Review: For this album, London's Huw Bennett created music directly inspired by the magnificent sounds of the Mandinka people in Gambia, namely Susso and Kuyateh griot families. According to Soundway Records, while travelling and seeking inspiration Huw found himself humbled by such a welcoming community of artists. The tracks are said to be composed from original source material, in addition to field recordings and Huw's own multi-instrumentalist leanings (he is the bass player for electronic jazz outfit Saltwater Samurai), all the while paying homage to a traditional Gambian aesthetic. The traditional instruments of the local musicians and their distinct style combine with Bennett's electronic production methods for a truly captivating and, above all, soulful musical experience.
Review: Hailing from San Francisco, Stronghold Records aim to fuse various forms of traditional black music with more contemporary styles. This 17-tracker is their debut compilation and boasts a diverse range of artists and styles including Bongo Sidibe (reggae), Wontanara Revolution (afrobeat), Dub Snakkr & Iggy Mon (dubstep) and Bandi Blaster (hip-hop). Further into the album even more genres start to emerge including new cumbia, oud, gnawa and African folk.