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

Shujaat Husain Khan and Katayoun Goudarzi: Ruby (khan)

Shujaat Husain Khan and Katayoun Goudarzi: Ruby (khan)

Just as Shakespeare will always be a bottomless well for interpretation, so too the hundreds of works by the 13th century Persian poet Rumi are constantly being explored by musicians and singers.... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE:  Wade Schuman of Hazmat Modine

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Wade Schuman of Hazmat Modine

Of their unusual name, lead singer Wade Schuman says “HAZMAT is an American English word for Hazardous Materials, AKA dangerous materials, you see it on the sides of trucks or special... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii: Sunday morning, coming down

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii: Sunday morning, coming down

The sky is a perfect and pale comic-book blue, the breeze as warm as a whisper. Palm trees line the white sandy beach, the very image of a Pacific cliché. In the downtown streets before the shops... > Read more