Altera Vita

UK Duo Alina Bzhezhinska (harp) & Tony Kofi (tenor sax) Releases Heavenly Spiritual Jazz Collaboration On BBE

There's something undeniably celestial about the harp and this effect is multiplied to the fullest on this heavenly collaborative debut album by the phenomenal harpist Alina Bzhezhinska and tenor sax phenom Tony Kofi. This is not the first time the two UK-based, multiple award-winning artists have joined forces and yet, hearing them in a duo constellation does exude a certain magic. Titled "Altera Vita" ('Another Life'), this collaborative full-length "homage [...]

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Working Progress

Jamaica’s groundsound (Gavsborg & Riddim Writer) Release Afrofuturist Dancehall Album With A Message

Every now and then we like to shake things up a bit and throw a sonic wrench in the system. Today's circuit breaker comes by ways of Kingston, Jamaica, home to groundsound. The forward-thinking duo consisting of Gavsborg (founding member of the Equiknoxx collective) and Riddim Writer (word artist & cultural analyst) has formed "a message-driven, Afrofuturist partnership" and recently released a stunning one-hour full-length "to free-up how listeners hear, think [...]

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Ye Ankasa

Berlin's Jembaa Groove Collective Returns With Another Heavy Afro-Soul Groover On Agogo Records

Certain things remain a constant, such as the this planet of ours that keeps spinning on its own axis and those clocks that keep on ticking. Also, Berlin's Jembaa Groove is back with another album on Agogo Records. Two years after delivering their unifying debut "Susuma" (read more here), fusing West African influences with the infinite possibilities of jazz and a healthy dose of soul, the multi-cultural seven-piece returns with yet another heavy afro-soul [...]

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Merci Yaya Bongo

Marseille’s Secousse Imprint Releases 2LP Compilation Of All-Female 'Animation Groups' From Gabon 1982-1989

Call us ignorant, but only now are we catching up on the history of Gabon. The country on the Atlantic coast of Central Africa gained its independence from France in 1960, however, relations between the two countries remained co-dependent. Gabon has had three presidents since gaining its autonomy, the most prominent being Omar Bongo, who stayed in power for a whopping 42 years only to be succeeded by his son in 2009, who then ruled another 14 years until his [...]

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Hiddo Dhawr

Somaliland's Emblematic Chanteuse, Nurse and Cultural Activist Sahra Halgan Unveils Zealous Fourth Album

Last Friday marked the return of a true, yet still lesser known musical and cultural icon, the great chanteuse, nurse and activist Sahra Halgan. Hailing from Somaliland, a region in northwestern Somalia that declared its independence from the British protectorate in 1991 following a brutal civil war, but remains "unrecognised by the international community," Halgan continues to be one of the region's strongest voices in every respect. So before we dive into her [...]

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The Albanian Connection

Tel Aviv's Yummi Wisler Guitar Combo Takes A Magnificent Instrumental Swing At Cinematic Crime Sounds

Once again, the days are getting longer and spring is in the air, luring us out of our homes and inviting us to explore the verdant environs. Also, it's the long Easter weekend here in Germany, which has inspired many to hit the road and venture out even farther. Enter the fitting cinematic score to a bit of good ol' musical escapism, rather enticingly titled "The Albanian Connection". Out on Tel Aviv-based independent label Raw Tapes, said release is the [...]

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Catalan Experimental Duo ZA! Joins Forces With Andalusian 'Cantaor' Perrate On Transformative LP

Everybody gather 'round, the circus is in town! Always keen to feast our ears on extraordinary productions from around the globe, this latest release on the Madrid-based imprint Lovemonk has us in a positive state of frenzy. It's an all-out Spanish affair if you will, bringing together two boundary-pushing acts, placing them before a white canvas and hoping for the best. The result of this particular amalgamation is nothing short of a revelation, a visionary [...]

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Locomotive Train

BBE Reissues Remastered Early 1970s Album By The African Brothers Band International Of Ghana

Sitting on a train from Bruges to Bruxelles, we felt it might me a good moment to share this recent highlife reissue on BBE with you. Remastered and re-released digitally earlier this month on Ghanaian Independence Day, this early 1970s album by the African Brothers Band International of Ghana is an absolute gem and thoroughly engaging from start to finish. Blending classic highlife with elements of rock, funk and reggae, "Locomotive Train (Keteke) - Meko [...]

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I Too Am A Stranger

Leeds-Based Outfit The Sorcerers Conjures Third Album Of Ethiopique Rare Grooves For Cinematic Minds

It's back to the basement, we thought to ourselves as we readied ourselves to review the latest album by Leeds-based outfit The Sorcerers. "I Too Am A Stranger" is the follow-up to the group's sophomore LP "In Search Of The Lost City Of The Monkey God" and their eponymous 2019-released debut and sees the core trio of bassist/guitarist Neil Innes, drummer Joost Hendrickx and reed/flute/vibes/keyboard player Richard Ormrod bolster their brass section with [...]

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Mississippi Records Posthumously Reissues Collection Of Self-Recorded Songs In Memory Of Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru

There are recordings that are specifically made to move you and then there are recordings that genuinely move you. The latest release on Mississippi Records is of the latter kind, a collection of self-recorded solo piano songs by the revered Ethiopian nun, composer and pianist Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru. Simply titled "Souvenirs," these cassette recordings had previously only been available on CD, as sold in the gift shop of the Kidane Mehret monastery in [...]

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Zaman Ziyan

Ayyuka Return With A Reverb-Ridden Postcard From Istanbul Honouring The Slow Life With A Vengeance

Bridging continents from birth and styles since initially getting together in 2001, Istanbul-based outfit Ayyuka has been reimagining Turkish music – notably the infamous psychedelic era of the 1970s – on its own terms, and with quite some success. Juxtaposing their local roots and musical influences with global genres such as afrobeat, surf rock, funk and more, the four musicians have created an extensive discography by just doing their thing. We first [...]

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Berlin Multi-Instrumentalist M.RUX Unveils Itinerant New Album Via YNFND – A Nod To The Process Of Sound Writing

Anticipation was high when we received the first notification for Berlin-based sound gymnast M.RUX's forthcoming longplayer, the follow-up to his 2020 concept album "Vermonische Melodien", which appeared on Pingipung. His latest eight-track feat just dropped on his very own YNFND imprint and is titled "REKORDER" – a nod to the miraculous process of recording sounds and the technology behind as well as the 150-year-long history of phonography or 'sound [...]

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