World cultures from the South West to beyond!
Put on your party pants and have a boogie to our favourite tracks of 2014. From A-Z…
Afrikan Boy – Hit Em Up
Grime meets Hip Hop meets Afrobeat. London based Afrikan Boy cuts traditional samples, here – Fela Kuti – with fresh modern bass! This track is one of a collection of energetic samba fuelled tunes from his 2014 album The ABCD, which he tells us about here after his set at WOMAD festival:
Batida – Pobre E Rico
Portuguese, Angolan Pedro Coquenão creates a montage of sounds by sampling 1970’s Angolan tracks from Matadidi Mário and mixing them with modern electronic beats. The track comes from Dois his second album to be released on the Soundway Records a label which fosters incredible rhythmic talent – new and old – from around the world.
Ibibio Sound Machine – The Talking Fish (Asem Usem Iyak)
The beautiful voice of lead singer Ino Willaims tells us old Nigerian fairytales whilst the sounds of West-African funk, disco, electro and afrobeat combine and explode! This musical “machine” treats us to a line up from percussion, drums and keys to baritone AND alto sax – another gem from the Soundway Records label.
Jungle – The Heat
Funky urban reggae collective Jungle shone through our speakers in 2014! From an afternoon slot on Glastonbury’s John Peel stage, which was so packed the crowd spilled 30-40 deep out of the tent, their earworm tunes have grown love and appreciation across the musical world so much so that in 2015 they’ll be headlining the Secret Garden Party and playing festivals as big as Cochella! Like their sounds? Like their moves? Enjoy Time and Busy Earnin too!
The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra – Bangarang ft Dawn Penn and Sharon Shannon
Get your bones warmed up and your joints loosened and ready for some moving and grooving! Saxophonist Lee Thompson, maybe know to you as the Madness frontman, has started a new musical venture to recreate the reggae and ska rhythms of the 1960s! Joined by co-founder Mark Bedford and producer legendary producer Prince Fatty The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra is making magical warm sunny caribeen tunes – here featuring two Queen of reggea vocalists!
Mikil Pane – The Godfather
Hackney born rapper off of Mercury Records created this beautiful new record about becoming responsible for a little kid who he tenderly calls ‘my little soldier’. It has the power, charm and cheek of an anthem – give it a spin and singalong like this crowd at Tax Free. No doubt one of the most special tracks of 2014.
Mungo’s Hi-Fi – Serious Time
Brass reggae rhythms from the Glaswegian sound system skank around the room, forming their third album, Serious Time. The record spins through Scottish collective’s eclectic sounds as they move across the spectrum of Jamaican traditional sound system genres: the album has all the flavours! Dub roots AND dancehall. Get those reggae legs moving!
Polar Bear – Be Free
Experimental Jazz collective, Polar Bear, released a their fourth album – In Each and Every One – in 2014. Nominated for a Mercury Music Award, the weird and wonderful sounding album s full of surprises, in particular Be Free. Tom Herbert, Leafcutter John, Mark Lockheart, Sebastian Rochford and Pete Wareham form a magical line up of baritone and tenor sax, drums, electronics, double bass, guitar and, occasionally, mandolin.
Rafiki Jazz- No Lines No Separation
Dance, capoeira, vocals, rap, spoken word, steel pans, kora, guitar, oud, ney, kwala flutes, berimbau, percussion, bass, tabla, derbuka are played, performed and sung by a collection of twelve artists (Sarah Yaseen, Aysegul Balkose, Vanessa Rani Chutturghoon, PK Mabuza, Zodwa Nyoni, Cath Carr, Kadialy Kouyate, Mina Salama, Guery Mark Tibirica, Tony ‘tk’ Koni, Johnny ball and Fran Knowles) forming one of 2014’s most beautiful records, Declaration Kriol. Sounds from around the world repsond to the 1948 declaration of human rights. Probing issues of exile and immigration the album creates its own musical moment where there are ‘no lines [and] no separation’. People place, relgion, language and instuments and voices from different cultures meet, and, for duration of each song, join together and share in a single collective rhythmic movement. What will Rafiki Jazz bring us in 2015?
Here Sarah Yaseen speaks us through the sounds of cross-cultural collective.
Rodrigo Y Gabriella – The Soundmaker
This Mexiacan duo whose talented fingers tickle out of their guitars beautiful flamenco sounds released 9 Dead Alive in April 2014.
The Busy Twist – Labadi Warrior
Wow….London producers meet Ghanian high life!
Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté – Lampedusa
Father and son kora players, Toumani and Sidiki released this self-titled album in 2014 compiling a collection of their duets. Lampedusa is the only new track on the record. The beautiful sounds commemorate 300 African migrants who died when their ship sunk of the island of Lampedusa in 2013. They use their music to describe the beauty of the land the migrants leave behind under what they describe in the vinyl’s insert as misplaced belief in the fortunes of the west.
And – just to be cheeky – here’s our favourite re-issue….
William Onyeabor – Atomic Bomb
A disoc-funk musician from Nigeria, in a Rodriguez-esque move Luakabop records tracked this mysterious and illusive singer down in 2013, and in 2014 re-released his music – Enjoy 🙂 TIME FOR A BOOGIE