Beirut to the Future

Having visited every darn wondrous nation on the planet, we start the sophomore voyage by revisiting the music scene of Lebanon. One of the most musically diverse countries of the Middle East, thus certainly worth a repeat trip – exploring mostly new and obscure Lebanese sounds.

Warping Giant Afro-Beats

MiamideviceA full episode exploring sublime sounds inspired by and emanating from the African continent!  During the first hour, we are joined by sonic alchemist Brandon “Blocktreat” Hoffman, who guides us through the world of his darling Afrobeat monsters Miami Device.  Brandon discusses their upcoming show, trading cards, and debuts tracks from the as-yet-unreleased Miami Device remix album (stirring up their joyous 2012 LP Monopoly).

Stream part 1 of Wandering Rhythms HERE

For the second half of the show, our musical safari takes us to a land of many wonderful surprises, as we visit the North African sands of Algeria.  On Wandering Rhythms, we love when traditions diverge in unexpected new directions, and to this end Algeria offers a fascinating mix of regional styles that effortlessly blend with rock, hip hop, and blues that have found their way into the Algerian music scene mainly because of the close ties the country has had with France over the past two hundred years.

Kabyle rock, experimental Raï, Gnawa, classic hip hop, desert blues, folktronica, and more as we explore the spectrum of contemporary Algerian music..  Truly some of the most beautiful sounds on the planet.

Stream part 2, the Algerian Odyssey HERE


Man Oman, the land of hidden jams

This week we visit the Sultanate of Oman, a rocky coastal nation with a keen interest in seafaring exploration.  Friends of many, enemies of few, sneaking just below the international tabloids… for simplicity’s sake let’s call it Switzerland of the Middle East.  Heck, they even manage the feat of having positive relations with both Iran and the United States.  They don’t choose sides.  Omanis are easygoing like that.  They have a Sultan after all.

As for the music, there is a vast and complex history of intermingling to draw upon.  Many Swahili rhythms have seeped into the Omani soundscape, as the Omani empire once stretched down the East African coast as far as Madagascar.  There is also the potent influence of Arabic neighbors to the north, as well as the instruments of the Baloch people of Pakistan.  Music is a part of everyday public life in Oman, not often recorded for posterity, and thus many of the sublime sounds from the ground are not readily available to our far-off ears.  We can imagine..  And extrapolate from the few recordings that we have at our disposal:  some gritty hip hop, vocal acrobatics, drums of thunder, and ambient oud sketches..