Friday, September 4, 2009

Music: The Very Best

The Very Best is comprised of the British electronic production duo Radioclit and the Malawian singer Esau Mwamawaya. The group met because the furniture store Mwamawaya ran was close to Radioclit’s studio – a lucky coincidence for everyone. The Very Best gained recognition in 2008 when they released a mixtape that reworked Architecture In Helsinki, Ruby Suns, M.I.A., Vampire Weekend, and even Michael Jackson. The amazing mixtape, which you can still download for free on their myspace, gave them a large fan base before they released a proper album. Pitchfork gave the mixtape their Best New Music stamp, which was followed by a closing set at the Pitchfork Music Festival on a stage opposite The Flaming Lips in July.

Their debut album Warm Heart of Africa, which is now available on iTunes and will be released physically on October 6th, is the perfect soundtrack to the last days of summer. Warm African melodies over danceable electronic beats – is there really any way to beat that? The album’s title track features Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend whose vocals blend well with Mwamawaya’s and make for the standout track of the album. M.I.A. is featured on “Rain Dance”, a track that sounds like M.I.A. if she spent a summer in Malawi. Yes, the songs are sung mostly in Chichewa, but there is no way to feel a sense of jubilation while listening to tracks “Yalira” and “Mfumu”. Really, the whole album is uplifting – something that is becoming increasingly rare.

Johan Karlberg, half of Radioclit and one third of The Very Best, answered a few questions for our readers.

Have you seen, heard, or read anything that you would like to recommend to our readers (film, art, music, literature)?

I just read Bruce Lipton's The New Biology again. It’s a very relevant book to say the least. I also always keep an eye on Deepak Chopra's twittering, it’s nice to get little Rumi quotes etc during the day.

What is your songwriting process like?

Usually we'll be shut in the studio as much as possible and work on instrumental tracks, then Esau comes in and picks what he likes, and then we develop that into a song. Sometimes Esau brings an idea in and we build around that but it usually starts with composing music.

What do you have coming up?

AN ALBUM IN A FEW WEEKS! haha... we’ve done a The Very Best track with Crookers for the Crookers album... we’ve got more touring obviously over the next year. We can’t wait to start workin in the studio again too. We’re off to Malawi for a festival show and a video shoot in October too...

As for Radioclit, we’re workin on a million things... new Kano album, Sky Ferreira album, Marina Vello album... new dance tracks... more artists...


Anonymous said...

Great article! Can't wait to hear the Crookers track.

Anonymous said...

Will you play some of the music on your radio show ?

Derrick said...

I heard their mixtape from last year and it was crazy awesome, bloggers talk about the influence of african pop on many indie artist, but we never get a sense of what this sounds like until now. They sound like vampire weekend mixed with animal collective's feels/strawberry jam/ water curses mixed with yeasayer. Its awesome, I'm looking forward to any releases!

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