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.

Rebetiko – Greece’s urban sound

imambaildiImam Baildi, literally the Imam Fainted, is a dish traditionally prepared with aubergines, and involves cooking it over a flame until it can take no more!. It’s the name that both Orestis Falireas and Lysandrop Falireas have given to a music project that sees Greece’s urban music genre Rebetiko, catapulted into the 21st century. They’ve done to Rebetiko what Gotan Project’s did to Argentinian Tango, and in the process evolved the genre as we know it.

Tracks such as ‘De Thelo Pia Na Xanarthis’ leap out, starting with Cuban All Stars style of introduction, before kicking in with a funky beat and spidery guitar. A couple of tracks could probably have been dropped from the album to make it as awe inspiring as some of stronger performances the CD contains. A positive effect of this CD will be to expose audiences to a tucked away genre in Greece’s music history, and it’s certainly had that effect on me, I want to learn more about Rebetiko, thanks guys.

This album is currently only available for purchase in Europe or in specialist stores in the US.