Browsing All posts tagged under »world music«

Review Of The Year 2013: 12 Albums

December 18, 2013


This is the fourth consecutive time I’ve written a review of the year’s albums, which is slightly scary, as I’m under the impression that writing about music is something that I’ve only just started doing. Still, as senility begins to work its erosional magic on the brain, the years do slip past without leaving so much cognitive residue, and as long as someone can confirm for me that I’ve been having a nice time, I won’t rail against it too much. At least I can look back through these annual articles, and although I’ll think it was someone else that wrote them and I can’t remember any of the music, I’ll know that a year took …

ZA! – Wanananai (experimental)

July 17, 2013


Post world-music is one term used to describe ZA! in their promotional materials; well, in the sense that such a term doesn’t rule out anything whatsoever, it’s not a bad characterisation! The music is experimental from start to finish, but it is the product of a process addressed directly to the business of music-making, in the same way that a completely conventional rock band or dance music producer would address themselves to it. Much experimental music emphasises the first term of that pair, which often produces interesting results, but could be criticised for placing the cart …

Asgeir & Mo – Danza de Andalucia (Flamenco fusion)

June 21, 2012


Flamenco is a music that lends itself to fusions, and that has been successfully fused in many different contexts, but it is also the site of a pronounced ideology of purism. The kind of cultural essentialism that has afflicted British folk music, or the blues, is still probably still the norm in Andalucia: this is not to say that Flamenco’s practitioners are unwelcoming to outsiders, but they are expected to come as respectful supplicants to the tradition, and those that skirt its fringes are clearly aware of this. I’ve heard Gabriela Quintero at a concert, sounding positively anxious to disavow any claim to the name of Flamenco, on the grounds that ‘those guys will go fucking mental’. There are reasons for this purism, beyond the usual ethnic insecurities …

Sven Kacirek – The Kenya Sessions (world music)

January 31, 2012


Altin Village & Mine will shortly (at the time of writing) be releasing The Kenya Sessions as a vinyl album, but they will be doing so about a year after its original CD and MP3 release on Pingipung, which gives me a welcome excuse to cover a recording that managed to pass me by on its initial foray. Sven Kacirek is a drummer/ tuned-percussionist and composer with a conservatory training, and a CV full of experimental and avant-garde collaborations. His working practice on this album is one that invokes a variety of discourses and debates around ‘world’ music and its appropriation, which must inevitably have a bearing on …

Music Basti – Monkey On The Roof (world music/ children’s)

July 19, 2011


Monkey On The Roof is a document of, and a promotional, fundraising project for, an Indian charity called Music Basti. The charity brings music activities and education to street children in Delhi, in an organised, workshop based structure: their aim is to help give those children some hope for the future, and the skills of collaboration and concentration, and many other benefits, that music can develop. It is currently a small scale project, but by all accounts it has been expanding and developing rapidly, and plainly acts with the purposeful professionalism...

Fernando’s Kitchen at The Junction, Cambridge, 19 May 2011 (world fusion)

May 21, 2011


There are not many completely independent bands that can pack out a venue the size of The Junction (which is not huge, but it’s a substantial venue); and a smaller subset of those which perform something as commercially challenged as ‘world music’. Fernando’s Kitchen are playing a good game (admittedly with a strong hand), and do all the right things to reach, engage and retain a loyal audience.

BaianaSystem – BaianaSystem (Brazilian/ Guitarra Baiana)

April 13, 2011


Guitarra Baiana is both a Brazilian musical style and an instrument: the instrument is a small solidbody electric guitar, derived from the cavaquinho, whose origins predate the American inventions of Leo Fender and Les Paul (although not the solid bodied Hawaiian guitar). The musical style was a 1950s instrumental genre, that used these guitars to play Frevo, the carnival music of Recife.