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137 Avenue Kaniama


Artist: Baloji
Label: Bella Union
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 23 March 2018

Baloji release's his new album, 137 Avenue Kaniama, via Bella Union. Congolese-born Baloji’s music stands at the crossroads of traditional African music and Afro-American music (hip-hop, soul, funk, jazz). Growing up in Belgium, Baloji discovered the culture of sampling in electronic music. The result is a record combining African rhythms – not only Congolese, but also Nigerian, Zimbabwean, and Ghanaian – with 808 productions and funk-influenced synths...

Baloji throws his musical influence net far and wide to capture the flavour of so many traditional music styles from around the world and presents them here, on 137 Avenue Kaniama, as something fresh, new and very exciting.

The album opens with with ''Glossine', the medical term for tsetse flies bites (inducing the dreaded Sleeping Sickness), where he channels Bossa Nova baselines and Afrobeats... and we're off on an engaging trip to sample snippets of other cultures which Baloji shifts and changes to make his own sound.

It's wonderfully produced, diverse album that doesn't disappoint.


Nick Smithson

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