Putumayo Presents: Israel

Putumayo Presents: Israel / 2007 Putumayo / 12 Tracks / http://www.putumayo.com /

For those individuals that yet do not know what it is that Putumayo does, they attempt to showcase the music from practically every corner of the globe. They’ve released compilations of Celtic, Gypsy, New Orleans, Americana, and Latin Jazz music (and that’s only a drop in the bucket), and they have many countries and styles of music to cover before they close up shop (if they ever close up shop). As one can likely guess from the title of the compilation, Putumayo Records has put out a compilation of the latest and greatest in Israeli music. What is the most interesting fact to “Israel” is the fact that there are so many different styles and musical approaches taken during the 12 cuts of the album.

From Etti Ankri’s “Nilkach Meemeni Sod” to The Idan Raichel Project’s “Mi Ma’amakim”, individuals will simply not know what to expect during each of the tracks. English listeners will be even more left in the dark, as the song titles give little to no clue about the nature of the song. Of particular note during “Israel” is David Broza’s “Srochim” (“Shoelaces”); the track shows a diversity of influences even greater than the panoply of styles and sounds present during the rest of the album. This could be that Broza, out of all of the individuals on “Israel”, is the most famed; hints of traditional Spanish music and American Blues are present, undoubtedly because of the time ey has spent in Spain and touring with such luminaries as Paul Simon, Van Morrison, and Sting in the last decade or two. While Broza is an already established name in the world music world, Idan Raichel and eir eponymous project is perhaps the name that comes out of nowhere. While famous in Israel, it will be eir strong presence on “Israel” that brings Raichel’s name to the forefront.

Eir “Mi Ma’amakim” blends a number of styles throughout the world stage, painting a picture of a modern Israel that is more ersatz than anything. Putumayo has another solid collection of songs with this collection, and hopefully it will be practice for them to come on back to the musical landscape of Israel every few years, to see how the scene has expanded and grew in the time since “Israel” was first released. Give the disc a go if you fancy yourself to be a purveyor of world music, no matter what section of the world that you focus in.

Top Tracks: The Idan Raichel Project’s “Mi Ma’amakim”, David Broza’s “Srochim”

Rating: 6.5/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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