EVERY once in a while at Backseat Mafia a little gem pops up from nowhere … cue the first single from the Moroccan newcomers Zawraq, “Fate El Foute”. Coming with a whisper of low-key publicity, the track is a collaboration between Zawraq and US instrumentalist/producer John Mock, who has country folk form playing and writing …

CONFLUENCE and significance; that’s what we have here. Those intrepid curators and sound seekers at We Are Busy Bodies announce the release of Kippie Moeketsi and Hal Singer’s Blue Stompin, scheduled for July 23rd on digital platforms and as a delicious vinyl slab. It’s another prestigious addition to the label’s catalogue, featuring a seminal global …

LOST albums create a mystique stoked by rumour, fandom and hype, waiting for the moment to surface and often for the bubble of expectation to burst. But some records emerge from the past almost unannounced, previously known to the very few and for the rest of us waiting to be found before we knew that …

IS IT a band, is it a group, is it a collective or an ensemble? No it’s the one and only Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp, the makers of the most essential music that may have passed you by. Revolving around the mercurial bassist/composer Vincent Bertholet and emerging from the Geneva avant music scene in …

IN CASE you hadn’t noticed, the sound of afrobeat is taking on a new dimension: riding on a surge of youthful energy; absorbing rap’s bite and electro’s drive; committed to the cutting edge but respectful of sources. Rey Sapienz and his new collective The Congo Techno Ensemble look set to add their dynamic to this …

MDOU MOCTAR is at last gathering momentum; but it’s been an epic journey since 2008, when his raw emotional guitar music first began to spread across West Africa via the DIY network of traded SIM cards. Picked up by Chris Kirkley of Sahel Sounds, who sent Mdou a much-needed left-handed Strat, then released his first …

So here’s some interesting signals beaming out of nu-jazz central, London Town. Keyboard custodian, Ezra Collectivist, Nubya Garcia buddy and sonic cavalier Joe Armon-Jones is launching his new label Aquarii Records which he says will stand as ‘“a home for the music that is around me; somewhere it can live and somewhere it can flourish”. …

SOMETIMES it pays to step back and remember that the kaleidoscope of UK jazz has many focal points beyond the frequently illuminated London scene. There’s the Worm Disc massive in Bristol, Ishmael Ensemble and all; the Gondwana northern powerhouse of Matthew Halsall; Brighton’s Sola Terra (home of Ebi Soda, etc.) and Mammal Hands lurking in …

SOMETIMES a record comes along that disrupts your expectations. Since their debut album in 2008, Kasai Allstars have been one of the cornerstones of Congotronics, that vibrant assemblage of polyrhythms and scrapyard instrumentation which bolted a whole new wing to the afrobeat star-liner. Buzz drums, wired-up thumb pianos, hubcap percussion and salvaged guitars mixed with …

Daptone, the home of soul and funk, is one of those labels whose judgement you can trust- when they’re onto something you just know it’s going to deliver. News of their release of Innov Gnawa’s debut album ‘LILA’ on April 30th may seem a bit leftfield given that the band are dedicated explorers of the …