Solo Moderna - Republica Moderna (Galletas Calientes Records)
As the pseudonym suggests, Solo Moderna is the one-man project of Dutch musical Jack of all trades Bas Voorn, playing a whole range of instruments ranging from banjo and guitar to piano, various horns and even an amplified thumb piano, adding analogue synths, 8bit sound bites and rhythms from drum machines.
Milton Nascimento - Maria Maria (Far Out Recordings)
Far Out Recordings closes the year with a vinyl reissue of 'Maria Maria', the soundtrack Milton Nascimento wrote in 1976 for the ballet of the same name by Grupo Corpo, a contemporary dance company led by Argentine choreographer Oscar Ariaz, with the legacy of slavery in Brazil as its loaded topic.
SistaSara - Universal Dub (Advaita Oneness Dub)
Barely four months after its release, 'Universal' now gets its dub counterpart with 'Universal Dub'.
Kankou - Kuma (Cannery Row Records)
Kankou Kouyate, a descendant of a illustrious Malian griot family of master ngoni players, ranging from her great-grandfather Bazouma Sissoko, to her grandfather Djeli Moustapha Kouyate and her famous uncle Bassekou Kouyate, was born for a career in music.
R-Juna - Dubs And Praises EP (Dub-O-Phonic)
For their latest release of 2019, the Cypriot Dub-O-Phonic label crossed the Atlantic Ocean to collaborate with R-Juna, a DJ, MC and producer from Bloomington, Indiana.
Josef Josef - Josef Josef (Buda Musique)
Josef Josef is the new project around French violinist Eric Slabiak, in which he, together with former Les Yeux Noirs band mates Frank Anastasio and Darco Ivkovic, and supplemented with bassist Jérôme Arrighi and drummer Rémi Sanna, goes in search of his grandparents' Jewish-Eastern European roots.
Dub Dynasty - Gideon (Steppas Records)
Almost four years after the release of 'Holy Cow', family project Dub Dynasty is back with 'Gideon', a title referring to the current geopolitical situation and the threat of the climate crisis.
El Khat - Saadia Jefferson (Batov Records)
El Khat is a four-piece band from Tel Aviv with members having roots in Iraq, Poland, Morocco and Yemen.
Staff Benda Bilili - Effacer Le Tableau (Note A Bene/Wagram)
Who was expecting this? After almost endless internal quarrels about money and mismanagement, and the Mbongwana Star project for which band members Coco Ngambali and Théo Nzonza left the line-up of the band, after 8 years of silence, Staff Benda Bilili return with this more than aptly titled 'Effacer Le Tableau' ("start with a clean slate").
Mamadou Kelly - Les Bateaux (Clermont Music)
With 'Les Bateaux' Malian bard Mamadou Kelly provides a perfect successor to his 2017 'Politiki' album.
Jamaican Jazz Orchestra - Rain Walk (Zephyrus Records)
Just under five years after the release of their well-received debut album 'Encounters', Jamaican Jazz Orchestra returns with 'Rain Walk', an album that may sound even more sophisticated and mature than its predecessor.
Lion D - Born In Captivity EP (Bizzarri Records)
After his American outing as David Lion for 2017's Sugar Cane Records production 'Mandala', things around Nigerian-Italian reggae artist David Andrew Ferri, better known as Lion D, quieted down, but with this 5 track 'Born In Captivity' EP he now returns to his old buddies of Bizzarri Records.
Various Artists - Kinshasa 1978: Originals & Reconstructions (Crammed Discs)
Things around Crammed Discs' Congolese releases had quieted down so much we were convinced the label that put the term "congotronics" on the map had pulled the plug on the project. The release of this double 'Kinshasa 1978: Originals & Reconstructions' compilation proved otherwise.
Aziza Brahim - Sahari (Glitterbeat Records)
The message of Aziza Brahim's new album is already contained in the intriguing cover photo of 'Sahari'. A young girl poses in a snow-white tutu, but not in front of the normal privileged background you might expect, but on a dusty surface in front of a row of tents and mud shacks in a refugee camp.
King Lagoon's Flying Swordfish Dance Band - The Golden Lagoon (Kin-Aesthetic Recordings)
The eight-piece King Lagoon's Flying Swordfish Dance Band is the brainchild of Brighton-based vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Rodrigo Kerr. Instead of an ordinary biography of the band, on their website King Lagoon's Flying Swordfish Dance Band posted the legend of King Lagoon, ruler of a tropical paradise in a parallel dimension.
Radio Barbă - Soviet Macho EP (Self-published)
Apparently the members of Radio Barbă, a seven-piece band around guitarist/vocalist Thomas Baert, have carefully listened to the example of big brother Gogol Bordello, as like that American band, Radio Barbă mixes gypsy sounds and Balkan grooves with strong punk influences.
Soultry Dubs - Soultry Sound (Zojak World Wide)
'Soultry Sound' is the production debut of Cynthya 'Soultry Dubs' from Long Beach, California, who started her musical career as a keyboard player with reggae soul band The Divine Crime.
SMAD - Indépendant (Label LACAZ)
Still founded under the name S.I.S. Vibrations, SMAD is the alter ego of Thomas Ben Ita, a singer-songwriter from the French city of Clermont-Ferrand. At first SMAD still performed solo - like on the 2014 album 'Généalogiquement Roots' or 2018's 'Demain' EP - these days Thomas is joined by brothers Simon 'Slim' and Alexis 'Selecta Z' Raynaud and graphic designer and photographer Yoan 'Yok's' Delannoy, together turning the SMAD's live sets into real audiovisual experiences.
Ismaila Sané Saïsba - Ekiinafrik (Eclipse Music)
Ismaila Sané Saïsba is a Senegalese percussionist, vocalist, dancer and choreographer from Coubalan, a small village in the southern Casamance region of the country, who began his career with traditional dance companies like Les Ballets Bougarabou, Les Ballets Africains and Ballet Mansour Gueye.
Pressure - Rebel With A Cause (I Grade Records)
Five years after the well-received 'The Sound', Pressure Busspipe and I Grade's Laurent 'Tippy I' Alfred took back to the studio for 'Rebel With A Cause'.