Global .Wav

Wind of Windows 97 | Global .Wav

Ukraine, 2011?

This video is an undated remix of Ukranian pop star, Evgenia Vlasova’s aptly-named, “Wind of Hope” track from 2002. A pastiche of the original video and some amazing Windows ’97 kaleidoscopic beach templates (don’t quote me, I’m no screensaver connoisseur), the imagery is meant to elicit the most appropriate kind of “hope” — the default kitsch variety. The unmistakable thread lining a lot of Ukrainian pop music is that many artists are classically trained, which when translated into pop, manifests itself as hilariously un-innovative. This cross-blend of classical education and pop production is quite prominent in China and former Soviet countries. Alas, the results are excessively cheesy in a virtuosic kind of way, Evgenia can clearly hit some really high notes, but who cares? The bizarre chorus even contains a hint of early 90s Deep Forest style vocals (the kind spoken by a small tribe) transmuted into early 2000s scat. Actually, the entire song is early 90s era folk club sounding, especially at the 2:20 mark breakdown. And that fact is the most compelling feature of this song, in addition to Evgenia’s superbly awkward shoulder dance. Nothing like starting the year with a low res beach thumbnail-heavy, former Soviet bloc, post-opera, retro euro club track!

Global .Wav | A One-Sided Argument for Angola

Angola, 2008 Ok, this is a kuduro video. There are a shitload of blog entries and articles about this genre hailing from Angola and the Angolan diaspora. Read up. I’m only discussing the video here, which is “Mama Kudi” by DJ Nays and Costuleta. The video begins with a BMW SUV pulling up on a dirt road, then all hell breaks loose. We see the requisite dancing girls, but more importantly, Costuleta—the one-legged co-producer of… [read more »]

Romantic Cemetery | Global .Wav

Iraq, 2011 I really wish I could just permanently blog about Iraqi music, it’s always on point. In this video, Hassan Hadi sings Aroosa, meaning “Bride.” The bride in question is at her dead husband’s grave, looking a little Matrix with her entourage. Hassan is coyly asking for a kiss with the permission of her dead man. Back up: Iraqis are an extremely melancholic people, and no amount of death references can faze them. They… [read more »]

Global .Wav | Slim vs. Fluffy

Jamaica, 2009 Listening to Jamaican female MCs nowadays is like being pounded with a steel handbag. The violence of their vocals is real, and like most Jamaicans, they don’t give a fuck. This video is a dream duet between two such MCs, Spice and Pamputtae called Slim vs. Fluffy. And although the song is surprsingly about weight, slim vs. fat (fluffy)–a subject denigrating to women, this video inadvertently chills the heated issue with a pride-heavy… [read more »]

Global .Wav | Kurdish Rural Rave

Kurdistan, 2011 A Serb coined the term “Turbo Folk” in the late ’80s to describe a revved-up folk music via pop and dance engine fuel. And although Turbo Folk is inherently Serbian, I believe the term can be used to describe many a globally updated folk genre. Keeping this in mind, we approach the video for the song “Gal Gal Nazdaran” by Mehdi Alizadeh with a fast and furious zeal. The song is an example… [read more »]

Global .Wav | Pixie Pose

Estonia, 2007? As I searched for this week’s installment, I decided to go for a more random country, one that didn’t strike me as a primary magnet for world music lovers. And that’s when I came across this confounding video for Raske loobuda, a song by the convivial Estonian duo, Pixie Twins. Confounding because it’s intensely comedic, while being entirely devoid of the later intention or any sense of self-awareness. Basically, if a Hallmark card… [read more »]

Global .Wav | Soggy Doggy

Tanzania, 2007 Soggy Doggy (AKA Chief Rumanyka) has to be one of the best MC names out there. The fact that he’s rapping over what clearly sounds like Grime in Tanzania is totally badass. The intro for this video features Soggy dangling a silver cross chain, behind him a beach full of people wearing white clothes, swaying to a Grimey beat. We then see Soggy, a man of small stature, practically drowning (in a good… [read more »]

Global .Wav | East African Eros

Tanzania, 2008? The video for the song “Ni Soo” by Tanzanian heartthrob, Pasha, is brimming with saturated, earth tone sensuality. But before we delve into the visual aspects of the video, let’s reflect on Swahili, the language of this song and the lingua franca of East Africa. Swahili has always held a mythical, slightly dreamy status in my mind, its name adapted from the Arabic word sawahil, meaning “coastal.” It’s widely spoken in the aforementioned… [read more »]

Global .Wav | Trance Tween Queen

Iran, 2006? DJ Negar is a tween trance act from Iran, a trusted source of hyper-melancholic music. In this first video, we find Negar decked out in a faux Formula-1 Racing outfit, complete with red baseball cap, in a TV studio recording. Her weepy facial expressions and praying/pleading hand gestures amidst a glistening sheen background visual is bewildering and begs me to ask, how did they reach this styling conclusion? The name of the song… [read more »]

Global .Wav Radio Show

Afghanistan, 2007? This incredible song, whose title remains mysterious, by the duo of Feroz & Naznin, allows the viewer to look into a demonized country’s entertainment. Afghani music remains largely unexplored by outsiders, and to a certain extent, is seen as existing in a medieval vacuum of classicist, folkloric genres. This video, and many others, challenge that cliched notion. The use of auto-tune for vocals, which although rampant across the globe, is refreshing in this… [read more »]

Kazakhstan, 1999? The video for “Legko,” the only song I could locate by Kazakh boy band Bubliki, is a perfect example of a cheesy late 90s Europop Techno track. But it’s way more than that. The band is comprised of ethnic Kazakhs and Caucasian guys singing in Russian, the second language of many a former Soviet state. This Eurasian situation makes it way hotter, obviously, and reflects the geographical position of a transcontinental nation that… [read more »]

Iran (via California), 1997 The 90s band Silhouettt -with three T’s- known as Sepideh in Farsi, consisting of three women, was supposedly the first all-female Iranian band. The name of this song, Korshid Khanom (Lady Sun) from their album, aptly-titled, “Water, Fire & Earth,” conjures up a Witches of Eastwick sensibility, however with Zoroastrian directions instead of New England Satanism. Regardless, it’s pretty amazing how much the movie influenced this particular video. Although the film… [read more »]

Bobby Brown had a sweeping effect upon young men in the Middle East during the late ’80s and early ’90s. I remember the boys in Kuwait desperately trying to copy his style to impress the girls, who were all naturally Bobby-obsessed. One Turkish guy went all the way to emulate not merely the style but also the singing of our New Jack god: Ahmet. Wrapped in a black tee; full-length, opened pin-striped shirt (with a… [read more »]

This first installment offers a glimpse into the world of Hijab Mannequin Head styling.

Mongolia, 2010 – A brief preface: Mongolian contains many borrowed words from Russian, Farsi, Arabic and Chinese among many languages. It is also sometimes written in Cyrillic, making it exceptionally cool and really hard to pin down. “Sanaa Tavi” is a song from a super-hot Mongolian rapper by the easygoing name of Gee. Let’s just say he’ll send a few panda aficionados into a quiver (you know who you are). This track has all the… [read more »]

Global .Wav | Our Lady of Rita

This Snooki-like Iraqi singer, Rita Al Turk, is giving signals and outfit changes from Baghdad that cannot be ignored. First off, her song is called “I Don’t Wanna Love You,” which instantly reminded me of the earnestness of country-western song titles. Also, I did find a song called “I Don’t Want to Love You, (But I Do)”—Ewww!—by “Kelly Willis,” some crap country crooner whose being is vastly inferior to our lady of Rita.

Germany, 1994 – Der Berg Ruft (The Mountain Calls…) by German band K2 is one of those videos that provokes discussion about cultural appropriation vs. cultural homage. Several factors contribute to the existence of this epileptic video: the rise of Alpine folk dance music bands like Edelweiss (from Austria) who sampled yodeling, dressed up in lederhosen and generally pioneered the fusion of the Middle European ethnic look with club attire. Included in the above is… [read more »]

Indonesia, 2007? – Uut Permatasari is the grand dame of dangdut (also known as dangdut disco), a popular genre of dance music in Indonesia that has been the rage for a number of years. In fact, just saying her first name makes me feel faint. Her legendary dance moves, like twirling one leg over the knee while spinning full circle, are bold additions to the œuvre of music video choreography. “Mabuk Janda,” a folk song… [read more »]

Romania, 2010 – There are few women out there who believe with all of their might that they’re capable of singing like a legendary R&B chanteuse. Catalina Toma from Romania is one of these people. Her song, “Why…My Lord,” is highly problematic and a contender for “Sluttiest Christian Pop Video of the Year Award”. But then again, where does it say in The Bible that you can’t sing about God while flirtatiously exposing your tramp… [read more »]