Saddar Bazaar - The Conference of the Birds (1995)

«Bristol based and formed in 1990 by Shaun Hyder (Sitar etc.) and Rehan Matthew Hyder (Slide Guitar), Saddar Bazaar (Central Market) were soon joined by John Sage on Drums and supported various bands in the local area such as The Seers, Praise Space Electric and the Bevis Frond. They also played at the well known Ashton Court Community Festival in Bristol. By 1992 John had left the band and had been replaced by David Spencer, whilst Tainenska Royal came in on flute and keyboards. It was this line-up that recorded “Night Descent” for the indie charting Fun With Mushrooms album on Delerium. The bands appearance on this album resulted in a pile of mail from punters, at Delerium HQ, requesting a whole album of material by the band. It also resulted in a session for American doom metal band Solitude Aeturnus! (Saddar Bazaar play on the track “The 9th Day” on the band’s 1994 album Through the Darkest Hour on Music For Nations). Delerium decided to fund an album and the finished article featured new keyboard player Terry Banx and was produced by Bob Pierce (an ex-member of 60s UK psych band The Mirror). The Conference of The Birds is one of Delerium’s strangest releases to date. A perfect acoustic Eastern chill-out experience that harkens back to groups such as The Third Ear Band and The Ceyleib People, with its atonal, psychedelic simplicity, whilst appealing to the ambient trance textures of todays head music scene…» (Last.fm)

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Erkin Koray - Benden Sana (1982)

«Erkin Koray (born June 24, 1941, in Beykoz, Istanbul) has been in the Turkish rock music scene since the late 1950s or early 1960s. He is widely acclaimed as being the first person to ever play rock and roll in Turkey; in 1957, he and his band gained fame by playing covers of Elvis Presley and Fats Domino. He was also one of the first Turkish musicians to embrace the electric guitar and modern amplification.

By the late 1960s, he was already a major figure in Turkish psychedelic music and Anatolian Rock, beginning with his first psychedelic single Anma Arkadaş in 1967. Koray followed this with a number of singles, both by himself and in collaboration with others, that established him as a force to be reckoned with on the Turkish rock scene. Koray became a controversial figure in Turkey during the 1960s and 1970s; he was actually assaulted in Istanbul, and on one occasion stabbed, for having long hair.

In the early 1970s, he formed the group Ter with the former members of Grup Bunalim, a power trio styled group. […] The music of Ter was influenced by glam rock and psychedelia, and featured extended guitar solos and progressive arrangements – something that his record company, Istanbul Records, was not prepared to accept.

The Turkish public remained interested in Koray's solo work nonetheless, and in 1973 his first album, Erkin Koray, was released. […] The album consists of a collection of singles from 1967 to 1973. Koray left Istanbul Records after its release, signing to Doglan Records. […] 1974 saw the release of his groundbreaking album, Elektronik Türküler (“Electronic Ballads”). Finally given the freedom to record an album instead of being limited to 45 rpm singles, Koray and his band created an album that reflected both his Turkish roots and his love of psychedelic and progressive rock. The album's popularity continues to the present day, with several legitimate and non-legitimate releases on both album and CD. Elektronik Türküler is widely considered to be Koray's masterpiece by many critics, and many of his subsequent releases followed in this vein, with progressive and psychedelic influences balanced by Turkish folk forms. […]

Benden Sana (From Me to You), released in 1982, saw Erkin Koray experimenting with Indian music. It was recorded in Germany and Istanbul, with the help of Turkish and Indian musicians (with Erkin playing all melody instruments, along with bass), and included remakes of two of his earlier hits (he would continue this remake tradition in the years to come).

Koray continues to record and perform in Turkey to this day, and in Turkish music circles is often referred to as Erkin Baba ("Erkin the Father") for his pioneering influence on Turkish popular music. Koray is also the inventor of the electric bağlama, a traditional Turkish musical instrument related to the lute, and its unique sound can be heard on many of his albums.» (Wikipedia & Progarchives)

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Music of the Andes (1994)

«Well, this music does come from the Andes, but it's not representative of the wide range of Andean music, given that there are only five artists on the disc, and one of those, the late, great singer and songwriter Victor Jara, only appears once, with "El Tinku." Like Jara, the other groups here have their roots in the time before the Chilean military coup of 1973. Among them is the venerable Inti-Illimani, a group that's existed for over three decades, playing not only the music of their native Andes, but who've also explored traditions across Latin America, although they moved to Europe following the coup, as did Quilapayun, who settled in Paris, continuing their vocal music, as on "El Canto Del Cuculi." All three of the above were quite political, Jara particularly, and socially concerned, traits reflected heavily in their music and songs, comprised not only of traditional pieces, but also the Nueva Cancion movement which had swept the country in the '60s. The same is true of Illapu, another band who were forced into temporary exile from their homeland by their political stance. While they all kept one foot in the past and looked forward, the other group on here, Kollahuara, remained exclusively folkloric — their "El Condor Pasa," a tune well-known to Americans, thanks to Paul Simon — has the weight of many years behind it. So while this might not be a full view of Chilean Andean music, what's here is beautiful, with, of course, plenty of pan pipes and charangos, and well worth hearing, played by some true masters.» (AMG)

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Trilok Gurtu & Arkè String Quartet - Arkeology (2006)

«Another Trilok triumph. Once again, the Indian percussionist and composer Trilok Gurtu proves himself to be among the world’s most adventurous, skilled and intelligent fusionists, on this spectacular marriage between East and West, in collaboration with Italy’s Arkè String Quartet. Many of the best fusions are sound collisions, their very success based on a thrilling clashing of cultures. Arkeology is different, for it seeks to emphasise not the differences but the seamless empathy between two apparently contrasting musical worlds.

The opener, ‘Balahto’, is one of Gurtu’s three featured compositions and is typical of the approach, kicking in with an urgent insistent bass pattern over skittering Asian percussion before the Western classical strings take up a dancing melody with a vaguely Celtic feel.

Nobody’s showboating or trying to outplay each other: every instrument, Eastern and Western is carefully calibrated in perfect balance.

Oddly, it’s often the compositions by the Italian quartet that have the strongest Asian feel. ‘Kermanşah’ is written by violinist Valentino Corvino but has Gurtu’s dreamy tabla playing to the fore, and bursts of Indian tala singing over some lovely, Gypsy-like strings, while ‘Fes’, composed by fellow violinist Carlo Catnini, is another sublimely moody piece that unites Asian, Mediterranean and North African influences. There’s both an attention to detail and a broader, cinematic quality. To say that in places it sounds like high-class film music is no criticism at all. (Nigel Williamson, Songlines. More reviews here)»

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The Rough Guide to World Party (2007)

«The Rough Guide to World Party is the perfect soundtrack to some of the world’s most spectacular festivals and celebrations. From the swinging jazz of New Orleans Mardi Gras to the African blues of the Festival in the Desert, and from the driving samba rhythms of Brazil ‘s Rio Carnival, to Pushkar’s amazing camel fair, this release features a stunning selection of tracks from the critically acclaimed Rough Guide series.

Artists include - Conjunto Imagen, Chichi Peralta Y Son Familia, Moises Santana, Canal, Lopez Walker, Tinariwen, Mohammed Issa Matona, E.T. Mensah, Musafir Diego Carrasco, Deaf Shepherd, Ringsgwandl, The Prodigals and Dr. Michael White.» (Amazon)

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Enzo Avitabile & Bottari - Salvamm' O Munno (2004)

«Italian saxophonist Enzo Avitabile went from being a noted sideman to blazing his own trail in the new millennium fusing traditional Italian music with progressive, new ideas. Born in Naples in 1955, Avitabile began studying sax as early as age seven. His musical path led him to conservatory, where he would gain an education in both contemporary and traditional musical techniques. Throughout the early ‘80s Avitabile worked as a sideman, backing up the most famous names in pop music. In the 20 years that he logged as a musician-for-hire, Avitabile was solicited by musical greats like James Brown, Richie Havens, Tina Turner, hip-hop legend Afrika Bambaataa, and more. At the dawn of the new century, Avitabile sought a new direction for his musical career. Harnessing the centuries-old musical power of the Bottari tradition, where percussionists made huge drums out of wine vats, Avitabile created a powerful and unique ensemble. Through performances on renown stages like the Womad world music festival and high praise for the group’s debut record, Save the World (Salvamm’o munno), Enzo Avitabile and Bottari gained significant attention from folk and progressive music audiences. Drawing on southern Italian and north African musical concepts, Avitabile gained a reputation as a musical innovator and cultural historian. The band’s second record, Festa Farina e Forca (2007), enjoyed a lasting presence on World Music Charts Europe.»

Salvamm'o munno

«The Mediterranean is a cultural crossroads, and musical traditions have crept across water and borders to influence other countries. It’s quite evident in the Italian music of Enzo Avitabile and Bottari, where the heat of Italy mixes with the dry sounds of North Africa. The basis of their sound is the rural Bottari rhythms, banged out on sickles and barrels. It gives a powerful underlay to the sound, which is filled out by plenty of guests, many of them from across the water – people like Khaled, Amina, and Simon Shaheen, among others. But they only emphasize the Maghrebi flavor that’s an intrinsic part of this Southern Italian sound. It’s an energetic, spiritual album, ranging from traditional dance rhythms such as the pastellessa and the zeza (along with the slower passo del morte), and even a touch of soul on the live cut “O Munno Se Move”. Everywhere there’s a full sound, and the guests, who also include Hugh Masekela and the almost ubiquitous Manu Dibango, fit into the music rather than stand out, making for a wonderful, sonorous integration. It transcends country and gives passion – a remarkable achievement. Add in two video cuts and you have a real winner.» (AMG)

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Musiche dal Mondo: Scandinavia - Suoni dal Grande Nord (2001)

A great collection of modern Scandinavian folk, featuring some of the most representative artists in the genre.

Gjallarhorn are from the Swedish-speaking area of Finland, and as a result their lyrics are sung in Swedish (as opposed to Finnish, as one might expect of a Helsinki-based band). Although fairly traditional, the band does incorporate ethnic percussion instruments (from all different areas of the world) into their music, and uses a didgeridoo as their drone instrument (most bands use either hurdy-gurdy or Swedish bagpipes). This has gained Gjallarhorn some appeal among world music connoisseurs.

Hedningarna’s music is largely planted in Finnish tradition (even though the band itself is actually from Sweden), and is among the most rock-influenced of the Scandinavian folk bands. Hedningarna has also been around for quite some time, having released their first album in 1988. Compared to Garmarna and Sorten Muld, the band usually has a brighter, more cheerful sound. Hedningarna has been substantially influenced by rock bands such as Jethro Tull.

Värttinä is a Finnish band, playing a variety of Finnish folk and folk-inspired music. Their music consists mainly of several female voice parts, as well as accordion, kantele, bass, wind and percussion.

Other featured artists: Wimme, Väsen, Kimmo Pohjonen, Nychelarporkestern, Lena Willemark, Frifot, Maria Kalaniemi & Aldargaz, JPP, Markku Lepisto, Pekka Lehti, Swap and Slobo Horo.

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Spring Season II

Cissoko - Bakine Percussion (2001)

«The Senegalese Jules Souleymane Cissokho, together his brother Moussa Cissokho, created the percussion group "Cissoko Bakine Percussion". It is a wonderful album inspired by traditional African music and instruments, including the balafon played by Lansiné, the peul flute, the kora and a mixture of djembé. Listen»

«Le Sénégalais Jules Souleymane Cissokho, avec le concour de son frère Moussa Cissokho crée le groupe de percussion appelé "Cissoko Bakine Percussion". C’est un superbe album de musique traditionnelle africaine avec le balafon de Lansiné, la flûte peul, le kora et un mélange de djembés. Écouter»

«Der Senegalese Jules Souleymane Cissokho hat gemeinsam mit seinem Bruder Moussa Cissokho die Gruppe "Cissoko Bakine Percussion" gegründet. Das Album basiert auf traditionneller afrikanischer Musik mit Lansiné am Balafon und anderen traditionellen Instrumenten, wie die Peul-flöte, die Kora und einer Mischung aus Djembé. Anhören» (Lansiné Kouyaté)

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Rogério Tavares - Galope (2004)

«Rogerio Tavares is undoubtedly one of the greatest new talents to play Spanish guitar. This exceptional debut album somehow manages to mix the traditional side of Brazilian traditions with modern influences. His superb mastery of the Spanish guitar is evident on nearly every track, but unlike many players he brings in very light touches of electronica to help fuse the sounds. Galope is an intimate, introvert album, sometimes sad, sometimes joyful, with flashes of serenity and warmth, rhythm and party.» (Amazon)

«Rogério Tavares nasce a Pau dos Ferros, (Brasile). Comincia a suonare la chitarra all’età di dieci anni per accompagnare il papà al canto e prosegue gli studi da autodidatta e in parte presso il conservatorio di Natal, Brasile. La musica non lo abbandonerà più nelle riunioni in famiglia, tra amici e nelle prime esibizioni in pubblico nel Nord-Est brasiliano dove cresce e prende la maggiore influenza ed ispirazione per la sua musica. Cantante e compositore, vive stabilmente in Italia dagli anni 90. Partecipa ai festival latino-americani di Modena, Torino e Bologna e alle manifestazioni Blu Rimini (RN), Radio Villazza (VC), Appennino Music Festival, Veneto Jazz Festival. Nel 2004 esce Galope, il suo primo lavoro discografico, distribuito da Halidon (H.squared), ma anteriori e successive sono le collaborazioni con altri artisti e la realizzazione di alcuni brani per compilation. Il suo ultimo disco è Round, Tavares Quintet (vedi http://www.myspace.com/tavares5%29.).» (MySpace)

Intervista a Rogério Tavares qui.

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