French Duo Ireke Explores All Grooves Tropical On Exuberant Debut Full-Length

Spring has sprung in the Northern Hemisphere and that solar energy we've been missing for the past months is slowly making its return. Accompanying the equinox is the debut album by French duo Ireke. Having honed their individual talents in various roles and outfits, the two multi-instrumentalists and arrangers Damien Tesson and Julien Gervaix first crossed paths in a group called Playtime and eventually decided to join forces to explore common ground: "We [...]

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Veteran Austrian Producer URBS Returns To His Downbeat Roots On Impressionistic New LP

If you were around in the mid-to-late 90s, early 00s and onward and caught a whiff of the downtempo stew brewing on the Austrian underground circuit – spearheaded by the globally acclaimed duo of Kruder & Dorfmeister – then the name URBS [of URBS'n'Chaoz and later URBS & Cutex fame] should ring a bell. Likewise, if 'headz' is a genre you can relate to, you will be as excited as we were to hear that the veteran Austrian producer and musician is back with a [...]

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Tehran-Based Kamancheh Virtuoso Saba Alizadeh Shares Gloomy New Video To Latest Single 'Clamour'

As we sit here on International Women's Day, peacefully sipping on a glass of 'çay', we can't help but realise that the fight for equal rights and women's rights in particular may seem universal, even though it's an entirely different one depending on the country you're living in and the traditional power structures you are bound to. Freedom and equality to this extent are relative. While here in Germany the most prominent current buzzwords on this nationwide [...]

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Soul Tropical

The Multi-Talented David Walters Returns With Life-Affirming New LP On Heavenly Sweetness

It's been pretty much three years on the dot, since we did a short but enthusiastic write-up on Marseille-based multi-instrumentalist, DJ, singer/songwriter, producer and Zimpala (if you know, then you know) co-founder David Walters' tribute to worldwide Creole culture, fittingly titled "Soleil Kréyol" and produced by musical mastermind Bruno "Patchworks" Hovart. Last Friday, he returned to French imprint Heavenly Sweetness with a brand-new LP that we dare say [...]

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Bissau-Guinean Multi-Instrumentalist Kimi Djabaté Releases Soulful Third Album On Cumbancha

As we zoom in on contemporary sounds from West Africa this week, following Jean Trouillet's Globalwize 'Mali Special', we bring you the recently released longplayer of Lisbon-based multi-instrumentalist and singer Kimi Djabaté. Hailing from Guinea-Bissau, Djabaté is not just a gifted guitarist and percussionist, but also a balafón (African xylophone) virtuoso, who has collaborated with the likes of Mory Kanté, Waldemar Bastos, Netos de Gumbé and, most [...]

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Mournful Kingdom Of Sand

Enigmatic Duo Ak'chamel Returns With Another Esoteric Psych-Folk Journey On Akuphone

Following our Altercat Argentine jazz double-header in January, we complete this month's Akuphone 'sounds from here and yonder' double-header with the enigmatic, cabalistic duo Ak'chamel and their latest sophomore feat titled "A Mournful Kingdom of Sand". Hailing from "a border state", this mysterious joint venture describes itself as "fourth world post-colonial cultural cannibalists circumcising the foreskin of enlightenment," which sounds about as ominous as [...]

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Jerusalem-Based Improvisational Trio Leviot Unveils Spellbinding Debut Full-Length On Akuphone

The concept of 'land' is an abstract one, which is glaringly obvious in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It should not come as a surprise then, that the opening track of Jerusalem-based improvisational trio Leviot's spellbinding debut full-length "Sharav" on Akuphone is titled just that. But regional claims and territorial disputes are not at all what this release is concerned with. Leviot (Hebrew for 'lionesses') is a novel project conceived by [...]

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Ese Puerto Existe

Venezuelan Three-Piece Insólito UniVerso Unveils Sophomore Psych-Folk Album On Olindo Records

Humming Sun Ra's "Door of The Cosmos", we direct our attention to Paris-based Venezuelan trio Insólito UniVerso and their brand-new sophomore full-length on Olindo Records. "Ese Puerto Existe" ('that port exists') is the follow-up to the group's fascinating 2018 debut "La Candela del Río" and sees them continuing to explore the possibilities of Venezuelan music with dreamlike ease. Heralded by an EP last September containing the title track and another tune [...]

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Ahl Nana

Belgian Reissue Collective Radio Martiko Shares Pioneering Saharan 'Desert Blues' Recordings

Ever since we chanced upon them during the early days of our online editorial, Belgium's Radio Martiko collective has been among our favourite reissue labels with an undeniable Midas touch for otherworldly global releases. Over the years, we've covered some of their work, but you best check their discography to grasp the full extent of their digging feats. Long story short, here comes their latest release, unearthing the "lost recordings that defined the modern [...]

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Buster Goes West

Tokyo's of Tropique! Release Marvellous First Full-Length On Electric Cowbell Records

"And a top of the morning to you, sir!" Such is the comically refined style of this fictional character named Buster, a larger than life personality with a big heart, quite loquacious, always courteous, very much romantic and a tad bit eccentric. Tokyo’s tropical-infused five-piece of Tropique! just released their debut full-length on Electric Cowbell Records and it is a truly marvellous affair. 

"Buster Goes West" is a life-affirming eleven track album of [...]

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O Paraíso

São Paulo's Lucas Santtana Reminds Us Of A Possible Paradise On Earth Via No Format!

Pitter patter goes the rain against our window. Berlin at this time of year is a monotonous blend of different shades of grey, suggesting we stay inside and seek inspiration elsewhere. Luckily for us, the Paris-based No Format! imprint just released the ninth and "new solar album" by Brazilian singer-songwriter Lucas Santtana, inviting us to join him in marveling at this life on earth. And we are more than happy to follow suit.

"O Paraíso" is the name of his [...]

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The Ghent-Based Jiraan Ensemble Unveils Debut LP Exploring Musical Traditions And Novel Sounds

This year, we vowed to take our time, to be more mindful in an attempt to experience and appreciate every moment the universe bestows upon us. Just like this debut album of the Ghent-based musical collective Jiraan. Founded in 2016 and led by Syrian/Belgian violinist and composer Shalan Alhamwy, the Jiraan Ensemble includes "musicians from a broad spectrum of musical worlds. Together, they explore the common ground between musical traditions and create a novel [...]

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