The old adage about music being the universal language might actually have some credence after all. Kalibé isn’t a person or even a band, it’s an ever-changing collective of musicians from across the world. So far, so beendoneamilliontimesbefore. Except, this really is World Music. Where else have you ever heard Mongolian throat singing fit perfectly alongside Amazonian tribal flutes? What initially seems like a social experiment more than a desire to make music for pleasure soon becomes a distant memory when listening to their two albums.
Their first, “La Danse d’Harmattan”, was something of a concept album telling tales from those most keenly affected by the issue of human migration. These aren’t abstract ideas, they are literally stories of life and death and are both moving and chilling. Their latest album, Mãe da Lua (named after its lead chanteuse) is based on the theme of spirituality – musicians from South America, Persia, Africa and Europe combine to thrilling effect, using instruments as diverse as karimba, sitar and kora to create trance-inducing rhythms and melodies which would be impossible to create in any other environment.
Kalibé is what world music should be all about – not just championing native instrumentation and heritage but to be sharing it with other cultures and showing how, for all our differences, our ideals are all the same and our need for music as a curative force is needed now more than ever.