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by World Music Network May 27, 2013


New Rough Guides: Psychedelic Brazil & African Music For Children

World Music Network is proud to announce the release of two new Rough Guide albums: The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Brazil and The Rough Guide to African Music For Children.

Both albums can be purchased as physical or digital download and are also available with a WMN subscription.

The Rough Guide To African Music For Children

This Rough Guide contains a collection of joyful tracks that have been road-tested and hand-picked to entertain children the world over. Celebrate in the creative sounds of Congolese band Staff Benda Bilili, Malagasy maestro Lala Njava and Malian marvels Amadou & Mariam.

Listen / Buy The Album

It should come as no surprise that the continent that invented instruments which gave rise to everything from violins, lutes, guitars and drums would also be home to some of the most infectious children’s music on the planet. This Rough Guide presents a playful selection of young-at-heart music. 

On the island of Madagascar, Lala Njava’s advice in ‘Dinako’ explains that personal responsibility extends into village life through giving back to one’s community. Similarly, on the opposite end of the continent, in Mali, Vieux Farka Touré explains in ‘Fafa’ (‘Brotherhood’) about the importance of helping each other, and the responsibility of preserving memories.

'this is one of the best samplers of African music you can get' fRoots

Congo’s groundbreaking band Staff Benda Bilili created instruments out of recycled garbage, using objects such as an old fish can, wooden boxes and old guitar strings, became the subjects of a critically acclaimed documentary, and now tour the world, performing at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals. Amadou & Mariam are famous the world over and contribute ‘M’bife’ to this Rough Guide.

Samba Mapangala and his band have legendary status in Kenya. His music is a magical mix of rumba andsoukous from Congo and traditional styles from Kenya and Tanzania. Sauti Sol also draw on Kenyan influence and blend warm, resonant pop with sparkling guitar lines and excitable drums.

Etran Finatawa from Niger bring the breathless hear and shimmering horizon of the Sahara to life on ‘Gourma’. The album closes with a track by Sotho Sounds, a band made up of five funky shepherds from Lesotho who make all their own instruments turning junk items into melodious guitars and drums – turning junk into funk!

The full length bonus album is by Saba, an Italian-Somali singer whose music imbues a rare sensitivity and gentle humour. Listen out for mixing acoustic guitars, koras, traditional African beats and contemporary percussion.

The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Brazil

This Rough Guide is a psychedelic treat that is full to bursting with far-out Brazilian grooves. Discover cutting-edge explorations by artists like Tom Zé, Laranja Freak and Jupiter Maça, then dig deep into the archive and let loose to the retro vibrations of Quintal De Clorofila and José Mauro. Next, revel in one of the first ever reissues of the track ‘Renata’ from a rare 1970 EP by offbeat psych-garage band, Liverpool.

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Latin America – and Brazil in particular – have never really lost their love affair with psychedelia. During the 1960s and 1970s the rock culture presented palpable sense of freedom that Brazilians were enthused by – a significant vision for those living in a country run by the military, as it was at the time. Psychedelic rock has flourished in Brazil ever since and this collection is deliberately not just an archive of 1960s and 1970s vinyl rarities, but a celebration of a breathing, progressing genre that has influenced samba and bossa nova, national rock and jazz, folkloric regional styles, soap opera and film scores, and even modern Brazilian classical music from the 1960s on.

Artists heard here include Mini Box Lunar who, with their bleached-out carnavalesco steel-pan sound and playful female vocals, bring to mind early McGarrigles, while Laranja Freak’s statement of intent is ‘to play frantic psychedelic rock’, the keyboardist even calling himself Farfisa, in homage to the early Pink Floyd’s Richard Wright. A track by Tom Zé, one of the tropicálía movement’s founders, shows that his spark still shines, and Baby Do Brasil, once known as Baby Consuelo, is heard on ‘O Jarro’. Lula C Côrtes, Marconi Notaro, Flaviola and the Gentlemen add a psych-folk flavour to the proceedings. Graveola draw on mineirochoral singing and composing styles, samba and boss nova rhythms and spaced-out atmospherics.

The bonus disc is a treasured re-issue of Jupiter Maça’s classic 1996 album, A Sétima Efervescência whichhas become an acknowledged gauchó rock classic and is an inspiration on the contemporary néo-psícodélicoscene in Brazil. The music comes with a heavy helping of echoing guitars, whimsical winding lyrics, and laidback drum riffs.