This morning we are delighted to welcome Yorkshire-based band, Fold, as they invite you to travel, reflect and jive in collaboration with MailTape.
Weaving a tapestry of speaking and singing voices from past and present into funk, jazz, soul and psyche, Fold remind us of the forces within that matter most.
Os Novos Baianos – Acabou Chorare
Seth of Fold: “Sunday mornings are to me, as I’m sure they are to many, somewhat sacred. I typically require a gentle introduction, something that goes well with that first bleary cup of coffee; neither too energetic nor too emotionally challenging. This particular song first appeared in my life circa 1992 on a mix tape called ‘Brasil’ made by a friend who had access to his older flatmate’s extraordinary record collection. One of my favourite pieces written for guitar, it possesses a singular quality that makes me feel at once warm, joyful and sort of tickled — whatever the weather.
The tune seems determined to celebrate life but in the most laid back way imaginable. Having actually spent a few months in Brasil (that’s how they spell it) during the summer of 1994, listening to Acabou Chorare conjures deeply satisfying memories of lounging in the Brazilian sunshine after an enormous breakfast, drinking coffee and passion fruit juice, smoking innumerable cigarettes. Those were the days. Sigh.
A few years ago I finally learned to play and sing it all the way through, though the lyrics remain enigmatically untranslatable.“
The Meters – Hand Clapping Song
Seth of Fold: “Once the coffee has kicked in it is time to think about moving around a little. The Meters happen to be my very favourite band of all time for the simple reason that they are the funkiest band of all time. Hand Clapping Song sits high among my 20–30 favourite Meters tracks and with its infectious Bayou shuffle it seems a logical follow up to that initial Brazilian groove. Again, this is music that brings me immense joy. The New Orleans sound, the inimitable swagger, the sense that they never took themselves too seriously, the fun they are clearly having while playing together all adds up to something I simply cannot find anywhere else.“
Barbatuques – Baiana
Seth of Fold: “By this point I need to consider making the transition from pyjamas to actually doing something with my day. I need a banger to really get me going. This track is a fairly recent discovery and it hits me like an absolute ton of bricks. The sounds that make up the composition are raw and literally human—the Jew’s harp is the only instrument—the rest is vocals, clapping and stomping. The sophistication and richness of Brazilian rhythm, song and arrangment—indeed of their musical heritage in general—is here evidenced to perfection. I find myself dancing around the room, still in my pyjamas, pumping my fists and embarrassing my kids thoroughly. That’s me sorted for the day.“
Fold — Written in the Sky
Sanjay: “Seth, Kane, Ben and Sam of Fold pack a lot into their sound. If the driving basslines and spirited drumming don’t encourage you to at least shuffle your feet, the spoken word samples may impel you to reflect on the socio-political commentary—recurrent in most of Fold’s music. On this track, the spoken word samples are from Walter “Tangle Eye” Jackson, an African American prisoner in Mississippi recorded in 1947, Fred Hampton, Lorraine Hansberry and a section of a poem by Margaret Walker.“
Vels Trio – Yellow Ochre (Part 1)
Sanjay: “This Brighton-based trio are making some really nice groove-laden music right now. In this title track, the off-kilter breakbeat-style groove is counterposed with mercurial keys and a floating bassline with just enough groove to get a boogie on…if Seth’s choices haven’t already got you doing just that.“
Stella Chiweshe — Uchiseka
Sanjay: “It was pretty hard standing still when I first saw Stella Chiweshe playing her mbira at Cafe OTO in London this year. The mbira is a percussion instrument capable of playing two melodic lines at the same time. This track (translated: laugh about it) from the brilliant ‘Talking Mbira’ album continues the jive this morning with its give-and-go vocal lines and high-life upbeatness.“
Víctor Jara – Caminando, Caminando
Sanjay: “Backed by the United States, which opposed Allende’s socialist policies—land redistribution, nationalisation of major corporations (especially the US-owned copper holdings that accounted for 80% of the country’s foreign earnings), and a radical re-orientation of health, education and housing services—the Chilean right wing staged a coup d’état on September 11, 1973, resulting in the death of Allende and the installation of the CIA/corporate America-backed Augusto Pinochet dictatorship. On the morning of 12 September 1973, Víctor Jara was taken prisoner, along with thousands of others, and detained in Chile Stadium. After torturing him, the guards mockingly asked him to play guitar and sing for his fellow prisoners. Soon after, he was killed by a gunshot wound to the head, and his body was covered with more than 40 bullets. Electoral registers had been pulped, the Chilean TUC banned and collective bargaining made illegal. Almost alone among European nations, Britain refused shelter in its Santiago embassy to all but UK nationals.“
That’s all folks! Thanks so much for listening and much gratitude to Seth (as well as Kane, Ben and Sam of Fold) for being our guest(s), and to William Girault for this episode’s colourful illustration!