Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dear Africa

Blitz The Ambassador is one of the most inventive hip-hop artists on the planet. Coming originally from Accra, Ghana by way of Brooklyn, NY, Blitz has a consciousness that spans continents and cultures. Native Sun, his new album out May 3, 2011 on Embassy MVMT Records, is a portal into his soul capturing the essence of who he is and from where he comes. The first single to drop, Dear Africa, is a letter to the motherland featuring Les Nubians. I'll be delving much deeper into this album and Blitz as an artist in the near future. In the meantime, dig this track and do what you gotta to catch Blitz on his spring tour:

Blitz the Ambassador - Dear Africa ft. Les Nubians by embassymvmt

4/1/2011 Ferme du Buisson Marne la Vallée, France
4/2/2011 106 ROUEN, France
4/6/2011 LE CARGO CAEN, France
4/7/2011 LA SIRENE LA ROCHELLE, France
4/9/2011 Le Transbordeur / ORIGINAL FEST LYON, France
4/10/2011 Cabaret Aléatoire MARSEILLE, France
4/13/2011 LUNE des PIRATES AMIENS, France
4/15/2011 LE HANGAR IVRY, France
4/19/2011 L'ATELIER CLUSES, France
4/20/2011 Bahnhof Ehrenfeld Cologne, Germany
4/21/2011 Cafe Nelson Mannheim, Germany
4/22/2011 EXIL ZURICH, Switzerland
4/28/2011 La Pena Oakland
4/29/2011 Stanford University Stanford
4/30/2011 Kimmel Center Philadelphia
5/4/2011 SOBS New York
5/5/2011 TBC Washington
5/11/2011 Beachland Ballroom (w. Les Nubians) Cleveland
5/12/2011 Dakota Jazz Club (w. Les Nubians) Minneapolis
5/13/2011 Dakota Jazz Club (w. Les Nubians) Minneapolis
5/14/2011 The Shrine (w. Les Nubians) Chicago

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Africa Undone

If you read my blog, you know damn well you should download this mixtape immediately. If not, DJ Underdog is an incredibly gifted curator of afro-love doled out on free mixtapes with the support of The Lunchbox Theory on a regular basis. This is his/their latest. Dig it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Album Review: The Liberators-The Liberators

As the afrobeat wave continues to crest, more and more bands are tapping into the power of the afro-groove from every corner of the globe. The Liberators, an afrobeat band out of Sydney, Australia whose self-titled debut album came out March 14, 2011 on Record Kicks Records, is the latest addition to the global afro-repertoire.

This album is about as good as any afrobeat record I've heard in a long time. The production quality is extremely high throughout the record. They've mastered the delicate balance of guitars and percussion that make up the rhythmic afrobeat backdrop over which their horn section careens and cuts. Several vocalists appear on the record, including Afro-Legend Jojo Kuo, Roxie Ray, and Afro Moses, each lending their own style and attitude to their respective tracks.

What I like the most about this album is the attitude and feeling it has from track to track. Similar to Budos Band or the early Antibalas albums which came out on Daptone Records, there's a production value and sound quality that conveys a theme throughout the record. The grooves are tight, the horns are intoxicating. Listening to this record puts you into a certain mood. This is the type of record to which you can't help but strut.

The Liberators - Monkeyface by afrobeatblog

Dele Sosimi Spring UK Tour

Former musical director of Egypt 80 and current musical director of FELA! in London's National Theater, Dele Sosimi, is about to embark on a tour of the UK. After beginning his musical career at the foot of the master at age 16 as part of Egypt 80, Dele went on to tour with Femi Kuti and Positive Force for ten years. In that time he developed his own sound, which he'll be showcasing on his spring tour. If you're in the UK, check him out on one of these dates:

Afrobeat Vibration Spring Tour 2011

19 March Manchester Band on the Wall

Tel. 0161 834 1786 /

24 March, Bristol Fiddlers

Tel. 0117 987 3403 /

25 March Exeter Phoenix

Tel. 01392 667080 /

26 March London Afrobeat Vibration New Empowering Church, Hackney

Tel. 07944286822 /

8 April Birmingham Midlands Arts Centre

Tel. 0121 446 3232

15 April Colchester Arts Centre

01206 500 900 /

Turbulent Times (live) - Dele Sosimi from Beija Films on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kokolo European Tour

Kokolo, one of the dopest afro-bands on the scene who've been doing it for about as long as anybody, are going on a European Tour kicking off in Toulouse, France on March 31st playing 26 shows in 30 days in 13 countries. No matter where you are in Europe, they're coming to a city near you, so definitely go check them out:

March 31 Thu Toulouse, France @ La Dynamo

April 1 Fri Montpelier, France @ Le Jam
April 2 Sat Cambes, France @ Salle des Fetes

April 3 Sun Bordeaux, France @ Le Sain
April 6 Wed Zagreb, Croatia @ Klub Purgeraj

April 7 Thu Cadiz, Spain @ Jerez De La Frontera

April 8 Fri Granada, Spain @ BoogaClub

April 9 Sat Lisboa, Portugal @ Music Box

April 10 Sun Sevilla, Spain @ Malandar

April 12 Tue Terracina, Italy @ La Scalette

April 13 Wed Rome, Italy @ Big Mama
April 14 Thu Athens, Greece @ Gazarte

April 15 Fri Thessaloniki, Greece @ Block 33

April 16 Sat Sofia, Bulgaria @ Sofia Live Club

April 17 Sun Bucharest, Romania @ Popa Nan 82

April 19 Tue Koln, Germany @ Club Banhof Ehrenfeld
April 20 Wed Strasbourg, France @ Mudd Club

April 21 Thu Newport, Wales @ Delilah's

April 22 Fri Newcastle, England @ World Headquarters
April 23 Sat Birmingham, England @ The Yardbird

April 24 Sun Leeds, England @ The Hi-Fi Club

April 25 Mon Nottingham, England @ The Golden Fleece

April 27 Wed Usti Nad Labem, Czech Republic @ Circus
April 28 Thu Dresden, Germany @ Altes Wettburo
April 29 Fri Antwerp, Belgium @ Storm

April 30 Sat De Panne, Belgium @ Dranouter Festival

KOKOLO "Afrika Man"

KOKOLO | Myspace Music Videos

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bomba Estereo-Ponte Bomb EP

If you haven't heard of Bomba Estereo, it's been about time you have. Their new EP, featuring a rediculously bangin' cover of Technotronic's 90's classic Pump Up the Jam, several remixes of their hit Fuego and La Boquilla, came out in January of this year on Nacional Records. They're touring all over the country this year, so definitely take advantage of the opportunity to see them live. Hook up some speakers or headphones and turn them up loud before hitting play on this cut. Don't say I didn't warn you though:

Bomba Estero - Ponte Bomb by afrobeatblog

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fania Records Retrospective Comp

Fania Records 1964-1980 The Original Sound of Latin New York, the new collection of Latin music gems out March 29, 2011 on Strut Records, is a monumental collection of some of the best Latin music ever recorded. Featuring legends like Ray Beretto, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, and Mongo Santamaria, this comp is everything any fan of Latin music could ever ask for.

Founded in 1964 by Dominican salsero Johnny Pacheco and Italian-American lawyer Jerry Masucci, Fania Records was instrumental in defining the New York salsa sound. As the Spanish-speaking immigrant population continued to grow over the 1940's and 50's, mambo-kings like Tito Puente and Charli Palmieri rose to prolific stature. As the 60's rolled around and popularity of mambo started to wane, Pacheco cultivated a new movement of inventive sounds that would overtake the dance floors of Spanish Harlem and eventually the rest of the Latin communities across the city and the world. By signing budding stars like Celia Cruz and Ruben Blades as their careers were first starting, Fania quickly defined what became the New York Salsa sound.

This comp is like an encyclopedia of Latin music. If you're a huge fan, or if you have a passing interest, this is a must-have. Everything from salsa to boogaloo from Ray Beretto to The Fania All-Stars, all of the legends are featured. Definitely check it out.

Willie Colon - Che Che Cole by afrobeatblog

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Afrobeat Blaxploitation Video from The Liberators

The Liberators are an afrobeat band from Sydney, Australia. They laid down the funk for this Blaxploitation video shot and directed by Ken Karpel of Don't Look Back Pictures. Check it out.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

DJ Afro-Marc in BK This Weekend

I'll be touching down in NYC this Friday night and heading straight to Southpaw in BK to lay down some funk along with Zongo Junction, Mokaad, and Thought. Kaleta, leader of Zozo Afrobeat, lead singer of Akoya, and veteran of the legendary Egypt 80, will be in sitting in with Zongo Junction. It should be a night to remember. Preview Zongo's new album Thieves! here:

I'll be gracing two parties on Saturday night with my presence as well. The legendary dj's of Sofrito Tropical Discotheque are throwing a party at Public Assembly in Williamsburg along with Nickodemus to celebrate the release of their compilation album which came out earlier this year on Strut Records. This party will promise to be a crazy dance extravaganza featuring a mix of Congolese soukous, Columbian cumbia, West African funk, and Caribbean calypso. Check out this sampler from their mixtape to get an idea of what to expect:

Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque mini-mix by DJ Hugo Mendez by Strut

Also on Saturday, Frank Voodoo Funk Gossner will be throwing down at Zebulon to celebrate the release of the new Orlando Julius comp. Frank has given the world another gift, unearthing another forgotten gem of African gold. Def pick up a copy asap. He'll be on the decks laying down some serious Afro-grooves as always. I'll def be stopping by to see one of my favorite dj's on my favorite club in the city.