‘WALLS HAVE EARS’ is the new album from Transglobal Underground, featuring family members from the beginning, the present and the future. If you would like a review copy of Walls Have Ears email firstname.lastname@example.org
Transglobal Underground – “Walls Have Ears” released Friday 1st May 2020
Transglobal Underground have been described as “an anarchic self-built non-structure that goes it’s own way.” It’s probably the best record they’ve made.
Here’s a video for a track called Ruma Jhuma. The track features Natacha Atlas and Sheema Mukherjee.
Transglobal Underground – Walls Have Ears
You’ve gone your own idiosyncratic way since the 1990s. You’ve refused labels, moved in and out of different scenes and styles, achieving different forms of success in different parts of the world. Sometimes you’ve been a band, sometimes a production team, sometimes a bunch of DJs, sometimes simply indescribable. You still thrive in a world where everything you’ve ever done is instantly available from the start of the story up to the present.
People are never sure of who you are, yourself included. Members come, go, come back, but it’s not a question of joining or leaving, so weren’t they always members in any case? You’ve been described as a collective but that’s too solid a definition.
You’re closer to an anarchic self-built non-structure that goes it’s own way, follows it’s own plans and those so-called members, most of whom aren’t members at all, simply follow.
Once the city was a joyful noise, one big random pirate radio playing random music from random cultures making random connections across lines of history, genre and lifestyle. The rules weren’t being broken, they’d simply disappeared and the growth of sampling, electronica and dance culture invited a future full of possibility.
Now that future has arrived and turns out it’s a bleak forest of red crane lights. What isn’t burned down is sold off and replaced, and a new city, designed to streamline and neuter any creativity, builds walls to keep out it’s own inhabitants.
So, in reaction, you keep shining your own light. You keep following your own path. You keep it funky. And, when the walls are put up, you listen to the walls until the walls listen back.
Here’s a video by TUUP for the track called Bloodshot Eyes. The song is a post electoral observation from Transglobal Underground. This appears on the new album ‘Walls Have Ears’
‘WALLS HAVE EARS’ is the new album from Transglobal Underground, featuring family members from the beginning, the present and the future. It will be released on May 15th by Mule Satellite recordings.
RUMA JHUMA: the return of Natacha Atlas to the Transglobal family! TGUs original lead vocalist duets with the UKs best known sitarist Sheema Mukherjee in a gorgeous first recorded collaboration.
THE PEOPLE CARRIER: a ride on the Chelsea Tractor from Hell. Dubulah of Dub Colossus to the fore on bass.
MIND THE GAP: a tribute to the Central Line with Sheema Mukherjee duetting again…this time with Inder Goldfinger, an original member and now with Winachi Tribe on platform 3 waiting for the Northern Powerhouse.
STAND UP (NIFHAMOU): a north African trance rhythm filtered through London and Paris, with Natacha Atlas flying off into some spectacular improvisation.
Transglobal Underground – Polo Neck from the album ‘Walls Have Ear’s.’ It’s an instrumental except people are singing on it, so it’s not an instrumental.
If you would like a review copy of Walls Have Ears email email@example.com
REVIEWS so far…..
With swaggering reggae beats to modern Maghrebi, the near-original line-up reunites for a new studio album.
Transglobal Underground were ahead of their time. Thirty years ago they rose from the ashes of the underrated indie band Furniture as a fusion of dance and world music, the furrow they have ploughed ever since. A revolving cast of characters have come and gone — the Egyptian-British singer Natacha Atlas, whose subsequent solo albums have ranged from Cairene strings to Arabic jazz; Nick Page, known in his TGU incarnation as Count Dubulah, who went on to Syriana, Xaos and most notably Dub Colossus; Johnny Kalsi of the Dhol Foundation and Imagined Village. TGU were in effect a proud net exporter of talent to the UK’s world music scene.
Recently the band went from centrifugal to centripetal. Atlas and Dubulah returned to the mother ship, funds were crowdsourced, tours were held, and something approaching the original line-up came together for Walls Have Ears. The collisions are as glorious as ever. The opening track, “City In Peril”, rides in on a swaggering reggae beat with chants of “move over” and a fluent trumpet solo from Yazz Ahmed, and Tim Whelan’s flute fluttering over the top. Atlas duets with Sheema Mukherjee, the band’s sitar virtuoso, on “Ruma Jhuma”, a love song in Hindi and Arabic with gently swaying tabla. The two pair up again on the drifting “Future Ghost”. The “decanting” of social housing residents, “tattooed and decoded/locked up in boxes, their homes . . . outmoded” is the subject of “The People Carrier”, its Lovers Rock swing and melodica belied by the ferocious lyrics.
On “Bloodshot Eyes” there is a “guest” appearance from John Bercow, the former Speaker of the House of Commons, bellowing “the ayes have it” and “order, order” like an apparition from a vanished world. The other side of London life is hymned on “Mind The Gap”, a rare ode to the Underground’s Central Line that connects the city’s west and east. There is silly fun in the form of “Polo Neck”, a thumping, phasing electronic frug that pays tribute to 1960s French pop music. Modern Maghrebi music gets an outing on the crunchy Gnawa chant of “Stand Up (Nifhamou)”, with Atlas singing with rai pretender Sofiane Saidi, and again on “Chant Sans Adresse”, with Nawel Ben Kraïem taking the lead. “Way Down The River” at the end of the album is a classic TGU mix of soul, rap, electronica and bliss.
★★★★☆ ‘Walls Have Ears’ is released by Mute Satellite and you can buy it on CD here
‘Transglobal Underground have never really taken the usual route….pioneers of world dubtronica, and have stayed at the forefront of the scene ever since.” SONGLINES
“TGU have an awesome reputation for putting on great live shows and tonight truly is an audio-visual extravaganza” GIG JUNKIES
“Feet stamp…hands go up in the air around the hall” THE DUB
As cool and sultry as ever…almost ridiculously hook laden’ SONGLINES
“Exactly what the doctor ordered’ FESTIVAL VIEW
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