Archive for March, 2011

Never Let Me Go

Show notes for the 251st Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Eve RansomShine
The dependable sound of Brendan Jackson’s band returns once again with a relatively short song packed with all the goodness we’ve come to expect from Eve Ransom. They are foremost in the Maltese exponents of this genre and I seriously doubt there will ever be a strong enough contender to take that away from them.

nosnow/noalpsFar Into the Night (Without You)
Nick Morales returns along with the other members of this formidable Maltese alternative rock band to release this single ahead of their debut album launch. ROMANTIKPOLITIK is set to hit the public on Saturday 16 April 2011. Although I’ll miss the official launch by a few days, I’m sure I’ll be playing more tracks from the album on upcoming editions of the MMI podcast.

The Areola TreatNothing There
Another debut album launching in April is Pleasure Machines, featuring one of Malta’s most outstanding rock vocalists: Lisa Micallef-Grimaud. The album will be released officially on Saturday 23 April 2011 at The Black Pearl in Ta’ Xbiex, with a guest appearance by Clandestines. This album too will undoubtedly feature again in future segments of the MMI series.

FestenEd’s Night Out
I’ve always been impressed by Oliver Degabriele’s prolific career as a bass player. Any Maltese music connoisseur surely knows his name or at least has seen/heard him play double bass at least once. It was therefore a great pleasure to discover that Festen, the France-basaed band he plays double-bass with regularly has released a live album (recorded at Périscope in Lyon on 12/2/11) and released it as a download on Bandcamp for just €2.99 It’s wonderful to hear this type of music played live and this recording seems to do great justice to the sound of the band.

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 enjoy listening to the podcast on the player right below this text.


I Belong To You

Show notes for the 250th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Thomas HedleyBack in Time
There’s a small number of Maltese pop musicians who don’t fall into the “Eurovision” category and this makes them quite an anomaly where that category is almost a synonym for pop music. Hedley has always impressed me not just for this reason, but also because he writes catchy, radio-friendly songs, which he delivers in his distinctive voice. This new release is just another in what could be an international pop radio hit. If there’s a pop musician who deserves a greater audience it’s Thomas Hedley.

The Sylvan Aaron MassacreCome On (Come On)
I’ve enjoyed the music of Sylvan Borg for a number of years now, as anyone who listens to the MMI series can testify. I’m glad he’s teamed up with Doll 4 Idols drummer Aaron Sammut to come up with this new duo. This debut song, released tomorrow 20th March 2011, is certainly the most exciting sound he has ever produced, even if I still like his older (solo) material quite a lot. If radio stations in Malta don’t give this song plenty of airtime, the Maltese general public may never get to enjoy this young musician as we have been doing on the MMI podcast for several years. I believe there’s also going to be a promo video released with this song, and that should undoubtedly attract more attention to the debut from this duo.

Silent StringsOn the Road
About 10 months ago I introduced MMI podcast listeners to First Grain of Sand from another duo, made up of Andrew Tonna and Luke Bonavia. They’ve recorded some new material recently and sent me a couple of tracks to consider including on the MMI podcast. It’s quite amazing what you can do with home recording these days.

Joe S. GrechIr-Raħal
This veteran Maltese guitarist, who is best know as a member of the band New Cuorey throughout the 1970s and into the 1990s, has released a CD album entitled New Cuorey Instrumentals. It features new recordings of all the songs he wrote for the band as well as all their other hits written by others. The track I picked is quite a special one because it highlights his collaboration with his two sons Chris and Julian who are familiar names and faces on the rock and metal scene, through their bands Frenzy Mono and Nomad Son.

New CuoreyIt-Tunnara
While Joe S. Grech’s CD album of New Cuorey Instrumentals is currently the talk of the town for Maltese music lovers of all time, it’s obvious that listening to the original New Cuorey songs remains as delicious as ever. I picked on of the less known songs Joe co-wrote with Cuorey lyricist Anthony Fenech, showcasing his favourite theme: Mellieħa and the sea. Although written in 1979, to my ears this song remains as fresh today as it was over 30 years ago.

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 enjoy listening to the podcast on the player right below this text.


Undisclosed Desires

Show notes for the 249th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

MonroeCaged
Kelly Schembri caught the attention of the Maltese public a few weeks ago with her participation in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. As Kelly Stelfox she has teamed up with this London-based girl group to release a single, which opens this week’s podcast. A couple of the other singers in the group accompanied her in Malta but here they perform as quite a solid ensemble.

TheaCaught You Out
Not to be confused with Thea Garrett, Thea Saliba has been getting considerable airplay in Malta this year with this song, released late last year; to late, in fact, to be included in the MMI Listeners’ Picks Poll for 2010. I think that should entitle it to be nominated for this year’s MMI poll, but we’re still several months away from that. Perhaps she’ll release another recording making this remedial measure unnecessary.

MathematikalBlack Magic
When I first discovered this electronica duo about 5 years ago I was blown away by the distinctive sound they had come up with. I managed to catch them live at the sadly defunct Poxx Bar in Paceville a couple of years later, and my initial impression was confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt. I was therefore quite delighted to discover that they’ve returned with new material – or at least I hope it is, or at least it’s new to me. Time for their M3P page to be created, of course, before my memory starts playing more tricks on me.

RumbullRadio Rebelde
This UK-based Maltese hip hop artist released an album called Cut Throat Island a few months ago, and although I haven’t actually managed to get my hands on it, I came across one of the tracks on YouTube this week. It’s quite good, so I’ve decided to include it on this week’s podcast. I prefer my hip hop tracks in Maltese, but they’re equally delicious in English when the theme is clearly and distinctly Maltese, as it is here.

HooliganFuq in-Nisa
The pioneer of Maltese-language hip hop returns with a new track, just in time for Women’s Day…or so it would seem. In some ways this song reminds me of some of the stuff John Laus used to produce in the 1970s. Not sure what the similarity really is, or if this is just in my head. I wonder if anyone else familiar with Laus’ songs and life/style gets the same vibe out of this. In any case, there’s no denying that Hooligan is the quintessential Maltese hipster.

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 enjoy listening to the podcast on the player right below this text.


Resistance

Show notes for the 248th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

DuskThe Big Blue (Thinking of You)
A young new blues band from Malta. That’s one way to describe Dusk. Another way I’d describe them is to say that they exhibit great potential towards developing their own sound in the coming years, provided they stay together and open themselves up to all sort of new directions they could go towards. I, for one, will be listening to whatever else they throw our way next after this pleasant debut.

Red ElectrickPick Up The Phone
Taken from 2010’s smash hit album Vine Lady, which received the highest number of listeners votes on last year’s top picks poll, this is the new single from the band that also managed to top the singles and the music video categories. This release guarantees them a place in the 2011 Listeners’ Picks Poll, of course, but it also demonstrates that this band embraces a broader range of musical styles than a first listen might lead you to believe.

Thea GarrettFrontline
Hoping to move on from last year’s Eurovision disappointment, Thea returns with a solid pop single, which shows that she is certainly not a one trick pony. There’s a charming quality in her voice that I (and many others) like. This new song is the best I’ve ever heard her sound…certainly miles ahead of any of the countless covers we’ve been subjected to in the last couple of years. If she has learnt anything from her experiences to date, this teenage singer will possibly still blossom into one of Malta’s foremost pop singers in the coming years.

Martina BorgHold Me Till I’m Gone
Discovering this singers Reverbnation page and the variety of songs presented there was one of the joys I experienced in recent days, as I was trawling the internet for new material to include on the MMI series of podcasts. I had never seen or heard of her before but I certainly hope to hear much more from her in the coming months…and I’ll certainly, gladly, play another one of her songs in an upcoming edition of the MMI podcast.

Żdongraap & Vinnie SkillzKonnesjoni
Maltese-language hip hop is among the things I’ve discovered through my weekly podcasts and it has turned into one of my preferred genres of music from the Maltese islands. Vinnie Skills has appeared under various guises in previous editions of the MMI podcast, not least as a prominent member of Sixth Simfoni, but this is the first time I’ve heard him rap in Maltese. I’ve no idea (yet) who or what Żdongraap stands for, but judging by this track I certainly want to find out and see about what else there’s to discover and include in the future editions of my podcast.

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 enjoy listening to the podcast on the player right below this text.