wed 07/12/2016

world music

DVD: The Music of Strangers

A welcome antidote to the mood of a time which seems hell-bent on closing borders and building walls, The Music of Strangers is about a unique musical collective that breaks through division and reaffirms the potential of culture to unite. Subtitled...

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Mobydick: North Africa's outrageous rapper

A couple of years ago I saw an extraordinary outdoor concert where a rapper called Muslim (great name if you want to be hard to find on Google) performed at the Timitar Festival in Agadir in the South of Morocco to 80,000 delirious fans. The song...

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Elza Soares, Barbican / Calypso Rose, Jazz Café

She calls it “dirty samba”. Elza Soares, The Woman at the End of the World - to use the name from her last album - sat on a throne like a warrior from a fantasy sci-fi film at the back of the stage. Her regal, mythic aura has been earned in an epic...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 16

After a hiatus, theartsdesk Radio Show is back with a new partner, Music Box Radio, hosted in their studio at the Market House in Brixton. Peter Culshaw’s global round-up of new and newly re-released discs jumps from Brazilian psychedelia to synth...

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Songlines Music Awards, Barbican

Four headliners, one bill – Sam Lee, Debashish Bhattacharya, Songhoy Blues and Mariza: it was an impressive line-up at the Barbican for a Monday as the world and folk music magazine Songlines hosts its annual awards bash. Now, these are readers’...

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Soulful Islamic passion: the Najmuddin Saifuddin group

Qawwali music is amongst the most soulful, passionate music in the world. Many people have discovered it through the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who was one the greatest singers of the last half century. Seeing him perform at an early WOMAD was...

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WOMAD 2016, Charlton Park

Nestling amid the area in the woods where they have the gong baths and the kora-makers and back massages was an art installation by Graeme Miller - basically, you lay back on a trolley while an intern/elf pushed you through the woods while you...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Bitori, Space Echo

Since achieving international success in the final years of the 1980s, the late Cesária Évora has dominated much of globe’s perception of music from the Cape Verde (officially Cabo Verde). This fascinating pair of releases reveal other aspects which...

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CD: Black Merlin – Hipnotik Tradisi

Dance music has, for millions of people, become synonymous with the very worst that the human race has to offer. Preening, vain, beach-body bumholes dancing like everyone’s watching, while keeping half an eye on their camera, making sure than the...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Wake Up You!

It begins with “Never Never Let Me Down” by Formulars Dance Band. “You’re the only good thing I’ve got,” declares the singer of a garage-band answer to The Impressions over a rough-and-ready backing where a shuffling mid-tempo groove is driven along...

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CD: Melt Yourself Down - Last Evenings on Earth

Relentless is the word. The second studio album from post-punk jazzers Melt Yourself Down starts as it means to finish. It opens with a hard, pulsing bass guitar which sets the scene for “Dot to Dot”, a persistent chant suggesting Sufi adepts with a...

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Xavier Rudd, The Electric Ballroom

The last time I spent hours on end listening to Xavier Rudd I was giving birth to my daughter. Weirdly, the anaesthetist had seen him perform in Australia a few weeks previously (this was a few years ago when Rudd wasn’t as heard of as he is now)...

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