Rolling Global Outernational Non-West Non-English (Some Exceptions) 2018 Thread Once Known as World Music

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Separate threads for releases from each and every country won't get many posts, hence this thread. Almost the same title as last year, but new year. You know the drill-

this is the thread for polyrhythmic, funky, bluesy,groove-filled new + reissued music from lots of different places that may include Mauritania, Ghana, Congo, Kenya, Niger, Mali, South Africa, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and other places that make cool music that doesn't always get enough press in the west. This music may be less "clubby" than on other threads, but its ok to lean in that direction too.I tend to lean towards countries from below the equator.

Plus I like to hear about live music.

curmudgeon, Monday, 1 January 2018 19:43 (two months ago) Permalink

Still digging through picks on the Afropop Stocking stuffers 2017 list; and also looking to see what's on Said the Gramophone and other lists that I might have missed.

curmudgeon, Monday, 1 January 2018 19:46 (two months ago) Permalink

Also listened a bit to slightly syrupy and operatic but still powerful veteran Iranian balladeer Ebi who is going to be appearing at the 4000 seat DAR Constitution Hall in Washington DC on January 27th. Don't know about other gigs

curmudgeon, Monday, 1 January 2018 19:56 (two months ago) Permalink

3MA....I need to give this trio another listen. Supergroup with members from Mali, Morocco & Madagascar

curmudgeon, Thursday, 4 January 2018 04:06 (two months ago) Permalink

As so many rock ’n’ roll stories do, the CBC Band’s began with the purchase of a guitar behind the back of a disapproving father.

When he was a young child in Vietnam, Tung Linh wanted a guitar, so his mother bought one for him. His father, Phan Van Pho, was a cook for French officials in Hanoi, and he wanted his children to become doctors or engineers, not musicians. When he found the guitar, he smashed it.

But his wife, Hoang Thi Nga, nurtured Tung Linh’s interest in American music, which he shared with two of his seven siblings: Bich Loan, a singer, and Tung Van on drums. When their father died in the late 1950s, Ms. Hoang went to work as a custodian on a Republic of Vietnam naval base. The family was poor, and those years were hard, but she wanted her children to be happy, so she nurtured their desire to perform American music.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 10 January 2018 05:04 (two months ago) Permalink

Jupiter & Okwess band from the Congo for free 6 to 7 pm est Fri. the 12th at Kennedy Center in W. DC. Video streaming live (k. Ctr website & Facebook live). Video archived too.

Also, heard an advance of new Tal National. First 3 cuts are raucous African funky rocky fun

curmudgeon, Friday, 12 January 2018 15:40 (two months ago) Permalink

i really love tal national. i can't wait to hear the new one.

Mordy, Friday, 12 January 2018 15:51 (two months ago) Permalink

goin' to globalfest on sunday

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Friday, 12 January 2018 20:00 (two months ago) Permalink

Jupiter & Okwess rocking those rumba meets psychedelic rock grooves right now

curmudgeon, Friday, 12 January 2018 23:48 (two months ago) Permalink

I forget to read this thread but have we talked about 'Sweet As Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn Of Africa'? Because it's god damn incredible

FREEZE! FYI! (dog latin), Monday, 15 January 2018 10:25 (two months ago) Permalink

Yes, talked about last year

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 16 January 2018 17:38 (two months ago) Permalink

also just discovered that and it is amazing!

I'm was thinking about starting a thread for the more recent wave of african reissues after listening to strut's fantastic Oté Maloya comp from last year. I kind of checked out of following the reissue market after picking up my nth afro-funk comp, but now that they've started to move into the 80s I think there's likely a bunch of good stuff I've missed (it's sad the reggae reissue market basically died before they got out of the 70s).

rob, Tuesday, 16 January 2018 18:10 (two months ago) Permalink

Jon Pareles in his NY Times review of GlobalFest 2018 like Congo's Jupiter & Okwess live as much I did:

But the night’s fiercest, most diverse grooves belonged to Jupiter & Okwess: the singer, songwriter and bandleader Jupiter Bokondji and his band, from Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with songs that joyfully carried conscientious messages like “Protect women.” The briskly upbeat rhythm of Congolese soukous, well known worldwide, was only part of the set. Mr. Bokondji traveled extensively in Congo and learned many local, lesser-known styles that infuse his songs, giving them variety and bite. He’s also clearly fond of what a wah-wah pedal can do.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 05:02 (two months ago) Permalink


He reviewed many of the 12 groups including Paris-based Guadeloupean trio Delgres, Cuban artist La Dame Blanche, Brazilian post-tropicalia singer Ava Rocha and more

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 05:07 (two months ago) Permalink

hello international music friends -- if you have a little extra time/goodwill, please bookmark my thread:

help me with my class?

you wouldn't have to do anything more than contribute a small portion of your existing knowledge :)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:38 (two months ago) Permalink

jupiter and okwess were fine; i loved iberi, jarlath henderson and miramar

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 17:42 (two months ago) Permalink

Will give them a listen. Actually I have seen and heard Miramar and like their quiet boleros and ballads. Watched Brazilian singer Ava Rocha and band from their Kennedy Center gig tonight ( via video stream). She’s theatrical and kinda Bjork like at times and the band adds postpunk guitar to the Tropicalia base.

A local promoter near me who was up there visiting, loved the Guadeloupe group with guitar and tuba. The video clip he shared though had a fairly conventional blues-rock sound.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 18 January 2018 03:18 (two months ago) Permalink

miramar was okay on tape but daaaaaang they were great in person Rocha didn't do much for me live or on tape, but it's very much a matter of taste with her i gather.

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Thursday, 18 January 2018 04:03 (two months ago) Permalink

Still catching up on 2017 releases- listened for 2nd time to the trio 3MA featuring Mali’s Ballaké Sissoko on kora, Moroccan oud virtuoso Driss El Maloumi, and Madagascar’s valiha player Rajery.

Mellow and pleasant with Sissoko's wonderful harp-like kora work often taking the lead.

Oh, listened to one track from Irish folkie Jarlath Henderson whom Ulysses liked at Globalfest 2018. Not a big fan of the genre, so would have to listen more to make up my mind. But I'm probably not the person to ask re his style.

Haven't listened yet to his other fave Georgian folk Group Iberi Choir.

curmudgeon, Monday, 22 January 2018 19:05 (one month ago) Permalink

Listening to Blay Ambolley from Ghana's 2017 album Ketan. He's a highlife/hiplife bandleader/musician. Nice old-school sound.

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley was rather unknown outside of West Africa until Soundway Records included his seminal Simigwa-Do, which Ambolley released in 1973, on their first anthology, Ghana Soundz.

That's from Wiki.

curmudgeon, Monday, 22 January 2018 21:07 (one month ago) Permalink

The album has a kinda Fela feel to it

curmudgeon, Monday, 22 January 2018 21:28 (one month ago) Permalink

Been reading about the upcoming debut album by this Malian veteran percussionist but I haven't heard it yet--

Hama Sankaré --Ballébé - Calling All Africans

Alpha Ousmane "Hama" Sankaré (aka Pedro) is a legend. He has anchored the bands of many great artists of Mali: Ali Farka Toure, Afel Bocoum, le Troupe Regionale de Niafunké, l'Orchestre de Gao, Songhoy Allstars, and Mamadou Kelly's BanKaiNa, and he can be heard on many of the seminal recordings of Mali's music. He is the master of contemporary calabash percussion and defined it's the playing style. He has toured the world. Hama's influence is unchallenged as composer, arranger, and instrumentalist. Unbelievably, Ballébé - Calling All Africans is the first album in his own name

curmudgeon, Monday, 29 January 2018 19:20 (one month ago) Permalink

Looks like the Africa Express project is recording again.

It's Day 4 for @africaexpress recording in Joburg....@gruffingtonpost @THEREALGHETTS @Damonalbarn @BombayBicycle @nonkulululu @MahotellaQueens @muziou #pote #otim the productivity is incredible.

— Africa Express (@africaexpress) January 31, 2018

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 31 January 2018 15:11 (one month ago) Permalink

Wow, Mahotella Queens still at it

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 31 January 2018 15:56 (one month ago) Permalink

kind of amazing, right? I grew up listening to them!

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 31 January 2018 16:10 (one month ago) Permalink

They formed in 1964 I see on Wiki. In spite of the deaths of Mahlathini, Marks Mankwane and West Nkosi during the late 1990s, the Mahotella Queens continue to perform and record in the 21st century. In 2013, long-serving member Mildred Mangxola retired from the group. She was replaced by a new recruit, Amanda Nkosi.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 1 February 2018 02:44 (one month ago) Permalink

Not sure where to put this, but I'm currently obsessed by this site where you can see what's the most streamed track on youtube in cities around the world, and listen to said tracks on the site

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 1 February 2018 17:27 (one month ago) Permalink

#1 Song in Your City - Interactive, updated map for discovery
i will be curious to see if they update with January; that would make it a regular visit

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Thursday, 1 February 2018 19:05 (one month ago) Permalink

The mighty Mahotella Queens rehearsing with their new band of @gruffingtonpost @nickzinner @Damonalbarn @Georgiadrumming for tonight’s show #africaexpress

— Africa Express (@africaexpress) February 2, 2018

They're playing a show tonight.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 2 February 2018 14:33 (one month ago) Permalink


Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Friday, 2 February 2018 16:14 (one month ago) Permalink

Fanta Sylla, daughter of legendary late producer Ibrahima Sylla , on her initial enjoyment of Vampire Weekend ‘s 1st album and then goes from there to discuss Congolese music and colonialism and more.

She also links to another interesting piece

curmudgeon, Friday, 2 February 2018 16:49 (one month ago) Permalink

that Sylla piece is excellent, thanks for posting that. It should probably go on that recent tuneyards thread, but maybe that thing is best forgotten

rob, Friday, 2 February 2018 18:37 (one month ago) Permalink

Ha. I need to listen to that Congolese/Canadian guy Pierre Kwenders you mentioned on another thread

curmudgeon, Saturday, 3 February 2018 15:55 (one month ago) Permalink

x-post I wonder if any members of the Makgona Tsohle Band who used to back the Mahotella Queens are still alive and able to perform?

curmudgeon, Saturday, 3 February 2018 22:08 (one month ago) Permalink

Fanta Sylla in Pitchfork Pitch piece linked above:

Growing up, I was ambivalent about what I perceived to be a general indifference towards African music. There was a rich history, a diversity of styles, and countless brilliant artists people didn’t seem to want to explore. It felt like people could only handle African music if it was mixed or filtered with something they recognized. But rather than calling out white artists who appropriate African music, I’ve always been more concerned that the African genres and artists that inspired them were given proper credit and financial support. I’m interested in the inclusion of African music in non-African publications, and in a passionate critical approach by African writers on the sounds that color their lives (look to Cameroonian writer Achille Mbembe’s beautiful piece on Congolese music for a great example).

It's nice that Pitchfork Pitch posted this, but alas I didn't see a single artist based on the African continent in the Pitchfork best of tracks or albums list for 2017. Periodically over the years they've posted stuff by Deej and others, but nothing consistently.

curmudgeon, Saturday, 3 February 2018 22:46 (one month ago) Permalink

ANEWAL is the new trio of Alhousseini Anivolla, lead guitarist and singer of internationally renowned desert blues band Etran Finatawa. Formed in 2012

Listened to their 2017 album. They have that sound down.

curmudgeon, Monday, 5 February 2018 15:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Seems Africa Express isn't being too well received by some of the involved musicians.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:18 (one month ago) Permalink

Ouch. Terrible contract. No comments yet from Albarn or Zimmer or others associated with Africa Express

curmudgeon, Monday, 5 February 2018 22:19 (one month ago) Permalink

Zinner I mean

curmudgeon, Monday, 5 February 2018 22:19 (one month ago) Permalink

"As we pay all the travel, accommodation and other costs for Western artists joining us on trips, we ask them to volunteer their time."

So Mr. Blur & Gorillaz's @africaexpress costs get paid for, but he can't afford to pay Africans for anything, or even promise them a specific percentage of any possible profits. Hmm.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 03:46 (one month ago) Permalink

Seeing complicating and contradictory comments about this Africa Express thing on Facebook . Some insisting this just relates to standard rules when recording a charity benefit album as they were apparently doing in South Africa in addition to the gigs. But the language in the contract seems problematic

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 15:35 (one month ago) Permalink

well when africa express rolled thru addis 6 or so years ago, the ethiop musicians here were not happy with the way they were treated, felt disrespected in their own clubs by ppl like flea and others general dissatisfaction has been the sense i've gotten over the years, was surprised still going on

H in Addis, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 17:32 (one month ago) Permalink

Oh. That's not good. I had seen various references to gig appearances in the UK and Africa, but until now did not know of any recordings as they just did in South Africa. Seems like Albarn and Africa Express brought a number of fellow (white) musicians like like Blue May, and Mr. Jukes in addition to YYY's Zinner to South Africa to work with young South African gqom dance folks as well as Mahotella Queens. Blue May's defense of the project on FB makes a few good points and provides a bit more info but overall it isn't that understanding or impressive.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 7 February 2018 19:15 (one month ago) Permalink

just bought the Jupiter & Okwess album. nearly put off by the sticker on the front that mentions Damon Albarn.

Badgers (dog latin), Friday, 9 February 2018 09:08 (one month ago) Permalink

Ignore that sticker.


Maybe not for this thread but I just read the below articles and haven't listened to these acts yet

I don't know any of these Congolese rappers and r'n'b acts-- Maître Gims and others

Sjava and 3 others.

I don't know these folks either

curmudgeon, Sunday, 11 February 2018 05:55 (one month ago) Permalink

I did watch the video of Ethiopian Jewish musician living in Israel Gili Yalo. Nice blend of funk, pop and Ethiopian grooves

curmudgeon, Sunday, 11 February 2018 06:05 (one month ago) Permalink

loving the heck out of that yalo ethiojazz

Mordy, Sunday, 11 February 2018 17:16 (one month ago) Permalink

Interesting interview with Yalo from 2016

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 14 February 2018 15:53 (one month ago) Permalink

There's a Nyege Nyege Tapes night happening round the corner from me in April. I knew I moved to a city for a reason :-)

Badgers (dog latin), Wednesday, 14 February 2018 15:56 (one month ago) Permalink

Crash Fest in Boston, Mass Feb 24th includes VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ - Malian guitarist dubbed “The Hendrix of the Sahara”
MOKOOMBA - Afro-fusion from Zimbabwe
ZESHAN B – Chicago soul singer with Indo-Pakistani roots
FLOR DE TOLOACHE - Explosive all-female mariachi band
TAL NATIONAL - High energy rock ‘n’ roll from Niger
INNOV GNAWA - Trance music from Morocco
NEWPOLI - A modern take on music from the Mediterranean
SÓ SOL - Música Brasileira with an Americana twist

If I was up there I would definitely see Vieux Farka Toure, Mokoomba, and Tal National again. Innov Gnawa are pretty good live too. Don't know the others really

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 18:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink

oh is tal national gonna tour at all while they're here? i would def go see them again.

Mordy, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 18:35 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i would totally go see them again too

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 18:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

They are touring now through March (without a percussionist who I think played on previous tours). In Brooklyn Friday night the 23rd, Boston on 24th, Portland Maine on 25th, New Haven on the 27th, and later in March in Pittsburgh on the 16th, Baltimore on the 17th, West Virginia on the 18th.

Not seeing any DC or Philadelphia or Chicago gigs although they have nothing listed for March 19th & 20th, before they head south to Big Ears fest and elsewhere. I am trying to get their agent to add a DC date on one of those days, but not having luck.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 18:49 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Mokoomba's US tour is short too

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 22:29 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Christopher Kirkley of Sahel Sounds (who was involved in that North African Purple rain movie adaptation)is presenting another film "Zerzura" on saturday night Feb. 24th at 7 pm at the Freer Gallery in DC. This movie he says " is a feature length magical realist folktale about a young nomad who sets off to find his brother in a lost Saharan city. It’s a collaborative film we wrote and shot on location in Agadez, Niger over the course of a month. Filmed entirely in Tamashek, it also features original improvisational guitar score from protagonist Ahmoudou Madassane (Mdou Moctar, Les Filles de Illighadad)."

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 06:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Hailu Mergia's going to put out an album of new material and there's an interview with him in the NY Times:

ogmor, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 15:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Nice. I saw something on Bandcamp the other day. I thought that since Mergia is doing so many European tours he had given up his other job, but not completely I see:

He still drives the cab for extra cash. In idle moments, he hauls out the keyboard and sits alone in the back seat, his eyes closed, improvising.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 16:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

this is cool

Mordy, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 16:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

That looks cool.

Now in sad news, I see on the Stern’s music store & label blog that singer Medoune Diallo has died. He was in the great groups Orchestra Baobab and Africando.

curmudgeon, Friday, 23 February 2018 19:30 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The new Mergia album is mostly impressive. He’s on accordion on some tracks and various types of keyboards on others.

curmudgeon, Friday, 23 February 2018 19:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

received the Pantsula comp in the post today. it's great huh?

Badgers (dog latin), Friday, 23 February 2018 19:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Too much to keep up on. Have not heard that comp of 88 to 90 South African electronic dance (yet)

curmudgeon, Friday, 23 February 2018 19:55 (three weeks ago) Permalink

loving the new tal national btw

Mordy, Friday, 23 February 2018 20:01 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The Tal National album rocks. Feel like I should also post about it on some ilm rock thread

curmudgeon, Saturday, 24 February 2018 15:38 (three weeks ago) Permalink

also new femi kuti & imarhan

Mordy, Saturday, 24 February 2018 17:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Vieux Farka Toure is gonna be back in DC Tuesday night and he's a charismatic performer live, but I'm spoiled-- have seen him 3 times locally so might skip this one.

curmudgeon, Monday, 26 February 2018 20:30 (two weeks ago) Permalink

NY Times’ Jon Pareles tweeting about how much he loved recent gigs by Tal National and Mokoomba. He says both groups “transcend tribalism “ by bringing together multiple cultures/ minorities.

Onetime ilxor K*ith H*rris penned a favorable review of the new Tal National album in a Minnesota publication/site

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 28 February 2018 15:06 (two weeks ago) Permalink

some side eye at "transcend tribalism" like wtf is that supposed to mean but the new tal national is really good

Mordy, Wednesday, 28 February 2018 15:18 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah, good point.

Meanwhile in Egypt, pop singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab has been sentenced to 6 months in jail for saying the Nile River is too dirty to drink from

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 28 February 2018 18:22 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I missed the Tal National and Mokoomba gigs. Vieux too, though I've seen him more than once. Hoping/half-anticipating that they were showcase gigs for larger presenters who will bring them back this summer.

Moo Vaughn, Wednesday, 28 February 2018 19:40 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Tal National playing in my town this Sunday. Looking forward to it. nice that they made it to the wilds of western mass.

scott seward, Friday, 2 March 2018 18:50 (two weeks ago) Permalink

they were so amazing. go see them if you have never seen them! so great to see them in my fave tiny bar in town. capacity only 100 and it was packed full.

scott seward, Monday, 5 March 2018 12:30 (one week ago) Permalink

Christgau likes Tal National too

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 6 March 2018 18:44 (one week ago) Permalink

could have listened to that drummer all night. between this and the xylouris white show i am really getting my drum on this year. best drum shows ever.

scott seward, Tuesday, 6 March 2018 19:17 (one week ago) Permalink

critic Richard Gehr has been reviewing international stuff for quite awhile. Perhaps I'm reading "once again on the rise" wrong, but North African/Sahel guitar has been around for a number of years now. Checking out BKO

Sidi Touré, Toubalbero | ★★★ 1/2
BKO, Mali Foli Coura | ★★★ 1/2
Tal National, Tantabara | ★★★★
Imarhan, Temet | ★★★

With American rock bands looking to forward-thinking EDM and elsewhere for genre rejuvenation, African electric guitars and traditional instruments alike are once again yawping, screaming and blurting with new intensity after something of a genre hiatus. Over there, the romantic scenario of picking up chops down at the crossroads has been replaced by the vigorous international and inter-ethnic cultural trading going on in Mali, Niger and Algeria. Amid African music's myriad variations, rock is once again on the rise.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 13 March 2018 03:32 (five days ago) Permalink

I posted the below on the Afropop thread but its relevant here too:

No respect...For the second year in a row, the Nabisco (N.A.) edited NY Times Magazine special issue 25 Songs that Tell Us Where Music is Going has no artists based in Africa (mostly all US & UK this year except for 1 K-Pop, a hiphop remix with Puerto Rican rappers, and a Scottish pop group with 2 members of Liberian heritage )

The issue does have nicely penned pieces on Chicago footwork DJ Taye and one on a remix with Farruko, Nicki Minaj, and Bad Bunny; SZA ,and Bruno Mars's Finesse remix. But I was expecting more from a former ilxor who writes well and is very smart and who got a bunch of talented writers from elsewhere to contribute. An editor doesn't have to like Scandinavian whatever(pop or metal) or Nigerian Afropop to recognize that it should be included in something with the heading "25 Songs that Tell Us Where Music is Going," but he didn't do that this year or last year (the first time he edited this). Instead, as when he was the music critic at New York Magazine he generally followed his interests-US and UK pop, rap, and r'n'b.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 14 March 2018 03:21 (four days ago) Permalink

Just splashed out on the new album by Hailu Merga, 'Lala Belu'. Only 6 tracks at full price, which I feel is pretty steep but it's quality and I adore the title track.

Also picked up the Ernesto Chahoud compilation of Ethiopian cuts. Roll on 5 o'clock!

loud horn beeping jazzsplaining arse (dog latin), Thursday, 15 March 2018 14:03 (three days ago) Permalink

New Fatoumata Diawara from Mali video/song "Nterini" directed by Ethopian director Aida Muluneh. Lots of bright primary colors

curmudgeon, Saturday, 17 March 2018 21:29 (yesterday) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.