Abatwa (The Pygmy) – Why Did We Stop Growing Tall?
The Abatwa (“pygmy”) tribe is identified as one of the most marginalized, voiceless and endangered populations in Africa. In fact, their name is frequently taken in vain as a generalized slur towards others unrelated to them. In fact, their name is frequently taken in vain as a generalized slur towards others unrelated to them. The album is full of rough-hewn, tribal sonics from the Rwandan borderlands.
Jupiter & Okwess – Kin Sonic
With their second album Kin Sonic, Jupiter and Okwess transcend the Congo’s unexplored musical heritage and dive into a pool of modernity. We’re invited to savour his latest recipe, the Okwess (‘food’ in the Kibunda language) which is the fruit of all the encounters and influences he has absorbed during his many journeys around the world. It’s a recipe based on perfect alchemy. Featuring Damon Albarn, Warren Ellis and Robert del Naja, aka ‘3D’.
Ifriqiyya Electrique – Rûwâhîne
Ifriqiyya Electrique was formed in the Djerid Desert in southern Tunisia, home to the Banga ritual of Sidi Marzûq. The Banga is a key annual event in the lives of the black communities of the oasis towns of southern Tunisia, descendants of the Hausa slaves transported from sub-Saharan Africa. It is a ritual of adorcism not of exorcism: of accommodating the possessing spirit rather than expelling it.
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Simultonality
Simultonality is an album of “pure motion.” Without sounding frenetic it is the most explosive Natural Information Society music on record. It is Abrams’s most structured & thru-composed music yet. Much of it is also fast, a mass of densely patterned elements swiftly orbiting constantly reconfiguring centers that are variously harmonic & rhythmic, clearly stated or implied.
75 Dollar Bill – Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock
The NYC-based duo of Rick Brown and Che Chen, creates hypnotic, pulsing music that weaves an ecstatic line from raw electric blues, Arabic modes and entrancing folk minimalism back to the streets of New York. ‘Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock’, their expansive second album, crashed onto many of 2016’s “Best-of” lists, including The Wire and Uncut.
King Ayisoba – 1000 Can Die
Born in Bolgatanga in rural Ghana, King Ayisoba was a prodigy on the kologo, playing locally until he’d outgrown the possibilities of the area. His new album is fiery and uncompromising. Ghanaian legend creates a raw, emphatic sound that fuses kologo music with contemporary sonics. Feat. Lee “Scratch” Perry, afrobeat legend Orlando Julius & more. Produced by Zea (from The Ex).
Tamikrest – Kidal
Tamikrest are the most innovative and forward-looking force in Tuareg rock. Kidal perfectly balances their rocking and meditative elements. The album was recorded in Bamako, Mali in the summer of 2016 and is restless, experimental, heartbroken and rebellious. This is the music of defiance, of hope. It’s rock’n’roll from the Sahara, the sound of the Tuareg dream, a dream that will be renewed again, in their ancestral town: Kidal.
Bargou 08 – Targ
It’s the forgotten place. Lying between the mountains of northwest Tunisia and the Algerian border, the Bargou valley and the village named after it lie isolated, away from the world. It’s poor, barren country, but standing apart, Bargou has developed its own culture that had never been documented until Nidhal Yahyaoui began the task. With Targ, the album he’s made with his band Bargou 08, Yahyaoui has perfectly fused the past and the present to place Bargou on the map.