Music Is The Weapon - Moving Foundations And Outer Space (Self-published)
African funk, known to us as afrobeat, continues to gain in popularity and even in the cold Scandinavian North, distant cousins of Fela Kuti can these days be found.
Carroll Thompson - Hoplessly In Love + Louisa Mark - Breakout (Universal Sound/Soul Jazz Records)
Soul Jazz Records apparently wanted to end the year in style and with the reissue of two outright lovers rock classics, Carroll Thompson's 'Hopelessly In Love' and Louisa Mark's 'Breakout' they succeed effortlessly.
Savages Y Suefo - Worldstyle (Agogo Records)
Hungarian duo Savages Y Suefo's 'Worldstyle' is an extremely enjoyable album reminiscent of the work of Kottarashky or Balkan Beat Box.
Ballaké Sissoko - At Peace (Naïve/No Format!)
Attentive readers will still remember Malian Kora player Ballaké Sissoko's name from 'Chamber Music', his unique collaboration with cellist Vincent Segal.
David Hillyard & The Rocksteady 7 - Friends & Enemies (Brixton Records/Rockin Steady)
For those drawing a blank hearing David Hillyard's name, this sax player from San Diego, California, made a name for himself playing with bands like Hepcat, The Donkey Show and The Slackers.
Various Artists - Evolution Of Dub Volume 7: Creationist Rebel (Greensleeves)
The Evolution Of Dub series has reached its seventh volume, this time focusing on the productions of Winston Edwards, cousin of Joe Gibbs.
Barrington Levy - Reggae Anthology: Sweet Reggae Music 1979 - 84 (17 North Parade/VP Records)
Let me start off with some bad news: 'Reggae Anthology: Sweet Reggae Music 1979 - 84' comes without the trusted bonus-DVD usually accompanying VP's Reggae Anthology releases.
Andra Kouyate & Sèkè Chi - Saro (Studio Mali)
A Kouyate playing ngoni, where have we heard that before? Andra, Bassekou Kouyate's younger brother, single-handedly invented the bass ngoni and, until recently, was a member of Ngoni Ba, his brother's band ('Bassekou' is a musical tribute to his elder brother).
Magyarvista Social Club - Utazólevél (Hangveto)
The cover - a Hungarian betyár or outlaw on a Harley Davidson - of Magyarvista Social Club's album debut is just about the coolest we saw this year, but the music on 'Utazólevél' ("travel documents") is a little less exciting.
Sadiki - Jah Is The Only King (Skinny Boy Records)
Even though 'Jah Is The Only King' is already his fourth long player, Sadiki isn't all that well-known in Europe yet.
Jah Lewis - What An Experience (MJH Musik)
Jah Lewis' life story is interesting to say the least.
Reggae Angels - Turn On The Light (Kings Music International)
We keep discovering reggae bands from the US, because even though Reggae Angels have been going at it for more than fifteen years, 'Turn On The Light' was yours truly's first acquaintance with this San Francisco band around front man Fenton Wardle, often acting as backing band for Jamaican artists on tour in the US.
King Riddim - Renaissance (Dynamix/Zimbalam)
No, King Riddim is not a new one riddim compilation, but a Normandy based band.
McPullish - Black Metal White Reggae (Charlie’s Records)
McPullish is the pseudonym of Carson Hoovestol, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who in his studio in Buda, Texas, developed his own vision on dub.
Meridian Brothers - Desesperanza (Soundway Records)
Electronic music is clearly gaining in popularity on the South-American subcontinent.
Prezident Brown - I Sound Is From Creation (Tad's Record)
It had been a long time since we heard from Prezident Brown; at the end of the nineteen nineties Brown was still the jewel in the crown in the catalog of Dutch label Runn Records (who cooperated extensively with Barry O'Hare and his X-Rated label), but when things quieted down there, Prezident Brown also slowly disappeared from view.
Beres Hammond - One Love, One Life (VP Records)
Artists deciding to release a double album simply because they have too much material laying around, usually makes yours truly become somewhat uneasy, because often far from all tracks reach the same level, but with veteran crooner Beres Hammond, of course, you don't have to worry about that.
UTZ - Miniatura! (NAFF reKordz)
UTZ is the brainchild of Renato Baccarat, a Brazilian living in Brussels.
Yabby You - Deeper Roots: Dub Plates And Rareties 1976 - 1978 (Pressure Sounds)
Their last few releases raised suspicions Pressure Sounds was slowly running on empty, but with 'Deeper Roots: Dub Plates And Rareties 1976 - 1978' the English label strikes back at it had been since Blood and Fire's 'Deliver Me From My Enemies' from 2006 that we'd seen a new Yabby You release.
Need2reason - The Measure (Revelationsoundz)
Apart from the fact Need2reason is an American band hailing from San Francisco, we can't tell you much more about them.