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Featured Releases

  • Congolese seven-piece band Mbongwana Star's debut full-length album, From Kinshasa, a World Circuit release, features members of a new generation of Kinshasa musicians embodying the concept of “mbongwana,” or “change.” Along with Parisian producer Doctor L, the band fuses traditional Congolese rhythms with European post-punk bass and busted electronics from recycled and reconstructed instruments miked and distorted in unexpected ways. It's a "wonderful kind of collaboration," says NPR. "The sound is out of this world." Chicago Reader says the "album is a blast ... stunning." Says Noisey: "It's time to press play and immerse yourself in another world."

  • Congolese seven-piece band Mbongwana Star's debut full-length album, From Kinshasa, a World Circuit release, features members of a new generation of Kinshasa musicians embodying the concept of “mbongwana,” or “change.” Along with Parisian producer Doctor L, the band fuses traditional Congolese rhythms with European post-punk bass and busted electronics from recycled and reconstructed instruments miked and distorted in unexpected ways. It's a "wonderful kind of collaboration," says NPR. "The sound is out of this world." Chicago Reader says the "album is a blast ... stunning." Says Noisey: "It's time to press play and immerse yourself in another world."

  • Buena Vista Social Club’s Lost and Found is a collection of previously unreleased tracks from the Buena Vista all-star cast of Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Cachaíto López, Guajiro Mirabal, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo, and Compay Segundo—some recorded during the original album’s sessions in Havana, others from the years that followed. The studio tracks were recorded at the 1996 Egrem studio sessions in Havana and during a period of rich and prolific creativity stretching into the early 2000s. Lost and Found also features live recordings from the world tours of Buena Vista’s legendary veterans. NPR calls it "a gorgeous reminder of what made [Buena Vista] so famous to begin with."

  • Trio Da Kali is a group of musicians from the Mande culture of southern Mali who come from a long line of distinguished griots. The Trio—Hawa Kasse Mady Diabaté (voice), daughter of legendary Kasse Mady Diabaté; Lassana Diabaté (ngoni), formerly of AfroCubism and Toumani Diabaté’s Symmetric Orchestra; and Mamadou Kouyaté (balafon), eldest son of Bassekou Kouyaté—aims to bring a contemporary twist to ancient and neglected repertoires, as heard on this five-track digital EP from World Circuit Records.

  • The recordings made by Abelardo Barroso with Orquesta Sensación in Havana during the 1950s represent one of the pinnacles of the golden age of Cuban music. On Cha Cha Cha, World Circuit, the label behind Buena Vista Social Club, releases a re-mastered selection of 14 of their most irresistible recordings from one of Cuba's all-time great singers. The Guardian gives Cha Cha Cha four stars, calling it both "another reminder of Cuba’s extraordinary musical history" and "almost uncannily contemporary."

  • This five-track digital EP features music from the recording sessions for the album Toumani & Sidiki, a rare father-and-son collaboration between kora master Toumani Diabaté and his son Sidiki, the instrument’s emerging star. The EP extends the collection and explores further what happens "when two geniuses bridge generations" (Los Angeles Times).

  • Toumani Diabaté, widely recognized as the greatest living kora player, and his eldest son Sidiki, release the recording Toumani & Sidiki on World Circuit. The album is a set of unaccompanied kora duets, featuring both obscure, almost forgotten kora pieces and a new look at some Mandé classics from Mali. The Evening Standard calls it "a rare treat, one of the albums of the year." The Guardian calls it "the finest Toumani collaboration since his classic work with Ali Farka Touré ... gently exquisite."

  • On her debut album, singer/songwriter Fatoumata Diawara—whom the Telegraph calls “the most beguiling talent to hit the world music scene in some time” and Mojo calls a "spell-weaving new voice"—uses elements of jazz, pop, and funk along with her ancestral Wassoulou tradition. John Paul Jones, Toumani Diabate, and Tony Allen all make guest appearances. Uncut gives Fatou four stars; Pitchfork calls it "beguiling." The Washington Post says "her well-crafted songs are quietly powerful."

  • Inspired by Wassoulou tradition, jazz, and blues, Fatoumata Diawara has created her own unique contemporary folk sound, giving a distinctly African spin to the concept of the female singer-songwriter. "Like her mentor [Oumou] Sangaré," says the Financial Times, "Diawara combines feminist social conscience with effortless melodic charm." The Daily Telegraph calls her "the most beguiling talent to hit the world music scene in some time." Kanou, her debut EP, is available digitally and includes four tracks plus the video for the song "Bissa."

  • On Jamm, which means “peace” in Wolof, Lô’s mbalax rhythms and signature blend of semi-acoustic flavors—West and Central African, funk, Cuban, flamenco—support his husky vocals, sung in four different languages, with help from his regular band, along with Tony Allen on drums and Pee Wee Ellis on sax. The Guardian says, “Cheikh Lô is back with an album that reconfirms his position as one of the finest, one of the most soulful singers in West Africa.” In a four-star review, Q calls it “true global music to make anyone feel better.”

  • AfroCubism is the long-awaited collaboration between Cuban and Malian musicians meant to take place when the Buena Vista Social Club was born, a "collaboration well worth the wait," says The New Yorker. The New York Times describes it as "a rich yet subtle fusion of African and Cuban sounds." The Guardian calls it "an elegant, gently exquisite album"; the Observer says it's "a delight." Includes the exclusive Nonesuch Store bonus track "Keme Bourama."

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