In recent months, numerous world music compilations came out, many of which had party themes. Here is an overview of the latest anthologies.
The Rough Guide to Brazilian Street Party shows dancers at the beach, setting the context for the recording. The album opens with one of my favorite Brazilian bands, Funk’n’Lata, a group that brings together the spirit of James Brown, American funk and Brazilian grooves. The rest of the albums is a collection of upbeat tunes and remixes that will definitely liven your global celebration.
When it’s time for quieter music, try Acoustic World-China. The CD contains pieces by some of the finest Chinese instrumentalists. Pipa diva Wu Man participated with 3 pieces. Other artists featured include qin master Lin Youren; Xuan Ke and the Dayan Ancient Music association, playing ritual music; and Li Jinwen, performing “sheng-guan” music for wind and percussion.
Six Degrees specializes in global electronica and other hybrid world music styles. Its Traveler ’08 presents some of the most attractive artists in the catalog. Ranging from the internationally popular Ojos de Brujo and Brazil’s Bebel Gilberto and CéU to global electronic explorations by Karsh Kale, Gaudí + Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and several other artists.
This seems to be the year for street party CDs. The Rough Guide to Latin Street Party combines both mainstream acts and alternative Latin artists from Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the United States and even Africa (Ricardo Lemvo’s salsa explorations).
Putumayo Presents Acoustic France includes French artists as well as international acts that sing in French, like US-based Rupa & the April Fishes. Sometimes the boundaries between world music and straight ahead pop are broken and someone like pop singer Carla Bruni (prime minister Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife, France’s first lady) sneaks in. There are definitely more interesting acoustic French acts, but I guess celebrity wins.
Think Global Acoustic Brazil in association with OXFAM, features renowned Brazilian artists, as well as lesser known acts, in unplugged versions. Styles include [wiki:samba], MPB and bossa. Artist line-up: Maria Bethania, Garrafieira, Chico Buarque, Marcos Sacramento, Casuarina, Paula Santoro, Rosinha De Valença, Orquesta Imperial, Clara Moreno & Joyce, Nicolas Krassik with Beth Carvalho, Paulo Moura, Augusto Martins, Vitor Ramil & Marcos Suzano With Katia B, Mongol, Gabriel Moura and Armando Marcal.
Colombian Street Party is a portrait of what young Colombians are listening and dancing to. The vast array of sounds includes traditional and hybrid cumbia, salsa, [wiki:champeta], reggaeton and even calypso. Some of the artists are well known acts in Colombia. Artists featured: Sixto Silgado, Paito y Los Gaiteros De Punta Brava, Grupo Retrovisor, Grupo Tumba Y Quema, Radio Cumbia, Mojarra Electrica, Dr Krapula, Creole, Calambuco, La Contundencia, Colombiafrica, Chocquibtown, Grupo Saboreo, LA-33, Joe Arroyo, Makina Del Karibe.
Due to the tightening of the U.S. embargo against Cuba, fewer Cuban recordings have arrived to American ears. The Rough Guide to Cuban Street Party provides a look at the current Cuban music scene, although the compilation includes historical recordings such as a song by Celia Cruz. Cuba is still a musical powerhouse and most of the album focuses of the popular dance genres such as timba, son, salsa, reggaeton, and guajiro music.
The Rough Guide to Latin Lounge reveals hip artists influenced by the musics of Latin America and [wiki:Spain] with styles that include new bossa, samba jazz, mestizo sounds, Afro-Peruvian hybrids, Cuban ska, and global electronica mixes. Artist line-up: Ska Cubano, Los Amigos Invisible, Brownout, Madrid de los Austrias, Mo’Horizons, Alex Wilson, Bah Samba, Miguel ‘Anga’ Diaz, Novalima, The Quantic Soul Orchestra, Arthur Verocai, Malena, The JuJu Orchestra and Color Climax.
Ultimate Musical Adventures includes one of the hottest groups in the world music scene, Cambodian psychedelic surf rockers Dengue Fever. Other artists included: Corey Harris With Ali Farka Toure, Cuban Cowboys, Idan Raichel’s Project, Ozomatli, Rhany, Jolly Mukherjee & Sridevi, Francis Bebey, Tribali, Ravi Bal & Daljit Mattu, Sami Ali and Geraldo Pino & The Heart Breaks
Buy the CDs:
- In North America: Rough Guide to Brazilian Street Party, Acoustic World-China, Rough Guide to Latin Street Party, Putumayo Presents Acoustic France, The Rough Guide to Cuban Street Party, The Rough Guide to Latin Lounge, and Ultimate Musical Adventures
- In Europe: The Rough Guide to Latin Street Party, Acoustic World China, Acoustic France, The Rough Guide to Cuban Street Party, The Rough Guide to Latin Lounge, and Ultimate Musical Adventures
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. He was also the executive producer of the first Latino feature film made in North Carolina titled “Los sueños de Angélica.”.