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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Zap Mama
Ancestry In Progress
Luaka Bop

In Joey Garfield's 2002 documentary film "Breath Control: The History of the Human Beat-Box," one voice of reason rose from the ranks of keeping-it-real dudes, showing intelligence and insight at the historical significance of making rhythmic music with just your mouth and throat. It's no surprise that the voice belonged to Marie Daulne, the artist at the core of Zap Mama, a Belgian outing whose early explorations of the human voice drew lines between Zulu chants, jazz scats, and (courtesy of brother Jean-Louis Daulne) beat-boxing. Whilst Daulne's Congolese heritage and her French singing have always had Zap Mama consigned to the World Music ghetto, the truth is there's always been a tangible hip-hop-ist spirit at play in her music, even if it was only recently that Daulne was confronted with the full rap-game culture of "mouth music," and, in wishing to explore her own music and a sense of shared heritage with this, she thus threw herself into the heart of Philadelphia's Soulquarian scene.

The result is Ancestry in Progress, an album that finds the 40-year-old Daulne being introduced to an American "urban" market that may not be able to make sense of all her eccentricities. It's sure a long way from the soft vocal rounds of the amazing Zap Mama debut (initially self-titled, reissued in the U.S.A. as Adventures in Afropea 1), yet it's not too different to the sound Daulne was trying to capture on A Ma Zone, the album that preceded this five years back. Whilst there are the big-name down-with-the-scene guests here to help ease her into her new surrounds — like Erykah Badu, Common, Talib Kweli (following from his Les Nubians guest-spot of earlier this year), and The Roots' ?uestlove and Scratch — the "progress" in the title describes not just the concept of an ongoing African musical evolution, but it gives an in-progress status-report report card to Daulne's assimilation into American culture/recording-studios. There is that one crystal-clear moment, where it all — her history, her current desires, her conception for this disc, her embrace of the city of brotherly love, her relations within it — comes together beautifully; "Whadidyusay?" makes a Björkian point of pointing out it was composed entirely from the human voice as Daulne coos in French, spits in syncopated rhythms, and cozies down with a chorus as Scratch busts out beautiful bass hum and simple beats behind it. Elsewhere, things can seem less like the metaphorical melting pot and a bit more like a lost-in-a-muddle melange, but it's hardly made Daulne seem any less a fearless artist.

by Anthony Carew

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