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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:20 am
by NormanD
Miriam Makeba. ‘Umam'Uyajabula’ was recorded in Los Angeles in 1998 when Miriam was still an exile, forbidden to return to her native country even for the funeral of her mother. Everything was to change a year later with the previously unimaginable election of Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa, but Miriam had no foreknowledge of that when she recorded the album Sangoma
"Sangoma" released in 1988; Mandela released from prison in 1990; Makeba returned from exile later that year; Mandela elected president in 1994.

At least it shows that Robin Denselow both listened to the music and studies the sleeve notes (which you may not get on a download).

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:17 pm
by Charlie
Evening Standard:

Various Artists
Sound of the World presents: Otro Mundo
This is the 10th collection of radio-friendly tracks compiled by DJ Charlie Gillett, who is renowned for noticing interesting voices and distinctive musical personalities. Some of the highlights are from albums also reviewed in this space — husky flamenco singer Buika, Benin's Gangbe Brass Band, the gutsy Zimbabwean vocalist Chiwoniso and the Serbian Gypsy legend Saban Bajramovic, who sadly died last year. In his thoughtful notes, Gillett writes: “It is a scandal that all these artists are so completely and utterly sidelined and ignored by people [in the UK] who should know better.â€

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:25 pm
by Alan
Howard Male in the Independent ... 42960.html

Album: Various artists, Otro Mundo (Another World), (Warner Bros)

The press release boasts 34 artists from 34 countries, which is admirably democratic but hardly the point.

The great thing about BBC DJ Charlie Gillett's essential annual compilations is that they function equally well as a primer for world-music beginners, and a place for the seasoned expert to find new treasures. So there's familiar names such as Miriam Makeba as well as relative newcomers such as Afro-Peruvian sonic cubists Radiokijada, and thunderous Hungarian violinist Felix Laiko.


Clive Davis in The Sunday Times ... 633491.ece

Various Artists: Otro Mundo (Another World) * * * *

Hard to believe that Charlie Gillett’s annual global compilation is celebrating its 10th birthday. Always a useful alternative to a weekend at Womad, the playlist looks lively this year. Fans of Afro-Peruvian music will be glad to see that Novalima and the electronica outfit Radiokijada have made the cut. Hip-hop may be gaining ground across Africa, but Gillett’s ear is drawn to richer soundscapes, as represented by, for instance, the Gangbé Brass Band, from Benin, and the vibrant Angolan veteran Bonga. Gorillaz are among the infectious left-field choices, and the joyous presence of the Afro-Spanish diva Buika and the enigmatic Malian Rokia Traoré are testament to the fact that world music makes 99% of pop sound tepid.

WCJ 5186543652


Fly Global Music ... sents.html

V/A - Sound of the World Presents: Otro Mundo (Another World)

Charlie GIllett scoops up yet again the tracks you loved but never got round to owning and those that would otherwise have entirely slipped past you unnoticed like so many logs floating down the Niger in the middle of the night.

The fact is that most people in this ‘world music’ business can get away with specialising and roping in others to cover areas they are not so interested in. Not so the DJ who needs to play across the board. Charlie’s profound love of music and sonic curiosity stands him in good stead though for the job at hand.

Kicking off with Calexico, Charlie shows his love of Americana — even if it is Americana with a twist. He picks up on those who have made an entrance this year with fresh sounds like Novalima, Dub Colossus and RadioKijada and drops in on one of the pioneers of this approach — after what seems an age — with Up, Bustle & Out’s Turkish adventure.

There are shots from some of the big guns like Oumou Sangaré, Manu Chao and Mariza. And continued musical development by Rokia Traore and Buika.

The second side kicks off with a track by the legendary and dearly missed icon of African music Miriam Makeba, better yet it is one that is new to me at least.

If the overall tone seems a little subdued though (or as we say in these circles, shot through with the aching, nagging, delicious pain of Saudade), Charlie lets it kick up a notch with raucous energy courtesy of Gangbe Brass Band (funny thing colonialism) and a bit more brass on the run from Mostar Sevdah Reunion in a lovely stretch of tracks where Balkan brass gives way to accordion and we take in a few more continents on the way.

Get on the bus.

V/A - Sound of the World Presents: Otro Mundo (Another World) is out on 6 July ‘09 courtesy of Warner Classics and Jazz

—Damian Rafferty


Charlie tells Mark Hudson about his surprising new album

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:51 pm
by Alan ... Mundo.html

World: Otro Mundo

Veteran world music DJ Charlie Gillett tells Mark Hudson about his surprising new album.


'I don't want to be an expert, I just love music': Charlie Gillett in his music library Photo: STEVE DOUBLE

By Mark Hudson Published: 5:39PM BST 15 Jul 2009

'When I play a new album,’ says Charlie Gillett, 'I want to be surprised, to be completely captivated by the music - the way we all do. I don’t think I’m demanding anything unusual.’ Silver-haired and sixty-seven with a hint of Geordie lurking beneath his warm, avuncular tones, the veteran world music DJ must be the best known British broadcaster never to have had a proper national radio show. Through 37 years of programmes, principally on local London stations - beginning with soul and blues, but increasingly branching out into global sounds - he’ s built up a passionately partisan following; with an appeal based largely on the idea that he is just another listener.

Yet anyone listening to 'Otro Mondo’, the latest of Gillett’s annual 'Sound of the World’ compilations, will find themselves immediately questioning that notion. As world music critic of this newspaper I’ve actually heard most of the music on the expertly sequenced double album before. Yet hearing it again via Gillett’s ears it sounds completely unfamilar. I’d heard the music, but not the way Gillett did.

'The advantage of being a DJ is that you can hone in on things you might miss if you just put an album on and let it play.’ Indeed, if playing records all day sounds a wonderfully casual way to make a living, Gillett doesn’t see it that way. 'Discipline is the key to the key to the way I listen to music. It always has been.’ Having grown up in the golden age of the single, Gillett appears to still regard the whole idea of the album with bemusement. On a permanent search for the stand-alone, killer track, his trick is to place such moments in delightfully unlikely juxtapositions that reveal unexpected dimensions in the music - whether it’s the Gangbe Brass Band’s voodoo oompah flowing into Saban Bairamovic’s wheezy Bosnian balladry, or the transition between Damon Albarn’s exquisitely melancholy 'Hong Kong’ and Felix Lajko’s turbo-charged Hungarian violin. It’s hardly surprising that the 'Sound of the World’ albums have become accepted as the best guides to what’s happening in this frighteningly multifarious field.

Gillett got his foot in the door of DJing and music journalism as a pundit, through 'The Sound of the City’, his authoritative and still highly regarded study of Afro-American music. But having been gradually converted to global sounds - with his pivotal epiphany occuring at Youssou N’Dour’s first London performance in 1984 - he has staunchly refused to play the role of world music expert.

'It was possible at one point to be familiar with every producer and song writer in American soul music. But no one could hope to have that depth of knowledge across the immense breadth of styles that’s become known as world music. And I’ve realised it isn’t necessary to.’ While other world music gurus play the role of explorer, searching out esoteric sounds in impossibly remote climes, Gillett’s self image is of someone calmly sitting in his notional DJ booth, acting is a filter for the mountains of mind-bogglingly diverse material piling up on his doorstep.

But how, over the decades, has he managed to maintain his original wide-eyed enthusiasm apparently undimmed?

'It’s largely by default,’ he says. 'I still listen to all the supposedly cutting-edge new pop. But whether it’s Fleet Foxes or the Dirty Projectors, the things other reviewers find remarkable I just don’t get. Whereas, I sincerely believe that all the music on the new 'Sound of the World’ album is extraordinary. The track by Gaada Diwan de Bechar, for example’ - built around a brooding Algerian woman’s voice - 'is as good as anything I’ve heard in years.’

While Gillett is unstintingly generous in his support for things he believes in, he has a puritanical compuction - born perhaps of his Northern English roots - to be nothing less than frank about what he doesn’t like. And being Gillett, he somehow gets away with it.

The Spanish group Ojos de Brujo, for example, far from bridling at his criticism of their live shows, turned up at his house - en route from Heathrow to Glastonbury - to find out what they were doing wrong. 'I gave them a little lecture in the garden,’ he says. Yet while they appeared receptive, 'the next time I saw them they were exactly the same.’ If Gillett’s attitude points to an element of endearing innocence in his character, then it is the fact that he has never allowed himself to become cynical that makes him such a rewarding musical guide.

'I just love this music for its own sake,’ he says. 'I don’t have any other agenda in presenting it. I genuinely believe it’s the best music there is.’


PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:01 pm
by Charlie
David Flower wrote:lake titicaca?

Curiously, David, the correct answer to the question, where was that front cover picture taken, is close to an anagram of your guess - in Guatemela, it is Lake Atitlan.

I was reminded to post this by seeing the featured article on Guatemela in the new issue of Wanderlust, the excellent travel magazine published by the sister company to Songlines.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:44 pm
by jackdaw version
Charlie, thanks for saving me all that time I don't have on Google Earth with the location answer. But it would have been fun — I can waste hours flying over places trying to decipher the landscape, looking at childhood haunts, seeing how the homestead looks, etc, etc.

Love your CD shelves. I'll spend the time I don't have (at this time of year) trying to figure out just how they work. Or perhaps you could post a sketch or something.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:12 pm
by David Flower
what the photo above neatly doesn't show is the state of the floor below. Charlie is standing in the only place big enough for 2 feet to comfortably stand amongst the bestrewn CD boxes. In fact what you can see is him guiding in the winch that got him down across the room in the first place

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:21 am
by jackdaw version
Yes, I see it now. Thanks for the insight, David.