Shika Shika: fostering global collaboration between artists across continents
From Bandcamp bio:
“Shika Shika is a record label without owners for music without borders. We want to bring together producers from around the world exploring the line between organic and electronic music. The platform aims to foster global collaboration between artists, designers, videographers, product designers and creative minds across continents.”
And a full statement on the label’s latest release ‘Mare Insularum’:
“Today marks the dawn of a new era in the politics world and 2016 saw monumental shifts in how the world is shaping up for the future. Inspired by an atmosphere of desperation, frustration and a lack of hope we went to music to seek solace, inspiration and a reminder of the incredible things humans are able to do if they are open minded, work together, cross borders and get creative.
Mare Insularum translates as Sea of Islands and also the name of one of the many lunar seas. In line with Shika Shika’s vision, the album not only showcases music that is blurring borders and genres, seeking inspiration from past and present, but also music that offers hope, escape, inspiration.
We believe in the power of music and we believe in the power of collaboration. Despite the shift in the white house and the apparent slide into a dangerous new world, at Shika Shika we also believe 2017 is going to be a year of resistance and of hope.
We want to say thanks to all the artists for contributing new tracks, edits and pieces directly written for this compilation.”
Fiesta Bizarra: Peruvian screamo influenced by dance and emo
Sometimes a band’s name properly reflects its sound. Think of Fiesta Bizarra, for example. The translation from the Spanish literally means “bizarre party.” And the music of this five-piece from Peru feels like a crackling feast: twinkly and melodic, fast and thrilling. On the other hand, a fiesta where a guy screams at the top of his lungs is at least slightly odd.
Fiesta Bizarra is a young band from Trujillo, the third biggest city in Peru. They play a very distinctive and lighthearted type of screamo which occasionally turns melancholy but never enters the realm of desperation or depression. Their sound is sort of reminiscent of Floridian bands Gillian Carter or You’ll Live. It’s probably not a coincidence, and it’s even tempting to call this genre “oceanic screamo,” where emotions are still real and burdensome but cold and foggy landscapes are replaced by sunny beaches.
After two EPs and a 4-way split record with bands from Germany, Italy, and Malaysia, the band released their first full-length last year with Sadness Sorrow Imathgination. While Fiesta Bizarra doesn’t seem to want to take themselves too seriously, like the joyful atmosphere and titles such as “:3” or “RAR” suggest, their songwriting is worthy to be taken seriously.
Their songs stir offhandedly between fast screamo parts and math-rock moments. Drummer Mateo Novoa never keeps the same rhythm for more than a few seconds and constantly adds dynamism to the band’s sound. Most of the job, however, is done by the delightful weaving of the two guitars, alternating passionate strumming and twinkly neurotic melodies. Singer Yosefu Rodriguez unceasingly screams with all of his heart and throat; even when his voice takes a break, the band’s sound is truly rousing. Like in “Oh Summer Summer!”, where a more melodic emo approach is chosen with glaring efficacy. Or in the opening and closing tracks, where the tender voice of guest vocalist Noelia Cabrera grants even more variety to a record that’s already a great example of how variegated screamo can be.
Moro: putting an Argentinian sound and face to NON
Buenos Aires musician Moro is a member of NON, a worldwide resistance movement for African artists and supporters. Okayafrica did a great profile on NON and Moro’s self-branded musical style dubbed “Ramba,” which is part revival club part and part imaginative beat making that, in this track below, features a lovely Björk remix.
Part of me feels silly writing about Elza Soares on a blog that tries to support younger, up-and-coming international acts. However, Soares releasing a new album in 2016 didn’t get as much attention among my peers as it should have (or maybe I live under a rock). So in honor of the end-of-year “Best of 2016” recap season, I figured it was time to give some more love to one of Brazil’s greatest vocalists. For more on Soares’ background, check out this “Best New Music” Pitchfork review.
I found Sikuri while scanning TIU, and I’m glad I found these spacy yet beat-driven tracks. According to Remezcla, Sikuri is a reference to an ensemble form of Andean pan flute music, usually performed in groups so that compositions can span a wider range of sound. You can find more Sikuri via his London label Trax Couture.
What would Joni Mitchell sound like covering Nick Drake with Bon Iver’s banjo player and percussionist? Whatever that is, Buenos Aires’ Karina Vismara would smoke ’em. She has a voice, and it’s never caught trying to justify boring guitar playing or any old trick we’ve heard a million times. Vismara’s secret weapon is in her writing, for she knows when to move from haunting coffee-shop fingerpicking folkie to I’m Gonna Bang And Wail On My Guitar And Scream Without Raising My Voice And I Will Devour The Pin That You Can Hear Drop When I Play. She’s that good.