Download a meditative, all-vinyl Africa In Your Earbuds mixtape from James Blake's drummer, Ben Assiter.

When he's not touring as James Blake's drummer, percussionist/DJ Ben Assister can be found playing with London outfits Ruby and The Vines and Fur. Assiter developed an interest in African music through friends, which was cemented by a musical pilmigrage to Senegal and Mali. He tells us, "As a musician, and particularly as a drummer, I find it difficult not to be inspired by the wealth of different music that has come out of the African continent."

In Africa In Your Earbuds #26, Ben Assiter compiles a meditative, all-vinyl mix. The mixtape features a premiere of "Biannual Coffee Cups" by his group Fur, as well as tunes by Ruby and The Vines, Thomas Mapfumo, The Wings, and Owiny Sigoma Band. There's also a batch of tracks from around the globe:

I’ve included tracks from other parts of the world that demonstrate different forms of engagement with Africa. Technology has clearly had a big part in facilitating such cultural interactions... , and although I’ve been lucky enough to travel in Africa, the internet has definitely played a massive role in my African musical education. For me, several of the tracks have origins particularly close to home. There’s a small but lively African music scene in London, be it involving African artists who have relocated here, or local musicians who have been influenced by various African forms. I’ve picked a few tracks to play here which I feel have African inspirations below the surface somehow.

Londoners can catch James Blake's drummer, Ben Assiter, spinning at 1-800-Dinosaur, a new biweekly night at the sonic mecca Plastic People. Stream/download AIYE #26: Ben Assiter below. Hats-off to Underdog for the cover artwork.


Jarabi – Toumani Diabate [MALI]

Sanu Maakaan – Guelewar [GAMBIA]

Xale - Mark Ernestus presents Jeri-Jeri with Mbene Diatta Seck [SENEGAL/GERMANY]

Little Big Or Small - United Vibrations [UK]

Gone With The Sun – The Wings [NIGERIA]

Red Storm – Ruby And The Vines [UK]

Paulina (Pt. 1) – Orchestra Les Wanyika [KENYA/TANZANIA]

Biannual Coffee Cups – FUR [UK]

Butsu Mutandarika – Thomas Mapfumo [ZIMBABWE]

Odera Lwar – Owiny Sigoma Band [UK/KENYA]

Let Me Love You – Bunny Mack [SIERRA LEONE]

Stay Up Zimbabwe – Brother Valentino [TRINIDAD & TOBAGO]

Last Chance Dub (Joe Ariwa feat. Annie Brown) – Val Veneto [ARGENTINA/UK]


Justice Mukheli. Courtesy of Black Major/Bongeziwe Mabandla.

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Photo courtesy of Upile Chisala.

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Image via Wikimedia Commons

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