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 »

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 »

BBC launches new “Africa beyond” website

Anyone interested in the African scene might already know the BBC’s Africa Beyond, which celebrates African arts in the UK. The site covers the entire continent, illustrating the extraordinary diversity of the 54 African nations. More specifically, the new site wil incorporate “Africa on Your Street” that covers everything from Afrobeat to M’balax plus gig… 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…