Music is truly borderless, so this week we're shining the spotlight on some great tunes from across the globe. Our Global Sounds section is filled with a range of compilations, reissued gems and lots new music. Scroll down to check out some staff picks from this section.
Khruangbin - Late Night Tales (Available here)
Khruangbin's entry on the musician-curated Late Night Tales series exemplifies the idea of 'Global Sounds' while showcasing the group's unique take on borderless music, precisely the reason we chose to mirror the LP artwork for this post. Showcasing a range of their influences, the group have curated a mind-blowing selection of tracks that cross borders and cultures, from Asian pop to Nigerian reggae, Japanese mellow groove to Latina flavas. It sounds quintessentially Khruangbin, while providing the listener with a kaleidoscopic view of their influences and wider musical universe.
Various - Padang Moonrise (Available here)
A firm store favourite from the moment it dropped in late November last year. Incredible work from the label Soundway for curating this collection of handpicked tunes based on traditional songs from all corners of the archipelago’s 17,000-plus islands and 1300 distinct ethnic groups and its capital city Jakarta, was where most of the post-colonial national identity, politics, administration and music production was centred.
Packaged with a thoroughly researched and beautifully presented booklet, detailing how traditional songs from Java, Sumatra, Bali and beyond were re-imagined by a small group of state-sponsored musicians that also composed and arranged new music. These songs aimed at consolidating a geographically disparate country with a new language and new ideas of national character. This compilation brings together a handful of these recordings that combine elements of regional popular music, Islamic Gambus, Javanese & Balinese Gamelan and Kroncong, with jazz, Afro-latin music & instrumentation, and vocal harmonies influenced by banned American doo-wop and rock & roll.
Ayizan - Dilijans (Available here)
Beautiful album from 1984 reissued by Comet Records - this is Haitian ensemble Ayizan founded by guitarist and composer Alix Pascal with their lone album. A powerful combination of black American jazz and rara, a Haitian music form played to accompany processions in street festivals, religious ceremonies, protests and beyond. Politics, music and spirit coalesce beautifully here. Check it out ❤️
The Spy From Cairo - Animamundi (Available here)
A highly intriguing record from Moreno 'Zeb' Visini aka The Spy From Cairo. Taking inspiration from a wide range of musical traditions and cultures, the music fuses Turkish, Egyptian, Indian and Sufi influences with healthy doses of cumbia, funk, reggae, psychedelic, and dub.
“Animamundi” is a reconfirmation that The Spy from Cairo overcomes all obstacles & delivers a diverse progression of his iconic “Arabadub” sound, with the help of collaborators like Andalucian vocalist Carmen Estevez, Mexican vocalist Mambe Rodriguez on the heavy hitting “Criminal,” Egyptian vocalist Adii Small on “Beautiful Baraka,” and former touring band member, the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Fatima Gozlan from Hungary. The music can vary from heavy deep electronic synths and live eastern instrumentation with Zeb playing oud, saz, chiftelli, bass, percussion, and other instruments, all along giving it his signature dub mixing style. - Wonderwheel Recordings
The Free Music, Najib Alhoush - Free Music Part 1 (Available here)
A new entry to this section, released earlier this year on the big favourite, Habibi Funk Records. Avid Habibi Funk listeners might be familiar with Najib Alhoush's “Ya Aen Daly” - Bee Gee’s “Stayin Alive” cover, which was included in the well received compilation - Habibi Funk: An Eclectic Selection Of Music From The Arab World, Part 2, released back in 2021.
This record is a retrospective compilation of sorts, pulling from all corners of his vast back catalogue that showcases his distinct musical blend of soul, funk, disco and reggae. Groove on with this one!
Yin Yin - The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers (Available here)
Infectiously funky and groovy music aimed straight at moving bodies. Fans of Khruangbin or Sounds of Lecak, check this out if you haven't because it's right up that alley.
Where to place YĪN YĪN on the map ? Maybe somewhere between Netherlands and South-East Asia, on an imaginary tropical island. That’s where they brew a strange cocktail made of discogrooves, powerful “thaï beat” tunes and experimental tropi-synths. After two remarkable singles on Les Disques Bongo Joe, they’re back with The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers. Made of groovy tunes and dance killers, this album could be the crazy soundtrack of a 60s hippie village on the South China Sea. - Bongo Joe
Ipek Yolu - Tropical Anatolia (Available here)
Going further down a similar route, Ipek Yolu's Tropical Anatolia is an LP that deserves way more love here at the vault. Equal parts funky, exotic and full of rich sounds, the rhythmic arrangements and infectious melodies make you long to catch this group at a festival. Primed for an afternoon boogie in an open space.
Ipek Yolu is the Turkish name for the Silk Road which connected the East and the West. This band does not deal in silk but they connect flavors, smells and sounds from different corners of the globe, connecting the world. - Sounds Of Subterrania
Kit Sebastian - Melodi (Available here)
Another store favourite that is often overlooked. Kit Sebastian's sound and ethos is another great exemplification of what we call 'Global Sounds'. Kit Sebastian's 2nd LP builds up on the foundation laid on their debut album Mantra Moderne, blurring the boundaries of world music, jazz and psychedelia. The joyous merging of soundscapes on Melodi evoke the idea of a borderless planet with music as an international language, belonging everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
Not to be content replicating the same album, sonically the feel of ‘Melodi’ is a maturation. It is more diverse and provides glimpses into many different worlds from the Italian Riviera to the mountains of the Caucasus, the beaches of Bahia to the city streets of Istanbul and Paris. - Mr Bongo
Altin Gün - On (Available here)
Altin Gün's debut from 2018 captivated audiences worldwide with its funky Turkish grooves and emotional messaging. Fuzzy bass sounds, sweltering organ sounds and raw riffs mark the distinct sound signature, with the universal themes of love, death, desire and destiny giving meaning to the music. Altin Gün makes you want to move and massages your soul all at once. This is the record that started it all.
They've followed up their debut with several amazing LPs that push their sound forward, outlining their musical evolution in true style. Check out Gece, Ask and Yol. All available here at the vault!
Browse more titles from our Global Sounds section here.