On very short notice, we have been given the honor of presenting Daniel Lemma & Hot this Year Band. This Swedish roots reggae royalty replaces Nigerian Afrobeat successor, Seun Kuti, who–on equallyshort notice–has canceled his entire European Tour because of “unforeseen circumstances”.
Well well shit happens–and turns into gold.
With the freshly cut radio hit song “One Small Step”, DL & Hot this Year Band enters the Clandestino game. They started their collaboration in 2016 with the acclaimed album “Common Ground”, following up with sequel “Punch of Love”, due to be released in September of this year–both being collections of new songs with that classical reggae flavor.
Hot This Year Band is Scandinavia’s greatest and best backing band / producers on the reggae and dancehall scene. They have played with and produced artists such as Chronixx, Kapten Röd, Syster Sol, Yellowman to name a few. Daniel Lemma is a singer and songwriter, and Punch of Love becomes his eighth studio album since his debut in 2001.
Sarah Assbring took the name El Perro del Mar 2003 when she released her first recordings. Her beautifully fragile songs earned her instant acclaim within Gothenburg’s booming indie scene. Since then, she has explored a wide palette of musical expressions. For example, on her latest album KoKoro, influences from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Indian pop music have found their way into the songwriting. Talking about her DJ set at Clandestino Festival, El Perro del Mar promises to play only the music she loves: “Pumping, messy, timeless, beautiful and completely boundless, just like life.”
This group from Dakar and Paris makes the dance floor pulsate with the best of West African DJ culture, traditional sabar drums and the popular Senegalese dance music style, mbalax. The core of the band consists of singer and sabar drummer Mara Seck, and beatmaker/percussionist Stéphane Costantini. The former is the son of Alla Seck, distinguished Senegalese dancer with, among others, Youssou N’Dour. The latter has roots in the Parisienne hip hop scene and is simultaneously active in film making and as a PhD in Communication Science. Together they produce bouncy bass lines, synth sounds and layers of sabar drums in a live show where they also invite Aba on sabar drums and choir, as well as VJ Benjamin Richard-Foy, known from his collaborations with Ibaaku among others. The name Guiss Guiss Bou Bess means “New Vision” and the indeed, the intention of this duo is to experiment with new, daring ways to open the eyes and ears of the world to Senegal’s rich music and dance culture.
Distorted oud samplings and a beat consisting of hand cymbals, handclaps and a pulsating bass drum. In the background, we can discern a non-lyrical looped choir, dovetailed by a distinctive voice at the forefront, bending notes in an electronic desert blues. AMMAR 808 is the alter ego of Tunisian producer Sofyann Ben Youssef. With the roaring bass of a Roland Tr-808 as his signature feature, he embarks on a new musical journey through North African folk futurism. On the upcoming album he is in good company with three singers: Fellow Tunisian Cheb Hassen Tej, Algerian singer Sofiene Saidi and Morocco’s Mehdi Nassouli. Under the name AMMAR 808 & The Maghreb United, they create mysterious dance music via electrifying traditions and dismantling the illusion of colonial boundaries.
His grandfather was a militant freedom fighter, his father a sharpshooter: Joel Windtoin Sawadogo aka Joey Le Soldat, however, chose words before weapons in his battles. He studied contemporary languages, but the records of Wu Tang Clan, IAM and NTM brought home by his older brother were his true passion. He wrote his rhymes in school notebooks, in mòoré, one of Burkina Faso’s main languages. He started rapping with friends in the streets of Ouagadougou, the city where he still lives. In 2013 he released his album debut and simultaneously founded the group WAGA 3000 with French producer Dj Form and Burkinabe rapper Art Melody. During the same period, Joey Le Soldat became an ambassador for the local battle against the American agricultural giant Monsanto. Since then, he has participated in SVT’s African music series Fonko and released the new album Barka. The tracks pulsate with 90’s hip hop and samples from traditional music, a heavy mix by producers Redrum and – again – DJ Form. Joey Le Soldat’s dark voice raps about young revolutionaries in Jeunesse and about wounds from the colonial history of the homeland in a duet with rapper Anny Kassy. It’s an album that clearly places Joey Le Soldat among Africa’s most exciting hip-hop artists.
Born in Aleppo, Azniv Korkejian moved to Saudi Arabia as a child before her family won the Green Card lottery and came to the United States. She eventually landed in Los Angeles, where she began to work for television and became part of a community of musicians in the Echo Park district. Gus Seyffert, bassist and producer of Norah Jones, Beck and others, invited her to his studio where she recorded Solitary Daughter in one take. She took the moniker Bedouine to reflect the apparent rootlessness of her life, which is also the main theme in her songs, resonating with American folk tones and with a kinship to Nick Drake and Iron & Wine. It is a big-eyed, pleasantly sad music, with the exception of the much darker track “Summer Cold.” The song is a bitter farewell to the Syria of her childhood, concluding with a sound collage serving as an artificial recreation of the street noise in Aleppo as she remembers it.
Few 23-year-olds can pride themselves on as cool a CV as Jófríður Ákadóttir’s. Since the age of 14, this Icelandic singer-songwriter has released records with the bands Samaris, Gangly and Pascal Pinon. She runs her own label, White Sun Recording, and ended up on multiple Best of 2017-lists under her alias JFDR. Oh, and she happens to have a devoted fan in a certain Björk, who professed in an interview that she has long been obsessed with Jófríður’s music.
In 2017, JFDR released the album Brazil. Jófríður’s half-whispering, dramatic vibrato voice sometimes brings to mind electropop singer Glasser. Now and then, her breathing becomes a rhythm instrument. At moments, it comes across as an acoustic cousin to The Knife. Guitar, piano and double bass create a frozen landscape, where soft a synthesizer makes an occasional appearance. Most instruments on the album are played by Shahzad Ismaily, known from collaborations with Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, and Jolie Holland.
Sidsel Endresen is a versatile artist and one of the most prominent singers in Norwegian jazz since the 80’s. Fusion, chamber jazz and Paul Simon interpretations are some of the efforts she is best known for. In this duo, she leaves both language and tonality behind, and instead lets her voice move freely in what sounds like part Nordic folk music, part speaking in tongues. Endresen moans, smacks her tongue and sounds like a bird in an intriguing and unpredictable interaction with guitarist Stian Westerhus. He’s played with jazz nobility such as Arve Henriksen as well as experimental ensembles like Jaga Jazzist. Using a bow, he makes his electric guitar sing like a saw. Notes bounce like echoing drums or woodpeckers. Their debut album, the live recording “Didymoi Dreams”, won them a Norwegian Grammy Award for best jazz in 2012. Since then, a second album has been released, which proves this duo is still on an odyssey in the outer reaches of the jazz galaxy as we know it. This is music best approached with open ears and mind.
Her coarse sound collages have gained acclaim from Pitchfork, The Wire and other publications that tend to label Klein’s work as “experimental electronic music,” along with Hype Williams and Micachu. However, Klein herself has about zero percent patience with music machines. A dedicated DIY artist, she prefers to work with found sounds collected on her cell phone: a crackling door, a piano, the sound of a Nigerian priest … which she then edits. Her voice is the most important instrument in the mix, fragmented into a kind of r’n’b jigsaw-puzzle where the pieces don’t quite match. She grew up in religious households, between London and Nigeria, where gospel was the only music she heard. Klein is not embarrassed to admit she has little interest in the experimental music scene she supposedly belongs to. Instead, her most important influences are Andrew Lloyd Webber, Brandy and the TV series Love and Hip Hop Atlanta.