tue 07/07/2020

African music

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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theartsdesk on Vinyl 55: Peaky Blinders, Graham Coxon, 2 Tone, Redrago, Gary Numan, The Clash and more

Britain is unpleasant to look at right now, ugly and foolish, so why not lock down with some tuneage. Below is the best plastic that’s hit theartsdesk on Vinyl over the last month, all genres, all the time. Watch out for the forthcoming Christmas...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 53: U2, Moonlight Parade, Oasis, Stray Cats, Crass, Prefab Sprout and more

It’s reckoned that this time next year vinyl sales will have overtaken CDs. It’s still a small market and anyone who thinks vinyl will one day replace streaming is living on Planet Lah-lah. There’s so much coming out even theartsdesk on Vinyl cannot...

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CD: Rachid Taha - Je suis africain

Rachid Taha, sadly felled by a heart attack just over a year ago, has come back from the dead! He could not sound more lively than on this vibrant posthumous offering, definitely not something cooked up from tasty leftovers, but a well thought-...

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CD: Tinariwen - Amadjar

Tinariwen’s music has always been evocative of West African deserts with their mellow blues-like guitars and shuffling groove. Initially recording everything in Mali until it was invaded by religious fanatics who deemed playing music forbidden,...

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