Wednesday, November 25, 2009

AOTW: Radio Tarifa - Rumba Argelina





I've been thinking about posting this as AOTW for a while. It's something I've never mentioned on RR, I think, but I find it fascinating. The concept of Radio Tarifa, a band from Spain (I'm sure our Spanish correspondents know more about them than I do...) is that they are broadcasting from a radio station in Tarifa, the Southern tip of Spain. The music accordingly combines elements of all the music you might find in that area - Spanish, North African, Arabic - plus they toss into the mix some other types of music as well (there's more than a tad of Cuban influence, I believe). An amazing array of instruments shows up on the album - guitar, tar (persian lute), buzuki, derbouka, ney, crumhorn, tenor and soprano saxophone, electric bass, electric organ...

I've always been fascinated by parts of the world that see a lot of different cultures coming together - by the food and the art and the stories that emerge - and this is an example of that. It's an odd mix, but it really seems to work.

It's in the box.

Here's their website.

Here are a few tracks...

Lamma Bada

"a straight reading of one of the most oft-played tunes of the Arab world...retaining the song's modal structure (ie, all the instruments, even the bass, playing the same line at once)

La Canal

Nu Alrest

An adaptation of a song by a medieval troubadour named Walter von der Vogelweide, "dominated by the crumhorns and the melancholy tenor of Javier Raibal..."

12 comments:

Makinavaja said...

Hi Steen - as you can guess, I'm very happy to see this here! I think your appreciation of their music and influences, etc is pretty accurate and am only going to add this link to their (English Language) website.
¡Gracias por este "Disco de la semana"!

Makinavaja said...

Hope this link actually works!

steenbeck said...

Hey, thanks, Makinavaja! I was adding a link to their website as you posted your comment.

I think maybe I should have said...Here's a band I like but don't know much about--maybe we should ask makinavaja and Lambretinha-- Hee hee.

lambretinha said...

Whoa, Radio Tarifa! I really didn't see this one coming, steenbeck:

Flamenco fusion has a funny story in a way. Flamenco has been picking influences from other styles for centuries, (obviously arabic, but hindu or subsaharian -directly, and via spanish colonies in the caribbean islands, mainly Cuba- as well. It should be noted, since you're mentioning Cuban influence, that Tarifa is in the province of Cádiz. Due to its location, the town of Cádiz was the natural point of entry in Spain for vessels coming from the American colonies, and Habaneras are one of the musical styles that have had more influence in Southern Spain's music) However, the whole idea of purposefully mixing flamenco with pretty much anything else was anathema in Andalucía until not so long ago(purists, eh? lovely bunch they are!) It wasn't until late 60's, early 70's, in a time where the country was opening up to the world for many different reasons that it started taking place, from people like Paco de Lucía (moving into the jazz direction) to prog-rock oriented bands such as Triana, or harder to classify personalities like Camarón de la Isla. But it was in the eighties when it really took hold, with World Music carving a niche for itself elsewhere, and with the development of a homegrown record industry. That's when bands like Pata Negra (one I think you might like, btw...) or Radio Tarifa, and later with Ketama, Tomatito or Enrique Morente, started having a repercussion outside of flamenco's natural fanbase. Among all of them, you could say Radio Tarifa were the ones taking more risks (they're not my favourites, but then, I'm from the other side of Spain. I'm familiar with this music because I live here, but it is almost as foreign to me as it may be to you, to be honest!)

Shoey said...

But who is brave enough to post some EOTWQ's?

Makinavaja said...

OH. I will if no-one else wants to. They'll be about otters and stuff. Promise!!

ejay said...

I was wondering about that Shoey...
This looks good Steenbeck, and would it be fair to say you live in such a part of the world? I know it's not quite the melting pot I was taught at school but still, I like tothink that at its best, the US is capable of such mixing, and create something truly American, like Jazz.

steenbeck said...

I was wondering that too, SHoey!! Please do it, Makinavaja! that's part of the reason I did an AOTW.

Lambretinha - very interesting...I almost feel bad about posting this now, because I've been thinking of it for a while, before you and Makinavaja were part of the community, and I didn't want you to feel obliged to respond...

I think I might have gotten the album from my mom, who is trying to learn arabic, and is obsessed with all things middle eastern, and would have liked the arab influence, but I honestly can't remember.

I'm going to look up Pata Negra and the others, though.

And ejay - yes! YOu're absolutely right!! I was going to preface this by saying that I was jealous of people that lived in Europe because another country/language/culture were right over the border, but it is all around me. Not a different country, obviously, but...

I'm still jealous of people that have a different country over the border or across a channel. Sigh.

Makinavaja said...

I bags EOTWQ's, then. Up tomorrow at about 7 p.m. Spanish (6 p.m. GMT). Nothing to allow dissing or arguments - I promise.

Makinavaja said...

Oh and Steen, I don't think Lambre or I felt obliged to respond. I think we were both happy to do it and pleasantly surprised to see something from our neck of the woods posted from so far away!

lambretinha said...

...oh, what Maki said...

And happy Thanksgiving Day to you and the rest of the 'Spillers from the US!

glasshalfempty said...

Hola! Thanks a mill for this Steen. I was in Cadiz a few weeks back, but as we sailed past Tarifa I was more interested in the dolphin than thinking of turning on the radio! I'm increasingly getting into Arabic music, and this crossroads music is very accessible. Loving songs like Soledad.