ALBUM REVIEW: Gilles Peterson presents: Worldwide

by Couch Sessions

Gilles Peterson has been a champion of new music for the past 10 years thanks to his BBC Radio 1 program, Worldwide, as well as being the head of several influential record labels, the latest being Brownswood Recordings.  But the music isn’t just new, like…it’s not the new Justin Bieber or Katy Perry record.  The music is hot nonetheless.  It is usually unique, urbane, and unheard of by the masses.  It is music that has that thing that transcends language, race, and other cultural barriers that we inflict upon ourselves.  With this newest retrospective compilation, Gilles Peterson presents:  Worldwide, billed as “A celebration of his syndicated radio show,” we get a glimpse into the world of newness that Gilles has been exposing us to throughout the years, as well as a hint of where music will be heading in the near future.

As a retrospective, it highlights just how influential Gilles has been and still is.  Artists who may have floundered in the underground trenches of the music scene are given a chance to see daylight and get the praise that they are due.  As a compilation, it’s a well-rounded, groove-minded collection with an unabashed display of diversity.  The songs all represent the progressive vision of soul, jazz, hip-hop, Afrobeat , and electronic music. I like the fact that the songs are not so eclectic that you end up saying to yourself, “What the fuck is this?” but moreso “Hmmm…that’s kinda hot.  Where can I get more of that?”  Your head will stay in “bop” mode for the majority of this set.

Jay Dee – Rico Suave Bossa Nova
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Amy Winehouse  – Take The Box
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These songs that Gilles has chosen stand on their own as studies in quiet confidence.  As a cohesive unit, the songs paint a picture of the man that chose them.    Gilles proves time and time again not only does he have an extremely discerning ear, but he also has a sense of who may end up having longevity in the game.  There are a lot of artists on this 2-disc album that you guys may recognize:  Dwele, Vikter Duplaix, Jose James, Herbert, Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Jay Dee, Amy Winehouse, M.I.A.  and Jill Scott to name a few.  The common denominator is that Gilles has been right there supporting their music from the very beginning of their careers, constantly  having his finger on the pulse of greatness, and a lot of these artists have moved on to higher levels of musical prominence.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Quasimoto – Come On Feet
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The thing that makes listening to this album fun, as well as most compilations really, is researching those names that you don’t instantly recognize.  By doing this, you will either uncover some other hidden gems by the individual artist, or you will make it a point to remember the artist so that you can keep up with any upcoming projects they may have.  Which is just another way of saying you’ll become a fan, and fans are what artists need to survive.  What better fan can an up-and-coming artist have than Gilles Peterson?  He is the consummate tastemaker, and by opening our ears to new music, he is doing both the artist and the listener a huge favor.  Here’s to another 10 years of fresh new sounds from the worldwide underground.

CD 1

01 – Nitin Sawhney – Tides
02 – Cinematic Orchestra feat Roots Manuva – All Things To All Men
03 – Quasimoto – Come on Feet
04 – Qtip – Lets Ride
05 – Erykah Badu – Green Eyes
06 – Jill Scott – He Loves Me [Lyzel In E Flat]
07 – Herbert – The Audience
08 – Jay Dee – Rico Suave Bossa Nova
09 – Dwele – Too Fly
10 – Amy Winehouse – Take The Box
11 – Gotan Project – Triptico
12 – Dizzy Rascal – I Luv U
13 – M.I.A. – Galang
14 – Vikter Duplaix – Manhood

CD 2

01 – Sa-Ra – Rosebuds
02 – Steve Spacek – Dollar
03 – Outlines – Just a Lil’ Lovin
04 – Recloose – Dust
05 – Amerie – 1 Thing
06 – Seun Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80 – Many Things
07 – RSL – Wesley Music
08 – Sebastien Tellier – La Ritournelle
09 – Little Dragon – Twice
10 – Jose James – Dreamer
11 – Theo Parrish – Goin’ Downstairs (Part 1)
12 – Benga – Emotions
13 – Darkstar – Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer