New album by Bokanté + Metropole Orkest out now

What Heat, the sophomore album by US-based band Bokanté, is out today. Rich in the sound of delta and desert, the album is a collaboration with the world-renowned Metropole Orkest, based in the Netherlands, and UK conductor and arranger Jules Buckley.

Featuring the singles All The Way Home and Fanm, What Heat was recorded between Brooklyn, NY and Hilversum in the Netherlands. The album follows the debut album Strange Circles, and continues band leader Michael League’s exploration of world music:

“I wanted to put together a band that traces the blues from its roots in Africa and the Arab world throughout the diaspora and into a modern context. A big part of the blues belongs to an acoustic idiom; I wanted this band to pursue how groove-based and soulful it can be.”

Bokanté truly is a global music project: vocalist Malika Tirolien is a Montreal-based Guadeloupian who sings in Creole, and amongst the 8-strong line-up they have members from the USA, Sweden and Japan (via Brazil).

Read more about the inspiration behind What Heat on the album’s release page

The official video for 'All The Way Home'

Reviews of What Heat

Buckley’s orchestrations add eastern-tinged atmosphere that sometimes echoes the dramatic thud of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’… on the best tracks the music attains a hypnotic grandeur.” ★★★★ The Times (UK)

“The feeling of drama cannot be ignored and the sheer expanse of sound is wonderful, each note is perfectly executed, each exhale is made with seeming ease and beauty …This is stunning beyond expectation and will have you pausing for breath on many occasion. Amazing.” Louder Than War (UK)

Guadaloupe-born singer Malika Tirolien’s vocals are supple, capable of both delicacy and force, and with hip-hop inflectionsThe Observer (UK)

Purchase/Stream the album

Featured Release

  • What Heat

    Bokanté + Metropole Orkest (Conducted by Jules Buckley)

    Released 28 September 2018

    Bokanté traces the blues from its roots in Africa and the Arab world throughout the diaspora and into a modern context. Band leader Michael League (Snarky Puppy) plays everything from oud, Minimoog and fretless acoustic bass to bendir, riq and daf frame drum. The album features Guadalupan vocalist Malika Tirolien and is a collaboration with the Metropole Orkest and arranger/conductor Jules Buckley.

By Online Editor

Published on Fri, 05 October 18

Further reading

New album by Bokanté + Metropole Orkest out now

What Heat follows the band's 2017 debut, and features Jules Buckley as orchestra arranger/conductor.

Behind the scenes with Bokanté in new video for ‘Fanm’

Featuring scenes from the recording sessions with the Metropole Orkest and Jules Buckley

And The Beat Goes On: A profile of Remmy Ongala

Remmy Ongala was Tanzania's most famous musician and originator of the bongo beat.

The Gloaming at the National Concert Hall: ‘An experiment in controlled happenstance’

A closer look at the phenomenon that is The Gloaming's annual sold-out residency at the NCH, Dublin.