Let the women reign, Garifuna style!!

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The Garifuna people are descendants of shipwrecked African slaves that intermarried with Carib and Arawak Indians of the Caribbean. The people can be found in small villages along the Caribbean in the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

In the face of globalization the Garifuna are trying to maintain their culture and traditions in the face of this change. Because this is an album featuring a collective there are a superb range of voices covering different tones and transmitting different emotions.

This female collective uses electric guitar as well as percussion typical to the Caribbean islands. The results are a sound with a softness and quality, and the fusion of African and Caribbean styles makes the album stand out from the crowd. The album’ best track “Hattie” recounts the story of Hurrican Hattie in 1961. It’s complete and utter spine-tingling material, Sarita providing the vocals and a backing featuring a rolling guitar riff and which then leads into Pulp Fiction style basslines.

Check it out here

Feelin’ good with Putumayo

Putumayo PresentsRunning from Colombia through to the the Amazon river in Brazil while skirting the borders of both Ecuador and Peru, can be found the Putumayo river. It was the rivers natural beauty that caused Dan Storper to give his handcrafts shop, and then in 1993, the World music label imprint it’s name, Putumayo World Music. The music label’s motto, “guaranteed to make you feel good” started weakly with both Italian and French Cafe compilations, however the latest realease, “Brazilian Cafe” delivers some really upbeat feeling’ good music.  This is a samba, bossa nova and jazzy grooved compilation, in an Antonio Carlos Jobin style (if that name is also a mystery to you, for goodness sake subscribe via RSS or Twitter now, for musical revalations in the coming months), featuring songs that will pour effortlessly from your stereo.

In this happy and care free vain both ‘outro logar’, by Toco, and ‘Quando O Carnaval Chegar’, by Marcia Salomon come through as the strongest performances on the album.

If you’re looking for a good all-round compilation that covers a good range of songs of what Brazil does best, this album is one of the stronger ones available at the moment, and it’s why its been in the top 10 albums on the Billboard World music chart since being released.

For more information you can check it out here.