“The Trance Of Seven Colors” reissue by Maleem Mahmoud Ghania & Pharoah Sanders

Essential reissue: Gnawa master Maleem Mahmoud Ghania meets  spiritual jazz legend Pharaoh Sanders and  it´ a milestone in western – eastern jazz collaborations. Until today only available on quite obscure tape, this is the first official (double) LP release by a Berlin based new label called Zehra.
Well done!

Available on vinyl for the very first time: “The Trance Of Seven Colors” by master Gnawa musician MALEEM MAHMOUD GHANIA and free jazz legend PHAROAH SANDERS. Produced by BILL LASWELL and according to The Attic “one of the most important albums of Gnawa trance music released in the ‘90s”.

Originally released in 1994 on BILL LASWELL’s AXIOM imprint, “The Trance Of Seven Colors” is the meeting of two true musical masters: MALEEM MAHMOUD GHANIA (1951 – 2015), son of the master of Gnawa music MALEEM BOUBKER GHANIA and the famous clairvoyant and “moqaddema” A’ISHA QABRAL, and a master of the traditional Gnawa style in his own right. MAHMOUD learned this craft as a youth along with his brothers, walking from village to village, performing ceremonies with his father BOUBKER and was one of the few masters (Maleem) who continued to practice the Gnawa tradition strictly for healing (the central ritual of the Gnawa is the trance music ceremony – with the purpose of healing or purification of the participants). With 30 cassette releases of music from the Gnawa repertoire with his own ensemble and performances at every major festival in Morocco, including performing for the King in various contexts, MAHMOUD GHANIA was also one of Morocco’s most prominent professional musicians.
In 1994, BILL LASWELL and PHAROAH SANDERS went to Mocrocco, equipped with just some mobile recording devices, to record GHANIA and a large ensemble of musicians (to a good part family members) in a very intimate set up at a private house with the legendary free jazz musician contributing his distinctive tenor saxophone sounds that gained him highest praise as a truely spiritual soul right from the days of playing with JOHN COLTRANE and his wife ALICE and on seminal solo albums like „Karma“.

The aptly titled „The Trance of Seven Colors“ ranks among the best Gnawa recordings ever released , made it onto the list of “10 incredible percussive albums from around the world” by Thevinylfactory.com and is 25 years after its original CD release on finally available on vinyl! 

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Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit

4 Stunden dauert der Film Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit von Thomas Heise, der seine Geschichte und der seiner Familie über fast 100 Jahre folgt.

Es ist eine Collage und mehr ein visualisierter Museumsbesuch – und doch denkt man am Ende, dass der Film noch viel länger hätte gehen können und fast etwas überstürzt abbricht. Insbesondere als er bereits 1992 über die Zeit nach der Wende und die Ausschreitungen der Neonazis in Rostock spricht die Gründe dafür brilliant analysiert, glaubt man sich an die heutige Realität erinnert.

Poetisch, episch und zeitlos mit immer eindrucksvollen, teils auch schwer auszuhaltenden Bildern, vergleichbar vielleicht nur mit Edgar Reitz´ Heimat Chronik.

Der Film läuft noch im Krokodil und im Wolf, vermutlich nur noch diese Woche.


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Sunday Selection: Dravier, Nérija,Kit Sebastian, Xen, Leonie Pernet

From Seattle here are two amazing drone / ambient releases by Dravier, that remind of early 2000´s high wolf or ducktails experimental electronics. Hypnotic,music to meditate to, a slow grower.


From Brazil here´s a contemporary psych – rock band called Kit Sebastian, the debut album and the 7″ “mantra moderne” is out out via mr. bongo records:


And here’s some jazz from the uk by a female band called Nérija – fresh and new. Listen to the drum arrangements!


And at last, now two releases by artists hat played amazing concerts at pop culture last week: Israel´s band Xen and their latest mysterious ep “Pere Adam” and french artist Léonie Pernet with the debut “crave” whose melanche of french pop,wave,  afro and dance elements is really cool.The concert at panda theater was one of my highlight last week.

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Old Pine Tree


– a late summer mixtape –

Last week I got a package from Californians´ Gnome Life Records with the fantastic new record by Little Wings called ” People” and a tape by Fountainsun. So here´s a mixtape with some melancholic late summer folk tracks combined with a few latin picks by the amazing compilations Venezuela 70 pt. II & Jambu e os misticos sons de amazonia


little wings / fountainsun, durutti column, arthur verocai, vitas brenner, fernando yvosky, gropo da pesada, lake, Attarazat Addahabia & Faradjallah, Joseph Allred, Heyden Pedigo

by the little dog laughed
40 min.
cover is a still of the little wings lp “people ”


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“Dance of the Subaltern”: Amirtha Kidambi´s Elder Ones

Northern Spy released recently “From Untruth”, the second LP by Amirtha Kidambi´s Ensemble Elder Ones  after the 2016 CD only release “Holy Science”.

These 4 Tracks are called: eat the rich / dance of the subaltern / decolonize the mind / from untruth – and so is the political agenda of this amazing record. Power, colonialism, capitalism, black consciousness,  truth / untruth.

And as divers is the music: There are free jazz elements, spoken word parts, a scattered singing (This approach is called is a so called carnatic musical singing style with hindu influences) of Amirtha Kidambi in literally 3 octaves like in Eat the Rich, sometimes her voice and way of singing reminds of Matana Roberts, sometimes more of an classical opera singer, sometimes whispering and crying to the instruments.  

The leading track of this record is to my point of view is the track “dance of the subaltern”, starting with an smooth voice intro and then after 2, 3 minutes the keys, the bass and the drums beginn and the voice is screaming in a tour de force parcour together with the soprano sax:

my rights are the leaves trampled upon by the feed of armies –
your rights are the leaves trampled upon by the feed of armies

The music is surely uneasy to listen to, there is no relief with these issues and themes, there are no clear song structures,  there has be these breaks and tensions, it is sometimes like a free jazz impro – but then there are beautiful harmonic melodic parts like the end of this track with the chorus:

Carried by the ocean we will rise / Buried by the ocean we will drown  

We will rise / We will drown

As beautiful is the chorus and the saxophone parts in the middle of the song From Untruth

from darkness into light /  from death into living  

It is a kind of bipolar soundtrack of these days political debates and the ongoing transformations in the society, told in an amazing musical language.

And it´s a statement -a dance of the subaltern. We won´t be silent.

Get this record here:  https://northernspyrecs.com/product/from-untruth/

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Have you heard the latest news from Neptune ? – A Summer Mixtape

A Summer mixtape starting with folk & singer songwriter tunes continuing with more reggae, soul & uptempo songs ending with a sun ra track, the title is taken from – all cuts from vinyl – enjoy !

Diane Denoir & Eduardo Mateo / Barna Howard / Ilgen Nur / Sun Ra / Myriam Gendron / Temples / Os Mutantes / Malouni / Derya Yildirim / Wlliie Wright / the Cranes / Altin Gün / Ernest Ranglin / Winston McAnuff / Doug Carn / Burnt Ones / Desmond Dekker

the little dog laughed


sing along:

rabadoubadem rabadoubadem babambadim rambabadoum babadoum babadouba rimbabambadamdi rabademdi… rabadoubadembadambadoumdei rabadoubadem badampam rambabadoum babadoum babadoubadam dii rabadoubambam bademdei rabadoubedem bambademdei rambam ba diiii badei ramadabadam bam bam badei ramadabadam bam bam badei rambabaloubadam bei rambalabadei rambalibedil badam badim rim rabadim rabadibadam dei rabadabada bam bam badem dei ram pam rabadam papadam rabadam

(props for the essential fu man chu lyrics go to jog black:

Wlliie Wright (performing the incredible ain´t no sunshine cover out on cannonball)

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Whitey on the Moon – a Black Spiritual Jazz Mixtape & South African´s “Spaza” Release


Inspired by the recent long awaited reissues of Horace Tapscott and Abdullah Sami, this is my second spiritual jazz mixtape – the first one you´ll find here: https://soundcloud.com/joe-le-taxi/linsurrection-qui-vient-or-brother-malcolm-a-revolutionary-spiritual-jazz-mixtape

This time the focus is on black political jazz, mostly from the 70ies but as well featuring new releases by Makaya Mc Craven, The Last Poets or by Johannesburg´s Spaza, whose amazing debut is being released next week.
with tracks & excerpts by :

Sun Ra / Brother Ah / Sarah Webster Fabio / Spaza / Abdullah Sami /
The Ensemble El Salaam / Philip Cohran & the Artistic Heritage Ensemble / The Last Poets ‎ / Makaya Mc Craven / Ndikho Xaba & The Natives / Walt Bolen / Doug Carn / The Awakening / Horace Tapscott & The Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra / Philip Cohran & the Hyptotic Brass Ensemble / Pharoah Sanders / Gil Scott – Heron

by joe le taxi

foto is a still from a
Pharaoh Sanders LP


Listen to the amazing eclectic Spaza – Spaza LP from South Africa, released on the Label Mushroom Hour Half Hour 21. June 19

Conceived in the Mushroom Hour Half Hour lab, SPAZA is a band with no permanent personnel, with each lineup assembled for the express purpose of recording once-off improvised or workshopped material. For this, the initial salvo, SPAZA was put together from a group of musicians with individual and collective links to Johannesburg’s jazz, afro funk and experimental electro scenes.

In the context of this completely improvised album, the term “spaza” not only refers to the gallery in Troyeville, Johannesburg where this project was recorded live (and in one take) in the autumn of 2015, but to South Africa’s thousands of informal neighbourhood stores.

In South Africa, “spaza” has come to signify an entrepreneurial spirit, especially in the country’s black townships where economic barriers to business ownership mean that only a few can attain the status of formal business ownership. In the country’s socio-political context, spazas, usually operating out of converted garages, shacks or repurposed shipping containers, are also contested territories. They are sites of often fatal bloodshed where financially disenfranchised South Africans routinely mete out their frustrations on those they consider “foreigners” and “outsiders”. It is these outsiders who have come to dominate the spaza economy. However, spazas are also colourful, with their facades branded, styled and designed by each owner. They can become the nerve centres of social activity in the communities they occupy and are often stocked with an array of iconic South African brands and products, many of which are referenced in the track names of this album.




Abdullah Sami

Horace Tapscott

Philip Cohran

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