The world knows Indian music, but Konkani songs are truly unique with a blend of many musical facets. It is western music and yet it is still Indian – true soul music that touches your heart. This compilation contains 22 tracks of the finest the genre had to offer in the 50’s and 60’s, including tracks from Alfred Rose, Lorna, Chris, Perry, Robin Vaz, and many more.
Born in Paris but with Lagos, Nigeria, called home since the age of two, comes Asa (pronounced Asha), an artist with an album so refined, you’d think it was her greatest hits, but it’s not, it’s in fact her first! She’s been given a huge amount of profile on the World music circuit, but that alone is not deserving of the attention this artist should be receiving, as she’s a talent of subliminal quality.
A voice that harks back to the days of Tracey Chapman, but combines this with the dryness and subtlety of Tanita Tikaram is just the opening images this artist conjures on a first listen to her album. The first track ‘Jailer’ has the bassline and uproaring goodness of a track by the late Bob Marley. With Reggae, souful and acapella grooves, this is album that lifts the soul and takes you to better place.
Tracks such as ‘360degrees’ offer more by the way of reflection for listener, while the acapella on ‘Subway’ will just make you stop whatever you’re doing to enjoy it. The most airplay has been laid on the track ‘Fire on the mountain’, but it’s not a representative sample of this artists calibre and dynamism.
You need to go and buy this album!
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.
Running 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.