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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 has created a sound that embodies the “smashed-together” nature of the surroundings from which it was born—fusing traditional Congolese rhythms with European post-punk bass and busted electronics from recycled and reconstructed instruments miked and distorted in unexpected ways. Pre-orders include an instant download of the album track "Malukayi (feat. Konono No.1)," which Boiler Room praises for its "eerie postpunk-sounding guitar work, and an altogether unique vibe."

  • 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 has created a sound that embodies the “smashed-together” nature of the surroundings from which it was born—fusing traditional Congolese rhythms with European post-punk bass and busted electronics from recycled and reconstructed instruments miked and distorted in unexpected ways. Pre-orders include an instant download of the album track "Malukayi (feat. Konono No.1)," which Boiler Room praises for its "eerie postpunk-sounding guitar work, and an altogether unique vibe."

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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."

  • 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."

  • Kronos Quartet and its artistic director/founding violinist David Harrington have long been known as interpreters of music from around the world, expanding the string quartet repertoire with works from across genres. Released in honor of the group's 40th anniversary year, Kronos Explorer Series comprises five classic albums from five different parts of the world—Pieces of Africa, Night Prayers, Caravan, Nuevo, and Floodplain—with new liner notes that include an in-depth interview of Harrington by renowned author Jonathan Cott. The Independent calls the set "extraordinary."

  • Abraçaço is the final installment of Caetano Veloso's trilogy with the youthful trio heard on and zii e zie known as the Banda Cê: Pedro Sá on electric guitar, Ricardo Dias Gomes on bass and Rhodes piano, and Marcelo Callado on drums. The album won a Latin Grammy for Best Singer-Songwriter Album and earned the #1 spot on Rolling Stone Brazil’s Best National Albums list. A fusion of the traditional Tropicália style and the indie pop of contemporary Rio, Abraçaço includes 11 original songs written by Veloso. KCRW calls it Veloso "at his best."

  • Produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels, Sparklehorse), Rokia Traoré’s Beautiful Africa earns five stars from the Observer, Guardian, and Songlines, which raves: "It really doesn’t get better than this in today’s African music ... Rokia’s work is exciting, surprising, and always perfectly executed." The New York Times says: "Traoré has a gentle voice with a steely core, one that’s revealed more clearly than ever on Beautiful Africa." NPR says the album "is just as smart and lovely as its creator."

  • Amadou & Mariam's digital EP Mali Meets Latin America features remixes of four tracks from their 2012 album Folila by artists from Buenos Aires (Frikstailers and King Coya, aka Gaby Kerpel) and Bogotá (Bomba Estéreo and Sidestepper). The EP was inspired by the couple’s first visit to perform in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina in 2012, when they met several of the producers featured on this collection.

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