Review: Gospel/funk fusionists the Como Mamas debuted on Daptone back in 2013 with Get An Understanding, a fine full-length that perfectly showcased the female trio's talents. While that set was recorded live at Mt Merrion Church some years earlier, this fine follow-up is a studio set with Daptone chief Bosco Mann in the producer's chair. Unsurprisingly, it's deliciously authentic, sounding like a long lost 1970s, private press gospel-soul album. It's packed with highlights, from the bluesy shuffle of "He's Calling Me" and rhythm and blues bounce of "He's Mine", to the acapella brilliance of "Glory Glory Hallelujah", where the trio's brilliant vocals and a lone drumbeat combine to create an intoxicating mood.
Abdel El Aziz Al Mubarak - "Ma Kunta Aarif Yarait (I Wish I Had Known)"
Kamal Tarbas - "Min Ozzalna Seebak Seeb (Forget Those That Divide Us)"
Madjzoub Ounsa - "Arraid Arraid Ya Ahal (Love, Love Family)"
Khojali Osman - "Malo Law Safeetna Inta (What If You Resolve What's Between Us?)"
Zaidan Ibrahim - "Ma Hammak Azabna (You Don't Care About My Suffering)" (live)
Saied Khalifa - "Igd Allooli (The Pearl Necklace)"
Taj Makki - "Ma Aarfeen Nagool Shino! (We Don't Know What To Say!)"
Hanan Bulu Bulu - "Alamy Wa Shagiya (My Pain And Suffering)" (live)
Abdelmoniem Ekhaldi - "Droob A Shoag (Paths To Love)"
Samira Dunia - "Galbi La Tahwa Tani (My Heart, Don't Fall In Love Again)"
Mohammed Wardi - "Al Sourah (The Photo)"
Abdullah Abdelkader - "Al Zaman Zamanak (It's Your Time)"
Mustafa Modawi & Ibrahim El Hassan - "Al Wilaid Al Daif (The Youth Who Came As A Guest)"
Ibrahim El Kashif - "Elhabeeb Wain? (Where Is My Sweetheart?)"
Mohammed Wardi - "Al Mursal (The Messenger)"
Review: Before a hard line religious government seized control of Sudan via a 1989 coup, the country had one of the richest musical scenes in the world. This fine two-disc compilation from Ostinato brilliantly chronicles the various strands of this scene, focusing especially on music made in the capitol city, Khartoum. Fired by tum tum and Nubian rhythms, the set shuffles through the Arabian-inspired violin and accordion-heavy orchestral music of the 1970s, synthesizer and drum machine-driven cuts of the 1980s, and more polished later recordings produced by local artists who had fled persecution in the 1990s. There's naturally much to enjoy throughout, including a clutch of rare live recordings and some of the most beguilding, heart-felt songs ever to come out of East Africa.
Dur Dur Band - "Duruuf Maa Laygu Diidee (Rejected Due To My Circumstance)" (feat Muqtar Idi Ramadan)
Iftiin Band - "Anaa Qaylodhaanta" (feat Mahmud Abdalla "Jerry" Hussen)
Review: In 1988, on the eve of the civil war that began to tear apart Somalia in the early 1990s, an intrepid band of broadcasters and journalists secretly salvaged some 10,000 cassettes of homegrown music from the archives of Radio Hargeissa in Somaliland. Almost 30 years on, those tapes have finally been mined for Sweet As Broken Dates, a brilliant compilation that finally showcases some of the multitude of gems that were recorded and released in the country between the late '60s and early '90s. It's a brilliant collection, all told, full of exotic music that combines Western styles - soul, funk, disco, pop, reggae, boogie, psychedelic rock and even early hip-hop- with musical influences from the wider region (most notably Arabic and tropical music from islands in the Indian Ocean). In other words, it should be an essential purchase.