Jun 30, 2015

Asiakwa Brass Band ‎– Wo Tese Mawu A Didi (get it)


K Frimpong plays trompet.
A. Konadu is singing. 
Awesome brass band.
Playing high life with ants in their foot .

 


Tracklist

A1 Wo Tese Mawu A Didi
A2 Wadamfo Pa
A3 Maniso Kyin Me
A4 Oda Ne Baa I
A5 Me Maame Awo Me
A6 Suro Wo Dofo
B Medley

Jun 28, 2015

The Souljazz Orchestra Returns With New Album "Resistance"


Canada’s powerhouse Afro / Latin / Tropical collective, The Souljazz Orchestra, return in September 2015 with a powerhouse new album that sees the ensemble exploring some new sonic territory.

“We approached this album with a fresh ear,” explains bandleader Pierre Chrétien. “We were keen to build on the band’s sound and message, bringing in some of the French Caribbean and Francophone West African influences that we’ve loved since our youth, so the new album brings in French language tracks and elements of coupé-décalé, zouk and cadence to the overall mix.”

The Souljazz Orchestra remain one of the most solid units in their scene, retaining their original line-up since they were first formed back in 2002. On Resistance, they showcase their continuing versatility with saxman Ray Murray, percussionist Marielle Rivard, drummer Philippe Lafrenière and keyboardist Pierre Chrétien all taking on lead vocal duties on different tracks.

Resistance is released on 8th September on CD, LP & digital formats, and the band embark on a major new international tour, hitting up Europe during September and October 2015, followed by a Canadian run in November 2015.

strut-records.com 



Jun 25, 2015

10 Questions for Spoek Mathambo


Spoek Mathambo is one the year's brightest new hopes. From Johannesburg but based in Sweden, Spoek (real name Nthato Mokgata) plays with genres like few others. He makes radical, sometimes disjointed music, some of which - like his new single “Let Them Talk” from his recently released album Father Creeper - you can actually dance to.

Spoek got a lot of attention last year with his cover of Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control", but I began by asking him about Die Antwoord, the hilarious and brilliant white rap group who created a lot of waves in 2010. He and his band are currently on tour in the U.K.

PETER CULSHAW: What did you make of Die Antwoord? Were they just a joke? They were last year’s South African hype, signed to Interscope. And are you this year’s South African hype, signed to Sub Pop?

SPOEK MATHAMBO: Die Antwoord were a joke, If you think Ali G or Borat was a joke. It’s a role and they are playing out the role. I’ve known them for years. There’s a back catalogue that is very different. I don’t think I’m this year’s South African hype in that way. I’ve put out an album on Sub Pop. It’s the first album I’ve taken a lot of care over.

The trouble is with writing about you is that us music journalists like to talk in terms of genre. Are you, shall we say, post-genre?

You must have seen the change come. The amount of information. The way people have allegiance that younger people have is different from the days when you were a teddy boy, a punk, a hip-hop head, a jungle raver, or whatever. I pledge no allegiance to all that. And you don’t listen to one album a month, It’s more like 50 albums a day. So my music is going to reflect that. My generation grew up on the internet, 20 windows open at once.

The first interview I got published was Fela Kuti, there was that mix in him. He loved classical music like Handel, African music, James Brown. Is it really so different?

I’m doing a couple of remixes of Seun Kuti, his son. Fela was torn between European bourgeois influences, in a way he was brought up with that, his dad wanted him to become a doctor or a lawyer and he studied classical music and jazz and then he fought to become an African revolutionary, he became more African as he went along. There was a Red Hot And Riot CD of Fela material in aid of AIDS, there’s a new one happening. I’m doing two new tracks. As a prolific musician to have this whole catalogue, a lot of the themes stand so strong even now, think of what’s been happening in Egypt – his songs are still relevant.

A lot of people were intrigued by your Joy Division cover. There’s also some metal and punk influences on the new album, isn’t there?

I grew up on hip-hop, I’m 27 now when I finished college I got into metal more.  Stuff like Sabbath, immediately impactful, beautiful and big. When I moved to Sweden I got even more into it as well. I was in a mall in Sweden yesterday and they played “Anarchy in the UK.” The Joy Division and Suicide “Night Rider” tracks came out of a covers project.

Do you like being called an Afro-Futurist?

It’s not as bad as “Hipster Rap” or something. It’s a wide label, George Clinton is an Afro-Futurist, isn’t he? I prefer “Township Tech.” There’s a lot of new types of South African sounds, different regions have their own sound. It’s so vibrant they don’t care about the rest of the world. A lot of stuff isn’t on the internet which is redefining the flavour of South Africa right now.

What did you make of Malcolm Mclaren’s Duck Rock? Or Paul Simon’s Graceland, which introduced many Europeans to South African sounds?

I used to think it was a kind of robbery growing up. But now I think as an artist it was clever borrowing. Even though there is some doubt all the artists got the right credit and payment. Now I’m less resentful and bitter, and also stuff like that make me think of my responsibility to do it, rather than foreigners. Often we don’t appreciate our own culture. But I do think McLaren, with punk especially, and his ideas of appropriation have been at the bedrock of a modern culture. Undeniably, hugely influential  for my generation.

theartsdesk.com

Jun 24, 2015

Owiny Sigoma Band - Nyanza


Nyanza is the third album from the cross-cultural, boundary surpassing Owiny Sigoma Band. For their third offering, the band travelled to the Nyanza Province of Western Kenya - home of their two members Joseph Nyamungu and Charles Owoko - to explore the birthplace of Luo music.

A complex, constantly evolving, musical relationship now in its fifth year, the project has seen the band producing music in both Kenya, for their self-titled 2009 album, and in London with the second Power Punch LP. The group features Nyatiti master Joseph Nyamungu and Lou percussionist Charles Owoko, both from the Nyanza Province in Western Kenya, as well as London-based musicians Tom Skinner (drums), Jesse Hackett (vox/keys) and Louis Hackett (bass).

Nyanza, is loosely arranged as a narrative following their trip to ‘Luo Land’. From the first track, ‘(Nairobi) Too Hot’, which tells a tale of running to the hills and escaping the hectic city life, to the hypnotic Nyatiti sounds of ‘Owour Won Gembe’ and the rapturous ‘Changaa Attack’, the album follows the band’s experiences as they head up the country to Kisumu and Nyanza Province. The albums centrepiece “Nyanza Night” tells the story of the night they played a show for Joseph and Charles’ village for the first time, followed a 12 hour Nyatiti sound clash - Drummer Tom Skinner recalls “This went on for hours, really heavy music and a lot of Changaa (Changaa - also called “Kill Me Quick” is a homebrew rumoured to contain jet fuel and battery acid). This was one of the most magical nights that I’ve ever had. In the middle of nowhere, in the outback of Kenya, under the stars. I don’t think I’ve ever really felt so far away from my normal life.”

Mirroring their journey, the music on this record see the band move forward sonically, rolling through a myriad of influences from dub, techno, and ?? in a way that all feels completely natural and at home alongside the traditional Luo sounds. Much of the instrumentation was recorded at their rented house in Kisumu - listen carefully and you will here many ambient sounds from chickens to rainstorms. The result is a string of striking tracks, the music always feeling raw and organic, the rhythms and sounds reflecting the spontaneous jams from which the record was born.

Nyanza is a truly unique record, a faultless melting pot of disparate sounds, one that reflects the ambience and energy of the environments in which it was made. Arresting electronic grooves fit side by side with soft Lou singing and traditional Nyatiti music to create yet another pivotal moment in the turning cogs of this intoxicating, often surprising, soundclash.

owinysigomaband.bandcamp.com

---

Owiny Sigoma Band have always been fascinated by the process of cross-cultural fertilisation.
Growing enamoured with the music and culture of Kenya's luo community, the London group accepted invitations from master Luo musicians Joseph Nyamungu and Charles Owoko, shipping themselves out to Africa to soak it up for themselves.

And soak it up they did. Imbibing semi-legal local beverages and taking part in impromptu soundclashes, the group were able to absorb luo culture in its own element - while adding something of their own to the mix.

New album 'Nyanza' is the result. Lead track 'Luo Land' is online now, and it's a strange fusion of Luo culture and the dexterous sounds of Owiny Sigoma Band.

Pounding, relentless percussion, chanted vocals and glistening production resound, with 'Luo Land' offering a heady fusion of old and new. Check it out now.

clashmusic.com



Tracklist

01. (Nairobi) Too Hot
02. Luo Land
03. Owour Won Gembe
04. I Made You / You Made Me
05. Fishermans Camp pt 1
06. Ojoni Wopio
07. Nyanza Night
08. Tech 9
09. Deep Kisumu Fish
10. Changaa Attack
11. Jah Mic
12. Amolo Tienga (CD Bonus track)

Jun 19, 2015

Roger Damawuzan & Les As Du Benin


Nine unreleased and rare tracks from the amazing Roger Damawuzan also known as the “James Brown from Lomé ” backed by the tremendous “ Les As du Benin” orchestra , recorded between 1972 to 1981.

Born in 1952  in Aneho ( Togo, West Africa) , “The king of Gazo” ( a traditional rhythm)  is one of the most popular singer of the country. He started his career in 1968 with the “Ricker’s “ but his first record was released in 1972 with his now classic hit “Wait For Me” .

With Les As du Benin from 1972 to the beginning of the 80’s , they worked more than 5 days a week at the Hotel Tropicana in front of the sea with many tourists around and it was a very good exercise to work and create a perfect Afro Soul sound . Sometimes recorded in Ghana in the famous Philips studio, sometimes during live session for big events in the “Palais des Congres de Lomé” and studio Otodi in Lomé always on analog takes.

Roger Damawuzan lives in Lomé , in 2014 he was the featuring singer on the smash hit “Pas Contente” by Vaudou Game and performed with the band in different European big festivals.
Roger Damawuzan & Les As Du Benin can be considered as one of the biggest figure of the african Funk scene of the 70 ‘s : A must have record!




Jun 17, 2015

Zimbabwean hiphop: The Monkey Nuts - Boombap Idiophonics


Enigmatic. Electric. Eclectic…. If The Monkey Nuts could be defined in three words, these three would offer the best description. An imposing energy of sounds, personified by elements of electronic/digital, African, rock and hip hop tones, and this unique blend of music presents its listener with an escape form the norm. Born and bred in the City of Harare, The Monkey Nuts truly embody the spirit of what it means to combine the art and science of vocal and instrumental sounds to create vivid and dynamic soundscapes. To state it more clearly: You have to listen to these guys! They have quickly becoming one of Zimbabwe’s best-known indie/alternative Hip Hop acts. This is pleasant listening brought to you by new generation of Zimbabwean artists.

The Monkey Nuts have worked with and performed alongside a long list of international acts and artists, notably Natalie Stewart (formerly of Grammy nominated neo-soul duo Floetry), Akala (MOBO Award -Winning Hip Hop Artist), Symbiz Sounds ( German Electro DJ Duo) Shingai Shoniwa (formerly of The Noisettes) and many more.

2013 was a year of note for the collective. Its kicked of with a Sold Out performance at The Harare International Festival of the Arts, one of Africa’s top 8 festivals (according to CNN/Fest Gurus.) This performance was a live collaboration with Hope Masike on vocals and mbira and French Producer DJ OIL. In doing so, their performance became the first local Hip Hop act to sell out at HIFA. And the three days spent in the studio recording with DJ OIL before that, produced a fresh multi-faceted blend of music 

bbemusic.com







Jun 15, 2015

Voodoofunk publishes: Mary Afi Usuah - Ekpenyong Abasi


Voodoo Funk present a heady trip into Nigerian funk, blowing the cobwebs off a genuine rarity among a 21st century resurgence for 70s African albums. Spearheaded of course by Fela Kuti's posthumous uprising, afrobeat and West African funk is becoming increasingly sought after; appreciation for the period has even swelled to a scale that warrants its own Sugarman or rarity-within-rarity, manifested in the elusive figure of William Onyeabor. There comes a point when you question the selection processes of these record labels, as easy as it seems to dip into this avalanche of dusty, tropical heat-warped LPs and pluck out something brilliant.

But Mary Afi Usuah is definitely the product of an arduous and determined trawl. A rare female voice on the circuit, Afi Usuah's career focused more on promoting the arts in post-civil war Nigeria than a personal output. Having been musically trained in London, Rome and Naples, her thirteen year tour of Europe saw her support acts as diverse as Led Zeppelin, Duke Ellington and Deep Purple while she experimented in styles ranging from jazz and rock to opera. She then recorded three solo albums - none of them well known beyond a generation of Nigerians - before taking a post at Lagos' Ministry of Information and Culture. Afi Usuah died in February 2013, tragically short of this re-release of her 1975 debut album, Ekpenyong Abasi.

A keen guitarist from a young age, Afi Usuah's advances as a female composer/songwriter made her career unusual at the time. A similar exception came with the criminally underrated Lijadu Sisters, a twin duet who created dreamy soundscapes by singing in perfect synchronisation; the same effect is made on Ekpenyong Abasi, with Afi Usuah's vocals reverbing into infinity against an echo of backing singers. She possesses the sultriness of the great African American jazz singers, complemented on most tracks by the kind of slow, dark funk that Sly & The Family Stone did best. All members of the unimaginatively named 'Cultural Centre Band' were unaccredited, but trumpeter and bandleader Dan 'Satch' Asuquo has since been acknowledged as the main creative force.

Dan Satch was known in Nigeria for integrating traditional idioms into a popular music context, resulting in several experimental singles. Ekpenyong Abasi was an album-length extension of those experiments, with Afi Usuah sharing her desire to promote indigenous Nigerian art in all its forms. Stop-start rhythms and wild, untamed drum whacks dominate on 'Mma Amo Mbo', a track which speeds to a heart-attack inducing pace; in terms of Afi Usuah and Dan Satch's traditional awakening, this is probably the standout moment.
Ekpenyong Abasi possesses a raw power that must have made it leap out of the aforementioned stack of heat warped LP's presented to the music archaeologists. This is hardly the high energy sweaty dance party in which afrobeat thrived, but rather a soporific ritual that transports the listener away from Lagos and into Afi Usuah's home territory of Cross River State. "Art isn't something [Nigerians] view as important", Afi Usuah said of her philosophy, "but it's our arts that have exported the most positive image of Nigeria. It's the arts that show us who we really are".

thequietus.com 

 

Tracklist

A1 Ima Mma Uyem
A2 From Me To You
A3 Afia Mma (Hulalah)
A4 Mma Ama Mbo
B1 Ekpe
B2 Call Me Your Lover
B3 Ekpenyong Abasi
B4 Ebre Mbre