Archive for April, 2012

Song of You

Show notes for the 296th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta. This is a special podcast featuring songs from the 36th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu.

MisturaIsma’ Bilfors
Blues in Maltese is not a new phenomenon. The best exponent is possibly Walter Micallef, who is no stranger with the crowd at L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Antonio Olivari has here team up with singer Malcolm Bonnici (along with Matthew Agius on bass and Francesco Sultana on drums) to make up the group Mistura, who were this year awarded the Best Newcomers accolade.

KulturalMalta Tiegħi
It cames as no surprise to me that the fabulous Kultural won this edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu with their biting song. This is 21st-century Maltese patriotism at its best. I would have been both disappointed and amazed if they didn’t manage to stand out among all the other acts and songs at this year’s contest.

KantilenaBaħħâr
My praise for Kultural should not be read as in any way diminishing the other participants at this year’s festival. This is especially the case for Drinu Camilleri who was named Best Singer-Songwriter for this song. I have already featured this band on a previous edition of my podcast, and L-Għanja tal-Poplu seems a natural home for them.

Rita PaceKwadru jew Tond
A contest festival for around a decade or so, singer-songwriter Rita Pace has already won the Best Social Theme Lyrics three times in previous editions of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. This song is particularly crafty and among the ones that certainly stand out among the 15 that took part in this year’s contest. The live version of the song featured Clifford Borg on piano, Paul Attard on guitar and Marie-Claire Attard Bason on backing vocals.

Tale KwaliBlokk Appartamenti
Antonio Olivari’s other appearance at L-Għanja tal-Poplu this time took the form of a collaboration with his old Stummin’ Home buddy Stephen Ferrito, along with violinist Sean Borg (who is incidentally a blood relative of mine), percussionist Francesco Sultana, and Daniel Borg on backing vocals.

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.


Happy Pills

Show notes for the 295th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

ChordustHyperbolic Attitude
When I first played a song featuring the voice of Floren Sultana last year I yearned to hear her with this band. So now here we are and here it is. I must say I’m not disappointed. I am expecting this band to make quite an impact on the local pop rock scene in the coming years and months. Kenny D’Ugo and Dave Calleja have given them quite a polished sound on this recording, which certainly makes for an excellent first impression for those who haven’t heard them (or heard of them) before.

CruzHave It All
Marilyn Mifsud’s band returns with a third single. I must admit that I expected more from them then they’ve managed to produce over the past year or so. I’m not too disappointed by this offering, but I don’t see the reason for the long wait. There must be something they’re not telling us. More than this, I hope they’re able to regain the momentum they had built until around this time last year to propel themselves beyond being a support band for larger crowd pullers.

Spriggan MistLife’s Ride
This British band has been featured on the MMI podcast before. They return ahead of the upcoming release of their second album. This one is called Soul Retreiver and they’ve taken on a noticably more rocky sound. To my twisted ears, the song I’ve picked almost sounds like an old Jefferson Airplane outtake. The voice you hear is Max Cilia, who also with her husband Baz make Spriggan Mist a welcome inclusion on my podcast.

ClandestinesYou’d Have Never Asked My Name As Long As You Got The Satisfaction You Needed
Earlier this year, Clandestines released an EP called Spectemur Agendo, which featured what is probably the longest name for a song to appear on my podcast. Today they’re releasing another EP, split jointly with Hey Sus, on a limited edition of 50…but best of all it’s being issued on cassette tape. Quite a rarity for the Maltese scene these days!

Hey SusKissing Cousins
Today’s launch gig for the joint cassette EP Summer Camp for Pale Young Boys is at the Coach & Horses at about the same time that this podcast first appears in public. I’ve picked this song from Hey Sus to close this week’s podcast. I must say, however, that the more I hear this duo the more I like them; really really like them.

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.


Hit Or Miss


Show notes for the 294th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Robert GOnly On His Way
Robert Galea is a new singer on the scene, at least as far as I know. He has just released this song written by Characters/Rifffs frontman Ray Mercieca. The style is very recognizable as Mercieca’s but somehow Robert G makes it sound mellower than it would sound performed by the songwriter. He’s now preparing to release a music video for this song. I’m also hoping we hear more from him (or at least about him) in the coming weeks and months.

Joe Demicoli – Tajruhielu
Paul Vella Critien’s Colonna Mediterranea has been the subject of controvery since the very first day it appeared at the Lidl roundabout in Luqa. Last week it lost its head (presumably through an act of vandalism) and this prompted Joe Demicoli, who released a whole album dedicated to this piece of public art a few years ago, to write a new song to mark the moment. Unlike the happy-go-lucky standard covers with humorous Maltese lyrics full of funny doublespeak, this is a more thoughtful satirical ditty, with hints of pathos.

LyndsayRun Away
Lyndsay Pace returns with another radio-friendly power pop single. I expect we’ll see a music video for this one too in the coming weeks. I can’t help feeling that in a larger market than Malta (or even if she aimed at a broader audience systematically) she would be appreciated at a level she deserves rather than play filler on all sorts of shows that make me cringe whenever I see her on them.

ColourblindPaper Planes
There’s a Global Battle of the Bands on right now. You can vote for bands from 86 cities around the world, including Malta’s own Colourblind, who are competing with this song. This is organized by the Hard Rock Cafe chain around the world and the winning band will be performing at London’s Hyde Park this July, and crowned the winner of what’s known as Hard Rock Rising 2012. The top 10 bands from this round as determined by fan voting will be judged by a panel of musicians and music industry insiders. You can vote through this Facebook app. Voting ends on 24 April 2012 at 11:59pm EST. Right now it looks like Balinese band Superman Is Dead will be the ones playing in London this summer, but then again anything can happen with these open voting systems and the judging panel having a final say.

MCAIddeċidejt
Maltese Church Anthems is a rather unusual name for a garage surf punk band singing Christian rock. I prefer the MCA moniker as it has more of a rock ‘n roll feel. This is the third song from this band (following a blinding version of the Lord’s Prayer called Missierna and a scorching version of the traditional Christmas carol Ninni La Tibkix Iżjed) and their music videos make the songs really work for me. I know it’s not for everyone, but I firmly believe that they’re doing something truly worthwhile.

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.


That Dangerous Age


Show notes for the 293rd Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Red ElectrickPaul
In preparation for the launch of their film project of Unplugged Sessions, Red Electrick have released this single to enable further promotion of the new work, beyond the interesting trailer featuring Ray Mercieca, which you may have seen on YouTube. Anyway, I’m sure this is something we’ll hear more of and about in the coming weeks and months. It’s an interesting way for this band to follow up their debut album from 2010.

FellowFishThe Outlaw
A second single from the Ordinary Madness debut for Keith Anthony’s largest project post-Chasing Pandora. Although there’s more of a band feel to this material than the Chasing Pandora releases over the years, Keith’s indelible mark makes me wonder whether this is what the duo that brought him to public attention across the Maltese islands would sound like now. Anyway, I like the video and the song grows on you after a second listen.

Negative Spaces – BK2SQR1
This newcomer band (they’re new, right?) sound very 1980s retro, so it’s no surprise that this song was produced by Niki Gravino. It’s almost as if, Gravino is providing his fans with his next offering through a group of meat puppets. But perhaps that’s unkind to Negative Spaces, so we’ll just have to see what their next offering is going to be. This sound stands out in the tedium of most other guitar bands on the local scene, but I don’t think it will be getting much radio airplay given how unadventurous Maltese radio stations tend to be.

Eric EllulSurrey
I didn’t know Eric E when he was entrenched on the local DJ circuit. I only just found out that he passed away from cancer last December through the release of a tribute album called We Share Love from local net-label Bass Assault. The rest of today’s podcast is my tribute to Eric, and I’m sure that I would have eventually included his stuff on one of my podcasts. He seemed well loved, especially by his fellow DJs and friends on the scene.

Lost EmotionsGoodbye
Taken from the Eric E Ellul tribute album featuring Hystericmaniak, Dre’, and Sonitus Eco, among many others, this trance track by Lost Emotions serves as a good segue for the final song I’ve included on this week’s podcast. Proceeds from the album are in aid of cancer support, but I’m not entirely sure whether that’s a particular hospice, a research project or any other specific cancer care service.

John MarkWe Share Love
Lost Emotions is the name used by Steven Psaila and Anthony Meachen, who apparently recorded this original song written by John Mark, Gordon Sacco and Mario Agius in memory of their friend Eric Ellul. I have a feeling that this could have been the current White Crimson release had that band still been active. Anyway, it’s a fitting tribute to Eric from friends outside the DJ scene within which he was clearly very loved.

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.