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Double H and Shirma Rouse in first New Skool Rules festival

By Daniel Brown

Dutch rapper Hind Hakki, aka Double H, and soul singer Shirma Rouse are emerging from the teeming metropolis of Rotterdam to bring out rare jazz and rap grooves. They have set the local scene alight with songs that cross over from Morocco to the United States, via the Netherlands. Their paths crossed at the inaugural Newskool Rules festival in the Dutch port. The second edition of the event has just been announced for April 2011.

The World Tracks picks of the month for this New Year 2011 JANUARY are:

1) Asmara’s got soul, Asmara All Stars (Outhere), Eritrea/France.

2) Cesaria Evora &, Cesaria Evora (Lusafrica), Cape Verde.

3) Angola Soundtrack: the Unique Sound of Luanda 1968-1976, Various (Analog Africa), Angola.

4) The Sound of Siam, Thailand various (Soundway), Thailand.

5) Kwegne, Kateyece Fotso (Contre-Jour), Cameroon.

6) Best of Lura, Lura (Lusafrica), Cape Verde.

7) Vividly, Pierre Bensusan (Dadgao Music), Algeria/France.

8) Philharmonics, Agnes Obel (PIAS).

9) Farafinko, Ali Keïta (Contre Jour), Germany/Côte d’Ivoire.

10) Remixed, Luisa Maita (Cumbancha), Brazil.

Rootsy riches from Senegal's Senaya and Portugal's Frei Fado d'El Rei

Actitud Maria Marta and Conversa Ribeira - two trios worlds apart

Kleztory and Warsaw Village Band revive eastern European music with a modern twist

Russian Sylvia Vadimova and Tunisian Moufadhel Adhoum: artists flourishing in exile

Thomas Vahle, Congopunq and Cae: French-based musicians explore unchartered territory

Mixing north African and world music - Majid Bekkas, Khader Fahem Mimoun Rafroua and Atef