Archive for June, 2013

End of the Beginning


Show notes for the 342nd Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

XtruppawFrutsalad
After what feels like the longest wait ever, my favourite Maltese band of all times returns with its second album. This song from it is released ahead of the official launch which takes place next week. I’m pretty sure I’ll be playing more from it in the coming weeks, so there’s little point of saying much else at this point. To my mind, this is the bound to be the album of the decade. Sadly there’s not proper music video for it (yet?) but at least there’s a teaser in the launch poster and the accompanying promotional photo for the song. I heard demos of almost all the songs on Xtruppaw’s second album and I can safely say that it’s easily as good as, if not better than, their first album from 2006.

Clinton PaulAmazing
Taken from his recently released second album Unbreakable, this is Clinton Paul’s second single from this album. As he’s done so many other times before, it is accompanied by a relatively lavish promotional video, which has managed to attract substantial attention on YouTube, especially through Facebook shares. I remain impressed by his creative stamina and fortitude, even if less so by his aesthetics.

Davinia PaceYou Are My Home
I’m rather pleased to see that the team that brought this singer to this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest has ploughed on regardless of that scene, or propelled even further by that scene. After all, this video received an official launch of sorts on ESCflashmalta.com. I like Davinia very much as a performer and I believe that she has what it takes to be an international star, whatever that means for an act lacking a substantial and systematic marketing strategy.

Ria feat. TobyI Am Only Me
Maria Carabot is not a well known singer, but she should be. She has a very pleasant voice, which is showcased very nicely on this collaboration with Toby. I like that she’s calling herself Ria, as this can possibly endear her to an even larger audience than the one she has already managed to reach so far. I hope this is the beginning of something bigger and better for her. MMI podcast listeners can be sure that I’ll be playing her next offering if this level of production is maintained.

FootprintsStick No Bills
Footprint are undoubtedly the most prolific Christian rock band from Malta. Their music has matured to a level that makes their tunes very listenable, even if you’re not particularly keen on the lyrics. I have no qualms with their brand of Christian rock, but I’d prefer more poetic lyrics where needles, overdoes and coffin are depicted in a more effective way. Incidentally this song is part of an EU-funded Youth in Action programme related to substance abuse and other social ills. The video you can see here was officially launched on 11 May 2013.

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.


The Voice


Show notes for the 341st Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

StefanosHeart Stands Still
Virtually unknown, guitarist Stefan Mifsud is working on his next album, which will be called Everyone is a World. To my mind he is far too prolific and consistent not to attract a larger fan following. He has also had some rather well known collaborators on his recent efforts. It remains to be seen what he has in store for us on this new album, which will hopefully be out by December.

The Areola TreatRadio On
The band is gearing up to release its third CD ahead of its second album. While quite good at what they do, this band strikes me as one that takes itself a little too seriously. Then again, I may be missing the point. Or perhaps it’s just the vibe I’m getting from this video, shot, directed & edited by Daniel Cassar with help from the Malta Arts Fund. In any case, the Radio On EP launch will take place at Ir-Razzett l-Aħmar in Ta’ Qali on the 12th of July 2013.

ChessStorm
I rarely replay the same tracks on the MMI series. It’s not that Chess has grown on me, even if I have become fonder of her as time has passed since I first heard her a couple of years ago. I am very impressed by the promotional video for this song off her debut EP Babygirl, released last year. This new animated video was produced through a Kickstarter campaign she ran. To my knowledge, this is the first time that a Maltese performer has financed a promotional video this way. It goes to show what a little initiative and some genuine talent can do. Well done Fran and everyone involved in making this video possible!

Craig MacLekki
Released today on London’s Shameless Toady label, Craig Mac’s EP Aħna attracted my attention the minute I discovered it via Facebook this morning. This young man from Xgħajra produces some solid electo vibes, and I’ll certainly be watching out for more from him. I’m also quite amused by the fact that Shameless Toady is housed just a few doors down from the Wikimedia UK office where I spend so much time these days on Leonard Street in London.

Kemmuna AirwaysKemmuna Airways 2013
OMG! They’re back! As cheesy and delightful as ever, Augusto Cardinali and Joe Demicoli remind us how entertaining they really were all those years ago. Dj Otzi’s Anton Aus Tirol is the perfect schlager to pick for this reunion; it’s heartwarming that they’re actually doing this for the Hospice benefit on yesterday’s Xarabank. Anyway, in a beautiful nod to the new generation, Mikiel Camilleri Haber features prominently on the promotional video. Anyway, what else can I say? Kemmuna Airways will forever be the undisputed Maltese kings of this genre of frothy light entertainment.

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.


Alright Now


Show notes for the 340th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Gypsy GenesRed Hot Money
Almost a super-group, this new band features Scar guitarist David Cassar Torreggiani, former Winter Moods drummer James Vella, and Fakawi keyboardist Mark Attard (who has probably played with everyone in the Maltese music scene), along with a newcomer bassist (Lil Funk Xuereb) and singer Rikki Lee. The song is quite striking, with its pulsating electro-rock groove, but it’ll most likely be remembered for the lighthearted promotional video, which you can see here.

The MythBeautiful
One of the longest standing bands on the local scene returns with another new song. To my mind they’re musical chameleons who sound very much like whatever it is they’ve been listening to the most when they put together whatever song they’re working on. I mean this as a compliment because far too many bands pick one style and stick to it ad nauseum, indeed rather nauseously. I’m surprised that this song was not released along with a promotional video on 2 June, particularly because the band has decorated its website with the results of a rather stylish and fairly elaborate photo shot. It really is quite eye catching.

Jean Claude VancellSuperhero
Jean Claude Vancell is one of Malta’s most promising singer-songwriters. I believe that although he has been quite prolific since his teenage years, his best work is still ahead of him. He has not managed to become a household name yet, but I think it’s a matter of time before he becomes rather well known across Malta. Perhaps all he really needs to do is forget songs in English and focus on producing songs in Maltese. Then again, I could be wrong.

KażinSkaAl Pacino
Whenever people like Justin Galea, Danjeli Schembri, and Michael Galea get together we’re in for a musical treat. This time they’ve teamed up with a handful of brass musicians to create this very original band that specializes in backbeat reinterpretations of festive band marches, which waft through the streets of Malta and Gozo throughout the summer months. As you’d expect, they went down really well at this year’s Għanafest. This recording is their take on one of a well-known march by David Aguis. No, not that one!

Dorothy BezzinaWieħed Biss
Dominic Galea returns with another CD album featuring new compositions around the words of a dead Maltese poet. Karba is a celebration of the poet Rużar Briffa, who is considered by many literary scholars as the first significan modern Maltese poet, even if he was well-anchored in fairly traditional forms. A number of singers and musicians appear on the album, but I’ve picked this one featuring the beautiful song of one who has most recently become known as one of Gianluca Bezzina’s sisters. Believe me, she is very well worth knowing as a singer in her own right too.

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.