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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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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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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