World Routes: On the Road Double CD
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World Routes is the BBC's flagship world music show listened to by around 100,000 radio listeners in the UK on BBC Radio 3, and millions across the globe via the World Service. On The Road is a 2CD set of previously unreleased material recorded by the programme on location over the last 10 years & featuring some of the biggest names in world music inc. Grammy Award winner Toumani Diabate, Tito Paris & Ilham Al Madfai. Album co-produced by World Routes presenter Lucy Duran a Grammy-award winning record producer responsible for Segu Blue (2007) and I Speak Fula (2009) by the acclaimed award-winning Malian ngoni virtuoso, Bassekou Kouyate. Deluxe 2CD digipack with 44 page booklet featuring notes & photographs from Lucy Duran and the production team. World Routes is on a mission to travel to the most far-flung corners of the planet to document and preserve endangered musical traditions. To date, the programme has visited some 53 countries, including 15 in Africa, 15 in Asia, and 9 in the Americas. Artists from countries as diverse as Mali, India, Iraq, Georgia, China, Madagascar and Cape Verde all have tracks featured on the CD set.
Radio 3’s specialist world music show World Routes has built up a loyal global following, largely because it is so adventurous. Rather than concentrate exclusively on big names, it uncovers fine though lesser-known (or completely unknown) artists from all corners of the world.
The programme’s presenter, Lucy Duran, and her producers have travelled extensively, visiting over 50 countries since the programme started back in 2000. In the process, they have recorded hours of wildly varied but always high-quality music. It’s only right that this should be released on an album, so here at last – just a little late for their 10th anniversary – is a double-disc collection of glorious sounds from around the world.
It’s a set that’s packed with delights and surprises. There are several major performers included, but always in an unusual and often relaxed setting. So the brilliant Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté is recorded in the living room of one of his houses in Bamako; the extraordinary and emotional singer Alim Qasimov is heard performing with his daughter in a jazz club in Baku, Azerbaijan; the exiled Iraqi star Ilham al-Madfi sings his exquisite lament for Baghdad in a cafe in Jordan; and that cool and lilting singer Tito Paris performs in a hotel in Cape Verde. In every case, there’s an intimacy to the performances that would be hard to achieve in the studio.
Then there are the lesser-known artists, local folk musicians who can never have expected that their music would be broadcast to a world-wide audience. From India, there’s an energetic and enthusiastic track from the Langa Children of Rajasthan, singing in their village in the moonlight; while from Uganda there’s an exhilarating, hypnotic recording of the Nakibembe Village Musicians performing on a vast pit-xylophone, an instrument so large that it takes six young men to play it.
There are further surprises: from Brazil, music that comes not from the predictable locations of Rio or Bahia, but from the sugar-cane fields of Pernambuco State, up in the north-east. From here, there’s a sturdy track from the singer Siba, performing with farm workers in a converted cowshed; elsewhere, there’s a fine burst of violin-backed Brazilian country music from Renata Rosa. Other highlights include the remarkable Peruvian guitarist Manuelcha Prado, and an intense and exquisite collaboration in a shrine between the celebrated Indian singer Aruna Sairam and the young veena player Hari Vrndavn Sivanesan, whom she was mentoring under a World Routes scheme.
The lead producer on this album is James Parkin, who also provides the photos and most of the extensive liner notes that colourfully chronicle the travels of World Routes. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another decade for the next set.
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Top Customer Reviews
For the price, sound quality of the recordings, quality of the performances & the very informative booklet mean that this 2CD release is a great compilation of 'World Music',
whether you're an expert or just someone dipping their toe in the water.
I can honestly say that the whole set left me captivated and reading the sleevenotes to each song as it was playing was a wonderful way to pass a couple of hours. Obviously, some people will be left out (as one reviewer mentioned) but if you were to include every great song recorded by the BBC3 team the set would run to dozens of CD's....and that would be prohibitively expensive.
Having listened to several World Music compilations over the years, this is definitely one of my favourites.
Buy with confidence and hopefully listening to some of these great artists will encourage you to explore more widely the different music from around the globe (including the ones that didn't make it onto this CD set!)
There's some well known performers of world music in there like Toumani Diabate and Justin Valli as well as people recording for the first time. Have a listen to Iraqi singer Ilham al-Madfi's lament for Baghdad; or Peruvians Duo Ayacucho featuring Puspo performing their celebration of the horse 'Mi Caballo' a song from the high Andes, or the magnificent Georgian group Riho singing the wonderfully moving 'Lazhghvashi'. If you fancy exploring a world of music with unusual instruments and glorious sounds, this is well worth buying. There's also a terrific booklet of information about the performers and the sometimes hazardous journeys that presenter Lucy Duran and her producers made to record them.
I think the chap who gave a one star review just did not get the purpose of the CD, they probably did not read the sleeve either. The whole point of the recording is to give the listener an fly on the world view of some of the amazing music that the producers recorded in caves, basements, volcanic craters, mountain tops and valleys. There are two things that make this a 5 star product
1. The musical selection is so diverse yet everything is beautiful - a lot of thought went into the selection and arrangement
2. The production is so authentic, you feel like your in the same vicinity just peering over the musicians shoulders. The fact that you get a sense of atmosphere is what adds the depth, this is far more superior than the clinical performances you get on studio produced albums
In summary, if you like the World Routes show on BBC Radio 3 or you like live routes music, this will far exceed your expectations. I would also recommend it as a gift to introduce people to routes music
My highlight are: Alim Qasimov and his daughter Fargana as well as Justin Valli and Paddy Bush.
I think I will continue listening to this CD for years to come, each time is like a new journey.
Radio 3, Lucy Duran and Sound Engineers, please produce another CD!!!
Now maybe there's even more reasons to produce a sequel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a fan of the excellent World Routes radio3 programme and so I was tempted by this excellent compilation. The great reviews are justified.Published on 25 Mar. 2013 by Chris Coffey
I love that the album gives you the chance to experience music that I would not normally buy. Really pleased I bought it.Published on 20 Dec. 2012 by M. D. Souter
A great selection, with a relatively broad range bought for my dad who is a fan of amadou and mariam and the like ali farke toure etc and he realy likes this compilation great... Read morePublished on 28 Jun. 2012 by Daivsonhj