Posts Tagged ‘dub colossus’

The new November/December (#104) podcast is now available

Posted on October 14th, 2014 in News, Recent posts by .


This podcast includes highlights from the November/December 2014 issue of Songlines (#104), opening with music from Film of Life, the new album by Tony Allen. Songlines editor in chief Simon Broughton plays music by Dub Colossus, a bonus track chosen by Ian Rankin as part of his playlist this issue. There is also a track from the bonus CD of Galician music.

Features: Daniel Brown with a special report on Kassé Mady Diabaté, Alexandra Petropoulos on Anna Phoebe and Nigel Williamson talks about Afrobeat veterans, Tony Allen and Orlando Julius. Nathaniel Handy brings you the latest news with music by Mariza and more. The podcast ends with a track from The Paris Session by The Touré-Raichel Collective.

The next Songlines podcast, featuring highlights from the January/February 2015 issue (#105), will be available from December 5 2014.

Download the podcast on iTunes here. Or listen on Mixcloud below:

Songlines Magazine Podcast (#104) by Songlines Magazine on Mixcloud

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Album Review | Top of the World | Dub Colossus – Addis to Omega

Posted on August 11th, 2014 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


Words by Howard Male

coverdubcolossusFarewell Ethiopia; hello Jamaica

Those familiar with the heavily Ethiopian-influenced band heard on the last three Dub Colossus albums will hardly recognise this new incarnation. The dub vibe is still present but Jamaica has now become the primary outside influence. The album opens with some twisted dancehall in the shape of ‘Boom Ka Boom (and the Dub Disciples)’ before veering off in a variety of fruitful directions. Each track adds new colours to the Colossus palette, with a smattering of guest contributors including Natacha Atlas, Justin Adams and the Horns of Negus. The Specials were clearly an influence on quirkily atmospheric highlights such as ‘The Casino Burning Down’ and ‘Madmen’, the latter featuring a suitably droll Terry Hall-like vocal from founding member Nick Dubulah. The new star of the show is Jamaican vocalist PJ Higgins who, as it happens, is also the focus of a new Jah Wobble album (reviewed opposite).

One misses the Ethiopian elements, but a band’s gotta do what a band’s gotta do, and that can mean moving on to pastures new. The bottom line is that the songs are stronger than ever and the arrangements still deftly balance widescreen grandeur with bass-heavy street cred.

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Don Letts’ playlist and the 10 best new releases

Posted on July 18th, 2014 in News, Recent posts, Reviews by .


The August/September 2014 (#102) 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 BBC’s Don Letts, who discusses his picks with Alexandra Petropoulos.

The Top of the World CD includes brand new tracks from Dub Colossus; rising Saharan star Noura Mint Seymali; former Panama tourism minister Rubén Blades, and many more.

Pick up your copy here, at selected UK HMV stores, selected WHSmiths and all good record retailers. Check out this issue’s top tracks:


Dub Colossus ‘Madmen’ from Addis to Omega (IRL)
Continuing to deftly balance widescreen grandeur with bass-heavy street cred, the group’s latest incarnation swaps Ethiopia for Jamaica as the major influence for their killer sound

Noura Mint Seymali ‘Eguetmar’ from Tzenni (Glitterbeat)
Exhilarating rock-infused Moorish music from the latest rising star of the Sahara. With agile vocals and her husband’s electric guitar, this female griot is putting Mauritania on the map.

Clarice Assad ‘Da Imaginação’ from Imaginarium (Adventure Music)
Nothing if not ambitious, Assad brings together over 40 musicians to play a dizzying range of genres that fit surprisingly well together under her power voice.

Brownie ‘The Bed Bug Song’ from Calypso: Musical Poetry in the Caribbean 1955-69 (Soul Jazz Records)
A joyous compilation of witty innuendo as well as meditations on race and place from one of the first Afro-diaspora music forms to gain international popularity.

Sia Tolno ‘Mama’ from African Woman (Lusafrica)
In her most ambitious album to date, Tolno teams up with Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen to deliver a series of hard-hitting political tracks that deal with everything from female genital mutilation to war criminals.

Rubén Blades ‘Pedro Navaja’ from Tangos (Sunnyside Records)
The multi-talented sexagenarian and one-time tourism minister of Panama presents a beautiful, if beguiling album of tango-ized version of his own songs with distinctly Argentinian sound.

Jacky Molard Quartet ‘Dourtan/Gwenn’ from Suites (Innacor Records)
Intriguing and immersive, the Quartet continue to cross musical boundaries by exploring different cultures. From Celtic jazz to Bulgarian dance, this third album is as experimental as the last.

Kasai Allstars ‘Beware the Fetish’ from Beware the Fetish (Crammed Discs)
For their second release, Kasai Allstars return with the signature Congotronics sound, ritualistic repertoire and buzzing distortion for an album that fully realises their rock’n’roll comparisons.

Söndörgő ‘Marice’ from Tamburocket Hungarian Fireworks (Riverboat Records)
Adding Macedonian melodies and a nod or two to Béla Bartók to their South Slav musical background, this virtuosic Hungarian folk band present an interesting and fun collection.

DEM Ensemble ‘Jandarma Zeybeği’ from Erguvan (Felmay)
Evocative melodies and dance tunes intermingle with playful improvisations in this selection made up mostly of Aegean folk, collated and rearranged for an ensemble including some of the most proficient musicians in Turkey.

Plus Don Letts’ playlist

Gaëtano Fabri vs Kočani Orkestar ‘Siki, Siki Baba’ from Electric Gypsyland (Crammed)
“Basically there’s this total culture clash of styles that obviously speaks to me, because, you know, I’m all about the culture clash.”

Lucas Santtana ‘Super Violão Mashup’ from Sem Nostalgia (Mais Um Discos)
“How did I get into Brazilian music? I think the question is, how do you not get into Brazilian music?… I was picking up on the rhythms without even realising it.”

Lata Mangeshkar & Nitin Mukesh ‘Aja Re O Mere Dilbur Aaja’ from Noorie (Saregama)
“My mother is Jamaican but of Indian descent, so it’s part of my blood. The music just speaks to me.”

Baaba Maal  ‘Fanta’ from Missing You (Mi Yeewnii) (Palm Pictures)
“He’s one of the dons of Africa. I love the guy. I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Baaba. I took him to Jamaica, and that was such a buzz.”

The Creole Choir of Cuba ‘Dulce Embelezo’ from Tande-La (Real World Records)
“In my constant search to find music to turn on the people, I invariably turn myself on,” which is how Letts first stumbled across the Cuban group.



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Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners’ Concert Highlights

Posted on January 29th, 2014 in News, Recent posts by .


On December 13 the second annual Songlines Music Awards Winners’ Concert took place at London’s Barbican Centre. All four winners – Angélique Kidjo, Lo’Jo, Dub Colossus Dub Band and Mokoomba – took to the stage in what was yet another memorable night in the Songlines calendar.

Watch highlights from the evening below, including awards presentations from special guests Justin Adams, Shingai Shoniwa (the Noisettes), DJ Nihal and the ambassador of Ethiopia to the UK, His Excellency Berhanu Kebede.

To see a selection of photos from the evening head over to our Facebook page.

There are only TWO days left to vote for your favourite artists in the Songlines Music Awards 2014. Click here to make yours count!

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