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by World Music Network July 20, 2011


New Rough Guide Albums: World Lullabies and Sufi Music

25 July marks the release of two new Rough Guide albums: The Rough Guide to World Lullabies and The Rough Guide to Sufi Music.  

As relaxing for adults as they are soothing to children, the beautiful selection of traditional lullabies from all over the world on 'The Rough Guide to World Lullabies' is sure to leave you serenly calm, collected and ready for bed. While our Sufi compilation will take you through mystic highs, moody lows and the odd bit of reggae funk. All in all a song for every occasion!  


From Scotland to Tahiti, parents from all over sing lovingly to rock their children into sweet slumber. The hopes and dreams of each culture are conveyed in these songs; each parent gently willing the best fate for their children’s future. This Rough Guide offers beautifully tranquil adventures into restful sounds from across the globe.

Legendary Cuban songstress Omara Portuondoopens the album with a classic Afro-Cuban lullaby, ‘Drume Negrita'. The gentle acoustic guitar accompaniment draws out her sentimental tones, giving the track a wonderfully personable feel. Later Corsican singer Anghjula Potentini can be heard performing the famous traditional lullaby ‘Ciucciarella’, her magnificently warm and compelling voice allows a powerful yet sweet delivery. The album also features some interesting contributions from creative duos - desert blues master Ali Farka Touréteams up with kora maestro Toumani Diabaté to perform 'Naweye Toro' - this perfect Malian match offers a sensitive balance of unadorned simplicity and deeply complex layers of interaction, held together by a sweetly-harmonised bass line. While London-based Zimbabwean 'Chimurenga Soul' artist Netsayireworks a traditional song 'Kuzanga', the earthy mbira and shakers complete with tweeting birds are perfect lulling material! 

The bonus CD features music from Zimbabwean a capella and dance group, The Black Umfolosi 5. The rich and dulcet harmonies of their vocal music provide an uplifting and meditative listening experience. 


Sufism is the inner mystical dimension of Islam. Sufi’s believe it is possible to bring oneself close to God in the present life, as well as after death. Music plays a central role in the Sufi tradition and provides a valuable way of getting closer to God. Today whether it is being sung in devotion at a religious shrine, pumping out of a car radio, blasting out of a nightclub sound-system or is being danced to under the stars at a music festival, the Sufi sound is alive and kicking across the globe.

Of course, any Sufi compilation would have to feature Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, unarguably the most famous Sufi singer in the world. His unfathomable on-stage energy and intensely dexterous vocals brought qawwali music to the world stage. On this Rough Guide the ‘Elvis of the East’ is remixed and reinvented with a reggae vibe by London-based dub and electronica producer Gaudi. Also from Pakistan are two tracks from the popular Coke Studios TV series, which features live performances and aims to inspire fusions of traditional and contemporary Pakistani music. The track ‘Manzil-e-Sufi’ by Sindhi devotional singer Sanam Marvi is taken from the Coke Studios album. As is the hugely popular Punjabi folk and rock inspired track, ‘Alif Allah Chambey Di Booty’, by Arif Lohar and Meesha Shafi.

The engimatic dread-locked singer Cheikh Lo, is a member of the Baye Fall, a Sufi Mouride sect. Cheikh Lo is based in Senegal and his music is infused with Sufi sensibilities and infectious reggae vibes. Also from Senegal, Mdou Gaye is a Sufi Jazz singer and his track 'Sindidi' is a moody, deeply toned addition to the album. 

The bonus CD presents The Rough Guide To Sufi Fakirs of Bengal, featuring music that has not been released outside of India until now.