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)