Life Is A Heavy Burden

Strut/United Sounds Of Asia Releases Timeless Ghazals & Poetry By Afghanistan’s Nashenas

"Life is a Heavy Burden" is the title of the latest release on Strut Records, as the always stellar London-based imprint launches its new United Sounds of Asia series, a "project celebrating musical routes, journeys and histories across Asia [that is] helmed by the Paradise Bangkok founders Maft Sai (Zudrangma Records) and Chris Menist (Awkward Corners)." This is a special one, seeing as it is "the first compilation of legendary Afghan Ghazal singer Dr. [...]

Read more


Far Out Recordings Releases Fabled 11+ Minute Version Of Joyce Moreno’s Iconic Song

Eleven minutes and twenty-five seconds of pure samba jazz spirit led by Brazilian icon Joyce Moreno, aka Joyce, or, as Antônio Carlos Jobim put it, "one of the greatest singers ever." With Record Store Day 2022 ahead, Far Out Recordings have just unveiled one of the finds of the year and although we no longer support the event itself and what in our eyes has become a sort of major label slugfest, this forthcoming release to us represents, what collecting and [...]

Read more

Oasi (Deserto Remixed)

Bologna-Based Three-Piece Oké's Sophomore Album Receives Transatlantic Remix Treatment

Flashback to 2020, when Bologna-based three-piece Oké, alias veteran producer Andrea "Katzuma" Visani, William Simone (percussion, FX) and Andrea Calì (keys), released their lush 18-track double album "Deserto" on Original Cultures, blending influences from library music and cosmic jazz with afrohouse rhythms and outernational hues. Despite never getting around to actually reviewing the album, "Oasi (Deserto Remixed)" now presents us with a second chance. [...]

Read more

The Intifada 1987

Recovered, Restored, Reissued: Riad Awwad's Long-Forgotten DIY Album Of The Palestinian Uprising

December 1987 marked the First Intifada, a series of Palestinian protests and violent riots against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. A week into the popular uprising, Riad Awwad, "an electrical engineer specialising in musical equipment," got together with his sisters Hanan, Alia and Nariman and began recording an album in their living room "on equipment he had made himself." 

Fast forward some 34 years to Jenin, a Palestinian city in the West [...]

Read more


Renowned Percussionist Imed Alibi & Fellow Tunisian Producer Khalil Epi Release Frenetic Eight-Tracker

Master percussionist and composer Imed Alibi is a household name in Tunisian music, who began his career at an early age, playing alongside several popular and classical North African/Middle Eastern orchestras, and has since collaborated with renowned artists the likes of Rachid Taha, Natasha Atlas, Emel Mathlouthi and more. After relocating to Montpellier, France, in the early 2000s, he joined French 'rock 'n' raï' group Les Boukakes, released his first solo [...]

Read more


Mystical Cumbia-Not-Cumbia Outfit Combo Chimbita Drops Otherworldly New Album On Anti-

A resounding "Oyaaa, Oyaaa" heralds Combo Chimbita's roaring return to the global circuit with a resplendent new album on ANTI-. Briefly titled "IRÉ", the lush and vibrant 12-tracker yields 45 minutes of divine blessings, while, more importantly, taking a stand, "a brazen propulsive affirmation of revolutionary futures in the making." On it Carolina Oliveros (vocals, guacharaca), Niño Lento es Fuego (guitar), Prince of Queens (bass, synthesizers) and [...]

Read more


Algerian Mandole Virtuoso Anouar Kaddour Chérif Releases Dazzling Debut Solo Album

This is a first for us, in the sense that it is the first of February, the first we've heard of Switzerland-based multi-instrumentalist Anouar Kaddour Chérif, but also the first time we get to feature the Algerian mandole, an instrument resembling the more widely known mandolin. It also happens to be Chérif's first solo album, drawing on his Algerian roots yet written and recorded in exile, accompanied by Clément Meunier on bass clarinet, Hannes Junker on [...]

Read more

Chicha Popular

Rebel Up! Records Releases 2LP Compilation Of Love & Social Political Songs From Peruvian Label Discos Horóscopo (1977-1987)

Rise and shine! And we mean that quite literally. Music has always been akin to uprisings, be it on the dancefloor or on the daily rollercoaster of life. Likewise, "musical revolutions are often born from the people," a point vibrantly brought to fruition on the latest 24 (+2) track compilation by Belgian imprint Rebel Up! Records, in collaboration with iconic Peruvian labels Magnética and Discos Horóscopo. Together, they just released the resplendent "Chicha [...]

Read more

Canciones De Isaac

Olindo Records Unveil Intimate Debut Full-Length Of Venezuelan Multi-Instrumentalist Isaac Sasson

The versatile Venezuelan singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Isaac Sasson returns to Olindo Records, to unveil his brand-new, debut full-length release, intimately titled "Canciones de Isaac" ('Songs of Isaac'). Released last Friday, the shapeshifting collection presents 14 heartfelt compositions, inspired by Sasson's native Venezuela and his new-found home in Barcelona, Spain. Channeling the voices of his ancestors and juxtaposing them with sounds [...]

Read more

The Rootsman

French Imprint Akuphone Presents First-Ever Retrospective Of Visionary UK Musician/Producer John Bolloten

Let's go back to the roots, or rather The Rootsman. Visionary Bradford-based musician, producer and, meanwhile, documentary photographer John Bolloten is a household name on the global dub circuit, whose track record speaks volumes and who gained international acclaim and recognition for a string of releases in the mid-to-late '90s and early '00s. Early last year, trusted French independent label Akuphone went about compiling a high-quality selection of his [...]

Read more

Doose Mam / Gure Yose Me

#1 Ghanaian Frafra Gospel Artist Alogte Oho Returns With More Sounds Of Joy

As families settled in around the tree in many parts of the world, Ghana's "number one Frafra gospel artist" returned with an upbeat and versatile 7" on Max Weissenfeldt's always stellar, Berlin-based Philophon imprint. The joyous release brings us two super and very much upbeat tracks with Alogte Oho leading the way, accompanied by explosive choruses from his powerful female choir of Lizzy Amaliyenga, Patricia Adongo and Florence Adooni (see below), alias his [...]

Read more

O.K. Jazz

Belgian's Planet Ilunga Dedicates A Limited 2LP Compilation To Kinshasa's Kings Of The Congolese Bolero

'Tis the season to wind down. We're about to give the keyboards a rest and enjoy some time away from the screen, but that doesn't mean we'll leave you without some quality listening recommendations. One record you'll want to get your hands on if you can is this 2020-released compilation of Congolese boleros, rumba and similar 'slow music' styles, passionately performed by the O.K. Jazz orchestra (aka the Tout Puissant Orchestre Kinois de Jazz) and now compiled [...]

Read more