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msafi ri 3 MORE GREAT SOUNDS HABARIINSPIRATION 38 ? ? ? ? ? IBIMENI – GARIFUNA TRADITIONAL MUSIC Various Artists ( Sub Rosa) In 1990, ethnomusicologist Alfonso Arrivillaga Cortes visited Livingston in Guatemala to record the traditional music of the Garifuna people and the results have fi nally been collected on this stunning new compilation. ' Ibimeni', a Garifuna word meaning ' sweetness', is both the name of the Livingston dance troupe that perform on this album and also a description of the music itself, a blend of Caribbean, Latin American and African infl uences. The musicians use a small range of instruments to compliment their call and response vocal chanting, which may remind listeners of the soaring, sanctifi ed intensity of the SONGS OF AN OTHER best gospel music. Savina Yannatou ( ECM) The German record label ECM is renowned throughout the world for the pristine quality of its recordings, and for the elegance of its design and packaging. Initially established as a sympathetic home for adventurous modern jazz artists such as Jan Garbarek and Keith Jarrett, in recent years ECM has branched out into modern classical and world music hybrids that generally defy easy categorisation. Songs Of An Other, the third album Greek singer Savina Yannatou has recorded for ECM, typifi es the company's commitment to the different and daring. Yannatou, and her crack troupe of jazz musicians Primavera en Salonico, use traditional songs ( including a 16th- century Yiddish hymn) from Serbia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Bulgaria, Italy and Greece as the launching pad for some spectacular improvising and freeform vocalese. This challenging, often starkly beautiful music is saturated in the ' crystal silence' of ECM's austere signature sound. DANCEHALL: THE RISE OF JAMAICAN DANCEHALL CULTURE Various Artists ( Soul Jazz) After reggae came dancehall, which in turn was superseded by ragga. Well, not quite – dancehall had co- existed alongside reggae since the 1950s, but it wasn't until the 1980s, and the advent of digital recording, that it fi nally took over as Jamaica's most popular form of music. From the start, dancehall eschewed the spiritual and political consciousness that served as the foundation of Rastafarian dub, ska and reggae; instead it celebrated hedonism, dressing up and, most of all, the joy and freedom of dirty dancing. Where reggae was slow, deep and authentic, dancehall was fast, funny and synthetic, deploying heavy rhythmic bass bombs and salacious lyrics to get the party started. Internationally recognised dancehall superstars are represented here. The set comes complete with informative notes by Steve Barrow, author of the Rough Guide to Reggae. KQ REVIEWS Andrew Littlefi eld listens to the best new CDs ? ? ? ? ? MALI KOURA Issa Bagayogo ( Six Degrees) It's often a risky proposition when an established performer attempts to ' modernise' their sound, but for Malian singer and musician Issa Bagayogo the gamble has paid off handsomely on his latest release. Recorded in Wassalou, on the south west of Mali, and in Nancy, France by ace French engineer and producer Yves Wernet, Mali Koura is a bold leap into the future. It combines the traditional virtues of Malian music with the very latest in electronic sounds and beats to create a disc that's already being hailed as a contemporary classic. Bagayogo's fellow countrymen have now taken to calling him ' Techno Issa' because of this album, but long- time fans of his distinctive vocal style and virtuoso plucking on n'goni lute needn't worry, for both are fi rmly centre stage throughout, whatever the surrounding studio fi nessing. ? ? ? ? ? NINALIK NDAWI The Lani Singers ( Dancing Turtle) The personal history behind this gentle, mournful album is just as compelling as the music itself. The Lani Singers are Benny and Maria Wenda, a harmonising husband and wife duo who hail from West Papua, on the island of New Guinea. Both are deeply involved in the Lani people's struggle to gain independence from the Indonesian Government, which was granted control of West Papua in 1969, following a controversial referendum. Asylum seekers in the UK, they recorded Ninalik Ndawi Song'), a haunting collection of folk melodies refl ecting their commitment to the ' Free West Papua' movement. (' Freedom WELCOME TO MALI Amadou & Mariam ( Because) The sixth and latest album from Malian musicians Amadou & Mariam Bagayoko integrates western musical infl uences with more traditional folk forms. And, as with the Lani Singers, we have another husband and wife duo who have overcome adversity ( both Amadou and Mariam are blind) to make beautiful, and highly successful, music together. In this album, Blur front man Damon Albarn, French funk star Juan Rozoff, Somali rapper K'Naan and Nigerian singer Keziah Jones all make guest appearances, but the record really belongs to Amadou, here playing some of the most exciting and propulsive guitar solos of his long and distinguished career. MSAFIRI'S TOP3 ALBUMS