Top World Albums, May 2014
by Jason Gubbels | May 27, 2014
Now that spring is blooming into summer, it’s time for a road trip of global proportions. Our latest roundup of world music releases is chock-full of warm weather grooves: Jamaican dancehall, Brazilian bass, soukous from the vaults and even a belly-dance remix.
Brazil is heavily represented this month, with Far Out’s excellent dance-oriented compilation Brazilian Bass spotlighting favela roots music, while Italian percussion duo Ninos Du Brasil meld techno with batacunda rhythms on their infectious Novos Mistérios. You’ll also find plenty of Caribbean party jams, courtesy of Kingston hit-maker Sizzla and Puerto Rican reggaeton star Cosculluela (and keep your eyes open for Jamaica’s most legendary rhythm team, Sly and Robbie, who add to their already-unmanageable output with the new Underwater Dub).
There are also a fair number of tracks from African nations, such as Toumani & Sidiki's lovely kora duets between Malian legends Toumani Diabaté and his son, Sidiki; or the rippling soukous workouts from West Africa’s Moreno Batamba, and his recently reissued work with L’Orch First Moja-One. Elsewhere, Kuwaiti electronic artist Fatima Al Qadiri drops a dense patchwork of Asian inspirations into her recent Asiatisch, Swiss duo Klaus Johann Grobe melds motorik drive with samba on Im Sinne der Zeit, and klezmer punk band Golem kick out the Balkan wedding jams on their irrepressible Tanz.
As an extra bonus, DJ/crate digger Mr. Thing has coughed up his latest iteration of the globe-spanning Strange Breaks series. We’ve also highlighted syncopated steel drum rare grooves from Amral's Trinidad Cavaliers, and a tight remix of an especially snappy belly-dancing track from Turkish legend Özel Türkbaş. All this and more awaits you; just keep your aural passport handy.