Various Artists - Umalali, The Garifuna Women's Project (Cumbancha/Stonetree Records)
After the sudden demise of Andy Palacio, figurehead of Belizean Garifuna music, 'Umalali, The Garifuna Women's Project', which was still recorded under his direction, should be considered a posthumous tribute.
Aurelio Martinez - Garifuna Soul (Cumbancha/Stonetree Records)
It might seem we're obsessed with Garifuna music, but releases are following each other at high tempo; just call it a small hype. As a possible successor to Andy Palacio we would like to put forward Aurelio Martinez.
United Flavour - Unity (Self-published)
Salsa-muffin from Prague! To us the name of this this six-piece collective from the Czech Republic might not mean much yet, but in their own country United Flavour have already earned themselves quite a reputation.
Taraf de Haïdouks - Maškaradă (Crammed Discs)
More than five years after their last studio release, the worldwide acclaimed 'Band Of Gypsies', the Romanian gang of bandits (translation of Taraf de Haïdouks) returns with 'Maškaradă'.
Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara - Soul Science (Independent Records Ltd)
Blues guitarist meets African virtuoso... Where have we heard that before?
Chucho Valdez - Tumi Sessions (Tumi Music)
Cuban piano virtuoso and living music legend Chucho Valdez has already been working for the Tumi label since 1996; high time to collect his best productions on one disc!
Pilar De La Hoz - Jazz Con Sabor Peruano (Tumi Music)
The accompanying press release of 'Jazz Con Sabor Peruano' states that this is: "a fusion of Brazilian Latin-jazz with Afro-Peruvian flavours". Personally, we heard mainly influences from bossa nova, and that's exactly what Pilar De La Hoz cites as one of her main influences.
Telek - Amette (Wantok Music/Singing Frog)
Pop from Papua New Guinea... What on earth to expect here?
Haydamaky - Kobzar (Eastblok Music)
Not an easy one this 'Kobzar' by Haydamaky. Musically speaking there's nothing wrong with this Ukrainian folk-punk rock on the aptly named Eastblok Music label, but the Ukrainian language will not be everyone's cup of tea and 'Kobzar' sounds a lot heavier than the Gypsy music or folk melodies that most enthusiasts of Eastern European music are used to.
Hugo Westerdahl - Western Sahara, Remixing Saharauis (Nubenegra)
Artists like Tinariwen, Toumast and Mariem Hassan prove that the Western Sahara is hotter than ever! The ideal opportunity to give their, often traditional, music a remix treatment.
Grupo Fantasma - Comes Alive (Me & My Records)
Grupo Fantasma is just about the best Latin band yours truly had the pleasure of discovering the past few years and on 'Comes Alive' the Texans (maybe Tejanos would be more suitable?) prove that they're also a mean live act.
Luis Delgado - As-Sirr (Nubenegra)
On 'As-Sirr' ("the secret") Arabo-Andalusian culture aficionado and multi-instrumentalist Luis Delgado tries to fathom the secret of medieval muwaxahas poetry.
Various Artists - Long Way Down: Music From The TV Series (Real World Records)
If the title of this album means nothing to you, you have missed one of the best road movies/travel documentaries in times.
Joe Higgs - Life Of Contradiction (Pressure Sounds)
Most reggae fans will probably know Joe Higgs as being the mentor of the late Bob Marley, but his music is far less known, so Pressure Sounds' idea to re-release 'Life Of Contradiction' gets yours truly's full support.
Junior Murvin - Muggers In The Street (Greensleeves)
Even though Junior Murvin has several albums to his name, until now CD-lovers had to content themselves with one, the name of which I do not even have to mention.
Boban I Marko Markovic Orkestar - Go Marko Go! (Piranha)
Balkan music is above all about setting a certain mood and Serbian trumpet player Boban Markovic is an absolute legend in the genre.
Mahmoud Fadl - For Oriental Dancers (Piranha)
This could well be the ideal belly dance soundtrack, with rousing darbukas and classical Arabic violins evoking the vibe of a smoky nightclub somewhere in downtown Cairo.
Sevara - Sen (Real World Records)
Where Azeri Sevda sounds soulful and jazzy, Uzbek Sevara experiments with an ethereal ambient/dance sound.
Toumast - Ishumar (Real World Records)
Toumast arose from the collaboration of Tuareg musician Moussa Ag Keyna, singer Aminatou Goumar and French producer Dan Levy.
Kasba - ZigZag (LC Music)
Notwithstanding Belgium has an important Islamic community, where raï music is concerned we tend to focus on France (Khaled, Rachid Taha, Faudel, Cheb Mami...). Time to introduce Dutch band Kasba!