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World music


Album Review : Adam Moezinia’s ‘ Folk Element Trio’ – A Sonic Travelogue

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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 …

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 …

Australian duo Dead Can Dance (consisting of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry) were an extraordinarily innovative band signed to the legendary 4AD label (becoming their highest selling artists), fusing medieval music with gothic undertones and ambient textures. The band has disbanded and reformed over the years since it began in 1981 – the most recent being the release of the album …

There is a need to begin this review with a direct quote from its band leader, saxophonist Arnaud Guichard : “This record is dedicated to all the victims of sexual violences in DRC and to Dr. Denis Mukwege and his team who work hard at restoring the pride and dignity of all the victims of …

In the same way that BCUC went to the root of their roots to inspire some wild new afrobeats, Okute look set to do the same for Cuban music. The eight piece collective of seasoned players, based in Havana, are steeped in rumba/ Son cubano with a focus on the tradition’s afrocentric heartbeat. That may …

New York based guitarist Adam Moezinia first debut album ,’Folk Element Trio’ is what we at Backseat Mafia have suspected it would be , after premiering its single ‘Celebration’ last month : a triumphant celebration. It is a union of global folk traditions featuring elements of Beninese, Malian, Welsh and American folk music in a contemporary …

“ELYNE ROAD” is the debut track to premiere from the highly anticipated recording of the masterful collaboration between celebrated kora player Toumani Diabaté and the London Symphony Orchestra. The track is a truly wonderful preview to what’s a rather fascinating combination of West African griot/jeli tradition and the neo-classical brilliance of Western European conservatoire musicians. The LSO does …

LINKING together the musics, the aesthetics and traditions of Paris, Portugal and the the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pan-African collective Moonshine have dropped a brace of singles – “Malembe” and the deeply bassy, Afrofunk groove of “Ginseng (Zaire Space Program: Act I)”, which we’e concerned with here, featuring the Paris-African talents of Bamao Yende, …