wed 18/10/2017

Africa

WOMAD 2017, Charlton Park review 2 - utopian globalist festival dances through the rain

Arriving on Thursday for the opening act Orchestra Baobab’s instantly recognisable mellifluous tones spreading out from the main stage over the Wiltshire countryside, it was clear that a high standard had been set for the rest of WOMAD. Whether it's...

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WOMAD 2017, Charlton Park review - multicultural nirvana transcends mud-bath conditions

Now in its 35 year, Womad is embedded into British festival culture, flying the flags of a musical multiculturalism that is about breaking down barriers and building new relationships. It’s not something you want to lose.Aside from pleasurable...

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Teju Cole: Blind Spot review - haunting hybrid of words and images

As a photographer, Teju Cole has a penchant for the scuffed and distressed surfaces, materials and tools that form rectilinear patterns on construction sites. Opposite a shot of scaffolding, ladders and shadows – all favourite motifs – on the island...

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CD: Jupiter & Okwess - Kin Sonic

Staff Benda Bilili and Kasai Allstars redefined the sound of Congolese dance music: the supremacy of the Rumba popularised by Franco and others, with its cascading guitar solos and instantly recognisable beats, was replaced by a host of other...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Daughters of the Dust

Julie Dash’s remarkable 1991 film tells the story of the Peazant family, the descendants of freed slaves who live on the Georgia Sea Islands, an isolated community on the South-Eastern seaboard of the USA, more in touch with African traditions than...

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Sudan: The Last of the Rhinos, BBC Two review - requiem for disappearing wildlife

“The northern white rhinos are just a symbol of what we do to the natural world,” as one of the contributors to this haunting documentary put it. “We witness them disappearing in front of our eyes.” The programme ended with names of endangered...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Pop Makossa

In Summer 1973, Manu Dibango’s “Soul Makossa” peaked at 35 on the American charts. Originally the A-side of a France-only single issued in 1972, the song had been discovered by New York DJ David Mancusso. After Mancusso repeatedly played it, “Soul...

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CD: Vieux Farka Touré - Samba

The river of sound from Mali never stops flowing. War in the Sahara and the constant threat of Jihadists haven’t stopped the ceaseless wave of creativity that surges through the West African country.The Malians speak of music giving courage, of song...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 20 – from Mali to São Paulo

New global sounds this month include tracks from the scintillating new album from Malian diva Oumou Sangaré, electro-Sufi grooves, Afro-folk from Koral Society, the soundtrack from They Will Have to Kill Us First (about the struggle of...

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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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