Download Orquesta Akokán’s “Mi Congo Es De Akokán”

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This week’s download comes from Cuban mambo collective Orquesta Akokán and their forthcoming album “16 Rayos.” You have seven days to download the song “Mi Congo Es De Akokán.”

Orquesta Akokán | photo via Facebook

From the press release:

16 Rayos is a dialogue between artists living in the United States and Cuba. We believe, and have seen firsthand, the power of music to overcome seemingly intractable beliefs. The current stalemate and outdated policies of both nations, encouraged by the politics of grievance, only serves to divide us further. If the politicians are not going to solve this then we, the artists, must rise to the moment.

Today the band is sharing their first album single “Mi Conga Es De Akokán” plus an album trailer. A unique merging of the folkloric conga rhythm from Santiago de Cuba with the power of mambo horns, “Mi Conga Es De Akokán” begins with a long instrumental section of feints before singer Pepito’s vocal enters over the drums. As horns jab and the chorus interjects, rhythmic elements push, pull and prod the band until everything besides the drums drop out – highlighting an incandescent trumpet solo by the living legend Reinaldo “Molote” Melian. Breaks and soneos follow, leading to an intensely beautiful crescendo of horns, percussion and vocals.

When Orquesta Akokán burst onto the global music scene a mere three years ago, their no-holds-barred 21st century take on the venerable Cuban mambo lit up stages around the world with a fierce and unremitting joy. Singer José “Pepito” Gómez, Chulo Records producer and multi instrumentalist Jacob Plasse, and arranger Michael Eckroth joined forces with a carefully curated selection of Havana’s most extraordinary musicians as Orquesta Akokán, polishing Cuban mambo’s golden sound to a luminous, contemporary sheen. Along the way Orquesta Akokán imbued these legendary Cuban grooves with a renewed vitality and powerful sense of akokán —the Yoruba word used by Cubans to mean “from the heart” or “soul.”

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Download Shad’s candid and powerful new song ‘Body (No Reason)’

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This week’s download comes from Shad and his upcoming album “TAO.” You have seven days to download the song “Body (No Reason).”

Shad | courtesy of artist

From the press release:

Shad is one of Canada’s most revered rappers, a peerless wordsmith who embodies hip-hop’s power to entertain and educate. Since releasing his DIY debut in 2005, the Toronto-based MC has pushed his style of socially conscious yet infectiously playful hip-hop across five increasingly ambitious albums that have received widespread critical acclaim and coverage in outlets like Rolling Stone, Complex, The Ringer, Fader, NPR, and more. To date, Shad has racked up over 30 million streams, a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year (for 2010’s TSOL), and four placements on Canada’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize shortlist, most recently for his 2018 concept-album opus, A Short Story About a War. (His music has also been heard on TV shows like Snowpiercer, The Murders, Tall Boyz and more. ) His mission to inspire and inform goes beyond his own music: a former host of CBC Radio’s flagship arts and culture program q, Shad can currently be seen talking shop with the legends of rap on the Emmy/Peabody Award-winning Netflix Original docuseries, Hip-Hop Evolution.

Shad began building his sixth record, TAO, from a much simpler concept: an image of a circle. Though, in true Shad fashion, he saw something much more profound within its basic round boundaries.

“The thing that inspired this record was this image in my mind of a circle, but it’s getting fragmented, and then the pieces start floating away from each other,” he explains. “And that felt to me like a picture of ourselves as individuals. If you think of our humanity as one whole, there’s all these different aspects of that, whether that’s work, or our relationship to the land, or our relationship to the transcendent, or our relationship to our bodies, or to our inner child?”

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Download Jungle’s new song ‘Goodbye My Love’ featuring Priya Ragu

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This week’s download comes from the duo Jungle and their new album “Loving In Stereo.” You have seven days to download “Goodbye My Love” featuring Priya Ragu.

Jungle | photo courtesy of artist

From the press release:

With a billion streams, two Top 10 albums, 750,000 album sales and a Mercury Prize nomination, the iconic production duo Jungle are one of the UK music scene’s biggest success stories. Now they return bigger, bolder and more ambitious than ever before with their eagerly anticipated third album ‘Loving In Stereo’, which is out today, August 13th.

‘Loving In Stereo’ is a dynamic disco record for the post social distancing age, with a dancefloor-igniting celebration of all the things that make music irresistibly fun. This new era in the Jungle story is further fuelled by the duo simultaneously channelling a distinctive pop immediacy and significantly broadening the scope of their sound.

The result is an album that will take Jungle into the upper reaches of charts all over the world, as their modernist disco-rooted pop introduces them to a massive new audience. They’ve already become sought after collaborators by some of the world’s biggest artists, as evidenced by their recent Diplo collab ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ and their newly announced dates supporting Billie Eilish on her ‘Happier Than Ever’ tour in June 2022 (Dublin, Manchester, London).

So many fans have fallen in love with the outpouring of joy and energy that Jungle’s renowned live experience delivers. Those qualities surge through the speakers at almost every moment of the record – and imagine the scenes when they’re finally able to tour again later this summer. Propelled by the pulse-raising rush of pushing the BPM through the ceiling, the album finds life-long friends J and T going back to their roots, making music for the sheer enjoyment of it and following their instincts.

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Download Shakka’s infectious new song ‘Doin’ Time’ featuring Imani Williams

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This week’s download comes from Shakka and his upcoming debut album “Trip To Venus” due out Sept. 24. You have seven days to download the song “Doin’ Time” featuring Imani Williams.

Shakka | courtesy of artist

From the press release:

Platinum-selling artist Shakka announces his highly anticipated debut album Road Trip To Venus, due for release on 24th September. Marking the news in style, he has also revealed new single “Doin Time” featuring West London singer-songwriter Imani Williams.

An infectious modern pop jam, ‘Doin Time’ sees Shakka and Imani showcase their impassioned, pitch-perfect vocals amidst a smooth, seductive R&B production. Composed of personal moments shared between Shakka and the lady in his life, the accompanying official video perfectly captures the intimacy and vulnerability communicated on the track.

A singer, songwriter, producer and pianist, Shakka is a multifaceted artist with over 250 million streams to his name. A two-time MOBO winner, his 2018 single ‘Man Down’ featuring AlunaGeorge went platinum, while he has enjoyed further star-studded collaborations with the likes of Dua Lipa, Young Thug, Giggs, Sigma and Mr Eazi.

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Download TEMPOREX’s funky but laid back new song ‘Delayed’

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This week’s download comes from artist TEMPOREX and his latest album “Bowling.” You have seven days to download the song “Delayed.”

Temporex | photo credit: Victoria Ortega

From the press release:

Welcome to the wonderful world of TEMPOREX. Inspired by Prince, D’Angelo, Pee-wee Herman, and 90’s video game advertisements, 21-year-old San Diego musician Joseph Flores has built his artistic vision from the ground up. What started with his 30 minute mini-album Care, written when he was just 15, has blossomed into 700K monthly Spotify listeners. With a 2020 tour on the books with mxmtoon, everything seemed to be coming up Flores. Unfortunately due to COVID, the tour was ultimately cancelled, but being an ever consummate creator, Flores got back to writing.

ON DELAYED – This song evokes imagery of a funky (but laid back) train ride up the California coast. The sound of bumping R&B drums drive this track through the odds and ends of maintaining a long-distance relationship. This song features stacked background vocals, wonky synth flourishes, and a slinky jazz-flavored guitar solo by Paul Cherry.

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Download Joon Moon’s ‘Modal B’ featuring Liv Warfield

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This week’s download comes from Joon Moon. You have seven days to download the song “Modal B” featuring Liv Warfield.

Joon Moon | courtesy of the artist

From the press release:

Joon Moon is not who you think she is. Behind this romantic character, we discover the musician and producer Julien Decoret. Inspired by the golden age of soul music, the new record was mixed with classical orchestrations and rearranged with the colors of contemporary pop productions.

Because Joon Moon is not who you think she is. Behind this romantic character, we discover the musician and producer Julien Decoret. Julien is a man with multiple facets: he begins by studying classical music at the Conservatory and obtaining a first prize in double bass, whilst being fascinated by electronic music. He then produces his first records on the label Pamplemousse Records. Since then, he has been working as a producer-director (Acoustic Resistance, La Boetie, Florent Marchet…), producing string arrangements and film music. He has also been traveling around the world with the pop-bossa-nova group Nouvelle Vague since over 15 years.

Each project allowed him to explore new directions and to enrich his palette of musical influences, but also to acquire an “instrumentarium”. Over time, Julien collected over a hundred instruments from all four corners of the planet. His signature is the art of mixing influences and reinventing sounds for different purposes, making them come together in a new way for each song, artist, or project…

For Joon Moon, Julien Decoret had a particular style in mind. Or rather a dream: to travel across the Atlantic and go back in time. A musical meeting inspired by the golden age of Soul music, mixed with classical orchestrations, and rearranged with the colors of contemporary pop productions. A universe where Nina Simone, Michel Legrand, The Roots or even Radiohead (who authorized the re-adaptation in French of their song “I might be wrong” on the album Moonshine Corner) could cross paths.

To embody the heroine for the second opus of Joon Moon, Julien Decoret invited Liv Warfield, Prince’s ex-protege and member of his NPG (New Power Generation). The first sessions took place in a modest studio in Montmartre, a thousand miles from Paisley Park… but the magic happens. Other sessions will follow in Chicago and Portland to record Liv and a Gospel choir which we can hear on some songs.

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Download Parcels’ warm and nostalgic new song ‘Free’

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This week’s download comes from the Australian group Parcels. You have seven days to download their new song “Free.”

Parcels | photo via Facebook

From the press release:

The new single by Parcels, their first song since the breakthrough self-titled debut album in 2018. “Free” is a warm, nostalgic, organic track with pure, sunny melodies. It’s a perfect soundtrack to a longing for summer.

Parcels are on a lifelong journey through the endless realm of popular music. The Australian quintet have literally grown up together while developing their unique and expressively melodic musical language, which continues to elevate their sound and career to new heights. Parcels are going to chart new territory for themselves and their listeners, cementing the band as true aesthetes channeling their influences and lived experiences into music that’s wholly transportative.

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Download ‘Sacrifices’ from rising Nigerian artist Dap The Contract

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This week’s download comes from rising Nigerian rapper Dap The Contract. You have seven days to download the song “Sacrifices” featuring Tim Lyre.

Dap The Contract | photo via Facebook

From the press release:

A little over a year since Powers Vol 1. came out, and DAP is ready to let the world in again on a second volume he announces with “Sacrifices”. Joined by Tim Lyre, whose affinity for dance-inspired soundscapes is one of his selling points, DAP The Contract taps into this fondness, and from the very first lick of synths, their cohesion is prominent.

Nigerian rap sensation DAP The Contract continues his unstoppable string of success with his latest drop ‘Sacrifices’, a cool, colourful release featuring Afro-fusion artist and fellow lawyer Tim Lyre.

Intricate and rich, DAP’s aptitude for flawlessly textured tracks shines through once again, as syncopated beats and swirling harmonies loop in and out of the rhythm. With his slick vocals marrying alongside Tim Lyre’s verse to create an intriguing dynamic, he sets an exhilarating precedent for his upcoming album ‘Powers Vol.2’, due out this Summer.

“Sacrifices is about the pains we go through to pursue our passions and chase our dreams. Both Tim and I are fully admitted lawyers and either have or are still currently juggling a full-fledged legal career alongside pursuing music. Family time and friendships suffer because there is only so much time in a day, but for the love of music, the sacrifice is always worth it.” DAP explains.

A classically trained pianist who was born into a family of immensely talented musicians, DAP decided to carry on the legacy from a young age. After discovering hip-hop whilst attending boarding school in the UK, he created his first beat at 14, naming each individual tape he crafted with the date and keyboard name that has now amounted to a collection spanning hundreds. Some of his biggest hits, such as ‘Nobody Like You’, have racked up a monumental 600,000 streams on Spotify alone, as he continues to impress with his unique and compelling approach.

The rapper-singer-producer-pianist attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music, before graduating from Brown University and Columbia Law School shortly after. Citing his aptitude for storytelling to his studies in Latin and Greek classics, his impeccable artistry has seen him record alongside iconic producer Mark Ronson in the world renowned Abbey Road Studios, headline a European tour and feature on the soundtrack for Disney movie ‘Noelle’.

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Download Haviah Mighty’s ‘Protest’ featuring Yizzy

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This week’s download comes from Haviah Mighty and her upcoming mixtape “Stock Exchange.” You have seven days to download the song “Protest” featuring Yizzy.

Haviah Mighty | courtesy of artist

From the press release:

Haviah Mighty today shares her powerful new single, “Protest,” featuring UK grime rapper, Yizzy. Haviah and Yizzy go beyond borders, taking to their own streets to speak truth into a song and video directed by Kit Weyman & Chrris Lowe in collaboration with Director X-led Fela production (who have made videos for Drake, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Rosalia, Jay Z and more). The track also serves to announce Haviah’s much anticipated new mixtape, Stock Exchange, coming out fall 2021.

Produced by Young Dreadz, Haviah Mighty’s “Protest” is a visceral recall of the feelings of guilt and stress that many marginalized individuals carry with them daily due to centuries of suffering, heaviness, pain and bloodshed at the hands of law enforcement. The production blends slow, sad, ethereal piano chords with aggressive 808s and a drill-infused percussive groove, following a pace that rises like a heartbeat with tension.

Says Haviah,“This song is my protest – a reminder that regardless of all the conversations, the chatter, the media, the justices and injustices – this feeling and fear we walk with, is as present as ever. After all these years, encountering the police as a marginalized person still triggers pure fear. These feelings within the production – the intensity and depth of the chords, the stress and tension of the pacing – it all mirrors the feelings of paranoia, fear, control, and our innate will to survive when encountering law enforcement. Having UK-based artist, Yizzy, bless this record brings it full circle. From a light skin male’s perspective from somewhere else on the globe, our experiences still mirror one another, a further testament to the eerie similarities of trauma among Black folks.”

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Download Moonshine’s ‘Onward’ featuring Georgia Anne Muldrow and Sango

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This week’s download comes from the collective Moonshine and their latest mixtape titled “SMS For Location Vol. 4.” You have seven days to download the song “Onward” featuring Georgia Anne Muldrow and Sango.

Moonshine | photo credit: Alexis Belhumeur

From the press release:

Under flashing club lights in the world’s biggest cities or under the Congo sun, the Moonshine collective pushes past borders and boundaries to radiate its Afrocentric, bass-heavy, electro-funk sound in all directions. The label’s latest SMS for Location mixtape fuses levity and acumen, inventive electronic production with traditional instrumentation, in a collaborative harmony between artists from around the globe.

In 19 tracks featuring the talents of over 20 artists, SMS for Location, Vol. 4 crosses genres and continents to follow producers, DJs and MCs from the legendary Moonshine parties to underground UK clubs, Parisian Afro-electronic soirées to Kinshasa’s booming electronic scene.

This new opus was completed in Kinshasa, DRC and also serves as a soundtrack to : Zaire Space Program, a hybrid short film/documentary following Moonshine’s first pilgrimage to Congo, exploring the collective’s roots and documenting collaborations between artists from Montreal and Kinshasa. The result is a true-to-life perspective on the significance of that collaboration, intertwined with conversations around the shaping of an African Utopia and the relationship between technology and culture on the continent.

True to producer Sango’s style, Onward unifies cultures and musical styles with its soulful circular melodies, Brazilian funk samples and exhilarating, profound vocals. Known on the dance floor for his remixes of Aaliyah, Drake, Little Dragon, Nas and The Weeknd plus his own Baile Funk EP series Da Rocinha and recent full-length In the Comfort Of, Seattle-based Sango has produced music for Bryson Tiller, Tinashe, Mick Jenkins, GoldLink, Wale, Smino, Xavier Omar and more and is part of Los Angeles collective Soulection.

It’s L.A.’s avant-garde soul, jazz and hip-hop scene that Sango overlapped with ingenious electronic producer, vocalist and songwriter Georgia Anne Muldrow, who co-founded label SomeOthaShip Connect, has guested on tracks by Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Robert Glasper and other artists, and is signed to Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder imprint. A paean to strength and resilience, “Onward” juxtaposes Georgia’s smooth contralto against Sango’s clangorous, rumbling production.

It’s as if her voice is the human spirit, and his beats are life itself, with all its roughness, obstacles, and beauty. Rather than resist it, Georgia weaves through it, building momentum until the point where she lifts herself higher: “There’s no price on me, Finally. “Onward”’s artwork features a lukasa – a tablet/memory board from the Luba empire used to recount history in their rituals by diviners.

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