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Top 10 Global Albums of 2009

The top 10 "world music" CDs of 2009, stretching from Africa and the French Caribbean to New Zealand and Brooklyn.

Recent
Music

Tuva Meets Technology

From the ‘non-existent’ land of Siberia comes the long-existing sound of Tuvan drumming and throat singing.

Music

Bob Holroyd Re:Turns

“Writing music is often like assembling a collage, and I think this is why a lot of my tracks have a sort of cinematic quality to them,” says Holroyd.

Music

For Summer Dancing in the Streets

Six spectacular world beat albums that will have you dancing through those sweet summer nights.

Music

Novalima: Peru’s Hidden Treasure

Friends and band mates since high school, these Peruvian electronistas all moved to different countries; Novalima was made via emails and zip files.

Music

A Transcendental Evening at Alice Tully Hall

After the first piece, my friend leaned over and whispered that if you close your eyes, you are easily taken away.

Performing Arts

Beyond the Bubble of the Grammys

The Grammys suffer from the same problem as the rest of the recording industry: thinking America defines culture.

Performing Arts

Across the Universe, for the Sixth Time

This year's globalFEST was punctuated by performances from Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, La Troba Kung-Fu, Kailash Kher, Watcha Clan, and others -- a brave journey through the world of sounds, guided by open minds and big hearts.

Travel

Visions of the World

Three world-music documentaries deserving of your attention detail the unity of Islam through music, the convergence of South Asian folk with modern technologies, and the plight of Saharan desert dwellers.

Music

The Ubiquitousness of Ubiquity Records

There is no clear-cut definition of what Ubiquity Records produces, unless we go for universal terms like "good" and "dope".

Music

Forty-Nine Hours at T-Dot Town's Annual Small World Music Festival

Today's global music is an extension of the culture that has been emerging over the last century, when airplanes and vinyl recordings made social exchanges possible to an extent previously undreamed.

Music

Fela! Here Comes the Black President

Great art such as Fela! inspires us to make the choices we need to make, and not give up our responsibilities because it is easier to allow someone else to make decisions for us.

Music

The Dusty Foot Philosopher Kicks Up America

K'Naan stood on stage, drum in hand, focused on the two instruments that comprise and compose the totality of African storytelling: the voice and the drum.

Music

A Walk Through the Medina

It's fascinating to think that a culture that produces such deep and soulful bass music could also contact its spirits via the shrieking, grating sounds of this flute, yet such is the nature of Moroccan music.

Music

Ten Years Dancing on the Hudson

For the last decade, Turntables on the Hudson has held gatherings of positive music -- funk, hip-hop, soul, dance; African, Latin, and Balkan beats -- that thrive on human connection.

Music

Three Nights in France

Beres hits Paris and Bourges to take in the eclectic sounds of Transglobal Underground, Les Primitifs du Futur, Watcha Clan, and Fat Freddy's Drop, and gets pulled into the "sacred space" that solders the connection between sound and human.

Music

Women of the (Music) World

There is little in this world as beautiful as the female voice. Sometimes it’s necessary to stop and remind ourselves of this.

Music

Classical Egypt in America

By shining the light on the vast, rich cultures of the Middle East, these musicians are bringing misconceptions and misunderstandings out of the darkness of the past, not to mention the dark corners of our present.

Music

Devotion Through Music

Global spiritual traditions are being evolved by artists fusing the best of many worlds, electronic and traditional, into forms of devotion applicable to us all.

Music

Bass Makes the World Go 'Round

As Hamsa Lila knows, the heart and soul of trance lies in the passionate intensity performed by its players.

Music

The Redistribution & Revival of Roots

Like the roots of old and those of new, music flows stream-like from the hearts of these artists into an ocean of humanity.

Music

Big Brass at the Disco

Shantel has accomplished the most daunting task imaginable in this genre: making an accessible pop record with tubas, trumpets and dumbeks, and our response remains among the greatest of human pleasures: we dance.

Music

Bachata: Generations Apart and Together

Bachata grew up in the barrio. Servants would turn trashcans and fences into instruments in their nighttime escapades, and the words would tune hearts to a frequency unheard during daytime hours.

Music

Passport to the Future

Once you get past the initial groove that Manu Chao lays, and become accustomed to his fast-paced nature, you recognize a passionate soul as devoted to music as he is to political and social justice.

Music

New Ways to Breathe

Breathing Under Water, a collaboration between sitarist Anoushka Shankar and tablist Karsh Kale, is not only where music is going, it's where it's at.

Music

The Evolution of Africa and Hip-Hop

Pharoahe Monch's new album, Desire, is a complete surround-sense experience, but it's also a reminder that as much as our technologies have improved, what we are communicating is not necessarily the most righteous of information.

Music

Journeymen

Gypsy Caravan, a new documentary about a six-week tour featuring some of modernity's top Gypsy musicians, is an exceptional peek at life on the road, entwined with the history, and current state, of Gypsy culture.

Music

The Evolution of Vintage

One of the glaring paradoxes of technological evolution is its ability to reconnect us to history. And if we know anything about human nature, it's that as we step into the future, we always look back.

Music

Emerging Ideas in Global Distribution: An Interview With Six Degrees' Bob Duskis

"If you don't embrace your buying base, you're going to go out of business." Beres talks with the electronica label's co-founder about digital distribution and independent music.

Music

The Marleys and Mind Control

The efforts of major corporations to disarm their consumers is a reminder that music used to be judged by how it made the listener feel, not how many times it was downloaded.

Music

Rumi-nating on a New Axis

The Sufi poet formerly known as Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi is celebrating 800 years, and the entire spectrum of Persian culture is throwing a party.

Music

Ali in the Family

Vieux Farka Touré continues his late father's musical legacy with a weathered voice, poetic passion, and a new debut album.

Music

A World Shares the Stage

Beres inspects the 'major guitar and string theme' at this year's globalFEST event in New York, which will host music from Brazil, Cape Verde, Paris, and beyond.

Derek Beres
Music

Desert Trance

These are the sort of flowers that bloom in the Sahara Desert: thumb pianos, distorted amps, muddy blues, and traditional chants.


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