Archive for August, 2012

Now


Show notes for the 309th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Maria LewisCaccini’s Ave Maria
Maria Lewis is no ordinary Maltese singer. Aside from the fact that she is half-Welsh, she has always operated on the fringes of the Maltese music scene, even though she may be known to die-hard pop audiences through her various appearances with her sister Stephanie as the duo Starbrights. I remember them well in children’s song contests and making their first national debut at the 1991 Malta Song for Europe. More recently (about 4 years ago) they were also featured on the MMI podcast with their folksie pop. Finally Maria seems to have found her true calling in music. This is a veritable showcase for her lovely voice and I hope she keeps going in this new direction in the coming years.

The Sylvan Aaron MassacreTear
Sylvan Borg and Aaron Sammut return with another offering following the songs they released previously, which were featured on the MMI podcast. This song is made even more interesting by the video they’ve produced for it. I honestly doubt it would attract half the attention it’s going to get over the coming weeks were it not for this video, so I think the duo have done well to invest their time and efforts on making sure that the video is released along with the song rather than later.

Criminal KissFreedom Call
There’s been some anticipation for this debut from this new Maltese band. It’s not a bad debut but I expect their best work to be ahead of them. The song has a pleasant bridge and the band have great potential in their vocal harmonies. I hope their next song plays up these strengths.

Hunters PalaceHats Off (to Mintoff)
I couldn’t pass up playing this track (and the next) on this week’s podcast to mark the death of Dom Mintoff. The event is not only historical by phenomenal in ways that most people under 25 will find hard to understand. Comparisons are odious but Mintoff was undoubtedly one of the most significant people to ever lead the Malta. It’s remarkable that Hunters Palace had the hutzpa to namecheck him in this piece of music from 2001/2002 just a couple of years after he had been vilified by those who had previously proclaimed him as Malta’s saviour.

Tony GauciMa Tagħmlu Xejn mal-Perit Mintoff
Of all the Maltese political songs, this is possibly the one that will still be around a hundred years from now. This version by seventies pop sensation Tony Gauci made the rounds on thousands of cassette tapes in the run-up to the 1981 General Elections. The paradoxical lyrics are simply delicious for any ethnomusicolist, particularly anyone willing to contrast them with the bile that’s customary in much of the Maltese hip-hop that’s been recorded over the past decade or so. Apologies for the sound quality on this song, but I suspect that it’s simply pulled raw from a cassette tape that spent one too many days in a scorching hot car stereo. I wonder where the original master tapes for this (and many other recordings of note) have ended.

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.


First Steps


Show notes for the 308th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Cryptic StreetIndecisive
A new all-girl pop rock group on the local music scene will certainly go a long way to diffusing the testosterone saturated environment. They look good and sound fresh enough to attract mainstream attention so expect this song to be played on the radio in Malta over the coming weeks. Let’s hope they’re not a one hit wonder and at least make a dent on the local scene if not beyond.

Wyrd AnimalsThe Beach Song
Not a particularly impressive band were it not for the fact that they’ve managed to release a recording of their debut gig as a name-your-own-price download on Bandcamp. Recorded live at Coach & Horses where they appeared supporting Hey Sus on 4 August, the EP was released on 12 August. I expect to be wowed again by this band but not necessarily with their ordinary sounding songs.

Myopic DestinyA View Upon the End
Another debut release from the metal scene this time. The Harsh Cold Reality is set for an official release at V-Gen on 1 September 2012 during gig this band will be giving with X-Vandals. The have some refreshing sounds to offer within their genre, as you can hear from this song, but it would be safe to assume that their best work is still ahead of them.

Plato’s Dream MachineQawsalla F’Nofs Ta’ Triq
Why didn’t anyone tell me about this new song from PDM? Perhaps it’s because it was widely circulated on Facebook and YouTube so it’s assumed that I’ll get to it somehow anyway…perhaps by osmosis. Robert Farrugia Flores and Justin Galea have written a gem of a song here and while I doubt it will become a classic, it certainly shows that the band have come a long way from their early days of sounding like a cheap Dylan cover band. More please!

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.


Murder

Show notes for the 307th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

ThingybobThe Man I Used To Be
Robert Carbonaro has reinvented himself as Thingybob and produced this track in collaboration with Keith Anthony and a few other friends. I liked the song so much that I picked it to open my podcast this week. Thingybob will also be playing his debut gig at Coach and Horses in Valley Road on the 24th of August, so if you like this song go see him live.

Alex AldenSeeds of Change
I’ve had this song in my inbox for many months but for some reason or other I have put off playing it until today. It’s certainly not because I don’t like the song – quite the contrary, it’s a lovely song and this is a good singer-songwriter I’d really like to hear more from. If you like trivia, you’ll also be interested to know that Marc Storace is her uncle and Marie Borg Alden from Stolen Creep is her cousin. Now how about some more songs. Was there mention of an EP?

The MythSadness in Your Eyes
They’ve been active on the local scene since 1990 and in recent years they’ve matured into a recording band. So now comes this song along with a shoddy looking video that fits the song rather well. It’s exactly the sort of thing I’ve come to expect from this band and if their history is anything to go by we should expect them to be doing this until they’re older than the Rolling Stones.

Clinton PaulRobot
Although he is not everyone’s cup of tea, particularly because he is too camp even for most people who like mainstream dance music, Clinton Paul frequently impresses everyone with his music video. This song is taken from his debut album I Know Who I Am, which is a very fitting title for such a dedicated pop performer. The resources he seems to have at his disposition certainly make up for the lack of international success, which seems relatively elusive. Then again, you really never know! The next big Europop sensation could be just a few months away among his next offerings. Don’t write off Clinton Paul, even if you can’t appreciate what he has had to offer us so far.

Jay ZingaThirteen
Most recently known as half the duo Mathematikal, who have been featured regularly on the MMI podcast, Jay Zinga has recently uploaded this track to his YouTube channel along with video clips taken from Ti West’s 2009 movie The House of the Devil. Johnny boy has certainly come a long way since the days of Hidden Sun.

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.


White Light

Show notes for the 306th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Ħolma Qattusamewtafranka
I had hoped they’d be back and here they are! Martha Vassallo and Antoine Vella’s new offerings are as delicious as expected. This time there seems to be a grouping in the making (for an album?) and the theme appears to be inspired by Goya’s Capricios. Il-Kappriċċi is the name by which this track is grouped with another called Żifna tal-Ħmar (Donkey’s Dance). I hope that more are in store in the coming days/weeks.

Three Stops To ChinaMonkey Does
Another track from 3S2C’s recent debut EP Rise. Following last week’s My Robot Monkey Army Is Better Than Yours from Funk Initiative, this is another monkey song. How delightful! The video for this one is even wilder than the one for the other song…and I stand behind my previous statement that this young band is set to give Cable 35 a good run for the foremost grunge band from Malta currently active. Perhaps I’m a little bitter because that other band has not shown me any love or respect recently. Right? 😉

ExplicitTrain
This song is planned for an official release at a gig taking place at Zion in Marsascala on Wednesday 8 August 2012. Milk Mi will also be performing that night so it should be quite a worthwhile evening out. The video for the song will also be released on that day too. UPDATE: The video has now been released and so here it is…

Stimulus TimbreDistance Lives
A new full-length album from local label Complex Sound Sagacity find Keith Farrugia in full swing as Stimulus Timbre, or should that be euphoric, since the album is called Euphoria. I’ve always found ST’s brand of electronica pleasant to the ear, which is why I look forward to including his stuff on the MMI podcast, as I’ve done over the past few years.

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.