Novalima - Coba Coba (Cumbancha)
With 'Coba Coba', the new album by Afro-Peruvian sensation Afrolima, the Cumbancha label, signs for one of the strongest world music albums of 2008.
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 albums by Aster Aweke, but now there's US based AIT Records, who with a true winter offensive are making us aware of their existence.
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 eccentricity, has become a big star in his native Slovenia.
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 is a band with members of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds, in this case indigenous French and North African immigrants from Algeria and Tunisia.
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 Sweden-based Ethiopian brothers Tewolde to the rest of Europe with the release of their second album 'Songs Of Life'.
Freddie McGregor - Sings Jamaican Classics: Deluxe Edition (VP Records)
Who better than Freddie McGregor to cover some of the most famous Jamaican classics?
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 jumping back and forth between new roots and dancehall.
Winston McAnuff - Nostradamus (Makasound)
Winston McAnuff has been a regular fixture in the French roots reggae scene for some years now and as the inspiration behind the Makasound label and through musical projects with Camile Bazbaz and R.Wan his musical career has become undeniably linked with France.
Tiken Jah Fakoly - Live À Paris (Barclay/Universal)
Tiken Jah Fakoly is rapidly becoming one of the most important reggae artists in the world.
Various Artists - Il Est Cinq Heures Kingston S’Eveille… 02 (Makasound)
With the release of 'Il Est Cinq Heures Kingston S’Eveille.
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.
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 innovative musical trends, but because of the dispute that threatened to emerge with the Greensleeves label, who were also on the verge of releasing a new Anthony B album.
Fantan Mojah - Stronger (Greensleeves)
After his well received 2005 debut effort, 'Hail The King', Fantan Mojah, the imposing singjay with his inseparable backpack, went suspiciously quiet again.
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 effort too well, describing it as "mellifluous" and "something for the ladies".
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 covers just about a century of African-American history, was designed by Austrian illustrator and tattoo artist Franke and the album itself, produced by Irievibrations Records, is also of Austrian origin.
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.
Beres Hammond - A Moment In Time (VP Records)
What to say about this new Beres Hammond album? Once again 'A Moment In Time' carries Hammond's lovers rock quality label, but this time reggae purists might turn up their nose, because at times Beres sounds commercial and poppy and other songs are very r&b and soul flavored.
Alpha Wess - Le Choc Des Cultures (Makasound)
Makasound firmly keeps its focus on Africa. After releases by, among others, Takana Zion and Manjul, they are now introducing Alpha Wess.
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 Thomas Henning (trombone).
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 series.