From the very noble Ostinato Records comes news of more discoveries as part of their enlightening exploration into the music of Cabo Verde. You may already have been knocked out by the label’s ground breaking trio of retrospective releases from the West African islands but now they are reaching out further to feature contemporary sounds …

Now here’s a winter warmer – Ultra-hip onetime Brooklyn based, Puerto Rican twosome Buscabulla have sneaked out (via Ribbon Music) this cover of the classic ‘Cantares’ to keep us in touch. Originally recorded by El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, the Buscabulla partners, Luis Alfredo Del Valle and Raquel Berrios, bathe the song in their …

Remember those stellar studio bands of the late sixties/early seventies – The Meters, The Section, The Wrecking Crew, Muscle Shoals – defining the sound of where a record was made and fuelling the hit factories. Switch over to West Africa and you find the same thing, the tightest groups of session players at the source …

London, New York, Paris Munich, everybody’s talking about…well it’s got to be Geneva, home to one of the most vibrant European scenes that gets broadcast to the rest of us through the antennae of Bongo Joe records. The label has offered up some fine home town releases this year from Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp, …

What is it about the tags neo-classical or contemporary-classical that often brings out that immediate ‘not for me’ reaction in people? Too much baggage, too many connotations associated with that word to the right of the hyphon. It’s musicians like organist and sound sculptor James McVinnie who can help shift mindsets . He may be …

Think of those records inspired by plants…Stevie’s sprawling ‘Journey Through The Secret Life of’, Edgar Froese’s pondering on ‘Epsilon in Malaysian Pale’, Genesis hailing a ‘Return of the Giant Hogweed’ or maybe the Cocteau’s glistening ‘Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops’. Judged sublime or ridiculous depends on your starting point but one thing is clear, the mix of botany …

Ah, memories of the first time hearing early cuts from Staff Benda Bilili or Malawi Mouse Boys –eyes closed, the inner smile, that warmth of discovery….It all comes back with the chiming guitar of Gonora Sounds’ new release ‘Mukoma Shadrek’. Brought to you direct from the dusty avenues of Harare by New York label The …

Sometimes the narrative surrounding a record can make listening seem too intrusive. This prospect might have been a very real challenge for the revered South African jazz composer, Malcolm Jiyane as he put together his debut solo record UMDALI (available now from Mushroom Hour Half Hour) . The conflicting emotions following the death of a …

From the ever giving Bongo Joe portal, key communicator from the Geneva underground scene and beyond, comes news of Tout Bleu’s second album ‘Otium’ due for release on 10th December. Revolving around multi- instrumentalist Simone Aubert’s urgent creativity Tout Bleu’s self- titled first LP in 2019 was a record of intense twists and turns, at …

It’s not surprising to hear that eclectic jazz funk instrumentalists L’Eclair and their record label go back a long way. Drifting home to Geneva from a London expedition in 2015 the band’s founders Sebastian Bui (keys) and Stefan Lilov (guitars) discovered a like- minded creative community revolving around the Bongo Joe record shop. Beyond the …