Okay, this is what I'm listening to that I think is good. As an aside, one of the reviews is for Karsh Kale's new album and my one good Karsh Kale story is that my mom once went up to him and gave him a blessing of sorts when she said "Beta [son] may you make good music and do well" and rubbed him on the back. I think that makes my mom a groupie of sorts.
Ghostface Killah, "Fishscale." [hip hop] - This is the real deal. One of the best hip hop albums this year, it's raw, it has soul, and the lyrics are great. Although there are quite a few skits it doesn't talk away from it. The best part about Ghostface's style I think is that he just rhymes over old soul sample vocals without a thought, as opposed to just isolating the instrumental riff, yet to complement this raw feel he will take a moment to sing along with the sample's vocals like it's a duet. I guess it's a style you'll either like or hate. But if you have any semblance of taste you will like it.
Karsh Kale, "Broken English." [asian underground] - Karsh's third studio album which is a little bit different in the sense that it has more english vocals and doesn't place his musicmanship (is that a word?) at the forefront of every song....that being said that may be the one problem of the album. Some tracks have fantastic soundscapes but the vocal tracks leave something to be desired. In the end you'll put up with it but you're left wishing what could've been if it was just left as an instrumental or with sparse Hindi vocals. Maharashtran pride in the hizzo.
Niyaz, "Niyaz." [arabic electronica] - I like some arabic/middle eastern music and for me this album walks a fine line. Of course that's just a personal preference. But the stuff which is good is damn good. The music isn't fast paced or hard driving for the most part, but rather a bit more moderate pace which is a good change of pace if you ask me, considering where a lot of asian underground music is going these day...but then again you didn't really ask me.
Six Degrees compilation, "Travelers '06." [world, asian underground] - The Travelers series is alwaya no-brainer if you like these genres. It contains remixes of some of the people on this review list, namely Karsh and Niyaz. If you ever have a chance of listening to the Junkie XL remix of Niyaz's "Dilruba" then you're doing yourself a favor. It's fantastic. Heck I'll make life easier by putting it on my next podcast for you to hear.
For the record I ABHOR the term "world music" because it's just a generic label attached to something foreign that doesn't fit into the categories of "rock/pop" and "hip hop." That being said the alternative is having these quasi-sub-genres that don't make any sense. If you think I'm making that up, goto some of the hardcore music review sites like http://www.pitchforkmedia.com Their reviews constantly leave you grabbing for a dictionary to wonder WTF they're talking about. But they're far better than typical newspaper music reviews. Just read their review of the Ghostface album, it's quiiite good. Quite.