Category World/International

LoveStar1

Love Star – Espectro, Chapter One EP (Self-Released)

Review by Reed Whitmont. Driven bilingual alt/electro/pop. Clean backgrounds, decent production quality. Very much feels like a group who has yet to find their sound. Lots of sugar-coated angst. More info here

Titi Robin & Mehdi Nassouli

Titi Robin & Mehdi Nassouli – Taziri (World Village)

An exceptionally fine collaboration between a seasoned French guitarist/bouzouq player (Titi Robin) & a young Morrocan electronic guembri player (Mehdi Nassouli). The guembri is a three string skin-covered lute popular with the West African Gnawa people & used in dakka marrakchia, a trancey, ritual musical form popular in the Moroccan city of Marrakech. The music […]

Brooklyn Gypsies

Brooklyn Gypsies – Sin Fronteras (Wonderwheel)

Maybe not what you might think… This NYC band sounds more like a cross between the Spanish band Ojos de Brujo (especially some of the vocals) & Arabic dub from the Spy from Cairo (who is in the band). A real nice fusion of many styles, with liberal yet tasteful electronic programming. More info & […]

The Fourth Light

NIYAZ – The Fourth Light (Six Degrees)

The latest from lead singer Azam Ali & multi-instrumentalist husband Loga Torkian draws inspiration from female Sufi mystic & poet Rabia Al Basri, & features exotic instrumentation plus electronic beats. Plaintive vocal style, sort of like an Arabic Paula Cole or Sade.

Le Vent du Nord

Le Vent du Nord – Tetu (Borealis)

(Tetu means “Determined.”) Exceptionally fine roots music from this award-winning band from Quebec. Brilliant traditional arrangements with beautiful male vocal harmonies, call & response, and even a cappella (in French of course); these are the hallmarks of this remarkable group.

Quitapenas album cover

QUITAPENAS – QUITAPENAS (Más Tropical)

Hailing from Los Angeles, QUITAPENAS’ (yes, it’s all-caps) self-titled debut is a very fun, high-energy and danceable album. Think Afro-Latin, cumbia, roots music, and tropicalia on modern instruments. Definitely worth a spin — many good numbers on here!

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Nightingale- Giuditta Scorcelletti

New from Spring Hill Music, a CD with composer Michael Hoppe (HAH PAY) and Lyrics with David George and sung by Giuditta Scorcelletti from Tuscany, Italy.  Sung in English except for track 15.  Love songs with this folk singer with string like cello, guitar and flute.  Very Sweet. Play all.   Tracks 1 and Track […]

Anouhar Brahem–Souvenance

Tunisian composer Brahem has written stunning pieces for oud and string orchestra (with piano and clarinet). Play, Play Play!

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The Offering- Mary Youngblood

What is so unique about this CD is that it was recorded at the Moaning Cave in Vallecito, California with just Mary playing flute.  one reviewer said her playing is deep and spacious.  She is Aleut and Seminole.  She has been called the “Feminine voice of the Native American Flute”.  Her music is made possible […]

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Barefoot Warrior- Nyashane

For new music in the air studio at WRUV FM a EP called Barefoot Warrior, with Nyashane from Jamaica.  With “I am Feeling Irie”, Nyashane is making a splash on the Reggae scene with this track that really does have the irie flowing.  He also has a track called Upright and Powerful that has produced […]

BuenaVistaSocialClub

Buena Vista Social Club – Lost and Found (World Circuit)

A collection of previously unreleased tracks from this band of Cuban legends; recorded in the late 1990s to early 2000s, some in a Havana studio & others during live performances. Classic Cuban sound, with tight horns & creative percussion, plus violin, piano, earnest vocals, & lots of variety. Explore & be pleased!

TheVeryBest

The Very Best – Makes A King “Mumachokela Mafumu” (Moshi Moshi)

Modern African music recorded on the shores of Lake Malawi (9th largest lake in the world) in Africa, with many local people participating. Strong South African flavors with nice group vocals, but also frequent strong base & electronic embellishments. Really nice!

AlexCuba

Alex Cuba – Healer (Caracol Records)

Saccharin-sweet, introspective Latin Pop from this born-in-Cuba, Latin-Grammy winning, Canadian vocalist & songwriter. Most songs in Spanish but otherwise not a lot of Latin influence.

Macaco

Macaco – Historias Tattooadas (Sony)

The Barcelona-based artist, also known as Dani Carbonell and formerly lead singer for Ojos de Brujo, draws from diverse Latin traditions in weaving folksy yet sophisticated arrangements that bring to mind many of the musical traditions of the Spanish colonies in America. Worthy!

Tumbao

Rebel Tumbao – Rebel Tumbao (Sacred Rhythm Music)

(Review by Lilly Xian) Rebel Tumbao’s first official release summons listeners with their sensational fusion of Cuban, Jamaican, and American urban roots music. The movement sets the pace with the vibrancy and syncopation of Afro, Latin, and Reggae rhythms and continues in propulsion by jazzy keys, smooth horns, spoken word, and soulful, bilingual vocals. The […]

Dom La Nena

Dom La Nena – Soyo (Six Degrees)

Sweet and singsongy tracks from this young Brazilian cellist/singer/songwriter, whose given name is Dominique Pinto, and who is based in Buenos Aires. The songs exhibit flairs of upbeat indie rock and Latin rhythmic folk, and are written in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English. All the instrumentation is performed by Dom and Brazilian musician Marcelo Camelo, who co-produced […]

Nico Marks

Nico Marks — The California-Jamaica Sessions (Santa Juanita)

Poppy rock-reggae from a guy who made it to the 5th round on American Idol in 2007. Relaxed beach tracks for those who are into it — much of it might feel sappy to a non-connoisseur of the genre. RIYL: Sublime, 311, Bob Marley

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Honor The People-Casper Loma-da-wa

Casper Lomayesva  with The Mighty 602 Band from Mesa, Az. Casper is the Lyrics master and Voice from Hopi 3rd Mesa.  Reggae with old school consciousness.  If Your Are Ready, track 6 includes a shout out to Vermont Natives!  Play All!

Les Freres Smith

Les Freres Smith – Free to Go (self-released)

A 12-member orchestra from Paris, France with 10 years’ experience specializing in high-energy Afrobeat & Ethiopian-flavored tunes. Fresh, complexly layered compositions played with crisp precision and awe-inspiring coordination between tight, raucous horns, complex percussion & bass, masterful guitar & keyboarding, & redolent vocals. A WRUV exclusive (until others catch on) provided directly from the band. […]

Cameron Siegal & Friends - World Junk

Cameron Siegal & Friends – World Junk (Mola Mola)

High school teacher, composer, & percussionist Siegal leads this 14-member ensemble on a tour de force through beautifully conceived arrangements of his own & others’ Brazilian & African inspired compositions. Strongly infused with jazz & funk, nice violin, cool flute, jazz piano, steel pan(!), prayer bowl(!), & more – really creative and downright gorgeous! Website […]

Roberto Fonseca and Fatoumata Diawara

Roberto Fonseca and Fatoumata Diawara – At Home (Live in Marciac) (Jazz Village)

Cuban jazz pianist/composer Fonseca & outstanding Malian vocalist Diawara went on tour together in Europe, and with five other musicians made this live recording in Marciac (in Southwestern France). It’s a gorgeous meld of Afro-Cuban jazz & soulful Malian blues that blends these two musical traditions synergistically. All tracks are fine! Note: Filed under Fonseca […]

monoswezi_sm

Monoswezi – Monoswezi Yanga (Riverboat)

Another masterpiece from Zimbabwean vocalist & mbira (thumb piano) maestro Hope Masike, singing new interpretations of the Zimbabwean folk songs she grew up with. She is accompanied by a Mozambican percussionist & three Scandinavian musicians who complement the roots music respectfully and beautifully. The band name means: Mozambique (Mo), Norway (No), Sweden (Swe), Zimbabwe (Zi). […]

JOYCE MORENO — RAIZ (FAR OUT)

Retrospective CD celebrating the 50-year recording career of a Brazilian legend.  However, this artist is still in her prime.  An album which revisits and reinterprets old samba and bossa nova classics, this is a delight from first song to last.  Wonderful melodies, superb production, and the warmth and supple musicality of Joyce’s voice make this […]

ANCIENT FUTURE — YEARNING FOR THE WIND (ANCIENT-FUTURE.COM RECORDS)

This is the latest release from an ongoing collaborative “world fusion” project.  Its website describes itself as “the #1 charting world music education site,” and you can find a store for CDs and books there, a schedule of concerts and workshops, electronic promo kit detailing over 25 different concert programs, bios on all the musicians, information […]

Les Métamorphoses

Mélisande [ÉLECTROTRAD] – Les Métamorphoses (La Pruche Libre)

A rare reinterpretation of traditional Quebecois music from a feminist perspective. Mostly traditional folk songs with all the essential elements (call & response, ballads, la turlutte), but updated with lyrical “adjustments,” awesome vocals, & tasteful electronic embellishments. A fresh take on a fine genre & a real treat! Get a taste here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc2Uku3J0oQ More info […]

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