African Music Roundup #4

daara jThe weather's been freezing out here in London. Multiple jumpers, a pair of thick socks, heavy jacket. And the most important thing. A pair of Headphones and sweet African music. Always warms the soul (and my ears). My name is Obi and I blog as soul on ice. Welcome to the African music roundup. In rotation on the humble portable CD player? The excellent “boomerang” by the Senegalese hip hop crew daara j. A true classic.

Another French/African (Cameroon) classic is the neo-soul album “Princesses Nubiennes” by the group Les Nubians. breath of life blog waxes lyrical on the remix of their hit song “tabou”.

“the feature track—an alternate version of Les Nubians’ French-language cover of Sade’s “Sweetest Taboo”—is subtitled ‘Roots Remix,’ but it is actually a remake. The original version appears on the album; for the new version, Les Nubians enlisted the The Roots band to provide all-new and all-live instrumentation.”

les nubiansIt's a brilliant remix of the original and the Roots crew live backing is incredible. breath of life blog goes on to talk about their output to date:

“the first Les Nubians album is best experienced all at once, as an album. “Saravah” is from their 2003 release, One Step Forward, a collection that is both more scattered and more ambitious than its predecessor. It also happens to be blessed with one of my all-time favorite cover photos.”

Jon Kertzer of The Best Ambiance blog has posted his usual cracking show blessing us with some of the best music out of Africa. Any radio show that opens with Miriam Makeba‘s world wide hit Pata Pata (2000) gets three thumbs up.Jon Kertzer of Best Ambiance and NDongo

“A real varied mix of African music on the program this week, including music from Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Gabon, Angola, Congo, South Africa, Togo, Algeria, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Guinea , Zambia, and Gambia.”

As usual The Best Ambiance provides a playlisting of all the artists played.

rodney pSoul on ice brings us a very special documentary. BBC music dj and UK emcee Rodney P travelled to Sierra Leone to see how hip hop was playing a part in rebuilding a war torn society and the result is a riveting documentary.

Soul on ice has provided a link to Rodney's website and you can listen to the interview and read his travel journal.

jazz-not-jazz blog
posts an interview with one of South Africa's leading jazz artist Andile Yenana.Andile Yenana

“Andile Yenana’s album Who’s Got The Map? is already one of my favourite jazz albums this year. If you want to discover South Africa’s jazz music of today, I guess there couldn’t be a better start.”

jazz-not-jazz blog also provides an indepth review of Who's Got The Map? With the artists such as Hugh Masakela South African has a very rich jazz tradition which is worth the exploration.

Mode 9Talking of interviews, Naija Jams recently dropped a post on an interview with Nigeria's hottest talent Mode 9. Mode 9‘s is also popular for one of his hip hop songs “419 state of mind part II“. The song is a cautionary tale to the would-be advance fee fraud victim told over a beautiful, bouncy beat.

“You know that feeling you get when you discover something special, something rare or extraordinary? It’s the feeling of finding a sealed 1985 Dele Abiodun album in a dusty San Francisco record store. And it’s the feeling I got early last year when I first heard the music of Mode 9.”

Naija Jams has provided a few mp3s showcasing Mode 9's work. Get sampling as they don't last long.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.