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7 albums you should listen to this week

Ballaké Sissoko gathers artists round his kora; Peruzzi and Kamo Mphela bring several musicians together over vibrant rhythms; Yinoluu & Riverays introduces us to the alté scene while Samba Touré pays tribute to her native land. Elsewhere, Music Yared creates a bridge between East Africa and Oceania and Habibi Funk label revisits the work of Rogér Fakhr.

Ballaké Sissoko

To gather, to unite and celebrate the uniqueness of diversity: this is the profession of faith given on Djourou, the fourth album from the Malian maestro on the label No Format. From Oxmo Puccino to Camille via Salif Keita and his niece, Sona Jobarteh, this new album brings together artists from all horizons around the Ballaké Sissoko’s famous kora. He explains the purpose of this project, “djourou,” meaning “rope” in Malinke, as follows: “It is a metaphor for the union of those I have brought together so that we are bound by the same rope to achieve something that shows the right path to everyone, that we are united by a beautiful spirit, to fulfill the exhortation of those who gave us life.”

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Rum & Boogie

The eminent Afrobeats artist has unveiled his new album, whose purpose is defined as follows: “We are nothing without struggles. It just makes us who we are. Destiny is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice. Be miserable or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done is always your choice. Welcome to Rum & Boogie.” It features several famous artists, such as Fireboy DML and Tiwa Savage.

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Samba Touré

The singer and guitarist has dedicated his fourth album to the city of his childhood, to which he remains eternally bound. Despite the military conflicts in northern Mali, which were examined on his 2013 album Albala, Samba Touré is thrilled to return to his homeland to share what he defines as “pure Songhai music,” heavily tinged with blues. It marks a project of true cultural introspection, paying respect to Songhai culture in continuity with his first album Songhai Blues, Homage to Ali Farka Touré. Nevertheless, Glitterbeat Records, who have accompanied Samba Touré for years, defined Binga as “the most intimate” of his works.

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Kamo Mphela

The South African has released her second EP, which features a prayer introduction. She defines it as follows: ” ‘Nkulunkulu’ is basically a prayer to God. That’s why the title is so different from all of my feature songs.” As for the rest of the EP, she sums it up this way: “The other songs are just moods! Vibes for people on the street, for girls who just want to dance … and not pray.“A new ambassador for amapiano, dance music, Afrobeats, kwaito and gqom, the 21-year-old artist also advocates collective art: “Some people just want their ego to be flattered rather than making things happen. Imagine if all the Amapiano artists went to Kenya to do a show! That would be more powerful than anything.” His album features Vigro Deep, MFR Souls, Reece Madlisa and Zuma.

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Petal Scent
Yinoluu & Riverays

Yinoluu is a producer of Nigerian origin. He defines himself as part of the alté movement, an alternative musical genre influencing more and more West African youth. He defines it as follows: “Alté is a mixture of influences. We grew up in Nigeria, so we already have the Nigerian aesthetic and culture in us, but through exposure or experience, other influences permeate what we do.” He adds: “People have been listening to hip-hop their whole lives, and then the Alté scene shows them another way to do hip-hop.” The producer of Odunsi’s “Alté Cruise” continues his exploration of alté with the groovy Petal Scent EP in collaboration with Riverays, a Ukraine-based Nigerian alternative R&B duo made up of Iver Rivers and Ray Boffin. Inspired by all the arts, from photography to cinema to architecture, they play with the codes of Afropop, hip hop and R&B.

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Sindayo (Mikey Young remixes)
Music Yared

The group Music Yared is formed by Anbessa Gebrehiwot and Haftu Reda, originally from Eritrea and Ethiopia. These musicians are masters of the krar, a five-stringed lyre, and the masinko, a one-stringed violin. Haftu Reda met Anbessa Gebrehiwot in Australia, before meeting producer Dale Gorfinkel at the Melbourne Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, where they formed the Music in Exile initiative. The goal was to create a space for artistic expression for all people from diverse cultures in Australia. Following their eponymous album released in 2020, which evoked notions of art within a state of uprootedness, Music Yared is back with a new EP of remixes made by the Australian producer Mikey Young, who is very well known in Melbourne. It marks a real bridge between the past and the present, bringing hope to many immigrants.

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Fine Anyway
Rogér Fakhr

The Habibi Funk label continues its exploration of Lebanese music from the 70s with the release of an album by the singer, composer and guitarist Rogér Fakhr. This cult figure of the Beirut scene is known for having accompanied Fairuz, perhaps the greatest singer in the Arab world. He has recorded folk and pop songs in the middle of the civil war between the Lebanese capital and Paris. Habibi Funk shares this musical collection, which reflects the golden age of Lebanese culture.

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