The debut album Ladilikan by Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet will be released on World Circuit Records on Friday 15th September and is already being tipped to be the transglobal LP of the year.
The video to the collective’s single has already shown their exquisite sound and the fusion of Malian griot and contemporary classical music.
Ladilikan unites Trio da Kali and Kronos Quartet for the first time. Kronos artistic director and founder David Harrington has described the album as “one of the most beautiful Kronos has ever done“. Trio Da Kali’s musical director Fodé Lassana Diabaté believes their griot grooves being played by violins, viola and cello has created “the best collaboration of my life”.
The three Da Kali members who make up the griot super-group come from celebrated musical families, brought together by Dr Lucy Duran on behalf of the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI). Balafon player Diabaté was a long-time member of Toumani Diabate’s Symmetric Orchestra and has recorded with Salif Keita, Taj Mahal and many others. Bass ngoni player Mamadou Kouyaté is the eldest son of the instrument’s greatest exponent Bassekou Kouyaté, plays in his father’s band Ngoni Ba and is also involved in the thriving Bamako hip-hop scene in Mali. Singer Hawa ‘Kassé Mady’ Diabate is the daughter of Mali’s greatest traditional singer, Kassé Mady Diabate.
The Kronos Quartet comprises of violinists Harrington and John Sherba, violist Hank Dutt and cellist Sunny Yang. Kronos have released over 60 albums that expand the concept of a string quartet and have collaborated with some of the world’s foremost composers and artists.
Kronos turned to the American composer and their frequent collaborator Jacob Garchik to arrange Trio Da Kali’s repertoire.
The album has already topped the September 2017 Transglobal World Music Chart.
Visit the vibrant Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet website for more information and updates about their performances and releases.
Rubén González Fontanills recorded this LP – Introducing…Rubén González – in two days following the completion of the seminal Buena Vista Social Club album in 1997. The Buena Vista pianist uses the same techniques that gave the group’s album that remarkable sound, as well as selected musicians from the project.
When the Cuban pianist recorded his first solo album in Havana in 1996 he was 77-years-old. When World Circuit released the album the following year, along with the Buena Vista Social Club’s Grammy-winning LP and the Grammy-nominated Afro Cuban All Stars (with Rubén playing on both) it led to a late flourishing of the musical careers of those involved and a focus on the country’s music. Rubén passed in 2003, his status as a legend of music finally assured.
The reissue coincides with a world-wide summer theatre release of Buena Vista Social Club: Adios, a feature length documentary. Rubén’s story is featured extensively. He was invited out of retirement by Ry Cooder in 1996 following his heyday in 1940s and 1950s Cuba.
Highlights on Introducing…Rubén González include the jazz dancers Cumbanchero and bonus album track Descarga Rubén Y Cachaíto, although the beauty of Rubén’s playing and the calibre of his fellow musician’s is explicit throughout.
For more information go to World Circuit.
Mbongwana Star have streamed their first track Malukayi with the Boiler Room. It comes from their forthcoming album on World Circuit. A search for other content reveals a slick music video with some supreme dancing. Not much is known about Mbongwana Star so far, other than that they are a newly formed band from Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kinshasa is the capital and is made of a sprawling network of shanty-towns and night shelters. It’s an apt scene for the next movement of new African dance music. Kinshasa’s most famous export is the thrilling and intense dance outfit, Konono No. 1.
Coco from Mbongwana Star (courtesy of World Circuit)
Mbongwana Star fuse traditional Congolese rhythms with post punk and electronics, often inspired by life in the townships. Band member Coco says: “Mbongwana means ‘change’. We’re going to explode. Everywhere. I’m sure of it!” Fellow band mate Doctor L, who produced Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen’s Black Voices, sums up the excitement of such music in its surroundings: “[We’re] making magic out garbage”.
Malukayi is a single taken from Mbongwana Star’s full length album, which will be released this May on World Circuit. European audiences will be able to catch the first glimpse of the seven piece band live this April and May.
Listen here to Boiler Room’s currently exclusive hosting of Malukayi from DR Congo’s next big things, Mbongwana Star.