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Audio: Noura Mint Seymali 'Azawan' [EP]

Stream/download Mauritanian music diva Noura Mint Seymali latest EP 'Azawan.'


Azawan is an EP in 5 modes by Mauritanian music diva Noura Mint Seymali. Adhering to the cycle employed in traditional performance of Moorish music in Mauritania, each mode is played in sequence — a melodic orbit corresponding to the human life cycle in which once a stage is left it may not be returned to. The track names on Azawan are simply the name of the mode in which they're played. The EP represents Noura's first recording with a scaled back 5-person formation playing in the Moorish griot idiom. The name "Azawan" means "ensemble" in the Hassaniya language and is not to be confused with "Azawad," the state declared in neighboring Northern Mali by the Touareg MNLA. Stream the EP below and buy it on bandcamp.

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Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Emile YX? Wants to 'Reconnect The String'

The father of South African hip-hop's latest book release is here to teach you about the culture.

As a father-figure in South African hip-hop, there's a lot Emile Lester Jansen, aka Emile YX?, knows. He'll also tell you, there's a lot he doesn't. But the knowledge Emile has gained, over his 3 decades in music, he's always tried to share with others. His latest project is no different. The Black Noise founder is working on a book that identifies the similarities between Bushmen expression and hip-hop, and how this knowledge can help empower anyone who has a love of the culture.

The book, which will be called Reconnect The String, comes on the back of this year's 21st anniversary of the African Hip Hop Indaba, one of the landmark hip hop events in Cape Town created by Emile, which has helped many an artist launch their career. As a teacher and a musician, he's long been involved in using hip hop to uplift communities—first through the seminal group Black Noise, founded in the late 1980s, with its rhymes rallying against Apartheid, and then through the Heal the Hood organization, a non-profit that grew out of the group's efforts to use its love of hip hop to fuel youth development initiatives in townships on the Cape Flats.

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