Archive for June, 2010

Summer Day

Show notes for the 217th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers in or from Malta:

Manwel T feat. Mind’s Eye Dub – Umtha Welanga (Vuvuzelas Mix)
Following on from last week’s nod at the 2010 FIFA World Cup on the MMI podcast, this week I’m opening the show with the sound that is dominating this summer: the vuvuzelas. Life millions of others, at first I found the sound of these plastic horns to be very obnoxious but like so many people around the world I have grown accustomed to it. It has undoubtedly become the sound of this World Cup. I honestly doubt that they’ll still be all that within four years time, cause these things then to come and go as fads. Still, whenever I hear that sound again, I will be brought back to this lovely summer and the international tournament for the beautiful game.

StalkoLady Laundry
I first heard of this band several months ago when they played a gig in Valletta, which I was unable to attend. A video clip shot by one of their friends/fans on what seems to me like a mobile phone has made me want to get my hands on a decent recording by this trio. Tim Ellis, Mike Stivala and Chris Cini have recorded some of their songs in a proper studio just recently and they’ve now released Lady Laundry through their MySpace page. I’m sure that many MMI podcast listeners will like what they hear just as much as I do.

Marilyn MifsudWhere My Head’s Been (acoustic version)
Marilyn is one of the hardest working singers in Malta and yet she is not a household name like so many of the wannabes that are paraded on the pop scene through one of the annual misguided song contests that take place in the Maltese Islands. Her debut single come to my attention in a new acoustic version a few days ago and I thought it would be a good track to include on this week’s podcast.

AngelcryptDepopulate
Few Maltese metal bands have been around since 1997. Angelcrypt has, even though they have gone through several personnel changes. The current line-up has now released a single to capture the sound of the new formation. Some of their old fans may prefer the way their sounded on one of their previous albums, but I have a feeling that they won’t be too disappointed with the new single. Longevity is a quality I appreciate greatly in bands, especially when they believe they still have something to give their audience. Just for their longevity, Anglecrypt probably deserve a greater following than they actually have in the Maltese islands and this new single will certainly help them reach new followers locally and abroad.

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 or on MySpace. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here or listen to the podcast on the player right below this text.

Mużika Mod Ieħor podcasts are brought to you by Vodafone.


Crawled Out of the Sea

Show notes for the 216th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers in or from Malta:

Airport ImpressionsWalk With Me
Errol Sammut and the rest of his band have slowly but surely established themselves as one of the foremost alternative rock acts in Malta over the past couple of years. Their new single showcases them in full force and as you would imagine it’s also managed to acquire a fair amount of radio airplay in the Maltese islands. The band is now planning to release their debut album later this year.

TeaSurfer
When Marc Storace left the Malta in search of a rock career some 40 years ago, the main band he worked with before making it big with Krokus was Tea. They performed a memorable concert at the Plaza Cinema in Sliema sometime before they broke up in the late 1970s. Last year they started planning a reunion and produced a compilation CD with some of the best tracks from the albums they originally released over 30 years ago. And now Marc and his old Swiss pals return to Malta for a gig at Sky in Paceville on Friday 25 June. Marc is also appearing at a couple of other gigs in Malta before and after this date, but the show with Tea will undoubtedly be a highlight for both old and new fans.

Various Artists – Festa ta’ Kuluri
Music and sport and strange bedfellows but from time to time they combine to produce a memorable moment of popular entertainment. Such is the case with the official 2010 FIFA World Cup anthem, which is making the rounds in a large number of languages right now. The Maltese version is produced by the Xarabank team under the direction of Joe Brown. The singers include Freddie Portelli, Thea Garrett, Mary Rose Mallia, Wayne Micallef, Glen Vella, Claudia Faniello, Tiziana, Ludwig Galea and Mike Spiteri. The video is very colourful and has a subtle message pro-diversity. However, the whole thing masks the distressing reality that Malta will most probably never play in the FIFA World Cup, so Maltese football fans can only really support a foreign team, perpetuating the cultural subservience that plagues post-colonial nations unable to embrace their own unique national identity. Then again, it seems that hybridity has been an element of Maltese culture since pre-historic times.

Mike Spiteri20,000 Leagues
It would be a shame if subsequent generations of Maltese music fans only remembered Mike Spiteri for singing Malta’s entry at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995. Along with Marc Storace, he was one of the first heavy rock singers the country produced and sang with some of the best underground bands in the 70s and early 80s. He has always dared to be different and, to my mind, has probably never really been appreciated for his true worth. The song I’ve picked as the final track for this week’s podcast was written for him by Ray Agius and Alfred C. Sant for the 2010 Malta EuroSong festival but it didn’t make it to the final 20. Although it’s not an outstanding song, it certainly deserved to be heard from the stage in Ta’ Qali much more than at least half a dozen songs that actually made it to the EuroSong final.

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 or on MySpace. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here or listen to the podcast on the player right below this text.

Mużika Mod Ieħor podcasts are brought to you by Vodafone.


To The Sea

Show notes for the 215th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers in or from Malta:

Eve RansomEscaped
Brendan Jackson returns along with the rest of the band with this new single. It’s the sounds exactly like the sort of thing you’d expect from Eve Ransom if you’ve heard them before.

HeartbeatReach
Dorienne Cachia’s voice is one of the most appealing on the Maltese music scene. This new song from Heartbeat sees them going from strength to strength. Although this is one of the most non-assuming bands in Malta, I they really deserve a second (and a third) listen.

CygnaWooden Little People
Mario Sammut is on of the most listener friendly electronica artists to ever emerge from the Maltese Islands. Gig goers in Malta may have spotted him at the recent Earth Garden weekend in Ta’ Qali. Other can look out from him at Glastonbury towards the end of this month.

Jo Micali feat. U-Bahn – Beautiful Eyes (remix)
Jo Micali is not someone I’d heard of before but he comes highly recommended. I doubt U-Bahn would have been as pleased as they are with his remix of their hit song from last year if he wasn’t as good as they say he is. Apparently bigwigs like Paul van Dyk and Armin Van Buren seem to think so too. Who am I to disagree? What’s more: I really like the U-Bahn song because it makes me feel positive about life in general, even though it’s not really as deep as all that.

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 or on MySpace. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here or listen to the podcast on the player right below this text.

Mużika Mod Ieħor podcasts are brought to you by Vodafone.


Fire with Fire

Show notes for the 214th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers in or from Malta:

BittersideLeft Alone
I don’t think if seen as much Twitter saturation as I’ve seen for this new single from Bitterside. It comes with an accompanying video produced by A Butterfly Effect Productions. When the time for nominations on the 2010 MMI Listeners’ Picks poll comes around at the end of this summer, I’m sure this will be one of the ones that will attract some attention in the video category.

Victoria OsborneCounting Butterflies
Regular listeners of the MMI podcast will have heard me play other songs by this wonderful Maltese singer-songwriter with a strong London connection. I’m very fond of her sophisticated yet simple songs. I’d love to hear her play live one of these days, but I’m not sure if she is really interested in that sort of thing. If that’s the case I should really start working on a way to help her change her mind.

Andre CamilleriSouthern Star Travelling Music Band
Moving to Australia has proved to be a good move for Andre Camilleri’s music output. He has recently released his third album. This one is called Heaven & Hell and features a bunch of seemingly more thoughtful songs than the ones he has released in recent years with the Broken Hearts Band. I really like how consistant Camilleri manages to be without repeating himself too much. If he keeps it up (and I have no reason to think otherwise) he’ll most certainly be remembered for many years to come.

Għanafest 2010 – Żaqq u Tambur
When folklorist Ġorġ Mifsud-Chircop passed away a couple of years ago, many wondered if anyone could really pick up where he left off with the successful Għana Festival he established. With the more recently established GħanaFest, composer and musicologist Ruben Zahra has managed to reinvent this annual celebration of traditional Maltese folk music, augmenting it with a contemporary twist featuring bands like Brikkuni and No Bling Show, not to mention some remarkable performers from around the Mediterranean basin. Zahra has managed to demonstrate with some ease what Mifsud-Chircop had always maintained: folk music is alive and pertinent to modern lifestyles. If you read this in time and happen to be in Malta this week, see if you can catch one of the many performances on this year’s bill.

Fredu Abela il-Bamboċċu + George Azzopardi l-Makk – Maxi u Mini-Skirt
To follow up on plugging GħanaFest, I thought it would be a good idea to play you one of my favourite Maltese folk singers of all time. Taxi Mary was the big hit from il-Bamboċċu way back in 1970/71, but there are other songs that deserve equal attention even though they never received the same amount of airtime. I think it’s time that a new generation discovers il-Bamboċċcu and some of his contemporaries, especially as there now seems to be a new wave of improvised rhymed folk song, championed by the likes of Jon Mallia (aka Pan Demonium). I’d love to hear some of this old stuff sampled in new work that a younger generation can appreciate.

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 or on MySpace. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here or listen to the podcast on the player right below this text.

Mużika Mod Ieħor podcasts are brought to you by Vodafone.