Best World Music Albums of 2014

World Music Central’s music critics and special guest revealed today their lists of best world music albums of 2014. Although a handful of albums were released prior to 2014 in some territories, release schedules vary from territory to territory and the majority of these recordings were released in 2014.

Johannes Theurer (Germany)

Our special guest this year is Johannes Theurer, a radio broadcaster in the German capital, Berlin. He produces his radio show ‘Dschungelfieber’ on public service radio since 1987. Johannes’ radio show has been integral part of the World Music Charts Europe that includes 46 radio broadcasters in 24 countries, which he compiles monthly.

Johannes’ most played CDs this year were:

1 – Toumani & Sidiki (World Circuit) by Toumani & Sidiki Diabate (Mali)

 

Toumani & Sidiki Diabate - Toumani & Sidiki
Toumani & Sidiki Diabate – Toumani & Sidiki

 

2 – Landini (Real World) by Aurelio (Honduras)

 

Aurelio - Landini
Aurelio – Landini

 

3 – Queen Between (World Village) by Susheela Raman (UK)

 

Susheela Raman - Queen Betweenn (World Village)
Susheela Raman – Queen Between (World Village)

 

4 – Feryad-I Kemane (Oenarth Records) by Cafer Nazlibas (Turkey)
This artist is a young extremely talented Kemanche player from Turkey – hope to hear more from him in the future!

 

Cafer Nazlibas - Feryad-I Kemane (Oenarth Records)
Cafer Nazlibas – Feryad-I Kemane (Oenarth Records)

 

5 – Linyera (World Village) by Melingo (Argentina)

 

Melingo - Linyera (World Village)
Melingo – Linyera (World Village)

 

6 – Transoriental Orchestra (Kayax) by Kayah (Poland)

 

Kayah - Transoriental Orchestra
Kayah – Transoriental Orchestra

 

7 – Symphonic Taraab (JARO) by Mohammed Issa ‘Matona’ Haji & Rajab Suleiman The Norwegian Radio Orchestra with Maryam Said Hamdun (Norway/Tanzania)

 

Mohammed Issa 'Matona' Haji & Rajab Suleiman The Norwegian Radio Orchestra with Maryam Said Hamdun - Symphonic Taraab (JARO)
Mohammed Issa ‘Matona’ Haji & Rajab Suleiman The Norwegian Radio Orchestra with Maryam Said Hamdun – Symphonic Taraab (JARO)

 

8 – Salvadora Robot (Soundway) by Meridian Brothers (Colombia)

 

Meridian Brothers - Salvadora Robot (Soundway)
Meridian Brothers – Salvadora Robot (Soundway)

 

9 – Sobre Noites e Dias (No Format!) by Luccas Santana (Brazil)

 

Luccas Santana - Sobre Noites e Dias (No Format!)
Luccas Santana – Sobre Noites e Dias (No Format!)

 

10 – San Augustin (Alex Wilson Records) by Edwin Sanz (Venezuela/UK)

 

Edwin Sanz - San Augustin (Alex Wilson Records)
Edwin Sanz – San Augustin (Alex Wilson Records)

 

Favorite Compilation:

Galiza (Folmusica) by Kepa Junkera and various artists from Galicia (Spain)

 

Kepa Junkera - Galiza
Kepa Junkera – Galiza

 

Favorite re-issue:

Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako (Stern’s) by Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako (Mali)

 

Les Ambassadeurs - Les Ambassadeurs Du Motel De Bamako
Les Ambassadeurs – Les Ambassadeurs Du Motel De Bamako

 

TJ Nelson (North Carolina, USA)

TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central

TJ’s Top Ten World Music Albums for 2014 (in no specific order):

Dawn (HopeStreet Recordings) by Emma Donovan & The Putbacks (Australia)

 Emma Donovan & The Putbacks - Dawn (HopeStreet Recordings)

Emma Donovan & The Putbacks – Dawn (HopeStreet Recordings)

 

Film of Life (Jazz village) by Tony Allen (Nigeria)

 

Tony Allen - Film of Life
Tony Allen – Film of Life

 

Ancient Sufi Invocations & Forgotten Songs from Aleppo (Electric Cowbell Records) by Nawa (Syria)

 

Nawa - Ancient Sufi Invocations & Forgotten Songs from Aleppo (Electric Cowbell Records)
Nawa – Ancient Sufi Invocations & Forgotten Songs from Aleppo (Electric Cowbell Records)

 

The Master by Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan (USA/India)

 

Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan - The Master
Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan – The Master

 

Junkyard Ball (Lusti Music/Sibelius Akatemia) by Tero Hyvaluoma (Finland). A great 2013 CD reviewed in 2014.

 

Tero Hyvaluoma - Junkyard Ball
Tero Hyvaluoma – Junkyard Ball

 

Tzenni (Glitterbeat) by Noura Mint Seymali (Mauritania)

 

Noura Mint Seymali - Tzenni
Noura Mint Seymali – Tzenni

 

Abraçaço (Nonesuch) by Caetano Veloso (Brazil)

 

Caetano Veloso - Abraçaço (Nonesuch)
Caetano Veloso – Abraçaço (Nonesuch)

 

Viento y Marea by Jerez Texas (Spain)

 

Jerez Texas - Viento y Marea
Jerez Texas – Viento y Marea

 

Walking Through Clay (Sugar Hill Records) by Dirk Powell (USA)

 

Dirk Powell - Walking Through Clay (Sugar Hill Records)
Dirk Powell – Walking Through Clay (Sugar Hill Records)

 

Devil’s Tale (Asphalt Tango Records) by Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia (Canada/Romania). Another fabulous 2013 CD reviewed in 2014.

 

Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia - Devil’s Tale (Asphalt Tango Records)
Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia – Devil’s Tale (Asphalt Tango Records)

 

Tom Orr (California, USA)

Tom is a regular CD reviewer at World Music Central

Tom’s Top Ten World Music Albums for 2014 (in no specific order):

Moving On by Roy and Yvonne (Jamaica)

 

Roy and Yvonne - Moving On
Roy and Yvonne – Moving On

 

The Birth of Jungle Cumbia by Juaneco y su Combo (Peru)

 

Juaneco y su Combo - The Birth of Jungle Cumbia
Juaneco y su Combo – The Birth of Jungle Cumbia

 

Calaita Flamenco Son by Calaita Flamenco Son (UK/Spain)

 

Calaita Flamenco Son - Calaita Flamenco Son
Calaita Flamenco Son – Calaita Flamenco Son

 

Afro-Colombian Sound Modernizers by Son Palenque (Colombia)

 

Son Palenque - Afro-Colombian Sound Modernizers
Son Palenque – Afro-Colombian Sound Modernizers

 

Current Affairs by Runa (USA)

 

Runa - Current Affairs
Runa – Current Affairs

 

Landini by Aurelio (Honduras)

 

Aurelio - Landini
Aurelio – Landini

 

Good Prevails by Alpheus (UK)

 

Alpheus - Good Prevails
Alpheus – Good Prevails

 

Konpa Lakay by Boulpik (Haiti)

 

Boulpik - Konpa Lakay
Boulpik – Konpa Lakay

 

Sunken City Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Next Level Sound System

 

Next Level Sound System - Sunken City Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Next Level Sound System – Sunken City Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

 

Neva/Harmony by Olcay Bayir (Turkey)

 

Olcay Bayir - Neva/Harmony
Olcay Bayir – Neva/Harmony

 

Tony Hillier (Australia)

Tony Hillier is based in Cairns in far north Queensland. He writes for national publications such as the Weekend Australian and Rhythms magazine.

Tony’s Top Ten World Music Albums for 2014 (in no specific order)::

Baifang by Hanggai (China)

 

Hanggai - Baifang
Hanggai – Baifang

 

Oj Tak! By Chlopcy Kontra Basia (Poland)

 

Chlopcy Kontra Basia  - Oj Tak!
Chlopcy Kontra Basia – Oj Tak!

 

Mortissa by Cigdem Aslan (Turkey)

 

Cigdem Aslan  - Mortissa
Cigdem Aslan – Mortissa

 

Permission To Evaporate by Joseph Tawadros (Australia)

 

Joseph Tawadros - Permission To Evaporate
Joseph Tawadros – Permission To Evaporate

 

Lullaby and … The Ceaseless Roar by Robert Plant (UK)

 

Robert Plant - Lullaby and … The Ceaseless Roar
Robert Plant – Lullaby and … The Ceaseless Roar

 

Yo by Roberto Fonseca (Cuba)

 

Roberto Fonseca - Yo
Roberto Fonseca – Yo


A Long Way To the Beginning
by Seun Kuti + Egypt 80 (Nigeria)

 

Seun Kuti + Egypt 80  -  A Long Way To the Beginning
Seun Kuti + Egypt 80 –
A Long Way To the Beginning

 

Bloody Rain by Sarah Jane Morris (UK)

 

Sarah Jane Morris - Bloody Rain
Sarah Jane Morris – Bloody Rain

 

Follow The Path by Shaolin Afronauts (Australia)

 

Shaolin Afronauts  - Follow The Path
Shaolin Afronauts – Follow The Path

 

Wild Goats & Unmarried Women by She’Koyokh (UK)

 

She'Koyokh - Wild Goats & Unmarried Women
She’Koyokh – Wild Goats & Unmarried Women

 

Best compilation:

 

Various Artists – Real World 25 (various countries)

 

Various Artists - Real World 25
Various Artists – Real World 25

 

Best Reissue:

Grit by Martyn Bennett

 

Martyn Bennett - Grit
Martyn Bennett – Grit

 

Madanmohan Rao

Madanmohan Rao is a Bangalore-based music editor & DJ, specializing in World Music and Jazz. He is a regular contributor to World Music Central.

Madan’s Top World Music Albums for 2014 (in no specific order):

Santie Papang” (Sakifo Records) by Maya Kamaty (Reunion Island)

Maya Kamaty - Santie Papang
Maya Kamaty – Santie Papang

 

“TransBangla” (BanglaNatakby) by East West Local (India)

East West Local - TransBangla
East West Local – TransBangla

 

Gambia” (Joluv Arts Entertainment) by Jalimadi (The Gambia)

 Jalimadi - Gambia

Jalimadi – Gambia

 

Kashi” (White Swan Records) by Prem Joshua & Chintan (India)

Prem Joshua & Chintan - Kashi
Prem Joshua & Chintan – Kashi

 

Tariq” (Arc Music) by Jaume Compte & Nafas Ensemble (Spain/Middle East)

Jaume Compte & Nafas Ensemble - Tariq
Jaume Compte & Nafas Ensemble – Tariq

 

The Rough Guide To The Music Of Mali (World Music Network)

The Rough Guide To The Music Of Mali
The Rough Guide To The Music Of Mali

 

Angel Romero Ruiz (USA/Spain)

Angel is World Music Central’s founder.

Angel’s Top Ten World Music Albums for 2014 (in no specific order):

Tzenni (Glitterbeat) by Noura Mint Seymali (Mauritania)

 

Noura Mint Seymali - Tzenni
Noura Mint Seymali – Tzenni

 

The Master (Six Degrees Records) by Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan (USA/India)

 

Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan - The Master
Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan – The Master

 

Memoria (Schema) by Toco (Brazil)

 

Toco - Memoria
Toco – Memoria


Incantations
(White Swan Records) by Sheela Bringi (USA)

 

Sheela Bringi -  Incantations
Sheela Bringi – Incantations

Dos (Zoomusic) by Zoobazar (Spain)

 

Zoobazar - Dos
Zoobazar – Dos

 

Bailar En La Cueva (Warner Music Latina) by Jorge Drexler (Uruguay/Spain)

 

Jorge Drexler - Bailar En La Cueva
Jorge Drexler – Bailar En La Cueva

 

FBB (Siba Records SRCD-1012) by Sibelius Academy Folk Big Band (Finland)

 

Sibelius Academy Folk Big Band - FBB
Sibelius Academy Folk Big Band – FBB

 

Griot Classique by Mamadou Diabate (Mali)

 

Mamadou Diabate - Griot Classique
Mamadou Diabate – Griot Classique

 

Canción Andaluza (Universal Music Spain) by Paco de Lucía (Spain)

 

Paco de Lucía - Canción Andaluza
Paco de Lucía – Canción Andaluza

 

Planetary Coalition (Artist Share) by Alex Skolnick (USA and international guests)

 

Alex Skolnick  - Planetary Coalition
Alex Skolnick – Planetary Coalition

Best compilation:

Real World 25 (Real World Records) by Various Artists (various countries)

 

Various Artists - Real World 25
Various Artists – Real World 25

 

Best reissue:

Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako (Sterns Africa STCD 3065-66CD) by Les Ambassadeurs (Mali)

 

Les Ambassadeurs - Les Ambassadeurs Du Motel De Bamako
Les Ambassadeurs – Les Ambassadeurs Du Motel De Bamako

 

Best packaging:

Razón de Son (Folmusica CD + book) by Raúl Rodríguez (Spain)

 

Raúl Rodríguez - Razón de Son
Raúl Rodríguez – Razón de Son

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.”.

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