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 from Elsewhere articles index

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... > Read more

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2015 (Cartell/Border)

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2015 (Cartell/Border)

In theory, with Spotify and the web, it should be incredibly easy to access music from all corners of the globe. But it's always helps to have someone shine the spotlight into the darkness if... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various Artists: Alligator Records 45th Anniversary Collection (Alligator/Southbound)

Various Artists: Alligator Records 45th Anniversary Collection (Alligator/Southbound)

The Alligator collections are always worth hearing because they serve two purposes; a catch-up with the Chicago label's recent signings and some terrific tracks from the label's enormous and... > Read more

A CLASS ACT: Kicked out of school on the first day

A CLASS ACT: Kicked out of school on the first day

I never intended being a teacher. But there is my name in the list of graduates of North Shore Teachers College at the end of 1973. Not a career I chose but . . . I'd been kicked out of... > Read more