Rolling Global Outernational Non-West Non-English (Some Exceptions) 2020 Thread (Often African bands)

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This thread is mainly for polyrhythmic, international sounds that aren't big enough to get threads of their own. I lean toward south of the equator sounds here that are sometimes less club-oriented than those of artists highlighted on Afrobeats, dancehall, soca threads. Sometimes, but not always, the artists are older than those on those other threads. More old-school bands too.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 2 January 2020 15:14 (three months ago) link

Here's last year's thread:

Rolling Global Outernational Non-West Non-English (Some Exceptions) 2019 Thread Once Known as World Music

curmudgeon, Thursday, 2 January 2020 15:16 (three months ago) link

Looks interesting. Listed by genre I think

curmudgeon, Monday, 6 January 2020 18:34 (three months ago) link

Not a fan of Egyptian rocker Ramy Essam who is touring US. Too bombastic arena style for me. I have read that he’s a left leaning activist but the music is not my thing.

Algerian Sofiane Saide and His Mazalda Cosmic rai Band are coming to the US too. I haven’t heard them yet

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 7 January 2020 14:35 (three months ago) link

That should say Saidi. He and his rai band are in DC Friday and Monday, and in NY Saturday & Sunday. Sunday at Globalfest

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 19:26 (three months ago) link

Then back to France and North Africa

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 19:27 (three months ago) link

Saw a bit of a YouTube video of Sofiane Saidi. Sounded good and looked lively

curmudgeon, Thursday, 9 January 2020 15:28 (three months ago) link

Saidi album is good but not great

curmudgeon, Friday, 10 January 2020 16:52 (two months ago) link

Gonna splurge and see Mahmoud Ahmed, legendary Ethiopian singer Saturday night at the Ethiopian Embassy backed by a band led by the guitarist of the Roha band (Ethiopiques) Selamino

curmudgeon, Friday, 10 January 2020 16:56 (two months ago) link

ilmer crut turned me onto this guy from Morocco - kinda synth/psychedelic I really dig it: -- I also love the description: "Abdou El Omari, the bachelor hairdresser, composer and organ player from Morocco..." bachelor hairdresser!

also I posted this yesterday to Hey Jews but i think ppl itt would be interested in it too:

Mordy, Friday, 10 January 2020 17:01 (two months ago) link

Oh no, it's the late Abdou El Omari

curmudgeon, Saturday, 11 January 2020 06:09 (two months ago) link

died in 2010 at the age of 66,

curmudgeon, Saturday, 11 January 2020 06:10 (two months ago) link

System K, a movie doc about Kinshasa, Congo street performers is at the Film Forum in NY till the 14th. Hopefully it will soon be available elsewhere

curmudgeon, Sunday, 12 January 2020 01:44 (two months ago) link

i'd love to see that

Mordy, Sunday, 12 January 2020 02:34 (two months ago) link

Mahmoud Ahmed did 2 great hour or so sets Saturday night at the Ethiopian Embassy in DC. At 78 his voice still is mesmerizing.

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 January 2020 04:11 (two months ago) link

Opening act singer Abeba Desalegn was good too.

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 January 2020 15:11 (two months ago) link

Fado singer Lina Rodrigues and producer Raül Refree (who's worked with Rosalía and Lee Ranaldo, among others) have collaborated on an album that takes traditional fado songs and brings them into an almost Portishead-ish zone. I interviewed them both for Bandcamp.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Wednesday, 15 January 2020 15:20 (two months ago) link

Songlines 12 five-star African albums from last year:

Dawda Jobarteh - I Met Her By the River
Vaudou Game - Otodi
Ali Hassan Kuban - From Nubia to Cairo
Blick Bassy - 1958
Baba Commandant and the Mandigo Band - Siri Ba Kele
Mdou Moctar - Ilana: The Creator
Benin International Musical - BIM#1
Africa Express - Egoli
VA - Mlouk: Gnawa and World Music Festival
KOKOKO! - Fongola
Tinariwen - Amadjar
VA - Early Congo Music 1946-1962

cool list!

Mordy, Wednesday, 15 January 2020 18:04 (two months ago) link

Good stuff, Phil – the music and interview both. Thanks for the heads up.


pomenitul, Wednesday, 15 January 2020 19:25 (two months ago) link

Xp— that Songlines list is good, I agree

curmudgeon, Thursday, 16 January 2020 05:17 (two months ago) link

Loving this!!! If you have been fortunate enough to see either Fendika or PNL’s Large Unit, you know that them together??! Perfection imo.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 17 January 2020 18:32 (two months ago) link

Yeah, I'm including that ^^^ in my upcoming Stereogum column. It rips.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Friday, 17 January 2020 18:41 (two months ago) link

I interviewed Korean artist Eunhye Jeong, who combines traditional pansori music with free jazz, for Bandcamp. The album is wild.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Friday, 17 January 2020 22:16 (two months ago) link

Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela recorded an album together before the latter died; it's coming out in March. This is the first track:

Also note that this is the first release on the relaunched World Circuit label.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Wednesday, 22 January 2020 13:12 (two months ago) link

Saw Tony Allen with a band live once and he was great. Hopefully that recording with Masekela will be great.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 23 January 2020 04:03 (two months ago) link

finally got a hold of that early congo music comp from that songlines list and if congolese rumba in yr jam (it's v much mine) it's really a fantastic document and i don't know a lot of these artists!

also enjoyed this MOGADISCO: Dancing Mogadishu (Somalia 1972-1991) comp - not sure we've mentioned it in any of these threads

Mordy, Thursday, 23 January 2020 19:34 (two months ago) link

That early Congo music release is from a Japanese label. Is any US distributor handling it?

curmudgeon, Friday, 24 January 2020 04:51 (two months ago) link

Listened to the reissue of an Issam Hajali album today - Lebanese Acid Folk from the 70's with touches of orchestral pop, prog, bossa nova. Killer album, Habibi Funk is such a great label.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 24 January 2020 13:11 (two months ago) link

ooo good stuff thx for the tip

Mordy, Friday, 24 January 2020 13:51 (two months ago) link

The major keepers from globalFest imo were:

San Salvador: South France polyphony with drums... fucking volcanic live -

La Chica: Venezuelan French woman doing dope electro-pop -

Ak Dan Gwang Chil: sprawling South Korean band with three lead female singers and killer style -

And, of course, Cheikh Lo was lovely as always

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 24 January 2020 15:28 (two months ago) link

Heard good things about Ak Dan Gwang Chil. They were in DC at Kennedy Center too, but just billed as a folkloric trad group and I missed them. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage 1 hour gigs are videotaped and archived -- will check that out as well.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 26 January 2020 15:43 (two months ago) link

Gregory Maqoma’s Vuyani Dance Theatre from South Africa did an intense performance last night @ Kennedy Center entitled “Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero.” Set in a graveyard , the singers/dancers combined mournful South African Isicathamiya a capella singing w/ beatbox rap & hiphop dance (both modern and popping and locking). A touch of Malathini in vocals via use of froggy voice megaphone, also traditional tongue clicking at one point. No video allowed last night. Too bad as the video trailers on Youtube are much more tame than what I saw. The NY Times profiled Maqoma and gave a fave review to their performance last weekend in NYC. South African composer Nhlanhla Mahlangu cleverly transposed Ravel's Bolero to a marching snare drum beat and via other ways as well.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 26 January 2020 15:53 (two months ago) link

i'm enjoying this this morning (on spotify) - sorta Anglo-Scots/Indian folk fusion:

Mordy, Sunday, 26 January 2020 16:00 (two months ago) link


Maqoma's South African dance and song gets love from NY Times

curmudgeon, Sunday, 26 January 2020 16:05 (two months ago) link

Looks like Maqoma’s Vuyani Dance Theatre from South Africa have only 1 more US appearance - February 1 at Mass Moca

curmudgeon, Monday, 27 January 2020 16:38 (two months ago) link

Shows in New York:

Sat., Feb 1:
3MA, comprising Malian kora master Ballaké Sissoko, Moroccan oud expert Driss El Maloumi, and Malagasy valiha extraordinaire Rajery plays a FREE show at Public Records. Don't forget to RSVP!

curmudgeon, Saturday, 1 February 2020 00:10 (two months ago) link

Ulysses and Unperson should go to that.

curmudgeon, Saturday, 1 February 2020 20:29 (two months ago) link

Unfortunately, I'm gonna be at the Jazz Gallery tonight.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 1 February 2020 22:04 (two months ago) link

i've had the flu for about a week - mildly unpleasant. more unpleasant has been taking care of 3 sick kids who also are sick and being mostly cooped inside. today i was feeling better but w/ some cabin fever so i took reggie for a long walk outside. it had rained in the morning and was still cold and the air was sharp but there were lots of birds and small mammals about. i listened to the new afropop worldwide episode about the field recordings of High Tracey who did a lot of fieldwork in traditional communities in Africa in the 1950s particularly in Malawi. i had not heard these before but many are extraordinary + strange lots of inventive vocal and instrumental sounds, some things that reminded me of reading feld's sound and sentiment, really some wonderful things to listen to and especially on a chilly, somewhat wet walk after spending all week ill and indoors.

Mordy, Sunday, 2 February 2020 20:16 (two months ago) link

Hugh* Tracey but i guess that's a little easter egg there

Mordy, Sunday, 2 February 2020 20:20 (two months ago) link

Mordy, did you study ethnomusicology? Not doing so has always been a minor regret of mine. I did take an intro anthropology course and the prof would start each class by playing music and asking us to guess where it was from

rob, Monday, 3 February 2020 14:50 (two months ago) link

Sorta - I did a Performance Studies grad degree but worked with ethnomusicologists and on topics that had a lot of crossover so I ended up studying + reading a lot of ethnomusicology and took a few classes in the discipline. I was mostly interested in religious + liturgical music and wrote about Jewish music primarily but I also wrote about other things. I also did a course in Sound Studies that was very interesting.

Mordy, Monday, 3 February 2020 15:08 (two months ago) link

Ah that's interesting. A good friend of mine is doing a PhD in performance studies at CUNY right now and all his classes sound great--he's a playwright & director but is also taking a lot of music-related courses. When I worked in academic publishing I promoted ethnomusicology books but never had time to do much more than skim them (I wish I'd kept copies of them all now!). Sound studies is closer to my own academic field (media/comms) but I haven't had a chance to get seriously into yet.

rob, Monday, 3 February 2020 15:26 (two months ago) link

Shakira At Super Bowl halftime used the the Congo instrumental song Icha by Syran Mbenza. The guitar solo is by Lokassa Ya Mbongo I am reading on twitter. Colombian champeta is drawn from Congolese rumba in part.

She also drew a bit from her Lebanese heritage. Zaghrouta is the tongue thing she did.

curmudgeon, Monday, 3 February 2020 16:16 (two months ago) link

Maybe some university classes are discussing that today!

curmudgeon, Monday, 3 February 2020 16:18 (two months ago) link

Plus the myriad other elements and the guests Bad Bunny & J Balvin

curmudgeon, Monday, 3 February 2020 16:19 (two months ago) link

I didn't see it, but that does sound like a rich text!

rob, Monday, 3 February 2020 16:24 (two months ago) link

can't wait to talk about this w my students!
they love bad bunny

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 3 February 2020 16:40 (two months ago) link

and they know their place.

maura, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 15:58 (two months ago) link

(i'm being sarcastic. i trust you realize this but i feel like i have to clarify.)

maura, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 15:58 (two months ago) link

Christopher Kirkley's Sahel Sounds imprint (Mdou Moctar, Les Filles de Illighadad, Ahmedou Ahmed Lowla) jumpstarts 2020 with its catchy new "Music from Saharan WhatsApp" series: "Every month, we'll be releasing an EP from a musical group in the Sahel. Every album will be recorded on a cellphone, and transmitted over WhatsApp, and uploaded to Bandcamp - where it will live for one month only. Available for pay as you want, 100% of the sales will go directly to the artist or group. After one month, the album will be replaced by another one, until the end of the year."

First off is Etran de L'Aïr (which translates to 'Stars of the Aïr', a mountainous region in Northern Niger), a group hailing from Agadez that established itself as a wedding band, playing three guitars simultaneously, "pushing their instruments to the extreme, soloing over one another and creating a dreamy cacophony of sound." Originally the band formed back in 1995...

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 19:55 (two months ago) link

X-post - NY Times editorial by Jennifer Weiner re pearl clutchers vs butt shakers takes on Super Bowl

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 22:27 (two months ago) link

Now I'm sorry I skipped that Ballaké Sissoko show. This is totally fucked:

Malian musician & renowned Kora player Ballaké Sissoko says USA Customs have destroyed his custom-made Kora.
Statement reads ‘In Mali the jihadists threaten to destroy musical instruments - yet ironically US customs have managed to do this’

— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) February 5, 2020

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 6 February 2020 01:39 (two months ago) link

Terrible how they pulled it apart

curmudgeon, Thursday, 6 February 2020 17:00 (two months ago) link

The destruction of Ballaké Sissoko's kora by TSA agents of 'Homeland Security' is a reminder that cultural barbarism flows from political barbarism. They are not worthy of him, of his instrument, or of the beautiful sound he produces on his kora.

— Adam Shatz (@adamshatz) February 7, 2020

shatz otm

calzino, Friday, 7 February 2020 15:04 (two months ago) link

Burna Boy and Koffee at least made ilm top 77 albums, but not Mdou Moctar or others discussed here. :(

curmudgeon, Friday, 7 February 2020 16:14 (two months ago) link

No mention anywhere on ILM of djeuhdjoah & lt nicholson. Liked that album more than African-ish that made the top 77, except Samthing prob.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Friday, 7 February 2020 18:21 (two months ago) link

Must admit I never heard of that duo. French Afro-Soul singers it appears. Will check them out.

curmudgeon, Friday, 7 February 2020 19:26 (two months ago) link

Mdou Moctar got 7 votes in ILM album poll 2019

curmudgeon, Saturday, 8 February 2020 12:51 (two months ago) link

love sissoko, very much bullshit from customs

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 9 February 2020 15:43 (two months ago) link

this sissoko & sissoko album with (Baba) features some beautiful playing. I suppose -ruined instrument aside- the upshot is that this ugly incident brought him lots of sympathetic publicity and attention that he thoroughly deserves.

calzino, Monday, 10 February 2020 11:48 (one month ago) link

RIP. Pioneering act. Saw em a few times ( although they used to come to DC every February and I got tired of em and wanted to see other South African old school acts but that rarely ever happened. Wasn’t their fault)

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 06:08 (one month ago) link

Fatoumata Diawara only has 2 US east coast gigs on current tour- Philly on February 19 & NYC on the 21st. Then she heads out to Chicago and west. She’s great live

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 15:14 (one month ago) link

Listened to the reissue of an Issam Hajali album today - Lebanese Acid Folk from the 70's with touches of orchestral pop, prog, bossa nova. Killer album, Habibi Funk is such a great label.

― Daniel_Rf, Friday, January 24, 2020 1:11 PM (three weeks ago)

this album is incredible, an absolute gem

corrs unplugged, Friday, 14 February 2020 10:31 (one month ago) link

curmudgeon, Friday, 14 February 2020 23:50 (one month ago) link

gonna catch diawara this week. she's been great everytime i saw her.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 16 February 2020 04:40 (one month ago) link

mdou moctar doing a neat late night NYC show at an extremely funky brooklyn room

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 16 February 2020 04:41 (one month ago) link

whatsapp #2 is out

Mordy, Wednesday, 19 February 2020 16:33 (one month ago) link

This month we present mother and son duo, Oumou Diabate and Kara Show Koumba Frifri (Youssouf Drame), from Bamako, Mali. Playing traditional Mandingue music, these lowkey recordings are a snapshot from a griot family home.

Mordy, Wednesday, 19 February 2020 16:33 (one month ago) link

saw Dawda Jobarteh yesterday, feel like there should be a dedicated kora thread, what a wonderful instrument

corrs unplugged, Thursday, 20 February 2020 07:59 (one month ago) link

Kora does sound great

curmudgeon, Thursday, 20 February 2020 20:28 (one month ago) link

This month, Autotune the World goes to Senegal, digging into the past decade of Mbalax & Sabar. Some deep youtube finds and some well known classics.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 20 February 2020 20:31 (one month ago) link

Haven’t heard that yet, or latest Afropop worldwide, or recent Sahel Sounds whatsapp related release. Shame on me

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 26 February 2020 20:49 (one month ago) link

Finally listening to the Islam Hajali , Lebanese acid-folk pop album mentioned upthread. Nice, pleasant sounds for an early Monday morning

curmudgeon, Monday, 2 March 2020 13:58 (one month ago) link

posted this on another thread but might be interesting to some here. I started a Facebook community to discuss new music from around the world

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Monday, 2 March 2020 14:46 (one month ago) link

X-post - ah autocorrect- that’s Issam Hijali

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 3 March 2020 03:17 (one month ago) link

I listened to an Afropop Worldwide episode about chutney soca. I want to go to a Carnival in the Caribbean some year. I have done Brazil ( Rio and Salvador) which was amazing .

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 02:56 (one month ago) link

x-post - listened to some of the Autotune the World Senegal thing and it’s worth hearing but it’s just music, no talking like the Afropop Worldwide podcast. But maybe you knew that.

75 Dollar Bill are opening for Mdou Moctar on Monday March 23 at Ottobar in Baltimore. Not sure if they’re playing together elsewhere. A bit of a drive for me to get up there on a work night but it’s tempting

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 17:25 (one month ago) link

Nice video at end of guinea band plus discussion of music history there

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 17:44 (four weeks ago) link

MP3 download too

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 17:46 (four weeks ago) link

Legendary Ethiopian pianist Girma Beyene just canceled US tour due to virus concerns ( especially for those who are older)

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 16:29 (four weeks ago) link

Have not heard the Portuguese modern take on fado album that is #1

curmudgeon, Saturday, 14 March 2020 19:30 (three weeks ago) link

that’s the #2! I’m curious about the #1, Kurdish singer Aynur’s new album Hedûr.

No mean feat. DaBaby (breastcrawl), Saturday, 14 March 2020 20:12 (three weeks ago) link

Oops you're right. Curious about a number of these. Full list for each month goes to 40.

1. Aynur · Hedûr / Solace of Time · The Orchard / Dreyer & Gaido (-)

2. Lina_Raül Refree · Lina_Raül Refree · Glitterbeat (16)
3. Antibalas · Fu Chronicles · Daptone (-)
4. Asmâa Hamzaoui & Bnat Timbouktou · Oulad Lghaba · Ajabu! (3)
5. Nelia Safaie · Songs from Lands of Silence · Kirkelig Kulturverksted (-)
6. Sam Lee · Old Wow · Cooking Vinyl (-)
7. Ballaké Sissoko & Baba Sissoko · Sissoko & Sissoko · (4)
8. Maria Mazzotta · Amoreamaro · Agualoca (-)
9. Evritiki Zygia · Ormenion · Teranga Beat (-)
10. Roberto Fonseca · Yesun · Mack Avenue (7)

curmudgeon, Saturday, 14 March 2020 20:56 (three weeks ago) link

That Lina_Raül Refree album is really good. I interviewed them both for Bandcamp.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 14 March 2020 21:04 (three weeks ago) link

Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela album coming soon. A song or 2 already available

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 15:59 (three weeks ago) link

Manu Dibango was hospitalized for Covid-19 but is now home and recuperating, I see on Facebook

curmudgeon, Thursday, 19 March 2020 18:58 (three weeks ago) link

Aurlus Mabele, singer/dancer from Congolese rumba/ soukous band Loketo led by guitarist Diblo Dibala. He was 67 & died from stroke complications and coronavirus . Loketo was last based in Paris.

A charismatic performer back when, I saw he & Loketo a number of times

curmudgeon, Saturday, 21 March 2020 11:27 (two weeks ago) link

My locally based Malian and Ethiopian musicians are laying low and not video streaming as far as I can tell. Local clubs are unable to pay employees. Musicians and promoters who are independent contractors are unable to qualify for unemployment benefits

curmudgeon, Monday, 23 March 2020 16:25 (two weeks ago) link

RIP Manu Dibango. There’s a separate thread all about Mr Soul Makossa

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 24 March 2020 14:49 (two weeks ago) link

New Hailu Mergia album is good

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 04:19 (one week ago) link

agreed! new tony allen hugh masekela great too.

Mordy, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 04:26 (one week ago) link

Hailu album/EP is lovely

opener reminds me of some pop tune, maybe "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"

corrs unplugged, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 09:08 (one week ago) link

just digging into the full hailu album but the singles are one and all excellent
Need to crack the Masekela/Allen album; two gods.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 16:14 (one week ago) link

I need to hear the Masekela/Allen album. Did like 1 advanced track I heard

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 16:30 (one week ago) link

Bossa Bistro in Dc go fund me and likely many homes for international music everywhere

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 19:38 (one week ago) link

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