Travi$ Harvey

Travi$ Harvey: “Indigo Golden Soul” from Namibia

travi$ harvey

*

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.

Continue Reading

RiFFRaFF Rap From the Working Class

RiFFRaFF Rap From the Working Class: Socialist hip-hop from the Middle East

RiFFRaFF Rap From the Working Class

*

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.

Continue Reading

Sabir

Sabir: Performers of MDM – Middle Eastern Dance Music

Sabir

*

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.

From Bandcamp:

“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.”

Continue Reading

El 3ou

El 3ou: traditional Algerian music with hints of trip-hop, jazz, and reggae

El 3ou

*

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.

El 3ou: Facebook SoundCloud

Continue Reading

Sufyvn

Sufyvn: old school Nubian Sudanese percussion and grooves

sufyvn

*

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.

From Bandcamp:

“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.”

Sufyvn: SoundCloud Facebook Twitter

Continue Reading

cibils

cibils: mysterious trip-hop from Trento, Italy

cibils

*

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.

cibils: Bandcamp

Continue Reading

Blue Scholars – “Sagaba”

Year: 2004

Album: Blue Scholars

I love the theme behind the group’s name: highbrow “blue collar.” Seattle is known for its rich history of guitar-based music, but I need to explore its history of hip-hop and rap.

The remix released one year later on The Long March EP is also good:

Continue Reading