Countdown the best world music albums with WMN's audio chart - voted for by you!

  1. 1. Mulele Matondo Afrika - Prophecy

    Mulele’s debut solo album is an album bursting full with what he calls conscious music. His songs are about real life, real problems and real issues coloured by his experiences of war in his Congolese homeland. Now based in the UK Prophecy is the fruit of nearly two years hard work. A multitude of string, percussion and vocal layers and textures give depth to a sonic tapestry, and there is so much to listen to, you could well get lost in a world of gorgeous sounds.

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  2. 2. Insintesi - Fimmene In Dub

    Insintesi fuse Italian folk music with rolling reggae and dub. The album is a eclectic project with the two producers Alessandro Lorusso and Francesco Andriani de Vito being joined by diferrent musicians, singers and MCs on each track. 

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  3. 3. Congo Dia Ntotila - Seben Steps To Heaven

    London based band Congo Dia Ntotila mix rumba roots with danceable sebene interlude and more. The band formed in Yorkshire and began by mixing together and exploring the members' eclectic styles. On this album you can hear flirtations with salsa, jazz, Coupe Decaler and Caribbean zouk. 

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  4. 4. Sofia Rei - De Tierra Y Oro

    Sofia Rei shakes up the New York scene with her South American rhythms. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina she infuses her music with pulsing chacarere, zamba and vidala patterns from Argentina, Afro-brazilian festejo and lando feels, Afro-Uruguayan candombe, Colombian cumbia and more. De Tierra Y Oro translates as 'of earth and gold' and is a instictive varied release. 

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  5. 5. Salif Keita - Talé

    Salif Keita's new album Talé was arranged and produced by Philippe Cohen Solal of Gotan Project. Recorded in Paris and Bamako it heralds the latest product from the superstar commonly dubbed 'The Golden Voice Of Africa'. 'C'est Bon, C'est Bon' is the first single and features heavyweight UK MC Roots Manuva.

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  6. 6. Kumbia Queers - Pecados Tropicales

    Kumbia Queers offer a new take on cumbia - the singing is rough, the riffs are relentlessly repeating and the guitars are wild and fuzzed. The aesthetic is firmly punk and their lyrics mostly cover heartbreak and love - common themes in the cumbia genre. 

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  7. 7. Southern Tenant Folk Union - Hello Cold Goodbye Sun

    Edinburgh based roots collective release a fifth album full of their gloriously upbeat and stirringly melancholic mix of bluegrass, gospel, country, folk and pop. They intelligently appropriate themes and ancient sounding chord progressions from traditional folk songs. Using these to document and reflect modern life they keep the essential simplicity and directness of style but often with a modern update to the underlying lyrical subject matter.

    Buy From Southern Tenant Folk Union

  8. 8. Oki Meets Misake Oshiro - Kita To Minami (North And South)

    This album is the result of a collaboration by two giants of their own respective music and traditions. Oki is the best known and respected Ainu musician from the northern island of Japan, Hokkaido. Misako Oshiro is a veteran female singer and sanshin player from the southernmost island of Okinawa. Together they play a range of instruments including tonkori, guitar, bass, synthesizer and percussion. The tracks are a mix of traditional Okinawan tunes, songs by Oki and even a cover of Red Ojisan from the frist Soukichi Kina and Champloose album from 1977. 

    Buy From Far Side Music

  9. 9. The Shee - Murmurations

    The Shee are an all-female band whose influences range from folk to bluegrass and back. Murmurations is their third album and spotlights the band's three strong vocalists alongside instrumental accompaniment that inlcudes electroharp and mandolin. 

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  10. 10. Elof & Wamberg - 12 Ornli' Syge Tracks For Ukulele Of Kontrabas

    Danish duo Elof & Wamberg offer up an album of ukelele and double bass instrumental studies on their album, 12 Ornli' Syge Tracks For Ukulele Of Kontrabas. They began to play together in 2010 and enjoyed trading their different musical styles. The album features half Nordic traditional tunes and half original compositions.

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  11. 11. Rupa & The April Fishes - Build

    Rupa & The April Fishes are comprised of five members from accross the globe. Led by ringleader Rupa whose Hindustani roots wind through their sound, the band are now based in San Fransisco. Their music bounces from punk to indie rock, from reggae to raga to rockabolly, chanson to cumbia and from Malian guitar patterns to mournful duduk melodies.  

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  12. 12. Tunji Oyelana - A Nigerian Retrospective 1966-79

    This retrospective of Tunji Oyelana's work by Soundway Records is a fascinating collection. During the 1970s Tunji Oyelana's body of work compromised intelligent pop infsued with the poetic storytelling of Yoruba folklore. His backing group, The Benders (nicknamed for their versatile playing style) helped the frontman blend highlife, afrobeat, afrorock, funk, calypso, juju and reggae. The two-CD edition is a generous package and spotlights the funky work of a key figure in Nigerian music history. 

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  13. 13. Robert Soko - Balkan Beats

    Robert Soko, 'The Godfather of BalkanBeats', left his home in Bosnia for Berlin as a young adult. He was one of the first to coin the term 'BalkanBeats' to define the mix of music he played in his DJ sets in the early 1990s. The music is dynamic complete with oompah-ing bass lines and vigorous looping samples.

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  14. 14. Sister Pili + 2 - Moreno & L'Orch First Moja-One

    Congolese musician Moreno Batamba achieved success in East Africa. This album includes four songs from his 1983 album and two others he recorded with a studio band. Moreno's voice is thick and powerful atop rippling forthy guitars. 

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  15. 15. Various Artists - Diablos Del Ritmo

    In the mid-20th century, African music made its way to Colombia's vibrant port city of Barranquilla. Analog Africa's album Diablos del Ritmo is an anthology of - and tribute to - the immense sound of 1970s Colombia. Thousands of records were collected, boiling down to a colourfully diverse selection of thirty-two tracks split between Afrobeat, Palenque Sounds, Tropical Funk, Terapia and psychedila rhythms on Part 1 and an array of danceable tropical rhythms of Puya, Porro, Gaita, Cumbiamba, Mapalé, Chandéon on Part 2.

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  16. 16. Goat - World Music

    Swedish newcomers Goat channel and subvert the notion of 'world music' on this radical release. The voodoo-inspired album references Caribbean grooves, Creole drumming patterns and spiritualistic chanting vocals. On their website the band recount the legend of their home village Korpolombolo in the distant north of Sweden, where inhabitants were once dedicated to Voodoo worship and practice after it was introduced by a travelling witch doctor. The music is rough-toned, thrashing with energy through slow-paced numbers and the more upbeat flavours of 'Disco Fever' and 'Run To Your Mama'. One of the most intriguing releases of 2012. 

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  17. 17. Various Artists - Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires

    Buenos Aires based label ZZK and Los Angeles outfit Waxploitation have ensembled some of the most exciting artists emerging from the Argentinian underground scene. The project includes Chancha Via Circuito, Mati Zundel, Frikstailers, Super Guachin, La Yegros, El Remolon, and King Coya to name a few. The album is a mix of hyper-rhythmic, classic rural South American style meets Sci Fi Futurism.

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  18. 18. Bella Hardy - Bright Morning Star

    Bella Hardy offers up a glittering collection of seasonal treats on her album Bright Morning Star. Carols from her northern hometown such as 'Sons of Men' and 'Peace O'er The World' nestle alongside widely-known classics such as 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' and 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas'. A classy Christmas album riven through with folk sentimentality. 

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  19. 19. Sinkane - Mars

    Sinkane is the creative project of Sudanese-New Yorker Ahmad Gallad. The sound is expansive sedate funk that stretches and curls out slowly like the horizon. Multi-instrumentalist Ahmad Gallad plays several instruments on each track along with his live band.

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  20. 20. The Dust Busters - Old Man Below

    The Dust Busters are a New York-based string quartet who play vintage sounding country music. They met while playing in a larger band with folk music legends John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers and Peter Stampfel of the Holy Modal Rounders. They integrate a wide range of old-time songs, ballads, fiddle tunes and jug band blues into every performance.  

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