In this week’s selection: the afro-punk debut album from Bantou Mentale, Sun Ra’s rediscovered live in Poland, the sophomore album of afro-pop star Amanda Black and more to hear this week.
Sun Ra Arkestra – Live in Kalisz
Sun Ra Arkestra
Taking place on the 7th of December in 1986 as part of the 13th installment of the International Jazz Piano Festival, Sun Ra and his Arkestra performed in the Polish city of Kalisz. Recently rediscovered, the complete tape of the concert lay for almost three decades in a Kalisz basement collecting dust. It features Sun Ra on piano and synthesizer backed by 11 other musicians, playing tracks such as ‘Children of the Sun’ and ‘Prelude to a Kiss’ in addition to a selection of improvised and untitled pieces.
After released No Romance EP back in June, Bantou Mentale drops the fulfillment of the group’s long-held dream, to offer an album with the weight and sensory attack of knife edged rock and hot wired electronics. Bantou Mentale is inventing a new global sound with their futuristic dancefloor tracks, neither traditional, nor slave to the all-encompassing tropes of Congolese rumba, nor slick and arty and self-consciously stylish.
Anicca, Teebs’ new album since 2014’s Estara, features collaborations with Panda Bear, Ringo Ancheta (aka MNDSGN) and Sudan Archives. Anicca takes its title from the Buddhist notion of impermanence, and the intervening years since Estara have indeed given him a new perspective on the process of writing and recording: “I’ve explored more with what tools and instruments I used and tried to be more open to collaboration,” says Teebs.
Cartas Na Manga
DJ Nigga Fox
Four years since his last EP on Príncipe, a year or so after Crânio on Warp Records, pressure could be mounting, but DJ Nigga Fox kept his chill. More than dance music (which it obviously is), Cartas Na Manga offers introspective joy in our effort to connect many loose dots inside the groove of each track. Nigga Fox is following a strong intuition and still maintaining his flow within the grid: while some moves are clearly venturing into the future, this is a celebration of present times.
The South African artist Amanda Benedicta Antony, popularly known by her stage name Amanda Black, just released her sophomore album three years after the success of her debut album Amazulu. The afro-pop star said she was inspired by her experience in the music industry over the past three years during the creation of Power. The album sounds both mature and youthful, and Amanda’s powerful soprano still fills up your headphones, and her songwriting is sharper and even more personal than on Amazulu, stepping outside her comfort zone.
London Afrobeat Collective
Humans, the new album from cosmopolitan band London Afrobeat Collective is a collection of anthemic songs with socially conscious lyrics, set to bold brass lines and hypnotic danceable grooves. By carrying powerful messages through their music, LAC holds the torch of the original afrobeat musicians like Fela Kuti and continues the mission to fight for political and social change.
Body Beat: Soca-Dub and Electronic Calypso (1979-98)
Compiled by Soundway Records label founder Miles Cleret and DJ/collector Jeremy Spellacey, Body Beat: Soca-Dub and Electronic Calypso (1979-98) traces the evolution of the genre from its explosion in the late 1970s right up to the period just before contemporary soca became established around the end of the 1990s. Filled with up-tempo tracks from start to finish, Body Beat comprises 17 tracks of soca crossover, rapso, electronic calypso, and Caribbean ‘soca-soul’ described by the label as “obscure soca B-side versions, dubs, instrumentals and edits as well as vocal tracks.”
Meet Me In The City
Songhoy Blues is back with a new project, the four-track EP, Meet Me In The City. It features David Ferguson and Blake Mills mixes of “Time To Go Home” (a new track written for them by Will Oldham, aka Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy), a cover of Junior Kimbrough’s “Meet Me In The City”, and a great version of the Fela Kuti & The Africa 70 track “Shakara” featuring Fela’s son, Femi Kuti. Talking about working with the band, Matt Sweeney said: ” Their music and singing are powerful beyond words. Making a new song with them was a humbling honor and an unforgettable joy.”