Just in time to capture the last of the UK summer sun, here is some Afro goodness coming for your ears. What’s more, Keira means ‘peace’ which is probably something all of our brains could do with right now.
This one-off album is the result of an unplanned collaboration between London resident and bassist, Huw Bennett, and a group of traditional Gambian musicians from the Mandinka people. Huw was originally travelling to broaden his musical horizons, but was so welcomed into the local musical community that he was inspired to infuse his own sound, and to try and showcase Gambian music to the world.
My two picks are Ansumana and the final track on the album, Son Kunda. Enjoy!
Another release from Disclosure, another banger. This first featured in their Streaming From Isolation set for Boiler Room and they’ve been good enough to grace us with the full release just as the sun comes out.
The prolific pair team up again with Malian singer-actress Fatoumata Diawara (if you like this, check out the 2018 release Ultimatum), who gives an impassioned tribute to her home country, heralding its ‘unity, harmony, love and brotherhood’. An uplifting message over characteristically uplifting beats from Disclosure which will transport you from home office onto a sweaty, packed, carefree dancefloor (remember those?) in an instant. The video is great; it was shot via drone during lockdown in Jo’burg, Como and NY and features phenomenal scenery and dancers alike. Disclosure’s new album ENERGY drops end of August…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; you’ve got to hand it to Disclosure. They seem to be able to ride each musical wave as it comes, while maintaining something that makes them distinctive. Much easier said than done.
Their latest offering is out now on Island Records. They seem completely oblivious to the fact that it isn’t mid-Summer, but I won’t hold that against them. It is sun-soaked house banger after banger. Props.
My top pick is Tondo, a high energy afro-infused number. Enjoy.
More of my thoughts on the lads’ previous release here.
Boy do I have a treat for you today. I actually cannot believe I haven’t posted this one before. It’s Henrik Schwarz remixing Emmanuel Jal’s Kuar and it’s a stonker. It was the first track I heard this decade, and I couldn’t have been happier about it. Shout out to Philou Louzolo for a big New Year’s set at De Marktkantine.
So this track is massive in its own right, but I just read a bit of the back story of Emmanuel Jal and it is nuts. He was a child soldier in Sudan before he was rescued and smuggled out into Kenya. He then went on to forge a successful career across music, film and social causes. Read about him here.
Finally, as an extra special New Year’s treat, here is a playlist I put together on a similar vibe.
I’m headed to the inaugral Maiden Voyage Festival today on Three Mills Island. It’s a one-stage Jazz Cafe creation with a solid gold line-up spanning jazz, hip-hop, afrobeat and funk. So solid in fact that I’m not even going to pick out an artist – instead you can listen to a selection of tracks below. Whack it on shuffle and soak it in.
Right so one of my mates is moving to Johannesburg. Which got me to thinking, what’s my favourite song called Johannesburg? Well it’s this one. What’s yours? It’s actually the only song I know called Johannesburg.
Two of my favourite things combining on this one. Tom Demac and Hugh Masekela. In Tom’s own words, it is a “sun burner gurner” and who am I to argue? It lifts the vocals from Don’t Go Lose It Baby and shunts them alongside one of those foot-stomping basslines. Top marks.