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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Songlines - Top of the World 81

I've just renewed my subscription to Songlines Magazine so I better get cracking listening to and reviewing my existing stock of their free CD's before the deluge starts every month as each episode arrives. Top of the World 81 is different in that the main body of the compilation is relatively standard issue. The first ten tracks are usually excellent, but in this case they're jolly enough but hardly sparkling. The Pine Leaf Boys camp it up Cajun style with 'Whiskey C'est Mon Ami', Caci Vorba adds some lovely atmospheric fiddling on 'Me Pacav' and Lepisto and Lehti up the anti with the fantastically minimal 'Ravdanselka'. Ultimately though the first ten tracks are all a little low key.

Step forward Jonathan Dimbleby, guest picker extraordinaire to liven things up. Forget Danny Rampling and Pete Tong, they should get Dimbleby on Radio 1 immediately. Of his picks 'Concepcien' by Sukay is a joyous festival of South American pan pipes, 'Varga Varga' by Chico Trujillo has horns a-plenty in an instrumental master class, and best of all is Samuel Yirga's 'Ambassel In Box Revisited'; a solemn but beautiful piece of piano.

Roll on the next batch. The only thing you can be sure of with the Songlines CD's is that they will be interesting, different and challenge your musical thinking. Not the best of the Top of the World collection but fun nonetheless.


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