Now in their 18th year, the Awards are a key highlight of the folk music calendar and serve to raise the profile of folk music. Talent, new and old, received accolades including Folk Singer of the Year, Best Duo, Best Album, Musician of the Year, Young Folk Award and more. Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Ry Cooder and Al Stewart.
Issued in 1970 as his second album for Creed Taylor's CTI label, Hubert Laws' Afro-Classic is a classic for the manner in which Laws, with brilliant assistance from arranger Don Sebesky, melded the jazz and classical worlds – not to mention pop – into a seamless whole. Laws was the first artist signed to Taylor's imprint. His debut for the label, Crying Song, won critical notice, but it was Afro-Classic that established a new role for the flute in contemporary jazz. Herbie Mann may have been the first, but Laws explored jazz and all the sound worlds that informed it – especially in the electric domain – with the kind of grace and innovative vision that made him a mainstay.
Zen-Men, Fous De La Mer, Lenny Ibizarre, Chris Le Blanc, Jean F. Cochois, Lemongrass, Jens Buchert, Blank & Jones, Chris Zippel, Guardner, Bliss and many more. Compiled by DJ Jondal.
Whirl-Y-Waves Vol. 1 (1996). Whirl-Y-Waves Vol.1. is the first double CD compilation from Whirl-Y-Gig, compiled and mixed by DJ Monkey Pilot. Featuring a wealth of rare classic tracks, disc one takes you on a journey through a typical whirly club night experience, whilst disc 2 is a collection of ambient, downtempo parachute tracks.
Whirl-Y-Waves Vol. 2 (2000). Following on from the ground breaking Whirl-Y-Waves compilation of ’96, Volume 2- Global Grooves comes closer than ever to capturing that unique whirly vibe. Designed as one continuous listening experience, you can glide effortlessly between the enlivening Hot One and the relaxing Chill Too…
It would have been groundbreaking enough for the Israeli Ofra Haza to have performed an album of Yemeni Jewish songs. But when she and producer Bezalel Aloni added synthesizers, drum machines, and a generous helping of dance beats, they ended up creating one of the seminal records of world music–one of the very first ethno-techno releases whose reverberations extended into dance clubs around the globe, most especially with "Galbi." While its contemporary sound might make it seem shallow, there really is a lot of depth here, the lyrics coming from the poetry of 16th-century rabbi Shalom Shabazi. Along with fellow spirits like Dissidenten, Haza helped pave the way for Transglobal Underground, Natacha Atlas, and Banco de Gaia.
In 1996, the Afro-Celt Sound System formed a sound clash that mixed Irish music, dance floor grooves, West African percussion, and the kora. While there were highlights, often with help from high profile singing guests like Sinead O'Connor and Peter Gabriel, the albums were fragmented. Now the members have shortened their name to the AfroCelts for their forth album, declaring that the Sound System isn't applicable because they've evolved into a more conventional and fully formed group. The change sounds radical, but it's really just a refinement in their working relationship and songwriting skill. Consequently, Seed holds together more strongly as an album. The songs are more consistently crafted and sonically rich here, with different voices and instruments coming to the fore, but never outshining the greater whole. Highlights include the blues slide guitar-driven title track, the wholly acoustic (which is a first!) and Irish jig-inspired "Ayob's Song/As You Were," and the Radiohead-influenced "All Remains."
La Femme Nikita earned a cult following as a French film, was a disaster as an American remake titled Point of New Return and then appeared in its (presumably) final incarnation as a cult television show for the cable network, USA. The television show turned out to be a much bigger success than anyone imagined, which meant the appearance of a soundtrack was inevitable. Fortunately, the resulting disc is actually quite enjoyable. Like many late '90s soundtracks, La Femme Nikita's foundation is electronica, particularly trip-hop, balanced by moody alternative pop. The blend of the two genres is quite alluring, even if some of the cuts are a little bland. Nevertheless, cuts by Mono, Morcheeba, Depeche Mode, Curve, Fluke, Gus Gus, Morphine and DJ Keoki, as well as Mark Snow's theme, makes the record worthwhile. Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
In 1997, Peter Gabriel was asked to pilot a visual project for London's Millennium Dome. OVO is a work based on the intersecting problems of race relations, environmental concerns, family issues, and fairy tales as allegories, violence, and more…