World Music: African, Asian, and Carribean

Here is to place to talk about world music, classical and modern Indian music, African music, and of course Caribbean music. Or to put it bluntly, Calypso, Ska, Rocksteady, dub and Reggae.


Thanks for starting this thread @pennstac! I listen to a LOT of world music. I guess I will start…

Briefly, top 3 reggae artists for me besides the immortal Bob Marley: Toots, Gregory Isaacs, Beres Hammond (I’m a lover’s rock stan). And if we want to cover contemporary artists: Chronixx – definitely check this young man out if you haven’t. “Champion” and “Thanks and Praise” are good welcome songs; Tarrus Riley; Malaka Youth (latin reggae). I could go on…

I’m a big fan of desert blues. Bombino “Agadez” is one of my favorite albums to listen to, “Tar Hani” track 2 will seduce anyone with ears and a heart, even if you don’t understand what he’s singing about (moreso if you do). Crushing. He stepped it up a notch in “Nomad” – and by step up, I mean absolutely shredding the guitar up. The album was in collaboration with Dan Auerbach of Black Keys ilk (one of my favorite bands). You can definitely hear the influence. Tinariwen (the band) is also utterly mesmerizing.

I haven’t ventured into modern Indian music per se but do watch a good share of Bollywood and own some of the OSTs. Lagaan is one of my favorites (movie and soundtrack). An oldie but a goodie (from 2000, 2001?)

That’s probably a lot to digest probably so I’ll stop there for now.


It’s good to find more World music fans. I grew up with music-loving parents, and they must have bought this Harry Belafonte album when it first came out. I would have been two, and I can’t remember a time without out it.

Later, this album entered my household during the wonder years, (ages 1-12).

I agree Marley, Toots. Also Steel Pulse, Alpha Blondy.
In World, I also love Tabla Beat Science
And if we go into world/folk, There’s Enya, of course, The Proclaimers, and from Argentina, where I lived for a year, Los Chalchaleros and Los Tucu Tucu.

More later, much to do today.


I’m a big fan of Fela Kuti and Afrobeat, the genre of music he pioneered. A bold and innovative musician, he was also a fascinating, complicated figure, one who was of tremendous political significance in his native Nigeria and beyond. His biography makes for a great read, even in brief overview.

I love his epic, sprawling songs performed with a large band, which could be made up of so many musicians you could be forgiven for thinking the band, the Africa 70, was named for the number of performers in it. The music’s a mix of jazz, with his band’s big horn section, and West African musical traditions, on top of which Fela added funk and other elements. I love the epic, “endless grooves” of his songs, and the great, rousing tunes.

For anyone looking to get into his music, Water No Get Enemy is a great place to start:

There’re also a couple of good compilations like The Two Sides of Fela and The Best of the Black President (both links here are to Tidal). His albums are also on bandcamp now, and here are a couple of good articles about him, the latter having ten recommended songs and a biographical sketch to go along with them.

Great thread!! You’ll have to bear with me on the cuts below…most of the recordings I purchased were in the time period of '85-'05, which dates some of the material. Still, it’s classic world music:

King Sunny Ade “Ilako”

Salif Keita “Africa”

Clara Nunes “A Deusa Dos Orixás”

Sergio Mendez, “Fanfara”

The Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir " Kalimankou Denkou (The Evening Gathering)"

The only thing more beautiful than the music you know, is the music you don’t yet know.


I will definitely be giving this a listen.
And @Pharmaboy, yes King Sunny Ade and Nairobi synthepop music is good.

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@Tchoupitoulas Fela is legendary! Funny though I haven’t considered him “world music” in a long time. That speaks to his genre bending style, and also maybe that he’s big in my American circle of friends (social activists) that I’ve erroneously normalized/appropriated him as American as apple pie. Ironically, neither apple nor pie are American.

I was going to touch upon samba and bossa nova also @Pharmaboy! Sergio and Clara Nunes are staples in my playlists and headphone testing. “Canto Das Tres Racas” is my favorite of hers.

@pennstac Surprisingly, I haven’t connected much with Harry Belafonte’s music. I’m going to give his discography another run. My tastes continue to evolve, sometimes expanding sometimes contracting. Music to me, as I’m sure with others too, is firstly emotive. Each artist or album or track that I would consider my favorite more or less has some significant personal meaning to me, good or bad. I surprisingly haven’t found that connection with Belafonte’s songs.


Getting back to Brazil, several other classics:

Astrid Gilberto & Stan Getz “Corcovado”

Astrid Gilberto “Agua de Beber”

Gilberto Gil “Quilombo”

Caetano Veloso “Ile Aiye”


And there’s Latin American music & Latin jazz…a very deep pond, indeed. Some classics:

Celia Cruz “Melao de Cana”

Beny More “Como Fue”

Ibrahim Ferrer “Todavia Me Queda Voz”

Tito Puente “Ti Mon Bo”


Ali Farka Touré (Rest in Peace) made some awesome African-style (I guess?) Blues


Belafonte was the one who brought Calypso to the American masses, or at least those looking for things related to the Latin beat. Tito Puente and Desi Arnaz did the same for Cuban music. Photogenic, On TV shows, articulate,

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All of these are favorites of mine. It’s fun to use ROON to find the influences on the influencers and keep going back as far as you can.

Definitely! I’m definitely aware and am in awe of Belafonte’s influence. I just simply have not connected emotionally with his songs. I’m definitely willing to try again. Likening this to hip-hop, I’m aware and appreciate Grandmaster Flash or Sugar Hill Gang and could confidently list their discography front to back. However, I don’t have them on repeat as as I don’t connect with them as closely as I do with J Dilla. I think it’s a matter of timing and circumstance as to why I connect with certain artists and songs, while not with others.

Excellent content. Some great music. Though, I especially loved the “Top 20 intro’s of all time” video.

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this is also one of our g.o.a.t. as for chronixx definitely the next generation champion.


Asked my dad for some recommendations.

Ali Farka Touré with Ry Cooder - Talking Timbuktu


Habib Koité & Bamada - Afriki



Loving this thread so much! Lots to add and lots to revisit! Thanks again @pennstac for starting this.

My contribution for today. Another legend, the Queen herself, Calypso Rose. I love her Soca Diva album. Brings back good, fun memories. Carnival in my living room later!

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I will have to find time this week to listen to some of these recommendations.

I’m going to point out - as I did about a year ago when it first came out, a more mainstream artist, and an album worth pulling some tracks out for consideration on your headphone evaluation list.

But first, I vividly recall a steel drum track or two from about 40 years ago played on a 4 channel system with IMF speakers that was just amazing. But I have no idea what it was. If anyone can figure out what brilliantly-recorded Caribbean rhythm that was, please post.

And now, no surprise -


I like the EP, Clandestino. From 2019. Manu Chao, Calypso Rose. A remix set. Three treatments of the same song - I think I like the Kubiyashi remix the best. Whatever. 8 minutes of joy.

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Your Dad has good taste. I’m also a fan of Ry Cooder associations. I’ve listened to this a few times before, Ali Farka Touré is always a treat.

I’m still breaking in the Nectar Hive e-stats, and mostly acoustic world music seems to be a very happy combination.