Mon 20 Feb 2012 to Sun 26 Feb 2012

by Various

The annual musical journey for thousands of fans of Australia’s premier festival of music, arts and dance begins now; the WOMADelaide 2012 Compilation CD has been released nationally through Cartell Music and is available online at, all good music stores and via WOMADelaide’s Mr V Music online or onsite stores.

The CD features 16 fabulous tracks selected from the more than 60 groups performing at the 20th anniversary WOMADelaide, to be held from 9-12 March 2012 in Adelaide’s Botanic Park.

From the confines of a comfy chair, listeners can float and dance their way around the globe, from the Ivory Coast to Finland, Spain to Jamaica, France to the Mongolian steppes, Senegal to Ireland, on to Palestine and back to Australia.

Featured on the CD and sure to be one of this year’s festival highlights, is Senegal’s Baaba Maal – an icon of African music since the 80s. His distinctive voice, exhilarating live shows and willingness to experiment with different sounds, while always retaining the beauty of the Senegalese traditions he grew up with, shines through in “Fanta.”

The soaring, pure voice of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is the most distinctive and important in Australian music today. Sung in his native Yolngu tongue atop sparse acoustic accompaniment, his mesmerising sound is captured afresh in the track “Gopuru”, taken from his award-winning second album.

Despite being handicapped by polio and living rough on the streets of Kinshasa, Staff Benda Bilili’s singers, guitarists and percussionists have become a global sensation. The pulse of their Congolese rumba in their track “Moziki” gives you a taste of their energetic, joyous and inspirational live performances.

A few noodling grooves, with Neil Finn on drums and wife Sharon Finn on bass, became a rich array of songs with Sean Donnelly and Alana Skyring (The Grates) for Pajama Club’s acclaimed debut album, released last year.

Hailing from the Ivory Coast, Dobet Gnahoré merges African roots with the European influence of her French guitarist and partner in “Deka.” Direct from France, Lo’Jo find inspiration from gypsy fiddle, chanson, Berber desert music, African talking drums and even elements of Caribbean groove in “Je prends la nuit.”

Chapelier Fou embraces samples and digital delay loops to create intricately-layered sound textures in “Secret Handshake”, while Le Trio Joubran (Palestine) bring new life to the ancient oud in their track “Nawwâr”.

Digging deep into Mongol traditions, the 10-piece Anda Union combines a range of traditional instruments and the majesty of throat singing in “Hoorai.” In stark contrast, Blue King Brown defines urban roots music empowered with fiery social messages in “Never Fade Away.”

Mahala Rai Banda kick serious brass with its fierce 21st Century gypsy funk; hints of dub and soul, Turkish and Arabic music captured in a roaring dance mix “Tu Romnie.” Shikumar Sharma has reinterpreted the role of the Kashmiri 100-string santoor and brings a meditative classical aspect to the CD with “Jhala.” Diego Guerrero y el Solar de Artistas carry the raw, grainy expressiveness that characterises the passion of true flamenco with their track “Malos Tiempos”.

Sharon Shannon reaches beyond Irish traditional music and squeezes fresh sounds from the accordion in “The Wild West Wagon Train.” Capturing the essence of true roots reggae, Groundation blend jazz and dub into their sound in “Humility”.

A bonus track is featured on the CD - The Black Seeds “Bulletproof”. The Black Seeds, appearing at WOMAD NZ a week after WOMADelaide, have carved out a unique sound that fuses reggae with infectious grooves.

Whether it becomes a souvenir of the 20th anniversary WOMADelaide in 2012 or the warm-up to the real thing, the diversity and quality of music on this CD is sure to give audiences an opportunity to discover some new favourite artists.

Past festival compilation CD as well as current and past titles by 2012 festival artists are available from WOMUSIC, the festival’s fantastic on-line music store. This is a one-stop shop giving access to every artist who has played at WOMADelaide since 1992. With over 1,000 titles available, WOMUSIC is a great way to track down those rare, elusive imports and can be accessed through the website

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