Stavroz is big. Considering the facts that this Ghent-based collective has been releasing a string of solid EP’s over the years (through labels like Laut & Luise, Délicieuse Records, Denature Records and their own Moodfamily) and that they have played sold out venues in every corner of the world, it’s remarkable they have not yet been featured on any major magazine cover. More so, few people may actually know that other than Amelie Lens and Charlotte De Witte, Stavroz was the third act representing Belgian club music on Coachella this year.
Since the release of their debut EP in 2013, IJsbrand De Wilde and Gert Beazar – both DJ’s and sound engineers – made Stavroz grow into a full band, now joined by Pieter De Meester and Maxim Helincks. Although the guys have a background in club culture, they have a unique way of stretching their concept of dancefloor music by blurring tempos and taking the listener into new and surprising directions. Some call it electronica, while other fans came up with the name gangster jazz. For the guys themselves, organic house still covers the load. Red Bull Elektropedia met with Gert and IJsbrand at their headquarters in Ghent for a little coffee chat.
Listen to the full EP, streaming below
Moodfamily will release Gold Town EP on December 6th, 2019
Sublabel of the Belgian record reissue label Radio Martiko dedicated to the renowned Egyptian singer Om Kalsoum (1904-1975) who was active from the 1920s to the 1970s. The name “Souma Records” is called after Oum Kalthoum’s nickname “Souma” in her native Egypt.
A Night With Om Kalsoum
Enta Omri is Om Kalsoum’s most famous song, composed by Mohamed Abdel Wahab, who is still rightly regarded as a prominent musician and composer in Egypt. The creation of this song was the first long expected collaboration of two musical giants, which came at the repeated urging of Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser. There was talk in Egypt on the streets and in the media about what was believed to be a cold relationship between the two legends. Finally, after years of estrangement, Mohamed Abdel Wahab took the initiative and offered Om Kalsoum a song by poet Ahmed Shafiq Kamel, for which he had just composed a musical score. To his surprise, she responded positively and started to like the theme upon hearing it a few times. After a month of rehearsals, Enta Omri was released in February 1964 to critical acclaim and packed performances. The event was so grand it was labeled The Cloud Meeting.
With Enta Omri, Abdel Wahab opened up the traditional repertoire of the diva to a more innovative style, for which the composer was known for. The use of the electric guitar and a long instrumental intro, fusing oriental themes with Western musical elements, made the song particularly special, securing its place in Egyptian musical history. Despite some criticism from other Egyptian composers from that era, the song was soon recognised as a milestone and opened a path to modernise Arabic music for many other musicians and singers. Enta Omri is loved by Arab and non-Arab audiences alike. Paying respect to the great diva, dozens of artists around the world have reinterpreted the song, adopting the intro’s catchy guitar melody in their compositions.
Mohamed Abdel Wahab wrote another big score for Om Kalsoum in 1972. In Laylet Hob (A Night of Love) we hear Arabic music and poetry in perfect symbiosis. The rich and lengthy instrumental intro is just a precursor of the emotion present in this song. The talent of the composer is underlined by how he utilises the traditional style of singing poetry in a more open and creative way. Abdel Wahab’s infusing of long and groovy interludes with varied tonality, rhythmical patterns and an overall unique approach, carries Om Kalsoum’s powerful voice and brings the song to an incredible climax. In this way, he gives more colour and depth to the music and the skilled soloists in the orchestra are finally able to breathe. Sensual rhythms, breaks and breathtaking solos of accordeon, guitar (Omar Khorshid), violin and organ (Hany Mehanna), have ensured this song is an all-time classic for belly dance routines.
Enta Omri and Laylat Hob are released by Souma Records
From Far Out Recordings‘ in-house producer, Daniel Maunick‘s debut solo album Macumba Quebrada conjures scenes of collective hedonism from start to finish. Spanning Afro-Brazilian spiritual dance ceremonies, late-eighties Detroit techno parties and jungle and broken beat raves in nineties London, Maunick celebrates our instinctive, age-old desire to come together and lose our sense of self.
Reflecting his dual residence between Rio de Janeiro and East London, Macumba Quebrada features deep house stompers and broken bangers littered with Brazilian rhythms – in the form of both dusty percussion and Maunick’s intricate drum programming. But the album sees Daniel draw inspiration from across the black music continuum, and the rich histories of communal celebration in Detroit techno, Chicago house, London D’n’B and New York disco. Bringing all this together in explosive peak-time club tracks, moments of eerie ambience, South American swing and tribal earthiness, Macumba Quebrada expands on Maunick’s recent vinyl-only EPs A Vicious Circle and Sombra Do Dragao, with a 13-track double LP and 14-track CD and digital release.
3 preview tracks of Macumba Quebrada below.
Macumba Quebrada is released by Far Out Recordings
Samy Birnbach is member of post-punk / wave band Minimal Compact and responsible for compiling the classic downtempo / ambient late 90s Freezone series on SSR Records (parent label of Crammed).
Samy Birnbach, aka Dj Morpheus, has worked to compile a new release for Musique Pour La Danse. Titled “Beauty Now For The Future [Lysergically United]”, the release features a number of post punk, wave and alt rock tracks – many of which are notoriously difficult to find and rare. Tracklist can be seen here. Streaming is now available online with the release forthcoming both on vinyl and digital from December 6th.
“Created around the Ghent guitarist and composer Jo De Geest, the Belgian sextet draw on influences from jazz, rock and post-classical music, where minimalism, electronics and a cinematic atmosphere characterize their instrumental music.”
When it came to recording the album, the band searched for a balance between the venturous, accessible and playful character of jazz music, in which John Ghost has its origins, and a carefully thought out selection process with the production, with a sharp eye and ear for detail. Seemingly simple earwigs are underpinned by driving undertones that inspire harmonic twists and a rhythmic and melodic stratification, that often results in a very danceable soundtrack.
‘Airships Are Organisms’ was produced by Jørgen Træen (Jaga Jazzist, Kaizers Orchestra, Hubro, Sondre Lerche,…).
Artwork by Syrian visual artist Mohammed Zaza, currently living and working in Lausanne.
Listen to two tracks from John Ghost ‘Airships Are Organisms’ new album.
‘Airships Are Organisms’ is released by Sdban Ultra
Italian label Stroboscopic Artefacts will mark its 10th anniversary in November with the release of X – Ten Years Of Artefacts, a 13-track compilation featuring music from various affiliates of the label.
The label will follow the compilation’s release with a special remix EP featuring reworks of back catalogue tracks by Donato Dozzy, Caterina Barbieri, Ben Klock and Xhin. Lucy and representatives of the label will also embark on a US and European club tour starting next month and continuing into January 2020
Stroboscopic Artefacts will release X – Ten Years Of Artefacts on November 15th, 2019.