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Saturday, December 09, 2006


Yesterday was 26 years since John Lennon's murder. I'm about to finish reading Cynthia's new book about her relationship with the famous John. Tomorrow I'll be reviewing it for The Times (of Malta), for publication in an upcoming issue later this month. I like that this year's anniversary is not a round number, so the hype factor around such a significant cultural icon is possibly at its lowest at times like this.

December is always a time of remembrance for me; even more so than November. I'll be blogging about that in the coming days as I take stock of the year that's about to end and prepare for the annual review of the year along with my MaltaMedia colleagues.

Today I recorded and uploaded the 47th podcast in the Mużika Mod Ieħor series. This week's show continues exploring new music, some of which could/should have been included on the poll for your picks among the 2006 releases. The first song comes from Indigo, who I've known for a number of years as Marvic Lewis. I didn't know she had started recording under this name a couple of years ago until I received a very welcome MySpace 'add friend' request. I'm so glad I've heard Marvic's recent recordings. She has blossomed into a very interesting recording artist. She calls her style gothpsych, whatever that means. It's edgy but clean, rocky but not rough. Any way you measure it, it's pleasant to hear. The song I chose to play on the podcast is called I Don't Care.

Another act I discovered recently is a new hip hop trio called Sixth Simfoni. I usually prefer it when Maltese musicians make this type of music with Maltese lyrics. Still, as English language hip hop from Malta goes, this is possibly the best I've ever heard. The trio comprises Jon Mallia (a.k.a. Pandemonium), David Leguesse (a.k.a. D Legacy) and violinist Simon Vella. I believe I knew David's father about 20 years ago, when I Samson was a delightful man who settled in Malta more than two decades ago. Anyway, Sixth Simfoni have a song called Bullies and I thought it an appropriate track to play, especially in light of the recent case of "happy slapping" (what a horrible term!) at MCAST.

Not all the tracks on this week's podcast came my way via MySpace, but the next one most certainly did. Flamenco guitarist Roger Scannura was born in Malta and now lives in Canada. His Flamenco troupe is accompanied by his wife Valeria who dances to the irresistible rhythm of this traditional Andalusian music. Burning Bridges is one of the tracks on Roger's album Noche Flamenca, which was released last year.

Although most of the stuff you hear on Mużika Mod Ieħor can easily be classified as suitable for radio airplay (even though most radio stations rarely play it), I like to include extreme recordings on my podcast from time to time. The most recent specimen in this category to reach me here in Scarborough is a recording by a new eclectic band from Malta called Brikkuni. This combo consists of various musicians from diverse backgrounds, including a couple of members for Lumiere, Particle Blue, Żiżża Ensemble, and the National Orchestra. I must say that if I was in a position to record live sessions for my podcast in my own studio, Brikkuni would be one of the first bands I would invite. Listen to the raw recording of their song Fil-Bar ta' Taħt il-Knisja, which I'm very sure sounds brilliant during live gigs, such as the ones they gave recently to introduce themselves to the local music scene in Malta. I hope they'll take the time to do a proper recording of their original songs soon. This is the sort of stuff that can alter the shape and sound of future bands from Malta.

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.

Blogger Erezija said...

it is a sad reflection on the limitations of the maltese music scene when you refer to Brikkuni's lively, entertaining but ultimately rather ordinary rabble rousing music as "extreme" 

9:15 PM, December 13, 2006
Blogger Toni Sant said...

You're quite right, Ereżija, about the limitations of the Maltese Music Scene. Still, I don't think that Brikkuni's music is "extreme". In this case, "extreme" was a (misplaced?) euphemism for "bad sound quality" on the live recording. 

1:04 PM, December 14, 2006
Blogger Erezija said...

forgive me for pouncing on you like that :)

while the sound quality can be labelled "bad" I fear that too much improvement to it could take away the edge to brikkuni's sound which is so rare on the Maltese scene 

3:00 PM, December 14, 2006
Blogger Toni Sant said...

I agree...and that's why I included it on my podcast. In spite of this, I still think that a decently balanced live recording could still capture that edge you mention.

Anyway, thanks for alerting me to this recording. I bring this up cause I haven't thanked you publicly for doing that! :-P 

3:48 PM, December 14, 2006

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