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. Uncut called it: “An astonishingly potent next stage in an ongoing cultural exchange…magnificent; like a gnawa ritual that’s been convened by Junior Kimbrough.”
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 ‘Why Did We Stop Growing Tall?’ is full of rough-hewn, tribal sonics from the Rwandan borderlands.
Spearheaded by the legendary Afrobeat/Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen, the Afro-Haitian Experimental Orchestra rose out of Allen’s 2014 visit to Haiti where he collaborated with some of the countries most notable singers and percussionists. Analog synthesizers and raw psychedelic guitars join the mix yielding an unheard and unholy mixture of Haitian voodoo rhythms, afrobeat drumming and Krautrock experimentation.
Deep TR-808 bass meets pan-Maghreb beats, timeless voices and futurist visions. The deep, rumbling growl of the gumbri, the dry, airy tenderness of the gasba, and the softly slithering zokra give a powerful North African root to the music, a thread that spins back through centuries. It’s the great reinvention of a region’s music. It’s a call to action. It’s the future, right now.
Aziza Brahim (1976) was born and raised in the Saharawi refugee camps in the Tindouf region of Algeria where her family settled in late 1975, after fleeing from the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara. Growing up in the severe conditions of these desert camps, Aziza discovered music was both a source of entertainment and a natural way to express and communicate her personal emotions and thoughts of resistance.
Aminata Wassidjé Traoré is a rising voice in Mali. Born in Diré, near the fabled city of Timbuktu, Aminata was raised within northern Mali’s rich cultural brew. From an ethnic Songhai family, Aminata started singing as a young child.
Formed by Osman Murat Ertel and Levent Akman in 1996, Baba Zula took Turkish psychedelic pioneers of the 1960s as their inspiration and foundation for what they called Istanbul psychedelia, the fathers of a scene that’s since grown up around them. Baba Zula have played all over the world, won awards for their work in film and theatre, and had their albums counted among the most prestigious ever released in Turkey.
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba has revolutionized the sound and narrative possibilities of the ngoni, the lute-like instrument that is essential to Mali’s Griot culture. Griots are esteemed musician/storytellers whose lineage stretches back centuries. Through Bassekou’s invention of repertoire built around the melodies and rhythms of four interlocking ngonis, Bassekou has demonstrated his respect for the past by radically pulling it into the future.
Lying between the mountains of northwest Tunisia and the Algerian border, the Bargou valley has developed its own culture that had never been documented until Nidhal Yahyaoui began the task. Born in the valley, he was determined that the music and traditions shouldn’t slip away into obscurity. 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.
Much of the Malian music that has been released on European and American labels in the last few years shares one thing: it is mostly down tempo and reflective. The kora majesty of Toumani Diabate, the Songhi blues of the late Ali Farka Toure, the singer-songwriter tropes of Rokia Traore and the dusted, acoustic meditations of Tinariwen (on their most recent album) are a demonstration of this point. Even the later albums of the once exuberant Salif Keita have grown more melancholy and ethereal.
The Sao Paulo based Brazilian group Bixiga 70’s new album titled “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.
A mysterious two-song release, licensed directly from a group of Bamako musicians who, with the exception of the Souku master Zoumana Tereta, choose to remain anonymous. In the last years, the political turmoil in Mali has caused many of the cities clubs to shutdown and dried up other sources of musician income like weddings and festivals. The situation continues to be desperate, but the music remains a powerful force: both a refuge and a medicine.
In late 2004, Bombino recorded acoustic versions of nine songs in the Ténéré desert, which became this, his first real album. He sings and plays several of his own compositions and also pays tribute to other Tuareg artists (Abdallah Oumbadougou, Hasso, Kedou). Recorded mostly around the campfire, his assembled friends join in on handclaps and undulations.
This 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.
Sarajevo born and raised, Damir Imamović has been steeped in the sounds of sevdah since childhood. Much has been said of his stellar family tradition – both his father and grandfather remain legends of the form. Since those early days, however, when he would ward off boredom during the siege of the city in the early 1990s by learning guitar chords in his basement shelter, Imamović has completely changed the rules of the game.
“Dub 4 Daze” is a richly animated sonic journey that slips and slides between soulful roots (Eye Water), down-tempo brass (Top Level Dub), 3D mysticism (Jah Man Dub) and space echo abstractions (Physics of Dub). The album shows Dennis “Dubmaster” Bovell in full command of his craft.
Originally a straight-talking, mainly acoustic trio mining blues and country for 21st century gold, the band’s first happy accident was to stumble upon Tamikrest, then Samba Touré and Ben Zabo among many others. Dirtmusic now return with a full-scale collaboration with Turkish-psych visionary Murat Ertel from Baba Zula.
Glitterbeat doesn’t release many 12” singles (this is the second), but this two-song beauty is so good we couldn’t pass up the chance to put it out. El Leopardo brilliantly morph urban dub textures together with sparse Colombian percussion, spoken incantations and deep, hypnotic bass.
An out-of-time, visceral collection of songs & sounds from Bamako-based producer Paul Chandler’s unparalleled archive. These high fidelity field recordings and eleven accompanying videos (from all corners of the country) take us deep inside the full sonic power of the Malian musical experience.
The London-based quintet Fofoulah (meaning “it’s there” in Wolof) was formed in 2011 and features Tom Challenger (Red Snapper) on saxophone and keyboards, Phil Stevenson (Iness Mezel) on guitar, Johnny Brierley (Outhouse Ruhabi) on bass, Dave Smith (Robert Plant’s Sensational Space Shifters) on drums, and Kaw Secka (Irok) on Sabar drums.
Gaye Su Akyol is at the forefront of the new Istanbul scene. Her influences range from the Turkish chanteuse Selda Bağcan to Nick Cave, surf bands and psychedelia. In Gaye Su Akyol’s universe, the past becomes folded into the present and launched into the future. Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu is heady, powerfully intoxicating and beautifully dangerous. Gorgeous, cinematic and subversive. Past, present, future. Her music, her art.
Our first remix album with ten genre-spinning, mind-bending sonic reinventions of the Glitterbeat catalog. Remixers include: UK dub-master Dennis Bovell (Linton Kwesi Johnson, The Slits, Fela Kuti), Berlin legend Mark Ernestus (Jeri Jeri, Rhythm & Sound), Warp recording artist Nozinja (Shangaan Electro) and post-punk legend Mark Stewart (Pop Group, New Age Steppers). Vibrant future sounds.
“Hanoi Masters: War is a Wound, Peace is Scar” is a haunting audio document recorded in the summer of 2014 by Grammy-award winning producer Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Malawi Mouse Boys, The Good Ones). 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.
Formed by three school 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.
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.
When speaking of his musical journey — a journey that that spans more than five decades — Jon Hassell recently noted: “without overstating it too much I don’t know who else has had the kind of experience that I’ve had in various kinds of music.” It is very hard to argue with his self- estimation. Hassell’s soundworlds have been varied and bold and their influence on contemporary musics, discernable and ongoing.
Simultonality – in Joshua Abrams words – is an album of “pure motion.” Without sounding frenetic it is the most explosive Natural Information Society music on record, & without sounding over-determined 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.
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’.
Grammy-winning producer Ian Brennan (Zomba Prison Project, Tinariwen, Hanoi Masters) went to Southeast Asia to record unheralded, traditional-based musicians from Cambodia, all of whom are survivors of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. The result is heartbreaking, inspiring and sublime.
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. Moving to Accra, the country’s biggest city, he eventually released the song “I Want To See You, My Father.” There was nothing modern about it. No hiplife rap, no electronic beats. But somehow it conquered the country and brought the tradition firmly into the mainstream.
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.
Lobi Traoré (1961-2010) was a true African original, a guitarist of profound depth and originality, a singer and songwriter with universal appeal, and a performer who became part of the very fabric of Bamako, one of the world’s most musical cities. We are lucky to worked with the man. The recordings we made together captures the pure essence of his artistry in full flower.
Think and dance. A way forward delivered with the urgency that’s become a hallmark of M.A.K.U. Soundsystem. The new album Mezcla captures the live sound of the band, that thrilling rawness where the rough edges become a vital part of the whole, plenty of freedom but with the tightness honed by night after night of gigs. And that’s exactly how Mezcla came together.
Noura Mint Seymali hails from a Moorish musical dynasty in Mauritania, born into a prominent family of griot and choosing from an early age to embrace the artform that is its lifeblood. Yet traditional pedigree has proven but a stepping-stone for the work Noura and her band have embarked upon in recent years, simultaneously popularizing and reimagining Moorish music on the global stage.
Led by Sergio Mendoza (Calexico, Mexrissey), Orkesta Mendoza fashion borderless sounds that span the Americas (North, Central, South). Embraces mambo and cumbia with the same vigor as psychedelic pop, twang rock and analog electronics. Guests on “Vamos a Guarachar” include: Camilo Lara (Mexican Institute of Sound), Gabriel Sullivan (Giant Sand, Xixa) and John Convertino & Joey Burns (Calexico).
Park Jiha is in the vanguard of new Korean music. She combines classical minimalism with the rootedness of Korean folk motifs and the dynamics of post-rock and contemporary jazz. Over the last few years a rising tide of new Korean artists have staked a place in the global music conversation. Groups like Jambinai, Black String and Park Jiha’s earlier duo 숨[suːm] have created exciting soundworlds.
A kaleidoscopic road trip through imaginary 60’s soundtrack music and post-folk sounds from Italy and beyond. This innovative Italian band decimates genres. While the album is mostly instrumental, there are also songs voiced in Italian, English and French. Guitar pioneer Marc Ribot makes an appearance as does Sonido Gallo Negro, Evan Lurie from the Lounge Lizards, drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) and Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb.
When Malian singer and guitarist Samba Touré was planning Wande (The Beloved), his third Glitterbeat release, he had strong ideas for the way it should sound. But once the sessions were over, he knew he had something entirely different, something even more satisfying: a collection of songs where warmth filled the grooves of every song. An album that seemed like home.
Glitterbeat is proud to announce the release of “At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me: The Joys and Sorrows of Southern Albanian Song” by Saz’iso, a group of virtuoso musicians and legendary singers assembled by veteran producer Joe Boyd (Pink Floyd, Nick Drake, Cubanismo, Songhai) and his co-producers, Edit Pula and Andrea Goertler, and recorded by Grammy-winning engineer Jerry Boys (Buena Vista Social Club, Ali Farka Touré, Orchestra Baobab).
Sonido Gallo Negro (Black Rooster Sound) is a combo of nine musicians, seeking out a new and unexpected musical cosmos that goes beyond their well-honed Mexican and Latin American influences. Their navigational charts point towards an additional synchronicity of sound and imagination with the Middle East, the Hispanic old world and Africa, as embedded within the Americas.
The intertwining of diverse musical approaches, tools, histories of sounds and unbridled musical imagination and craftsmanship; these are the expansive guiding principles behind the Slovenian trio Širom. Hailing from Slovenia, Širom play vividly textured and mostly imagined folk music(s). Fusing handmade and global instruments with fearless sound exploration, the results are unbound by tradition or geography. Hypnotic, otherworldly & epic.
There’s a raw beauty in Tamikrest’s rock’n’roll. It’s there in the driving, insistent groove that powers the songs, the lean, snaking bass lines and the guitars that twine and twist around the melodies, and the utterly natural musical blending of Sahel Africa, the Maghreb, and the West – a reflection of influences as diverse as Pink Floyd, Rachid Taha, and flamenco. Yet the Sahara, and the people who live there, is always firmly at its heart.
TootArd grew up understanding that borders are something imposed by governments, lines that only exist on a map. On a disc, in concert, they can go wherever their imagination carries them. They carry their citizenship inside. They are not ‘undefined’; they’ve fashioned their own identity in their music, creating a bond of the stateless that reaches from the Levant to the Tuareg – another people without a real home – and reaches out far beyond.
Yonatan Gat is a guitarist, producer and experimental composer based in New York City. Gat’s second album – Universalists – is a conceptual and crafted snapshot of an artist evolving and experimenting, fusing the physical garage punk and freewheeling improvisational sounds of Gat’s past with elements of avant garde composition, electronic production and the signature sound of his genre-bending inimitable guitar.