New music: World music round-up – October 2015
Featuring Bachar Mal-Khalifé, DJ Mahinya-Hinva and Bareto
Bachar Mal-Khalifé – Ya Balad (InFiné) ●●●
French-Lebanese artist Bachar Mal-Khalifé sings Arabic laments for his homeland, blending traditional melodies with classical piano and contemporary pop influences. Ya Balad ranges from the stately Arabic chamber pop of 'Kyre Eleision' to the classy Middle Eastern house of 'Lemon', all oud loops and gospel piano. Beginning as a reflective ballad, 'Layla' builds into a piano pounding banger, while 'Wolf Pack' mixes Cuban piano with Arabic techno rhythms. Add a touch of reggae and the moody, minimal rock of 'Laya Yabnaya' and you have an innovative piece of modern Arabic pop fusion.
DJ Mahinya-Hinya – Ekaya Giyani (Shangaanbang) ●●●●
Nozinja's debut for Warp is the big Shangaan electro album of 2015, pushing the genre forward with its manic beats, rave synths and chipmunk vocals. Fans of the thrilling South African genre should also check out Ekaya Giyani, the debut album from dancer-turned-producer, DJ Mahinya-Hinya aka Vusi Lawrence Chauke. With its marimba hooks and twitchy 180bpm beats, the album offers a more traditional take on the Shangaan electro sound than Nozinja Lounge, but Mahinya-Hinya's melodic and danceable songs are set apart by such quirks as his use of auto-tune, gangsta rap sound effects and bizarre phone-call routines.
Bareto – Impredecible (World Village) ●●●
A deft fusion of psychedelic cumbia, space age exotica and contemporary electronica, Impredecible is the fifth album, and first international release, from Peruvian 'indie tropical' band Bareto. With their wonky surf guitar motifs, wigglings synths and loping grooves, Cumbia instrumentals like 'Pais de la Maravillas' are irresistible, while the dub reggae/merengue excursions of 'Viejita Guarachera' transplant King Tubby to downtown Lima. The sputnik guitars and dinky Casio beats of 'Bombo Baile' take the listener to a cosmic ranch, where spaced cowboys glide along the rings of Saturn. Featuring the great Peruvian singer Susana Baca, 'El Loco' is a psychedelic reverie, its chorus rising like wispy trails of incense.