Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Banning's Top Releases From Africa in 2010!

On our annual "Stocking Stuffers" show we will showcase an eclectic mix of some great releases this year. While we highly suggest checking out all of the records mentioned and played, there were a few that Banning wanted to single out as some of his personal, top releases. In addition to Banning's list, we will be posting Afropop's favorite releases from Africa, the top Latin records and best compilations of the year. So stay tuned!

What are your favorites? Be sure to comment and tell us what YOU liked in 2010 too! When you comment, you will be entered into a contest, which will result in one lucky listener winning a set of CDs from Afropop. After all, while we think were pretty cool, we DO miss things on the occasion.

Banning Eyre's "Top Releases From Africa in 2010"


AfroCubism - s/t (World Circuit/Nonesuch)

"This summit of greats from Cuba and Mali has a 14-year back story that dovetails with the inception of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club. That project's original inspiration at last comes to life producing music for the ages.” - BE (NPR Feature)

Konono No. 1 - Assume Crash Position (Crammed Discs)

“More hypnotic Congotronics grooves from this venerable, rural-gone-urban band. Konono made their name playing funerals—songs to ease the departed into the next world. This recording, made since their rise to international fame, sacrifices none of their authentic sound, despite subtle additions of electric guitar.” -BE

Angelique Kidjo - Oyo (Razor & Tie)

“The diva of Benin’s latest is filled with creative re-imaginings of the songs that made her love musician, from African highlife and Miriam Makeba to Sidney Bichet, Otis Redding and James Brown. Even as she nods to her heroes, she grows in stature.” -BE

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba - I Speak Fula (Next Ambiance/Out Here Records)

“In his second release with his own group Ngoni Ba, Mali's most innovative ngoni (spike lute) player engages a dazzling array of guest Malian talent and makes a powerful statement about multiculturalism in West Africa. Plus, the music rocks!” (Full Review)

Bela Fleck -Throw Down Your Heart: Africa Sessions Part 2 (Acoustic Planet)

“More gems from banjo maverick Bela Fleck’s African adventures. These 14 tracks are every bit as rewarding as those on Fleck’s Grammy-Award winning Africa Sessions Part 1. Fleck shows himself the ultimate musical chameleon, blending subtly in setting after setting.” - BE

King Sunny Ade - Babá mo Túndé (Mesa Blue/IndigeDisc)

“After 10 years spent mostly at home in Nigeria, King Sunny Ade delivers a juju motherload on this fabulous double CD. Released just in time to mark Nigeria's 50th year of independence, this is the CD juju fans have been waiting for a long time.” (Full Review)

Samy Izy- Tsara Madagasikara (Network 2010)
“It’s been years since we heard the roiling acoustic grooves and searingly beautiful vocal harmonies of Madagascar’s Samy. With the debut release from his new group, Samy shows himself as charmed, virtuosic, and mesmerizing as ever. This will absolutely put a smile on your face.”-BE

Salif Keita - La Difference (Universal Music France)
“Salif Keita continues his introspective, acoustic phase of albums with an excellent third entry. He sings about albinism, celebrates difference, delves deeply into the elegance of Mande court tradition.” (NPR Feature)

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars - Rise & Shine (Cumbancha)
“A spirited follow-up to the debut release from this band, formed in refugee camps during Sierra Leone’s long civil war. The All Stars recorded in New Orleans and their reggae-gospel-gumbe sound and optimistic message take on new worldliness, without losing homespun charm.” ( NPR Feature)

Tamikrest - Adagh (Glitterhouse)
“A new entry to the desert blues Tuareg band roster pioneered by Tinariwen, this young band shows talent, ingenuity, and a persuasive capacity to rock. The songs are textured and skillfully rendered whether evoking the spare loneliness of the desert or the defiant spirit needed to live there.”- BE
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