"internationalist music", "guerrilla jazz" and "global protest music". They are a loose collective from London that was started in 2011 by guitarist Giuliano Modarelli and pianist Al MacSween and has grown over the years through their international travels to collaborate with renowned performers from the worlds of Flamenco, Indian classical and Arabic music. They take their name from the Arabic word for "Enough" which became the catch cry for a movement for change in Egypt during the Arab Spring uprising.
Each track on the CD is effectively prefaced by a spoken
word snippet from various radio stations around the world, and
from different moments in history. Themes of equality and
liberation are woven throughout. The opening Ethio Jazz infused
track "Indignados" is a cracker, taking inspiration from
the Spanish movement of the same name and letting rip with some
wild saxophone riffs along the way. On "Intifada" ( with
fabulous Oud solo, massed chanting voices, and the sound of
choppers overhead) one can easily imagine oneself in the midst of
the Palestinian struggle for a secure homeland.
"Bella Ciao" is a brilliantly upbeat, ska version of the
classic Italian anti-fascist anthem. "New Routes"
references the problems of so many refugees and migrants arriving
in such overwhelming numbers in places like Lampedusa and could
easily have been recorded in Kingston, Jamaica. It layers the
beautiful Italian Solento vocals of Alessia
Tondo over some seriously heavyweight dub reggae. "Manush"
(featuring Deborshee Batacharjee)
and "Symphony" (featuring the soaring vocals of Nicki
Wells) both take us to the heart of ethnic and economic struggles
on the Indian sub-continent, through sublime sounds that Nitin
Sawhney would have been proud of creating (Sawhney himself
describes Kefaya as "a unique voice" and Wells has lent her voice to his music in the past)
"Protesta Flamenca" revisits Spain with some classy
flamenco guitar and plaintive Gypsy vocals to pull on our heart
strings, and "Whistleblower" brings a touch of sinister
electronica (Edward Snowden's exploits come to mind as the
possible inspiration) and dubstep beats to finish the set with a
flourish. As a debut release, they don't come much stronger than
In the face of recent dispiriting political developments worldwide, many of
us could easily feel somewhat dejected about the lack of a future for our offspring. But if we wish to gain some inspiration, and to feel reconnected to the
ongoing global struggle for peace, tolerance, equality and justice
for all, we can invest in a copy of "Radio
The CD's featured on this blog are among my favourites from those I've recently discovered and played on my weekly radio show. You can hear the Local Global Show every Monday evening (8-10pm AustEST) on Bellingen's 2BBBfm Community Radio. It's a mix of World, Folk & Roots with a bit of Jazz, Punk & Hiphop thrown in for good measure. 107.3fm or 93.3fm if you are in the Bellingen area ; 2bbb.net.au or via the TuneIn App or Radio Garden from wherever you may be.
Saturday, 17 December 2016
Kefaya "Radio International"
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