The Blair Boogie: Beats from across the pond

Nov. 16, 2012, 10:21 p.m. | By Urvi Banerjee | 8 years ago

The Blair Boogie is a weekly blog focusing on what's new in the world of music. Come back next week Friday for the next edition.

Last Sunday at the MTV Europe Music Awards, an event which commemorates the most popular music videos in Europe whether continental or international, there was plenty of Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen and Justin Bieber. What it didn't showcase, however, were the many talented bands native to Europe and representative of the diverse cultures that make up the continent. So here is some of the noteworthy music from across the pond for you to add to your collection.

Germany: Aziza A

Photo: Aziza A blends Turkish music with European hip hop in her songs.

If you're looking for some edge, Aziza A is a must. The singer does plenty to set herself apart from many other singers in Germany. She was the first German-Turkish rapper and has since put her own spin on the oriental hip hop genre. Her music is characterized by bold German hip hop beats interspersed with both traditional Turkish folk songs and Turkish pop. Her message is also unique. Like other oriental hip hop artists, she raps about the experience of Turkish immigrants in Germany and the cultural divide, but also includes feministic ideas such as in her song "Es ist Zeit." With her down-to-earth messages and edgy fusion of two cultures, Aziza A is for the adventurous listeners looking to learn something new.

Italy: Agricantus
Agricantus, a musical group from Sicily, also offers a blend of two styles: classical and techno music. Beginning as a mixture of ethnic instruments throughout the Mediterranean and simplistic electronic rhythms, its music won national awards for the unique folk style. In their album "Kaleidos,” however, Agricantus expanded to include classical music influences such as Brahms. The result is music with both the exoticness of foreign instruments and the comfort of classical tones and soothing electronic beats, offering something for everyone.

Iceland: Hjalmar
For those interested in rock undertones, the reggae band Hjalmar is well worth a YouTube search. Because the reggae style is usually associated with Central American countries like Jamaica, the band's genre began as an experiment that ended up a national success, becoming a unique addition to Iceland's culture. Its music incorporates guitars and keyboards to create the easy-going melodies that are common to reggae, but still leave the music with something to say. Songs like "Manstu" especially showcase how the band uses rhythmical swings and unique rhythm-and-melody combinations to make the reggae style their own. Hjalmar is a great middle ground if you don't want to try something too wild but still atypical to the U.S.

Europe is composed of many different cultures and, with that, different musical influences and styles. If you find yourself bored with the songs currently on your iPod, check out bands unique to other countries, even if just for the awesome languages.

Tags: Agricantus Aziza A Europe Germany Hjalmar Iceland Italy justin bieber MTV Music Videos Taylor Swift The Blair Boogie

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