I finished my long-running string of contracts with World Trade Press last week: a grand total of 305 articles over the course of 10 months! Here’s a quick breakdown of what I discovered about a few national music scenes:
Equatorial Guinea: The people living under this country’s authoritarian regime continue to practice tribal music and dancing rituals like the balélé and the ibanga. Hip-hop is huge in Malabo, although I can only wonder how dissident artists feel about the president’s son, who runs the nation’s only radio station and owns a hip-hop record label. I’m guessing that it’s probably the Spanish equivalent of “whack.”
French Guiana: Slave songs and indigenous rhythms form the musical backbone of this French territory, while Caribbean musicians, including French Guianan expats, are hitting it big.
Kosovo: Oh man, do these people ever love their techno. The country’s population is the youngest in Europe, so you’d better believe there are some awesome raves in the woods outside Pristina.
Macau: You can find every type of music in this former Portuguese colony and global tourist hotspot, but creole music typical of the 20th century is disappearing along with the language.
Western Sahara: Sahrawi musicians are all over the Internet, thanks in part to an active independence movement. There are lots of exciting artists from this dry, dusty corner of the world, including Spanish guitarists, R&B groups, and hip-hip musicians.
Blog posts for Strategic Edge last week included an article about new facial-recognition software (with a nod to bank robber and plastic-surgery-enthusiast John Dillinger), calls for tighter regulation on cosmetic produres in the UK, and targeting skin troubles with laser therapies!