Elegant, serene, new-wave, profoundly tuneful playing, with accompaniment from Abhijit Banerjee’s tabla and Sudipta Remy’s tampura.
On surbahar, a rare kind of bass sitar, playing the serene and sombre Marwa, raga of dusk.
The particular Gharnati tradition of classical Arab-Andalusian music — less influenced by Ottoman music than in Algiers or Constantine — brought at the end of the 1960s to Oran from Tlemcen.
Puffing-and-blowing rimotsy singing for possession rituals and burials, a cappella polyphony with its image of blues and spirituals, erotic chin-shaking, solo marovany zither…
Eastern vibes and high emotions in this singing, accompanied by the sosolu flute, rocking mandaly and jejo bory lutes, the atranatra xylophone-on-legs, the lokanga fiddle.
Various songs — and valiha zither, made from a bamboo trunk, the sodina flute, the angorodao accordion, the kabosy lute, and the amponga tany, a ground zither made of plant rope, wood, and dung.
Deep, rough, hypnotic recordings of the Fulani lute (and singing), made by this inspirational French label around Douentza and Bamako, Mali, between 2002-2004.
Bele is an African folk drumming and singing tradition running back to slavery days. Mondesir leading five singers, with two percussionists, on tambour and tibwa.
The ravanne is a large drum — a goatskin stretched over a wooden frame — played with the hands, emblematic of the Creole cultural heritage on this island in the Indian Ocean: the music here is fabulous.
Double-headed drums, horns and shells, guitars and violins, reed flutes and cascabeles whirled together in festive and ritualistic dance music, an amazing mixture of indian-Mexico and Spanish Middle Ages.
Bardic epics and nomadic songs, with dombra lute accompaniment.
Stupefying throat singing (two notes simultaneously), ‘long’ songs (covering a very wide register in a single breath) and hyper-expressive ‘short’ songs; also pieces for the morin khuur fiddle. Warmly recommended.
The ritual music of this mysterious denomination, based around singing, with two flutes, called qasba, and sizzling bendir drum.
For Saints Festivals, mystic Sufi dances, weddings and circumcisions; private gatherings; and music to rouse the faithful during Ramadan. Qasba flute (with circular breathing), ghembri lute, bendir drum.
Instrumental music from the north: like the hunting bow, made from wild vine and the tendon of an antelope, struck with a stick or a porcupine spine. One end goes in the performer’s mouth, which makes a resonator.
Dazzlingly virtuosic, compellingly physical, innovative playing in the long ashyq tradition. Nasibov plays his Azeri lute with five fingers — normally it’s three — to his own widescreen tuning.
Music for spirit possession ceremonies, performed on the goge, a bowed single-string spike-fiddle — a half-calabash covered in iguana skin, with a wooden neck, and a string made of bunched horsehair.
Rugged songs with gurumi lute accompaniment to celebrate the opening of the bush, summon genies, honour animals and praise huntsmen.
Two ‘ancestor tales’ taking us back five hundred years, recited by Jibo Baje, who accompanies himself on the three-string moolo — the last griot standing with the knowledge and skills to do this.
Masterful performances — liquid, luminous and swinging — of two ragas.
From the ancient kingdom of Mithila — settings of the mystical, erotic poems of the fourteenth-century poet Vidyapati, usually sung by women at weddings or on holiday occasions.
Ancient song — ballads, love songs, dance songs, nursery rhymes, lullabies — and excursions on the hardingfele violin, beautifully bedecked, with four melodic strings, and four or five sympathetic strings.
Vocal, violin and zither performances drawn from recordings spanning more than eighty years.