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
Grace Dent on TVtv
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Nineteen-year-old student left gifts for parents before taking her own life
- 4 Deliberately urinating before sex can increase risk of urinary tract infections
- 5 Winston Churchill: From accusations of anti-Semitism to the blunt refusal that led to the deaths of millions
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
David Cameron says anyone criticising Eric Pickles' letter to Muslims 'really has a problem'