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Album Reviews

Album Review: Sk Kakraba – Songs of Paapieye [Awesome Tapes from Africa, 2nd October 2015]
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Album Review: Sk Kakraba – Songs of Paapieye [Awesome Tapes from Africa, 2nd October 2015]

Instantly, a mysterious and fascinating percussive sound appears, full of intricate rhythms, low and dense drones, overlapping melodies and bass patterns, all of which signal originality, improvisation, tradition, virtuosity, coherence and expressivity.  These are the immediate components that can be heard from Sk Kakraba through his masterful performance of the Gyil xylophone. Gyil performer, builder,...
Album Review: BélO – Dizan [BelO Music, 15th April 2016]
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Album Review: BélO – Dizan [BelO Music, 15th April 2016]

In 1986, when Haitians overthrew dictator Jean Claude Duvalier and the culturally conservative authoritarian regime that he had put into place, the end of the dictatorship brought with it a freer aesthetic in Haitian music – an aesthetic that is often left unrecorded because the country’s economy does not support...

Playlists

Your Ticket to… Ska

Your Ticket to… Ska

This ticket is for a trip back in time, to the roots of one of the most popular upbeat music styles: ska. The origins of the genre date back to the late 1950s, when Jamaican music producers like Prince Buster, Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd and Duke Reid formed the first...
Your ticket to… Patchanka

Your ticket to… Patchanka

“Patchanka is the wild sound, for proud souls and lonely hounds”, this was the refrain of the patchanka’s style manifesto song written by Manu Chao and Mano Negra back 1989. Willy-nilly, the French (with Basque origin) musician and band are the most significant exponents of the sound born at the...
Your ticket to… Balkan Music

Your ticket to… Balkan Music

The Balkans has always been the most unstable European region. Its boundaries are still today volatile and migrations, wars and disputes have regularly scarred the peninsula. This also means that Balkan culture and music have constantly been influenced by foreign elements, adopting and blending them together with the proudly home-grown...
Review: Kondi Band @ The Forge (London, 23rd April 2016)

Review: Kondi Band @ The Forge (London, 23rd April 2016)

It is no surprise that Sorie Kondi chose to name himself after the instrument he plays: the African thumb piano, kondi. He is at one with it and when he plays, he owns the stage. It is also no surprise that after hearing ‘Without Money No Family’, Brasil-based DJ Chief...
Review: Night @ Sage Gateshead Hall 2 (Gateshead, Saturday 9th April 2016)

Review: Night @ Sage Gateshead Hall 2 (Gateshead, Saturday 9th April 2016)

Describing themselves as a ‘new-school folk band’ Night have sought out traditional instrumentation and stories of day to day life from throughout their native Nepal, blending these influences together to create a body of material aimed at raising the profile of traditional culture and contemporary socio-political matters. In their song...
Interview – Cairokee & Zap Tharwat (March 2016)

Interview – Cairokee & Zap Tharwat (March 2016)

If the names Cairokee and Zap Tharwat don’t ring any bells it’s probably because you’re a) not Egyptian b) don’t have Egyptians friends c) are not interested in Egyptian music or d) are not up-to-date with the North African country’s current events. Those artists personify and the last five years...
Interview: Richard Blair – Sidestepper (March 2016)

Interview: Richard Blair – Sidestepper (March 2016)

Back in 2009 there was a big music conference like Womex in Bogotà. There I met a guy called Bernard Batzen, who was also Mano Negra and Manu Chao’s manager – an experienced statesman in the world music sphere. He had travelled to Bogotà, participated in the conference, and then...
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