New Reviews: December 18, 2000
Qinggele and Darima
HUGO PRODUCTIONS Ltd. 1999
Matouqin features the music of the morin khur. In fact, the morin khur
is the most important musical instrument in Mongolia. The morin khur is
a bowed-string instrument that is often played by the nomadic populations.
The morin khur produces a striking, yet natural sound that can be heard
resonating across the Mongolian landscape. To unfamiliar listeners, the
morin khur strongly resembles the sound produced by a violin. A zither
instrument accompanies a few of the songs. The absence of vocals does
not diminish the extraordinary playing skill displayed by Qinggele and
Darima. Gentle timbres and rhythms resonate nicely throughout the album's
18 songs. Without a doubt, Matouqin is a highly recommended recording of
traditional instrumental folk music from the steppes of Mongolia.
Las Brisas de Habana
EDEL AMERICA RECORDS 2000
Las Brisas de Habana is an excellent compilation of songs by some of today's most
popular Cuban musicians. Flamenco, Brazilian and smooth jazz-influenced music
styles combine to form lush instrumentation. Passionate vocals appropriately
express the heart and soul of Cuba. Moreover, the artists' songs are extremely
catchy and enjoyable to listen to. In the end, Las Brisas de Habana is a very
refreshing album that is a "must have" for any Latin music afficionado.
Women's World Voices 2
BLUE FLAME RECORDS 2000
Women's World Voices Vol. 2 is an excellent follow up to Vol.1. Vol. 2
is a compilation of female artists from around the world. Jazz, trance,
folk, reggae and dance music styles unite to create a truly remarkable
contemporary world music album. Delicate beats, electronic washes and
traditional instruments combine to form a very enjoyable listening experience.
Music from a few of the countries featured on this album include, India,
Cape Verde, Egypt, Uzbekistan and Spain. Some of the most popular
female world music artists today are featured on this album including,
Yulduz Usmanova, Natacha Atlas, Vas, and Sheila Chandra. Women's World
Voices Vol. 2 does not exclusively contain female vocals. A few sporadic
male vocals can be heard on some of the tracks. A full-color booklet contains
images of women from around the world, as well as track notes. All in all,
Women's World Voices Vol. 2 appropriately expresses the wide range of tones
that can be produced by the female voice.
Matthew J. Forss is currently a full-time student at Concordia University-Mequon,
Wisconsin, in the process of transferring to Lakeland College in Sheboygan,
Wisconsin. He is going to major in Biology and minor in Ethnic & Gender Studies.
In 1998, He began collecting musical instruments and CDs from around the World.
His main area of study is in traditional and contemporary ethnomusicology of
various cultures from around the world. In November 2000, he accepted the
position of writing world music CD reviews for this site.