Best Group: 2016 Nominees
Terry Riley's In C Mali on Transgressive Records
Perhaps only Damon Albarn could have come up with the extraordinary idea of unleashing a bunch of West African musicians playing traditional instruments on the music of the minimalist composer Terry Riley. The results were revelatory, centuries of African trance ritual adding layers of ancient wisdom to Riley's post-modernist composition. A Top of the World in #107.
Inconceivable Mazurkas on Karrot Kommando
From the edge of the Carpathians, the remarkable Polish family trio of accordion player Jan Malisz and his two teenage children, Kacper (violin) and Zuzanna (cello), perform a rich and varied set of wildly kinetic mazurkas, pungent polkas and haunted, lurching waltzes that improbably evoke a Polish Tom Waits. A Top of the World in #112.
Khiyo on ARC Music
The debut from this young, London-based band celebrates every facet of Bengali music - from folk tunes to mystical Baul poetry via film themes, protest songs and even Bangladesh's national anthem. But although it's essentially an album of covers, they're delivered with a refreshing originality and a dynamic rock-influenced energy. A Top of the World in #111.
Sikoses on Monsieur Doumani
An ambitious combination of traditional Cypriot folk songs and new compositions, the second album from the Nicosia-based acoustic trio covers a vast amount of ground. Lilting brass, lute and flute create exquisitely meshing textures that range from wistful to serene. But the songs are filled with astute social criticism. A Top of the World in #108.