Album Reviews

Puerto Plata - Casita De Campo (iASO Records)

Now that most Cuban soneros have disappeared from the scene, the attention of the music industry is shifting to other...


Dinamo - Desequilibro + Zoo Digital (Punkaway Records)

Shakin' Weld, our loyal purveyor of ska-music from the most unexpected places this time introduces us to Majorcan...


Sojah - Modern Revolution (Irievibrations Records)

'Modern Revolution', the debut effort of Sojah (not to be confused with the American SOJA or Soldiers of Jah Army) or...


Suga Roy & Conrad Crystal - Suga Roy & Conrad Crystal And The Great Reggae Icons (Fire Ball Records/Musicast Distribution)

Suga Roy and Conrad Crystal for the first time performed as a duo back in 2002 when they recorded 'True Love' (an...


Various Artists - Reggae Anthology: Winston Riley, Quintessential Techniques (17 North Parade/VP Records)

As the title suggests 'Winston Riley, Quintessential Techniques' offers an overview of the biggest hits of...


The Rastafarians - Orthodox (Makasound)

With the 'Orthodox' album by The Rastafarians, a roots band from Los Angeles around Haile Maskel (Michael Ashley aka...


Morgan Heritage - The Journey Thus Far (VP Records)

Just about all members of Morgan Heritage have started working on solo projects over the past year, so it will...


Various Artists - Joe Gibbs 12" Reggae Discomix Showcase Volume 1, 2 & 3 (17 North Parade/VP Records)

17 North Parade/VP Records continues to plunder the archives of the late Joe Gibbs, but as long as that yields...


Bass Culture - Guantanamo (Vocation Records)

Bass Culture is a multicultural band which for over two decades has been operating from the French commune of...


Tommy Tornado - Sunrise (Rude Rich Records)

Even though the name Tommy Tornado (born Thomas Streutgers) might not mean much to most reggae lovers yet, some of...


Ras Zacharri - Herbs Man (Shem Ha Boreh Records)

Fantastic debut effort this 'Herbs Man' from Border born (a small town on the border between St. Mary and St. Ann)...


Anthony Selassie - Rising Above (St Michael 777 Music)

Anthony Selassie is one of those many talented singers from Jamaica who for some reason have a hard time to make a...


Omar Perry - Can't Stop Us (Makasound)

For his second long-player Omar Perry once again called on Guillaume 'Stepper' Briard and his Homegrown Band. 'Can't...


Roots Circus - Wednesdays (Rub-A-Dub Records)

Scandinavia seems to be the new go-to-place where innovative reggae projects are concerned. Roots Circus is a...


Jamaica Groove - Mãe Terra (Self-published)

Reggae do Brazil? Oh well, why not, it doesn't always have to be samba or bossa nova. Jamaica Groove is a six-piece...


Various Artists - Soundman Shots, The Caribou & Downbeat 78's Story (Snapper Music)

Asked about the earliest traces in the rich history of the music business in Jamaica, most sources will refer to the...


Jaqee - Kokoo Girl (Rootdown Records)

Jaqee, of Ugandan descent but nowadays residing in Sweden, has already amassed quite a diverse discography. When her...


Spraggy - Sunshine Country (Believe)

Even though the name Spraggy will probably not ring a bell with most people, the singer from Dominica has already...


Chuck Fenda - Fulfillment (VP Records)

Chuck Fenda, the Poor People Defender, is back with his third opus 'Fulfillment', but yours truly strongly doubts...


Lukie D - Love Again (Greensleeves)

ATTENTION: only for lovers rock fanatics! Don't say we didn't warn you; Lukie D is back and apart from a few songs...


King Tubby & The Clancy Eccles All Stars - Sound System International Dub LP (Pressure Sounds)

Where this latest Pressure Sounds release is concerned the term obscure is an understatement. If we are to believe...


Kiddus I - Green Fa Life (Makasound)

It took Kiddus I just under 30 years (!) to release an album. In 2007 we already saw 'Graduation In Zion: 1978-1980',...


Delroy Wilson - Dub Plate Style (Pressure Sounds)

Don’t be fooled, it's not Delroy Wilson's songs - hits like 'Better Must Come', 'Rain From The Skies' or 'Stick...


Tanya Stephens - Collection Of Hits (VP Records)

Yours truly got to know Tanya Stephens at the time of her 'Gangsta Blues' album and her biggest hit to date 'It's A...


Tarrus Riley - Contagious (VP Records)

The swine flu hysteria has kept the world in its grasps for months now and maybe that's the reason why Tarrus Riley...


Junkyard Productions - Colour Me (Murena Records/Varano Music)

Yours truly enjoyed 'My Yard Is A Junkyard', the debut effort of Danish Junkyard Productions and successor 'Colour...


Natasja - Shooting Star (Makasound)

'Shooting Star' leaves the listener with somewhat of a bitter aftertaste. The debut album of Sudanese-Danish Natasja...


Bushman - Most Wanted (Greensleeves)

Though things around Bushman have become quiet the last few years (his 'Bushman Sings The Bush Doctor' album was...


Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - Pleasure Dub (Pressure Sounds)

In addition to Greensleeves ('Evolution Of Dub') the Pressure Sounds label now also focuses on dub with the...


I Wayne - Live In Oakland Ca (2B1 Records)

The CD/DVD releases of 2B1 Records continue to disappoint. I Wayne does his best on 'Live In Oakland Ca' and during...


YT - Born Inna Babylon (Sativa Records)

With 'Born Inna Babylon' YT continues where he left off with his debut album 'Straight Outta Britain'. The songs on...


Queen Ifrica - Montego Bay (VP Records)

A recent study, carried out on behalf of the Jamaican newspaper Jamaica Observer, shows that for every six Rasta men...


Takana Zion - Rappel A L’Ordre (Makasound)

Exactly two years after his debut album, 'Zion Prophet', Takana Zion is back with 'Rappel A L'Ordre' and although the...


Alborosie - Escape From Babylon (Greensleeves)

With loud drum rolls, horn blasts and the catchy slogan: "The hottest thing to come out of Sicily since Mount Etna",...


Various Artists - Evolution Of Dub Volume 2: The Great Leap Forward (Greensleeves)

Our review of the first volume in Greensleeves' Evolution Of Dub series might have been a tad brief, but, in our...


Bitty McLean + Sly & Robbie - Movin’ On (Discograph/Taxi/Mideyah/Silent River)

Le Bitty nouveau est arrivé! At last, because this album was actually already announced in back in 2007! All...


The Aquatics - Vivre Libre (Ovastand Records)

'Vivre Libre', the debut effort by The Aquatics, a twelve man strong collective that operates from...


Chezidek - I Grade (Tabou1)

With the excellent 2007 Bobby Konders (Massive B) produced 'Inna Di Road', Chezidek raised the bar substantially and...


Aka Koxx - A New Day (Legalize Hits)

Even though the name Aka Koxx (Always Known As Koxx) will not ring a bell with most reggae lovers yet, the man...


Lorenzo - Movin' Ahead (Irie Ites Records)

There are albums you just want to have for that one track in the track list: in the case of 'Movin' Ahead', the debut...


Speed Caravan - Kalashnik Love (Real World Records)

Live (yours truly saw them play at the most recent edition of Festival Mundial) the coffee Speed Caravan served was...


Adama Yalomba - Kassa (Makasound)

"Collaborer par si, par la..." Adama Yalomba sings somewhere in 'Kassa' and it was also thanks to his collaboration...


Branko Galoic & Skakavac Orkestar - Skakavac (Self-published)

Branko Galoic is a Croatian singer-songwriter from Zagreb who, in the aftermath of the conflict in former Yugoslavia,...


Mulatu Astatke - New York + Addis + London, The Story Of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975 (Strut Records)

When Jim Jarmusch decided to use the music of Mulatu Astatke for his film 'Broken Flowers' back in 2005, he...


!Deladap - Sara La Kali (Chat Chapeau)

In Belgium !Deladap isn't a household name yet, but in Germany, Austria and Hungary they are regarded as the...


Various Artists - Gilles Peterson presents Havana Cultura, New Cuba Sound (Brownswood Recordings)

In the wake of Ry Cooder, Gilles Peterson also travelled to Cuba and, with the help of pianist Roberto Fonseca...


Rupa & The April Fishes - Este Mundo (Cumbancha)

Yours truly wasn't exactly over the moon with 'Extraordinary Rendition', the debut effort by Rupa & The April...


Mitsoura - Dura Dura Dura (Hangveto)

Among Gypsy musicians Hungarian Monika 'Mitsou' Miczura has already acquired quite a reputation as she is regarded as...


Mikea - Taholy (Contre Jour)

With Mikea, Contre Jour finally signed a musician from Madagascar. Don't expect a selection of exotic instruments...


Don Tomasino & Tutti Quanti - L'Assodicori (Via Lactea Records)

For your convenience, we are going to call Don Tomasino & Tutti Quanti, a ragtag bunch from Lille, the French...


Kottarashky - Opa Hey! (Asphalt Tango Records)

The debut album of Bulgarian techie Kottarashky (born Nikola Gruev) is vaguely reminiscent of the music Deep Forest...


Various Artists - Tumbélé: Biguine, Afro & Latin Sounds From The French Caribbean, 1963-74 (Soundway Records)

'Tumbélé: Biguine, Afro & Latin Sounds From The French Caribbean, 1963-74' takes the listener to...


Zeep - People & Things (Crammed Discs)

Zeep is a joint effort of Nina Miranda, who previously sang for English band Smoke City, and Chris Frank, known from...


Los Impagaos - No Lo Intenten En Casa (Ventilador Music)

Nice album cover, but, as yet another offering from the ever expanding musica mestiza family, Los Impagaos ("the...


Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba - I Speak Fula (Out Here Records)

If you know the ngoni was traditionally only used in a seated position, you can imagine the reactions of the Malian...


Mahala Raï Banda - Ghetto Blasters (Asphalt Tango Records)

When Mahala Raï Banda presented its eponymous debut album, a musical experiment for which violinist Aurel Ionita...


Katzenjammer - Le Pop (Nettwerk)

The award for the most original band name this month goes to the Norwegian girls quartet Katzenjammer (German...


Kimi Djabate - Karam (Cumbancha)

Yours truly is constantly on the lookout for fun novelties in world music and the Cumbancha label now lends us a hand...


Kasba - Darna (LC Music) + Marockin’ Brass & Luc Mishalle - Zazzat (Met-X)

This month two Maghrebi-inspired albums landed in our mailbox almost simultaneously and remarkably enough both are...


Lariba - Como Lo Ves (Ventilador Music)

Lariba is a seven-man band operating out of Zürich in Switzerland and describing their music as "fresh...


Various Artists - Polska Rootz (Eastblok Music)

The Eastblok label already surprised us on previous occasions, but their latest production is really a curiosity....


Becaye Aw - Sibi (Etnisk Musikklubb)

Even in the cold north people are gradually warming to the sounds from West-Africa and the release of Becaye Aw's...


La Pegatina - Via Mandarina + Zulu 9.30 - Huellas (Kasba Music)

You only have to take a look at the cover of 'Via Mandarina' to know this is a mestizo album. 'Via Mandarina' is...


Staff Benda Bilili - Très Très Fort (Crammed Discs)

One can wonder where he keeps finding them, because after previously having surprised us with Konono N°1 and...


Bossacucanova - Ao Vivo (Crammed Discs)

What Gotan Project did for nuevo tango, Bossacucanova does for bossa nova, mixing the genre with modern...


Kasai Allstars - In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic (Crammed Discs)

The music of Kasai Allstars is somewhere akin to that of Konono N°1, but in yours truly's humble opinion, the use...


Oi Va Voi - Travelling The Face Of The Globe (Oi Va Voi Recordings/V2)

With their mix of Eastern European sounds and Western pop, London Oi Va Voi guarantees a solid live show. Their...


Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara - Tell No Lies (Real World Records)

'Soul Science', last year's debut effort by Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara, released on the Wayward Records label,...


La Minor - Oboroty (Eastblok Music)

La Minor was founded in Saint Petersburg back in 2000 by Slava Shalygin, Alexander Yezhov and Pyotr Ketlinsky, but...


Pablo Milanés & Chucho Valdés - Mas Alla De Todo (Wrasse Records)

Pablo Milanés (Cuban singer and poet, played an important role in the development of the Cuban Nueva Trova,...


Various Artists - Paranda (Cumbancha/Stonetree Records)

'Paranda' actually dates from 2000, but is now for the first time distributed in the Benelux thanks to Xango Music...


Tony Allen - Secret Agent (World Circuit)

"Without Tony Allen, there'd be no afrobeat." is a quote by the late Fela Kuti and who are we to contradict him?...


The Idan Raichel Project - Within My Walls (Cumbancha)

The fact the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the longest-running and most poignant conflicts on this...


Ersatzmusika - Songs Unrecantable (Asphalt Tango Records)

Not easily digestible this 'Songs Unrecantable' by Berlin based Russian migrants of Ersatzmusika. The album...


Linval Thompson - Ghetto Living (Makasound)

You have to hand it to Makasound, after they convinced him to redo some of his greatest hits for an Inna De Yard...


Sizzla - Ghetto Youth-Ology (Greensleeves)

Sizzla's latest is entitled 'Ghetto Youth-Ology' and it stands to reason youths are the subject of different songs...


Glen Washington - Destiny (VP Records)

Glen Washington's career is one with many turns and twists. His last major achievement was 2002's 'Your Love',...


Various Artists - Evolution Of Dub Volume 1: The Origin Of The Species (Greensleeves)

In the category "releases we'd love to add to our collection", 'Evolution Of Dub Volume 1: The Origin Of The...


Franziska - Action (Venus Distribuzione/Rough Trade)

The name Franziska might ring a bell for some of you, as two years ago this band from Milan was the winner of the...


Various Artists - Once Upon A Time At King Tubby's (Pressure Sounds)

This new Pressure Sounds release focuses on a nice anecdote from reggae history. 'Once Upon A Time At King Tubby's'...


Various Artists - Songs For Reggae Lovers 2 (Greensleeves)

Every year we pass that date in February declared by cunning salesmen as the day of love. If money has to be spent,...


Wahwahsda - Shiva Regal (Kwantakosta/Self-published)

It’s always nice when we can give local talent a little boost and for a quality auto-production like 'Shiva...


Merger - Exiles In A Babylon (Makasound)

With Merger's 'Exiles In A Babylon' Makasound signs for one of the most interesting rereleases of 2009. Once again,...


Niominka Bi and N’Diaxas Band - Shalom, Salam (Makasound)

'Shalom, Salam', the new album by Niominka Bi and N'Diaxas Band, takes a somewhat false start: title track 'Shalom'...


Jah Verity - Président Boulanger (Nocturne/Fakoly Production)

Tiken Jah Fakoly is a busybody; after the release of a biography and the live CD/DVD 'Live À Paris' last year,...


Mikey Spice - Walk A Mile (VP Records)

MIKEY SPICE IS BACK! With that message, the most important thing surrounding this Mikey Spice release is said. For...


Otros Aires - Vivo En Otros Aires (Galileo Music Communication)

With Otros Aires, a Spanish project led by Argentinian Miguel Di Genova, we find ourselves in the same waters as...


Alemayehu Eshete - The Best Of (AIT Records)

Alemayehu Eshete is sometimes called the Ethiopian Elvis, a nickname he owes to 'Tikur Gissila' ("Black Panther") an...


Daby Toure & Skip McDonald - Call My Name EP (Real World Records)

'Call My Name', the latest release on the Real World label is yet another East meets West project with American blues...


Radiokijada - Nuevos Sonidos Afro Peruanos (Wrasse Records)

One of the world music trends for 2009 is definitely the popularization of Afro-Peruvian music. Just a few weeks ago...


Blick Bassy - Léman (World Connection)

Introducing Blick Bassy: singer-songwriter and rising afro-pop star. The music of Cameroonian Bassy can best be...


17 Hippies - El Dorado (HIPSTER Records)

German 17 Hippies are a versatile bunch. One moment they sound like a decent Balkan band ('Uz'), but the next it's a...


To'Mezclao - Hibrid (Tumi Music)

It had been a while since we heard from the Tumi label, but with 'Hibrid' by Cuban band To'Mezclao they’re...


Deolinda - Canção Ao Lado (World Connection)

Even though yours truly tries to cover the most diverse genres from the five continents, there are some that get...


Kočani Orkestar - The Ravished Bride (Crammed Discs)

On 'The Ravished Bride', Kočani Orkestar's third long player for the Crammed label, the Macedonian Gypsy brass band...


Amadou & Mariam - Welcome To Mali (Warner/Because Music)

Amadou & Mariam, the likeable duo from Mali, is back! On 'Welcome To Mali' they had to make do without Manu Chao...


Los Callejeros - El Camino Es El Destino (Self-published)

Los Callejeros (loosely translated "the street musicians") is the story of three musical rebels with a cause: Frank...


Oumou Sangare - Seya (World Circuit)

Disregarding the 2003 double compilation album 'Oumou', 'Seya' is Oumou Sangare's first long player in more than five...


Cumbia Ya! - No Me Busques (Self-published) + Various Artists - Arriba La Cumbia! (Crammed Discs)

Due to the popularity of Latin genres like salsa, son or merengue and despite its huge popularity in Latin America,...


Kal - Radio Romanista (Asphalt Tango Records)

Kal ("black" in Romani, also see the cover of the album) is a project of Serbian Romani musician and activist Dragan...


U-Cef - Hallalwood (Crammed Discs)

For 'Hallalwood' (cfr. Hollywood, Bollywood) London based DJ U-Cef fantasized about a utopian Casablanca; a...


Anthony B - Rise Up (Greensleeves)

Yours truly can be short about 'Rise Up': this is without any doubt one of the best (if not the best) album that...