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9 albums you should listen to this week

This week, Les Filles de Illighadad take us on a tour of the Tuareg blues, while Sparrow and Barbossa journey around the world. Tkay Maidza explores happiness after a breakup and LV & Joshua Idehen evoke the melancholy of the same idea. Elsewhere, Omar Pene ponders global warming and 3XOJ delves into the systemic oppressions in Morocco. Lastly, Sneakbo remembers street tales from Brixton, Bella Shmurda teams up with Dangbana Republik and Show Dem Camp continues his Clone Wars series in a way that proves transformative for Nigerian music.

Les Filles de Illighadad at Pioneer Works
Les Filles De Illighadad

The Niger band has released a live album, recorded long before the health crisis. Les Filles de Illighadad have helped spread Tuareg blues around the world, including at the Pioneer Works, a mythical concert hall in Brooklyn where they performed in 2019. These two nights of performances were captured for a live album produced by their label Sahel Sounds in collaboration with the New York venue. These artists encourage a meditative and celebratory approach to life.

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Last Year Was Weird. Vol.3
Tkay Maidza

Tkay Maidza continues her Last Year Was Weird project, the first volume of which was released in 2018 and the second in 2020. The Umi and Yung Baby Tate collaborator mixes hip-hop, pop and electronic music to concoct an EP full of positive vibes. The Australian-Zimbabwean artist also produces fairy-tale videos, which bring on a state of deep introspection and self-love after a breakup.

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Seven Seas
Sparrow et Barbossa

Surrounded by a bevy of international guests, the Swiss-Uruguayan duo Sparrow and Barbossa has released an Afro-Latin house delicacy that is ready to light up the summer. This album sounds like a post-lockdown moment where everyone can come together to release the energy pent-up over the last year. Among the featured artists are their Spanish mentor DJ Chus, Kenyan singer Idd Aziz, the Cuban group Los VanVan, Moroccan pioneer Cee ElAssaad, Floyd Lavine, a rising star of South African electronic music and Dele Sosimi, a Nigerian ambassador of Afrobeat. The duo explains: “Sparrow and Barbossa is a pirate duo. Pirates explore the seas, and we tried to dive into the heritage of the cultures as much as possible.”

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LV & Joshua Idehen

The trio paints a bleak picture of their country following Brexit, denouncing the nationalism and racist acts that have ensued. They also evoke depression and toxic masculinity on an album that embodies the questions of the Black Lives Matter generation on an electronic, dancehall, bass music and dubstep soundscape. Joshua Idehen adds: “Ends is about endings: marriage, my idea of myself as a ‘good guy’, my belief that Britain was good and that Nazism will never come back, the endings of my certainty that things will get better. Ends is a story of closure.”

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The Moroccan producer and DJ continues to explore North African decolonial concepts at the intersection between conscious rap, fusion beats and traditional North African music. In collaboration with Don Zilla and Casablanca rapper Nabil Enmiri, better known as Al Nasser, 3xOJ unveils a minimalist and deeply lyrical cyberpunk EP dedicated to rai singer Cheb Hasni. The video for “Stork” illustrates this mood perfectly.

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Jetski Wave 3

The London rapper remembers the streets of Brixton alongside artists such as Ard Adz, BackRoad Gee, Daniel Christian, Luciiia, Pa Salieu, M24, Moelogo, Mopiano, Richie Campbell, Stickz and Still Greedy. He evokes both the love, the hardship and the heartbreak.

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Omar Pene

After years of absence, the Senegalese singer has released a project dedicated to ecology, calling on us to fight against the destruction of the planet: “The climate is a situation that concerns us all. Global warming is something that exists. I see people who do not believe in it, while it should challenge consciences.

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Clone Wars Vol.5 – The Algorhythm
Show Dem Camp

Somewhere between pop, R&B, alté, highlife and Afrobeats, the Nigerian duo, formed by Ghost and Tec, has released the fifth part of its Clone Wars series, which Tec defines as follows: “The Clone Wars series was born out of the fact that we felt that everything sounded the same. When you look more broadly in Nigerian society, there are a lot of clones in general, whether you follow larger constructs like tribalism, religion or money.”

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High Tension 2.0
Bella Shmurda & Dangbana Republik

The Nigerian singer Bella Shmurda has released his new EP, a continuation of the High Tension project, released in 2020. He explains: “High Tension 2.0 is another dimension of Bella Shmurda. A new style, a new vibe, a new thing for my people. It’s like lightning. You can’t stop lightning from striking, and that’s the way I’m coming. I’m coming to penetrate. I’m coming to cheer up my people. I’m coming to change people’s minds, consciously.

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