Sure thing: it's been a while since the last post on this little blogspot of ours, but hey, what can I say? As much as I like writing stuff about music, there is one thing I prefer above that: travelling! So when I'm asked to accompany some nice folks on a journey to the beautiful Istanbul (for free!!), I'm game! Yeah, I knew you'd understand...
But the good part is: whatever country, city or village I'm in: there is always a story to be found. Apart from the fact that Istanbul is a great, hip, young 'n' attractive city (go visit!) there is great music to be found. Here is a nice gesture:
Doublemoon Records is a multi-award winning label residing in Istanbul, offering us all kinds of great music: from sufi-electronica to groove alla turca, from jazz to gypsy funk, from oriental hip-hop to anatolian blues. A rich blend indeed! East2West is a compilation that brings together tracks from the Doublemoon catalogue offering a great insight into the music of Turkey and particularly Istanbul. Three volumes of this compilation were already set loose on the world and every one is a winner. For those of you who still think Turkish music is just a lot of notes played on awkward instruments, here's an overview: It's hip, it's modern, it's different, it's dub but not quite, it's reggaeton but not quite, it's hiphop but not quite, it's....well you've got it by now, don't cha? Go listen!
More great news reached me the day after my arrival in Holland. The sequel of my favourite compilation of 2004 is finally out in the open. K industria's Barcelona Raval Sessions was to me THE revelation of all compilations released in the last 5 years or so. I think I've stated my love for Barcelona already somewhere else on this blog, but for those that don't know: it's my kinda town. Especially the Raval area is great for wandering about. Raval is a multicultural, busy "barrio" with great shops, nice bars, shabby prostitutes and a fine blend of good people. When strolling through it you'll soon find out that there is music coming at you from all over: the bakery, the butcher, the barber, the cars: from every corner sounds are a blasting! And all these sounds were nicely captured on Barcelona Raval Sessions, covering a wide area of reggae, rai, hip-hop, mestizo, house, tribal and everything inbetween.
Well now, I reckon that you understand that Barcelona Raval Sessions 2 was eagerly awaited by yours truly, but it turned out to be a bit of a bummer at first...Murphy's law? Cd one is, besides a handfull of good tracks, filled with mediocre housy tunes, "same old-same old" hip hop and dancy dubshit that fail to grab my attention. Worst track by far is a truly awfull remix of flamenco greats Ojos de Brujo's "Ventilaor"...But, thankfully, this compilation is double cd package. And, thankfully, this second disc is worthwile all the way! Great, future classic, tracks by DJ Awal, Trilogy (beautiful blend of flamenco, Habib Koite-like guitar playing and Tom Waits styled singing), Beat Nation, Daara J (long time Lock it Down favourites) and especially Pirat's Sound Sistema make up for the loss. Barcelona Raval Sessions 2..a bit of a bummer comp consisting of great music...contradiction intermino?