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

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2011 (Border)

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2011 (Border)

These annual double CD compilations of recent music from France -- from pop to, yes, chic, but not alt.rock etc -- are the unofficial soundtrack to the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival... > Read more

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

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

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... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WRITERS QUESTIONNAIRE: Henry Rollins

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WRITERS QUESTIONNAIRE: Henry Rollins

When Henry Rollins first came to New Zealand in 1990 he was a menacing figure. The bellicose and punishing frontman for Black Flag with a reputation for confrontation (his major back-tatt was the... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . STRAWBERRY WALRUS: Let me take you down . . . and down

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . STRAWBERRY WALRUS: Let me take you down . . . and down

The jury will be out on "the worst album ever" until the judge directs it on exactly how we define the word "worst". For many "worst" would immediately be... > Read more