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Jewish Monkeys

Jewish Monkeys / Jewish Monkeys Tour 2017

Mar 07th
Darmstadt / Hoff-Art Theater
Mar 08th
Cologne / Underground
Mar 09th
Leipzig / Werk 2
Mar 10th
Rostock / Zwischenbau
Mar 11th
Berlin / Roter Salon / Volksbühne
Purim Party w/ DJ Yuriy Gurzhy
Mar 12th
Frankfurt / Das Bett
Purim Party w/ DJ Janeck Altshuler
Doors: 19:00 Start: 20:00
Mar 13th
Mar 14th
Wrocław / Carpe Diem
May 19th
Flawil / Kulturpunkt
May 20th
May 24th
May 25th
Karlsruhe / Tollhaus
May 26th
Hannover / Cafe Glocksee
May 27th
Hamburg / Kampnagel
Jul 14th
Düsseldorf / Asphalt Festival
Aug 12th
Budapest / Sziget Festival
Aug 19th
Sep 26th
Wiesbaden / Schlachthof
Sep 28th
Konstanz / Kulturladen
Sep 29th
Mannheim / Feuerwache
Sep 30th
Viechtach / Altes Spital
Oct 01st
Frankfurt / Salon 99
-private show-
Oct 02nd

Time Bomb

Stream The Full Documentary On Enigmatic Ghanaian Artist Ata Kak
 

In case you didn't know, this amazing find was the first cassette tape that got Brian Shimkovitz's infamous Awesome Tapes From Africa imprint rolling as well as the blog's inaugural post back in 2011. Originally [...]

In case you didn't know, this amazing find was the first cassette tape that got Brian Shimkovitz's infamous Awesome Tapes From Africa imprint rolling as well as the blog's inaugural post back in 2011. Originally released in Ghana in 1994, Ata Kak's "Obaa Sima" and its unique Afrodisco aesthetic went more or less unheard of for a rough 21 years. Of the 50 tapes produced at the time, only three actually sold, which in no way does this infectious, funkified and lo-fi acoustic adventure justice. 

Now, in order to rightfully honour the incredible story and portrait the artist behind behind this amazing recording, the Red Bull Music Academy produced a 25-minute documentary directed by Nathan Corbin and Tony Lowe. "Time Bomb" traces the footsteps of the enigmatic Ata Kak back to rural Ghana, where he is indeed live and well. 

So without futher ado, watch "Time Bomb" below and feel free to stream "Obaa Sima" in full via the SoundCloud player above.

 

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Mali Foli Coura

Bamako's BKO Quintet Returns With Feverish Sophomore Album
 

Please excuse a short excourse, but this seems to be just the right place and time: We recently stumbled upon a stunning trailer, shared by the Instruments for Africa organisation for "cultural preservation, [...]

Please excuse a short excourse, but this seems to be just the right place and time: We recently stumbled upon a stunning trailer, shared by the Instruments for Africa organisation for "cultural preservation, education and reconciliation in Mali". The clip features several glimpses of different Malian cultural rites and festivities, all accompanied by bold colours, chants and rhythms and is introduced with a quote by Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté, who points out that "The West knows maybe five percent of African culture". More importantly, the beautiful images are paired with poignant narration and a written statement in the description, which we would like to share with you. While it would be too long to paste in its entirety, let us zoom in on a key segment, before we progress: 

"Here, we have only known brotherhood and solidarity. So how did jihadists and terrorists come to Mali? These last years, there is no peace. Outsiders brought us things we have not known before. They have brought us a sadness that we did not know before. When the religious extremists came, they did not like our music. They broke all of our instruments, even the n’gonis. [...] If these instruments no longer exist, we have lost everything. I do not know how we will pass on our history. Because the music itself permits us to know our past, to help us live, even today."

And thus, we make the transition to Mali's ascendant and increasingly acclaimed BKO Quintet, who are set to release their second album November 24th on Buda Musique and share their feverish, contemporary, yet inherently traditional Malian sounds with an even wider audience. Fittingly entitled "Mali Foli Coura", which stands for 'new music from Mali', their sophomore effort delivers just that. This album then is more visceral, more instinctive, more energetic than its 2014 predecessor "Bamako Today" and goes beyond commonplace conceptions of so-called 'world music'. 

BKO's new music invites the listener to explore the heart of today's Mali, as they combine the traditional music of the griots with the ancient, mystical rituals of animist hunters: "Associating the guitar of the griots with the lute of Bambara hunters has never before been undertaken in the Malian music universe. These are indeed two opposite worlds that BKO have decided to bring up together, in order to develop a resolutely urban music style rooted in secular tradition." Just watch the companion video to "Tangwanana" below, directed by Cris Ubermann

And while the connection we decided to make between the statements on Malian music and culture above with BKO's new longplayer may at first seem far-fetched, their immediate common ground being the topic of Malian cultural production as a whole, the underlying message would seem to be that as persisting political and religiously fueled turmoil threaten to destroy culture and tradition, music as a means of communication and oration must prevail.

The BKO Quintet will be performing live at Berlin's Kantine am Berghain this Sunday, November 19th. Listen to four tracks off their forthcoming album "Mali Foli Coura" in the SoundCloud player above.

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The Remixes (2008-2017)

Man Recordings Founder Daniel Haaksman Releases Global Remix Anthology
 

Berlin-based Man Recordings founder Daniel Haaksman is truly a man of many hats: The prolific DJ, producer, radio show host and aforementioned label founder has spent the last decade exploring the diverse [...]

Berlin-based Man Recordings founder Daniel Haaksman is truly a man of many hats: The prolific DJ, producer, radio show host and aforementioned label founder has spent the last decade exploring the diverse soundscapes of the Southern hemisphere and is rightly considered a pioneer of global or tropical bass, ever since his now iconic "Rio Baile Funk Favela Booty Beats" compilation for Essay Recordings dropped in 2004. Skilfully blending Brazilian and Afro styles with club-friendly, dancefloor-oriented beats and genres, he also championed many a remix along the way. 

Releasing today, is a smashing 11-track anthology of his finest remixes from 2008-2017, featuring a seriously fresh selection of multicoloured bangers and rump-shakers to twist, shake and stomp to. Included are high-energy reworks of a wide array of international artists the likes of Felipe Cordeiro (Brazil), Schlachthofbronx (Germany), Makina Del Karibe (Colombia), Weird Together (New Zealand), Madera Limpia (Cuba), Omulu + King Doudou (Brazil/France), Samito (Mozambique/Canada),  Populous (Italy) or Batuk (South Africa), leaving no doubt in mind, that Daniel Haaksman was the right man for the job.

Click the SoundCloud player above or visit Spotify to stream "Remixes 2008-2017" in full. The compilation is available on Man Recordings as of today and available via the usual outlets. Chapeau! 

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The Swiss Conspiracy

A True "Délire Nostalgique" By One Of Switzerland's Best Kept Secrets (Vol. 1 & 2)
 

A mountain is a mountain is a mountain, one would think. And so a few years ago, acclaimed musicians / emigrant music producers Christoph H. Müller (Gotan Project) and Moses Iten (Cumbia Cosmonauts) came together [...]

A mountain is a mountain is a mountain, one would think. And so a few years ago, acclaimed musicians / emigrant music producers Christoph H. Müller (Gotan Project) and Moses Iten (Cumbia Cosmonauts) came together to translate their shared Swiss origin and mutual passion for Latin American rhythms, from tango to cumbia, into a musical project dubbed The Swiss Conspiracy. The result being a unique brand of "Alpine Cumbiero" or as Müller describes: "A kind of cultural boomerang … and a geographical proximity: the Alps meet the jungle / the Andes. All with the tools of electronic music."

In 2013 the duo released volume number one of its "Délire Nostalgique" series, succeeded by volume number two in 2015.  Each EP holds seven hybrid tracks and remixes thereof by the likes of Iten's Cumbia Cosmonauts, Lewis Can Cut, Galambo, Chancha Via Circuito and Acapulco Zombie. In a 2015 interview with French online publication Couvre X Chefs, Müller offers some valuable insights on the project as well as a track by track rundown of EP #2 and even shares a free Chico Sonido remix of their track "Alarm Alarm", which you can hear in the SoundCloud player above. 

We will now let you delve deep into the sounds of one of Switzerland's best kept secrets and enjoy their sonic exploration of "questions of identity, globalization of music and culture, memory" and so much more. Watch the brilliant video to "Cumbia Alpina" below as well as the teaser video to the premier "Délire Nostalgique" EP right here. This just doesn't get old. Will there be a third volume anytime soon? We definitely hope so.

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Hermeto Pascoal

The Lost '76 Vice-Versa Studio Sessions Out Now On Far Out Recordings
 

Specialising in Brazilian music, renowned UK-based imprint Far Out Recordings is making its 200th release (November 3, 2017) a big one, as it readies a previously unreleased album by the one and only Hermeto [...]

Specialising in Brazilian music, renowned UK-based imprint Far Out Recordings is making its 200th release (November 3, 2017) a big one, as it readies a previously unreleased album by the one and only Hermeto Pascoal and his Grupo Vice Versa. "Once described by Miles Davis as 'the most impressive musician in the world', there is good reason (beyond his Gandalf-like appearance) why he is known as 'O Bruxo' (the wizard)." As a matter of fact, "few musicians have ever reached his stature. A true maestro and a cultural icon, he represents the highest level of musical evolution; as a multi-instrumentalist, as a composer, and as an arranger".

According to the album bio, the recording in question dates back to 1976 and was recorded at Rogério Duprat's Vice Versa Studios in São Paulo in just two days. Participating in the sessions was a rhythm section composed of Zé Eduardo Nazario (drums), Zeca Assumpção (bass) and Lelo Nazario (electric piano), as well as saxophonists Mauro Senise, Raul Mascarenhas and Nivaldo Ornerlas, guitarist Toninho Horta and vocalist Aleuda Chaves. Apparently, that same group had played a show together shortly before and, after performing for hours on end, had achieved "an almost spiritual musical connection [...] as the music organically moved from structured compositions to ‘freer’ improvisational works".

Recognising the potential for his compositions to reach 'higher ground', Hermeto Pascoal and his group took to the studio. "Almost everything recorded on the first take ended up staying in the final mix. After the mixdown, Lelo Nazario would ask sound engineer Renato Viola to make him a copy of all the material, from machine to machine. As far as we know, the master tape eventually got lost over time, but Lelo kept his copy in his studio’s archives, where it stayed for over forty years." 

What we have here then, is no short of a musical miracle, "a forgotten moment in Brazilian history" and an indispensable document from what many consider "the golden age of Brazilian music"

Fueled by Hermeto Pascoal's revolutionary vision, "Hermeto Pascoal & Grupo Vice Versa: Viajando Com O Som (the lost ’76 Vice Versa Studio Sessions)" contains four tracks, one of which (Casinha Pequenina) lasts a whopping 26 minutes and 34 seconds. So if you enjoy the free spirit of jazz paired with Brazilian grooves and breathtaking musicality, you may want to hear this. Feel free to listen to "Dança do Paje" and "Casinha Pequenina" in the SoundCloud player above, or head over to Bandcamp for the full monty.

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Digital Zandoli Vol. 1 + 2

Heavenly Sweetness Drops Part 2 Of 1980s/90s West Indies Zouk & Synth Funk Series
 

"That's Zouk," my friend exclaimed, when I played the first track off of "Digital Zandoli Vol. 1", a stunning, dancefloor-oriented compilation of 13 disco, boogie and [yes] Zouk tracks recorded in the French West [...]

"That's Zouk," my friend exclaimed, when I played the first track off of "Digital Zandoli Vol. 1", a stunning, dancefloor-oriented compilation of 13 disco, boogie and [yes] Zouk tracks recorded in the French West Indies of the 1980s and released by Parisian imprint Heavenly Sweetness in 2016.

Curated by Julien Achard of Digger's Digest and Nico Skliris (formerly Superfly Records), the release "reveals a broader spectrum to the otherwise poorly defined genre" (Vinyl Factory) with sun-filled, laid-back and body-moving grooves by artists the likes of O.R.E.A., Pierre-Edouard Décimus, Acayouman, Meliza and many more, merging "traditional and other rhythmic genres (funk, disco, afro-beat, Latin, Brazilian ...) with new instruments such as synthesizers and drum machines in the creative process"

Volume 2 of the acclaimed compilation, aka "Digital Zandoli 2: Funky Zouk Spectrum 1984 – 1993" just dropped in October and is an absolute blast from the past. Listen to Nico Skliris' Volume 1 mixtape in the SoundCloud player above or "Pina Colada Coco Loco" by Joyeux de Cocotier below. Big tunes!

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Den Sorte Who?

Denmark's Sample Champs Prepare Magical Mixtape For Upcoming Le Guess Who? Festival
 

A little more than a week to go before Le Guess Who? festival raises the curtain on an awe-inspiring line up of top tier international acts in Utrecht (NL). That being said, school is already in session as Danish [...]

A little more than a week to go before Le Guess Who? festival raises the curtain on an awe-inspiring line up of top tier international acts in Utrecht (NL). That being said, school is already in session as Danish Grammy award winners, Roskilde Orange Stage legends and flat-our sample wizards Den Sorte Skole serve up a mind-melting one-hour mixtape just ahead of their very own festival appearance. And here's what they had to say: 

"Le Guess Who is like this endless sea of different music, sounds and inspirational expressions. We could only capture a glimpse of this on a mixtape, but tried to bring together everything from the beauty to the weird and the ugly. After listening though material from almost everyone playing at this years festival, we are looking crazy much forward to coming over for both our own and all the other concerts."

As you may have come to expect of this duo extraordinaire, the result is absolutely amazing. So do yourself a favour and listen to the entire mixtape in the SoundCloud player above. And if you find yourself in dire need of a tracklist, well, that too has duly been taken care of...

Tracklist (in order of appearance):
Dedekind Cut - Maxine
Black Lips - Interlude: Got Me All Alone
Pharmakon - Primitive Struggle
Prurient - Cocaine Daughter
Rabit & Dedekind Cut - R&D-i
Den Sorte Skole - Beacon
Perfume Genius - Die 4 You
The Bug Vs Earth - Agoraphobia
XAM Duo - Ashtanga
Jane Weaver - The Architect
James Holden - Self-Playing Schmaltz
Shabaka Hutchings - The Observed
Alice Coltrane (w.Pharoah Sanders) - Something About John Coltrane
Gonjasufi - Maniac Depressant (Perera Elsewhere Remix)
Aldous Harding - Blend
Sun Ra - The Lady With The Golden Stockings (a.k.a. The Golden Lady)
Grouper - Vanishing point
Ben Frost - A Single Hellfire Missile Costs $100,000
The Mystery Of Bulgarian Voices Choir - Second song on the road
Shabazz Palaces - Effeminence
Alice Coltrane - Er Ra 
Sevdaliza - Hero
Sudan Archives - Come Meh Way
Jane Weaver - Argent
Ben Frost - All That You Love Will Be Eviscerated
Nobody - Tori Oshi (feat. Prefuse 73)
Jenny Hval - Ritual Awakening
tUnE-yArDs - Wooly Wolly Gong
Jerusalem in My Heart - Lau Ridyou Bil Hijaz
Yves Tumor - Serpent II
Muddersten - Stjerneskjerm
Moor Mother - By The Light
Pharmakon - Bang Bang
Suuns - 2020
Metz - Caterpillar
Patrick Higgins - I Wish You Were A Girl
Mario Batkovic - Sommium
XAM Duo - Pine Barrens
Sarah Davachi - For Strings
Liu Fang - Chanting Of The Tiema
Kevin Morby - City Music
Avey Tare - Boat Race

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Last Band Standing

Congolese/Kenyan Orchestre Les Mangelepa Release New Album On Strut / Tour Poland, Germany & the Czech Republic

Blame it on the picture perfect weather, but in our honest opinion, pretty much everything about the long-standing Orchestre Les Mangelepa's live appearance at this year's Wassermusik X festival was on point, from [...]

Blame it on the picture perfect weather, but in our honest opinion, pretty much everything about the long-standing Orchestre Les Mangelepa's live appearance at this year's Wassermusik X festival was on point, from the glorious open air location on the spacious terrace of Berlin's iconic Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW, or 'pregnant oyster' as the locals call the structure) to the leisurely performance by one of the oldest, all-time great East African big bands. Aka the "Last Band Standing", which just happens to be the fitting title of their recently released new studio album on Strut Records, this group of Congolese musicians who settled in Kenya, kept the crowd dancing well into the night. Their music is a festive blend of African rumba, rooted in Congolese Lingala music and paired with bittersweet Swahili lyrics, while their live energy remains unparalleled. 

Before coming together as Les Mangelepa at the end of the 1960s, the band members were part of Baba Gaston's L'Orchestre Baba Nationale in Lubumbashi, East Congo. By the '70s, African rumba had become one of the main musical movements in Africa and Kenya's capital Nairobi a magnet with studios and vinyl pressing plants by international corporations the likes of PolyGram and EMI. After resituating to Kenya, unhappy with the circumstances playing under Baba Gaston, band leaders Evany (Kabila Kabanze) and Bwamy Malumona as well as several other band members started a side project dubbed Les Mangelepa, which eventually led to a complete split and a new beginning. Les Mangelepa held a regular residency at Nairobi's Uhuru Park and began to draw huge crowds. And so, under George Opiyo’s management, things took off from there... In 2016  the band played their first shows outside of Africa and toured Europe. 

Their latest album "recorded by No Nation’s Guy Morley, encapsulates some of their best-loved material, re-recorded and brought up to date using the current personnel of their Nairobi Vibro residency", including hit songs like "Maindusa". Here are eight spirited Les Mangelepa tracks to move you. Catch them performing live in Poland (WOMEX), Germany and the Czech Republic next: 

27.10. PL, Katowice, WOMEX
28.10. DE Hildesheim - Folk'N' Fusion
29.10. DE Berlin - YAAM
30.10. DE Düsseldorf KIT-Café
31.10.  DE Weikersheim - Club W 71
01.11.  CZ, Praha, Palac Akropolis

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Zulfiqar

OMFO Returns With A New EP Of Ex-Otic Sonic Artifacts

Broadcasting "from a lonely rusted tower in the forest" the enigmatic OMFO (Our Man From Odessa), aka German Popov, is on a self-proclaimed mission to introduce Western audiences to what he calls "the intrinsic [...]

Broadcasting "from a lonely rusted tower in the forest" the enigmatic OMFO (Our Man From Odessa), aka German Popov, is on a self-proclaimed mission to introduce Western audiences to what he calls "the intrinsic modernism of the Orient". A sound artist, musician, electronic music producer and researcher, he transcends musical boundaries, delivering a siren's call to new listening horizons.

Named after German Titov, the second human being to travel space after Juri Gagarin, German Popov is all about discovering new galaxies of sound. It comes as no surprise then, that OMFO's latest four-track effort yet again confronts listeners with a sonic mystery in the making: "This EP is made of tracks, written for never-finished movie about Zulfiqar Zulfiqarov. Who is this character?....... Listen and find out"

So here we are, listening to ex-otic soundbits and sonic artifacts, cut and pasted together to form an enchanting whole as beautiful as it is intriguing. And maybe the less we know, the more open our approach to these intricate soundscapes can be. Stream/buy the full "Zulfiqar" EP here

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Dead Or Alive

The Dead Brothers Launch Crowdfunding Campaign For New Album

It's been a while since we last reported on the 'Swiss Tom Waits' and his band of 'Dead Brothers' and yes, they are still very much alive. As a matter of fact, Alain Croubalian and his band are currently readying a [...]

It's been a while since we last reported on the 'Swiss Tom Waits' and his band of 'Dead Brothers' and yes, they are still very much alive. As a matter of fact, Alain Croubalian and his band are currently readying a new album and just started a crowdfunding campaign in an attempt to make the dead dance once again. 

If you were wondering, why death, here's an excerpt from an interview with Alain Croubalian: "I first studied political science, economy and sociology at the University of Geneva. Professor Jean Ziegler gave a seminar about death 'les vivants et les morts' and how the living started being afraid of dying around the 17th century…In the middle ages, it was a relief to die. But for economical reasons, it was better to scare people: if you accept death with open arms and are conscious about it, why would you want to make and keep big amounts of money? The capitalist system needs us to forget that we can’t take it with us. Bringing death back into everyday consciousness, getting used to it being around, as the other side of life without which being alive would make no sense, takes that fear away. It’s an anti-capitalistic thought." 

And because realeasing an album can be expensive, the band is asking fans and fans-to-be for their support with a short clip, which you can watch below. There's about 50 days remaining for the album to be funded, so head over to 100 Days now and spread the word. We would love for this project to see the light of day!

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Marcelo D2 & Samba Drive

Brazil's Pioneers Of Samba Rap Are Far From Done

Just because you've never heard of them, doesn't mean they're not out there doing their musical thing. Though it has been 11 years since one of Brazil's most influential and commercially succesfull hiphop combos [...]

Just because you've never heard of them, doesn't mean they're not out there doing their musical thing. Though it has been 11 years since one of Brazil's most influential and commercially succesfull hiphop combos last performed live in Berlin, we'll give you that. In any case, Marcelo D2 & Samba Drive (Mauro Berman, Lourenço Monteiro and Pablo Lapidusas) have not only brought samba back into the lives of an entire generation of young Brazilians, they also collaborated with and inspired American hiphop/r&b superstars the likes of Aloe Blacc, Will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas) or Snoop Dogg. 

With frontman/MC Marcelo Maldonado leading the way, the group has gained deserved acclaim by combining native samba rhythms and freshly cut samples with socially conscious lyrics, shining a light on the hardships of life in the favelas, thus establishing their trademark sound and, most importantly, putting Brazilian hiphop on the map. Their unique and subversive blend of samba and rap made samba relevant again for many young Brazilian hiphop fans and secured the formation a spot in the Brazilian narrative or songbook, ultimately raising the bar for generations to come. 

Now, they return to Berlin, where they perform live this Saturday (October 21st) at YAAM with support by singer Odara Sol, the Tropical Twista Crew as well as DJ sets by Zufu & Makumba of the fabled Dengue Dengue Dengue. Check here for more live dates. That being said, if you get a chance, you need to hear this. Watch their 'home performance' of "Profissão MC" below to get an idea of this powerful pairing, featuring Marcelo D2's raspy rhymes over warm, jazzy, samba-tinged vibes. The revolution will not be televised...

Visit our FB page for a chance to win 2 tickets to the Berlin show!

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Da'asa

Fortuna Records Unearth Compilation Of Haunting Yemenite Israeli Funk
 

It's back to the Middle East, where Tel Aviv-based imprint Fortuna Records has not so silently been making a name for itself with a host of mind-blowing reissues. Latest in their repertoire of musical excavations is [...]

It's back to the Middle East, where Tel Aviv-based imprint Fortuna Records has not so silently been making a name for itself with a host of mind-blowing reissues. Latest in their repertoire of musical excavations is "Da'asa", a compilation of rare Yemenite Israeli Funk tracks 1974-1982. 

"Ranging from extremely rare to previously unreleased, these tracks are a result of a unique scene [of Yemenite immigrants to Israel] which blended funk, soul, jazz & disco with traditional Yemenite rhythms & sounds."

What's more, the 8-track selection also includes an unreleased track by Yemenite jazz singer Tsvia Abarbanel from 1969, while the gatefold LP comes with a 14-page booklet to shed some light on the history behind these extraordinary compositions. Listen to the full album in the SoundCloud player above, featuring tracks by Reuma Abas, David Dor, Aharon Amram, Lehakat Tzliley Ha'oud, Duo Tsafri, Yehezkel Matari and The Amranim.

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