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Kris' Classic Cuts
with Kris M

“Baba Ayoola” is an invitation to celebrate life from the London jazz band, now firmly established at the top of the exciting new English scene.  

After the rapturous global reception for their track “Carry Me Home,” accumulating more than 3 million online listens, KOKOROKO’s new single keeps the bar very high. “Baba Ayoola” is a tribute to saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi’s grandfather and, by the group’s own admission, an invitation to celebrate life.

Opening to the vocal harmonies from the band’s three leaders (Sheila, Cassie and Richie), this new track is carried by delicate drums and percussion alongside subtle keyboard lines. Enchanting guitar riffs sparkle through a melodic bass line, enhanced by the powerful brass section and gospel-like harmonies. All this results in an exhilarating crescendo. A warm and shimmering melodic atmosphere, perfect for the Fall season.

The track “Baba Ayoola” is available via Brownswood Recordings.

Écoutez KOKOROKO dans notre playlist Songs of the Week sur Spotify et Deezer.

Listening to your favourite station - African FM - via your Alexa device just got a whole lot easier.  We're pleased to announce that we've just launched our African FM Alexa skill.  Any Alexa can now easily tune into our programmes.

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"Alexa, play African FM"

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The new album Ambrosia blends Soulful house and jazz with an added touch of blues.

You can hear rhythm in the way he speaks. Maybe it’s a common trait shared by those who live in Birmingham, Alabama, and have received a Jazz education, in Byron’s case from his grandfather. His rich southern musical culture gives a uniqueness to his sound creations, and he surrounds himself with the world’s best musicians that contribute to his soul and instrumental approach to the genre. 

Byron The Aquarius’ name doesn’t belong to a real Aquarius at all, it turns out, but to a 32-year-old Pisces born on March 11th. He received the nickname in college and never bothered to correct it. Firmly anchored in the South, he retains the vitality of Atlanta’s underground scene, which he now transposes to international clubs. For this album, recorded on Jeff Mills’ legendary label, Byron spent his days with a team of stars: Janet Jackson’s veteran drummer Lil John Roberts, trumpeter Dashill Smith, flutist Rasheeda Ali and bassist Chocolat Costa from Brazil, who brings a wonderfully unexpected samba touch to the tracks.

Byron’s love of melody and harmony has always attracted the attention of major electronic music labels and producers, and the young maestro’s eclectic choice of international clubs has saw him rubbing shoulders with the world’s best. When he wasn’t working on his own music, he was playing keys in the studio with Atlanta-based House DJ/Artist Kai Alce. These creations soon came under the radar of the Detroit master Theo Parrish, who loved his sublime jazz-inflected house and selected two tracks for release on his legendary Sound Signature label in 2016. The result, “Highlife EP,” was lauded and since then Byron has rolled-out high-quality tracks on Wild Oats, Eglo Records and many other labels. He has toured the world playing at festivals, proving as he says in one of his tracks: “Techno Is Black (Respeck).” A cry of celebration to all the cities (Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago) that have summoned black culture  in the southern states and given birth to its electronic music. 

Ambrosia will be available on October 16 via Axis Records.

Listen to Byron The Aquarius in our playlist Songs of the Week on Spotify and Deezer.

Estère unveils her new track “Mad About Your Sea,” the second single from her next album, along with a video full of metaphors of love, one that ebbs and flows like a sea that we feel ourselves sinking into.

A beatmaker and singer, this New Zealander with Cameroonian origins has delivered a sensual, melancholy track about the dependence of desire. It evokes, in her own words, “the irrepressible attachment that can bind us to someone who is not good for us – the impulse to want to save a person, despite the harm they may have done to us.” Her bewitching voice is set to a deep, cinematic piano theme that evokes the destructive love affair. For its part, the atmosphere of the video reveals a dreamlike universe caught in space with lunar-like shots and sculptural, suspended bodies, where intimacy and mythology merge. There is no doubt about it, the world of Estère is inhabited by many myths, ones already detectable in “Calculated Risk” – the first cut from the album – with references to the Garden of Eden, Persephone and Pandora’s Box.

The finesse of her compositions caught the attention of Massive Attack’s producer Stew Jackson in 2019, with whom she collaborates on this, her third album, in which a world of sound unfolds at the intersection between R&B, folk and electronic music. It marks a style that she named Electric Blue Witch-Hop, and one that took shape on her second album back in 2018, entitled My Design, On Others’ Lives, which gave her the chance to open for her idols Grace Jones and Erykah Badu. This third album is thus an invitation to explore the Archetypes, images and models of our collective imaginations as told by the storyteller Estère. Love, death, motherhood, fear, childhood and sexual desire …

“Mad About Your Sea” is the second extract from Archetypes, which can be discovered in full on January 22 via Blue Riot Records label.

The track “Mad About Your Sea” is available on all streaming platforms.

Listen to Estère in our Songs of the Week playlist ons Spotify and Deezer.

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