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5 albums to discover this week

This week, Omah Lay goes boy zone, BKO summons spirits, Chouk Bwa brings the voodoo dub, DoomCannon has a free jazz Renaissance and Elow’n releases his solo debut.

Boy Along

Omah Lay

Nigerian singer Omah Lay recently dropped Boy Alone, his much anticipated debut album. Questioned about the album’s title, the artist said on Twitter, it referred to “a boy on his lane, living on his terms, a boy in his zone”. In his 14-track project, Omah Lay stays true to his afrobeats-self, having always unapologetically favoured the genre that makes Nigerian crowds roar. His clear style managed to seduce Justin Bieber, who contacted him on Instagram after listening to his first EP Get Layd. The American singer is featured on “attention”, unveiled a few months ago. Alté representative Tay Iwar was also invited to participate in the recording of “tell everybody”.

Listen here.

Djine Bora

BKO

BKO, the Malian quintet, combines Manding traditional sounds and rock saturations in Djine Bora, their third abrasive sounding album on Bongo Joe Records. In Djine Bora, which means “the spirits are coming out” in Manding language, BKO also fuses together noble and popular music with the unlikely combination of Djeli N’goni and Donso N’goni. The record, full of contradictions, captures the charm of Bamako and the difficult realities faced by Malians. Immigration that separates people in “Toumaro”, and nature, a theme very present in “Sadiona” and “Kekereke”, are especially recurring. “There is war, an economic embargo, the borders are closed but Bamako is still a great place, it will never change“, Aymeric Krol, the band’s drummer and co-founder, told us in a recent interview with PAM.

Listen here.

Ayiti Kongo Dub #1

Chouk Bwa & The Ångstromers

The Belgian duo Ångströmers and the Haïtan band Chouk Bwa, who met back in 2016 to combine the electro sounds of Brussels’ alternative scene with the raw strength of Chouk Bwa’s voodoo infused musical style, are back with a new two-part EP entitled Ayiti Kongo Dub, the first of which has just been unveiled. Ayiti Kongo Dub is a detour from their previous album Vodou Alé. Now aiming to produce a more danceable sound, suited for the dancefloor, the band focuses further on the trance aspect of their music and have moved away from elaborate structures. In this new project, the band has worked on the drums and rhythms of the Haitian Kongo rite, celebrated in the Gonaïves from which the voodoo group comes from. The style was developed for ceremonial purposes and was not initially intended for performance.  “When we play, it’s no joke! It’s voodoo’s truth”, Riscot “Ti moso” Cedieu said to PAM at the Festival de la Cité in Laussane.

Listen here.

Renaissance

DoomCannon

London-based composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist DoomCannon presents his first solo project: Renaissance. “Renaissance’ is my letter to London about how it raised me and shaped who I am today”. Through this conceptual approach and his freejazz compositions, DoomCannon reflects on his relationship to society as a black man and imagines a world free from the consequences of Britain’s colonial past, police violence and systemic injustices. “I had to shape myself and my views on the world; greed, corrupt governments and police brutality within the UK and my stance on it all“. From “Dark Ages” to “Uncovering the truth” to “Black Liberation”, the eight tracks on Renaissances chart the logical steps of this deconstruction, moving from distorted echoes to warmer soundscapes and triumphant saxophone riffs.

Listen here.

Le retour de la pierre

Elow’n 

After Didi B’s History, it’s Elow’n’s turn to further his solo career with the release of his debut album Le Retour de la Pierre. The Kiff no beat member invited fellow Ivorian artists Kikimoteleba, Josey, Suspect 95 and Lil Jay Bingerack, along with French singer Fanny J, Togolese singer Santrinos Raphaël and Guinean rapper Jupiter Davibe. In it, the Ivorian rapper impresses with his aggressive delivery, a sharp contrast from the style of the other artists featured. 

Listen here.

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