Category Archives: African Roots

HIGHLIFE ON THE MOVE-SELECTED NIGERIAN AND GHANIAN RECORDINGS FROM LONDON AND LAGOS-1954-1966.

HIGHLIFE ON THE MOVE-SELECTED NIGERIAN AND GHANIAN RECORDINGS FROM LONDON AND LAGOS-1954-1966. The importance of Highlife in modern Nigerian and Ghanian culture can’t be understated. It was, after all, the first genre of modern popular music in both countries. As such, it’s important to recognise and celebrate, the importance of Highlife in Nigeria and Ghana. …

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NEXT STOP SOWETO-ZULU ROCK, AFRO DISCO AND MBQANGA 1975-1985.

NEXT STOP SOWETO-ZULU ROCK, AFRO DISCO AND MBQANGA 1975-1985. Back in October 2014, Strut Records released the latest volume in their critically acclaimed Next Stop Soweto series, Next Stop Soweto Presents Spirit of Malombo: Malombo, Jabula, Jazz Afrika 1966-1984. It was released to widespread critical acclaim, and lauded as the finest instalment in the Next …

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THE FIFTY BEST NEW ALBUMS OF 2014-PART 2.

THE FIFTY BEST NEW ALBUMS OF 2014-PART 2. DJ VADIM-DUBCATCHER. For Dubcatcher, the followup to DJ Vadim’s critically acclaimed tenth album, Don’t Be Scared, he dawned the role of hip hop’s first DJ superhero. That’s apparent from the Dubcatcher’s album cover. Looking like a cross between Robin, Bananaman and Goldfinger, a vinyl wielding DJ Vadim’s …

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THE FIFTY BEST NEW ALBUMS OF 2014-PART 3.

THE FIFTY BEST NEW ALBUMS OF 2014-PART 3. KROKOFANT-KROKOFANT. What do you get if you cross a crocodile with an elephant? A Krokofant. For those not familiar with this surreal hybrid, then you’ve never heard the popular Norwegian children’s song. The Krokofant has been described as “a lumbering trumpeting beast with a fearsome array of …

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THE FIFTY BEST NEW ALBUMS OF 2014-PART 4.

THE FIFTY BEST NEW ALBUMS OF 2014-PART 4. DOUG PAISLEY-STRONG FEELINGS. Doug Paisley is a refreshing alternative to much of music that’s released nowadays. He’s not the result of major label hype or the winner of some tedious talent show. These are the type of artists who nowadays, are hyped as the future of music. …

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THE FIFTY BEST NEW ALBUMS OF 2014-PART 5.

THE FIFTY BEST NEW ALBUMS OF 2014-PART 5. SUPERSILENT-12. Four long years have passed, since Supersilent released their eighth album 11 on Rune Grammofon. Since 2010, Supersilent’s fans have eagerly awaited the next chapter in the Supersilent story. At last, the wait is over. Supersilent recently released their ninth album 12, on Rune Grammofon. 12 …

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THE FIFTY BEST REISSUES OF 2014-PART 3.

THE FIFTY BEST REISSUES OF 2014-PART 3. ELTON JOHN-GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD. Although critical acclaim and commercial success were constant companions for Elton John between 1970 and 1978, one year stood out, 1973. During 1973, Elton released two of his most successful albums. The first of these two albums was Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only …

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THE FIFTY BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2014-PART 3.

THE FIFTY BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2014-PART 3. KENT’S CELLAR OF SOUL VOLUME 3. Eight years after the release of Kent’s Cellar Of Soul Volume 2, Kent Soul have belatedly released the followup, Kent’s Cellar Of Soul Volume 3. It’s been well worth the wait. The Kent’s Cellar Of Soul seems to mature like a fine …

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THE FIFTY BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2014-PART 4.

THE FIFTY BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2014-PART 4. NEW ORLEANS SOUL: THE ORIGINAL SOUND OF NEW ORLEANS SOUL 1960-1976. Over the past ten years, Soul Jazz Records have been documenting the history of New Orleans’ funk. They’ve released a number of lovingly compiled, and critically acclaimed compilations. These compilations were some of the best compilations of …

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THE FIFTY BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2014-PART 5.

THE FIFTY BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2014-PART 5. STRANGE BREAKS AND MR. THING III. One of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed compilation series made a welcome return in May 2014. That’s Strange Breaks and Mr. Thing III. It’s been a long time coming. Five years in fact. So, after a five year back, Mr. …

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THE BLACK HIPPIES-THE BLACK HIPPIES.

THE BLACK HIPPIES-THE BLACK HIPPIES. One of Nigerian music’s best kept secrets, are The Black Hippies. They only ever released two albums. Their finest moment was their 1977 debut album The Black Hippies. It was released in 1977, on EMI. Sadly, by then, disco and funk were flavour of the month. The Black Hippies were …

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KILINDU-O QUE O FUTURO.

KILINDU-O QUE O FUTURO. Any band that’s working with a two-time Grammy Award winning producer has something going for them. That’s definitely the case with Kilindu. They’re currently working on an album with none other than, Grammy winning producer, Bob Cutarella. He’s previously worked with musical royalty. This includes everyone from Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, …

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THE SOULJAZZ ORCHESTRA-INNER FIRE.

 THE SOULJAZZ ORCHESTRA-INNER FIRE. Back in 2012, The Souljazz Orchestra celebrated their tenth anniversary with the release of their fifth album Solidarity. Less than two later, The Souljazz Orchestra will release their sixth album inner Fire on 24th February 2014. Just like their previous albums, Inner Fire is a compelling fusion of musical influences and …

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BODDHI SATVA FEATURING GAME WALLA-APAGA O FOGO.

BODDHI SATVA FEATURING GAME WALLA-APAGA O FOGO. It was back in early in 2012 during a tour of Angola, that Boddhi Satva first came across Game Walla. Djeff Afrozilla, a producer friend of Boddhi’s, recommended that he have a listen to Game Walla. Boddhi wasn’t disappointed. Far from it. Game Walla is one of the …

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BLO-CHAPTER ONE.

BLO-CHAPTER ONE. The first thing that strikes you about BLO’s Chapter One, the latest vinyl rerelease from Mr. Bongo Records, is the cover. Naive, psychedelic, lysergic and surreal, it’s a min-masterpiece. It’s up there with some of the best album covers in music history. So good is the album cover, that I’m sure many people …

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LARAAJI-CELESTIAL MUSIC 1978-2011.

LARAAJI-CELESTIAL MUSIC 1978-2011. Although Laraaji is one of the most innovative musicians of his generation, he remains one of music’s best kept secrets. That’s despite releasing nearly thirty albums. Many of these albums showcase Laraaji’s unique ambient sound. Best known for playing the zither,  Laraaji’s music is best described as a fusion of ambient, experimental …

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PETER KING-MILIKI SOUND.

PETER KING-MILIKI SOUND. It’s almost ironic that Peter King, one of Nigeria’s best musicians, is better known in Europe and America than in his home country. Peter King’s is widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s most talented musicians. His name is synonymous with his Miliki Sound, a captivating fusion of African musical genres and influences. …

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EBO TAYLOR-CONFLICT.

EBO TAYLOR-CONFLICT. When the history of Ghanian music is written, one man will loom large, Ebo Taylor. He is a colossus of Ghanian music. Ebo is best described as an innovator who went on to influence further generations of Ghanian musicians. Nearly forty years later, Ebo’s influence is still being felt not just in Ghanian …

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THE BEST NEW ALBUMS OF 2013-PART 1.

THE BEST NEW ALBUMS OF 2013-PART 1. On the last day of the year, I always publish my list of the best albums I’ve reviewed during 2013. This year, I’ve expanded it to my top thirty albums. That’s a reflection of the quality of music released during 2013. What follows is an eclectic selection of …

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THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 5.

THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 5. OMAR SOULEYMAN-WENU WENU. Prolific. That’s a good way to describe Omar Souleyman. After all, how many artists have released over 550 albums? However, not all that glitters is gold. Many of these albums Omar has released are recordings of him singing at weddings. They’re sold …

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