Archive for August, 2011

You & I

Show notes for the 268th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Kristina CasolaniI Need You
This new dance track not only features the delightful voice of one of Malta’s most credible pop singers but also a collaboration between live electonica veterans Matt from U-Bahn and DJ Ruby. I expect this song to make the rounds for the rest of the long summer in the Maltese islands, and I would be surprised if it doesn’t feature prominently at the end of year award shows.

Francesca BorgHeaven Awaits
Ever since I first heard Francesca sing a few years ago, I knew I wanted to hear mor from her. It’s not easy for relatively unknown  singers like her to find good songwriters who are willing give her their best new songs. Marco Debono and Rita Pace have written a song that wouldn’t be out of place in many dance clubs across Europe. It’s a good showcase for this Gozitan singer but I sincerely hope that more good songs come her way in the coming years.

Petra ZammitForget My Name
Placing second in the Malta Summer Hit Song Contest 2011 must have been a bitter sweet experience for one of Malta’s most distinctive new singers.  This is the second major local festival where she placed second in less than a full year; the other was the last edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Heathcliff Balzan and Natasha Turner have written a song that fits Petra’s repertoire beautifully. Hopefully her next song contest features an even stronger song or at least one which can get her grab the top prize in the show.

Floren SultanaThank You
The Malta Summer Hit Song Contest 2011 featured some of Malta’s best up-and-coming singers. Show producers Deo Grech and Natius Farrugia should be wholeheartedly congratulated for making this possible. One of the most impressive voices that I’ve only ever heard through this contest is that of Floren Sultana. I was hoping to hear a recording from her band Chordust but that hasn’t arrived yet. meanwhile Elton Zarb and Rita Pace have written this song for her and she does quite a good job of it.

Lawrence GrayThank You For Loving Me
One of Malta’s most distinctive pop voices in the last decade or so returns with a self-penned love song showing that he hasn’t gone away even if perhaps he is no longer as prominent on the local scene as he was just a few years ago. His numerous fans will most certainly like this new offering, while those of us who appreciate his mighty voice hope he goes on maturing in his songwriting and maybe even collaborating with other musicians who can make the best of his full dynamic vocal range and the rich tone that makes his every note so distinctive.

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.


Wowie Zowie

 

Show notes for the 267th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Caravana SunFeel Better
Luke Caruana’s music has been featured on previous editions of the MMI podcat, where he appeared under the guise of Carra. This Maltese-Australian singer songwriter is hardly known in Malta, except by the very few cognoscenti on the local music scene.  I’ve always hoped that this would be remedied in time, just as it has been in the case of another Maltese-Aussie Caruana – Nicky Bomba. This new song come with a music video too, so now that I’ve started embedding YouTube videos directly in the show notes, well here it is.

Saving AlexisHigh On July
Fresh from the attention they manage to capture in Malta for their song Ocean Deep earlier this year, Saving Alexis return with another song and their very first music video. Produced by Nicky Moreles for No Sweat Productions, the video seems to capture the spirit of the band and bottle its essence in a way that could make them an icon for their  late-teen early-20s generation of Maltese followers. What else is there to say, really? Here’s the video, judge for yourself and feel free to leave a comment below.

DiCa ‘n Fish1977
This song caught my attention several months ago but for some reason or other never managed to included on the MMI podcast before now. I really don’t know why, because Diane Camezuli’s voice is very close to sublime and the musical vibe that Stefan Dimech has managed to create is worthy of any hot electro-disco track from the late 70s. So much so that I genuinely hear overtones from some of Donna Summer’s lesser known songs throughout most of this track every time I hear it…and yet it has an air of originality in it all the same. Oh, and there’s a video for it too!

Dimal & MaddeeGo Low
Although there’s no slick studio-produced music video for this new song from the duo that gave us Shake It last year, there are some fabulous full-colour graphics to go with this second release from Dimal for 2011. All these songs come from his upcoming EP Mista International, which will be supported by DJ Kris-Stylez from Black Wall Street  in the USA.

Minik & SiconixLet’s Party
This song won Malta’s Summer Hit Song Contest 2011, which is a season-long competition among some of the more establish and up and coming talent in the local pop scene. Newcomers Minik & Siconix have apparently taken the scene by storm leaving Petra Zammit  and Ina Robinich in second  and third place respectively. As there were a number of pop styles represented across the participants on this year’s Summer Hit contest, I’ll most probably play another couple of selections for the show’s double CD next week.

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.


Police and Thieves

Show notes for the 266th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Gil Camilleri aka GetFunky – Joey
Trawling though Facebook I came across the tragic true story of a Maltese 16-year old from Vittoriosa who ended his life this week last summer because of what appears to be a case of homophobic pressure. This song by Gil Camillieri addresses a very similar (even if different) story and it quite a poignant plea against prejudice on grounds of sexual orientation. I don’t know that there’s another Maltese-language lyric that’s as strong as this on the subject.

Genio Il-MajċaTaħt Idejk
Although he has also collaborated with GetFunky, Eugenio Lanzon, to give this Maltese rapper his full name, is a noteworthy hip hop performer in his own right. From what I’ve gathered from his eclectic online presence he is quite prolific. Although his musical turns are somewhat derivative and quite conventional, the level of sincerity in his words more than makes up for that, in my book. He strikes me as the sort of guy who prefers to do things on his own stream, but I think the local hip hop scene would greatly from more collaborations involving him. He is very much a successor of the traditional Maltese għannejja spirtu pront even though he has chosen a very different musical idiom to spout his literally vulgar dexterity on.

Żdongraap feat. G-Force – Sempliċiment tat-Triq (Qumu Minn Hemm)
This is one of the most politically explicit tracks I’ve heard from one of Malta’s foremost hip hop performers. Also known as Bone or Il-Farawni, Żdongraap is collaborating with various others to come up with very socially aware rhymes that really deserve to be heard. Particularly in light of the recent riots here in the UK, this track strikes a very resonant chord, particularly back to back with the next selection.  Samples from Gil Scott-Heron’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and Walter Micallef’s Lil Malta tend to drive the point home for those in search of a context or other for any of this.

Marmalja Uniformi Blu
This collaboration between Andrea Delicata and Claude Agius is without doubt the most confrontational song I’ve ever heard in the Maltese language. The lyric is as direct as can be. There’s no possibility of equivocation here, especially in the context of the riots here in England just a few days ago. Then again, although it’s unlikely that there will be any riots in the street of Malta anytime soon, some of the sentiments expressed in this track are not to different from the ones expressed by some of the English rioters this summer.

Frans Il-ĦamalluOld School Frans
To lighten up the mood a little, more in the sense of a comic relief during a tragedy, I’ve chosen to end this week’s MMI podcast with a track from 2009 by the one and only Franswa Bugeja Buttigieg – Gozo’s most outstanding hip hop icon. Better known as a cartoon character, I’m sure that his brand of satire can be appreciated even in aural form only. Still, I can’t resist including the video for this song here too. Whoever thinks there’s no hip hop in Malta or that it’s just a purely mimetic shadow of the strife that comes from the ghettos of New York and Los Angeles, had better think again. This form has found a natural home in the Maltese islands because it’s home to generations of spontaneous rhyme-makers delivered over a music bed.

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.


Born To Hand Jive

Show notes for the 265th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Indigo DarkpsychNot the End
Taken from the album These Are The Roots which was released earlier this year, this track comes with an accompanying music video (see below) that clearly establishes a very particular look for this Maltese rock singer. I’m surprised not to see her on the Xtreme Metal Assault bill for this year, but then again perhaps she’s trying to reach a broader audience.

ClubMurderThat Which Makes Me
It wouldn’t really be an Xtreme Metal Assault festival without this band, would it? I don’t know how I missed out on including them on a previous edition of my podcast, or perhaps I haven’t. There are so many edition of the MMI podcast now that I can barely keep such things straight any more. Their album Where Everybody Dies… must be one of the most exciting new metal albums to grace the Maltese rock scene in a while. The track I’ve picked to include this week comes with another outstanding Dirty Iris music video. Here it is…

RuinNone Shall Remain
They appeared at last year’s Xtreme Metal Assault as Tripwire but they now return with this new bandname and a fairly strong debut offering with a groove that will certainly go down well with any new followers they’re hoping to acquire at the XMA2011. Clearly, their best work is still ahead of them, even if they’re already making quite a stand on the local metal scene.

ReBornFemale Hero
When I first featured their music on the MMI podcast I had hoped that this band would be a little more prolific than they’ve been.  I believe they’re still together and active, judging by their Twitter feed, but I don’t think they’ve produced any more recordings in recent months. They’re quite a solid sounding metal band and I really hope to hear more from them sooner rather than later.

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.