Album Reviews

Novalima - Coba Coba (Cumbancha)

With 'Coba Coba', the new album by Afro-Peruvian sensation Afrolima, the Cumbancha label, signs for one of the...


Various Artists - The Ethiopian Millenium Collection + Mahmoud Ahmed - Tizita: The Best Of Volume 1 & 2 + Aster Aweke - Aster's Ballads (AIT Records)

Until recently the choice of Ethiopian music was limited to the (otherwise excellent) Ethiopiques series and some...


Magnifico - Grande Finale (Turbolenza)

Magnifico is the alter ego of Ljubljana-born Robert Pesut, who, with a mixture of Balkan music, pop and a dose of...


Les Boukakes - Marra (Mimouna Productions) + Nour - En Blanc (Kasba Music)

Les Boukakes is what in France is called "une groupe métisse", which actually means nothing more than that it...


Nazarenes - Rock Firm (Heartbeat Europe/Rounder)

Yours truly was introduced to the work of Nazarenes three years ago, when the Heartbeat Europe label presented the...


Freddie McGregor - Sings Jamaican Classics (VP Records)

Who better than Freddie McGregor to cover some of the most famous Jamaican classics? As many as three albums McGregor...


Ziggi - In Transit (Greensleeves/Rock 'N Vibes)

Where the musical path Ziggi's following is leading him is as yet unclear, because the Dutch singjay constantly keeps...


Winston McAnuff - Nostradamus (Makasound)

Winston McAnuff (school fellow of Earl Sixteen and author of the Dennis Brown hit 'Malcolm X') has been a regular...


Tiken Jah Fakoly - Live À Paris (Barclay/Universal)

Tiken Jah Fakoly is rapidly becoming one of the most important reggae artists in the world. Just in the past twelve...


Various Artists - Il Est Cinq Heures Kingston S’Eveille… 02 (Makasound)

With the release of 'Il Est Cinq Heures Kingston S’Eveille...' in 2006, Makasound came up with a unique concept...


Jimmy Radway & The Fe Me Time All Stars - Dub I (Pressure Sounds)

Lately Pressure Sounds seems to have developed a preference for obscure and more obscure work. PS59 still collected...


Anthony B - Life Over Death (Born Fire Music)

The release of this new Anthony B album has already caused quite a stir; not because of the extreme content or...


Fantan Mojah - Stronger (Greensleeves)

After his well received 2005 debut effort, 'Hail The King', Fantan Mojah, the imposing singjay with his inseparable...


Gyptian - I Can Feel Your Pain (VP Records)

Yours truly started listening to this new Gyptian album with some caution; we didn't really digest his debut...


Perfect Giddimani - Born Dead With Life (Irievibrations Records/Grooveattack/Nocturne)

When talking about this new Perfect album, one can't go past the beautiful sleeve design; this piece of art, that...


Augustus Pablo - The Mystic World Of Augustus Pablo: The Rockers Story (Shanachie)

With a beautiful 4 CD + DVD box the Shanachie label delivers us the last will and testament of Horace Swaby. "Horace...


Beres Hammond - One Moment In Time (VP Records)

What to say about this new Beres Hammond album? Once again 'One Moment In Time' carries Hammond's lovers rock quality...


Alpha Wess - Choc Des Cultures (Makasound)

Makasound firmly keeps its focus on Africa. After releases by, among others, Takana Zion and Manjul, they are now...


Faya Horns - Faya Horns meet Mad Professor & Joe Ariwa (Makasound)

For those not familiar with Faya Horns, this is a project started by Eric 'Rico' Gaultier (sax & flute) and...


Various Artists - George Phang, Powerhouse Selector’s Choice Volume 1, 2, 3 and 4 (17 North Parade/VP Records)

After Jammy's it's now the output of George Phang's Powerhouse label that is the subject of a four-part double CD...


Tu Shung Peng - Trouble Time (Makasound)

Roots lovers have known it to be true for a while now: there seems to be something in the air in France, because the...


Alborosie - Soul Pirate (Forward Recordings/Rubikon/Beaver Music)

Alborosie's debut effort 'Soul Pirate' deserves the trophy for most anticipated album of 2008. The album should...


Sebastian Sturm - One Moment In Peace (Rootdown Records)

As we were significantly late in offering a review of Sturm's debut album 'This Change Is Nice', successor 'One...


Lukie D - Here I Am (Cousins)

With 'Here I Am' Lukie D offers another thoroughly delightful album and for yours truly it remains a mystery why he...


Dub Colossus - In A Town Called Addis (Real World Records)

'In A Town Called Addis' finally fills a gap in the Real World catalog, the label offering until now music from just...


Fanfare Ciocarlia - Queens And Kings + Oana Catalina Chitu - Bucharest Tango + La Cherga - Fake No More (Asphalt Tango Records)

In our search for the crème de la crème of Gypsy music Berlin Asphalt Tango Records couldn't be...


Gangbe Brass Band - Assiko (Contre Jour)

Where Benin is concerned the musical knowledge of yours truly limited itself to the work of Angelique Kidjo, until...


Chiwoniso - Rebel Woman (Cumbancha)

The mbira or thumb piano can be considered to be the national instrument of Zimbabwe and Chiwoniso is the absolute...


Figli Di Madre Ignota - Fez Club (Eastblok Music)

Yours truly continues to ride the Balkan express and this time it took us to Milan in the North of Italy, where we...


Madera Limpia - La Corona (Out Here Records)

The fact Orishas' success formula of mixing classic Cuban son with modern hip-hop would get a following, was only a...


Buena Vista Social Club - Buena Vista Social Club Live At Carnegie Hall (World Circuit)

Although most founding members (president Compay Segundo, secretary Ibrahim Ferrer and treasurer Ruben Gonzalez) have...


La Caravane Passe - Velkom Plèchti (Me & My Records)

Does the ultimate Gypsy music actually exist? The French ensemble La Caravane Passe doesn't seem to think so, as...


Gipsy.cz - Reprezent + Terne Čhave - More, Love! (Indies Scope Records)

In our relentless quest for the perfect Gypsy music this time we're visiting the Czech Republic where the local...


Max Pashm - Never Mind The Balkans, Here's Max Pashm (Elektrikos/Organikos Records)

Gypsy and Balkan lovers forget Shantel, here's Max Pashm! That seems at least what the cover of the new album by Max...


Various Artists - Nigeria Disco Funk Special: The Sound Of The Underground Lagos Dancefloor 1974 - '79 (Soundway Records)

Soundway Records, established in Brighton, remains firmly focused on Nigeria. First there was 'Nigeria Special:...


Peter Gabriel - Big Blue Ball (Real World Records)

It may seem strange to find a review of Peter Gabriel's new album on these pages, but don't forget Gabriel is also...


Rocola Bacalao - Infierno (Self-published)

In our continuing search for the most original ska-sound, this time we ended up in Ecuador. Rocola Bacalao call...


Ambelique - Sharing The Night (Cousins)

A few years ago Ambelique was still considered the big new promise in lovers rock, a reputation he unfortunately...


Fred Locks - Glorify The Lord (Cousins)

It had been eight years since we heard anything from Fred Locks, but with 'Glorify The Lord' it's as if he never went...


Richie Spice - Gideon Boot (VP Records)

'Gideon Boot' is actually Richie Spice's declaration of independence: 5th Element is no more and his sparkling...


Nitty Gritty - Turbo Charged + King Kong - Trouble Again (Greensleeves)

Under the name 80's Digital Classics the Greensleeves label is launching yet another series and two releases from the...


Etana - The Strong One (VP Records)

You might know Etana from her stint as a backing vocalist for Richie Spice, but with 'The Strong One' (also the...


Tarrus Riley - Challenges (VP Records)

'Challenges', the new album by Tarrus Riley is actually a re-issue of his debut effort, an album which...


Rockamovya - Rockamovya (Young Tree Records/Nocturne)

Even though the popularity of Groundation is still increasing, creative musicians like to try something different...


Tamika & Mamadee - Good Days EP (Pow Pow Productions/Grooveattack)

You've undoubtedly already noticed them onstage with Gentleman: Mamadee, Tamika and Blain, the three...


Culture - Culture & The Deejays At Joe Gibbs 1977 - 79 + Dennis Brown - A Little Bit More (17 North Parade/VP Records)

More DJ treasures from the Joe Gibbs vaults, that's how you could summarize these two latest 17 North Parade releases...


Cali P - Lyrical Fyah (Pow Pow Productions/Grooveattack)

German Pow Pow Productions has built themselves a reputation recently by focusing on releases by new and/or unknown...


Various Artists - Greensleeves 12" Rulers: Jah Thomas, Midnight Rock 1981 - '84 (Greensleeves)

Jah Thomas will forever be tied to Triston Palmer's 'Entertainment' and his own version on that tune 'Friday Night...


Various Artists - Every Mouth Must Be Fed: Micron Music Limited 1973 to 1976 (Pressure Sounds)

The 59th Pressure Sounds release is entirely dedicated to the lesser-known Micron label. This label, located on 14...


Sizzla - The Journey: The Very Best Of (Greensleeves)

The very best of Sizzla on one disc? Given the output of the man, that seems an almost impossible task. Furthermore,...


Michael Rose - Great Expectations (On The Corner/Nocturne)

If we forget about opening track 'Momento', a tedious and redundant reggaeton tune, 'Great Expectations' is a Michael...


Cutty Ranks - Reggae Anthology: Limb By Limb (VP Records)

Admittedly, yours truly is not the biggest fan of Cutty Ranks (born Philip Thomas) and certainly no authority where...


Mikey Ras Starr - Fire & Rain (Makasound)

Makasound strikes again! It's incredible how these French do it, but their re-releases continue to amaze. The last in...


Jah Mason - No Matter The Time (Jenny’s Records/Nocturne)

Nothing surprising this new album by Jah Mason; his style has hardly changed in recent years and on this...


Campina Reggae - Vet En Verstaanbaar (Super/Lowlands Distribution)

"…Het dorpje in de Kempen, tussen dennen, bos en hei. Met z'n stille, goede mensen en z'n bloemen in de wei....


Various Artists - Reggae Anthology: Joe Gibbs, Scorchers From The Mighty Two (VP Records)

With Joe Gibbs gone, his archives seem to be up for grabs. With 'Reggae Anthology: Joe Gibbs, Scorchers From The...


Dengue Fever - Venus On Earth (Real World Records)

As we're not served a dose of Cambodian psychedelic rock every day, this latest Real World Records release is...


Felix Baloy Y Su Cuban Son All Stars - Un Solo Amor (Tumi Music)

Felix Baloy, the voice of Afro-Cuban All Stars, has been going at it solo for several years now and with 'Un Solo...


Puerto Plata - Mujer De Cabaret (iASO Records)

Where music from the Dominican Republic is concerned, yours truly spontaneously thinks of high-speed digital merengue...


Balla Et Ses Balladins + Bembeye Jazz National - The Syliphone Years (Sterns Music)

With its latest release in the well-known format that we've become accustomed to (double CD with an almost...


Ricardo Lemvo & Macina Loca - Isabela (Mopiato Music)

With 'Isabela' Ricardo Lemvo, a Congolese with Angolan roots curently residing in Los Angeles, delivers an ideal...


Parno Graszt - Ez A Vilag Nekem Valo (Podium Productions)

Yet another Gypsy project? Yes, but one with just that little bit extra... The musicians of Parno Graszt (Romani for...


Orchestre National De Barbes - Alik (Wagram)

We've had to wait no less than nine years for a successor to 'Poulina' and with 'Alik' this band from...


Grupo Fantasma - Sonidos Gold (Me & My Records)

Just a few months after the release of their live album, Grupo Fantasma already hits us with a new studio effort. If...


Dobranotch - Gagarin Chochek (Orange World Records)

Polish Orange World Records introduces Dobranotch ("good night" in Russian), a quintet with members from Lebanon,...


Discipulos De Otilia - En Blanco Y Negro (Pias)

In these parts Discipulos De Otilia are not a household name yet, but in the Spanish speaking part of the world this...


Toumani Diabate - The Mande Variations (World Circuit)

'The Mande Variations' is kora virtuoso Toumani Diabate's first solo album in over twenty years. The term "solo...


Etran Finatawa - Desert Crossroads (Riverboat Records/World Music Network)

Etran Finatawa (translated: "the stars of tradition") is a collaborative project between musicians of the Woodabe on...


Various Artists - BalkanBeats Volume 1, 2 & 3 (Eastblok Music)

The numerous reviews on this site prove the enormous hype that Gypsy music has become and we can hardly keep count of...


Pannonia Allstars Ska Orchestra - The Return Of The Pannonians (Megalith Records)

Just when you think you've heard it all, another unlikely combination hits you! Hungarian Pannonia Allstars Ska...


Pops Mohammed - Pops Mohammed presents Healing Sounds From Mother Africa (African Cream Music/Afrosoniq)

For 'Pops Mohammed presents Healing Sounds From Mother Africa', South African Pops Mohammed mixed traditional African...


La Kinky Beat - Karate Beat (Kasba Music)

The motley crew of La Kinky Beat is part of the Barcelonese musica mestiza scene bands like Macaco, Ojos De Brujo and...


Sebastian Sturm - This Change Is Nice (Rootdown Records)

In his home country Germany the Indonesian singer from Aachen is the latest roots reggae revelation. Sturm's debut,...


Victor Démé - Victor Démé (Chapa Blues/Makasound)

In his native Burkina Faso, Victor Démé has been playing music for over thirty years, released numerous...


Zeker Weten - Zeker Weten (Anyway Music/Lowlands Distribution)

From the get-go yours truly was taken by the music of Zeker Weten (roughly translated: "absolutely sure"), a...


Lepistö & Lehti - Helsinki (Aito Records)

It's back to basics with these two Finns, because apart from an accordion (Markku Lepistö) and a...


Various Artists - Spirits In The Material World: A Reggae Tribute To The Police (Shanachie)

From the very beginning, the sound of the recently reunited Police drew on reggae and Sting and his buddies...


Various Artists - Hi Grade Ganja Anthems 2 (Greensleeves)

With tired classics like 'Pass The Kutchie' (The Mighty Diamonds), 'Tired Fi Lick Weed Inna Bush' (Jacob Miller) or...


Anthony Cruz - Fight With All Your Might (VP Records)

Anthony Cruz is back, but there's more, because 'Fight With All Your Might' also signals the return of the Penthouse...


Jamelody - Be Prepared (VP Records)

Yours truly was looking forward to this debut of promising Trinidadian (native of Trinidad & Tobago) artist...


Max Romeo - Best Of (Médiacom/Nocturne)

This 'Best Of' should rather have been entitled 'Max Romeo & Friends', because for each track Max is accompanied...


Clive Hunt - Clive Hunt & The Dub Dancers (Makasound)

If we are to believe the press release accompanying this Makasound release, 'Clive Hunt & The Dub Dancers' is the...


T.D. Rankin - Too Much Division (Self-published)

In the Antwerp reggae scene everyone knows the cheerful T.D. Rankin. With 'Too Much Division', T.D. now serves us his...


Morgan Heritage - Mission In Progress (VP Records)

With their previous album, 'Full Circle', Morgan Heritage concluded a period in their career, but 'Mission...


Barrington Levy - Teach The Youth: Barrington Levy & Friends At Joe Gibbs (17 North Parade/VP Records)

In the same line as the Jacob Miller-release from a few weeks ago, Barrington Levy is joined by some of his...


Rasites - Sex, Violence And Drugs (Ariwa)

The Rasites are back! Not that this London posse ever really went anywhere, because they are one of the most active...


Rupa & The April Fishes - Extraordinary Rendition (Cumbancha)

Every now and then yours truly is confronted with an album that is hard to categorize. 'Extraordinary Rendition' by...


Watcha Clan - Diaspora Hi-Fi: A Mediterranean Caravan (Piranha)

With 'Diaspora Hi-Fi' Watcha Clan, a five-Member multicultural band from Marseille, delivers what has to be the ideal...


Eek-A-Mouse - Most Wanted (Greensleeves)

This latest addition to Greensleeves' Most Wanted series is dedicated to the oeuvre of the man with the most...


Cocoa Tea - Reggae Anthology: The Sweet Sound Of Cocoa Tea (VP Records)

As we have come to expect of VP Records, this 'Reggae Anthology' is yet again a solid overview of the career of the...


Joe Ariwa - Dub Tech Dub + Joe Ariwa & Young Warrior - Joe Ariwa Meets Young Warrior (Ariwa)

The two newest releases on the Ariwa label are not created by the Mad Professor himself as this time he left the...


No More Babylon - Roots Meeting (A La Folie Music)

For 'Roots Meeting', French band No More Babylon from Toulon invited a whole host of "friends" like Earl Sixteen...


Triston Palma - Joker Smoker (Greensleeves)

Re-release of the legendary Jah Thomas produced album that put Triston Palma/Palmer on the reggae map. Greensleeves...


Onesty - Take Your Time (Self-published)

With 'Take Your Time', a 4 track EP, the queen of the Antwerp Massive releases her self-published debut. Three of the...


Little Harry, Billy Boyo & Nicodemus - Dj Clash, 3 The Hard Way (Greensleeves)

"Now here comes a musical shark attack...", only original eighties DJ vibes on this '3 The Hard Way'! The tracks of...


Various Artists - Songs For Reggae Lovers (Greensleeves)

Cunning as they are, the Greensleeves label dropped his double compilation album full of lovers rock in stores just...


Jacob Miller - Jacob Miller Lives On (VP Records)

When writing a review, it's best to get right to the point: this Joe Gibbs production from 1980 is simply the...


Cedric 'Im' Brooks - From Mento To Reggae To Third World Music (VP Records)

Cedric 'Im' Brooks, saxophonist schooled at the now famous Jamaican Alpha Boys School, has always had a broad musical...


The Mighty Diamonds - Inna De Yard (Makasound)

As an avid fan of The Mighty Diamonds, especially lead vocalist Tabby's voice, yours truly was looking forward to...


Junkyard Productions - My Yard Is A Junkyard (Murena Records)

Yours truly is a bit late with this review of 'My Yard Is A Junkyard', the debut album of Danish Junkyard...


The Meditations - No More Friend (Greensleeves)

'No More Friend', in 1983 already the fourth album by The Meditations (Ansel Cridland, Danny Clarke and Winston...


Luciano - Jah Is My Navigator (VP Records)

The Messenger was quiet for a while but returns with 'Jah Is My Navigator'. Recorded under the direction of bosom...


Neco Novellas - New Dawn/Ku Khata (World Connection)

Neco Novellas, born Anselmo João Johanhane, is a descendant from a musical family from Mozambique. His...


Various Artists - Umalali, The Garifuna Women's Project + Aurelio Martinez - Garifuna Soul (Cumbancha/Stonetree Records)

After the sudden demise of Andy Palacio, figurehead of Belizean Garifuna music, 'Umalali, The Garifuna Women's...


United Flavour - Unity (Self-published)

Salsa-muffin from Prague! To us the name of this this six-piece collective from the Czech Republic might not mean...


Taraf de Haïdouks - Maškaradă (Crammed Discs)

More than five years after their last studio release, the worldwide acclaimed 'Band Of Gypsies', the Romanian gang of...


Chucho Valdez - Tumi Sessions + Pilar De La Hoz - Jazz Con Sabor Peruano (Tumi Music)

The Cuban piano virtuoso and living music legend Chucho Valdez has already been working for the Tumi label since...


Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara - Soul Science (Independent Records Ltd.)

Blues guitarist meets African virtuoso... Where have we heard that before? Indeed, this new project of...


Telek - Amette (Wantok Music/Singing Frog)

Pop from Papua New Guinea... What on earth to expect here? For once what you see is what you get: Western-style pop...


Haydamaky - Kobzar (Eastblok Music)

Not an easy one this 'Kobzar' by Haydamaky (the band was named after the Haydamaky-revolution, a popular peasant...


Hugo Westerdahl - Western Sahara, Remixing Saharauis (Nubenegra)

Artists like Tinariwen, Toumast and Mariem Hassan prove that the Western Sahara is hotter than ever! The ideal...


Grupo Fantasma - Comes Alive (Me & My Records)

Grupo Fantasma is just about the best Latin band yours truly had the pleasure of discovering the past few years and...


Luis Delgado - As-Sirr (Nubenegra)

On 'As-Sirr' ("the secret") Arabo-Andalusian culture aficionado and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, lute, ud, saz,...


Various Artists - Long Way Down: Music From The TV Series (Real World Records)

If the title of this album means nothing to you, you have missed one of the best road movies/travel documentaries in...


Joe Higgs - Life Of Contradiction (Pressure Sounds)

Most reggae fans will probably know Joe Higgs as being the mentor of the late Bob Marley, but his music is far less...


Junior Murvin - Muggers In The Street (Greensleeves)

Even though Junior Murvin has several albums to his name, until now CD-lovers had to content themselves with one, the...


Boban I Marko Markovic Orkestar - Go Marko Go! (Piranha)

Balkan/Gypsy music is above all about setting a certain mood and Serbian trumpet player Boban Markovic belongs to the...


Mahmoud Fadl - For Oriental Dancers (Piranha)

This could well be the ideal belly dance soundtrack, with rousing darbukas (vase drum used in the Balkans, the Middle...