Tinariwen - Tassili (V2)
Tinariwen has become the victim of its own success; as one of the few bands in the so-called world music genre this Tuareg band also managed to get the respect of the established pop and rock world, a world in which one day you're still hot, only to be written off the next.
Warrior King - Tell Me How Me Sound (Tad's Record)
After the disappointing 'Love Is In The Air' (of which the title track reappears on 'Tell Me How Me Sound') Warrior King seems to be on the right track again.
SuperHeavy - SuperHeavy (Universal)
Yours truly would be very surprised if you hadn't heard about SuperHeavy, the super project uniting Dave Stewart, Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, A.
Brushy One String - The King Of One String (RiseUp Entertainment)
Luciano Blotta, director of the acclaimed 2009 documentary 'RiseUp' now focuses his energy on disclosing what he describes as "the Jamaican underground".
Asante Amen - Over The Years: The Underground Project (High Priest Records)
Very occasionally a seasoned music critic like yours truly still stumbles on a small miracle and 'Over The Years', the album debut by Asante Amen is exactly that! 'Over The Years' is without any doubt one of the best albums yours truly had the pleasure listening to over the past year and nowhere gives the impression you're listening to the debut effort of an upcoming artist; on the contrary, Asante Amen sounds like a veteran who's already been at it for many years.
Various Artists - Golden Beirut: New Sounds From Lebanon (Out Here Records)
With 'Golden Beirut: New Sounds From Lebanon' Out Here Records set out to map the little-known Lebanese underground scene; an original and fun idea in theory, but unfortunately yours truly wasn't too impressed with this compilation as the Lebanese underground scene apparently produces the same electro, hip-hop and indie rock we're flooded with on a daily basis in Europe.
Buritaca - Barawanié + La Limoncello - Equinox (Kasba Music)
Buritaca (previously Buritaca 200) is a collective of mainly Colombian migrants who got to know each other in Barcelona.
Taj Weekes & Adowa - A Waterlogged Soul Kitchen (Jatta Records)
If we didn't know any better we would have sworn 'A Waterlogged Soul Kitchen' was a new Sebastian Sturm album, but in fact this is the new album by Saint Lucian Taj Weekes and his band Adowa.
Pierpoljak - Best Of (Universal/Barclay)
There was a time when Pierpoljak seemed destined to become France's answer to Gentleman, but where, for example, Raggasonic continued on a more Jamaican course, Pierpoljak steared his music in a more acoustic direction.
Hayvanlar Alemi - Guarana Superpower (Sublime Frequencies)
The cover design of Turkish Hayvanlar Alemi's 'Guarana Superpower' is reminiscent of albums by bands from the end of the nineteen sixties and the early seventies like Jefferson Airplane or Iron Butterfly.
Rachid Taha - Voilà Voilà: Le Best Of (Universal/Barclay)
In 2012 Rachid Taha celebrates his thirty years in the music business, the ideal occasion for a career overview in the form of a 'Best Of' compilation.
Taddy P - Gimmie Di Bass (Bass Inna Yu Face Records)
Apart from as a songwriter and producer Taddy P (born in Montego Bay) is best known as a regular bass player for Maxi Priest.
Ed Robinson - Written In Stone (Push Broom Gang Productions Inc.)
For lovers rock enthusiasts like yours truly Ed Robinson will be no unknown, but it might surprise some to learn this New York based crooner began his career in the music business as a drummer in a rock band.
Grace Jones - Hurricane + Dub (Wall Of Sound)
Pure reggae eighties icon Grace Jones has never produced, but her music always contained echoes from her homeland Jamaica, something that was probably also the doing of riddim twins Sly & Robbie with whom she collaborated at various occasions.
Omar Souleyman - Jazeera Nights (Sublime Frequencies)
Admittedly, Omar Souleyman looks a bit like a new creation of Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen, but this Syrian pop star is definitely the real deal and with his enticing music signs for one of the festival hypes of this summer (Omar played for a frenzied crowd at the legendary Glastonbury festival in the United Kingdom).
Little Roy - Battle For Seattle (Ark Recordings)
With 'Battle For Seattle' Little Roy takes a stab at the success formula of Easy Star All-Stars, creating a reggae version of a well-known album from pop and rock history.
King Hopeton - The King Of Kings (Doublelion Records)
Yours truly was definitely not blown away by King Hopeton's 'The King Of Kings'.
Various Artists - We Remember Gregory Isaacs (VP Records)
A little over a month after Suga Roy & Conrad Crystal's tribute album, VP Records now also pays tribute to the Cool Ruler.
Jah6 - Jah6 EP + Damaru - Tuintje In Mijn Hart (Top-Notch Music/Universal)
Isn't it strange no one noticed the huge similarities between the Dutch "levenslied" and lovers rock before? Jah6 (pronounced: jahzes) now fills that gap with brio.
Various Artists - King Jammy's: Selector's Choice Volume 1 & 2 (VP Records)
'Selector's Choice Volume 1 & 2' is actually a reissue of the eponymous series of compilation albums from 2007, but now conveniently packaged in two boxes containing four discs each and focusing on the most famous riddims from King Jammy's studio.