Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Sufi Music (World Music Network/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Reshma: Hai Rabba
Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Sufi Music (World Music Network/Southbound)

When a musical genre loses its figurehead -- as reggae did with the passing of Bob Marley and Sufi music did with the death of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, both of whom had taken their music to a global audience -- it can have two results.

At one level the music's profile can drop for a more general audience (as happened post-Marley), but that it can also allow other artists to come through or smaller, established names to get their due.

This edition of Sufi Music follows the first collection of this Islamic mystic music a decade ago and which of course include Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who had died just four years previous.

This collection is in the very reliable hands of Scots-born writer William Dalrymple who has lived in India for two decades and who has been a commentator on Islam as well as having made documentaries on Sufism.

There is a broad sweep here (as before) and those used to the emotional, soaring style of Khan and others may be surprised by the more intimate, meditative sound here of Modou Gaye on the seven minute Sindidi or Cheikh Lo's strong folk-sounding acoustic ballad Zikr. Dalrymple also includes an electro-driven track by London's Transglobal Underground (Ali Mullah featuring Natacha Atlas and the Rajasthan gypsy group Musafir).

So this wide-ranging overview -- from Turkey, Algeria and London to Pakistan, Senegal and beyond -- is an inclusive and diverse selection which comes with useful liner notes. And a bonus disc of the album Sufu Fakirs of Bengal which is equally fascinating (not the least for the instrumentation of flute, clattering percussion and one-stringed ektara).

And often just plain transporting (and sometimes danceable).

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Federico Aubele: Amatoria (Border)

Federico Aubele: Amatoria (Border)

This New York-based Argentinean singer-songwriter goes straight for the heart with barely sung ballads which ride gentle electronica soundbeds and acoustic guitars, with soft vocals (and some lady... > Read more

BILL SEVESI INTERVIEWED: Light of the Pacific

BILL SEVESI INTERVIEWED: Light of the Pacific

Bill Sevesi says he speaks three languages, but he actually speaks four. The three he will admit to are Tongan (he was born in Nuku'alofa almost 88 years ago), English which he learned when he came... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

CLIFF RICHARD ENCOUNTERED (2013): Is Cliff a voice in the wilderness?

CLIFF RICHARD ENCOUNTERED (2013): Is Cliff a voice in the wilderness?

Cliff Richard was never my pop star. I was the perfect age for the Beatles and the Stones, so when She Loves You and It's All Over Now got their hooks in to me, Cliff seemed old fashioned,... > Read more

Shivkumar Sharma, Brijbushan Kabra, Hariprasad Chaurasia: Call of the Valley (1967)

Shivkumar Sharma, Brijbushan Kabra, Hariprasad Chaurasia: Call of the Valley (1967)

When this beautiful, elegant tone poem of Indian classical music was reissued in 1995 on the EMI Hemisphere label (with three extra tracks), people like me with a long affection for Indian music... > Read more