World Music

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: John Convertino of Calexico

4 Jan 2016  |  3 min read

Elsewhere has interviewed Joey Burns of Tucson's Calexico previously, but now with the band coming to this year's Womad (see dates below) we thought it timely to flick our Famous Elsewhere World Music Questionnaire to John Covertino, the other permanent member of this flexible ensemble. Calexico marry the sound of borderland Spanish horns with various kinds of pumped up folk and rock, a... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Tami Neilson

14 Dec 2015  |  2 min read

What can we say about the wonderful Tami Neilson – a longtime Elsewhere favourite – that we haven't said before? She turns in exceptional albums (her most recent Don't Be Afraid perhaps her best yet), has written about the making of one for Elsewhere and has even answered one of our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaires. But next year she is on the bill at the Taranaki Womad... > Read more

Khruangbin: The Universe Smiles Upon You (NightTimeStories/Southbound)

11 Dec 2015  |  <1 min read

As summer arrives our attention turns to slower sounds, but if the thought of more barbecue reggae makes you queasy then this (mostly) instrumental trio originally out of Texas can oblige with something special and pleasingly unexpected. Owing a little to the slow end of surf instrumentals (think the theme to The Endless Summer), a bit to the romantic side of the Shadows and... > Read more

Two Fish and an Elephant

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Tulegur

4 Dec 2015  |  4 min read

They call their music “mongolian grunge” or “nomad rock”, and they seem fair description for a duo which brings together traditional Mongolian throat-singing (called khoomei) with elelctric guitar and thumping percussion. Tulegur are guitarist/singer Gangzi (who moved from Mongolia to Beijing then back) and percussionist/guitarist Zongcan. They have toured... > Read more

Shujaat Husain Khan and Katayoun Goudarzi: Ruby (khan)

30 Nov 2015  |  <1 min read  |  1

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. Iran-born and New Jersey-based singer Goudarzi here, for the fifth time, teams up with sitar maestro Husain Khan (of the Northern Indian tradition, a son of Ustad Vilayat Khan) for this delicate... > Read more

El Naan: Codigo de Barros (ARC)

30 Nov 2015  |  <1 min read

While the elements of melody and rhythm might be ancient, and the lyrics (outlined in English in the booklet) contain timeless stories of a world being rapidly left behind, this is no journey into the past. It may have old bones but the heart is strong and contemporary. With tough and passioned voices, traditional instruments in the same space as electric guitar and tenor sax, these... > Read more

La Atalaya/The Watchtower

GLOBAL RADIO: A round-up of recent world music releases

9 Nov 2015  |  3 min read

Because Elsewhere is one of the few mainstream websites which has no problem writing about world music in the same space as pop, rock, jazz, reggae and whatever, we have been increasingly inundated with world music albums for review. From "elsewhere" as you might expect. So this occasional column -- in the manner of Short Cuts about New Zealand pop/rock etc releases and In Brief... > Read more

Farinya Manji by Miria (from Lost in Mali)

TARANAKI WOMAD 2016: THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP

21 Oct 2015  |  1 min read

Regular Elsewhere followers will know how keen we are on world music -- we dedicate a whole area of the site to coverage -- which means Womad is always high on our agenda. In the past we have always given a very through overview of the acts coming to a Womad (and of course done interviews in advance and over the weekend of music, see here for past interviews)  . . . but this year we... > Read more

Hymn to Saint Demitrios by Savina Yannatou (Greece)

Te Vaka: Amataga/The Beginning (Border)

12 Oct 2015  |  1 min read

Now billed in small print as Opetaia's Te Vaka – after their leader, singer and songwriter Opetaia Foa'i – this expat pan-Pacific group with roots in Tuvalu, Samoa, Tokelau and the Cook Islands emerged here 20 years ago. But for the past decade have been based in Australia while taking their gently hypnotic and often socially aware music to world music and cultural... > Read more

Tike Te Galu

Bayarbaatar Davaasuren: The Art of Mongolian Khoomii (Arc Music)

12 Oct 2015  |  <1 min read

When I first witnessed a Mongolian throat singer some 30 years ago – and I did weirdly feel I was a witness at something beyond my comprehension – I asked someone where the feedback was coming from. Quite how a singer whose vocal range seemed to be in the lower register also managed that high whistling overtone sound remained a pleasant enigma. This unedited recording by... > Read more

Tungalag Buyant

GLOBAL RADIO: A round-up of recent world music releases

28 Sep 2015  |  3 min read

Because Elsewhere is one of the few mainstream websites which has no problem writing about world music in the same space as pop, rock, jazz, reggae and whatever, we have been increasingly inundated with world music albums for review. From "elsewhere" as you might expect. So this occasional column -- in the manner of Short Cuts about New Zealand pop/rock etc releases and In Brief... > Read more

Hayat by Kiran Ahluwalia

Terakaft: Alone (Out Here)

14 Sep 2015  |  1 min read

Old hands -- greybeards we might say -- in the genre that we loosely call "world music" have long ago given up trying to anticipate where the next great sounds might come from and, as we have mentioned previously, so should rock seers. Not one of them would have predicted Memphis, Liverpool or Trenchtown, to name just a few. And just when you think a genre might have run its... > Read more

Anabayou/Awkward (solo version)

GLOBAL RADIO: A round-up of recent world music releases

4 Sep 2015  |  2 min read

Because Elsewhere is one of the few mainstream websites which has no problem writing about world music in the same space as pop, rock, jazz, reggae and whatever, we have been increasingly inundated with world music albums for review. From "elsewhere" as you might expect. So this occasional column -- in the manner of Short Cuts about New Zealand pop/rock etc releases and In Brief... > Read more

Serpente by Marina Wisnik (from the album Vas)

Shankar Tucker: Filament (shankartucker.com)

24 Aug 2015  |  <1 min read

The idea of an East-West crossover between Indian music and whatever else is out there in the European traditions (jazz, classical, rock, pop, hip-hop, you name it) is so familiar it hardly needs further exploration. Whether it be Joe Harriott, John Coltrane, or the whole raga-rock of the Sixties (and that ignores the five decade between John McLaughlin with Shakti and the 21st... > Read more

Dhuan Dhuan/Lost in Smoke

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Music of Palestine (Rough Guide)

24 Aug 2015  |  <1 min read

The appearance of the Rough Guides in New Zealand and even other territories can be problematic. This one came out last year but if the few international reviews are anything to go by -- and its arrival only recently on Elsewhere's doorstep -- then it rose without a trace, as they say. But it is also in the nature of certain genres (most things outside of pop and rock in this... > Read more

Doq

Seckou Keita: 22 Strings (MWLDAN/Ode)

17 Aug 2015  |  <1 min read  |  1

The title of this exceptional album by the gifted kora player Seckou Keita refers to the fact that the 21-string kora originally had one extra string  . . . but that was removed centuries ago out of respect when the griot and kora master Jali Mady died. Here Keita -- who has clearly earned the right, his other albums have been wonderful -- returns to the original instrument for these... > Read more

If Only I Knew

Modou Toure and Ramon Goose: The West African Blues Project (Arc Music)

10 Aug 2015  |  <1 min read  |  1

The idea of a connection between West Africa and the blues is hardly new. As far back as the Thirties scholars were exploring the songlines and in his seminal The Story of The Blues book (and accompanying record) in the early Sixties Paul Oliver clearly established the aural link. It's a path back and forth which the likes of Eric Bibb, Keb M'o, Baaba Maal and many others have... > Read more

Satan

Mbongwana Star: From Kinshasa (World Circuit)

27 Jul 2015  |  <1 min read

Just as Memphis, Liverpool, Jamaica, Iceland and Sweden were not in the sightlines of pop music before great artists emerged from there, it's a fair bet 10 years ago no one would have put money on Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Then the Congotronics collections introduced us to the likes of Konono No1, Kisanzi Congo and others working with cheap electronic equipment and... > Read more

Suzanna

Tal National: Zoy Zoy (Fat Cat/Southbound)

20 Jul 2015  |  <1 min read  |  1

For more than a decade this boisterous and irrepressible band from Niger played their lengthy sets (sometimes up to five hours) well away from the eyes and ears of the world beyond their national borders. Until the Kaani album a couple of years back when it was impossible not to be swept up by their energy and melting pot of various musical styles from the region. Among their number --... > Read more

Farila

Ahmed Mukhtar: Babylonian Fingers (Arc Music)

26 Jun 2015  |  <1 min read  |  1

Interesting that the actual album title Babylonian Fingers takes considerable second place to the banner "Music from Iraq". In truth though, that geographical specificity might actually work better as hook, given how little most people know about the sounds from that region . . . other than maybe what they've heard in movies while the bombs go off and another group of American... > Read more

Alleys of the Old City