The result is a percussive record with plenty of kick that grabs the listener from the first track. A variety of Afro-Colombian rhythms power this effort, with touches of West Africa alongside funk and jazz channeled through vintage synthesizers, and a mighty brass/woodwind section. This is a band that has been on the rise for a while and will increase their fan base significantly with this phenomenal release.
KUKU, the American born and Nigerian raised singer-songwriter, has released an album of his observations after questioning his faith in organized religion, politics and authoritarian regimes. Ballads & Blasphemy is a cohesive production that strikes an honest tone.
Daby Touré’s fifth album tells his own story of Africa’s history. Amonafi, which means “once upon a time” in Wolof, offers a contemporary sound that mixes a wide range of folk and pop music to create a cohesive set that echoes his upbringing in West Africa as well as his current life in Paris. While Amonafi centers on Africa’s past, with vocals sung in Fulani, Soninke, Wolof and Pular, it leans heavily on a global perspective that reveals countless musical influences.
The latest offering from Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba, Ba Power, features the hardest sound of any of their records with the overdrive and wah-wah on the ngoni cranked up and a drum kit holding down the foundation for the group, with additional rhythm coming from the calabash, yabara, tamani and tamaba. Even though the album has a bit of a crunch, there’s still plenty of funk swinging between the notes.
Mariem Hassan left behind a remarkable legacy of cultural identity for the Sahrawi people when she passed away in August 2015. Her dedication to exposing the plight of Sahrawis beyond the borders of Africa combined with her exceptional vocal capabilities earned her the nickname, ‘The Voice of the Sahara.’