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Unusual Cross-Cultural Collaborations

This New Sounds is full of unexpected musical dream-teams. Listen to a collaboration between Radiohead guitarist/keyboardist Jonny Greenwood, Israel/India-based composer/musician Shye Ben Tzur, and Indian qawwali musicians, The Rajasthan Express, who even sing in Hebrew. It’s from a record (and film by Paul Thomas Anderson) called Junun (which means “the madness of love.”)

Then, listen to New York-based Raya Brass Band, whose new record, RAYA, is full of informed cross-cultural takes on Balkan brass music – here a loping Ethiogroove or New York salsa woven into the New Orleans street party meets Macedonian, Greek, and Turkish wedding music. Listen to the seductive odd sevens of "Dren Gajda," which evokes the sound of the bagpipe, or gajda (which is also a bagpipe-accompanied Macedonian dance.)

Then, there’s tropical psychedelic cumbia from Lima, Peru-based band, Bareto, along with brass-driven Afro-pop from the Washington DC-based band Elikeh, who incorporate Togolese rhythms into their borderless music. (The group’s leader, Massama Dogo, was born in Togo.) Hear Welsh harp, Indian tabla & harmonium, as Mumbai singer Tauseef Akhtar and Welsh singer-songwriter Gwyneth Glyn blend Indian Ghazals with Welsh folk traditional music as Ghazalaw.

Plus, hear music from Hiya wal Âalam, which is Tunisian composer and percussionist Houwaida Hedfi, in collaboration with musicians from Tunisia and Palestine, and Swede Olof Dreijer from The Knife. They use North African percussion instruments like bendir, djembe and chkachek, along with wordless vocals and electronic beats. And much more.