Posts Tagged ‘Narasirato’

The 50 Greatest World Music Albums of the Last Five Years (Part 3)

Posted on August 23rd, 2015 in Features, Recent posts by .

Editor Jo Frost and editor-in-chief Simon Broughton choose their favourite albums from 2012…


Duncan Chisholm


(Copperfish Records)

It’s a rather special album that manages to stop you in your tracks and make you just sit and listen, especially when it’s played in the noisy environs that is Songlines HQ. But that’s what the opening track ‘An Ribhinn Donn’ of Scottish fiddler Duncan Chisholm’s latest release managed to do. The final part of his Strathglass Trilogy, it certainly lives up to the two previous offerings (Farrar & Canaich). Chisholm’s violin is intensely deep and rich, evoking misty glens and the rolling Highlands. He’s probably best known for being in Julie Fowlis’ band and Wolfstone, but on evidence of this, Chisholm will go far as a solo player. JF 



Caroline Herring


(Signature Sounds)

The Southern American folk singer was part of 2011’s Cecil Sharp Project which is where I first came across her. Listening to Camilla is akin to having a sociohistorical lesson about the American South – songs such as ‘Black Mountain Lullaby’ about the tragic death of a child caused by mountaintop removal, or ‘White Dress,’ about an African-American civil rights activist who rode on the segregated buses during the 60s. The one thing missing from this beautifully illustrated album (by English artist Alice Pattullo) is notes explaining the tales behind these songs, but you can read these online. Alternatively go and see Herring perform live and prepare to be captivated by her compelling performance. JF 




Cinéma el mundo

(World Village)

Incredible to think this collective of musicians, based in the south-west of France, have been going for 30 years and yet their latest release – their tenth – sounds as fresh and intriguing as ever. Every Lo’Jo album offers up an enticing assortment of musical influences and styles and this is no exception. It starts off with the gruff spoken words of Robert Wyatt and continues with the familiar vocals of the El Mourid sisters and the ever-present, deeply enigmatic poetry and singing of Denis Péan. This release will delight die-hard fans and newcomers alike. JF 





Rising Tide


The music of Zimbabwe tends to get overshadowed by the powerhouse that is West Africa and so the arrival of this debut release was much anticipated. Mokoomba are a young band from Victoria Falls, who won a Southern African music contest back in 2008. The album is an impressively polished affair, thanks in part to Manou Gallo from Zap Mama who produced it, but also due to the joyful, energetic playing by the band. But the most striking feature is lead singer Mathias Muzaza whose voice has a potency and rawness that defies his outwardly shy demeanour. After their recent hit live dates in the UK, plus a much coveted spot on BBC’s Later… with Jools Holland, the band look set for a bright future. JF 






Seeing the panpipes, log drums and massive bamboo thong-ophone on stage at WOMAD and hearing the storm of sound was a thrilling endorsement of Songlines’ championing this group. We get few chances to hear music from the Solomon Islands, so it’s great to find a band like Narasirato devoted to their local traditions, but able to impress at festivals like WOMAD and Glastonbury and make a compelling album like this. With lead singer Aloysius Mauhana and his formidable array of musicians behind him, the music is sometimes haunting, sometimes punchy, full of an ethereal breathiness and an earthy energy that has a distinctive island feel. Aside from the exuberance, there’s also a strong message about safeguarding the culture and natural environment. SB 



Punch Brothers

Who’s Feeling Young Now?


String groups don’t get much more exciting or dynamic than this. Individually, they’re all virtuoso musicians with their own successful solo careers (Chris Thile on vocals and mandolin, Gabe Witcher on violin, Noam Pikelny on banjo, Chris Eldridge on guitar and Paul Kowert on double bass), but collectively they sure pack a punch. From the frenzied, rock-like opening of ‘Movement and Location’ to the joyous instrumental cover of ‘Flippen’ by the Swedish band Väsen and their take on Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’, the playing by these young bluegrass experimentalist hotshots is superb. They’re setting a new benchmark when it comes to their live shows which are consistently thrilling and intense. JF 



Malick Pathé Sow & Bao Sissoko



These days, when the predominant trend is to mix everything together into a sort of soup, or what Lucy Durán calls KWOMUBA! (Komposite World Music Band Afrika), it’s refreshing to hear two master musicians exploring their own rich musical culture. Both from Senegalese griot families, Malick Pathé Sow and Bao Sissoko, now resident in Belgium, have produced a sublime album of acoustic roots music. Sow is the vocalist and plays guitar and hoddu (lute), the Senegalese version of the ngoni, while Sissoko plays kora. The contrasting textures of the dark, leathery hoddu and light silvery kora weave a magical spell, along with female vocalist Talike Gelle. This is a gem of traditional West African musicianship. SB 




Staff Benda Bilili

Bouger Le Monde!

(Crammed Discs)

The first disc by Kinshasa’s Staff Benda Bilili was a spectacular success, but was it partly down to their story – a band of largely disabled street musicians gaining worldwide recognition? The triumph over adversity back-story can hopefully be discounted for their second album and we can really listen to and enjoy the music. The splendid opener ‘Osali Mabe’ is danceable Congolese music at its best with fluid guitar playing and fabulous Congolese drumming from Montana – a new member of the band. The fact that it was recorded in the old Kinshasa Renapec studio gives it a warm bloom and endorses the amazing work that producer Vincent Kenis has done both for this band and Congolese music over the years. SB 



The Other Europeans


(Ethnomusic Records)

The Other Europeans bring together Jewish and Gypsy music and get their name from the fact that both groups have been marginalised – or worse – by the nations of Europe. But they also explore the way klezmer and Roma lautari musicians worked together in Bessarabia (now Moldova) before WWII. The project is led by American pianist and accordionist Alan Bern and includes Christian Dawid (clarinet), Matt Darriau (winds), Martin Bunea (violin), Petar Ralchev (accordion), Kalman Balogh (cimbalom) and Guy Schalom (drums). This live album features largely unknown repertoire, unlike so many klezmer discs which recycle the same tunes (read Bern’s fascinating notes online: Every time I listen to this, I’m impressed by the music and the exceptional instrumental playing. SB 



Various Artists

Songs For Desert Refugees

(Glitterhouse Records)

It’s been a tragic year for Mali – the coup in March, the MNLA annexation of Azawad in the north and the takeover by Islamists. Sharia law has been imposed, music banned and over 500,000 people have fled to refugee camps. This CD is in support of those desert refugees. But this is a lot more than a fund-raising compilation, it’s a brilliant collection of largely Touareg desert blues. It opens with an unreleased track by the Touareg rockers Tinariwen, made for their 2007 album Aman Iman. With its powerful oscillating bass, jangling guitars and soulful vocals, I have no idea why it went unreleased. But then there’s lots more by artists known and unknown, including Tamikrest, Terakaft, Tartit and guitarist Bombino. A superb collection to assist those suffering in the region and remind us of what’s at stake. SB

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Songlines Best Albums 2012 Announced

Posted on October 31st, 2012 in News, Recent posts by .

In the forthcoming issue of Songlines, January/February 2013 (#89), editor Jo Frost and editor-in-chief Simon Broughton deliver their verdict on the ten best new releases of the year in their pick of 2012:

Find out what made these albums the Songlines Pick of 2012 in issue #89, on sale December 7.

 Duncan Chisholm Affric (on Copperfish Records, reviewed in #89)

 Caroline Herring Camilla (on Signature Sounds, reviewed in #87)

 Lo’Jo Cinéma el Mundo (on World Village, reviewed in #87)

 Mokoomba Rising Tide (on IglooMondo reviewed in #86)

 Narasirato Warato’o (on Smash, reviewed in #84)

 Malick Pathé Sow & Bao Sissoko Aduna (on Muziek Publique, reviewed in #89)

 Punch Brothers Who’s Feeling Young Now? (on Nonesuch, reviewed in #83)

 The Other Europeans Splendor (on Ethnomusic, reviewed in #82)

 Staff Benda Bilili Bouger le Monde! (on Crammed, reviewed in #87)

 Various Artists Songs for Desert Refugees (on Glitterhouse Records, reviewed in #87)



 Hear a selection of tracks from the albums below:

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Upcoming WOMAD Charlton Park 2012 Performances

Posted on July 25th, 2012 in Recent posts by .

With a line-up that includes the likes of Hugh Masekela, Femi Kuti, Jimmy Cliff, Carlou D and DubFX, there’s certainly no shortage of awe-inspiring music at WOMAD Charlton Park 2012. That said, here are just a few of the acts that the Songlines team are really looking forward to seeing.


Soul Rebels performing Thursday
Who doesn’t love a good brass band? Especially one that plays a cover of ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’.


Narasirato performing Friday
This group from the Solomon Islands, featured in issue #83 (April/May 2012), know how to rock the panpipes.


Nazaket Teymurova performing Friday
A Top of the World in issue #85 (July 2012), the Teymurova is one of the leading singers of Azeri mugham.


Seth Lakeman performing Friday
Recently featured in issue #83 (April/May 2012), the folk star will give us a history lesson from the barrel house.


Raghu Dixit performing Saturday
It seems like the Songlines favourite from India has played at nearly every UK festival these past few years, but there is a good reason why. 


Batida performing Saturday
The Lisbon-based DJ is sure to make the crowd dance this weekend after his debut album received a Top of the World in issue #84 (June 2012).


The Alaev Family performing Sunday
The Central Asian Jewish band, featured in the current issue, make their UK debut this weekend.


Dizraeli and the Small Gods performing Sunday
The folk/hip-hop groovers made a giant splash at Larmer Tree Festival and are sure to get WOMAD boogying too.


Be sure to stay connected throughout the weekend for tweeting and blogging aplenty from site and for those of you who are lucky enough to attend this year’s festival, stop by the Songlines stand to say hello. 



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WOMAD Charlton Park 2012

Posted on July 2nd, 2012 in Recent posts by .

Festival season is upon us, and WOMAD Charlton Park 2012 is a mere few weeks away! And this isn’t any old WOMAD, it’s the 30th anniversary. You can take a trip down memory lane on their website, or submit your own photos/videos/memories. Be sure to check out our feature on the 30 years of WOMAD in our next issue (August/September 2012, #86), which we will be bringing with us to the festival.

With a reputation for killer line-ups year upon year, it goes without saying that the 30th anniversary is going to spectacular. From the Hendrix of accordion Kimno Pohjonen to the panpiping Narasirato; the Cajun spice of the Pine Leaf Boys to the Angolan beats of Batida, you can expect to get your groove on this July. 

And just in case you needed any other reasons to pack your tent and wellies for a weekend of fun, WOMAD offers these: 

If you’re not able to make it this year, have no fear, Songlines will be blogging and tweeting aplenty to fill you in. If you are one of the lucky ones to be on site, whip out those smart phones and iPads and follow us to stay on top of what’s happening. 

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