Rolling Global Outernational Non-West Non-English (Some Exceptions) 2021 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, etc. threads. Sometimes, but not always, the artists are older than those on those other threads. More old-school bands too. Often less digital programming but if it includes such playing/programming it is usually less popular

curmudgeon, Sunday, 3 January 2021 02:01 (ten months ago) link

Here's last year's thread- 2020

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

curmudgeon, Sunday, 3 January 2021 02:03 (ten months ago) link

Still catching up on 2020 music slowly ( other things keeping me from listening)

Saw an Awesome Tapes from Africa email about a Mail release that looked promising; once I find time

curmudgeon, Friday, 8 January 2021 18:46 (ten months ago) link

Jonathan Bogart in part re his top songs of 2020 : I dare say that just about anyone could find something to love in there, even if they don’t speak Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swahili, or Zulu (the most common non-English languages throughout the playlist).

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 12 January 2021 02:48 (ten months ago) link

Bogart ranked 50 songs and did a Spotify list plus a 626 song YouTube playlist. A lot of it is more Afro thread material but since he has Caribbean and Brazilian and more , I posted it here

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 12 January 2021 05:34 (ten months ago) link

Breastcrawl may even know already about many of the above artists.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 12 January 2021 15:21 (ten months ago) link

cool, I only just saw this. reservations about JB aside, I’m looking forward to do some digging in. (rest assured, if last year’s list is anything to go by there will be lots I don’t know)

partyin' maskless with Rudy G. and Vanilla Ice, it's a gas gas gas (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 12:15 (ten months ago) link

Chouk Bwa & The Ångstromers
Vodou Alé
Haitian Drumming and Singing with Touches of Electronica and Dancehall Music

Just finally listened to this 2020 effort. Not bad but doesn’t consistently wow me. Critic Ted Gioia had it in his long year end list

curmudgeon, Thursday, 14 January 2021 02:15 (ten months ago) link

album titles in the link

Rocky Dawuni
Songhoy Blues
Elida Almeida
Aricia Mess from Putumayo presents Brazil-Samba, Bossa, and Beyond
Hailu Mergia
Groupe RTD
Gordon Konang
Linos Wengara Magaya & Zimbaremabwe Mbira Vibes
Modeste Hugues & Kilema
Artists for Peace & Justice- Let the Rhythm Lead: Haiti Song Summit Vol. 1
Ali Bilali Soudan
Herb Alpert
Andal Sukabe from Music from Saharan WhatsApp 7 Sahel Sounds
Penny Penny
Nahawa Doumbia
Ballake Sissoko
Oumou Sangare - Acoustic
Monty Alexander

curmudgeon, Sunday, 17 January 2021 16:46 (ten months ago) link

This rips (Ugandan drum group on Nyege Nyege):

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 18 January 2021 20:57 (ten months ago) link

Still catching up on 2020-- the Al Bilali Soudan (not Ali as I mistakenly typed earlier) album has great North African desert guitar work. Maybe not anything new at this point, but done really well.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 19 January 2021 17:03 (ten months ago) link

Actually that's ngoni on that and maybe not guitar

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 19 January 2021 17:09 (ten months ago) link

Malian singer Nahawa Doumbia also on above list has a powerful, passionate voice . She's from southern Mali. in the Wassoulou region. This area is well known for generating some of the best female singers in Mali, including Oumou Sangaré.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 19 January 2021 17:25 (ten months ago) link

Modeste Hugues & Kilema is pleasant afro-folk from Madagascar .

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 19 January 2021 19:54 (ten months ago) link

Still more there to go through.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 21 January 2021 17:34 (ten months ago) link

The Oumou Sangare acoustic album from last year is nice. She's still got a great voice. One of those many fantastic southern Mali vocalists

curmudgeon, Saturday, 23 January 2021 06:30 (ten months ago) link

I don't think the kora album by Ballake Sissoko that listed is available yet. He is a good player. Saw him duet with French musician Vincent Segal live, and they also were together on Tiny Desk

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 26 January 2021 00:20 (ten months ago) link

New digital only collection with e-book of global 78s put together by Excavated Shellac and Dust to Digital

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 26 January 2021 16:33 (ten months ago) link

thanks for posting that tiny desk concert! I watched it last night. I know their albums together already, but it was a real treat to be able to see them playing with each other. This is basically what I imagine heaven would sound like.

I skipped a kora concert summer '19. I don't even remember who was playing, but I've regretted it ever since, particularly in the past year.

That shellac collection sounds amazing, I kind of want to convene a group project to listen to the whole thing.

rob, Tuesday, 26 January 2021 16:50 (ten months ago) link

Good description.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 27 January 2021 02:00 (ten months ago) link

Good description.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 27 January 2021 02:00 (ten months ago) link

that excavated shellac thing looks amazing - used to follow the blog - but come on, 100+ tracks? no one has the time.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 27 January 2021 11:30 (ten months ago) link

ordered the shellac collection! downloading the large pdf is taken some time let alone the music :D

nxd, Wednesday, 27 January 2021 11:51 (ten months ago) link

oh wait that was the music

anyway listening now

nxd, Wednesday, 27 January 2021 12:43 (ten months ago) link

the detail in the document is amazing btw, full page of history for each track and lyrics and translations

nxd, Wednesday, 27 January 2021 18:38 (ten months ago) link

got it off bandcamp earlier and talked a friend into listening to a few songs each week and chatting about it, pretty excited!

rob, Wednesday, 27 January 2021 18:39 (ten months ago) link

Christgau just posted his fave albums for 2020 list and it includes this North African one below from 2017

3. Group Doueh & Cheveu: Dakhla Sahara Session (Born Bad ‘17)

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 27 January 2021 19:18 (ten months ago) link

Nahawa Doumbia , Mali singer with her band in Stockholm last year. She has a new album that was available in Mali in November 2020, & Awesome Tapes from Africa is releasing elsewhere now

curmudgeon, Thursday, 28 January 2021 04:00 (ten months ago) link

Nice I'll have to check that out. I got pretty into La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3 last summer

rob, Thursday, 28 January 2021 15:15 (ten months ago) link

RIP Sibongile Khumalo, South African Zulu jazz & choral singer

curmudgeon, Saturday, 6 February 2021 05:43 (nine months ago) link

I forget the name of the rap not in English thread, so Inwill post this here instead. I see in The NY Times actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas saying that she listens to Hindi rap like Raftaar and Divine when she works out.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 7 February 2021 19:53 (nine months ago) link

that's this thread, curmudge: Rolling worldwide rap thread 2021

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Sunday, 7 February 2021 20:12 (nine months ago) link

Reading in NY Times about Barbara Dane , 93 years old musician and Paredon label owner

Musician Barbara Dane’s Life of Defiance and Song - plus Her label released music produced by liberation movements in Vietnam, Palestine, Angola, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Greece, Uruguay, Mexico, the United States and beyond.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 February 2021 18:01 (nine months ago) link

Folkways controls the label now

curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 February 2021 18:02 (nine months ago) link

nice to see that paddy bush's old documentary on the malagasy musician rakotozafy has made it back to youtube again:

would a nit be nice? (NickB), Friday, 12 February 2021 22:48 (nine months ago) link

Kôrôlén is a very special collaboration between two titans in music: Toumani Diabaté, the Grammy-winning Malian kora virtuoso, and the London Symphony Orchestra, renowned worldwide for their performances of orchestral music on record, film and stage. Diabaté, a griot whose musical lineage stretches back generations, is well known as one of the most creative musicians on the African continent, and is almost single-handedly responsible for bringing the iconic sound of the kora to worldwide audiences. No stranger to a genre-defying collaboration, he has recorded two Grammy-winning albums alongside desert blues pioneer Ali Farka Touré, as well as projects with Taj Mahal, Björk, Béla Fleck, Damon Albarn and Afrocubism.

Commissioned as a special project by the Barbican Centre in London and produced by World Circuit, these recordings feature Diabaté and his group of eminent Malian musicians (including Kasse Mady Diabaté and Lassana Diabaté), accompanied by the soaring presence of the LSO, in dedicated arrangements by Nico Muhly and Ian Gardiner and conducted by Clark Rundell. The title bestowed by Diabaté on this unique and groundbreaking release, 'Kôrôlén', translates from the Mandinka language as 'ancestral' - a fitting theme for an album that brings together ancient griot melodies and Western orchestral arrangements, resulting in an achingly beautiful and fresh neo-classical sound that will appeal to admirers of African, traditional and new classical, and ambient music.

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 18 February 2021 16:27 (nine months ago) link

arghhhh with someone like toumani would go LOWER-fi not higher fi
orchestra collabs are such a snooze

sean gramophone, Thursday, 18 February 2021 16:45 (nine months ago) link


curmudgeon, Thursday, 18 February 2021 16:46 (nine months ago) link

yeah I'm listening to "Haïnamady Town" off this right now and Diabaté is excellent of course, but the LSO bits are pretty sacharine

rob, Friday, 19 February 2021 13:57 (nine months ago) link

Here's one that rightfully should go on yesterday's '70s boogie thread 'cept it's not from the '70s and isn't about boogying per se; is from the Songhoy Blues LP that Steve was disappointed by last year. Similar to fellow Malian Ali Farka Toure, Songhoy Blues are fans of John Lee Hooker; unlike Ali Farka Touré their Hooker-derived blues boogie sometimes sounds like Brownsville Station.

Frank Kogan, Sunday, 21 February 2021 22:36 (nine months ago) link

Sorry not much of Brownsville fan, although I am curious about how Songhoy Blues sound changed into this more boogie rock one

curmudgeon, Monday, 22 February 2021 04:06 (nine months ago) link

Paul Bowles, author & musician, went to Morocco in 1959 and recorded music there. It was released as a 1972 lp, and now his tapes are on YouTube

curmudgeon, Monday, 22 February 2021 04:08 (nine months ago) link

Oduor Nyagweno, solo nyatiti & vocals, worth reading the backstory here:

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 21:35 (nine months ago) link

At 14 years of age he had a dream about the nyatiti and when he awoke the following day, he was magically able to play it, or so the legend goes. Nyagweno started entering nyatiti competitions and quickly moved up the ranks to become one of the best nyatiti players in the area

Here’s part of backstory but there’s more.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 22:02 (nine months ago) link

Longtime Armenian singer/ instrumentalist and occasional Hollywood bit actor Guy Chookoorian has died. Lots of Armenians who fled their homes after Turkish genocide end up in Southern California

curmudgeon, Thursday, 25 February 2021 14:00 (nine months ago) link

Punjabi / India singer Sardool Sikander dead at 60 from Covid

curmudgeon, Thursday, 25 February 2021 15:29 (nine months ago) link

Not 100 percent sure this is the right thread for this, but Buscabulla was discussed on last year's thread. This is a lovely, languorous dream-pop cover. I wasn't familiar with the original, but I gather it's a Puerto Rican karaoke staple. I've gone back and listened to earlier recordings (Lissette Alvarez, Umberto Tozzi) and they're good but I like the chill vibe of this one.

New Angelique Kidjo album . She wrote 11 of 13 songs. Guests include Burna Boy, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi

Pitchfork review is favorable although grade of 7.6 won’t make it a “best album “

curmudgeon, Monday, 21 June 2021 15:48 (five months ago) link

Haven’t listened to the Kidjo album yet

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 22 June 2021 19:57 (five months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Was listening to Witch Camp— percussion and chants and harmonies from Ghanaian women in a camp who have been wrongfully condemned as witches

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 20 July 2021 12:31 (four months ago) link

Sample tracks from this are good:

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 15:08 (four months ago) link

Pop Makossa was amazing so I'm looking forward to hearing that

rob, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 15:27 (four months ago) link

Sounds funky and liners say most songs were recorded in a church with just one mic

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 15:57 (four months ago) link

This is pretty sweet:

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Tuesday, 27 July 2021 01:13 (four months ago) link

Bandcamp daily had a story about this Moroccan banjo player, really nice:

rob, Tuesday, 27 July 2021 13:44 (four months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I am behind on listening to various things related to this thread. But intend to find time

curmudgeon, Monday, 16 August 2021 17:09 (three months ago) link

The late Burmese / Myanmar guitarist U-tin sounds good on my first quick listen

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 17 August 2021 17:26 (three months ago) link

yes, sounds very interesting

corrs unplugged, Wednesday, 18 August 2021 07:09 (three months ago) link


curmudgeon, Thursday, 19 August 2021 14:12 (three months ago) link

Belatedly caught up with the new Ballaké Sissoko, who never disappoints. The chamber pop collabs (with Camille and Arthur Teboul of Feu ! Chatterton, among others) are more convincing than I expected and don't sound off in this context where most features involve African musicians (or musicians of African descent). The duo with Oxmo Puccino is the sole misstep as far as I'm concerned. By far one of the best French rappers of the late 90s/early 00s, he just sounds exhausted here, and his attempt at doing a spoken word bit falls flat.

pomenitul, Saturday, 21 August 2021 14:19 (three months ago) link

New Sissoko album is called Djourou

curmudgeon, Monday, 23 August 2021 14:05 (three months ago) link

Salif Keita’s voice is still so gorgeous on Sissoko cut Guelen

curmudgeon, Monday, 23 August 2021 14:24 (three months ago) link

Saw a little video clip on an Ethiopian DC FB group of Tsedi , an Ethiopian singer performing before a big Sunday night crowd at the Hashtag Lounge in Alexandria, Virginia, pretty close to Washington DC. I don’t know her music but may investigate further at some point

curmudgeon, Monday, 23 August 2021 15:43 (three months ago) link

was Habibi Funk 015 mentioned? it's very good on first listen

corrs unplugged, Tuesday, 24 August 2021 13:36 (three months ago) link

wow there are 15 volumes of that? not sure I've heard a one—any particular volume to recommend?

rob, Tuesday, 24 August 2021 14:37 (three months ago) link

this is a personal favorite

corrs unplugged, Tuesday, 24 August 2021 14:56 (three months ago) link

cheers, I'll check that out!

rob, Tuesday, 24 August 2021 16:25 (three months ago) link

Too many deaths of older musicians lately

Nobesuthu Mbadu of South Africa’s Mahotella Queens mbaqanga and vocal harmonies group

Sir Victor Uwaifo guitarist
Barthalemy Attiso, guitarist for Orchestra Baobab

curmudgeon, Monday, 6 September 2021 14:04 (two months ago) link

Really into this one:

Falle Nioke & sir Was - Wonama yo ema

sean gramophone, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 14:21 (two months ago) link

That sounds super nice

corrs unplugged, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 14:40 (two months ago) link

ooh that's lovely

ufo, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 14:49 (two months ago) link

this newer, bangier track is good too - i think it's on the BBC Radio 6 playlist

Falle Nioke & Ghost Culture - Leywole

sean gramophone, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 15:00 (two months ago) link

Thanks for the Falle Nioke posts. Good stuff.


Ethiopian New Year is Saturday. A couple of good live shows coming up this weekend in DC. One with guitarist Selamino who is on a Ethiopiques album or 2.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 9 September 2021 15:07 (two months ago) link

I checked Altın Gün's album because it was mentionned first on Popmatters mid-year list. It's a pleasant discovery: tasty mix of synths, grooves and Anatolian rock. It's light in a good way, without the superficial exotic I expect on such releases. For example the track of right now, Kesik Çayır, sounds kinda like the B-side of Remain in Light. I wouldn't mind a bit more edge and a world-class singer, but I think I'll check their previous album as well.

Nabozo, Thursday, 9 September 2021 16:10 (two months ago) link

Following the author, I just found this. Fitting since I'm going to Kin soon.
Rey Sapienz & The Congo Techno Ensemble - Eza Makambo

Nabozo, Thursday, 9 September 2021 16:42 (two months ago) link

Mecca-based MSYLMA, who made what I believe to be the best record of 2019, is coming out with a new one next Monday, a collaboration with producer ISMAEL. Some gorgeous preview tracks here:

Doesn't fit with a lot of the more "traditional" music that this thread catalogs, but is obviously influenced by Muslim devotional music and prayer practices. Really cool stuff.

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 15:25 (two months ago) link

I missed the 2019 album as well, so will check out both

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 21:08 (two months ago) link

Some of 2019 Msylma is a bit too melodramatic for me, but much of it works.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 12:34 (two months ago) link

Yeah, it is a little melodramatic, but I love it— and he does have quite a set of pipes.

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 16:38 (two months ago) link

Family responsibilities mean I can’t go see Cameroon’s longtime mokassa artist Petit Pays Friday night in a burb between DC and Baltimore, but he’s released a zillion albums that I haven’t heard and should check out

curmudgeon, Thursday, 23 September 2021 15:25 (two months ago) link


curmudgeon, Thursday, 23 September 2021 15:26 (two months ago) link

Neha Kakkar from India is at the MGM theatre near me tonight, as well.

curmudgeon, Friday, 24 September 2021 14:25 (two months ago) link

NPR story on Los Angeles based Iranian singer Googoosh who is on tour again

curmudgeon, Thursday, 30 September 2021 14:23 (two months ago) link

More than 100 young artists, teachers and their relatives affiliated with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, a celebrated school that became a target of the Taliban in part for its efforts to promote the education of girls, fled the country on Sunday, the school’s leaders said.

The musicians, many of whom have been trying to leave for more than a month, boarded a flight from Kabul’s main airport and arrived in Doha, the capital of Qatar, around midday Eastern time, according to Ahmad Naser Sarmast, the head of the school, who is currently in Australia. In the coming days, they plan to resettle in Portugal, where the government has agreed to grant them visas

From NY Times

curmudgeon, Monday, 4 October 2021 13:24 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

Between helping my elderly Mom ( who’s more a Sinatra fan than a Mdou Moctar one) and moving locally in the DC area , I am way behind on my global listening.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 16:26 (two weeks ago) link

I need to listen to this reissue

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 17 November 2021 21:33 (one week ago) link

That Robson Banda and the new black eagles reissue has those zimbabwean and south african guitars from the 80s that I like

curmudgeon, Thursday, 18 November 2021 16:16 (one week ago) link

. BLK JKS - Abantu/Before Humans

Saw this and Mdou Moctar on a best of 2021 album list in that thread of them

curmudgeon, Thursday, 18 November 2021 16:17 (one week ago) link

Omar Souleymane now being held in a Turkish prison is bad news.

curmudgeon, Friday, 19 November 2021 12:24 (one week ago) link

Hmmm have I ever heard Sona Jobarteh who’s gonna be on cover of December Songlines and has a gig in London soon

curmudgeon, Monday, 22 November 2021 16:21 (one week ago) link

That BLK JKS album is very busy with lots of sounds coming at you at once, sometimes I like it while other times it’s too jazz fusion/ prog busy for me.

curmudgeon, Monday, 22 November 2021 16:38 (one week ago) link

learned recently that demola adepoju also played pedal steel on paul simon's "graceland" (the song). his solo album is amazing. any/all other nigerian/african pedal steel tips always totally welcome!

— jesse jarnow (@bourgwick) November 20, 2021

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 24 November 2021 20:51 (six days ago) link

Pakistani music for the masses. I like her but it’s interesting how she has managed to reach ilx, indie hipsters, and the Grammys

curmudgeon, Thursday, 25 November 2021 17:08 (five days ago) link

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