George Telek is a little bit country, a little bit folk, and a whole lot Papua New Guinea, the biggest musical sensation to come from the islands. This disc — the first from PNG to be released in the northern hemisphere — brings together his influences, from the three-part harmonies and log drums of his native tradition (with their eerie echoes of country and folk, as on "To Pol") to rock, Nashville and a touch of electronica. It's all deliciously accessible and quite catchy — Telek knows how to write Polynesian pop with a twist (listen to the country-fried "Paska") and let a hook build, which he does beautifully on the pidgin "Boystown" and "Talaigu," a song his wrote for his first band. But he can also adeptly reference the older music of his homeland, and he does it on "Barturana (Duke Of York)" — which sounds eerily like Canned Heat's "Goin 'Up The Country" — or the drum-and-voice driven "Tolili Kundu." Telek offers some very serious Tam.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.11.14 in Features
Five music critics discuss the best, worst, and most significant moments in Latin music this year.
By Michaelangelo Matos on 12.08.14 in Reviews
For all the quality mining of African oldies over three and a half decades, it's not as if the coffers have been exhausted. Far from it, especially judging from this nonstop display of one of the great bands of the Congo...
By Claire Lobenfeld on 11.29.14 in News
Spice, Jamaica's queen of dancehall, is gearing up to release her debut EP So Mi Like It. With her contribution to Vybz Kartel's "Rampin Shop," another bananas collab between the two called "Conjugal Visit" and her most...
By John Schaefer on 11.24.14 in Reviews
In this 50th-anniversary romp through Terry Riley's In C, a brilliant ensemble of Malian musicians (mostly playing traditional instruments) joins forces with Damon Albarn, the globetrotting frontman of Blur and Gorillaz;...