Vodou Alé

Haitian Roots Band Chouk Bwa Teams Up With Belgian Duo The Ångströmers On Bewitching Debut Full-Length

Hard-hitting Afro-Caribbean polyrhythms and call-and-response chants meet bass-heavy, dubbed out electronics as traditional Haitian vodou combo Chouk Bwa teams up with Belgian producer duo The Ångströmers on their bewitching debut full-length "Vodou Alé": "The traditional and contemporary collide on this nine-track merger of distinct Haitian mizik rasin (roots music) and rumbling electronic production, forging a thrilling and hypnotic dialogue between [...]

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Bogotá's Frente Cumbiero Release Psycho-Tropic New 7" On Names You Can Trust

Bogotá's torchbearers of modern-day cumbia return to the Brooklyn-based Names You Can Trust imprint, where they released their 2010-debut "Pitchito", with another scorching two-tracker ready to set dancefloors ablaze.

The explorative four-piece led by the multi-talented Mario Galeano Toro (Ondatropica, Los Pirañas) has made a name for itself on the international scene with its new-age concoctions of Colombian roots music, ranging from cumbia to subgenres such [...]

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DJ Tron Releases Funky 45RPM Nugget On Basel's Burning Sole Records

Here's a very special delivery via Basel, Switzerland-based label Burning Sole Records, supplier of seriously funky vinyl since 2017. Back in June, the magnificent Mike Mory, alias DJ Tron, unveiled his scorching "Mexico" 7-inch record, featuring two fortified bangers on black, gold and white vinyl, each edition strictly limited to 100. 

Needless to say, the release flew off the shelves in no time and is now available again as a repress. Side A presents "Mexico [...]

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Fortuna Records Reissue Larger Than Life Greek Tavern-Style Masterpiece By Little-Known Moroccan Singer

Where do we even begin? The cover? "Koko" is the latest quality release on Tel Aviv-based Fortuna Records, an imprint that has been delivering straight fire in regular intervals over the past years (Grazia, Levitros, Da'asa, Tsvia Abarbanel and more). Scouring the Levant for the rarest of grooves, their reissues always hit the spot. 

Enter "Koko", a scorching album by a little known artist from Morocco. But it gets even etter: "Following the Israeli Greek-craze [...]

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Titik Api

Jakarta’s La Munai Records Completes Reissue Trilogy Of Indonesia’s Extraordinary Harry Roesli Gang

Reissue alert! Earlier this year, about the time the pandemic became a global reality, Jakarta's La Munai Records re-released the second opus of the late Indonesian master Harry Roesli and his rocking jazzfunk outfit, alias the Harry Roesli Gang. Harry Roesli was born alias Djauhar Zaharsjah Fachruddin Roesli in Bandung, West Java, in 1951. He was a political activist and a prominent member of the Tradisi Baru Movement (New Tradition), "a term used to describe [...]

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South African Artist Bongeziwe Mabandla Unveils Love-ly Third Album Of Enigmatic African Soul

The first sound you hear is seemingly that of a tape being placed into a tape recorder, then silence, rain, the light strumming of an acoustic guitar, more rain and finally a voice, quite unlike any voice we've heard before. Johannesburg-based artist Bongeziwe Mabandla has been described as "the enigmatic spirit of African Soul" by some and as a "modern miracle"  by others. Eight years ago, he released his debut LP "Umlilo" (2012) and followed that up with his [...]

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Brother Theotis Taylor

Mississippi Records Releases Album Of Intimate Home Recordings By Eponymous Spiritual Gospel Singer And Piano Player

Just a few weeks after bringing you Kahil El'Zabar and David Murray's "Spirit Groove" we return to Chicago, Illinois, home to the small Mississippi Records imprint, originally founded by Eric Isaacson in Portland, Oregon, as a record store back in 2003 and now run by musician Gordon Ashworth and filmmaker Cyrus Moussavi. Initially focussing on "esoteric" rarities ranging from "African acoustic guitar music, to 1920's - 30's country blues or deep gospel," the [...]

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Reggae Sounds

Seminal Dub-Poet, Activist And Icon Linton Kwesi Johnson To Receive 2020 PEN Pinter Prize

Call it a coincidence, but the day we posted an exclusive 2008 Riddim Culture radio tribute to pioneering Jamaican artist, studio engineer and broadcaster Michael Campbell, aka Mikey Dread, we received word that prominent Jamaican dub poet and activist Linton Kwesi Johnson had been awarded the 2020 PEN Pinter Prize. The literary award, named after renowned British playwright Harold Pinter, was created by the English PEN organisation in 2009, to celebrate [...]

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Spirit Groove

Multi-Percussionist Kahil El’Zabar & Tenor Sax Colossus David Murray Release Phenomenal New Spiritual Jazz Album

Welcome to the house that Kahil El'Zabar built. For decades now, Chicago's hugely innovative, "legendary multi-percussionist and spiritual jazz master Kahil El'Zabar [has been on a] quest of spirit through groove." It comes as no surprise then, that his latest, June-released album alongside fellow spirit-searcher and "tenor sax colossus" David Murray is simply entitled "Spirit Groove". Spanning over four decades the two have collaborated on a multitude of [...]

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Niger's Alhousseini Anivolla and Ethiopia's Girum Mezmur Join Forces on Hypnotic Pan-African Album Project

Afropentatonism... say it out loud, read it again to make sure you got all the letters right and then just let it seep in and gently take effect. What might be mistaken for a cult or a new brand of metal music rooted in African tradition turns out to be neither nor. Instead, "Afropentatonism" references the pentatonic scale, which many claim to be the world's oldest scale. With its five notes per octave the pentatonic scale dates all the way back to ancient [...]

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Africa Today

Nigerian Trumpet Phenom Etuk Ubong Releases Six-Track Direct-To-Disc Album On Night Dreamer

If you've listened to or possibly even added Etuk Ubong's 2018-released "Black Debtors" 7-inch to your collection, then you're already in the know and will likely agree to Seun Kuti calling him "one of the best things to come out of Lagos." The Nigerian trumpeter, composer and bandleader with his home-cooked 'Earth Music' style is a veritable musical force to be reckoned with. For his latest feat he's now teamed up with London/Haarlem-based imprint Night [...]

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The Dancing Devils Of Djibouti

Ostinato Records Releases The First-Ever International Album From Groupe RTD

The BBC's Focus on Africa programme called this "a very special album" and we couldn't agree more. While collecting music to put on our "Greedy for May" playlist on Spotify a few weeks back, we previewed the first available tracks of "The Dancing Devils of Djibouti" by Groupe RTD, aka "one of East Africa's best kept secrets," and were deeply impressed. Now fully released and available via Ostinato Records, we can't wait to share the story of the first-ever [...]

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