New Reviews: April 18, 2001

Journey: The Best of Donal Lunny
Donal Lunny

Donal Lunny has spent nearly forty years composing traditional and contemporary Irish music. Donal plays the Greek bouzouki, guitar, and bodhran. He incorporates a wide variety of rhythms from African, European and Canadian rhythms in his musical compostions. This remarkable 2 CD set depicts the wide musical spectrum traversed by Donal Lunny in the past several years. The accordion, saxophone, trumpet, fiddle, harp, ocarina, whistle and bagpipes are only a sample of the many instruments used in these recordings. Several guest musicians including, Carlos Nunez, Natalie MacMaster, Sharon Shannon and others, add their wonderful vocal and instrumental abilities. The slow and quick melodies of the tracks, creates a sense of joy and amazement that lingers long after the songs end. Clearly, Journey is a magnificent recording that definitely reflects the very best of Donal Lunny.

Liberation Afrobeat Volume I
Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra
Ninja Tune Records

The Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra is a fifteen member band from Brooklyn, New York. Antibalas strives to making original afrobeat music inspired by Nigeria's most famous musician: the late Fela Kuti. Liberation Afrobeat Vol. 1 includes sporadic vocals in English, Yoruba and Spanish languages. The instruments used include, bass, drums, shakers, guitars, horns and sticks. The unique afrobeat sound combines jazz, funk, electronic and traditional Brazilian and African musical elements. Improvised and experimental elements underlay the complex musical textures and rhythms that make Antibalas afrobeat revolutionaries. The incredible and diverse musical abilities by each band member inspires an environment of never-ending creativity, which is certainly a common quality found on Liberation Afrobeat Vol. 1.

The Tijuana Sessions Volume I
Nortec Collective
Palm Pictures

The Tijuana Sessions Vol. 1 album features the collective work of musicians, remixers and producers. Musically, dance club electronic sounds and beats exclusively encompass the scope of this album. A variety of Tex-Mex sounds, Ranchera guitars, Banda horns and techno beats echo and reverb from track to track. Fans of contemporary instrumental electronic world music will thoroughly enjoy Nortec Collective's refreshing and unique blend of music.

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss.