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Alula Records explores contemporary world music from all over the world with the desire to share their excitement and discoveries. The label's roster includes Celtic artists from Ireland and Scotland, world beat from the Middle East, world fusion from Japan, contemporary Gnawa music from Morocco, flamenco guitar from Spain, Gypsy rumba from Spain and southern France, Estonian folk music and multiple artist compilations. Also venturing into contemporary American roots music and Alula will feature American artists whose work represents the amazing musical roots and flowerings of our own cultural diversity.
Alula Records pays special attention to detail, from first class CD packaging to state-of-the-art sound quality. We have already won several national and international awards for the quality of its music and cover artwork. In 1998, Alula Records was named a runnerup for World Label of the Year in the Crossroads Magazine Music Awards.
In 1989, ten friends in Barcelona—former members of pop and rock bands like The Elastics, Chemical Alicia, and Sagrada Family— joined together to make Catalan rumba with a rock attitude. Robando Gallinas, their fourth disc, has never been available in the US and offers a more acoustic format than the group’s previous albums.
Tides Between Us
Tides Between Us is reflective of the time Scott Cossu has spent
traveling along the waters of the Puget Sound and the Straits. A portion of the proceeds from this CD will go to the People For
Puget Sound, a nonprofit group working to protect and restore the
health of Puget Sound and the Northwest Straits. Musician, composer, and recording artist Scott Cossu defies
categorization. His background in jazz and R&B—combined with his
years of classical training and his study of ethnic music from Sudan,
Thailand, China, Romania and Ecuador—result in a unique music that
he has performed in concerts worldwide since 1981.
Cossu has produced many successful albums and has toured the world,
giving more than 1,000 concerts. His work also includes scores for the
acclaimed PBS series Nova, film documentaries, and nature videos. Cossu was one of the first artists signed by Will Ackerman for
Windham Hill Records. He recorded for that label for over 10 years.
“Guitarist Paul Schmidt and keyboardist Bob D’Eith compose instrumentals that pack quite an emotional wallop of melodic and rhythmic structuring. Instead of tonal ambiguities, the due fashion tight and potent romantic poems that draw as much upon flamenco themes as Enigma-style wordless soprano vocals.” — New Age Retailer
Maria Kalaniemi, accordion, vocals/Olli Varis, guitar
Maria Kalaniemi is Scandinavia’s most accomplished and celebrated accordionist, winning the prestigious Golden Accordion Award in 1983 and recording several critically acclaimed albums on the Hannibal, Xenophile, and Northside labels. In addition to her rich catalog of solo albums, Kalaniemi has been indispensable as a part of top ranked Finnish folk groups such as Aldargaz, Niekku, and Zeta Bop. Kalaniemi is also one of five star accordionists from around the world featured in the accordion supergroup The Accordion Tribe, alongside other famed players of her instrument such as Guy Klucevsek. Bellow Poetry is Kalaniemi’s first recording for Alula Records, and fulfills a longtime dream to record her first completely solo recording.
Teshome Mitiku has had a legendary 40-year career at the heart of Ethiopian music, forming the massively popular Soul Ekos Band in Addis Ababa in the 1960s. The Soul Ekos Band was the first to combine traditional Ethiopian music with the sounds of electric soul and popular music from the West. They were absolute superstars, playing regularly in front of crowds of 60,000 in Ethiopia, Sudan & Kenya.
Teshome Mitiku is featured on volumes 1, 4 and 10 of the celebrated Ethiopiques series from Buda Records, featuring thrilling discoveries from the vibrant Ethiopian music scene of the 1970s. His songs have also appeared on the popular Rough Guide series of world music compilations.
Hallelujah Chicken Run Band
"Thomas Mapfumo is one of his country’s most influential musicians, with hard-driving rhythms, politically tinged lyrics, and gutsy vocals." — Music Hound World
"The Lion of Zimbabwe," Thomas Mapfumo, is Zimbabwe’s biggest star, one of the most legendary and best-selling African artists of all time. In 1973, Mapfumo helped form the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band and, for the first time, began to shift his music away from Western-influenced rock and explore the traditional music of his Shona people, transcribing the scale of the traditional instrument mbira (or thumb piano) to guitar with his guitarist Joshua Dube. The HCR Band was one of the first to develop the staccato style of guitar for which Zimbabwe is known today, and was also one of the first modern groups to sing in the traditional Shona language – a major act of liberation and an act of protest against the Rhodesian government. This compilation presents 18 of the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band’s biggest and most influential hits, recorded from 1974–1979 and all painstakingly remastered. A series of singles in Shona by the HCR Band recorded by Teal Records (many of which are found here) produced eight gold records in a row beginning in 1974! Take One is a wonderful mixture of songs of liberation alongside poignant love songs. Carefully prepared 24-page booklet is absolutely overflowing with a complete history of the band (edited by renowned critic Banning Eyre), a full detailed discography, and numerous extremely rare photographs and artifacts.
The Green Arrows
4-Track Recording Session
"In the 1970's, when Zimbabwe was Rhodesia, the Green Arrows were one of the country's top bands; they were the first to release a full-length LP, in 1976. The exuberant compilation 4-Track Recording Session (Analog Africa/Alula) includes that album plus 10 songs from 1974 to 1979. Four-track tape neatly captured grooves that drew on local six-beat Shona rhythms, the bounce of South African rock, even a reggae song in English (about "Towering Inferno," of all things). The band is perpetually crisp, and its staccato precision brilliantly offsets whichever voice or instrument is allowed to wander freely amid the patterns, especially when the lead guitarist unleashes imported technology: a wah-wah pedal the South African producer brought from Johannesburg. Translations of the songs, which occasionally got the band in political trouble during Zimbabwe's war for independence, are all that's missing." - Jon Pareles, New York Times
The Green Arrows, lead by the immortal Zexie Manatsa, dominated the Zimbabwean music scene in the 1970s. This extraordinarily progressive group took the country by storm, fusing the different rhythms of the region into one unique and ebullient sound. A milestone in Zimbabwean music history! The Green Arrows, "discovered" by celebrated South African producer West Nkosi, were the first Zimbabwean band to record an LP, which was released in February 1976. So popular were the Green Arrows in the ’70s that when Manatsa got married on August 25, 1979 a crowd of about 60,000 thronged Rufaro Stadium. Some of the performers at his wedding included Oliver Mtukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo. This compilation presents 20 critical tracks that the Green Arrows recorded from 1974 –1979, all painstakingly remastered. The song "Musango Mune Hangaiwa" still holds the record for the longest stay at #1 in Zimbabwean music history. Carefully prepared 24-page booklet is absolutely overflowing with a complete history of the band (edited by renowned critic Banning Eyre), a full detailed discography, and numerous extremely rare photographs and artifacts. After a long absence from performance, the band reunited on stage on the last day of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) on May 1, 2005.
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