August 27, 2009

Very Best: M.I.A. Party Mix Down

M.I.A.'s success has opened the states to a wide view on international music. From Brazilian funk to Middle Eastern/Indian soundscapes heard on her albums and the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire" (which she contributed her voice, tracks, remixes and production), Maya's spearheaded a movement to bring worldwide musical flavors to American ears.
Now we have M.I.A. lending her talents and revolutionary party beats to a European production team and Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya Afro-conscious project, The Very Best. "Warm Heart of Africa" just dropped on Tuesday and it's awesome.
(NOTE: it's only out digitally. The CD hits stores Oct. 6)
The Very Best is receiving critical acclaim for its high-energy live performances and genre-bending sound in wake of its first U.S. tour. The band came together when Mwamwaya first met Radioclit’s Etienne Tron in 2007 while haggling over a bicycle in the London second-hand furniture shop he ran near the duo’s studio. Following the exchange, Mwamwaya was invited to Tron’s house-warming party where he met the other half of Radioclit, Johan Karlberg. Esau was asked to come to Radioclit’s studio after he told Karlberg he was a drummer. It turned out Esau was a singer too and they decided to collaborate, combining Radioclit’s vast production experience and self-described “ghettopop” style—having produced and remixed tracks for the likes of M.I.A., Lily Allen, Justin Timberlake, Santigold, Britney Spears, TV On The Radio, David Banner, Buraka Som Sistema among others—with Mwamwaya’s emotive vocal approach. Karlberg dubbed Mwamwaya “the African Phil Collins,” and they have been recording songs together ever since. 

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