The Playlist

Europe Meets Africa

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The sound of summer (apart from rain on rooftops and windows) is of Afro-European collaboration. See for yourself: 

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Swedish producer Johan Hugo and Malawian vocalist Esau Mwamwaya have finished their second “ghetto pop” album, MTMTMK, out 16 July (Moshi Moshi).

It’s fun, vibrant and positively ravey, and features Taio Cruz vocals and Country Winston Marshall from Mumford & Sons on banjo.

 

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Samuel Yirga

While we’re sure you’re already up on your “Ethio Jazz”, do check out 20-year-old Ethiopian pianist Samuel Yirga, who mixes traditional sounds with influences such as Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock on his debut album, Guzo, out 9 July (Real World Records).

 



KonKoma

Taking its name from a famously snazzy tribe in Northern Ghana, this upbeat Afro-funk outfit, whose self-titled debut is out now, features crinkle-eyed Ghanaian legends Emmanuel Rentzos and Alfred Bannerman alongside British saxophonist Max Grunhard and producer Ben Lamdin.

 

Robert Plant’s Sensational Space Shifters

The frizzle-haired vocalist’s latest band is still on a bluegrass tip, but this time Gambian musician Juldeh Camara will play ritti (a one-stringed “spike fiddle”), kologo (a lute) and talking drum when they play London (12 July) and the Womad Festival (27–29 July).