It’s Instrumental my Dear Watsons
The beauty of exploring the sounds of World Beat music is that around every note, there is usually a very unique, well played instrument. On this week's World Music Show (7/21), there will be a calvacade of sounds emanating from a variety of instruments not normally heard on commercial radio.
Once and while, in the midst of putting together one my shows, I have to take a step back and remember that among my everyday musical digestions (my tastes normally lean toward 80's alternative or 70s folk depending on my mood), the instruments I normally hear are the usual: guitar, drums, keyboard, etc. So when I get to dip my toes into the ocean of World Music, even the everyday instruments like the guitar, are heard fresh. But the bonus of many of the songs I play, are that the instruments are 180 degrees opposite of what I normally hear.
With that, here's what's in store for you this week. To kick off the hour--pun intended--will be music from the 1998 World Cup. There was a compliation CD put out, I'm assuming before the event, that highlighted the thrill of the event. We'll hear Wes, who's from Camaroon, sing a song called "I Love Football," followed by France's Gipsy Kings (yes, they're actually from France) with their song "Oh Eh Oh Eh." I'm not sure about the instruments played on these--I'm sure there's no vuvuzela (that long plastic horn that produces an annoying monotone sound), becuase those didn't become prominent until the last World Cup match. A couple of unique sounds to listen for in this first set will be from Dakar's Orchestra Baobab. Besides playing some great guitar, that sounds almost like surf guitar, their lyrics are sung in Wolof (the voice is an instrument, right?). And, we'll also hear some intense African drumming by Babatunde Olantunji off his massive 2-disc CD, "Drums of Passion"
Mixed throughout the first hour, you'll hear some moving desert gutiar music from the band Tinariwen, who are band of Tuareg-Berber musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. And, coming from the same region, you'll also hear a young guitarist who's being compared to some Western guitar heavywieghts. Omara "Bombino" Moctar's playing has been compared to Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Jimi Hendrix and Ali Farka Toure. Speaking of Farka Toure, we'll also hear him, along with Toumani Diabate doing a duet. Diabate plays the Malian Kora, which is a 21-stringed bridge harp.
Plus, you'll also hear a very unique instrument in the first hour. Mamane Barka plays the Biram, and he's the last master of this very soulful instrument. The Biram is a traditional, holy instrument used by the Boudouma tribe in Eastern Niger. Click the link to read more about it. Also in this first hour, you'll hear a homemade Indian slide guitar by a master guitar player, Debashish Battacharya. And you'll hear this guy learn his way through the sitar. His name is George Harrison and I think he was a quick study. You'll get to hear an instrumental rendition of his song "Within You, Without You."
All of that is just in ther first hour! As for hour two, the focus becomes more about variety. We'll hear from: We Are Enfant Terrible, Serge Gainsbourg, Yo La Tengo, Cafe Tacuba, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, plus the Beastie Boys with Lee "Scratch" Perry (think Dub!) It's going to be another fabulous show, so I hope you can tune in.
The World Music Show aires Saturday Nights at 10:00 p.m. in WCVE Public Radio, on 88.9FM or online via this website. You can also follow me on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.