Tal National: Tantabara
Hope your luggage is in good shape and your cellular plan covers international calls and data because it’s time for another music-discovery jaunt around this ever-shrinking globe of ours. Don’t worry, there will be excellent tunes along the way, starting with Tal National from Niger in West Africa. This big band creates an excellent amalgam of American rock and roll with African rhythms. Their newest album, Tantabara, came out this winter and is engaging and addictive with some scintillating guitar work and plenty to dance to. These guys contributed an excellent version of “Eyes Of The World” to the Day Of The Dead tribute set out a couple years back, but their own stuff is equally as charged. Check it out!
Minami Deutsch: With Dim Light
From Africa, we’ll take the long flight over to Tokyo. We don’t get over to Asia often enough, do we? Well, there’s good reason to travel to Japan in the form of Minami Deutsch. The band combines jazz and rock and a whole bunch of whathaveyou into an absolutely thrilling jam-ready fusion. Their latest and greatest is With Dim Light and is truly one of my favorite records of the year, a must-listen for you and yours to dig into. Exploratory and groovy and overflowing with the good stuff. Give it a spin and I think you’ll agree. Enjoy!
Sonido Gallo Negro: Mambo Cosmico
All this traveling got you tired or are you ready to hit the dance floor? If the latter, I think we best next set our sights on Mexico City. It’s there that we’ll find Sonido Gallo Negro, an excellent purveyor of the resurgent psychedelic cumbia. The record is called Mambo Cosmico and it is one unrelenting groove-arama after another, the band taking a classic sound and making it their own with plenty of cosmico to go with the addictive rhythms. I think you’ll dig it!
The Turbans: The Turbans
The final record is the self-titled debut from The Turbans. Technically the band resides in London, but their music is much larger than one city, country or continent. Over the course of 11 tracks, they seem to cram a ridiculous range of styles and world music into the songs, so that the album is itself a bit of a globetrotting journey. Indeed, The Turbans are more of a collective of musicians from around the world than a band in the traditional sense. Somehow, they make it work, sometimes spectacularly so. A fitting end to this voyage, but I’m sure it’ll be time for another one soon, so don’t put that passport away!