While the main attraction of Utrecht's Le Guess Who? festival is clearly the abundance of musical riches, curated this year by Perfume Genius, Grouper and Shabazz Palaces, the gathering also hosts the world biggest CD and record fair.
We've asked some festival attendees to pick some records they'll be keeping an eye out for during November's festival/fair, and the next artist to make their choice is the excellent Jane Weaver.
"I’ve started to collect Arabic, mainly female, vocal led music from the '60s and '70s. I’m a novice and there is much to learn as there are so many artists and songs. It’s also not easy to translate and there are different phonetic translations of song titles, so it’s a big puzzle! Fairouz, Warda al Jazaria, Sabah, Nagat Al Saghira are probably my favorites.
In Utrecht this time I would be on the hunt for:
Fairouz - Wahdon
Then.. my pop side has been on the hunt for ‘I’m 28’ by Toni Basil, which is the b-side to ‘Breakaway’, for years.
Then.. my sad side likes the soundtrack from the film Manhunter!!"
"I heard a record which my husband found in a Turkish car boot sale, I was so drawn into it and it opened a new world for me, Turns out it was a song by the Egyptian singer Nagat. It’s very hypnotic, there’s something about the intonation musically that speaks to me. Then I discovered Fairouz and lots of other female vocalists. My husband goes to Utrecht twice a year and now returns with a bag of music for me it could be Lebanese, Egyptian or Algerian.
The Toni Basil record I heard years ago on a girl group compilation and have been after ever since. The Manhunter soundtrack is not that rare, but I really like the synth track ‘Grahams Theme’ by Michel Rubini. It’s such a great film, based on the book Red Dragon, which is the predecessor to Silence of the Lambs. Talking of which, I’ve been after the 12” record of ‘Goodbye Horses’ by Q Lazzarus for ages too!"
"A lot of Fairouz’s songs that I like are traditional and orchestrated, nothing really too funky although you can hear western pop influence sometimes. Her voice is sublime.
Toni Basil’s ‘I’m 28’ is a great song, lyrically she’s angst-ridden because she hasn’t found love and feels she’s going to be left on the shelf because of her age! Bizarrely, it's written by Graham Gouldman who later founded 10cc.
Manhunter soundtrack is 80’s synth nostalgic, it’s kind of like a dark Miami Vice. I suppose it’s the first time I heard ‘In a gadda da vida’ too by Iron Butterfly, I’d only heard the Slayer cover version before!"
"I love Warda al Jazaria - Law Saalook.
This is a live recording and you can hear the audience cheering and getting a bit rowdy, it’s quite a heady mix. I don’t know enough about Arabic traditional music or instruments yet, I’ve no idea why I’m so attracted to the sounds but I love the command and inflection in her voice. I can imagine it’s a bit much for some people to take in. I’m not usually a fan of ‘live’ recordings at all, but this is very passionate and emotional. I don’t know what she’s saying either so it’s all very mysterious and enchanting."