world Archive

Mdou Moctar Plays By His Own Rules

The digital age brought with it some fundamental shifts in music industry paradigms. Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar was a beneficiary of those changes, leveraging them to catapult himself to prominence in his home country of Niger. More than a decade later, he’s signed to an established label and touring the globe with his

Combo Chimbita: The Music Tells the Stories

It was five years ago when the four Colombia-born members of Combo Chimbita released their debut EP, El Corredor del Jaguar. At the time — and for a couple of years to follow — the group made a point of defining its music as “tropical futurism.” They explained that to mean that the group made

Screen Classic ‘The Goddess’ Gets a Min Xiao-Fen Score

In 1934, writer-director Wu Yonggang’s silent film Shénnǚ (The Goddess) was released in China. Critically praised and popular among audiences, it was and remains an exemplar of China’s cinematic golden age. Exploring and building upon the beauty of the film, Asheville-based musician-composer Min Xiao-Fen has released White Lotus, an original score for The Goddess. Years

30 Days Out, June 2021 #2: Supatight, Min Xiao-Fen, Love Bubble, Dots

Welcome back to the world, friends. I have some exciting musical news to share. I’m happy to say that the four shows spotlighted below are merely a slice of your live music options in Asheville, N.C. over the next thirty days. And while there are plenty of options, these four come with the Musoscribe seal

30 Days Out, July 2020 #2: Travers Brothership, Free Planet Radio, Up Jumped Three, Jeff Santiago & Los Gatos

Because of the manner in which the pandemic response has been criminally mismanaged by our federal “government,” and because of the contingent that digs in its heels and refuses to do what’s needed to help beat this thing back (hint: social distancing, masks, contact tracing … in other words, what civilized countries around the globe

Che Apalache: Appalachia Meets Argentina

Joe Troop has a finely attuned ear. Seven years ago, the Winston-Salem native and former member of bluegrass group Town Mountain discovered the connections between Appalachian folk music and the musical traditions of South America. Enlisting the help of musicians from Argentina and Mexico, Troop embarked upon an exploration of those connections with a new

For Hawai’ian Trio Waipuna, Stories and Emotions Transcend Language

Among music fans living in mainland United States, there’s relatively little knowledge of Hawai’ian music. And what awareness there is centers largely around Don Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles” and Bing Crosby’s holiday classic “Mele Kalikimaka.” Those commercial smashes merely hint at the rich musical culture of the 50th state. One of the prime exponents of Hawai’ian

Album Review: Rachid Taha — Je Suis Africain

Are you familiar with a musical genre called Chaâbi? Me neither. Put simply (and reductively), it’s North African folk music, sort of a cousin to another style, raï. One of the foremost artists to combine that style with rock was Rachid Taha; the Algerian musician released more than a dozen albums under his own name,

Free Planet Radio: In Pursuit of Modern Jazz

When Free Planet Radio debuted in 2001, the Asheville-based trio was often described as a world music group. And while by definition that label casts a wide net, it was never quite expansive enough to get to the heart of what Free Planet Radio does. The three creatively adventurous musicians have always explored many styles,

La Santa Cecilia: Honesty Transcends Language

Grammy-winning La Santa Cecilia bridges the gap between traditional and modern music. The group of Mexican-American musicians was among the headlining acts at this year’s LEAF Fall Festival. Part of a bill that included Angelique Kidjo, the Wood Brothers, Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles and more than 30 other acts, La Santa Cecilia is