Posts Tagged ‘afrobeat’

New issue (Nov/Dec, #104) on sale now!

Posted on October 10th, 2014 in News, Recent posts by .


Tony Allen & Orlando Julius, Idan Raichel and Kassé Mady Diabaté

The November/December 2014 (#104) edition is on sale in the UK from today. The free exclusive 16-track covermount CD features ten tracks from our latest Top of the World albums and a guest playlist by Inspector Rebus author Ian Rankin.

Featured on the Top of the World CD are new tracks from Kathryn Tickell & The Side and Bangalore singer/songwriter Raghu Dixit, plus a track from Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen’s critically acclaimed new album Film of Life. We’ve also thrown in a 15-track bonus CD of music from Galicia for your listening pleasure.

This issue also includes…

• Giants of Afrobeat – Nigel Williamson talks to the two under-appreciated pioneers of Afrobeat, Tony Allen and Orlando Julius. Both are celebrating their 50-year career in the autumn with the release of their respective albums, Film of Life and Jaiyede Afro.
• Idan Raichel – Simon Broughton speaks to the prolific collaborator about working with Vieux Farka Touré and what it means to be an Israeli musician.
• Jyotsna Srikanth – The South Indian violinist speaks to Tim Woodall about her mission to highlight her Karnatic heritage and her journey so far.
• Kassé Mady Diabaté  – The Malian jeli or praise singer speaks to Daniel Brown prior to the release of his widley anticipated new album, recorded during a time of continuing uncertainty in his homeland.
• Anna Phoebe – Alexandra Petropolous talks to the violinist who has played with some of prog rock’s greatest about how she’s transformed from head-banging rocker to sophisticated fusionista.

• Beginner’s Guide to Rubén Blades: Chris Moss surveys the extraordinary career of the salsa superstar.
• Festival Pass: Timitar Festival, Agadir, Morocco.
• My World: A playlist and interview with best-selling novelist, Ian Rankin.
• Introducing… Namvula and Shammi Pithia.
• Spotlight on Ami Koita.
• Quick Fire: Jane Harbour, Dave Smith and Baqir Abbas.
• What’s New, including the release of Robert Plant’s new album and the 15th year of the WOMEX awards.
• Cerys Matthews reflects on the power of poetry and music, and delves into the world of Dylan Thomas.
• Reviews of the latest CD, book and world cinema releases.

Buy the new issue here.

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New Issue Preview | November/December #104

Posted on October 8th, 2014 in News, Recent posts by .


Fela Kuti is synonymous with Afrobeat, but there are two other underappreciated pioneers of the genre. In the new issue, Nigel Williamson speaks to Tony Allen and Orlando Julius, both celebrating 50-year careers this autumn with new albums.

The free exclusive 16-track covermount CD includes ten tracks from our Top of the World albums and a guest playlist by best-selling novelist Ian Rankin. This issue also comes with a bonus sampler CD, featuring 15 fine tunes from Galicia, Spain.

In the new issue, there are also features on the revered Malian jeli (praise singer) Kassé Mady Diabaté; Israeli musician Idan Raichel on working with Vieux Farka Touré; a Beginner’s Guide to salsa superstar Rubén Blades; our Essential 10 Afrobeat albums, plus our extensive CD, book and world cinema review sections.

On sale in the UK from October 10. Click here to purchase your copy now.


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Album Review | Top of the World | Orlando Julius with The Heliocentrics – Jaiyede Afro

Posted on September 15th, 2014 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


Words by Mark Sampson

Orlando-final-coverAfro-disco hitmaker teams up with some sunny Londoners.

Orlando Julius should be much more famous outside his native Nigeria. One of the pioneers of Afrobeat, this is the man who co-wrote the Odyssey smash ‘Goin’ Back to My Roots’ with Lamont Dozier. Indeed, you can hear echoes of that track’s infectious chugging riff throughout, on the punchy ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ or the hypnotic jam ‘Be Counted’, for example, and particularly on a delicious title-track inspired by a childhood experience.

This is his first internationally released studio album and using his raucous tenor sax, his gruff vocals and a pressure-cooking little big band, Julius revisits several compositions from his early years. Listen to ‘Aseni’ or ‘Buje Buje’ and you could almost be listening to the leader’s Afro Sounders from the 70s. The Heliocentrics add a fuzzy guitar here and a spacey organ there and generally tidy the sound without any taint of slickness. Perhaps it is because the London-based group are a little less prominent than in other Strut-sponsored collaborations (with Lloyd Miller or Mulatu Astatke) that this meeting of the spirits succeeds so well. Fans of Fela Kuti, Ebo Taylor and others of their stripe will welcome this fine reminder of a past master’s abilities.

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Live Review | Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Vibration, May 31

Posted on June 2nd, 2014 in Live, Recent posts, Reviews by .


Saturday May 31 saw Afrobeat legend Dele Sosimi command proceedings for a blistering four-hour set at the New Empowering Church in Hackney.

The evening opened with a DJ set from Koichi Sakai – the resident DJ for Afrobeat Vibration – which set the vibe for what was to come. As the clock struck midnight one wondered whether the orchestra were ever to set foot on the stage, however, when they did, they blew the house down.

The Afrobeat Orchestra consisted of a full horn section, guitars, bass and an incredible percussion ensemble, with the wonderful talent of Brian Taylor playing the chekeré with consummate ease before moving onto the congas as the evening drew on. Dele Sosimi (pictured) commanded the stage throughout, as they moved through pieces from his own repertoire stretching from his early solo releases Turbulent Times and Identity moving right through to new tracks from last year’s release TMI (Too Much Information). As one would expect from the legendary keyboardist for Fela Kuti in his Egypt 70 band, Sosimi payed homage to his bandleader, including a breathtaking 20-minute rendition of ‘Lady’ from the seminal Fela album Shakara from 1972. The Afrobeat Orchestra also performed  great versions of the Fela classics ‘Buy Africa’, ‘Zombie’ and ‘Water Get No Enemy’. I recognised the latter song as the first time I (inadvertently) heard Sosimi on record, his keyboard solo being sampled by hip-hop guru Pete Rock on his track ‘Grown Man Sport’ with Ini. The crowd barely thinned right up until 4am, when the band bowed out to rapturous applause.

Sosimi will play at the New Empowering Church again in July and September with the Afrobeat Orchestra.

Click here for more information on his upcoming concerts.

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