Revisiting WOMAD Select: a collector’s series of unique live recordings

As part of our 30th anniversary celebrations, we are delighted to make available a limited supply of CDs from our WOMAD Select series. Throughout the nineties, we captured many wonderful live performances at Real World Studios by artists from across the world who were visiting the country, often to perform at WOMAD, and many of the recordings were then released as part of the this collector's series.

Staying true to the spirit of the original Real World Recording Week, we invited artists to the studios, offering them a chance for their unique performance to be captured in excellent recording conditions.

The WOMAD Select albums, which were packaged and pressed by the Real World team, were not widely available, with only a limited run of CDs being produced for the artists to sell on tour. As such, they have remained hidden gems: documents of a particular moment in time, committing to record outstanding instances of musical spontaneity and improvisation.

Purna Das Baul & Bapi. Photo credit: Stephen Lovell-Davis.

WOMAD Select delves deep into the Indian classical, Asian and West African traditions, with highlights including an epic late-night/early morning performance by U. Srinivas in The Big Room (Dawn Raga), King Waisu Ayinde Marshal’s Talazo Fuiji Party Music and the jazz-mbalax rhythms of Senegal’s Omar Pene & Super Diamono on Direct From Dakar.

On multi-instrumetnalist Gesuino Deiana’s Pintaderas and Pa Bobo Jobarteh’s Kaira Naata, producer Tchad Blake travelled to Sardinia and the Gambia to make fully immersive, binaural field recordings.

The mystic music of North Africa and India is explored on unfiltered, expansive recordings of performances by the world-renowned Master Musicians of Jajouka (Jajouka Between the Mountains) and the Bauls of Bengal (Inner Knowledge, Songs of Love & Ecstasy).

Several of the artists who took part in the series went on to release further albums for Real World Records, including U. Srinivas, Paban Das Baul, Thomas Mapfumo and Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali.

King Waisu Ayinde Marshal. Photo credit: Stephen Lovell-Davis

Recently we have made some of the WOMAD Select albums available digitally, and as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations, there is now a limited supply of all physical albums in the series available to purchase via the Real World Store. We encourage you to push back the boundaries with the beautiful and unexpected sounds captured in these albums.

All WOMAD Select titles can be purchased with a 50% discount in the Real World Store on 21 June as part of World Music Day 2019 using the offer code “WORLDMUSIC”.


WOMAD Select Original Series

  • Jajouka Between the Mountains

    The Master Musicians Of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar

    Released 17 June 1996

    A 4,000 year legend, the Master Musicians of Jajouka and Bachir Attar— songs of a mythic past never before recorded or heard outside Morocco.
  • Sema

    Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Matimila

    Released 24 September 1995

    The voice and spirit of Tanzania captured live in selections from a decade of outstanding performances. Featuring recordings of live concerts in the UK and Sweden, alongside tracks from the 1984 Radio Tanzania sessions and recordings at Real World in 1993.
  • Dawn Raga

    U. Srinivas

    Released 17 June 1996

    "Listen with concentration and you, yourself, can feel that the sun is rising." — U. Srinivas.
  • Kaboomba

    Bad Boys Batucada

    Released 01 January 1995

    Drumming, percussion, vocals and rapping, uniquely combined by this Brazil-heavy Batucada six-piece.
  • At the Mouth of the River

    Vika & Linda

    Released 15 June 1996

    Vika and Linda— warmth, charm and exceptional singing by two sisters from the South Pacific island of Tonga.
  • Songs Of Love & Ecstasy

    Purna Das Baul & Bapi

    Released 26 August 1996

    The world-famous Purna Das Baul sings songs of exaltation and joy, an inspiring combination of music and spirit.
  • Pintaderas: Made in Sardinia

    Gesuino Deiana

    Released 06 April 1997

    The island’s foremost guitarist, captured within the atmospheric soundscape of his homeland.
  • Live at Selwyn Hall, Box


    Released 01 January 1995

    Shooglenifty re-invent tradition with a party-full of roots tunes for the dance floor.
  • Nightingale with a Broken Wing

    The Kamkars

    Released 13 November 1996

    A powerful expression of Kurdish music from one of the leading musical ensembles in Iran today.
  • The Arab Path To India

    Adel Salameh & K Sridhar

    Released 26 August 1996

    Palestinian Adel Salameh and Indian K Sridhar combine music's ancient roots into an innovative new style.
  • Inner Knowledge

    Paban Das Baul

    Released 04 November 1997

    Transcendental mystic music and sensual vocals from one of the leading Bauls of Bengal.
  • Speechless

    Andy White

    Released 06 March 2000

    Songs and poems one beautiful English late-summer afternoon, recorded live at Real World Studios with Davy Crichton on violin, Kieran Kennedy electric guitar and Bronagh Gallagher on drums.

WOMAD Select Africa

  • Talazo Fuji Music Party!

    King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal I

    Released 12 July 1997

    Non-stop dance rhythms from the king of Nigerian fuji music.
  • Direct From Dakar

    Omar Pene & Super Diamono

    Released 01 January 1997

    A music legend in Senegal, Super Diamono’s dynamite performance centres around the soulful voice of Omar Pene, mixing jazz-mbalax rhythms with rap and reggae.
  • Kaira Naata

    Pa Bobo Jobarteh

    Released 22 September 1997

    Exquisite kora playing and ancestral melodies from this young master of West African music.
  • Chimurenga: African Spirit Music

    Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited

    Released 01 January 1995

    Chimurenga music from the Lion of Zimbabwe— Thomas Mapfumo's uniquely spiritual voice set within the interplay of guitars and mbiras.
  • Olugendo

    Bernard Kabanda

    Released 15 July 1999

    Kabanda’s success story stems from his unique adaptation of ‘Kadongo Kamu’ ('just a small guitar'), the most influential music in Uganda, which blends in swinging ‘Baakisimba’ rhythms as well as Congo-inspired dance beats.
  • Mkuki Wa Roho

    Hukwe Zawose & Charles Zawose

    Released 06 December 2000

    The greatest torchbearer for traditional Tanzanian music, Dr Zawose and his young nephew Charles draw us into their timelessly beautiful world of ancient tunes and uniquely captivating vocals.
  • Amalombolombo


    Released 19 March 2001

    Rich, close harmony acapella singing in the Zulu style from Zimbabwe’s young, vibrant eleven-man group.

WOMAD Select Asia

  • Attish: The Hidden Fire

    Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali

    Released 10 November 1998

    The youngest and most exciting group of Qawwali singers to emerge from Pakistan —nephews of the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan— present their stirring interpretation of Qawwali vocal music: devotional love songs based upon classical Islamic and Sufi texts.

By Oran Mullan

Published on Fri, 21 June 19

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