AMJ Reggaemani Review

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

04 November 2013 · 22:01
An inspired and ambient debut from AMJ Collective

Former Restriction members Mark Spence, Andy Clarke and John Hollis have re-united after three decades as AMJ Collective. Last year they dropped the 12” Sound History Volume 1 and now it’s time for a debut full-length effort.

On Sign they have worked with a diverse set of musicians from various parts of the world in order to create an ambient, atmospheric and warm reggae album with African and Latin tocuhes. This album is something truly special and it, for example, features Cuban trumpeter Michel Padron and Colombian guitarist Camilo Menjura on an inspired version of Don Corleon’s Drop Leaf riddim.

It was recorded in Bristol, Paris, Havana and London and offers deep and relaxed grooves, but also glances at dubstep and dub. Traditional reggae is merged with lush strings and singer Kaia McTernan graces Sign of the Times with her ethereal voice.

Sign is deeply rooted in reggae, but it also pushes boundaries and takes reggae to new and exciting places. It’s a dreamy, contemporary and global groove.

Catrin & Seckou Financial Times Review

Friday, October 18th, 2013

financial_times_logoBy David Honigmann

A royal harpist from Wales teams up with a kora player (which is to say, another court harpist) from Senegal.

Finch and Keita swap tunes from both traditions, one taking the lead while the other fills and improvises around the edges, then seamlessly trading places.

‘Robert Ap Huw Meets Nialing Sonko’ is the centrepiece: 16th century harp tunes playing off against the blissful melodies of the Casamance.


Catrin & Seckou Songlines Review

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Songlines _ November - December (#96)

Catrin & Seckou London Evening Standard Review

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013


Clychau Dibon

(Astar Artes)


Welsh harp and Senegalese kora – a sublime duo of two artists who are masters of their instruments. Yet it might not have worked, because both instruments are plucked and often it’s better to have more contrasted textures. But just listening to the way the opening track builds up, you can feel a sense of musicality and architecture at work with both artists drawing on the traditional repertoire of their respective cultures. Both of them are no strangers to collaboration, but this is their most seductive. The overall effect is of a rich web of sound, but they bring moments of drama when necessary. I also suspect that it’s something that will get more intriguing and appealing the better you get to know it.

Simon Broughton

Seckou and Catrin Uncut Review

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013


Catrin & Seckou: excellent fROOTS review

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

songlines (cleaned)

4* Mojo review for Miro

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013


Miro gets 4* Songlines review

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Songlines Jan Issue 2012

Seckou Keita Miro Astar (48 mins)

Well-travelled griot keeps the home fires burning

Seckou Keita is representative of a new breed of African musician for whom the world really has become a global village. Born into a griot family in the Casamance region of Senegal, he now lives in Nottingham, and recorded this album in six countries across three continents, from Dakar to Havana and from Seville to Bogota. The opening track ‘Rewmi’ (Country) was a popular anthem calling for unity during the Senegalese elections earlier this year, with Keita’s rippling kora work and sturdy voice underpinned by female backing vocals, calabash and the throbbing pulse of Cuban bass player Michel ‘Pata’ Salazar. ‘Hino’ finds the Spanish singer Inma ‘La Carbonera’ delivering a characteristically passionate flamenco vocal in duet with the soulful, Arabic-tinged voice of Mohamed Diaby over Keita’s lovely solo kora. Salazar returns again on ‘Kouma’, a tour de force on which he’s joined by Colombian percussion, flute and balafon. Yet the album is far from being a global mishmash of styles. Rather it beats strongly with a sense of unity of purpose, rooted in both Mandinka and Wolof traditions, so that however far Keita’s musical travels take him, his proud griot heritage journeys with him.


Nigel Williamson

Miro gets a 4* review in The Guardian

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Robin Denselow   
The Guardian, Thursday 4 October 2012 22.30 BST   

Following the debut set by those rousing London-based Ethiopians, Krar Collective, here's another reminder of the great African music currently to be found in the UK. Seckou Keita lives in Nottingham, but was born into a griot family in Casamance, in the south of Senegal, where he was taught kora and percussion by his grandfather and uncles. He's a fine instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, and his distinctive, gently driving style is influenced both by his West African roots and international travels. So on the opening track Rewmi (Country), his fluid, rippling kora work is matched by sturdy backing from the Cuban bass player Michel "Pata" Salazar, guitars and calabash, and insistent vocals from Keita, Mariama Kouyate and his sister Binta Suso, while the song itself is a call for unity that was popular in Senegal during the elections earlier this year. Elsewhere, he shows off his instrumental work on the drifting instrumental Distance, and is joined by flamenco singer Inma "La Carbonera" for the passionate flamenco-kora workout, Hino. A classy, often gently mesmeric set.


Yn Byw Review in Arcadia (Colombia)

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010