New Reviews: April 15, 2003
Reviews by Matthew J. Forss
Jonas Hellborg, Shawn Lane, V. Selvaganesh
Icon is the most recent release of experimental world music. Continuing in
the experimental tradition, Hellborg/Lane and Selvaganesh incorporate more
Indian percussion and perform ragga more frequently. Ragga is a type of
coherent or incoherent vocal styling usually sung or spoken very quickly.
Do not mistake the vocal styling of "ragga" with the instrumental music
style of "raga" unique to India. V. Umamahesh and V. Umashankar join Hellborg,
Lane and Selvaganesh on vocals and ghatam, respectively. However, Indian
percussion, world jazz and experimental musical qualities on Icon continue
in the traditional foundational elements formed on their last album: Good
People In Times Of Evil.
First Through The Gate
Ireland-native, Brian Conway, brings us traditional Sligo-style fiddling,
appropriately named from the county and town of Sligo in the province of
Connaught. Other musicians accompany Brian on bodhran, guitar, piano, and cittern
on most of the tunes. Various instrumental jigs, reels and tunes in Sligo style
are performed. A 30-page booklet is included with extensive notes on the music
of Sligo County, Brian's biography and other pertinent information.
Stand Your Ground
Richard Sirota/Mark Davis
R. Sirota/Vanity Press Music
A simple, yet solid independent release by singer/songwriter Richard
Sirota on vocals, bass and guitar with Mark Davis on percussion. Stand
Your Ground essentially features the simple music of a man with a guitar
in hand. Richard incorporates clever songwriting about hope, love,
philosophy, longing and wonderment. Stand Your Ground is a perfect
album for lovers of laid back folk music.
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.