Multi-instrumentalist Saulius Petreikis pairs with fellow Lithuanian musician, the vocalist Rasa Serra. It’s ethereal music that would, in some way, appeal to fans of Dead Can Dance as well as those who enjoy Baltic music in general.
The month of September was rather spectacular for me. First, I was able to see my beloved friends in Skopje, Macedonia, where people are almost as close as my own blood relatives. The next little joy I experienced was going to the Without Borders World Music Consortium, where I had the pleasure to re-connect with comrades who spend their days promoting the best of World and Ethno Music in their respective countries.
I am especially indebted to seeing Stefanie Schumann of Delicious Tunes, who introduced me to the work of Mamadou Diabate, a balofon player originally from Burkina Faso (now residing in Vienna, Austria, if I’m not mistaken). After being blown away by his band, who were showcased on the final evening of Without Borders (along with Breton sensations Plantec), I was given a CD which featured not only Mamadou and fellow countryman, the pelu (flute) player Dramane Dembélé and Austrian percussionist Claudio Spieler.
After having the honor of meeting Mamadou, I was given some rather impressive background information. He comes from a Samba “Jeli” family, and has several works available (all of which we hope to review in the future).
Throughout the disc, the musicians play very comfortably together, as if they had been a trio for a long time. As it turns out, Mamadou and Dramane perform together with some frequency, but Claudio’s percussion work underpins the the balafon and peul beautifully.
Where the album shines, however, is when Mamadou sings, especially on the song Koroya. His voice, in harmony with Dramane’s reminds me of the best of West African music, and the balafon adds even more body, serving, in some sense, as a third voice.
I implore you, my friends…
Make time to catch the best World Music podcast in the world. Mundofonías‘ Juan Antonio Vázquez & Araceli Tzigane have spent years introducing an international audience to world music with their themed podcasts, and this one is no exception.
To hear this week’s episode, click here or on the image. The track list is as follows:
Zulya – Kubalagem – Aloukie
Zulya and The Children of the Underground – We twelve girls – 3 nights
Ulzhan Baibussynova – Talim – Music of Central Asia, vol.4: Bardic divas, women’s voices in Central Asia [VA]
La Banda Morisca – En toíto yo te encuentro – Algarabya
Manuel Parrilla – Bulerías “Abuelo Parrilla” – Pa mi gente
Burruezo – La mora d’Aragó – Dervishes & troubadours
Mujeres con Raíz – Sale el sol por la mañana – Las edades de la vida
Tündra – Baile de procesión – Bastardüs
Al Valdés y su Conjunto – Guajira – Cuba! Cuba! [VA]
Ignacio Carrillo – Pico y pala – Cuban playground [VA]
Rubén González Jr. – Pianísmo – Best of Cuba [VA]
Rubén González – Descarga Rubén y Cachaíto – Introducing… Rubén González [ed. 2017]
(Ska Cubano – Loca rumba – Cuban playground [VA])
World Circuit Records, a longtime leader in World Music, produces another magnificent album. This one is by a Malian singer born in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) called Fatoumata Diawara. She’s worked with such luminaries as Paul McCartney, Damon Albarn and Beninese legends Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou.