Best World Music Albums of 2014

Music critics and special guest at World Music Central today unveiled their list of the world’s best music albums of 2014. Although a handful of albums were released before 2014 in some territories, release schedules vary. from one territory to another and the majority of these recordings were published in 2014.

Johannes Theurer (Germany)

Our special guest this year is Johannes Theurer, a radio host from the German capital, Berlin. He has been producing his radio show ‘Dschungelfieber’ on public service radio since 1987. Johannes’s radio show is an integral part of the World Music Charts Europe which includes 46 radio broadcasters in 24 countries, which he compiles monthly.

Johannes’s most played CDs this year were:

1 – Toumani & Sidiki (World Circuit) by Toumani & Sidiki Diabate (Mali)

Toumani & Sidiki Diabaté – Toumani & Sidiki

2 – Landini (Real World) by Aurelio (Honduras)

Aurélio - Landini
Aurélio – Landini

3 – Queen Between (World Village) by Susheela Raman (United Kingdom)

Susheela Raman - Queen Betweenn (Village of the World)
Susheela Raman – Queen Between (World Village)

4 – Feryad-I Kemane (Oenarth Records) by Cafer Nazlibas (Turkey)
This artist is an extremely talented young Kemanche player from Turkey – I hope to hear more from him in the future!

Cafer Nazlibas - Feryad-I Kemane (Oenarth Records)
Cafer Nazlibas – Feryad-I Kemane (Oenarth Records)

5 – Linyera (Village of the World) by Melingo (Argentina)

Melingo - Linyera (Village of the World)
Melingo – Linyera (World Village)

6 – Transoriental Orchestra (Kayax) from Kayah (Poland)

Kayah - Transoriental Orchestra
Kayah – Transoriental Orchestra

7 – Symphonic Taraab (JARO) by Mohammed Issa ‘Matona’ Haji & Rajab Suleiman The Norwegian Radio Orchestra with Maryam Said Hamdun (Norway / Tanzania)

Mohammed Issa 'Matona' Haji & Rajab Suleiman The Norwegian Radio Orchestra with Maryam Said Hamdun - Symphonic Taraab (JARO)
Mohammed Issa ‘Matona’ Haji & Rajab Suleiman The Norwegian Radio Orchestra with Maryam Said Hamdun – Symphonic Taraab (JARO)

8 – Salvadora Robot (Soundway) by Meridian Brothers (Colombia)

Meridian Brothers - Robot Salvadora (Soundway)
Meridian Brothers – Robot Salvadora (Soundway)

9 – Sobre Noites e Dias (No Format!) By Luccas Santana (Brazil)

Luccas Santana - Sobre Noites e Dias (No format!)
Luccas Santana – Sobre Noites e Dias (No format!)

10 – San Augustin (Alex Wilson Records) by Edwin Sanz (Venezuela / United Kingdom)

Edwin Sanz - San Augustin (Alex Wilson Records)
Edwin Sanz – San Augustin (Alex Wilson Records)

Favorite compilation:

Galiza (Folmusica) by Kepa Junkera and various artists from Galicia (Spain)

Kepa Junkera - Galiza
Kepa Junkera – Galiza

Favorite reissue:

Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako (Stern’s) by Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako (Mali)

The Ambassadors - The Ambassadors Of The Motel De Bamako
The Ambassadors – The Ambassadors Of The Motel De Bamako

TJ Nelson (North Carolina, United States)

TJ Nelson is a CD reviewer and regular publisher at World Music Central

TJ’s Top Ten World Music Albums for 2014 (in no specific order):

Dawn (HopeStreet Recordings) by Emma Donovan & The Putbacks (Australia)

    Emma Donovan & The Putbacks - Dawn (HopeStreet Recordings)
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks – Dawn (HopeStreet Recordings)

Film of Life (Jazz village) by Tony Allen (Nigeria)

Tony Allen - Life Movie
Tony Allen – Life Movie

Ancient Sufi invocations and forgotten songs from Aleppo (Electric Cowbell Records) by Nawa (Syria)

Nawa - Ancient Sufi Summons and Forgotten Songs of Aleppo (Electric Cowbell Records)
Nawa – Ancient Sufi Summons and Forgotten Songs of Aleppo (Electric Cowbell Records)

The Master by Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan (USA / India)

Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan - The Master
Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan – The Master

Junkyard Ball (Lusti Music / Sibelius Akatemia) by Tero Hyvaluoma (Finland). An excellent CD from 2013 reviewed in 2014.

Tero Hyvaluoma - Junkyard Ball
Tero Hyvaluoma – Dump Ball

Tzenni (Glitterbeat) by Noura Mint Seymali (Mauritania)

Noura Mint Seymali - Tzenni
Noura Mint Seymali – Tzenni

Abraçaço (Nonesuch) by Caetano Veloso (Brazil)

Caetano Veloso - Abraçaço (Nonesuch)
Caetano Veloso – Abraçaço (Nonesuch)

Viento y Marea de Jerez Texas (Spain)

Jerez Texas - Viento y Marea
Jerez Texas – Viento y Marea

Walking Through Clay (Sugar Hill Records) by Dirk Powell (United States)

Dirk Powell - Walking In Clay (Sugar Hill Records)
Dirk Powell – Walking In Clay (Sugar Hill Records)

Devil’s Tale (Asphalt Tango Records) by Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia (Canada / Romania). Another fabulous CD from 2013 reviewed in 2014.

Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia - Devil's Tale (Asphalt Tango Records)
Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia – Devil’s Tale (Asphalt Tango Records)

Tom orr (California, United States)

Tom is a regular CD reviewer at World Music Central

Top Ten Tom’s World Music Albums for 2014 (in no specific order):

Moving On by Roy and Yvonne (Jamaica)

Roy and Yvonne - Moving Forward
Roy and Yvonne – Moving Forward

The Birth of Jungle Cumbia by Juaneco y su Combo (Peru)

Juaneco y su Combo - The Birth of the Jungle Cumbia
Juaneco y su Combo – The Birth of the Jungle Cumbia

Calaita Flamenco Son by Calaita Flamenco Son (United Kingdom / Spain)

Calaita Flamenco Son - Calaita Flamenco Son
Calaita Flamenco Son – Calaita Flamenco Son

Modernizers of Afro-Colombian sounds by Son Palenque (Colombia)

Son Palenque - Modernizers of Afro-Colombian sounds
Son Palenque – Modernizers of Afro-Colombian sounds

News from Runa (USA)

Runa - Current Affairs
Runa – Current Affairs

Landini d’Aurelio (Honduras)

Aurélio - Landini
Aurélio – Landini

Good Prevails by Alpheus (United Kingdom)

Alpheus - Good wins
Alpheus – Good wins

Konpa Lakay from Boulpik (Haiti)

Boulpik - Konpa Lakay
Boulpik – Konpa Lakay

Sunken City Original Soundtrack by Next Level Sound System

Next Level Sound System - Sunken City Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Next Level Sound System – Sunken City Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Neva / Harmony by Olcay Bayir (Turkey)

Olcay Bayir - Neva / Harmony
Olcay Bayir – Neva / Harmony

Tony hillier (Australia)

Tony Hillier is based in Cairns in the far north of Queensland. He writes for national publications such as Weekend Australian magazine and Rhythms.

Tony’s Top Ten World Music Albums of 2014 (in no specific order):

Baifang by Hanggai (China)

Hanggai - Baifang
Hanggai – Baifang

Oj Tak! By Chlopcy Kontra Basia (Poland)

Chlopcy Kontra Basia - Oj Tak!
Chlopcy Kontra Basia – Oj Tak!

Mortissa by Cigdem Aslan (Turkey)

Cigdem Aslan - Mortissa
Cigdem Aslan – Mortissa

Permission To Evaporate by Joseph Tawadros (Australia)

Joseph Tawadros - Clearance to Evaporate
Joseph Tawadros – Authorization of evaporation

Lullaby and… The Endless Roar by Robert Plant (United Kingdom)

Robert Plant - Lullaby and… The Endless Roar
Robert Plant – Lullaby and… The Endless Roar

Yo by Roberto Fonseca (Cuba)

Roberto Fonseca - Yo
Roberto Fonseca – Yo

A Long Way To the Beginning by Seun Kuti + Egypt 80 (Nigeria)

Seun Kuti + Egypt 80 - A long way to the start
Seun Kuti + Egypt 80 –
A long way to the start

Bloody Rain by Sarah Jane Morris (UK)

Sarah Jane Morris - Bloody Rain
Sarah Jane Morris – Bloody Rain

Follow The Path by Shaolin Afronauts (Australia)

Shaolin Afronauts - Follow the path
Shaolin Afronauts – Follow the path

Wild Goats and Single Women by She’Koyokh (United Kingdom)

She'Koyokh - Wild Goats and Single Women
She’Koyokh – Wild Goats and Single Women

Best compilation:

Various artists – Real World 25 (different countries)

Various Artists - Real World 25
Various Artists – Real World 25

Best reissue:

Grit by Martyn Bennett

Martyn Bennett - Grit
Martyn Bennett – Grit

Madanmohan Rao

Madanmohan Rao is a Bangalore-based music publisher and DJ specializing in world music and jazz. He is a regular contributor to World Music Central.

Madan’s Best World Music Albums for 2014 (in no specific order):

“Santie Papang” (Sakifo Records) by Maya Kamaty (Reunion Island)

Maya Kamaty - Santie Papang
Maya Kamaty – Santie Papang

“TransBangla” (BanglaNatakby) by East West Local (India)

Local East West - TransBangla
Local East West – TransBangla

“Gambia” (Joluv Arts Entertainment) by Jalimadi (Gambia)

    Jalimadi - Gambia
Jalimadi – Gambia

“Kashi” (White Swan Records) by Prem Joshua & Chintan (India)

Prem Joshua and Chintan - Kashi
Prem Joshua and Chintan – Kashi

“Tariq” (Arc Music) by Jaume Compte & Nafas Ensemble (Spain / Middle East)

Jaume Compte & Nafas Ensemble - Tariq
Jaume Compte & Nafas Ensemble – Tariq

The Rough Guide To Music In Mali (World Music Network)

The rough guide to the music of Mali
The rough guide to the music of Mali

Angel Romero Ruiz (United States / Spain)

Angel is the founder of World Music Central.

Angel’s Top Ten World Music Albums for 2014 (in no specific order):

Tzenni (Glitterbeat) by Noura Mint Seymali (Mauritania)

Noura Mint Seymali - Tzenni
Noura Mint Seymali – Tzenni

The Master (Six Degrees Records) by Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan (United States / India)

Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan - The Master
Warren Cuccurullo & Ustad Sultan Khan – The Master

Memoria (Diagram) by Toco (Brazil)

Toco - Memoria
Toco – Memoria

Incantations (White Swan Records) by Sheela Bringi (United States)

Sheela Bringi - Incantations
Sheela Bringi – Incantations

Dos (Zomusic) by Zoobazar (Spain)

Zoobazar - Back
Zoobazar – Back

Bailar En La Cueva (Warner Music Latina) by Jorge Drexler (Uruguay / Spain)

Jorge Drexler - Bailar En La Cueva
Jorge Drexler – Bailar En La Cueva

FBB (Siba Records SRCD-1012) by Sibelius Academy Folk Big Band (Finland)

Sibelius Academy Folk Big Band - FBB
Sibelius Academy Folk Big Band – FBB

Classic Griot by Mamadou Diabaté (Mali)

Mamadou Diabaté - Classic Griot
Mamadou Diabaté – Classic Griot

Canción Andaluza (Universal Music Spain) by Paco de Lucía (Spain)

Paco de Lucía - Canción Andaluza
Paco de Lucía – Canción Andaluza

Planetary Coalition (Artist Share) by Alex Skolnick (USA and international guests)

Alex Skolnick - Planetary Coalition
Alex Skolnick – Planetary Coalition

Best compilation:

Real World 25 (Real World Records) by various artists (various countries)

Various Artists - Real World 25
Various Artists – Real World 25

Best reissue:

Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako (Sterns Africa STCD 3065-66CD) by Les Ambassadeurs (Mali)

The Ambassadors - The Ambassadors Of The Motel De Bamako
The Ambassadors – The Ambassadors Of The Motel De Bamako

Best packaging:

Razón de Son (Folmusica CD + book) by Raúl Rodríguez (Spain)

Raúl Rodríguez - Razón de Son
Raúl Rodríguez – Razón de Son

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music for many years. He founded the worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com websites. Angel is also a co-founder of the Transglobal World Music Chart.

Angel has also produced and remastered world music studio albums and compilations for labels such as Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts and Music of the World.

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