Rebel Up! Records

Rebel Up Records, up & running since March 2018!

It is time to move to the next level and start releasing artists and music that we love. The goal of our label is to release artists who have a strong global sound & message, as well as social political contexts. A big focus on contemporary ‘global’ traditional and electronic music to give various music cultures and movements a voice. Our focus is mainly on diaspora artists & musicians who are based in Belgium and other countries, whose music can not easily be placed in a box within the current ‘world music’ setup. Sounds from the global underground is our motto! So far we have released artists from Ghana, Mexico/Belgium, Tunisia/Denmark, Iraq/Belgium, Morocco/Benin/Brussels and to be expected: Portugal, Peru, Cabo Verde and much more.

All audio & purchase options online very soon in our webshop or via our Bandcamp.

For wholesale / shops > our worldwide distribution runs via N.E.W.S. Distribution.
For EU orders, please contact
US/Canada orders, check with Forced Exposure
Japan/Asia, check with Disk Union

Check & listen to all our releases below >

Ayuune Sule – We Have One Destiny (RUP001 / MR23)
traditional kologo songs and urban hybrid styles such as azonto and hiplife
available on vinyl, digital and cd, released in collaboration with Makkum Records.
released on 23 March 2018

Ayuune Sule is a Ghanaian musician of the kologo scene in the Kumasi region, Northern Ghana. As a right hand man to King Ayisoba (Glitterbeat Records), he is a vital part of his band and often opens up solo during their international tours. On this album Ayuune Sule brings traditional kologo songs with contemporary urban electronic productions of azonto and hiplife. It’s an album that is rooted in tradition but at the same time breathes the forward pushing hybrid sounds of Ghana, with lyrics about daily life, struggles, equality, happiness, spiritualism and injustice.

Official video of “What A Man Can Do A Woman Can Do More Better” feat. Louisa.

 Memo Pimiento – A Todo Dar (RUP002)
Electro cumbia wave via Mexico from Brussels!
released on 13 April 2018

Guillermo ‘Memo’ Pimiento grew up in the capital Mexico D.F. and lives in Brussels since 2012. He is joined by 2 band members, the Belgian Manon Amen (nicknamed Man.on) who is the female MC and dancer of the band to fire up the crowd and by Cuban percussionist Victor Hugo for some extra percussive power.A Todo Dar is a personal soundtrack of Memo’s life between Belgium and Mexico and the extremes of these different worlds, sometimes complete opposites. He created a tripping context with human emotions, bringing the sun and heat of Mexico to Belgium as well as the cerebral creativity of popular Mexican music into an electronic tropical wave sound.

official video of “Chacahua”

Nuri – Drup (RUP003 / SHK002)
contemporary electro maghreb & west african beats
Our 3rd release is a LP vinyl release in collaboration with Tunisian label Shouka.
Released 1 april 2018 > less than 40 copies!

Nuri is the alter ego of Amine Ennouri, born in 1987 in Tunis, where he started his musical career. As a drummer and a composer, he was at the origin of the Tunisian alternative scene, joining ephocal and experimental projects such as Gultrah Sound System and Chabbouba. Collaborating with independant artists such as Haydar Hamdi, Wael Jegham (Ghoula) and Gato Preto is an important part of his work today.

His debut album “Drup” is a tribute to Tunisian’s African heritage, and a bridge to other traditions, replete with percussions and vocals from all over the mother continent, but also from Asia, combined with digital work to constitute an amalgam of then and now. It was composed mostly on the island of Bornholm, in Denmark, where Nuri regularly retreats for creative introspection since 2015.

Babylon Trio – Live @ Nuits Sonores Bxl, BRASS (RUPCS005 / NGHE Mediatheque)
electronic dance music from the Iraq diaspora with chobi chobi, dabke and hybrids on synthesizer, percussion and vocals.
Released 15 june.  limited edition audio cassette (100 copies) & digital. only 30 left

In 2015 & 2016, the three Iraqi musicians of Babylon Trio arrived in Belgium as refugees of the war in Iraq. keyboard player Arkan Mushtak hails from Baghdad, as well as his fellow musicians Walaa Saad (vocals) and Saif Al-Qaissy (darbouka, percussion and backing vocals). Together they play an electrified mix of contemporary Iraqi music styles, such as chobi chobi, dabke, maqam and electronic hybrids.

This is a live set recorded in September 2017 during the 1st edition of the Nuits Sonores festival in Brussels, in the BRASS venue. We thank Nuits Sonores and BRASS for their support! Also the NGHE Mediatheque for their everlasting support of cultural events for refugees and ethnic communities. End of September 2018, the trio will release their debut album ‘’ on Rebel Up Records as vinyl & digital. Limited audio cassette: 110 copies via our webshop.

Arabstazy – Under Frustration volume 1 (RUP004 / Shouka label)
Experimental electronic music from the Arab world
Released 25 may 2018

Under Frustration is a 3 volumes compilation project by Tunisian collective Arabstazy, establishing a picture of the contemporary electronic music scene in the Arab World. This musical journey stands for the diversity of this scene, and deconstructs the occidental perceptions that sees the Arab World as a culturally united and homogeneous entity. It is a manifesto for the burgeoning wave of post-revolution futurism, with artists from Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine. Rebel Up is partner for the vinyl release. Get the vinyl here.

Babylon Trio – Habibi (RUP006)
contemporary electronic Iraqi & Arab rave sounds from Brussels newest sensation
Released 26 september 2018. Vinyl in spot varnish cover & digital

In the last 3 years, the members of Babylon Trio established themselves as musicians in Belgium, mostly playing to the diaspora community of Iraqi’s, Syrians and other Arab expats. For composer and keys player Arkan Mushtak this started with the music project Sijsele Refugee All Stars in the Bruges area, aided by local cultural organisations. From there Arkan joined the Cinemaximiliaan project, an interdisciplinary cultural organisation in Brussels that brings refugees and locals with different backgrounds together. In this project Arkan again met Walaa Saad and Saif Al-Qiassy who already knew each other from Baghdad. The idea of the Babylon Trio band was created at a night in December 2016 at an Iraqi cultural evening in the NGHE Mediatheque in the Sint-Jans-Molenbeek borough of Brussels.

Together they play an electrified mix of contemporary Iraqi and Arabic music styles, such as choubi choubi, dabke, maqam and electronic hybrids that put the dancefloor on fire. The trio’s debut album “Habibi” features songs about their old life in Iraq and new life in Brussels, Belgium, with topics such as separation from loved ones, love, beauty, honour and pure Arabic party bangers.

Listen here on Bandcamp, order via there or our webshop

Luc Mishalle & Marockin’ Brass – Beats & Pieces  (RUP007 / MetX)
atmospheric Afro jazz meets spiritual Moroccan gnawa and chaabi funk
released on 19 october 2018

After years of playing with the Moroccan community of Brussels, jazz musician Luc Mishalle knows every trick of the cross-fertilization between gnawa music, jazz & brass. On ‘Beats & Pieces’ his band Marockin’ Brass adds electronic beats, produced by the Arab-beats master Sofyann Ben Youssef (Ammar808, Kel Assouf) and aided by guest muscians such as Roel Poriau (Think of One, Antwerp Gipsy-Ska Orkestra), Maalem Driss Filali and Esinam Dogbatse. The album is a mix of steaming gnaoua, sweaty shaabi-funk accompanied by some redhot brass and free flowing afro jazz that will blow the sand out of your ears!

Listen here on Bandcamp, order via there or our webshop.

CD (wholesale) available via Music & Words.

official video of “Jilali Bouhalam”

V.A – Four Corners of the Globe (RUP010 / Rebel Up / Red Wig / Makkum Records / OCCII Recordings)
Live recordings at OCCII venue in Amsterdam of African music, free jazz and punk.
Released on 6 May 2019, vinyl & digital only.

Music without Constraints.

In times when every aspect of life seems to be a ‘product’, it’s difficult to imagine that for centuries music was made for a different reason. That music was a way for people to express themselves and their feelings about the world they lived in: their joys, their desires, their anger and pain, without an ulterior motive. For artists, freedom is the highest goal. Music made by free spirits, for free spirits. It happens worldwide and in an extensive network.

Occii in Amsterdam is one of these stations, already for more than 25 years. It’s a free port for all kinds of music that don’t fit the commercial entertainment template. And it will be clear that they won’t be mainstream pop. It’s folk and grass roots music from around the world. It’s jazz and improvised music, rooted in freedom. It’s punk, based on anger and spontaneity. And that is precisely the music presented on this LP, recorded at Occii and other cultural oases in Amsterdam.

Like freedom, music doesn’t have constraints. The record opens with Zea and Afework Nigussie, a Dutchman and an Ethiopian, singing a topical American folk blues song from the early twentieth century. Les Filles de Illighadad from Niger and Ghanese kologo champion King Ayisoba take over, simply to prove that music is a language that is understood around the world. Improvisation-based rock band Kurws from Poland presents a piece from their album ‘Alarm’, anticipating the B side of the LP, which opens with a fifteen-minute explosion of energy and creativity by Cinema Soloriens. Filmmaker and musician James Harrar and Marshall Allen – the cosmic Sun Ra’s musical right hand for almost half a century – with the help of a few more like-minded souls aim straight for the stars in ‘The Man who Married the Moon’. The record ends on some drops of healthy, undiluted punk. Rhode Island’s Dropdead and Dutch veterans LäRM with former Rondos frontman Johannes ‘Red Rat’ van de Weert as a guest singer. ‘Every day is a new start’ says Rooie Waas’ Gijs Borstlap. It’s something to remember. Like Dropdead singer Bob Otis’ words on this LP: ‘If one voice can change the future, then what can a hundred voices do? Or a thousand?’ In other words: Do It Yourself, All Together.

Listen & order via Bandcamp.

Octa Push – Língua (RUP008 / CMB001)
Electronic music from Lisbon in Afro Portuguese styles, limited vinyl edition! 
Released on 17 June 2019, vinyl & digital

Octa Push is a portuguese duo formed by brothers Leoleo and Mushug that fuses Lusophone music (Angola, Bissau, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tomé) with electronic sounds. On 17 june, “Língua” will be released as limited edition vinyl on Rebel Up Records for the first time since its original release in 2016 on the band’s Combatentes home label. The vinyl celebrates this hidden gem of an album that has largely stayed under the rader of european and african ears. 

“Língua” is the 2nd full length album of Octa Push and features guests such as Tó Trips (Dead Combo), Batida, Cachupa Psicadélica, Cátia Sá (Guta Naki), Maria João Grancha, Ary (Blasted Mechanism), João Gomes (Orelha Negra & Fogo Fogo), Braima Galissa, Alex (Terrakota), AF Diaphra and Gospel Collective among others. The record, almost entirely in the Portuguese language, is a tribute to the Lusophone music that has been made in the last 40 years. Electronic music meets semba, morna, funaná, afrohouse and even brazilian music. 

Listen here on Bandcamp, order via there or our webshop.

Tropikal Camel – Awakening Spirits (RUP009)
Arab electronic sounds from Morocco, Kurdistan and Syria to European nightclubs
Released on 17 June 2019, vinyl & digital

Those are the spirits of my ancestors calling from the Mellah of Meknes, from the mountains of Kurdistan. The unheard voices of my culture, that was taken from me. I shall talk to the spirits, I will heal the wounds. I was asleep, now I am awaken.”

Berlin based, Jerusalem pioneer Roi Assayag aka Tropikal Camel serves up his fantastic new album, ‘Awakening Spirits’ on Brussels based label Rebel Up Records, distilling 20 years of musical experience. Expect to be whirled by psychedelic electronics, churning drums and Syrian sufi chanting, clattering Davul drums from Kurdistan and ‘Berlin’ made techno with a borderless Arab identity.

The album title ‘Awakening Spirits’ is a worldplay: winds, spirits & ghosts are one and the same word in Hebrew & Arabic – Ruaah. This title is polysemic: spirts are representing the mystic research that is eternal, winds are representing drama and conflict, ghosts are the voices from the past… the word ‘awakening’ symbolizes the future.

Expect to be whirled by psychedelic electronics, churning drums and Syrian sufi chanting, clattering Davul drums from Kurdistan and ‘Berlin’ made techno with a borderless Arab identity.

Available as black vinyl or limited edition neon pink vinyl.
Listen here on Bandcamp, order via there or our webshop.

Diron Animal – Pair (RUP011) An exploration of afrohouse, kuduro, afrodisco and afroboogie by Angolan artist Diron Animal (ex-Throes + The Shine)
Released on 25 June 2019, vinyl & digital

For over 6 years, Nirox Romao aka Diron Animal sang, danced and traveled the world with Afro Portuguese act Throes + The Shine, mixing rock and kuduro, becoming an explosive ensemble. At one point, Diron wanted to record a solo album to show a bit more of his own personality and in late 2017 his debut album ‘Alone’ appeared on Soundway Records, where he himself worked out the melodies, rhythm, vocals and even the guitar parts between classic funk to afrohouse and kuduro bass. Through that album he explored major festivals in Europe last year.

On his 2nd album ‘Pair’, he has worked hard to enhance his special formula. Inspired by the cruel death of his nephew, it became a testament against LGTB oppression and social injustice via the mixed sounds of afro boogie, disco, funk, afrohouse, coupé décalé and kuduro, with English and Portuguese lyrics. 

Available digital and on vinyl. Listen here in our Bandcamp

Satanique Samba Trio – Mais Bad (RUP013)
Instrumental Brazilian compositions between folklore, free jazz and punk.
Released on vinyl / digital on 13 september

Brasília based instrumental-experimental-tropical quintet Satanique Samba Trio, known for its iconoclastic research on Brazilian traditional rhythms merged with punk and free jazz aesthetics, is pushing the envelope on the low fidelity field once again!

Their new 10″ vinyl “Mais Bad” is a conceptual sequel to their 2015 10inch vinyl release “Mó Bad” and is a new collection of low fidelity bagatelles, forged into existence by Satanique Samba Trio’s thirst for aesthetical deconstruction. All instrumentals on this 10 short track vinyl have been recorded with a cheap cell phone from the early 2000’s. It is meant to sound desperate, harsh and absolutely surreal. A little over the top, maybe? Yeah, but hey: that’s just how a country in crisis should look and sound like. Right?

LISTEN / ORDER 10inch vinyl via Bandcamp!

Susobrino – La Hoja de Eucalipto (RUP012),
Field Recordings, carefully chosen percussion, electronic spice and acoustic ingredients by Bolivian Belgian artist Susobrino.
Releases 19 september on vinyl

In 2018, Susobrino presented his first EP “Mapajo” on Global Hybrid Records. Since then he has won several awards and introduced his creations to numerous festivals in Belgium and abroad. His new album “La Hoja de Eucalipto” brings alive a more energetic and aggressive side of Susobrino and presents a work focused on ethnic and world sounds, mixing his masterful percussion with electronic beats to create a unique and distinctive sound. The context of the album is an imaginary epic story of 5 individuals going on a spiritual quest into nature, told in 7 compositions / chapters.

In collaboration with the XXIII label from Porto, Portugal, who released “La Hoja de Eucalipto” digitally on May 1st.

Official release of the vinyl is on sunday 22 september during the Rebel Up Records curated Global Street Sounds day & evening at the Ancienne Belgique venue in Brussels alongside La Yegros, Nuro and more. FB event / website.

LISTEN / PRE-ORDER vinyl via Bandcamp!

Nikanor – Bajo El Sol (RUP014)
Chicha cumbia, Andean folk rock, cumbia amazonica from Peruvian Brussels band.
Released 15 january on vinyl, cd and digital

Nikanor is a Peruvian band based in Brussels. Nikanor plays Chicha cumbia, a unique genre based on Andean melodies blended with tropical percussions and a rock ensemble. The first bands of Chicha appeared in Peru during the mid-1960’s and was very popular until the mid-1980’s. In the last years, ‘la Chicha’ is experiencing a renaissance, with bands and audiences from around the world (re)discovering its power and sound.

Taking the big names and bands from the Chicha cumbia genre as a reference, Nikanor started in 2016 as a cover band, to play the most remarkable and strongest songs and make them recognizable in the Belgian scene. Since then the band has evolved into a group that writes their own music and songs.

Their songs are a mix of rock, Chicha cumbia and Andean folk. Songs like ‘La Bajada del Kuraka’, with its Afro-Peruvian rhythms, or ‘Cóndor Blanco’, with its Quenas (Andean panpipes), make this album a trip to Peru. While listening to the songs you feel like flying through landscapes and rhythms from all around the country. All of this is played in a rock-structured band that invites to dancing and partying in a live setting.
Listen below!

Cheb Runner – Tagnatwit EP (RUP016)
spiritual Gnawa meets electronic club music to create ‘Gnawatech’
Released 11 march on limited vinyl & digital

The latest project by belgo-moroccan producer Reda Senhaji, alias Cheb Runner, focuses on breeding a new style of music between Electronics and Gnawa. Taking inspiration from electronic club styles, relying heavily on analog synths and drum-machines.

The sound is darker, more experimental and mature than the artist’s previous project, Gan Gah. But the producer also digs into the acoustic sounds of his youth, for an organic feeling of warmth and celebration. The young producer is a son of Gnawa himself, this is the music he grew up with and played as a kid. Now he brings it to the club scene : Cheb Runner’s first EP is experimental, brutal, innovative.

The syncopation of the classic Gnawa percussions – Qraqebs & Tbal – combined with the use of Guembri bass are the heart and soul of the Tagnawit EP, Tagnawit translates as ‘the way of the gnawa’. Featuring two traditional Gnawa masters (maalems) based in Brussels, Mâalem Driss Filali and Mâalem Hicham Bilali, this EP is a reunion for the belgian Gnawa scene, keeping the vibe alive.

Getting past definitions and genres, it opens new horizons for North-African producers, showing them how to use their roots to make new beats. It encourages both tradition and modernity in Music. In 2019, Gnawa music, dance and culture were added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list, demonstrating both the relevance of the genre and the necessity to preserve it.

Cheb, the Arabic word for “young boy”, is traditionally used to describe the young generation of Raï singers – like Cheb Hasni, Cheb Mami or Cheb Khaled. It means the new generation is here, to create something new with something old. The reference to the Ridley Scott movie Blade Runner is just that: while the Cheb comes from the bled, a moroccan village in the Agadir region, the beats come from the club scene of an industrial city, like Berlin, Detroit or Molenbeek/Brussels. Ancient rhythms to inspire the next generations. 

Out on limited edition vinyl, normal black or marbled red.

Satanique Samba Trio – Instant Karma mini album (RUP016)
Tropical improv experiments from the heart of Brazil with a flair of samba and forro drenched in a punk jazz attitude.
Released on 1 May 2020, digital only

May Day special for the lockdowned masses.

Satanique Samba Trio’s most recent release “Instant Karma” WAS SUPPOSED TO BE the first liquid album in history: taking advantage of the short-lived exposure provided by Instagram Stories, your favorite Brazilian experimental quintet (yes, quintet), known for its brief-but-complex-deconstructed-Brazilian-rhythm-pieces, presented the world with a 15-second lo-fi tune every day throughout the month of February 2019. Taken together, it’s like a 7 minute mini mixtape trip into the tropi-concrete world of SS3.

In accordance with Instagram Stories’ rules, each song was available online for exact 24 hours, only to disappear FOREVER, leaving a faint sketch of Brazil’s musical diversity on the ethereal surface of your memory. Ground breaking, right? Yeah, but only for a year or so, as illegally downloaded versions of the tunes started to pop up around the Russian web.
Well, it was fun while it lasted.

The good news is now you can have Instant Karma in your HD as a chock-full digital package. Let it drip.

Upcoming releases > 

Dandana - Free The System single (mid May)
Schrøøthøøp - Klein Gevaarlijk Afval (June)
Kaito Winse - Kaladounia (Ici le monde) (September)
Dandana - Free The System album (September)
Ayuune Sule - 2nd album (Autumn)
V/A - Chicha Popular: Social Political & Love songs from Peru's Discos Horoscopo 1978-1987 (Autumn / Winter)
RUPDIGI000 Rebel Up - Maghrebtronics Remixes EP