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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beyond Here Lies Nothin’

Twitter has taken over as my social networking utility of choice. Facebook has been reduced to an alternative email/messaging system and a must-visit for playing Knighthood. MySpace is still alive and essential source for new music. This blog has now entered its 6th year of existence. And that's the current state of things with me and Web 2.0, as we used to call it.

The weekly Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast is part of this personal mediascape I've carved out for myself. This week I've even attempted to do something that I don't remember ever doing before: I've somehow managed to squeeze 6 tracks by 6 different acts in the 159th MMI podcast without making it longer than the usual approximate time of 20 minutes.

As I was preparing the music for the podcast I received an email announcing the release of an album called Manwel T Meets Mind's Eye Dub at the Temple of Dub from the newly establish net-label Dubkey Records. The whole album is available as a free download from Dubkey's website, which was established to spread free roots reggae & dub music. Manwel Tabone and David Magro have appeared in several previous editions of the MMI podcast with some of the tracks that appear on this first Dubkey album, but I've selected Back To My Dub (MANWEL T mix two) because it's a very pleasant way to open up the show.

Dolls for Idols is a new band surfacing from the Maltese islands. Their debut tracks are well produced and augur for a stellar rise on the local scene. They gigging too, of course, but apparently not extensively enough. Any club owners or event organizers reading this should really check out this band because they sound as good as any other I've heard within their genre in Malta in recent years. The track I've picked for my podcast is called Through the City at Night.

Another new album comes from one of Malta's best underground electronica producers. Melchior Sultana's latest release published by the Cold Busted label is called Recognize the Real. He doesn't keep his personal website updated but at least there are several recent updates on his MySpace page. From the 18 tracks on this new CD I've selected Mel's collaboration with guitarist Jonathan Ellul entitled Man Flight Passion. Sultana's music is quite broad-ranging and I look forward to his releases. So you can be sure I'll be playing something else from this Maltese musician in an upcoming edition of the MMI podcast. I'll probably also play another track by Jonathan, from his own unrelated (i.e. without Melchior) tracks on MySpace.

A couple of podcasts ago I introduced you to a Maltese guitarist who seems to split his time between Sydney and Oslo. Mark Axiak is also involved in a duo called Lappalie with singer Milena. I promised I'd come back to this material, so I've picked a haunting song called Sydneymoon to keep my promise. The wealth of Malta-related material of MySpace is simply staggering.

Brussels-based Kurt Buttigieg is a well known name in the Maltese blogosphere. In fact, he was one of its pioneers under the pseudonym Gybexi. I met him in person when I visited Brussels a couple of years ago and never expected to come across the work he sonic work he has recently published under the name Skullcakes. I must admit that I love the sort of aural explorations that Skullcakes presents through the related MySpace page. You can also hear the track called Neon Wolf Amongst Them as the fifth selection on this week's podcast.

The last song that I managed to include in this week's podcast comes from Laura Zarb Cousin. This teenage singer told me in an email she wrote me a few days ago that she has just collaborated with composer-producer Toby on a song called You Bruise Me. Laura has a good voice for the type of genre she has picked and it appears that Toby has managed to play up her best qualities too. Laura has a personal page on Facebook but no MySpace presence I could find. Toby hasn't included this song on his own MySpace page, so I feel safe in saying that htis may very well be either a preview of a soon-to-be-released single or just another one of those best kept secrets the Maltese music scene coughs up from time to time. I guess only time can really tell.

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 follow each new episode through the MMI Podcast: Facebook Fan Page. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here.

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