La Ville-Musique

The last time I went to Paris, I returned with a healthy stack of CDs and a few magazines, however today all I bought back music wise was a few photos of posters and some notes in my phones. Despite the lack of record shops and music magazines (I searched through the racks of many newsagents but hardly saw any – and none that inspired me to buy) I still managed to find some great new music, here’s a selection of my favourites.

Maska feat. Abou Debeing – Yin Yang

First up is the new album from Maska, a member of popular Parisian rap crew Sexion D’Assaut. French Hip-hop made a bit of a dent into the British (and my) psyche during the early 90s when acts such as NTM, IAM and MC Solaar were featured on BBC 2’s Dance Energy, then a few years later both Saïan Supa Crew and TTC were signed to British labels (Wordplay and Big Dada) and provided some of my favourite Hip-hop shows. However it’s been a while since we’ve really heard from any others over here. I think if it happens again it’s more likely to be someone a little quirkier like Java (or maybe even Soviet Suprem) rather than any of the Sexion D’Assaut boys but they’re definitely worth keeping an eye on still.

‪Faada Freddy – We Sing In Time‬

This guy is bit of a blast from the past for me. I met him at Glastonbury back in 2004 when he was performing as a member of Daara J, probably still my favourite Senegalese Hip-hop group. In fact I think I’m going to have to download their ‘Boomerang’ album again, pretty sure Dregz still has my copy. Anyway, this is from Faada Freddy’s first (I think) solo album which is released in the UK on 19th January 2015. I can only find a few tunes from it online but it seems to be a mix of Reggae, Gospel, Soul and even a bit of Doo Wop. None of the tracks I heard had instruments other than hands and mouth.

‪O‬s‪ D‬etroia‪ – B‬ela

This came on the TV whilst getting some breakfast this morning. They’re an Angolan group and this is lots of fun, the video’s got some serious dance moves going on too. It’s got a definite Brazilian Baile Funk vibe to it, I’d be interested to know if there’s much musical sharing between the 2 former Portuguese colonies.

Massilia Sound System – Si lèva mai la cançon

At first I kind of ignored the Massilia Sound System poster I saw because it was advertising a show that was on way after we returned to the UK. But then I noticed it mentioned a ‘Nouvelle Album’ so made sure I took a photo and checked it out when I got back. The group are currently celebrating their 30th anniversary and for the most part the album is fairly faithful to their classic Digital Dancehall style. Certainly worth a listen.

Feel free to post any other French bands I should be checking out in the comments section.

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