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5 albums to discover this week

This week, three shades of gqom, female reggae vocalists take their rightful place, sweet Nigerian beats, the new thing coming from Kenya and reggae meets hip-hop.

The Gqom Trilogy LP

DJ Skothan x DJ Scriby x DJ MaRiiO

Born in the early 2010’s in Durban, gqom is still pretty young but its future seems bright. On The Gqom Trilogy LP, DJ Skothan, DJ Scriby and DJ MaRiiO showcase an impressive range. The project is built in three chapters. In the first one, DJ Scriby bends South Africa’s borders with US trap and UK grime influences.  In the second chapter, the trio’s youngest recruit DJ MaRiiO explores unique placements and sounds. And to end, veteran DJ Skothan goes for a more scattered and even more aggressive gqom finale. 

Listen here.

Dub No Frontiers

Adrian Sherwood

Reggae has often been a male dominated scene. A situation British producer Adrian Sherwood and artist Kerieva McCormick sought to remedy by creating a platform to showcase the talents of some great female dub artists. “Many of the singers said they felt the dub/reggae arena was a male preserve and a little intimidating even, so we decided to invite artists to perform a song of their choice, all in non-English on our rhythm tracks.” Nigerian musician Temi Oyedele is featured on the single “I Dupe (Thanks Giving)”. The Lagos-based singer, songwriter and guitarist interpreted this song in Yoruba. Also on the album, Tunisian artist Neyssatou who gives her own interpretation of Bob Marley’s ‘War’ sung in Arabic. 

Listen here.

Palmwine Music 3

Show Dem Camp

The prolific Nigerian duo Show Dem Camp deliver the third part of their Palmwine Music collection. On this volume: Tay Iwar on the sensual “Appolo”, Oxlade on the romantic “Mine Alone”, Tems, Lojay, Victony, WurlD, Boj, and many more. This edition gathers Naija’s finest on Tec and Ghost’s signature sound: sweet alternative beats with highlife and hip-hop accents. One of the last tracks, “OldFlame” sung by Nesta and Ladipoe sums up the project’s theme. A nice playlist of love songs, from love at first sight (“Head Over Heels”) to regretful breakups (“OldFlame”). Voice actress and radio speaker Folu Storms gives this 17-track project some well appreciated comic breaks and interludes.

Listen here.


Nu Fvnk

Rapper, producer and DJ in the East African Wave collective, Nu Fvnk is part of Nairobi’s new scene. Just like his models Pharrell Williams and Tyler The Creator, he aims to be multidisciplinary and does it all: mixing, styling, creative directing, … A range of talents as wide as COLOR MAN’s nuances. Nu Fvnk is exploring genres and possibilities: a bit of house, a touch of jazz and a lot of “lo-fi”, California-inspired hip-hop. But the project is still anchored in the rapper’s Kenyan roots, with titles like “Nairobi Attitude” and “Gangvernment”, a more political track. 

Listen here.

The Kalling

Kabaka Pyramid

Kingston-born producer Kabaka Pyramid returns with a new album The Kalling which should rejoice reggae fans, purist and mix-and-match enthusiasts alike. As he has been known to do, Kabaka Pyramid blends hip-hop and reggae such as in the bonus track “Kontraband”. The Jamaican artist takes his “kalling” as an opportunity to convey engaged messages and imbues his 15-track album with reflexions on current social issues, like in “Addiction” where he questions people’s unhealthy relationship with social media. The highlight of the album is clearly the classic “Red Gold and Green” recorded with Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, an ode to Rastafari values. Another gem of the album is the opening track “Mystic Man” in which Kabaka Pyramid samples the late Peter Tosh’s track of the same name.

Listen here.