“World Fusion” mp3 Mix

A while back I asked if anyone was interested in a weekly mp3 mix. Nothing too chunky in terms of file size (i.e., 15-20 songs), but something more like a mini-mix you can have on in the background while you work at your computer. The consensus was something along the lines of: “Do it!” That’s all I needed. You know, a not-so-subtle nudge to get me back into mixing songs again.

Even though I’m a rocker at heart, I’m pretty much open to most genres of music (except country. I like a lot of alt country, but country music bugs me, so I keep away from it).

So today, I perused my collection and found some songs that are very much about fusing influences from around the world. Sure, you can say that a good deal of music is about fusion, and I would probably agree, but there are some artists that really try and fold in authentic sounds that don’t come across as “exotic flourishes” or naked colonization. And I think I found some good examples!

For those who are interested in these artists, here’s a brief track listing:

1. “Heavy Intro” Amar – This tune has a classically Indian feel to it, but it may surprise you to know that Amar was 14 when she sang it. She’s culturally British, so she probably assimilated the dominant British culture while relegating her Indian roots to the periphery of her day to day (i.e., home, Indian movies, and religious services).

2. “Christainsands” Tricky — One of those “trip-hop” artists who took hip-hop in a direction that fused funk with Bjork-like weirdness. What I love about this song is not only is hypnotic and haunting quality, but when he says “It means we’ll manage/I’ll master your language/And in the meantime/I create my own/By my own,” it strikes me as a post-colonial statement where identity and assimilation are in a tension with one another. And again, since Tricky is culturally British, but ethnically African, you have some similar artistic expressions as Amar and the “Asian Underground.”

3. “Adouma” Santana – When you look through a back catalogue of classic rock albums, Santana’s music is the only one to combine Latin, Afro-Caribbean, and 4/4 rock in such a way that exudes a kind of authenticity. Sure, he has done his fair share of selling out – especially with the album “Shaman.” However, he gets credit for leading the album with this gem!

4. “Can’t Hide Love” Earth, Wind & Fire — The Egyptian imagery…the funky grooves…the great harmonies…Phil Bailey’s voice. If Steve Martin didn’t already write the phrase, Earth, Wind & Fire would have to have named at least one of their albums “Funky Tut!”

5. “Sirene De La Fete” Brazilian Girls – The only “girl” in the band is not even from Brazil! But when you get the rest of the band together, you get a European cosmopolitan stew of songs sung in German, Italian, French and English. This song sounds like it should be featured in some stereotypically French film that’s heavy on the symbolism and light on the irony.

So enjoy mes amis/mis amigos/meine Freunde/mijn vrienden/my friends![Note: Download no longer available]

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