Wednesday, October 15, 2008
From Gorilla vs. Bear comes the best news I've gotten in ages: Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit's collaborative effort "The Very Best" released its first mixtape via the internet today. The mix is a warm-up for a full-length album to be released early next year and is as fine an introduction as any band could assemble. Six of the mix's 15 tracks were leaked at various times earlier this year, but it's a credit to the group's talent that those six tracks are not the only good ones presented here. Further evidence is the knowledge of five additional tracks that were leaked earlier this year but not included on this mix that point to an outstanding debut album when that becomes public.
For those who are unfamiliar, Esau Mwamwaya is a native of the African nation Malawi. He emigrated to London in 1999 where he eventually opened up a second-hand thrift shop. On the same street as his shop is the studio of Etienne and Johan a/k/a "Radioclit." The purchase of a bicycle led to an invitation to a party at the studio which led to a most fuitful collaboration. Radioclit produce music that is a cross between electronic dance music, european hip-hop, and tribal/afro-beat pop. Mwamwaya sings in a number of different languages, but has a glorious voice made for pop music that makes the most foreign tongue sound sweet and familiar. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with, a true Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of multicultural pop.
Adding to the buzz is the willingness, even eagerness of various "It" bands to contribute to the project. "The Very Best" counts contributions by chart-toppers M.I.A., Vampire Weekend, and Santogold, plus The Ruby Suns, Architecture in Helsinki, and promises of more surprise guests on the full-length next year.
This mix is easily one of my favorite releases of the year and the upcoming full-length promises to be one of my favorites next year. Do yourself a favor: click on the link, download and enjoy!
Download "The Very Best" (125 MB ZIP File