Kweku of Ghana – Zone 6, Agege (Heavenly Sweetness)
So Kweku is the frontman of my #1 Afrobeat band of 2021: Onipa. This year, he released a new album under the name Kweku of Ghana, and so I was immediately drawn to it. Zone 6, Agege has a more traditional, folkloric, funky, reggaeish Afrobeat sound than the Afrofuturistic synthy Onipa. That’s neither a pro nor a con, as I love both sounds equally, but that’s just to set different expectations for when you listen to this. This is a beautiful, intimate, inspired, authentic album that truly speaks of Kweku’s… Read more
What if you mixed wonky beats hip-hop, jazz, and AAL-style compositions and technique? Well, you get Sinularia. The unique character of the music that’s shown on Subwater Beats is utterly fascinating. The band consists of a drummer, a double bassist, and an electric guitarist. All of them seem very fond of effect pedals and post-production shenanigans. Regarding the composition, the songs move from one section to the next like tides ebb and flow, and it’s a real rhythmic challenge at times to decipher what’s going on. It’s real fun when bands make rhythm their main focus,… Read more
Poil is among one of my all-time favourite bands—just check this review or this one if you need convincing. With this new album, which is set for release in March 2023, the French avant-prog trio teams up with Ni’s bassist—they’ve already collaborated on Piniol—and, for the first time, Japanese 薩摩琵琶 (satsuma-biwa) player and singer 上田純子 (Junko Ueda). The result of this collaboration is an incredible, although rather short (32 minutes is really not that bad), blend of French avant-prog and traditional Japanese music, poems, and spectacle. It’s a truly astounding record… Read more
Sababa 5—סבבה 5 in their native Hebrew language, basically meaning “The Cool 5″—is a neo-psychedelia band from Israel with a heavy dose of Middle-Eastern music influence laced in their funky grooves. Their self-titled album is instrumental, and while it would have been cool to have some vocals to match their style, there is no time where I thought that it lacked them. The melodies and grooves provide ample entertainment on their own, and that comes with the benefit of instrumental music: it’s easier to play it as background music to whatever else you’re doing. So… Read more
Somewhere between blues, noise rock, and post-metal, we find Irish quintet God Alone. Their new album, Etc. was a huge surprise for me, and an absolute banger of an album. Perhaps you can best experience the breadth of the band’s sound by listening to the ten-minute “Kung Fu Treachery”, which goes to hell and back, and shows God Alone’s ease with disparate yet memorable musical composition. One of the great underrated noise rock albums of the year!
Insane in the Rain – Insane in the Rain
Carlos Eiene, also known as Insane in the Rain,… Read more