Posts Tagged ‘nitin sawhney’

Introducing Songlines issue #124 (January/February 2017)

Posted on December 7th, 2016 in Features, News, Recent posts by .


The January/February 2017 (#124) issue of Songlines is now on sale!

Our cover star is Ravi Shankar, the late Indian sitarist whose final work, Sukanya, an opera written for his wife, gets its world premiere in the UK in May 2017.


Other features include our round-up of the Best Albums of 2016; an interview with the Pakistani qawwali group, Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali about continuing their uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s legacy; Renata Rosa, the Brazilian singer and rabeca player making her UK debut in January; the Golha Project, archiving pre-revolutionary Iranian music; a Beginner’s Guide to the musical polymath, Nitin Sawhney; plus the latest CD, book and world cinema reviews. 


The Top of the World cover CD includes Tanya Tagaq, Anda Union, musicians from The Calais Sessions, Daoirí Farrell and Le TP Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, as well as a guest playlist from the writer and Guardian columnist George Monbiot, featuring Chris Wood, Kate Rusby and Moh! Kouyaté.


Every issue is also accompanied by an exclusive 14-track WOMADelaide 25th Anniversary sampler CD, featuring classic tracks by Rokia Traoré, Youssou N’Dour and Mariza, and many more.

To find out more about subscribing to Songlines, please visit:

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DJ Nihal’s playlist and the 10 best new releases

Posted on June 6th, 2014 in News, Recent posts, Reviews by .


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.”



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WOMAD Charlton Park 2014: First acts announced

Posted on February 27th, 2014 in Recent posts by .


Nitin Sawhney, Mulatu Astatke, Alice Russell, Goran Bregović, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Bassekou Kouyaté will all be heading to Wiltshire this summer for this year’s WOMAD Charlton Park festival (July 24-27).

Indisputably the daddy of all world music festivals, WOMAD now exists in a variety of global incarnations, from Russia’s Mount Mashuk to Adelaide, yet there is always something special about returning to Wiltshire’s beautiful Charlton Park.

WOMAD will showcase the incredible voice of British soul singer Alice Russell, after having had to withdraw from last year’s festival. Nitin Sawhney will perform a live incarnation of his Top of the World album OneZero, a cut-straight-to-vinyl retrospective that revisited key moments from his extensive back catalogue.

Festival favourites Fat Freddy’s Drop will arrive from New Zealand, while Goran Bregović and his Gypsy brass band, Wedding & Funeral Orchestra, fly in from the Balkans. Africa is always well represented at WOMAD, and this year is no exception, with Bassekou Kouyaté, Mulatu Astake, Songlines Music Awards 2012 Newcomer award winner Fatoumata Diawara (with Roberto Fonseca) and veteran Zimbabwean Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi all set to perform.

For the full list of acts so far announced and to purchase tickets visit



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Top of the World: Nitin Sawhney – OneZero

Posted on September 14th, 2013 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Words by Nigel Williamson

OneZero Generic PackshotSawhney without the safety net

On April 6 this year, Sawhney recorded an unplugged session before a live audience direct to vinyl, without the safety net of post-production editing or modern sound-correction techniques. That performance is now available in the deluxe package of five vinyl LPs and, for those who ditched their Dansette when the world went digital, a CD version. As ever, Sawhney fuses Eastern and Western forms seamlessly on a set of 13 songs from his impressive back-catalogue and four new compositions, backed by a group of regular collaborators on flute, cello, tabla and drums, with singing provided by Sawhney’s long-time vocalists Tina Grace and Rahel.

As a non-singer, Sawhney has built his reputation as an inventive composer and skilled producer, coaxing performances out of other musicians. Yet what emerges here is a real sense of Sawhney’s own strengths as a performer. It has often been overlooked among his other accomplishments, but he’s a quite brilliant guitarist in a diversity of styles, from the classicisms of ‘Timetrap’ to the flamenco of ‘Herencia Latina’ and the Bert Jansch-style fingerpicking of ‘Accept Yourself’. His piano playing also boasts an impressionistic loveliness, heard to rich effect on ‘Tides’, ‘Breathing Light’ and ‘I Ask You’, a new composition featuring the soulful tones of Joss Stone. A master craftsman in the studio, it’s fascinating to hear the quite different kind of energy and adrenalin that Sawhney can generate in a wholly live setting.

TRACK TO TRY: Homelands

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