#3801: Unusual Cross-Cultural Collaborations

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'Junun' is the new record from Jonny Greenwood and The Rajasthan Express.

This New Sounds is full of unexpected musical dream-teams. Listen to a collaboration between Radiohead guitarist/keyboardist Jonny Greenwood, Israel/India-based composer/musician Shye Ben Tzur, and Indian qawwali musicians, The Rajasthan Express, who even sing in Hebrew. It’s from a record (and film by Paul Thomas Anderson) called Junun (which means “the madness of love.”)

Then, listen to New York-based Raya Brass Band, whose new record, RAYA, is full of informed cross-cultural takes on Balkan brass music – here a loping Ethiogroove or New York salsa woven into the New Orleans street party meets Macedonian, Greek, and Turkish wedding music.  Listen to the seductive odd sevens of "Dren Gajda," which evokes the sound of the bagpipe, or gajda (which is also a bagpipe-accompanied Macedonian dance.)

Then, there’s tropical psychedelic cumbia from Lima, Peru-based band, Bareto, along with brass-driven Afro-pop from the Washington DC-based band Elikeh, who incorporate Togolese rhythms into their borderless music. (The group’s leader, Massama Dogo, was born in Togo.)  Hear Welsh harp, Indian tabla & harmonium, as Mumbai singer Tauseef Akhtar and Welsh singer-songwriter Gwyneth Glyn blend Indian Ghazals with Welsh folk traditional music as Ghazalaw.

Plus, hear music from Hiya wal Âalam, which is Tunisian composer and percussionist Houwaida Hedfi, in collaboration with musicians from Tunisia and Palestine, and Swede Olof Dreijer from The Knife. They use North African percussion instruments like bendir, djembe and chkachek, along with wordless vocals and electronic beats. And much more.

PROGRAM #3801 Unusual Cross-Cultural Collaborations (First Aired 11-19-2015)

ARTIST: Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood, & Rajasthan Express
WORK: Hu [7:49], Junun [5:54]
SOURCE: Nonesuch 552641
INFO: nonesuch.com

ARTIST: Raya Brass Band
WORK: Dren Gajda [4:12]
SOURCE/INFO: rayabrassband1.bandcamp.com

ARTIST: Bareto
WORK: Mama Motelo [3:53]
RECORDING: Impredecible
SOURCE: World Village 450030

ARTIST: Elikeh
WORK: The Conversation [4:45]
SOURCE: Ropeadope / Elikeh
INFO: elikeh.bandcamp.com

WORK: Cumbia del Palatero [4:04]
RECORDING: Shift and Shadow
SOURCE: Barbès Records
INFO: barbesrecords.com

ARTIST: Ghazalaw
WORK: Cosb Mor Dlos (Khoobsorat Koi Sazaa) [6:45]
SOURCE: Marvels of The Universe
INFO: ghazalaw.com

ARTIST: Hiya Wal Âalam
WORK:  Houwaida Hedfi: Janna  feat. Chiheb [4:52]
RECORDING: Sawtuha : Nine women from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and a bonus song from Syria
SOURCE/INFO: The track appears under the name “Houwaida” on this compilation: jakartarecords-label.bandcamp.com

WORK: I_tiraf (Confession) [4:56]
RECORDING: Aynama-Rtama
SOURCE/INFO: alifmusic.bandcamp.com