2014.

Videos of Hiatus Kaiyote’s one and only WOMADelaide show here

Hiatus Kaiyote is supporting Queen Erykah Badu at her Australian shows in a few weeks. Lucky me, I’ll be there in Melbourne at what I predict could be the most special live show of 2014 for me 🙂 . 

NGAIIRE

At her WOMADelaide 2014 show Papua New Guinean born, Australian based NGAIIRE, was exactly like NGAIIRE always seems to be – absolutely mesmerizing to hear and see.

Ngaiire @ live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Ngaire @ WOMADelaide 2014

She was accompanied greatly by her skilful band, with a slightly different line-up to usual.

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Check out this video of a new Ngaiire track played live for the 1st time at her WOMADelaide shows…

Sounds of the Rest of the Planet

Aotearoa (New Zealand) – Fat Freddys Drop

I’ve always said that as great as Fat Freddys Drop‘s studio recordings are, their live shows are the ultimate experience of this band.

Fat Freddys Drop live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Fat Freddys Drop

Fat Freddys Drop live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Fat Freddys Drop

Well, I left Fat Freddys Drop’s WOMADelaide show before it finished. And not because I had anywhere else to be. I just wasn’t feeling moved or inspired where I was.

Video of their festival show here. Maybe you’ll be inspired…

China – Hanggai

Hanggai’s music was probably the most foreign and novel to me at WOMADelaide 2014: rock mixed with traditional Mongolian music. The live experience of this band was a totally unique and entertaining one.

Hanggai live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Hanggai

Hanggai live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Hanggai

 

Hanggai live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Hanggai

 

Hanggai live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Hanggai

Check out Hanggai’s WOMADelaide show on video here…

Colombia/Belgium – La Chiva Gantiva

It’s always a treat for me to hear the sounds of traditional Colombian music like cumbia and chirimia in the mix with the likes of funk and afro-beat.  Also to get a dose of the distinctively joyous Colombian energy put out by los Colombianos in La Chiva Gantiva – as well as that of their Flemish, Belgian and Vietnamese band members.

La Chiva Gantiva live @ WOMADelaide 2014

La Chiva Gantiva

La Chiva Gantiva live @ WOMADelaide 2014

La Chiva Gantiva

La Chiva Gantiva wins the WOMADelaide 2014 prize for crowd participation.

La Chiva Gantiva live @ WOMADelaide 2014

La Chiva Gantiva

La Chiva Gantiva live @ WOMADelaide 2014

La Chiva Gantiva

Videos (of their more subdued tracks) from both La Chiva Gantiva’s WOMADelaide shows here

Cuba – Roberto Fonseca

Roberto Fonseca and his phenomenal accompanying band – which included Malian kora and tama player Cherif Soumano – were the musical jewel of the WOMADelaide crown for me.

Cherif Soumano with Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Once upon a time, Roberto Fonseca was a young piano player with Ibrahim Ferrer’s Orchestra.  Now and for many years past, he’s been an established artist in his own right. In these days Robert Fonseca’s still young -and is creating stunning Latin Jazz music that explores sounds of traditional African roots music and electronica.

Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Roberto Fonseca

Both the music and the musicianship of this group were an absolute joy to experience live.

Cherif Soumano with Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Cherif Soumano

Yandy Martinez with Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Yandy Martinez

Ramses Rodriguez with Roberto Fonseca Live @ Womadelaide 2014

Ramses Rodriguez

Joel Hierrezuleo with Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Joel Hierrezuleo

Roberto Fonseca’s album Yo was one I made sure I bought home with me from WOMADelaide.

Glimpses of the magic of Roberto Fonseca’s WOMADelaide shows here on video…


France – Dub Inc

A french fusion of ever-so-danceable sounds of dub, reggae, dancehall, ska, ragga, hip-hop, Arab and African music.

Dub Inc live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Dub Inc

Dub Inc live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Dub Inc

Dub Inc live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Dub Inc

Dub Inc live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Dub Inc

The really unique thing about this band is the voices and vocal combinations of Hakim “Bouchkour” Meridja and Aurélien “Komlan” Zohou.

Dub Inc live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Dub Inc

See what I’m talking about here on these videos from Dub Inc’s WOMADelaide 2014 shows

Nigeria – Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Femi Kuti needs no description. Nor does his music.

Hearing Femi Kuti play saxophone took me somewhere heavenly.

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force live @ WOMADelaide 2014

His supporting band and dancers The Positive Force, were as incredible to hear and watch as you’d expect them to be.

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Videos of Femi Kuti’s one and only WOMADelaide show here. Check out the chops of the Positive Force band towards the end of the first one…

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Spain/Guinea – Buika

Contemporary sounds rooted strongly in traditional flamenco – sung and played exquisitely.

Buika was absolutely divine.

Buika live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Buika

The guitarist accompanying Buika is amongst that group of phenomenal artists I heard at the festival.

Videos from one of Buika’s two WOMADelaide shows here

Sample tracks (mp3 only) off Buika’s album En Mi Piel here too…

Mi Niña Lola – Buika – En Mi Piel

 

Somos (Featuring Chucho Valdes) – Buika – En Mi Piel

 

USA – Arrested Development

You all know who Arrested Development are and what they do. Hip-hop of the inspiring kind.

Arrested Development

Arrested Development

Well, the line-up of the group might have changed. But I think they’re still doing what they’ve always done, in style. With new music and a new album coming.

Arrested Development

Arrested Development

Arrested Development Live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Arrested Development

 

Arrested Development

Arrested Development

 

Arrested Development

Arrested Development

The live Arrested Development experience is one to have.  Check out a video here…

USA – Red Baraat

Red Baraat blends North Indian Bhangra rhythms with the delicious sounds of jazz, brass-funk and hip-hop.

This awesome New York-based group was musically one of my favourites at WOMADelaide 2014.

Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Red Baraat

Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Red Baraat

 

Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Red Baraat

 

Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Red Baraat

Their 5-piece-strong brass section was an extra special delight for my musical senses.

Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Red Baraat

Videos from each of Red Baraat’s WOMADelaide 2014 shows here…

Red Baraat’s 2nd album Shruggy Ji  is also in my bag of music goodies that I bought home from the festival.

ZimbabweMokoomba

Mokoomba fuses traditional sounds from African music with more modern ones, some of them even disco-like.

Mokoomba live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Mokoomba

Mokoomba live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Mokoomba

 

Mokoomba live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Mokoomba

 

Mokoomba live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Mokoomba

Have a listen to the vocals of this group here on video. They’re sung in traditional Tonga language (unknown to most, even in Africa).

Other corners of the world represented live at WOMADelaide 2014 were Algeria, Bulgaria, India, Iran, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Reunion Island, Tunisia and Scotland.

Rachid Taha live @ WOMADelaide 2014.

Rachid Taha (Algeria)

Carminho live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Carminho (Portugal)

 

DJs Represented

Towards the end of your WOMADelaide nights, when you’re feeling happy and revitalized from all the amazing live music you’ve just experienced and want to keep dancing, you can.

Just head to the Speakers Corner stage and find yourself a spot amongst the trees. There you can have your last dance of the festival day to DJs spinning tasty tunes.

WOMAdelaide 2014 had some of the world’s best DJs on offer…

1. DJ Yoda (UK)

2. DJ Muro (Japan)

3. Awesome Tapes From Africa (USA) – DJ Brian Shimkovitz with his samples from 4000+ rare and random cassette tape recordings collected from Africa for more than a decade.  You can check it out on his blog.

4. Will Holland (aka Quantic) (UK)

Will Holland makes some of my favourite music in the world.

Will Holland (aka Quantic) @ WOMADelaide 2014

Quantic DJ Set @ WOMADelaide 2014

Will Holland (aka Quantic) @ WOMADelaide 2014

Will Holland (aka Quantic)

In his WOMADelaide set he delivered a mix of old and new Quantic concoctions from his large collection of musical productions of the funk, soul and Latin flavoured kinds.  So for me it was possibly the best DJ set I’ve ever experienced.

Check out a video snippet of a new concoction here…

[You can read more about Will Holland’s diverse musical projects, including Ondatrópica, and hear sample Quantic tracks, here.]

More Than Music

Incredible music, a friendly community of people and a green, open-air festival space. WOMADelaide has those fundamental festival ingredients.

It’s got lots more too  – all a part of making it the positive festival experience it is.

Amongst the music and dancing there are activities of all sorts to be found around the festival site…

  • Find your favourite festival artists cooking up their traditional home dishes at Taste The World giving a talk – or a music or dance workshop.
WOMADelaide 2014

The Positive Force dance workshop

  • Listen to environmental talks and panel discussions at The Planet Talks.
  • Interact with a roving theatre performer.
  • Join in or watch the Parade.
  • Lay on the grass in the Pines and watch a visual installation of the best dancers from around the world in slow motion.
Slow Dancing (After Dark)

Slow Dancing (After Dark)

  • Get creative at an art workshop.
  • Eat delicious foods, drinks delightful wines, and browse artisan markets at the Global Village.
  •  Nourish your weary body with a massage at The Healing Village.
  • Or entertain yourself and others in any other ways you want…

Importantly too, festival runnings are professional and smooth. Shows start on time. Set change-overs are efficient. Lighting and sound are quality. Stage emcees do a great job.

The wonderful experience of all that is WOMADelaide, comes at a comparatively cheap festival ticket price too.  At its most expensive (post early-bird rates) the cost of a 4 day pass for 2014 was just over $300.

WOMADelaide Bliss

I think I’m on solid ground for declaring WOMADelaide to be one of the world’s best, and Australia’s very best music festival. Don’t you?

The ‘best’ or not (it’s subjective, I know), one thing is for sure. People who have the WOMADelaide experience get happier with each passing festival hour. Somewhere during those 4 festival days, music and festival bliss kicks in.

WOMADelaide 2014

What do you say peoples? If you’ve already had yourself the WOMADelaide experience, did I get this declaration right? If you haven’t had it yet, surely you want it now?  

We’ve only got about 50.5 weeks to wait until WOMADelaide 2015 !

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Will Holland (aka Quantic) – Master Chef of Fusion

British artist Will Holland (aka Quantic) has absolutely awesome tastes in music. At least according to where my musical heart is at.

Those tastes are reflected in and are a part of, the absolutely awesome and innovative music he has created in each of his many musical projects over more than a decade.

Master Fusion Chef

Will Holland is a Master Chef of fusion music as I talk about it in Beaver World.

In his interchanging roles of musician, producer, song writer, arranger, band leader and DJ, he blends worldwide sounds and flavours to create unique, diverse, delicious musical cocktails.

Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

The ingredients Will Holland uses for those musical cocktails are of the absolute best sort you see…

Sweet Vinyl

*Sweet sounding, old vinyl records of music from musically amazing parts of the world…Africa –  the South & Central Americas – and the Caribbean (+ the UK &  Europe too 🙂 )

…personally collected by Will Holland from those & other corners of the world.

Will Holland (aka Quantic)

The Finest of Genres

Music mixing up different combinations of…

*FunkSoulR&BAfro Beat & other African styles – JazzHip HopIndianReggaeDub – MentoCalypso – Latin in its every-so-many forms, especially the beloved Cumbia + CurrulaoChirimiaRumbaBossa NovaMamboFandangoPorroPachangaBugalu, and many more.

Awesome tastes in music, yes indeed.

Top Quality Artists

*So many different collaborations with always incredible (many of them legendary) music artists from around the world. Lots of them are Colombian, especially in recent years while Will Holland has been based in Colombia. Given my love for Colombian music in all its diverse forms, that’s an extra special element in this music for me.

Ondatrópica

Ondatrópica

*Sometimes the artists contributing to a song are recording their parts in different studios around the world.  Exceptionally in these days of sound recording, Will Holland’s projects also often have all the musicians playing and recording together in the same room at the same time.  The musicians, singers and engineers are more than enough skilled to do that – and the special essence of them creating music together in that moment, is captured as it should be.

*The artists are old school and new school ones, young and old.

*Will Holland is of course one of them – most often on guitar, and more recently on accordian too.

Quantic

Sounds of the Good Ol’ Days

*Vintage instruments.

*Analogue recording equipment.

*Old school recording techniques and almost-forgotten engineering skills.

*Live recordings of vocals and instrumental parts by artists, instead of the use of samples.

The Quantic Soul Orchestra - Tropidelico

The different combinations of all those ingredients in Will Holland’s many musical projects, equals a long discography of diverse, high quality, warm and textured sounding musical creations. Each one is a delight to listen and dance to.

Quantic Creations So Far

Here are just some of Will Holland’s musical creations to give you an idea of the goodness to be found in the entire collection…

*I’ve talked before about the Colombian fusion music treasure that is Ondatrópica (check it and sample Ondatrópica songs here).

Ondatrópica

*Collaborations with Alice Russell, including their soulful, bluesy album Look Around The Corner recorded with The Combo Barbaro.

Quantic & Alice Russell - Look Around The Corner

*Los Miticos Del Ritmo – a 2013 album written by Will Holland and recorded with he and his studio band of Colombian cumbia & vallenato musicians.

Los Miticos del Ritmo - Quantic

*The Quantic Soul Orchestra with 60’s jazz-funk-soul diva Spanky Wilson on the album I’m Thankful.

Spanky Wilson & The Quantic Soul Orchestra - I'm Thankful

*The Original Sound of Cumbia – a history collection of obscure, vintage Colombian cumbia & porro tracks from between 1948 to 1979 – divided between 2 discs by their status as either pre or post externally-influenced music.

The Original Sound of Cumbia - Quantic

 *Quantic’s dub/tropical Latin albums Flowering Inferno (Death of the Revolution + Dog With a Rope).

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*Lots more fusions (and not) of rare funk, soul, jazz, breakbeat, hip hop, Latin, Afro, reggae, dub + more – on these & other albums and singles released as Quantic or The Quantic Soul Orchestra

Finally for now, check out some sample tracks from two of my favourite albums in the Quantic collection – Tropidelico and Tradition In Transition.  When you listen, please remember there’s not many original sounds of the music left in these here mp3 versions.  Buy the real deal for the true sonic experience.

The Quantic Soul Orchestra – Tropidelico (2007)

The Quantic Soul Orchestra - Tropidelico

‘Melodious Wayfarer (Soul Montuno)’ – Tropidelico (2007) 

‘San Sebastian Strut (Cumbia Soul)’ – Tropidelico (2007)

Quantic And His Combo Barbaro – Tradition In Transition (2009)

Quantic And His Combo Barbaro - Tradition In Transition

This album features, amongst other great artists, legendary Peruvian born piano player Alfredo Linares; Panama’s beloved soul singer Kabir;  a beautiful horn section that makes me smile with each note played (Cuban trumpet player Angel Hernandez and Colombian Lucho Blanco on sax); with Will Holland on guitar.

‘Mas Pan’ – Tradition In Transition (2009) 

‘Linda Morena’ – Tradition In Transition (2009) 

More Quantic Music Soon & For Forever

Will Holland’s musical creations can be yours to have and behold forever, on sweet vinyl and/or cd. If absolutely necessary (let’s hope it never is), on mp3 too. You can buy them through Tru Thoughts Recordings (along with music by the label’s other great artists) or the Quantic site.

Keep an ear out for whatever fusion (or other) music wonders Will Holland has in store for us next. I’m also still hoping for a live Ondatrópica experience somewhere in my future.

In the meantime who’s coming to WOMADelaide in March to dance some Quantic DJ sets away with me?  Given all of the above, it’s pretty easy to believe that whatever musical cocktails Will Holland has in store for us at WOMAD will be absolutely awesome too. Less than 6 weeks to wait now!

Will Holland (aka Quantic)

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Ondatrópica – Fusion Music Treasure

The Ondatrópica Recipe:

1. Find English producer and musician Will Holland (aka QuanticQuantic Soul Orchestra) where he is based in Cali, or wherever else in the world he is touring.  Join him up with Mario Galeano, leader of Colombian fusion band Frente Cumbiero, and also collaborator with the one and only Mad Professor.

Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

2. Then find 40 more of Colombia’s (and other Latin countries) most talented and experienced musicians, representing different generations and different musical genres.

Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.comOndatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.comOndatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.comOndatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

3. Put all of those artists together into legendary, old school recording studio Discos Fuentes in Medellin, with analogue production equipment.  Keep them there for about 3 weeks.

Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

What do you get at the end?

Ondatrópica - Ondatrópica (2012) - www.beaveronthebeats.comThe Ondatrópica album:  an incredibly unique and brilliant Colombian fusion music album in which traditional meets modern in a very exciting way.

In the tracks on just one album, Ondatrópica have successfully managed to combine and showcase, in stellar style, the vast richness and diversity of traditional and contemporary Colombian music in all its many forms.   The music is a  quality blend of cumbia, jazz, salsa, bossa nova, gaita, electro, hip hop, champeta, porro, dub, ska, afro beat, funk, beat box, and probably more :).

Check out some sample tracks from the Ondatrópica album yourself.  You’ll see what I mean. Serious mp3 sound quality warning here.  Buying the real album (easy on-line) will give you so much more listening pleasure with all its quality, varied, intricate sounds.

I Ron Man

 

Black Sabbath fans…What say you about Iron Man Colombian style?

Ska Fuentes

Suena

So we all agree about the album’s brilliance yes?

Well then, what do you get next when some of those 42 Ondatrópica musicians go on tour to perform live around the world?  A pretty incredible and unique live music experience, I imagine, and hope to find out for sure when I can.

 Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

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