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Saturday, January 20, 2007

I Think I See the Light

Mużika Mod Ieħor has been discovered by the BBC. No, there are no plans for the world-famous British public broadcaster to start giving airtime to obscure Maltese music. On Friday night, Christine and I were invited for a late night chat with Jerry Scott on BBC Radio York, following an article about our move to Scarborough in Hightide magazine. Among the many topics we spoke about during Jerry's show, we also spoke about my podcast and why I do it. I plan to upload a few snippets from this interview in a few days, as soon as I find a spare hour or so to pick out the good bits.

It now feels that 2007 is really underway, even thought I still meet people who think it's still appropriate to say Happy New Year; not that there's anything wrong with that. There's good reason to celebrate the new for as long as possible. This week's podcast focuses on new material that has just been released or is planned for recording this year.

Ivan Filletti is working on a new album. So I thought it was appropriate to play a track from his 2005 CD Somedays, especially because I've never included anything from it on my podcast before. Listing to Filletti, especially the single Cold Heart, I realized that for the 10 years or so before I started this podcasting series I had grown fairly out of touch with the music scene in Malta. This explains why I had never heard of Thomas Hedley even though he has been quite active since the mid-1990s, if not earlier.

Thomas Hedley has now started his own MySpace page, which feature two new tracks he has recorded. As far as I'm concerned these are the first Maltese internet releases for 2007. Strangely enough they're dated 2008, but perhaps there's some hidden reason for that. Listen to Do It Right Now, the song I chose for this week's podcast and you'll see why I believe that this musician should be doing more than singing in hotels for his living. Then again, that's the reality of being a professional musician in Malta.

Manwel Tabone presented his Reggae Club on Radio Malta 2 for about 16 years. There's an entry in my blog about the time Manwel's programme was taken off the air by a very short-sighted public broadcasting corporation. But good things always find a way to resurface, even if they do so under seemingly very different guises. Manwel T, as he now calls himself, is slowly establishing himself as a reggae dub remix artiste. His personal website features a number of remixes he has done since the demise of Reggae Club. While he has worked with various reggae musicians who are not Maltese, I've chosen to play his remix of a Mind's Eye Dub track, Selassie I Dub. In many ways, it sure beats spinning records on a radio station that fewer and fewer people listen to every day.

Speaking of radio, you can now also catch Mużika Mod Ieħor on Central FM a few days after it appears online. Check out their schedule on the web if you live within their catchment area (Central is a community radio station broadcasting from Attard) or listen to their live stream.

Although I opened today's commentary about the 51st podcast in the Mużika Mod Ieħor series by lamenting the brown-out in my appreciation of the Maltese music scene I managed to keep abreast of the general going-ons in the Maltese islands, mostly through the MaltaMedia news service, which has been online since 1999. It was through MaltaMedia news that I heard all the latest development at the Archbishop's curia in Malta. So it should come as no surprise to my regular listeners that I've included one of the two new songs by Fr Karm Debattista celebrating Malta's new archbishop. The songs have been released as a CD but I'm very please to see that Fr Karm has also released them through his MySpace pace. Kun Tagħhom ir-Ragħaj is the one I've picked for the podcast. This is effectively the first Maltese CD single release for 2007. I would be very grateful if anyone would contact me to correct this impression, if I'm wrong.

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 mindseyedub said...

Keep up the good work Toni. I really did enjoy this weeks podcast and a special thanks for including ManwelT track.


6:37 PM, January 21, 2007
Blogger Lady VAM said...

WOW, that's really fantastic - bbc radio! keep up with your podcasts coz they are making a difference 

7:17 PM, January 21, 2007
Blogger MaltaGirl said...

Congratulations Toni! Who knows where this could lead? :-) 

10:35 PM, January 21, 2007
Anonymous fred said...

I would like to know some Jazz venues in Malta please? And some prominent Maltese jazz saxophonists.

Am currently visiting the islands. 

9:22 AM, January 22, 2007
Blogger Toni Sant said...

Many thanks for the kind comments, David, Lady Vam, and Maltagirl.

Fred, BJs in Paceville is one of Malta's very few jazz venues. Ask for it by name and most people in Paceville will point you in the right direction.

The two most prominent Maltese jazz saxophonists are probably Sammy Murgo and Walter Vella. You may be lucky enough to catch them at a BJs session. Enjoy your stay in Malta! 

12:31 PM, January 22, 2007

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