Street-wise hip hop, trashy punk sounds, electonic mixes and rich, melodic pop – the Maltese music scene is an eclectic mix of bands all taking the Maltese language to new and exciting places. Here are some of our favourites…
Brikkuni hit the local music scene with the release of their controversial album, Kuntrabanda. A rich fabric of sounds and melodies, woven together by poetically styled lyrics, the band uses biting satire to paint a colourful picture of Maltese society. Their latest release, Trabokk, is a subtler, more intimate take on its predecessor.
If you like: Ennio Morricone, Mina, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen.
Plato’s Dream Machine
Plato’s Dream Machine is a playful cacophany of sounds and styles, infused with traditional folk flavour. With an ensemble of drums, violins, flutes, clarinets, accordians and distinctive vocals, this eclectic mix performs anything from punk-influenced numbers, to melancholic ballads and chants.
If you like: Modena City Ramblers, The Moulettes, Blackbird Raum.
New kids on the block, Sempliċiment tat-Triq, are telling it as it is with their strand of underground hip hop. With in-your-face lyrics of songs like “Qumu Minn Hemm” and “Kamra Numru 24″, the duo brings to light local and global social issues, keeping it real all the way. This is gritty, grungey hip hop, with a distinct local flavour.
If you like: Ugly Duckling, Brother Ali, Cage, People Under the Stairs.
Danjeli is all about bringing Maltese to electronic music. Capable of weaving electronic landscapes that can be both fast-paced and trashy, or atmospheric and intriguing, Danjeli’s live performances strike a special chord with local audiences and are known to pack venues of all shapes and sizes.
If you like: Aphex Twin, Autechre, Luciano Berio, Fabrizio de Andre, Coil, Wevie Stonder, Boards of Canada, Prodigy
Started originally in 2006, Kontroll disbanded that same year, only to reunite in 2011. Following a long tradition of local punk bands, such as RAS and BNI, Kontroll are loud, obnoxious and above all, fun. Their angst-ridden lyrics and thrashing guitar sounds are memorable with a distinctive sing-along quality.
If you like: Xtruppaw, Victims of Creation, Crash Voltage, Griffin Device, BNI, Dawn Of Anguish, Trashacre, Forsaken.
Kantilena is a contemporary folk group established in 2009, with the aim of exploring the Maltese language through a brand of traditional folk music. The band received some critical acclaim after placing third at L-Għanja tal-Poplu festival in April, while founding member Drinu Camilleri won an award for best singer-songwriter of the year for the song “Baħħâr”.
If you like: Beirut, Damien Rice, Peter Gabriel, Stephane Grappelli & Django Reinhardt, Peter Bradley Adams, Gogol Bordello.