The Hot List: July 10, 2002

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss

Matthew brings us a gathering of recent releases from Tinder Records:

Ray Lema (Tyour Gnaoua) - Safi: Congolese native Ray Lema, combines Saharan grooves with sub-Saharan elements that celebrate the Gnaouan music of Morocco.

So Kalmery - Bendera: Born in the former Zaire, So Kalmery uses jazz, blues and folk music styles in his latest release of African popular music.

Seba - Ewa!: Seba ("Lion" in Arabic) performs traditional and contemporary music from Algeria.

Fania - Sopi: The debut album from Fania, Sopi, showcases her rich and soulful contemporary song writing talents stemming from the traditions and languages of Senegal.

Barrio Chino - Mediterra Nostra: The contemporary and traditional music of the Mediterranean region is featured on this exciting musical venture.

Digital Bled - Caravana: Portugese DJ Joao Pedro Veloso combines the rhythms of North Africa and the Middle East with contemporary trip-hop and electronic grooves.

Henri Dikongue - Mot’a Bobe: A native of Cameroon, Henri blends European and African music styles into a pleasant contemporary album that showcases his song writing and guitar skills.

Mama Sissoko - Soleil de Minuit: Hailing from Mali, Mama’s musical guitar techniques are similar to other celebrated Malian guitarists of traditional African blues, including Ali Farka Toure.

Takfarinas - Yal: An Algerian native, Takfarinas combines catchy tunes with traditional rhythms influenced by the Middle East, Southern Europe and North Africa.

Matthew J. Forss is currently a full-time student at Lakeland College-Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He is majoring in Biology and German Language/Culture. Since 1998, he has collected numerous musical instruments and CDs from around the world. Also in 1998, he wrote a paper on Mongolian Ethnomusicology, titled: How Does Music Play An Important Role In The Life And Culture Of Mongolia? Currently, he has collected over 100 CDs that represent dozens of different countries. His general interests include ethnomusicology journalism and researching the traditional/contemporary ethnic music of various cultures from around the world. His specific, geographic areas of study include the traditional and popular music from Central Eurasia (especially Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.) In November of 2000, he accepted the position of writing world music CD reviews for this site.