yay! summer is upon us over here in the UK and that only means one thing. concerts, festivals, showcases. An abundance of music, sunshine and outdoor runnings. Smiles on peoples faces, the pace less hurried. In rotation as I type? Bongo Flava  : Swahili rap from Tanzania , a dope compilation i borrowed from my local library. I got introduced to the Bongo Flava sound listening to the incredible X-Plastaz  crew a few years ago and have since heard killer joints from a number of crews. This Cd nicely sums up the players on the scene and is a good introduction to the East African flavour of hip hop. Enter the roundup.
The we mourn the sad passing of Ali Farka Touré  of Mali aged 67. Ali has a left a huge legacy for generations to get to know and enjoy.
Matt of Benn loxo du taccu  remembers and salutes “grand Touré”
“Way, way before I ever even thought of moving to West Africa – or even out of Canada – I was into Touré’s albums Talking Timbuktu, Radio Mali and Niafunké. They were a gateway into the rich world of contemporary African rock and blues, and ultimately helped shape my musical taste for the region.”
To remember him Matt has left two mp3 audio links for us to enjoy and listen to the voice of the Blues man from Mali.
Supa Sista  leaves us a simple message with a link to Ali Farka Touré's Discography.
“Thank you for blessing us with your music.”
SoundRoots  also remembers the great man:
“Sometimes called the “African John Lee Hooker,” Toure won a Grammy award recently for his duet album with Toumani Diabate, called In the Heart of the Moon. It was his second Grammy, following one in 1994 for Talking Timbuktu, his collaboration with Ry Cooder.
Toure died in the capitol, Bamako, but will be buried in his hometown of Niafunke. He was elected mayor of Niafunke in 2004.”
SoundRoots  waxes lyrical on the South African Movie “Tsotsi” that recently won an Oscar.
“I don't think of the Academy Awards as a great promoter of world music and culture. But their selection last night of the South African  film Tsotsi as Best Foreign Language Film is certain to gain attention for the soundtrack, which is dominated by kwaito . Sometimes called “South African Hip Hop,” kwaito (the term translates as “anger”) seems to run the gamut from cheezy knockoffs of western hip hop to amazing blends of modern beats with roots drumming and choral singing.”
“This year the word has spread throughout Africa with artists and festiver-goers alike coming from Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Zambia. Headlining and hosting the event will be BBC 1Xtra's Ras Kwame http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onemusic/ras/  , Chibuku residents the Beat Monkeys, Phat Phil Cooper, Maverick Mitchell and Malawi stars Tikhu Vibrations, the Black Missionaries and Wambali.”
“South African born Mpho Skeef seems to be cutting a path through the music inustry. Heard ‘booty la la’ track by Bugz in the Attic? Thats Mpho on vocals.”
“Since she kicked in the door about 10 years ago, Jean Grae (Tsidi Ibrahim)has captured rap in a choke hold and she’s not letting go. Born in Capetown, South Africa to a jazz pianist father and a vocalist mother, the former LaGuardia High scholar is no stranger to music or the controversies that come along with it. Her parents fled to New York when she was a toddler in order to escape the blooming apartheid in South Africa at the time. Rapping about struggles, joy, pain, and sometimes simply kicking knowledge Nasir Jones style, Jean Grae is everything an average female rapper’s not. She’s the exact antithesis of Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim.”
Doug Paterson guest hosts the Best Ambiance online show  to drop sweet African music from across the Continent. Something for all listeners.
ASID blog  (anti slackness intellecutal development) drops a reggae style podcast from badgals-radio.com  to support the “save daffur coalition rally to stop genocide Apr 30 2006″ presented by Mama Asid.
“Also we ask that you Take a Moment and send a copy to your favorite email lists and your closest email friends . ask them to circulate this plea as humanitarians to end the killing in Darfur. Remember that Darfur Today could be Detroit or Dayton Tomorrow..”
Please support this campaign and listen to the Podcast.