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Archive for the 'world music' Category

Rodrigo Y Gabriela

Rodrigo and Gabriela are accomplished musicians hailing from Mexico. They started out as thrash metal musicians, but traded in their electric guitars for acoustics. They traveled together and landed in Dublin where their technical virtuosity was a hit.
“Tamacun” is the first track on their self-titled album and is exactly what you would expect from impassioned musicians. The tempo of this track is par for the course on this album — these two are all about speed. Rodrigo normally concentrates on the fast-moving melodic lines, while Gabriela lays down nicely-put percussive beats and rhythm. Youtube has a video of Tamacun as performed by these two. Watch it while you can.

From the Album: Rodrigo Y Gabriela

Cirque Du Soleil – Benoit Jutras

This is breaking a rule but this song needs to be here, regardless of age.

Earlier I mentioned how Imogen Heap’s “Us” reminded me of Benoit Jutras’ music, and now I am posting one of his finer creations.
I also chose this piece, from “Quidam”, because it gave me the most options for future posts. This song reminds me of many things. Normally when I think about circus music, I think 3/4 time (think: waltz), but this song is a slight departure from that. It is, however, still very much circus-like. This piece reminds me of Italy, and especially of Nino Rota. You may or may not recognize the name, but you should remember what he composed–The music for “The Godfather”.

Sit back, relax, and take in “Innocence”. Listen for the children jumping rope in the background. I know because I have seen Quidam live.

From the Album: Quidam

Lhasa – The High Tide

“La Marée Haute”

This is a very natural progression from the previous post. This starts off with a clarinet and bass clarinet trading jabs. It rather quickly progresses into this wonderful mix of instrumentation. Listen for the xylophone and for the soft-mallet bass drum notes in this. Notice the high-pitched piano notes, soft snare rolls, and an occasional cymbal crash. Try to envision the water as you listen. I’m no expert in the French chanson style, but I do know this is quality work. I will certainly provide an update if she releases another album.

From the Album: The Living Road

Bedouin Soundclash
“One Way”

“This Canadian trio stuff a reggae enchilada with homegrown melodies that could stand up to the greats.” – Sarah Bardeen
This group formed in 2002, and play a mix of reggae, punk, dancehall and jungle. This single CD is great. You should hear the other track, “12:59 Lullaby”. I was tempted to post that one today, instead.

Tomorrow, back to the regularly scheduled program.

From the Album: Lullaby

Escaflowne – Sora

From Escaflowne

I wouldn’t dare try to pronounce the composers on this album, but here they are: Maaya Sakamoto,Yoko Kanno,Hajime Mizoguchi.
I’ve had this album for quite a while, and I’m not really sure why. I love the work of Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited away, howl’s moving castle), and for some reason while thinking of those, this song popped into my head. The japanese have an interesting sense about art and storytelling. In some sense, they’ve picked up where Disney left off with that sense of magic in movie making.

From the Album: Escaflowne

Zap Mama – Mupepe

Zap Mama

I have a soft spot in my heart for music with African influences. Zap Mama was started in Belgium and mixed European and Moroccan musical styles. This a capella female group has created some amazing music.

“Marie Daulne and Zap Mama make music that sounds like a one-woman multicultural movement, melding African percussion, American soul and European urbanity.” – Time

By the way, happy Valentine’s day.

From the Album: Adventures in Afropea, Vol. 1

Bedouin Soundclash
“12:59 Lullaby”

Sorry for the late post today. Life happens.

I Intimated that I might post more than one song by an artist. This is the first occurrence of that. I had a hard time deciding which song to post by this band a while back, so today I decided to post the one that lost out to the other one.

Enjoy your Sunday.

From the Album: Lullaby

Marisa Monte
“Universo Ao Meu Redor”

I’ve been taken to a new place, musically. Hold on for the ride–we’re in samba country now. Whilst I digress, I’ll wax poetic a bit about the paradigm shift. I’m only kidding. That was a bit of an inside joke.

I’m probably going to be in this realm of music for a while. Don’t lose interest. We’ll come back to reality eventually.

This CD was released in 2006, and I had quite a hard time deciding which one of her songs to post. They’re all amazing.

From the Album: Universo ao Meu Redor

Cesaria Evora
“Petit Pays”

You can find a few amazing remixes of this song. My favorite remix is the “Chatau Flight” remix. It’s perfectly packed with percussive parts.

I’m out of “P”s now — great. Anyway, give this a listen. It’s a departure from the recent norm, but I felt a need to mix things up a bit.

Her style of music is a bit of a mix of an African style mixed with a Brazilian style. Google her if you must. (and you must!)

From the Album: Cesaria Evora Best of

Colin Hay
“Waiting for my Real Life to Begin”

I was a fan when I first heard Men at Work when I was a kid. Knowing that Colin hasn’t stopped writing makes my heart feel warm.
His music has been featured all over the place. Most recently on scrubs, the T.V. show.

If you like this, listen to his “Beautiful World”, “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You” and “Water Song”.
It’ll make your day, I promise.

From the Album: Going Somewhere

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