Kate Bush's top 10 world music tracks

The elusive pop singer enthuses about her Top 10 album-track choices from around the globe to Simon Broughton. And there's even a place for Rolf Harris
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The Independent Culture

Kate Bush has returned after 12 years to glowing reviews for the long-awaited Aerial album. This is ethereal and idiosyncratic with more than a touch of domesticity, as befits a 47-year-old mother. It couldn't have been written by anyone else.

Here, Bush gives her top 10 world music tracks, many of which are by musicians - from Bulgaria to Australia via Madagascar - with whom she has collaborated.

'Salegy Gasikara' by Justin Vali

I first heard Justin's music through my brother Paddy, who has a deep love of Malagasy music. I love the quality of Justin's voice, it is very manly and also has a softness that I find very seductive. He is a wonderful musician and his music is so full of joy. He appears on The Red Shoes.

'Bonde' by Ali Farka Touré and Ry Cooder

I love this combination of two talents, both very powerful in their own right. They've made a great album that is full of naivity and humanity.

Mná Na hÉireann sung by Ceoltóirí Chualann and Seán Ó

I listen to this and I hear my ancestors calling me. An achingly beautiful song, sung with honesty and a depth of feeling that I've seldom come across.

'Snoshti Sem Minal, Kuzum Elenke' (I passed by last night, Elenke) by Trio Bulgarka

My three favourite female singers let rip on this gorgeous song. It was very hard to just pick one because I love everything they have done. When they sing you can hear the air cracking, it is a deeply moving experience, so powerful. They appeared on The Sensual World.

'Sun Arise' by Rolf Harris

This is beautifully produced by George Martin, sung and composed by Rolf himself and also featuring him on the didgeridoo. Rolf is such a multi-talented man, this song is full of atmosphere and is still one of my all-time favourite tracks. Rolf is heard on The Dreaming as well as Aerial, where he pops up briefly in the persona of a pavement artist (on "The Painter's Link").

'Bird out of Cage' by Eberhard Weber

His work is so expressive and I find it very visual too. I love watching his solo live performances. Very few performers are able to hold an audience as well as Weber does, and with the use of digital delays and his great talent he builds up layers of sound, and creates an orchestral backdrop on top of which he then solos. This is one of his most fascinating tracks. He appears on my albums The Sensual World, Hounds of Love and The Dreaming.

'Tolka Polka' by Donal Lunny

I defy anyone to listen to this and not to want immediately to get up and dance. This is a fabulous example of how exciting Irish music can be and I am a great admirer of Donal's work. He appears on my albums The Dreaming, The Sensual World and Hounds of Love.

'Habbaytak Bessayf' sung by Fairuz.

The Lebanese-born Fairuz has been a leading singer of the Arab world for 50 years. This woman's voice has a maturity which I really like and a darkness that never allows me to hear it just once. I always have to put it back on and listen two or three times.

'Port Na bPucai' by Davy Spillane and Kevin Glackin

I adore Irish pipers and I've chosen this track by Davy because it is so moving. I am always touched by his emotive playing and I admire him for not only his musicianship but also his ability to make pipes. He is a real craftsman. He performs on The Sensual World.

'Kimiad' by Alan Stivell

I first heard this song through my brother correct John, who is a big fan of Alan Stivell. I love the anthemic quality of this piece and I also love the delicacy of his harp playing with his stirring voice. He appears on The Sensual World.

© Simon Broughton. With many thanks to Paddy Bush. Kate Bush's world music playlist features exclusively on the CD covermount with the new issue of 'Songlines', out next Friday from all good record shops, or at www.songlines.co.uk; 020-7371 2777

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