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Reviews

Santrofi Alewa Album review
New Release

Santrofi – Alewa

Santrofi, are a collective of young emerging musicians from Accra, Ghana. The debut album ‘Alewa’ is a sumptuous mix of dance-guitar, funk, and silky harmonies. A Highlife extravaganza, that deserves to be heard and danced to – energetic, exuberant and refreshing.

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Tipona by Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno album review
Album Review

Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno – Tipona

There is much to admire in this unique album.
The Nyatiti – an eight-stringed lyre, originating from communities around the shores of Lake Victoria, Kenya.

A story of an African village boy transitioning to a man with all its anxiousness.
The preserving of traditional Lüo sounds whilst interpreting them for the modern world.

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New Release

Awale Jant Band – Yewoulen

With the unmistakable groove of West African soul music, Awalé intertwines Senegalese, Latin American, funk, jazz and influences from London, where they are now at home. Yewoulen is a call for leaders of the world and everyday people alike to Wake Up and work together for the sake of humanity.

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New Release

Tamikrest Tamotait Album

Tamikrest return with a vivid, irrepressible rock and roll statement. Their most powerful album since 2013’s wildly acclaimed Chatma, Tamotaït finds the band not only turning up the volume, but also sharpening their ruminations on the state of the Sahara and the world beyond. Features acclaimed Moroccan singer Hindi Zahra and Japanese traditional musicians.

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Feature

Extra Soul Perception

Extra Soul Perception (ESP.) are a creative collaboration that brings together innovative artists from the UK, Kenya and Uganda for a week-long writing camp in Nairobi. The result will be an audio-visual album, documentary and series of live events.
See album video teaser and live dates here

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Feature

African Festival Guide for UK & Europe 2020

Why not this year, go and see an African festival in the UK, or, if you are holidaying in Europe, why not plan it around a brilliant weekend of good vibes, great food and fantastic music. It’s a perfect way of immersing yourself into the local culture and giving back to the community.

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RAFIKI JAZZ – Saraba Sufiyana review
Album Review

Rafiki Jazz – Saraba Sufiyana

Saraba Sufiyana is a totally absorbing experience of distinct quality, it’s an enlightening historical discovery on a musical journey that will stay etched into my memory.

I can’t think of any other album that can do that.

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Best African albums 2019
Feature

The 10 Best African Albums of 2019

It’s been an exceptionally busy year, we went to over 30 gigs, and in our New Music page, there are over 70 album releases listed.
With some absolutely sublime sounds from all over Africa and beyond, it was quite a task in deciding the top 10.

So here’s our pick of 2019.
Not listed in any particular preference – except for top spot.
A collection of artists that inspired, releases that enthralled and live performances that wowed us.
Thank you, Africa!

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haymanot tesfa loosening the strings album review
Album Review

Haymanot Tesfa – Loosening the Strings

Haymanot Tesfa is a singer and krar (traditional lyre) player from Ethiopia, now living in the UK.
Loosening the Strings is her solo debut album, and is a collection of Ethiopian traditional songs and her own arrangements all sung in the distinctive Amharic language.

Throughout the album, Haymanot’s fingers flow through the six-stringed krar with nimble dexterity. The unfaltering plucked soft tones provide a foundation for Haymanot’s powerful and captivating voice. Using only
the krar and a drum it’s a bold debut. Yet, it doesn’t need anything else, as it’s simply beautiful.

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dance to the full moon invisible system album review
Album Review

Dance to the Full Moon – Invisible System Album

The second release from Invisible System aka Dan Harper’s Malian project.

Dance to the Full Moon is the sequel to the instrumental Bamako Sessions album from 2018.

Delving deep into Mali’s traditional musical roots, griot, ngoni, kora, and Songhoy guitar are accentuated with the interfusion of dub, post-punk, techno, and R&B.

A more fulfilling album than its predecessor and with Dan Harper’s guidance and production finesse, has created a triumph of equilibrium.
Crisscrossing genres but keeping Mali at its heart and soul

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London Afrobeat Collective Humans Review
New Release

London Afrobeat Collective – Humans

London Afrobeat Collective’s latest album release Humans, unleashes the full force of their funky energetic afrobeat.

Full of musical gutsiness, with the fervor of their exhilarating live performances, the LAC sound is evolving beyond the sphere of Afrobeat.

An album striving for social justice has never sounded this good

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KOKOKO! FONGOLA album review
New Release

KOKOKO! Fongola Album

If there was a TV series called ‘extreme homemade musical instruments’ KOKOKO! would be the hosts and Fongola would be the soundtrack.

Experimenting with engine parts to typewriters, the DR Congelese DIY’ers invent and build their own percussion and stringed instruments.

Flirting between, post-punk and electronic, the intoxicating and hypnotic grooves are blisteringly danceable.

KOKOKO! are currently on a world tour and are playing Fabric, London on November 28th

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New Release

Faith Mussa – Kalilima Album

Known as the Malawian one-man band, Faith Mussa’s latest album is full of bright African guitars and soulful harmonies, whilst it slickly genre hops by blending modern beats and arrangements with traditional rhythms and instruments.
It’s an irresistibly catchy and classy production, with three years in the making and collaborating with various artists, it firms up Faith Mussa as a rising star on the international music scene.

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Kadialy Kouyate - Taling Dimalu- Beautiful Tales Album
New Release

Kadialy Kouyate -Taling Dimalu Beautiful Tales Album

It’s a massive privilege to have such a talent as Kadialy Kouyate based here in the UK.
The Senegalese kora virtuoso/singer hails from the line of Kouyate griots
and If you have ever seen him perform you will have been
bedazzled by the splendour of his kora mastery.
His latest repertoire is full of beautiful positive melodies, and you will feel your soul being gently nourished as the enchanting compositions unfold.

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New Release

Isaac Birituro and The Rail Abandon – Kalba

Ghanaian Isaac Birituro’s masterful xylophone style is explored by UK’s singer-songwriter Sonny Johns.

Lively West African beats, folky guitar and jazzy brass hues, harmonized with the uplifting Kalba Birifore Choir.

Recorded in Isaac’s hometown Kalba – the album title, a church became a makeshift mobile studio.
An intriguing story of different worlds embracing, it captures a genuinely warm-hearted community spirit.

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Maravillas de Mali Africa Mia new album
New Release

Maravillas de Mali – Africa Mia

In the 1960s, a group of Malian musicians travelled to Havana to study music.
The Maravillas de Mali band was formed and the groundbreaking
Afro-Cuban fusion style was born.
50 years on, Boncana Maïga the only remaining member has recaptured that revolutionary spirit by rejuvenating Africa Mia, the bands only album.
Featuring superstar Mory Kanté from Guinea.

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BCUC The Healing best african album 2019
New Release

BCUC – The Healing

A magnitude of free jazz, spiritual rants, raps and chants delivered with rock ’n’ roll fervency.
The 7 piece band from Soweto, South Africa inspired by indigenous music conjure extended trance-like songs, radiating positive energy as it challenges musical formats and simultaneously the harsh realities of African life.

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Kongi Dia Ntotila 360’° best album 2019
New Release

Kongo Dia Ntotila – 360°

Intrinsically deep-rooted with African dance sounds and styles, Kongo Dia Ntotila’s second release 360°is a profusion of adept musicianship.
Congolese guitar and energetic rhythms blend fluently with jazzy horns and bass lines inspired by the buoyant UK Jazz scene.
The listener is joyfully seesawed between Kinshasa and London.
It’s inventive, original and massively catchy. A feel-good fun ride from start to finish.

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hama sankare niafunke best album 2019
Album Review

Hama Sankaré – Niafunké

Desert blues at its finest, including dazzling reworks of songs legendary Ali Farka Toure also recorded.
A monumental Malian studio supergroup that encompasses traditional sounds, enriched by the verve of a new generation of musicians.

Progressive and compelling – essential listening.

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Madalitso Band - Wasalala new african Album
New Release

Madalitso Band – Wasalala

What do you get when you mix a homemade one-string slide bass (Babatone), a cowskin foot drum, thumped with your heel whilst strumming a 4 string guitar and two harmonious voices? The joyful upbeat traditional folk music of The Madalitso Band from Malawi.

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Ibibio Sound Machine Doko Mien album
New Release

Ibibio Sound Machine – Doko Mien

The party goes on all night long, as Flamboyant Nigerian born singer Ewo Wiliams and her energetic Afro grooving London band continue to mishmash funk, disco with retro electronic pop with versatile panache

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Feature

10 Best African Albums of 2018

Here’s our pick of 2018.
Not listed in any particular preference – except for top spot!
A collection of artists that inspired, releases that enthralled and live performances that wowed us.
Thank you Africa and beyond!

Read More »
Tal national - Tantabara
Album Review

Tal National – Tantabara

The third international release from Niger’s biggest band blasts West African rhythmic guitar, desert blues, afrobeat grooves,   and a constant often off beat crashing snare

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samba toure wande
Album Review

Samba Touré – Wande

After the first listen, the album felt like I’ve owned it for years. Honest blues and reliably Malian. Samba Touré is in a mellow mood.(mostly)

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Sidi Toure
Album Review

Sidi Toure – Toubalbero

Toubalbero is a huge upgrade from Sidi Tourés Songhoy folk blues album 5 years ago. Sidi Touré is now electro-acoustic, alongside up and coming adept

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Calabash! The UK’s African Music Guide is a non-profit online magazine and events guide dedicated to African music happening in the UK.

New African music releases here.


Full list of African Gigs in the UK here.

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