Zaki Ibrahim’s Debut Album Eclectica (Episodes In Purple) + US Tour

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Born in Vancouver, BC and raised between South Africa and Canada’s West Coast, Zaki Ibrahim spent her life moving between two culturally diverse worlds, culminating in her debut album, Eclectica (Episodes In Purple). Her music is captivating and vibrant, thick with poetics and steeped in a delicious mixture of earnest emotion and social commentary.

In addition to collaborating with famed DJ/producer King Britt on “Money,” Zaki worked with Nick Holder on “Love/Like.” Zaki explains that on “Love/Like” she, “wanted a different sound and the harmonies somehow reminded me of water. I had never worked with water instruments before, like a Rainstick and the Udu, and it brought an ancestral/tribal tinge to the song.”

Expect the unexpected as Zaki begins her US tour June 9th.

US Tour Dates
Jun 9 The Social – Orlando, FL
Jun 10 Orpheum – Tampa, FL
Jun 11 Revolution – Ft Lauderdale, FL
Jun 12 Jack Rabbits. – Jacksonville, FL
Jun 13 The Music Farm – Charleston, SC
Jun 14 The Soapbox Laundro-lounge – Wilmington, NC
Jun 17 The Quarter – Baltimore, MD
Jun 19 The Wonder – Bar Ashbury Park, NJ

Free download: “Love-Like”

Roy Davis Jr. Breaks It Down: God Life Music

roy-davis-jr_god-life-001Roy Davis Jr. encapsulates his distinct “Soul Electrica” style on his sophomore album God Life Music for Toronto’s Nice+Smooth Ultramedia imprint.

The genius behind 1998′s seminal UK garage/2-Step song “Gabriel” with Peven Everett is back at it again with a twelve track full-length featuring electro-80′s flavors, cool R&B and his Chicago house music roots. Seven different vocalists including Detroit’s Terry Dexter, Los Angeles rapper Khalid, and even Roy’s younger brother and nephew (J. Noize & Yung Nef aka Heat Fam) make an appearance.

The first single, “I Have A Vision” featuring Erin Martin, is already a dance floor smash with stellar remixes from The Juan MacLean, Fred Falke and Todd Edwards.

God Life Music is available July 20 in digital and CD [Japanese import] formats.

“Paradise (In Your Mind)” feat. Terry Dexter

Roy Davis Jr.’s MySpace

Diane Birch’s First Offering Bible Belt Out Today

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Daughter of a traveling preacher, former teenage Goth Diane Birch releases her intriguingly titled solo album, Bible Belt, today.

From the opening track “Fire Escape” to the closing “Magic View,” her voice – sometimes bursting with buoyant spirit, sometimes plaintive and world-wearied – is rich, soulful and beguiling. Written entirely by Diane and expertly produced by Grammy winners Steve Greenberg, soul legend Betty Wright and Michael Mangini, Bible Belt’s been described by Rolling Stone as, “Amy Winehouse-style retro pop, minus dysfunction… Her voice is strong and fetching… “Fools” conjures Carole King, “Nothing But A Miracle” echoes Aretha…the melodies stick, and girl’s got taste.”

As for the album title, Diane explains, “the very religious upbringing I had made a huge impact on my life, in a very restraining and constricting way. I’m constantly talking about heaven, angels, and forgiveness. I’m hugely inspired by church hymns — their chord structures, their colors. It was a form of constraint for me as a child but now I see that it has fueled my creative fire.”

Stream tracks from MySpace

MC Busdriver: Not Your “Least Favorite Rapper”

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Los Angeles emcee Busdriver follows up 2007′s RoadKillOvercoat with Jhelli Beam (out June 9). On Jhelli Beam, Busdriver’s legendary breath-defying flow teeters precariously on top of samples of classical music, jazz drumming and proggy guitar parts, without ever losing sight of the electronic music that helped define his sound on RoadKillOvercoat.

The legendary underground battle rapper Nocando guests on the classically witty Busdriver track “Least Favorite Rapper,” while Islands’ precocious Nick Thorburn’s influence can be heard on an almost ELO-flavored song “Happy Insider.”  Jhelli Beam is mindfully engaging and physically palpable at the same time – a wholly unique take on what an underground hip hop album should be.

“Least Favorite Rapper”
“Me-Time”

(right-click, save as… to download)

Busdriver’s Myspace

Afropean Artist Zap Mama’s ReCreation + Tour Dates

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Vocalist and songwriter Marie Daulne aka Zap Mama‘s 7th project ReCreation is out now on Heads Up International, featuring Bilal, G. Love, actor Vincent Cassel (La Haine, Ocean’s Twelve) and several others.

To honor mothers around the world, Zap Mama’s teamed up with CARE and will donate a percentage of the proceeds from the iTunes download of  “Hello To Mama,” the first single.

In the developing world, one woman, every minute of every day, dies giving birth. CARE helps reduce persisting high maternal mortality in the world’s poorest countries.  For more regarding CARE and its partnership with Zap Mama, visit: www.care.org/zapmama.

iTunes | MySpace | Official Site

View Tour Dates