Thursday, 28 November
*First Time this album has been available on Vinyl* Omar Souleyman is the impassioned singer and leader of the Omar Souleyman Band, one of the gleaming jewels in the Sublime Frequencies crown. His 'Highway To Hassake' album for SF released in 2007 was easily one of the records of that year, rousing acclaim from The Wire, various corners of the blogosphere and ourselves over its shockingly exotic sound and direct emotive rush blended into the ultimate party music. 'Dabke 2020' follows on from that seminal set with a diverse display of Souleyman's repeto… Read more
Great set of riddim trips by Rhythm Maker, Stefan Schwander, aka Harmonious Thelonious. Up top, he hypnotises mind and body with sinuous bassline and shifting drum patterns peppered with woops and crowd noise on the club-ready 'Harmony Labelle', and cuts loose with noisier, electric timbres on 'Kwaku', which is dedicated to the late Can percussionist, Reebop Kwaku Baah. Down below he tricks out Ben Zabo's original Afrobeat groove, 'Danna' with distorted dub FX and percolating drums layered up with chants and marimba cross-rhythms recalling Shackleton's remix of Konono No.1.
Thursday, 21 November
More genre-straddling Ethiopian music from the Ethiopiques series, this time focussing on shoeshine boy turned singing star Mahmoud Ahmed, whose unique blend of afro-beat rhythms and Arabic blues makes for an unexpected treat. Ahmed started out as what Ethiopiques curator Franic Falceto describes as a "street urchin", only to work his way up to become one of his homeland's biggest celebrities. Ahmed's minor-key soul is characterised by a cross-pollination of Eastern and Western styles (as is the case with this week's other two Ethiopiques releases) and takes on some of the Latin-American influences imported by his countryman Mulatu Astatke back in the late '60s.
Thursday, 14 November
**Enchanting, transcendant and super rare spiritual jazz side from South Africa circa 1974! Mighty dancefloor-friendly grooves, spiralling wind sections, chants and psychedelic studio treatments including an amazing extended B-side coming off like a SA jazz analog to that incredible Dadawah album. Remastered reissue edition of 500 clear wax copies. Highly recommended!** "The album arrived amidst a period of intense political, intellectual and artistic ferment stimulated in large part by the teachings of Steve Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement. ‘“Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud”. This is … Read more
Tohuwabohu is the joint project of Chronomad's Saam Schlamminger and Burnt Friedman, a cultural exchange of percussive patterns and uniquely accented instrumental tunings. Their dialogue is deft, effortlessly fluid, resulting in four pieces of constantly morphing drum details synched in swirling momentum produced with deep, spatialised dubbing to psychedelic effect.
"Continuing further into the music of 1970s East Africa, Soundway present a limited edition 10" of raw, bluesy garage-funk-rock from Jimmy Mawi. Jimmy Mawi was a Madagascan guitarist based in Nairobi in the mid 1970s. He cut only three 45s for EMI East Africa on their Pathe imprint that have virtually disappeared from sight in the nearly 40 years since they were recorded. Soundway reproduce four of the best tracks here on a super limited edition 10". Fuzz guitars, raspy vocals and metronomic drumming combine for an exhaustive afro-rock workout. Earlier this year Soundway rele… Read more
Thursday, 31 October
**Hand-numbered edition of 300** Ninos Du Brasil are the exhilarating Battacuda battery of audio-visual performance artist Nico Vascellari, plus Nicolò Fortuni (Smart Cops), and Riccardo Mazza (Lettera 22) on their debut album, 'Muito N.D.B.'. Imagine Liasons Dangereuses and Cut Hands soundtracking a Brasilian football match and you can almost smell the sweat of their intense, hypnotically rhythmic sound. From their Coda Lunga base in the beautiful old town of Vittorio Veneto, Italy they've become something of a treasured pop act, performing on national TV plumed in flamboyant costume and… Read more
Thursday, 03 October
**Edition of 500 housed in glossy jacket** Pheno S, "the BasedGod of the Sahel" follows up his appearance on 'Music From Saharan Cellphones 2' with, 'Kani', a full album of colourful, spaced-out hip hop and Afro-futuristic dance anthems. The production palette is practically entirely electronic and Pheno's rapped and sung vocals are irresistibly autotuned to delicious effect throughout. Styles range from the swaying tropical R&B bob of 'Alazalika' and the hot 'n heavy bounce of 'Wangaro' to more uptempo styles with the free-floating 140bpm bounce of 'Bomber' with it's sublime string runs and cosmic synt… Read more
Thursday, 26 September
**Includes 24" x 12" poster** Steaming Afro-boogie heat from Nigeria, 1978. Up top, he chops out the squiggly guitar lines, Moogy squelch and almost rapped/sung vox of 'Move!; down below, 'Hot Love' is a more stripped and sensuous disco zinger wrapping chiming keys and simmering drums to infectious, wormy bass. Class stuff.
Thursday, 19 September
**Luscious 5th world Balearic grooves and atmospheres** "The Secret of 12 O'clock is the second Em Records release by Spaniard Juan Alberto Arteche Guel's Finis Africae project. It collects six pieces from three 1980s albums, pieces not released on the Em Records compilation "A Last Discovery". This collection captures Finis Africae in a more spiritual mode, organic and flowing, with drone textures, and featuring flute, hand percussion, guitar, sax, and synths, combined with field recordings in a music which could be heard as a less-chilly and more organic … Read more
**Now available again on Heavenly Sweetness** Utterly enchanting Ethiopiques edition, starring the totally unique saxophone sound of Gétatchèw Mèkurya. The label says "Gétatchèw Mèkurya is probably the most revered veteran of Ethiopian saxophone. A real giant, both physically and musically. Not only is he at the very top level of Ethiopian saxophonists, but he is the "inventor" of an extremely distinctive musical "style"." The album features ten of Gétatchèw Mèkurya's arrangements, blowing a snaking, smoky and hypnotic stream of notes over very minimal backing of… Read more
**Now available again on Heavenly Sweetness** One of the Ethiopiques series' biggest stars, singer Alemayehu Eshete gets his own LP, featuring an array of different variants on the Ethiopian jazz sound of the '70s, ranging from James Brown-alike funk, functioning almost as a straight import of American R&B and soul, to far more unfamiliar Eastern harmonies and rhythms. In between you'll find one or two highly accomplished jazz mutations thrown in too, like side-A closing number 'Feqer Feqer New', but the defining factors here are the force of Eshete's spirited voca… Read more
Thursday, 12 September
*LP version pressed on high quality virgin vinyl and packaged in a full colour jacket with free download card and 8 page booklet featuring photos and liner notes* "‘Alafia’ is the third international release from Malian songwriter and guitarist Sidi Touré. This follows last year’s critically-lauded ‘Koïma’ and 2011’s revelatory debut ‘Sahel Folk’. Backed by this band of young talented musicians, who have joined him on several tours, Sidi invited friends from the North to participate to this album - the singer Leïla Gobbi, the kolo player Berté Ibrahim, and the rising star guitarist (and Touré disc… Read more
Thursday, 22 August
*One of the most intriguing pieces of music to ever be recorded in 1960's Israel.*"Jaffa in the late sixties and early seventies had an exciting and exotic sound to offer, where folk musicians performed live at its taverns seven nights a week. It was far from the mainstream hit-parade of swinging Tel-Aviv but close enough geographically to attract listeners from across the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa metropolis. The scene got bigger and wilder as it embraced the Middle Eastern celebration style known as "Hafla", involving heavy drinking, local food and music of course. Standing at the center of old Jaffa and it's v… Read more
Thursday, 25 July
**Gatefold jacket** Enchanting collection of rural folk music from Greek 78s, miraculously remastered for vinyl. Whilst most expeditions to the earliest recorded music of Greece have documented Rembetika's shady world of hash dens and gangsters - think Mississippi's 'Mortika' LP or Dust-To-Digital's 'Greek Rhapsody' - this one takes to the hills and the sublime traditional songs of Northern Greece and Southern Albania, spanning dirges, ballads, plainsong and dances. Most of them have never been reissued since they were or… Read more
Thursday, 20 June
**A modern take on heavily percussive, frenetic Turkish Gypsy music starring virtuosic clarinet playing issued by A Hawk And A Hacksaw's label. Includes download code redeemable from the label. RIYL Dabke, Turbofolk etc.** "In Istanbul, close to the city center, lies a district not often visited by tourists. It's called Dolapdere, and it is populated by the Roma of the city, many of whom are originally from Thrace. They supply the music for the city's weddings, circumcisions, parades and parties. Dolapdere is the home of clarinet virtuoso Cüneyt Sepetçi and the… Read more
Monday, 03 June
It makes sense that Mark Ernestus's investigations into the grain and grammar of rhythm have led him to Senegal - where Mbalax, an ecstatic fusion of Western music styles and traditional Senegalese drum music (sabar), has been flourishing since the 1970s. Hard-grooving, hypnotic, fiendishly swung - and with an instrumental palette comprised largely of talking-drums and sequencer-like marimba synths - it's easy to understand why it appeals to both the technical and intuitive sides of the Basic Channel/Rhythm & Sound don's brain, whose burgeoning interest in Africa has … Read more
Thursday, 30 May
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** "Recorded over 4 years in London and Venezuela, Cuban rumba, Venezuelan tambor and tonada, Ghanaian highlife, Ethiopian blues and calypso have been soaked and infused with psychedelia and spiritual jazz. At the heart of Family Atlantica are three people from three different continents: London born Jack Yglesias, producer, multi instrumentalist and a veteran of The Heliocentrics, his wife Luzmira Zerpa, traditional Venezuelan musician, poet and singer with a magical voice acclaimed by Manu Chao and half Nigerian-half Ghana… Read more
Thursday, 16 May
*Triple LP with bonus 7" and 8 page full size booklet, plus download code with an extra 8 tracks redeemable from the label* "Soundway Records present Kenya Special: Selected East African Recordings from the 1970s & ‘80s - a treasure-trove of rare and unusual recordings from East Africa. It follows on from Soundway’s much acclaimed African ‘Special’ series that to date has focused on the highlife and afrobeat output from 1970s Nigeria and Ghana. Kenya Special is a collection of 32 recordings (most of which were only ever released on sm… Read more
**Gatefold double vinyl edition, features 14 tracks from the source compilation** As this compilation on Brighton's Soundway label adeptly illustrates, Nigeria in the 1970s was a melting pot of different cultural influences, both from African sources and the wider influence of music from other corners of the world - most notably jazz and blues. This double-disc sized compilation draws together 14 tracks that have never before been reissued, offering a unique slant on how we think about Africa's contribution to what has previou… Read more
**Limited edition 180g vinyl with download code redeemable from the label** Cool primer on the wonderful world of Brazilian psychedelic music classic and new. Features songs by Tom Zé, Lula Côrtes, Liverpool, Lucas Santtana, and more. "This Rough Guide is a psychedelic treat that is full to bursting with far-out Brazilian grooves. Discover cutting-edge explorations by artists like Tom Zé, Laranja Freak and Jupiter Maça, then dig deep into the archive and let loose to the retro vibrations of Quintal De Clorofila and José Mauro. Next, revel in one of the first ever reissues of the track ‘Renata’ from a rare 1970 EP by offbeat psych-garage band, Liverpool."
**Limited edition 180g vinyl with download code redeemable from the label** Party-ready collection of African disco old and new from Simbad edits of Sir Victor Uwaifo to The Lijadu Sisters and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. "As the 1970s dawned, the all-glittering, all-dancing sounds of disco were reverberating right around the globe. Creative scenesters put their own spin on the disco sound, mashing together the rhythmic pulse of funk, soul and Latin with African grooves."
Thursday, 02 May
*Deluxe Edition includes bonus feature film DVD and a download code redeemable from the label* "‘Mirror To The Soul’ is a new documentary film about the Caribbean, a collaboration between Soul Jazz and British Pathé, made up entirely of newsreel footage filmed during the period 1922-1970. British Pathé was established in London in 1910 to produce newsreels screened in cinemas throughout Britain before main feature films. In the 1950s, to compete with the new medium of television, Pathé began adding entertainment, cultura… Read more
*Regular 2LP edition - does not include the bonus DVD* "This album is a whistle-stop musical journey through the Caribbean, stopping off at Trinidad, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and more along the way. Artists include Irakere, Cachao, Slim Smith, Celia Cruz, El Gran Combo, Edmundo Ros, Lord Flea, Techniques, Carlos Malcolm, Count Ossie and more. ‘Afro-Caribbean Music Up From The Roots’ Soul Jazz Records have been recording Afro- Caribbean music for the last 15 years, travelling to and documenting roots style… Read more
Six infectious outernational groovies selected by Matias Aguayo for the bum-bum party. Side one plays out the hypnotic drive of Carolina Stegmayer and Ismael Pinkler's Carisma cut 'Muerte Instrumental' beside the darkly sexy EBM electro of Colombia's Gladkazuka on 'El Untitled' and a shuffle-techy Uruguayan candombe badass by Lechuga Zafiro. Matias Aguayo heads up the B-side with the deftly unrelenting chug and shuffle of 'El Transatlantico' and Alejandro Paz follows up his 'Duro' anthem with the dope devotional 'El House' declaring that he'll still be dancing to house when he's a grandpa … Read more
Thursday, 25 April
"In anticipation of the forthcoming Kenya Special: Selected East African Recordings from the 1970s and '80s compilation, Soundway release a special remix and edit 12" featuring two tracks from the collection and two exclusives. It kicks off with Batida's remix of a 1977 benga 45 (Ndiri Ndanogio Niwe) from the Mbiri Young Stars. Fast 120bpm plus 4/4 rhythms with liquid guitars and machine-gun drumming are married with kuduro drum programming. Second up and surging with sub bass, British production duo The Busy Twist inject The Kalambya Boys' Kivelenge (also from 1977) with a sl… Read more
**Twelve crucial cuts of swaggering '70s Nigerian dance music. Double gatefold edition includes download code redeemable from the label** As this compilation on Brighton's Soundway label adeptly illustrates, Nigeria in the 1970s was a melting pot of different cultural influences, both from African sources and the wider influence of music from other corners of the world - most notably jazz and blues. This double-disc sized compilation draws together 12 tracks that have never before been reissued, offering a unique slant on how … Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** Sweet album of Colombian pop mixing ambient electronics, rap, cumbia, techno and folk melodies. To be fair, that combination could have resulted some rather dodgy results in other hands, but Soundway know their beans and present this as a refreshing adjunct to their cache of classic recordings from the black atlantic. Very enjoyable.
Thursday, 18 April
**Reproduction reissue of Afro-Latin-Funk-Fuzz holy grail on heavy vinyl. Includes mp3 download code redeemable from the label** "Belgium, not the first place you'd think of when it comes to Latin or Afro funk. Yet one of the greatest records to blend both styles came from the small northern European country, masterminded by Nico Gomez and his Afro Percussion Inc. Ritual was originally released in 1971 on the Dutch label Omega International (Gomez was born in Holland before moving to Belgium in the late 40s) and is being reissued by Mr Bongo in 2013, bringing its blazing fun… Read more
Thursday, 04 April
**Gatefold jacket with full-size booklets** "Proper Brit Pop" from London a long time ago, collecting 19 calypsos from Lord Kitchener, Buddy Pipp's Highlifers, Mighty Terror, and many more. The fifth edition in Honest Jon's evergreen series returns to a shuffling fifties & sixties young Black London from the perspective of its recent Caribbean and West African inhabitants, sharing their tales on everything from the devaluation of the pound to the sexual allure of English dibble fe… Read more