Capping off his Zanzibar adventures, Maga Bo posts this amazing Oud solo from his man Matonas - go check it, a perfect way of demonstrating the sense and logic of turning up in a city armed with a laptop and a desire to record some musicians.
In other news...
Cyprus was a blast. We went to a wine festival in Lemessos 'cos I'd heard that there was gonna be some raw Rembetiko. And there was. And there was free wine. Perfick.
The fella below was playing a Baglama, a half-sized bazouki that pretty much defines the Pireas style of rembetika. It's so small you can hardly see the tear-drop shaped bowl behind his hands.
In Greece (and Greek-cyprus, and whereever people gather to talk greek), 'baglama' is used as an affectionate put-down or insult - like calling someone a 'pecker' I guess, "you're so small I can hardly see you behind my fists".
Here's an mp3 of my attempt at a field-recording. Yeah, it's well tinny, but you can hear the interplay of the bazouki and the baglama - some great call&response and devastating polyphony. The strange thing is that the performance of this music feels so relaxed that you could almost believe that it was improvised.