Meridian Brothers’s new album, Mi Latinoam​é​rica Sufre, out now

Meridian Brothers, the project of adventurous composer, multi-instrumentalist and electronics geek Eblis Álvarez, released yesterday a brand new album. Entitled Mi Latinoam​é​rica Sufre, it sees Álvarez journey beyond Colombian and Latin American musical traditions and tap into African highlife and soukous traditions. As the press release describes, “the result is a collection of intricate compositions weaving elements of cumbia, champeta, soukous, Brazilian tropicalia, and underground psychedelic rock within the Afro-Latino guitar band format”.

Keeping the usual Meridian Brothers’ humorous tone, Mi Latinoamérica Sufre is a concept album, exploring themes of self-discovery and identity. Enhanced with visual narratives from Colombian artist Mateo Rivano, the album portrays psychological states of disorientation, self-pity, enlightenment, and optimism.

For a taster of what’s on offer, check out a couple of tracks from the album, ‘Mandala’ and ‘Sé que estoy cambiando’. Both tracks are offered with video accompaniments, the latter directed by Álvarez and ‘Mandala’ directed by Mateo Rudas & Santiago Rudas.

Mi Latinoam​é​rica Sufre is out now through Ansonia Records and Bongo Joe.

Mixtape #153

Founded in Brussels in 2015, Azmari are one of the bands making their mark in the vibrant Belgian contemporary jazz scene. The band conquered our ears with their mesmerizing blend of ethiogroove, dub, psychfunk and eastern sounds. Last month saw them release Maëlström, an otherworldly and exuberant full-length album bristling with playful and effervescent energy. As we flip our calendars to November this week, Azmari crafted this amazing genre-spanning mix with a selection of sounds exploring the myriad influences that shape their music.

  1. Amir Bresler – Afro Golden Line [Raw Tapes]
  2. Azmari – Sheep Party [Sdban Ultra]
  3. Gaslamp Killer ft. Amir Yaghmai – Heart Math [Cuss Records]
  4. Kosmo Sound – Ototoxic [Zephyrus Records]
  5. Ezra Collective – Ego Killah [Partisan Records]
  6. Hailu Mergia – Yegle Nesh [Philophon]
  7. Kibrom Birhane – Mender [Flying Carpet Records]
  8. Cochemea – Tukaria [Daptone Records]
  9. Meridian Brothers – Guaracha U.F.O (Version Rebajada) [Soundway]
  10. The Mauskovic Dance Band – Wie niet weg is is gezien [Les Disques Bongo Joe]
  11. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – The River [Flightless]
  12. Antibalas – Tattletale, Pt. 2 [Daptone Records]

Mixtape #150

August is upon us and what better way to set the mood than with a mixtape put together by Colombia’s Meridian Brothers. Audacious and adventurous composer, multi-instrumentalist and electronics geek Eblis Álvarez, the outlandish musical polymath behind it, created the project in 1998 as a vehicle to explore his interests in Colombian and Latin American musical traditions. The band has achieved international cult status amassing a rich catalogue taking in varied influences including cumbia, salsa, vallenato, tropicalismo and all sorts of Latin rhythms and tropical grooves, infused with his experimental spirit and humorous tone. We're delighted to bring you the delicious and effervescent mix Eblis crafted for our ear's delight, so press play and enjoy!

  1. Tom Zé – Toc [Continental]
  2. Frauen Von Avignon – Meine Liebe Mit Den Gelben Haaren [Diskret Label]
  3. Polibio Mayorga – Viva Mi Mamá [Primicias]
  4. Carlos Marajó – Lambada Seca [Gravasom]
  5. Amparo Ochoa – El Barzón [Discos Pueblo]
  6. Niño de Elche – Cabales Americanas [Sony Music]
  7. Alex Figueira – Lávate La Boca [Music With Soul! Records]
  8. Malphino – Moody Cumbia [Lex Records]
  9. Rizomagic – Ñocoñoco [Disasters By Choice]
  10. La sonora Mazurén – Charanga Mazurén [Names You Can Trust]
  11. Mau Gatiyo y los años maravillosos – 420 [In-Correcto]

Meridian Brothers & Cyril Cyril release collaborative single, ‘Diablos de Chuao’

There’s exciting news from camp Bongo Joe who have today released a new single from two adventurous outfits, Bogota’s Meridian Brothers and Geneva’s Cyril Cyril. Cyril Cyril toured South America recently and whilst in Colombia, the Swiss duo spent a day at the legendary Mambo Negro studio recording with Meridian Brothers and guests Frente Cumbiero, Conjunto Media Luna and Susobrino. A 2-track 7” vinyl is the fruit of this special collaboration, described as “explosive, somewhere between Brazilian tropicalism, Andean dizziness and the spontaneous colliding of Western & Eastern styles”. Cyril Yeterian comments:

“Many years of collaboration between my label Bongo Joe and the Bogotá music scene made me dream about a session together at the legendary Mambo Negro Records. Everyone was there! Eblis “Meridian Brothers » Alvarez obviously but we were amazed to see so many artists we admire just add their touch to our recordings as they passed by! The session went so well that we decided to keep the sound as natural as possible with very little, if any effects.”

The EP arrives on September 15th but today Meridian Brothers & Cyril Cyril have unveiled one of the tracks, the playful, scorching and colourful ‘Diablos De Chuao’. Here it is.

Le Guess Who?’s Who 2018: Circuit des Yeux

There’s less than a week to go before Le Guess Who? takes over Utrecht. With over 150 artists set to perform, how do we make sense of such a monumental line-up? We made a list of the artists we’re most excited to see and asked them for their recommendations.


Official Website

Circuit des Yeux presents ‘Reaching For Indigo: Gaia Infinitus’
Performing Sunday 11th November at TivoliVredenburg

Photo: Michael Vallera

We love Circuit des Yeux to bits. Haley Fohr, the immeasurably talented and adventurous vocalist, composer, and producer behind the project, counts five stellar albums under her belt, including two that found their way to our album picks of the year, 2015’s In Plain Speech and 2017’s Reaching For Indigo. A year on from its release, we can’t stop playing it and we are incredibly excited with the special one-off performance lined up for Guess Who?. Circuit des Yeux will present an augmented version of the album, Reaching For Indigo: Gaia Infinitus, rearranged for an eight-piece ensemble featuring members of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. We’ve asked her what other bands she is looking forward to. Read on to find out!


“Here’s the scoop – I am SO excited for Le Guess Who this year. Mainly because of my own selfish reasons of performing newly arranged music with the Netherlands Philharmonic on Sunday, November 11th ! But when I am not rehearsing and preparing for my performance, I will definitely be digging into the amazing musical buffet that the festival has so graciously provided. So here it is,the big one, two, three on what I will be seeing at LGW? Festival 2018!”


Art Ensemble of Chicago

Official Website

Performing Thursday 8th November at TivoliVredenburg, curated by Moor Mother

“How ironic is it that a Chicago musician will be seeing this band for the first time in Utrecht? I have many of their albums, and have heard many iterations of this ensemble. They are a huge inspiration in terms of what they present sonically, and the benevolent nature of their music. I am particularly excited for the younger participants (Tomeka Reid especially), and to witness how the modernity of our time folds into legacy of The Art Ensemble of Chicago.”

Meridian Brothers

Official Website

Performing Friday 9th November at EKKO

“I hadn’t heard of Meridian Brothers until Tyler, a drummer I have been performing with during “Reaching For Indigo”, played some for us while driving through some small unknown European town this last February. I love the sounds they create – there is something vaguely beyond time about the sounds they produce. They are also a mysterious project…I am looking forward to seeing who they are, and what instruments they play live. I recently went to Colombia, where Tyler considered “going on the search” for the Meridian Brothers, but I can now thank my lucky stars that LGW has done the hard work for us. “

Ka Baird + Pekka Airaksinen

Ka Baird’s Official Website
Pekka Airaksinen’s Official Website

Performing Sunday 11th November at TivoliVredenburg

“This first time collaboration is going to be pure gold, I can just feel it. I am excited to be in the audience, and hear what unfolds – these are two mindful manipulators of sound that have a very wild and “on-the-loose” approach to composition. I am a huge fan of Ka Baird’s “Sapropelic Pycnic”, which came out last year on Drag City. The result of these two performing together are completely unpredictable, and that is why I will make sure to be present when their minds meet. “


Le Guess Who? will take place 8-11 November. For the full line-up, tickets and more info visit And take a look at other artists we’re excited about picking their own Le Guess Who?’s Who.