Archive for October, 2010

More Than This

Show notes for the 232nd Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

South CentralDemons
Following on from months of touring with The Prodigy and others, including two summer show’s in Malta, our native sons’ live electronica duo release a single that not only features one of the most memorable tracks from their live shows but also make the same track available for anyone to remix through an iPhone app called Fireplayer. A full-length album will follow soon.

Rumbull feat. Simply Ill- Lordz of War
Rap and hip hop in Malta have grown very popular over the last couple of decades. More recently we’ve also seen a considerable number of local acts in this genre. Some are better than others, of course, and the ones that stand out are usually ones that recognize that Maltese rappers are best off making rhymes about things that Maltese fans can really identify with. A smaller number of acts collaborate with others from overseas, and Rumbull’s work with Simply Ill clearly falls in this category.

DimalI C U Like Me
Dimal has been featured on the MMI series of podcasts several times. To my ears, he seems to be turning himself into more of a radio-friendly recording artist than the cutting edge dance floor magnet he proved himself to be when he made his first splash on the Maltese music scene. To my ears, his latest song has him extending his repertoire in a way that may very well help him reach an even broader audience.

Francesca BorgSejħulna
This young Gozitan singer has one of the most outstanding voices of her generation. This song by Jason Cassar is one of the best things I’ve ever heard her sing, but to be quite honest I think she’s still to sing the song that will make her standout with the Maltese public the way she truly deserves. When that happens, remember you heard it here first.

Luisana BartoloKif Jista’ Jkun?
On the local music scene, Luisana will forever live in the shadow of her sadly departed father, Sammy Bartolo. The fact that he was one of the most wonderful Maltese pop singers of the 1970s and 80s, makes him a very hard act to follow. However, if you ever listen to Luisana’s voice carefully, you’ll immediately realize that she is a gorgeous talent in her own right. Just as Nathalie Cole has done (more famously) before her, she obviously needs to go through this phase of full identification with her legendary father, but once she finds her own voice she’ll really make her father proud because, just like him, she has a voice that stands out in the crowd.

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.


What Do You Got?

Show notes for the 231st Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

CruzRed Tape
I’ve followed the rising career for Marilyn Mifsud for the last couple of years and I wasn’t suprised at all when she formed a band and ended up as the opening act for this past summer’s Winter Moods concert at The Granaries in Floriana. She’s a woman is search of something and you can hear that in her songs. This band may indeed help where find what she’s been looking for. I, for one, will be watching this space because if things continue at the rate they’ve been going over the past year, we may very well be listening to Malta’s next big thing on the pop rock scene.

TwoTimeShooterTwisted Tuxedo
The annual Rookies’ Battle of the Bands has been won by such notables as Fire and introduced bands like Cable 35 on the Maltese music scene. This year it produced both a winner out of nowhere and a band that’s bound to go places in the shape of TwoTimeShooter. Their debut single, which I discovered when their bass player Julian Caruana sent me a Facebook message, is amazingly good for a new band. I can see not only why they won this year’s BotB at Rookies but I can also see that they’ll do good things with their prize of studio time in Ibiza.

Darren BorgJust 4 You
I first met Darren many years ago when as a teenager he collaborated with my 2nd cousin Keith Camilleri in an electronica duo called first The Alter and then Kashmir. He released an album under his own name called Long Way Home with the net label PinkPube earlier this year, to be precise: on the 16 of May. Even back then, his forte was the creation of melodic riffs and from this album I see that he has also managed to gain himself a respectable following for his most recent work. Apparently he has also released another album this summer with Sound Saga City. More on that in a future edition of the MMI podcast.

MirageSometimes
A couple of days ago, TVM featured a documentary on the life and untimely death of my old friend Mario Ellul in the popular series Bijografiji. To mark this occassion I thought it would be appropriate to play one of his songs from his days with Mirage. He recorded this cassette album Garage Technology with them back in 1986, and it’s quite a gem from Malta’s burgeoning music scene during that decade.

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.


Always On My Mind

Show notes for the 230th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Airport ImpressionsFreedom
This band’s debut CD album Minutes of a Lifetime will be released on Friday 22 October 2010 at in Rabat. This song is drawn from the album just ahead of the launch to promote the release of the CD. Slowly but surely Airport Impressions have placed themselves at the forefront of radio-friendly pop rock in recent years, and this CD album will undoubtedly cement their reputation in the Maltese islands for years to come.

InstinctsSun Soaked Island in the Sea
On Wednesday 13 October 2010 Robert Carbonaro and Cheryl Camilleri released their debut 4-track EP Wake Up Call via the Bandcamp website, on a name your price basis. Their juvenile tunes are given an impressive make over by Keith Anthony and a series of session musicians. This EP turns a rather ordinary sounding acoustic pop folk duo into what could possibly become Malta’s next mainstream big hit. This release makes me want to say something like: come for the pay what you will experience and stay for the music, which is surprisingly both pleasant and pleasing.

Walter VellaReminiscence (The Unknown Known)
Many know Walter Vella for the outstanding glass artist that he is, but he is also quite well known as one of Malta’s foremost saxophone and flute players. This past summer he released a CD album called Advanced Decomposition on the Heritage label, along with pianist Dominic Galea and drummer Joe Micallef. Along with an exhibition of his visual art, which opened on Tuesday 14 September 2010 at the National Museum of Fine Arts, this CD album presents a mature Maltese artist at the peak of his creative output.

Three Stops to ChinaStay Away
From their Facebook page, you can tell that 3S2C have been preparing quite some time for their first public on Saturday 23 October 2010 at Muddy Waters Bar in St Julians. They will be sharing the bill with Bridget Bone on that day. A demo of their debut song Stay Away appeared on YouTube from Wednesday 6 October 2010 and has started attracting some attention from people who like pop punk in Malta. The band members are Kurt Kind (bass & vocals), David Grech Urpani (guitar & vocals) and Josh Briffa (drums & percussion). I’d be very surprised if we never hear from them again after this.

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.


The Model

Show notes for the 229th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Lyndsay PaceGoing Under
Every new song I hear from this singer makes me like her more and more. Her choice of songs to record and present herself with are outstanding for a Maltese pop singer. This one has an impressive music video too and that makes it even more appealing to many who like this type of music. My hope is that more and more people discover Lyndsay in the coming months and years.

TactSense of Purity
Franco Tartaglia’s act was launched a few days ago and first impressions are quite good. Amanda Friggieri’s voice and image work give the necessary edge to Tartaglia’s intricate classical guitar driven compositions. They call this fusion of cool jazz and classical tones lounge and it seems quite appropriate as this is the sort of music you want to listen to closely or enjoy in the context of a delightful environment rather than on just any old live music stage. More please.

SyrupStatic H
One of the first songs to be entered in the M3P database comes from Shaun Grech’s old musical vehicle. His brother Alex is one of the founding directors of the Malta Music Memory Project and he picked this track to use in exploring a template for data about all other songs we’re planning to capture within the M3P. This originally came out in the period I had briefly lost touch with the Maltese music scene, back when I lived in New York City. So I really have M3P to thank for bringing it to my attention and to this week’s MMI podcast.

Jo Micali vs U-Bahn feat. Chess
We’ve had all three acts involved in this new song on recent editions of the MMI podcast. Now they join forces to give us what many (myself included) will consider Chess’ follow-up single from her debut Stilettos with the prolific pop master Muxu. While this song hasn’t struck me as catchy as Beautiful Eyes it is most certainly another great opportunity to hear the potential that Chess will undoubtedly fulfill in the coming years. She has now moved to the UK to study music, so I take this opportunity to wish her all the very best. I have a good feeling about this singer and I believe she is destined for a bright future.

MuxuFill My Cup
Most prolific Maltese pop singer is an award that should be created just for Muxu who returns with another song. This time it’s a collaboration with his mother Sandra Mercieca. Once again Muxu manages to deliver a punchy pop tune that stands in the shadow of his almighty Beat My Drum. While it will be hard for him to top himself on his debut release, this new song demonstrates (yet again) that he is certainly not a one-trick pony.

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.


Brand New Day

Show notes for the 228th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Ellie and the OscarsPretty Rival
My good friend Winston De Giorgio brought this track to my attention a couple of days ago. Apparently it’s making quite a big splash on some of the radio stations in Malta and after just one listen I can very well undetstand why. Eliza Borg’s voice is outstanding and the experimental combination of pop, ambient and electro rock make for a very rich sonic tapestry that stands out in the predictable sounds that saturate commercial radio in Malta.

Thomas HedleyTurn Off the Lights
I’m never sure whether this singer knows how good he really is. Every song I’ve ever heard from him can blend in perfectly on any shuffle playlist featuring contemporary pop rock tunes. Apparently he only produces these songs out of frustration of the limitations of the local music scene in Malta. I honestly hope that more people pay attention to Thomas Hedley in the coming months and years. He is a talent to be reckoned with and certainly a cut above the many wannabes of the Maltese pop music scene.

Digital BlackEnd of History
After releasing sample clips for a couple of their songs on MySpace, Digital Black have now finally uploaded a full version of this track on their ReverbNation page. Simon Deguara is among the few musicians who see the similarities between metal and industrial electronica. The sound of Digital Black is testament of the direct link between the two and it is indeed an excellent exemplar of the tightness that comes from metal musicians producing industrial driven electronic rock.

Adie feat. Hooligan Tug of War
Maltese pop singer Adrienne shortened her name to Adie last year and started flirting with R&B and raunchier sounds than the sort of tunes she wrote and sang in the many years she’s been active on the local music scene. A collaboration with Maltese rap king Hooligan will certainly give anyone an edge but it will take more than this to give Adie the street credibility she seems to be after with this song. Still, someone as driven as this singer-songwriter will keep exploring new ways to get noticed and that can only raise the possibility for producing something really memorable. This is the first time I’ve featured Adie on the MMI podcast but I’m pretty sure it’s not the last.

Red ElectrickVine Lady
During my recent visit to Malta for the official launch of the M3P, I was invited to the press launch of the debut CD album from Red Electrick entitled Vine Lady. I’ve followed this band since they first came together under the name Drive and I’d say that they’ve fulfilled the promise they demonstrated in their early days quite nicely. The album is packed with catchy pop rock songs verging on the familiar with a contemporary twist. My feeling is that in good time they may really find their own sound and indeed blow everyone in the local rock scene out of their comfort zone. Meanwhile, they’ll certainly continue to produce some of the most enjoyable melodic rock in the Maltese islands.

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.