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Browsing archives for 'Sound Alert'

Coming in May: New Toumani Diabaté & Sidiki Diabaté album

News,Recent CDs of Note,Sound Alert 6 March 2014 | 0 Comments

Father and son.

“The finest Toumani collaboration since his classic work with Ali Farka Toure”
~ The Guardian

Album trailer:

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New Tinariwen Video / New Album Feb. 11

News,Recent CDs of Note,Sound Alert 30 January 2014 | 0 Comments

From OkayAfrica:

Tinariwen‘s hypnotic Tuareg guitars and hymn-style vocals provide the ideal accompaniment to a hazy desert ride in the music video for “Imidiwan Ahi Sigdim.” The track is the latest single to drop from the Northern Malian desert blues outfit’s upcoming album Emmaar, which they opted to record in California’s Joshua Tree National Park in order to avoid the current turmoil in Mali. The video for “Imdiwan Ahi Sigdim” follows a grainy, “memory dripping drive” from a side-view mirror, watch it below.

Emmaar is out February 11.

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Sound Alert 23 November 2013 | 0 Comments


A new, interesting and detailed blog post on the Langley Schools Music Project has caught our eye.

You may recall Highlife’s own Kevin Finseth was involved.

What is it about children’s choruses in pop music? Is it a nostalgic response? Is it a nod to ephemerality, an awareness on some level that the exact same kids a year later would have totally different voices? Whatever impulse drives producers (cough cough Bob Ezrin) to deploy that move, it’s enough of a cliché that when it’s used, it’d better be done effectively, like in “School’s Out,” or hit the unsuspecting listener like a bomb as in “Another Brick In The Wall Part II.”…

A great example of getting it spectacularly right dispenses with the pop singer and producer altogether and just leaves the whole job to the kids. The celebrated Langley Schools Music Project was undertaken by novice music teacher Hans Fenger, who eschewed typical children’s fare for his chorales, favoring instead the recent radio pop of the time – the mid ‘70s, with a lot of British Invasion and Beach Boys in the mix. Two vanity-pressed LPs were made, both recorded live in school gyms. Those albums would have gathered dust on proud parents’ shelves or languished in Vancouver thrift store bins had they not been brought to the attention of WFMU’s longtime champion of outsider music, Irwin Chusid. Chusid arranged for the release of the albums on Bar/None Records, and the CD Innocence & Despairwas released to acclaim in 2001.

Read the full post here >…

And note the comments at the end of their post – where Hans Fenger comments on the stalled plans for a Part 2.



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Nardwuar vs. Questlove on Vancouver & Philly

Sound Alert 6 July 2013 | 0 Comments

Unusual Instruments

Sound Alert 1 July 2013 | 0 Comments

Here is an interesting article on unusual instruments:


Highlife co-owner Kevin Finseth has a rare Bass Balalaika and has used it on his recordings.

He is releasing a new CD this summer: “The Wounded Quartet”!


Jack White’s Public Recording Booth

Sound Alert 10 May 2013 | 0 Comments

This looks like a lot of fun!

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Mali: Perspectives on the Music in Light of Recent Events

Sound Alert 19 February 2013 | 0 Comments

Highlifers feel a deep connection to Mali through the wonderful music and musicians we’ve gotten to know.

The current political unrest is unsettling.

Here is an excellent article discussing the situation and the music, including a nice collection of videos by Fatoumata Diawara, Damon Albarn, Amadou & Mariam & Manu Chao, and Oumou Sangare.


New Afropop Worldwide radio series: “Hip Deep Angola”

Sound Alert 22 January 2013 | 0 Comments

Via boingboing a heads-up to a new 4 part series on music from Angola. Listen to part 1 below.

Angola is not an easy place to report from even now, but until recently, it was almost impossible. From 1961 to 2002, it was at war on its own territory, emerging with little in the way of infrastructure. Now, fueled by oil revenues, it’s undergoing a massive national construction project unlike anything else in the world. Produced by HIP DEEP co-founder Ned Sublette, who traveled to Angola in July, and featuring commentary by leading musicians and distinguished scholars, HIP DEEP ANGOLA will air on public radio stations around the country via Public Radio International.


And there’s tons of other good stuff on the Afropop Worldwide Soundcloud page, like this from Highlife favourite Youssou N’Dour: