Habib Koité and Bamada
World Village (WV), $17.99
Item Number: hm-wv468055
1990s classic from the Malian guitarist: 'Guitarist Habib Koite is from Mali, but this rising star represents the contemporary sound of African pop. His first album, which is now being re-released here, is mostly made up of upbeat songs that electrify a variety of regional styles. The accompanying translated lyrics show Koite to be a songwriter that takes on weightier subjects than the usual vacuous party fare. The songs don't translate easily, resembling fables at times, but there is no mistaking the message of his hit, "Cigarette A Bana (The Cigarette is Finished)." Koite's brisk, breezy songs layer call-and-response singing over a seamless mix of African percussion and Western instruments. His academic training shows up most notably in his sophisticated arrangements, which continually change textures, keeping his songs as appealing to the head as the feet.' - Marty Lipp, RootsWorld
Monsieur Doumani : Angathin (The Thorn)
This trio was founded in 2011 in Nicosia, Cyprus by Antonis Antoniou (tzouras), Angelos Ionas (guitar) and Demetris Yiasemides (trombone, flute). They turn Cypriot folk music inside out, add poetry and politics, and on their third album, they have ceated what I think is a masterwork of nearly-all-acoutic folk, rock and roots.
Aurelio : Darandi
Celebrating 30 years of Garifuna music by one of the region's most important contemporary artists, Darandi is a tour de force of Latin American music. The CD is packaged in an illustrated hard-cover book with historical and biographical notes, as well as notes on each of the songs.
Okra Playground : Turmio
Finnish folk music can sound other-worldly. The country's folk-epic, "The Kalevala," is laced with charms and spells, and its impact on Finnish folk culture has been immense. One can hear its echoes in this new recording. Three female vocalists are up-front. Both play the kantele, strung over their shoulders for a twin-stringed attack that any heavy metal band would envy. The men in the band round out the contemporary sound with bass, synth, accordion and percussion. Comparisons to both Värttinä and Hedningarna are inevitable. Okra Playground has an organic, acoustic base, but they frequently add electronic enhancements so that their overall approach appeals to both traditionalists and experimentalists.
WoWaKin : Kraj za miastem
The trio WoWaKin was founded in the spring of 2016. The three musicians in the ensemble (Paula Kinaszewska, Bartlomiej Wozniak and Mateusz Wachowiak) bring together a wide range of experience in classical, jazz and contemporary music, and use those skills to explore the roots of Polish village dance music. They recreate the spirit of a traditional village celebration, drawing a new generation of dancers into trance-like state through inventive, open-ended improvisation using a repertoire of mazurkas, oberkas, polkas, kuyaviaks, and Polish-style tangos. Beside the violin, three-row Polish accordion and drums they use banjouke and harmonica.
Saeid Shanbehzadeh : Pour-Afrigha
Saied Shanbehzadeh combines bagpipes and saxophones with the voice of Rostam Mirlashari, the jazz guitar of Manu Codjia and the percussion of Naghib Shanbehzadeh. Pour-Afrigha ("descendant of Africa") is the name that Saeid's mother, born of the third generation of Africans deported to Persia from Zanzibar and enslaved there.
Habadekuk : Mollevit
Here's the 10th Anniversary recording from one of Denmark's best folk big-bands, pulling out the stops on traditional Danish fiddle tunes arranged for fiddles, brass, percussion, keyboards, bass and accordion.
Sabil : Zabad, l'écume des nuits (Twilight Tide)
The duo Sabil is Ahmad Al Khatib ('ud) and Youssef Hbeisch (percussion). On this album, they are joined by Elie Khoury on bouzouki and Hubert Dupont on acoustic bass in an exploration of Arabic music and modern composition and improvisation. This was a RootsWorld 'Music of the Month' recording in 2017. These CDs were donated by the artists and record label, and all proceeds go to support the magazine and radio program.
Wimme and Rinne : Human
Two of Finland's bravest artists, Tapani Rinne and Wimme Sari, join forces again to explore the limits of human voice and human instruments. Based on the ancient Sámi joik singing, the two artists stretch the boundaries to find beauty, energy and occasionally, the dissonance of the music, propelled by Tapani Rinne's clarinets and electronic processing, aided on some tracks by additional voices, fiddle, piano or percussion. This was the Music of the Month pick in RootsWorld for July, 2017.
Fendika : BiraBiro
I am pleased to offer this recording from Ethiopia, by a troupe of musicians, singers and dancers based at a night club in Addis Ababa that bears the name Fendika. The ensemble is led by Melaku Belay, who fashions new music from the traditional roots of many different regions of Ethiopia. Nardos Tesfaw - vocals Endris Hassen - masenko Misale Legesse - kobero Melaku Belay - dance, backing vocals, claps Zenash Tsegaye - dance, backing vocals, claps These CDs were donated by Terp Records, so all proceeds go to support the magazine and radio program. We thank them for their generous support.
Maria Kalaniemi and Eero Grundstrom : Svalan
Finnish accordionist and singer Maria Kalaniemi and harmonium (pump organ) player Eero Grundström have created a set of new works and reworkings of old songs from the Finno-Swedish tradition. They range from the lyrical to the challenging, and touch on both the east and west, from the western sea to the eatern reaches of Karelia. On some tracks they are joined by Pekko Käppi (bowed lyre and vocals) and Mikko Kosonen (guitars).
Kala Jula : Mande Kulu
kala Jula is a quartet with Samba Diabaté on guitar and ngoni, Vincent Zanetti on guiatar, harp-luth and percussion, Hélène Labarrière on bass, Jacky Molard on violin and alto. While the music is deeply endebted to the Mande tradition of Mali, this global quartet finds new ways to reach its spirit.
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