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

Thione Seck; Orientissime (Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Thione Seck; Orientissime (Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

There are some who think that "world music" is corrupted by outside influences, and that the folk musicians of various parts of the globe should be time-locked so as to retain some degree... > Read more

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Bollywood (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Bollywood (Rough Guide/Southbound)

We've made the point previously with The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Africa -- and ignored The Rough Guide to Latin Psychedelia  on these grounds -- that this usually reliable label is a bit... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Ebba Gron: Staten och kapitalet (1980)

Ebba Gron: Staten och kapitalet (1980)

The regular postings at From the Vaults have previously picked up this punk band from Sweden and although their single Scheisse in '81 went higher on the local charts (to number three) this is... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Who; Quadrophenia, Deluxe Edition

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Who; Quadrophenia, Deluxe Edition

Some argue -- its creator Pete Townshend among them -- for the superiority of the Who's Quadrophenia over its predecessor Tommy. Certainly it has a more coherent and grounded narrative, but... > Read more