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Transpacific Sound Paradise Options
Saturday, June 16, 2012 Options
Msafiri Zawose + Kabbalah

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Kabbalah (photo: Emmanuel Schmitt); Msafiri Zawose (photo: Hannah Nelson).

Tonight: Bands on the run - a far-flung twin bill of pre-gig sessions:

First, Tanzanian virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Msafiri Zawose stops by on his way to play Barbes in Brooklyn later tonight, June 16th, part of his three month US tour. He'll introduce us to the fascinating Gogo musical traditions he learned from his late great father, Hukwe Zawose.

From his website Msafiri Zawose is currently one of the most admired Gogo musicians today. Born into a family that honors tradition, he is determined to preserve this style of music that plays a key role in the rich heritage of Tanzania. Gogo music allows for expression of emotion and serves a number of roles in traditional life, ranging from specific songs to celebrate the harvest, to serving as entertainment for the community. Gogo music, originating in Central Tanzania, derives its unique sound from the mixture of the traditional instruments and the incorporation of multiple vocalists. The primary instruments heard in Gogo music include the zeze, ngoma, ndono, and flute.

Here's a nice short documentary film about Msafiri and his musical family made by Hannah Nelson:

A five song EP by Msafiri Zawose is available for listening and download here:

Msafiri and the Zawose family also offers lessons in music and traditional arts and crafts at their compound at Bagamoyo in coastal Tanzania. Info at

Later in the show, the sharp-edged and hyper-eclectic French outfit Kabbalah reflects the cultural mix of its hometown Marseille, blending East European, Middle Eastern and African influences with rock, klezmer and lots more.

Kabbalah heads off to play at Mehanata in the Lower East Side right after the radio show - and wraps up its own big tour bright and early on Sunday morning, playing the City Winery Klezmer Brunch.

A little capsule summary provided by Kabbalah: Only in Marseille: Polish Châabi meets Russian Violin plugged into analogue synths (low-fi, please) short-circuited by Cameroonian Ndolé and some weird Berliner back from New York. What you get is Slam Rock, Yid Hop, a Golem on Kongo Square and maybe some Bikutsi Punk. The whole thing is served by English-Yiddish-Russian lyrics, strings, horns, percussion, vintage machines and music boxes. So this is about an elephant mentsh, a deluge, souls sold to the devil, a couple breaking up (or not), the story of an short, it's about a bunch of characters confronted with the absurdity of everyday life.

Kabbalah's fine new second cd is out now - Bagels, Boxes and Elephants - check it out here:

Massive thanks to our illustrious engineers on the Kabbalah session, Juan Aboites and Zeke Mishanec!

This Week's Playlist:

(* = new)

Mia Doi Todd: Canto de Lemanja Options / Various Artists: Red Hot and Rio 2 / *

Anoushka Shankar: Krishna Options / Traveller / *

Souren Baronian and Transition: Luzia Options / Desert Winds

Ramzi Aburedwan: Sodra Options / Reflections of Palestine / Riverboat/World Music Network / *

Ebo Taylor: Ya Amponsah Options / Appia Kwa Bridge / Strut

Sambiasy with Samba: Soloho Mahavelo Options / Various Artists: World Routes / BBC

Sidi Touré: Kalaa Ay Makoiy Options / Koima / Thrill Jockey

Le Super Borgou De Parakou: Me Ton... Options / The Bariba Sound 1970-1976 / Analog Africa / *

Ismail Rivera: Saoco Options / Maelo / Fania / *

Trio Zamora: No Me Importa Options / Various Artists: The Lost Cuban Trios of Casa Zamora

Bahar Movahed and Ali Akbar Moradi: Beloved Options / Goblet of Eternal Light / Traditional Crossroads / *

Ensemble al-Umayri: Sawt (Excerpt) Options / The Sawt in Kuwait / Institut du Monde Arabe (0:59:42 )

Indialucia: Mohabbat Ka Khazana Options / Indialucia (1:03:32 )

Snehasish Mozumder & Som: Shyam on Eleven + Uthsav On Six Options / Jazz and North Indian Styles (1:09:03 )

Ssaha: Triq Anchor Options / Ummi (1:21:20 )

Msafiri Zawose: Song 1 Live on WFMU Options (1:36:32 )

Msafiri Zawose: Song 2 Live on WFMU Options (1:41:23 )

Msafiri Zawose: Song 3 Live on WFMU Options (1:50:23 )

Msafiri Zawose: Song 4 Live on WFMU Options (2:00:23 )

Kabbalah: Song 1 Live on WFMU Options (2:06:58 )

Kabbalah: Song 2 Live on WFMU Options (2:10:57 )

Kabbalah: Song 3 Live on WFMU Options (2:14:57 )

Kabbalah: Song 4 Live on WFMU Options (2:24:33 )

Kabbalah: Song 5 Live on WFMU Options (2:29:33 )

Kabbalah: Elephant Mentsh Options / Boxes Bagels and Elephants / La Meson / * (2:35:22 )

Hukwe Zawose: Ibarikwe Mungu Yupo Dunian + Chilumi Options / Chibite / Real World (2:50:05 )

Listener comments!

  Sat. 6/16/12 6:12pm pedro:

hi rob, always good to listen to your show, especially after a busy saturday.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 6/16/12 6:23pm Your DJ:

Thanks very much Pedro, greetings all...
  Sat. 6/16/12 6:51pm julian:

Morning Rob! Torrential rain over here. Stuck indoors with TSP ain't so bad though!
  Sat. 6/16/12 7:07pm Mike East:

The folks in Kabbalah rented some backline from me. One of the guys came in yesterday wearing a Woof Moo Tshirt. Right away, you know they're good people.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 6/16/12 7:12pm Your DJ:

Small world Mike and yes, they're great folks as well as excellent musicians, yes indeed!
  Sat. 6/16/12 7:15pm maestroso:

This Snehasish Mozumder piece is fascinatingly great.
  Sat. 6/16/12 7:53pm slugluv1313:

hi Rob! WONDERFUL show! glad that i am able to tune in LIVE as it happens, PERFECT MUSIC for this lovely almost-Summer day, THANK YOU!!!!!
  Sat. 6/16/12 7:57pm bob:

what was the first instrument he played? I was driving around and didnt catch it, did he say "rimba" ? could anyone let me know?! k thanks bye
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 6/16/12 8:03pm Your DJ:

"Limba" is kind of the general term - it was the largest of several kalimba type instruments he brought.
  Sat. 6/16/12 8:04pm bob:

THANK YOU! it sounded great!
  Sat. 6/16/12 8:21pm annie:

logging in rob to let you know how much i'm enjoying the show...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 6/16/12 8:30pm Your DJ:

Thanks everyone!
  Sat. 6/16/12 8:33pm annie:

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