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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...

Monica Mark in Lagos | The Guardian

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.

Robin Denselow | The Guardian

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...

Robin Denselow | The Guardian

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...

Robin Denselow | The Guardian

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...

Robin Denselow | The Guardian

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...

Robin Denselow | The Guardian

Cumbia All Stars: Tigres En Fuga – review

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

David Honigmann | The FT

Kasai Allstars Beware The Fetish

More buzz and rumble from Kinshasa’s urban jungle.

David Hutcheon | Mojo

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.

David Honigmann | The FT

Kasai Allstars: Beware the Fetish review hypnotic songs show wild side of Congolese music

Six years after their debut album, the Kinshasa-based collective are back with a double album of lengthy, hypnotic songs that provide a furious reminder of the wilder side of Congolese music.

Robin Denselow | The Guardian