Global A Go-Go
Bill Lupoletti | 3:00 - 5:00p.m. Wednesdays
I describe Global A Go-Go as "music from around the world in the universal language of groove." In short, you could call it a world music program that emphasizes the danceable over the folkloric.
"World music" is one of those terms that everybody uses but nobody claims to like; I guess I'm that group too. My favorite definition of world music is that it's "local music from somewhere else." That's a pretty good description of my show as well: most of the artists I play aren't the least bit obscure, they're just popular somewhere other than Richmond Virginia.
I live in a metropolitan area (and a country, for that matter) that is becoming more diverse at a rapid pace. Not everybody recognizes it, and more than a few people are actively resistant to it. But resistance is futile: America has always been a multicultural nation, and now's the time for a little bit more multicultural radio programming.
I've been recording and podcasting my show since 2004, even before WRIR began broadcasting. You can find a ridiculously large number of Global A Go-Go podcasts here:
Orquesta El Macabeo (pictured above) is a 12-piece salsa band from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Their members' backgrounds are in punk, metal, ska, reggae and hip hop -- pretty much everything but salsa. That back-story may remind you of Richmond's Bio Ritmo.
On Wednesday night, Bio Ritmo and Orquesta El Macabeo will share the stage at the Broadberry, along with Miramar and the Peace & Rhythm DJ Crew. But before that happens, Orquesta El Macabeo will play a live set on Global A Go-Go, direct from WRIR's new Studio C, the Community's Studio.
And I'll also interview DJ Bongohead and DJ Andujar from Peace & Rhythm, a new record label specializing in funk, world and jazz 45s. They'll soon be releasing a new Bio Ritmo single, and we're planning to give it a world premiere on this week's program.
Moldova is one of the newest (formed in 1991), smallest (population of 3 million) and poorest (per capita GDP of $5,000) countries in Europe. Squeezed between Romania and Ukraine in eastern Europe, it's where Russian and Romanian cultures collide.
My friend Vlad Cuiujuclu is a native of Moldova, which celebrates its 24th birthday on August 27 (the country's only a little bit older than Vlad is). On this week's program, Vlad and I will play two hours of music from Moldova for your entertainment and edification. You'll hear Roma-influenced sounds, jazz, punk rock and all things in between. Plus a viral sensation you'll certainly know.
We'll get started this week with full-throated singing from Western Asia and Eastern Europe, from the former Soviet Union. Zedashe (pictured above) is nine-person vocal and dance ensemble from the republic of Georgia.
They have a bit of a Richmond connection, they'll be playing here in October at the Folk Festival and live on Global A Go-Go, and their eighth album will be released on September 18.
Also this week: more of Pat Thomas & Ebo Taylor; new releases of West African "golden era" music; and "boogaloo baby, I made it great."
Shangaan electro is the traditional sound of Limpopo in northeastern South Africa, given a 21st century, Afro-futurist Soweto twist. It's an urban dance music that's fast, funny, funky and folkloric all at the same time -- you'll hear a set of it on this week's program.
Also this week: it's cumbia time again, this time from WRIR's new music shelf; rocksteady and roots reggae; and an excursion into Cosmic Slop territory.
Here's a musical instrument you haven't heard before on Global A Go-Go: the gyil is a 14-keyed tuned percussion instrument mounted on calabash resonators, which themselves are lined with the silk from spiders' eggs. The resulting sound is woody with strong sustains and a buzzing decay.
It's built and played by members of Ghana's Lobi ethnic group like SK Kakraba (pictured above), who now lives in Los Angeles and has a new solo album coming out in October on the Awesome Tapes From Africa label. You'll hear the earthy, trippy sound of SK Kakraba's gyil on this week's program.
Also this week: Richard Thompson's Turkish connection; new salsa from Australia and Spain; and singer-songwriters en espanol.
Pat Thomas, "The Golden Voice of Africa," is one of the great singers of Ghanaian music. Pat is back with a new recording, and it's like he's right back in the jazzy, funky highlife scene of the late 70s and early 80s. You'll hear a track from it, surrounded by vintage highlife of the same classic vintage.
Also this week: the final recordings of Burkina Faso's Amadou Balake; Western Standard Time, a new ska big band from Los Angeles; and karindula music from Zambia by Brian Chilala & Ngoma Zasu.