Perpetual Musket

Breadminster County Council Figurehead Elijah Minnelli Releases Disarming Dub Reimaginations Of Traditional Folk Songs
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Leave it to Elijah Minnelli and the Breadminster County Council Music Initiative to deliver a genuinely disarming new dubscapade into the traditional folk canon, "reimagining classic standards with a cast of renowned reggae vocalists" and fusing the "[melodies] of yesteryear" with high-spirited mixing board wizardry. Ever since his 2021-released single "SLATS", the native resident of Breadminster has made a splash on the global roots circuit with his stand-out, [...]

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Awakening

Berlin-Based Hungarian Producer & Keyboarder Àbáse Manifests The Revelatory Nature Of Life On Second LP
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These days, it is becoming increasingly apparent to us that mindfulness is of the essence and at the root of being able to grow together and progress in this world of ours. One might call it 'being in the moment,' but that too demands a heightened sense of awareness, of sensing and feeling one's surroundings and manifesting one's own presence on Earth. It's the reciprocity of being part of a whole while also participating and contributing to the latter, or [...]

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Ya Hasra

Akuphone Releases A Charming Compilation Of Almost Forgotten Jewish-Tunisian Jewels, Originals & Reworks
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Reporting back from cold and rainy Berlin, we direct our attention to the Maghreb region and Cheb Gero's Paris-based imprint Akuphone. The label recently dropped a compilation of rare tracks of Jewish-Tunisian origin to go with timely reworks by DJ and producer Sharouh. Seeing as we lack sufficient insight into the provenance of these tracks, here's a quote from the release notes providing some welcome context: 

"In 1940, over 100,000 Jewish men and women lived [...]

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Piltan

Hybrid Duo Esfand Releases Debut Album Of Traditional Iranian Sounds W/ Contemporary Club Appeal on 30M Records
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Serendipity seems to have been at work in a chance meeting that was to become the forward-leaning Netherlands-based dance project Esfand. Comprised of two sound enthusiasts, the one hailing from Iran, the other from New Zealand, this sonorous duo has made a name for itself with its trademark "blend of traditional Iranian sounds and contemporary music," integrating hand-picked samples and including"vocal features by renowned Iranian artists" to create an [...]

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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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