You can read the following World Music reviews - mostly in English - at the last part of the page:

(Sorry, but some of the reviews in the review section of this page are still not translated. We're working on it.)

Choying Drolma (Chö) : nuns chanting from Tibet

Yat-kha : throat-song folk-rock from Tuva in Siberia

2 x Mari Boine (Eallin + Leahkastin) - Wimme : Both Sami singers from Lapland in Scandinavia.

2 x Mynta (Nandu's Dance + First Summer) - Re-Orient (Baluji Shrivastav) : Both Indian-jazz-rock fusion

Feet in the Soil - Brent Lewis (Thunder down Under) : Both rhythmically jumping world music

Hamid Baroudi (Five): North African techno-rock

Te Vaka :Pacific Ocean music

YAT-KHAs Yenisei-Punk is one of the strangest experiences, from Tuva (Siberia), overtone capital of the world. A mixture of solo song, rock and folk music, and filled with easy, subtle humour. The singer Albert Kuvezin sings the completely - almost unbelievably - low, kargiraa overtone style, also used by the Tibetan monks. Rhythmic fun in an unexpectedly new way. 159.-

MARI BOINE. This is music for musicians, music for connoisseurs, music for music lovers (see the review section below). She is a Sami from Norway. She composes and sings melodically, and with an immediacy and presence that emanate remarkable strength. She's an extraordinary personality who sounds somehow like the girl next door - but using her voice in ways ordinary people never dare to, perhaps never have the imagination to find.

Her musicians all seem to vibrate in a kind of sympathetic understanding with her - modern, high-flying, rhythmic musicians, on percussion, bass, guitar, flute, violin. So the wholeness of this music creates a world of new shamanistic forces. A world of incantation, witchcraft, and the transformation of consciousness in sound. Yet a world where being human is still the basic starting point, and where nature, the Earth and the wisdom of our forefathers and mothers are still cared for, respected and brought forward to the next generation.

Gula Gula was her first solo recording, it was a hit that made her world famous. Then came Eagle Brother and, perhaps just a touch better, Leahkastin, where you also can float with her and the eagle, up among the highest clouds. Eallin, her latest release, is a technically perfect recording of a live concert in Berlin, with many of the older numbers, but in new versions, and breath taking in its musicality. 169.-

WIMME is a Finnish Sami. His voice has a sensually rounded, male texture. Just as Mari Boine, he is accompanied by modern jazz-fusion musicians, but he sings exclusively in the original Sami joik-style, about people (he knows), nature and animals - without words. CD 169.-

is three Sami women from Northern Finland. They sing and play a modern good-humoured and cheerful folk music. Mostly joik song and guitar on Dolla, more varied and with electric instruments and strong rhythms on their latest CD Annel Nieiddat. 159.-

This is the music for his book and the epic play "Beaivi, Ahcazan". It is dedicated to the Sun, Father of the Universe, and the Earth, Mother of Life. He is a Sami musician and joik singer - one of those deeply involved in creating a revival of the Sami culture in the eighties. Eanan, Eallima Eadni (Dat5) has a long section with joik song with nature sounds in the background, and a similar section including shamanist drumming. Beaivi, Ahcazan is similar, but has much more powerful sounds and rhythms. 169.-

YAT-KHAs Yenisei-Punk is one of the strangest experiences, from Tuva (Siberia), overtone capital of the world. A mixture of solo song, rock and folk music, and filled with easy, subtle humour. The singer Albert Kuvezin sings the completely - almost unbelievably - low, kargiraa overtone style, also used by the Tibetan monks. Rhythmic fun in an unexpectedly new way. 159.-

BRENT LEWIS with his dancing, "musical" drumming, is an American. He actually plays melodies, rhythmical melodies, on a row of tuned drums, in a way the body can hardly resist. Great fun and a hit at any dance session. Earth Tribe Rhythms has probably been our most popular album through the last 6 years, but it does have its rivals in the more world musical fusion of Rhythm Hunter, Pulse and Thunder Down Under, where he's accompanied by instruments like the Indian tabla drum, the flute, and "down under" by the Australian didgeridoo. Latest is the most bounteous and likewise popular Jungle Moon - site of the sacred drum, where he's accompanied by a West African drummer. 159.-

: The North African, French-based group plays drums on their latest release, Baobab, so you'll think it's rain drops that are inviting you to dance. Or try the original CD, known to knowers, Best of Percussion, sounds that have moved many from a horizontal listening position, and up on their dancing feet. 159.-

CHRIS HINZE: Plays flute and keyboards. Always experimenting, he has worked with African musicians, with classical Indian musicians, even with the Dalai Lama. His music has mostly to do with meditation, and not only inward-directed, in fact lots of it is extraverted and rhythmical. See under New Age

LES VOIX BULGARES WITH RAY LEMA: You wouldn't believe it if you didn't hear it! The Bulgarian women's choir sings, and Ray Lema, from West Africa, plays with his group. As if the two music traditions were made for each other, as if they's always done it this way - in a softly flowing, rhythmical communion of sound and feeling. CD 169.-

plays saxophone, and is one of the most eksperimenting jazz-musicians.
- On Making Music he plays with musicians like Hari Prasad Chaurasia (flute) and Zakir Hussain (tabla), both from India, and John McLaughlin on guitar - far-out and high -minded teamwork. - On Ragas and Sagas he accompanies the voice of Ustad Fateh Ali Khan's - a wonderful mix of jazz with Pakistani/North Indian blues.
- I took up the Runes is more traditional jazz, but just listen to him on Gula Gula (see Mari Boine), and feel the energy vibrate around you.
- On Madar you can also hear Anouar Brahem on oud (see AB under Islam) - a beautiful interactive experience, where two of the most creative world music artists back up each other's best sides - complemented perfectly by Shaukat Hussain on Indian tabla drums.
- Next-to-latest is the now well known Officium, with the choir The Hilliard Ensemble, a record that was almost on the hit list in Denmark in '95. Gregorian song backed by a sometimes thoughtful, sometimes soaring alto saxophone - an experience to remember. - Latest is Visible World, jazz-like, but with world music musicians like Trilok Gurtu on tabla, Marilyn Mazur on percussion, and a long beautiful number with the voice of Mari Boine. All CDs 169.-

: This is the music from Richard Brook's world famous production of the Indian epic. With a well blended mixture of musicians from many countries, amongst them, Danish Kim Menzer on didgeridoo. And with Sarmila Roy's beautifully pure, finely articulate voice. This is a theatrical, world musical mix, of course, with special focus on the Indian. 115/169.

LOREENA MCKENNITT: The Mask and Mirror
is ambient, very musical yet vibrant fusion. With Irish romatic colours and Indian rhythms. She has a beautiful voice, and a creatively symphonic musical style. She sings songs that one looks forward to hearing again. 159.-

: "Mouth music" is an old Celtic tradition, but this Scottish group plays "vocal-dance" music the modern way - or just call it funky rock. Heather of Rona with Talitha Mackenzie's gaelic song is a quite special rhythmic experience. Other titles, for example Mo-Di. 159.-

They play a brilliant mixture of Indian music, rock and jazz. After two classics, Hot Madras and Nandu's Dance (review), came First Summer (review), with a more simple, techno-like sound. 169.-

PLANET DRUM: Mickey Hart (known from the Grateful Dead, but also as creator of Rykodisc, one of the most enterprising and productive world music labels). Here with many good friends and masters of percussion. Among them Olatunji from West Africa, Zakir Hussain from Northern India, Airto Moreira from Brazil. They play a diversified and fun-filled repertoire. 169.-

RABIH ABOU-KHALIL has lived some years in Germany playing Western classical music, but today plays exclusively the oud, with an oriental rhythmic background, and jazz in the foreground. This very productive artist's music is mostly for Western listeners. His fusion is a good example of the fantastic potential of creativity and living energy, that Islamic music has - harmonically, melodically and rhythmically - and which it, in a world music context, is injecting into Western music.

With nay flute and percussion, powerfully rhythmic, and most traditional on Nafas. With nay, violin and a good bass, almost Western jazz-like, on Tarab. 169.-. Great oriental jazz fusion with several American jazz musicians, who fit perfectly and play wonderfully, like Charlie Mariano on alto and Kenny Wheeler on trumpet, not to mention Indian Ramesh Shotham playing tabla: we have titles like Al Jadida and Blue Camel, and latest is yet another energy-packed explosion of musical ideas and fascinating oriental-jazz sounds: The Sultan's Picnic. All prices: 169.-

RY COODER: 2 great, completely necessary recordings (both have been on the world music hit lists), with guitarists from other countries, other traditions. The mix is perfect, of African blues on Talking Timbuktu with Ali Farka Toure (from Mali, West Africa), og Indian blues on A Meeting by the River with V.M.Bhatt (India). Definitely for blues lovers! 159.-

We have several fine titles with Terry Riley, master of the piano and keyboards. He's one of the original minimalists, who changed our perception of music together with people like Steve Reich, Brian Eno and La Monte Young. His sound is not minimalistically simple though, on the contrary it's constantly transforming the combined sounds of single keys into harmonious conveyors of softly sensuous, sparkling musical inevitability. The Padova Concert is one of his best on prepared piano, softly rounded compositions for "conscious listening". 159.-
And after 6 years of searching, we have finally re-discovered Shri Camel, now on CD. A many-dimensional complex of sound. Perhaps what you're listening to here is the inside of your own nervous system, the millions of synapses and electro-chemical impulses, ceaselessly at work. Riley has given them an awesome rhythmic and melodic space to work and breathe in. 169.-

is a modern version of Native American music, electronic but authentic. Much of the record is for dancing, in an ambient but not sleepy techno space. This is proof that the old can continue in the new. 159.-

OTHER WORLD MUSIC TITLES: See under the relevant sections, for example:
Zap Mama (a capella song) - Africa
Keur Moussa (Messe et Chants) - Africa
Many titles with didgeridoo music - Australia
Balkanology - Europe /Gypsy
Najma - India
Bhangra - India
Mustt Mustt or Night Song (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) - Islam/Qawwali
Anouar Brahem (oud) - Islam /N.African rhythmic
Ia Dounia (Hassan Erraji) -Islam / N.African rhythmic
Ondekoza (taiko drums) - Japan
Kodo (taiko drums) - Japan
Giora Feidman (klezmer clarinet virtuoso) - Jewish
The Klezmatics (klezmer) - Jewish
Egberto Gismonti (guitar / piano) - Latin America
Antonio Zepeda (sound imaging) - Latin America
Christian Bollmann/M.Reimann - New Age /Overtones
Keith Jarrett (piano) - New Age /Europe
Nils-Aslak Valkeapää (joik) - New Age /Shamanist
Gabrielle Roth - New Age /Shamanist
Trance Dance (Frank Natale) - New Age /Shamanist
Music for Zen Meditation - New Age /Flute
Sainkho Namtchylak (song) - Overtone/Siberia
Coyote Oldman (flute) - U.S.A. /Native American
R.Carlos Nakai (flute) - U.S.A. /Native American

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from the review section of DJEMBE, magazine for cross culture and world music



Mari Boine - Wimme - Nils-Aslak Valkeapää - and YOIK

Yoik, or joik, is a kind of yodelling song, without words, originating in the Sami culture. (Sami's being inhabitants of the area in Northern Scandinavia which is also called Lapland). The subject of a yoik can be one of three things, nature, an animal or a person. The singer sings his or her impression, or feelings about the subject of the song.

Before converting to Christianity not so long ago, the culture of the Sami was shamanistic, and this can clearly be heard in their preoccupation with and respect for nature, and for their forefathers and mothers.

For example another Sami, from Finland, the singer and "grand old man" of modern yoiking, Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, has written an epic story, "Beaivi, ahcazan", about Sami life. He dedicated it to "The Sun, Father of the universe, and Earth, Mother of life".

MARI BOINE: 'Eallin'

After 2 years here she is again. With music as it is sung and played.

Right from the smoking gun of the first number, which decribes "a state of mind where your intellect is disconnected" - and to the last, gently loving number, dedicated "To You", an eighty year old woman - this album is a tour de fource of sound, rhythm, technique. By Mari Boine, and by each and every one of her five musicians.

Mari Boine sings and yoiks, characteristically using her voice like a bird ("Eagle Brother" is the title of her second CD). She flies high and free, exploring all possibilities with her voice - to the limits of the impossible - and the others are right there together with her. Making sounds and music which awaken the attention of the listener, bringing excitement, warmth and joy with them. This is music you don't physically have to dance to, in order to experience the spread of well-being through your body, your limbs, your veins, that dancing normally brings.

Essentially, these musicians seem to know a lot about silence, and the value of experiencing spacial freedom, also in sound. Their expression, then, becomes a continual movement of sound into silence. Always conscious, never automatically repeating old lessons. That's creativity: a journey into the unknown, also for the listener.

Mari Boine is part Sami, from Norway. She sings with special feeling for the Sami people and their culture, a culture which places a high value on tradition, and on respect for both human and natural wisdom.

Energetically, there is a sense of power in her voice, present even when she whispers. A feeling of her connection also to the dark forces of the earth. It's a feeling that makes one think of what frightened the church in the Middle Ages, when witch-hunting swept the Western world. When the Church tried to eradicate the defiant forces of individuality, that would not be controlled by the its network of oftentimes empty and unauthentic religious authority.

This feeling of basic, dark power is shared also through the musicians in the group.They follow the singer, and there's a cohesion in their interplay that only occasionally gives way to actual solos (listen to the fantastic guitar solo on 'Free'). But when it does, it brings one's attention to hearing just how good the individual musicians really are.

The music is rhythmic: low down pulsating, fast and swinging, slow and thoughtful. And the recording is very good, strengthening the impression of space and multi-dimensionality that the musicians create.

Music for music lovers.

Jack Donen

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MARI BOINE: Leahkastin

Hendes stemme hvisker, svæver, dykker, og stiger igen i en bølgende, kraftfuld leg med lyden, som den Ørnebror hun påkaldte sig i titelnummeret på sin forrige plade. Stilheden bliver sanselig i den klare, høje luft, mens man nyder musikkens rummelighed, og følger de mindste bevægelser af hendes stemmebånd. Skælvende, langsomt smerteladt det ene øjeblik - selvbevidst sikker og magtfuld, dansende på, i, og omkring musikernes rytmiske lydtæppe det andet. Hendes stemme undersøger alle muligheder. Tid er der masser af, mens musikken, melodien og rytmen, folder sig ud. Så forskellig sammensætningen af disse elementer er på hvert nummer, lyder den dog altid som en selvfølgelighed, én der udfylder tiden på den eneste rigtige måde.

Hvordan forklare hvordan Mari Boines musik lyder? Den er så anderledes, men netop så selvfølgelig. En blanding af hendes joik, hendes digte, guitar, violin, peruvianske fløjter, og masser af slagtøj og mærkelige lyde, der spiller en blanding af rock, jazz, folkemusik. Sådanne enkelte ord forklarer ikke det organiske samspil, helheden i lyden som er så kendetegnende for hendes plader. Nu er den her igen, yderligere udviklet og forfinet på denne plade. Leahkastin betyder sådan noget som "at åbne op" - og det gør hun i hvert fald! Og tager lytteren med…

Mari Boine, der er delvis samer, voksede op det nordligste Norge, af nogle kaldet Samiland. Hun er meget optaget af samernes livsform og problemer. I et interview i The Wire, siger hun: "'Mit folk blev hjernevasket til et had mod deres eget kultur........ der er for meget af denne mindreværdsfølelse. Ligesom hos indianerne, er der meget alkoholisme, meget selvmord..... Folk der har været undertrykt lærer ikke at tale om deres følelser, ikke at være åbne. Jeg tror min måde at synge på, har udviklet sig mellem denne udvendige kontrolform, og dette "indvendigt levende", som eksisterer i alle mennesker. Selv de, som synes at være meget, mmm.... sky'. Hvisker hun, til sidst.....

'Jeg var for doven til at lære den klassiske sangstil. Først turde jeg ikke engang åbne munden; men pludselig var der denne følelseseksplosion!' Råber hun nu, og angriber bordet. 'Det er som en bølge, der vasker igennem mig, og jeg er bare nødt til at synge. Så jeg bruger ikke hovedet meget. Jeg bruger intuitionen og hjertet'....'For mig er der en slags trolddom i musikken'"

Og det må der også siges at være for hendes voksende lytterskare.

Jack Donen

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WIMME: 'Wimme'

Joik er en slags yodlende sang, uden ord, der stammer fra den samiske kultur. En joik kan handle om tre slags ting, naturen, et dyr eller en person, hvor sangeren synger sit indtryk, sine følelser ved det, der yoikes om. Inden kristendommen overtog samerne og deres kultur, var de et shamanistisk folk, man mærker det tydeligt i deres optagethed og lovprisning af naturen, og af deres forfædre og -mødre.

For eksempel skrev en anden finsk samer, og sanger, Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, der i de seneste år har været meget med til en genopståen af samisk kultur, et skuespil, en episk historie, "Beaivi, ahcazan", om samernes liv. Han tilegnede den "Solen, universets Fader, og Jorden, Livets Moder".

Men her er det Wimme Saari, der er kommet med et stærkt bud på, hvordan moderne joik kan lyde, og blive integreret i verden's musik.

Wimme har en mild og blød stemme, der rækker fra et meget dybt, nærmest basleje, og til en overraskende høj og klar sopran-agtig yodlen! Og han leger med den, både letflydende, men også helt traditionelt, stærkt følelsespræget. Han undersøger, med masser af humor, alle mulighederne. For eksempel i nummeret,der hedder "Milky Way", hvor man både kommer til at opleve stjernenes susen højt oppe i himlen, men også det at sidde ved en ko til malkningen i kostalden kl.5 om morgenen. Eller som i "Full Moon", hvor han giver den som den musikalske hund ved fuldmåne.

Pladen er produceret af Tapani Rinne, fra den finske "techno-jazz"-gruppe RinneRadio, som også spiller flere andre roller på pladen. Delvis som den ene af hele fire keyboardsspillere, men desuden på basklarinet og som en piftende fløjtespiller. Ellers er der kun guitaristen Matti Wallenius at nævne, i en gruppe der balancerer på grænsen, men som for det meste er præget af en kreativ, afvekslende og meget billedeskabende brug af elektronikken. Hvor sangeren, og ikke maskinerne, er midtpunktet.

Blandt de 12 numre er der 4 traditionelle, dog ikke mere traditionelle, end at stemmen kan være udsat for flersporsindspilninger, eller at der kan være en enkelt tone, der understøtter og følger den igennem hele sangen. En melodisk, blød, følelsesfuld og til tider selvbevidst mandestemme, der kan nyde, at den får lov at udfolde sig og undersøge sine grænser - den er da altid værd at høre på!

Jack Donen

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MYNTA: 'Nandu's Dance'

Swedish Mynta has been criticized by some for sounding too much like Shakti, John McLaughlin's famous '70's fusion group.

It's true that it's almost impossible to avoid comparing the two groups. But in my opinion, if one were to exclude all the thoroughly enjoyable music and creative musicians who were inspired by, and grew on the shoulders of others, we'd all be sitting around looking sad, and there wouldn't be much to listen to at all today. Musicians, like all other artists, learn from their predecessors, adapt what they learn to their own circumstances, and develop in the process.

And in fact, taking a closer listen, Shakti, with McLaughlin and 4 Indian musicians, was clearly more "Classical Indian" oriented than Mynta, whose four Swedish, jazz-based musicians outnumber the Indians in their group two to one. Mynta's idiom is therefore also much less characterised by a strict adherence to rhythmic and melodic form. The balance has been tipped towards the looser, jazz and blues feeling content of the music they play. And that balance applies whether the group plays Indian, Oriental or European based numbers!

So, more about 'Nandu's Dance': Yes, they do use those long, fascinatingly convoluted melodic lines of India and the Orient, or wherever they come from (on 'Faroe Islands' the line is European folk!), often played very fast and in unison, with the elegant sound of the Indian tabla drum always there, providing an energetic, hard hitting drive, together with bass and percussion.

The unison passages might for example consist of flute and guitar, voice and tabla or flute and tabla (note, the Indian tabla is also considered a musical instrument, being finely tuned and full of the possibilities of well-defined, detailed tonal nuances).

Anders Hagberg is my favourite soloist in this group of excellent musicians. He plays a soprano sax that can bring out ancient memories of Ornette Coleman, but he also plays a lot of flute. A throaty, lazily grooving, jazz-based and bluesful, occasionally Arabic thousand-and-one-night, occasionally penny whistle-like, rhythmic flute-magic.

Some of the magic: He'll play around for a while, dancing on one of those long, snaky lines, then take a moment's break. This change is important - it's a moment's non-rhythm, which prepares one's body for the inevitability of the continued rhythmic movement in the solo to come. It's one of those small tricks which, when done perfectly, smoothly, keeps one riveted to the music. The way it's often done here, Mynta has made it their all own, and a gift to the listener.

Other members of the group are Fazal Qureshi (brother of Zakir Hussain), (on tabla, percussion and vocals), and Nandkishor Muley (santoor, tambura and vocals).

Max Åhman (guitar, saz and keyboards), does the McLaughlin thing on guitar, he's not as fast, but then he doesn't ever try to get above his head, even when playing fast. His style is an edge more rounded, sensual, compared to McLaughlin's almost unbelievably fast, highly mental approach. Christian Paulin (el bass), and Mikael Nilsson (percussion) are an integral part of the group's totally easy going (and good humoured) rhythmic approach.

So why compare? Well, more as an aid to describing the music in question, less to get caught up in evaluating who's best.

Always glad listening to Mynta.

Jack Donen

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MYNTA: 'First Summer'

Mynta er en svensk gruppe, der spiller en ganske spændende fusionsblanding af jazz-rock og indisk musik. Nærmeste sammenligning og tydelige inspirationskilder er John McLaughlins grupper, Shakti og Mahavishnu, fra halvfjerserne.

Denne er Myntas fjerde CD, og den markerer de fire svenskeres 10års jubilæum i et samarbejde med tre indiske musikere, Fazal Qureshi, tabla, Nandkishor Muley, santoor og Shankar Mahadevan, sang. Denne gang har de desuden to gæster, Coste Apetrea, veena samt drum-programming, og MCP (Magnum Coltrane Price), rap (!) sanger.

I modsætning til deres forrige to CDer, hvor der har været masser af plads til solistisk improvisation, så viser denne CD gruppen fra en helt ny side. Musikken, lydfladerne, sangene her er omhyggeligt komponerede, numrene gennemstrukturerede. Jo, der er faktisk stadigvæk plads til improvisation på en del af numrene, men det er improvisationer omgivet af komponerede rytmisk-harmoniske lydtapeter.

Jeg har altid beundret gruppen dens sømløse blanding af de to kulturers musik, og blandingen i denne nye form, med dens høje grad af kompositorisk forarbejdning er i sig selv en ofte spændende oplevelse og en prisværdig præstation. Men - og jeg må udtrykke mit "men" - på den anden side, så oplever jeg et tilsvarende savn på de herlige, ofte lange, livskraftige og spændingsfyldte sekvenser, hvor musikerne fik lov til at strække sig ud. Og fylde luften ikke kun med smukke snoede numre og nuancerede multirytmer, men, efter min mening, også med en mere levende, arbejdende musikalsk udfoldelse.

Det er den slags, live koncerter består af, så jeg spørger bare: hvornår kommer de igen?

Jack Donen

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RE-ORIENT - BALUJI SHRIVASTAV: 'Indian World Music Fusion'

Baluji Shrivastav er en fortrinlig klassisk indisk sitarspiller, bosat i England. Men derudover er det en glædelig oplevelse at høre, at han er en af hovedkræfterne i en "fusionsgruppe", der hedder Re-Orient. Foruden ham består gruppen af Linda Shanovitch og Chris Conway, på denne indspilning suppleret af Gerry Hunt, Clive Bell og ikke mindst Partho Mukherjee på tabla og ghatam.

De spiller en slags jazzet indisk-blanding, og genremæssigt er man her i selskab med navne som John McLaughlins Shakti, svensk Mynta og engelsk-indisk Sheila Chandra. Det er en ægte fusion, med smukke kringlende, ørehænger-melodier, sunget i énsstemmigt kor, eller solo af den klassisk indisk trænet Linda Shanovitch. Og så er der masser af god indisk- og anden multirytmisk percussion bagved.

Instrumenter spiller de seks rigtig mange af. Bas og guitar, fløjter, lidt saxofon og lidt elektronik er de vigtigste i det vestlige hjørne. Fusioneret med klassiske instrumenter som, foruden sitaren, inkluderer dilrubaen, et strygeinstrument fra Afghanistan, tamburaen med sit summende overtone lydflade, og kalimbaen, som er et tommelfingerklaver. Og så alt muligt percussion, som darbuka, ghatam, pakhawaj og tabla.

Det lyder altsammen bare godt mixet sammen. Lyrisk sang og livlig musik, spillet af veloplagte musikere, som virker bare glade ved det, de laver.

Jack Donen

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JAMES ASHER: 'Feet in the Soil'

Den hvide mand er ved at komme godt med, når det drejer sig om at spille flere rytmer på én gang, og det vil sige mere komplekse rytmer end rockens traditionelle 4/4. Her er et par nye indspilninger:

'Spiritdance Drumming" er lavet af en schweizisk gruppe på fem percussionister, der spiller lækre, runde og bløde, inciterende rytmer. Lederen Ehrlich har rejst meget, ikke kun i Afrika, men i Østen og blandt de nordamerikanske indianere, og interesserer sig for forbindelsen mellem lyd og ritualer, og forskellige tranceagtige bevidsthedsformer. Det er selvfølgelig også denne interesse, der ligger bag nærværende indspilning.

Der spilles på traditionelle instrumenter her, meget på djembe, men desuden på congas, på droma, på balaphon, berimbau, rattles, bells, rainmaker m.m.

Meget oplagt "traditionel" trommedans for et vestligt publikum.

På 'Feet in the Soil' er percussion og trommerne blot udgangspunktet i skabelsen af en multi-rytmisk verdensrejse.

Seks af de 11 musikere spiller sammenvævede danserytmer på mange slags percussioninstrumenter, mens de andre akkompanerer på alt fra didgeridoo til guitar til keyboards, cello og fløjte. Bortset fra et par enkelte balladenumre forstærker alle instrumenterne her det rytmiske element - opfører sig med andre ord "percussionistisk". Resultatet er en slags techno-agtig lyd, levende og mangedimensioneret, og meget mere "akustisk" end de sædvanlige techno-elektroniske. Der er gang i den, og lytterens krop finder let blandt hele den organiserede lydlige kaos, noget der kan tilfredsstille dens behov for bevægelse.

Jack Donen

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YAT-KHA: 'Yenisei-Punk'

This CD was number 2 in Djembe's last listing of of European radios' World Music Charts. It's called punk, but don't be misled by the title of YAT-KHA's new CD. This is funky-rock with lots of humour, from Tuva, overtone throat-singing capital of the world.

The singer's gruff, growling voice is so absolutely loooooow that one can only be amazed! And wonder that this deep, gutteral growling sound is really humanly possible.

This particular style of throat singing is called kargiraa, and here the singer creates ultra-low tones, instead of the high overtones that most of us probably expect, listening to throat singing. (Look for a survey of overtone song in one of the next numbers of Djembe)(??Jack).

Tuva, which lies in southern Siberia, just north of Mongolia, is a country with a long shamanist history, only turned buddhist since the 17th Century, and there is a clear sense of simplicity, and closeness to nature in this music. The singer's low, growling voice seems almost to be whispering intimately to the listener. Telling stories, or perhaps his amusing opinions, normally shared only with friends or family in the closeness of his home surroundings.

Albert Kuvezin, leader and vocalist in YAT-KHA, was one of the founding members of Huun-huur-tu, the other Tuvan group that has made something of a name for itself in world music circles - but which has kept more closely to a traditional folk music repertoire.

On 'Yenisei-Punk' the lyrics are obviously traditional - on the number 'Kadarchy' (Shepherd Boy) for example, they're about just that, being a shepherd. But the music - an electric guitar doing an apparently simple riff and twining around a deep bass-drum, overlaid by quite small elaborations of voice and other instruments - has a wonderful, multidimensional rock to it, that just carries the listener away, into the trance state that must be what it's all about, somewhere out there in the middle of Asia.

There are a couple more numbers like that on the CD. Which has several ways of combining different types of musical form with different types of lyrics. 'Solun' (Beautiful Soviet Country) is a rock-ish number that makes gentle fun of the "happy socialistic life" in prehistoric times in the Soviet Union. There are some spots of more obvious humour, that produce some wierd images. Try 'Kamgalanyr' (We have protection force) which is more in the folk song idiom - but this is a folk song that could come straight out of a Disney film about the 7 dwarfs, happily singing away while they work. Here it's a group chorus giving us the message: "We have the powerful USSR giving a happy life to us".

In fact a good deal of the album keeps to a more basic "folk" sound - though always with a rough, underground edge to it, the influence of western musical culture.

And "Western" is in more than one way the correct designation for some of the numbers: Suddenly one realizes that horse-riding is obviously a basic part of Tuvan culture, as one hears the special, rolling, somehow always amusing horse-riding rhythm, the "clickety-click" that we all know from cowboy films and songs. In actual fact it's a rhythm that can also be heard in music from other northern, shamanist cultures, like that of the Sami of northern Scandinavia. It's difficult, hearing these songs, not to see oneself rambling along, on old faithful, on the vast, grassy steppes of some anonymous continent.

Last but not least, the record closes with a 10 minute solo demonstration of throat singing, mostly kargiraa, some of it actually mixed together with the high whistling "sigit" style. Wow!

Jack Donen

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BRENT LEWIS: 'Earth Tribe Rhythms' - 'Thunder Down Under'

Californian drummer Brent Lewis' first CD from 1990, 'Earth Tribe Rhythms', is something of a cult phenomenon. Alive and kicking after 5 years, still finding new fans every day, it's viewed by many of them as one of the most refreshing things around. An invitation to..... an initiation, to something new. It's a kind of alternative opportunity to tune in to Lewis' own special brand of fun-filled sound. Try a listen...

Lewis' drums can be heard on a couple of American films, among others 'J.F.K.' by Oliver Stone. After his first solo success, he recorded The Primitive Truth with several guest drummers. Since then, on 'Rhythm Hunter' and 'Pulse', and now on the present album, he has joined with musicians from India, Africa, and the U.S.A., to make world music and rhythm.

Lewis plays surrounded by a set of tuned drums. He plays them often sequentially, in effect as one would a piano or vibraphone, melodically, and in a Western sense, he actually plays tunes on them. The sound is light and easy, turn up the volume loud as you like, it won't hurt your eardrums, and it'll hardly make a dent in your neighbour's sensibilities, but it will make you want to move your bones around.

The title 'Thunder Down Under' refers to the Australian didgeridoo, here played by an American neighbour of Lewis. The sound is still light and ambient, with a lot of imagery in it, putting you right into a background of Australian nature. To mix a few metaphors, there's bit of steamy jungle in the background, but basically it's a lazy, sunny afternoon on the beach, the water is warm and comfortable, the big waves are close, there's not a shark in sight.

Jack Donen

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HAMID BAROUDI: 'Five*Fünf*Cinq*Cinco*5'

Nummeret Macumba fra denne CD blev luftet en hel del ude i de danske hjørner i oktober måned, da den stod øverst på P3s Absolute World liste.

Five har masser af veloplagt dansepop for folk der har brug for fremmede krydderier på deres musikmenuer. Men den er nu noget mere end det, og den er også mere varieret end hans første hitplade, City*No*Mad, som til gengæld holdte lytteren fast i en stabilt stemningsmættet, smuk og blød disco-raï-fusion.

Det mere varierede dennegang fortæller den tysklandsboende Baroudi om i omslaget, på den måde, at han beskriver en verdensrejse, så langt omkring som til Japan og Gambia, Spanien og Tyskland, for ikke at glemme hans eget hjemland, Algeriet.

Der kan hurtigt gå sport i at lytte efter alle de verdenslyde, han blander sammen, sommetider på samme nummer, til andre tider får man et helt nummer i næsten én enkelt stilart: Krydderierne inkluderer blandt meget andet smagsprøver af spansk guitar, næsten klassisk oud, af hvirvlende melodier fra Casbahen i Algier, en trompeteret arabisk neyfløjte, lidt indisk sitar og simuleret tablaspil, koramusik fra Gambia, længselsfuld, svingende Latin salsasang og harmonikaspil, elegant fransk popkor, rigtig rap og nogle enkle, hæse guitar-rock omkvæd. Og altsammen selvfølgelig hyllet ind i Baroudis algierske raïstemme.

Han er noget af en lydmester, Baroudi. Det høres i instrumenternes klare og klart-adskilte lyde, der - næsten - altid dækker en slags ørebehagende register. Det høres også i CDens altid lette og gennemsigtige, tre-dimensionelle præg. Og i rytmerne, der kan være enkle eller mangefacetterede, men som altid driver musikken ordentligt frem.

Det er underholdning i bedste forstand. Spændende hvad han finder på næst.

Jack Donen

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TE VAKA: 'Pacific Music'

Et fint møde med Polynesien for den, der ikke kender til andet end Hawaii guitarmusik fra Stillehavsområdet.

Musikken derude er melodisk, rytmisk synkoperet - og så har den en sommetider overraskende blanding af primitiv, rå kraft med blidhed - en blanding der måske er mest mærkbart overraskende i trommespillet.

Også sangene er fyldt med en blid venlighed - understøttet af og vekslende med de hidsig-bløde træstamme-trommerytmer. Blandt andre instrumenter på pladen er polynesiske congas og bastrommer, en stor træfløjte, en new zealandsk didgeridoo, og ikke mindst en "åben-streng" stemt vestlig guitar.

Musikken er skabt af gruppeleder Opetaia Foa'i, født på den polynesiske ø Samoa, af forældre stammende fra de nærliggende små Tokelau og Tuvalu ø-grupper. Tokelau er en slags new zealandsk koloni og hans familie flyttede til New Zealand da han var 9 år.

Musikalsk mærkes resultatet som en netop nutidig blanding af forskellige aspekter af polynesisk musik. Dette er altså decideret verdensmusik - polynesisk verdensmusik - i modsætning til mere ren etnisk musik.

En usædvanlig og spændende blanding af lejrbåls fælleskabelighed, skæg og ballade med Stillehavets saft og kraft.

Indtil videre længere ud end Dyne-Larsen er nået.

Jack Donen

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Der er i den tibetanske tradition nonner, der vier deres liv til åndeligt praksis. Men ifølge traditionen kan kvinder også - unge som ældre - tilbringe bare en periode i deres liv som nonne. En tankevækkende skik. Den må kunne sige noget til alle de danske, mandstrætte, nyskilte kvinder, der truer omgangskredsen med at gå i kloster.

Optagelsen af kvindestemmerne på denne CD er foretaget i et verdenskendt tibetansk-buddhistisk kloster, Nagi Gompa, hvor der bor omkring 100 nonner, i bjergene ved Kathmandu i Nepal.

Sangstemmen der går igen i hele Chö-ritualet på CDen tilhører den unge nonne, Choying Drolma, og hun er simpelthen et fund af en kunstner. Hun udtrykker en smuk, inderligt hjertefyldt følelsesregister, med en stemme der sagte og kærligt, med fuld kontrol over intonationen, snor sig igennem indviklede melodiske passager.

Steve Tibbetts var den vestlige musiker der "opdagede" hende og indspillede hende samt et kor på otte andre nonner. Hans gruppes fine instrumental ledsagelse inkluderer guitar, bozouki, cello, viol di gamba, violin, bas og slagtøj. Gruppens akkompagnement understøtter sangene med en fin sans for deres egne værdi, den styrker dem og giver den fremmedartede, rituelle sang en musikalsk substans, der gør at den passer til vestlige ører - men uden at være selv-promoverende eller påtrængende, uden at overdøve det oprindelige udtryk.

Hvis "højere følelser" samt "kvindeligt udtryk" siger dig noget, så vil du sætte pris på denne plade.

Jack Donen

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