The expression World Music has always troubled me. A real dilemma: I feel like a call of duty to support the artists who publish under the World Music label. But at the same time I always have an unease about the label’s name. For a start I have a strong distaste for derogatory terms often used to patronise people. World Music feels a bit derogatory.
Just as i was going to put up this posting I came across a TV program where Ian Anderson of fRoots Magazine (http://www.frootsmag.com/) was being interviewed about World Music. Ian was appearing together with an amazing Armenian musician called Arto. Ian was very disarming when he simply said “…Everything has its box in the UK…we weren’t really sure where to put these records so we created a box called ‘World Music’…and that gave these artists from afar an outlet”. The quoting is not 100% accurate but the program forced me to rewrite my article. Credits go to these pioneers always looking to celebrate mankind.
So i’ll keep buying World Music records, but it would be nice to find a more inspired name for this particular box.