Orquesta Akokan | Orquesta Akokan

Orquesta Akokan | Orquesta Akokan

ARTIST: various artists TITLE: Listen All Around: The Golden Age Of Central & East African Music LABEL: Dust-to-Digital Hugh Tracey spent most of his life making field recordings of sub-Saharan African music; he probably did more than any other human to open the world’s ears to Africa’s sounds. Now Dust-to-Digital and Tracey’s International Library of African Music have partnered on this package of 2 CDs and an 84-page hardbound book about the 1950-58 recordings of…

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Sidi Toure | Toubalbero

Sidi Toure | Toubalbero

ARTIST: Sidi Toure TITLE: Toubalbero LABEL: Thrill Jockey Guitarist, singer and bandleader Sidi Toure is one of the unsung heroes of Malian music. Born in 1959 in Gao in Mali’s southeast, he led the regional orchestra Songhai Stars in the 1980s and released an album on Stern’s Africa in 1996. He resurfaced as a recording artist in 2011, playing desert blues in the manner of his distant relative Ali Farka Toure. Fast-forward to today, and…

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Imarhan | Temet

Imarhan | Temet

ARTIST: Imarhan TITLE: Temet LABEL: City Slang Imarhan is a five-piece band from Tamanrasset, the largest Tuareg community in Algeria. They’re led by Iyad Moussa Ben Abderahmane aka Sadam, whose cousin Eyadou Ag Leche is the bassist for desert blues standard-bearers Tinariwen. Imarhan is part of a second generation of assouf music bands with a global outlook and most definitely an eye for the first-world marketplace; as Sadam says, “It’s not only camels in the…

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Djeneba & Fousco | Kayeba Khasso

Djeneba & Fousco | Kayeba Khasso

ARTIST: Djeneba & Fousco TITLE: Kayeba Khasso LABEL: Lusafrica Djeneba Kouyate and Fousseyni (Fousco) Sissoko are both descendents of griot families from Mali’s Kayes region. Djeneba became a star by winning the Toukangoura competition (think Malian Idol) in 2010, Fousco won it in 2011, they became musical collaborators shortly thereafter and married in 2012. Djeneba’s voice is an extraordinary instrument: she can be powerful and commanding while retaining intimacy and vulnerability. She’s at her best…

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