Multifaceted Malawian musician Faith Mussa has a new album titled Kalilima. The album features irresistible African rhythms combined with subtle electronics, glistening production and layered guitars. Using loop stations, Faith mixes new and old. “What I enjoyed the most was the process of blending traditional vibes with modern musical genres,” Faith says.
Kalilima is the result of three years and multiple sessions that took place in a variety of places including a horse ranch, hotel rooms, balconies, a bell tent, a small village in Mchinji-Malawi and an orphanage. “We didn’t sit down with an ‘aim’ in mind,” says Faith of its origin. “But as an artist I feel like the album is defying borders. It brings together worlds that have always been apart.”
It was a night at a horse ranch after a festival that Faith first met and worked with Nico Bentley and Beating Heart’s Ollywood. It was this collaborative moment that led to him working with the label that connects Africa’s past to its future on this album.
Other collaborators such as Papa Ngoni Fiston from Afriquoi and producer Chris Pedley also took place as a result. “I have collaborated with a lot of talented musicians in my musical journey,” Faith elaborates. “But my collaboration with Beating Heart really brought out something exciting. My writing process has really changed after meeting them. Without losing seriousness and quality, I had to write quickly, think fast, and also adapt quickly. ”
Hungarian label Fonó has released the final album of the music from Szászcsávás/Ceuaș (Romania). The album titled 6 contains recordings performed by Gypsy ensemble Szászcsávás Band between 1996 and 2007 made by Szánthó Zoltán and Bartha Ágoston in the town’s preschool.
Szászcsávás is a small village in Transylvania’s Maros/Mureș County (located in Romania) inhabited by Hungarians and Gypsies. It holds a special place in Hungarian music history. Although monophonic singing is characteristic of Hungarian folk music, this is perhaps the only settlement where polyphonic singing is part of the tradition.
Pianist, composer and bandleader Michel Camilo revisits some of his essential music on Essence, featuring new arrangements. Camilo is an award-winning pianist who has a passion for jazz, Latin American music and flamenco.
Essence, scheduled for release June 7, 2019 features an impressive lineup of musicians, including many longtime collaborators.
“I tried to choose music from every stage of development as a creative artist and as a composer,” Camilo says about Esence. “I picked songs that represent shifts in my career and my point of view; that showcase how I developed my sound. I’ve always thought of the trio as a mini-orchestra, so the big band is a way to celebrate my career and my journey with a group of friends creating together in the studio.”
The Ukrainians’ new album “Summer in Lviv” is based on guitarist Peter Solowka and vocalist/fiddle player Len Liggins’s experiences in western Ukraine last summer, where they discovered the rejuvenated, modern city of Lviv, whose official motto is ‘Live, work and enjoy yourself’.
Living in the west but with half the band having a background rooted in the cultures of Ukraine or eastern Europe, The Ukrainians have enjoyed success over the past three decades. Their music includes Ukrainian folk music and western rock music.
Alumaye (meaning “have you heard?), is the second international album release from kamele n’goni maestro and singer-songwriter Massa Dembele (Burkina Faso). Alumaye combines modern afropop and the traditional sounds of western Burkina Faso.
Alumaye was recorded between Wagadugu, Burkina Faso and Tamale, Ghana. In addition to the kamele n’goni harp, Massa included Burkinabe indigenous percussion, balaphone, flute, bass and guitar.
Prvi krajec is the new album of Slovenian act Bakalina Velika. Bakalina was initially a duo featuring singer-songwriter, farmer and poet Jani Kutin and accordionist Renata Lapanja.
The new album is a gathering of a much larger musical family. It is a musical adventure that takes the listener away from the hidden corners of ancient caves to the Tolmin peaks and features experimental textures and diverse sounds and instrumentation combined reflectively with Jani’s stories.
Acclaimed Hungarian Gypsy band Romano Drom is set to release its new album, Give Me Wine, on May 31, 2019 through Riverboat Records.
Romano Drom means ‘gypsy road’ in the Romani language, and since the band’s creation in 1999, the band has traveled worldwide with its distinctive form of gypsy roots music. Led by Antal Kovács who co-founded the group with his late father, the album features recreations of ancient gypsy songs with new compositions, ranging from drinking songs and dances, to stories of love and hardship.
Singing in their Romani mother tongue, the band’s music is characterized by liveliness and vocal jousts and interplay.
Spanish singer Mara Aranda has released “Sefarad en el corazón de Turquía” , the second volume of a pentalogy titled “Diaspora”, dedicated to the Judeo-Spanish traditions of Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia. The first album of the series “Sefarad en el corazón de Marruecos” was awarded “Best of Europe 2017” by the Transglobal World Music Chart.
“Sefarad en el corazón de Turquía” (Sefarad in the Heart of Turkey) reflects the common past of the cultures on the Iberian peninsula that traveled with the exiled communities to their new destinations, and now, with “Diaspora”, they return to their origin.