What with the “Produced By Manu Chao” sticker on the cover and the Metro’s ‘Album of the Week’, what more do you want from SMOD’s third album?
Charlie GIllett scoops up yet again the tracks you loved but never got round to owning and those that would otherwise have entirely slipped past you unnoticed like so many logs floating down the Niger in the middle of the night
With messages like ‘No more pain for our people’ and ‘For all the women who live and fight for a more just society’ splashed across the album artwork you could be forgiven for expecting a lecture in political sensibilities and discrimination. In fact that is exactly what you get but it is delivered with a smile and backed by playful beats
Think of One might just be the perfect band: precociously talented, resolutely itinerant and musically fearless. Their last album, Tráfico was a joyful outpouring of ideas from anarchic Belgians encountering North Eastern Brazilians but can they pull off the same trick with Moroccan shaâbi music?
If you have ever been swept up in a chorus of drums, lost yourself swirling in a field or suddenly realised how much more interesting the world can be after hearing something alien, this is the compilation for you
Amparo Mercedes Sanchez, the creative core of Spain’s Amparanoia, is smiling. I get the impression she smiles a lot, and she has every reason to. Her latest Latin-infused album is flying off the shelves helped by a recent BBC World Music Award and her band pack concert venues as reports of their thrilling live performances spread across Europe. It also means Amparo is very busy.
You can’t ignore Amadou & Mariam at the moment, so why try?
Damian Rafferty takes a look back on some of the seminal releases and trends that shaped this turbulent year.
Julien Jacob has created his own language to express his message of peace while leaving the business of interpretation up to the listener. Originally from BÈnin, he could have chosen one of the 50 or so languages spoken there and it would have had the same effect on all but those who speak that language.