Free Download: Sorie Kondi – The Freetown Tapes (Mixed By Chief Boima)

In 2006, blind kondi (thumb piano) player Sorie Kondi was surviving by busking on the streets of Freetown, Sierra Leone, abandoned by relatives and friends who had fled the rebel takeover of the city in the late ‘90s. Demos for his debut studio album had also been lost during that time. His sound was marked by his electrified Kondi, run through a small distorted amplifier that he carried on his back whilst performing on the street.

Since then, Sorie has recorded and finished five albums in total in Freetown, using whatever means available to him, culminating in the ‘Without Money No Family’ album, which happened to catch the ear of US producer / DJ Chief Boima (also of Sierra Leonean descent) after chancing upon a YouTube link.

The two joined forces as Kondi Band, combining Sorie Kondi’s traditionalist performances with Boima’s globally-informed electronic production. The duo released an EP this year on Strut, recently performed acclaimed sets to thousands at Transmusicales and Womex, and have received accolades from tastemakers including Gilles Peterson, leading to a recent takeover of Worldwide FM by Boima. With a Kondi Band album, ‘Salone’, coming in 2017, Boima has created a free mix to showcase Kondi’s incredible history.

As well as collecting songs from across Sorie Kondi’s recorded music career, this mix also includes one original and two remixes of songs from the forthcoming debut Kondi Band album. The mix is available now for free download on the Kondi Band Bandcamp.

Keep up with Kondi band on Facebook as they tour and prepare to release their debut album.


Free Download: Chris Deepak Remixes Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids In Advance of European Tour

prymmids_remix2On the eve of embarking on a European tour, the spiritual jazz ensemble The Pyramids, lead by Idris Ackamoor receive a remix from soulful house producer Chris Deepak. Deepak takes the title track of the Pyramids’ latest album on Strut, adding some low end and a propulsive afro-influenced rhythm.

Download the remix for free via Soundcloud below.

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids’ album We Be All Africans is out now on Strut.

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids Fall European Tour:
04.11. FR Paris: WorldStock Festival
05.11. CH Luzern: Südpol
06.11. CH Basel: Kaschemme
07.11. DE Augsburg: Grandhotel Cosmopolis
08:11. CZ Praha: Jazzdock
09.11. BE Brussels: Ancienne Belgique
11.11. NL Utrecht: Le Guess Who? Festival
12.11. DE Hamburg: Überjazz Festival
13.11. SE Stockholm: Fasching
18.11. DE Berlin: Prince Charles
19.11. UK London: Café OTO
20.11. UK London: Café OTO
22.11. UK London: Late Junction (recordings)
24.11. DE Frankfurt: Mousonturm
25.11. DE Frankfurt: Mousonturm

Download A Frankie Francis Edit Of Claudio’s “Bonom Chinois” from Soul Sok Sega

sofritoFrankie Francis and Hugo Mendes of Sofrito are connoisseurs of vintage tropical dance sounds. The Mauritian séga genre explored on our Soul Sok Sega is a perfect match for their dusty, sun-drenched aesthetic, so we were thrilled when Francis, who also runs the vinyl dubplate and mastering facility The Carvery, offered to create a custom edit of one of our favorite tracks from the collection. His floor-friendly cut of Claudio’s “Bonom Chinois” is available for free download via our BandcampSoul Sok Sega is available now on 2LP, CD & digital formats.

Hear Souljazz Orchestra’s Take On A Christmas Classic In A Free Holiday Gift

K7_HolidayGift_2015We’re fully in the holiday spirit here at Strut, and what better way to celebrate the season than a blistering Afro-Funk take on a classic Christmas carol? The Souljazz Orchestra has given us just that with their wonderful version of “We Three Kings.”

The track is available exclusively for free download via the !K7 Collective Holiday Gift, along with material from some of our favorite independent labels like Luaka Bop, Piranha, Mister Saturday Night, R&S, and many others.

Share the love, and have a great holiday!

The Souljazz Orchestra Aims For the Heart On “Bull’s Eye” (Free Download)

souljazz_orchestra1_squareCanada’s powerhouse Afro / Latin / Tropical collective, The Souljazz Orchestra, surface with a hard-hitting new album Resistance for Autumn 2015. In keeping with the band’s previous work, the Orchestra keeps powerful lyrics at the heart of their music, delivering some biting social commentaries alongside messages of hope.

Having already shared the video for “Shock And Awe,” here’s another reason to get excited for the forthcoming album. “Bull’s Eye” was directly inspired by the Occupy movement,” says bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Pierre Chrétien. “The bull in the song refers to the Charging Bull on Wall Street, the iconic symbol of unbridled capitalism. The lyrics tell the rest of the story.” The heavy afro funk workout is available for free download, and is streaming below.

Resistance is released 4th September 2015 on Strut (on Do Right in Canada). Pre-orders are available now at online retail and the Strut Store.

Strut Comes To Bandcamp

StrutBandcampWe’ve been fans of Bandcamp for years now. It’s a great place to discover new music and to directly support artists. When the service announced that they would be adding label profiles, we knew we wanted to get on board. Starting this week, every Strut release will be available digitally at Stop in, take a look around, and give us a follow for updates on new releases and special promotions.

As a special welcome gift, we’re offering a free download of the summery Highlife anthem “Me Ho Asem” from Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band, out this week. Head to the release page for your free track. You can also hear an interview with Strut’s own Quinton Scott on Bandcamp Weekly podcast.

Vinyl & CDs will still be available directly via the Strut Store.

Souljazz Orchestra Share New Track & World Tour Dates

Ottawa’s Souljazz Orchestra does not mess around. One look at the band’s rigorous tour schedule makes it clear that this is a group of musicians on a mission. The super-group’s dedication shines through the music as well of course, a distillation of a variety of Latin & African styles with a solid vocabulary of funk, soul and jazz. Check out the new track “Cartão Postal” which fuses Brazilian samba with Angolan semba, with lyrics (in Portuguese, of course) contrasting the generic “post-card” conception of the Tropics with the reality of poverty that pervades many of these idealized areas. The band’s new album Solidarity will be out September 18th. For further information on these tour dates, visit the band’s site.

Sep 22 – Ottawa, ON – Babylon
Oct 10 – Paris, France – La Bellevilloise
Oct 11 – Pau, France – Showcase Time
Oct 12 – Marseille, France – Cabaret Aléatoire
Oct 13 – Lille, France – Bal à Fives
Oct 14 – Chalon-sur-Saône, France – La Péniche
Oct 17 – Lyon, France – La Marquise
Oct 19 – Bordeaux, France – BT59
Oct 20 – Montpellier, France – Le Jam
Oct 22 – Antwerp, Belgium – Trix
Oct 23 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – MC Theatre
Oct 24 – Vienna, Austria – Fledermaus
Oct 25 – Bratislava, Slovakia – Bratislava Jazz Days
Oct 26 – Prague, Czech Republic – Agharta
Oct 27 – České Budějovice, Czech Republic – South Bohemia Jazzfest
Oct 28 – Dornbirn, Austria – Conrad Sohm
Oct 31 – Cologne, Germany – Stadtgarden
Nov 01 – Athens, Greece – Gazarte
Nov 02 – Athens, Greece – Gazarte
Nov 04 – London, UK – Jazz Cafe
Nov 09 – Toronto, ON – Wrongbar
Nov 10 – Kingston, ON – The Mansion
Nov 15 – Québec, QC – Le Cercle
Nov 16 – Montréal, QC – Le Belmont
Nov 17 – Gatineau, QC – Petit Chicago
Nov 28 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground *
Nov 29 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall *
Nov 30 – New York, NY – Webster Hall *
Dec 01 – Washington, DC – Jammin Java
Dec 02 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live *
Dec 04 – Buffalo, NY – Nietzsche’s *
Dec 05 – Detroit, MI – The Crofoot *
Dec 06 – Columbus, OH – Woodlands Tavern *
Dec 07 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle *
Dec 08 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock

* w/ Zongo Junction

Ebo Taylor Covers A Highlife Classic

Ebo Taylor – Yaa Amponsah by Strut

In addition to the subject matter of the original songs, one of the reasons Ebo Taylor’s Appia Kwa Bridge is such a personal project is the inclusion of several traditional Ghanaian songs that are of significance to the performer. “Yaa Amponsah” is in fact one of the oldest known Highlife songs (see below for a version from 1928). As Mr. Taylor is one of the most significant contemporary Highlife practitioners, hearing his stripped-down version is a true treat. The album also features Taylor’s adaptations of a nursery rhyme from his hometown of Saltpond, as Ghanaian victory chants, and several original compositions.

Dennis Coffey Remix EP: Free D/L!

A couple of weeks ago we posted Shigeto’s fantastic remix of Dennis Coffey & Mayer Hawthorne’s “All Your Goodies Are Gone” to get you psyched for the upcoming remix EP. We hope it worked too, because the EP is here, and it’s amazing! We assembled some of the most talented artists from the Detroit area, all influenced by Coffey’s work, for a collection of re-interpretations and remixes of his new tracks. With mixes from Dabrye, 14KT, Recloose, Nick Speed & more, you know it’s going to be something special. And what’s more, it’s totally FREE. Grab the EP in its entirety below, and if you haven’t checked out Dennis’ full solo album yet, get on that!

Dennis Coffey Remixes On The Way: Hear Shigeto’s Mix Now

One thing about working with Dennis Coffey: the man likes to keep things Detroit-centric as much as possible. Which is great. The sheer amount of talent coming out of the D is incredible, and his latest album was heavily enriched by contributions from some of the city’s finest performers, including Mayer Hawthorne, Mick Collins of The Dirtbombs, Rachel Nagy of The Detroit Cobras and more. So it came as no surprise that when we started the discussions about putting together a remix compilation, the plan was to pull from Detroit’s extremely rich electronic community.

We’re partnering up with Fat Beats to give away the whole collection soon, which includes contributions from Dabrye, 14KT, Recloose, Nick Speed & more, but to kick things off we wanted to share with you this excellent remix from Ghostly’s Shigeto. The Michigan beat maker puts a distinctive bounce underneath “All Your Goodies Are Gone,” somewhere in between garage house and the signature Motor City hip-hop sound characterized by innovators like Jay Dilla. The remix collection, titled Outer Galaxies: Dennis Coffey Reinterpreted will be out soon. Dennis Coffey’s Dennis Coffey album and Shigeto’s Full Circle are out now.

All Your Goodies Are Gone feat. Mayer Hawthorne (Shigeto remix) by Strut