***Sublime Frequencies release the third LP from Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band . Sonbonbela was recorded in the beginning of 2022 in the Republic of Burkina Faso. The group continue to hone their trademark fusion of Mandingue and Afro-beat styles. The Mandingo Band are a hit machine, sculpting seven new tracks of near Beefheart/Magic Band dynamics, Fela inspired groovers dusted out in the Sahel zone, rather than the humidity and sweat of Lagos, creating one of the most original and propulsive musical statements to come from the contemporary West African cultural juggernaut. As with previous releases, the band features the legendary guitar pyrotechnics of Issouf Diabate, truly one of the greatest West African (or Earth for that matter) guitarists of the last forty years. The band is completed by a near bottomless barrel of artistry from the Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso musical talent pool. On bass guitar, Wendeyida Ouedraogo, on drums Abbas Kabore, and on percussion and balafon, Nickie Dembele. Leading the charge again is the captain himself, Mamadou Sanou on the Doso Ngoni featuring one of the most distinctive voices of the modern era. The opposite of the banal trends of auto-tune that have pervaded most of West African popular music, Baba's voice still impresses with its gravel and grit, showcasing a range that is ancient and defiant in equal measure. This LP is a non-stop hit parade of Afro-beat bangers destined to light dancefloors and living rooms ablaze! This album is dedicated to the memory of Massimbo...
Magical Nights: Saigon Surf, Twist & Soul (1964-1966)
***Sublime Frequencies present the first ever retrospective of Phương Tâm, the groundbreaking Saigon teenager who became one of the first singers to perform and record rock and roll in 1960s Vietnam. By chance in early 2020, Hannah Hà (USA) learned that her mother, Phương Tâm, had once been a famous young singer, performer and recording artist at the heart of Saigon's music scene in the early 1960s. The family had heard some mention of their mom as a singer at the time, but the extent of her legacy and the many songs she had recorded came as a big surprise. Further investigations soon led Hannah to producer Mark Gergis, compiler of Saigon Rock and Soul (2010), enlisting him to join her on a journey of discovery and recovery. The result is this essential document of Phương Tâm's brief but prolific career, and at the same time, reuniting the long-lost music with its singer. As the veils of history were slowly lifted, the genuine thrill was witnessing Phương Tâm herself, hearing these songs for the first time in over 50 years—sometimes since the day she recorded them. At the heart of this project is a family story—Hannah Hà's dedication to recovering and sharing her mother's musical legacy is helping put Phương Tâm back on center stage after 55 years. But it is also a story that adds critical context to the fragmented understanding of Vietnamese popular culture during the 20th century, particularly after so much has been lost to war and dislocation....
Modal Instrumental Pop Of 1970s Egypt
***Sublime Frequencies finally unleashes its essential compilation from 1970s Egypt, produced and compiled by Hisham Mayet . Modal instrumental tracks from Baligh Hamdi -- one of the most important Arabic composers of the 20th Century (writing for legends Umm Kalthum , Abdel Halim Hafez , Sabah , Warda , and many others). Features his legendary group the Diamond Orchestra with Omar Khorshid on guitar, Magdi al-Husseini on organ, Samir Sourour on saxophone, and Faruq Salama on accordion. All of these musicians were discovered and recruited by Hamdi to interpret his vision of a modernized, hybrid Arabic music. Under Hamdi's direction, this orchestra charted a new melodic direction and created a new musical language. This compilation is culled from a specific era of Hamdi's long career, a decade where he fully realized an international music which incorporated beat driven Eastern-tinged jazz, theremin draped orchestral noir, tracks that feature searing guitar solos from none other than Omar Khorshid, and a selection of buzzing, sitar driven, Indo-Arabic tracks establishing a meeting of mid-east and eastern psychedelic exotica, and a vision that created some of the hippest music coming out of the Middle East from the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Includes extensive liner notes by Hisham Mayet with rare photographs. Housed in tip-on gatefold jackets.
Guitar El Chark
***NOW AVAILABLE ON CD!!! The late OMAR KHORSHID remains an iconic legend of the Arab world, though he's received criminally little international acclaim. Born in Cairo in 1945, the glittering age of Egypt's cultural reinvention, Khorshid was soon to become one of its luminaries and most well-known, if short-lived, voices. He is regarded as the greatest guitarist the Arab world has ever known. By the mid-'60s, Khorshid was established with his group LE PETIT CHATS, an Egyptian beat group modeled after the prevailing influence of Elvis and The Beatles. It was at this time that one of the reigning figures of contemporary Arabic music, Abdel Halim Hafez, asked Omar Khorshid to join his orchestra. With Baligh Hamdi composing, Hafez with Khorshid in place would create some of the most innovative modern sounds in the Arabic musical canon. Time with the Hafez orchestra offered Khorshid instant fame, and it wasn't long before he was asked to play with the queen of Arab music, the voice of Egypt herself, Oum Kalthoum. Over the next few years, Khorshid became a well-established and integral part of the Arab musical landscape. He was featured heavily in live concerts, national TV and radio and studio recordings, playing for the leading artists of the day. The tracks included here in this retrospective are from the prolific span of Khorshid's career in Beirut from 1973 to 1977. CD version features ten bonus tracks and a 14-page booklet in tri-fold digipak.
Thai Pop Spectacular - 1960s-1980s
***REISSUED ON VINYL!!! Thai pop history has been largely ignored and neglected by the international musical community for far too long. By the late 20th century, Thai pop music had developed as many faces as localized roots music such as molam or styles like luk thung or luk krung (each with their own respective pop-sectors). Bangkok—always the hub of the Thai recording industry—attracted musicians and singers from across the country that were both informed by tradition and inspired by the wealth of international sounds entering the region via radio and phonograph. Jazz, for instance, had a profound influence on early Thai pop music, the King of Thailand himself being a noted jazz composer. This superb collection features modern Thai music styles combining with elements of surf, rock, funk, disco and comedy, revealing the use of clever instrumentation, brilliant vocals, great arrangements, twisted breaks, and resourceful production techniques. Discover the Queen of Luk Thung, the 1960s "Shadow Music" sound, classic tracks from Thai films, blazing examples of Bangkok disco from the 1970s, legendary Thai comedy pop, and the most outrageous version of "The Night Chicago Died" you'll ever encounter. Thick horn sections, wah-wah guitars, tight drums, and funky organs help round out this astounding set which proves beyond a doubt that the Thai were a completely unique and powerful force during the 1960s, '70s & '80s global popular music explosion. Gorgeous double-LP heavy gatefold vinyl.