Parno Graszt - Ez A Vilag Nekem Valo (Podium Productions)
Yet another Gypsy project? Yes, but one with just that little bit extra... The musicians of Parno Graszt (Romani for "white horse", the Romani symbol for purity and absolute freedom) all hail from Paszab, a small village in the remote North-Eastern region of Hungary.
Orchestre National De Barbès - Alik (Wagram)
We've had to wait no less than nine years for a successor to 'Poulina' and with 'Alik' this band from Paris' 18th district seems to want to go down a different musical path.
Grupo Fantasma - Sonidos Gold (Me & My Records)
Just a few months after the release of their live album, Grupo Fantasma already hits us with a new studio effort.
Dobranotch - Gagarin Chochek (Orange World Records)
Polish Orange World Records introduces Dobranotch ("good night" in Russian), a quintet with members from Lebanon, Moldova and Russia, originally founded in Nantes, but now operating from St. Petersburg, where they bring their personal variant of Eastern European music.
Discipulos De Otilia - En Blanco Y Negro (Pias)
In these parts Discipulos De Otilia are not a household name yet, but in the Spanish speaking part of the world this ten-man strong Catalan gang has been going strong for over 15 years, something they want to underline with this CD/DVD release.
Toumani Diabate - The Mande Variations (World Circuit)
'The Mande Variations' is kora virtuoso Toumani Diabate's first solo album in over twenty years.
3MA - 3MA (Contre Jour)
For 3MA, Moroccan oud player Driss El Maloumi, Malian kora player Ballaké Sissoko, and Malagasy valiha master Rajery master joined forces.
Etran Finatawa - Desert Crossroads (Riverboat Records/World Music Network)
Etran Finatawa (translated: "the stars of tradition") is a collaborative project between musicians of the Woodabe on the one hand and the Tuareg on the other; both nomad tribes from the immense desert border area between Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
Various Artists - BalkanBeats Volume 1, 2 & 3 (Eastblok Music)
The numerous reviews on this site prove the enormous hype that Gypsy music has become and we can hardly keep count of the compilations being released.
Pannonia Allstars Ska Orchestra - The Return Of The Pannonians (Megalith Records)
Just when you think you've heard it all, another unlikely combination hits you! Hungarian Pannonia Allstars Ska Orchestra mixes authentic party ska with influences from gypsy, folk music and jazz.
Pops Mohammed - Pops Mohammed presents Healing Sounds From Mother Africa (African Cream Music/Afrosoniq)
For 'Pops Mohammed presents Healing Sounds From Mother Africa', South African Pops Mohammed mixed traditional African instruments with samples of ethnic vocals and a lot of nature sounds.
La Kinky Beat - Karate Beat (Kasba Music)
The motley crew of La Kinky Beat is part of the Barcelonese musica mestiza scene bands like Macaco, Ojos De Brujo and Sergent Garcia are also a part of.
Victor Démé - Victor Démé (Chapa Blues/Makasound)
In his native Burkina Faso, Victor Démé has been playing music for over thirty years, released numerous cassette tapes and basically is a big star, but with this untitled album released on his own Chapa Blues label and distributed by Makasound, Démé is now taking a shot at an international career.
Zeker Weten - Zeker Weten (Anyway Music/Lowlands Distribution)
From the get-go yours truly was taken by the music of Zeker Weten (roughly translated: "absolutely sure"), a project set up by ex-Wawadadakwa guitarist Simon Pleysier and Frits Standaert, supplemented with a bunch of top musicians like Dennis Niccles (bass), Lieven Declerq (drums) and not forgetting sisters Leen and Mieke Diependaele (whose background vocals are a guarantee for goose bumps).
Lepistö & Lehti - Helsinki (Aito Records)
It's back to basics with these two Finns, because apart from an accordion and a double bass no other instruments were used for 'Helsinki'.
Various Artists - Spirits In The Material World: A Reggae Tribute To The Police (Shanachie)
From the very beginning, the sound of the recently reunited Police drew on reggae and Sting and his buddies undoubtedly added to the popularization and dissemination of the genre in the beginning of the 1980s. "Time for a bread-and-butter letter!", Ian & Roger Lewis and Touter Harvey (together the core of Inner Circle) must have thought and they came up with the tribute album 'Spirits In The Material World'.
Various Artists - Hi Grade Ganja Anthems 2 (Greensleeves)
With tired classics like 'Pass The Kutchie', 'Tired Fi Lick Weed Inna Bush' or 'Herbman Hustling', 'Hi Grade Ganja Anthems 2' is just that little more predictable than its predecessor.
Anthony Cruz - Fight With All Your Might (VP Records)
Anthony Cruz is back, but there's more, because 'Fight With All Your Might' also signals the return of the Penthouse sound.
Jamelody - Be Prepared (VP Records)
Yours truly was looking forward to this debut of promising Trinidadian (native of Trinidad & Tobago) artist Michael Williams aka Jamelody and it has to be said, 'Be Prepared' is far from a bad album.
Max Romeo - Best Of (Médiacom/Nocturne)
This 'Best Of' should rather have been titled 'Max Romeo & Friends', as for each track Max is accompanied by a friendly colleague (a direct result of a copyright issue that left Max Romeo without the original recordings to his own songs).