Americas: 2017 Nominees
Far From Home on Because Music
She may be a matriarchal figure in her late 70s, but Trinidad’s first lady of calypso is still full of verve, as she showed on perhaps the most international-sounding album of her career. Belizean producer Ivan Duran skilfully masterminds a joyous update on carnival tradition and world music’s favourite enfant terrible Manu Chao adds some typically sparkling touches. A Top of the World in #120.
ABUC on Impulse!
Cuba’s piano maestro Roberto Fonseca takes the listener on a dizzying journey through Afro-Cuban musical heritage on his first album for the legendary American jazz label Impulse!. Buena Vista Social Club star Eliades Ochoa helps out with vocals on one track but it’s Fonseca’s playing that commands the listener’s attention, brimming with ambition and conviction. A Top of the World in #123.
Wa Di Yo on Cumbancha
Formed in the wake of the 2010 earthquake, the nine-piece Lakou Mizik grab Haitian tradition by the scruff of the neck to create roots revival music at its most joyous. The call-and-response vocals and rich harmonies floating over deep, trancey voodoo rhythms in a rousing mix of African, French, Caribbean and New Orleans influences. A testament to the resilient spirit of Haitians, and a Top of the World in #117.
Supernatural Love on Real World Records
Founded by British DJ and producer Richard Blair in Bogota 20 years ago, Sidestepper’s latest album distils the electro-cumbia hybrid that the group have pioneered to perfection. The crisp vocal lines of lead singer Erika ‘Eka’ Mu.oz swirl thrillingly around taut guitar, earthy percussion and edgy dub, funk and trip-hop flavours on a cool, well-crafted album. A Top of the World in #115.