Posts Tagged ‘sidestepper’

Top of the World March 2016

Posted on January 29th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the March (#115) issue.

Baaba Maal - The Traveller Cover

Baaba Maal
The Traveller (Marathon Artists)
Baaba Maal returns with his first album in seven years. The Traveller is a career highlight and an exhilarating summation of his life in which his activism and music are seamlessly intertwined. Read our review.

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Grupo Fantasma - Problemas Cover

Grupo Fantasma
Problemas (Blue Corn Music)
The Austin-based nine-piece take on a new approach to recording here; the songs have a new-found sheen and are an entertaining mix of funk, urban groove, rap and Latin pop-rock.

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Mamak Khadem - The Road Cover

Mamak Khadem
The Road (Innova)
Despite an undeservingly understated career, the Iranian singer’s third album showcases stunning vocals and various musical influences, from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

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Show of Hands - The Long Way Home Cover

Show of Hands
The Long Way Home (Hands On Music)
Respected folk act duo Show of Hands mark the new year with a new album, continuing a long run of two decades’ worth of solid material.

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Lost (GFR)
Via the combination of Gaelic wire-strung and concert harps and various electronic elements, Graham Fitkin and Ruth Wall create a suspenseful, yet reserved and cohesive album.

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vesevo cover

Vesevo (Agualoca Records)
The Neapolitan trio provide a unique and contemporary take on southern Italy’s traditional songs and dances, utilising catchy rhythms and strong harmonies across nine tracks.

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Smockey - Prevolution Cover

Pre’volution: Le Président, Ma Moto et Moi (Outhere Records)
The hip-hop artist from Burkina Faso releases his new album, made in the midst of political unrest and revolution in his home country.

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Sidestepper - Supernatural Love Cover

Supernatural Love (Real World)
The electro-cumbia pioneers from Colombia explore the overlooked traditions of the country’s African music. The result is a calm, collected and cool celebration of musical culture.

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Čači Vorba - Satrika Cover

Čači Vorba
Šatrika (Oriente Musik)
Fronted by the excellent fiddle player and vocalist Maria Natanson, the Polish group exhibit inventive arrangements and striking vocals on a distinctive collection of songs of Romani origin.

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Pagoda Project - Clarion Cover

Pagoda Project
Clarion (Sylvafield)
A meeting between two artists from two different musical backgrounds results in one of this year’s most relaxing and pleasurable listens. A carefully crafted and thoughtful album.

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New issue preview: March (#115)

Posted on January 15th, 2016 in News, Recent posts by .

March (#115) Edition

Living Without Fear; Buika speaks to Alex Robinson about the music she discovered when she confronted her fears and found freedom from the expectations of what she was meant to be

Other features include Colombian band Sidestepper, who talk about the fresh sound of their latest album Supernatural Love; English folk duo Show of Hands chat about the people behind the songs on their new album; we find out how rap and reggae changed the political course of Burkina Faso; plus the latest CD, book and world cinema reviews to get stuck into.

The issue’s Top of the World covermount CD includes brand new tracks from Baaba Maal, Grupo Fantasma and Smockey, plus an exclusive playlist from BBC’s China editor Carrie Gracie, who talks about the sadly under-appreciated folk music traditions in China, the natural and cultural beauty of Tibet and her Scottish heritage.

This issue also includes a bonus CD showcasing some of the finest Polish folk acts to have been associated with the New Tradition Polish Radio Folk Festival since its inception in 1998.

The issue is on sale in the UK from January 29. Click here to purchase your copy now.

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Live Review | Shambala Festival, August 27-30

Posted on September 9th, 2015 in Live, Reviews by .

Sidestepper-©Louise Roberts

Two Latin bands took centre stage at this year’s Shambala festival
Photo of Sidestepper by Louise Roberts, photo of the grand finale by Caroline Faruolo

This festival, whose tagline is ‘Adventures in Utopia,’ really is a colourful wonderland of fun. Held in a secret country estate in Northamptonshire, the site is the perfect size, not too big and not too small, and the punters are a sparkly mix of revellers. There are no big-name headliners here, and the festival is all the better for it. Instead of snagging a ticket based on one or two artists, punters are happy to wander and let the tides of the day wash them to any of the various stages, large and small, each one full of excellent artists. Shambala is best experienced without a plan – whatever you stumble upon is sure to be entertaining, be it a Nepalese band trying to bring back the sun on a rainy Sunday, or a interpretive dance competition in the Social Club.

Some of the weekend’s highlights included the ever-excellent CC Smugglers, singer-songwriter Will Varley, Dizraeli & The Small Gods, and Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyaté. But Sidestepper and Pascuala Ilabaca y Fauna were by far the standouts.

It may have been raining, but that did not slow the unstoppable force that is Pascuala Ilabaca y Fauna. A fireball of an accordionist and singer from Chile, Pascuala Ilabaca and her band Fauna lit up the stage from the very first number. Those brave enough to face the rain, dressed in proper waterproofs or a mixture of ponchos and sequins (it is Shambala after all – sequins are mandatory), were not disappointed as the talented Ilabaca sang, played and danced her way around songs influenced by everything from cumbia to Indian classical music. It was the type of performance that had you hooked from the beginning, without a moment of respite – perfect for a rainy festival Sunday.

The weather had more or less cleared up by the time Colombian band Sidestepper came onstage, who brought their signature electro-cumbia. Their super danceable Afro-Colombian sound was carried by the charismatic El Chongo, Edgardo Garcés, and Erika Muñoz, who had the crowd moving and grooving from the get-go. While Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni ba closed the stage afterwards with one of the best sets I’ve seen them do in a while, Sidestepper, with their unflagging energy might have been a better send-off for the final night of the festival.

I’m already counting down the days until next year’s festival!



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