• Music

    The Bayan Mongol Variety Group – The Bayan Mongol Variety Group

    From Discogs.com and Light In The Attic Records: The Bayan Mongol Variety Group existed from the early ’70s to the late ’80s. After the collapse of the USSR, the ensemble began to experience serious difficulties with funding and booking concerts, and finally disintegrated, after which the participants lost contact with each other. Fortunately, thanks to efforts from the fans, some old contacts were reestablished, key records and sound sources were dug up, and now this historical record is released again. File under funk, jazz-rock, prog rock, or psychedelic rock. Reissued in cooperation with the band.

  • Music

    Bube Dame König – Winterländlein

    Our dear friends at CPL-Musik released quite a gem of an album from 2016 that I am only now digging into.  Bube Dame König is a German folk group which was founded in 2013. The band mixes German-language folk songs with traditional Irish and Swedish music as well as their own songs, some of which are based on local legends from the group’s hometown, Halle (Saale). From Wikipedia, “The group itself describes its style as new folk music, based on the genre of new folk music.”  It seems to be rather perfect Christmas music, or at least wonderful for this…

  • Music

    Koma Stark – Kelesho

    Antonovka Records have had an astounding year releasing not only music from Russia’s hinterlands and Central Asia, but even from places like Georgia.  This album documents music by Kurdish-speaking Yezidis, who suffered horribly over the past few years in places like Iraq and Syria.  Koma Stark play traditional Yezidi folk songs, and they currently reside in Tbilisi, Georgia.

  • Music

    Baligh Hamdi – Instrumental Modal Pop of 1970’s Egypt

    Sublime Frequencies never ceases to amaze me with the gems they dig up.  From their Bandcamp site: Sublime Frequencies finally unleashes it’s ESSENTIAL compilation from 1970’s Egypt. Modal instrumental tracks from Baligh Hamdi – one of the most important Arabic composers of the 20th Century (writing for legends Umm Kalthum, Abdel Halim Hafez, Sabah, Warda, and many others). Features his legendary group the “Diamond Orchestra” with Omar Khorshid on guitar, Magdi al-Husseini on organ, Samir Sourour on saxophone, and Faruq Salama on accordion. All of these musicians were discovered and recruited by Hamdi to interpret his vision of a modernized,…

  • Music - Music Articles

    Russian World Music Chart 2021

    I’m proud to have been asked to participate in helping to decide which albums would top the Russian World Music Chart.  Here is a press release on this event: Russian World Music Chart 2021 Making Russian world music visible to the world In October 2021, Russia’s first world music chart, the Russian World Music Chart (RWMC), was launched. The purpose of RWMC is to attract the attention of the world music community to the novelties of folk music of multinational Russia, as well as popularization and assistance in promoting unique musicians from remote corners of Russia in the Russian Federation…

  • Music

    Various Artists – Lèspri Ka : New Directions in Gwoka Music from Guadeloupe 1981​-​2010

    This compilation released by Time Capsule Records is going to be stunningly good.  From the release’s Bandcamp site: The innovative, radical soul of Guadeloupe explored across thirty years of contemporary gwoka music, released by Time Capsule and Séance Centre. As Guadeloupean vocalist and composer Marie-Line Dahomay writes in her liner notes to the compilation, gwoka is more than a style of music, it is “a way of living and thinking.” Rooted in the social, musical and ritual practices of enslaved African people and their descendants on Guadeloupe, gwoka has always sought to express the spirit of independence and resistance authentic…

  • Music

    Zhang Si’an (Djang San 张思安) – Hutong Jazz – 胡同爵士

    Jean-Sébastien Héry is a French ex-pat musician living in China.  He has a very impressive body of work covering over 50 albums of music ranging from electro music to rock performed on traditional Chinese instruments like the zhonguran and pipa.  His work is singular, as there doesn’t seem to be anyone, either inside or outside of China, combining these elements together. His latest album covers ten evergreen recordings, including Herbie Hancock’s masterpiece, Cantaloupe Island, and My Favorite Things, made into a classic by the film The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews.  The album is charming all the way through.

  • Music - Youtube

    Razam / Iva Marešová – Harpyje U Pramene

    On Friday night, my beloved friends, Helenka and Tomáš, suggested I go out to a club called Stará Pekárna, a club where Tomáš works.  The owner of this fine establishment is a heavy blues aficionado who happens to book very impressive bands.  Imagine my surprise when I walk into the club into a lovely sound: The singer, Iva Marešová, had a wonderfully open voice, full of power and energy, and even though most in the club were sitting, you could see quite a large number of patrons fidgeting around wanting to dance.  I myself could feel my feet tapping around…