fri 24/10/2014

world music

Sahara Soul, Barbican

Exoticisation, at an event named "Sahara Soul", was perhaps inevitable. With Tuareg jewellery and souvenirs in the foyer, there was a touristic expectation last night that these genuine desert-dwellers would bring the burning spirit of the Saharan...

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WOMAD 2014, Charlton Park

If I had to pick the highlight of this sun-drenched WOMAD it would have to be the fresh, emotionally charged set of Ukrainian band Dakha Brakha. I can’t recall seeing such a unanimously positive response for a relatively unknown band at the Festival...

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10 Questions for Bassist Marcus Miller

This year’s edition of the Gnawa Festival in the medina of the beautiful coastal town of Essaouira featured two spectacular fusions – between Bessekou Kouyate with Hamid El Kasri on the closing Sunday night, and on Saturday night – in the early...

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CD: Sia Tolno - African Woman

Sia Tolno was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, had a violent father, was forced to leave the country due to the civil war and ended up in the harsh world of Conakry nightclubs. Life was no bed of roses, in other words. The inspiring thing about this...

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10 Questions for Director Annemarie Jacir

In 2007 Annemarie Jacir made her debut feature, Salt of This Sea, the first film directed by a Palestinian woman director. Her follow-up, When I Saw You, is released this week in the UK, after festival acclaim that saw it receive prizes at...

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CD: Karol Conka – Batukfreak

It’s strange that probably most of the best-known Brazilian artists here are over 60 and from one state, Bahia - those being Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Maria Bethania and Tom Zé. Brazil is the size of Europe, though, and of course there are...

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CD: Tinariwen - Emmaar

On seeing that new Tinariwen album, Emmaar, had been recorded at Joshua Tree (due to ongoing security problems in their native Mali) with a number of American guest musicians, my heart sank. I imagined some special guest-heavy yet artistically...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: William Onyeabor, Tears For Fears

 William Onyeabor: World Psychedelic Classics 5 – Who is William Onyeabor?A primitive drum machine rattles out a Latin rhythm. Keyboards begin. The gaps between the repetitive spirals of notes are plugged by blobs of fat synth. A disembodied...

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Gwlad y Gân/Land of Song, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

When the term “world music” became a category in record stores, it’s doubtful that triple harps, cerdd dant and canu plygain would have been thought to belong under the umbrella. And yet here they were on display at WOMEX. The annual world music...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: National Wake, Drugstore

 National Wake: A Walk in Africa 1979–81South Africa’s National Wake would be noteworthy enough even if their music wasn’t. The mixed-race group emerged in 1978 in a country where the establishment and institutions were directly opposed to what...

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theartsdesk in Russia: WOMAD Pyatigorsk

“Some say that I come from Russia / Some think that I come from Africa / But I'm so exotic, I'm so erotic / 'Cos I come from the Planet Paprika...”  So sang Shantel at the close of the first WOMAD festival in Russia. The location was almost as...

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Darbar Festival: The ancient art of Dhrupad

This is a key weekend for lovers of Indian classical music or the merely sonically adventurous – the Darbar Festival in the Southbank has some of the most extraordinary practioners of the art from both the Carnatic (South Indian) and Hindustani (...

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