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Spin the Globe's 2005 World Music Favorites

Like Spin the Globe's monthly Top 10, our year-end favorites are a highly subjective ranking
based on on-air spins, listener requests, and our own fickle tastes.
If you have other favorites, you're welcome to let us know or to make your own list.


Best World Music CDs of 2005: see below

Best New Artist: Aurelio Martinez: Garifuna Soul
The music of Aurelio Martinez is welcome not only for its unique Afro-Caribbean sound, but also as an invitation to discover more about the Garifuna culture of Central America's Atlantic coast... (Reviewed April 2005)

Best Live Album: Old Blind Dogs: Play Live
Energetic live recordings from one of our favorite live acts...

Best DVD: Femi Kuti Live at the Shrine
If you want to understand Femi - or Fela or Nigerian politics for that matter - this DVD may be the next best thing to being there - and you're less likely to be hit by a plastic chair... (Reviewed September 2005)

Best Compilation: (tie)

Best Collaboration: (tie)

Best Re-issue: Nawal: Kweli
Stunningly beautiful Muslim-rooted music from the Comoros Islands... (reviewed December 2005)

Best world music songs of 2005 (our year-end mix CD - not available in any store, or anywhere else!):

Artist (country)- Song - Time - Album (Label)
1. Fantazia (Algeria/UK) - Sidi Mansour - 2:13 - Mul Sheshe (World Village)
2. Romashka (USA) - Shimdiggy - 3:43 - Romashka (self-released)
3. Suphala (India/USA) - Secret Language - 4:33 - The Now (Rasa)
4. Nawal (Comoros) - Kweli (Truth) - 3:29 - Kweli (self-released)
5. Freshlyground (South Africa) - Mowbray Kaap - 6:04 - Nomvula (Sony/BMG)
6. Badi Assad (Brazil) - Asa Branca - 1:08 - Verde (Edge)
7. Jamarhl Crawford (USA) - War In Babylon - 1:53 - Les Nubians Presents: Echos Chapter One: Nubian Voyager (Triloka)
8. Shukar Collective (Romania) - Taraf - 3:27 - Urban Gypsy (Riverboat)
9. Kilema (Madagascar) - Volovolo (Hair) - 4:12 - Lavi-Tani (Audiovisuals de Sarria)
10. Kari Bremnes (Norway) - Han e en Katastrofe (He's a Catastrophe) - 3:25 - Over en by/Over a City (KKV)
11. Tigist Bekele (Ethiopia) -Ye Africa Konjo (African Beauty) - 4:40 - Woman Care! (KKV)
12. Candido Oye-Oba (Nigeria) - Komaya (Please Don't Break My Drums) - 3:44 - Adura Power (Asela Music)
13. SambaSunda (Indonesia) - Ecek - 5:02 - Rahwana's Cry (Network)
14. Gangbé Brass Band (Benin) - Gbedji - 4:50 - Whendo (World Village)
15. Omar Torrez (USA) - Dejame - 3:40 - Dynamisto! (self-released)
16. Trio Mocotó (Brazil) - Marinella - 3:59 - Beleza! Beleza!! Beleza!!! (Ziriguiboom)
17. Leilía (Galacia, Spain) - Pedras Contra Tanques - 3:41 - Madama (Discmedi Blau)
18. Aurelio Martinez (Honduras) - Tagarigu Nanigi - 4:38 - Garifuna Soul (Stonetree)
19. Oliver Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe) - Menzva Kudzimba - 5:19 - Nhava (Heads Up)
20. Balkan Beat Box (USA) - Meboli (featuring Vlada Tomova) - 3:53 - Balkan Beat Box (JDub)

Spin the Globe's 20 Favorite World Music CDs of 2005

Gangbe Brass Band: Whendo
It's like Ladysmith Black Mambazo meets the Dirty Dozen Brass Band in West Africa... (Reviewed January 2005)

Michael Spiro & Michael Williams: BataMbira
Shona and Santeria/Orisha traditions may be miles apart geographically, even spiritually, but in the hands of Michaels Spiro and Williams, their musics blend beautifully, woven so tightly and harmoniously it's hard to believe they weren't always played together.... (Reviewed May 2005)

Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate: In the Heart of the Moon
Two African masters meet for a wonderful guitar-kora collaboration...

Freshlyground: Nomvula
African-rooted pop that's universal and appealing... (Reviewed October 2005)

Anoushka Shankar: Rise
The famed daughter takes a step into Indian fusion with delightful results...

Choduraa Tumat: Belek: The Gift
The five stages of throat singing: 1: Ignorance ("Throat singing? Overtones? Tuva? What are you talking about?"); 2: Denial ("There's no way one voice can produce several tones simultaneously."); 3: Acceptance ("Wow. That's cool!); 4: Experimentation ("Hey, check it out - I'm throat singing!"); 5: Advocacy ("You have to listen to Ondar. And Yat-Kha. And did you know that there are great women throat singers as well? Check out Choduraa Tumat and her group Tyva Kyzy - they're amazing!").

Fantazia: Mul Sheshe
a fascinating musical journey from village roots to city sounds, complete with the bittersweet knowledge that there's no going back... (Reviewed December 2005)

Kilema: Lavi-Tani
Kilema constructs beautiful harmonies. His smooth, soft voice sings songs of travel, nostalgia, rain, and other important themes... (Reviewed July 2005)

Eliseo Parra: De Ayer Manana
a touch of Manu Chao anarchy, a little Radio Tarifa multiculturalism, and tons of hard work and imagination... (reviewed December 2005)

Emanuel Jal & Abdel Gadir Salim: Ceasefire
From Sudan's battling regions comes one of the most satisfying collaborations of 2005... (Reviewed October 2005)

Orange Winds: Dahab Walk
A theme of winds blows them from Africa to the Caribbean to Mexico to Asia on this sublime instrumental album... (Reviewed November 2005)

Yerba Buena: Island Life
Crazy Latin party music from NYC, with a little politics and a lot of fun in the mix...

Shukar Collective: Urban Gypsy
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... (Reviewed June 2005)

Trio Mocoto: Beleza! Beleza!! Beleza!!!
All three original "fathers of the samba soul beat" return for their first album since 1977, and it's a delightfully satisfying guilty pleasure... (Reviewed December 2005)

Oliver Mtukudzi: Nhava
If you're keeping track , we're counting this as album #48 for the prolific bard of Zimbabwe. Still, Tuku manages to sound fresh and explore new musical territory... (Reviewed June 2005)

Kronos Quartet & Asha Bhosle: You've Stolen My Heart-Songs from R.D. Burman's Bollywood
This delicious CD sets a high standard for cross-cultural collaborations... (Reviewed October 2005)

Amira Saqati: Destination Halal
Recorded during Ramadan 2004, the CD achieves a rootsy sound through the use of traditional instruments including oud, gembri, violin, and darbuka. And then there's the rapping and the techno beats... (Reviewed December 2005)

Leila: Madama
Powerful women's vocals command your attention from the opening bars on this album from Galacia's Leilia, a group of women singers and percussionists (imagine Varttina with sax and udu)... (Reviewed April 2005)

David Krakauer & Socalled: Bubbemeises-Lies My Gramma Told Me
Klezmer meets hiphop with lyrics provided by your grandmother: "Get off the kitchen table or you'll never get married / And never whistle walkin' past where people are buried / If you can kiss your elbows then you're probably gay / and yo if you cross your eyes you know they'll stay that way"... (Reviewed December 2005)

Rim Banna: The Mirrors of My Soul
Fresh from her contribution to Lullabies from the Axis of Evil, Banna sings a fresh batch of Palestinian music with a decidedly pop personality...

©2005 Scott Allan Stevens, Earball Media



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