Best wishes for 2020 to everyone who tune to the show and our beloved music partner – Bounty radio, that reaches our listeners every two weeks. Hope you had a splendid winter break! It’s that time of the year were we round up the 20 new best albums, released last year in innovative world music 2.0.
Best albums of 2019 – Bounty radio:
20. Altin Gun – Gece ( Glitterbeat)
This album is the second album by the dutch/turkish band. On Gece we find beside the sound of anatolian retro rock bits of more original 80s synth in the mix.
19. Mdou Moctar – Ilana (Sahel Sounds)
It’s one of the more exciting releases in Desert Blues this year, with impressive guitar work, long solo’s and a powerful, gritty rock sound.
18. Alogte Oho and his Sound of Joy – Mam Yinne Wa (Philophon)
In this album we have the rare soulful sound of Frafra gospel music from North Ghana. Let’s check out the reggae-esk Zota Yinne track from that album.
17. ODD OKODDO – Auma (Pingipung)
This is a German/Kenyan duo, with a soulful vocal style referred to as Dodo and an impressive, dynamic use of electronica, creating a perfect harmony somewhere between the organic and the digital.
16. Mc Waraba & Mélèké Tchatcho – Supreme Talent Show (Blanc Manioc)
I’m usually not a big enthusiast of urban sounds with lot’s of auto tune, but there’s something incredibly joyous and powerful to the sound of MC Waraba and Meleke Tchatcho on their album Supreme Talent Show. Pretty sure their sound has everything to make it to the big stages.
It’s one of the amazing albums released this year on the french label Blanc Manioc. I’d say this label is the biggest discovery of the 2019 for me personally. Make sure to check out their compilation album for some mind blowing new sounds from the African continent!
15. Palo E’ Mango – A Mover Los Pies
On this one we have different Afro-Colombian genres blended with the distinctive use of beats and samples from Champeta music and beautiful vocals. If your like me looking for the more rootsy sounds on the album make sure to check out tunes likes Tamborito and this previous one, Bullerengue.
14. Hoodna Orchestra – Ofel (Agogo)
They describe themselves as an afrobeat orchestra but there’s a bit more to it. On Ofel the band pushes their sound to a more heavy, militant dark sound with bits of psychedelica. Band leader Ilan Smilan appears by the way a second time in this list with his other project Trigris, inside our top 5!
13. Cochemea – All My Relations (Daptone Records)
All my relations is an impressive blend of all kinds of tropical organic sounds, mixed with jazz and funk – but somehow it sticks all together. A nice surprise on the Daptone label but, too bad its a rather short album. Some stronger single material and some extra tracks on it it would have made it a perfect contender for the best album.
12. Acid Arab – Jdid (Crammed Discs)
Whenever Acid Arab releases a new album it’s always a bold and distinctive happening. On JDid they lend their powerful arabesque beats on every track to a guest vocalist. The result is a hypnotizing rollercoaster of thumbing bass and swerling synths.
11. Gyedu-Blay Ambolley – 11th Street, Sekondi (Agogo)
It’s already his thirty first album, can you believe it! His latest one is no new ‘Ketan, his previous release from 2017 – Let’s be honest. But 11th street Sekondi is still packed with his typical rock solid groovy mix of highlife, disco and funk. A very decent groovy album that just lacks a bit the remarkable highlights of Ketan.
10. Faith Mussa – Kalilima (Beating Heart)
On 10 we find Faith Mussa, a soul singer from Malawi, who has been slightly exchanging his Afro pop and soul sound to more electronica, beat heavy version. On his album Kalilima, he’s playing this infectious blend with verve. On Kalilima, every track sounds like a lead single, with tracks like this N’Goma being my favorite ones. Some tracks might be a bit too poppy but on this one the african soul is nicely balanced out to the catchy beat.
9. Nicola Cruz – Siku (ZZK Records)
The Ecuadorian producer is slowly becoming one of the veterans in the folktronica scene from Latin-America that is still going strong. Nonetheless, Nicola Cruz seems to reinvent this whole sound, taking a highly original road in his productions – One completely unheard. It’s tribal and ancient and ritualistic. Not for an everyday listen but a highly original one for sure!
8. The Bongo Hop – Satingarona, Pt. 2 (Underdog Records)
On 8 we have the second album of The Bongo Hop, simply entitled Satingarona Pt. 2
The first part was already a nice surprise but it’s truly in this second part that the band shines. On Satingarona they blend successfully together influences from Colombia, Latin-America, Africa and the caribbean in one tasty album, ram jam packed with a surprising variety of hip shaking music. Let’s check out the cooler track Agua Fria:
7. K.O.G & The Zongo Brigade – Wahala Wahala (Heavenly Sweetness)
On 7 we have something powerful. It’s the debut album of K.O.G. and the Zongo Brigade, entiteld Wahala Wahala, out on Heavenly Sweetness. A single of theirs called Turn up The music has been in my DJ bag for a long time so I was very excited to discover they released a full album. It turns out Wahala Wahala is just packed with their powerful mix of west african funk with rock and hiphop attitude. On it we have K.OG. who delivers the distinctive but infectious vocals, and the band who plays almost nothing but high-energy tracks. Let’s check out this explosive track For My People
6. KOKOKO! – Fongola (Transgressive Records)
Together with Acid Arab this must be one of the boldest sounds of the past year. KOKOKO! is collactive from Congo, taking congotronics to a whole new level by adding their their own upcycled instruments and a serious bass heavy electronic sound. It’s an unpolished, urgent and dangerous sound we have on Fongola.
5. Yelfris Valdés – For the Ones… (Musica Macondo)
What a perfect marriage between the analog and digital, blending spiritual jazz with afro cuban traditions and a touch of dub. It’s the Afro-Cuban trumpet player Yelfris Valdés with his album For The Ones, out on the new label Musica Macondo, and we listen to the track Aceleyo Ana.
4. Kalbata & Tigris – Vanrock (Fortuna Records)
Here we have a collaboration between producer Kalbata and ethio jazz/afrobeat band Tigris. It’s an impressive, unheard mix of jazzy elements and some arabesque sounds all topped with the deep and dubby production of Kalbata. This album draws you into this unknown, pulsating and spooky univers. It’s not simply jazz, it’s not electronic and it’s not a sound from the middle east. It’s headphone music that demands a close listen. The more you listen to it the more its strange beauty will grip you!
3. Afrosideral – El Olimpo de los Orishas (Wonderwheel Recordings)
What a beautiful blend this one is between traditional Yoruba music and bass heavy electronica. Yet it’s done incredibly delicately, with respect for both ends. Some tracks are tending more towards a dancefloor vibe while others are clearly more spiritual. But most tracks are containing both aspects, resulting in this well balanced, accessible and spiritual bass music.
2. Nubiyan Twist – Jungle Run (Strut Records)
the London based Jazz collective with their latest album. On it they prove themselves masters of genre bending music, blending soul and jazz with Caribbean, Brazilian, African and what else of influences for this very enjoyable album. Guest musicians on this album are none other than mulatu astatke and tony allen, and also KOG makes an appearance. On Jungle run you’re tumbling from well crafted cozy tracks like this track Borders to the more urgent sound of Permission and They Talk. Lovely divers with all tracks being very radio friendly material, I’m sure where going to see playlists featuring tracks from this album for years to come.
1. Guts – Philantropiques (Heavenly Sweetness)
The best album in global innovative ‘world music 2.0’ is Guts with his album Philantropiques, released on Heavenly Sweetness. Guts is a producer who’s been collecting and digging deep for tropical music. On Philantropiques, it’s finally his turn to create his own songs, heavily influenced by all kinds of vintage tropical music. Downtempo tracks like Voyaging Birds are combined with feelgood uptempo music like Genke Corner
Authentic sunshine music with a fresh approach, reviving 70s funk, Carimbo, gwo ka and bossa with a talented band and an impressive list of guest guest musicians and vocalists, this album was made to stand the test of time.