Following his freestyle series #MoleMondays which culminated in the release of a 20-track album, Ghanaian rapper Kofi Mole drops his new project Knackaveli, titled in reference to “Makaveli”, the great 2Pac’s alias. The eight tracks are Ghanaian hip-hop at its finest: bouncy and bass-heavy instrumentals, fire verses in Twi and sharp rap skills from guests Joey B, Edem and Pappy Kojo.
With this third album recorded in its hometown of Tamanrasset, Algeria, rock band Imarhan manipulates the rites and ancestral heritage of the Tuareg. “Aboogi reflects the colours of Tamanrasset, what we experience on a daily basis,” explains band leader Sadam. “We give space to the wind and natural energies, to the sun and the sand. We want to express their colours through music.” With sandy guitar riffs and haunting choruses, Imarhan sings the poetry of the great outdoors and explores connections to nature, hope and struggle.
Way Out East
Re.decay is the brainchild of Owen Ross and Emanuel Bender, each an established musician in their own right. Way Out East, the Berlin-based duo’s new project, features 15 artists from eight different countries and three continents, with talents from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and more. “The lockdowns all over the world made us feel so isolated, but seeing all these incredible international collaborations come together made us feel more connected and inspired than ever”, says Bender.
Because Why Not
Abuja-hailing Yvng Nova unveils his debut album, following a string of singles and the Care Package EP. Influenced by artists like Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole, the different tracks see him use inventive wordplay, smart rhymes, and interesting storytelling through moments of love, lust, alcoholism, self-doubt and ultimately the feelings of being lost and alone. “This album is a look into the mind of an overthinker”, he says.
Combining the two Zulu words “thaka” (mix) and “muthi” (medicine), Dominowe’s UMTHAKATHI has two meanings: one positive and one negative, embodying the witch doctors who prey on suffering, but also the doctors who focus on care and healing. The project, released via Durban-based label Gqom Oh!, makes reference to his distinctive bewitching style of gqom and his therapeutic powers as a producer.
Following their 2019 album Ahomale, Colombian New York-based band Combo Chimbita unveils IRÉ via ANTI- Records. The project addresses “the anxieties of systemic racism, capitalist decadence, totalitarian governments and the attempted erasure of queer and trans people” through the band’s signature psychedelic rock influenced cumbia. The writing of the album had started in 2020 in the middle of Covid and Black Lives Matter protests, and ended in Puerto Rico where the band witnessed the “suffocating complexities of the island’s imperialist tether to the U.S.”
In 2021, Parisian label Mawimbi Records had unveiled Bubbling, a first album after eight years of existence. On Bubbling Remixed, electronic music maestros such as Jo Bissa, Pouvoir Magique, Afro Pupo, Daniel Monaco and Mr Boom reinterpret the hard-hitting tracks of Ghanaian K.O.G, Morena Leraba from Lesotho and Malian singer Fatim Kouyaté, giving the debut album a funky, clubby second life.
“To make the language of our roots, that of the country in which we live, and that of the globalized culture, cohabit to embody the cultural hybrid that we are,” has been French group Dowdelin’s goal since 2018. Their new album Lanmou Lanmou pulses Afro-Caribbean polyrhythms with Creole jazz and future-funk grooves, with the importance of love as a central theme. “Touring, performing live really shaped the sound of Lanmou Lanmou.” explains David Kiledjian, band co-founder. “I think that is what made this record more alive, organic and danceable.”
Sounds Of Gomora
Josiah De Disciple
A former member of amapiano pioneering duo JazziDisciples alongside Mr JazziQ, Josiah De Disciple unveils an eight-track project paying tribute to the Alexandra township, nicknamed “Gomora” by its inhabitants for its high gang presence. The South African producer fuses the genre’s old and new-school moods, featuring heavyweights (Reece Madlisa, Zuma) and newcomers (Dqofficial, Themba Mbokazi).