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Music without Borders

...of categorical predujice, or geographical, cultural and ehnic snobbery. Today's media buzz with Bollywood hits is not unlike the sixteenth century  craze  with   La Folia or the  more  recent interest in the music from Tuva.  We have fancy  buzzwords like Crossover and  fusion  because of this hardened  tendency to create artificial borders around different strands of music;  we hope to change that.  Let's go 


Border Crossing .... gathering a Random harvest of Links 

Missa Luba: African Mass : An exciting explosion of virtuosity and vigour, the origin of this music goes back to the pre-vinyl days, long before Paul Simon and his Graceland  brought African music and musicians to the limelight in the west. Nothing has surpassed it since.  An unforgettable musical experience.      

Kembali Ke Bali : Most people here are familiar with the Gamelan with its hypnotioc trance-like evocation of the Orient. This one goes beyond and deeper into the authentic musical culture embracing the traditional temple festivals, the life-cycle rituals and the usual recreational events of Bali and Java.

Tango Nuevo - Piazzola, Duran, Ginastera / Gryphon Trio :  Tango  used to be an earthy, sensual, often risqué, folk music relegated to the dance halls. Piazzola elevated this to  a serious and sophisticated art form without sacrificing its vitality and excitement. This album shows why the new Tango is familiar and popular well beyond the borders of Argentina.

Music for Yoga and Other Joys: This is probably one of the best CDs for yoga music, more of a fusion than a traditional 'pure' Indian music, and a far cry from the usual Bollywood jangle. Yet the modal structures of Indian Ragas are perfectly fused with the famiiar harmony and counterpoints of the western musical language. The effect is magic! Even non-Yogis can appreciate that.

Delusions Of Klezmer : Alexandria Kleztet is a quartet of instrumentalists
emulating a Klezmer band with its unique color, thus recreating the happy but sad atmosphere of this secular Jewish musical tradition going back to the 15th century. No longer confined to Jewish audiences, Klezmer music has become more mainstream and popular now, thanks to albums like this one.

Night Train for Lovers & Thieves : Riding the crest of popularity of the recent Balkan beats craze comes this album from the Gypsy Groovz Orchestra. But unlike so many other entrants on the World Music stage, this is not some digitally mastered monstrosity, but is the genuine stuff - pure Roma music and virtuoso Jazz. Some critics hailed this the best Gypsy music album last year.

Rhythms del Mundo: Cuba : Not everybody can be impressed with all the tracks, but on the whole this is a smashing hit of an album and a worthwhile introduction to the genre of Cuban music with its infectious rhythm and lively  propulsive energy, with some cool interplay of words in the lyric.

Melodii Tuvi: Throat Songs and Folk Tunes from Tuva : Obscure no more, Tuva and Tuvan music occupy a rapidly growing niche in today's culture. Most of us are  familiar with, or at least vaguely aware of, the music of Tuva which is unlike anything else. This  is an album of uncomprising musicality, and a dazzling showcase for the Tuvan master singer Oorjak Hunashtaar-ool, singing solo or accompanying himself on the doshpulur. A rare treat! Not to be missed.




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