tue 22/10/2019

African music

theartsdesk on Vinyl 53: U2, Moonlight Parade, Oasis, Stray Cats, Crass, Prefab Sprout and more

It’s reckoned that this time next year vinyl sales will have overtaken CDs. It’s still a small market and anyone who thinks vinyl will one day replace streaming is living on Planet Lah-lah. There’s so much coming out even theartsdesk on Vinyl cannot...

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CD: Rachid Taha - Je suis africain

Rachid Taha, sadly felled by a heart attack just over a year ago, has come back from the dead! He could not sound more lively than on this vibrant posthumous offering, definitely not something cooked up from tasty leftovers, but a well thought-...

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CD: Tinariwen - Amadjar

Tinariwen’s music has always been evocative of West African deserts with their mellow blues-like guitars and shuffling groove. Initially recording everything in Mali until it was invaded by religious fanatics who deemed playing music forbidden,...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 52: Yardbirds, Fad Gadget, Spoon, Cate le Bon, Cabaret Voltaire and more

Welcome to the latest edition of theartsdesk on Vinyl, the monthly online musical resource that knows no genre boundaries as it treks through every release on plastic that it can find. This time round we’ve everything from death metal to obscure...

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CD: Africa Express - Egoli

Damon Albarn isn’t just a national treasure but an international one. He seems to spread his reach so widely, with a mix of curiosity and boundless energy, a great deal of discernment and a vision as different as possible from the narrow-minded...

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CD: Madonna - Madame X

Madonna is the queen of reinvention and Madame X, her 14th studio album, marks another new brilliant, bonkers chapter in her 37-year career. The 13-track CD (15 on the deluxe version) was inspired by a recent spell living in Lisbon, where she...

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Rokia Traoré: Dream Mandé: Djata, Brighton Festival 2019 review – resonant griot wisdom

Rokia Traoré’s passage through this year’s Brighton Festival has been central, binding it to her Malian identity in a series of gigs. This hands-on Guest Director’s pulsing Afro-rock Opening Night was followed by the first Dream Mandé show’s...

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Rokia Traoré: Dream Mandé: Bamanan Djourou, Brighton Festival 2019 review – traditions soar free

Much of Rokia Traoré’s set on Saturday night comprised folk songs about Mali’s warrior kings, connecting with her country’s fabulously wealthy, proudly powerful past. They suit this diplomat’s daughter’s regal stature, which she has put at the...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 49 - Part 2: Prince, Johnny Cash, Sparks, Toyah, Adrian Sherwood and more

We return, after only a week away, with Part 2 of Volume 49. Starting out with an amazing comeback from Adrian Sherwood’s Pay It All Back compilation series as Vinyl of the Month, this edition takes in everything from Prince to death metal to...

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Rokia Traoré: Né So, Brighton Festival review - an Afro-psychedelic head-fry

The last thing many were expecting from Rokia Traoré’s opening appearance at this year’s Brighton Festival was an Afro-psychedelic head-fry, yet she and her four-piece band prove thoroughly capable of swirling our minds right off out of it. When she...

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10 Questions for Brighton Festival CEO Andrew Comben

The Brighton Festival begins in May. Since 2014 theartsdesk has had a media partnership with this lively, multi-faceted event which takes place over three weeks. This year the Guest Director is the Malian musician Rokia Traoré, who inhabits a...

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theartsdesk in Zanzibar - behind the veil

Damn exotica. It has a habit of marshalling your gaze away from shabby Soviet-style apartment blocks and training it on white-washed palaces with ornate doors and latticed balconies; away from traffic jams of fume-spouting 4x4s and on to the old...

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