tue 11/12/2018

world music

theartsdesk in Essaouira: Festival of Gnawa - 21st-century trance masters

Essaouira, on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, is the place of winds. Day or night, hot or cold, year in, year out, the “Alizee” blows, and it blows. In the local folklore it is not from the ocean but a grumbling resident of the medina – perhaps protesting...

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CD: AMMAR 808 - Maghreb United

Hot in the burning footsteps of Bargou 08, last year’s subtle but daring mix of traditional Tunisian sounds and electronic beats and textures, Sofyann Ben Youssef launches a new project under the name of AMMAR 808, Maghreb United. There is a great...

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Songlines Encounters Festival, Kings Place review - mellifluous launch from African strings

The Songlines Encounters festival is in its eighth year, and opened its doors on Thursday night at Kings Place in London with 3MA, (TroisMa in French), comprising Malian kora player Ballake Sissoko, Moroccan oud player Driss El Maloumi and...

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Africa: A Journey Into Music, BBC Four review - too little, too late?

BBC Four is the TV music equivalent of those oldsters music mags like Q and Mojo. Have there been five, or is it six, documentaries about Queen on the channel? You can sense the commissioners feeling with this new series they have now done...

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DVD: Here to Be Heard - The Story of the Slits

Here to be Heard, made by US film-maker and punk rocker William E Badgley, has such a juicy, pertinent story to tell that it never palls. Over 84 minutes, contemporary interviews and old footage build a two act drama that reveals The Slits to be one...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: African Scream Contest 2

African Scream Contest 2 opens with a burst of distorted guitar suggesting a parallel-world response to The Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today”. Then, the song beds in and a James Brown groove plays off against spindly lead-guitar lines also...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 39: Pink Floyd, Liines, Black Sabbath, Daniel Avery, Elvis and more

There have been reports that as many as 50% of vinyl-buyers don’t actually listen to it. They keep records as a token of affection for the artist in question. This seems curious but, then again, most young people don’t own turntables and the idea is...

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CD: Baloji - 137 Avenue Kaniama

The death of “world music” is a wonderfully reassuring thing. That is to say, with every year that passes, it becomes less and less possible for media and consumers to bracket together music from outside the US and Europe as a single thing, and...

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CD: Seun Kuti - Black Times

Is it fair to say that Seun Kuti’s fourth album is just more of the same? I believe it is, because more of the same is more or less the point with protest music, particularly if what you’re protesting hasn’t gone away. You have no choice but to keep...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Voyager Golden Record

What is music? When pondering archive releases, compilations and reissues the question doesn’t come up. Knowledge of context and history means there’s never a need to muse on this fundamental issue. A package, say, dedicated to Northern Soul says...

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CD: Jonny Nash and Lindsay Todd - Fauna Mapping

A little over two years ago, The Arts Desk reviewed Hipnotik Tradisi, Black Merlin’s extraordinary first offering for Island of the Gods’ Island Explorer series. The idea is simple. Take an artist, invite them to Bali, let them soak up (and,...

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Khruangbin, SWX, Bristol review - stoned stew of global sounds hits the mark

Texan trio Khruangbin are a rare concoction, psychedelic rockers, for sure, but seamed with all manner of global influences, notably Thai pop but also running the gamut from Latin sounds to Middle Eastern scaling. Hitting the UK in support of their...

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