Hymphatic Thabs: Hip-Hop, Johannesburg, South Africa
Originally from 2007 and hasn’t lost any of its spookiness. “All tracks written and performed by Hymphatic Thabs, except for individual features. All tracks produced, recorded and mixed by Kanif except trk 5, prod by Kanif and Bravestarr, and trk 7, prod by Kanif and Alka. Kuts by DJ Raiko. Mastered by Gavan Eckart.” Bandcamp. –HN
Below System Records: Hip Hop, Almelo, The Netherlands
Bedroom Bossa Nova from a hip hop label based in The Netherlands? It’s not what you think, at first. All in cool ways. “‘Love, Beaches & Planes’ will take you on a trip with the vibes and sounds of the 60’s and 70’s. Swimming through a range of genres such as House, Lo-Fi, Lounge, Bossa Nova and of course Hip Hop. Following up from his collaborative project ‘The Tip Of A Tab’ with Chuuwee under their group name iMAGiNARY FRiENDS, this will be OTHER’s first instrumental album with additions from a few Sacramento emcees.” Bandcamp. –HN
Travi$ Harvey: “Indigo Golden Soul” from Namibia
I’m not too well versed in Namibian hip-hop, but if Travi$ Harvey reflects any scene, I’m all in. “Hip-Hop Back” takes me back to Jay-Z’s original Blueprint era with a large, cinematic sound that highlights his wordplay. Harvey calls this “Indigo Golden Soul,” and I like the moody way that music looks. The Walvis Bay artist, poet, songwriter, and producer is also one-half of New Breedz. According to The African Hip Hop Blog, Harvey’s upcoming solo release will be out sometime this month.
RiFFRaFF Rap From the Working Class: Socialist hip-hop from the Middle East
Also known as “the human megaphone,” RiFFRaFF Rap From The Working Class is a Middle Eastern MC who is not that Riff Raff but raps in Arabic and English over steady beats, tasteful saxophone, and sometimes banjo. Socialism and class politics is the name of RiFFRaFF’s game, which he backs up with plenty of energy. Check out more RiFFRaFF via Bandcamp.
Sabir: Performers of MDM – Middle Eastern Dance Music
Sabir plays sleek, Mediterranean dance-influenced My Morning Jacket, stripped-down, dance beat-heavy Tame Impala, or lively Israeli wedding music. Or all three. Or more. Take your pick. MDM (Middle Eastern Dance Music) can mean different sounds to each person and no one is wrong. This band doesn’t mind bending those rigid genres rules, and they’re all the better for it.
The band’s full-length debut is out September 9th.
“סאביר صابر is an instrumental band of six, playing MDM – Middle eastern Dance Music. [Their] music is a mixture of original Mediterranean pieces with elements of rock, electro, and hip-hop.”
El 3ou: traditional Algerian music with hints of trip-hop, jazz, and reggae
Omar Siakhene, aka El 3ou, puts a new electro-pop remix spin on classic Algerian music. The touches of trip-hop, jazz, and reggae work to wonderful effect on these songs via this Boumerdes artist that you should know about.
Sufyvn: old school Nubian Sudanese percussion and grooves
I get the same feeling from listening to Sufyvn that I do listening to Tame Impala – a sort of otherworldliness that I can best describe as an ancient psychedelic sound. The Sudanese Beatsmith has been consistently releasing excellent music for the past couple of years, including his latest release, the Ascension EP, out now.
“The second installment of a four-part series. Compositions inspired by Nubian Sudanese percussion salvaged from old cassette tapes in Sufyvn’s hometown of Khartoum…Concept, arrangement, and cover artwork by Sufyvn.”
cibils: mysterious trip-hop from Trento, Italy
cibils is from Trento, Italy and makes chill trip-hop. And that’s all the info I could find on this act – fitting for how mysterious and ambient the music plays out. Check out the entire EP, which is out now. All the tracks are strong.