Master Kora Player Dawda Jobarteh Releases Album #3 & Sheds A Light On Senegambia's "Begging Boys"

Hailing from The Gambia and now residing in Denmark, kora player Dawda Jobarteh is the heir to a long line of Gambian musical royalty. His grandfather was Alhaji Bai Konte, one of the country's most famed kora players. His father was Amadou Bansang Jobarteh, an equally respected kora player and the favoured musician of Gambia's first president. (He also happened to be the uncle of Sidiki Diabaté, father to Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté.) And the list [...]

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Import / Export Mogadishu

Reviving The Sounds And Rekindling The Spirit Of Somalia's Golden Era

The Somali port city and capital of Mogadishu used to be home to a bustling music scene from the late 1960s up until the early 1990s, "teeming with pop and folk musicians whose influences spanned several genres of Somali traditional music alongside influences from abroad". Perhaps one of the most renowned groups of the era was the Dur-Dur Band who, free of government constraints, decided not to address politics or spread subversive messages, but rather [...]

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Blick Bassy's 4th Album Pays Tribute To Cameroonian Freedom Fighter Um Nyobé

Based in France, Cameroonian singer and songwriter Blick Bassy just released his fourth album "1958", which follows on the heels of his acclaimed previous album "Akö". His latest eleven track strong oeuvre is a resounding tribute to Cameroonian anti-colonialist freedom fighter Ruben Um Nyobé, who was killed by French forces in 1958.  

With his haunting yet soothing falsetto voice Blick Bassy calmly honours a man, whose name and legacy are rarely mentioned in [...]

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Poison Fruit

Legendary Drummer Ivan "Mamão" Conti Releases Psychoactive New Album

If you are in any way familiar with Brazilian music, then you are bound to have heard of cult jazz-funk trio Azymuth. And if you know about Azymuth, then you will most likely also be familiar with the group's drummer extraordinaire and living musical legend Ivan "Mamão" Conti, who is meanwhile in his early seventies and still going strong. "Mamão was at the root of the group’s 'samba doido' (crazy samba) philosophy, which warped the traditional samba [...]

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No Risk, No Fun

Israeli Animation Artist Osi Wald Takes On Malox's "Istanbul"

Remember MALOX? Well, it has been something like two years, since we last reported on the potent Israeli duo (now trio), composed of Eyal Talmudi (sax, clarinet, bag-pipes) and Roy Chen (drums) as well as latest band member Assaf Talmudi (keys). Back in 2016 Eyal and Roy released their album "Gaza Trip" and our ears are still ringing. 

One of the tracks on said album was a loony 8-bit synth composition entitled "Istanbul", which was created by cleverly sampling [...]

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My Voice, My Weapon Of Choice!

Berlin's "Jenseits von Nelken und Pralinen" Festival Returns To Challenge The Status Quo

For the first time this year, March 8th in Berlin will be a public holiday, giving us all the more reason to celebrate this momentous day. Which is exactly what the Berlin-based Pralinen collective has been doing for the past four years with its potent "Jenseits von Nelken und Pralinen" (transl. "Beyond the Carnations and the Chocolates") festival. 

Founded back in 2016, the annual event takes place on International Women's Day and is steadily gaining momentum. [...]

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Que Vola?

Dazzling French-Cuban Jazz Collective Drops Debut Album On Nø Førmat

Que Vola? This simple phrase, which translates to 'what's up?', is not just a common greeting in Cuba, but also the name of a new French-Cuban jazz collective that is currently on the rise and has just delivered an outstanding debut album on French imprint Nø Førmat (Toto Bona Lokua, Mélissa Laveaux, Oumou Sangaré). 

Back in 2012 French trombonist Fidel Fourneyron embarked on his first trip to Cuba, to find out more about the country that inspired his first [...]

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Sew Lesew

Gili Yalo Returns With Powerful First Single Off Forthcoming EP

A little more than a year has gone by since Gili Yalo released his phenomenal, self-titled debut solo album, which was one of eleven African albums to receive a 5-star review by Songlines Magazine in 2018. "The whole thing has a strut to its step," writes Jim Hickson. "With Yalo singing in both Amharic and English, his band cooks up a whole range of retro flavours, from golden-age Ethiopian horns and old-school synths to the classic R&B rhythm-section sound. [...]

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Planet Malek

Watch Habibi Funk's Short Documentary On The Legendary Algerian Musician Ahmed Malek

We love everything Berlin-based imprint Habibi Funk and main man Jannis Stürtz have been creating over the past years, including their notorious mixes of Arabic Funk. Back in 2016, as part of their globally celebrated reissue series, they released an anthology of legendary Algerian musician, multi-instrumentalist and composer Ahmed Malek's beautiful film music, which you can still stream/buy over on their Bandcamp page

"Arabic records have become my number [...]

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Wrap Your Heads Around This Thrilling Southern Californian Five-Piece

Situated in close proximity to the metropolitan area of Los Angeles, Southern California's Inland Empire was a major center of agriculture at the end of the 19th century. Today the enclave is home to the "sixth largest Spanish-speaking population among all US metropolitan areas" and remains fertile in the sense of a "growing scene of Afro-Latin independent music".

Among this new generation of "intrepid musical explorers" is Yanga, a thrilling five-piece led by [...]

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Alyona Alyona

Sky’s The Limit For Ukraine's New Hiphop Sensation

In her native Ukraine, alyona alyona's debut album has already become the most anticipated release of 2019. And within just a few months, the young kindergarten teacher from a village on the outskirts of Kiev became an overnight hiphop sensation. We first chanced upon her in a post by her booking agency More Zvukov. And although we couldn't understand a word she was saying, we fell in love almost instantly.

It all began, when she released the first companion [...]

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Murphy's Law

The Jewish Monkeys Premiere Hilarious Music Video To New Single

We warned you last Friday. The Jewish Monkeys are back and paving the road to their forthcoming third album "Catastrophic Life", to be released in autumn. Which also means new music for all of us. Isn't life a beauty?

"All the Great Things" is the band's new single and first track off the new album and it too celebrates life in all its absurdity. The single is a catchy, Balkan-infused ska punk track, which features the Jewish Monkeys' new horn section and an [...]

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