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  • LIFE

    Goodbye reggae legend

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 15/09/2020

    » Toots Hibbert, the soulful leader of the legendary ska/reggae band Toots and the Maytals, died last week in Kingston, Jamaica, at the age of 77 from complications related to the Covid-19 pandemic. His death, following the recent release of Got To Be Tough, his first studio album for 10 years, shocked the global music community.

  • LIFE

    Look for the light

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 01/09/2020

    » Record Store Day arrived on Saturday a little more subdued than in previous years. The one-day event, which began in 2008, normally drops on a Saturday in April but with the Covid-19 pandemic the date was delayed; two further dates -- Sept 26 and Oct 24 have been added so that independent record stores can generate some much-needed revenue.

  • LIFE

    Mighty Malagasy grooves

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 18/08/2020

    » Madagascar, which lies just off the coast of East Africa, is in the furthest western part of the Indian Ocean. It's important to understand how contemporary Malagasy (the name for all things from Madagascar, including the language) music was shaped by the cultural flows from the Indian Ocean and from continental Africa.

  • LIFE

    Honouring a pioneer

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 04/08/2020

    » Sonia Pottinger was a trailblazing pioneer in Jamaica's male-dominated music industry as she played an important role in the development of popular music in the Caribbean island. She was the first female record producer in Jamaica and her pinnacle came during the 1960s, beginning with the ska era after which she made a transition to rocksteady and finally reggae.

  • LIFE

    Blurring the boundaries

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 21/07/2020

    » The summer festival season has been cancelled as have many major sporting events. Under the current Covid-19 measures, some events like the Notting Hill Carnival in London, which is usually held at the end of August each year, have gone online. Sound systems and steel bands will still perform live but revellers will only be able to enjoy them online.

  • LIFE

    Shake Djibouti

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 07/07/2020

    » Djibouti, officially known as the Republic of Djibouti, is one of continental Africa's smallest countries. It has a population of less than a million spread out across an area that is just over 23,200km². For most people outside this part of the Horn of Africa, the city is known for its position as a bustling port, strategically located at the point where the Gulf of Aden meets the Red Sea.

  • LIFE

    Protest songs make comeback

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 23/06/2020

    » Street protests against racial injustice and police brutality that erupted across US towns and cities in the past few weeks have gone global as similar protests have been held in cities in many countries.

  • LIFE

    A whole different sonic vibe

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 09/06/2020

    » Sega is the traditional and popular music of the island of Mauritius, which sits in the vast Indian Ocean; some call sega the blues of the Indian Ocean but I think of it as the soundtrack to the sea.

  • LIFE

    Mory Kante is gone, but not forgotten

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 26/05/2020

    » In 1987, the singer and kora (21-stringed African harp) player Mory Kante released his fifth studio album, Akwaba Beach. The Guinean-born musician included a number of interesting songs including an Islamic song, Inch Allah, but it was the 12-inch single from the album Yé Ké Yé Ké that caused a sensation as it became the first single from Africa to sell more than a million copies. The song swept into the charts across Europe, and if you were walking around the bars and clubs in Bangkok during that period, you could hear the song everywhere.

  • LIFE

    RIP to a legend

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 12/05/2020

    » Little Richard, one of the pioneers and originators of rock'n'roll, has died at the age of 87. His family made the announcement on May 9 from Nashville, bringing the final curtain down on the life of one of the great innovators of popular music in the 20th century.

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