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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Remembrance Day

Donald Rumsfeld is history, at last. Sadly, so are Jack Palance and Ed Bradley. Meanwhile, life goes on. It has almost been one whole year since I released the first episode of my weekly Maltese music podcast Mużika Mod Iehor. I'll say more about this next week when we enter year two for the series.

Opening a podcast with the music of the Żiżża Ensemble always sounds good. Funky Licks (for Lonely Chicks) is the second track from this band to be featured on one of my podcasts. Several weeks ago I played their Bonnie & Clyde. They were the supporting act for a live gig by Corkskrew at Luxol last week. Rumour has it that they're preparing to record their debut album. If it's released in 2007 I'm sure it'll be one of next year's highlights.

Aiden Zammit is someone I've know for over two decades. I was a great fan of his since his days with Avatar back in the early 1980s, when he was better known as Aiden Zammit Lupi. I've even had the great pleasure of playing a couple of gigs with him; not to mention including him as the only solo act on the TV series Mill-Garaxx. more than 16 years ago. He is one of the finest musicians and singers to ever come out of Malta. His CV since leaving Malta for Italy in the late eighties is most impressive. I wanted to play his music on my podcast since the very first episode of Mużika Mod Ieħor but I never got around to it. Luckily he just set up a page on MySpace and I caught up with him again. I have fond memories of the time we spent together in Cinecitta' and other haunts around Rome in 1991.

The rest of this week's tracks also come from Maltese people who have some connection or other beyond the Maltese islands. David Agius is a young Australian musician of Maltese descent. He has a pleasant voice and plays a mean guitar. The demo for his song Dance in the Rain is slightly reminiscent of some song off Lenny Kravitz's Mama Said album, but he's clearly someone to watch out for. His music will probably benefit a live treatment by a full band and I'm really looking forward to hearing more from David Agius.

Larissa is the other Maltese singer who has overseas connections. Her username on MySpace is MaltaGirl, which must be at least slightly frustrating for the real MaltaGirl. If you'd like to know more about this young performer, you should check out the audio interview she did with Andre' Bugeja on Central FM in August. Larissa recently started her sophomore year as a student at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. Last summer she released her debut single in Malta, a pop song called Brand New Start. She wrote the lyrics for this song herself, while the music was composed by UK-based Steve Sparrows. The single has received wide airplay in Malta over since August. The CD contains two remixes by Toby of the same tune. I've chosen to play one of these remixes as the closing track for this week's podcast. Larissa's CD joins the list of nominations for the top 2006 Maltese music releases, which will be opened up for public voting next week.

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.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

--Chalee on behalf of Zizza Ensemble wrote..

Hi Profs, it's great to see you taking such an interest in our music. With regards to the 'recording debut album' rumours, I must point out that our debut album is still foetal i.e we're still building up a decent set of numbers - it may well be that the two numbers which have been featured will not be included. They will in any case have to be re-recorded.

P.S should we have an audio sample of the moniker 'zizza ensemble' put up on our myspace? We like 'ensemble' to have a nice frenchy inflection as opposed to your anglified version (we're coffee and croissant types)...moreover the pronunciation of 'Zizza' seems to elude just about everyone vide xfm's DJs; 'Seeesa' not good

Joking apart, thanks for the support. Much love from the Ensemble. 

9:55 PM, November 11, 2006

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