17 Hippies - El Dorado (HIPSTER Records)
German 17 Hippies are a versatile bunch.
To'Mezclao - Hibrid (Tumi Music)
It had been a while since we heard from the Tumi label, but with 'Hibrid' by Cuban band To'Mezclao they’re introducing us to what they consider to be the future of Latin American music.
Deolinda - Canção Ao Lado (World Connection)
Even though yours truly tries to cover the most diverse genres from the five continents, there are some that get significantly less attention than others.
Kočani Orkestar - The Ravished Bride (Crammed Discs)
On 'The Ravished Bride', Kočani Orkestar's third long player for the Crammed label, the Macedonian Gypsy brass band proves that they are still the funkiest of all Romani bands.
Amadou & Mariam - Welcome To Mali (Warner/Because Music)
Amadou & Mariam, the likeable duo from Mali, is back! For 'Welcome To Mali' they could still count on Manu Chao, but his absence is compensated by, among others, Gorillaz and Blur figurehead Damon Albarn, Canadian rapper with Somali roots K'naan and singer-songwriter Keziah Jones.
Los Callejeros - El Camino Es El Destino (Self-published)
Los Callejeros is the story of three musical rebels with a cause: Frank Mercado Avalos, Ben De Wandel and Peter Morris.
Oumou Sangare - Seya (World Circuit)
Disregarding the 2003 double compilation album 'Oumou', 'Seya' is Oumou Sangare's first long player in more than five years.
Cumbia Ya! - No Me Busques (Self-published) + Various Artists - Arriba La Cumbia! (Crammed Discs)
Due to the popularity of Latin genres like salsa, son or merengue and despite its huge popularity in Latin America, Colombian cumbia hasn't gained the international attention it deserves.
Kal - Radio Romanista (Asphalt Tango Records)
Kal ("black" in Romani, also see the cover of the album) is a project of Serbian Romani musician and activist Dragan Ristic.
U-Cef - Hallalwood (Crammed Discs)
For 'Hallalwood' London based DJ U-Cef fantasized about a utopian Casablanca; a place with a soundtrack that is a mix of bendirs, mizmars, rattling mopeds and ringing cellphones.
Anthony B - Rise Up (Greensleeves)
'Rise Up' is without any doubt one of the best (if not the best) album that Anthony B has released in recent years!
Novalima - Coba Coba (Cumbancha)
With 'Coba Coba', the new album by Afro-Peruvian sensation Afrolima, the Cumbancha label, signs for one of the strongest world music albums of 2008.
Mahmoud Ahmed - Tizita: The Best Of Volume 1 & 2 + Aster Aweke - Aster's Ballads (AIT Records)
Until recently the choice of Ethiopian music was limited to the (otherwise excellent) Ethiopiques series and some albums by Aster Aweke, but now there's US based AIT Records, who with a true winter offensive are making us aware of their existence.
Magnifico - Grande Finale (Turbolenza)
Magnifico is the alter ego of Ljubljana-born Robert Pesut, who, with a mixture of Balkan music, pop and a dose of eccentricity, has become a big star in his native Slovenia.
Les Boukakes - Marra (Mimouna Productions) + Nour - En Blanc (Kasba Music)
Les Boukakes is what in France is called "une groupe métisse", which actually means nothing more than that it is a band with members of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds, in this case indigenous French and North African immigrants from Algeria and Tunisia.
Nazarenes - Rock Firm (Heartbeat Europe/Rounder)
Yours truly was introduced to the work of Nazarenes three years ago, when the Heartbeat Europe label presented the Sweden-based Ethiopian brothers Tewolde to the rest of Europe with the release of their second album 'Songs Of Life'.
Freddie McGregor - Sings Jamaican Classics: Deluxe Edition (VP Records)
Who better than Freddie McGregor to cover some of the most famous Jamaican classics?
Ziggi - In Transit (Greensleeves/Rock 'N Vibes)
Where the musical path Ziggi's following is leading him is as yet unclear, because the Dutch singjay constantly keeps jumping back and forth between new roots and dancehall.
Winston McAnuff - Nostradamus (Makasound)
Winston McAnuff has been a regular fixture in the French roots reggae scene for some years now and as the inspiration behind the Makasound label and through musical projects with Camile Bazbaz and R.Wan his musical career has become undeniably linked with France.
Tiken Jah Fakoly - Live À Paris (Barclay/Universal)
Tiken Jah Fakoly is rapidly becoming one of the most important reggae artists in the world.