World Routes is the BBC’s flagship world music show listened to by around 100,000 radio listeners in the UK on BBC Radio 3, and millions across the globe via the World Service. Since the autumn of 2000, World Routes has broadcast sessions and live concerts with a complete “Who’s Who” of world music artists from Youssou N’Dour, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Khaled, to Mariza, Caetano Veloso and Ravi Shankar.
However, World Routes is not just interested in the stars of world music, but is also on a mission is to travel to the most far-flung corners of the planet to document and – in its own small way – preserve endangered musical traditions. In the past 10 years, the programme’s producers and sound engineers, along with presenter Lucy Duran and a team of guest presenters, have left the comfort of London’s Broadcasting House in search of real roots traditions. To date, the programme has visited some 53 countries, including 15 in Africa, 15 in Asia, and 9 in the Americas.
The 30-track ‘World Routes On The Road’ CD was put together by Lucy Duran and producer James Parkin. Lucy is one of most in-demand world music producers who’s lent her touch to Toumani Diabate, Bassekou Kouyate and Yasmin Levy. She is also a lecturer in African music at the world’s leading university of world music, SOAS. Lucy has been going backwards and forwards to Mali researching the music of its flamboyant divas, receiving her doctorate in 1999. Together with producer James, she travelled to over 50 countries to record the local music of the world.
Whether recording world music superstar Toumani Diabate at his home in Mali, eating anus in China, dodging bandits in Madagascar, attending a week’s worth of ear-splitting Greek weddings, surviving a near-death experience in the mountains of Venezuela, travelling as a special guest of the Georgian Air Force or recording musicians inside a volcano, an outrigger canoe, a snowdrift, a Turkish bath, a yurt or a few jungles – Lucy and James have done it all in the name of preserving the musical cultures of the world. To illustrate these experiences the deluxe 2CD digipack comes with a 44-page booklet featuring notes, stories and photographs from Lucy Duran and the production team.
"A brilliant album. If you want to go deep on your world roots check out
World Routes On The Road – strange, interesting, fascinating music."
Gilles Peterson, BBC Radio 1