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Jazz, Soul, and a Whole Lot More with the Souljazz Orchestra

The Souljazz Orchestra confront current political realities with a mix of reggae, ska, disco, and punk -- plus some jazz and soul, of course -- on Chaos Theories.

Recent
Music

Here Lies Man Combine Afrobeat and Psych Rock on "Long Legs (Look Away)" (premiere)

Here Lies Man continue to blaze a trail in modern Afrobeat with psych rock riffs and driving drums on new single "Long Legs (Look Away)"

Music

Golden Dawn Arkestra Seeks to Heal With "Mama Se" (premiere + interview)

Golden Dawn Arkestra make their earthly home in Texas. Founder Zapot Mgwai says, "I wanted to talk about how this could be the end for human beings if we don't get our shit together."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

DJ Chillz Pulls You onto the Dancefloor on "1111 Accord" (premiere)

With its punchy beats and electrifying groove, DJ Chillz makes "1111 Accord" sound so effortless.

Music

20 Questions: Sinkane

Sinkane's latest album, Dépaysé, is the sound of a one-man revolution that has begun not with the shots of a gun, but with the purposeful strums of a guitar. He answers PopMatters' 20 Questions.

Music

The Sublime 'Nigeria 70' Series Continues with 'No Wahala: Highlife, Afro-Funk & Juju 1973-1987'

Strut Records celebrates its 20th anniversary with a brilliant new installment in its funk-centric Nigeria 70 series.

Music

20 Questions: Ibibio Sound Machine

Beloved London collective Ibibio Sound Machine merges African pop styles with sleek synth aesthetics and they are back with a new album and plenty of opinions on Brexit, Bob Marley, and (of course) Thor.

Evan Sawdey
Music

Britain's Ibibio Sound Machine Bring Depth to the Dancefloor on 'Doko Mien'

Doko Mien highlights Ibibio Sound Machine's versatility as the group continues to bring Lagos and London together in new ways.

Music

London's Nubiyan Twist Try a Little Bit of Everything Soulful on 'Jungle Run'

London-based collective Nubiyan Twist lean toward neo-soul on Jungle Run, a style that tends to be a free-flowing mélange of jazz, soul, hip-hop, and electronics.

Music

Brits in Hot Weather #12: Elephant Trees, DJ Chillz, Dream Reporter, Szjerdene, and Gagarin

In this edition of Brits in Hot Weather, we have edgy electropop from Elephant Trees, Afrobeat-tinged house from DJ Chillz, haunting dream pop from Dream Reporter, soulful house from Szjerdene, and the ambient soundscapes of Gagarin.

Music

Ebony Bones Kicks Her Music Into High Gear on 'Nephilim'

Ebony Bones performs a deep exploration of her complex sound, resulting in a magnificent collage of different genres and approaches producing a poignant, multifaceted work.

Music

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 Bring the Funk and Activism to 'Black Times'

Like father, like son. On Black Times, Afrobeat bandleader Seun Kuti inherits his father's passionate combination of fiery activism and intoxicating funk.

Music

Tal National - "Akokas" (audio/video) (premiere)

Niger's Tal National returns with its distinct brand of celebratory rock on "Akokas".

Music

Here Lies Man - 'Animal Noises' (EP stream) (premiere)

Here Lies Man blends rock with Afrobeat to thrilling results on new EP Animal Noises.

Music

Tony Allen: Film of Life

As Tony Allen and Afrobeat continue to influence the music world at large, the master drummer lets the music world at large continue to influence him.

Music

Zongo Junction: No Discount

It's not surprising to see free jazz credited alongside Fela Kuti as one of the group's inspirations.

Music

Fela Kuti: The Best of the Black President 2

Knitting Factory's second Fela Kuti retrospective is no less vital, gripping, or essential than the first.

Music

Elikeh: Between 2 Worlds

This Afropop band from DC keeps it lively and conscious on its third album release, but needs more of an edge.

Music

The Souljazz Orchestra: Solidarity

These ten songs draw from a huge variety of old music, but the Souljazz Orchestra always speaks (and grunts) with immediacy.

Music

Antibalas: Antibalas

The Afrobeat-fixated collective finally grows a few extra dimensions.

Music

Rocket Juice & the Moon: Rocket Juice & the Moon

This debut showing from the team-up of Damon Albarn, Flea, and Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen is surprisingly unambitious but solid and fun.

Music

KG Omulo: Ayah Ye! Moving Train

Ideally the music and the singer should unite in some way but here they seem to be fighting.

Deanne Sole
Music

Jens Lekman: An Argument With Myself EP

This EP cements and solidifies Lekman’s status as one of the most dependable and vital songwriters at work today.

Music

Vieux Farka Touré - "All the Same" (feat. Dave Matthews) Video (PopMatters Premiere)

Afrobeat star Vieux Farka Touré's latest single is "All The Same", in which American jamband favorite Dave Matthews lends vocals to a haunting Touré melody.

Music

Battles: Gloss Drop

Gloss Drop is the sound of a band forging its own identity and delivering on the promise initially unveiled on its previous album.

Music

Rikki Ililonga & Musa-O-Tunya: Dark Sunrise

Afro-psyche guitar wizard provides the most convincing case yet for the vibrancy of the 1970s Zamrock scene.

Music

Way Yes: Walkability

Way Yes throw in everything from Afrobeat to a hint of rockabilly to Middle Eastern influences, making for a very pleasurable toe-tapping listening experience.

Music

Rubblebucket: Triangular Daisies EP

The diversity of material here offers a widescreen view of what Rubblebucket is capable of.

Music

Elikeh: Adje! Adje!

An album of strong beginnings and lacklustre middles and ends.

Music

Mr. Something Something: Shine Your Face

Shine Your Face gets a vote for Surprise Excellent Album Discovery of the Year.

Ryan Reed
Music

Various Artists: Afro-Rock

If Afro-Rock and the numerous compilations that have followed in its wake have set a decade and its fashions in the artificial amber of retro-chic, they have also made available brilliant, adventurous music that forces us to reconsider our ideas of the evolution and revolutions of popular music.

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