A World Music Magazine

Mads Erik Odde - akkordeon accordion
Mads Erik Odde
Logne Slåttar
Ta:lik (www.talik.no)

Logne Slåttar mainly features solo interpretations of tunes from the fiddle tradition of the Gudbrandsdal region of Norway, played on the button accordion by Mads Erik Odde. For a Norwegian accordion-player to delve into the repertoire of fiddle-players could be considered a brave thing to do but he has produced something rather special. Odde's playing has a limpid quality, bringing to what the album title translates as “calm tunes” a clarity and elegance which transcends pure functionality as dance music. While some of the tunes are traditional several have composer credits, including three from the wonderful fiddle-player and composer Hans Brimi. (Listen below, to his take on a Brimi 'listening tune' - as opposed to a dance piece.) Odde also includes one of his own tunes as well as a fine short suite of pieces for accordion and string quartet.


La Coixinera
Tenim i Tindrem
Segell Microscopi (www.microscopi.cat)

La Coixinera, a veteran Catalan folk band, added some drums and amplifiers, and invited some guests, to produce a folk-rock delight. On “Les Quatre Banderes,” they team with Joan Rovira and exiled rapper Valtonyc. On “Astoaren Kanta,” Basque accordionist Joseba Tapia sings. And on “Sere Gavina,” they (once again) work with Carles Belda on a Moussu T adaptation into Catalan. “1-0” is an instrumental, in tribute to the October date when Catalan voters faced police brutality in a vote to create their own state. Highly recommended.


Anna Tam
Tam Records (www.annatam.co.uk)

This is a wonderful collection of (mostly) traditional folk songs performed by English singer and multi-instrumentalist Anna Tam accompanying herself (mostly) on nyckelharpa and viola da gamba with a touch of cello and hurdy gurdy. The range of songs is nicely balanced with many familiar tunes (“Whittingham Fair,” “The Unquiet Grave”) alongside those less-often heard (“Jenny Nettles,” “Blue Bleezin' Blind Drunk”) and two original instrumentals. Beautifully done all around and highly recommended.


Gabriel Akhmad Marin
Worlds Wthin Worlds

Ruminate is a solo offering from New York guitarist Gabriel Akhmad Marin. A member of prog rock trio Consider The Source, this release sees him exploring his middle eastern heritage with a series of improvisations. The result is a rather engaging album with six tracks featuring fretless electric guitar and three on which he plays the two-stringed dutar. Marin's digital manipulations, emulating the sustained sound of eastern wind instruments raise initial suspicions that this could become aimless new agery, but stick with it and there's more than that on offer. The inventiveness, subtlety and at times the driving energy of Marin's playing makes the whole thing work and the acoustic tracks create an effective contrast.


world music
Efrén López & Christos Barbas
Seyir Muzik (www.seyirmuzik.com)

A series of atmospheric, thoughtful musical conversations in modal music between Efrén López, from Valencia in Spain, here variously on oud, lavta, fretless guitar, oğur sazi, Afghan rabab and tanpura, and Greek multi-instrumentalist Christos Barbas on ney and lavta. Both have extensive, illustrious musical histories, and both are very involved with Ross Daly’s Crete-based Labyrinth teaching and creative workshops. Their compositions, four by each of them, plus a couple from the 13th and 17th centuries, are the basis for duet improvisation, and it’s the sense of dialogue that comes over to the listener. It helps to know about the core material, though, so while extensive information is made available to reviewers it’s a pity it’s not in the CD pack, though I imagine a message to the label would elicit it.


world music
Ayuune Sule
Putoo Katare Yire
Makkum Records (makkumrecords.nl)

In Frafra, the language from Ghana's Upper East Region, the album title means "wickedness has no home," and while the lyrics of these songs, in both Frafra and English are on the pedantic side, the delivery is top notch groove and pop. Ayuune Sule's Kologo Power (named for the double stringed lute he plays) is the talk of Kumasi in the Ashanti region of Ghana. The songs may say "Don't Be Lazy" or "Life is a Journey, but the call and response vocals against a sparse musical backing deliver the punch these songs of social justice deserve.



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About RootsWorld: RootsWorld is a world music magazine started in 1993, pretty much at the dawn of the term "world music" as well as the pre-dawn of internet publishing (I suspect this was the first music magazine of any sort published on the www). Our focus is the music of the world: Africa, Asia, Europe, Pacifica and The Americas, the roots of the global musical milieu that has come to be known as world music, be it traditional folk music, jazz, rock or some hybrid. How is that defined? I don't know and don't particularly care at this point: it's music from someplace you aren't, music with roots, music of the world and for the world. OK?

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