mon 20/09/2021

African music

Album: Emma-Jean Thackray - Yellow

Emma-Jean Thackray is not lacking in audaciousness. This is, after all, a white woman from Leeds barely into her thirties, raised on bassline house and indie rock, making music whose most obvious comparisons are with some of the most revered (in the...

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Album: Angélique Kidjo - Mother Nature

Hailing from Benin and based in Paris since she was 23, Angélique Kidjo can sing in five languages, has collaborated with an A-list festival line-up of global stars ranging from Alicia Keys and Philip Glass to Herbie Hancock and Peter Gabriel...

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Album: Scotch Rolex - TEWARI

Ask someone in the early 2000s to predict which cities were going to be influential in electronic music in coming years, and it’s unlikely many would have picked Kampala, Uganda. But here we are. Across African countries, vernacular electronic forms...

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Album: Mdou Moctar - Afrique Victime

Mdou Moctar is often dubbed as the “Hendrix of the desert”. He is not the first West African musician to be linked with African-American guitar stars. Just as you can hear echoes of John Lee Hooker in Ali Farka Toure, and Taj Mahal could collaborate...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 64: Chet Baker, Lava La Rue, Bob Mould, Krust, The Yardbirds, The Fratellis and more

Things got out of hand at theartsdesk on Vinyl this month and these reviews run to 10,000 words. That's around a fifth of The Great Gatsby. It's because there's so much good music that deserves the words, from jazz to metal to pure electronic...

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Album: Toumani Diabate and the London Symphony Orchestra - Kôrôlén

Toumani Diabate, master of the 21-string kora, along with some other Malian musicians, collaborated on a symphonic concert at London's Barbican Centre in 2008. The orchestra in question were the London Symphony, who have often been open to working...

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Album: Ballaké Sissoko - Djourou

Ballaké Sissoko is one of the greatest musicians in Africa – a kora player of extraordinary quality, strongly rooted in the Manding and family traditions that have nourished him. He’s also a born collaborator, with a sense of adventure that has...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 63: KMFDM, Laurie Anderson, Seratones, The Telescopes, Black Sabbath, Conrad Schnitzler and more

Rumours keep swirling of pressing plants stumped by the effects of COVID-19 lockdown, and it’s true that vinyl editions of many albums have been delayed, yet still those records keep arriving. At theartsdesk on Vinyl, no-one cares if an album was...

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Disc of the Day 10th Anniversary: the level playing field

Theartsdesk is a labour of love. Bloody-mindedly run as a co-operative of journalists from the beginning, our obsession with maintaining a daily-updated platform for good culture writing has caused a good few grey and lost hairs over the years. But...

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Sauti za Busara Festival 2021, Zanzibar review - 2500 gather to celebrate music unlocked

“Zanzibar, are you ready?” yells the singer from the stage.There’s a huge cheer. It seems the crowd – and it is a crowd – is certainly ready. In shades, a flat cap and dreadlocks down his back, singer Barnaba Classic (pictured below left)...

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Disc of the Day Celebrates 10 Years of Album Reviews

Ten years ago yesterday, on Monday 14th February 2011, one of theartsdesk’s writers, Joe Muggs, reviewed an album called Paranormale Aktivitat, by an outfit called Zwischenwelt. It was the first ever Disc of the Day, a new slot inserted into...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 62: Nick Mulvey, Off The Meds, Black Keys, Kreator, Oneohtrix Point Never, Sam Cooke and more

The top-selling vinyl at independent UK record shops in 2020 was Idles' latest album (closely followed by Yungblud, which is impressive, given his only came out in December!). The Top 10 is dominated by indie, rock and retro but, actually, the...

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