Category Archives: Music

Uman adds hip-hop to ragga stylee

We just heard the first single from Original Uman’s album “L’aventure c’est l’aventure”. Uman made a mark for himself first with la Puta Madre and later as a toaster. The single “184 centrimetres” is a Hip-Hop workout in French with notes of accordion. The rest of the album promises “Jamaican rhythms”, with the label making… Read More »

Pascal Schumacher European and Australian dates

We saw the Pascal Schumacher Quartet again just before the summer. What can we say? They are still as tight, bright and melodious. So they are STILL our n° 1 hot ticket in jazz. Since then, they have released a new album of cool jazz called “Silbregrau” on the Igloo label. Click through for the… Read More »

Mamadou Konte remembered in Marseilles and Paris

As mentioned below, the death of Mamadou Konte was a great loss to African music (and indeed the US and European music fans that enjoyed the acts he promoted). The company he created, Africa Fête, is however continuing. On September 9 and 15 next, they are putting together a special homage to Konte with a… Read More »

Fela Kuti son kicks up a live storm

Reviews of the Seun Kuti live shows with Egypt 80 in North America have been very good, with reviewers again welcoming the arrival of a massive Afro-Beat band led by the son of the iconic Fela Kuti (not that anyone has forgotten his other son Femi yet). “The band was the most important thing in… Read More »

RIP: Mamadou Konte

Although largely unknown to the general audience, African rap has lost one of its most important players. Mamadou Konte founded the Africa Fête festival in France in the late seventies, later bringing it to the US and Canada. He also set up a label in Senegal that was responsible for uncovering Positive Black Soul and… Read More »

Checkpoint 303: Free music from occupied territories

Apart from the Chehadé brothers, I had never really thought about Palestine as a source of music – and certainly not electronic music. Mea culpa. Checkpoint 303 are a Franco-Palestinian-Tunisian collective that create electronic music using field recordings of life in the occupied territories. Although not overtly political, the sounds they use are often of… Read More »

Summer festivals, Part 1: Africa Fête

We’re beginning to get a lot of press releases concerning summer festivals. One we thought we’d highlight is the annual Africa Fête show in Marseilles on June 30. First, because we’ve always wanted to visit the town and secondly as the event is quite cool. Headliners include Kristo Numpuby, Ashes to Machines, Oumar Kouyaté and… Read More »

Visa problems for Konono N° 1 in Europe

The bad news this week is that the Konono N°1 European tour has been hit by the visa blues. The group was due to fly to Europe via Switzerland but two members were refused as they didn’t have the requisite Schengen visas. These had been requested at the German embassy in Kinshasa but were not… Read More »

Kristo Numpuby sings Brassens, again

We’ve mentioned him before, but there’s no harm in mentioning him again as the project is an interesting one. Last year Cameroon singer Kristo Numpuby recorded a homage to the master of chanson, George Brassens. The unlikely combination, however, struck a chord at home in France, where Numpuby tours regularly and has appeared on prime… Read More »