Episode 264: Uyai - Ibibio Sound Machine

London's Ibibio Sound Machine "...is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West African funk, disco, modern post-punk, and electro" and on their first release on North Carolina's vaunted Merge Records, they've refined their sound without skimping on any of its power. Full of songs that are just as likely to make you consider injustices in the world as they are to get you on the dance floor, Uyai is a triumph for the band and maybe a sign of a new direction for Merge. PLUS! After having his life "turned upside down" in 2014 when he discovered he was adopted, DC based super-producer/DJ/U Street Music Hall proprietor Will Eastman turned to his creativity to guide him through the turmoil, and Hilo, his new LP, is the result. 

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Episode 498: Dezron Douglas and Brandee Younger 's 'Force Majeure'

Season 10, Ep. 498
While the pandemic of 2020 affected just about every aspect of our lives, it was professional musicians who may have been hit the hardest. Without the possibility of tours or even an audience, artists who previously relied on performing their work for a living were forced to re-evaluate how they would get by. For many, this meant a shift to DIY streaming performances, which, while they have the potential to offer uniquely intimate connections to artists, have not proven to be a suitable replacement or method of output. Enter bassist Dezron Douglass and harpist Brandee Younger and their series of shows on Instagram.What began as a simple way to connect to friends and fans over “brunch” became a bright spot to look forward to in the early days of the pandemic. Locked down in their apartment in New York City, the two interpreted an entire history of song revealing almost by accident that no matter what the circumstance, no matter how bleak it got, music and art would find a way.Force Majeure, the resulting album of highlights from those performances, is many things, but above all, it is a gift. For all the darkness we ALL experienced this year, despite all the confusion and pain, Douglass and Younger’s spirit manages to illuminate the world and let the listener know how not alone they really are. A musical journey through our seemingly endless days so filled with beauty, humor, and, most of all, life,Force Majeurestuns, not by being flashy, but by being human.