New Reviews: February 7, 2003

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss

La Bodega Lounge
Various Artists
Ark 21/Mondo Melodia

DJs Mauro B and M.O.A.M. bring us Arabic music remixes from some of the best musicians in world music. Some of the artists sampled include Angham, Hani Shaker, Samira Saeed, Hesham Abbas and Mohammed Mounir. Each track contains traditional Arabic instrumentation and vocals with jazzy and contemporary rhythms and beats. La Bodega Lounge is perfect for any contemporary world music listener.

Tumi Music

Yusa is a musician from Cuba that plays the bass, Cuban tres guitar and piano. Yusa showcases her vocal and instrumental abilities on her new self-titled album. Each track comprises of traditional Latin musical elements in a purely contemporary Cuban context. Without a doubt, the elements of jazz and rock form a foundation for the contemporary Cuban music. Fans of female vocal music, Latin jazz and Cuban music should obtain Yusa today.

The Ukrainians

Hailing from the Ukraine, The Ukrainians have constructed songs of politics, rebelliousness, joy, freedom and celebration on their latest recording, Respublika. However, they do not perform your typical light folk music. Respublika features fast-paced Western rock songs steeped in European/Russia tradition. Fans of folk and punk rock music should definitely acquire Respublika.

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.