Faratuben - Sira Kura (Sounds Of Subterrania)
Faratuben is the collaboration between Danish musicians Mikas Bøgh Olesen, Jakob de Place and Mads Voxen, and Malian guitarist and studio performer Dieudonne Keita, vocalist Sury Dao and balafon virtuoso Kassim Keita.
Clive Hunt & The Hit Team - Blue Lizzard + Various Artists - Clive Hunt presents Bad Bad Bad (17 North Parade/VP Records)
In terms of reggae, 2020 has become a bit of a Clive Hunt year. Earlier this year there was already the 'Note To Self', a co-production wit Jah9, and now VP Records is ending the year with 'Blue Lizzard', a gem of an instrumental album.
Liraz - Zan (Glitterbeat Records)
Two years ago, we were introduced to the work of Iranian-Israeli Liraz for the first time thanks to 'Naz', an album on which she went in search of the roots of the Iranian pop culture of the nineteen sixties and seventies. Those same influences still show up on successor 'Zan', an album meant as an ode to Iranian women in general, but the strong women from Liraz' own family in particular.
Kubix - Guitar Chant (Attik Productions/Baco Records)
On the eve of 2020, we're still presented with a true instrumental jazzy reggae gem by much in demand French guitarist Xavier Bègue aka Kubix, who with 'Guitar Chant' earns himself a spot somewhere between Jamaican veteran Ernest Ranglin, American jazz guitarist George Benson and English Pink Floyd guitarist Steve Gilmour!
Thornato - Escape Plan (Wonderweel Recordings)
Yours truly got to know Swedish producer Thor Partridge aka Thornato only recently thanks to his contribution on Captain Planet's 'No Visa' album. 'Escape Plan' is the man's second full-length album after 2017's 'Bennu'.
Mystikal Man - Back To The Roots (Self-produced)
We'd never heard of the man before, but in his own country, Brittany-born Romain Thorez aka Mystikal Man has been active for over ten years, often supported by no more than two turntables, but still managing to build a solid live reputation. For 'Back To The Roots', Mystikal Man collaborated with Irie Ites and Jibé 'Cody Jahrett' Hueber of Skankman Studio in the Breton village of Domalain.
R.Esistence In Dub meets Longfingah - The Longfingah Attack EP (Evidence Music)
Even though it had already been since 2017 that we'd seen an album release by Berlin MC Longfingah, Hagen Rockahr, as the man's known in real life, still regularly appeared on releases of befriended artists and producers. But with 'The Longfingah Attack' we're finally presented with a new EP.
Badi & Boddhi Satva - Trouble Fête (Batakari/Barely Breaking Even)
With Badi & Boddhi Satva we enter a musical universe you have to situate somewhere between the nightlife of Abidjan, the streets of Kinshasa and the cobblestones of Brussels, and the sound of his good buddy Stromae and Baloji.
Berise - Take Me As I Am (Shanti Powa Records)
Just a few months after we got to know Shanti Powa frontman Berise thanks to his collaboration with Wicked and Bonny, the man is now presenting a solo album of his own.
Perfect Giddimani - Dumplin Shop EP (Evidence Music)
With the release of 2017's 'Live My Life Again', Perfect Giddimani said goodbye to the album format. However, that decision by no means meant thing remained quiet around the Jamaican boboshanti artist, as he kept turning out single releases and one riddim compilations as hotcakes. But with 'Dumplin Shop', a collaboration with the French Soulnation Band from Nantes, there's now suddenly another 6 track EP.
High & I - Almighty Thunder EP (Dub-O-Phonic)
High & I is the alter ego of Chris Nottingham, a dub producer from Middlesbrough, England.
SSUE - Bambaya Fire EP (Scratch Music & Publishing)
Mix highlife and afrobeat with r&b, (nu) soul and a pinch of jazz, and you get SSUE.
Musical Roots - Chapter One: The Sons Of Freedom EP (Eigen Beheer)
This 'Chapter One: The Sons Of Freedom' EP may be Musical Roots' first calling card, but the members of this band from Valenciennes, Tournai, Lille and Soumain certainly aren't rookies, but seasoned musicians, all with their own musical background.
Innavibe - Le Sens (Self-published)
Innavibe was founded in Lyon in 2016 by duo Remy 'Reym' Sabattier (vocals) and Lionel Rivière (riddims), following their 2017 debut EP 'Innavibe' with 'Le Sens'. For this project, the band joined forces with Grégory 'Zigo' Mavridorakis and Benjamin 'Ben' Jouve.
Barcelona Gipsy BalKan Orchestra - Nova Era (Satélite K)
After an absence of just under three years, Barcelona Gipsy BalKan Orchestra returns with 'Nova Era', Esperanto for "new era". With the presence of Sicilian vocalist Margherita Abita, the Catalan band has a new front woman, and is turning a new musical page.
Brother Culture - 12 Lights (Evidence Music)
After the success of 2018's 'Code Name', a further collaboration had to follow, so Brother Culture and Swiss Evidence Music now present successor '12 Lights'.
Pablo Raster - Venti (Self-published)
With 'Venti', Italian for "twenty", but also for "winds", Italian producer Pablo Raster puts his twenty-year musical career in the spotlight, but at the same time points out the "winds" have changed a lot this year.
Nga Han & The Hi-Flyers - Emergence + Kingston Echo - Submergence/Emergence In Dub (Bonafi Records)
A while ago we already presented 'The Living Stream, Chapter One', the collaboration between Jamaican vocalist Nga Han and Dutch producer Uta Maruanaya. We're still eagerly awaiting a possible successor, but in the meantime, Nga Han returns with 'Emergence', an album he recorded in the same period with Belgian producer and multi-instrumentalist Steve 'Kingston Echo' Michielsen.
Zazou Bikaye - Mr. Manager (Crammed Discs)
Three years after the re-issue of 'Noir Et Blanc', the 1983 long player debut of what was then still one-off project Zazou/Bikaye/CY1, Crammed Discs now presents this "expanded edition" of 'Mr. Manager'.
Manudigital - Dub Trotter EP (X-Ray Production)
Two years after 'Bass Attack' and following countless tours that took him to all corners of the world, French beatmaker, producer and bassist Manudigital returns with 'Dub Trotter', a 10 track EP entirely recorded whilst on the road.