The July 2014 (#101) issue includes our regular Top of the World CD with ten tracks from the world’s finest new releases. The CD also includes five tracks selected by BBC’s DJ Nihal, who also discusses his picks with Simon Broughton.
The Top of the World CD includes brand new tracks from cover star Susheela Raman; father-daughter duo Martin & Eliza Carthy; Brazilian experimentalists Metá Metá, and many more.
Pick up your copy here, at selected UK HMV stores, selected WHSmiths and all good record retailers. Check out this issue’s top tracks:
Susheela Raman ‘Sharabi’ from Queen Between (own label)
More than a dozen years on from her debut, Raman continues not only to sound unique, self-assured and ambitious, but like an artist whose creative vision is still growing.
Forabandit ‘Nemidoonem’ from Port (Buda Musique)
It’s the energy and urgency of Forabandit that impresses the most: there’s an unstoppable drive about these songs that mirrors the idea of a common Mediterranean culture.
Boulpik ‘Boulpik Twoubadou’ from Konpa Lakay (Lusafrica)
Boulpik are a Haitian troubadour combo armed with twin banjos and a tight rhythm section that includes maracas, tambours, Cuban-style claves, plus the boom of a manouba bass.
9Bach ‘Pa Le?’ from Tincian (Real World Records)
9Bach reflect on their folk traditions with something of a modernist’s or internationalist’s perspective, drawing inspiration from their home of north Wales for this original set of songs.
Sväng ‘Kyytiläinen’ from Karja-La (Galileo Music)
A touch of Howlin’ Wolf, hints of anarchic fiddle playing, traditional Baltic runo song, and a jumping minuet: prepare yourself for the latest journey into the unknown from these frolicsome and feisty Finns
Metá Metá ‘Orunmila’ from Metal Metal (Mais Um Discos)
A cool, measured delight that mixes art rock, modern jazz and funky Afro-Brazilian rhythms while folding in tales of long-neglected gods and goddesses of the ancient Yoruba people.
Angkanang Kunchai ‘Kid Hod Chu’ from The Sound of Siam Volume 2: Molam & Luk Thung from North-East Thailand 1970-1982 (Soundway Records)
The second compilation by DJs Maft Sai and Chris Menist uncovers more groovy gems from Thailand’s molam and luk thung masters.
Alsarah & the Nubatones ’Soukura (It’s Late)’ from Silt (Wonderwheel Recording)
Creating something fresh yet timeless and imbued with a sense of nostalgia, Silt perfectly captures what Alsarah describes as ‘East African retro pop.’
Martin & Eliza Carthy ‘Waking Dreams (Awake, Awake)’ from The Moral of the Elephant (Topic Records)
This is the first time the father and daughter have recorded as a duo, and it deserves a place up there with the best of the family oeuvre.
Sakar Khan ‘Train Song #2’ from At Home (Amarrass Records)
Aside from the glorious playing, there’s a comfortable intimacy about the music that makes this one of the best field recordings of late. Here is master Indian kamancha player heard in his home environment.
Plus DJ Nihal’s playlist
Angélique Kidjo ‘M’Baamba (Kenyan Song)’ from Eve (429 Records)
“She could walk into a room wearing dungarees and you would look at her – and that comes through in her music. In terms of soul and energy, clearly she is insurmountable.”
Circle of Sound ‘Zero’ from Anti Hero (Baithak Records)
“I love people who look at traditional music and give it a twist of their own, and Soumik is one of those people. That’s why I’m a big fan of his.”
Nitin Sawhney ‘Homelands’ from Beyond Skin (Outcaste Records)
“It’s the kind of track that should go up into space and if aliens find it and listen to it, they’d be utterly seduced by planet Earth and they’d want to make their way to Glastonbury where Nitin’s playing.”
Rita Morar & Talal Qureshi ‘Piya (Official Remix)’ from Piya (Official Remix) (Rita Morar & Talal Qureshi)
“These guys have a sound palette that is as broad as anyone’s, and they’re making music in a city that has suicide bombings and there’s no club scene.”
DJ Vips featuring Babli ‘Long Gawacha (Bashment Mix)’ from Party Time (VIP Records)
“This is a version I absolutely love because it’s got an element of digital dance hall to it. It’s right up my alley because it’s a melding of two cultures.”