Ruckus with Caracas!

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Venezuelan brothers Javier and Victor Badillo of the band Caracas have been rockin’ the Vancouver music scene for years, and the jubilant energy of Latin punk rock still inspires their every power chord and air punch.  Catch ’em on Wandering Rhythms as they perform live tracks, present their electric new Bring on the Playtime EP, and discuss the dire situation unfolding back home in Venezuela.  This is music to uplift!

 

Introducing my bizarro cumbia band.. MNGWA!

Dear far out friends,

Even though posts on this site have been infrequent, the Wandering Rhythms weekly radio show has never missed a beat.  Recent trips through the soundscapes of North Korea, North Ireland, Dominican Republic, and the Cook Islands have kept me inspired in this weekly journey of ever-changing musicians.

But this is something personal, the project that has been my other musical obsession for the past two years.  This band is the embodiment of the music I like to play most on this show; a wild multicultural mashup of styles that never settle into a single rhythm.  We are nine musicians from Mexico, Russia, and Canada that play progressive latin music, jumping from dub to rock, funk to reggaeton, but always settling back into cumbia.  We are Mngwa, and we call our music Vancumbia.

Here is our first music video, shot entirely on Kingsway, home to many immigrant communities and also the oldest strip in Vancouver:

And here is our debut record, the first ever Wandering Rhythms production.

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

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The Big World Band, and Kiribati: Aqualand

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Presenting ancient music of the future!  This week we are joined in the studio by musical mastermind John Oliver, composer and guitarist in Vancouver’s magically sublime Big World Band.  We discuss the inception of this renegade project, the balance between tradition and innovation, and the spectral journey into cultural cross-pollination.  John also presents live recordings from recent performances, describing how the songs were carved into existence.

Hear the interview here.

CATCH BIG WORLD BAND LIVE AT THE MASSEY THEATRE THIS SATURDAY!

Next, we take a trip to the Micronesian nation of Kiribati, a lovely scatter-shot of islands (atolls, to be precise) in the west central Pacific Ocean.  Kiribati’s days are numbered, as it will be one of the first countries to be swallowed up by rising sea levels.  I suppose Kevin Costner may be a prophet after all..

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But the music and people of Kiribati will live on (possibly in Fiji).  Unexplored by Europeans until 1892, Kiribati’s music is uniquely unaffected by external influence.  As far as we can tell, the i-Kiribati (strangest demonym ever – seemingly sponsored by Apple) have no traditional musical instruments.  But they discovered long ago that the bare body makes a thumpin’ percussion sound when combined with high-octane group chanting!  Hear this and some (slightly) more modern sounds in our musical ode to a Commonwealth brother.  On behalf of all Canadians, we would like to invite the displaced people of Kiribati to our polar opposite paradise.

Hear our feature on Kiribati here.