Sunday, June 1, 2008

"World" Music 101: Rock Revival Recommends

Now this really isn't about rock, but if you love music how can you resist an exploration beyond it's anglo bounds into some of the best music ever produced ! The term "World" music, is of course ridiculous (yes Americans, there is a big world out there, sorry !)

Here are ten fantastic recommendations.

1. Souad Massi

This Algerian singer, perhaps the Joni Mitchell of the middle-east, records in the melting pot of Paris: what a georgous voice, start with her second album, Deb.

Souad Massi's second solo album, Deb.

2. The Cottars

Celtic music from Nova Scotia played by a bunch of pretty incredible teenagers in traditional language. The female vocalist sounds like an angel.

Forerunner cover

3. Boubacar Traoré

Guitarist and singer from Mali, Africa, who blends U.S blues and arabic guitar, puts guitar heroes to shame

4. Cheb Khaled

"The King of Rai" (Arabic folk): another Algerian, hated by fundamentalists because he sings about the taboos of love and alchohol; incredible voice

Ya-Rayi cover

5. Geoffrey Oryema

Ugandan singer who has collaborated with Peter Gabriel. His song Payira Wind, about genocide is one of the most moving songs you will ever hear (it's inEnglish)

Exile cover

6. Susheela Raman

British-Tamil singer, modernising South Indian classical sounds, including remaking songs by John Lennon, Hendrix, Throbbing Gristle, Can and Captain Beefheart of all things

7. The Idan Raichel Project

Idan Raichel is an Israeli singer and musician blending electronics, traditional Hebrew texts and Ethiopian music in a pretty remarkable way

8. Celia Cruz

Certainly the most famous of the bunch, the most prized of all cuban singers. She's released more albums than Frank Zappa; infectious !

9. Trilok Gurtu

Indian percussionist who crossed over into Jazz fusion along with John McLaughlin. Thirty seconds of his tabla puts the best rock drummer firmly in his place

10. Seu Jorge

Modern Brazillian samba, Seu played at Bonnaroo in 2006, has a pretty amazing version of Bowie's Life on Mars


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