August 2, 2010

Reviews and charts August 1, 2010

Here's WRIR's world music charts (our most-played recordings, new arrivals, and what we're recommending) for the week of August 1.  Plus reviews of two outstanding new releases: III by The Budos Band (pictured above) and Timbuktu Tarab by Khaira Arby.

Brand-New Reviews
ARTIST:  The Budos Band
LABEL:  Daptone

REVIEW:  Here’s the third full-length album from Staten Island’s #1 (and still only) afro-funk collective.  The Budos sound is unique and instantly recognizable: breakbeats driven by five percussionists, a horn section playing punchy melody lines in unison like Fela’s Africa 70, psychedelic guitars and electric organ.  The tunes, all under 5 minutes long, reference afrobeat and Ethiopian music but they bring directly to mind the kinds of 1970’s soul-funk instrumentals that gave a little extra adrenaline rush to car-chase scenes in movies and on TV cop shows.  Their previous album, Budos Band II, is a classic and this one is right up there with it.  I’m happy to recommend every single song on here; I’ve only listed my four top favorites, but go ahead and play all 11 of them, preferably over and over at maximum volume.  A stone killer of a disc.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
RECOMMENDED TRACKS:    4    5 (Ethio!)   8    11 (a particularly twisted cover of “Day Tripper”)

ARTIST:  Khaira Arby
TITLE:  Timbuktu Tarab
LABEL:  Clermont Music

REVIEW:  Female singers and bandleaders are an integral component of the music of the Sahara Desert region of Africa.  Mauritania has singing star (and congresswoman!) Malouma; Mariam Hassan is arguably the most important voice in Western Sahara.  To that list we can now add Mali’s Khaira Arby.  She has long been popular in her native Timbuktu region, but this is her first recording to be distributed in Europe and the USA.  The electric guitars, ngoni and one-string njarka fiddle in Arby’s ensemble call to mind her cousin Ali Farka Toure, the Toureg band Tinariwen, and other mainstays of the genre.  But the group is subtly more global, with rock-like swells of volume and a pronounced Congolese feel to the drumming on several of the songs.  Her voice is a power instrument (in all four of the languages she sings in), belting out even the slow numbers at full volume.  A striking, welcome addition to the growing desert blues catalog.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
RECOMMENDED TRACKS:    1    6    7    10

CMJ New World Top Ten
1 D.O. MISIANI AND SHIRATI JAZZ | The King Of History: Classic 1970's Benga Beats From Kenya | Sterns
2 ETOILE DE DAKAR FEATURING YOUSSOU N'DOUR | Once Upon A Time In Senegal: The Birth Of Mbalax 1979-1981 | Sterns
3 KOES BERSAUDARA | Koes Bersaudara 1967 | Sublime Frequencies
4 BUDOS BAND | The Budos Band III | Daptone
5 KHAIRA ARBY | Timbuktu Tarab | Clermont Music
6 COCHEMEA GASTELUM | The Electric Sound Of Johnny Arrow | Mowo
7 VARIOUS ARTISTS | The Rough Guide To Desert Blues | World Music Network
8 VARIOUS ARTISTS | Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla And Afro Roots In Colombia | Soundway
9 FAT FREDDY'S DROP | Dr. Boondigga And The Big BW | Electrofone
10 EL GUINCHO | Piratas De Sudamerica | XL

CMJ New World Adds
1 BLACK LILIES | The Black Lilies | Freestyle
2 CALIBRO 35 | Ritornano Quelli Di... | Nublu
3 EL GUINCHO | Piratas De Sudamerica | XL
4 VARIOUS ARTISTS | Afro-Beat Airways: West African Shock Waves, Ghana & Togo 1972-1978 | Analog Africa
5 VARIOUS ARTISTS | The Rough Guide To Paris Cafe (Second Edition) | World Music Network

New & Recommended At WRIR
Arby, Khaira | Timbuktu Tarab | Clermont Music
Budos Band, The | III | Daptone
Desert Blues, The Rough Guide To | (various artists) | World Music Network
Etoile De Dakar Featuring Youssou N'Dour | Once Upon A Time In Senegal: The Birth Of Mbalax 1979-1981 | Sterns
Fat Freddys Drop | Dr. Boondigga & The Big BW | Electrofone
Fela! | (original cast recording) | Knitting Factory
Foliba Trio | Matopie Wa | Farafina Djigui
Gastelum, Cochemea | The Electric Sound Of Johnny Arrow | Mowo
Konono No. 1 | Assume Crash Position | Crammed Discs
Misiani, D.O. & Shirati Jazz | The King Of History: Classic 1970s Benga Beats From Kenya | Sterns
Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots In Colombia | (various artists) | Soundway
Shangaan Electro | (various artists) | Honest Jon's
SMOD | SMOD | Because Music
Toure, Vieux Farka | Live | Six Degrees

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