'Kogda Net Deneg by Leningrad is wonderful, a relaxed horn-led dance song with a ska...
Charlie Gillett 2003
Jay Rutledge, the compiler of this album, had set out to reclaim world music as a form of popular music, rather than presenting an alternative to it or a rejection of it.I believe he has made his point.
My standard method of testing an album is to put it on and then forget about it, just let it run and see what draws me to listen with more attention.Where so many records quickly sink into the background, this has me reaching for the sleeve to identify the artist on almost every track."Kogda Net Deneg" by Leningrad is wonderful, a relaxed horn-led dance song with a ska beat, over which the singer alternately croons and roars.The group is from St Petersburg, and there's something about the way Russian is spoken, its rhythms suit a delivery that is halfway between rap and Johnny Rotten.Leningrad also have a track on "RussenDisko", another recommended Trikont compilation, which despite its title features modern Russian rock groups.
Panico is the first modern group from Chile that I've run across, and their song here, "El Combo Corazon" whets the appetite to hear more.Stylistically they belong alongside the Mexican group, Los De Abajo, who are themselves on this album with Macacos remix of "El Indio".The Barcelona-based whiz-kid Macaco has the last track here, "Pirata de Agua Salada", which sounds a lot like Ojos de Brujo, the Barcelona group whom he also produced.Sorry about all these names, but one thing does lead to another.
From Poland, "Nie Patrzcie Przes Lupy" is the tongue-twisting title of an arresting collaboration between dub group Trebunie Tutki and Kinior Future Sound;from France, accordion flavours the sound of Pepetes by Java;from Lebanon, Dania is a plaintive, high-voiced singer reminiscent of Natacha Atlas.There's only one track I skip, the raggamuffin of Anthony B from Jamaica, which doesn't seem to have the open door accessibility of everything else.We go to China, Algeria, Ivory Coast, and Birmingham UK (for Panjabi MC); truly a global reach, sequenced to feel natural.
If you want to give a world music album to a friend who likes pop music and is teetering on the edge, not quite convinced they could enjoy a whole album that's mostly not sung in English, this is the one.And if you are that person, treat yourself.