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5 albums you should listen to this week

This week, the Moonshine collective pays tribute to Kinshasa; Don Zilla renews the East African music scene; Olamide breaks further into the international scene via alté and amapiano; Natacha Atlas and Samy Bishai concoct a deeply liberating EP during lockdown while Angelique Kidjo bring togethers artists in homage to Mother Nature.

Sms for Location Vol.4

In this fourth installment of the mixtape series, the Montreal collective creates links between different musical genres, from Afrobeats to Kinshasa electronic music and funk. Twenty producers, DJs and MCs join forces over 19 tracks: Le Motel, Bamao Yendé, Sango, Boddhi Satva, Uproot Andy and Sarah Kalume. This latest project is deeply influenced by Moonshine‘s trip to Kinshasa, where the collective stayed for three months this winter on the lookout for other artists in need of inspiration. Pierre Kwenders, one of the founders, describes Moonshine as follows: “For me, it’s a bit like a gospel. We are the disciples of the almighty ambassador of joy and we are here to spread the good news.” Herve Kalongo adds: “It’s a delirium in friends, a growing family, a long weekend that never ends.”

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UY Scuti

The Nigerian giant has released a new album in partnership with his own label, YBNL and the American record company, Empire. Entitled Uy Scuti, the project references one of the biggest known stars in our universe: “I chose ‘UY Scuti’ for the title because this project is much bigger than anything I’ve done before. From the creativity to the amount of work that went into this project, this process, it’s just a new Olamide in me.” In doing so, the artist explores amapiano, alte, dancehall and reggae, among other things.

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Mother Nature
Angelique Kidjo

The Beninese icon brings together many artists on her deeply ecological and pan-African new album. The British artist Sting, the French M, the Malian legend Salif Keita, the Nigerians Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Yemi Alade and the Zambian Sampa the Great sing about solidarity and interdependence, encouraging us to act for the well-being of Mother Nature. It marks ann album free of moralism but full of hope, just like the many promising initiatives on the continent.

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The Inner & The Outer
Natacha Atlas & Samy Bishai

The Belgian singer of British, Egyptian and Moroccan roots makes her comeback in collaboration with her partner, the Egyptian violinist Samy Bishai. Here, lockdown seems to have nourished creativity in the singer, leading to an exploration of electronic music in this new project, without forgetting the jazz and Arabic sounds she is known for. She illustrates her own inner dimension in this soundscape, as in her daily meditations, in the hope of a return to normalcy. It marks a sumptuous mix of pop, electronic, classical and Arabic music.

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Ekizikiza Mubwengula
Don Zilla

Kisakye Kingsamuel Donzilla, better known as Don Zilla, has released his second album on Hakuna Kulala under the Nyege Nyege collective’s umbrella. He continues to surprise us, as he says himself: “In my country, people tell me that I make alien music. I don’t blame them, it makes me laugh.” Here, he explores a futuristic atmosphere mixing doom-step, uptempo, trap and a myriad of cacophonies. On this audacious project, Don Zilla illustrates the vivacity of the electronic club scene in East Africa.

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