Culture - Reggae Anthology: Natty Dread Taking Over (17 North parade/VP Records)
August 18th marks the sixth anniversary of the sudden passing of Culture front man Joseph Hill.
Various Artists - Sound System: The History Of Jamaican Music (Island Records/Universal)
Yours truly got to know the reggae genre largely thanks to the fantastic catalogue of Chris Blackwell's Island Records.
Various Artists - Jamaica 50th: Then And Now (Tad's Record)
Tad's Record celebrates 50 years of Jamaican independence with 'Jamaica 50th: Then And Now', fifty songs, in a mix of old and especially for the occasion composed tracks (George Nooks 'Sweet Sweet Jamaica', Mackie Conscious' 'Jamaica 50'.
Various Artists - Out Of Many: 50 Years Of Reggae Music (VP Records)
VP Records puts the Jamaican music's 50-year jubilee in the spotlight with the three-part compilation 'Out Of Many: 50 Years Of Reggae Music'.
Samuel Yirga - Guzo (Real World Records)
'Guzo' ("journey" in Amharic) is the album debut of Samuel Yirga, pianist with Dub Colossus and one of the most promising and talented young Ethiopian musicians of his generation.
Jah Marnyah - A New Day (Faya Wurks Records)
Jah Marnyah was no stranger to yours truly: over the past few years the singjay from Montserrat delivered a long list of enjoyable singles ('Musical Party', 'Keep Trying', 'A New Day', 'Rasta Is Love') and a number of these tracks now appear on his album debut, 'A New Day'.
Los Transatlanticos - First Trip (Barely Breaking Even)
The award for the most apt band name of 2012 has to go to Los Transatlanticos, a band of which part of its members have their home in Bogota, Colombia and others operate from Berlin.
Ondatropica - Ondatropica (Soundway Records)
Will 'Quantic' Holland is a busy-bee; we only recently reviewed his cumbia project Los Miticos Del Ritmo on these pages and now he's already surprising us with a new prestigious project.
Glen Washington - Masterpiece (Zion High Productions)
Glen Washington leaves no room for doubt: his new album is a masterpiece! Masterpiece is perhaps an overstatement, but there is no doubt that 'Masterpiece' is one of Washington's best albums in recent years.
Bunny Marrett - I’m Free (Bristol Archive Records)
Bristol Archive Records' recipe of dusting off forgotten releases of protagonists from Bristol's reggae scene should be familiar by now, and veteran artist Bunny Marrett's 'I'm Free' fits perfectly into their discography.
Jimmy Cliff - Rebirth (Trojan/Universal)
When Jimmy Cliff met Tim Armstrong in the Hollywood Sound Factory studio back in 2011, there was an immediate chemistry.
Sarazino - Everyday Salama (Cumbancha) + Canteca De Macao - Nunca Es Tarde (Kasba Music)
Sarazino's life reads like an adventure novel: born Lamine Fellah and the child of Algerian diplomats, he grew up in countries like Spain, Switzerland, Burundi and Burkina Faso and went on to study in Montreal.
Natural Roots - Words Of Jah (Heartbeat Europe/Rounder/Tap Roots Records)
The universality of the reggae genre is once again demonstrated by Natural Roots, a reggae band from Utah with an inspiring line-up including nationalities ranging from New Zealanders to Samoans, Tongans and even a stray Fin.
Miriam Simone - Follow My Dreams EP (Dredda Records)
Miriam is not the daughter of Nina Simone, but co-founder of Dredda Records, the label which already introduced us to Joggo, and apparently far from a bad singer herself.
Sibiri Samaké - Dambe Foli (Kanaga System Krush)
The Kananga System Krush label continues to map out the Malian music landscape, this time introducing us to Sibiri Samaké, a member of the caste of the donso or hunter-warriors.
Gaby Moreno - Illustrated Songs (World Connection)
Gaby Moreno isn't a real fit for these pages, because although her Guatemalan roots might suggest otherwise, as a singer-songwriter she looks for inspiration in Western genres like soul, jazz and blues (the short bossa nova-song 'No Regrets' is a notable exception on 'Illustrated Songs').
Umoza - Tumbuka Voices (Independent Records Ltd)
Until Malawi Mouse Boys' 'He Is #1' we had never heard a note of music from Malawi and now for the second time in a just a few weeks an album from that southern African nation lands on our desk.
Kaer - Versatil (Self-published)
Rapper Kaer is a former member of Liège based hip-hop collective Starflam and for his solo debut 'Versatil' revisits his Latin-American Ecuadorian roots (lyrically beautifully illustrated in 'Mi Tierra').
Various Artists - A Search For CMS: A Story By Blue Flamingo (Excelsior Recordings)
Just when you think the end is near for physical album releases, a little gem pops out of nowhere, proving there's still light at the end of the tunnel.
Everton Blender - Higher Heights Revolution (Heartbeat Europe/Rounder/Island Splash Records)
It had been since 2005 ('It's My Time', Explorer Records) that we had heard anything of Everton Blender, but with 'Higher Heights Revolution' he returns in style.