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Ibibio Sound Machine on Soundway Records

1303057368-ibibio-sound-machine_web-1440_0.jpgThere's something wonderfully individualistic and creative going on in a pocket of London, with an eccentricity, the likes of which I have never heard before and I'm getting quite excited.

Ibibio Sound Machine on Soundway Records

1303057368-ibibio-sound-machine_web-1440_0.jpgThere's something fantastically idiosyncratic and creative going on in a pocket of London, with an eccentricity, the likes of which I have never heard before and its making me quite excited. Its being generated by the Ibibio Sound System who's self titled album is one of the latest releases on the Soundway label. London born Nigerian, Eno Williams sings of folk stories recounted to her by her family. Her sumptuous and sexy voice glides over the music, at times somewhat disconnected, as the band gets on with the job of creating all sorts of loose limbed rhythms, mixed with electronic sound effects, ad hoc tweaks and buzzes not forgetting afrobeat horns plus occasional cow bells. For European ears, much of this album has the sound of broken disco, futuristic yet with a retro-flavour of Starsky and Hutch pulling up for a night in Studio 54.

As the album progresses the grooves becomes deeper and more psychedelic. With tracks, 'Woman of Substance' and 'Prodigal Son' people may well start to draw parallels between Eno Williams and Grace Jones. The tracks are so individualistic that it may take a little more thought to drop one of them into a DJ set but hang on.... a better solution would be to drop an audience into Ibibio Sound Machine set and take delight in the different shapes people throw as they dance or attempt to dance to the music.

I still remember fondly those moments at the Whirly Gig where, after a night of dancing, we'd chill out under a parachute silk, wafted up and down by the hands of people in a circle holding the parachute whilst the DJ played some chill out tunes. This album ends with a track that fits the post work out chill down perfectly, 'Ibibio Spiritual' an Ibibioed version of the universal Amazing Grace.

Congratulation to Soundway records for putting out such an original " outside of the box" recording. Have fun, don't try and deconstruct and critique the music, just take an energy drink, throw some shapes and get on down.

The full lineup of the band consists of Eno Williams (vocals), Alfred Bannerman (guitar), Anselmo Netto (percussion), Leon Brichard (bass/synth), Benjamin Bouton (drums/keyboards), Max Grunhard (alto sax), Tony Hayden (trombone/synth) & Scott Baylis (trumpet).

Useful links
Ibibio Sound Machine Soundcloud.
Ibibio Page on Soundway Records
Buy Ibibio Sound Machine on Amazon

Les Mains Noir - Sofrito Mix on MixCloud

sofrito_les_mains_noir.jpg Its a big world out here on the web and when you come across something special it not only needs favouriting and bookmarking, it also needs a bit of shouting about. The Sofrito crew have done it again and turned in a mighty north Brazilian mix, Les Mains Noir which you can play to your hearts content via Mixcloud. I just want to turn this up loud, puts some beers in the fridge and get my friends round. Whilst the world cup is on, do yourself a favour, forget all the wafty Bossa Novas and discover a different rhythm of Brazil

Tribali | The Elephants of Lanka on Jagged House Records

01--tr-the-elephants-of-lanka_0.jpgJill Turner revisits a review from 2009, when Maltese band Tribali released The Elephants of Lanka. Once upon a time in the fields of England under the stars, eco warriors, suits, crusties and confirmed urbanites danced together until sunrise. Dancing against a backdrop of colourful projections and a new, light, upbeat, psychedelic global trance. A hypnotic mix of didges, sitars, hand drums, loops and samples. The world with all its beats was their oyster. Click here for the full review

Alkibar Gignor
Alkibar Gignor - La Paix on Sahel Sounds

sahelsounds_-_la_paix_-_alkibar_cover_0.jpgJill Turner gets to grips with the real sound of the sahel as she listens to Alkibar Gignor's new album La Paix: A marshal amp is balanced on top of a speaker and on top of that, a young guitar player, one leg lifted, knee pulled up, elbow drawn back, chin down and ready to rock. We are introduced to the new generation of Northern Mali, Alkibar Gignor. So named because they learnt their trade under the guidance of Afel Boucoum, juniors to the great musician and his band Alkibar. That was back in 2003. Click to Read Full Article

Review: Hora Kota from Bonga on Lusafrica

hora_kota_0_0.jpgAngelina Abel steps back in time yet moves forward as she reviews Bonga's latest release Hora Kota. A loyal representative of the Angolan culture and an icon for Angolan music, Bonga's lyrics always refer to the history and stories of the Angolan people with an emphasis on the values passed on by the older generations.


Mixtape of the Month - DJ UMB Transnational Moombahaton

transnational_moombahton_artwork125.jpgWe're loving DJ UMB's Transnational Moombahton mix so much that we busted our download quota and hogged the village broadband in order to grab the full wav file from his soundcloud page. Once more with the iconic skull imagery from a sculpture by Amy Sarkisian, first rinsed in blue on his Transnational Dubstep selection released on Six Degrees Records. A cheeky nod to Sam Shackleton's label Skull Disco perhaps, we can only speculate but that was over two years ago, and DJ UMB is not one to let the grass grow under his feet.

Vieux Farka Toure | St Georges Bristol 11th February 2012

vft125.jpgHis album " The Secret" went straight to the top of the European World Music charts, rave reviews in American media and his natural command of the guitar has View Farka Toure dubbed as the African Jimi Hendrix. Tackling the sub zero temperatures outside, Melstar headed off to St Georges Hall in Bristol where Vieux Farka Touré gave a 'heart warming' performance at St Georges in Bristol and got everyone on their feet and dancing down the aisles. Read the full article and catch the vibe. Image (C) Gemma Hall.

Legacy from Two Man Ting on 2 Boot Music

legacy.jpgTwo Man Ting’s debut album,Legacy, brings us sparkling maringa, palm wine and highlife grooves alongside delicious guitar playing, inspired djembe rhythms, witty observations and the Mende wisdom passed on by a mum from Sierra Leone. It all adds up to remind us that it’s the simple things in life that matter.

Tori Ensemble
Tori Ensemble at Charlie Gillett stage WOMAD Charlton Park July 2011

It was midday on Sunday, the third day of the WOMAD festival at Charlton Park and after a big Saturday night, there was already quite a crowd gathering at the Charlie Gillett stage. An architecturally pleasing structure, defined by its projecting canopy, which depending on your outlook, resembles either

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