Discover ”Mars”, Sinkane’s recent Album on DFA

The funk-lite disco house maker Sinkane aka Sudanese-born and Brooklyn-based Ahmed Gallab is currently hitting the roads for a US tour. This is a great opportunity to re-appreciate Mars, his second LP (October 2012, DFA). The multi-instrumentalist for Yeasayer, Caribou, Of Montreal, and Born Ruffians plays creative, syncopated rhythms, breezy guitars, recalling eclectic sounds of Sudanese pop, Krautrock, free jazz. New Yorkers can catch him on March 23rd at Mercury Lounge.

Stream the whole album here:

Exclusive Interview: Ester Rada Opens Up Before Her US Debut


Next week on March 11, we will be introducing folks in NYC to a major new talent from Israel named Ester Rada. In the meantime, we got some interesting bits on the unique artist in the interview below. Read up!

Giant Step: Your heritage is that of a very unique Ethiopian-Jewish people. How does this background and being raised in an Orthodox tradition affect who you are today?

Ester Rada: I was born in Israel, and my family raised me in a religious house and tradition, as this was what they were used to from Ethiopia. When my parents moved to Israel they were “put” in Kiryat Arba, a very religious city. We moved from there when I was 10 years old, due to the security issues there.

GS: Coming up in one of the rougher neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, what it was like growing up?

ER: I was actually growing up near Tel Aviv, in Netanya, and it was a big change for me. Coming from a more religious village, you can call it the country side, to a bigger city, was a big move for me. I also became secular and not as religious as we used to be. But this change was blessing, and I started to know what freedom is like. In the neighborhood I had good friends.

GS: Your sound evokes qualities similar to Erykah, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae. Are these intentional influences? Who would you say are your influences?

ER: I am influenced by a lot of artists. Of course the ones you named, and also religious Jewish music from my early days, as well as Ethiopian and Amharic music such as Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulat Astatke, Muluken Melesse, Israeli music, jazz and soul legends such as Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Marlena Shaw, and contemporary music such as Corrine Bailey Rae, Nneka, Keziah Jones, India Arie and more.

Read the rest of the interview & get show details after the jump

Video: Charlie Winston – “Speak To Me”


English singer-songwriter Charlie Winston opens up the video to the track “Speak To Me” today for fans in the United States. Bound by a straightjacket, drumming on the toilet and jumping from a window, you get to see the offbeat Winston that we appreciate. And the beat-boxing? That’s him too.

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