KEXP’s Year in Review: Darek Mazzone, Wo’ Pop – Thoughts on 2006.

OCT 7 2006.jpg

This was a very big year for me. My daughter was born on December 7, 2005 so I spent the year watching her grow, and actually saw myself grow in the process. I didn’t know I had so much love for one creature in my heart, but bam!


It feels endless. It also makes me feel a bit like a heel for all the BS I put my parents through. Oh well, you never know until you go through it. It seems most of the adults in my life we’re right when they told me I’d understand when I get older, but I was way too much of a cocky punk to listen. The year has taught me patience and given me profound insight into relationships and what really matters.

Lyra with Kultur Shock.jpg
Lyra with Kultur Shock

I’m hopeful and I’m distraught at the amount of Xenophobia, Islamaphobia, and Immigrantphopba that seems to be weaving through our society like an artery through a body. Man, how can be the press spew such bile and simplistic perspective on a whole people and culture, and how on earth can people buy it? What makes me crazy is that these baiting techniques are used again and again, and they always work. Instill fear of the other, the new person, the new threat, to avoid looking at the problems at home. It’s sad. I hope my daughter grows up in a world where this is no longer the MO, but I will be teaching her to be wary.

On a brighter note, it seems that the new homeland security measures are forcing more and more Americans to get passports. That’s awesome! A passport is an amazing thing, it actually leads to more travel. When people actually spend time in other countries, their perspective changes, they become so much more open.

In 2007 the cities I’m recommending for visit are: Cape Town, Istanbul, Berlin, Reciefe, Osaka, Bamako, Krakow, and Barcelona

Mind you I had to learn this myself. I’m a first generation immigrant. I was born in Poland. During my youth Poland was a communist country and we were getting propaganda about the USA. I was terrified of the North West because this is the part of America that was portrayed to be overrun by Neo-Nazis. We saw images of rallies, salutes, burning crosses, etc. The reality of this area is very different then the one portrayed, so is the case in other countries. You got to take it all with a giant grain of salt.

Yes, it’s the Mystery Machine!

On to music:

2006 felt like something that was forming in Global Music finally gelled into a cohesive movement. In street culture with Baile Funky out of Brazil, Reggaeton out of bloody everywhere, (the Turkish audience screaming for Tego Calderon during my DJ gig in Amsterdam was very memorable), Kwaito out of South Africa, Grime out of the UK, Bhangra, Cumbia, Malabax, and many other genres coming out of the planets youth culture started to feel like a scene. These are the children of Hip Hop which plays well with everyone. In 2006 I started doing a column on Global Music for Seattle Sound Magazine, I’ve been focusing on these trends in my writing. Going through that process has been so good for the way I program my shows.

During my “day job” I focus on how technology influences the artistic process. In music I’ve noticed a bit of lazyness in the lounge and chill genres. The producers are basically using the same Digital Audio Work Stations (Acid, Logic, Reason, etc) these come with certain presets that allow anyone to create a basic beat or synth wash. If you bought anything with the word, Buddha, Paris, Ibiza, Global Chill, etc. you will those presets used again and again with a sample of a tabla or a voice from an old recording. It’s just a lack of imagination, the software and hardware offer limitless possibilities of tweaking. What is lacking is imagination and a work ethic.

So now I look deeper for the gems and dig further into the organic.

Wo-Pop is such a pleasure to do. I miss doing my show whenever I have to travel or there is a major time conflict. In 13 years of doing it, I’m proud to say that this happens rarely. In 2006 I started to work with 2 killer volunteers; Rebecca Campeau and Catherine Roth. They’ve been helping on the playlist and general support for the show. They help make the show better.

KEXP has been kicking planetary butt! I run into people all over the world that know it and listen. It’s humbling and very inspiring.

juice 1006 028.jpg
JUICE at the Baltic Room

I started a monthly night in Seattle called JUICE. It’s at the Baltic Room on the first Saturday of each month. I wanted to bring this music to Seattle, and have some fun on the dancefloor. Seattle is a rock town, so getting people out to check out a global vibe can be tricky. It’s also a night where if you’re over 30 you don’t go out dancing. That is weird actually. In countries like the UK, Brazil, France, etc. people way in their 50’s are grooving on the dancefloor. I wanted to get this going here.

With my 2 partners on the night Eric Schmidt and Rebecca Campeau we decided to turn each month into a charity event. Since I do a global show, I wanted to make sure that the charity did it’s work in the global arena. We’ve had great success. Raised almost $1000 for the North West Immigration Rights Project, and over $1200 for Bahia Street. The next JUICE will raise funds for the educational organization One World Now!

Some phenomenal virtuosos released records that felt like they were tapping into the voice of the world. Be they South Asian, South American, North African, or Northern European. So many records came out that really felt like they we’re a portal to the heart of the world.

Here are 150 of them…

1 Ali Farka Toure – SAVANE (World Circuit), Mali
2 Mercan Dede – BREATH (Doublemoon), Turkey/Canada
3 Kal – KAL (Asphalt Tango), Serbia
4 Lila Downs – LA CANTINA (Peregrina/Narada), USA
5 Gigi – GOLD & WAX (Palm Pictures), Ethiopia/USA
6 Cheikh Lo – LAMP FALL (World Circuit), Senegal
7 Kekele – KINAVANA (Stern’s), D.R. Congo
8 Souad Massi – HONEYSUCKLE/MESK ELIL (Wrasse), Algeria
9 Toumani Diabate & Symmetric Orchestra – BOULEVARD DE L’INDEPENDANCE (World Circuit), Mali
10 Gotan Project – LUNATICO (Ya Basta), France/Argentina
11 Maria Kalaniemi – BELLOW POETRY (Aito), Finland
12 Ojos de Brujo – TECHARI (Diquela Records), Spain 13 Salif Keita – M’BEMBA (Universal), Mali
14 V.A. – AFRICAN REBEL MUSIC (Out Here), various
15 Natacha Atlas – MISH MAOUL (Mantra), UK
16 Afel Bocoum & Alkibar Mali – NIGER (Contre-Jour)
17 Mari Boine – IDJAGEIDAS (Lean), Norway
18 Ilgi – NE UZ VIENU DIENU (UPE), Latvia
19 Simphiwe Dana – ZANDISILE (Skip), South Africa
20 Vaerttinae – MIERO (Realworld), Finland
21 Maurice El Medioni meets Roberto Rodriguez – DESCARGA ORIENTAL/NEW YORK SESSIONS (Piranha), Algeria/Cuba
22 No Blues – FAREWELL SHALABIYE (Rounder Europe), Netherlands/Israel
23 Titi Robin – CES VAGUES QUE L’AMOUR SOULEVE (Naive), France
24 Kora Jazz Trio – PART TWO (Ruestendhal), Senegal
25 Brina – PASJA LEGENDA (DruGod), Slovenia
26 Accordion Tribe – LUNGHORN TWIST (Intuition), various
27 V.A. – MUSIQUES METISSES (Marabi), various
28 Kepa Junkera – HIRI (Elkar), Spain
29 Bruce Springsteen – THE SEEGER SESSIONS (Sony), USA
30 V.A. – GOLDEN AFRIQUE VOL. 3 (Network Medien), various
31 Senor Coconut – YELLOW FEVER (Essay Recordings), Germany/Chile
32 V.A. – ELECTRIC GYPSYLAND 2 (Crammed), Romania/various
33 Susana Baca – TRAVESIAS (Luaka Bop/Virgin), Peru
34 Amsterdam Klezmer Band – REMIXED (Essay), NL/Russia/Germany
35 Haydamaky – UKRAINE CALLING (EastBlok), Ukraine
36 Sara Tavares – BALANCE (World Connection), Cape Verde/Portugal
37 Susheela Raman – MUSIC FOR CROCODILES (EMI), India/UK
38 Mad Manoush – GADJO (Lawine), Austria
39 Amparanoia – LA VIDA TE DA (Wrasse), Spain
40 Sergio Mendes – TIMELESS (Concord/Universal), Brazil/USA
41 Cesaria Evora – ROGAMAR (BMG), Cape Verde
42 Gong Linna – WALKING THE PATH OF LIFE (Kuku Music), China
43 Boom Pam – BOOM PAM (Essay Recordings), Israel
44 Istanbul Oriental Ensemble – GRAND BAZAAR (Network Medien), Turkey
45 V.A. – REPUBLICAFROBEAT 2 (Lovemonk), various
46 Darko Rundek & Cargo Orkestar – MHM A-HA OH YEAH DA-DA (Piranha), Croatia
47 V.A. – BARCELONA RAVAL SESSIONS 2 (Satelite K), Spain
48 Gjallahorn – RIMFAXE (Vindauga), Finland/Sweden
49 Marta Gomez – ENTRE CADA PALABRA (Chesky), Colombia
50 David Walters – AWA (Ya Basta/EMI), France
51 Sergent Garcia – MASCARAS (EMI), Spain
52 K’Naan – THE DUSTY FOOT PHILOSOPHER (Track & Field), Canada/Somalia
53 Aida Nadeem – OUT OF BAGHDAD (Uruk Records), Irak/Denmark
54 Gabriela – EL VIAJE (Intuition), Argentina
55 Anouar Brahem – LE VOYAGE DE SAHARA (ECM), Tunesia
56 Eneida Marta – LOPE KAI (Iris Musique), Guinea-Bissau
57 Csokolom – DOG DAZE (Arhoolie), Netherlands
58 Ska Cubano – ! AY CARAMBA ! (Casino), UK/JAMAICA/CUBA
59 Romica Puceanu & The Gore Brothers – SONGS FROM A BYGONE AGE VOL. 2 (Asphalt Tango), Romania
60 V.A. – PLAY UP (Kontextrecords), various
61 Schael Sick Brass Band – PRASTI MUSIC (Westpark Music), Germany
62 Rabih Abou-Khalil – JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF AN EGG (Enja), Lebanon/Germany/USA
63 Bellowhead – BURLESQUE (Westpark), UK
64 Ba Cissoko – ELECTRIC GRIOT LAND (Totolo), Guinea
65 DuOud & Abdulatif Yagoub – SAKAT (Label Bleu), Tunisia/Algeria/Yemen
66 KTU – 8 ARMED MONKEYS (Rockadillo), Finland
67 Tomas San Miguel – DAN TXA (Musimagic), Spain
68 Pierre Akendengue – GOREE (Lusafrica), Gabun
69 Oliver Tuku Mtukudzi – WONAI (Sheer Sound), Zimbabwe
70 Druzina – TRAGARE (Indies), Slovakia
71 Boban Markovic Orkestar – THE PROMISE (Piranha), Serbia
72 Dela Dap – DELA PAJI (Chat Chapeau), Austria
73 Berger Knutsson Spering with Friends – SEE YOU IN A MINUTE (Country & Eastern), Sweden
74 Menwar – AY AY LOLO (Marabi), Mauritius
75 Tartit – ABACABOK (Crammed), Mali
76 V.A. – LAGOS STORI PLENTI (Out Here), Nigeria
77 Richard Bona – TIKI (Universal), Cameroun/USA
78 Cheb i Sabbah – LA GHRIBA LA KAHENA REMIXED (Six Degrees), USA/Algeria
79 Fundamental – ALL IS WAR (UNRELEASED), UK
80 Africando – KETUKUBA (Stern’s), Senegal/various
81 Think of One – TRAFICO (Crammed), Belgium
82 Calle Real – CON FUERZA (Redline Records), Sweden
83 Almasala – EOLH (Ventilador), Spain
84 Fatima Spar und die Freedom Fries – ZIRZOP (Geco Tonwaren), Austria
85 V.A. – SHTETL SUPERSTARS (Trikont), various
86 Caravasar – ALMINARES MEDITERRANEOS (Resistencia), Spain
87 Mamani Keita – YELEMA (No Format), Mali
88 Cheikha Rimitti – N’TA GOUDAMI (Because), Algeria
90 Etran Finatawa – INTRODUCING ETRAN FINATAWA (World Music Network), Niger
91 Lu – RUMI (Forrest Hill), Italy
92 Azam Ali – ELYSIUM FOR THE BRAVE (Six Degrees), USA/Iran
93 Sufjan Stevens – ILLINOIS (Asthmatic Kitty Records), USA
94 Kronos Quartet & Asha Bosle – YOU’VE STOLEN MY HEART (Nonesuch), USA/India
95 The Mighty Sparrow – FIRST FLIGHT (Smithsonian Folkways), Trinidad/Tobago
96 V.A. – WORLD CIRCUIT PRESENTS (World Circuit), various
97 Konono No. 1 – CONGOTRONICS 2 (Crammed Discs), D.R. Congo
98 Efkar – BACK TO ANATOLIA (Caprice), Turkey
99 V.A. – OUR NEW ORLEANS (Nonesuch), USA
100 Sondre Bratland/Javed Bashir – DIALOGUE (Kirkelig Kultur Verksted), Norway
101 Samite – EMBALASSA (Rykodisc), Uganda/USA
102 Leningrad – HLEB (Eastblok), Russia
103 Thomas Kocko & Orchestr – POPLOR (Indies), Czech Republic
104 Ananda Shankar – A LIFE IN MUSIC (Saregama), India
105 V.A. – ROOTS TONIC A’ LEAD (Hu-Score Music), various
106 A.R. Rahman – INTRODUCING A.R.RAHMAN (Saregama), India/UK
107 Markku Peltola – BUSTER KEATONIN RATSUTILALLA (Klangbad), Finland
108 Corou de Berra – MASCHI, FEMMINE & CANTANTI (Forrest Hill), Italy
109 Balkan Beat Box – BALKAN BEAT BOX (Essay Recordings), USA
110 The Ipanemas – SAMBA IS OUR GIFT (Far Out), Brazil
111 Nuru Kane – SIGIL (Riverboat), Senegal
112 Rachid Taha – DIWAN 2 (Barclay), France/Algeria
113 Orient Expressions – AFTER THE FACT (Doublemoon), Turkey
114 Natasa Mirkovic de Ro & Matthias Loibner – AJVAR & STERZ (Galileo), Austria
115 Kevin Johansen – CITY ZEN (Los Anos Luz), Argentina/USA
116 Lura – M’BEM DI FORA (Lusafrica), Cape Verde
117 V.A. – THE ROUGHGUIDE TO WEST AFRICAN GOLD (World Music Network), various
118 Akli D – KABYLE MENTAL (Because), Algeria
119 Stella Chiweshe – DOUBLE-CHECK (Piranha), Zimbabwe
120 Badi – WONDERLAND (Universal), Assad Brazil
121 Rimitti – N’LA GOUDAMI (Because), Algeria
122 Dobranotch – GAGARIN CHOCHEK (Orange World), Russia
123 Los de Abajo – LDA V THE LUNATICS (Realworld/Virgin), Mexico
124 Schola Cantorum Riga – ILLUMINA (UPE), latvia
125 Regis Gizavo, Louis Mhlanga, David Miradon – STORIES (Marabi), France/Madagascar
126 Sally Nyolo and the Original Bands of Yaombe – STUDIO CAMEROON (Riverboat), Cameroon
127 Seeed – NEXT! (Warner), Germany
128 Ellika & Solo – ABARAKA TACK! (Xource), Sweden
129 Free Hole Negro – SUPERFINOS NEGRO (Rhino), Cuba
130 Blue Asia – HOTEL BANGKOK (King Records), Thailand/Malays./Japan
131 V.A. – MIDNIGHT IN MALI (Stern’s), Mali
132 Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars – LIVING LIKE A REFUGEE (Anti), Sierra leone/Guinea
133 Harry Manx – MANTRAS FOR MADMEN (Dogmycat Records), Canada
134 Bird & The Primitive Music Society – VILLU VESKI WORLD MUSIC PROJECT Vol.1 (Juu Jaab Records), Estonia
135 Nino Josele – PAZ (Casa Limon), Spain
136 Bob Dylan – MODERN TIMES (Sony BMG), USA
137 Marisa Monte – INFINITO PARTICULAR (EMI), Brazil
138 Lekan Babalola – SONGS OF ICON (Mr Bongo), Nigeria/UK
139 V.A. – BALKANBEATS 2 (Eastblok), various
140 CAMILLE – LE FIL (EMI), France
141 S.O.S. Project, Smadj – S.O.S. (Doublemoon), Tunisia/Algeria/Turkey
142 Cibelle – THE SHINE OF DRIED ELECTRIC LEAVES (Ziriguiboom), Brazil
143 Chico Cesar – DE UNS TEMPOS PRA CA (Biscoito Fino), Brazil
144 Les Boukakes – BLEDI (Mosaic), France
145 Yusa – BREATHE (Tumi), Cuba
146 Izaline Calister – KANTA HELELE (Network), Curacao
147 Nouvelle Vague – BANDE A PART (The Perfect Kiss), France
148 Louis Mhlanga – WORLD TRAVELER (Sheer Sound), Zimbabwe
149 Faltriqueira – EFFECTO (Resistencia), Spain
150 Dhafer Youssef – DIVINE SHADOWS (Universal), Tunesia


This entry was posted in KEXP's Year in Review. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. B the Initechguy
    Posted December 27, 2006 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Darek, great post. Great to finally see pics of your daughter, she’s beautiful.

  2. Posted March 14, 2008 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    Great post. I came by it by a coincidence searching for more info about the Spanish group Amparanoia. They should have a new album out very soon. In Spain there are a lot interesting stuff taking place in the underground music scene this year.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Original post by Darek Mazzone, Wo-Pop […]

  2. By undomondo : Blog Archive : Gjallarhorn on January 28, 2007 at 1:47 am

    […] Gjallarhorn is a quartet from the West of Finland, which is interestingly a Swedish speaking land under heavy Swedish influence. (there goes the concept of nations in the dump bin). Their music is a contemporary take of the traditional medieval Swedish repertoire from ballads to waltzes. Rimfaxe their fourth album has been released on their own Vindauga and thanx to KEXP Blog’s 2006 end of the year list, I’ve taken an interest in them. […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Donate Now!

Donate to KEXP Today!

Donate to KEXP Today!
where the music matters

The KEXP Blog

Sponsored By
Become a KEXP Sponsor!
  • KEXP Post Categories