New Reviews: January 31, 2003
Reviews by Matthew J. Forss
Kala Rupa: Explorations In Rhythm
Kala Rupa: Explorations In Rhythm is a solo effort by Greg
Ellis of Vas fame. However, Vas vocalist Azam Ali has vocals
on a few of the tracks. However, the music is mainly
rhythmic percussion. Kala Rupa means "time form" in Hindi.
The "time form" is appropriately expressed in the rhythms of
the compositions. The percussive elements can be found in a
plethora of instruments including the bansuri, nagara, udu,
cajon, karkaba, water glass, kamancheh, tombak, frame drums,
bendir, tambourine, jaw harp, kanjira, tabla and other bowls,
shakers and drums. Greg did not want the music to be defined
and confined to one concept or point. Consequently, each track
is simply titled by Form 1 through Form 10 without any defined titles.
Percussion fans of the East and West will surely enjoy Explorations
The Radio Tisdas Sessions
World Village Music
Tinariwen is a traditional music group that incorporates the bluesy-electric
guitar stylings of Malian luminary Ali Farka Toure. Tinariwen was formed in
Libya, but are now based in Mali after years of governmental turmoil between
France, Libya and Mali. Culturally, the members of Tinariwen are Kel Tamasheks
or Tuaregs, which were originally Sahara nomads that took up arms against
France and Mali. Tinariwen literally means "empty places." Every original
track on The Radio Tisdas Sessions is presented superbly. The African
blues guitar stylings, assorted Saharan percussion and sporadic female
back-up vocals make The Radio Tisdas Sessions an essential recording of
North African guitar music.
Ark 21 Records
1,001 Nights is a collection of Arabic tunes taken from many artists,
most notably, Oum Khaltoum. However, the tunes are remixed by famed DJ,
Said Mrad. The music retains itís Arabic percussion roots, while
incorporating modern dance, trance and club beats. 1,001 Nights is
mostly instrumental, but sporadic vocals can still be found. Overall,
Said Mrad does an excellent job of mixing popular Arabic tunes with
Salsa Creole: Afro-Cuban Salsa Music
Salsa Creole is an excellent compilation of Caribbean and African
rhythms and sounds from Spanish, Dutch, French and British sources.
Salsa Creole features several styles of music, including salsa, son,
bolero, Latin jazz, cha cha cha, zouk, merengue and charanga, from
Guyana, Haiti and Martinique. Some of the artists include Ralph Thamar,
Soubou & Africando, Haitiando, Bago and Malavoi. Fans of Latin jazz in
general, and French Caribbean music in particular, should find Salsa
Creole an exciting and enjoyable follow-up album in Tinderís Salsa Series.
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.