Leon Bukasa - Congo/Zaire Ya Biso

Leon Bukasa is a Congolese guitarist and singer not stylistically dissimilar to fellow countryman Dr. Nico. There's an interesting backstory to this particular song. Supposedly the song was initially just called 'Congo Ya Biso' but was later renamed 'Congo/Zaire Ya Biso' when the "archetypal African dictator" Mobutu took power and re-identified the country as Zaire. Being a particularly popular musician, Bukasa was often commissioned by Mobutu to compose songs as nationalist propaganda. Despite Mobutu's unpopularity, Bukasa remained a favourite in the - now - Democratic Republic of Congo, and this song is an example of what he does best: dreamy guitar-led soukous music.

Label: Ngoma (?)
Year: 195?
Genre: Soukous, Jazz

Resonance FM 29/1/14

On tonight's Resonance show I played tracks from Japan, Congo, Ethiopia and Australia, as well as a duo of tracks from Keel Her's forthcoming debut album! Listen below!

Dig That Treasure (29/1/14)
The Reels - This Guy's In Love With You
Kennedy Mengesha & Yeshimebet Dubale - Liyish
Keel Her - Women Lost In Thought
Keel Her - Don't Look At Me
Portable Rock - Picnic
Leon Bukasa - Congo Zaire Ya Biso

Adrian Knight - All The Love That Money Can Buy

Aside from his works for stage and score, for the last couple of years Adrian Knight has been producing pop music beyond the realms of the 'music blog world', releasing albums for free on Bandcamp with minimal press or promotion. Last year's Cocktail Culture was a great example, with a sound that dropped hints to 80s acts like XTC and Steely Dan and bedroom recording stars like R. Stevie Moore and Ariel Pink. Four days ago he dropped Cheap Love a record that continues where Cocktail Culture left off, if anything with more of an inclination towards soul, dream-pop and J-pop. Opening track 'All The Love That Money Can Buy' reminds me of his previous effort's opener, 'Pedini Cabinets', with unexpected chord progressions and melodies that come and go teasingly.

Label: Pink Pamphlet 
Year: 2014
Genre: Synth-Pop, Art Rock, Experimental

Back in November 2013, Adrian curated a mix of soul and r&b tracks for the blog. Check it out here

Resonance FM 22/1/14

Yesterday's Resonance show was a Van Dyke Parks special. I played tracks from across the composer's solo career, as well as songs he's produced or written for other bands and film. As well as Parks's music, I played a track from the Mescherin Orchestra as well as a song from Ethiopia's Girma Bèyènè.

Dig That Treasure (22/1/14):
Van Dyke Parks - The Attic
The Mighty Sparrow - Sparrow Dead
Girma Bèyènè - Enkèn Yèlélèbesh
Mescherin Orchestra - Сибирская мелодия (Siberian Melody)
Harpers Bizarre - Come To The Sunshine
Van Dyke Parks - Opportunity For Two
Van Dyke Parks - City of Light (Brave Little Toaster OST)

Resonance FM 15/1/14

This evening saw Dig That Treasure number 12 on Resonance 104.4FM! I played music from Congo, France and Ethiopia. This week's featured artist was post-modern pop oddball Momus, who combines old samples, the avant-garde and hyper-literate lyrics. Closing the show was Carlos Guitarlos, a song like nothing I've ever played on the show! Check it out.

Dig That Treasure (15/1/14):
Clement Gourand - Cap Horn
Momus - The Criminal
Momus - Hypnoprism
Dr. Nico & l'African Fiesta - Marie Nella
Neway Debebe & Roha Band - Maebel
Carlos Guitarlos - The Love I Want

Guest Post: KARESS present Baguette Sweat (JFK Mix)

KARESS is the multimedia project of Kim Westfall and collaborators Alex Smith, and future et al. Kim is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn. Her paintings are shown in the US and abroad, and 24/7/12/52/365 here. From Lio's opening track to Yano Akiko's closer, this charming collection put together by Kim explores JPop, KPop, Shibuya-kei, dream pop and new wave.

KARESS present...
Baguette Sweat (JFK Mix):

Lio - Clothes
Kim Wan-Sun - Let Me Light the Darkness (김완선 - 불빛을 좀더 어둡게 해줘요)
Portable Rock - Picnic
Elli et Jacno - Je t'aime tant
Hearts and Minds - That's Me (마음과 마음 - 그게 나예요)
Yano Akiko - Sleep on My Baby

Kim has also very lovingly written about each song on the mix, which you can read here.

Thanks to KARESS

"Blue" Gene Tyranny - Out Of The Blue

"Blue" Gene Tyranny is a composer, renowned for exploring the worlds of musique concrète, ambient and chamber music. This piece, 'Out Of The Blue', is like nothing I've ever heard before: a 26-minute surrealist journey of unqualified beauty. The piece presents a stunning combination of spoken word passages, gently picked guitar and whirling electronics. An eerie string line runs throughout the entire duration, completing the piece's atmosphere and providing constant anticipation.

Label: Lovely Music / Unseen Worlds (reissue)
Year: 1977 / 2007 (reissue)
Genre: Avant-Garde, Minimalism, Electronica

Neway Debebe - Maebel

Neway Debebe is another Ethiopian oldies singer in the same vein as Mahmoud Ahmed and Kennedy Mengesha. Debebe first came to public attention as a singer for the Roha Band, arguably the most influential Ethiopian band ever. This song, 'Maebel', is a joyful horn-led track, with a seriously catchy melody.

Label: n/a
Year: ?
Genre: Pop, Ethiopian Jazz

Resonance FM 8/1/14

This evening saw an exciting return to the airwaves following the Christmas break. From the Minneapolis soul of the show's opening track, to the new age spoken-word of Blue Gene Tyranny's closer, I feel this episode of Dig That Treasure was one of my strongest yet! The episode also included a comparison of Ethiopian pop and modern US 'hypnagogic pop', a round-up of Jerkcurb's amazing guest mix, and a focus on Spanish twee band Aventuras De Kirlian.

Dig That Treasure (8/1/14)
Orville Shannon - Oh Lover
Mahmoud Ahmed - Be Leselese Qu'al
Tonstartssbandht - Hymn Eola
Niwat Charoenmit - Prom Likit
Aventuras De Kirlian - En Francia
Aventuras De Kirlian - Los Genios
"Blue" Gene Tyranny - Out Of The Blue

Clément Gourand - Cap Horn

This stunning piece of music composed by Clément Gourand is from the soundtrack to Yves Hussenot's obscure 1978 documentary Cap Horn. Beautiful exotica vocals sandwich 70s saxophones and Charlie Brown electric piano, creating an alluring mix of electronica, jazz and lounge music. This really is one of the loveliest things I have ever posted onto the blog, a really special treat for record collectors across the world. My words don't do it justice, so I'll allow the music to do the talking!

Label: Solstice
Year: 1978
Genre: Jazz, Electronica, Lounge

Characteristics - Warehouse 1018

The US underground is something that I used to post about often, but have recently drifted away from. Cassida Pax, Drew Price's Bermuda Triangle and Tonetta all featured in the early days of the blog, but have since been overwhelmed by a focus on African music and vintage European pop. So here is Marty Roy, nom de plume Characteristics, a home-recording artist from Detroit. This track, 'Warehouse 1018', is a noisy cut of boombox pop, using distorted synths, deadbeat vocals and psychedelic guitar reminiscent of bands like Dungen.

Label: self-released
Year: 2013
Genre: Garage, Psychedelia, Noise Pop

Arthur Russell - Instrumentals A

Before anything, a very happy new year to all! Over on the Facebook page I posted a round up of Dig That Treasure's first few months. Let's hope 2014 provides much of the same!

Starting the new year is Arthur Russell, a favourite of mine and an inspiration on this blog. Russell is a rare kind of musician whose sound feels completely natural no matter what style, era or scene he's exploring. This piece, Instrumentals A, is a pastoral stroll; it feels natural, spiritual and inexplicably up-lifting. Here, Russell embraces the avant-garde, classical music and jazz while remaining accessible and universal. It's this period of his work that seems to have inspired musicians like Julian Lynch, Sandro Perri and Jens Lekman.

Label: Audika (reissue)
Year: 2006 (reissue)
Genre: Jazz, Avant-Garde, Pop