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NicheStreem

South Africa's Niche Streaming Service

Cape Town, RSA – Building on the idea that "niche doesn't necessarily mean small", entrepreneur Catherine Lückhoff is currently in the midst of creating a niche oriented music streaming service to cater to the [...]

Cape Town, RSA – Building on the idea that "niche doesn't necessarily mean small", entrepreneur Catherine Lückhoff is currently in the midst of creating a niche oriented music streaming service to cater to the more particular musical demands of like-minded individuals across the globe. While streaming juggernauts the likes of Spotify, Pandora or more recently Apple Music fail to take full advantage of such often overlooked, yet equally important segments of specific musical tastes, NicheStreem plans to take a strictly local approach to multiple smaller markets, offering more exotic yet clearly defined genres such as "Highlife" (Afro-pop) or "Naija" gospel. The platform's first spinoff app Liedjie for example features South African artists only, thereby focussing on the Afrikaans market. This is exciting news for music lovers around the world hoping to stream content actually curated to their liking. Let's see how this plays out.

via: ventureburn.com

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Out Of Nations

A Sonic "Quest" For Humanity Before Nationality
 

In a world without borders, humanity comes before nationality. Such is the founding sentiment and raison d'être of the Berlin-based Out Of Nations collective, a message the seven-piece wishes to spread through its [...]

In a world without borders, humanity comes before nationality. Such is the founding sentiment and raison d'être of the Berlin-based Out Of Nations collective, a message the seven-piece wishes to spread through its music. "Out Of Nations is a dream for a future world, where people take each other as humans before they see each other as members of a certain nation," the band's bio reads. 

Inspired by the global repercussions of the Arab Spring, including a dramatic increase in xenophobia, border security and violence, their music reveals a different narrative and shares a new vision of World Music: "The band's futuristic take on world music challenges the normal custom that musicians performing music from non-Western parts of the world emphasise the difference of their home countries through traditional, exotic dress and performance. Out Of Nations instead performs in sleek futuristic garments, reflecting a post-racial, post-national future world."

At the centre of it all is reeds player and composer Lety ElNaggar, who herself was "born to Egyptian and Mexican immigrant parents in suburban America". Alongside producer Khalil Chahine, she decided to envelope her international heritage and experience in modern sounds, fusing organic and electronic elements from the Middle East and Latin America with pop, rock, funk, jazz – "a soundtrack to match the visual wonderland they create on stage".

The group's wonderful debut album "Quest" releases at the end of August on Riverboat Records / World Music Network. They perform live in Berlin on August 14th at ufa Fabrik. Click here for more details.

Feel free to check out "The Out Of Nations Story" below or listen to album track "Fiebre (feat. Juan Ospina)" in the SoundCloud player above. 

Out Of Nations are
Lety ElNaggar (reeds)
Jonas Cambien (keys)
Charis Karantzas (guitar)
Fabian Timm (bass)
Ayman Mabrouk (percussion)
Christian Tschuggnall (drums)
Khalil Chahine (producer, engineer)

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Quebra Cabeça

São Paulo's Bixiga 70 Announce Fourth Album

What a coincidence! So yesterday we walk by the Bixiga 70 poster in our office from their Berlin performance at YAAM in June, 2016. And we wonder if it wouldn't be about time for a new album. We visit their Twitter [...]

What a coincidence! So yesterday we walk by the Bixiga 70 poster in our office from their Berlin performance at YAAM in June, 2016. And we wonder if it wouldn't be about time for a new album. We visit their Twitter page, don't see any apparent news and move on to the next artist on our list. Then today, while browsing our timeline, we discover a post by Glitterbeat Records, announcing the collective's upcoming fourth album, to be released on October 12th! 

“From the very beginning, what we have always had in common is African-Brazilian music,” explains baritone sax player and flautist Cuca Ferreira. "Some of us come from candomblé (the African-Caribbean religion), others from jazz, reggae, dub, everything. The whole idea of the band has been to take all these different elements that form us, from Africa and Brazil, and create a hybrid from them.”

Since their 2015-released album "III", the acclaimed horns-driven ten-piece has been on the road, performing with established artists the likes of Pat Thomas, Orlando Julius or João Donato. These rich and new experiences have now made their way onto the group's forthcoming longplayer "Quebra Cabeça", which they claim is "more complex" and "different" than their previous arrangements.  

"Throughout though, the heartbeat of everything remains utterly African, refracted through the prism of the band’s home in the Bixiga neighbourhood of São Paulo. 'What we put on top of that is essentially urban São Paulo music,' Ferreira continues. 'This city has been a huge influence on us. It has that sense of urgency, always running to catch up. It’s expensive, and services are awful, with so much pollution and violence. But it’s our home and it was developed through immigration. Bixiga is where people come first of all. It’s always had that influx; it’s the story of São Paulo in miniature.'"

For now, we only got a preview of the album's title track, along with a trippy and somewhat sinister accompanying video, which you can see below. But through all the colourful complexity, Bixiga's vibrant, contemporary funk is still very much alive.

Bixiga 70 are
Chris Scabello - guitar 
Cuca Ferreira - baritone sax, flute 
Daniel Gralha - trumpet 
Décio 7 - drums 
Daniel Nogueira - tenor sax 
Douglas Antunes - trombone 
Marcelo Dworecki - bass 
Maurício Fleury - keyboards, guitar 
Rômulo Nardes - percussion

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Black Noise 2084

DJ Khalab Weaves Poly-Phonic Tapestry Of Displaced Sounds
 

Though rooted firmly in organic sounds and archaic rhythms, many of DJ Khalab's mind-warping productions have a futuristic feel to them. You might feel the urge to call it afro-futurism or future base or even jazz. [...]

Though rooted firmly in organic sounds and archaic rhythms, many of DJ Khalab's mind-warping productions have a futuristic feel to them. You might feel the urge to call it afro-futurism or future base or even jazz. Or how about "Black Noise 2084". That should fit quite well. 

"Black Noise 2084" is the title to Khalab's stupendous new album. Born Raffaele Constantino, a "renowned Italian radio host, producer, writer and artistic director", he decided to take on the role of DJ Khalab and "focus his attention on African music", as a devoted "beat marabout" and citizen of "planet Earth" on "an ongoing round trip journey between tribes and psyche, desert and spaceships, jungle and skyscrapers." You can read more on the transformation in a 2017 interview with Rhythm Passport

In any case, "Black Noise 2084" has cast its enigmatic spell on us. Flanked by feature artists the likes of Gabin Dabire, Tenesha The Wordsmith, Shabaka Hutchings, Tommaso Cappellato, Tamar Collocutor, Prince Buju, Clap! Clap! and Moses Boyd, the album is relentless in occupying afro-centic realms of sound both foreign and familiar. 

"Khalab was invited to work with field recordings from the archives of the Royal Museum for Central Africa of Bruxelles. The museum’s recordings made for a post-colonial World, hold ethnographic and historical insights into the cultures of the region over the last 500 years. The Museum is far from the horrors that Belgian King, Leopold II unleashed during his colonial reign, however it is a dark legacy that is far from absolved. ‘Black Noise 2084’ opens a portal where displaced rhythms, chants, screams and dreams collide with quaking bass, a vortex of shattering synths, jazz rains and emotion all amalgamate. Empires for millennia thrived across the African continent and Empires are being willed to rise."

Stream all 10 album tracks on Bandcamp and feel free to check out the beautifully animated video to "Dense" below. Out now via On The Corner Records! We’d also like to recommend DJ Khalab and Baba Sissoko’s “Music To… Urbanise Your Tribes To” mix for i-D, which you can listen to in the SoundCloud player above.

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A.E.I.O.U.

French Combo Cotonete Joins Forces With Di Melo For Brazilian Disco Burner

While picking up another batch of records recently, we happened to grab a copy of legendary Brazilian singer Roberto "Di Melo" Santos' dangerously catchy new single "A.E.I.O.U". Recorded in collaboration with French [...]

While picking up another batch of records recently, we happened to grab a copy of legendary Brazilian singer Roberto "Di Melo" Santos' dangerously catchy new single "A.E.I.O.U". Recorded in collaboration with French jazz pianist Florian Pellissier and his able combo Cotonete during a tour to Brasil,  "A.E.I.O.U" drops fourty years after Di Melo unveiled his classic self-entitled samba/soul LP. 

“We had a few days off in Sao Paulo and I really hoped to make a collaboration with an important artist or band from the Brazilian funk scene. We had thought of Marcos Valle, Meta Meta or Ed Motta... but our Brazilian 'sound engineer/genius' suggested Di Melo, saying he would be perfect for Cotonete. No sooner said than done. I'm a huge fan of Di Melo and had already tried to contact him for Cotonete 6 years ago. The next day, on a Sunday, he arrives at our house with Jo, his wife, and Gabi, his daughter. He takes the guitar in front of us in the kitchen, and gives us a private show of 3 hours… we cried the tears of joy. He had 400 original songs never recorded, a gold mine. On the same night, we started working the arrangements for 2 days, followed by a rehearsal and two small gigs in Sao Paulo. Immediately after, we recorded in the magical Epsilon B studio. All with the participation of Gabi, his 10-year-old daughter, and future star," Pellissier recounts. 

"A.E.O.I.U" is a serious Brazilian-French disco anthem that announces a full album, to follow early in 2019. Listen below or head over to Bandcamp for the actual release. In the meantime, never mind us, we'll just keep on dancing...

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Afrodyssey Orchestra

New Album “In The Land Of Aou Tila” Out Now On Altercat Records
 

On a recent visit to Berlin's FreakOuternational Vinyl Market (which featured a live performance by Ghana's Guy One), we reached the stand of Sergi Roig and his independent label Altercat Records. While sifting [...]

On a recent visit to Berlin's FreakOuternational Vinyl Market (which featured a live performance by Ghana's Guy One), we reached the stand of Sergi Roig and his independent label Altercat Records. While sifting through the crates, one particular record caught our attention with its gorgeously patterned, die-cut artwork and elegant foldout sleeve.

This record was Athens-based Afrodyssey Orchestra's latest album "In the Land of Aou Tila" and, just like its cover, the LP's seven tracks hold equal promise: "Deep in the jungle, on the remote banks of a West African river, lies the land of the fearless tribe of Aou Tila. Their music, a blend of sounds and rhythms that captivates you... like the sirens of the Odyssey..." (Anonymous Traveller 1858 A.D.).

The instrumental ensemble officially came together as Afrodyssey Orchestra in 2013, combining influences from jazz, funk and psychedelic with traditional West African dance music, percussive elements and Greek musical culture to form an experimental conversation as well as "an expression of contemporary Athens".

And we absolutely love what we're hearing. You can preview the album below or listen to the album presentation for Greek radio in the SoundCloud player above. 

The first vinyl pressing is limited to 600 numbered copies, so be quick!

Afrodyssey Orchestra are:
Costas Arvanitis: Guitar
Christos Konstantinidis: Drums
Vassilios Ikonomidis: Percussion, Balafon, Keyboard
Vasilis Papastamopoulos: Bass
Narayan Protin: Djembe, Congas, Kamelen Ngoni
Thodoris Rellos: Saxophone

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Pour Une Poignée De Dinars

Montreuil's Crazy Souls Are Still Going Strong

Aälma Dili are a charismatic four-piece from the Eastern Parisian suburbs of Montreuil, who've made a name for themselves with their energetic brand of "Balkan Power Western". We first covered them almost three [...]

Aälma Dili are a charismatic four-piece from the Eastern Parisian suburbs of Montreuil, who've made a name for themselves with their energetic brand of "Balkan Power Western". We first covered them almost three years ago to the day, when they released their spirited track "Kenaro Narvalo" off their sophomore album "Fush Fush". Late last year (2017) they dropped the latter’s follow-up "Pour Une Poignée De Dinars" (For a Handful of Dinars) and are currently back on the road in France

Featuring Emilio Castiello on vocal duties, violin and mandolin, Clément Oury on vocals and violin, Benoit Vincent on vocals and guitar as well as Jony Montreuil on vocals and double bass, Äalma Dili just unveiled the companion music video to their latest album's title track, which sees this virtuosic group of Gypsy cowboys go full throttle and all instrumental.

Watch the clip directed by Bertrand Vacarisas in the player below and also make sure to check out the hilarious visuals to "Mon Amour". Ahh, we just love these guys!

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Moulay Ahmed El Hassani

Brighton's Hive Mind Records Pay Tribute To A Morrocan Legend
 

Once again digging deep into its musical treasure trove is Brighton imprint Hive Mind Records, who, after posthumously releasing a stunning vinyl ode to the late Morrocan singer and guimbri master Maalem Mahmoud [...]

Once again digging deep into its musical treasure trove is Brighton imprint Hive Mind Records, who, after posthumously releasing a stunning vinyl ode to the late Morrocan singer and guimbri master Maalem Mahmoud Gania, now return with a 30-minute cassette tribute to fellow Moroccan legend Moulay Ahmed El Hassani. 

Originally hailing from Béni-Mellal in the mid-Atlas, El Hassani went on to release more than 50 albums over the past 30 years. A master of the electric guitar he is known to produce cosmic fields of sound, psychedelic in nature and beautiful in form.

You can listen to the compilation via the SoundCloud player above and make sure to follow the Hive Mind fam, while you're at it.

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Hello World!

Gili Yalo Announces New Summer/Fall Tour Dates 2018

After releasing his superb self-entitled debut LP on Tel Aviv's Dead Sea Recordings late last year, Gili Yalo has been on the road, including standout performances at last year's Trans Musicales in Rennes and at [...]

After releasing his superb self-entitled debut LP on Tel Aviv's Dead Sea Recordings late last year, Gili Yalo has been on the road, including standout performances at last year's Trans Musicales in Rennes and at London's Royal Albert Hall (with Balkan Beat Box among others).  

Just recently, he announced several more upcoming dates on his Facebook page, featuring shows in Israel, Portugal, Poland, France, Austria, the USA, Canada, Hungary and Turkey. 

See below or above to experience this fine artist live on a stage near you!

GILI YALO live 2018

July 24 Israel, Haifa, Talpiot Market
July 26 Portugal, Sines, Festival Músicas do Mundo
July 28 Poland, Gdynia, Globaltica Festival

August 02 France, Sète, Fiest'A Sète Festival
August 04 France, Crozon, Festival du Bout du Monde
August 18 Austria, Vienna, Afrika Tage Festival
August 29 USA, California, San Diego, Garfield Theatre
August 30 USA, California, Los Angeles, Skirball Cultural Center

September 02 Canada, Ontario, Toronto, Ashkenaz Festival
September 07 USA, Ohio, Cleveland Museum of Art
September 15 USA, Wisconsin, Madison World Music Festival

October 06 Hungary, Budapest, Ritmo Festival
October 12 Israel, Sunbeat Festival
October 13 Turkey, Istanbul, Sound Ports Festival
October 19 Israel, Volvo Festival

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Don't Hold Onto The Clouds

Kutiman Shifts Gears On Ethereal New Album

It's hard to image the multi-talented Israeli producer and one-man think tank Ophir Kutiel, aka Kutiman, not having his head up in the clouds. After all, he has already released such a wide array of exhilarating, [...]

It's hard to image the multi-talented Israeli producer and one-man think tank Ophir Kutiel, aka Kutiman, not having his head up in the clouds. After all, he has already released such a wide array of exhilarating, intoxicating and thought-provoking compositions, that we are having trouble keeping up and permanently wondering, what's next?

Just a bit over a week ago, Kutiman hit us with his latest four-track longplayer, fittingly entitled "Don't Hold Onto The Clouds", which caught us completely off guard as we embarked on a blissful electronic journey of sound: "Behind The Sound" opens the flood gates, as we are rushed into another dimension, at once ancient and futuristic, a distant oasis of the mind, taking us deeper and deeper into time and space. "Unknown" is of a more playful nature, yet equally mesmerising. Synth swirls and hot winds lift us skyward on a starry night, think Van Gogh, but with a Mediterranean air to it. Almost meditational, "Mineral" has us mining our subconscious, a slow Bolero-like trance, trickling down through hollow caverns. But then "Lucid Dream" kicks in and takes over, breathing new life into our surroundings, repetitive in nature, it vibrates with colour and warmth, and is somewhat reminiscent of Jan Jelinek's "Loop Finding Jazz".

And so Kutiman does it again, providing healthy vibes for mindful times. Check out the visualizer to "Lucid Dream" below and stream/buy the full album on Bandcamp

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Nozi Nozi

Liraz Returns With A Visually Captivating New Music Video To Her Debut Single

If you are not yet a fan, you will be in about five minutes, trust us. Israeli actress, model, singer and songwriter Liraz made her first appearance on Greedy back in 2016, when she first introduced her [...]

If you are not yet a fan, you will be in about five minutes, trust us. Israeli actress, model, singer and songwriter Liraz made her first appearance on Greedy back in 2016, when she first introduced her Rejoicer-produced debut single "Nozi Nozi" on Tel Aviv's Dead Sea Recordings; an enchanting nod to her Persian roots. 

Continuously seeking to "provide a voice for silenced Iranian women", she recently unveiled the single's official companion music video, directed by Nadav Direktor. The gorgeous work references "late '70s TV video clips of female singers from the Middle East" and provides a constantly shifting visual backdrop, as the "alluring singer" is superimposed onto "mesmerising landscapes and picturesque sites"

Lyrically the song points to traditional female role models in Iranian society and alludes to "the idea of 'noz', the Iranian archetype of a sweetly-smiling wife". See Liraz below in a stunning "visual remix of oldschool TV footage", turning her memories of Iran into "surreal symbols of  feminism and orientalism" and backed by an impressive lineup of talented fellow musicians:

Uri Shefi (violin & lyra)
Gershon Waiserfirer (electric oud & trombone)
Ariel Kasis (kanoon)
Amir Shasar (ney)
Yogev Glusman (bass & violin)
Amir Sadot (bass, double bass)
Gilad Abro (bass)
Roy Chen (drums)
Aviva Aleav (violin)
Erez Mounk (percussion)
Noam Havkin (keys)
Roy Hermon (keys)
Ben Aylon (percussion)
Mark Eliyahu (kamancheh)
Rejoicer (synths, rhodes & drum programming)

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Back To Budapest

The Jewish Monkeys Are Set To Take The Stage At Sziget (Again)
Greedy

It has been a while since we last updated you on the current state of affairs concerning our jolly Jewish Monkeys, not since their tour support for Shantel, the Shantel remix of "Fever" and their last tour of [...]

It has been a while since we last updated you on the current state of affairs concerning our jolly Jewish Monkeys, not since their tour support for Shantel, the Shantel remix of "Fever" and their last tour of Germany at the tail end of 2017 that is.

But the boys have not been monkeying around. Far from it: The band has been back in the studio readying new songs for album number three, the follow-up LP to their well received sophomore effort "High Words" released in 2017. 

After a standout performance at last year's renowned Sziget Festival and a recent show at the Viennese Donauinselfest (which was aired via the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) the Jewish Monkeys will return to Budapest again this year and take to the stage on Saturday, August 11, at 8pm. While there, they will also be taking the opportunity to premiere their first new single "Catastrophic Life" (to be released this fall) as well as their new track "My Jewish Girl".

Check out the new Jewish Monkeys teaser below to get you in the mood and stay posted for more updates!

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An Island Story

Strut Records Gains Access To The Archives Of French Caribbean Label Disques Debs
 

UK-based Strut Records have gained access to the archives of one of the most prolific French Caribbean labels out of Guadeloupe, aka Henri Debs' Disques Debs. Founded in the late '50s, the imprint went on to release [...]

UK-based Strut Records have gained access to the archives of one of the most prolific French Caribbean labels out of Guadeloupe, aka Henri Debs' Disques Debs. Founded in the late '50s, the imprint went on to release over 300 7" singles and 200 LPs, ranging from "early biguine and bolero to zouk and reggae", while "Debs played a pivotal role in bringing the créole music of Guadeloupe and Martinique to a wider international audience".

Volume 1 of the three-part series shines a light on the first decade of the label's existence from 1960 to 1972 and features "big band orchestras, home-grown stars, touring bands as well as a new generation that would emerge at the end of the ‘60s". Among these artists are Henri Debs' own sextet, saxophonist Edouard Benout of Les Maxel's, the Orchestre Esperanza, the Orchestre Caribbean Jazz, poet and radio personality Casimir "Caso" Létang or folkloric gwo ka artist Sydney Leremon as well as international touring artists, including Haitian trumpeter Raymond Cicault and Trinidadian bandleader Cyril Diaz.

Compiled by Sofrito's Hugo Mendez and Radio Nova's Emile Omar, "Disques Debs International" is the first-ever official release from the Disques Debs archive and makes for a thrilling, sun-drenched listen. Released at the end of June, along with many unseen archive photos, full sleeve liner notes and artist interviews, volumes 2 and 3 will follow in 2019. Head over to Bandcamp to stream the 21-track selection in full or listen to Guy Conquette's "Assez Fait Cancan" in the SoundCloud player above. 

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