Tag Archives: World Music

Tribal Ritual Psychedelic Rock

Swedish band Goat, jumped out of nowhere and into the sprawling scene of neo-psychedelic in 2012, with their debut “world music”, followed by “Commune” in 2014.

The band covers their origins, warring masks in live shows, acting as a loosely connected music community of nameless members, and by a story of them springing from a collective of townspeople in Korpilombolo, located north of the Arctic Circle, a small town of native Sami people, and a few Scandinavian settlers. Creating a tradition of ritual music, in praise of pagan Gods and ancestral worshipping.

The cover story works well with the music, there is a strong sense of tribal pagan ritual coming from their recordings, on a base of stoner/psychedelic rock, with a rarely seen mix with influences from a wider range of styles sounds and rhythm patterns. Goat’s albums are a new interesting breed of psychedelic rock, no matter if you like the mystery or not.

The Circle Maker

In a wonderful combination of Jazz, World and Chamber music, John Zorn have on this album, taken the music of his Hebrew background, using traditional Jewish melodies and scales from the Hebrew folk tradition, and arranged them for a modern Jazz/Chamber setting.

Even though Zorn is saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist himself, on this album, he is composer and producer only. First half of the project called “Issachar”, performed by a trio of Violin – Cello – Bass. The second half called “Zevulun” performed with the addition of Guitar – Percussion – Drums.

Zorn (born September 2, 1953) usually known as an American avant-garde composer, working with almost any kind of experimental music since the mid 70’s, trying to expand on the borders and eliminate the limits of music.
This album from his “Masada” project, traditional in its origin, seems very calm and soft, Zorn said about the hundreds of songs he has written in this tradition : “The project for Masada was to create something positive in the Jewish tradition something that maybe takes the idea of Jewish music into the 21st century”

The musicians on the project was :
Mark Feldman: Violin – Erik Friedlander: Cello – Greg Cohen: Bass
Marc Ribot: Guitar – Cyro Baptista: Percussion – Joey Baron: Drums

Gnawa fusion

Majid Bekkas was born in Marocco 1957, He got a classical music training at “Rabat national conservatoire of music and dance” as well as studies in Gnawa culture, the ritual Ganwa music and their traditional instruments. Besides playing traditional instruments Bekkas is also a guitarist and vocalist, during his musical adventures he have played with a string of different musicians from all over the world, and incorporate numerous styles in his music. Bekkas have toured in Europe and played at many international festivals.

African Reggae – Tiken Jah Fakoly

Tiken Jah Fakoly Born Doumbia Moussa Fakoly (1968) into a family of musicians, Fakoly grow up in the northern part of the Ivory Coast. He formed his first group in 1987. Fakoly wrote songs that documented events of his times and the oppression of his people.

His music and reputation spread across the nation and even beyond its borders, particularly to the French audiences. In 1998 Fakoly performed in Paris, his first international venture.

His later recordings such as Françafrique (2002) and Coup de Gueule (2004), have become best-sellers in France. Fakoly racked up an impressive 100,000 records sold to French audiences, making him Africa’s best-selling reggae artist.

Rin’

Rin’ was a Japanese female trio, created by three graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 2003. They performed a groundbreaking combination of J-pop style songs, with the use of traditional Japanese instruments.

With their music and expression they connect the traditions and aesthetic of the old Japan, with the Modern Japanese pop culture. Rin’ was :
Chie – 新井智恵 (Chie Arai) and Mana – 吉永真奈 (Mana Yoshinaga) koto, sangen, and jushichi-gen, Tomoca – 長須与佳 (Tomoca Nagasu) biwa and shakuhachi.

They have released four singles and several albums.Most notably Inland Sea released in both the U.S. and in Europe 2006. Their songs have been used as themes for anime and movies. According to the band’s website in 2009 Rin’ put an end to their activities and decided to disband.

Jurojin

Saturday, and I have had a bit of controversy with myself about what to post today, looking into everything from pop over punk and ska to canterbury scene and jazz , but nothing was suitable for my moods today.

The Heavier Jurojin

So finally I came across Jurojin, an experimental rock group from London, England. Playing a nice mix of world music, folk and heavy metal. Uniquely spiced by Simran Ghalley a classically trained Tabla player. Only one album have been released so far, The Living Measure Of Time (2010).

The Folk side of Jurojin

Jurojin have sometimes perform acoustic shows, focused on Eastern influences and the Tabla. Violinist Anna Phoebe (Jethro Tull, Roxy Music) have been performing with the band.

The more eastern influenced world music, side of Jurojin

1 Giant Leap – What About Me

1 Giant Leap is a project by Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman. Traveling all over the world recording with artists, and from those many recordings, making film and albums, of world music, in the most true sense of the word. The projects completed so far have been the 2002 “1 Giant Leap”, and the 2009 “What About Me?”

“What about Me” took them to over 50 locations, around the world, Mali, Brazil, India, Japan, Egypt, China, New York, Oman and many other. Recording well known names like Alanis Morrisette, Carlos Santana, Stewart Copeland and less well known artists like, Rebirth Brass Band (New Orleans) , Samburu Tribe (Kenya) , Dibouka Dancers & The Mask (Gabon), Mirim Imperio do Futuro (Brazil), Kamal Sabri (India), Yoshida Brothers (Japan), and many many more.

From “1 Giant Leap” official homepage :“Next day we had our first music session arranged. A traditional Japanese folk singer, a Miss Honda. We drove up into the hills to a little studio and we met with the singer and her producer. John had given me a CD of her singing and to be honest I wasn’t sure where the hell it would fit, it was very obscure to my ears. I thought folk music meant ordinary people could sing along! I guess it’s all about reference points. They played me something they had worked on over the rocking part of the Love track and it sounded incredible, from another planet all together but perfect!”
(Slightly edited to keep it a bit shorter)

“What about Me” was four years in the making, including 7 months of traveling.
“Our mission was not only to gather insight on the huge universal themes of life…..but also to seek out the cream of the world’s musicians, and compose immence multilayered music with them.”

Kitaro – Ku-Kai – Japan Part 3

Kitaro – part 2
Kitaro started his solo career in 1977 and became a pioneer in what was to become known as, the New Age movement. Kitaro’s music for “The Silk Road”, an NHK documentary series from the 80’s, was sold in millions and created huge international attention.
Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai is a series of albums inspired by the classic Buddhist pilgrimage “The Shikoku Pilgrimage” (四国遍路) of 88 temples on the island of Shikoku – associated with Kūkai (空海), 774 – 835, a Japanese monk, kalligrapher and engineer. Among the many achievements attributed to him is the invention of the kana, with which in combination with Chinese characters (kanji), the Japanese language is written to this day.

Temple bell

Every track on the 4 volumes of Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai contains samples from ancient Japanese temple bells (Peace Bells) from the 88 sacred temples.

Japan part 2
Japan part 4

Hibari – Japan Part I.

Now I would like to take a look at some Japanese artists, from different styles of music .

Hibari Misora (美空 ひばりMay 29, 1937 – June 24, 1989, was an Iconic Japanese, singer and actress from Yokohama. Massively productive, she had her recording debut at the age of 12 and recorded more than 1,200 songs, and sold more than 80 million records, on top of that she appeared in 166 films.
Posthumously the first woman to receive the People’s Honour Award , for giving the public hope and encouragement. Her stage name literally means “lark of the beautiful sky”—fitting for a woman who was able to lift the collective spirits of the nation, after the horrors of world war II.

Futari_no_hitomi_poster
Japaneese Movie poster

She recorded in different styles, but in her later years, focused on the traditional Japanese enka. Enka (演歌?) is a popular Japanese music genre considered to resemble traditional Japanese music stylistically. Could say it is the Japanese form of traditional ballad.

“Kawa no nagare no yo ni” (above) was in a 1997 NHK poll (the public service media in Japan), voted greatest Japanese song of all time, with 17 million respondents.

Japan Part 2

Mali Blues

For a while music in northern mali was banned, after extreme Islamic rebels, took control of the region in 2012, but as far as I understand, its “live” again, after the 2013 French military intervention, So let us celebrate with the Mali people, hope its music and culture will survive, and highlight the unique music of Mali, often claimed to be the father of American blues.

The Mali blues was made famous by the collaboration between Ali Farka Touré and Ry Cooder, on the album Talking Timbuktu 1994, Touré also appeared in Martin Scorsese’s 2003 documentary film “Feel Like Going Home”, about the roots of blues, in West Africa.