• Music

    Mohammad Mostafa Heydarian – Songs of Horaman

    Mohammad Mostafa Heydarian is a Kurdish tanburist who hails from Kermanshah, in the Iranian region of Horaman.  His playing reminds me of a lot of the instrumental music coming out of the Sahel, blended, naturally, with Kurdish rhythms and adding a psychedelic haze to the music. Though I’m not keen on paying €1,000 for a download, the cassette version is certainly worth a purchase.  It would probably do Radio Khiyaban, the magnificent label who released Heydarian’s work, to consider making these recordings available for upload once the cassettes go out of print.

  • Music

    Kgwanyape Band – Mephato Ya Maloba

    I’ve read over the years about Botswana having a very interesting metal scene, but I knew nothing about the local music.  This might not be the purest form of regional music, but this disc by Duncan Senyatso (may his memory be eternal) and the Kgwanyape Band is pretty catchy and infectious. There is a lot of horn work on this disc, and one can hear influences from South African music, and more pop-related artists like Paul Simon and others who were delving into ‘World Music’ during the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Pleasant.

  • Music

    LeiLuo Studio (磊落声音艺术) – An Ancient Tune of Shanha

    LeiLuo Studio is a small record label based in my former home of Beijing, China.  The track reviewed today is a fusion of musics from Zhejiang from the She ethnic group.  The label/band’s Bandcamp site explains further below: This is a piece of new fusion single composed and arranged by the duo, Wang Lei and Yile, in February 2018. Aria of Yunhe is copyright Beijing Chuanzong Culture Development Ltd., Co. In mid January, the duo had participated in a field trip to Jingning County in Zhejiang Province, China. We were introduced to a type of local music that had existed…

  • Music - Youtube

    Alèmayèhu Eshèté – Alteleyeshegnem

    Another day, another great loss to music.  The legendary Alèmayèhu Eshèté, known lovingly as the “Ethiopian Elvis,” passed away yesterday at the age of around 80.  I came across his work on this particular album, Éthiopiques 10: Tezeta – Ethiopian Blues & Ballads, and though I didn’t hear much Elvis (despite some physical similarities), I was floored by how beautifully Ethiopian music, rock and blues could blend into each other.

  • Music

    Various Artists: Habibi Funk 015: An Eclectic Selection Of Music From The Arab World, Part 2

    Our friends at Habibi Funk are becoming legendary as their roster grows.  What impresses me the most about the folks who run the label is their absolute passion for music from the Maghreb which has been criminally underrepresented throughout the world for decades.  It’s shameful that the labels in the region didn’t think that the rest of the world wouldn’t appreciate such talent, but Habibi Funk are stepping in to right that wrong, and it will hopefully inspire more and more local labels to release their hidden treasures. Have a listen to the tracks above and sample what’s coming down…

  • Music

    Various Artists – UNESCO Collection Musical Sources – Arabian Music: Maqam (Iraq – Lebanon 1971)

    A reissue specialist label called Rarità Tradizionali have published a fine collection of music from Lebanon and Iraq from 1972, and it sounds brilliant. This album was apparently never released, and it’s surprising considering the quality of the musicianship of these instrumentalists from Iraq and Lebanon (including buzuk player Matar Muhammad), back when both places were far safer to explore than they are today.  There’s no doubt that this comp will be seen as welcome to those who appreciate Arab music. I only have one complaint, and I’m sure many who collect this sort of music will understand the sentiment. …

  • Music

    TienYinMen – Between Clouds (雲峽)

    TienYinMen are a collection of composers and musicians based in Hong Kong who release a lot of thematic soundtrack music played on traditional instruments and electronic instruments.  They have a healthy body of work to choose from, and I found this one to be the best out of a great lot.  I can see why they would be in demand for scoring TV programs as well as theater.

  • Music

    Båul – Camel [شتر]

    Båul have managed to release an album which travels the world while residing in the beautiful state of Colorado.  They mix Arabic, Russian, Hebrew and other music together into a cohesive, energetic album.  Really fun listening.

  • Music

    Kimilia – Chants d’un temps, ანუ ადრინდელი სიმღერები

    I can’t imagine there being traditional music more pleasant to the ear than that of Georgian polyphony.  Whether it is in an ecclesiastical setting or around the dinner table, the Georgians are incredible singers, and this particular band, Kimilia, do a phenomenal job interpreting songs that go as far back as to the country’s medieval period.  Stunning!

  • Music

    叶尔波利 Yerboli – 哈萨克精神Kazakh Spirit

    China has 55 legally recognized minorities, each contributing to the mosaic of the country.  This particular project, Yerboli, comes from the Kazakh community, but it is not ethnic music per sé.  This is folk music, but with a slightly more mystical element to it.  Shenzhen-based Old Heaven Books released this album, and they boast quite a healthy catalog of this kind of music.  They are worth exploring.