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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three months ago) link

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

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

This rips (Ugandan drum group on Nyege Nyege):

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

Actually that's ngoni on that and maybe not guitar

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

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

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

Still more there to go through.

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

Good description.

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

Good description.

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

oh wait that was the music

anyway listening now

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

RIP Sibongile Khumalo, South African Zulu jazz & choral singer

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

Folkways controls the label now

curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 February 2021 18:02 (two 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 (two 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 (one month 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 (one month ago) link


curmudgeon, Thursday, 18 February 2021 16:46 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month ago) link

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

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

Punjabi / India singer Sardool Sikander dead at 60 from Covid

curmudgeon, Thursday, 25 February 2021 15:29 (one month 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.

I was happily skimming through those but got stuck on Eli Njuchi (Malawi) for a while!

glenn mcdonald, Wednesday, 3 March 2021 17:32 (one month ago) link

without having checked those links yet: that’s very cool, thanx!

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 3 March 2021 18:47 (one month ago) link

these playlists would actually be at least as appropriate for the Rolling Afropop. feel free to post them there as well!

am I correct in assuming you rid these lists of “international” hits, like in one of your earlier projects?

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 3 March 2021 18:57 (one month ago) link

can also report a sham upload in the Nigeria list: “High Way” is a big hit by DJ Kaywise featuring (famous rapper) Phyno, but some sneaky person re-uploaded it with the non-existing ‘Phynoo’ as the artist name.

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 3 March 2021 19:03 (one month ago) link

More about Eli Njuchi:

have to say, that song "Phone" of his shares *a lot* of dna with a five-year-old Nigerian hit, Nonso Amadi's "Tonight" - up and including the actual "phone me, I am here for you" message:

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 3 March 2021 19:35 (one month ago) link

Thanks Glenn for those posts. Lots to go through

curmudgeon, Thursday, 4 March 2021 13:51 (one month ago) link

Re the former Grammy world music category now called global music

“It seems the surest way to win in the category is to have won before. Some 23 of 37 winners have won a Grammy previously, including each winner of the past eight years during which time Angélique Kidjo won three times.”

curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 March 2021 00:28 (one month ago) link

RIp Josky Kiambukuta of Tpok Jazz from the Congo. The 72-year-old singer, songwriter and performer had been ill for several years.

Josky was one of the last stars of Tout Puissant Ok Jazz (TPOK Jazz), founded by Luambo Luanzo Makiadi, better known as Franco

curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 March 2021 05:50 (one month ago) link

TPOK were great. I need to dig into Josky cuts with them

curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 March 2021 19:13 (one month ago) link

yeah I don't recognize the name tbh, but TPOK are all-time

rob, Thursday, 11 March 2021 23:30 (one month ago) link

Someone who follows me on twitter swears by this Josky & TPOK song

curmudgeon, Friday, 12 March 2021 14:21 (one month ago) link

It’s “Limbisa Ngai”

This reminds me that some years back I used to be on an Old school African music chatboard dominated by Congolese diaspora members who confidently stated their music was the best in the world and who knew all the details. I wonder if that forum is still happening

curmudgeon, Friday, 12 March 2021 14:25 (one month ago) link

A posthumous Tony Allen album is coming in late April. He had lots of guests on it- Danny Brown, Skepta, Sampa and more. Damon Albarn one of the 3 producers

curmudgeon, Friday, 12 March 2021 15:27 (one month ago) link

First song from this late Tony Allen effort is called “Cosmosis “ and features Skepta and Ben Okiri. Nice relaxed polyrhythmic groove with some laidback grimey rapping/ talking

curmudgeon, Friday, 12 March 2021 15:33 (one month ago) link

Nice. I loved the Tony Allen/Hugh Masekela album from last year, that was a nice parting gift from him.

“Limbisa Ngai” unsurprisingly rules, those Congolese diaspora posters are pretty much otm!

rob, Friday, 12 March 2021 17:17 (one month ago) link

Definitely a good one.

Listening to music from elsewhere though tonight. Wau Wau Collectif is a collaboration via What’s App with Senegalese musicians and Swedes led by a Swedish musician/musicologist who had visited Senegal. Not bad.. Need to listen some more.

Witch Camp from Ghana is worth hearing but sad. It features older Ghanaian women who have been labeled witches ( by people who want to steal their land and property ) chanting over hand pounded percussion. Song titles include “Hunted,” “Only God can Judge Me,” “ I have lost all that I love”, “ Left to live like an animal “

curmudgeon, Sunday, 14 March 2021 04:30 (one month ago) link

RIP Senegalese singer Thione Seck at 66. He was in Orchestre Baobab and later had his own band. He also put out an album in 2005 called Orientation that blended middle eastern and Asian Islamic aspects into his sound ( kinda like that Youssou N’Dour Egypt album). Doing an ilx search I see that Thione Seck album got some attention here from more than me. As I said back then, I saw him live in DC before a 99% Senegalese crowd years ago and that Orientation cd like Youssou's Egypt one is a great hybrid effort.

curmudgeon, Monday, 15 March 2021 04:54 (one month ago) link

Spotify is calling the 2005 Thione Seck cd Orientissime .

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 16 March 2021 01:36 (four weeks ago) link

Syllart Records are responsible for that release, and that's how they titled it...

glenn mcdonald, Tuesday, 16 March 2021 02:38 (four weeks ago) link

RIP Seck, that's a bummer.

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 03:17 (four weeks ago) link

Glenn, thanks. Orientissime is the correct name I have discovered. I initially found one article that had the wrong title Orientation.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 17 March 2021 13:32 (four weeks ago) link

Apologies if this has been posted already, but I've never seen anything like it (and can't figure out a way to post it without Facebook, sorry):

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 23 March 2021 19:08 (three weeks ago) link

What is it?

rob, Tuesday, 23 March 2021 19:15 (three weeks ago) link

riveting stuff, I love it!

it’s Chinese opera, of the Shanxi kind:

but it’s not at all like what most people would probably expect that to look and sound like

(can’t tell if that’s one like too many or not, but whatever)

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 19:43 (three weeks ago) link

xpost Oh, sorry, it's "Zhang Tong 張桐, suona master, performs *all three roles* in the Shanxi Jin Opera version of the classic “Two Enter the Palace 二進宮”. " He's got some sort of reed inserted into his mouth/throat, so that it looks like he's singing but this whistle sound is coming out instead.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 23 March 2021 19:44 (three weeks ago) link

it had me dancing around in my living room

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 20:04 (three weeks ago) link


curmudgeon, Wednesday, 24 March 2021 05:39 (three weeks ago) link

Great find!

BC, on the off chance you are unfamiliar with Wang Li, I think you would dig him! Here's a fun duet project with Wu Wei:

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Friday, 26 March 2021 12:27 (two weeks ago) link

...but I am playing the Wang Li x Wu Wei album now...


(so far it’s very different from what JiC posted, bar a few wilder episodes, but I’m enjoying it all the same)

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 26 March 2021 13:21 (two weeks ago) link

? maybe i'm misunderstanding your post but that's not wang li in the chinese opera video, different artists altogether.
Just thought if you like one you might like the other.

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Friday, 26 March 2021 13:27 (two weeks ago) link

I got that! it’s just that beside the fact that they’re both Chinese musicians they don’t seem to have all that much in common (talking about the album here)

I do like it, like I said, so it’s all good and xiexie!

(but what does JiC have to say about all this?)

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 26 March 2021 14:06 (two weeks ago) link

(currently digging “Sun and Snow” off that Overtones album)

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 26 March 2021 14:12 (two weeks ago) link

the similarities in my mind were the mouth reed stuff

Wang Li is worth exploring; all his albums are great.

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Friday, 26 March 2021 14:23 (two weeks ago) link

I honestly don't know much about Chinese opera, let alone this approach to it. It's definitely wild, though, since the clips are sometimes like watching an avant band like, say, the Ex but hearing totally different sounds come out.

I just learned about this South Korean band Jambinai:

I've seen them described as post rock, which makes sense, but I also think it sometimes sounds weirdly like Nine Inch Nails.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 26 March 2021 14:46 (two weeks ago) link

nice piece on Ballaké Sissoko here:

rob, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 15:23 (one week ago) link

great pandemic profile of a wonderful musician practicing and parenting

curmudgeon, Thursday, 8 April 2021 02:27 (one week ago) link

RIP Gash Ayele Mamo, Ethiopian mandolin player and songwriter who played a big role in classic Ethiopiques music

curmudgeon, Friday, 9 April 2021 15:54 (six days ago) link

Anybody see "The Mali Cuba Connection"

In the midst of the Cold War, ten young promising musicians from Mali are sent to Cuba to study music and strengthen cultural links between the two socialist countries. Combining Malian and Afro-Cuban influences, they develop a revolutionary new sound and become the iconic ensemble ‘Las Maravillas de Mali’. New Year’s Eve 2000. Richard Minier, a French music producer meets a former member of the band in Bamako and decides to bring the band back together

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 13 April 2021 05:17 (two days ago) link

or Zanka Contact ? Am curious about both of these movies

Re Zanka --

"A car crash throws together a has-been rocker who has just returned to Casablanca and a streetwise con-artist, who get lulled into the shenanigans of the city’s music underworld."‘For three days after the Bataclan, I thought I was dead,” says Ismaël el Iraki, whose debut feature, Zanka Contact, is a Wild at Heart-type love story starring Ahmed Hammoud & Moroccan music star Khansa Batma w/ debts to Quentin Tarantino and Sergio Leone.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 13 April 2021 05:20 (two days ago) link

Leaning towards seeing both of those movies

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 13 April 2021 22:24 (two days ago) link

The Zanka Contact reviews on letterboxd are pretty withering but I am curious.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 09:14 (yesterday) link

I read reviews elsewhere and the best I saw was “a mess but a fun one”.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 18:13 (yesterday) link

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