wed 24/04/2019

African music

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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Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The striking cover for the Brighton Festival 2019 programme shouts out loud who this year’s Guest Director is. Silhouetted in flowers, in stunning artwork by Simon Prades, is the unmistakeable profile of Malian musician Rokia Traoré. Taking place...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 47: The Beta Band, Ry Cooder, The Cardigans, Sgt. Pepper goes jazz and more

Let’s cut straight to the chase. Here are reviews of 48 records, running riot across genre boundaries and categorizations, from preposterous pop metal to woodland-themed classical piano pieces. It’s the wildest vinyl ride in review-land, an...

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Songlines Encounters Festival, Kings Place review - mellifluous launch from African strings

The Songlines Encounters festival is in its eighth year, and opened its doors on Thursday night at Kings Place in London with 3MA, (TroisMa in French), comprising Malian kora player Ballake Sissoko, Moroccan oud player Driss El Maloumi and...

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Africa: A Journey Into Music, BBC Four review - too little, too late?

BBC Four is the TV music equivalent of those oldsters music mags like Q and Mojo. Have there been five, or is it six, documentaries about Queen on the channel? You can sense the commissioners feeling with this new series they have now done...

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CD: Baloji - 137 Avenue Kaniama

The death of “world music” is a wonderfully reassuring thing. That is to say, with every year that passes, it becomes less and less possible for media and consumers to bracket together music from outside the US and Europe as a single thing, and...

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CD: Seun Kuti - Black Times

Is it fair to say that Seun Kuti’s fourth album is just more of the same? I believe it is, because more of the same is more or less the point with protest music, particularly if what you’re protesting hasn’t gone away. You have no choice but to keep...

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CD: Femi Kuti - One People One World

A superstar elsewhere in the world, particularly in West Africa, Femi Kuti still lives somewhat unfairly in his dad, Fela Kuti’s shadow in the West. While this might be somewhat inevitable to those with a limited taste for afrobeat grooves, One...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 32: OMD, Twin Peaks, Bicep, Sisters of Mercy and more

September and October see a deluge of new releases. Everybody and their aunt puts out an album as autumn hits, so theartsdesk on Vinyl appears this month (and next) in a slightly expanded edition. As ever, the fare on offer is as diverse as possible...

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CD: Nick Mulvey - Wake Up Now

Nick Mulvey’s 2014 debut album First Mind may be one of the century’s best so far. Album number two, then, has the critical bar set high. On that opening record, the ex-Portico Quartet singer-songwriter majored in complex-yet-simple songs that wove...

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CD: Aurelio - Darandi

It's a monstrous cliché – all too often laden with problematically patronising overtones – to describe African, Caribbean, or Afro-Latin music in terms of “sunshine”, with all the carefree holiday brochure imagery that brings. But damn, the music of...

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