Blick Bassy - Hongo Calling (World Connection)
On his second album Blick Bassy continues to excel at the ideal Sunday morning music, but 'Hongo Calling' might groove a bit more than predecessor 'Léman'.
Little Roy - Heat (Pharos Records)
Little Roy may be responsible for some of the biggest hits in reggae history ('Tribal War', 'Prophesy'), all too often the cover versions of his songs are many times more famous than his own originals.
Various Artists - The Karindula Sessions: Tradi-Modern Sounds From Southeast Congo (Crammed Discs)
Staff Benda Bilili has barely conquered the world or "music anthropologist" Vincent Kenis is already introducing us to something completely different.
Prince Blanco - Unify On The Hi-Fi EP (Renegade Recordings)
'Unify On The Hi-Fi', the debut EP by Prince Blanco, carries the seal of approval of Canadian dub-guru Dubmatix who also produced the disc.
Gentleman - Diversity Live (Bushhouse Music/Island/Universal)
Where else but at the Summerjam festival could Gentleman record his new live album? His home game in Cologne does what it's supposed to: 40 songs spread over two discs with guest contributions by Soldiers Of Jah Army, Christopher Martin and, of course, the two background angels Tamika and Mamadee.
Oojami - Time Is Now (Self-published)
We're often presented with projects that mix Western music with ethnic elements, but in the case of Oojami (born Necmi Cavli), a deejay from Bodrum in Turkey who mixes dance music with oriental influences, that unfortunately means a watered-down version.
La Pegatina - Xapomelön (Kasba Music)
For their new album, 'Xapomelön' (a "Catalanisation" of the French "chapeau melon" or "bowler hat"), La Pegatina drew inspiration from American comics.
Balcony Players - Balcony Go Crazy (Self-published)
'Balcony Go Crazy' is the ecologically friendly debut (the disc itself is packaged in a box made of recycled cardboard and for each sold copy the band promises to plant a tree) of Rotterdam based band Balcony Players, a quintet balancing on the vague border between folk and world music or in this case klezmer and Balkan music.
Tiwony - Cité Soleil (Blackwarrell/Musicast Distribution)
In France Tiwony is already a household name and his 'Cité Soleil' is regarded as one of the more important reggae/dancehall releases for this spring.
Txilum - Cultura Accidental (Reggaeland Records)
Last year we discovered Catalan reggae band Txilum almost by chance.
Watty Burnett - Rasta At Di Kontrol (World Beat ProJam)
When being a member of a band like The Congos for several decades, a solo trip is probably not unwelcome.
Le Tout-Puissant Orchestre Poly-Rythmo - Cotonou Club (Strut Records)
Le Tout-Puissant Orchestre Poly-Rythmo might well be one of the best kept musical secrets from West Africa.
Winston McAnuff & Bazbaz Orchestra - A Bang (Sakifo Records)
Apparently Winston McAnuff hasn't let the bankruptcy of the Makasound label affect him too much, because just months after they had to lay down the books, he's back with 'A Bang'.
Ebo Taylor - Life Stories: Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1973-1980 (Strut Records) + Ebo Taylor & Bonze Konkoma - Abenkwan Puchaa (Essiebons)
The success of 'Love And Death', the delicious afrobeat album Ebo Taylor recorded with Berlin's Afrobeat Academy, inspired the Strut label to compile 'Life Stories', a double compilation album of the Ghanaian grandmaster's old successes.
Jupiter & Ma Shi Faï - Today & Tomorrow (Self-published)
'Today & Tomorrow', the album debut by Jupiter & Ma Shi Faï, sounds like the work of seasoned musicians; perhaps not surprising, because as Jupiter & Massive 5 this band has already been playing since 2005.
Easy Star All-Stars - First Light (Easy Star Records)
With 'First Light' the Easy Star All-Stars, best known for their excellent cover versions of albums by The Beatles, Radiohead and Pink Floyd, finally release an album filled with their own productions and saying they hit the bull's-eye is perhaps an understatement.
Takana Zion - Rasta Government (Soulbeats Records/Socadisc)
After, 'Rappel A L'Ordre', Takana Zion's somewhat disappointing album from 2009, it was make or break for the African Sizzla.
Various Artists - Evolution Of Dub Volume 6: Was Prince Jammy An Astronaut? (Greensleeves)
The fact the Evolution Of Dub series is already at its sixth volume with 'Was Prince Jammy An Astronaut?', doesn't mean the well's run dry; on the contrary, this box, dedicated to the dub productions of then still Prince Jammy, is perhaps one of the best in this series.
Owiny Sigoma Band - Owiny Sigoma Band (Brownswood Recordings)
Owiny Sigoma Band is a joint project of five musicians from London (Jesse Hackett/keyboard, Louis Hackett/bass, Sam Lewis/guitar, Chris Morphitis/bouzouki + guitar and Tom Skinner/drums) and a number of Kenyan musicians from the Luo tribe (Joseph Nyamungu/nyattiti and Charles Owoko/percussion).
Joshua Alo - Orchid Unknown (World Souljah Music)
Joshua Alo is a musician of Hawaiian origin but now living in Belgium and his take on the reggae genre immediately reminded yours truly of the work of Sebastian Sturm: intimate roots reggae with a singer-songwriter touch, with in Alo's case a Christian foundation.