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10 albums to discover this week

This week, Nigeria's Mayorkun, Buju and The Cavemen each make their comeback. In South Africa, Sun-El Musician and Busta 929 explore their national electronic music, similarly to DJ Lycox in Portugal. Finally, Theon Cross and cktrl feed the UK alternative scene, while Nyami Nyami Records and Bitchin Bajas pay tribute to Robson Banda and Sun Ra respectively. 

Back In Office

Mayorkun

Mayorkun is one of Nigeria’s fastest-rising music artists. Making his debut in 2016 with Eleko, he has since won several awards and steadily churned out back to back hits under Davido‘s music imprint, DMW. He now drops his second album Back In Office, which he had announced with the video for the title-track. “It’s a very tough choice, but I would say ‘Holy Fada’ is my favorite song of the album,” Mayorkun told us in an upcoming interview. “If you listen to my first songs, I sound so different… I sound like a mature boy. It just puts me in a different light.”

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Intra-l

Theon Cross

Theon Cross has been at the forefront of the thriving London jazz scene for a few years, with his acclaimed 2019 debut solo album Fyah earning acclaim. In addition to his solo endeavours, he is a core member of Shabaka Hutchings’ group Sons Of Kemet, plays in Kano’s live band, and has collaborated with Little Simz, Stormzy, Nubya Garcia, and others. Today, he unveils his new solo album Intra-I, an uplifting celebration of Black music that helps redefine the sonic possibilities of the tuba. The record – which features Remi Graves, Shumba Maasai, Afronaut Zu, Ahnansé, Consensus and Oren Marshall – is also Cross’ first music to feature collaborations with guest vocalists.

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Love and Highlife

The Cavemen

The Cavemen are a Nigerian band consisting of sibling duo Kingsley Okorie, a bassist and Benjamin James, a drummer. Their mission: bring highlife back to the forefront, with a modernized and revisited version of the Ghanaian genre that made waves in the 1970s. Today marks the release of their second album Love and Highlife, following their debut Roots released in 2020. The project spans over 18 tracks and features Nigerian trumpeter, composer and bandleader Etuk Ubong, and Afrobeat flag bearer Made Kuti

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Umsebenzi Wethu, Vol. 2

Busta 929

Busta 929 is one of the top producers of amapiano in South Africa. His popularity saw a meteoric rise after the release of super-hit “Umsebenzi Wethu”. The artist returns today with Umsebenzi Wethu, Vol. 2, a moving tribute to the late Mpura, a friend and a vocalist to Busta. The 6-track EP puts the spotlight on exciting amapiano female artists (Lady Du, Soulful G) and heavyweight singers such as Zuma and Boohle, featured on the early hit “Ngixolele”.

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Sorry I’m Late

Buju

Rising Nigerian vocalist BUJU releases his debut 7-track EP Sorry I’m Late. The project is an apology to his supporters for keeping them waiting longer than he intended, inspired by a heated voice note from a disheartened fan chasing new music. Still early on his musical journey, the EP gives us an insight into BUJU’s multi-layered personality as we get to know him more, track by track. BUJU has worked with a range of in-demand producers including; Timi Jay, Rexxie, Denzl, Steph and Perlz. 

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Switched On Ra

Bitchin Bajas

Bitchin’ Bajas is a band operated as a side-project by Cooper Crain, guitarist and organist of the band Cave, alongside Daniel Quinlivan and Rob Frye. Inspired by Wendy Carlos’ seminal Switched-On Bach, the trio has conducted a series of arrangements for Sun Ra‘s themes with synthesizers, from “Space Is The Place” to “Lanquidity” and “Outer Spaceways Incorporated”. To arrive at this sound, the group operated a total of 19 different keyboards, including the Crumar DS-2, one of the free jazz legend’s favorite artifacts.

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SOWETO

Robson Banda & the New Black Eagles

Robson Banda and the New Black Eagles were formed in 1980 and built up a discography of eight solid albums. With their project SOWETO, the band brought a new sound in the Harare of the 1980’s. Nyami Nyami Records has reissued this Zimbabwean classic, produced at the peak of jit’s popularity, with the same tracklist and original artwork. The album fuses rapid rhythms with the more intimate musicality of chimurenga, another major genres of the time.

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African Electronic Dance Music

Sun-El Musician

Following on from his sprawling album To the World & Beyond, Sun-El Musician continues to expand his sonic galaxy, populating the 11-track African Electronic Dance Music with Afro-house, Afro-tech, EDM and dream house. Enlisting Ami Faku, Msaki, Bholoja, Yamisava, Simmy and Linos Rosetta to vocalise this new chapter, the producer innovatively combines traditional elements and contemporary rhythms with lush, futuristic instrumentation. 

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zero

cktrl

Born and bred in Lewisham, cktrl aka Bradley Miller is an integral part of London’s pioneering musical underground. His new project zero follows the robyn EP and fuses woodwinds and horns with pitch-shifted beats, exploring contemporary classical and experimental music. The project features contributions from singers Mereba, Annahstasia & Anajah, and anaiis.

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LYCOXERA

DJ Lycox

Principe Records’ DJ Lycox returns to the club with Lycoxera. The project alternates between sonic braggadicious (“Eu Mbora Dou Bue Show”), full-on beat science (“Rapaz Sinistro”), Afro killer tunes (“Yoga”), Afro-house bangers (“Southside”), and melodic excursion. The EP follows Kizas do Ly, released last year. 

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