VIDEO: Mister Shake’s “It’s On”

It begins with a combination of the tribal and the modern, African dance and singing moved around by those in neon makeup. Then you’ll hear a minimalist electronic pulse that carries everything through and you think of that link between the old and the new, the modern and true, and how that connection has always been there. It’s Mister Shake telling you that once again, “It’s On”, and maybe it has always been on. Feel the vibe and the pulse.


SOME STUFFS: Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have new album ready for March

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Libation (Cumancha) is the brand new album by Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, which will be ready for North American release on March 18th. The group are ready to pass the cup to you for a sip of their libations with a listen to “Gbaenyama”, which you can download for free in the digital formats available, including FLAC lossless.

BOOK’S FOODIE: Madiba (South African cuisine) (from A Taste Of Africa)

AFRICAN RESTAURANT WEEK – Madiba (South African Cuisine) from Akin Akinsanya on Vimeo.

Akin Akinsanya runs a page on Vimeo called A Taste Of Africa and next week they are honoring NYC African Restaurant Week. One of the restaurants they featured is in Fort Greene in Brooklyn, and is called Madiba, who specialize in the flavors of South Africa.

You’ll want to check out some of the other African restaurants highlighted on the Vimeo page so to find out more about Madiba and the others, click here. A Taste Of Africa have their own website over at, so begin your journey there if you haven’t done so.

BOOK’S FOODIE: Banana fritters (African food recipes)

The Kadirecipes YouTube channel has about 100 videos running right now, and this is one of the latest.

Being a Pacific Islander, I love my share of bananas, especially a good loaf of banana bread. Love banana ketchup too. Wherever bananas are plentiful, there are recipes, and that of course includes the continent fo Africa. Here is a nice and simple recipe for banana fritters. If you have a bunch, make some today.

VIDEO: Baba Maraire’s “Is She?”

Upon receiving the press release for this video, I pressed play and loved the kalimba at the beginning. Loved the beautiful scenery, very much found the woman in it to be very attractive. Then the singing begins and it has Autotune. How do you damage a song and video that has a natural vibe with Autotune? I like the video and instrumental, but do not like the vocals, but don’t let that turn you away from this, as you may find this to be of interest. Have a listen, and let me know what you think. If the vocals were not damaged with Autotune, I think it would be great.

SOME STUFFS: Monoswezi prepare to attack the senses with debut album

You may not know them yet, but this is your first step towards doing so. Monoswezi are a 5-piece band from Norway who combine the sounds of Zimbabwe with European influences, while also bringing in a few other elements to surprise their audiences and perhaps themselves.

Monoswezi consists of Hope Masike (vocals, mbira), Erik Nylander (drums, percussion), Putte Johander (bass), Hallvard Godal (saxophone), and Calu Tsemane (vocals, percussion), and while some will immediately want to give them the “world music” tag, that’s a mere blanket for what they do and represent as a group. They recently performed at the Oslo World Music Festival, and next month they will be going to Africa for a small handful of shows before heading back home, when they will get ready for the release of their debut album, The Village, scheduled for release on January 28, 2013. If you are visiting my site from Zimbabwe, Mozambique or South Africa, I would first like to say welcome to When Monoswezi visits your city, I hope you’ll be able to check them out and have an incredible time. Here are the concert dates:

4 December… Maputo, Mozambique (Nzinda Centro Cultural)
5 December… Maputo, Mozambique (Feima)
6 December… Maputo, Mozambique (Gil Vicente)
7 December… Harare, Zimbabwe (Alliance Francaise)
8 December… Zimbabwe College of Music, (daytime show)
9 December… Harare, Zimbabwe (Book Café)
10 December… Cape Town, South Africa (Mahogany Room)
11 December… Cape Town, South Africa (South African College of Music, daytime show)
11 December… Cape Town, South Africa (Mahogany Room)
19 January, 2013… Croix, Fredrikstad, Norway (St.Croix)
21 January, 2013… Bergen, Norway (Columbi Egg)
29 January, 2013… Trondheim, Norway (Familien)
30 January, 2013… Oslo, Norway (Riksscenen)

As you will see and hear with the two live performances below, they have a vibe that is easy to enjoy and may become too alluring to ignore.

AUDIO: Wadada Leo Smith & Louis Moholo-Moholo’s “Moholo-Moholo/Golden Spirit”

Ancestors (TUM) is the forthcoming album from trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and percussionist Louis Moholo-Moholo, and you get a chance to hear a track from it before its official release on October 18th. While the two musicians have collaborated many times in a live setting, they’ve never recorded a full album project until now.

While jazz fans familiar with Smith tend to be open to what he offers, this collaboration with Moholo-Moholo will be a new one, not only for its hybrid of sounds and influences from the motherland. While it may be rooted in Africa, Smith says that Moholo-Moholo has created his own drum language, so if you are a fan of the drums and percussion, check out the song below and figure out what both of them are trying to say.

REVIEW: io’s “mbira abstractions”

Photobucket Going into this, I enjoyed hearing what sounded like someone tuning into a a world and/or culture with a radio until it reaches the correct frequency. Then I realized that it’s not a frequency but someone trying to immerse themselves amongst the sound and people (at least musically) and it becomes the voyage of life we’d all like to take but rarely ever go on. That’s how I hear mbira abstractions (elegua), the latest project by io, a collaboration between David Font and Andrew Mark. The music is a combination of real instrumentation and electronics, where each play a role in communicating with one another. It becomes very tribal, coming off like someone exploring Africa to making it to different Asian countries and smiling from ear to ear as they discover the possibilities. One of the more interesting moments happens in “Her Bones Will Rise Again”, where within what could be the sound of a spiritual awakening (and I say that only based on the title of the song), you hear a bit of funky boom bap, as if someone is driving into the parking lot and showing what kind of volume their car has. It fits in along with the other mixtures of opposites, or at least perceived opposites, where one might think that “sound A” should never be heard mixed with “sound B”. It always should, sound has no law.

mbira abstractions plays with the idea of time and space, indigenous and modern, traditional and adventurous, and it’s that adventure that will pull people into the music of io, which may inspire others to get out of the doldrums and set their own new paths in sound.

RECORD CRACK: Sofrito to begin new series of vinyl

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Sofrito specializes in “Heavy Afro Latin Sounds”, and are a collective who do so through creating mixes and regular DJ sets. Their love of the music goes one step higher with the start of a new series of records called Sofrito Super Singles, and they’re digging deep with major rarities that haven’t been heard about in decades. The first release will be The Soweto Disco EP, featuring songs from Teaspoon & the Waves and The Nzimande Allstars, and you can sample the tracks from the EP here.

They only say the record is coming “very soon”, but this series looks like a winner.

REVIEW: Moustapha Faye’s “Galan U Sabar Ci Ngéwël”

Image and video hosting by TinyPic My first introduction to Moustapha Faye was when he played with the group Sing Sing Juniors. Galan U Sabar Ci Ngéwël (The Géwël Tradition Project) is his latest release, and the album features nothing but cultural, historical, and rhythms that Faye and his family (from Dakar, Senegal) have played for generations. No melodies and no songs in the Western sense, it’s nothing but powerful and at times complex rhythms that will keep you moving throughout the duration, it’s the kind of percussion album that I enjoy finding, and the type I enjoy listening to.

There are eight tracks total, from the powerful opening track “Tagumbar” to the moving “Mame Sing Sing”, which goes back to his great-grandfather. What I also find moving about an album like this is that these are sounds preserved for the future, of a music where time is within the rhythms, not something to be rushed by modern conveniences. It’s of the Earth and of the people, and you hear the pulse of the people in these tracks. I’ve been told that this CD is the second in a trilogy of releases Faye is releasing (the Sing Sing Juniors CD released in 2007 is the first of the trilogy, my review of which can be read here), and the final installment, said to represent their elders, will be released in May), and I can’t wait to hear that one too, with the hopes of more albums to come from Faye, his family and friends.