Posts Tagged ‘shantel’

Shantel – Viva Diaspora | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on December 7th, 2015 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


Words by Jane Cornwell

Shantel - Viva Diaspora

Balkan beatmaster goes to Greece

With over two decades of being lauded for his electronic take on Gypsy brass and klezmer stylings, Frankfurt’s Shantel hit the wall every mega-successful beats producer hits. Where do you go when every person and their dog is making beats in their bedroom, when your tunes are sounding a little bland and predictable? In Shantel’s case, you go to Athens – before launching yourself off to other hotspots around the world. Viva Diaspora is an ambitious and often demanding album, chock full of snappy, multi-textured tracks that harness the talents of a wealth of digital artists and live traditional musicians. A loose trajectory leads from the rebetika tavernas of Greece to the bars of Lebanon and Turkey, and then onto the dance floors of Paris and Berlin, all with influences from the rap and reggae of downtown New York.

This, then, is an inclusive journey, with method in its anything-goes madness and textures that reveal more of themselves with each listen. Track titles such as ‘Oriental Cha Cha’ and ‘The Streets Where the Kids Have Fun’ hint at the mash-ups within, but there is beauty here too, with Greek tenor Areti Ketime lending heartfelt vocals to tracks such as ‘EastWest – Dysi Ki Anatoli’. Genres skid and slide and bump and grind in a non-stop world party.

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Now listen to this… Baloji, Shantel and Bembeya Jazz National

Posted on November 6th, 2015 in Features, Recent posts by .

Songlines Playlist

Here at Songlines HQ we’re always on the lookout for the most exciting music from around the world. Check out our playlist of the latest tracks that we’ve been listening to.

Tahir Palalı – ‘Hakk Mimarım’ (The Incarnation)
This track comes from the debut album by the Turkish musician – a nicely imagined Alevi song. Palalı’s debut O is reviewed in issue #113 (December 2015).


Baloji ft Mipipo – ‘Unité & Litre’
A couple of newly released videos from the Congolese rapper mark his long-awaited return after 2011’s Kinshasa Succursale. Hopefully this means there is a new album on the way!


Bembeya Jazz National‘Armée Guinéenne’
Bembeya Jazz were one of the great pioneering big bands of Francophone West African music alongside Rail Band and Orchestra Baobab. Released under the state-sponsored Editions Syliphone Conakry record label, there is a wealth of back catalogue material to explore from Bembeya and other Guinean groups of the time.


Shantel – ‘Disko Devil’
Shantel’s Viva Diaspora is a Top of the World review in the latest issue (December 2015, #113). ‘Disko Devil’ is another impressive track from the album, adding a twist on the reggae song ‘Chase the Devil’ by Max Romeo.


Fela Kuti – ‘Unknown Soldier’
‘Unknown Soldier’ was very close to being on the Fela Kuti blog we posted last month. Released alongside ‘Coffin for Head of State’, it is yet another thought-provoking piece of music by the legendary icon.

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