Various Artists: Womad; Sounds of the Planet 2011 (Border)

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Hanggai: Togur Gin Mountain
Various Artists: Womad; Sounds of the Planet 2011 (Border)

A Womad festival -- like the Big Day Out -- rather sells itself these days: many people will go knowing only a couple of names in the line-up but will make discoveries on the day.

This 14 track sampler of acts at the Taranaki Womad (March 18 - 20) might be a useful intro to some of them and it kicks off fine fashion with the upbeat rocksteady sound of Calpyso Rose from Trindad/Tobago who deliver the pan-Caribbean sound of Israel By Bus.

Later the Juan Marcos Afro-Cuban All Stars and Horace Andy (with the testifying Fire a Go Burn Dem) pull off the same feat of taking you to warmer climes where the sand and the beats are hot.

Of real interest however are the rocking Hanggai out of Mongolia who deliver something along the post-punk/electrobeat/traditional axis with the exotically rocking Togur Gin Mountain (they sound unmissable) and the engrossing qawwali of Faiz Ali Faiz and his ensemble out of Pakistan.

Also here, and familiar to Elsewhere readers, are Nitin Sawhney (with Days of Fire about the London terrorist attacks), the Creole Choir of Cuba, Bob Brozman (interviewed here) and Rango (one of my picks as an act to catch).

The ever popular Afro-Celt Soundsystem (with the typically crosscultural rollick of Urban Aire and Big Cat) and Amadou and Miriam (with Welcome to Mali which they performed at the opening of the World Cup) are here also, as are Trinity Roots and Luka Bloom.

Angus and Julia Stone from Sydney (never heard of them myself) deliver the interesting and intimate And the Boys . . . but I can't see them on the official line-up. Hope they are.

So this is as fair a cross-section of Womad as you can cram onto a single disc -- but of course Womad also promises the astonishing sound of Tagaq from Canada (see interview here), Don Letts, Carolina Moon, Sola Rosa, Patea Maori Club, Maisey Rika, 17 Hippies . . .

Lotta music from home and abroad. And all best when delivered live.

For for information on the Taranaki Womad and the complete line-up go here. And check World Music in Elsewhere, many of these acts have been featured there in recent years.

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Flightlessbird - Feb 14, 2011

Oh you lucky Kiwis - Womad Taranaki looks to be one of the best ever this year with such an amazing line-up.
Faiz Ali Faiz, Rango and Hangai played Womad Abu Dhabi in 2010 and were all very fantastic. Do not miss these wonderful artists - they will have the crowd dancing up a storm.
Amadou and Mariam are another act not to be missed.

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