Welcome to Brave New World – exploring the world of music. Opinions and reviews of everything from English folk to African funk to Bollywood to Australian Aboriginal music. Stay tuned to discover exciting new music from every corner of the globe!
Posts about specific albums, musicians or genres are categorised by geography as this seemed about the simplest way to do it – categorising by genre would need hundreds of confusing labels. Obviously a geographical categorisation has its limits too, but I’ve tried to keep things fairly simple, mostly by keeping the categories fairly broad. Categorisation is based on musical similarities and not political affiliations – so for example, Turkey is in ‘Arab World and Middle East’, and bhangra is in ‘South Asia’ despite the fact that most of the musicians involved live in the UK.
‘South Asia’ includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the diaspora (and Sri Lanka and the Maldives, if I ever discover any great records to have come from there) – these countries get a category seperate from the rest of Asia due to the huge amount of music that comes from there, the number of different styles and their high profile, and the fact that it’s my particular area of interest and so I’m bound to post about more from there.
‘Australia and Pacific’ covers Oceania/Australasia – so Australia, New Zealand/Aotearoa, New Guinea, the rest of Melanesia, Polynesia and any other Pacific islands. It also includes Hawaii, because culturally, Hawaii is traditionally part of Polynesia rather than North America.
‘Arab World and Middle East’ covers the predominently Arabic countries of North Africa, the Levant and the Gulf, as well as Turkey, the Transcaucasian states (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan), Iran, Israel and the various minority groups in these areas (eg Kurds). I didn’t want to tie myself in knots over the political implications of labelling the area as this, that and the other so hopefully ‘Middle East’ is relatively ideologically neutral.
It seemed to make sense to include Jewish music as a seperate category due to the international nature of the scene; there are klezmer bands in Budapest and New York that sound fairly similar, and so it doesn’t make sense to count some as European music and the others as North American just because of what country they happen to be based in, rather than the style of music they play. On top of this, plenty of klezmer bands feature members from different countries. As well as klezmer, ‘Jewish’ music counts as anything that comes out of Jewish culture – not necessarily religious music, but equally not including music of unrelated styles that just happens to have been made by someone who is Jewish (Serge Gainsbourg doesn’t count!).
‘International and Fusion’ covers collaborations between musicians from different cultures or countries, as well as compilations featuring musicians from different countries.
The other categories should be fairly self-explanatory. Hope you enjoy reading the site and discover something new and interesting to listen to, and leave comments if there’s anything you especially like or dislike!
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