Responsible for over 300 albums since 1982, Bill Laswell has consistently broken down boundaries, redrawn musical frontiers and created some of the most innovative and successful stylistic hybrids to be heard anywhere. Laswell's approach on his own discs, or those of any number of side groups and collaborators, is to seek out and engage what might be called 'master musicians' from a host of different cultures and fuse their talents together in the studio. The central tenet of his philosophy has always been: music knows no boundaries, only the music business does.
When I first met Buckethead in 1991, I decided wow, let's go to a real "uppity restaurant" so they can talk about us like dogs and sure enough they did...It was great...Then after that I think Buckethead got horny and started hinting around about did I have an extra girlfriend or even a daughter that I could loan him? I said, "Oh Yeah sure. I'd love to hook you and my daughter up." Well as you could have guessed I haven't seen my daughter since...Well I think she was my daughter...Anyway since Buckethead has a problem speaking in human audible terms, we got heavy into our mental teleapathy vibes. I said Buckethead what's really in the bucket and is she in there with you? Buckethead's reply was, "Every morning I check all the closets to see if I'm in there and if I'm not, then I page myself on the 2 way and if I call myself back that means there's nothing in the bucket...Well every since that day I have considered Buckethead a total psycho case. The good thing about it is, I did pick up one bad habit from Buckethead. Yeah, I called my own self to see if I was home and nobody answers.
No singer in recent memory has covered more stylistic territory than Asha. Her vocal artistry can be heard on a wide variety of recordings, ranging from techno to trance to disco to jazz to rock to raga, sometimes within the space of a single album. When you enter Asha's name in the popular music site www.allmusic.com, for example, you find her categorized almost across the entire popular music spectrum: jazz, rock, funk, soul, new age, world. This diversity has sometimes proved a puzzlement for record executives and disc buyers alike, but the end result is in an enviable and artistically impressive 28-record (and counting) body of work.
Acclaimed internationally as an 'extraordinary talent,' Asha is a songwriter and singer of great diversity. Other than her solo recordings in the pop / rock vein, some of which have been on the charts and gone gold, Asha has also performed and recorded as a jazz vocalist with Henry Threadgill, Don Cherry, Charlie Mariano, Peter Duchin, and Lionel Hampton. Hailed by the esteemed John Hammond Sr. as a 'musical genius,' Asha won the prestigious Down Beat Critics Poll for her first jazz recording on Ornette Coleman's album, Science Fiction Sessions which has recently been re-released in the Columbia Legacy Series. Through the years, Asha has performed at inaugurals and galas hosted by Mikhail Gorbachev, George Soros, Klaus Nobel, and Mayor Rudolf Giuliani.
Cheb i Sabbah a.k.a. dj Cheb i Sabbah grew up Jewish of Berber (Amazigh) descent in Constantine, Algeria, so the idea of mixing cultures was, you might say, in his blood. He moved to Paris in the 1960s, and, more or less by accident, became a DJ. By the late 1980s, he was pushing boundaries on the dance floor, seeking ways to work African, Asian, and Arabic music into the mix. Then, as the "world music" movement unfolded, Cheb i Sabbah took the inspired step of recording traditional and classical musicians himself and using those tracks to create bold, new creationsЬeffectively, music "composed" by a DJ. With four landmark recordings under his belt, Sabbah recently returned to his native North Africa to gather the raw material for his most ambitious project to date, La Kahena, a set of eight pieces created from music by eight different acts, all featuring women singers. Sabbah remains a DJ at heart, but he is also something moreЬone of the most innovative forces in contemporary dance music today.
In Cuba the years after the revolution were spent re-evaluating and rebuilding the music scene. Many bands, spun heavily on the Afro-Cuban traditions in creating a distinctive new sound, and with the island effectively sealed off from the world by the US boycott, it was left to develop in a musical vacuum until Castro's 1981 expulsion of 125,000 Cubans to the US. This exodus resulted in the arrival of a number of musicians including the magnificient conga player, Daniel Ponce who is credited with bringing Cuban influences back into the music scene.
Pathaan is the man with a plan and the verve to bring the world his uplifting blend of western beats and global influences. Recently, he has started producing under the guise of ФSolar SpiritХ with Lenny ФIbizarreХ and ФOrchestral World GrooveХ with Italian born artist Gaudi. If you havenХt heard the ФSTONED ASIAХ sound or seen Orchestral World Groove, you should.
Featuring His Holiness The Dalai Lama with Toshinori Kondo and Bill Laswell.
"I am often telling my artist friends that through my lectures, I may reach a few hundred, a few thousand or maximum a hundred thousand people. But artists through music, painting or sculpture whether it is a constructive message or destructive message can reach millions. Therefore, artists can promote peace, love, compassion and harmony, which everybody wants you see. Everybody really is praying or eager about that."
Nada the subtle and perennial sound; sound within silence, the healing silence of compassion and peace. Nada is the first stirring within, that heralds the beginning of the evolutionary process and from which radiates energy and matter - space, formless atmosphere, fire, water and earth...the basic constituents of the ever-evolving universe. Nada experienced by an unagitated mind leads to eternal bliss. Learn more about the World Festivals of Sacred Music.
Hurled out of the desolate streets of Stepney, England, at 18 and into the nascent Public Image Ltd. (PIL), Jah Wobble was fundamental in shaping the virulent nihilism of punk into sonic and melodic extremes that evoked everything from dub reggae to Stockhausen. Wobble was the first musician of that era to be taken seriously by the older music press, rapidly earning the reputation of a wilfull auteur. This was all the more stunning when it was revealed that he had only just picked up a bass, lent to him by Sid Vicious a few months before joining PIL. As reviews from the time testify, Wobble was light years ahead of his contemporaries in his exploration of new and interesting sounds. His embracing of Eastern and World influences predated Peter Gabriel and other's excursions into those areas by well over five years. With his group, The Invaders of the Heart, he soon found himself to be one of the most demanded musicians on the block with outside projects becoming accordingly more diverse and curious; Bjork, Ginger Baker, The Orb, Massive attack, Primal Scream, The Shamen, and Brian Eno among others. 30 Hertz Collection is a compilation of Wobble's most recent work from his record label, 30 Hertz. The pieces feature collaborations with Natasha Atlas, Jaki Liebezeit, Sussan Deyhim, Bill Laswell and many others...30 Hertz Collection, represents the integration of global musical styles and approaches. These will tend towards what he calls the eternal. Pentatonic scales, three-four rhythms, heavy bass, drones, pipes, flutes, lots of air moving and singing in the praise of God, and the Divine Mother. The music suggests 'the infinite'. It moves vertically (heaven meets earth) as well as horizontally (temporal, episodic). As Wobble says, ТWe will go wherever the music demands us to go. If the music requires an orchestra it will get an orchestra, if it demands silence, then quiet we shall be.
Karsh Kale (pronounced Kursh Kah-Lay) has spent much of the past five years watching music critics try to describe his music as some kind of hybrid of Eastern and Western, or traditional and electronic. And it's true that his early goal of bringing Indian classical music into the Western pop mainstream led him to create some genre-busting global electronic music. Like his contemporary, Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A., Kale has found a way to incorporate his roots into a thoroughly modern context. His first solo album, in 2001, Realize, established the young tabla playing producer as a major force in the Asian Massive movement a club-based phenomenon on several continents. Even then, Kale was telling reviewers that his goal was "to take this music to the next level." Part of that meant live performance, and Kale's follow up album, Liberation, was a highly polished, tightly-produced collection that Kale and his band could perform live. Another part of the "next level" was getting to a point where the South Asian elements were simply an accepted part of the mainstream pop vernacular.
Born in India and raised in suburban Toronto, Kiran is the very model of a modern bicultural citizen. She sings Punjab folk songs and ghazals - a genre of sung poetry that dates back to 15th century India. Fluent in four languages and effortlessly at home in mainstream western culture, Kiran has forged a new repertoire using the words of contemporary Indian and Pakistani poets living in the west. These poems - written in Punjabi and Urdu - combined with Kiran's evocative music, make a new, original contribution to contemporary world music -- perhaps the first contemporary recorded ghazals to be entirely created outside of India. With three album releases to her credit, Kiran has established herself as the leading exponent of contemporary ghazals outside of India - and perhaps even in the world. In 2004 she wona the Juno Award for Best World Music Album and the Canadian Arts Presenters Touring Artist of the Year Award. Her self titled international debut (released on Triloka/Artemis in 2005) has been hailed by many as one of the best world music albums of 2005 and garnered critical praise on both sides of the Atlantic - along with a growing legion of fans. "Ahluwalia's voice is caressing and seductive and the arrangements are magnificent. In short, this is a masterful album."Songlines Magazine, January 2006
"She has a voice destined to enchant more than one generation."Folk Roots Magazine, November 2005
"A startlingly beautiful collection."Boston Globe, August 2005
Legendary musician/producer Bill Laswell delivers Divination: Sacrifice, a dense textural soundtrack that luminates with natural elements. most of the sounds on this project are generated by hands touching strings, wood and metal; processed natural sounds, not programmed electronic textures. sounds created by feelings much closer to nature than technology...just as songs are thoughts which are sung out the breath when people let themselves be moved by a great force. two of the four pieces on Sacrifice are collaborations with Laraaji who has been one of the true pioneers in ambient music, using sound for healing, relaxation and the exploration of higher states of consciousness. he is a soundhealer, teacher, actor and composer who tours worldwide offering workshops on the therapeutic use of sound as well as using laughter as a vehicle for meditation. laraaji has recorded several solo and collaborations albums since 1979, perhaps the best known being ambient #3: day of radiance, which was made in collaboration with brian eno. laraaji's main instrument on this record is an electrified 36 stringed zither which he tunes according to ancient understandings.
Lori Carson's "The Finest Thing," on Meta records, is a record of remembering those rare moments in life when one wishes time would stop. Written as a series of connected meditations, Carson, who has released five solo records (as well as two with the Golden Palominos) and written/performed songs for movies, has created a score-like collection of songs and instrumental pieces that paint a life's journey. In minimal, yet lush, arrangements - guitars float on an ambient sea, as a mourful trumpet introduces a chorus of angels - these 8 pieces move gently forward, telling a story of love and loss, acceptance and hope.
Renown guitarist, Nicky Skopelitis, has appeared on most of the Material and Axiom records. Nicky's collective, Ekstasis, has been described as electric trance music from the 21st century.
Pharoah Sanders, originally Farrell Sanders from Little Rock, Arkansas, became well-known in the local jazz scene in Oakland, California, in the early 1960s. In the middle of the decade he moved to New York, where he worked with Sun Ra and other luminaries of the new jazz avant garde. He was asked by John Coltrane to join his group in 1965, and so became a part of Coltrane's most experimental unit. After Coltrane's death in 1967 he continued in musical collaboration with Coltrane's second wife, Alice.
Sanders is known for a distinctive sound, including a split reed technique. While primarily playing the tenor sax, he has also recorded playing the soprano sax, flutes, and percussion. He can coax unearthly sounds from the tenor saxophone, and, according to jazz legend, can cause a saxophone to continue to shriek for minutes after removing it from his mouth.
Sussan Deyhim is a composer, vocalist and performance artist who has been at the forefront of experimental music internationally for over two decades. Deyhim's music combines extended vocal techniques, digital processing, and the ancient mysticism of Middle Eastern music to create a deeply moving fusion of East and West.
Born in Tehran, Sussan Deyhim began her career dancing with Iran's Pars National Ballet company (performing weekly on Iranian national television), and then with Maurice BЋjart's Ballet of the 20th Century. She moved to New York City in 1980, embarking on a multifaceted career encompassing music, theater, dance and media, and wide-ranging collaborations with leading artists from across the spectrum of contemporary art.