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5 albums to discover this week

This week, an amapiano collaborative project, dance music meets trans-like grooves meets Ethio-Jazz, a surreal album featuring vocalists from Sierra Leone, some Sgicha amapiano and a gengetone EP.

Love Is Pain

Venom x ShiShiliza

Pretoria-based hip hop DJ Venom and Joburg-based producer ShiShiliza, aka BashVision better known as Bash drop, jointly releases Love is Pain. The 13-song amapiano LP is very much a collaborative project featuring close to thirty other South African artists. Their collaboration which started with the release of “Sho Boy” back in December sees many of the artists featured in the initial single return for this latest album. Their other very successful hit “Sondela”, featuring the late rapper Riky Rick, released back in February is the ninth track of the album. 

Listen here.

Guramayle

KUTU

The trio, resulting from the encounter between French violinist and composer Théo Ceccaldi and Ethiopian singers Hewan Gebrewold and Haleluya Tekletsadik in Addis Ababa, unveils its first album Guramayle. Inspired by Ethio-jazz, KUTU has developed its own style combining dance music, trance-inviting grooves and traditional Ethiopian music, while leaving a lot of room for improvisation. Not such an easy task as female singers in Ethiopia are often expected to only interpret songs written by men. “I think it’s a strong message of emancipation, and that it’s the posture that makes more sense than the content itself. It’s a first step towards a more singular path, at the margin of what has been traditionally done for decades…” explains the violinist. 

Listen here.

Nadja

Ramses3000

Dutch producer Yannick Verhoeven releases his first album under his moniker Ramses3000. Both the founder of the Eurabia festival and a band member of the Cairo Liberation Front, Verhoeven continues to dive into the pan-African alternative dance music scene, injecting it with a kind of surrealism inspired by French author André Breton. Nadja is named after one of his novels. For the album’s purposes, Ramses3000 experimented with afrobeat, breakbeat and nu-jazz, still heavily relying on electronic genres to deliver a funky sound, most fitting to the dancefloor. Many artists were invited to bring their contributions, most of them from Sierra Leone where Ramses3000 found himself looking for a selection of vocalists. Sierra Leone rapper Mash P is thus featured on “Citadelle” and on “One By One” with his countryman Videl, while Chen B is present on the heady “Avida Dollars”. Equally groovy, “Next Move”, features Stella and Spechial, who provide a track that oozes with confidence. Also featured, Ugandan artist Swordsman Kitala who closes the album with “Tukaba”.

Listen here.

… This is Sgicha

DJ Keyez x Bafana Ba Sgicha

What is Sgicha? We’re not totally sure but apparently this 19-track long album is. Yet, the answer remains quite elusive. This enigmatic six-man crew behind the name Bafana Ba Sgicha (but we’re not sure either as they only appear in the shape of framed jerseys on the album cover) has teamed up with South African producer DJ Keyez. Together they produced the equivalent of two hours of evolutive electro dance music reunited in a sole project which supposedly describes what Sgicha is. Fusing a whole array of percussive sounds with different kinds of jerky rhythms, they define what might constitute a new sub-genre of amapiano.

Listen here.

Kelele

Mbuzi Gang

The Mbuzi Gang (standing for Money Bitches Under Zero Influences) is Kenyan trio made up of Joefes, iPhoolish and Fathermoh. The Nairobi-based band is back for their latest release Kelele. This EP follows their album Three Wise Goats released earlier this year. It features Odi Wa Muranga, the Vintage Clan and Katapilla. With only seven tracks that couldn’t be more different than one another, the Mbuzi Gang manages to show impressive range from darker sounding tracks like “Goons” with its ominous violin sounds to highly danceable tunes and typically gengetone cuts like “Alert”. 

Listen here.

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