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5 albums to discover this week

This week, Moonchild Sanelly's ode to womanhood in every shapes, a unique compilation reuniting bands from the Sahel region, Falz's Bahd side, West African oral traditions meet futuristic noise and Thato speeks about life in Saulsville.

Phases

Moonchild Sanelly

South African star Moonchild Sanelly presents her latest album Phases, an ode to womanhood in every shapes, all deserving of the same level of respect, from the badass rebels to the soft-hearted romantics. The album is tailored with different types of public in mind, amapiano and SA house aficionados with “Covivi” and  “Soyenza”, trap and drill enthusiasts with “Let it rip”, “Uli” and “Strip Club”, new rave electronic music fanatics with “Over you”, “Bad bitch budget” and “Money tree”, clubbers with the delirious fast techno-infused bumpers “Chicken” and hopeless romantics with nostalgic ballads like “Too late” and “Bird so bad”. The latter especially reveals one of the artist’s unknown sides where she presents a more vulnerable version of herself, singing about a difficult heartbreak.

Listen here.

Music From Saharan WhatsApp

Sahel Sounds

This is quite an unusual compilation as this album reunites different artists who share a peculiar thing: they use whatsapp to send and exchange their sounds. In 2020, Sahel Sounds launched an EP series on Bandcamp, each one of them recorded by a band from the Sahel region. Keeping with the spirit of the Music from Shaharan Cellphones series, for many artists coming from different backgrounds, phones have become a tool of production, whether it be for Mandinka music, synthetic techno, Tuareg rock or wedding music. The label has curated 11 of its favorite tracks amongst spontaneous recordings from Etran de l’Aïr, Hama, Bounaly, Luka Production or Amaria Hamadalher, member of the Les Filles de Illighadad.

Listen here.

BAHD

Falz

Folarin Falana, better known as Falz, shows off BAHD side in his latest twelve-tracks albums, featuring fellow artists including Boy Spyce, The Cavemen, Timaya, BNXN, LAX, Tiwa Savage and Chike, and produced by his own independent label, the BAHD Guys Entertainment Limited. In it, the Nigerian rapper, songwriter, actor and activist delivers sensual and romantic tracks such as “All Night”, “Beautiful Sunflower” and the sweet “Ice Cream” unveiled back in March. “This one really pushed me. This one really tested me. But it’s crazy ‘cos this one may be my best till date!”, Falz said on Twitter who conceded a musical departure from his previous work. “It’s entirely different from what you might expect from me, however, I had so much fun entering into new waters.

Listen here.

Avalanche Kaito

Avalanche Kaito

There aren’t that many Belgian-Burkinabe bands outhere and even less so like Avalanche Kaito, born from the meeting between Kaito Winse, a Burkinabe urban griot, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist (tama, peul flutes, mouth bow), and a Belgium noise punk duo composed of drummer Benjamin Chaval and guitarist Nico Gitto. Today, they unveil their debut album and an intriguing and cryptic clip for the 7th track “TOULELE” directed by Simon Breeveld. It follows their four-track EP Dabalomuni released six month ago. While the technology-aided album eludes easy definition, the peculiar soundspace of Avalanche Kaito is probably best described as a mix of West African oral traditions and futuristic noise. This new project expands on this sensory universe.

Listen here.

Life is Gangsta

Thato Saul

South African hip-hop artist dropped Life is Gangsta, a 13-tracks album featuring fellow rappers A-Reece, Marcus Harvey and Maglera Doe Boy. In it, he reflects on life in Saulsville, (which inspired the “Saul” part of his nickname). He shares his experience in the place where he grew up, showing off gritty, soulful rap and displaying his lyrical talents mixing different languages with much fluidity. The album, released two years after his debut Members Only, also includes R.I.P. Fat Cat” released back in April, “Okay” unveiled a few days ago. Overall, a very consistent album throughout.

Listen here.

This week we also listened to:

  • Les Racines by Vieux Farka Touré 
  • State of Play by Dele Sosima and Medlar
  • Free Radicals by Deena Abdelwahed and Basile3
  • Banzelo by Vanyfox
  • Agwetaroyo by Chouk Bwa & The Ångstromers
  • Big Shmoke by Kweku Smoke
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