Erik Aliana - Ancestors (Buda Musique)
If Cameroonian singer-songwriter Erik Aliana for 'Just My Soul' still collaborated work with bass player Francis 'Picket' Dschoutezo, then for 'Ancestors' he decided on a solo approach.
Mystical Faya - Born Again EP (Khanti Records/Pias)
Even though Mystical Faya already released two long players, and with last year's 'Chill Sessions', an album full of soul, funk, electro and jazz, even sidestepped from reggae altogether, we only got to know the band from Besançon in the east of France thanks to the contribution of front man Mystic Loïc on 'Together', Faygo's second long-player released earlier this year and now this 'Born Again' EP.
Jewish Monkeys - Catastrophic Life (Greedy For Best Music)
Yours truly got to know the Israeli Jewish Monkeys thanks to the release of their 'High Words' album in 2017. On 'Catastrophic Life' the eight-piece band once again serves up its quirky mix of typical Jewish humor, socio-critical lyrics and punk attitude.
Greg Roy - Tomorrow (Self-published)
Greg Roy is a Jamaican artist, originally from Montego Bay, who moved to Boston in the United States. Before focusing on a solo career, for a while Greg fronted Duppy Conquerors, an American Bob Marley tribute band. Meanwhile, two previous solo albums have been released and now there's 'Tomorrow', a long-player we would describe as a straightforward new roots album.
The Young Tree - Borderline (Self-published)
For the production of 'Borderline', the successor to their 2016 long-player debut 'Seed', the members of The Young Tree, a six-piece reggae band founded in 2015 in Udine, Italy, joined forces with Africa Unite veteran Madaski.
Saime and The Cool Rulers - High Volume (Redgoldgreen Label)
'High Volume' may be the first album Saime, born as Andrea Saitta in Enna, a town in central Sicily, has recorded with the aid of backing band The Cool Rulers, the man has already been active for quite some time.
Invisible System - Dance To The Full Moon (ARC Music)
We first got acquainted with Dan Harper's Invisible System project thanks to last year's 'Bamako Sessions', an album for which the English producer quit the Ethio-fusion he made a name for himself with, to return to Mali where he was active as a relief worker in the late nineties of the last century.
Charlie P - From Mi Born (Dubquake Records)
After Nazamba's impressive dub poetry debut earlier this year, the Duquake Records label of French O.B.F. once again surprises with 'From Mi Born', taking us back to the early years of English MC Charlie P.
London Afrobeat Collective - Humans (Self-published)
'Humans' is our first introduction to the nine-piece London Afrobeat Collective, a band counting members from the United Kingdom, Congo, Italy, France, Argentina and New Zealand, who apart from Fela also mention Frank Zappa and Parliament/Funkadelic as sources of inspiration.
Adrian Raso - Gypsybilly King (Asphalt Tango Records)
Canadian guitarist Adrian Raso first appeared on these pages on the occasion of the release of 'Devil's Tale', his 2014 album recorded in collaboration with Romanian brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia. On this new long-player, Raso crowned himself 'Gyspsybilly King', a reference to his unique guitar style in which influences from Django Reinhardt's gypsy jazz or "jazz manouche" as well as Brian Setzer's rockabilly riffs can be heard, and the spirit of Johnny Cash's "deep south voodoo" weighs in as well.
Juana Molina - Forfun EP (Crammed Discs)
As far as the genesis of the four tracks on this 'Forfun' EP is concerned, the proverb "to make a virtue out of necessity" certainly applies, because when Juana Molina and her band had to play at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark in July 2018, their entire backline proved missing upon arrival. Only armed with Juana's guitar, an already present keyboard and a drum kit, they decided to take their chances and finally performed a wild, largely improvised, set of Juana's songs.
Professor Wouassa - Yobale Ma! (Matasuna Records)
Yours truly got acquainted with Swiss band Professor Wouassa in 2017 thanks to 'Grow Yes Yes!', their first release for the Matasuna Records label. On that album, the eleven-piece band from Lausanne served a highly catchy mix of afrobeat and highlife, and successor 'Yobale Ma!' certainly sounds no different.
Junior Natural - Get Aktive (Zion High Productions/Zojak World Wide)
Junior Natural, a reggae artist from Uppsala, Sweden, was born as Teodor Lindström, but got his nickname because he proved to be a musical prodigy from a very young age.
Various Artists - Down In Jamaica: 40 Years Of VP Records (VP Records)
This year VP Records is celebrating its fortieth anniversary and as a proverbial birthday cake they are now presenting this 'Down In Jamaica: 40 Years Of VP Records' box.
Various Artists - Love Is All I Bring (Trojan Records)
With 'Love Is All I Bring' Trojan Records creates an impressive all-female diptych. The title is a bit misleading, because this compilation certainly doesn't only contain love tunes, but a selection of just under 50 (!) tracks that were recorded over the past decades, often in the margins, by women who played a pioneering role in the ska-, rocksteady-, lovers rock- and roots-scene.
Raspigaous - Nouvel'R (La Vieille Montagne)
After all the releases in English, it's a real relief to bump into a French band wholeheartedly opting for the language of Molière. With 'Nouvel'R', Raspigaous, a band around singer-songwriter Lionel 'Léo' Achenza from Marseille, starts a new chapter.
Lakou Mizik - HaitiaNola (Cumbancha)
For 'HaitiaNola', Lakou Mizik, the Haitian answer to Buena Vista Social Club, joined forces with a whole range of artists and bands from New Orleans.
Bantou Mentale - Bantou Mentale (Glitterbeat Records)
Franco-Congolese project Bantou Mentale is yet another sequel to the never-ending congotronics-saga.
Daniel Dzidzonu - Walls Of Wonder (World Groove Records)
After the simultaneous release of the 'Vikpomé' and 'Unknownland' EP's in 2017, Belgian-Togolese trumpeter Daniel Dzidzonu finally treats his fans to a full-fledged album.
Flavia Coelho - DNA (Le Label/Pias)
Also in need of a dash of sunshine in these harsh winter months? Then be sure to check out 'DNA', the new long-player by Flavia Coelho, the Parisian with Brazilian roots.