World Music

Music and musicians from around the global village; interviews, overviews and profiles.

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Various Artists: Musical Explorers; Deben Bhattacharya, Colours of Raga (ARC Music)

30 Jun 2017  |  1 min read

Elsewhere has previously introduced the excellent double CD set The Rough Guide to Indian Music which, on release in 2014, immediately went into our Essential Elsewhere albums list. For those more familiar with Indian classical and folk traditions, or now ready to take the next step after that Rough Guide, this CD/DVD curated by the founder of Songlines world music magazine Simon... > Read more

Bageshri

ELSEWHERE WORLD SERVICE: A quick overview of recent world music releases

15 May 2017  |  3 min read

Here's a frequent flyer/transit lounge column for those at home who want to get their musical passport stamped. Elsewhere has so many CDs and downloads commanding and demanding attention that we run an occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists (IN BRIEF), in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks out New Zealand artists. And of course Yasmin picks up... > Read more

Alice Coltrane: Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (Luaka Bop/Southbound)

5 May 2017  |  1 min read

Although well-known in jazz circles for albums such as A Monastic Trio, Ptah the El Daoud, Universal Consciousness and others under her own name on the Impulse label, the pianist-composer Alice Coltrane is perhaps more widely acknowledged as the wife of the legendary John Coltrane with whom she also recorded and performed in the two years before his death in ’67. Shattered by... > Read more

Om Shanti

Rakkatak: Small Pieces (rakkatak.com)

28 Apr 2017  |  1 min read

This core trio of tabla, bass and sitar (augmented in places with violin and vocals) began in Toronto as a solo project for tabla player Anita Katakkar who mixed live sounds with electronica. But it is now a fully-fledged performing and recording group inspired equally by Indian classical traditions and the possibilities of 21st century electric instruments and technology.... > Read more

Riffing on 9

ELSEWHERE WORLD SERVICE: A quick overview of recent world music releases

24 Apr 2017  |  3 min read

Here's a frequent flyer/transit lounge column for those at home who want to get their musical passport stamped. Elsewhere has so many CDs and downloads commanding and demanding attention that we run an occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists (IN BRIEF), in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks out New Zealand artists. And of course Yasmin picks up... > Read more

Yasmine Hamdan: Al Jamilat (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

19 Apr 2017  |  <1 min read

Those who missed the excellent debut Ya Nass by this Lebanon-born singer-songwriter might have caught her as the bar singer in Jim Jarmusch's studied Only Lovers Left Alive movie. On this second album she again works the line between electronica, Arabic pop ballads, edgy and cinematic soundscapes and a smattering of indie rock (Steve Shelley among the guests). With her background... > Read more

Choubi

Tamikrest: Kidal (Glitterbeat/Southbound)

4 Apr 2017  |  1 min read

Where the first wave of Sahara blues/desert blues musicians who emerged over a decade ago – notably the bands Etran Finatawa and Tinariwen – seemed to have come to their distinctive sound on their own (elements of what we might describe as psychedelic blues and drone), the second generation grew up knowing Western rock music. So Terakaft (which included former members of... > Read more

Ehad Wad Nadorhan/That Night

TARANAKI WOMAD CONSIDERED (2017): Another Womarathon of world music

21 Mar 2017  |  13 min read  |  2

The best speeches by dignitaries are short and, fortunately, they were when the Taranaki Womad launched last Friday. The most memorable comment – aside from the figure of $104 million brought into the region by the Womad festivals over previous years – came from the mayor of the New Plymouth District Council, Neil Holdom. He looked delighted to be there and welcomed... > Read more

Elas, by Mercedes Peon

Aziza Brahim: Abba el Hamada (Glitterbeat/Southbound)

13 Mar 2017  |  2 min read  |  2

The final track on this moving album could not be more timely. It is Los Muros/The Walls and the lyrics in an English translation run in part, “Because of the exile caused by the walls I'm expressing my identity in the verses of this song. This wall that you've erected in a criminal way with interference and injustice is designed to segregate”. The irony is that because of... > Read more

Intifada

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Camilo Lara of Mexrrissey

1 Mar 2017  |  3 min read

Back in 2002, Chuck Klosterman wrote an article in Spin magazine about a Smiths/Morrissey convention where tribute bands (These Charming Men among them, of course) played and people discussed Morrissey's lyrics at length. The odd thing about this convention – you can read the piece in Da Capo's Best Music Writing 2003 edited by The Simpson's Matt Groening – was that it... > Read more

Various Artists: Womad Australia and NZ 2017 Compilation (Cartell)

27 Feb 2017  |  <1 min read

Many people are so confident about having a good time at the annual Womad festival in Taranaki that they book for the following year immediately after the festival has ended. As with the Big Day Out and Laneway concepts, the mere existence of the Womad festival is larger than the acts on the bill. Not to say people aren't interested in the specifics, but with so many acts on the... > Read more

Papa Was a Rolling Stone, by the Hot 8 Brass Band

Srdjan Beronja and Various Artists: Sounds of the East (ARC Music)

25 Feb 2017  |  1 min read

This seductive album by Serbian composer/percussion player Beronja – with thorough and informative liner notes typical of the ARC label – follows his similarly conceived Sounds of Varanasi album of '15 which he programmed to include ambient sounds, field recordings and original compositions alongside traditional pieces. It really did evoke that holy city. This one has... > Read more

7/8 Oud and Tarabuk Time

Hanoi Masters: War is a Wound, Peace is a Scar (Glitterbeat/Southbound)

6 Feb 2017  |  2 min read

The history of Vietnam in the last half of the 20th century saw appalling division, wars and retributions. The “American war” was just a part of it. Prior to the American engagement there had been the colonial war against the French and then after the Americans left in '75 there were the terrible things which the victorious north inflicted on those in the south they... > Read more

Help Us in This LIfe

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Oumou Sangare

30 Jan 2017  |  3 min read

One of the most powerful and expressive voices out of her homeland of Mali -- indeed, out of the African continent -- Oumou Sangare has been a longtime Elsewhere favourite . . . although we conceded when we reviewed her 2009 album Seya we were surprised we hadn't written about any of her previous releases. And we have them all!  She has won numerous world music awards and was signed... > Read more

Seya

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Bebel Gilberto

23 Jan 2017  |  3 min read

Given her parentage – her father the famous composer/singer/guitarist Jaoa Gilberto and her mother the singer Miucha – it would have been harder for Brazilian bossa nova star Bebel Gilberto not to have become a singer. She started early enough – as you will see below – and even though her parents separated she spent time with them both as she was growing up.... > Read more

Aganju

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Lisa Jen of 9Bach

16 Jan 2017  |  2 min read

At the forthcoming Womad in Tarakani wise ears will head to the sessions by the Welsh alt.folk group 9Bach whose ethereal (and exotically Welsh-language songs) have previously captured Elsewhere's attention. Founded by a decade ago pianist/singer Lisa Jen and guitarist Martin Hoyland, they have taken their enchanting and timeless-sounding music to clubs and festivals across the globe,... > Read more

Gwydr Glas

Hanitra: Lasa, Songs From Madagascar (ARC Music)

13 Jan 2017  |  1 min read

Let's just go out a very thin branch now and say this: If Hanitra Ranaivo sang in English she might just be one of those Next Big Thing artists at the intersection of folk, pop and world music. From the highland city of Fianarantsoa in Madagascar – the cultural centre of the island – she melds tradition with contemporary issues (deforestation, the political relationship... > Read more

Avia

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Someone from Tago

9 Jan 2017  |  3 min read

It is in the nature of these things that you send a questionnaire to a group and someone answers, but they neglect to tell us who. So with apologies to whoever in the Korean percussion ensemble Tago -- who come to New Zealand for the Taranaki Womad -- we introduce this high-energy oputfit to to you in advance of that person's answers. With traditonal instruments alongside those they... > Read more

THE DAY LINE-UP FOR WOMAD 2017

15 Dec 2016  |  <1 min read

In a welcome departure from previous years, the Womad festival for next year in Taranaki has been announced early. These are just who is on what day and the actual running times and full schedule wil be released in late January. Meantime though you can plan ahead -- be there Friday for Marlon Williams and the Specials for sure -- and look at the festival website here for bios of artists... > Read more

Marcel, Rami and Bachar Khalife: Andalusia of Love (Nagam)

12 Dec 2016  |  1 min read

Anyone watching "developments" in that collision of Israel and Palestine these days can't but feel this disputed ground is, sooner rather than later, going to be just scorched earth. And neither Palestinian nor Israeli natonalists are going to survive the firestorm of their own making. But . . . Politics aside -- if that is ever possible in thiat narrow world where... > Read more

Nassiti