09 January 2007

Monday's mp3: Oh! Canada!!

Sure, technically this should bear the title "Tuesday's mp3." Monday found SoundRoots intentionally incommunicado, enjoying a wee vacation on blustery Vancouver Island. With Canada in mind, here are a few Canadian "world music" groups to check out:
  • Autorickshaw: This multicultural Indian-fusion-jazz group came to my attention on the strength of their album Four Higher. A new CD is coming this month; you can hear tracks from it on their myspace page.
  • Joanne Griffith: Montreal-born singer whose album Yoye incorporates African-American, Caribbean, and African styles - and French and English lyrics. Info and samples at CDbaby.
  • Madrigaia: Based in Winnipeg, this women's vocal group features stunning vocals. For their material, they dig into cultures from all over the planet: Brazil, Eastern Europe, Arabic, French, Hebrew.... [mp3 sample from the album Pleiades: "Three Ways to Vacuum Your House: Part 1"]
  • Matapat: a French Canadian folk music band based in Montréal echoing world's music traditions and its modern heritage. [mp3 sample: "C'est au palais du roi" [video]
  • Joseph "Pepe" Danza: Pepe is an amazing multi-instrumentalist who has been part of groups Asza and Jou Tou, and served as music director of the now-defunct Vancouver World Sacred Music Festival. His website includes an "instrument museum" with short QuickTime movies of him playing such things as bark flute, mbira, panflute, and rocks. Definitely worth a visit.
  • Samba Squad: Samba from Toronto? Well, yes, and one of the most engaging samba albums of 2006, to boot! Listen to samples on their website; marvel at the big Brazilian sound.
  • Socalled: Montreal-based Josh Dolgin has carved out his own niche as the planet's foremost klezmer DJ, a title backed up by his albums Socalled Seder and (with Sophie Solomon) Hiphop Khasene. He's also prominently featured on David Krakauer's Bubbemeises. [sample: "L.M.P.G. featuring Katie Moore and Teah"]
  • Fubuki Daiko: With a name that translates as "blizzard drums," this Winnipeg-based troupe brings a modern sensibility to the ancient tradition of Japanese taiko drumming. [sample: "Monkey"]
  • Tasa: Another Indian-fusion band, this one fronted by tabla player Ravi Naimpally. Tasa's album latest album is Urban Turban. [sample: "Agni"]
Should you find yourself in Victoria wondering what to do, our top recommendation (besides catching live music, of course) is to take in the creepy crawlies at the Victoria Bug Zoo, where we snapped the above photo of a young lady with a millipede mustache.

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