Mambista – January 23

19 Jan

The first two Mambista sessions have been big fun, and much more is planned for the fourth Friday of the month in the warm embrace of the Portico Gallery.

We’re back on Friday 23 January with your post-Xmas, pre-Brazil Carnaval, Samba and Pagode Party featuring Grupo So Kem Eh, live on stage.
And, we’ll be going on midnight, which will be our new finishing time for 2015. Three thousand six hundred seconds extra Mambista for a piffling quid pro quo of one extra of your English pounds!

So: £6, in advance from; £8 for the salsa dance class at 7pm (includes free entry to Mambista at 8pm); £8 for Mambista, now through until midnight.

G x

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Info – 020 8761 7612

Grupo So Kem Eh

Lucas Santtana – Sobre Noites e Dias – Released 24/11/14 on No Format!

19 Nov

Lucas Santtana – Sobre Noites e Dias – Released 24/11/14 on No Format!

Lucas Santtana – Sobre Noites e Dias – Released 24/11/14 on No Format!

Available on CD and 180g Vinyl LP label. Distribution by Harmonia Mundi

Head past the lascivious, raw power and spectacle of baile funk and tecnobrega, and the ever-present samba grooves and you will find a mini-revolution is happening in Brazil. Pop music is being crafted with melody, wit and invention. More than that, it’s being repositioned, the influence of Western pop and rock being replaced by the pulse of Africa and rhythms snatched from Latin America’s new post-dictatorial identity. At the heart of it all is Lucas Santtana.

On November 24 2014 the French label No Format! will release Sobre Noites e Dias, his sixth album and third to be released outside of Brazil. Working with a variety of collaborators, the Bahian-born singer’s latest continues where his last record, The God Who Devastates Also Cures, left off. Once again he combines the acoustic with the electronic, switching between reflection and something more visceral, the hustle of the city followed by the countryside’s gentle whisper. It’s this passing of time, of emotions through the day, that is referenced in the title, Sobre Noites e Dias translating as “during the days and nights”.

Recorded in Brazil as well as Paris, the new album features collaborations with French actress Fanny Ardent on the hypnotic “Human Time” and French rapper Féfé on the African-infused “Diary of a Bike”; with members of São Paulo’s afro-punks Metá-Metá embellishing many of the tracks; and another French ally, renowned cellist Vincent Segal, on the contemplative “Blind Date”. Rio’s tecnobrega innovator Omulu and the German DJ and producer Daniel Haaksman provide their assistance on one of the album’s stand-outs, “Funk dos Bromanticos”. It’s a track which screams of a new found sense of freedom in Brazil, Santtana making reference to the same-sex couples who attend his shows and of the same-sex ‘friends’ who are not afraid of showing their love for each other, the ‘bromances’ of the title, in a string-drenched fusion of pop, dubstep and baile funk. It’s the perfect example of Santtana’s polycultural method of making music.

Sobre Noites e Dias started life on the road, Santtana working closely with his live band of Bruno Buarque and Caetano Malta to create the base for this album: loops of guitars, beats and digital instrumentation that ensure this is the most electronic album of Santtana’s career. The comparisons to Four Tet and Thom Yorke have never seemed so apt; the latter’s solo work particularly coming to mind on “Montanha Russa Sentimental”, a tense electronically-charged meditation on life, love and the “sentimental rollercoaster” of the title.

When stripped down to acoustic guitar, as on the glorious album closer “Velhinho” it’s Devendra Banhart and Sebastien Tellier that come to mind, while on diversions into bouncing electro-pop there are echoes of Beck and Metronomy at their rhythmic best. In fact, it’s only on the carnival march of “Mariazinha Morena Clara” and the finger-clicking bossa swing of “Partículas De Amor” that we get a hint of Santtana’s origins.

Sobre Noites e Dias is an album in which Santtana adds a Brazilian accent, but which drinks from the same sources as his peers (Beck, Banhart, Yorke, etc.), creating global music that unites pop with invention, that’s electronic but full of soul, and that’s ‘world music’ only in an ideological sense. Until the music industry changes their categorisation system, Santtana’s “polycultural pop” is destined to confuse record store owners but thrill the public.

Lucas Santtana Biography

After playing flute in various orchestras in the Brazilian state of Bahia, Santtana made his recording debut in 1993, performing on Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil’s Tropicalia 2 album. He would continue working as a flautist with Gil and on a variety of sessions throughout the 90s. However, at the same time, he was learning to play the guitar and writing his own songs in downtime while touring. These songs started to see the light of day through collaborations with Arto Lindsay, Marisa Monte and Daniela Mercury until he released his first solo album, Eletro Ben Dodô, in 2000. It was the start of a cycle of albums that focused on different sounds and textures. That debut was percussive; his second, Parada de Lucas (2003), was electronic, inspired by the nascent baile funk; the third, 3 Sessions In A Greenhouse (2007), was heavily influenced by dub; Sem Nostalgia (2011) was a response to bossa nova, inventively crafting new sounds from just guitar and vocals. His fifth, The God Who Devastates Also Cures (2012), suggested the start of a new cycle, a synergy of everything that has gone before, and which has continued with Sobre Noites E Dias (2014).

Written by Russell Slater

DUDUVUDU – The Gospel According to Dudu Pukwana. Released 8/12/14 via Edgetone Records

19 Nov

DUDUVUDU – The Gospel According to Dudu Pukwana

Released 8/12/14 via Edgetone Records and distributed by Harmonia Mundi

A tribute to the late, legendary South African Saxophonist featuring musicians who played with him: Harry Beckett, Annie Whitehead, Nick Stephens

I first heard Dudu Pukwana and the Bluenotes (Johnny Dyani, Louis Moholo, Mongezi Feza, Chris McGregor) at a pub in 1966 when I was a student at Leeds University. It was the genesis of a personal musical journey leading up to this very special project. The Bluenotes changed the face of European jazz forever, weaving a fiery eclectic mix with No Boundaries! You can read the story of their remarkable journey under the crushing weight of apartheid in Maxine McGregor’s beautiful book, Chris McGregor & the Brotherhood of Breath: My Life with a South African Jazz Pioneer. Those lucky enough to have been exposed to Dudu’s music will forever be in the grip of a rare and beautiful musical spirit. More than 20 years after his death, his uniquely original music lives in a powerful and inspirational way.

Duduvudu has been a family affair – a true international, multi-generational collaborative labour of love with the direct involvement of those most intimately associated with Dudu, The Bluenotes, and The Brotherhood of Breath: trumpeter Harry Beckett (his last recording session), percussionist Thomas Dyani, bassist Nick Stephens, trombonist Annie Whitehead, and guitarist Pierre Dørge (New Jungle Orchestra), Dudu’s widow Barbara Pukwana, Hazel Miller of Ogun Records (and the widow of Blue Notes bassist Harry Miller), and Veronica Beckett, widow of Harry Beckett.

The initial recordings were done in London with the addition of Dave Draper on guitar, Mark Sanders on drums, Jody Scott on trumpet, Ntshuks Bonga on alto, and Chloe Scott on flute. Additional tracks have been recorded in San Francisco by some of the Bay Area’s finest. The Musical Director of Duduvudu is the renowned London-born, San Francisco-based flautist, Chloe Scott. Jody Scott is co-producer/chief mix engineer on the project.

Although there have been a number of recordings dedicated to Dudu and the Bluenotes, this tribute focuses on an area perhaps not explored in depth – the blues/gospel/dance imbued in the music. As out as it gets, the groove is woven throughout. At times it reminds me of Ed Blackwell with Eric Dolphy or Ornette Coleman. Check out the bass line of Ezilalini, the funk of Diamond Express, the a capella fanfare of Sekela Khuluma, the odd-meter treatment of the classic tune, Mra. Musicians here span an age range of 60 years, yet all respond to Dudu’s music in a fresh way.

Harry, Annie, and Nick, each who played extensively with Dudu, spoke of the hymnals and the brass bands they grew up with and hear in this music, of the joy, the intensity, the fire, the groove. The title Duduvudu brought a smile to Barbara’s face, remembering the magic, the voodoo, the spell that Dudu’s music cast over all who were touched by it – and now that means you!

Duduvudu is dedicated to the late Harry Beckett, whose endless support, humour, and encouragement made it real. Notes by Andrew Scott

Dudu Pukwana 18 July 1938 – 30 June 1990
Harold Winston “Harry” Beckett 30 May 1935 – 22 July 2010

MAMBISTA – new monthly live music and dj night. Launch: Friday 24th October

9 Oct

at the Portico Gallery
23A Knights Hill, London SE27 0HS

Launch night
Friday 24th October

19.00 – 23.00

With Son Caribe Trio
Playing funky, Cuban roots rhythms
DJ Gerry Lyseight
(Mambo Inn, Mango Landin’, Planet Mambo / BBC London 94.9)
Spinning a superior selection of Latin, African and Jazz from far and wide.

Advance tickets: from
Contact: 020 8761 7612

FB: Mambista
Twitter: Mambista

Doors: 19.00
Salsa class: 19.00-20.00: £7 (includes free club entry)
Mambista in session: 20.00 – 23.00
Fantastic Food, bodacious bar and all round niceness guaranteed

On The Night: £7
Advance tickets: £5 from

Mambista is a new monthly live music and dj night at the Portico Gallery. Every 4th Friday of the month will feature bands representing the 21st century’s global village and deejay Gerry Lyseight, aiming to nice up the dance floor.

Keepin’ it local!!

Transport: West Norwood BR, Buses: N2, 2, 68, N68, X68, 196, 315, 432, 468, 690

Mambista: on the 4th Friday of the month onwards …

Next session: Friday November 28 with live music from Adam Glasser Quartet – South African Jazz and beyond


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