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World Music

Afrobeat uprising: the musicians fighting against a tide of sugary pop

West Africa's biggest musical export may be Afropop, but there is a movement to revive big band music with a political spiritOnce upon a time, Lagos was the city where Afrobeat stars such as Fela Kuti and Fatai Rolling Dollar cast musical spells under tro

Womad 2014 review exceptional: classic energy and ebullience

From Sinéad O'Connor and Salif Keita, the Gloaming and 9Bach, to emotional reunions, supergroups and furry stovepipe hats: this was a vintage Womad.

Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako review one of Africa's great bands

(Sterns)Released to coincide with their historic reunion shows, this is an exquisite double-album reminder of the early days of one of Africa's greatest bands. Les Ambassadeurs were assembled in the early 1970s by a senior member of the Mali's military ju

Djivan Gasparyan: I Will Not Be Sad In This World/Moon Shines At Night review haunting instrumentals

(All Saints)Djivan Gasparyan is one of the world's most distinctive, haunting instrumentalists. He's a master of the oboe-like duduk, made of apricot wood and traditionally played by shepherds in his native Armenia, with which he creates surely the most p

Tiken Jah Fakoly: Dernier Appel review fine songs, disappointing production

(Wrasse)Tiken Jah Fakoly is one of Africa's great singer-songwriters. He's massively popular in Mali, where he lives after moving from the Ivory Coast, and in France, and he has helped to revive the African reggae scene with his sturdy singing and angry

Mali All Stars: Bogolan Music review the best of Bamako's legendary studio

(Wrasse Records) There was a time when Malian musicians had to travel abroad to record, but Studio Bogolan changed that. Hidden away behind blue gates in Bamako, it has attracted all of the country's great stars, as well as foreign celebrities. This 28-

Cumbia All Stars: Tigres En Fuga – review

A perfect recreation of Swinging Lima, all high intricate guitar solos and rolling congas and timbales.

Kasai Allstars Beware The Fetish

More buzz and rumble from Kinshasa’s urban jungle.

Tzenni - Noura Mint Seymali

A stunning shared musical journey between two world class virtuosos - Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and West African kora player Seckou Keita. From Casamance in Senegal, Seckou Keita is both a member of the royal Keita dynasty from Mali(through his father) a

Kasai Allstars: Beware The Fetish – review

The collision of beats falls into effortless trances, which starts with high soukous guitars before bottles and drums lock together.