Posts Tagged ‘mamak khadem’

Mamak Khadem – The Road | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on February 5th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


Words by Laudin Nooshin

Mamak Khadem - The Road Cover

Second album from bafflingly under-the-radar Iranian singer

I first came across Mamak Khadem when I reviewed her solo album Jostojoo in 2008. A couple of years later, I heard her perform live at the ICA in London – still her only UK concert to date – and was bowled over, left wondering why she wasn’t better known or promoted in the world music scene.

Khadem is an artist who deserves to be heard more, both for her amazing voice and her musical bridge-building. In her latest album, she throws her net even wider than usual, weaving together sounds from across the Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and involving a large number of musicians from those regions. Her version of the Serbian song ‘Ajde Jano’ – which may be familiar to readers from the album East Meets West by the Kroke Ensemble & Nigel Kennedy – is particularly strong, here titled ‘A Thousand Strings’. One minor quibble is the lack of information on songs and lyrics and the slightly irritating, and seemingly random, English titles given to most of the tracks. Surely listeners would want to know that track four is from the northern Iranian province of Gilan or that track five is a Kurdish tune? It’s a shame, but it certainly doesn’t detract from the first-rate music.

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Top of the World March 2016

Posted on January 29th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the March (#115) issue.

Baaba Maal - The Traveller Cover

Baaba Maal
The Traveller (Marathon Artists)
Baaba Maal returns with his first album in seven years. The Traveller is a career highlight and an exhilarating summation of his life in which his activism and music are seamlessly intertwined. Read our review.

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Grupo Fantasma - Problemas Cover

Grupo Fantasma
Problemas (Blue Corn Music)
The Austin-based nine-piece take on a new approach to recording here; the songs have a new-found sheen and are an entertaining mix of funk, urban groove, rap and Latin pop-rock.

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Mamak Khadem - The Road Cover

Mamak Khadem
The Road (Innova)
Despite an undeservingly understated career, the Iranian singer’s third album showcases stunning vocals and various musical influences, from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

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Show of Hands - The Long Way Home Cover

Show of Hands
The Long Way Home (Hands On Music)
Respected folk act duo Show of Hands mark the new year with a new album, continuing a long run of two decades’ worth of solid material.

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Lost (GFR)
Via the combination of Gaelic wire-strung and concert harps and various electronic elements, Graham Fitkin and Ruth Wall create a suspenseful, yet reserved and cohesive album.

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vesevo cover

Vesevo (Agualoca Records)
The Neapolitan trio provide a unique and contemporary take on southern Italy’s traditional songs and dances, utilising catchy rhythms and strong harmonies across nine tracks.

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Smockey - Prevolution Cover

Pre’volution: Le Président, Ma Moto et Moi (Outhere Records)
The hip-hop artist from Burkina Faso releases his new album, made in the midst of political unrest and revolution in his home country.

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Sidestepper - Supernatural Love Cover

Supernatural Love (Real World)
The electro-cumbia pioneers from Colombia explore the overlooked traditions of the country’s African music. The result is a calm, collected and cool celebration of musical culture.

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Čači Vorba - Satrika Cover

Čači Vorba
Šatrika (Oriente Musik)
Fronted by the excellent fiddle player and vocalist Maria Natanson, the Polish group exhibit inventive arrangements and striking vocals on a distinctive collection of songs of Romani origin.

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Pagoda Project - Clarion Cover

Pagoda Project
Clarion (Sylvafield)
A meeting between two artists from two different musical backgrounds results in one of this year’s most relaxing and pleasurable listens. A carefully crafted and thoughtful album.

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