Senegal master drummer with his extended band of drummers and singers. The absolute ultimate West African drumming album ever recorded. It is so powerful that it sounds to me heavier than the heaviest metal band around. Yay to Peter Gabriel for putting out such great music through his Real World label.
Meshuggah- Destroy Erase Improve
This was the turning point. Up until this album was released metal bands were not respected in the global music scene. Meshuggah changed that with this release. I was overwhelmed by it when it first came out. It was so complex yet aggressive that I couldn't listen to the whole thing from start to finish... Too much information. Since then more Meshuggah albums came out. Some I liked more than others yet Destroy Erase is still their best so far in my opinion. "Nothing" occupies the second position and I love it almost as much as I love this one (although it has a slightly different vibe).
Ritmo Y Candela
Unfortunately, not too many people know this album. It features three very celebrated Latin percussionists: Patato, Orestes Vilato and Changuito. It is the grooviest album in my 3500 CDs collection. Chango's snare groove on the third track is off the hook. Orestes Timbale solos on the second and forth tunes are amazing as well and Patato's conga playing is so musical and in good taste.
Jose Lugo Orchestra- Guasabara
The most massive sounding Latin band I have ever heard. Great arrangements, amazing musicianship and above all; my teacher, my mentor, my guru... the mighty Efrain Toro is on percussion (joined by a massive percussive wall created by five other percussionists). Released late 2008 and already a classic. Rumor has it that this album has been nominated for 3 Grammies. Nice to see that the mainstream is embracing something so musical. Get it already!
The Art of Ancient Rudimental Drumming- Mark Beecher
This one is a beauty. If you thought Western drumming had no deep roots and traditions, you have to watch this DVD. Mark is so knowledgeable, it is a humiliating experience just watching him play all these wrist twisting rudiments and beatings. This video will keep you busy for months. An invaluable history lesson for drummers and an insane library for what can be done with sticks... actually for what has been done with sticks for the past 700 years or so. Thank you for this work, Mark.