World Circuit Records have established their reputation by producing some of the finest world music albums of the past two decades, specialising in music from Cuba and West Africa.
The label is best known for the Grammy winning Buena Vista Social Club album, which is the biggest selling world music album of all time, and led to the phenomenal rise in popularity of Cuban music.
We’ve picked out some of our favourite albums from their history below. All of these, and more, now available in-store for just £5.
Buena Vista Social Club – Lost & Found
Almost two decades after the release of the original, Grammy winning album, the romance of the Buena Vista Social Club continues with ‘Lost and Found’, a collection of previously unreleased tracks, some recorded at the first legendary sessions in Havana with producer Ry Cooder and others during the extraordinarily rich outpouring of music that followed.
Toumani Diabate – The Mande Variations
The Mandé Variations breaks new ground for the kora in many ways, establishing this West African harp as one of the world’s great solo musical instruments. Superbly recorded so that we can hear every touch of the strings, every throb and creak of the instrument’s wood and sinew, it is an African classical album that rocks and swings, that has learnt from Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix, yet remains true to the Malian griot music that is its heritage.
Toumani Diabaté, one of Africa’s most remarkable musicians, has produced at once the definitive statement of where the kora is today and one of the most beautiful and accessible albums you will hear.
Ali Farka Toure – Niafunke
After ‘Talking Timbuktu’, Ali retuned to farming in his hometown feeling that his travels abroad were weakening the link between the music and its source. So Nick Gold brought a mobile studio to NiafunkÃ to capture Ali in his own environment.
Throughout the recording Ali was moving between rice fields and the studio yet the results are some of his best recordings.
Buena Vista Social Club – Buena Vista Social Club
Recorded in just six days in 1996 with a stellar cast of Cuban musicians, Buena Vista Social Club has become a musical phenomenon. Awarded a Grammy in 1997 it has sold well over 8 million copies to date and introduced the world to Cuban son, as well as launching both Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzalez as near household names.
The timeless quality of the music and the sheer verve of the performers has ensured that this will go down as one of the landmark recordings of
Ibrahim Ferrer – Buenos Hermanos
Buenos Hermanos an album that is firmly rooted in tradition but at the same time expands the horizons of Cuban music with it’s varied repertoire, or as Ry Cooder simply put it “I think the album’s a goddam classic.” The album received almost universal praise, going on to win both Grammy and Latin Grammy awards.