VARIOUS ARTISTS
Women of the World: Acoustic
A New Groove
One World, Many Cultures

[Putumayo, www.putumayo.com]

One of the planet's leading world music labels, Putumayo allows the virgin ears of those who've not come across "foreign sounds" to get accustomed quite nicely. Thematically linked, these new releases feature a different array of audio flavours from all parts of the globe.
To celebrate International Women's Day, "Women of the World: Acoustic" features women vocalists from all parts of the world playing acoustic versions of their songs. From Czech Republic, we get Marta Topferova and her sultry "Grano de Arena", which sounds as it may have been recorded by a salsa ensemble in Latin America. From there, we move to Iceland, where Emiliana Torrini gives us a bleak version of "Sunnyroad". Her vocals are fragile and every phrase sounds as if it's whispered. Continuing our journey, we stumble upon Algeria's Mona. Her contribution "Sekna" is a mix of flamenco, roots and blues that swings at the same time. While Anastasia Moutsatsou gives us a rather traditional Greek melody on "Ola Ta Aiskola", Cameroon's Kaissa contributes a refreshingly honest and barren ballad on "Wa". The whole album closes with an authentically sad "One Voice" by The Wailin' Jennys. This Canadian outfit contributes a grey ballad that won't leave a dry eye in the audience. There is not one highlight here. Each track has a unique story to tell - of a woman who has gathered strength and now sings with a voice full of power and conviction.
"A New Groove" sits comfortably well in Putumayo's Grooves subgenre, which is meant to throw an electronic element into the world mix. Presenting "new" grooves from around the world is a no-brainer, though I must say, I question the "new" aspect in this collection. What is so new about Australia's The Cat Empire lukewarm "The Lost Song", which sounds like hundreds of other acid-jazz-meet reggae outfits. What exactly is so new about Canada's K-Os re-doing "Hit the Road Jack" on "Crabbuckit", when we've heard stuff like this 15 years ago or more done by Dream Warriors. Not to say, the album doesn't offer hints of sunshine. Germany's Radio Citizen offers up a sultry flamenco number with "The Hop". Bajka's vocals are as sultry as they are provocative.
Thievery Corporation contributes a nice down-tempo tune, "Until the Morning" that is re-worked by Kid Loco. Though not revolutionary, Alice Russell's "High Up on the Hook" is still satisfying in its own acid flavoured kind of way. If "new" is supposed to equal adventurous, then the collection has failed. If "new" means these are sounds you may not have heard before, then the collection could easily be labelled a hit.
The most successful of the three discs discussed in this review is "One World, Many Cultures". A collection of duets done between musicians and vocalists of various continents and musical styling, the disc introduces the listener to combinations of sounds they may not have heard elsewhere. From the acoustic guitar, perfect harmony bliss of "Queen Bee" as done by Taj Mahal, Toumani Diabaté and Ramata Diakité, through to the trip-hop gestures on "Yalil-Belle Futile" as done by Jérôme Lamasset with the haunting vocals of Moroccan vocalist Fadoua, the disc continues to raise the bar on world music collaborations. The disc ends on a high note, with Cheb Mami and Ziggy Marley's reggae version of "Madanite". As with other mixed music CDs, Putumayo has chosen to donate a portion of the proceeds to Search the Common Ground, an organization that puts an effort into finding peaceful solutions to conflicts worldwide.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ Z'EV - Metaphonics
+ Brush - Brush!?
+ Ariesta Birawa Group - Ariesta Birawa vol. 1
+ Zipps - Be Stoned! Dig The Zipps
+ Satya Sai Maitreya Kali - Apache/Inca
+ Charlemagne Palestine / Tony Conrad - An Aural Symbiotic Mystery
+ Toshinori Kondo - Fukyo
+ Max Richter - Songs from Before
+ Esmerine - Aurora
+ Jean-Luc Guionnet/Pascal Battus - Parmakli
+ Bill Horist - :Projects
+ Łukasz Ciszak - auxin
+ Tomasz Bednarczyk - Summer Feelings
+ volcano! - Beautiful Seizure
+ TR 21 - Deceased City
+ Transforma & O.S.T. - Synken
+ Reynold - La Cite d'en Haut
+ Radical Face - Ghost
+ Patrick Pulsinger - Dogmatic Sequences 1994 - 2006
+ Phelan Sheppard - Harps Old Master
+ Oblong - Indicator
+ Milenasong - Seven Sisters
+ Kapitan DA - Kapitan DA
+ Hug - Heroes
+ Housemeister - Roadmovie
+ A Hawk & A Hacksaw - The Way The Wind Blows
+ The Go Find - Stars On The Wall
+ Gescom - MiniDisc
+ Damero - Happy In Grey
+ Console - Pan Or Ama
+ Classic Cuts: Knight Action - Single Girl / Los Angeles T.F. - Magical Body / Mike Dunn - So Let It Be House / Dopplereffekt - Gesamkunstwerk
+ Christ. - Blue Shift Emissions
+ Blue Raincoat - Everything Is A Piece Of Something
+ Bloodysnowman - Bloodysnowman
+ American Gigolo III - Mixed & Compiled By Princess Superstar
+ 7 Up! - Singles Only 1978 - 1982

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+ loudQUIETloud - A Film about The Pixies DVD
+ BRENT FARISS / BILL THOMPSON - August - September
+ TOM RECCHION - Sweetly doing nothing
+ STEN SANDELL TRIO - Oval
+ MAGIC CARPATHIANS & LECHISTAN'S ELECTRIC CHAIR - Mirrors
+ WALTER & SABRINA - Chioma SuperNormal - The Dark Album
+ POSITIVE KNOWLEDGE - First Ones / JOEL FUTTERMAN / ALVIN FIELDER / IKE LEVIN - Live at the Blue Monk
+ ANTHONY BURR / OSCAR NORIEGA / CHRIS SPEED - The Clarinets
+ JESSE ZUBOT - Dementia
+ CHRISTIAN WEBER - 3 Suits & A Violin - Osaka Solo
+ HERIBERT FRIEDL - Back_Forward / BERNARD GUNTER / HERIBERT FRIEDL - Trans~
+ HORKESKART - Live in Solitude / CINC - Polyphonic Poetry
+ BOB MARSH / THERESA WONG / BRYAN EUBANKS - Luggage
+ JOHN BUTCHER / PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE - Concentric / RODRIGO AMADO / KENT KESSLER / PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE - Teatro
+ NORBERT MOSLANG / GUNTER MULLER - Wild_Suzuki / NORBERT MOSLANG - Burst_Log / MASAHIKO OKURA / GUNTER MULLER / AMI YOSHIDA - Tanker
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS / ANDREA CENTAZZO - Fire
+ RM74 - Fireproof in 8 Parts / RM74 / RLW - Pirouetten / HERPES Ö DELUXE - Kielholen
+ ÖLVIS - Bravado
+ TETSU INOUE - World Receiver / BEAUTUMN - Northing / RUDY ADRIAN - MoonWater / MARKUS REUTER - Trepanation
+ DRAKKAR SAUNA - Jabraham Lincoln
+ FLUORESCENT GREY - Lying on the Floor Mingling With God in a Tijuana Motel Room Next Door to a Veterinary Supply Store
+ HOLGER CZUKAY - Radio Wave Surfer - Good Morning Story
+ DO MAKE SAY THINK - You, You're a History in Rust
+ CLAUDIO PARODI - Horizontal Mover (homage to Alvin Lucier)
>> VARIOUS ARTISTS - Women of the World: Acoustic - A New Groove - One World, Many Cultures
+ BAD BRAINS - Live at CBGB 1982 - CD/DVD
+ JOHANNES BAUER / THOMAS LEHN / JON ROSE - Futch / STEVE LACY - Live at Jazzwerstatt Peitz
+ VOLCANO THE BEAR - Egg and Two Books
+ IRENE SCHWEIZER / FRED ANDERSON / HAMID DRAKE - Willisau & Taktlos
+ KOTRA AND ZAVOLOKA - Wag the Swing
+ CLINIC - Visitations
+ KUSH ARORA - Underwater Jihad
+ A WITNESS - I am John's Pancreas / PURE SOUND - Yukon
+ MONTA - The Brilliant Masses
+ SHELLEY BURGON / TREVOR DUNN - Baltimore
+ SATANICPORNOCULTSHOP - ..Aiff Skull EP
+ FRANCOIS HOULE - Aerials
+ KAZUMASA HASHIMOTO - Gllia / YASUSHI YOSHIDA - Secret Figure / MIDORI HIRANO - LushRush

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WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Laibach - relacja z koncertu w Palladium, Warszawa 10.12.2006
+ Singing is communication - wywiad z Marit Posch alias Damero
+ Something unique - wywiad z Mikael'em Stavostrandem (Bulgur Brothers)