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Category Archive for 'World Music'

“Gagner l’argent Francais (which translates as ‘to earn French money’) begins, like any other West-targeted West African album, with the pitter-patter of tiny congas and some delicately picked kora. But then, two minutes in, a bright stab of reverb-heavy keyboard heralds the entrance of grungy rock guitar and drums. It’s a bold way to open [...]

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“[T]he album’s mix of classic sounds from across West Africa — palm wine, highlife, soukous, Afrobeat — alongside reggae, dub, and traditional Goombay drums and chants, harks back to the band members’ memories from before the war, and beyond that, to the country’s unique role in African history… It’s the strongest album yet from a [...]

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The Chieftains: Voice of Ages

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Sissoko-Segal: Chamber Music

“Upon seeing the title Chamber Music, some people might assume that this 55-minute CD contains European classical music performed by a chamber group. But Chamber Music is actually an album of traditional African music, albeit traditional African music with Euro-classical overtones at times. [Ballake] Sissoko and [Vincent] Segal’s collaboration yields consistently absorbing results on the [...]

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Aurelio: Laru Beya

“On this album from Garifuna artist Aurelio, you’ll hear Brazilian-style percussion patterns, lyrics in French and in the Garifuna language, grooves derived from reggae and rocksteady, and gorgeously layered call-and-response harmony vocals.”–All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“The Lion’s Roar is a mesmerizing listen that — alongside recent releases from the likes of the Tallest Man on Earth and Anna Ternheim — suggests the Swedish folk scene is currently hitting something of a purple patch.”–All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Tinariwen: Tassili +10:1

“Tinariwen, the Malian Touraeg group, finally broke through to Western audiences with 2007′s Aman Iman and 2009′s Imidiwan — 20 years after their inception. The increased profile did little to alter their “desert blues” with its incantatory droning — primarily electric — guitars, claps and organic percussion, and chanted vocals in songs about struggle and [...]

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“Shimabukuro gained recognition when his version of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ went viral on Youtube, but as he shows on much of Peace, Love, Ukulele, he is more interested in his own original compositions. The ear-catching cover here is Shimabukuro’s nearly unaccompanied version of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.”–All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Further proof that Atlas is certainly becoming the Egyptian diva for the Western market. The arrangements are superbly lush and the singing keeps getting better and better.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Juanes: P.A.R.C.E.

“On P.A.R.C.E., short for the Columbian term “parcero”, which means “pal” or “friend”, Juanes believes true brotherhood can help to solve South America’s sociopolitical problems, at least on the brilliant commentary called “Quimera.”” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Luísa Maita: Lero-Lero

“The São Paolo native is a captivating stylist who, like Bebel Gilberto and CéU, finds inspiration not only in traditional samba and bossa nova but classic jazz vocal music, R&B, and modern electronica and dance music. Lero-Lero is a delight and undoubtedly a harbinger of even more satisfying music to come.” — All Music Guide [...]

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AfroCubism: AfroCubism

“But Afrocubism shouldn’t be viewed as some sort of alternative-universe version of Buena Vista Social Club — it has its own very singular sonic identity. The most immediately striking element is the way the tumbling riffs of the Malians — particularly Kouyate and both Diabatés — seem to fall so naturally into the percolating Cuban [...]

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“There’s a real sense of assurance and outright confidence about this disc, as he’s moved from a fairly raw sense of desert blues — unusual inasmuch as it was all played on ngoni lutes — to something that’s far more extroverted, and at times, pure rock & roll as he looses off solos that are [...]

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Check Our Catalog “King Sunny Ade is the undisputed king of juju music, the dance-inspiring hybrid of western pop and traditional African music with roots in the guitar tradition of Nigeria. Although he’s yet to equal the success that he enjoyed with his early-’80s albums and American tours, Ade and his band, His African Beats, [...]

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Check Our Catalog “In the tradition of Bob Marley, Alpha Blondy, and his African griot caste, Tiken Jah Fakoly emerged in the late ’90s as Africa’s premier social critic through reggae. Taking on the mantel of a history keeper, Fakoly wrote lyrics that documented events of his times and the oppression of his people.” –All [...]

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Check Our Catalog “Released in 2008, Saravah Soul’s self-titled debut combined samba, vintage MPB, greasy American funk, and Afro-beat and took the club underground by storm. Cultura Impura (“Impure Culture”) is simply more; both in terms of what the band revealed, and in the truly amazing extensions they’ve added to their fiery mix. In addition [...]

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Check Our Catalog “Regina Carter has been a lot of places since we last heard from her on I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey, a standards album. That album was released in June; in September she won a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (aka “the genius grant”). Nearly four years later, she returns with the startling [...]

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Check Our Catalog “Few best-of-both-worlds collaborations work as well as Distant Relatives, which pairs Nas’ incendiary rhymes with the keening hooks and global rhythms that Bob Marley’s youngest son favors.” –Entertainment Weekly

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Check Our Catalog “The Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney has been obsessed with the historical account of the San Patricios, a band of immigrant Irish soldiers who deserted the American Army during the Mexican-American War in 1846 to fight for the other side, against the Manifest Destiny ideology of James Polk’s America. San Patricio, more than merely [...]

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