mon 30/03/2015

world music

CD: Sam Lee & Friends – The Fade in Time

What was that about the difficult second album? If you thought Ground of its own, Sam Lee’s Mercury-nominated album of 2012, broke new and fertile ground for traditional folk music, then you’ll find The Fade of Time even richer, even more musically...

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CD: Songhoy Blues - Music in Exile

Songhoy Blues, a punchy guitar band with roots on the edge of the desert, take the downhome country sounds of Ali Farka Toure, Afel Bocoum and Sidi Toure and give them a high-octane dose of urban urgency. They don’t just play those mesmerising Sahel...

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Best of 2014: World Music

The most extraordinary bunch of global musicians I met this year were the groups who were singing on the barricades during the Ukrainian Revolution on the Maidan Square, foremost among them the all-female Dakh Daughters, who describe themselves as "...

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CD: Lucas Santtana - Sobre Noites e Dias

The Afro-Atlantic world, in music as well as in religion, has always been characterized by a continuously self-renewing tendency to combine elements from cultures that originate on either side of the ocean. Lucas Santtana is a thoroughly...

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We Made It: Bex Burch, Dagaare Xylophone-Maker

Bex Burch is a percussionist with a classical training at the Guildhall School of Music. First visiting Ghana as an undergraduate, on the recommendation of a Ghanaian friend, she initially felt very uncomfortable there, but gradually grew to love...

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Sacred Monsters, Khan/Guillem, Sadler's Wells

There is a special poignancy to these performances of Sacred Monsters, Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan's terrific 2006 joint show. Guillem, the former Paris Opéra étoile and Royal Ballet prima ballerina whose singular talent has lit up contemporary...

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Kasse Mady Diabate, Purcell Room, Southbank Centre

Kassé Mady Diabaté is one of the great singers of West Africa, a member of Toumani Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra and, more recently, the Afrocubism all-star line-up. His latest album Kiriké (Horse’s Saddle) on the Parisian No Format label is a...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Jon Hassell / Brian Eno

Jon Hassell / Brian Eno: Fourth World Vol. 1 - Possible MusicsIts opening is exotic. The music shimmers like heat haze and incorporates a sing-song instrument which might be a treated trumpet, or a high-register bass guitar reverberating like water...

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TOROBAKA, Israel Galván & Akram Khan, Sadler's Wells

When you're talking about dancers, the old adage about genius being 99% perspiration has a point. You have to work damned hard just to be average in professional dance; to be good, like Akram Khan and Israel Galván are good, takes sweat (and tears...

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CD: Kassé Mady Diabaté - Kiriké

In reaching out to audiences beyond the African context, Malian musicians and singers have adopted performance styles that don’t always reflect the intimacy and personal communication so fundamental to the praise-singing at the heart of the region’s...

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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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