World Music

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Zedashe: Our Earth and Water (Living Roots)

4 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

Okay, we're not gonna lie to you . . . this is highly demanding if authentic folk from this vocal ensemble out of the Georgian Caucasus. These 26 polyphonic secular and sacred songs -- which date back centuries and are here rendered as authentically as possible -- only come with minimal instrumental support (drums, lutes and the local bagpipes). So your enjoyment, not to... > Read more

Dzveli Abadelia

Various Artists: Womad, Australia and New Zealand 2016 (Cartell/Border)

3 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

Just a quick heads-up on this 16-track compilation in advance of the Taranaki Womad which opens in a fortnight. This is one of those pleasurable homework assignments for the car if you are driving there. It kicks off in fine fashion (wait until you are out of city traffic to push play) with the vibrant and percussive sound of 47Soul from Palestine, Jordan and Syria who deliver an... > Read more

Golden Straws of Wheat (by Mahsa Vahdat)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Best Arabic Music You've Never Heard (Rough Guide/Southbound)

2 Mar 2016  |  <1 min read

Here at Elsewhere we are suckers for such Rough Guide compilations as this, because -- if nothing else -- the title doesn't lie. Although we've explored as much Arabic music (and that is a very broad definition) as comes our way, only three of the 12 artists featured here have been on our radar . . . and even then these -- Groupe Mazagan, Hijaz and Simo Lagnawi -- were faint blips. We... > Read more

Blessed for Making Me a Woman

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2016 (Cartell/Border)

2 Mar 2016  |  1 min read

For many decades the punchline was,"French pop" . . . because when it came to pop music it seemed the French -- stuck somewhere between cool chanson and fashion chic -- didn't quite "get" it. That changed some time back (the European Union perhaps?) and these days the polyglot of cultures in France has produced sterling and distinctive hip-hop, their own brand of... > Read more

Paradis Perdus (by Christine and the Queens)

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Jane Harbour of Spiro

22 Feb 2016  |  2 min read

The English folk group Spiro have been credited with redefining the genre by deftly incorporating contemporary elements from Steve Reich and Philip Glass, according to Peter Gabriel who has signed them to his Real World label. Guitarist in the band Jon Hunt agrees: "We've got more to do minimalist classical and dance music than we have with folk. Even though we use folk tunes they're... > Read more

Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and the Rajasthan Express: Junun (Nonesuch/Warners)

8 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

In a cover which recalls the Seventies albums Shankar, Family and Friends and Music Festival From India (see below, both produced by George Harrison for his Dark Horse label) comes this exciting double disc which brings together the Israeli-American composer/singer Ben Tzur, Britain's multi-instrumentalist Greenwood from Radiohead and a large ensemble of horns and Sufi qawwali singers.... > Read more

Junun

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Jordan Bell of Katchafire

8 Feb 2016  |  4 min read

The mighty roots reggae band Katchafire out of Hamilton have been taking their exciting show around the world for over two decades now and they never fail to ignite a crowd. As they've clocked up the air points they have also recorded continually, appeared at Elsewhere (which fell under their spell very early on as you may see) and take Bob Marley's messages of One Love and Get Up Stand Up... > Read more

Karavan Sarai: Woven Landscapes (karavansaraimusic.com)

8 Feb 2016  |  1 min read

Multi-instrumentalist Narayan Sijan grew up in the American Midwest but since the early Nineties has traveled constantly through India and Central Asia and to East Asia. Even very recently he was still moving through the Middle East and his recent Facebook postings came from Egypt where he was playing with gypsy musicians.  He's a global citizen who lives on the road and picks up... > Read more

The Road to Hijaz

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Tiny Ruins

1 Feb 2016  |  3 min read

The New Zealand singer-songwriter Tiny Ruins – aka Holly Fullbrook – has appeared frequently at Elsewhere because her mature, thoughtful and folk-framed albums have always found favour . . . and increasingly so in the wider world we are pleased to report. At Elsewhere she has been interviewed and reviewed, but she has never answered our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire. Not... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: St Germaine

25 Jan 2016  |  2 min read

When Elsewhere first encountered Frenchman Ludovic Navarre (aka St Germain) some 20 years on the back of his breakthrough album Boulevard, his English was virtually non-existent and the French at my command wouldn't allow for the nuances of questions about music. So we spoke through a translator, not that it mattered. My guess was few people cared what he had to say, they were just too... > Read more

THE TIMETABLE FOR WOMAD TARANAKI 2016

20 Jan 2016  |  <1 min read

The annual Womad festival in New Plymouth is one of the high points in New Zealand's musical calendar because, if for no other reason, it brings musicians from all over the world into our sight lines and ears, most of them artists who couldn't support a show here under their own name. But add them all together, factor in a great site, good food, a friendly vibe and a bunch of local artists... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: John Psathas

18 Jan 2016  |  3 min read

New Zealand classical composer and musical everyman John Psathas should be well known, his work roams from the strictly classical worlds and across to electronic influenced sounds. He has appeared at Elsewhere a number of times, but a new project No Man's Land finds him in different territory yet again. This ambitious work is a ground breaking new cinematic performance in... > Read more

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

11 Jan 2016  |  3 min read

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 trashcans. "MODINE is the brand name for an industrial forced air heater unit, the kind that hangs down in garages and artists’ lofts … the company is in Muncie Indiana …... > Read more

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)