Terakaft “Alone” (Outhere)

“Desert Blues”, the usual tag for Saharan Tuareg bands like Terakaft and Tinariwen, doesn’t do justice to their diversity. On their last album, Kel Tamasheq, and this fifth offering, Terakaft have stretched into new sonic territory, helped by the deft production of Justin Adams. The familiar handclaps, drones and sinuous guitar lines are all present, […]

May 19th, 2015|NEWS|

Mingiedi Mawangu R.I.P.

Mingiedi Mawangu passed away last night, in Kinshasa. He was 85. He founded Konono No.1 in the 1960s and invented his own electrified likembe, which gave Konono No.1 its distinctive sound. He led the band and toured with them until a few years ago. He will be dearly missed by his son Augustin and the rest of […]

April 16th, 2015|NEWS|

1:54 Contemporary African Art, New York and London

Europe’s leading art fair dedicated to Contemporary African Art will make its New York debut from 15-17 May 2015. The third edition of 1:54 London will be held from 15 to 18 October 2015.

A reference to fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, the title of 1:54 establishes the parameters of the fair’s ethos: as a […]

April 8th, 2015|NEWS|

Fantasma Live

South Africa’s Fantasma perform their single Basbizile at the 100 Club in central London exclusively for the Guardian. The song appears on their debut album Free Love, released on Soundway Records, and incorporates genre-bending elements of hip-hop, electronica and South African traditional music. Here Fantasma are: Spoek Mathambo on vocals and electronics, Bhekisenzo Cele on […]

April 2nd, 2015|NEWS|

Fantasma “Free Love” (SoundWay Rec.)

Last year, musician Spoek Mathambo and film-maker Lebo Rasethaba explored the myriad forms of South African music in the feature-length documentary The Future Sounds of Mzansi. Now Mathambo is taking his own music in genuinely astonishing directions with Fantasma, a collective including producer DJ Spoko, associated with Pretoria’s “bacardi house” scene and the DJ Mujava […]

March 20th, 2015|NEWS|

Africa Express Shares ‘Terry Riley’s In C Mali’ Film

This week Africa Express released Terry Riley’s In C Mali, the first “African version” of minimalist composer Terry Riley‘s 1964 classic “In C.” This new interpretation of the composition was recorded at the same Bamako Maison des Jeunes youth club that housed the studio for Africa Express’ previous LP. The recording features Bamako artists Adama Koita, Bijou, Cheick Diallo & Modibo Diawara alongside the likes of Damon Albarn, […]

January 28th, 2015|NEWS|

Petite Noir “The King of Anxiety EP”

Yannick Ilunga, a 24-year-old from Cape Town, grew up singing in church, played in a metalcore band where he sounded like this, and then discovered Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak. Now, as Petite Noir, he sings in a deep, sonorous voice and plays an itchy, gently polyrhythmic mix of music that he has cannily packaged in interviews as […]

January 24th, 2015|NEWS|

Pierre Kwenders “Le Dernier Empereur Bantou”

While you could argue that Pierre Kwenders isn’t doing anything revolutionary, debut album Le Dernier Empereur Bantou orbits a pleasing postmodern aesthetic. The Congo-born, Montreal-based musician steeps the electronic vibes of his current Canadian surroundings in Congolese rumba rhythms to achieve a vivacious musical style. With the humble self-designation of “spokesman of modern Africa,” Kwenders […]

October 30th, 2014|NEWS|

Clap! Clap! “Tamboucanda” EP (Black Acre)

Black Acre, the record label responsible for. The EP’s standout track ”Elon Mentana” is a dubbed-out masterpiece which playfully toys with tempo and pitch, produced with the help of DJ Khalab (also one half of this audio-visual collaboration with Malian master of the talking drum Baba Sissoko). Tambacounda, which you can stream in full on the youtube […]

September 19th, 2014|NEWS|