The best music of 2012: Global pop
Sunday 30 December 2012
You have to admire artists that go with their instincts regardless of whether there's an audience waiting for them on the other side.
For nearly a decade, American-Israeli group Balkan Beat Box have fused what no band have fused before, and with their fifth album, Give, they've refined their songwriting skills to the point where the result matches their ambitions.
Young Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca's debut, Yo, suggested influences as diverse as Erik Satie and Abdullah Ibrahim. It rarely puts a foot wrong. Vinicio Capossela has been described as Italy's Tom Waits, but his concept album Marinai, Profeti e Balene signposted the fact that he is very much his own man. Incorporating as many styles as there are songs, and utilising everything from orchestra and choir to the most idiosyncratic percussion instruments
Meanwhile, in Switzerland, Mama Rosin continued to believe they had Cajun blood running through their veins. And with Bye Bye Bayou they came as near as they'll ever come to convincing the rest of us that this is the case.
Closer to home, may I introduce you to London band Tigercats, whose debut album, Isle of Dogs, is a strikingly original concoction of late 1970s post-punk, brightened up by jangly Congolese-style guitar. It found itself on my CD player more than anything else in 2012
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest