Assembled under the artistic directorship of Victor Gama, Tsikaya is a superb example of how music is rooted in the society it comes from.
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An elegant album, stripped bare to its poetry. Bass notes on the oud ground the songs wonderfully and Jubran’s voice is sinuous and expressive, full of colour tones.
Low whistle, hornpipes, kaval (this is a traditional Balkan flute) and practice chanter (and this a part of the Scots bagpiping set-up) are just a few of the instruments employed by Fraser Fifield on Stereocanto.
Mysterious and opulent in its songs, The Sky and the Caspian Sea is a début album that exudes confidence and poise and promises the start of a great future.
Hiphop fans make a virtue of telling it how it is. Well, there’s no-one out there who tells it better than Sister Fa.
It’s a dance record galvanized for the groove; it’s a John Pirozzi film that takes a serious responsibility for the band’s material and details commitment to Cambodian heroes.
‘It’s me. I’m alive.’ Yoko Ono, startling and challenging as ever.
An album with a range of references stretching from a lazy Delta blues to the yearnings of Urdu devotionals. By Najma Akhtar and Gary Lucas.
Guitars blast, synthesizers go mad and a group of gospel harmonizers strain for the heavens as sitar strings twang. By Cornershop
For all its ancient antecedents, Siwan is a very modern album and a joyous meditation for that.
CDs that didn’t quite make a full review, but are still worthy of a mention.