In this week’s selection: the Tamasheq blues of Tinariwen, the rise of Afro-Cuban artist Daymé Arocena, the debut album from British soul sensation Mahalia and much more to hear this week.
Recorded in the Mauritanian desert, Amadjar, the ninth album of the most famous tuareg band features Western musicians such as Noura Mint Seymali, cellist Warren Ellis (The Bad Seeds), guitarists’ Cass Mc Combs and Rodolphe Burger, as well as Stephen O’Malley from Sunn O))).
Tinariwen once again probe the melodic power of their guitars in the folds of the friendly dunes while the conversations – incorporated as intimate fragments of this great crossing – show what they’re made of (with or without the record industry): an irreducible Tamasheq identity, a visceral nostalgia, and a rebellious and poetic world view.
Love and Compromise
Rising singer/songwriter Mahalia is one of the most exciting artists to come out of the UK. At only 21 year old she is considered as the future of R&B soul. Her debut album Love and Compromise follows the excellent ‘Seasons’ EP released in 2018, and hit singles like « Sober » performed on A Colors Show, and “Do Not Disturb” et “I Wish I Missed My Ex”. Love and Compromise is a soul-inspired project influenced by a multitude of different genres including R&B, dancehall and pop, and derives influence from seminal artists such as Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse, and Lauryn Hill.
Daymé Arocena is the symbol of a new generation of artists channeling the richness of Cuban traditions with a new personal sound. Drawing bridges with the older generation, she has already collaborated with heavyweights such as Chucho Valdés and Pedrito Martinez.
The new album, Sonocardiogram, was entirely produced and directed by Daymé and her band along with pianist Jorge Luis Lagarza Pérez, and recorded in an improvised rehearsal space inside the studio of the López-Nussa family in La Havana.
Back to Front
Bantwanas is a collective of African producers, songwriters and musicians whose collaborations set forth the intention to bring top-quality African house music to the world. The music on their EP sways gently from the dance floor gem and title track ‘Back To Front’ to the more laid back ‘Izingane’. A beautiful all-around release.
Lead by Ryan Murgatroyd and Blanka Mazimela, Bantwanas showcases raw African talent both locally and abroad, developing emerging talent, and pairing these artists with prolific and established producers that pioneer the African electronic sound.
Beautiful Vinyl Hunter
Born and raised in South London, Ashley Henry’s rapidly growing international profile recently embarked on an extensive world tour with Christine And The Queens who considers him as “the ultimate piano player.
Following the widespread success of his Easter EP released in 2018, Beautiful Vinyl Hunter is a provocative 15-track collection that effortlessly guides the listener through a variety of genres, ranging from contemporary jazz, grime, punk to hip hop and showcases Henry’s ability to knit all of his influences into a seamless tapestry – transporting jazz music to new realms of beauty.
Kaleta & Super Yamba Band
Mèdaho is the debut album from Brooklyn based afro-funksters Kaleta & Super Yamba Band. Fronted by Afrobeat and Juju veteran Leon Ligan-Majek a.k.a. Kaleta—a native of Benin Republic—Mèdaho draws on the group’s shared reverence for the raw, psychedelic afro-funk sound that captivated Kaleta as a music-loving kid in 1970s Benin. Mèdaho means “big brother,” “elder” or “teacher” and is dedicated to Kaleta’s late brother Ligan-Ozavino Pascal who introduced him to funk and soul music at a very early age. Kaleta’s guitar chops would later earn him decades of recording and international touring with Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade.