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Weaving Tango-rific Discotheque Music

Ok, don’t be scared or confused by the headline to this week’s World Music Show (8/9). On this week’s show, we’ve got a couple of different themes going on—well, perhaps we can call these musical threads, because the songs culled for these two hours sort of weave in and out of genres, countries and styles. Trying to pinpoint a good solid theme, especially when some of the songs appear to be from one locale or genre on the outside, but then turn that theory on its head, is difficult to do this week.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the thread being woven: We’ll maneuver from a Tropical Discotheque through some Brazilian re-dos featuring some alternative musicians, then check out what Italian electronic tango music sounds like, and somewhere within the two hours will be a dose of throat singing as well as a dance number or two of Bollywood music. See what I mean?

Now, if you’d like me to slow it down a bit, here’s a mildly longer explanation.

Starting off the first chunk of music will be couple of songs from the club scene in South London. A few years ago, the DJs there morphed a couple of styles together—namely Caribbean, West African and South America—and dubbed it Tropical Discotheque. It's also called Sofrito music. The sounds are both old and new. And if you feel like, you can turn it up and dance to it—depending on where you’re listening.

Speaking of old and new, from South London, we’ll move over to Brazil to hear cover tunes of some Tropicalia classics. The newness of these covers (two from the legendary Caetano Veloso) are done by some Alternative Latin bands, such as Of Montreal and Os Mutantes, Apollo, Ceu and A.S.A. Tropicalia, by the way, was an artistic movement that started in Brazil in the 1960s but spread to the rest of the world, thanks in part to people like Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Antonio Carlos Jobim and more—and those are from just the musical side of that movement. The other genres were film, books and art.

Gotan ProjectAs mentioned, we’ll be mixing or threading some styles and genres of music. Here’s a good example—the band Gotan Project likes to take the classic Italian Tango music and plug it in—literally. The outcome is electronic Tango Music, which sounds moody, melodic and rhythmic all at once.

Other highlights of the first hour will be tracks from Diego Garcia, Llama, David Starfire, Vieux Farka Toure, Los Lobos and their alter ego band Latin Playboys.

For hour two, we’ll continue weaving a tangled web of tunes, going from funky-afrobeat-Latin alternative music from the band La Chiva Gantiva to the Mexican alternative, long-running band Café Tacuba—and that’s just in the first set of music!

In another chunk of tunes, we’ll start off with some very unique throat singing that’s mixed with a good steady beat. The singing comes from the late Kongar-ol Ondar, who was one of the masters of Tuvan Throat singing. The beats will come from the San Francisco Bay Area band Dirtwire, who had the honor of recording some tracks before Ondar passed away last year.

In yet another reference to threading and weaving, we’ll weave in some Bollywood film music along with some classic Afrobeat music from Nigeria (as well some new music from Nigerian Afrobeat musician Seun Kuti), and mixed in too will be tracks from the French trio We Are Enfant Terrible, who happen to provide another thread or theme from this hour—electronic beats.

So whether you like knitting or love World Music, this week’s show should be on your menu of things to do. The World Music Show appears on the airwaves and digitally each Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. EST or online via this website. Get updates and commentary via Twitter @wcveworldmusic.