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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Here Comes the Summer

The news this week brought details of some unsettling events all around. However, Syd Barrett's demise brought everything into a different perspective for me, even if (or maybe because) we had already lost him decades ago.

I will not bother to comment on the reappointment of the MaltaSong board that achieved Malta's worst ever result at the Eurovision. I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunity at a later date. That's what happens when great visionaries like Barrett die. The insignificant becomes irrelevant.

Mourning and nostalgia make strange bedfellows. So for this week's podcast I wanted to go with the new and/or (relatively) unknown as much as possible. MySpace provided the spark for the first three tracks. The fourth is a gift, to me, which I gladly share with my listeners.

What's Wrong with the World? is a song by Mike Spiteri. Not the Mike Spiteri who told me he had enough of the Eurovision as we left Greece last May (and yet accepted a position on the MaltaSong board again) but a younger guy. This Mike Spiteri is based in the UK and records under the name of Skin Trade. I like the subtle 80s groove on this song, it's too not overt that you'd call him a retro act. I will be watching his MySpace page for new songs in the near future.

Ray Buttigieg is another Maltese musician who has lived abroad for many years, mostly in the USA. He is a pioneer of electronic music not only in terms of his Maltese heritage (he is originally from Gozo) but also on the international circuit. I'm amazed at how relatively underground he has remained over the years. His vast output never ceases to amaze me. He has more than one website and there are three or four MySpace pages featuring his music. If you've never heard (of) Ray Buttigieg, you should really make an effort to give his music a good listen. You will not be disappointed.

It was not my intention to feature only Maltese musicians who live outside Malta in this week's podcast. The third track on this week's show comes from a duo of remixers who live in Brighton. Keith Camilleri and Robert Chetcuti are now working as a duo by the name of South Central. Among many remixes and original pieces I found a collaboration with Metronomy quite interesting; Metronomy is a certain Joseph Mount who now also works from Brighton. Metronomy vs South Central is the kind of song that should soar majestically in clubs and outdoor dance parties throughout this summer. I'm sure it will do just that at some parties, but meanwhile you can also hear it on the Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast.

The gift I mentioned earlier came from Rayvin Portelli, one of the founding members of The Rifffs who reunited earlier this year to record their first album. It arrived in my email inbox just a few weeks ago. The gift is a song, of course. It's called Hey Little Girl and I play it as this week's final track before the series stops for a few weeks as I head out to Malta soon. More about that trip in the coming days, of course.

I almost can't believe we've made it to podcast number 30 already! This will be the last Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast for now. If all goes well, podcast number 31 will be recorded and published in the weekend of the August 19. Knowing me, there may be a little surprise in the interim, so stay subscribed to the RSS feed just in case.

The RSS feed for the Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast is available here or you can simply click here to subscribe directly with iTunes. You can also add the latest episodes to your My Yahoo! page.

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