fri 30/07/2021

Africa

Lava, Bush Theatre review - poetic writing, mesmerically performed

What’s in a name? In Benedict Lombe’s incendiary debut play at the Bush Theatre, the answer to this question encompasses a whole continent, an entire existential experience - the Black experience, to be exact - though not in the way that "roots...

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Album: Angélique Kidjo - Mother Nature

Hailing from Benin and based in Paris since she was 23, Angélique Kidjo can sing in five languages, has collaborated with an A-list festival line-up of global stars ranging from Alicia Keys and Philip Glass to Herbie Hancock and Peter Gabriel...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 31 - special guest: TV soundtrack maestro Dominik Scherrer

Peter Culshaw’s periodic global themed radio show is allowed back in the MusicBox Radio studio with special guest, the distinguished soundtrack composer Dominik Scherrer. Dominik’s latest hit series was The Serpent, the dark tale of Charles Sobhraj...

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Album: Mdou Moctar - Afrique Victime

Mdou Moctar is often dubbed as the “Hendrix of the desert”. He is not the first West African musician to be linked with African-American guitar stars. Just as you can hear echoes of John Lee Hooker in Ali Farka Toure, and Taj Mahal could collaborate...

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First Person: composer and Renaissance man Tunde Jegede on transcending genres

In this era when there is so much talk and discussion around crossing musical boundaries, diversity in music and inter-disciplinary work it seems strange that there is still so little knowledge of how, why and when it works. Ironically, much of this...

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Sauti za Busara Festival 2021, Zanzibar review - 2500 gather to celebrate music unlocked

“Zanzibar, are you ready?” yells the singer from the stage.There’s a huge cheer. It seems the crowd – and it is a crowd – is certainly ready. In shades, a flat cap and dreadlocks down his back, singer Barnaba Classic (pictured below left)...

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Arena - Fela Kuti: Father of Afrobeat, BBC Two review - the music that never dies

There have been Felabrations, stage musicals, bands featuring his sons Seun and Femi that have continued the legacy. There has been the slew of re-releases from his massive catalogue, and a number of films, including Alex Gibney’s Finding Fela, and...

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Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson, BBC Two review - ambitious history of the slave trade falls short

Enlisting Hollywood giant Samuel L Jackson to host a series about the history of slavery, his own ancestors having been trafficked from West Africa to the Americas, was a headline-grabbing move, and scenes where we travelled with Jackson to the...

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Blu-ray: Beau Travail

This fifth feature from Claire Denis must surely be the director’s most sheerly concentrated film. Scaling back narrative and dialogue alike – story elucidation relies mainly on intermittent retrospective voice-over narration – Beau Travail engages...

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Imagine... My Name is Kwame, BBC One review - interesting but incomplete

Filmed, as one would, well, imagine, prior to lockdown, Imagine .... My Name is Kwame hearkens to what now seems a bygone era of full and buzzy playhouses and adventurous theatre-making that was about the live experience and not some facsimile...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 29 - Morricone, Moroccan psychedelia and Sudanese techno

Peter Culshaw’s periodic global music radio update is back, quicker than usual as there is some catching up to do. There’s a focus on Ennio Morricone, who died this week - with his amazing range from Westerns to lush soundscapes and experimental...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 28 - Tony Allen tribute with guest Stephen Budd

Peter Culshaw’s occasional global radio music show comes blinking into the light after lockdown, as MusicBox radio’s studio In London’s Clerkenwell has tentatively, antiseptically, opened. In the months since March, we have lost numerous kings of...

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