The freshest and most compelling albums coming out of Africa this year. And your chance to win one.
Born out of conflict, but imbued with resilience and joy, Samba Touré’s latest album, Gandadiko, is a musical snapshot of contemporary Mali. Uptempo and eminently danceable, but with tension and darkness never far away.
Booming out of Burkina Faso, the super funky basslines and psyched-out guitars of Baba Commandant and The Mandingo Band hark back to the glory days of West African music. Afrofunk and afrobeat from the source.
Born in Kinshasa, but currently based in Quebec, Pierre Kwenders offers up a unique blend of Congolese rumba (soukous) and contemporary beatwork that is as irresistible as it is atmospheric. Brilliant.
James Brown dubbed him "Mr Dynamite" when he caught his show in Kinshasa in 1974. Georges Mateta "Verckys" Kiamuangana revolutionised Congolese music by combining the funk and soul sounds coming out of America with Congolese Merengue, Rumba and Soukous. Another first class release from the ever reliable Analog Africa label.
The latest project of South African music pioneer Spoek Mathambo, Fantasma is a five-man collective which weaves together electronica, hip-hop, traditional Zulu maskandi music, shangaan electro, South African house, psych-rock and punk. Pulling inspiration from all corners of the rainbow nation, it is the sound of modern South Africa – from the townships and the cities to the rural countryside as well
Terry Riley's In C Mali by Africa Express is the first ever recording of Riley’s minimalist work by an African ensemble. Recorded at the Maison des Jeunes youth club in Bamako, Mali in 2013, it features the cream of new artists from Bamako as well as Africa Express stalwarts, Damon Albarn and Brian Eno.
Vibrant desert R&B from northern Mali from a band determined to make music in the face of pressure from Islamists. Songhoy and the blues, blended beautifully and seamlessly.
In the summer of 2013, Grammy-winning producer, Ian Brennan, and his wife, Italian photographer and filmmaker, Marilena Delli, travelled to the border of Malawi and Mozambique specifically to document and record the music of prisoners at the maximum security prison in Zomba. The result is equally uplifting and heartbreaking,
Noura Mint Seymali's deeply emotive and technically brilliant voice blends seamlessly with traditional Mauritania instruments, mixed with electric guitars, drums and modern production, to create a truly unique and contemporary record.