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Rough Guide World Music

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Rough Guide World Music
Rough Guide World Music


A quarter of a century ago, World Music Network released its first compilation, the inaugural Rough Guide To World Music. Some twenty-five years, and 369 Rough Guides later, World Music Network founder, Creative Director and Head Selector Phil Stanton has thumbed through the archives to put together this special anniversary edition. The pre-cursor to World Music Network was Phil's first imprint, Riverboat Records, founded in 1989. At that time Phil was living on a leaky barge somewhere along London's Grand Union Canal, hence the name which stuck. This Rough Guide is compiled purely from Riverboat Records releases. With tracks from all over the world featured, this album is testament to Phil and the team's commitment to releasing lesser-known artists from places often under-represented in the Western market. Over the year's Phil's company at large has come to be known as World Music Network, with both Riverboat and the Rough Guide's compilations housed under its roof. The album opens with meditative 'Sunno' by Rafiki Jazz, a band with members who span four different continents. Their music includes some of the world's most distinctive folk instruments including the West African kora, Caribbean steelpan, Indian tabla, Brazilian berimbau and Arabic ney. Next seven-strong Croatian band Kries weigh in with their uplifting Balkan song 'Ivo Se e 263;e'. Striding confidently into a jazz feel, the experimental outfit Monoswezi follow on. Their sound weaves traditional Zimbabwean song with Mozambican and Malian percussion and Scandinavian jazz saxophone. Shanren hail from Yunnan in South-Western China. 'Thirty Years' is an original composition owing equal creative debt to western rock as it does to the sounds of the Yi people who are native to their home region. Looking to India, Calcutta's slide-guitar maestro Debashish Bhattacharya pays homage to his inspiration, Hawaiian guitarist Tau Moe. Also hailing from India, though this time from Bangalore, Jyotsna Srikanth appears with Nordic Raga. 'Vildhonung' is a merry jig, fusing folk tunes from the borderlands of Sweden and Norway with Jyotsna's distinctive Carnatic violin. Alba Griot's sound combines Celtic (Scottish) and Mandique (Malian) traditions with blues, jazz and close harmony vocals. Still with a foot in Europe, we head to Greece for 'Allaxokairia' by duo Kristi Kristi Stassinopoulo and Stathis Kalyviotis. This track is taken from their Riverboat album NYN, an urgent and political record bubbling with influences from Greek folk music, psychedelic rock, punk and contemporary electronica. Ramzi Aburedwan is Riverboat Records only releasing artist from Palestine. A virtuoso musician and arranger, Ramzi's 2012 album Reflections Of Palestine is one of the many treasures in the label's back catalogue. Rocqawali marry Pakistani devotional music (qawali) and rock and roll, using the shared 'raw guts' at the heart of both music's as their inspiration. 'Il Allah' spotlights lead singer Ejaz Sher Ali, son of one of Pakistan's most well-loved vocalists Ustad Sher Ali. Looking again to India, flautist Guillaume Barraud leads his quartet in 'Kalavati' named after the Indian raga of the same name. Guillaume took tutelage for many years with the legendary Indian bansuri (India flute) master Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. London-based Klezmer-Balkan band She'Koyokh's album First Dance On Second Avenue is irresistibly danceable. Listen out for the warm-toned, gymnastic skill of clarinettist Suzi Evans alongside Cigdem Aslan's honeyed tones. Etran Finatawa are a collective of nomad musicians and hosts members from both the Tuareg and Wodaabe tribes. This album was recorded in the desert in Niger and features traditional percussion: tende, calabash and azakalabó (a calabash drum that floats in water). Krar Collective are from Ethiopia and their music features the electrified lyre called a krar, a one-string masenqo fiddle and a washint flute. Closing out this Rough Guide 'Evo Scru' by Söndörg 337; features two melodies from Vojvodina, Northern Serbia. This band's signature instrument is the tambura, a mandolin-like instrument, probably of Turkish origin used by the South Slav (Serbian and Croatian) communities in Hungary. World Music Network remains a prodigious artistic voice championing artists and providing contextualised documents to promote deeper understanding of musical traditions and thereby global cultures.


  1. Name
  2. Rafiki Jazz - Sunno
  3. Kries - Ivo Se e?e
  4. Monoswezi - A Je
  5. Shanren - Thirty Years
  6. Debashish Bhattacharya - Meeting By Waikiki
  7. Nordic Raga - Vildhonung
  8. Alba Griot - The Darkness Between The Leaves
  9. Kristi Stassinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis - Allaxokairia (Weather Changes)
  10. Ramzi Aburedwan - Sodfa
  11. Rocqawali - Ill Allah
  12. Guillaume Barraud Quartet - Kalavati
  13. She'Koyokh - K?eri Moja & K?z?m Seni Ali Vereyim Mi
  14. Etran Finatawa - Matinfa
  15. Krar Collective - Guragigna
  16. Söndörg? - Evo Srcu
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