Blick Bassey’s ‘1958’ album challenges France’s history of Cameroon and celebrates anti-colonialist leader, Ruben Um Nyobé

Blick Bassy has released his politically charged new album, 1958, following his acclaimed album Akö of 2015. 1958 is a defiant tribute to the heroes who fought and died for the independence of his native Cameroon and is a beautiful selection of songs – sung in Bassa, his ancestral language.

The album focuses on Ruben Um Nyobé – the anti-colonialist leader of the Popular Union of Cameroon (UPC) – who was shot dead by French troops on 13th September, 1958, two years before the country became independent. 1958 is a beautiful blend of Blick’s distinctive voice and guitar, cello (Clement Petit), trumpet and keyboards (Alexi Merrill) and trombone (Johan Blanc) and is co-produced by Blick and Renaud Letang (Manu Chao, Feist, Saul Williams, Lianne La Havas, Charlotte Gainsbourg).

Blick was born in Cameroon and now lives in France.  His music first took shape with the award-winning band Macase. The song Kiki from Akö was used to launch the iPhone 6 in 2015.

Um Nyobé, like Blick, was from the Bassa region and ethnic group: “…in school we studied the French version of what happened,” Blick says. “The way I learned it in the books was that they were agitators, troublemakers. Which is wrong. He was in this movement hidden in the mountains, organising the Cameroonian People’s Union, and the truth about what happened has never been out.

“The emancipation of Africa interests no-one else.  People fight for their own interests and they’re right to do so.  It’s up to us Africans to defend our interests on our own.”

The album is out now on the label, Tôt ou tard.

Ethiopian artist Gili Yalo – joins forces with Grammy nominated music producers Niles City Sound – on new EP ‘Made In Amharica’

Check out this poignant and touching video that promotes Gili Yalo’s new Made In Amharica EP – a mix of Ethiopian desert psych meets Texan blues rock.

The screenplay of the video is built on a real history of Gili Yalo’s cousin, who got sick after moving to Israel from Ethiopia. The family decided that someone had put a spell on him and the only way to cure him was to go back to Ethiopia and find his shirt that was stolen.

The story reflects the thread of losing identity and being disconnected from your roots – and only by getting back to your culture, and exploring your own heritage, can you get back to your balance. The film is directed by Nadav Direktor, on location in Negev Desert, Israel.The Made in Ahmerica EP is available now digitally and will get a vinyl release in May. It compliments the announcement of Gili Yalo’s WOMAD 2019 performance this coming July. For the EP, the Ethiopian born and Israeli based musician collaborated with Niles City Sound – the Grammy nominated musicians and studio based in Fort Worth Texas, where the producers and musicians helped Leon Bridges hone his particular slant and sound.

Gili Yalo’s love of singing came about through hardship. As a five-year-old, he escaped the Ethiopian famine on foot as part of an exodus of Jewish people, often known as Operation Moses. Music made the journey more bearable. Eventually settling in Tel Aviv, Yalo surrounded himself with funk, soul and dub. On his debut album in 2017, all those sounds come together with a large helping of Ethiopian groove.

“The title is a word play,” Gili says. “Amharic is a language of Ethiopian people. I wrote this song in English and sent to a friend of mine in Ethiopia to have it translated. I wanted to create a song about the concept of living without borders. That is the thing that occupies my mind.”

The music is released through Dead Sea Recordings.

Jeremy Spellacey’s Crown Ruler returns with ‘Boomerang’: a slab of unreleased disco-funk from Miami’s Aaron Broomfield

Boomerang was first recorded in 1979 when the Broomfield Corporate Jam leader was attempting to go solo. It was the first cut Aaron Broomfield recorded under his own name – first, at the family band’s home studio, Kilimanjaro, and then later at professional studios in Los Angeles and Miami – but it was never released.

“I always wanted to be able to share Boomerang with my fans some day – I didn’t release it back then because I thought the time wasn’t right,” Broomfield explains. “It was so different to what was considered commercial then and felt ahead of its time.”

Broomfield had two test pressings made before he shelved the project. It was the find of the one remaining record by digger Arun Brown (the other perished when Broomfield’s Kilimanjaro studio was damaged by a fire in 1996) that set in motion its release today.

Jeremy at Crown Ruler says: “The jacket boasts a written essay by Broomfield himself, telling the story behind the song. The wax features two versions of Boomerang, of which both were meticulously restored and re-mastered by celebrated Australian sound engineer, Dan Elleson. Head to side A for the “test press” version, a cosmic, starry-eyed chunk of elastic Miami disco-funk where the Broomfield family’s killer instrumentation – all rubbery bass, deep space synths and crunchy Clavinet motifs – arcs around the sound space like a boomerang in flight. The vocal arrangement, in which Aaron Broomfield’s conscious lyrics come through loud and clear, brings it home. On the flipside, you’ll hear how dynamic the band was through the “Demo Version” – a relaxed, loose and spacey groover that sounds as ahead of its time in 2018 as it would have when it was recorded in 1979.”

Sensational reissue of modern soul gold via Athens Of The North: ‘In Togetherness’ by Judy Pollak (featuring 33 1/3)

Judy Pollak’s heavenly voice and the steady playing of 33 1/3 can now be enjoyed on vinyl, thanks to the Athens Of The North team, with the reissue of ‘In Togetherness’.

Check out Judy’s exclusive interview (from a while back with World Treasures Music) when we first heard about this much needed reissue. Click here to read the interview.

Judy is also a keen animal rights activist and has a charity that looks after cats in need. Click here to find out more.

Latin American cosmology inspires the new album ‘Siku’, by Ecuadorian producer Nicola Cruz

A focus on ancestral Latin American cosmology has always featured in the music of Nicola Cruz. The Ecuadorian searches into the roots and rituals that are found in the origins of Andean and African culture, so heavily influential in South American identity. His latest album Siku continues this retrospective study and explores the rhythms and oral aspects of Latin American heritage, as well as by adopting traditional instruments and utilising them for a new musical purpose.

The siku is a wind instrument of Andean origin and is highly symbolic in ancestral rituals. It is made up of two separate, complementary parts – the arca and the ira, and is a symbolic representation of duality, which is an essential element (some say) of an indigenous world view. On his album – Siku – Nicola Cruz combines instruments, such as the sitar, the siku, and the balafon with hints of electronica. He draws influences from samba, cumbia and rhythms of African, Andean and Hindu origin and combines them with his unpredictable style and charm.

Cruz’s first record – Prender el Alma (2015) – “explored the development the consciousness and spirituality, and how they connect with music”. These themes certainly continue to the present day with his latest work. Siku is onZZK Records and is out now.

Ambient soundtrack for Japanese consumers: Light In The Attic compiles “environmental music” and feature visionaries of the genre

Kankyō Ongaku  translates as “environmental music” and collectively describes the soundscapes and acoustics – as well as incidental music – that soundtracked the spaces and experiences of 1980s Japan.

During Japan’s booming export of manufacturing and design products, corporations began to invest in art and music to enhance the user and consumer experience. A rage of artists subtly infused the everyday world with their avant-garde musical forms – from in-store music for the Japanese high-end retailer Muji, to the companion music for a Sanyo Air Conditioning Unit.

Fumio Miyashita

This genre-defining collection of ambient and sculptural music features internationally acclaimed artists such as Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto (Yellow Magic Orchestra) and Joe Hisaishi (Studio Ghibli, Totoro), as well as perhaps lesser-known but equally pioneering artists like Hiroshi Yoshimura, Yoshio Ojima and Satoshi Ashikawa, who deserve a place alongside the undisputable giants of the genre such as Brian Eno and Erik Satie.

Takashi Kokubo

“As this music continues to echo in modern times and resonate with a new generation of listeners, I’m very happy to help present a window into its universe,” says compilation producer, Spencer Doran, curator of the set and label head of Empire of Signs (Hiroshi Yoshimura, Music For Nine Postcards).

Masahi Kuwamoto

It’s available this month and the LP and CD packages contain extensive liner notes and artist bios, including an essay by compilation co-producer and Japanese music scholar, Doran, who is also a member of Portland-based duo Visible Cloaks. The 3xLP vinyl collection features deluxe Stoughton “tip-on” jackets and slipcase, while the 2xCD release comes housed in a custom 7”x7” hardbound book. Both formats feature a cover photo by photographer Osamu Murai depicting buildings designed by famed architect, Fumihiko Maki.

Kankyō Ongaku follows Light In The Attic’s celebrated ambient anthologies, the acclaimed I Am The Center (2013) and The Microcosm (2016). It is preceded in the ongoing Japan Archival Series by 2017’s Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 and the recent reissues of Haruomi Hosono’s classic output, made available earlier in 2018 for the first time outside of Japan.

Jun Fukamachi


1. Satoshi Ashikawa – Still Space
2. Yoshio Ojima – Glass Chattering
3. Hideki Matsutake – Nemureru Yoru (Karaoke Version)
4. Ayuo Takahashi – Nagareru*
5. Joe Hisaishi – Islander
6. Yoshiaki Ochi – Ear Dreamin’
7. Masashi Kitamura + Phonogenix – Variation・III
8. Interior – Park
9. Yoichiro Yoshikawa – Nube
10. Yoshio Suzuki – Meet Me In The Sheep Meadow
11. Ryuichi Sakamoto – Dolphins*
12. Toshi Tsuchitori – Ishiura (Abridged)
13. Shiho Yabuki – Tomoshibi (abridged)
14. Toshifumi Hinata – Chaconne
15. Yasuaki Shimizu – Seiko 3
16. Inoyama Land – Apple Star
17. Hiroshi Yoshimura – Blink
18. Fumio Miyashita – See the Light (abridged)
19. Akira Ito – Praying For Mother / Earth Part 1
20. Jun Fukamachi – Breathing New Life
21. Takashi Toyoda – Snow
22. Yellow Magic Orchestra – Loom
23. Takashi Kokubo – A Dream Sails Out To Sea – Scene 3
24. Masahiro Sugaya – Umi No Sunatsubu
25. Haruomi Hosono – Original BGM


South African smasher kicks off 2019 for Left Ear Records

Lungile Masitha & Jimmy Mngwandi (Co-Writer & Arranger), pictured together in ’85. This snapshot is taken from their 12” single ‘Let’s Get Up’, while performing with their group ‘Image’

Melbourne’s Left Ear Records continue their output with two supreme South African dancefloor hits from the 1980s. Lungile Masitha was the short-lived studio name for renowned SA artist Sello ‘Chicco’ Twala, who played with such iconic bands as Harari and Umoja. However, in the mid 80’s his name was under license to one of the major labels and so he recorded under the name ‘Lungile Masitha’. This is how he linked up with long term friend Jimmy Mngwandi to co-write and arrange the two tracks Vuyani and Makoti, both sung in his native Tsongan tongue.

Vuyani shows off Chicco’s unique vocal style, backed with piercing drums and distorted choruses, while Makoti is a mellow blend of floating keys and choruses sung by local kids in an effort to expose “emerging talent”. It’s out now through Rushhour.