Mali's BKO Quintet on UK Tour

BKO Quintet hail from Bamako, Mali and are bringing their self titled brand of ‘World and Roll’ to the UK.  Renowned artists in their own right, the five band members fuse the sounds of their griot heritage to deliver a traditional take on contemporary Mali. With talented percussionist Ibrahima Sarr who has toured with Omou Sangare, vocals from virtuoso Fassara Sacko whose innovation is rooted in the griot tradition, djelingoni master Abdoulaye Kone (who has travelled the world with Salif Keita and Tiken Jah Fakoli),  Nfali Diakité donsongoni player and singer, and Aymeric Krol, this band is not to be missed.

The tour kicks off with a free show on Sunday 27th November at London’s Hootananny in Brixton. If you can’t make it, check out the other dates below and clear your diaries!
27/11 – Hootananny Brixton London – free entry
28/11 – Sound Control Manchester –
29/11 – The Parish, Huddersfield –
30/11 – student workshop (sold out), Liverpool
01/12 – 24 Kitchen Street, Liverpool –
02/12 – The Canteen, Bristol – free entry
03/12 – The Duke of Cumberland, Whitstable –
04/12 – Norwich Arts Centre Norwich –


Africa Rising, Book Giveaway

Africa Rising showcases some of the diverse artistic and creative talent from across the continent. Covering fashion, design, music, photography, architecture and all in between, Africa Rising presents a contemporary snapshot of African innovation. The book sheds light on a new wave of artists marrying a distinct connection to the traditional with unique visions which speak directly to their contemporary contexts. Whether it be Hamed Ouattara’s innovative use of discarded materials to make furniture or Le Ndomo’s use of ancient Malian textile dyeing as a means to mobilise Malian youths, Nle‘s architectural answers to climate change and rapid urbanisation or Gonçalo Mabunda‘s recycling of weapons to make sculptures and traditional masks,  Africa Rising offers an insight into the steps African creatives are taking, whether or not the wider world is watching.

The volume is co-edited by Design Indaba: a multifaceted design platform that garners worldwide critical acclaim for their annual design conference held in Cape Town.

Africa Express is very pleased to partner with Gestalten, the publishers of Africa Rising to offer one lucky reader a copy of the book. To be in with a chance to win, share this post on your twitter or facebook (making sure to tag @AfricaExpress) so we can get in touch with you. The competition will end 12pm on Tuesday 22nd November. See the stunning photos below for a snapshot of what you could get your hands on!


Le Ndomo, from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016
Le Ndomo, from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016


Wangechi Mutu, from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016
Wangechi Mutu, from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016


from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016
Nle, from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016

Tinariwen's new album Elwan out on Feb 10th 2017

Tinariwen are back with a brand new album, featuring collaborations with Mark Lanegan, Kurt Vile and more. Partly recorded at Rancha De Luna Studios in California’s Joshua Tree National Park, and M’Hamid El Ghizane in the south of Morocco, Elwan touches on themes of exile, lost territory and nostalgia. Ahead of the release, the desert blues pioneers are touring Europe, with four dates in the UK including a sold out show at London’s Islington Assembly Halls on Nov 9th. Find out more about the tour here.

You can pre-order the album now.

Watch the video for the first track off the album , Ténéré Tàqqàl below.

Baloji plays Moth Club 24th November!

Congolese by way of Belgium, rapper and Africa Express alumnus, Baloji brings his blend of poetic rap to London’s Moth Club on November 24th. His forthcoming EP 64 Bits & Malachite will be released on Bella Union November 4th. Watch the brand new video “Spoiler” below for a taste of what’s in store:


You can buy tickets to see Baloji on November 24th here.
Pre-order the album on iTunes now

Ata Kak and Awesome Tapes From Africa at Corsica Studios Oct 20th!

Red Bull Music Academy bring together a roster of talent in celebration of Awesome Tapes from Africa’s 10th Birthday at Corsica Studios on Oct 20th. With a set from Ghana’s recently re-emerged high life legend Ata Kak, this is not a show to be missed.

Grab your tickets here.


Stream Sahel Sounds' Mix on NTS Radio

Sahel Sounds, a record label committed to exploring the sounds of West Africa, and the Sahel in particular, shared their expertise with NTS Radio. Tune in here for an hour long mix of forthcoming releases including Gao Hip Hop, Kologo ballads, Tuareg electro, Mauritanian music and more.

Watch the trailer below for an insight to the upcoming documentary, A Story of Sahel Sounds.

In C Mali, live audio from Holland Festival

This summer, we took In C Mali on a mini tour, bringing our interpretation of Terry Riley’s classic to Holland Festival and Les Nuits De Fourviere. We were lucky enough to have NTR record our live show at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as part of Holland Festival on the 25th June. Wrap your ears around the sound of 19 musicians including vocals, guitars, bass, balafons, violin, peul flute, dj/samples, koras, talking drum, n’goni, delta harp, riti and kalimbas.

New Video: Peace Always Has A Price by Chimurenga Renaissance

Chimurenga Renaissance, the collaboration between Shabazz Palace‘s Tendai Marare and Hussein Kaloji, have released a new video for their track Peace Always Has A Price. The single is from their latest EP Girlz With Gunz which is out now on Glitterbeat Records. Watch the visuals below:

Tate Modern and Africa Express Present Terry Riley's In C Mali

Marking the 50th anniversary of Terry Riley‘s pioneering masterpiece ‘In C’,Tate Modern, Africa Express and The Space will launch an interactive online film “Tate Modern and Africa Express present In C Mali” later this month.

Led by classical conductor André de Ridder, and produced by Africa Express, the first African version of the minimalist classic was recorded in Bamako, Mali in 2013 with local musicians. The film will feature a live performance of the work, intercut with iconic minimalist works from the Tate Collection.

An album ‘Africa Express Presents… Terry Riley’s In C Mali’ will be released by Transgressive Records later this year.