Waldir Calmon - Airport Love Theme

One of the great joys I derive from hip-hop music is the comparison of a sample and the song in which that sample originated. For whatever reason (I am no expert) hip-hop breaks have become increasingly obscure throughout the years, moving away from the disco and funk cuts of the '80s to more recent samples of the most unusual, esoteric records. Crate-digging has gained huge traction as a hobby, while the internet has given way to 'digital crate-digging'. One example is wonderful Vinyl Archéologie community on Facebook, of which I am a member (although merely an observer). This blog is another example: I often trudge through internet archives, lists, videos and so on to find the stuff I post on here. Anyway this song by Waldir Calmon - Brazilian pianist and composer - was sampled by Madvillain on the track 'Curls'. It is a kinda easy-listening fusion on bossa-nova (or post-bossa nova) and funk. I'm really fond of how it juxtaposes the coldness of airports (and lounge music) with the emotion of a love song; it is, after all, the 'Airport Love Theme'.

Label: Copacabana
Year: 1970
Genre: MPB, Funk, Easy-Listening, Bossa-Nova

naran ratan - jam for bwengo

Tasty Morsels is one of the most finely curated libraries of sounds on the web, supplying numerous treats for free on their website. This year's wonderful trees etc. by naran ratan is a prime example: it has Tasty Morsels' stylised cover art, and a sound that slots it perfectly alongside the previous releases on the label, but is still distinctly its own entity. Comparisons are hard to draw but Mark Isham's 1983 solo debut Vapor Drawings or even Woo's ace When The Past Arrives from last year are about as close as I'll get. Trees etc. is only eleven minutes long, but the songs - or 'moments' - here blend seamlessly into one another, melding clarinet, synthesisers and samples of birdsong to create a warm, beautiful and memorable trip.

Label: Tasty Morsels
Year: 2015
Genre: Ambient, New-Age, Jazz, Electronica

Z-Rock Hawaii - I Get A Little Taste Of You

Z-Rock Hawaii is a collaborative effort between Japan's legendary noise group Boredoms and the unstoppable, indescribable, Ween. The latter are in some ways a perfect representation of Dig That Treasure!'s spirit; off-kilter pop, simultaneously esoteric and accessible, serious and tongue-in-cheek. Ween have, however, built such a reputation that they are now by no means obscure. Z-Rock Hawaii are, though. For some reason this project, bringing together the US and Japan's two masters of the underground, did not reach the same heights as either Ween or Boredom's non-collaborative works. Shame. This song, 'I Get A Little Taste Of You', is a sweet ditty with an infectious melody and bonkers passages of Yamantaka Eye's non-verbal yaps.

Label: Nipp Guitar
Year: 1996
Genre: Experimental Rock, Novelty, Noise Rock

Aron Abraham - Amani'do Yetselem

On this blog I have documented a passion for Ethiopian pop music, from the early warbling horn-led music of Selomon Shibeshi to the glossy breakneck r&b of Aster Aweke. Every Ethiopian artist I have featured here offers something different, while remaining distinctly Ethiopian. My search for more amazing music like this expanded first to Somalia (try funk group Iftin for example) and, most recently, to Eritrea. The finest result of my quest so far has been Aron Abraham, a man who now appears to live in Europe but still remains strongly patriotic to his birth nation. The song posted above, Amani'do Yetselem, is from his record of the same name. There are synthetic brass sounds, offbeat key-stabs and interplay between Abraham's voice and the song's various duelling lead instruments.

Label: n/a
Year: 2002
Genre: Jazz, r&b, Eritrean pop

F. Kenya - Dadi Kyi

F. Kenya is (or was) Francis Kenya, a Ghanaian goldsmith who is often considered one of the country's finest highlife guitarists. It was not just this that decorates his legacy, though: he was a huge success across the border in Côte d’Ivoire, in part due to his singing in his native Nzema language. The Nzema people are found on both sides of the border, so this success makes a lot of sense. The song is driven by organs and Kenya's vocals, although his neat guitar licks are what really give it life!

Label: Essiebons
Year: 1975
Genre: Highlife

Jeans Wilder - Sparkler

Here's a song that follows a relatively simple formula with great results. Jean Wilder's 'Sparkler' is hardly unique in its looping of a reverberated rockabilly chord progression, like a warbling prom slow-dance (see also: Suicide's 'Surrender', Dirty Beaches' 'Lord Knows Best'), but it does execute this warm, comforting moment in sound with great skill.

Label: La Station Radar
Year: 2010
Genre: Rockabilly, Experimental Pop

Diveo - Ferris Wheel

This is an unusual inclusion for the blog but one that is wholly justifiable! I don't need to justify anything that I post on here, but I want to because... Well, it might be interesting. At least to me. 'Ferris Wheel' is a saccharine pop song, somewhat in the chiptune vein but also part of a wider pop subculture triggered (but not started) by the emergence of PC Music. The last couple of years have seen a tidal wave of brilliant no-fear pop songs, sweeping the underground but belonging in sound to the greater realms of chart music. However, unlike the folks over at PC Music and a few others (Le1f, Sophie, Anamanaguchi) most of this stuff goes unnoticed in both mass and indie media and instead suffers the fate of being shelved as an internet oddity before being forgotten. This is under-appreciated pop music and that's why it belongs on this blog! Let's just put it this way: if had been recorded in 1983 by a Japanese group I would have not thought twice about posting it. Anyway, Diveo's 'Ferris Wheel' is lovely and highly theatrical bubblegum pop, with a narrative split into two voices: boy dreaming of girl on ferris wheel, and girl on ferris wheel. The male voice gives a wordy rollercoaster of a verse which the girl echoes later and, huzzah, the romance is complete! As the male voice foreshadows at the beginning:"...we find out with some accidental realisation on a summer night beneath the stars where everything feels like a simulated dream but simultaneously real." Synthesizers playfully flirt with percussive pops and hi-hats behind the vocals, completing a really adventurous, modern love song.

Label: Activia Benz
Year: 2015
Genre: Pop, Chiptune, Bubblegum

Lata Mangeshkar - Ab To Hai Tumse Har Khushi Apni

Here's a song from Bollywood playback singer Lata Mangeshkar. It's from the Indian flick Abhimaan, a 1973 drama about two singers who fall in love, become jealous of one another's success, separate, and them come back together. Or something. I haven't seen the movie but this song is certainly tempting me. I've spun this tune twice on my Resonance show, once in full and once as an extract during an interview with The Go! Team mastermind Ian Parton. Why? Because Ian, sampler extraordinaire, wove the beautiful last thirty seconds of Lata Mangeshkar's song into the tapestry that is The Go! Team's 'Yosemite Theme', one of my favourite songs by the band.

Label: ?
Year: 1973
Genre: Bollywood

Jeannie Piersol - The Nest

I've been away from the blog for quite a while now, having either been abroad or stressing about one thing or another. I thought it was apt to return to business with a song that I discovered this summer and one that, since my becoming aware of it, has popped up all over the shop ever since. Jeannie Piersol's 'The Nest' seems to be something of a staple in obscure music circles. It doesn't quite fit into any real classification due to it's relatively idiosyncratic production and vocals, and Piersol only released four tracks in her brief two year career, so the whole joint inevitably faded into the 'to be rediscovered when nerds start blogs' bin of record shops.

Label: Cadet Concept Records
Year: 1969
Genre: Soul, Funk

Resonance FM 16/7/15 (Canon)

All good (great, awesome) things must come to an end. Albeit a temporary one. This was the last episode of Dig That Treasure! on Resonance FM for the foreseeable future, at least in its current form. To celebrate, I did one of those cop-out best-of shows! Yup! Seven of my all-time favourite tunes; a selection of the best songs ever played on this show. Kicking off was the ace 'Daddy's Little Girl' by the utter mystery that is Warfield Spillers. Next up was Roberto Cacciapaglia and Ann Steel's killer collaboration 'My Time' (a total blinder) followed by a back-to-back joint of Mohamed Al-Ali's 'Mili Alay' (Syria) followed by Yeshimebet Dubale's 'I Remember A Man' (Ethiopia). Of course I had to stick an Ethiopian tune in there, and of course it was going to be one from my first ever episode... Next came the glorious Super Eccentric Theatre with 'Oh Les Beaux Japonais!', the Japanese-French hodgepodge earworm. I remained in the Asian continent for the next song, playing the gorgeous 'Prom Likit' by Thai singer Niwat Charoenmit, before closing the show with the very special (for obvious reasons) 'Dig That Treasure' by Cryptacize. Whew. What a show!

Dig That Treasure (16/7/15)
Warfield Spillers - Daddy's Little Girl
Roberto Cacciapaglia - My Time
Mohamed Al Ali - Mili Alay
Yeshimebet Dubale - I Remember A Man
Super Eccentric Theatre - Oh Les Beaux Japonais!
Niwat Charoenmit - Prom Likit
Cryptacize - Dig That Treasure

Resonance FM 9/7/15

Usually I play my music from CDs but this episode saw a venture into the land of vinyl, as I spun choice cuts from my record collection. I think it worked out really nicely, with a warm sound quality and neat segues between tracks. There were a couple of glitches (e.g. the beginning of 'Carbon' - oops!) but otherwise it was a very enjoyable show to perform live. I opened the show with an all-time favourite, Julian Lynch's 'Terra', before playing a few tracks from an impulse-bought Ed Lincoln LP. Then came a song that I've played on the show before but would play every week if that wasn't weird - Ted Chippington's deadpan cover of 'She Loves You'. Next came Ava Luna's 'Carbon' (from my favourite record of the year so far, Infinite House). Of course it would have been criminal not to play at least an extract Francis The Great's thirteen minute jam 'Ravissante Baby' - reissued for vinyl this year - before closing the show with Bill Wells's sweet and serenading 'Lemondale'.

Dig That Treasure (9/7/15)
Julian Lynch - Terra
Ed Lincoln - O Chôro Do Bebê
Ed Lincoln - Catedral
Ted Chippington - She Loves You
Ava Luna - Carbon
Francis The Great - Ravissante Baby
Bill Wells - Lemondale

Resonance FM 2/7/15

This episode kicked off with a song that I had been meaning to play for months and months - the explosive Japanese pop killer 'Suki Suki Daisuki' by Jun Togawa, with its infectious chorus and psycho lyrics. I played some classic easy-listening in the form of Chris Karen, before spinning a blissful version of Tomás Méndez's 1954 classic 'Cucurrucucu Paloma' by Spanish singer Silvio Perez Cruz. I then played Björk's first ever recording (aged nine or ten). This was the recording that, I believe, scored her the deal to release her first album (1977's self-titled LP). I then announced the next 'Dig That Treasure! presents' gig and played a song from one of the performers, Krar Collective. The band are a fantastic Ethiopian three piece mixing traditional instrumentation with funk-driven tunes! I closed the show with the gorgeous The Go! Team-sampled 'Ab To Hai Tumse Har Khushi Apni' (featuring that outro).

Dig That Treasure (2/7/15)
Jun Togawa - Suki Suki Daisuki
Chris Karen - The Face I Love
Silvio Perez Cruz - Cucurrucucu Paloma
Björk - I Love To Love
Krar Collective - Welaita
Lata Mangeshkar - Ab To Hai Tumse Har Khushi Apni

Resonance FM 25/6/15

This episode opened with a couple of psychedelic/folk tunes: the first by French musician Domotic for a "DIY western" film, the second by American 70s act Willow. I then played something by Ethiopian guitarist Mesfin Abebe before diving into the unknown and playing a Greek no-wave/synth-pop track by Λένα Πλάτωνος (or Lena Platonos). I span a "Kollywood" track from a Finders Keepers compilation and then finished the show with a heavily emotional song by Careful, combining acoustic guitar, organ and autotune.

Dig That Treasure (25/6/15)
Domotic - Le Démon (theme)
Willow - Still
Mesfin Abebe - Weyin Alem
Λένα Πλάτωνος - Μάρκος
Illaiyaraaja - Thanimayil
Careful - It's Funny

Resonance FM 18/6/15

I opened this episode up with a party - Henrik The Artist's reinterpretation of Mason vs. Princess Superstar's pop smash 'Perfect'. Next up was Bollywood legend Noor Jahan's 'Disco Dildar Mera', before Ghanaian musician F. Kenya's 'Dadi Kyi'. I believe that's the third Ghanaian tune I've played in consecutive weeks... Next was Richard Dawson's 'Poor Old Horse', a beautiful vocal performance with lyrics based on a poem found in a 1792 scrapbook. Finally I span the electronically infused, glitchy post-rock/neoclassical piece 'Hana' by session percussionist Asa Chang and his group Junray.

Dig That Treasure (18/6/15)
Henrik The Artist - Perfect Workout
Noor Jahan - Disco Dildar Mera
F. Kenya - Dadi Kyi
Richard Dawson - Poor Old Horse
Asa Chang & Junray - Hana

Resonance FM 11/6/15

Hot Point, a Japanese power-pop group, provided a deceptive introduction to this episode - what followed was the gentle campfire folk of Panda Bear, some Reich-inspired minimalism, Ethiopian legend Mahmoud Ahmed's trademark jazz and a couple of songs from The Tahitian Choir (which I played 'blind date' style). It was only with the show's closer, Ata Kak's 'Bome Nnwom', that I reached the pop music that had opened the show; although, of course, this is still entirely different.

Dig That Treasure (11/6/15)
Hot Point - To Tomorrow
Panda Bear - Untitled 3
Kuba Kapsa Ensemble - No. 4
Mahmoud Ahmed - Abbay Mado
The Tahitian Choir - Morotiri Nei
The Tahitian Choir - Te Matamua
Ata Kak - Bome Nnwom

Resonance FM 4/6/15

I started this episode with Super Sounds Namba, an Ebo Taylor funk project, before jumping across the African continent from Ghana to Ethiopia to play a song by Teshome Wolde. I span Delia Derbyshire's 1967 experiment 'Ziwzih Ziwzih oo-oo-oo', a ludicrously innovate tape reel experiment that is - in some senses - proto-techno or even proto-hip hop. I then played a song from Vladimir Cosma's electro-medieval-children's record Enfance, followed by Momus's autotuned 'Nervous Heartbeat'. I closed the show with a beautiful choral piece by the Old Harp Singers of Eastern Tennessee. The recording was made in 1951 and is a rendition of a shape-note tunebook song from 1848. Understandably, this recording is part of the Smithsonian Centre of Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

Dig That Treasure (4/6/15)
Super Sounds Namba - Yes Indeed
Teshome Wolde - Track 4
Delia Derbyshire - Ziwzih Ziwzih oo-oo-oo
Vladimir Cosma - Cristalline
Momus - Nervous Heartbeat
Old Harp Singers of Eastern Tennessee - Ocean

Resonance FM 28/5/15

Starting with French psychedelic Tara King Th., this episode was a far reaching journey around the world, from the mobile phone R&B of Ivory Coast's Joskar et Flamzy to the ancient Maori gospel of Aue La Feia E. Other stops included Kenyan 'Benga' musician Daudi Kabaka and Japanese eccentric Mayumi Kojima. I also announced a new 'Dig That Treasure! presents' show: Julie Byrne and Stephen Steinbrink at Brighton Arts Club.

Dig That Treasure (28/5/15)
Tara King Th. - Ventolin
Joskar et Flamzy - Faroter
Daudi Kabaka - Pole Musa
Aue La Feia E - Pupu Himene de Maeva
Julie Byrne - Emeralds
Stephen Steinbrink - Inanimate Dust
Mayumi Kojima - Ding Ding (Doo Ron Ron)

Profile: Momus

Momus is hard to write about. An artist of such musical and lyrical breadth, so often 'unclassifiable', lends himself to rash judgements and adjectives, some loaded with meaning and some lacking any - 'post-modern crooner' came to my head, only for me to realise that this is empty. Momus sings with the humour of Coward, the astuteness of Brel, the perversion of Gainsbourg and the ultra-modern consciousness of his contemporary Stephin Merritt. He sings of technology, sex and mortality, referencing everyone from Marquis de Sade, Mao and Lucretia to 'alternative literature' muse Marie Calloway. His music is loaded with cerebral wit - he is, after all, named for the Greek god of mockery and satire. But below this hyper-literacy Momus usually lays out soft, sample-laden and synth-based melodies. And, on occasion, Momus reveals himself as vulnerable; whether this is an illusion created by his soft vocals or not is unimportant, for in his music he creates moments that seep from beneath the autotune and academia that are actually comforting and human. In his music - initially intimidating in presentation - I can find more aspects of the human experience than I can in an artist who prides themselves in being a 'heart on sleeve' romantic. Momus champions melody and experimentation, humour and horror, intellectualism and heart. Try the featured song 'The Criminal' as a starting point.

Label: Analogue Baroque Records / Cherry Red Records
Genre: Experimental, Synth-pop, Folktronica, Avante-Garde

Isao Tomita - Arabesque No.1

I haven't done a regular song write-up for a while which is a shame because that is what this blog was started for. I collect so many songs (a lot of which end up on the radio) so I had better get on with posting them here! I was surrounded by 'classical music' as a child but abandoned it somewhat as I grew older and  caught up in my own interests. However, I was - and still am - totally aware of how much 'classical music' has informed my musical tastes: so much of the music I love uses orchestral instruments or complex arrangements. Obviously 'classical music' is a Western tradition, but even when approaching music from Africa or Asia or the Pacific Islands or wherever else I am still guided by these tastes. Somewhere down the line I have also developed a huge taste for the 'folk' musics of a time and place. I am fascinated by the social, economic, political, cultural contexts in which music is made and the idea that a certain music - as much as it may share with the music of another time or place - is entirely its own thing; the product of certain circumstances. A long diversion, but this all brings me to this post's featured piece of music: Isao Tomita's interpretation of Debussy's 'Arabesque No.1'. Tomita was a Japanese pioneer of electronic music, experimenting with synthesisers (namely the Moog) as early as the late 1960s. His recordings capture the nuance and tone of Debussy's work, but also incorporates a sense of playfulness. Some of the sounds here are so fun - chirpy synthetic brushstrokes mimicking whistling, bell chimes, icicles and water. With its electronic innovation and the Japanese obsession with synthesisers, I can only really conclude that this could only have been made in the time that it was.

Label: RCA
Year: 1974
Genre: Classical, Electronica, Experimental

Resonance FM 21/5/15

Thursday just gone I hosted a Frank Zappa special on Resonance FM. I span tunes from across his career (records released from 1968 to 1996), touching on his ventures into jazz, avant-garde, big band and psychedelia. I opened the show with 'Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus' from The Grand Wazoo (a perfect opener, I'd say) before dropping a Zappa rarity: a lounge jazz version of 'Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance', released posthumously. The original featured on We're Only In It For The Money, from which I span a demo version of 'What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?' before leading into a double bill of tunes from Weasels Ripped My Flesh: 'Oh No' and then 'The Orange County Lumber Truck'. I then delved into Zappa's contemporary composition phase, with 'The Beltway Bandits' from Jazz From Hell, before ending with the glorious wig-out jam 'Son Of Mr Green Genes' from his record Hot Rats. I think I represented Zappa pretty well (or at least I played thirty minutes of some of my favourite Zappa tunes). Listen below!

Dig That Treasure (21/5/15)
Frank Zappa - Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus
Frank Zappa - Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (The Lost Episodes ver.)
Frank Zappa - What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? (demo)
Frank Zappa - Oh No
Frank Zappa - The Orange County Lumber Truck
Frank Zappa - The Beltway Bandits
Frank Zappa - Son Of Mr Green Genes

Resonance FM 14/5/15

This episode featured a focus on The Science Fiction Corporation, a collaboration between two German composers that resulted in one of the strangest records I've heard for a while, 1968's Science Fiction Dance Party. It is a strange take on easy-listening, psychedelia and funk, with snippets of dialogue and often drowned in plain silly noise. I closed the show with a track by Storm Band, an Egyptian group making a fusion of jazz and, as they call, a more traditional 'Oriental music'. Other music on the show included Texan indie rock group Summer Salt, Croatian composer B. Zivkovic and Syrian dabke artist Obeid Al Jum'aa

Dig That Treasure (14/5/15)
Summer Salt - Sweet To Me
The Science Fiction Corporation - Hit Parade In The Light Year 25
The Science Fiction Corporation - Visitors of AD 2022
The Science Fiction Corporation - Souk El Juma
B. Zivkovic - Eastern Influence
Obeid Al Jum'aa - Instrumental Mejwiz
Storm Band - Trust Me (Lama Bada)

Resonance FM 7/5/15

In this episode of Dig That Treasure! I kicked off the evening with Isao Tomita's reinterpretation of Debussy's 'Arabesque No.1'. I span some classic easy-listening, then something from the soundtrack of video game Theme Hospital. I played the mysterious A.M. Deballot, some Russian post-punk, then Holy Page alumnus Ever Ending Kicks. I closed the show with Dan Deacon's absurd reworking of Carly Rae Jepsen's chart smash 'Call Me Maybe'. This week's key words: Debussy, video games, 'break the radio'.

Dig That Treasure (7/5/15)
Isao Tomita - Arabesque No.1
Syd Dale - Match Play
Theme Hospital OST - On The Mend
A.M. Deballot - Wudu
Kino - Kamchatka
Ever Ending Kicks - Our Associations
Dan Deacon - Call Me Maybe (147 Times Exponentially Layered)

Resonance FM 30/4/15

The most recent show was quite different to usual. I had Resonance FM fundraising auction winner Robert Wells act as a co-host, spinning ten tunes of his choice. Having only met Robert an hour before airtime, the show is about as spontaneous as Dig That Treasure! gets - it's full of giggling and Robert's quips. I've not had this much fun recording the show in a while, that's for sure. Highlights include The Piggleswick Folk's rendition of 'Teddy Bears Picnic' for three kazoos, and the 'Coward/Brel of the North' Jake Thackray. Tune in and smile!

Dig That Treasure (30/4/15)
Robert Drinkwater - Take One Determined Breath and Then Let It Go (Part 1 of 3)
KateGoes - Animals Who Want To Be Other Animals
N-Qia - shootingstar
Imogen Heap - Glittering Cloud
Ivor Cutler - I'm Happy
The Piggleswick Folk - Teddy Bears Picnic
Jake Thackray - Lah-di-dah
Zoey Van Goey - You Told The Drunks I Knew Karate
Belbury Poly - Your Stories
The Monroe Transfer - Twinkle Twinkle

Resonance FM 23/4/15

This episode began with a track from the upcoming Jean Jacques Perrey record, out on Freaksville in May. I then played Ziad Rahbani (whose uncle Elias I played a couple weeks back) and Ephrem Tamiru, an Ethiopian oldie who I've span on the show before. Moose Hill's beautiful stroll of a song 'Captain Coo' preceded 'Middleman', from Kiran Leonard's project Pend Orielle, before I finished with Final Fantasy's cover of Judee Sill's classic 'The Donor'.

Dig That Treasure (23/4/15)
Jean Jacques Perrey - Hectic Joker
Ziad Rahbani - Ya Ana Ya Ana
Ephrem Tamiru - Mafqer Sewnetie
Moose Hill - Captain Coo
Pend Orielle - Middleman
Final Fantasy - The Donor

Ho Mei Fan - China Night

This is a song whose story I've been trying to piece together for a while. I've found a fair amount of information about it, but whether this information is true or not is another issue. As far as I can tell, Ho Mei Fan is the vocalist and the 'Columbia Orchestra' provide the music (maybe obvious from the large COLUMBIA on the record's label). The song was seemingly written by a group of Japanese songwriters, although Ho Mei Fan is - at least I'd assume - a Chinese name. I read somewhere that it was recorded during Japanese occupation of China, although that would imply a date somewhere south of 1945. This contradicts another bit of information that I've seen that suggests it was released in 1957. Obviously the song could have been released a long time after it was recorded, although I don't see why it would have been and I'm not sure if it sounds like that old a recording. Chances are it is a Japanese piece in the style of a Chinese popular song. Regardless, it is fantastic and 'otherworldly' - not in a backwards Orientalist sense, but in as far as it is so ambiguous in its history and distant in its sound.

Label: Columbia
Year: ?
Genre: Easy-Listening

Ava Luna - Carbon

Ava Luna are a group from Brooklyn who have recently released a new record, Infinite House. Its sound lays somewhere between the fairly vague confines of no-wave and soul, and the less vague, very New York-centric alternative rock formula. Typically, new music released on an established independent label (Western Vinyl) is more the business of Pitchfork, "DIY" and other press-release zeitgeist generators. But this record - albeit from a band I knew I loved - has really stolen my heart. The trouble with the aforementioned sites (those that publish all the same acts doing the press circuit) is that they won't give significant attention to anything that won't return the favour: a major website giving a 'relevant' artist an exceptionally good review will generate a lot of attention and 'clicks' for the site in return, but a major website doing the same for a smaller act with less promotional buzz will, while making a few people happy, do relatively little for the website. Ava Luna are not as marketable as many of their counterparts and subsequently their music is criminally underplayed. It has jittery Captain Beefheart guitars and ESG's funky vocal work, with a heart that follows in a line of awkward erudite New Yorkers -- Talking Heads, James Chance, Dirty Projectors. This track features Carlos Hernandez's calls of "that's the trouble with... that's the trouble with love", possibly the highpoint of the album for me. Anyway, this blog is for the overlooked and I think that, for what it is, this record is exactly that. It is fantastic, nothing less.

Label: Western Vinyl
Year: 2015
Genre: Rock, No-Wave, Experimental, Soul

Resonance FM 16/4/15

It's my birthday, I'll play party tunes if I want to. The most recent episode of Dig That Treasure was on my birthday, so I span extra fun and extra celebratory tunes. I opened with DJ Paypal's footwork rework of Ramsey Lewis's 'Whisper Zone', before visiting Syria and the dabke of Mohammed Al Ali. I played a duo of Television Personalities songs, some orchestral easy-listening, a killer PC Music tune, and a track from one of my favourite Ethiopian musicians, before ending with the soundtrack to a Japanese SEGA Dreamcast video game.

Dig That Treasure (16/4/15)
DJ Paypal - Whisper Zone
Mohamed Al Ali - Mili Alay
Television Personalities - Geoffrey Ingram
Television Personalities - Where's Bill Grundy Now?
The European Sound Stage Orchestra - Cmon In
A. G. Cook - Drop FM
Mahmoud Ahmed - Neshtie
Shenmue OST - Tomato Convenience Store

Resonance FM 9/4/15

This show featured tunes from Azerbaijan, Japan, Benin, Bulgaria, the US and Ethiopia. I started off with Vagif Mustafazadeh's combination of mugham and American Jazz, before stopping off in Japan for a double bill of 80s pop. I span some highlife, easy-listening and Ethiopian pop, before ending with criminally overlooked vocal group The Free Design.

Dig That Treasure (9/4/15)
Vagif Mustafazadeh - Roads
Tatsuro Yamashita - Nightwing (Karaoke)
Hiroshi Satoh - This Boy
Lemed Janvier - Nazali Nayo
Angelo Mikhailov - The Three Hundred Year Itch
Ephrem Tamiru - Anech Nesh Gelay
The Free Design - Never Tell The World

Resonance FM 2/4/15

I returned to a live set up for my latest show on Resonance FM. It was a load of fun, even (especially) the mistakes I made... It's a good feeling nailing a segue, too! I opened the show with James Chance, before spinning a trio of notably kitsch and saccharine tunes. I followed those up with a track from Trinidad and another from Lebanon, then closed the show with a song from Ethiopian keyboard wizard Hailu Mergia.

Dig That Treasure (2/4/15)
James Chance & The Contortions - Design To Kill
? - Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence
Mosiac.Wav - Falsie the Pseudo-Science Girl
EasyFun - Infinity Glisten
Oluko Imo - Praise Jah
Elias Rahbani - Dance of Maria
Hailu Mergia - Sewnetuwa

Mohamed Al Ali - Mili Alay

Syrian music became incredibly trendy in the west a few years ago when people realised it was danceable. Obviously there is a lot more to the music than that, but it is this kind of ingredient that typically makes a previously unheard-of type of music catch on overseas. With Omar Souleyman the loveable figurehead of this development, the music - generally localised to weddings and parties - became universal. Souleyman went from an unknown part-time performer, to niche label Sublime Frequencies alumnus, to working with UK dance's finest, Four Tet. Naturally, a fascination with the music of the the Middle East (and more specifically the Levant) grew and compilations, such as the one featured here, were released. This song is by Mohamed Al Ali, who is practically untraceable online. What we do have of his, though, is this fine example of dabke music. Hypnotic percussion, vocals and mijwiz merge to form a seriously cool, intoxicating tune.

Label: Sham Palace (reissue)
Year: 2012 (reissue)
Genre: Dabke, Dance, Folk

Resonance FM 26/3/15 (The Go! Team)

The most recent episode of Dig That Treasure! on Resonance FM was a particularly special one. The show was dedicated entirely to an in-depth interview with Ian Parton from The Go! Team, my favourite band of all time (and responsible for the greatest album ever released). We discussed their new record, live set up, sampling, imagery in music, and Ian's own passion for the weird and wonderful world of obscure record collecting. I also played two brand new songs from The Go! Team's new record The Scene Between. This is one that I was extremely excited to air, and one that you don't want to miss! Big thank you to Ian for his time and wisdom.

Dig That Treasure (26/3/15)
The Go! Team - Rolodex The Seasons
Lata Mangeshkar - Ab To Hai Tumse Har Khushi Apni [extract]
The Go! Team - Yosemite Theme [extract]
Alèmayèhu Eshèté - Teye Gidyeleshime [extract]
The Go! Team - Back Like 8 Track [extract]
The Go! Team - The Art of Getting By (Song For Heaven's Gate)

Resonance FM 19/3/15

Last Thursday was host to the first episode of Dig That Treasure! on Resonance 104.4fm for almost two months. I guess I will call this newest run of episodes "series four". I began the episode with a couple of tracks by the awesome Eritrean musician Aron Abraham, followed by a tune by popular Azerbaijani singer Oqtay Aayev. I played American sculptor and sometime lo-fidelity musician Ry Rocklen back to back with Dutch oddball Harry Merry, before closing the show with warped rockabilly of Israel's Charlie Megira.

Dig That Treasure (19/3/15)
Aron Abraham - Amani'do Yetselem
Aron Abraham - Ayresaekuken
Oqtay Aayev - Qaytar Eqimi
Ry Rocklen - Under The Radar
Harry Merry - Stevie Storm
Charlie Megira - Tomorrow's Gone

Vagif Mustafazadeh - Roads

This is probably the first time I've really acquainted myself with the music of Azerbaijani music. Vagif Mustafazadeh (otherwise spelled Mustafa Zadeh) was a pioneer of jazz music in Azerbaijan - a country occupied by the Soviet Union for the duration of his lifetime. Because of this occupation, censorship on music was rife and Western imports were minimal. Nevertheless, Mustaafazadeh was supposedly influenced by Bill Evans, among other American jazz musicians. I can't find much online about this particular release, 'Roads', but it's the track that instantly appealed to me while exploring his music. The music is unique, at least to my ears: it's a fusion of the aforementioned American jazz influences and Azerbaijani 'mugham', a folk music.

Label: ?
Year: 197?
Genre: Jazz, Jazz-Mugham, Fusion, Traditional

R. Stevie Moore & Ariel Pink - Come My Way

On my Resonance FM show I've dedicated whole episodes to both Ariel Pink and R. Stevie Moore, each time spinning my favourite rarities from the two. That said, up until about five years ago everything they'd released was a 'rarity'. Anyway, they are two of my favourite artists and ones who have opened me to a load of music that's informed this blog's identity. Naturally, them coming together to collaborate is always going to be pretty special. 'Come My Way' is cut from their record Ku Klux Glam, although the song originally featured on Moore's 1976 effort Stevie Moore Returns. This time around it's Pink providing the vocals while Moore and Jason Falkner lay down the instrumental. Pink is so perfectly suited to the tune - a gorgeous 60s pastiche that you can imagine Pink might have based songs like 'Dayzed Inn Daydreams' or 'Only In Dreams' on.

Label: Stroll On Records
Year: 2012
Genre: Rock, Sunshine Pop

Asei Kobayashi & Micky Yoshino - Eat

Last summer I spent some time in Berlin where I stayed a while in the flat of a Canadian girl, Rhianne, who had moved to the city to study. We met at a Jerry Paper show in a former brothel, and bonded over Haruomi Hosono and Francoise Hardy. One night we got a takeaway and she projected the Japanese surrealist horror flick Hausu against a wall in her apartment. I was blown away by the film's style, a dark sugar-rush that was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. As well as a ridiculous plot, amateur acting and a stunning aesthetic, the film boasts a killer soundtrack. The film's recurring musical theme is a beautiful piano motif although the stand out soundtrack contribution has really got to be 'Eat' - what I can only call 'the best song Zappa never wrote'. It's a crazy groove with a scaling bass, pots-down-the-stairs drums, and wacky/sexy keys. If the film's reputation hasn't turned you onto it yet, this tune will.

Label: Columbia Records
Year: 1977
Genre: Funk, Jazz, Electronica

Ted Chippington - Feel Like Buddy Holly

Always find it hard to write about things that are as unique as this. Ted Chippington (real name Francis Smyth) is a comedian of the deadpan 'anti-humour' variety - those words not being mine, for I find his stuff hilarious. Although it may seem as such, I'm not alone in thinking that. Stewart Lee is a big fan and was heavily influenced by Ted, while Lee's former comedy partner Richard Herring has said that Ted holds "contempt for the very idea of jokes". Given this assessment, one might expect his music to be even less humorous. That's not the case. A reinterpretation/parody of Alvin Stardust's 'Feel Like Buddy Holly', this track features an incredible imaginary encounter between Ted and Alvin. When the latter says "it's raining in my heart", Ted tells him: "ah well, y'know, shouldn't have been waiting outside for me, you should've gone inside the cafe, have a cup of tea while you were waiting - only yourself to blame." I find that nothing short of hysterical. But it's not just humour (or anti-humour) that Ted explores. His music is strangely poignant - his dry monotone atop kitsch forlorn instrumentals is strangely emotive, beautiful even. Fantastic stuff.

Label: Vindaloo Records
Year: 1986
Genre: Comedy, Experimental, Synth-Pop

Mammane Sani et son Orgue - Tunan

Mammane Sani is the first musician from Niger that I've knowingly heard and is probably not the best representation of the country's sound (although who am I to say!). From what I can tell, Sani is a leading figure in the country's avant-garde, composing minimalist pieces for the organ that sound without time. His songs almost take the form of Muzak, but for the warm crackle of the recording crackle that gives the music something personal and comforting.

Label: Sahel Records (reissue)
Year: 1978, 2013 (reissue)
Genre: Electronica, Ambient

Resonance FM 29/1/15

The most recent episode of Dig That Treasure! on Resonance 104.4fm was the last in the current series. It was a particularly whimsical, dreamy episode, starting with a song from Niger's avant-garde organist Mammane Sani Et Son Orgue, before stopping by at a couple of tunes by London-based video game music composer bo en. I also played tunes from Brazilian singer Ivan Lins, kitsch Japanese popstar Lio, Ethiopian jazzer Merawi Yohannis and American bedroom artist Honey_Ear. I closed the show with a beautiful piece of music from French composer Franck Pourcel. I'll be back in about six weeks with more episodes!

Dig That Treasure (22/1/15)
Mammane Sani Et Son Orgue - Tunan
bo en - Everyday
bo en - I'll Fall (feat. COR!S)
Ivan Lins - Corpos
Lio - Clothes
Merawi Yohannis - Teleyeshign
Honey_Ear - Depresterday
Franck Pourcel - Who Can Say

Resonance FM 22/1/15

Last night's Resonance FM show was the penultimate in this series. I started the show with Ethiopian musician Teshome Meteku and followed that with Fool's Gold, an American group strongly influenced by Ethiopian pop and jazz. I contrasted that with the glistening kitsch sound of De De Mouse, before spinning a trio of tunes jumping from the US to Japan to Greece. First was the Hasidic surf-rock group Meshugga Beach Party, then the breathy Shibuya-kei singer Kahimi Karie, then finally the Greek psych-folk singer Mariangela. I closed the show with a noisy cover of 'Lean On Me', by Underwater Peoples artist Andrew Cedermark.

Dig That Treasure (22/1/15)
Teshome Meteku - Gara Ser New Betesh
Fool's Gold - Nadine
De De Mouse - Little Twin Stars
Meshugga Beach Party - If I Were A Rich Man
Kahimi Karie - Zoom Up!
Mariangela - My Dear Life
Andrew Cedermark - On Me

Resonance FM 15/1/15 (Let's Eat Grandma at Cafe OTO)

This episode took a slightly different format to usual - around half the show was spent playing excerpts from Let's Eat Grandma's amazing set at the recent 'Dig That Treasure! presents' show at Dalston's Cafe OTO. I was particularly excited about this episode but more so about the band themselves: there's a lot to expect from the teenage duo! In between clips from the show I span tunes by Frank Zappa and Ho Mei Fan.

Dig That Treasure (15/1/15)
Let's Eat Grandma - Intro
Let's Eat Grandma - Chocolate Sludge Cake
Let's Eat Grandma - Everest
Frank Zappa - Lemme Take You To The Beach
Ho Mei Fan - China Night
Let's Eat Grandma - Eat Shiitake Mushrooms

Resonance FM 8/1/15

After almost two weeks off I returned to the airwaves with a really strong episode. Bookended by underground American acts, the show started off with the boombox rock of Characteristics and closed with a brand new track by Really Big Pinecone. The show also featured a duo of tracks by anti-comedian Ted Chippington - surprisingly endearing and emotive on record - as well as a run of three songs that hopped from Brazil (Quartet Excelsior) to Senegal (Aby Ngana Diop) to Russia (Melodiya). Phew! Listen below.

Dig That Treasure (8/1/15)
Characteristics - Warehouse 1018
Ted Chippington - Feel Like Buddy Holly
Ted Chippington - She Loves You
Melodiya - Шербурские зонтики (I Will Wait For You)
Quartet Excelsior - Batuque No Morro
Aby Ngana Diop - Dieuleul-Dieuleul
Really Big Pinecone - Skyscraper

Resonance FM 18/12/14

This show was the last before the christmas break, so it seemed suitable to play a christmas track - Torkelsen's reworking of 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'. I also span tunes from Somali funk group Iftin, Japanese enka singer Hachiro Kasuga and fictional band The Carrie Nations, as well as a reggae interpretation of Swan Lake by The Cats.

Dig That Treasure (18/12/14)
The Cats - Swan Lake
Iftin - Gabar ii Noqee
Iftin - Lamahuraan
Hachiro Kasuga - Wharf Farewell Song
The Carrie Nations - In The Long Run
Torkelsen - Christmas

I currently do not have access to this episode. I will track it down and upload it eventually.

Resonance FM 11/12/14

The penultimate show before Christmas featured tunes from the soundtrack to 1977 Japanese horror flick Hausu, as well as newer music by Tempest Le Mans and Laurel Halo.

Dig That Treasure (11/12/14)
Pale Cocoon - Shunmin
Asei Kobayashi & Micky Yoshino - Main Theme
Asei Kobayashi & Micky Yoshino - Eat
Julien Gasc - Infoutu De
Tempest Le Mans - Lamb
Laurel Halo - Embassy
Lula Cortes e Lailson - Blues Do Cachorro Muito Louco