‘World’s Pain’ – Black Vulcanite

worlds painBlack Vulcanite is a Windhoek-based Hip Hop trio, which creates excellent socio-historical-conscious Hip Hop, which is embedded in soulful/jazzy beats and melodies. Food for your soul. In 2o13, Mark Question, AlithatDude, and Okin released their debut LP ‘Remember the Future‘, which African Hip Hop Blog described as “one of the most impressive African Hip Hop releases of recent times.” and The Rolling Stones SA regard it as “throwback megalomaniac rap supremacy“.

Download their masterpiece ‘Remember the Future’ on bandcamp for free (!) and listen here to their new single ‘World’s Pain‘ which features artist Renee.

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‘Bankulize’ – Mr. Eazi & Juls (Feat. Pappy Kojo)

bankulizeOn ‘Bankulize‘ Ghanaian music engineer DJ Juls (‘Feel Alright‘, ‘Suffer‘, ‘Gbeshi Afrobeats Mix‘) collaborated with Nigerian artist Mr. Eazi and Takoradi native Pappy Kojo. The lyrics are carried by a minimalistic Dancehall beat that sounds balafon-inspired (maybe a homage to the Ghanaian Gyil tradition) and is accompanied by soft drumming.

Grab the track for free via DJ Juls’ soundcloud!

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‘Oyaore’ LP – Sarabi

sarabi2Gandhi once said ‘In a gentle way you can shake the world‘. Sarabi seems to bring this statement to reality – with strong social and political messages that are carried by beautiful melodies.

After their widely celebrated breakthrough track ‘Fuata Sheria‘, which was regarded as one of the best political tracks in 2013 (Top 10 political tracks from Africa in 2013) and the thoughtful ‘Nitabaki Na Nini‘, the Kenyan band Sarabi has released the long-awaited debut album ‘Oyaore‘. The LP is a manifestation of the highly developed artistry of this young band. It contains tracks which reflect perfect instrumental and vocal arrangements.

The band lets us listen to some of the songs on their Soundcloud, including the wonderful Mandela homage ‘Amandla‘.

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‘Coucou’ – Djessou Mory Kanté

river stringsWe may not believe that ‘River Strings‘ (Sterns Music) is just the second international sophomore album of Djessou Mory Konté. After his 1998 released debut LP ‘Guitar Seche‘ the brother of famous Kante Manfila (Les Ambassadeur) has now released a brilliantly harmonious instrumental album, embedded in the rich Maninka music culture. A few weeks after its release it is already in the Top 10 of the World Music Charts Europe. There is no doubt that this LP will continue to deepen the fascination about Maninka music. Have a listen to the album opener ‘Coucou‘ (Co-written by Salif Keïta):

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‘Stories of Our Lives’ Soundtrack – Jim Chuchu

stories of our livesThe NEST - home of Nairobi’s alternative art thinkers, curious minds and adventurous audiences – (‘Our Guns Don’t Work‘) has released yet another brilliant visual + musical project. Stories of our lives is a documentary project which evolved when The NEST began collecting and archiving the stories of persons identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex from Kenya. The stories became so captivating that the artists decided to create a movie. Jim Chuchu (Jarel – ‘Let’s Go‘ & ‘Fairy Tales), director of the movie, was also responsible for this excellent soundtrack, which you can download via bandcamp. The movie received very positive feedback and was selected for the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). You can read more about the movie on the project homepage.

The innovative idea behind the NEST – aggregating the creative potential of highly talented and professional artists in a vibrant art scene as Nairobi – may be a concept we could see develop even in other African cities.

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