Bixiga 70: III

Five years after their inception, the Sao Paulo based Brazilian group Bixiga 70 continues to travel musically forward, only to find themselves more and more at home. Bixiga 70’s “III” is a breathtaking rhythmic storm where inspired solos, harmony and dynamics, beats and improvisation all mesh together in vital and unpredictable ways. Spanning between a joyous danceability, a sharp sense of humor and committed political reflections, the life-blood of this ten-piece unit is instrumental music, but it is an instrumental music that speaks profoundly.

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Hayvanlar Alemi: Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara

Formed by three friends in the Turkish capital of Ankara in 1999, Hayvanlar Alemi have established themselves at the vanguard of global psychedelic sound. Interfacing with the golden age of Turkish psychedelic rock, surf music, Cambodian pop, West African guitar motifs, Middle Eastern traditional music and the knife edge of indie rock, it was clear from the beginning that Hayvanlar Alemi was an instrumental rock band for the unfolding millennium.

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Sacri Cuori: Delone

The music of Sacri Cuori is a kaleidoscopic road trip through imaginary 60/70’s soundtrack music and post-folk sonics from Italy, Europa and beyond. Hailing from Romagna, Italy, the band plays (mostly) instrumental, topographical music that mirrors the varied terrain of their experiences whether that be a Rimini beach full of nostalgia and desire or the barrens of the Mojave Desert in the dead of winter. Delone’s story is an Italian story always told with a foreign accent, a story imagined on the remote border between joy and melancholy.

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Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba: Ba Power

Bassekou’s fourth album Ba Power (and his first for Glitterbeat Records) is a striking, career defining record marked by mesmerizing songs, razor-sharp riffs and full-throttle emotions. The album contains all the swagger, precision and wide-eyed excitement that the title implies. It is the album where Bassekou’s music engages with the world in ways he could have only imagined 10 years before. It is the album where he confirms his status amongst the 21st centuries most relevant musical artists.

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Tamikrest: Taksera

Taksera” (which in Tamashek means ‘a celebration with music’) is a rough and ready live album that is sure to give jolt to Tuareg-rock group Tamikrest’s already heady reputation. Recorded on a summer festival stage during their 2014 “Chatma” tour, the album vividly showcases the visceral and improvisational power of the band. The hypnotic grooves of the songs are blissfully extended, and the band’s signature drive and electric guitar telepathy are pushed up front and center.

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Hanoi Masters: War is a Wound, Peace is a Scar

“Hanoi Masters: War is a Wound, Peace is a Scar” is a haunting audio document recorded in the summer of 2014 by Grammy-award winning producer Ian Brennan. The sepia-tinged songs are sung and played live and direct by elderly Vietnamese musicians using half-forgotten traditional instruments. These musicians all have deep personal connections to the upheavals of the Vietnam War and the album’s mesmerizing mood navigates the blurred line between raw beauty and sadness.

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Samba Touré: Gandadiko

Gandadiko, the title of Samba’s potent, diverse and ambitious new album, translates from his native language Songhai as: “Land of Drought” or “Burning Land.” Samba’s guitar playing has never been so anxious, exploratory and rock and roll and his voice has never been as smooth and relaxed. Samba wants to be many places at once and the accomplishment of Gandadiko is that by successfully navigating these sorts of “contradictions,” Samba’s artistry has reached an even higher level.

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Jon Hassell/Brian Eno: Fourth World Vol.1 – Possible Musics

Originally released in 1980, Jon Hassell and Brian Eno’s collaborative album “Fourth World Music Vol.I: Possible Musics” is a sound document whose ongoing influence seems beyond dispute. Not only is the album a defining moment in the development of what Eno coined as “Ambient Music” but it also facilitated the introduction of Hassell’s “Future Primitive” trumpet stylings and visionary “Fourth World” musical theories to the broader public.

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