Spin the Globe World Music



Google Groups
Subscribe to
Spin The Globe's
weekly news
email:
Visit this group 


heard only on...



www.flickr.com
earball visions' Music & Dance photoset
selections from earball visions' Music & Dance photoset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eXTReMe Tracker


 

 

 

World Music CD Reviews, June 2005 - Part 2

FEATURED RELEASES

SHUKAR COLLECTIVE: URBAN GYPSY
Riverboat Records

artist site : buy CD/hear samples

Pairing a traditional form of Roma (Gypsy) singing known as usar ("bear handler") with jazzy basslines and electronic beats, Urban Gypsy is like nothing you've ever heard before. I guarantee it. The highly varied music includes rapidfire vocals on "Malademna" that will remind you of Tamil drum language, the heavy dub feel of "Gipsy Blooz," and other influences ranging from electronica to hiphop to drum 'n' bass. While the DJs of this collective have their way with the music, the focal point is the vocals, always the gruff, throaty, percussive vocals. Some songs ("Bar Boot," "Lautarium") lose their balance, the vocals too overwhelmed by heavy electronica. Others, particuarly "Hahaha," and "The Wind," "Wander," and "Verbal Fight" are brilliant blends of old and new. While it has good information about the musicians and the music in general, the CD insert could have been more generous with song notes and lyrics. One might hope that CDs like this one will inspire young musicians to mine the riches of their own culture even as they integrate new technologies into their music. This wild Roma breakbeat adventure is highly recommended!

©2005 Scott Allan Stevens, Earball Media

OLIVER MTUKUDZI: NHAVA
Heads Up

artist site : buy CD : buy mp3s/hear samples

If you're keeping track , we're counting this as album #48 for the prolific bard of Zimbabwe (though only a handful of those are readily available in the US). Still, Tuku manages to sound fresh and explore new musical territory. The CD's twelve songs are built with familiar materials: Tuku's fatherly, authoritative voice leading call-and-response vocals, acoustic instrumentation, and rhythms that are both relaxed and danceable. If you speak Shona (or read the liner notes), you'll appreciate the strong positive messages, encouraging humility, unity, family strength, hope, and healing. "Tozeza" addresses spousal abuse from the perspective of a child. "Pindirai" calls for intervention by leaders and elders to stop the destruction of the environment. Tuku and his band The Black Spirits sound at the top of their game, and the accessible, deeply enjoyable Nhava (meaning "carrying bag") will easily satisfy old fans and convert new ones.

©2005 Scott Allan Stevens, Earball Media

ROMASHKA: ROMASHKA
self-released

artist site : buy CD/hear samples

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Any band that uses a tuba for their bass lines is already halfway into my CD library, whether it's New Orleans funk, Balkan speed brass, or, as in the case of Romashka, Gypsy tunes. Part of a burgeoning NYC Balkan/Gypsy scene, Romashka's self-titled CD is a quick romp (just under 30 minutes) through the Gypsy part of town, with mostly traditional songs. The lack of song notes/lyrics may leave you wondering whether to dance or cry...but why not do both? The sax-led instrumental groove of the original "Shimdiggy" is irresistible, and the beat threatens to spin out of control as you near the end of "La Cîrcuma De La Drum (The Tavern On The Road)." Inna Barmash's voice brings things back to earth, injecting raw emotion and power into every note she sings. In addition to Barmash's voice and Ron Caswell's lip-busting tuba lines, Romashka includes Jake Shulman-Ment (violin), Jeff Perlman (clarinet & sax), Ben Holmes (trumpet), Stevhen Iancu (accordion), and Timothy Quigley (drums & percussion). Be sure to listen after the last listed track, the raucous "Moldovan Batuta," and you'll be rewarded with a "hidden" reprise of "Tayna" compressed to sound like an old phonograph recording.

©2005 Scott Allan Stevens, Earball Media

 

THIS JUST IN!

 

YAWO: TAKE OUT THE FENCES (Caveman Records)
artist site : buy CD/hear samples

"Up With People" veteran Yawo started his music career in his native Togo, studying flute, electric bass, and classical guitar. The title of his latest album, Take Out the Fences, might refer to his musical influences as much as the world harmony he so clearly desires. Yawo's feel-good Afropop music straddles the walls between African, pop, jazz, and reggae. Singing in a mix of English and African languages, he calls for freedom, justice, and more bodies on the dance floor. Who can argue with that?


AMJAD ALI KHAN: MOHSHA (Real World)
info : buy CD
One of the world's leading contemporary sarod players with eight new songs ranging from a raga tribute to his wife to Bengali folk music.


3 LEG TORSO: ASTOR IN PARIS (Meester Records)
info : buy CD
A 2003 releases only recently arrived at KAOS. This accordion-centered group integrates blues and jazz elements along with (as the title suggests) plenty of tango.


TENORES DI BITTI: ALBUCAMINOS DE PACHEM (Felmay)
info : buy CD
Four-part male polyphonies from Central Sardinia.


LEBEHA BOYS: LEBEHA DRUMMING (Innova)
info : buy CD
Could it be a resurgence in Garifuna music? This album of traditional Garifun music played by boys aged 10-14 from Hopkins, Belize, comes on the heels of Aurelio Martinez's "Garifuna Soul," and shows a different, more purely rhythmic side of the little-known Central American culture. The drums, shakers, and chants blend into a music with African roots and Latin-Caribbean elements.


SUPHALA: THE NOW (Rasa)
info : buy CD
Born in India and raised in the USA, Suphala folds both nations into her music, blending tabla and trance with funk, electronica, and dance beats. Despite some brief lapses into bland pop-ish tunes, The Now has plenty of rewards for the adventurous listener.


PAUL WAGNER: JOURNEY OF THE SPIRIT (self-released)
artist site : buy CD/hear samples

Self-released CD by Native American musician-singer-storyteller Paul Wagner (who performed on Native flute and Zimbabwean mbira at the World Sacred Music Festival in Olympia in May 2005).


MAJEK FASHEK: LITTLE PATIENCE (Coral Music)
info : buy CD
Nigerian-born Majekodunmi Fasheke, more commonly known as Majek Fashek, cuts loose on this new CD, from the James-Brown-invoking orchestra hits starting a rocking adaptation of "This Little Light of Mine" to a cover of Fela's "Water No Get Enemy," to the final, unplugged "Someday One Day." Known primarily as a reggae artist, Fashek also dips liberally into Afrobeat and rock, though his Irie vibe always lays the groundwork.


JAMBODIA: JAMBODIA (Zuko Records)
info : buy CD
"Jambodia is the imaginary Kingdom of Ethno-Electric Rhythms, where the ancient and primal 'human musical experience' coexists and communes with 'The Now.'" How could one improve upon that description? World-tinted electronica & beats populate the kingdom of Jambodia.


SUBARO: SPEAK IN TONES (Alpha Pocket Records)
info : buy CD
A two-CD Afro-Brazilian-Jazz extravaganza recorded in Salvador, featuring musicians from New York, Mali (Chiek Tidiane Seck) and Bahia, Brazil. Rambling in places, sometimes sounding like an unfulfilled intro to an Afrobeat piece, Tekitoi is nonethless engaging for world jazz fans. Percussion fans will particularly dig "Trilogia Nordestina."


PICOSO: LIVE AT JACK STRAW STUDIO (Picoso)
artist website
Picoso is a Seattle-based seven-member band blending Cuban son, salsa, and jazz. Their 11-track album recorded live at Seattle's Jack Straw Studio isn't yet publicly available, but you can download a couple full tracks from their website. Catch their live shows, and keep an eye on this up-and-coming group.


GABBY LA LA: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR... (Prawn Song)
artist site : buy CD
I can't explain the music of Gabby La La, nor can I explain my instant attraction for it. A student of Ali Akbar Khan, Gabby is an accomplished sitar player. But not THAT kind of sitar player. Instead of traditional Indian tunes, she writes and plays music that sounds a bit like Tom Waits on helium, or Yoko Ono in Bollywood. Perhaps Gabby's collaborator Les Claypool sums it up best:
"Besides being an accomplished Sitar player, Gabby La La utilizes Toy Piano, Ukulele, Theremin, Accordion and Butterfly-Guitar while tap dancing and singing like Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of OZ. She is a wonderful inspiration and I whole heartedly support her nomination for Secretary of State."


VARIOUS ARTISTS: ITALIAN CAFE (Putumayo)
info : buy CD
"Cafe" is apparently Putumayo shorthand for "retro." This compilation is chock full of nostalgic-sounding songs with soft vocals and simple instrumentation.The effect is charming, if not adventurous. Musicians include some Italian classics (including Fred Buscaglione, Giorgio Conte, and Renato Carosone) alongside a younger generation just sounding retro (Daniele Silvestri, Vinicio Capossela, Maria Pierantoni Giva).


©2005 Scott Allan Stevens, Earball Media

 

 



Home - Find World Music CDs & MP3s - Listen Live Online - World Music and Culture Events Calendar - CD & Show Reviews - Top Ten & Other Charts - Past Show Playlists - About Spin the Globe - Contact - World Music Links - KAOS Radio


.