Artist Biogs

SMOD – Folk? Rap? African? Smart? No doubt!

SMOD

“Africa needs to speak out right now,” says Ousco calmly over a crackling phone line from Bamako. “Africa must stop crying.” His words are a neat little summary of what African rap is all about: No mincing words or metaphors. No ancient musical traditions that cosy up to power. No decadent ghetto fabulous fantasies. None of that.

CHEIKHA REMITTI – Grand Dame of Algeria’s school of hard knocks!

Screen shot 2011-01-23 at 19.45.13

Remitti is most emphatically still here, well past her eightieth birthday, sharp, defiant, halogenically lucid, still giving her audiences the proverbial cru-cut with her freight-train baritone holler and still raising the temperature with her shimmying shoulders and pulsating midriff. Moreover Remitti really does seem to have overtaken and outlived much of the younger generation that she originally spawned. Her brand new album ‘N’ta Goudami’, is creatively more ambitious and successful than 95% of the rai being recorded by singers one third her age. It seems like Remitti has trounced the rai youth at their own game.

TAMIKREST – The coalition, the knot, the future

Tamekrist - New Touareg guitar music

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s Tinariwen who created the path,” declares Ousmane Ag Mossa, frizzy-locked leader of Tamikrest, in a pre-emptive strike against a thousand inevitable questions. “But the way I see it, if younger bands don’t come through, then Touareg music will eventually die. They created the path and now it’s up to us to walk down it and create the future.”

RACHID TAHA #3 – Who the f**k are you?

Rachid Taha

“Who are you?” “Who am I?”  It sounds like there’s an existential storm broiling deep inside the soul of France’s number 1 musical upsetter.   ‘Tékitoi?’, the title of the latest in a long line of probing, provocative and highly original Rachid Taha releases,  is a punchy piece of French street lingo whose tone actually says…

INESS MEZEL – Beyond trance, beyond identity

Iness Mezel

It was one of those perfect moments, when passion burns up the concept, and Iness Mezel’s words begin to canter excitedly as she remembers it: “You arrive at the studio with all your baggage and paraphernalia and you lay them out and something just happens, beyond all expectations. Beyond trance. Beyond consciousness. And I love…