‘Crystalised’ by The xx keeps being played on BBC 6Music lately, making me want to go back and keep listening to it. It was the band’s first single to be released from their self-titled debut album in 2009.
I’ve been substituting the sunshine with the perfect summery album Sofrito: International Soundclash, featuring the best tropical dance music. In particular, I love the track ‘Vibrations Groove’ by the late 70s soca legend Lord Shorty (aka Ras Shorty I) who shows you how to put together a soca groove.
To get me in the mood for this weekend’s Africa Stage at BT’s River of Music event, I’ve been listening to some of the artists in the line-up. I came across this hilarious video by Baaba Maal with his 1992 song ‘Yela’. I kind of love its awkward jubilance!
After watching the excellent KonKoma play at the Hackney Empire this week, I couldn’t help but notice just how much afrobeat and its stars have drawn from 60s and 70s American funk. From the emphasis on the downbeat and bassline, the syncopated guitar phrases, chanty hooks, even the three/four-piece brass section who not only play notes, but act and dance them out; the debt that afrobeat owes to the performances of James Brown is hugely apparent.
My song this week is a melancholic ballad sang by Rihanna. From the album Loud, here is ‘Fading’.