Please enjoy this week's picks!
"Diaphanes" by Dhafer Youssef
Youssef grew up in Tunisia and at a young age made his first oud out of whatever he could find lying around -- cans, bicycle spokes, fishing net. That young oud player, with his homemade oud, has grown up into a magnificent player. Playing music that captures your attention like only the oud can, Youssef performs music best for contemplation or meditation. The soft melodies are relaxing, and yet provoke introspection and reflection. This track is from his 2003 album, Digital Prophecy.
"Asfalt Tango" by Fanfare Ciocarlia
To wake you up after the calming tack by Youssef, here's something a little more exciting. Fanfare Ciocarlia is a gypsy brass band from Northern Romania. This track is from their 1999 release, Baro Biao. This track is a perfect example of the Balkan groove and should at the very least get your foot tapping.
"Africans" by Nneka
Nneka is a Nigerian-German hip hop singer who sings in either English or Igbo. She grew up in Nigeria, but started her music career after moving to Germany when she was 18. This track was released on her 2005 album, Victim of Truth and asks Africans to wake up and stop blaming.