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  • Rokia Traoré's Né So (Home), produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman), comprises 10 original songs plus a cover of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" and features guest performances by John Paul Jones and Devendra Banhart, along with Burkinabe drummer Moïse Ouattara, Ivorian bassist Matthieu N’guessan, and Malian ngoni player Mamah Diabaté. NPR calls Né So a "gorgeous new album" from a "fantastically gifted" artist. The Times says: "Traoré has made the album of her career." Uncut raves: "Brave, challenging and arrestingly original, Traoré may just have gone and made the finest indie-rock album to emerge from arguably the world's most musical continent."

  • Rokia Traoré's Né So (Home), produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman), comprises 10 original songs plus a cover of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" and features guest performances by John Paul Jones and Devendra Banhart, along with Burkinabe drummer Moïse Ouattara, Ivorian bassist Matthieu N’guessan, and Malian ngoni player Mamah Diabaté. NPR calls Né So a "gorgeous new album" from a "fantastically gifted" artist. The Times says: "Traoré has made the album of her career." Uncut raves: "Brave, challenging and arrestingly original, Traoré may just have gone and made the finest indie-rock album to emerge from arguably the world's most musical continent."

  • Junun—an album from composer/musician Shye Ben Tzur, guitarist Jonny Greenwood, and the Rajasthan Express, a group of Indian musicians—was recorded in a makeshift studio inside the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, India, with Radiohead's producer Nigel Godrich. The album comprises Ben Tzur’s compositions, which feature devotional Sufi qawwal musicians who sing in Urdu as well as in his native Hebrew. "One of the most inspired releases of the year," says the Times of London. "Intriguing, sinuous, and essential listening."

  • This worldwide cultural phenomenon, a 1997 Grammy winner, co-produced by Ry Cooder, helped to introduce Cuba’s rich musical heritage and pre-revolutionary past to the world. For this vinyl reissue from World Circuit, the studio recordings have been cut from the original analogue half-inch tapes and mastered by Bernie Grundman (engineer of the original release), and pressed on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl. Housed in a gatefold sleeve, the LPs are presented alongside a 20-page booklet include a digital download.

  • St Germain, whose albums Boulevard and Tourist originated a genre of French electronic music, returns with his first album in 15 years, and it's "well worth the wait," says the Independent. The self-titled record marries percussive grooves, which have always been central to his sound, with a new element: traditional Malian music. "The result," says NPR: "a timeless African sound reconfigured ever so slightly for the electronic age." A "remarkable album," exclaims All About Jazz. "It is really a rare occurrence that an electronic music is crafted with so much style and substance." It "deftly balances tradition and modernity and begs repeated listening," says Jazzwise. St Germain "continues to revolutionize electronic music."

  • 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."

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