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

 |   |  1 min read

Reshma: Hai Rabba
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 that it can also allow other artists to come through or smaller, established names to get their due.

This edition of Sufi Music follows the first collection of this Islamic mystic music a decade ago and which of course include Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who had died just four years previous.

This collection is in the very reliable hands of Scots-born writer William Dalrymple who has lived in India for two decades and who has been a commentator on Islam as well as having made documentaries on Sufism.

There is a broad sweep here (as before) and those used to the emotional, soaring style of Khan and others may be surprised by the more intimate, meditative sound here of Modou Gaye on the seven minute Sindidi or Cheikh Lo's strong folk-sounding acoustic ballad Zikr. Dalrymple also includes an electro-driven track by London's Transglobal Underground (Ali Mullah featuring Natacha Atlas and the Rajasthan gypsy group Musafir).

So this wide-ranging overview -- from Turkey, Algeria and London to Pakistan, Senegal and beyond -- is an inclusive and diverse selection which comes with useful liner notes. And a bonus disc of the album Sufu Fakirs of Bengal which is equally fascinating (not the least for the instrumentation of flute, clattering percussion and one-stringed ektara).

And often just plain transporting (and sometimes danceable).

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca: Isabela (Mopiato/Southbound)

Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca: Isabela (Mopiato/Southbound)

Anyone wanting a quick injection of jazzy Afro-Latin grooves and palm wine warmth shouldn't go past this laid-back but lively outing by this LA-based but authentic band which is like a smorgasbord... > Read more

The Silk String Quartet: Contemporary and Traditional Chinese Music (Arc/Elite)

The Silk String Quartet: Contemporary and Traditional Chinese Music (Arc/Elite)

This London-based group includes Cheng Yu, who previously featured on Elsewhere with her lovely solo album of pipa (lute) and qin (zither) music. She has a command of both instruments and here... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ham Hornhead of the Trons

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ham Hornhead of the Trons

Standing at more than two metres tall and playing powerful rhythm guitar, Ham Hornhead of the Hamilton band the Trons, is a towering figure in New Zealand contemporary rock. A distinctive... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day 2CD+DVD)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day 2CD+DVD)

Here's a very timely Bargain Buy for you . . . because later this week we shall see the release of the next two Jimmy Page remastered Led Zeppelin albums. We've had the first three, now here... > Read more