New Reviews: August 30, 2004

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss

Plena Libre
Estamos Gozando!
Times Square Records

Latin music troubadours, Plena Libre, continue to pave the way for "plena" music. Plena Libre perform a unique and enjoyable for of Latin dance music. However, the typical Latin instrumentation is definitely evident. Male and female solo and choral vocals are intertwined throughout. Estamos Gozando! celebrates the groupís ten year anniversary. Another ten years is certainly not out of the question!

Various Artists
Bazaar Istanbul - Music Of Turkey
Arc Music

The instrumental music of Turkey is featured on the latest Arc Music release: Bazaar Istanbul - Music Of Turkey. Lively instrumentation of bender, darbouka, cura, baglama, nay, zurna, kemanche, and many more are performed by several top Turkish folk ensembles. The ensembles perform Gypsy, wedding, love, heroic and dance music from the region. However, vocals are contained on some of the tracks. A high-quality recording! An informative booklet in English, French and German translations is included.

Ex-Centric Sound System
West Nile Funk

The Ex-Centric Sound System is a world music funk group with members from Ghana, Israel, and France. West Nile Funk is a mostly contemporary drum & bass/trip hop type album that explores the emergence of electronic African music. Drums, flutes, balafon, kalimba, and guitars accompany lead and background vocals. However, West Nile Funk is largely an instrumental work. Overall, West Nile Funk is an excellent addition to the eclectic music collection of every collector!

Arc Music

Klezmer music from Sweden? Absolutely! The seemingly unlikely connection of Klezmer music and Swedish folk culture collide on Klezmerised!. Tummel performs danceable, instrumental music on clarinet, drums, sax, tuba, guitar, bouzouki, flute, and accordion. Whirling tunes, Swedish vocals on a few tracks and an informative booklet in English, German, Spanish and French is included. An invaluable addition to any Klezmer collection!

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, entitled: 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.