Singer, multi-instrumentalist, charismatic public figure, universal brother-father-granddad to most music loving human beings, here’s how it can sound when Stevie Wonder, the composer, lyricist, producer and duettist, offers other artists a piece of Wonderland.
The femme fatale... A classic figure in novels and operas or a macho fantasy? Circe, Dalila, Manon and Medea (to name but a few) have traversed our imagination for centuries. Ancient man (and bourgeois writers) expressed fear and passion for the ‘eternal feminine’ via La Traviata, Salome and Lulu in the 19th century. For contemporary life we have Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears and Tina Turner, adored as much as they’re sacrificed.
There are countless anthologies, compilations and best ofs, but oddly enough, not many that deliberately choose to focus on Stevie’s unique ability to fill a dancefloor and keep its fire hotter than it was minutes before.
An overview of American rappers who have taken the diminutive Lil’ as their stage name, despite their number of hits, their fame, and even their size being anything other than Lil'.
The incredible journey of the Mael brothers, from their first TV show to their latest soundtrack for Leos Carax.
In Brazil a new generation of artists are fusing rhythms and shaking up established musical codes.
In the space of just ten years Miles did it all: played with Parker, confronted Monk’s cubist silences, invented cool jazz, and even got off heroin. These were crucial years for understanding the experiences that shaped the man who would soon become known as the ‘Prince of Darkness’.
The first Golden Age with Coltrane’s famous quintet. Miles was now writing jazz history. The legend was set in stone one night in Paris, as he improvised over the images of a Louis Malle film.
After Coltrane’s departure Miles felt helpless. But some young recruits would step in to give him a new lease of life. Together, in telepathic symbiosis, they would sketch the limits of chaos.
Two pivotal years of superhuman creativity. Miles Davis listens to Hendrix and James Brown and gives birth to jazz-rock, supported by a group of exceptional musicians.
Miles’ music felt both sumptuous and cursed. In order to live it he dove into drugs, giving everything of himself, even to the point of almost dying and not being able to play anymore. When he came back in the early 1980s, some saw it as a resurrection.
Nirvana’s lead singer never hid his influences and, more than that, he spent his life promoting all the bands and artists who’d inspired him.
36 smashes amongst the recent productions from the UK scene – more proof that Greater London and her suburbs are still at the top of planet rap.
This ‘sorority selection’ hopefully gives the listener an impressive glimpse into quite how varied and meaningful some recent reggae production has been for women recording artists. Very successful and famous artists are featured alongside the stunning voices of those less well known to the public at large. This is a playlist full of emotion and intensity.
The story of Talk Talk is the story of one of the most fascinating transformations in British pop music, beginning just over 40 years ago. Or it’s the story of how fake Duran Duran clones turned into post-rock heralds.
Music From Memory is impossible to pigeonhole and always naturally ahead of the curve. Don’t be surprised if the next favourite album that you haven’t heard yet is released on the label.
Over rivers and seas, human adventure can always be found on boats and much can be imagined there. All aboard for a musical tour of the islands and oceans!
A major Bossa Nova label whose elegant vinyl sleeves reflected its desire for precision and intimacy, Elenco was the work of one man: Aloysio de Oliveira.
Having left us for good on 29th August, let’s take a look back at the first sounds from this other wordly Jamaican producer, whose work changed recorded music world forever.
Cumbia 420 is the musical phenomenon de jour in Argentina. With its skilful blend of cumbia villera and reggaeton, this hybrid sound has millions of young people dancing (under the influence) from the heights of Buenos Aires to the depths of the Pampas.
The recent passing of Charlie Watts, aged 80, provides us with an opportunity to look at his background and examine his role in the alchemy of the Stones. Who was this gentleman with the elusive personality?
Without this minimalist and underground style of icy beauty, bands like Actress or Ariel Pink might never have existed.
Built on the heritage of Japanese music’s Golden Age (the 60's to the late 80's), the current Tokyo music scene is vast, hosting many genres, subcultures and niches, and making the city one of the most exciting local music scenes in the world.
It’s where reggaeton meets sensual pop, MC’s scathing flows describe blatant social inequalities and soaring electronica tries to soothe a violent populous. Welcome to the new sounds from Medellín.
An expression of social and political life, the Carnival is also a liminal space of transgression, offering a celebratory freedom of expression synonymous with challenging the powers that be.
Developed in the US during the 2010s, this subgenre of rap uses lo-fi electro production to create hazy atmospheres of slow rhythms, and mostly sombre lyrics.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Kendrick Lamar. Dive into the sounds of those who shaped the rapper from Compton.
An international selection of the best new dancehall and reggae-influenced music from Jamaica in 2021.
A soundtrack and accompanying story for a lazy afternoon spent in a bar by the beach.
Spotlight on London-based producer Juls, creator of modern Afrobeats, whose unique sound bridges the gap between 20th century highlife, and the digital Afropop that has clubs all over the continent dancing today.
Eclectic Brazilian pop diva Marisa Monte undoubtedly had one of the most successful careers in the history of this musical continent.
Baroque passion, star castrati, vocal pyrotechnics, theatrical storms and strong emotions from Venice to Rome, and from paradise to hell.
Songs written for some, production done for others, rare tracks and star duos. Here we discover the (more or less) hidden side to the career of the former Beatle.
A selection of the best new sounds from Jamaica from acoustic reggae to digital dancehall, 2020 to 2021.
In terms of music, he is Our Father. No need for a calling card, his immense works, even more than that of Mozart, speaks to everyone. Whether you want to meditate or dance amongst the stars, Bach is there, the master of rhythm and enchantment. The proof comes in the number of musical genres that continue to pay tribute to him.
There are two ways to hear the summer. One is with the light music of Bach, Beethoven, Haydn and Debussy. The other is with what emerged from the summers of love between 1968 to 1988 where house music and raves emerged. We will see that these two styles are far from being incompatible.
When modern and postmodern artists venture into the realms of Orpheus and break down musical boundaries.
A chronological exploration for one of the most influential bands of the last century.
Praising the value of demo tapes and original recordings from bands, exploring how they provide an insight into the creative process behind legendary songs.
Music for the bedroom – for lovers, poets and kings. Featuring Purcell, Verdi, Léo Ferré, Depeche Mode, Monteverdi, Charles Trenet, Mel Bonis, Gérard Manset and Prokofiev.
Tracing the porous lines separating Bowie, Miles Davis and Stravinsky from leading figures in the world of modern art like Picasso, Warhol and Dali.
Corridos tumbados (or trap corridos as it’s sometimes referred to – translator's note) forms a musical bridge between the borders of Mexico and the United States, bringing together families separated by exile.
Jimi Hendrix, a Room Full Of Covers, a selection inviting you to rediscover the great composer behind the famous guitarist.
In addition to the beginnings of rap with the Last Poets and gangsta rap with Hustler's Convention, to some of the great classics of what is called Jazz, we also owe Alan Douglas for having allowed several generations of music lovers born after 1970 to listen to Jimi Hendrix without moderation.
Midnight in the semi-darkness of a nightclub. You’re sitting on a stool, effortlessly leaning against the bar.
The birth of a new sub-genre of Latin urban music, from its humble beginnings to its conquest of the international charts.
No, the guitar is not dead and buried under the exhausting pyrotechnics of Guitar Hero. Other geniuses with a six string are developing subtle, intimate and meditative approaches to the instrument, opening up new paths.
Our latest night time journey will take you far from the realms of human existence and is best listened to somewhere between midnight and 5am.
Before hitting the top of the charts, Kid Creole and his faithful Coati Mundi were the champions of an exciting underground, creating the soundtrack to an era somewhere between the vertigo of swing and the surge of disco.
A tour of the different ways in which the sub-Saharan thumb piano has been employed, from reimagined versions of “All Blues” to “Love Supreme”.
Charting the formation and history of the yacht rock genre. Including some of its best and lesser known tracks.
Someone once said that blues is "the melody of a wounded heart looking for a way to heal". With no limits on where the music comes from, this playlist is a series of sad songs, intended to exorcise our pain.
A cult figure for generations of samplers weaned on his sounds and celebrated by lovers of the cinemascope format, producer and arranger David Axelrod is still a name that too few have heard.
The fourth and final installment, in which we take a chronological look at the career of one of the most influential artists of pop (and avant-garde) music.
Part three, in which we take a chronological look at the career of one of the most influential artists of pop (and avant-garde) music.
Part two. Dive into the work of one of the most influential artists of pop (and avant-garde).
Part one. Dive into the work of one of the most influential artists of pop (and avant-garde).
A cross between synthetic and industrial music, the Venezuelan producer’s work can feel like being at a contemporary art exhibition where anything can happen and things might get shaken up. From Björk to Kanye West, Arca is called upon to make music innovative and weird.
In just 10 years High Focus Records has become a cult label in the UK both as guardians of boom bap and as trailblazers for new sounds.
A look at how Theo Parrish's reputation as a DJ and producer over the past three decades has placed him as a cult figure in dance music
Bespectacled punk geek has proved over four decades that he is one of the all-time great songwriters.
As its popularity in America began to decline, disco-fever raged in 1980s India largely thanks to Bollywood’s infatuation with the genre.
Henri Salvador sounds like no one else. Here we celebrate the first years of the most beautiful voice to ever sing in French, from crooner to entertainer, cool to upbeat.
Rich in European, Latin American and Caribbean influences, Buenos Aires is an open-air musical laboratory, where you can find anything from the most danceable cumbia-reggaeton, to soaring organic electro.
During the 1960s, when the accordion still held a prominent place in French chanson, bossa nova sparked interest for music from the tropics, similar to how Baudelaire and Gauguin did with the colonial exoticisms of distant islands, fantasized through biased and colored filters
A genius producer, Moroder introduced the synth to film scores and revolutionised disco and electro pop with an impressive roster of hits.
Gregory Edward Jacobs, known as Shock G, the frontman for Digital Underground, was found dead on Thursday 22th april in Tampa. He will always be remembered as one of most unique talents in hip-hop history. The world of beats & rhymes owes him a funkin’ lot: reviving P-Funk spirit in the 90s, introducing his friend 2Pac to da world, elevating sampling to an art form.
Mixing drums with the sound of waves and shells, Brazilian folk music celebrates Iemanjá, the mother of all African deities
One might feel guilty at enjoying Prince covers, as he openly despised the idea of it and having no say to prevent them. Defying any eternal damnation, here’s a carefully selected bunch of guilty pleasures.
Prince penned, gave or/and contributed, openly, incognito or under a moniker, songs to an impressive and eclectic list of fellow artists. Here’s a joyful playlist to reveal the tip of that iceberg.
Psychedelic music doesn’t only exist under a clear, benevolent sky. It also invokes the dark night of the soul, where our deepest anguish is revealed.
A fragment of the American hip-hop scene is populated by trailblazers willing to dive deeper than ever into discussions of human suffering, violence, drugs, isolation and racism.
The Portugese composer and guitarist crafts creamy dreamy pop, mixed in with some rather surprising inspirations!
One of the most influential labels in jazz, known as “the house that Trane built”.
Zappa wasn’t only a genius composer, he was also one of the most incredible guitarists. So, to paraphrase one of his albums, ‘shut up and listen to his guitar’!
Lully’s trumpets, Rameau’s musical revolution, Couperin’s and Poulenc’s melancholy... join us on a journey behind the scenes of this founding century of French aesthetics.
1966 is a watershed year in music history. A huge amount of songs were big sellers on both sides of the Atlantic and somehow still seep into our bones.
A major figure of the French Touch movement as part of the duos Motorbass and Cassius, Philippe Zdar was also a much sought-after producer in the 2000s for his ability to mix dance, rock, pop and soul.
Thanks to a flow that’s as fast and elusive as the wind, Myka 9 has rubbed shoulders with and inspired everyone from Busta Rhymes to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
Discover the ‘bluesologist’ who paved the way for a generation of hip-hop artists.
In London and all over the UK at the beginning of the ‘80s, ex-punks with eccentric looks were getting the party started again, inventing synthetic pop inspired by glam rock and cabaret.
A living legend on the US rap scene, Tech N9ne has built up an independent empire thanks to his originality and an eclectic taste that stretches from gangsta rap to metal.
After twenty years under the sign of the hybrid groove, the London label has found its second wind. It never forgot where it came from and continues to shine a light on the best developments in the alternative music scene.
It started with turntables and steadily grew to include a huge range of production methods. The first two decades of Ninja Tune were spent ahead of the curve, laying the groundwork for the future of music.
Through his various bands, the mixed metal singer Max Cavalera has never stopped moving in and out of his native Brazil.
Ecstasy and pollen, feverish funk, electro sunrises, songs of change and seasonal dances from Vienna to Manaus.
As a rule, semi-precious energy stones are used for meditation and healing. Of course, each one also represents love... either for oneself or for others.
Away from major labels and the flavours of the month that rule over them, Chicago’s Numero Group are flying the flag for unsung artists and musical oddities.
A vast metropolis at the crossroads of Africa and the Middle East, Cairo is once again home to a music scene whose stylistic diversity bears witness to its creativity. It’s a panorama that ranges from club hits to post-punk bangers.
The eargasm: a feeling of euphoria brought about by listening to sensual music...
Ever since the cultural revival brought about by the Jasmine Revolution, the electro and rap scenes in Tunis have been blooming.
Her enigmatic 40-year career has proved that anyone who thought she was a genius at 19 was right.
The iconic indie label Stiff Records was home to some of the great music of the 70s and 80s. It gave us Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, Madness, and others.
Out with the truckers and the kickers and the cowboy angels. Hear the story of the infamous Gram Parsons from his tangy fingerprint on music’s biggest icons to his fiery desert burial in the sands of Joshua Tree.
Russian winters, icy impressions by Debussy and Joël Grare, northern lights with Sibelius and Saarihao, revisited baroque tremors in electro.