mon 28/09/2020

African music

Album: Burna Boy - Twice as Tall

There’ve been plenty of global breakout successes from Nigeria in the past decade; D’banj, Davido, Wizkid and more – but by far the most recognisable to the international audience is Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy. And doesn’t he know it. His last album...

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Album: Zapatilla - Zapatilla

A couple of years ago a vinyl white label appeared of a track called “Crumbling Down”. It was a breath of fresh air. Warmly crafted Afro-centric percussion, pared back but persuasive, it dragged the ears in, emanating a heads-down beachside vibe....

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theartsdesk Radio Show 29 - Morricone, Moroccan psychedelia and Sudanese techno

Peter Culshaw’s periodic global music radio update is back, quicker than usual as there is some catching up to do. There’s a focus on Ennio Morricone, who died this week - with his amazing range from Westerns to lush soundscapes and experimental...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 58: Joy Division, Alma, Prince, African Head Charge, Wargirl and much more

Lockdown’s easing and the record shops are opening here and there. So, to help vinyl junkies on their way, here’s 7000 words of reviews, capturing the best of the last couple of months’ releases on plastic. As ever, the sounds go everywhere, from...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 28 - Tony Allen tribute with guest Stephen Budd

Peter Culshaw’s occasional global radio music show comes blinking into the light after lockdown, as MusicBox radio’s studio In London’s Clerkenwell has tentatively, antiseptically, opened. In the months since March, we have lost numerous kings of...

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Album: Khruangbin - Mordechai

There’s a moment halfway through Khruangbin’s latest album that succinctly sums up the melting-pot model this band have made their own. It’s “Pelota”, a Spanish-influenced song, based on a Japanese film, played by a Texan three-piece with a Thai...

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Album: [MONRHEA] - her[ART]

The debut album from one woman outfit [MONRHEA] shows off the seriously impolite electronica that’s blossoming in East Africa. Electronic sounds from Africa are over-represented in Europe by jolly pop and elegantly faceless house music, but there’s...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 57: Gramme, Terry Edwards, The Orb, The Monochrome Set and much more

After C19 delays theartsdesk on Vinyl is back. My initial policy, reckoning that new vinyl would dry up under COVID conditions, was to do regular lockdown mini-editions with the material already set aside here, until it ran out. That didn’t work out...

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Album: Fra Fra - Funeral Songs

Rituals of death call for music: to see the spirits of the dead off on their journey to the other side, to express the grief of those left behind or to celebrate the cycle of life and death. Fra Fra are a quartet from the predominantly Muslim...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 56: Kreator, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Disney, Twin Atlantic, Elton John, Buddy Rich and more

Welcome to the biggest plastic reviews party on earth. Now that vinyl is steadily successful as niche musical medium, some have rightly been considering its environmental impact. Perhaps the best overview is given by Kyle Devine’s feature in the...

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Lonnie Holley, Cube, Bristol review - outsider with vision

Alabama-born Lonnie Holley, the seventh son of 27 children, more or less abandoned as a child, comes from a tradition of African-American visionaries who reach back through the generations to a culture of great aesthetic and ethical sophistication,...

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Madonna, London Palladium review - a fiesta of the surreal and the fiercely fabulous

The first time I heard Madonna, I was 8 years old at a school disco. Horrified parents, who came to pick us up as we jumped up and down yelling along to “Like A Virgin” in a fluorescent flurry of topknots, puffer skirts and lace gloves, subsequently...

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