Listen to the World Music Network Audio Chart on Spotify! 

  1. 1. Suistamon Sähkö - Suistamo Electrcity

    This folktronica band stirs up hysteria and makes you dance yourself into a trance. Anne-Mari Kivimäki and Eero Grundström create new Suistamo dance music with electronics and a Notka accordion. The combination results in fascinating work by crazy scientists. Dancers Reetta-Kaisa Iles and Tuomas Juntunen bring to the stage the power of song, scintillating motion and manic moves. The songs’ stories are inspired by, for instance, Suistamo’s old village maps, hydroelectric power plants and mills, scratchy archive tapes, folk poetry, trips to Karelia, and bumpy roads. Suistamon Sähkö has something new, something old, something blue and something borrowed.

  2. 2. Guinga & Maria Joao - Mar Atora

    “Mar Afora” … although the "sea so far away" lies between them, the jazz singer Maria João is deeply connected at a musical level to the guitarist Guinga. The Portuguese vocalist has always been attracted to Brazilian music, and the guitarist has a preference for melancholic tunes that remind one of the Portuguese fado. But what really makes them into a fascinating duo, is the congenially swinging rhythms.

    These two artists present Guinga’s fourteen compositions poetically and with virtusosic skill in almost chamber music-like manner. His work reveals a modern side of Brazilian music: traditional elements pass through Guinga’s sophisticated harmonies and are transformed into an exciting new musical language. 

  3. 3. Rokia Traoré - Né So

    Rokia Traoré’s band on Né So features Burkinabe drummer Moïse Ouattara, Ivorian bass player Matthieu N’guessan, long-time collaborator Malian Ngoni player Mamah Diabaté, and backing vocalists trained at her Bamako-based Fondation Passerelle. Né So is therefore rooted in the fertile musical ground of the “Beautiful Africa” she praised in her previous record, which doesn’t prevent her from wanting to expand her expressive range, spanning from Mandingue chants to rock sounds, from Bambara through English to French. Rokia still has the same unquenchable desire to meet and share. The album stars Artistic director John Parish (an English musician who also plays the drums and guitar in Né So) and Italian guitarist Stefano Pilia, who had already worked their magic on Beautiful Africa, contributing their expertise and attentive ears. Producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin, Them Crooked Vultures…), whom Rokia Traoré had met during the Africa Express collective 2012 tour, plays bass and mandolin on the record. Nonesuch label mate American songwriter Devendra Banhart also appears, singing and playing guitar in the song Sé Dan, an English-sung celebration of human empathy, benevolently chanted by the Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, who shed a humanistic writer’s light on the lyrics. The widespread, subtle diversity at stake in Né So shows, if need be, Rokia Traoré’s skills in building a beautifully human palette to express her visions. “I need collaborations based on common ground, she says. It is not my intention to talk about the world on my own. I want to do it as part of a fellowship of people with shared convictions.”

  4. 4. Bayarbaatar Davaasuren – The Art of Mongolian Khöömii

    'For the past 25 years Mongolian khöömei has enthralled audiences worldwide. With roots in West Mongolia, Tuva and the Altai mountains, it has now come to represent something typically Mongolian. Davaasuren’s six original compositions here demonstrate some of the innovations and influences that he, who originally trained as a dancer, has witnessed.

    ‘Ih Khaanii Duulal (Eulogy to Chinggis Khan)’ is a ten-minute, well-executed showcase of the various ways he sings melodic overtones, undertones and various combinations of the two; it also demonstrates examples of both shingen and kharhiraa khöömei. Davaasuren has had to adjust his fundamental pitch much lower than usual while attempting to sing a minor pentatonic scale in some core traditional khöömei overtones: it enables him to reach the 16th harmonic but means he has had to compromise in the lower overtone register. The last four tracks provide a change of scene; he explores the natural acoustics of the Abbaye de Noirlac in Lyon, France, and at the same time provides a rare chance to hear solo khöömei. ‘Tengeriin Duu’ is a nine-minute improvisation in which Davaasuren really stretches out, his powerful voice resonating the structure as he exclaims forcefully to the shamanic world of his ancestors.' - Michael Orniston, Songlines

  5. 5. Eliane Correa & En El Aire Project - Rumba Con Flores

    'Eliane Correa & En El Aire project started as an experimental studio project in London in 2011, bringing together musicians from London’s Cuban and jazz/funk scenes through Correa’s compositions. Receiving great feedback both in London and Havana, the project eventually became an album, in which a pick of cream-of-the-crop musicians on both sides of the Atlantic were recorded over the course of three years of travelling back and forth.

    The 31 musicians who took part in the album include trumpet player Graeme Flowers (Kylie Minogue, Moloko, Imelda May), drummers Ernesto Simpson (Richard Bona, Herbie Hancock, Gonzalo Rubalcaba) and Michel Castellanos, saxophonist Roberto Manzin (Laura Mvula, Alejandro Sanz) top Afro-Cuban folklore ensemble Osaín del Monte, rising star of the Cuban Alternative scene Yanaysa Prieto, London-born afrorock vocalist and bassist Binisa Bonner (Rosie Lowe), and some of Cuba’s top young batá players.

    Tipped by Gilles Peterson as one of the freshest new sounds to come out of Havana, the result is a genre-defying melting pot of sounds. The strong presence of Afro-Cuban roots and folk music through batá drumming and rumba rhythms is complemented by the newest grooves of contemporary soul and funk. The varied ingredients of each composition come together to bring a fresh take on what is “Latin” and what is “jazz”.'

  6. 6. Dizu Plaatjies & Friends - Ubuntu - The Common String

    'In 1979 Dizu Plaatjies created the South African percussion ensemble Amampondo in Cape Town. Initially they were a street-busking group and eventually they toured internationally, climaxing at the 1988 Mandela birthday celebration at Wembley. For many years, Plaatjies has been working with different fusions of African and Western music – always with an emphasis on percussion and the presence of his Xhosa roots. He currently leads a cultural group called Ibuyambo Ensemble and here they are joined by several friends from different musical disciplines.

    Plaatjies is a specialist of the musical bow and this instrument combines discretely with guitars, percussion and horn section on six of the 11 tracks. Ubuntu: The Common String is a very varied and enjoyable mixture of styles encompassing traditional, pop, rock, reggae and jazz – all with a South African flavour. Included are excellent tributes to Nelson Mandela and Stephen Biko, and a rocked-up remake of ‘Inkomo’, an old Amampondo song. As a bonus there is an exceptional and beautifully arranged version of Miriam Makeba’s Swahili classic ‘Malaika’ sung by Ibuyambo lead dancer Thabisa Dinga.' -  Martin Sinnock, Songlines

  7. 7. Divanhana - Zukva

    Divanhana perform traditional and urban music from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the entire Balkan region, with influences from the early Ottoman Empire, newly arranged and fused with jazz, pop and 20th-century classical music.

    Leila Catic's silky vocals convey age old messages of melancholy, passion and suffering for love, set against the band's vibrantly energetic contemporary style.

  8. 8. Las Hermanas Caronni - Navega Mundos

    "Our third album "Navega Mundos" explores our inner seas, with Argentina always present, either as a home port or a port of departure. The album is made up of 11 compositions born out of experiences, emotions and memories; as if they were reflections of the soul. Each composition is a separate world. Very aquatic, as water seems to permeate the lyrics and sounds. We invited the accordion player Raúl Barboza on our journey, the great master of "chamamé", a traditional style from the North-East region that we call “Mesopotamia” – and thus there is water again." - Laura and Gianna Caronni

  9. 9. Sidestepper - Supernatural Love

    'The Anglo-Colombian troupe led by Richard Blair have been pioneers of the electro-Latin sound, mixing beats with Colombia’s loping, accordion-led cumbia. Here, Sidestepper take a contrary turn with an essentially acoustic set shot through with unobtrusive electronica and led by melodic female vocals. There are hand drums, shakers, flutes, call-and-response chants, and a palpable atmosphere of Bogotá’s historic quarter where it was cut. Acoustic or not, the killer grooves remain (try Lover or the title track), though downbeat pieces like Hear the Rain Come may need warmer weather to appreciate. It’s a joyous affair that for Blair comes from “a mystic place I didn’t know I had access to”. Arch modernist goes organic.' - Neil Spencer, The Observer

     
  10. 10. Annbjørg Lien - Drifitng Like A Bird

    'People have always felt the need to go to sea, to be on their way somewhere, and to let the power of the sea float them towards familiar landscapes. Melodies and stories come with us on board. Some people never come home. The fire burns for them on land. Peace is found on the pebbled beach.

    “Drifting like a bird” is a CD version of a commissioned work I composed for the North Sea Festival in Farsund in 2013, about life at sea and on land around the North Sea Basin. I am grateful to those of you who have shared your personal sailing stories with me in the late hours of the night – about openness, friendship, madness, longing and love.'

    - Annbjørg