Many years ago, I had the unexpected and good fortune to see Ivan Milev in concert and to knock back a few drinks with him afterwards. He was touring with Yuri Yunakov at the time (soon to be the subject of a post himself) and Milev just blew the place’s mind. He could play fast (dizzingly fast), with soul, with style (he does this trick where the flips the accordion on his back) and was just a fine entertainer. He was going to play a show in Atlanta fairly recently, but it got cancelled and that was quite the disappointment. Anyway, enjoy some Milev for your weekend dance party…
One of the most interesting things to me about this whole project so far is seeing how hip-hop gets translated to other cultures. In a lot of ways it doesn’t look all that different from what we have here in the USA, it’s just in a different language. That brings us to today’s entry, Goodslav, a Bulgarian hip-hop artist. I haven’t really been able to find out much about him other than he seems to appear in a lot of other people’s videos. I have no idea how popular he is or what his story is, but like I said, I always like looking at the hip-hop/rap a country has on offer (as well as their rock and metal.) The first song is his, the second one is one he guests on.
Born in Kardzhali in southern Bulgaria, Ivo Papasov is a clarinet player that plays like he’s ingested rocket fuel. It’s absolutely mind-boggling some of the things these guys do on their instruments. Though I’ve never seen Papasov live, I have seen Yuri Yunakov (the sax player in the band in the first clip) and it was one of the most memorable nights of music I’ve ever had. While this style of music certainly isn’t for everyone, one can’t help but admire the virtuosity behind it.
Bulgaria, with a population of just over seven million is July’s adventure. I was going to go with somewhere bigger whose music is more well known, but I’ve found that I’ve had the most fun so far with countries a little more off the beaten path. There are a few bands from Bulgaria that I listen to already, but I’m hoping to find something new for myself this go around. Hope you enjoy…
Tinariwen are a Tuareg band from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali that formed in the late 1970s and finally began to gain international recognition in the late 90s when some of the group members travelled to France. They’re about to kick off a big European tour next month and have a couple of dates in NYC at the end of June if you’re up that way. I’ve heard their name a bunch, but never really explored their music until I started on this post. Enjoy, and there’s links to their site and MySpace page below the videos…
Afel Bocoum was a member of Ali Farka Touré’s band and Touré is widely viewed as his mentor. While the influence is obvious, Bocoum (also from Niafunké) is still his own man and plays his own music. The second song “Ali Farka” is a tribute to his mentor. Enjoy…