Thursday, 06 March
**Hand-screened sleeves. Edition of 300** Proper outernational dub business from Algeria's El Mahdy Jr, Gulls, XJ, and Alter Echo, issued by Portland's Boomarm Nation. A mystic mesh of cultures and styles, 'Raï Dubs' was borne from El Mahdy Jr's twin passions for vintage Algerian Raï and deconstructed audio. Using samples sourced from cassettes and youtube, he twists out ghostly, elusive rhythms and woozy, melodica-like motifs around tight guitar licks and duppied wails in 'Disco Maghreb', which Alter Echo versions even further into the abstract with tumbling delays and swirling reverb. Fl… Read more
Thursday, 27 February
"Super Djata is one of boldest and most exciting orchestras in the history of African modern music, if not one of Africa’s greatest and most unsung ensembles. Led by the late great Zani Diabaté, Super Djata Band de Bamako stands proud as one of West Africa’s fiercest orchestras, with only a handful of releases and many tremendous gigs given over the last forty years. Born in 1947 in the Sikasso region, Zani belongs to one of Mali’s most famous griot families. As a child he learnt how to play the bolon, a string instrument with a bass sound, and the balafon, before learning how to dance.… Read more
"Super Djata is one of boldest and most exciting orchestras in the history of African modern music, if not one of Africa’s greatest and most unsung ensembles. Led by the late great Zani Diabaté, Super Djata Band de Bamako stands proud as one of West Africa’s fiercest orchestras, with only a handful of releases and many tremendous gigs given over the last forty years. Super Djata may be indeed one of the boldest and most exciting orchestras in the history of African modern music, if not one of Africa’s greatest and most unsung ensembles. Thanks to their leader’s experience, the Djata … Read more
Thursday, 06 February
7th volume of the celebrated series collecting searing guitar music from Western Sahara. Make sure to check out the wild swagger of 'Adounia' and 'Taghlamt'.
Thursday, 30 January
**Gorgeous 4LP box set presented in two gatefold sleeves inside a heavy card slipcase, with a 12” square, 20 page, saddle stitched booklet on art paper. The set is a 34-song anthology of Early Recordings From Iran painstakingly restored from 78s at Abbey Road studio in London** "Ravishingly beautiful, achingly precious songs and instrumentals, ranging from two performances by the Royal Court Orchestra in 1906 — with futuristic, overlapping trumpets and exquisite clarinet improvisation — through to a hauntingly soulful Hafez setting by Moluk Zarrabi of… Read more
Thursday, 23 January
**Includes early recordings of Group Doueh and location recordings made in West Africa. Limited edition pressing housed in Stoughton tip-on full colour gatefold jacket** "In 2006, Hisham Mayet returned to West Africa to continue his search for an unknown musician he had heard six months earlier on the radio in a Morocco hotel room. Knowing only that it was Sahrawi music — music of the south — he headed down through the vast and remote desert landscape of the Western Sahara and Mauritania in hopes of finding someone who could identify these revelatory rec… Read more
*Beautiful 2LP limited edition vinyl release in a full-color heavy-duty gatefold jacket of the long out-of-print CD from 2007* The first volume in Sublime Frequencies' series of 'Molam' releases took us on a journey through a lesser heard area of Thai music, a kind of country folk music from the rural northeast of Thailand which centres primarily on male and female singers (Molam literally means 'master singer') and the khaen (a bamboo mouth organ) and phin (a lute-like instrument). Here we see the style diversify as it hits the 1970s and 1980s an… Read more
*Includes a free digital download of the entire album redeemable from the label* "Omo Lewa by Nigerian born band leader and multi-instrumentalist Peter King came into the world in 1976. From start to finish, King weaves afrobeat, highlife, and jazz with mesmerizing skill. Long out of print, this album contains some of the prolific artist's finest work. Highlights like “Afro-Funk” and “Ajo” have been singeing slipmats via recent African compilations and whetting the appetites of numerous music fans. As prices on the collector's market reiterate, this pent up demand has made Omo Lewa Peter King's m… Read more
Thursday, 12 December
"Musical collisions in the Atlantic! Sofrito kicks off the new Island Series with a celebration of the vital dancefloor sounds of Cape Verde – a mixture of local Funana and Coladeira rhythms, Batuque percussion and psychedelic disco synths. Hailing from the island of Sao Vicente and originally released in the early 80s, Dionisio Maio’s anthemic Corpim Sabe is stretched into a 12” mix by the Alma Negra collective – bringing the thumping bassline to the fore and tweaking the piano-led groove into a slice of cosmic Coladeira-disco perfection. On the flip the dynamic Hide & Smile duo (aka … Read more
Thursday, 05 December
*Classic Finders Keepers - finally reissued on vinyl.* Finders Keepers continues in it's mission to unearth some of the finest treasures the Western world has never seen with this incredible 1976 album from Turkish radical folk singer Selda Bagcan. Part of Finders Keepers' 'Anatolian Invasion' series, this particular record stirred up quite a fuss among the world's Turkish communities on it's release, achieving a certain notoriety for Selda herself as she proclaimed unashamedly her thoughts on freedom of speech and quality of life. So it's political, we've got that down, but since most of us don't speak … Read more
Thursday, 28 November
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
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, 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** This selection of jazz instrumentals from late '60s and early '70s Ethiopia represents a side to African music seldom heard in 'World Music' reissue circles. This music represents a hybridised approach to jazz, incorporating African, Latin and Arabic scales alongside the more psychedelic, beat group-informed music of the west. This no doubt has something to do with the presence of musicians like Mulatu Astatke, who trained in America. His piece 'Metche Dershe' is positively swinging, with a beat primed for sampling, but those u… 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."