fri 28/04/2017

Africa

CD: Kasai Allstars & Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste - Around Félicité

This is a bit of a curiosity. Kasai Allstars were bought to our attention by producer Vincent Kenis almost a decade ago, after he’d had great success with those masters of the amplified thumb piano cacophony, Konono 1. Though the Allstars also have...

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Mulatu Astatke, Jazz Café

Mulatu Astatke has carved out a particular niche within music. He is a one-off purveyor of what Brian Eno called “jazz from another planet”, smoky, mysterious and playful. He’s about the only artist you could describe as both transcendent and sleazy...

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CD: King Ayisoba - 1000 Can Die

Because so many African albums that get an international release feature tastefully neutered acoustic guitar, pretty scatterings of kora notes, and lyrics centred on some imagined ideal Africa, it is a blessed relief to hear something as punchy,...

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CD: Tamikrest - Kidal

Tamikrest’s fourth album is well-presented, good enough, but a little hamstrung by what have become the clichés of the modern Touareg genre: the lilting rhythms of a camel cruising slowly across the dunes, intertwined guitars that smoothly swirl...

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Roots, BBC Four

Those of us who saw the first, 1977 TV adaptation of Alex Haley's Roots in our teens still remember the shock and horror at its handling of a subject about which we knew little, American slavery. We know a lot more now, but the visceral reaction to...

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CD: Joel Culpepper - Tortoise

For a young singer like Joel Culpepper, blessed with a fine set of vocal chords and remarkable skill in using them, there is a wellspring of black singing tradition to draw from – from gospel and blues through to soul and contemporary R&B. There...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 17

Another peripatetic global music update from theartsdesk's Peter Culshaw, hosted by Music Box Radio. This edition features forthcoming album releases from hard salsa revivalists La Mambanegra, a remix from heroic desert rockers Tinariwen and electro...

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Taboo, BBC One

The arrival of this oppressively atmospheric 19th-century historical drama is being trailed as the BBC's bold attempt to break the Saturday night stranglehold of soaps and talent shows. No doubt they were encouraged by the success of all those...

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Planet Earth II: Cities, BBC One

Cities, the fastest growing habitats in the history of the world, provided the subject for the sixth and final programme in Planet Earth II, the series that came a decade after the original Planet Earth programmes set new standards for television...

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A United Kingdom

It's remarkable that the story of Seretse Khama, the king of Bechuanaland, isn't more popularly known, though Amma Asante's film may change all that. The movie opens in a smoggy, gloomy London in 1947, where Seretse (David Oyelowo) is completing his...

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Sunday Book: Zadie Smith - Swing Time

In his lovely memoir My Father’s Fortune, Michael Frayn dubs the Holloway and Caledonian Roads the “Tigris and Euphrates” of his family history. In that case, just a few pages west in the London A-Z (the mystic scripture that baffles an American...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 16

After a hiatus, theartsdesk Radio Show is back with a new partner, Music Box Radio, hosted in their studio at the Market House in Brixton. Peter Culshaw’s global round-up of new and newly re-released discs jumps from Brazilian psychedelia to synth...

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