Category Archives: Music

Balkan Beat Box tour Europe

Balkan Beat Box are a nutty band that mixes rock with strong Balkan/Greek/Mediterranean influences, making them sure-fire favourites at festivals. Their second album, “Nu Med”, has been out since April in Europe (late May in the UK). So the band is taking to the roads again, criss-crossing the continent between now and mid-August. We really… Read More »

Konono N°1 record with Bjork, tour US

I have to admit that the Congolese outfit Konono N°1 is not my favourite band. In fact, their saturated sound drive me nuts. But they are unique, which is probably reason enough for Bjork to invite them to record on her new album alongside Timbaland and Antony. They have a new release out (“Live in… Read More »

Natacha Atlas: European tour dates

The Arabo-Fusion singer Natacha Atlas is currently touring Europe to follow up on the release of “Mish Maoul”. The dates include shows in France, Belgium, Poland, Italy, England and Scotland. Transglobal Underground will appear with her on at least one date. Atlas is one of the few performers that easily broaches the divide between the… Read More »

Magic System to appear in the UK

One of the most popular acts in France at the moment are Magic System, the Ivory Coast band that has chalked up a number of major hits such as “Premier Gaou” and “Bouger, Bouger”. They have so far totalled over 2 million singles in France alone, as well as 400,000 albums. Their mainstream version of… Read More »

When did FIFA 2007 become so hip?

Has anyone spent any time on the new FIFA 2007 game? Remember to leave the sound on when you play, and you’ll get a pretty good musical sampler of what’s happening out there in the world. A quick scan of the playlist includes Plastinilina Mosh from Mexico, the brilliant lo-fi Seu Jorge from Brazil and… Read More »

Manou Gallo: 2nd album and documentary

Ivory Coast’s Manou Gallo is one of the most in-demand bassists in Europe. After playing with Zap Mama for six years and appearing in a play, she released her first album, “Dida” on the IglooMondo label in 2003. A documentary now traces her worldwide tour and the release of the second album…

Electric Gypsyland 2

The music of the Balkans must be some of the most incendiary being played today. Outfits such as Taraf de Haidouks, Koçani Orkestar and Mahala Raï Banda play with a trademark brass sound that reaches fever pitch pretty quickly – and never comes down (think of a film by Kusturica and you won’t be far… Read More »

Aiwa: Arabic dub/electronic on the road

Created in 1998 by two Iraqi brothers brought up in France, Aiwa is one of the most exciting fusion/electronic outfits. Musically, they mix Classical Arabic sounds with heavy dub/electronic grooves and ultra-suave rap. They have released two albums “Aiwa” and “El Nar” (photo), with an album of remixes of “Aiwa” in the pipeline – more… Read More »

Dig music, build something positive

The people over at Calabash Music have had a neat idea. Despite what many people think, the US spends less than 1% of its federal budget on foreign aid. As Calabash points out, “If everyone in the United States gave up one soft drink a month we could double our current aid to Africa. If… Read More »

Return of the cool in jazz

There is something decidedly cool about the vibraphone even though it’s not the type of instrument you hang out with or stick under your arm like Chet Baker or Lester Bowie. Yet over two albums, Pascal Schumacher and his Quartet have given the vibe a new burst of interest. They combine cool school competency with… Read More »