New Reviews: December 13, 2004
Reviews by Matthew Forss
Daara J is a Senegalese hip hop music group that carries on the traditional
form of rap music called tasso. Daara J, which means "school of life",
presents poetic messages on the environment, government, traditional problems
in society, and religion. The songs utilize several languages including, English,
Spanish, Wolof, and French. Each track is backed by a good combination of bass,
drums, Afro-Cuban percussion and jazzy, Latin-inspired rhythms. A strong
emphasis on lyrical messages and instrumentation make Daara J an invaluable
album for world hip hop/rap fans. Boomerang is what World hip hop should sound
Salt X Records
Multi-instrumentalist, Xavier Rudd, brings us folk music from
Australia. Xavier plays the 6 and 12 string acoustic/electric guitar,
harmonica, slit drums, ankle bells, stomp box, and didgeridoo.
The overall album sound draws upon simple folk songs characteristic in
structure to American or Canadian folk music styles. Some tracks are
instrumental; while others feature vocals in the vein of David Gray, Dave
Matthews, or Sister Hazel. Solace is a truly talented work that expresses
feelings of hope, peace and longing in a folksy context. One tune,
originally by Bob Marley, is also included. Fans of scat folk, bluegrass,
Americana, blues, Appalachian, slide guitar, folk, and "outback" folk music
in English, should find enjoyment and solace in Xavier Rudd's latest work
from Down Under.
Sweden: Traditional Music From The South (Blekinge Spelmansförbund)
The folk musical traditions of Blekinge county, Sweden, finally come
to life on Blekinge Spelsmansförbund. A handful of musicians brought
to light several traditional Swedish wedding, love, dance, waltz, and
other celebratory songs with connections to Blekinge county within the
past 200 years. The instrumentation includes violin, accordion, fiddle,
and nyckelharpa (traditional Swedish, keyed fiddle). Though mostly an
instrumental work, a few tracks feature female group vocals. An essential
album that explores the folk music traditions of southern Sweden. Detailed liner notes
in English, German, Spanish, and
French are included.
Klapa Cambi & Klapa Jelsa
Songs Of Croatia: Klapa Singing From The Dalmatian Coast
Two a capella groups, Klapa Cambi & Klapa Jelsa, perform traditional poems in
the style of Dalmatian klapa singing. The two groups feature all male vocals
and an absence of instrumentation. The klapa vocal music tradition of Croatia
is brilliantly showcased on Songs Of Croatia. Detailed liner notes in Croat, English, French, German, and Spanish are included.
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.