R.I.P. Ilie Iorga, singer and Taraf de Haidouks mainstay

R.I.P. Ilie Iorga, singer and Taraf de Haidouks mainstay

See that thin little man, standing among all these musicians who brandish their respective instruments and seem to concentrate on adopting the most attractive pose for this group picture.

He smiles broadly, and strangely holds his hand behind his ear, as if he's trying to hear, what? The photographer's flash, or his instructions? He seems happy, despite the obvious discomfort —attested by his slightly plum-coloured complexion— of being thusly dressed up, with this superb violet stanton hat chosen for him by the dresser, for the fashion show which is to take place right after the photo session. Happy, with a twinkle in his eye, yet extremely discreet. No one knows what his thoughts are at this very moment, or whether he's really conscious of being there, standing between his old friend Marin, his son-in-law Costica, and all the other members of the Taraf de Haïdouks.

This man went away forever a few days ago. He spoke until his voice and breath died away, and then raised his hand, as if he meant to signify "it's enough". He was born on the 15th of November 1928, his name was Ilie Iorga, they sometimes called him Ilie Paputsoi. A singer, a minstrel, a troubadour, recognized by all as one of the last depositaries of that treasure of ancient Romanian music: epic songs, love songs, bawdy, poetic, pastoral and sometimes even patriotic songs. This man passed through the most part of a century and its wars, upheavals and transformations, without ever losing his courtesy, his natural kindness and his gentleman-like manners: "Ca un dom", as they would say in Romanian. He spent 60 years singing his vast repertoire, and takes away with him an innumerable wealth of poetry and musical knowledge.

Always standing in a very upright posture, his slightly stiff figure gave out the impression that "life is something serious", and conferred to his ballads a solemn gravity, a sense that "this is too true to be only poetry", only to be sweetened by the modulations of his voice. Towards the end, his hearing became impaired, yet he kept singing in tune, without noticing the mischievous yet affectionate tricks played on him by his bandmates, who sometimes changed keys in order to confuse him, a tough game often played by Gypsy wedding musicians, who love to trap their peers, even in the midst of a public performance.

He loved everything —except what doesn't deserve to be loved— and never worried about his health. Now he really has no more reason to be worried, neither about himself nor about us.


STAFF BENDA BILILI announce their new album!

STAFF BENDA BILILI announce their new album!

STAFF BENDA BILILI are set to "make the world shake" with their new album set for release in September. Listen to the first single here!
in 2009, STAFF BENDA BILILI, the Congolese group made up of paraplegic street musicians, ignited their conquest of the world with their album, "Très Très Fort". The international media were charmed by their enchanting music, their relentless energy and uplifting optimism. STAFF BENDA BILILI have become a symbol of triumph over adversity, a true source of inspiration for the increasingly large audiences which fill up their concerts across Europe, Australia and Japan.

Released in movie theatres and on the television, the feature film dedicated to the story of the group has achieved a high level of success, and the album "Très Très Fort" has won many awards.

STAFF BENDA BILILI have just finished recording their new album, which will be released on Crammed Discs in September of 2012. Titled "Bouger le Monde" ("Make the World Shake"), the album bears witness to the spectacular evolution of the band, and its intent to keep making... the world shake!

The first single from the disc, "Osali Mabe", comes out in the beginning of this May
(LIsten to it HERE!)

and the group just started their European Spring 2012 tour.

Video Premiere of Maïa Vidal's

Video Premiere of Maïa Vidal's "Follow Me"

A wolf in sheep's clothing, Maïa Vidal presents an enticing video reinterpretation of her single "Follow Me", which turns the script originally depicted in the lyrics into a dreamy, mysterious parable, loosely inspired by one of the Brothers Grimm tales.

The video was shot near Barcelona and directed by Joana Colomar.

With a number of high profile international concerts and placement of her music in ads for such brands as Desigual and Ikea, Maïa is winning many ears over to her unique sound.  

Maïa will be performing all around Europe this spring and summer. See the dates here

Passons à la VF:
Dans sa nouvelle vidéo "Follow Me", Maïa Vidal détourne le texte de sa chanson: la fille quelque peu prédatrice qui aborde les garçons a fait place à une parabole mystérieuse, une rêverie inspirée par un conte de Grimm ("Le loup et les sept chevreaux").

Réalisé par Joana Colomar, le clip a été tourné près de Barcelone.

Nul besoin de montrer patte blanche pour voir Maïa Vidal aux Nuits Botanique le 16/5, à Europavox (Clermont-Ferrand) le 26/5, ou à Barcelone, Athènes ou Amsterdam…

(toutes les dates sont ici)

Springtime for BALOJI & MAÏA VIDAL

Springtime for BALOJI & MAÏA VIDAL

Two of our budding artists, Baloji and Maïa Vidal, will be blooming at the ¨Printemps de Bourges" festival this weekend.
Maïa will play Thursday the 26th at L'Auditorium & Baloji will play the 28th at Le 22 Ouest.

The photo is from their first encounter, where they traded their respective albums!

Click here for tickets and more information.

BBB launch

BBB launch "GIVE" : Live in Europe

To celebrate the release of their brilliant new album, "Give", BBB (Balkan Beat Box) play a series of concerts starting the 13th of April in Vienna!

Be sure to catch this energetic live show in the city near you !

13/04 AT Vienna Flex

14/04 IT Bologna Estragon

15/04 IT Trieste Teatro Miela

17/04 HR Zagreb Aquarius

18/04 DE Munich Freiheiz

19/04 FR PARIS Cabaret Sauvage

20/04 FR Toulouse Le Bikini

21/04 FR Grenoble CNAC Le Magasin

22/04 DE Cologne Gloria / Funkhaus Europa

10/05 DE Bielefeld Forum

11/05 DK Copenhagen Pumpehuset

12/05 DE Berlin Lido

13/05 BE Gent Vooruit

15/05 GB Manchester Band On the Wall

16/05 GB Glasgow ABC 2

17/05 GB London Islington Academy

18/05 GB Brighton Concorde 2

19/05 FR Lille Fivestival

Here's what the press says:

‘It’s ridiculously exciting’ -WORD (UK)

‘BBB are as outspoken and uncompromising as ever. It’s hard to resist the album’s intensity’ -SONGLINES (UK)

‘BBB are a party band. Most of the songs here could apply could apply for the job of director of getting the party started and expect to be hired on the spot’ -SUNDAY TIMES (UK)

'BBB kick against rich pricks on most electro-focused LP to date' -SPIN (US)

'The explosive trio are at their provocative and edgly best again, with their mashup of all things exotic, eclectic and politcally-sensitive' -ROLLING STONE (South Africa)

‘This is hip-hop that takes no prisoners, and is passionate and determined…The band still makes sure the party’s on the floor, but this time they want everyone to think as well as dance’’ - EMUSIC.COM

‘It’s great ribald, wild party music where anything goes from gypsy music to dub… the roots riot upgraded to the 21st century" -LOUDERTHANWAR (UK)

'Imbibing influences from Curtis Mayfield to Bob Marley, 50s guitar licks, punk bass lines, Eastern Eutropean rhythms, reggaeton and dubstep — you name it, BBB leap out highly inebriated... ...Spare, ironic lyrics, hand in hand with deeply witty music... There is not a single track that misses the mark'  -ROCK'NREEL (UK)

'M.I.A. rencontre Asian Dub Foundation ou un Goran Bregovic hip-hop... Difficile de résister à la bonne humeur politique de BBB ! Et pourquoi ne pas danser de façon responsable cette année ?' -MUSICZINE (BE)

Get you own copy of this slamming new album here!

Lonely Drifter Karen new album

Lonely Drifter Karen new album "Poles"

Euro popsters LONELY DRIFTER KAREN are launching their new album "Poles" with a series of concerts around the continent:

18/03 NL Amsterdam Paradiso

20/03 BE Brussels AB

23/03 AT Graz Postgarage

24/03 HU Budapest Gozsdu Mano Klub

27/03 AT Vienna Ost-Klub

28/03 AT Linz Stwst

29/03 AT Salzburg Jazz-It

30/03 AT Munzkirchen Mobelhalle

31/03 AT Dornbirn Spielboden

07/04 FR Paris Fleche d'Or

And in England, here's the word from Word Magazine (UK): "We are sincerely in love with the cosmic reveries of this Brussels-based trio, who mix Les Baxter/Esquivel-style space-age pop with the woozy grind of real guitars. Singer Tanja Frinta is quite something to hear — an intergalactic Charlotte Gainsbourg."

The new album "Poles" is now available for order !

Zita Swoon Group: album launch, exclusive shows, video

Zita Swoon Group: album launch, exclusive shows, video

"Wait For Me", the very awaited new album by the revered Belgian band, features 2 guests from Burkina Faso.

Here's the video for the first single, "Sababu", which includes footage shot during the band's stay in Burkina Faso.

For "Wait For Me", their first song-based album in 4 years, the Antwerp collective (led by Deus co-founder Stef Kamil Carlens) has worked with burkinabe diva Awa Démé and master balafon player Mamadou Diabaté Kibié. The songs (which can be loosely described as a blend of raw, acoustic folk/blues with traditional West African music) manage to wonderfully weave African and "northern" styles styles within an almost pop-like song format with seemingly effortless ease.

The release will be celebrated by a handful of selected European shows in early March (including the AB in Brussels on March 4, the Lido in Berlin on March 5, The 104 in Paris on March 8, the Tivoli in Utrecht on March 16  -  details here).

The band will be back for dates in late Spring, a festival tour in the Summer, and a club/theatre tour in the Fall

"Wait For Me" is Zita Swoon Group's first release on Crammed, and we're extremely happy and honored to start a long-term collaboration with such an exciting band.

More info on "Wait For Me" here. 

BBB's new video is

BBB's new video is "Part of the Glory"

"Enormous, grin-inducing BalKuduro"…

… is how an early blogger described this great new track, off the upcoming BBB (Balkan Beat Box) album "Give", which comes out on Crammed on March 2nd.

"Part of the Glory" isn't only an exhilarating video and an uplifting track (in which BBB seem indeed to be musically poised between Luanda, Angola and, say, Sofia, Bulgaria)…'s also a meditation on the role of social media and YouTube.  The band say that the lyrics of this song describe  'how we all have something unique in us. How we have these glorious talents that we display on YouTube. But how in spite of that we live with this shadow society of migrant workers and “illegal aliens” who run the engines of our world, and how we choose to ignore them in real life’.

Remember: free download of BBB's "Political Fuck" HERE
LONELY DRIFTER KAREN share new tunes

LONELY DRIFTER KAREN share new tunes

Listen to 3 songs off their forthcoming, sensational new album "Poles" (out March 2012)
Click here to hear"Velvet Rope", "Three Colors Red" and "Comet"

Lonely Drifter Karen are back, stronger than ever before, with a new song cycle which shatters many preconceived notions of their music. The colours have morphed: gone is the largely acoustic, piano-led instrumentation. This time, analog electronics, Asiatic arpeggios, sliding bass-synths, sinuous guitar riffs and funky grooves abound, while Tanja Frinta's voice is wilder, more vibrant, and seems to have acquired unsuspected new dimensions.

With these new shades and brushes, the band have painted an alternate version of their own, unmistakable world: dreamy, poetic, and slightly surreal, overflowing with those lush arrangements and irresistibly seductive melodies which have become the band's trademark. 

The core duet of the group — Austrian singer/guitarist Tanja Frinta & Spanish keyboardist/arranger Marc Melià Sobrevias — are now firmly relocated in Brussels, Belgium.  Following the amicable departure of their long-time drummer, they have enlisted the help of young French guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Clément Marion, and of several percussionists (both of the human and the robotic kind) to launch into sound explorations and create these songs which take the listener on an enticing journey through sound & space. 
More details and track list here


"Poles" comes out in March 2012

An Innocent Stranger in a Toy Town

An Innocent Stranger in a Toy Town

… that's the theme of La Chiva Gantiva's lovely new video, 'Pelao'

The Colombian/Belgian band have self-produced and directed this modern tale of immigration, a parable on the perils and disillusionment which often await the hopeful migrant who manages to make the move from the southern to the northern hemisphere.

The band have painstakingly constructed an elaborate set full of mechanical puppets, hand-painted buildings and piñata clouds. They've rounded up all their friends for the shooting (50 people were required for animating the whole thing…). The video was shot with the help of I-Movix, a Belgian company specializing in  the capture and creation of direct and extreme slow motion (as used in the Olympics, the football Champions' League etc.) thanks to a camera called the Sprintcam. The video was directed by Nicolas Moins & Rafael Espinel (the band's front person).

La Chiva Gantiva are currently touring to promote the release of their debut album "Pelao", and are bringing their super-powerful live show to Amsterdam's Paradiso on January 24,.

They'll be doing a live set for (Belgian national radio RTBF's show) "Le monde est un village" on January 26.

La Chiva Gantiva (who were formed in Brussels by 3 young Colombian expats and 4 Belgian & French musicians) recently made their first visit to Colombia, where they performed several shows and were welcomed as a new sensation by the audiences and the media.

More info here


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