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Various Artists - Habibi Funk 015: An Eclectic Selection from the Arab World (album review by Laura T.)

German record label Habibi Funk released this compilation album last year, and it lives up to its name. Spanning more than 7 different countries, songs range from funk, jazz, ballads, soundtracks, to an interpolation of Staying Alive by the Bee Gees. This album dives past funk into a collection of niche artists that more than deserve to be heard. Highlights include laid back pop from Douaa, Libyan reggae, and organ funk. None of these songs are particularly linked through geography, time, theme, or genre, but each song is a beautiful celebration of music of the Middle East and North Africa.

Fav tracks: 1, 5, 8, 11, 13

Michael Vlatkovich: With You Jazz Cat (album review by Christa V.)

The composer and trombonist Michael Vlatkovich has here put together an album that combined traditional jazz tunes with contemporary and creative sounds. All of the songs are originals, and they highlight the strengths of the individual soloists. The second track features a growling trombone solo which, combined with the groovy rhythm section, really conjures up the image of a dingy jazz club. The fourth track, “Bob, the fish that discovered water,” features a tight horn section along with a killer soprano saxophone solo (which is a rare find indeed!). Track 6 then highlights the bass player with another amazing solo, which is also hard to pull off since it can be so hard to hear the bass! A hidden gem of an album, it’s worth listening to for the solos alone.  Favorite tracks: 2, 4, 6

WCBN Fundraiser Is Here! (2/11-2/20)

Hello listeners and supporters of freeform radio, WCBN's annual fundraiser has arrived! 

From February 11th to February 20th we will be accepting donations on our website. Our new merchandise will be available as well; this year we are adding 2 shirts, a hat, and a tote bag, so check out the "DONATE" tab above and get yourself some WCBN gear to publicize your support of this special place. To make a donation, either visit our website or call into the station at (734)-763-3500 for alternative donation options.

Not sure how to donate? See this helpful short video!

Thank you so much for your continued support and listenership. We are completely funded through the donations of our listeners, your generosity is the reason that WCBN has been able to produce a truly one of a kind environment for students and community members alike. 

WCBN FM's 50th Anniversary

WCBN FM is celebrating our 50th anniversary of being on the air! Our student-run station survived the pandemic! Many radio hosts are back at the station doing live radio, along with other hosts who are live streaming and airing pre-recorded shows from their home studios, so listeners can continue to tune in 24/7 to freeform radio. Celebrate this milestone with us by showing your support for the station you can’t live without! 

Adobi On The Gobi - Michael Nastos and friends

It has been my dream to produce this recording. Adobe On The Gobi, and as the title implies, it is a  multi-cultural project, combining music from the Middle East, the Subcontinent, Latin America and Africa with  creative improvised music, electronics and jazz. These  recordings feature musicians I have known and  collaborated with, based in my longtime hometown and native Ann Arbor, Michigan. It reflects influential figures in my cultural development. Specifically it is made with high art  musicians in mind, such as the ECM label artists, Brian Eno,Jon Hassell, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra, Steve Reich,  Jumma Santos and M'Boom/Max Roach & Roy Brooks in particular, and the music of the sixties TV shows “The Prisoner” and the AMC  reimagined mini-series.

 

We are all societal prisoners.

 

The beautiful art work is by Margaret Ann Squires, who teaches in the West Bloomfield school district, and works in many media formats, including pottery, photography, painting, and the graphic design you see here. She is so gifted, and shares her talent with her students, family and friends every day. Additional artwork is mine, done through my own professional 

photography.

 

This (eventually) four CD set is the culmination of many years primarily listening to and playing recorded musicfor people. My appreciation for live music in performance is also very important, and sounds  offered in the moment are the most telling aspect of anyone’s emotional and spiritual existence.

 

So I hope this effort will hold a place in your heart. It reflects influential figures in my musical development, but is in all respects music as shared with other like minded individuals. It combines my love for all pianists, drummers and percussionists no matter the discipline. Specifically it is made with high art musicians in mind, such as the ECM label artists, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra, Steve Reich and M'Boom in particular. And the music of the TV shows “The Prisoner”.

Zvonimir Tot’s Jazz Stringtet: Sarabande Blue (album review by Christa V.)

Zvonimir Tot is a very accomplished classical and jazz guitarist. Here he combines these two talents by getting together a string quartet to play with him on guitar. Most pieces are composed, but some is improvised as well in jazz style! The result is a fascinating new sound that brings together the gorgeous sound of classical strings with all the fun and swing of a jazz tune. The opening track sounds exploratory with the sweeping strings complemented by the rich guitar work. In contrast, “Fuga Longa, Vita Brevis” has a more stately, classical feel to it. Track 7, “Blue Quest,” along with the closing number, “Brother Nicolau,” both blend together jazz and classical sounds in a dazzling way that makes you want to dance. And also wonder how Tot managed to pull this delicious meld of styles off! Favorite tracks: 1, 4, 7, 10

Broken Baby - Late Stage Optimism (album review by Laura T.)

LA-based Broken Baby injects rage, humor, and expletives into their second album, Late Stage Optimism. Full of screams and slamming guitars, Late Stage Optimism is unabashedly a look into frontwoman Amber Bollinger’s frustrations with Hollywood and the patriarchy at large. Their self-described genre of disco-glam-protest-punk takes center stage in their lyrics and punching bass lines that back up Bollinger’s larger-than-life stage presence in each of their performances. Bollinger's vocal quirks and lyrics against their polished production make for good music to add to your life's soundtrack.

Fav tracks: 4, 9, 11

Dancing Mice: Acme (album review by Christa V.)

“Acme” is the eighth album from Dancing Mice, a UK based band who write (self-described) “quirky songs.” Their sound has a really interesting blend of indie folk and electropop. Nearly all of their songs have stunning guitar and strings work, but they know when to incorporate a horn or two when needed! The lyrics definitely confirm that the group has an excellent sense of humor when it comes to making music. The opening track is terrific and is a bop, plus it includes some sweet horn lines as well. The other stand out song is the closer of the album, track 12, and it also is a fast-paced song you can easily dance to. Several of the songs in the middle tend to drag a little, but there are gems to be found there as well! Favorite tracks: 1, 7, 12

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