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Ch-Check It Out

Show notes for the 297th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

The ShhAll Things With Love
Beangrowers Alison Galea and Ian Schranz have teamed up again to perform together as the Shh. They appeared at their debut live gig at V-Gen yesterday, along with Joe Gideon & The Shark. They have an EP too and it’s called The Burning Love and an “unofficial fan video” featuring clips from the surf movie Big Wednesday (1978), directed by John Milius, with Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt and Gary Buse, for this debut release.

Nicky Bomba’s latest project is called Bustamento and involves various Australian musicians he has collaborated with over the past 15 years. This is retro-feel-good music, as you can see from the video for this debut release. This son is a jitterbuggin’, upbeat ska-infused expedition that ticks all the right tropical boxes. Originally recorded by Peggy Lee in the 1950’s, Bomba and the boys have turned this classic into a mento/calypso/ska/reggae hybrid that delivers a ticket to dance. Their forthcoming album is entitled Intrepid Adventures to the Lost Riddim Islands, and features both classic and rare tunes including a whole swag of new songs written by Nicky himself.

Frans il-ĦamalluMorning Frans
Nadur’s beloved hip hop star Frans Bugeja Buttigieg returns with this witty ditty that clearly cements him as the most endearing Maltese cartoon character to rival Xummiemu, who apparently is about to make a comeback. This one is produced by Mr Herbal with a great video from Stoner Danny. I can’t wait for the next one. I’m sure it will be just as brilliant!

Akalé WubéMata
The Paris-based jazz quintet returns with their second CD album following their 2010 self-titled debut. They merit attention on my playlist through bassist Oliver Degabriele, who is incidentally Alison Galea’s life partner aside from it all. I like their mellow jazz inflections and the album is very pleasant to listen to, possibly even to ears unaccustomed to progressive sounds. I’m sure they sound just as good whenever they play live.

Freddie PortelliJum il-Ħaddiem
Today is Freddie Portelli’s 68th birthday – he was born on the 5th of May 1944. He sent me this recording along with a note saying that this is a song close to his heart because worker’s day is so close to his own date of birth. Ironically, I think his birthday has become rather bittersweet in recent years, as his departed lifelong friend Joe James Farrugia, who frequently performed as his opening act throughout the 1990s and even later, before passing away, was also born on this day.

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