New Decade, New Crammed Discs

New Decade, New Crammed Discs

So what new joys await from Crammed in this, the first year of the second decade of the century?

First up is the finest work yet from the three-headed, dancefloor-conquering powerhouse known as BALKAN BEAT BOX. Blue Eyed Black Boy, their second full album for Crammed, is out in early March, and tour dates will follow very soon...

Also ready to roll with exciting new material are LONELY DRIFTER KAREN, whose wondrous second album Fall Of Spring finds their pan-European songcraft moving to the next level. Tanja, Marc and Giorgio will be as active on the road as ever this year, keep an eye out for live announcements...

Next up, all hail the Springtime return of the mighty KONONO No.1, with their follow-up to the seminal first volume of the Congotronics series (speaking of which, there should be some more exciting news to report for "Congotronics" fans in the near future)...

And finally there's the long-awaited new CIBELLE record to look forward to – Las Vênus Resort Palace Hotel is a wildly exotic masterpiece, and should be with us in April.

Much more news on all these mouth-watering new releases very soon!

Staff Benda Bilili rocking Europe!

Staff Benda Bilili rocking Europe!

In what has become one of the most talked-about tours of 2009, Congolese rumba-funk warriors Staff Benda Bilili have been ripping through Europe with a string of scintillating live shows.
The continent's media has responded in a chorus of praise, with top TV networks, broadsheet newspapers and world-renowned radios lavishing the band with attention. Meanwhile, the end-of-year plaudits for 'Très Très Fort' have started coming in, with Mojo naming it 'World Music Album Of The Year', not to mention no. 30 in its overall albums chart. More to come!

Meanwhile, check out some of the amazing press reactions to Staff's tour below...

Press quotes 

"As tonight's show proves, Staff Benda Bilili would be a remarkable band regardless of their background. Not only do they sound incredible, they exude an inscrutable cool ... In the crowd, jaws drop, as well they should in the presence of such an extraordinary band"
-Guardian, 5 stars

"There is movement all over the stage: four pirouetting wheelchairs, and crutches used by mighty arms to swing on. Another of the band vaults from his wheelchair and spins on half-legs, ululating with a dazzling grin. All have turned apparent weakness to strength long ago... Like all the finest African bands, Staff Benda Bilili's swirling complexity removes the option to do anything but dance ... Havana cantina, Kinshasa slum, psychedelic club or London arts centre – this crack outfit would tear the roof off anywhere."
-Independent, 4 stars

"With their harmonies, bubbling rap and call-and-response chanting, they turn the Barbican into a joyous cauldron"

"...Their first London show packed the Barbican with an audience that, six months ago, had never heard of them ... seconds after they started playing, none of the back story mattered. They were, without qualification or allowance, the most exciting band to emerge from Africa in years ... Very, very strong. Very, very great. Very, very loud"
-Financial Times

"The album from Staff Benda Bilili has already generated a degree of excitement to rival the adulation lavished on Malian pop stars Amadou & Mariam"
-The Times

"In world music circles, this eight-piece from the Congo are the most talked about band of the year" 
-Daily Telegraph

"Exotic and extraordinary their history may be, but Staff Benda Bilili are not here for refined anthropological analysis, they're a thrilling live band ripe to tear up any festival or dancehall that their touring schedule throws at them"
-The Arts Desk

-Photo (c) Belle Kinoise

Huge Cibelle installation in the streets of Sao Paulo

Huge Cibelle installation in the streets of Sao Paulo

Cibelle has been asked by Melissa, the well-known Brazilian shoe designer, to collaborate on a special limited edition shoe called Sapato Azul ("Blue Shoe") , after Cibelle's song from her last album "Las Venus Resort Palace Hotel"
Cibelle has shot a wild video and prepared a huge installation for the Melissa art gallery in São Paulo, to be launched on October 19th in São Paulo!

Crammed Discs are delighted and honoured to release the new album by the one and only LULA PENA.

Crammed Discs are delighted and honoured to release the new album by the one and only LULA PENA.

With only 2 albums released since 1998, the reclusive Portuguese singer, composer, guitarist and poet has achieved a rare feat: gathering a stream of devoted followers worldwide, a kind of international secret society whose ranks grow with each of her too rare appearances.
Lula Pena follows her own rules, not only in her career but in her very music. Her voice is haunting and moving, her guitar style unique, her approach deeply emotional yet also conceptual. She has a quasi-shamanic way of becoming one with her instrument when performing these long, rambling pieces, during which wood, string, words, human body, breath and voice all merge into a single, supernatural, fabulous beast.

Lula Pena's music is a living organism. Her inspired lyrics effortlessly shift between several languages as she sails on a strange ocean, bordered by continents called folk blues, flamenco, French chanson, phado (that's how she likes to spell it), bossa nova and others, grazing them all and leaving none intact. 

Entitled 'Archivo Pittoresco', Lula Pena's new album will be released in May 2016



Crammed Discs are thrilled to announce the signing of mighty Parisian electronic music crew ACID ARAB...
Crammed Discs are thrilled to announce the signing of mighty Parisian electronic music crew ACID ARAB, whose intoxicating blend of sharp Western electronic music with Eastern sounds & vocals has been putting European festival and club audiences under a spell for the last couple of years.

After releasing several EPs on excellent electronic music label Versatile, ACID ARAB are now preparing their debut album, due for release on Crammed in October.
Meanwhile, the band will be performing at Sonar (ES), Melt (DE), Villette Sonique (FR), Nuits Botanique (BE) and more dates to be announced soon.


Caen @Le Cargo, dj set (fr)
Berlin@Urban Spree, dj set (de) CONF
17.03 Paris @Gibus, dj set (fr) CONF
24.04 Jérusalem@David Tower, dj set (il) CONF
25.03 Bern@Dachstock, live (ch) CONF
26.03 Villars@Lillars Music fest, dj set (ch) CONF
09.04 La défense@Chorus, live (fr) CONF
28.04 Rezé@Soufflerie, dj set (fr) CONF
19.05 Rome@Spring Attitude festival, live (it) CONF
22.05 Bruxelles @Nuits Botanique, live (be) CONF
28.05 Paris@Villettes Soniques, live (fr) CONF
03.06 Réunion@Sakifo, dj set (re) CONF
11.06 Haarlem@Edit Fest, dj set (nl) CONF
16.06 Barcelone@Sonar, dj set (esp) CONF
23.06 Lisbonne@Lux, live (pt) CONF
24.06 Poleymieux@Mont D'Or festival, dj set (fr) CONF
26.06 Amsterdam@Beyond fest, dj set (nl) CONF

Acid Arab joins Crammed Discs

Acid Arab joins Crammed Discs

Crammed Discs are thrilled to announce the signing of mighty Parisian electronic music crew ACID ARAB
Kasai Allstars' music in the soundtrack of award-winning film

Kasai Allstars' music in the soundtrack of award-winning film

"Félicité" earned the Silver Bear Grand Jury Award at the Berlin Film Festival, and features the band, off and onscreen
Inspired by the music of Kasai Allstars and by their vocalist Muambuyi (whose voice is heard in the soundtrack), director Alain Gomis created the main protagonist of his film, a proud woman named Félicité who works as a singer with the band, and sets out on a breakneck race through the streets of electric Kinshasa in order to save her son.

The movie just earned the Silver Bear Grand Jury Award at the Berlin Film Festival, and the Golden Stallion at the FESPACO (Panafrican Film Festival).

The band wrote and performed most of the soundtrack, and appears onscreen playing their own part. Muambuyi's voice is omnipresent, and is being heard everytime Félicité (played by Congolese actress Vero Tshanda) sings in the bars of Kinshasa, backed by Kasai Allstars.

The "Around Félicité" album includes the film's main pieces, performed by Kasai Allstars and by the Kinshasa Symphonic Orchestra (who specially arranged three works by composer Arvo Pärt), alongside new tracks by Kasai Allstars, as well as interludes consisting of fragments of dialogues and sound bites taken from the soundtrack.

The album comes with a companion piece: "Félicité Remixes", a collection of 10 remixes of Kasai Allstars tracks by electronic music producers from Europe, North America and Africa, including reworks by Clap! Clap!, Daedelus and Africaine 808.

Watch OY's latest, trippy video

Watch OY's latest, trippy video

"Space Diaspora" was directed by Moritz Reichartz

Aksak Maboul 'Revue'

Aksak Maboul 'Revue'

Special shows feat. Laetitia Sadier, Aquaserge & Jaakko Eino Kalevi
To celebrate the release of the "16 Visions of Ex-Futur" tribute album, Véronique Vincent & Aksak Maboul will be playing a series of special shows entitled Aksak Maboul ‘Revue’, for which they’ll be joined onstage by some of the album’s contributors, including Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Laetitia Sadier and Aquaserge, who will perform together some of their respective music.

20 Oct: Paris, Café de la Danse
22 Oct: Bruxelles, Botanique
23 Oct: Francfort, Mousonturm
5 Nov: London, Kings Place 

New line-up + new shows...

New line-up + new shows...

+ remixes by SKIP&DIE !
After an absence of several months, the fearless Staff Benda Bilili will be returning to play shows in Europe, with a revamped line-up. To celebrate their return, they've joined forces with wild, genre-blending South African/Dutch band SKIP&DIE, who have revisited two highlights from the Staff's latest album "Bouger le monde". SKIP&DIE's electrifying, dancefloor-friendly versions of Bilanga and Kuluna / Gangs will be coming out as a digital single in early July.

The band's new line up is:

Ricky Likabu Makodu  : vocals, band founder & leader
Djunana Tanga Suele: vocals, dancing
Kabossé Kabamba Kasongo: vocals, "animation"
Roger Landu Satonge: satonge, vocals, guitar
Victor Mbaki Mambu: vocals, dancing
Cavalier Kiara Mayingi: bass, vocals, arranger
Amalphi Ketikila Massamba: lead guitar
Guelor Dianzenza Bakanadio: rhythm guitar
Dostin Mopoto Masebi: drums
Chico Makiedika Mbumba: percussion

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YASMINE HAMDAN - Al Jamilat (out 17 March)
Al Jamilat (out 17 March)
KASAI ALLSTARS - Around Felicite (out 28 April)
Around Felicite (out 28 April)
LE TON MITé - Passe Compose Futur Conditionnel
Passe Compose Futur Conditionnel
LULA PENA - Archivo Pittoresco
Archivo Pittoresco
AQUASERGE - Laisse ca etre
Laisse ca etre
ACID ARAB - Musique de France
Musique de France