It’s fair to say that a band that combines Japanese, Balkan, cumbia, gypsy, dub, tribal, roots, and 8-bit music will probably sound just a little bit eclectic. Such are the Dolomites, who for years have been combining different forms of world music to create one crazy, eclectic, and hugely enjoyable whole. Take “Wakannai”, for instance, whose video we’re premiering here today. Featuring accordion, tuba, darabuka, and wadaioko, the song inexplicably marries Balkan polka, Japanese/English lyrics, and tribal scatting, yet manages to wriggle into your head in seconds.
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Known for his collaborations with Nico, John Cale, and Pere Ubu (where he serves as an auxiliary member) Graham “Dids” Dowdall has been making music for decades, and his latest under the pseudonym Gagarin, the forthcoming full-length Aoticp, continues the artist’s experimentation in the electronic realm. The humming, lurching “Feral Dreams” is a great indication of what you can expect to hear on its eleven tracks, a combination of hypnotic ambient electronica and thrumming, skittering percussion, vague in form save for the skeletal structure of the beats. Part classic electronic, part futuristic.
Three years after first turning heads with the modest hit “Heartbeat”, Nashville band Kopecky returned this past spring with their second album Drug for the Modern Age. Plaintive yet polished, humble yet bombastic, it’s a study of contrasts, with the band underscoring lyrics about difficult times with triumphant, soaring melodies. You feel that contrast on the affable “Talk to Me”, which somehow, incredibly, morphs from cruising indie pop reminiscent of Stars to a fabulous 1980s R&B chorus that echoes Hall and Oates and ABC. As it happens the band has just released a video for the track – the album’s second single – and we’re very pleased to premiere the performance clip here at PopMatters.
The Queen of Cumbia, Totó La Momposina made waves worldwide when Peter Gabriel released her album La Candela Viva in the early ‘90s on his Real World label. Nearly a quarter century later producer Michel Cleis and Totó’s producer son-in-law John Hollis took it upon themselves to restore and expand one of the most important album in Colombian music history. Renamed Tambolero, the classic music has been re-imagined, re-edited, and re-dubbed, with her extended family even chipping in with additional vocals and instrumentation.
In celebration of Oakland, California’s independent music scene OIM Records released OIM: Vol. 1, a compilation featuring 13 of the area’s finest, not to mention underrated artists. Chamber pop band Foxtails Brigade contributed the haunting, Jon Brion-meets-cabaret tune “Far Away and Long Ago”, and now have released a stunning new video for the track, which we’re premiering at PopMatters. Shot on a single take, the effect is fluid, dreamlike, and only enhances the song’s unsettling feeling.