New music, looking for something different to listen to?

Delve into World Music with six amazing albums from largely non-English language artists.

Discover some of the most interesting, beautiful, psychedelic and danceable sounds being released today with artists from Turkey, Morocco, Afghanistan, South Africa, Pakistan and Romania.

Altin Gun
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

With their third album this Turkish psychedelic rock band, who are based in The Netherlands, have delivered a tour de force. Filled with space disco beats and synthesizers, it combines traditional Turkish melodies with a modern sensibility. The opening track Bahçada Yesil Çinar is a short introduction of just 30 seconds, that leads us into the atmospheric Ordunun Dereleri which sounds like a slice of 80’s new romantic melancholy, the upbeat Bulunur Mu can be described as the sounds of Pac-man, combined with a spaghetti western soundtrack and a catchy ethnic vocal. Yüce Dag Basinda is a shimmering slow groove tune with added space lazer sounds, Kara Topak is super-funky  at the beginning before morphing into a beautiful vocal and chilled vibe. Towards the end of the album there’s the gorgeous tune Yekte. 

Guedra Guedra
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

On this fast moving record we work out way through 12 tunes in just 40 minutes. Guedra Guedra combines field recordings of traditional Moroccan, North African and Sub-Saharan musicians with tight beats and an unusual range of samples from bird songs to the sounds of busy markets. Woven into the tune son the album are elements of jungle and dubstep. The combination of manic beats and electronics against the sound of transitional instruments works really well. Highlights include Seven Poets, Stampede Step, Cercococcyx and the intriguing Berber is an Alien. This a record that you can easily listen to several times in a row.      

Keleketla & Coldcut
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

An intriguing collaboration, Coldcut are the longstanding British sampling merchants behind the Ninja Tunes label, this project saw them team up with a range of South African musicians to create a powerful album that combines many different styles. As the project grew it also took in Afrobeat architects Tony Allen and Dele Sosimi, legendary L.A. spoken word pioneers The Watts Prophets, and West Papuan activist Benny Wenda. The result is a series of tracks that are funk party from start to finish. There’s an amazing combination of electronic dance sounds, a strong brass component, a distinctive vocals. Highlights include Papua Merdeka, Future Toyi Toyi, Shepherd Song, and Freedom Groove.  There’s also a great companion album of remixes.

Disko Telegraf
Balkan Taksim
★ ★ ★ ★ 

This debut album from Romania band Balkan Taksim is due to be released at the end of this month, but the OUTinPerth team snatched an advance copy and have been enjoying it’s glorious sounds. Overall it sounds like a traditional folk bank, but there’s an added atmospheric layer of warm organ sounds, electric guitars and beats that take it to another level. Opening with the totally danceable Meram Ekspresi, things get a little darker with Zalina, guitar is front and centre on Shlonak, Usak Expresi is a totally jam, while things are a little more Balearic on Lunca. The only criticism of the excellent 13 tunes on this record is sometimes they are all a little too similar- but they’re all great all the same.      

Disco Se Aagay
Nermin Niazi
★ ★ ★ ½

This album was recorded in 1984, but it’s only had widespread appreciation with a recent re-release. Recorded in Birmingham, Nermin Niazi and Feisal Mosleh were teenage sibling immigrants from Pakistan who blended the traditional sounds of homeland with the influences of bands like Depeche Mode, Japan and Pet Shop Boys.  The beauty in this record is its lo-fi sound and culture clash of post punk disco and Urdu lyrics. Sari Sari Raat is a gem that would sit alongside the early work of Madonna.

Kabil Fire Vol. 2
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Farhot combines traditional Afghan rhythms with hip-hop and sampling. An in-demand producer he’s worked with a wide range of artists including Nneka, Selah Sue, Talib Kweli, and Haftbefehl. This album is the successor to his highly acclaimed 2013 release Kabil Fire Vol 1, and it traverses a number of styles. Yak Sher Successfully combines symphonic strings, sweeping melodies, trip hop sound and tinkling keyboards, but it’s the amazing drums in this tune that make it something very magical. Check drops us into an aggressive rap from JuJu Rogers and Nneja with a strong social conscience message, Kishmish brings those tinkling twinkling piano sounds to the fore against a squelched vocal sample, while Feel Ugly features a crunching drum beat, swirling jazz sounds and soulful vocal. Azadi features a sample of a school room recital and hard thumped keyboard notes combined with a elaborate drum patterns. A great hip hop record with a unique sound.

Graeme Watson

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