world music

The contents of this page relate to world music.

Various: Big Blue Ball (Real World/Southbound)

Various: Big Blue Ball (Real World/Southbound)

Fifteen or more years ago -- when most of these recordings were made -- this might have been a Big Deal: world music artists in Peter Gabriel's studio exchanging ideas with the likes of Karl Wallinger (World Party) and creating pan-cultural sounds as they went. But given that many of the world music artists here have albums out under the own...

HOSSAM RAMZY INTERVIEWED (2004): Egypt's music ambassador

HOSSAM RAMZY INTERVIEWED (2004): Egypt's music ambassador

Hossam Ramzy, who has a home in England and an apartment in Cairo, is a hard man to pin down. The first call is to the British office where the Egyptian composer and percussionist is supposed to be. No, he's flying right now but you could try him on his cellphone in two days at noon, his time. Fine, that's 10pm here, so the call...

Gorillaz: Plastic Beach (EMI CD/DVD)

Gorillaz: Plastic Beach (EMI CD/DVD)

Gorillaz aren't the first to make "world music" of no fixed cultural abode (Elsewhere has noted 1 Giant Leap and the Laya Project among others) -- but there is something so diverse yet coherent, musically ambitious yet delivered with a pop sensibility, and just so damn clever and enjoyable about Gorillaz that they stand apart from all...

Rango: Bride of the Zar (30IPS/Southbound)

Rango: Bride of the Zar (30IPS/Southbound)

Just as pop and rock suddenly throws up new cover stars, so too in world music -- and Rango out of Egypt by way of the Sudan with their spiritual trance sound, odd-looking and strangely tuned wooden xylophone (the rango), driving percussion and music which rises to states of ecstasy are the latest off the block. There is no denying the...

Sarazino: Ya Foy! (Cumbancha)

Sarazino: Ya Foy! (Cumbancha)

Singer, songwriter and producer Lamine Fellah (aka Sarazino) is a true child of the global village: born in Algeria, the son of a diplomat he lived with his family in Spain, Switzerland, Burundi and Burkina Faso; later studied in Montreal where he made music in various bands; and in '96 moved to Quito in Ecuador. Lucky him, you might...

Tom Kerstens' G Plus Ensemble: Utopia (Real World/Southbound)

Tom Kerstens' G Plus Ensemble: Utopia (Real World/Southbound)

Although nominally a contemporary classical album -- English acoustic guitarist Kerstens and a string quartet -- this delightful, deep, meditative and probing album should find wide favour beyond the recital hall. Kerstens has commissioned from outside the classical world for this debut of his G Plus ensemble (which includes The Tippett...

Gabor Szabo: Jazz Raga (Light in the Attic)

Gabor Szabo: Jazz Raga (Light in the Attic)

Originally released in 1967 -- the Beatles' Norwegian Wood which used sitar was on Rubber Soul, released late '65, and folk guitarist Davy Graham employed Indian tunings prior to that -- this album by Hungarian-born US-based jazz guitarist Szabo saw him pick up sitar for a series of short pieces which explored the sound and possibilities of the...

YOUSSOU N'DOUR; RETURN TO GOREE, a doco by PIERRE-YVES BORGEAUD (Roadshow DVD)

YOUSSOU N'DOUR; RETURN TO GOREE, a doco by PIERRE-YVES BORGEAUD (Roadshow DVD)

Goree is the island off the coast of Senegal through which thousands of slaves passed on their way to Middle Passage and, if they survived, various parts of the "New World", notably the US and Caribbean. Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour here traces a musical journey from Goree to the jazz and gospel music of the US, and digressions...

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Music of Afghanistan (RG/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Music of Afghanistan (RG/Southbound)

Although it would take an expert in this field to say whether this 15 track collection (with a bonus disc of mesmerising music by Ahmad Sham's qawwali group) is a fair overview, you can't help but get caught up in the swirling pop, evocative instrumentals and often quite thrilling Afghani "rock" on display. Clearly much of this...

Robert Plant: Band of Joy (Decca)

Robert Plant: Band of Joy (Decca)

In 2003 this former frontman for Led Zeppelin released Sixty Six to Timbuktu, a double disc retrospective of material from his solo years which was impressive in its scope: old blues and r'n'b to Zepp-framed stadium rock and his journey into music from North Africa. As a musical explorer Plant hasn't stopped: two years later came the...

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Desert Blues (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Desert Blues (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Elsewhere has long advanced the case for the thrilling music which comes out of the sub-Sahara and is driven by barbed-wire guitars and passionate vocals. This collection pulls together all the big names so merely listing them with the internal link to their albums at Elsewhere (which have sample tracks) should do the business. Here is...

Nour Eddine: Morocco; Traditional Songs and Music (Arc)

Nour Eddine: Morocco; Traditional Songs and Music (Arc)

The propulsive, rhythmic music of the Gnawa in North Africa has been surreptitiously infiltrating Western ears through the likes of Bill Laswell and his world music meltdowns with jazz and de facto "rock" musicians on the Axiom label. Here the oud, guitar and percussion player Nour Eddine -- with some young musicians from the...

Various Artists: Cumbia Beat Vol 1 (Vampi Soul/Southbound)

Various Artists: Cumbia Beat Vol 1 (Vampi Soul/Southbound)

This double-disc -- with fat multilingual booklet and period photos of bands and chintzy album covers -- pulls together 25 intrumental tracks from the Sixties and Seventies by Peruvian guitar pop bands who bring traditional percussion backbeats to their slightlydelic pop and proto-rock. There is cool guitar jangle and sharp playing (think...

Natacha Atlas: Mounqaliba/In a State of Reversal (World Village)

Natacha Atlas: Mounqaliba/In a State of Reversal (World Village)

This great interpreter of Arabic music has made a number of appearances at Elsewhere for her sinuous voice and often remarkable songs. She could hold her own with TransGobal Undergrounds in the electronica-beat-driven world music end of the spectrum but her more traditional albums were much more persuasive. This time out she goes for a broad...

King Sunny Ade: Synchro System (1983)

King Sunny Ade: Synchro System (1983)

Given the long (and often shameful) history Britain has had with various parts of Africa from colonial times, it comes as a surprise that this album -- from 1983 no less -- was the first pop album to be recorded by an African musician in London. In the early Eighties there was surge of interest by the UK music press in certain African...

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Sufi Music (World Music Network/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Sufi Music (World Music Network/Southbound)

When a musical genre loses its figurehead -- as reggae did with the passing of Bob Marley and Sufi music did with the death of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, both of whom had taken their music to a global audience -- it can have two results. At one level the music's profile can drop for a more general audience (as happened post-Marley), but...

PETER GABRIEL, THE SOLO FLIGHT IN THE SEVENTIES: Not one of us

PETER GABRIEL, THE SOLO FLIGHT IN THE SEVENTIES: Not one of us

In late '77 Peter Gabriel -- two years after quitting Genesis at their creative peak with the ambitious concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway -- told NME "I felt that [Genesis] were just at a point of breaking through to the Big Time. "I just felt that if I'd stayed I would have got trapped into roles that I was beginning...

Peter Gabriel: Peter Gabriel (1980)

Peter Gabriel: Peter Gabriel (1980)

When Peter Gabriel released his third solo album -- the third to simply be entitled "Peter Gabriel" although widely known as Melt after its Hipgnosis-designed cover image -- it was met with almost unanimous and unequivocal approval. Even the notoriously hard to please punk and raw rock advocate Nick Kent, writing in NME, hailed...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Fatoumata Diawara: Fatou (World Circuit)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Fatoumata Diawara: Fatou (World Circuit)

Yet another artist out of Mali who confirms that country -- alongside only Jamaica perhaps -- seems to have more gifted and distinctive performers per head of population than any other country on the planet. This debut from the ear-pleasing, hypnotically melodic and folk-framed Diawara is given subtle, warm and clean studio production by...

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...

GLOBAL RADIO: A round-up of recent world music releases

GLOBAL RADIO: A round-up of recent world music releases

Because Elsewhere is one of the few mainstream websites which has no problem writing about world music in the same space as pop, rock, jazz, reggae and whatever, we have been increasingly inundated with world music albums for review. From "elsewhere" as you might expect. So this occasional column -- in the manner of Short Cuts...

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