Aziza Brahim – Abbar el Hamada

As walls and borders are again being raised though-out Europe and other corners of the world, Aziza Brahim’s passionately sung poetic defiance, is especially timely and profound. Innovation, naked truth, humility and political outcry: these are the raw materials of Aziza Brahim’s ever expanding musical vision. On her new album, Abbar el Hamada she fuses and fashions these elements into an unforgettable work that is both deeply inspired and deeply inspiring.

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Chimurenga Renaissance – Girlz With Gunz

Chimurenga Renaissance is a Seattle-based duo made up of Tendai Maraire and Hussein Kalonji (in Shona “Chimurenga” means revolutionary struggle). Tendai is one-half of the visionary hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces and has family roots in Zimbabwe, while guitarist Hussein partly grew up in the Congo. The music they create is timely and explosive: otherworldly hip-hop meets Shona rhythms, Congolese guitar ambiance and political resistance. A full length album will follow in June 2016.

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Dennis Bovell – Dub 4 Daze

One of the most revered dub and reggae producers, Dennis Bovell has been leaving his mark on contemporary music for over 40 years. Bovell spearheaded the seminal British reggae acts Linton Kwesi Johnson and Matumbi and was notably involved in the late 70’s UK punk/post-punk scene as the producer for The Slits, The Pop Group and Orange Juice. Dennis has also worked with Marvin Gaye, Ryuchi Sakamoto, Fela Kuti and most recently Joss Stone. The new album deeply mines Bovell’s inspired catalog of rhythms and sounds.

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Laraaji: Ambient 3 – Day Of Radiance

Widely celebrated at the time of its release in 1980 – as the third installment of Brian Eno’s emerging ambient music series (Ambient 1-4) – the album also brought with it an aura of mystification. An uncharted synthesis of resonating zither textures, interlocking, hammered rhythms and 3-D sound treatments (courtesy of Eno) “Day of Radiance” seemed to push open many doors at once, ambient music being only one of them.

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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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