The Nov/Dec 2014 (#104) issue includes our regular Top of the World CD with ten tracks from the world’s finest new releases. The CD also includes five tracks selected by best-selling novelist Ian Rankin, who discusses his choices with Jo Frost.
The Top of the World CD includes brand new tracks from Tony Allen, Raghu Dixit, Kassé Mady Diabaté, Les Ambassadeurs, and many more.
You can read a snippet of our interview with Ian Rankin on the Guardian website.
Pick up your copy here, at selected UK HMV stores, selected WHSmiths and all good record retailers.
Top of the World
Raghu Dixit – Jag Changa on Wandering Minstrel Records
From the opening bass thud, this is an album that conjures visions of early Led Zeppelin with a twist. Dixit’s great strength is melding two worlds of sound effortlessly and with such joy.
Aurelio – Lándini on Real World Records
Another excellent album from the Garifuna singer, Lándini is rich in variety with upbeat punta rhythms imbued with a mesmerising sense of melancholy and loss.
Tony Allen – Film of Life on Jazz Village
Allen has been dubbed as “the finest drummer on the planet” by Brian Eno, and this marks another peak for the Afrobeat drummer. His finest album of the 21st century to date.
Fofoulah – Fofoulah on Glitterbeat Records
With solid roots in West African sabar drumming, Fofoulah blend multiple genres to create a complex fusion of modern pop, jazz, rock, electro, hip-hop, prog and dub.
Kathryn Tickell & The Side – Kathryn Tickell & The Side on Resilient Records
Kathryn Tickell offers a mix of musical exuberance and regional rootedness, which endows her music with originality, power and joy.
Kassé Mady Diabaté – Kiriké on No Format!
Through deceptive simplicity of the instrumentation and the virtuosic complexity of its interplay, Kassé Mady’s album shows him singing with great authority and ripeness.
Dona Onete – Fetiço Caboclo on Mais Um Discos
An enchanting album from the 70-something-year-old bundle of energy, this mixes the Brazilian Amazon sound with brass, jangly indie guitars, rap, samba and psychedelia.
Ewan McLennan – Stories Still Untold on Fellside Recordings
Each of the 13 tracks here, whether pub ballads or great history stories from Scotland and Ireland, adds to the whole picture of an artist whose music truly lives and breathes.
Les Ambassadeurs – Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako on Sterns Music
Their eminence may have lasted only a few brief years during their residency at the Motel de Bamako but the band laid the foundations on which popular Malian music is still built to this day.
Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca – La Rumba SoYo on Cumbancha
A blend of salsa with a distinct Congolese flavour, Lemvo’s music is an attractive cocktail that has proved to be popular with Latin music fans and lovers of modern African music alike.
Plus Ian Rankin’s playlist
“They used to play in a punk band together. That tickles me – that they started as punks, segued into more traditional music and then decided to bring something modern to it.”
“I went to New Orleans in the early 90s for the first time and really got into the music. It strips away all the pretensions – it’s there for people to have a good time.”
“African music, Cuban music – how’s that going to work? On the surface they seem like two very different traditions, but the wonderful thing is that it shows you that the music of the world is connected.”
“I heard a news report about this band. You could listen to the music without knowing the back story but it really gives more emotional depth if you know where they come from.”
“When you learn that the band had to flee from a conflict in their homeland and the album was recorded in America without all the members there…. you might think, oh these are nice, catchy tunes, but there’s a real depth behind it.”
Listen to a bonus track from Ian Rankin’s Playlist by Dub Colossus on this issue’s podcast.