womad

womad on Elsewhere by Graham Reid - Browse our selection of content tagged 'womad'.

Oliver Mtukudzi: Wonai (Elite)

Oliver Mtukudzi: Wonai (Elite)

Known as "Tuku" after the style of music he created, singer-guitarist Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe battles the usual problem that musicians from Africa face: if Peter Gabriel isn't behind you or you don't have a Womad slot then basically nobody gives a shit. Ah well, here he is for a discerning Elsewhere audience. Mtukudzi has...

Batucada Sound Machine: Rhythm & Rhyme (Border)

Batucada Sound Machine: Rhythm & Rhyme (Border)

The first album by this big and boisterous band was a live outing recorded at Womad in 2005. It didn't do it for me and was one of those "guess you had to be there" albums. But it was clear that aside from energy and enthusiasm (which they had by truckloads) they certainly had some musical chops and their set sounded like an...

Yasmin Levy: Mano Suave (Adama)

Yasmin Levy: Mano Suave (Adama)

Jerusalem-born Levy created a lot of interest when she appeared at the 2007 Taranaki Womad for her swooning style of Ladino music which comes out of the Spanish/Jewish tradition. What she also brings is a contemporary Middle Eastern feel by the introduction of oud alongside her hypnotic singing style, flamenco influences and western...

Various: Womad New Zealand 2008 (Shock)

Various: Womad New Zealand 2008 (Shock)

More than a third of the artists on this 16 track collection -- Toumani Diabate, Mavis Staples, SJD, Cesaria Evora, Beirut, Susana Baca -- have appeared at Elsewhere, and a few of them have been considered among the Best of Elsewhere 2007. So much of this multi-culti music will be familiar to Elsewhere people -- so let's throw the attention...

Rupa and the April Fishes: eXtraOrdinary rendition (Cumbancha/Elite)

Rupa and the April Fishes: eXtraOrdinary rendition (Cumbancha/Elite)

Gotta say on first listen this was definitley not my kind of music. It is a global meltdown of French chanson, gypsy music, tango, some vague French-Pacific suggestions, upbeat Latin rhythms and a bit of art music thrown in. All from a band based in San Francisco. It just sounded a bit too all-inclusive and cafe-friendly (missed anything,...

Mariza, Terra (EMI)

Mariza, Terra (EMI)

As the most striking and internationally recognizable singer of Portuguese fado -- the close-cropped blond hair really, isn't it? -- Mariza seemed to arrive on the world music scene with almost alarming suddness about five years ago. The fact is of course she had been touring regularly and building an audience so by the time she won awards all...

Lila Downs, Shake Away (EMI)

Lila Downs, Shake Away (EMI)

The new album by the US-Hispanic singer should get a good reception here given her popularity at the last Womad (see tag for interview) -- but this one sees her embracing a more centrist rock position with piercing guitars and a sharp backbeat in places, and at other times reaching for Nashville and New Orleans. Of course the Mexican elements...

Dengue Fever: Venus on Earth (Southbound)

Dengue Fever: Venus on Earth (Southbound)

The back-story of this band may be be known to many Elsewhere readers but here's a brief synposis: the Holtzman brothers Ethan and Zac from LA decided to form a band to play Cambodian pop-rock after Ethan returned from a trip to that country and had been inspired by the sounds on old cassettes he'd picked up. They hooked up with expat Cambodian...

Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Adami)

Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Adami)

The sound of the oud, a Middle Eastern lute, has frequently found favour at Elsewhere, notably with Le Trio Joubran and Anouar Brahem, and albums like Cairo Nights. But as the title of this album suggests, this is a very different kind of oud music: this is electric oud turned up loud and sounding abrasive, angry, politicised in the...

Various: Marabi Africa 2 (Marabi)

Various: Marabi Africa 2 (Marabi)

The first compilation Marabi Africa won plaudits at Elsewhere because, if nothing else, Marabi was the label which brough the great Malouma to world attention -- and so this sequel commands attention immediately. Once more there is an impressively broad but coherent cross-section of artists represented, some of whom have appeared at...

Seun Kuti and Fela's Egypt 80: Seun Kuti and Fela's Egypt 80 (Southbound)

Seun Kuti and Fela's Egypt 80: Seun Kuti and Fela's Egypt 80 (Southbound)

About a decade ago Julian Lennon, doubtless sick of invidious comparisons with his famous father, recorded a quite nice Beatlesque piece of pop and made this very funny Beatles-cum-Rutles video to accompany it. As mentioned in relation to Sean Lennon (who has also resorted to humour to survive The Legacy), Ziggy Marley and Anoushka...

AN EMERALD CITY INTERVIEWED (2009): The sky-high vision

AN EMERALD CITY INTERVIEWED (2009): The sky-high vision

To hear guitarist/keyboard player Sam Handley tell it, there was a magical moment when they knew: “That first hit on the drum, it just sounded 10 times bigger than normal”. In this suburban villa in Kingsland, Auckland there are nods of recognition from the assembled members of An Emerald City. They are talking about setting...

ETRAN FINATAWA INTERVIEWED (2006): From sands to stadiums

ETRAN FINATAWA INTERVIEWED (2006): From sands to stadiums

Etran Finatawa have band members from two nomadic groups from around Niger, and play music which sounds like the raw electric blues from Chicago in the Fifties and Sixties. Their electrifying music is tough, but full of yearning. It may have a hypnotic quality which conjures up the open spaces of their region, but it also rocks mightily....

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Real World/Southbound)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Real World/Southbound)

At last! When Elsewhere reviewed this thrilling album last year it was almost immediately deleted and people were demanding it, even more so after this group played at the Taranaki Womad where they were, not unexpectedly, a real highlight. Speed Caravan's Mehdi Haddab does for the oud what Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton did for the...

Rupa and the April Fishes: Este Mundo (Cumbancha)

Rupa and the April Fishes: Este Mundo (Cumbancha)

The implosion of Latin American party music, gypsy-swing, klezmer jazz and loping reggae is familiar enough in this country: from Kantuta, the Nairobi Trio and the Jews Brothers Band to the Mamaku Project and the somewhat questionable Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band we in New Zealand have been seduced, educated, charmed and dragged onto...

Various Artists: Womad New Zealand Sounds of the Planet 2010

Various Artists: Womad New Zealand Sounds of the Planet 2010

Here is the official 14 track compilation of artists at the 2010 Womad in Taranaki (March 12-14) and includes the exotic oud-folk-pop of Kamel el Harrachi, alt-world by Calexico, Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed, the Skatalites, the lively tropicalia-cum-flamenco of Ojos de Brujo . . . As with all such fit-for-purpose sampler items, this is...

BOB BROZMAN INTERVIEWED (2011) All the world's a stage, and he plays on it

BOB BROZMAN INTERVIEWED (2011) All the world's a stage, and he plays on it

American guitarist Bob Brozman must have an impressive passport. For the past two decades he has been almost itinerant as he has played across the planet from Hawaii to Mali, Okinawa to Papua New Guinea. And along the way he has collaborated with some exceptional musicians, among them Indian slide guitarist Debashish Battacharya for the...

Custodio Castelo: The Art of Portuguese Fado Guitar (Arc Music)

Custodio Castelo: The Art of Portuguese Fado Guitar (Arc Music)

For the past few years it has seemed impossible to go to some well-travelled person's home without them extolling the many virtues of Portugal -- and of course fado, that aching folk style sung in bars and clubs late at night. And of course artists such as the striking Mariza have become world music stars (although I can't seem to persuade...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tamara Smith of Mundi

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tamara Smith of Mundi

Flute player and composer Tamara Smith has been at the helm of jazz-into-world music group Mundi for almost a decade now. Based in Christchurch, New Zealand, the ensemble has travelled internationally and has released two albums, their most recent being In The Blink of An Eye (reviewed at Elsewhere here). On the back of the album they...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Julian Cue of The Barons of Tang

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Julian Cue of The Barons of Tang

Melbourne's Barons of Tang are one of those groups who hit heads, hands and feet. They deliver up an intoxicating brew of gypsy melodies and rhythms with a post-punk rock attitude. "Gypsy deathcore" they call it. You can check out their very special danceable solution here. The band is currently on a New Zealand (see dates...

RAJENDRA PRASANNA AND THE SPIRIT OF INDIA (2011): Family matters

RAJENDRA PRASANNA AND THE SPIRIT OF INDIA (2011): Family matters

In many ways, the Indian musician Rajendra Prasanna is an emblem of his country's classical tradition. As with so many Indian musicians, he grew up in the gurukal system where he was one of a long lineage who had been taught by their musician father who would pass on the knowledge acquired from the previous generation. Prasanna's father...

17 Hippies: Phantom Songs (Hipster)

17 Hippies: Phantom Songs (Hipster)

Not the most promising band name in these tougher times, but this multi-lingual German neo-folk outfit (which played the Taranaki Womad this year) don't go the 20-minute guitar solo route, but rather their name reflects their origins in a Berlin squat and their collective mentality. With horns, banjo, ukulele, violin etc. they can move...

TARANAKI WOMAD 2014: The first acts announced

TARANAKI WOMAD 2014: The first acts announced

As their website says today, perhaps half joking, "only 155 days till WOMAD 2014". And we too are counting down to the annual multi-culti music, arts and what-have-you festival which draws performers from all over the world. As residents of Elsewhere  know, this website has a long history of writing about and interviewing...

WOMAD TARANAKI 2014 REVIEWED: Three days of love, peace and percussion

WOMAD TARANAKI 2014 REVIEWED: Three days of love, peace and percussion

The glee-cum-concern with which weather forecasters last week announced the impending tropical cyclone doubtless accounted for “calm before the storm” being heard as often on Friday, Womad's opening night, as frontman Ryo Nakata of Japan's enjoyably bizarre soul-funk band Osaka Monaurail shouting, “Are you ready?”...

Cheikh Lo: Lamp Fall (World Circuit/Elite)

Cheikh Lo: Lamp Fall (World Circuit/Elite)

Singer-guitarist Lo from Senegal is a man whose music observes no boundaries: on previous albums he's brought a warm Cuban sound into the context of African juju guitars, had Pee Wee Ellis of James Brown's band arrange the horns, and he seems to like a jazzy saxophone alongside talking drum. It's an intoxicating tropical cocktail and for this...

Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Slide Guitar (Elite)

Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Slide Guitar (Elite)

Three years ago I chose the Mahima album by Bhattacharya and American guitarist Bob Brozman (who played at Womad that year) as one of the best of the year in the Herald with the comment that their musical dialogues referred to Africa, Spain, simple pop and something which sounded like an arranged marriage between Waikiki and Varanasi. As a...

POTTED PROFILE: Femi Kuti

POTTED PROFILE: Femi Kuti

As with any son of a legendary artist, Femi Kuti had large steps to follow in. His father Fela created and defined Nigerian Afrobeat in the 70s and was a political lightning rod in his country. He even tried to run for president -- but to be honest that would kinda be like James Brown going up against George W Bush. Your drug history,...

POTTED PROFILE: Salif Keita

POTTED PROFILE: Salif Keita

The man often referred to as "the Golden Voice of Africa" (and that doesn't mean he's that continent's John Farnham) has had quite an extraordinary career. He was born in Mali and was a direct descendant of Sundiata Keita, the founder of the nation. Which meant that as one of royal lineage he was well above being a griot (a court...

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