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

 |   |  <1 min read

Farhad Darya: Salaamalek
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 music isn't Taliban-approved because some of the artists -- notably the country's most famous star Farhad Darya, here with the exciting Salaamalek -- live outside the country.

Here too are the lively Setara Hussainzada who was contestant in the Afghan Star competiton (death threats after her headscarf slipped), a number of fokloric instrumentals on rubab, Sufi music, and the powerful voice of Mahwash whose Gar Konad Saheb-E-Man is a standout.

So from urban "idol" singers to the remote Pamir mountains, from Sufi spiritualism to block-rockin' beats, this is an ear-opening collection.

Share It

Your Comments

Gavin Hancock - Dec 8, 2011

The Rough Guide series sometimes seems like it's going through the motions (another volume of labotomised electronic lounge music from Brazil? no thanks!) but now and again they pull something really worthwhile out of leftfield...this is one of those releases. Hope they keep covering more of the lesser noticed countries of the world.

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Ishta: Ishta (Monkey)

Ishta: Ishta (Monkey)

Listening to this multiculti outfit from Auckland qualifies you for frequent flyer points: the line-up has musicians from Dutch, Kiwi, Israeli, Indian and French backgrounds; and the... > Read more

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... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: Pop with a twist

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: Pop with a twist

Even when it was exciting and happening all around you didn't have to be too bright to observe that punk was mostly just pop wound up tight and with more furious lyrics, that New Wave was just pop... > Read more

PHAROAH SANDERS INTERVIEWED (2004): Creative man without a masterplan

PHAROAH SANDERS INTERVIEWED (2004): Creative man without a masterplan

Pharoah Sanders proves to be not the easiest of interview subjects. But if he has a poor phone manner and doesn't sound interested in talking, you tend to forgive him because he's a jazz genius. Or... > Read more