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Hailu Mergia & The Walias
Tche Belew

This long-lost LP of cross-cultural soul-funk-infused Ethio-jazz instrumentals from 1977 is considered one of the most important recordings of the aftermath of the 1974 revolution. The Walias were formed in the early '70s in Addis Ababa by keyboardist and arranger Hailu Mergia, cutting a series of 45s with various singers as well as this entirel...view item »

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba
Ba Power

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba team up once again for a wonderful collection of blazing jams, louder and more willing to lean into distortion than ever before. Kouyate leads with his ngoni, and the band follow him with loose-but-tight afro-rock grooves. Jon Hassell and Chris Brokaw are the Western guests making appearances, but the African guests...view item »

Various
Psych-Funk 101 (1968-1975)

Psych-Funk 101 (1968-1975) is the debut release from World Psychedelic Funk Classics and presents itself as 'a global psychedelic funk curriculum', complete with a 'course description' and 'supplemental listening' in its copious notes (found either on the handsome gatefold sleeve of the vinyl or the 36-page booklet of the CD). The title may...view item »

Ata Kak
Obaa Sima

Awesome Tapes from Africa is doing great work by bringing Africa’s finest musicians to European ears. Ata Kak was the first post on their blog, and we are happy that Obaa Sima has finally made it onto vinyl as well. The album displays a soulful enthusiasm and musical prowess straight from 1994 Ghana....view item »

Various
Bombay Disco Volume 2

Cultures Of Soul take you deeper into the bazaars of India than any other label. A second Bombay Disco adventure is upon us. Gleaming disco explorations, marching funk and hidden alley grooves will get your skeleton going. Greats on this include B Lahiri, A Bhosle and RD...view item »

Survival (Afro Rock)
Simmer Down

So when I did my GCSE in music we were given twenty minutes to compose an original piece of music to accompany a poem. I (shamefully) cheated and squashed the words from the provided poem into T-shirt Sun Tan by the Stereophonics. In the years since I’ve become less ashamed of diddling my way to that A* ...view item »

Suns of Arqa
Wadada

Suns of Arqa are serious veterans of the UK’s underground, having turned out as many as 35 records over the years. This, however, will be their final album. Wadada contains collaborations with Indian classical musical legends Raghunath Seth and Kadir Durvesh, who they use to help ...view item »

Fela Kuti and His Africa 70
Fela Fela Fela

These Fela Kuti recordings, produced with his Africa 70 ensemble, were made in Los Angeles in 1969, and have been little-heard so far. But New York’s Knitting Factory Records are putting out Fela Fela Fela afresh, showcasing that early Fela style. Needless to say, this is groovy a...view item »

Normal Nada
Transmutacao Cerebra

Hard-hitting metakuredo music from famed Lisbonian Normal Nada, who you also might know as Erre Mente or Qraqmaxter CiclOFF (that last one really rolls of the keys…). The 7 tracks that make up Transmutaceo Cerebra roll fast and frantic, but with a joyous good vibe. Released as an...view item »

Mbongwana Star
From Kinshasa

From Kinshasa is a new project from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic Congo. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know already how much gorgeous music has flown out of the city over the years, and Mbongwana Star is no exception, flowing together Congolese rhythms with some electronics and post-punk inspirations. Gro...view item »

William Onyeabor
Great Lover

A lot of people fell in love with the music of Nigerian artist William Onyeabor after Luaka Bop released Who is…? two years ago. Now, they are reissuing his entire catalogue, taking his gorgeous music out of the realms of bootlegs and onto your record player. Great Lover was originally released in 1981, ...view item »

Meridian Brothers
Los Suicadas

The Meridian Brothers is a project helmed by Eblis Javier Alvarez Vargas, who is well into unusual organ music. Following this interest, he has initiated a trilogy of albums (Los Suicidas is the first) which use a strange synthesiser ensemble to approximate an organ reaching beyond its means. An odd and...view item »

Omar Khorshid And His Group
Live In Australia 1981

Omar Khorshid was an influential Egyptian guitarist who was prominent through the 1970s and famously released "Al Rabieh", a hit in his home country. On 'Live In Australia 1981', Khorshid is backed by a tight band of performers and gets to be the centrepiece, showing off his surf rock savvy overseas. It's now being reissued as a celebration...view item »

Various
Out of Addis

Out Of Addis is a compilation of Ethiopian music, recorded over the last few years. The excellent krar is the instrument that dominates here, switching easily between lead and rhythm roles. Mixed by Nick Manasseh in the UK with the specific intention of making these tunes dancefloor friendly. On Kartel....view item »

Various
Excavated Shellac: Strings

I got super excited by this one in that sad kind of way I get excited about weird old curious records arriving here. Parlortone is an offshoot of the Dust To Digital who've released sound breathtaking compilations of varying sorts of Americana over the years. I'm not sure what the remit of Parlortone is but after the interesting but short Edou...view item »

SK Kakraba
Songs of Paapieye

SK Kakraba plays a Ghanaian xylophone called the gyil, and Songs Of Paapieye gives us the instrument pure and unaccompanied. There is a welcome buzz to the tone that will be familiar to Konono No. 1 fans, and an inventiveness to Kakraba’s versions of traditional and original tunes...view item »

Dexter Story
Wondem

Dexter Story deploys influences from all across a range of East African nations, to enormously good-time effect. Wondem features guests like Nia Andrews, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Yared Tashele, but it is Dexter’s broad vision and detailed arrang...view item »

Bixiga 70
III

Relatively speaking, Sao Paulo is close to the African coast. When you listen to III, you can almost forget about the tectonic rifts that have separated the two continents. Effortlessly merging funk, afrobeat and samba, Bixiga 70 have produced a copper-packed smorgasbord. Not just world music, but world-class music.&nbs...view item »

Petite Noir
La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful

Petite Noir deems his sound and general aesthetic to be ‘Noirwave’, a term that effectively represents the shifting gauze-sheets that these tracks are built up from. La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful mixes martial drums and a howling energy with sleek electronics/ A powerful LP indeed, released on the Dou...view item »

Alif
Aynama-Rtama

Alif are a five-person musical collective, combining Oud, Buzuq, bass, keyboards and drums. Oh and poetic vocals as well of course. Aynama-Rtama displays their far-reaching sound to full effect, a highly-rhythmic flurry of Arab-origin sound. The music comes packaged with full English translations of lyrics and poems use...view item »

Romperayo
Romperayo

Romperayo is a group bringing together international percussion wizards with various synth players and other instrumentalists. Their self-titled debut record showcases the freshest that Colombian music has to offer, bringing the folksong and cumbia traditions into today via heavy use of samplers and such. On Discrepant....view item »

Various
Excavated Shellac: Reeds

The Dust To Digital label are expert archivists, and for this Reeds instalment of their ongoing Excavated Shellac series, they’ve picked out 14 rare 78rpm records containing vigorous traditional reed music from around the globe. Turkey, Iran, North Korea, Tajikistan… this is a compilation with a very broad scope. C...view item »

DRC Music
Kinshasa One Two

Another collaborative charity effort from electronic cathedral Warp records. It looks like a well worthwhile set up, recorded in Kinshasa with a selection of Congolese musicians. Ranging in style from heady Massive Attack meets King Midas Sound trip-hop melting into rustic soulful party f...view item »

Omar Souleyman
Bahdeni Nami

Having recently opened himself up to working with a non-Syrian producer in a regular studio with the Four Tet-assisted Wenu Wenu a few years ago, Omar Souleyman has since been working with a number of Western producers. Bahdeni Nami includes infectious productions and remixes from ...view item »

Sanneh Kuyate
Kaiye & Sajyo

New library-type recordings of Fourth World sounds seem to be pretty in vogue at the moment and Bo'Weavil fingerpicker C. Joynes is in on the action with his Leith Hill Recordings label and this CDr of Sanneh Kuyate called Kaiye & Sajyo, also the names of the two whopping tracks involved. He's pretty much jamming on a simple, repetitive riff on...view item »

SK Kakraba
Yonye

SK Kakraba is part of a mighty lineage of Ghanaian Gyil players; the Gyil being a kind of xylophone. Yonye is a fantastic collection of solo recordings, the buzzing sound of the instrument giving the traditional songs an almost electric tang to them. Plenty of life and energy in this record, which is out on Sun Ark....view item »

Songhoy Blues
Al Hassidi Terei

Having been banned from playing music by Islamic extremists in Timbuktu, Songhoy Blues moved to the Malian capital where they met Damon Albarn and things have been going up since then. Some classic African folk/rock with crisp guitar and beautiful vocal sounds, it’s fun and defiant. Debut album to come, watch this space....view item »

Eduardo Mateo & Jorge Trasante
Mateo Y Trasante

This record was originally written and recorded during a dark period for the duo’s home country of Uruguay as it was under the oppressive dictatorship of the early seventies. ‘Mateo Y Trasante’ documents Eduardo Mateo and Jorge Trasante’s voyage into the deep heart of sonic percussion and guitar techniques. The record is ...view item »

Nozinja
Nozinja Lodge

Nozinja is the recording moniker of South African Richard Mthetwa. Nozinja Lodge is his debut album. It takes the adrenaline-fuelled beats of Shangaan Electro, a South African sub-genre of EDM that Nozinja is at the forefront of, and delivers it to the rest of the world. Double vinyl LP and CD on Warp....view item »

Various
Nu Yorica! Culture Clash In New York City: Experiments In Latin Music 1970-77

Featuring a raft of seminal latin artists such as Eddie Palmieri, Joe Bataan and Machito, Nu Yorica! Culture Clash In New York City: Experiments In Latin Music 1970-77 gets a 20th anniversary reissue in all its fiesty glory. One of the most critically acclaimed releases from the Soul Ja...view item »

Montevideo Blues
Montevideo Blues

The self-titled album by Montevideo Blues, their only release, is rare and exciting, so praise the gods for this LP reissue on Lion Productions. Uruguay’s finest example of 70’s political rock-via-traditional-instruments music, and something quite unlike what’s available elsewhere. Limited to only 500 copies, j...view item »

The Budos Band
Burnt Offering

'Burnt Offering' is the newest record from that ten-piece that just wants to have fun: the Budos Band. Riffs on riffs front this record of hazy psych-rock and proud metal worship, though the band retain their jazz and Afrobeat influences and pack their tunes with all the things that make them more like Fela Kuti. A weird, wonderful hybrid o...view item »

Various
Tropical Disco Hustle Volume 2

There is surely no title like Tropical Disco Hustle to prompt happiness and a will to dance… apart from Tropical Disco Hustle 2! This carefully compiled collection is full of tracks both classic and rare from various Caribbean countries, and is delicious as you might expect. Double LP or CD from Cultures of Soul....view item »

Various
Hanoi Masters - War Is a Wound Peace Is a Scar

Hanoi Masters: War is a Wound, Peace is Scar is a recording from 2014 from producer Ian Brennan, who has worked with names such as Tinariwen, Malawi Mouse Boys, and The Good Ones. Recorded live by Vietnamese musicians on traditional instruments and capturing the haunting fractured psyche of what the Vietnamese called the American War. Vinyl and ...view item »

Kink Gong
Xinjiang

Cripes, not even really sure where to start with this one. Basically Laurent Jeanneau has gone to Xinjiang Province in China and recorded a load of local musicians playing local instruments with names like kazakh dongbra and uyghur tambur and dotar that I'm not even going to pretend to kno...view item »

Tal National
Zoy Zoy

Niger’s favourite band, Tal National have gathered a strong Western audience since the release of their previous album Kaani. Zoy Zoy is their latest effort which blends African folk together with some electronic elements, melding fantastically together to create a twist on traditional Afr...view item »

Various
Next Stop Soweto Vol. 4 - Zulu Rock, Afro-Disco and Mbaqanga 1975-1985

Straight from late seventies/early eighties apartheid South Africa, Next Stop Soweto Vol. 4 is all about that warm waves of funk in Africa: Zulu Rock, Afro-Disco and Mbaqanga. Those precise genres perhaps hard to distinguish to the layman, but always a guaranteed listening pleasure. This 2xLP treats you to some o...view item »

Various
Disco Dildar

The fantastic Finders Keepers has dug deep once again, this time into some mighty fine Indian and Pakistani party tunes to create Disco Dildar. It’s funky and plain crazy synth, drum machine tunes in the same vein as those great obscure pop odd-balls such as William Onyeabor or Bru...view item »

Skip&Die
Cosmic Serpents

Don’t be fooled by the garish, cringingly teenage art & design project style cover for Cosmic Serpents by Skip&Die because behind the cover, in those dusty grooves, are some rhythmical, tropical and dance-inducing tunes, inspired by the countries in which the album was written and recorded, includi...view item »

Tamikrest
Taksera

Available on 180 gram 12” vinyl in gatefold case on Glitterbeat. Live recording from Taureg rock band Tamikrest. Layered percussion grooves and dirtied electric guitars filled with extensions and improvisations of album tracks. It’s excellent desert blues for fans of Can or Pink Floyd...view item »

Petite Noir
The King Of Anxiety EP

Fitting nicely in the row of bass-heavy, vocally high-pitched and electronic artists like Seekae, Chet Faker and James Blake, Petite Noir adds his own brand of South African rhythm to build unique and captivating songs. The King of Anxiety is only a teaser EP for his upcoming full length, but we’ll be playing it o...view item »

Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder
Talking Timbuktu

A Grammy award winning album which was number 1 in the US World Music Charts for 31 weeks, Talking Timbuktu by Ali Farka Toure, who has been a hot ticket for any fans of so-called “world music”, and Ry Cooder, the American guitarist known for his slide guitar, is an album which combi...view item »

Various
Folk Music Of The Sahel Vol. 1: Niger

Soul sounds from all the artists on Folk Music Of The Sahel Vol. 1: Niger. This compilation is made up of field recordings from the landlocked West African country. Full of transcendental chants, beautifully soul stirring vocals, native and western instruments and enough polyrhythmic groove to last a lifetime. It's an insight ...view item »

Santa Y Su Gente
Urgente

Another overdue rerelease to please the fans. First released during the rule of Pinochet, this sweet piece of progressive/Latin funk never got the attention it deserved. Now you can listen to Santa Y Su Gente in the warmth of your own home, whilst basking in the peace of your own democratically elected government....view item »

A Magic Whistle
Secret Museum of Kind Men Vol. 4

A Magic Whistle is Andy Puls and he’s knocked it out of the park again with a pair of belters. Interpreting music from Tajikstan and Georgia - melding banjo and synth, voice and drum. The B-side is heavy on the whistles and pump organ. Best enjoyed loudly with tea and substances on a rainy...view item »

Various
The Afrosound Of Colombia Vol. 2

A four meat soup of delight from The Afrosound Of Colombia Vol. 2. This compilation is a real hodgepodge of styles, sounds and aesthetics. Going from synthed-out funky disco, to a percussion and brass led salsa vibe. It's an eclectic mélange of traditional South American roots music, with Caribbean and African sounds which are a ...view item »

Maurice Louca
Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot)

A follow up to his first solo album Garraya, 'Salute the Parrot' sees Maurice Louca immerse himself further into deep, wild and often improvised passages of sound. Featuring guest performances by members of Sun City Girls (amongst many others) and vocals by Egyptian Mahraganat MCs Amr 7a7a and Alaa 50, Louca's music works beyond...view item »

Various
Psych-Funk 103: Sa-Re-Ga! Psychedelic Funk India

A platter of hallucinatory spices from various Indian artists. As a follow up to their other guitar-centric odyssey's, Psych-Funk 103: Sa-Re-Ga! Psychedelic Funk India spans through the 70's until '83. It's full of tripped out guitars, super tight drums and raw vocals and horns. Out on CD from World Psychedelic Funk Classics....view item »

Fantasma
Eye Of The Sun

New 12" out from Fantasma on Soundway. Eye Of The Sun is a journey through Sound African roots music, mixed with modern cross-continental sounds. Reggaeton beats, soaring vocals and hip hop production give this vinyl a very unique sound. Driving, soulful and melodic, Eye Of The Sun is a real eclectic treat...view item »

Various
Soundway Records Present - Ten Cities

Soundway brought together as many electronic artists as they could count on about ten hands and asked them to collaborate in a variety of different recording studios. A noble and intensive undertaking, no doubt, but the result is a rainbow of sounds, from dubstep in one city to jazz in another and techno in the one over from that -- I mean, I do...view item »

Batida
Dois

Pedro Coquenao, aka Batida, returns with a follow-up to his acclaimed self-titled Soundway debut. The Lisbon-based producer is inspired by his own multicultural environs as well as trips to Nairobi and Luanda, mixing a deep understanding of African rhythms with slick western house and electronica. The lyrics are in four different languages ...view item »

Various
90 Degrees of Shade: Hot Jump-Up Island Sounds From The Caribbean - Mambo, Calypso, Goombay, Mento, Merengue, Cult and Compas Music

Compilation of various Caribbean musical styles and flavours from the 50s and 60s, brought to you by Soul Jazz records. Featuring artists from Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Jamaica, and an impressively ecclectic mix of Calypso, Mento (early Jamaican reggae), mambo and more. Available on heavyweight double vinyl gatefold or CD....view item »

Seu Jorge and Almaz
Seu Jorge and Almaz

A lovely album by Seu Jorge this, sunshine lilting arrangements of well know songs, pity its nearly winter, but you can't have everything can you? For me this is largely about the two singles released from the album, Everybody Loves the Sunshine and The Model. Now Kraftwerk don't al...view item »

Joshua Rainhorn / Paulinho e Beatriz
Wine & Cigarettes / Você Tem

The latest in Drag City's latest line of 'discoveries' which are actually alter ego's of actor/comedian/what have you Fred Armisen. This time it is  LA piano-popster Joshua Rainhorn and Brazilian bossa wonder twins Paulinho e Beatriz. Some of these can be pretty amusing so worth waiting to see what turns up. ...view item »

Soul Jazz Records Present
90 Degrees of Shade: Image and Identity in the West Indies: Over 100 Years of Photography in the Caribbean

'90 Degrees Of Shade: Image and Identity In The West Indies' encompasses a century of Caribbean history in an extensive collection of photography that attempts to show the region in every little and significant detail, from its political and colonial fractures to its independence. The book was compiled by Paul Gilroy....view item »

Tradisyon Ka
Soul Jazz Records Presents Gwo Ka: Music Of Guadeloupe, West Indies

Soul Jazz continue their study of classic Caribbean sounds here with an LP from Tradisyon Ka, a contemporary example of the Gwo Ka music of Guadeloupe. In a region populated largely by the ancestors of forcibly relocated African slaves, Guadeloupe is unusual in that it is still a Euro-spending, croissant-eating department of France, and the Gwo ...view item »

Aby Ngana Diop
Liital

Awesome Tapes From Africa with another reissue here; this one hopes to break Senegal's Aby Ngana Diop, a famous taasu singer/speaker whose poems and prose were backed by tama percussion. 'Liital' is notable for the striking rhythms Diop creates with her words and the lyrical way her backing vocalists respond. 'Liital' was her only release, initi...view item »

Bombino
Agamgam

Bombino... I have to admit I bought this based on the image of a desert man with a Gibson Les Paul. Sometimes it's good to try something with no pre-conception of it's contents and hope it surprises you.... which this certainly did. Desert folk compositions with simple and interesting arrangements. Lovely and uncomplicated this album pays tribut...view item »

Fela Kuti
Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense

'Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense' offers up three massively long compositions from Fela Kuti that delve deeply into his interest in mixing Afrobeat with soul, while still maintaining a strong amount of horns. There's also signs of the politically charged artist listeners of Fela Kuti will have come to expect in the thirty-minute, two-part "Look ...view item »

Penny Penny
Shaka Bundu

Awesome Tapes from Africa have been at it again, this week they’re dropping a reissue of the 1994 debut by South African singer Penny Penny, a man with an astonishing backstory. The last of 68 children sired by his father, his family couldn’t afford to educate him and he ended up workin...view item »

My Panda Shall Fly
Tropical

My Panda Shall Fly is the alter-ego of South London-based Sri Lankan producer Suren Seneviratne, who paints an intriguing series of electro acoustic tapestries over the course of this short but sweet six-tracker. The list of instruments incorporated in this recording is as long as my arm so I'm not going to list them out to you but I cou...view item »

Seun Kuti + Egypt 80
A Long Way To The Beginning

Fela’s son Seun Kuti took over his Egypt 80 combo on his death in 1997 and apparently this is the third of a trilogy of albums from them. I however have missed the first two so I’m reviewing it as if it’s a stand-alone thing. The first thing that’s striking me is how punchy this is, it&rsqu...view item »

Meridian Brothers
Salvadora Robot

Another 2014 Soundway record worth checking out (alongside Ibibio Sound Machine and Fumaca Preta). I saw this crew late at night at Latitude Festival and their bizarre psychedelic-Latino grooves blew me away. I'm not as convinced that it ...view item »

Various
Beyond Addis

BEYOND ADDIS - CONTEMPORARY JAZZ & FUNK INSPIRED BY ETHIOPIAN SOUNDs FROM THE 70'S "Beyond Addis" is a collection of contemporary bands inspired by Ethiopian music from the 70's. Feat. Akale Wube (France), Heliocentrics (UK), Imperial Tiger Orchestra (Switzerland), Budos Band (USA), Ping Pong orchestra (USA / UK), Les Freres Smith (France), ...view item »

Muyei Power
Sierra Leone In 1970s USA

Unavailable for 35 years and released only as singles at the time, Soundway has gathered together some belters from Muyei Power who were one of the in demand bands of the 1970s in Sierra Leone. Muyei Power never released an album and disbanded in 1979 leaving only these few tracks of highly percussive, afro-beat and funk tunes....view item »

Omar Souleyman
Wenu Wenu

Can you believe that this is Omar Souleyman’s first proper studio album? We were surprised too, but it turns out all the ones he’s released to date have been compilations and a live album. Now he’s gone into the studio with none other than Kieran “Fourtet&...view item »

Ellis Island Sound
Regions

The jury is still out on this new Ellis Island Sound album. We had it on in the office whilst I tucked longingly into a sandwich and it was kind of drifting past, but pleasantly I must add. This collaboration between David Sheppard (Phelan/Sheppard, Snow Palms) and Pete Astor (The Loft/The Weathe...view item »

Googoosh
Googoosh

Finders Keepers follow their 'universally loved by everyone on the planet pretty much' Pomegranates comp with this... The first of a reissue programme of the Iranian '70s starlet Googoosh. Who? Apparently all of her records were destroyed after the Iranian revolution of 1979 so her wares have been tricky to find should anyone have actually heard...view item »

Garotas Suecas
Feras MÍticas

Vibrations from the sun drenched Garotas Suecas. Feras MÍticas is the second album from the Rio De Janeiro group. Awash with soulful vocalisations, tight guitars, serious bass lines, drums and an assortment of electronics and strings. They mix between their native styles such as bossa nova and gentle sa...view item »

Residual Echoes
Secret Museum of Kind Men Vol. 3 (India / Tajikstan)

Here's the third instalment of Casual Acid Tea's excellent 'Secret History of Kind Men' series, in which modern artists cover pieces from the epic 'Secret History of Mankind' archive. This one has a band called Residual Echoes interpreting tracks called 'Gungru Tarang' by Master Manamar Barve of India and 'Khar Shabi' by T Tazylova of Tajikstan....view item »

John Wizards
Muizenberg

The chunter. Its the chunter that gets you. Chunter on this chunter on that. Lets remove their tongues and enjoy the music. John Wizards are a band not a man but the singer is called John. They come from Cape Town in South Africa and their sunshine-infused music has recently been heard opening up for Jagwar Ma o...view item »

Nath & Martin Brothers
Money

Nath & Martin Brothers LP Money is one of the more sought after Nigerian records and therefore ripe for a wallet friendly reissue, thankfully Voodoo Funk have done though honours. The brothers were a backing band and also recorded under other names, notably Saxon Lee and the Shadows Intenati...view item »

National Wake
Walk In Africa

Here’s a name I’ve never heard before. National Wake were active in South Africa from 1979 until 1981, a mixed race punk band in apartheid South Africa, they were mired in controversy and their album was pulled by the government after selling a measly 700 copies. I don’t want to go too far into their history and background beca...view item »

Doug Tielli
Kerelsey

Doug Tielli lives in Toronto, where he is a well-known name on the underground music scene. Much of Kerelsey, though, was conceived in a rainy two months spent in the suburb of Coventry, England, with the same name. English folk influences are audible on the album, alongside African and Brazilian vibes. On CD or vi...view item »

Sidi Toure
Alafia

I'd never heard of Sidi Toure before but with an album cover like that, you just have to have a listen and boy am I glad I did! An album of traditional African sounds, expect brilliant guitar playing, rattling percussion and Fela Kuti style vocals and chorus. All of th...view item »

Various
Luk Thung: Classic & Obscure 78s from the Thai Countryside

As a child I imagined that by my mid 30's I'd be an estate agent or something, swaggering into a country pub on a friday evening, soft top down, lady on each arm. Instead I'm sat in a converted school overlooking a 'Bird's Eye' billboard reviewing an album of Thai Country Music. Funny how things turn out. I have to say though I wouldn't miss thi...view item »

Melt Yourself Down
Release

Tuning into ‘Later with Jools Holland’ this week propensibly to watch the mesmerising Low, I sat through some hit and miss stuff but was struck by this group who resembled Pigbag. I couldn’t decide if it was a brilliant post-punk take on afro beat or a load of self indulgent twaddle. They f...view item »

Fela Kuti
Koola Lobitos 64-68 / The '69 Los Angeles Sessions

Anyone that can listen to Fela and not be moved truly doesn't understand music. This album, representing some of his earliest work, is a view directly into his High Life beginnings. It is perky and upbeat, the horns are remarkable and the drum work is still to this day impossible to imitate. Although every song is incredible, you should feel goo...view item »

Fela Kuti
Shakara / London Scene

This album is an absolutely party political blast. Lots of horns and African roots on it in long improvisatory musical poetry. This is absolutely Ellingtonian funk indeed... Of course MCA who has the okay player hip-hop stuff on it is smart to reissue this series of Fela dopeness. The smart packaging combines 2 albums in it and that is rather go...view item »

Fela Kuti
Roforofo Fight / The Fela Singles

If you're looking for a really good afrobeat CD, this one is solid all the way through. All 6 tracks are nice and lengthy and high quality (even the bonus tracks). Also it comes with a booklet with a brief history of Fela and an explanation/translation of each song. If you are curious about Afrobeat check this one out. Everything that was to mak...view item »

Fela Kuti
Confusion / Gentleman

As much as any major artist of the rock-era, Fela's recordings work as a musical biography, telling the chapter-by-chapter story of this fascinating man's 25 year struggle to catalyse the pride of Black Nigeria as it moved beyond British colonialism. Yes, the intrinsic groove of Fela's "afrobeat" rarely fails to amaze and inspire (in short: funk...view item »

Fela Kuti
Monkey Banana / Excuse-O

"Monkey Banana/Excuse O" is another gem in the Fela two-albums-on-one-CD reissue series. It should be noted that unlike some of the other titles in this series, the song "Monkey Banana" was previously available on the original Celluloid label release of "Zombie" in the mid-1980s. Both the original "Monkey Banana" (with its b-side "Sense Wiseness...view item »

Fela Kuti
Everything Scatter / Noise For Vendor Mouth

A great pairing, really. This wasn't where I started on my Fela collection, but having listened to it quite a few times now I have to rank it among my favourites like Confusion/Gentleman, Opposite People/Sorrow, Tears, and Blood. In the first 30 seconds or so of 'Everything Scatter' I knew I was going to like this, and of course (go Fela!) wasn'...view item »

Fela Kuti
The Best Of The Black President 2

Deluxe three disc (two CDs + DVD) edition includes bonus DVD. 2013 collection from the late Nigerian musician. Maybe start with The Best Of The Black President 1 first, it is truly a remarkable overview of a musical genius and a 50+ album career. Not all the songs here are in the same vein as TBOTBP-1 except maybe "Yellow Fever", but still, it i...view item »

Marcos Valle
Marcos Valle

This 1970 album presented something of a break with most of what Valle had done up to that point. For starters, both the songs and his hair were getting longer, and the dynamic of this unique record resides in the yin-yang between electrified rock-influenced tracks featuring Milton Nascimento's backing band Som Imaginário, and orchestrall...view item »

Various
Black Man's Cry : The Inspiration Of Fela Kuti

This compilation takes Fela Kuti’s music as a starting point and then moves away from it into the musicians he influenced. Fela’s afrobeat had a vast impact on his countrymen and those further afield, and Black Man’s Cry lets us hear a ton of great material often impossible to hear bef...view item »

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