Ahmed Nasheed: Dhaalu Raa (Asasi Records)
Remote in geography and from the concerns of the outside world, the Maldives is an Islamic republic spread out over 200 islands in the Indian Ocean. The inhabitants developed their own rhythms and poetry over the centuries, yet Western rock found its way to the insular nation in the ’60s. The Maldives’ most prominent musician, Ahmed Nasheed, combines indigenous music with rock on Dhaalu Raa. Except for the lyrics in the local language, Dhivehi, Nasheed’s guitar-based tracks would not have been out of place on American freeform FM rock radio in the ’70s.