My love for Jam band music is innate within me as a person but for the past few years I have been delving further and further into music from all around the world. These influences and musical contributions to humanity itself are far-reaching and grand in the scheme of things. Music is the language of us all. It is the root of the universe and the rhythm of life itself. American music has influenced people from all over the world but the industry can be very selfish and close-minded. In this editorial, I would like to encourage all of my readers to listen to and engage in new music and especially, music from other countries, you never know what's going to speak to your soul.
While Afro-beat is not new by any means lately, I have been seeing a resurgence of this West African tradition, which takes it influences from Jazz and other Western musical derivatives. Felt Kuti seems to be the originator or at least the most famous of all Afrobeat artists from the 1970s and beyond but there are many new artists doing the same thing that possibly don't get as much recognition. Besides Fela’s son Femi and grandson Seun, who keep this tradition alive, The Antibalas have emerged from Afro-beat, Reggae and Latin music combined. If you want to explore new music and rhythms start The Antibalas, they are one of the most original and danceable bands I have seen in years.
Tinariwen has taken the world by storm this year and if you haven't heard of this band, you have to check them out immediately. This band turns traditional Arabic music on its head and adds hard hitting, rock sounds and musical structures. They recently did their first tour of America with resounding success.
We never seem to talk about Australian music enough and they seem to have taken the psychedelic tradition from the 1960s on to the next level. A few bands come to mind when I think of the new psychedelic Australian musical and cultural movement. King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard are psychedelic rock meets progressive punk mixed with Celtic rhythms not heard in popular music today. It's really hard to describe King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard so, it's best just to listen to them. They are the only band to have a completely atonal album and their music videos are completely wild and eccentric. They toured North America this year and sold out almost every performance. I'm sure you will hear more about them soon. The Babe Rainbow is another Australian act that has caught my attention with their groovy, smooth, psychedelic flow. Songs like ‘Planet Junior’ and ‘Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest” can immediately take you back in time and are great examples of how this band incorporates sitar and ambient sounds.
If you're interested in World Music and International Music, I suggest you check out these bands and see where it takes you. I am also interested in expanding my musical knowledge and if anyone has any other international bands that I should check out, please feel free to drop me an email or comment.
Keep Your Ears And Heart Open,