[Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Nouveau Tour du Monde ’87’ (1981-1987)


Le Nouveau Tour du Monde ’87‘ brings together qualities of three of my favorite Musicophilia projects: the globe-spanning eclecticism of the ‘Le Tour du Monde‘ series; the innovative solid-state aesthetics of the ‘Le Monde du Funk’ series’ 1980s entries; and the sophisticated art-pop of ‘The Dawning‘ and ‘Evensong‘ mixes.  The original ‘Tour’ series that launched Musicophilia dove into the late 60s to mid 70s as the world discovered and melded funk, jazz, early electronics and psychedelia.  In the 80s, a wide variety of music from around the world interpolated the synthesizer, the sampler and the drum machine, providing a unifying thread through seemingly disparate music, and ‘Tour du Monde ’87‘ pulls together tracks from artists from France, the Congo, Japan, Yemin, Cabo Verde, Jamaica, England, Italy, the USA, Nigeria, and Germany.

Rather than encouraging musicians around the world to trade their local traditions whole-cloth in order to imitate a foreign sound, the proliferation of affordable synthesizers in the 1980s often encouraged genuine fusions between the futuristic, sophisticated trans-national veneer of New Wave and electronic pop, funk and dub and local traditions.  The balance between music-without-borders synthesis and local-music-with-electronics varies throughout this mix, but it’s always fascinating to hear the results.  And more importantly, it’s always a pleasure.

YMO heroes Haruomi Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto perhaps most explicitly grapple with the conscious futurist fusion of many cultures, the “neo geo” new world music as Sakamoto called it, giddily blending up Asian (and not just Japanese) music and western sounds.  Byrne and Eno’s ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ provided an early vision of music that exists in the fringes where cultures meet; and African Head Charge explicitly responded to that vision while grappling with the problems inherent in outsider/insider dynamics and the lines between appreciation and appropriation.  Ofra Haza melds the sophisticated pop production techniques of the mid-80s with musical traditions of Yeminite Judaism.  Bony Bikaye and Hector Zazou created an original Afro-futurism that still sounds like the future decades later.  Prince, of course, was virtually the very embodiment of ambiguity and fusion of sounds and cultures, past and future.  So there’s a lot that’s compelling to think about with this music, to be sure–but fortunately, the results of it all are viscerally thrilling, beautiful, funky, playful, physically and emotionally moving.  So better to let the music do the talking!

Please, as always, buy the music and support the artists–these mixes are meant to stand as an individual experience, but it’s always my goal to foment exploration and support of great artists, labels, and shops.  You can download or stream below–thanks for listening, and pass it on!

Various – ‘Le Nouveau Tour du Monde ’87’
1981-1987 | Musique du Monde


01 [00:00] Hector ZAZOU & Bony BIKAYE – “Soki Akie” (‘Mr. Manager’, 1985)
02 [04:35] KONK – “Your LIfe” (“Your Life” EP, 1985)
03 [11:55] Haruomi HOSONO – “Non-Standard Mixture” (“Making of Non-Standard Music” EP, 1984)
04 [16:35] Ofra HAZA – “Im Nin’ Alu” (‘Yeminite Songs’, 1984)
05 [21:50] Quirino DO CANTO – “Mino Di Mama” (‘Cabo Verde Poema Tropical’, 1985)
06 [27:35] African HEAD CHARGE – “Off the Beaten Track” (‘Off the Beaten Track’, 1986)
07 [32:40] Gigi MASIN – “Call Me” (‘Wind’, 1986)
08 [36:55] Chaka KHAN – “Ain’t Nobody” (“Ain’t Nobody” EP, 1983)
09 [41:35] Franco BATTIATO – “Via Lattea” (‘Mondi Lontanissimi’, 1985)
10 [46:20] PRINCE – “Electric Intercourse” (Unreleased, 1984)
11 [51:10] David BYRNE & Brian ENO – “Mea Culpa” (‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’, 1981)
12 [54:40] Sam PHILLIPS – “The Turning” (‘The Turning’, 1977)
13 [58:15] King SUNNY ADE – “Ire” (‘Aura’, 1984)
14 [63:10] Ryuichi SAKAMOTO – “‘Neo Geo” (‘Neo Geo’, 1987)
15 [68:10] Harald GROSSKOPF – “Eve On the Hill” (‘Oceanheart’, 1986)


[Total Time: 1:14:18]

Download ‘Le Nouvea Tour du Monde ’87’ Here (175MB)

Stream here:

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8 thoughts on “[Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Nouveau Tour du Monde ’87’ (1981-1987)

  1. Hosono’s 1989 album omni SightSeeing is being released in the US soon by Light in the Attic. It’s a serious melding of world musics all by itself—perhaps even more so than Sakamoto’s Neo Geo two years prior.

    (Also, the Prince track is part of last year’s expanded Purple Rain CD reissue, so it’s technically no longer unreleased—though it certainly was in 1984.)

  2. Thanks for the heads up, Kevin–don’t know that Hosono album, but he’s always genius. ‘Cochin Moon’ may be my favorite electronic record ever. So I’ll definitely be on the lookout!

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