Small but perfectly formed festival Larmer Tree sported by far its best ever line up for seekers of the global groove and the weather (mostly) held together for the weekend
WOMAD organisers are rightly delighted to have had such a successful festival after the mudbath of last year. Some of this is down to luck of course (both bad last year and good this year) but lessons have been learned and other stats bare out improvements across the board
Full marks to Keith LeBlanc for remixing these blues tunes from the vaults of Chess and bringing them some new attention
A funky, gothic mix of London metro-cool and fiery Madrilena, LaXula’s Monte PalafoX has been one of the most alluring acts on the UK gig circuit in 2007, and after months of growing internet interest, her band LaXula’s intriguing debut CD is at last getting a full UK release.
The cover of the album doesn’t augur too well — Akim looks like a young Bill Murray who’s just got lucky in a tart’s boudoir. So it’s a relief to hear his extraordinary voice and violin playing gratifyingly wrapped in some sweet and catchy tunes
Apparently mud has different grades and it has gone from slurry to liquid on the site but we should be grateful — the Reading site would have been submerged. In these rather beautiful surroundings, WOMAD has begun with the best line-up in years to make up for the conditions underfoot
Tinariwen are one of only two bands to have their own Minister of Propaganda. Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav is now better known for his MTV show where very driven young ladies battle to win his attention. In contrast, the rather more earnest Issa Dicko is
concerned with the survival of the Tamasheq (Tuareg) people. Tinariwen is more of a popular movement than a band
What is in between? Between the varied, driving beats, and inventive instrumentality of David Lowe’s second Dreamcatcher album? Voices. And strong, varied ones at that.
Ted Levin is the scholar who, to his own surprise, brought the little known throat singing tradition of Tuva to a global audience in 1990. This thought provoking book, investigates the profound consequences for the musical ecosystem of this remote, mountainous republic and attempts to recontextualise the music from the point of view of its practitioners
Live 8 seems a long time ago doesn’t it? Remember Bob’s line up in London’s Hyde Park, Berlin, Paris, Philadelphia and Rome? And the question: “Where are the black and African artists?”
It’s from Putumayo — expect nothing less than for it to do exactly what it says on the tin.
Amparo Mercedes Sanchez, the creative core of Spain’s Amparanoia, is smiling. I get the impression she smiles a lot, and she has every reason to. Her latest Latin-infused album is flying off the shelves helped by a recent BBC World Music Award and her band pack concert venues as reports of their thrilling live performances spread across Europe. It also means Amparo is very busy.