Moments can be monuments: Cassandra Jenkins sees David Berman everywhere

Cassandra Jenkins had only known David Berman, leader of cult favourite Silver Jews, for a couple of days. Berman, her, and a number of other musicians were rehearsing to bring his latest record to life on stage. For at least two months of touring, they would be Purple Mountains – or ‘David Berman and His Handsome Grandkids’, as he jokingly called the ensemble – had Berman not taken his own life, mere days before the first show. For Jenkins, this sudden loss, and the events that followed, would result in her most sincere and impactful recording to date: An Overview on Phenomenal Nature, a monumental album, permeated by Berman’s singular spirit.

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This Machine Kills Portuguese Fascists: how Fado Bicha are rewriting the rules of musical tradition

João Caçador and Lila Fadista met in Lisbon through their mutual love of fado. Initially, the rigid conventions of the traditional music genre didn’t seem to match their queer identities, but, together, they found a way to make it theirs. Now, they discuss defying conservatism, representing a silent legacy and fighting back theresurgence of the extreme-right in a country on the eve of a presidential election.

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Ored Recordings is bringing traditional music from the Caucasus into the here and now

As a teenager, Bulat Khalilov had a strong dislike for the culture he grew up in. Now, his record label Ored Recordings is one the standard bearers of traditional folk music from the Caucasus. In recent years he’s visited ethnic groups across the region to make field recordings of their deep-rooted musical traditions. What started out as naive curiosity about “cool” folk music, has become an impassioned mission to breathe new life into the traditional music of the Caucasus.

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