World Circuit Records
When World Circuit was established in London in the mid-1980s little did they know that it would go on to become one of the most admired and successful ‘world music’ record labels. Anne Hunt and Mary Farquharson were running a touring organisation called Arts Worldwide which brought musicians to the U.K. who were popular locally but little known to a wider public. Many concert goers would ask for records at the shows and at that time there were none available. So they decided to set up a record company to bring this music from a local circuit to the world circuit. The one pre-requisite for a World Circuit artist was musical excellence.
World Circuit’s African artists enjoy equal prestige, with Malian bluesman Ali Farka Touré’s GRAMMY winning Talking Timbuktu album recorded with Ry Cooder being the album that brought the label international acclaim. Malian diva Oumou Sangare, the legendary Orchestra Baobab and musical maverick Cheikh Lô from Senegal have emerged as major stars at home in Africa and around the globe. World Circuit’s acclaimed Hotel Mandé Sessions has generated incredible critical praise, the trilogy comprises of the GRAMMY winning duets album from Ali Farka Touré and kora virtuoso Toumani Diabaté, Toumani’s pan-African Symmetric Orchestra, and Ali’s final posthumous solo recording ‘Savane’. With these albums World Circuit continue to set the standard with their beautifully produced and packaged albums of the highest quality.
By Dave McGuire