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
Folk is the music for the people, from the people. And as our planet is pretty big, there are uncountably many different sorts of “folk” music. So many, in fact, that my top 5 cannot possibly cover all of the immense variety of sounds there are. Nevertheless, it does cover some decent part of it, and so here are the five best folk albums from 2021 in my opinion!
Number Five: Nika Mo – Of Cloven Hoof in Honey
On Of Cloven Hoof in Honey, Australian singer Nika Mo explores many of the lesser known Grimm tales, and turns … Read more
Here comes the second release under Not Music‘s wings! French percussionist and composer Bastien Jouvin’s creative journey for Chaos et félicité has been kick-started by our Marathon software. The prospect of new, impossible rhythms seems to have had a catalytic effect on him, and new compositions just seemed to pour out of his mind. The results of these experiments are amassed on this forty-minute album, which is coming out in one month, on August 7.
Rïga’s style fuses electronic walls of texture, classical percussion, post-rock swells, noise passages, and hardcore beats, and it’s truer than ever on … Read more
Comprising Canadian cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne and Iranian kamanche player Shahriyar Jamshidi, Kamancello is the fruit of collaborative improvisation, with the dynamic skill sets of each player bouncing off each other in unique and enchanting ways. Weinroth-Browne has, in a sense, the more challenging job of delicately balancing low-end rhythmic richness with melodic lead performance and harmonization; Jamshidi, with all his talents, is restricted to the higher range of his kamanche (think Persian violin) and thus contributes almost exclusively higher leads and harmonies. The duo juggles their three modes (kamanche leading, cello leading, dual harmony leads) with precision and aplomb. Coming … Read more
Good can come from death. Some would argue that, indeed, djent is a dead genre. I’d have to admit that it has seen better days, but, every once in a while, some shiny thing rises through the ashes and comes to the surface. A miniature speck of jade in a dull grey pile. Today, this is thanks to Mexican quartet 遺伝学者 (Iden Gakusha) and their Japan-oriented EP, 芸者 (Geisha). I believe the band achieves something great with this twenty-minute EP; here’s why.
First of all, the foundation of djent—and metal—is the riffs. Fear not, the riffs … Read more