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WAH WAH 45S

Afla Sackey & Afrik Bawantu

Destination

On the label from Ghanaian vocalist and djembe drummer Afla Sackey with his band Afrik Bawantu, he has fulfilled the dream of blending traditional Ghanaian music with sizzling Afrobeat grooves, topping it off with anirresistibly funky twist! Their unique blend of vibrant African rhythms with brisk, animatedhorn sections and heavy bass-lines bring a fresh perspective to the Afrobeat genre.

Destination provides a much needed moment of positivity in these turbulent times, as Afla himself explains:

"With focus, determination, hard work, patience, ambition and dignity - even though the journey Is long and tough, with these qualities, we will arrive at our destination successfully!"

The album is full to the brim with such life affirming messages, such as in the trackTogetherness, encouraging us to put aside our differences and unite as one…

"We have to start looking beyond colour, race, gender and religion to work together with love and unity to create peace and heal the world for the next generation to come."

As well as the celebratoryShake Your Booty, which encourages listeners to come together and party like there is no tomorrow.

"Forget about your stress, your worries and have a great time. Feel free, engage with everyone and dance till you drop as life is too short. So have fun while you can."

The first single to be released from the album,It's Not Easy, which concerns itself not only with the trials and tribulations of life but also how we learn by living the day-to-day, also talks about a theme that runs throughout the album - the idea of travelling the globe to broaden our horizons and help us understand how other people live their lives.

The follow up single,Mofeemo Ke Eno, talks about jealousy, but again from a positive viewpoint, as Afla explains:

"Every human being came to this world with their different destinies. So never want to be someone else, as their destiny is different from yours and never get jealous about someone's progress as tomorrow will be your turn."

Similarly,Mind Your Business talks about just that - staying in your lane and concentrating on your own concerns and ambitions, and Be Careful stresses that every action has a reaction….

"With the action you take in life, as most times, the repercussions will not affect you only but your loved ones as well."

Finally, Sane Ye (There Is Trouble) looks at the bigger picture of wars and global crises, yet once again Afla brings these issues back to the self…

"We have to look at ourselves and find out where we have gone wrong to be able to fix these issues affecting us as humans."

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: A blazing selection of frenetic West African rhythms and funky horns, with flickering guitar and snappy percussive paddling. It's a brilliantly inventive fusion of the traditional forms with Sackey's celebratory vocals on top.

TRACK LISTING

1. Togetherness
2. Mind Your Business
3. Be Careful
4. Sane Ye
5. Destination
6. Shake Da Booty
7. It's Not Easy
8. Mofeemo Ke Eno

Youthsayers

Don't Blame The Youth

Youthsayers are an ongoing and enduring South London community project, founded byRobin HopcraftandIdris Rahmanof our very own, legendary Afro-reggae outfit Soothsayers.

Youthsayers was established in 2016 and ever since has consistently provided free of charge opportunities for young people to come together, learn an instrument and perform music under the tutelage of Robin and Idris. This has been made possible, in part, through donations from local businesses and private benefactors, but also live fundraisers and now through commercially released music!

Don't Blame The Youth, due for release on June 28th, is a snapshot of the current Youthsayers band, and recent alumni, who've gone on to form other bands in the world of jazz, reggae and beyond, including recent signings to Gilles Peterson's Brownswood imprint,Oreglo.

Over the course of eight tracks the band deliver their own unique takes on classic and contemporary pieces of music from the world of dub and Afro-jazz, including covers ofTheon Cross,Fela Kuti,Cedric IM Brooks,The Fontanellesand of course, Soothsayers themselves.

The album also showcases the Youthsayers students' own writing abilities, not only on their original composition,Citizens Not Subjects, written alongsideLevitation Orchestra's director and trumpeterAxel Kaner-Lindstrom, but also via a re-working of theTommy McCookinstrumentalTenor On The Callwith lyrics re-written by Youthsayers' clarinet playerGiacomo Del Reiand re-namedWe Keep Playing, the debut single to be taken from the album.

Every single penny of profit from this LP will go directly to the Youthsayers project. If you would like to take part in the programme, or donate to the cause, please go towww.youthsayers.net.

TRACK LISTING

1. JJD
2. Eagle Song
3. Ethiopia
4. We Keep Playing
5. Candace Of Meroe
6. Citizens Not Subjects
7. Goodnight Rico
8. Afrocat

With their expansive arrangements and complex harmonies, you can hear the spiritual jazz influences of Lonnie Liston Smith and Pharaoh Sanders on the two opening tracks, Destroy Create Part 1 and Rain Will Come. These are followed by the Ethio-jazz leaning Staring at the Sun, with its pounding baritone sax chorus and ethereal vocals. Next up is the stripped back psyche soul of Family, the album's first single, with a haunting performance from Ellen Beth Abdi. Parhelion calls to mind Headhunters-era Herbie, with its off kilter jazz-fusion vibe, and is followed by the bittersweet Give Back My Love, which comes across like Stereolab and Everything But The Girl meets Rotary Connection. Penultimate song Destroy Create Part 2 leads us into broken-beat territory, and finally, with its pulsing bass line, layered vocal harmonies and crescendos, the closing track, Daylight, is an optimistic future anthem, bringing to mind the work of Charles Stepney, the Mizell Brothers and James Mason.

Sun Dogs was recorded between 2022 and 2023 with a core band of Jamie Finlay working with keyboardist, arranger and producer Matt Steele, drummer Erroll Rollins and singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Ellen Beth Abdi (A Certain Ratio), who appears across the album, and features on its three singles. The album features collaborations with singer, producer and saxophonist Caitlin LM, Kemani Anderson of Secret Night Gang and supporting musicians Bryan Corbett (trumpet/flute), Chris Bowden (saxophones), Hannah McGuigain (vocals), Dan Carpenter (trumpet) and Atholl Ransome (saxophones). The album was mixed by Jamie Finlay together with engineer Phil Kirby (Mr. Scruff, 808 State).

TRACK LISTING

1. Destroy Create (Part I) [feat. Kemani Anderson]
2. Rain Will Come
3. Staring At The Sun (feat. Caitlin LM)
4. Family (feat. Ellen Beth Abdi)
5. Parhelion
6. Give Back My Love (feat. Ellen Beth Abdi)
7. Destroy Create (Part II) [feat. Kemani Anderson & Ellen Beth Abdi]
8. Daylight (feat. Ellen Beth Abdi)

2023 sees the return of multi-talented Norwegian producer Espen Horne to Wah Wah 45s, after a 24 year hiatus. The man behind the label's very first release, the now seminal Magnetica, never lost his connection with the imprint and has remained very much part of the Wah Wah family, making a comeback this year with his first solo material under his own name since that club classic from 1999.

Back in the spring, the first single from the project, the gorgeous soul-jazz beauty Bakeren, featuring the stunning vocals of Resonators' Faye Houston, quickly found a home on Gilles Peterson's internationally renowned BBC Radio 6 show as well as that of Jazz FM legend Robbie Vincent, Bandcamp Weekly and the Fresh Finds Jazz Spotify playlist.

Following that, Bergen Sunrays, became a weekly fixture on the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show on BBC 6 Music, with the limited 7-inch of both singles selling out within hours of release.

Next up was the wistful Den Franske Gitaren, a lugubrious soul-jazz piece with drum & bass leanings featuring Bergen based MC and vocalist Aich, which found favour with legends Laurent Garnier and Jazzanova as well as hot Japanese production outfit Dazzle Drums.

This was closely followed by the final single to be taken from the album, the stunning and outspoken vocal jazz waltzer Nada Pode Me Calar (which roughly translates to Nothing Can Shut Me Up!) featuring the sublime talent of Olav Wöllo on vocals and Juno - anotherr big one with Gilles Peterson on Worldwide FM and Deb Grant on BBC 6 Music.

And now the full album, entitled The Anatomy Of Serene Eloquence is available for your aural delectation. Recorded largely during lockdown, the LP is a sophisticated and composed piece of work that sees the Norwegian producer make connections with musicians from across Europe, and some closer to home, to collaborate on this sedate and peaceful collection of songs.

The aforementioned Faye Houston also appears on the soulful, dub flavoured Don't Fall Asleep, a piece of music that explores the feeling of being isolated whilst sharing a mutual love and drive to explore new sonic possibilities.

Elsewhere, Olav Wöllo pops up again too, this time on O Mar E A Lua and once again singing in Portuguese to give this track a certain Tropicalia feel, as Espen explains:

"Olav Wöllo is a close friend, an excellent musician and vocalist, and a capoeira professor here in Bergen. He has spent much of his life living in Brazil and speaks Portuguese fluently. He wrote the lyrics for this tune years ago and had just been waiting for the right collaboration to come along.

We went to his lovely studio out on this remote island, made a massive gyoza meal, had some serious good wine and stayed the whole night to record his vocal harmonies and outspoken lyrics."

The single Bergen Sunrays also appears on the album in instrumental form with featured keys courtesy of London based player Rory More - here entitled Rory's Sunrays. His Lowrey organ adds a more melancholic feel to the track, as it does on the stunning Belle Époque, alongside the ivory work of Eirik Blåsternes - an emotional, contemplative and atmospheric track that was tested and shaped in the eclipse of Covid.

As with Belle Époque, La Psychosomnie is a playful yet explorative cut that examines insomnia, paralysis and hypnosis courtesy of some enigmatic French spoken word spinning around a framework of drums, bass and swirling keys.

And finally, the album offers up an alternative version of the single Den Franske Gitaren, this time featuring Martin Halla, a vocalist out of the Bergen Grieg Jazz Academy and winner of the Norwegian version of The Voice back in 2012! The perfect flip to Aich's more mournful interpretation of this bass and drum future classic.

TRACK LISTING

1. Bakeren (feat. Faye Houston)
2. O Mar E A Lua (feat. Olav Wöllo)
3. Bergen Sunrays (feat. Selim Mutic)
4. Belle Époque
5. Den Franske Gitaren (feat. Aich)
6. Don't Fall Asleep (feat. Faye Houston)
7. Rory's Sunrays
8. Nada Pode Me Calar (feat. Olav Wöllo)
9. La Psychosomnie
10. Den Franske Gitaren (feat. Martin Halla)

Isaac Birituro & The Rail Abandon

Kontonbili EP (feat. Wiyaala)

Following on from the successes of their first two LPs, "Kalba" and "Small Small", Isaac Birituro & The Rail Abandon return with the "Kontonbili EP". A collection of seven tracks that trace the traditional West African roots of their sound whilst adding their unique touch, largely courtesy of Isaac's xylophone, Sonny Johns' folky embellishments and the vocal prowess of powerful Ghanaian songstress Wiyaala.

The lead single "Hado Deeli" roughly translates to "My Rival" and is a vibrant discussion between two rivals, one of whom is always making a fuss about anything and everything, even when things are all good! "Gargar", with its collaboration of xylophone, whistles, Wiyaala's effervescent vocals and relentless groove represents, quite literally, the band's "joining together" for this EP. In contrast, "I Know" sees Sonny Johns takes over lead vocal duties to lament the breakdown of a relationship accompanied by muted horns and Wiyaala's soothing backing vocals. "Nimmbalia" continues in a mellow and reassuring tone before emerging as one of the most uplifting and simultaneously fierce cuts on the EP! The traditional version of "Bawa" - the original take of which can be found on last year's "Small Small" LP - strips things back a little, before culminating in a battle of xylophone, whistles and choir. "Yeri Villa" has a wonderfully laid back, sun drenched feel with some truly beautiful vocal refrains, and finally - only available on the digital version - comes the deeply percussive and trance inducing "Darpeny", rounding off a rather stunning EP from this cross continental outfit.

All tracks feature Ghanaian singer, song-writer, model and actor, Wiyaala. With a strong fanbase in Africa and beyond, "the lioness" made her mark on Wah Wah 45s and BBC 6 Music last year when she featured on the A-listed "Senye", described as "perfection" by Annie Mac and "pure joy!" by Tash LC.

TRACK LISTING

1. Hado Deeli (feat. Wiyaala)
2. Gargar (feat. Wiyaala)
3. I Know (feat. Wiyaala)
4. Nimmbalia (feat. Wiyaala)
5. Bawa (Traditional) [feat. Wiyaala]
6. Yeri Villa (feat. Wiyaala)

Afrobeat ambassador Dele Sosimi's new album 'The Confluence' has been recorded and produced with Essex musician Sam Duckworth, aka Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly; and a team of specially assembled musicians under the banner of "The Estuary 21" - with the name of the nearby river and the year, being a clue to future Confluence projects. Recorded over a multitude of sessions in 2021, this new set of songs flow with the sounds of Afrobeat, jazz, and worldly pop, and feelings of freedom, strength, and collaborative dynamism as a balm for life changing events.

Dele and Sam were introduced at Felabration 2012, the annual commemoration of the music of Fela Kuti, and promised to work together in the near future. With many live collaborations, at Afrobeat Vibration, Kentish Town Forum and lots of hanging out and mutual love, nearly ten years passed before the two musicians connected in Sam's hometown of Southend-On-Sea in a post-lockdown creative boom, recording the album over a burst of week-long sessions in 2021. The Estuary 21 band is completed by Callum Green (The Sleeping Souls, GCWCF), Philip Van Den Brandeler (Pocket Dragon, GCWCF), Pete Fraser (The Pogues, Field Music), Afla Sackey (Afla Sackey & Afrik Bawantu, Ibibio Sound Machine), Aby Dosunmu (Dele Sosimi), Sam Ewens (Myles Sanko) with special guest appearances from Sam Eagle and Essex percussion legend, Snowboy.

Born in Hackney, East London, but soon to return to his parents' native Nigeria at the age of four, Dele Sosimi was schooled and raised in Fela Anikulapo Kuti's commune (which he now refers to as his university of life). After Fela's passing in 1997, Dele went on to focus on developing his solo career and, honing his creative talents, and with much patience on his part, carved out his own Afrobeat crown. His last album, 'You No Fit Touch Am' (2015), was a critical success with Songlines writing "Afrobeat will never die so long as Dele's around", Clash declaring it "blistering Afro-funk from a true legend", The Quietus calling it "so fresh, while staying true to the template", and David Hutcheon's four star Mojo review said it was "a deeper, moodier collection than other Shrine veterans have released lately".

A veteran at 36 years old, Sam Duckworth has been releasing music as Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly for half of his life. A catalogue that includes four top 40 singles, two top 40 albums (including the gold certified 'Chronicles of A Bohemian Teenager' that recently celebrated its 15th anniversary), a German club number 1 single and collaborations with artists ranging from Shy FX, Baaba Maal, Lily Allen and Jehst. Recently, Duckworth produced Benjamin Frances Leftwich's album 'To Carry A Whale' and has been working on the forthcoming album by Kate Nash.

TRACK LISTING

1. E Si M'edo (feat. Lizzy Dosunmu)
2. Moe B'ola Tán (feat. Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly)
3. Ride Out The Storm
4. Open Up (feat. Sam Eagle & Snowboy)
5. Òtítọ́ Ti Jáde
6. Orí Mi

Bev Lee Harling returns with her first solo recording in almost a decade. She won the hearts and musical minds of DJs across the board with her 2012 debut LP, Barefoot In Your Kitchen, which BBC 6Music's Gilles Peterson made his Album of the Week. Now the gifted singer, violinist and composer returns with twelve beautiful pieces of music that tell a very personal story of the years since.

Having swapped the busy streets of North London for the calmer shores of Hastings in Sussex to bring up her young family, it's fair to say that Bev's priorities might have changed somewhat over the past few years, but the music was never far away. Her new environment, and musical family (including multi-talented partner and album co-producer Frank Moon) added plenty of fresh inspiration to her recordings, and we're very excited to share her new album, entitled Little Anchor, with you this Autumn.

The album is in some senses a travelogue, a 9 year journey of a creative womannavigating the landscape of parenting. Each song is a snapshot taken at a differentlocation in time, in a world where finding balance between creative freedom and motherhood is still a struggle, from the uplifting and euphoric Beautiful Life, to the heavy and harassed Only Got A Minute.

Between the unexpected joys of parenting, grappleswith mental health and feelings of inadequacy, and fighting for every second ofcreative time while slowly accepting a life very different to the one that existedbefore, this unedited family album emerged bursting with quirky childhoodmemories, dark musings and celebrations of musical passion and legacy.

Each song carries breakthrough personal moments in rebuilding strength as an artist, as a person, as a parent. Even down to a very emotional moment with Ray Davies of The Kinks, during a songwriting retreat, where album closer This Violin String, a deeply personal ode to her recently departed mum, was written…

"Everyone turned up writing on guitars and piano and I just had my battered old violin. I felt totally out of touch with my former confident musical self and had zero confidence in what I was doing after an intense period of car crash parenting. I wrote it, performed it on the same day and then sobbed my guts out in front of a bunch of total strangers (sorry Ray!). Something shifted for me in the act of being quite so vulnerable though and I found my mojo again in writing solo with my violin."

The personal nature of this record is self-evident, it bursts through every note and word in each song. We're very excited to be able to share such a special album,afresh foray into the always unpredictable, experimental and playful world of Bev Lee Harling.

TRACK LISTING

1. Dirty Dragonfly
2. Beautiful Life
3. Is It OK?
4. If I Told You
5. Man Under My Bed
6. Lay Down In The Tall Grass
7. Only Got A Minute
8. Nights At The Circus
9. Going Back Home
10. Ghost Swimming
11. Tears On Your Heart
12. This Violin String

Kutiman

So Long

    This release marks 20 years of Wah Wah 45s as a record label, and to celebrate they have tempted internationally renowned producer, videographer and film-maker Kutiman to the fold for this one-off RSD special. ‘So Long’ sees the man famed for his Thru You videos and Netflix documentary Presenting Princess Shaw, delivering some deep psychedelic, orchestral soul. On vocal duties is none other than Wah Wah 45s family member, Honeyfeet front woman and member of the Afro-Celt Soundsystem, The Breath and so much more -Gaelic powerhouse, Rioghnach Connolly. Remix duties come courtesy of another family member, Gene Dudley, with his first production for a couple of years, taking Kutiman’s composition into string laiden Balearic dance floor territories. “So Long” will be Wah Wah 45s’ third ever 10-inch release, with another specially designed custom sleeve courtesy of our in-house designer Animisiewasz.

    Time Grove

    Roy The King / Sir Blunt

    From forward thinking Tel Aviv based ensemble, Time Grove is the debut single Roy The King and Sir Blunt on Wah Wah 45s label. Guided by acclaimed pianist Nitai Hershkovits alongside one third of Buttering Trio, and newly signed Stones Throw recording artist, Rejoicer, this group of musicians have produced a sound which is both delicate yet powerful; sonorous yet uplifting. The full line-up also features reed player Eyal Talmudi, drummers Roy Chen, Amir Bresler and Sol Monk, keyboard master Bemet, trumpeter Sefi Zisling, and guitarist Yonatan Albalak who have together created some of the most exciting instrumental music we’ve heard for quite a while. In preparation for their debut album, More Than One Thing, due in September, we bring you a double whammy jukeox 45 with two of the more foot friendly cuts from the LP. The A-side, Roy The King, features drummer Roy Chen. The rest of the band kept telling him “today, we make you a king” and so it was. Rejoicer, Sefi and Talmudi, wrote and played the melody after Nitai came up with the piano riff. The B part, which only Talmudi and Roy could bring such energy to, got the gypsy out of all of the ensemble in the room bringing it to a festive finale. On the flip, Sir Blunt, is an introduction to the other core of Time Grove. With Amir Bresler on the drums, carefully crafting the perfect parts for this tune; Albalak on the bass, playing beautifully the upper register yet providing a strong bed for Nitai on the piano & Moog and Rejoicer on synths to present somewhat of a no-bar-lines feeling.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Millie says: Time Grove have mastered the perfect ambient jazz track, Roy The King builds into powerful heights yet remaining delicate while the b-side Sir Blunt turns to the more experimental jazz side. Fans of anything Gondwana will love this!

    TRACK LISTING

    Roy The King
    Sir Blunt

    As bottom end provider for Cinematic Orchestra and Paper Tiger, Hunrosa (AKA Sam Vicary) already has something of a pedigree for a man of such tender years. His music glides effortlessly between Bonobo at his most sonorous, Jon Hopkins at his most ethereal and Flying Lotus at his most freaky.

    Currently based in Manchester, his music captures the wild organic senses of his Cornish childhood, anchoring it with a darker 2am undercurrent. Following the success of "Ransom" (a firm favourite of BBC 6 Music’s Tom Ravenscroft) Hunrosa returns with his newest offering "We Know". An eerie, ethereal track full of haunting atmospheres, Vicary enlists Austrian percussion maestro Manu Delago, who lends his hang drum expertise to the proceedings weaving it amongst the twisting, intricate beats and Anna McLuckie’s delicate vocals.

    Here, as a bonus release, here we get a tasty white label 12" with three reworkings from burgeoning producers Lavan, Etherwood and Danvers. Newcomer Lavan is up first, moulding the organic melodies and earthy percussion into a dubbed out, soulful and bouncy 4/4 number. Hospital Records golden boy Etherwood (whose band Hunrosa is also a member of) brings a late-night liquid DnB atmosphere into play, harnessing the raw emotional power of the lyrics, as reverberating piano chords strike out into the darkness. Having turned the heads of Bradley Zero and Gilles Peterson with his recent releases, CoOp and WotNot Music’s Danvers resets the atmosphere with a zen like extended intro, before launching headfirst into a hypnotic and enthralling looped rhythm section. The groove locked in place, it rises and falls with precision, joined by spaced-out synths throughout the nine-minute duration, allowing the majestic instrumentation to gather pace as the spine chilling vocals drift overhead.

    TRACK LISTING

    We Know (Lavan’s Never Forget Dub)
    We Know (Etherwood Remix)
    We Know (Danvers Remix)


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