Posts Tagged ‘sahra halgan trio’

Sahra Halgan Trio – Faransiskiyo Somaliland | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on March 13th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Sahra Halgan Trio-©none-Free

Words by Jon Lusk

Sahra Halgan Trio - Faransiskiyo Somaliland Cover

Somaliland singer providing musical therapy

Fans of all things desert-bluesy should check out Sahra Halgan. She has just returned to her homeland – the fledgling independent democracy of Somaliland – after 23 years of exile spent in Lyon, France. Happily, while there, she met guitarist Mael Saletes and kamalengoni (lute) player and percussionist Aymeric Khol, who both provide credible backing vocals in Somali. Vincent Bertholet’s double bass turns the trio into a quartet on three of the 11 tracks that comprise this excellent international debut album.

Halgan pens much of her own material, but also covers songs by other Somali writers such as Ahmed Naji, who wrote ‘Somaliland’. It boasts a stripped-down arrangement that contrasts sharply with the accelerating groove of the electric guitar-powered romp ‘Hobaa Layoow Heedhe’, a joyful traditional song. As Cris Ubermann’s accompanying DVD reveals, Halgan has been making music as a professional since 1999, and is something of a national cultural icon: a musician, a mother of two and a high-profile politician. There are also atmospheric videos featuring acoustic performances of some of the songs on the album, shot with a dramatic desert landscape as a backdrop. Halgan tells us stories from her life, recalling the tough times she spent working as a nurse during the war, and how she ‘cured people with songs’ because they had so little medicine. This album may well have its own therapeutic, restorative effects on listeners.

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Top of the World April 2016: The best new releases

Posted on March 4th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the April (#116) issue.

Joan Soriano - Me decidí Cover

Joan Soriano
Me Decidí (iASO Records)
After a five-year wait since his previous solo release, Dominican singer and guitarist Joan Soriano is back with a new offering of joyous material. A fine return from the bachata maestro.

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Divanhana - Zukva Cover

Zukva (ARC Music)
The young Sarajevan band display an air of firm confidence, playing sevdah music with a flexible and dynamic approach on their first UK release.

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Maz O’Connor

The Longing Kind (Restless Head)
Maz O’Connor steps away from the folk songs that featured in her previous work, taking inspiration from life experiences, literature and art to create an intelligent and emotional album.

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Sahra Halgan Trio - Faransiskiyo Somaliland Cover

Sahra Halgan Trio
Faransiskiyo Somaliland (Buda Musique)
Somaliland’s Sahra Halgan is accompanied by a band of musical virtuosos on her new album, her first since returning to her homeland after a 23-year exile in France.

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Lotus Wight

Lotus Wight’s Ode to the Banjo (Lotus Wight)
Through musical interpretations of traditional Americana, Canadian artist Lotus Wight’s new album explores the history of the banjo via 13 tracks that make for a riveting listen.

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Aziza Brahim - Abbar el Hamada Cover

Aziza Brahim
Abbar el Hamada (Glitterbeat)
An important voice for the people of the Western Sahara, Aziza Brahim returns with a relaxed effort that continues to spur her message of political injustice and resistance.

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The Gloaming - 2 Cover

The Gloaming
2 (Real World Records)
With their critically acclaimed and commercially successful debut behind them, The Gloaming return with their second album – one that shows no signs of a sophomore slump.

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Varttina - Viena Cover

Viena (Westpark Music)
Finnish group Värttinä exceed expectations on their new album, executing strong vocal performances with relentless energy and stellar musicianship that results in an exciting release.

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Sainkho Namtchylak - Like a Bird or Spirit, Not a Face Cover

Sainkho Namtchylak
Like a Bird or Spirit, Not a Face (Ponderosa Music & Art)
Renowned throat singer Sainkho Namtchylak exhibits her versatile vocal ability alongside the rhythm section of Tinariwen in this cross-cultural hybrid of Touaregs and Tuvans.

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Anchorsong - Ceremonial Cover

Ceremonial (Tru Thoughts)
Inspired by African pop music of the 1970s, Tokyo-born electronic musician Anchorsong utilises polyrhythms and expansive textures to create a sonically cohesive second album.

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