Where Did You Go?

Israeli Guitarist/Composer Tal Sandman's Sandman Project Releases Expansive Debut Longplayer On Batov Records
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Where did you go? After a moment of holiday-induced silence, we are pleased to let you know that we are safe and sound and on a family visit in the hustling and bustling megacity that is Istanbul. And yes, the vibe here in this overpopulated agglomeration is most definitely a Mediterranean one, which brings us to Tel Aviv's Sandman Project. Led by guitarist and composer Tal Sandman, this outfit first popped onto the scene with its 2018-released "Royal Family" [...]

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Swaken

French-Moroccan Powerhouse Bab L’ Bluz Drops Second High-Octane LP Adding To The Fire Of Their Previous Outing
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"Psychedelic Morockan Blues", is the fitting descriptor to what kind of music the French-Moroccan powerhouse Bab L' Bluz makes. Led by Yousra Mansour, the band arrived on the scene in 2020 with its breakthrough debut full-length "Nayda" and the intention to "reclaim the blues for North Africa." Delivering a tightly arranged, high-octane blend of Gnawa styles with rockstar energy and conviction, the four-piece quickly made a name for itself on the global circuit [...]

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Engracia

Berlin's Daniel Haaksman Gives Angolan Composer Prado Paim's 1974 Hit A Novel Spin Feat. Colombia's Los Bulldozer
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Love can be the only answer, we think to ourselves in these trying times. And so today, we share this welcome rework of an Angolan classic with you, by none other than tropical bass pioneer and jack of all trades, Daniel Haaksman. The Man Recordings label founder had long housed the original in his personal record collection and recently rediscovered it while digging through his own crates. Originally released in 1974, "Engracia" was Prado Paim's "first 7" [...]

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Trance Gnawa

Elmir Records Releases A Collection Of Ritualistic Trance Music From Iconic Moroccan Group Nass El Ghiwane
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Healing is a process that is best accompanied by music. Rooted in North Africa are spiritual ceremonies called 'ziara', "where people come to exorcise demons, purify their bodies and loudly reaffirm their attachment to God, the prophet and the deities who claim to embody him."  During these ceremonies, ritualistic music provides the appropriate setting to conjure up ecstatic outbursts and attain a higher state of consciousness. "The most brilliant performers of [...]

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Africa Yontii

Sengalese Guitarist Tidiane Thiam Releases Compelling Appeal To Africa To Take Back The Reins Of Its Own Destiny
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There's an innate beauty to this new album by Senegal's Tidiane Thiam, but beyond its pensive allure lies a more profound concept, one of pride and provenance and hope. Titled "Africa Yontii", which is Pulaar – a Fula language spoken primarily in the Senegal River valley area – and translates to 'Africa, It's Time', this nine-track instrumental guitar serenade carries within it a deep-seated dream: “It’s time. Africa, it’s time. It’s time that [...]

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Ghana Special

Soundway Records Unveils Scintillating Collection Of Electronic 'Burger Highlife' Sounds From The Diaspora, 1980-93
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As wonderful as it is to have such a broad selection of grooves on one record, it's admittedly tough to review 'various artists' compilations down to the very last detail. Instead of sharing in-depth background information on each and every artist involved, capturing the collective vibe and providing some necessary context usually suffice to point people in the right direction. That being said, Soundway Records just released the heavyweight second volume of its [...]

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Zonder Pardon

Amsterdam's Don Melody Club Releases Unapologetically Wonky, Infectiously Groovy 'Dutch Pop' Five-Tracker
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Let's take it back to the club and get those 'Nederwave' engines revving. Revisiting our promo archives, we chanced upon this rare Dutch pop elixir released on Bongo Joe Records in collaboration with Dutch imprint Excelsior Recordings at the start of the year. "Zonder Pardon" is a zesty, wonky, yet undeniably groovy five-tracker by Amsterdam's Don Melody Club, the moniker of Donald "Donny" Madjid. Also a member of the infamous and equally punchy Mauskovic Dance [...]

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Musafir

Multi-Cultural Ensemble Halva Presents 3rd Album Reimagining The Traditional Sounds Of Eastern Europe
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Taking a more classical approach this time around, we bring you the recently released third album by Halva, a multi-cultural ensemble that has a penchant for reimagining "traditional Eastern European styles" with virtuosic aplomb. Their wholly original compositions from the hand of Belgian band leader and violinist Nicolaas Cottenie are marked by dazzling virtuosity and a talent for musical storytelling; albeit the majority of their music is instrumental. The [...]

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Ocher Red

Siberian Brother Duo Herandu (Evgeny & Mikhail Gavrilov) Releases Mesmerising Jazz Fusion Debut On Hive Mind
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Call it serendipity, but this unassuming release recently resurfaced in our feed, reminding us that we had previously received and flagged a promo in our inbox by the same name. As luck would have it, there it was and upon reading the release notes we quickly realised that this instrumental gem might just be our thing. Out on Brighton's Hive Mind imprint as of last Friday and titled "Ocher Red", this is the debut full-length of Herandu, the sonic alloy of [...]

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Les Belgicains

Back From A 54-Year Hiatus The Recently Revived Covadia Imprint Shines A Light On Its Remarkable Back Catalogue
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The notorious algorithm served this one up on a silver platter a few weeks back, suggesting we follow the newly revived, Brussels-based Covadia Records imprint and after brief consideration, we decided we would. Now here we are to reap the rewards, seeing as the label released its inaugural compilation last Friday, one that you better not sleep on. If you are familiar with the sounds of infamous Congolese rumba and bolero band TPOK Jazz and its charismatic [...]

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Altera Vita

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