Africa In the House

South African House Music is groovy like house music is meant to be, and, bonus, it’s African. This adds lots of spice and great singing to the mix. Hear for yourself.

Even more ingratiating and upbeat is this long medley of African gospel music videos. These strike me as wonderfully optimistic in the age of Trump, and a growing dark movement of ignorance in the USA.

Numberless Beats

Rhythm Is My Business from Stewart Maclennan on Vimeo.

“The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.”
? Rabindranath Tagore

Analog Africa is Essential

Verckys et l´Orchestre Vévé: Congolese Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 1969-1978
release date: December 2

Analog Africa puts out deluxe sets of curated African and other diasporatical music in old fashioned packages and as lossless downloads on Bandcamp.

Three and Out: Aktuala

Aktuala – syncretic acoustic world music ensemble from Italy, from the early seventies; . . .at times somewhat in the vein of Oregon, but much more trance focused

Wikipedia | Complete debut (youtube)

via Vers du Silence Blog (‘A’ list music exploratorium)

Tony Allen On the Road, Drumming


new track

The future? Well, as long as I’m around I’m going to keep doing what I do. I’ll be playing music until my last breath.
full album; “field recordings”

African rhythmic mastery evokes best world music recording of 2014.

*Red Bull Music Academy – Interview transcript – essential if you’re into the beat

Tony Allen on Twitter

Youssoupha Sidibe

Some kora music for today. Youssoupha Sidibe’s youtube channel is chock full of his sweet sounding mastery.

His web site is deep too.

The music of Yous­soupha Sidibe is deeply infused with a long­ing for the full real­iza­tion of divine love in this world. Youssoupha’s musi­cal career began over twenty years ago in his home of Sene­gal, West Africa, where he was trained as a Kora player at the National Music Con­ser­va­tory of Sene­gal. His music fuses tra­di­tional West African sounds on the Kora, with the Sufi devo­tional chant­ing of the Sene­galese Baay Faal com­mu­nity. The angelic sounds of the Kora, an indige­nous harp, soul­fully carry Youssoupha’s devo­tional lyrics sung in Wolof, Ara­bic, French and Eng­lish.

La Chiva Gantiva

Pelao by La Chiva Gantiva
From the album “Pelao”
Crammed Discs

The dangerous adventures of an immigrant.
Directed by Nicolas Moins & Rafael Espinel.
Shot with a Sprintcam (an extreme slow motion camera, courtesy of I-Movix).

The band:

Felipe Deckers (guitar, tiple, tambor alegre), Natalie Gantiva (tambora, campana, guache, maracones, llamador, backing vocals), Rafael Espinel (lead vocals, maracones, tambor alegre, guitar, flautacanade millo), Florian Doucet (clarinet, backing vocals, bass), Martin Merau (drums, trumpe, tambola, llamador), Seppe Van Hulle (bass), Tuan HoDuc (alto, tenor and soprano saxophone, gaita)

A Columbian-Belgium band. World Funk for sure, politically committed. Be sure to visit their web site. Their latest record Vivo is excellent and it can be auditioned at Soundcloud

Taking Colombia’s rich musical history as its starting point, la Chiva Gantiva is a Molotov cocktail of rock, rap, soul and ferociously funky Latin rhythms. Formed in Brussels by expat Colombian musicians, La Chiva Gantiva’s truly explosive fusion of danceable, percussion-heavy sounds takes cumbia, funk and Afrobeat to giddy new heights. via Womad

Africa – A Few Favorites – 2013

Africa – new records

Ben Zabo – Ben Zabo
Abdullah Ibrahim – Mukashi Once Upon a Time

Mokoomba – Rising Tide
va – Red Hot + Fela (iTunes)
Bombino – Nomad
Owiny Sigoma Band – Power Punch

Africa – Reissues

va – Angola Soundtrack 2 Hypnosis, Distorsions & Other Sonic Innovations 1969 -1978

William Onyeabor – World Psychedelic Classics Vol. 5 Who is William Onyeabor
Sathima Bea Benjamin – African Songbird
Le Grand Kalle – His Life, His Music
Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo De Cotonous – The Skeletal Essences of Afro Funk 1969-1980 Vol. 3

comment, new records: It was a very good year for new music from Africa, a year that pops out because Ben Zabo and Makoomba and Owiny Sigoma Band front for about a dozen releases that provided similar jaw-dropping listening experiences. Ben Zabo gets the nod to share the top spot because of the heavy dose of afrobeat he brings to his Malian vibe. Zabo provided this year’s ‘Zani Daibate’ moment. Not only because he’s a friend and my favorite musician does Dr. Ibrahim top my estimation. He makes elegiac records and Mukashi was released the year his beloved wife Sathima suddenly passed away. But, there’s more: turning eighty this year, Ibrahim seems to me to be working at a high level of spiritual intention with Mukashi–so the fine date featuring flute, clarinet and two cellos struck me as exceptional even by the artist’s high standards.

comment, reissues: The flood of house shaking classic African music continues apace. Angola Soundtrack 2 Angola Soundtrack 2 Hypnosis, Distorsions & Other Sonic Innovations was crazy-good, and number one for me, and it possessed the best title too! The most important record date of the late Sathima Bea Benjamin, the greatest jazz singer Africa has produced so far, came back into the light. Known qualities flesh out the top of my list, yet I could have thrown darts at the best of the rest to decide.

Diggin’ In Africa


Poster for screening of the movie Take Me Away Fast. It’s about digging for vinyl in Africa. As far as I can tell, the screening in October 2011 reflects a finished film, but, I it’s not being circulated as far as I can tell. I encountered the trailer at the stellar blog Africa Is a Country. The music search there turns up riches in music and commentary about music.

Take Me Away Fast Documentary Trailer from Leigh Iacobucci on Vimeo.

I have a bunch of African vinyl from African record labels, including 12″ ‘disco’ format discs from the eighties.

It’s possible to revisit that golden era of African music courtesy of current curators working their youtube channels.

For example, RadioAfrica1 channel offers gem after gem.

Disciplined Frenzy

Kwon Soon Keun, who is now 72 years old but still rocking harder than drummers 50 years his junior. As part of the band ADD-4, he became somewhat well-known in his home country of South Korea (never to be confused with Best Korea). His international fame came when the second video below went viral in 2008.

Mingu Kim watched the viral video and was inspired to film a short documentary, A Drummer’s Passion, about Kwon Soon Keun. The documentary follows him as he performs a concert to celebrate the 50th year of his music career. The first video below was additional footage uploaded to YouTube by the filmmaker. As Coilhouse tells us, “Regrets… we’ve all had a few. Watching this video until the drummer kicks in? Probably not gonna be one of them.”

The drums kick in at about 1:10 (and that waiter in the background seems excited about it). It seriously made my day. His enthusiasm is infectious. If he and epic drumming guy ever got together to form a jam band, they could change the physical properties of things with the power of their rocking. We may be stumbling onto the secret to cold fusion here, people.

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