World

World2020-03-09T20:49:16+00:00
Ranil “Ranil Y Su Conjunto Tropical” (Analog Africa)

Ranil “Ranil Y Su Conjunto Tropical” (Analog Africa)

The 11th Limited Dance Edition Ranil y su Conjunto Tropical. Fourteen mindblowing Cumbia masterpieces – many of which have never seen wide release outside the Amazonian region.

Ranil’s extraordinary output has remained one of the best kept secrets among collectors of cumbia and psychedelic Latin sounds. With the release of Ranil y su Conjunto Tropical it is a secret no longer. Assembled by Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb from original LPs sourced from Ranil himself, this fully-licenced compilation presents 14 tracks – many of which have never seen wide release outside the Amazonian region – by a singular artist at the very height of his considerable powers. Prepare yourself for a guitar groove you won’t soon forget.

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Matao and Atilla Engin “Turkish Delight” (Arsivplak)

Matao and Atilla Engin “Turkish Delight” (Arsivplak)

Arsivplak present a reissue of Matao with Atilla Engin’s Turkish Delight, originally released in 1979. It’s a Turkish jazz-funk delight! Some hard-hitting rhythm section blending into a prime example of the swingin’ sound of the cool influences of jazz, funk, and folk music, with a Turkish flavor. Its fantastic funk jazz groove built on a titanium synth bassline! An instrumental library of traditional Turkish jazz session reaching a great climax in drums and percussion sets, plus electro-bass breaks with Moog and synthesizers from the beginning to the end. Traditional Turkish songs based on drums and synth bass over moody 5/8 fuzz guitars… Album recorded and released in Denmark, 1979, and it has never been released in Turkey. Hard cardboard sleeve; obi.

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Master Musicians Of Jajouka “Apocalypse Across The Sky” (Zehra)

Master Musicians Of Jajouka “Apocalypse Across The Sky” (Zehra)

Zehra present a reissue of Apocalypse Across The Sky by The Master Musicians of Jajouka featuring Bachir Attar, originally released in 1992. Available on vinyl for the very first time. Produced by Bill Laswell, remastered for vinyl by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. No matter if you consider the Master Musicians of Jajouka a “4,000 year-old rock n’ roll band” (William S. Burroughs) or even “6,000 years old” (Ornette Coleman) — without doubt, the music of the ensemble in all its incarnations over the centuries is deeply rooted in Sufi mysticism, paganism, and the cult of the goat-god Boujeloud. According to a myth, many centuries ago Boujeloud appeared to a shepherd called Attar, an ancestor of today’s ensemble leader Bachir Attar, and till today every year at the end of Ramadan a fire in honor of the goat-god is ignited. This pagan root aside, the music performed in several hour long rituals on traditional instruments like tebel and tariyya (drums), ghaita (a woodwind instrument), lira (flute), and gimbri (stringed instrument) reveals hypnotic, trance-inducing qualities and is considered to have magical and healing properties. In the 1950s, Brion Gysin along with Paul Bowles were among the first westerners to witness such a ceremony, and it was Gysin who invited the Master Musicians of Jajouka to play in his restaurant in Tangier, and who later (in 1967) brought Brian Jones to the small village of Jajouka where the Rolling Stones guitarist recorded the ensemble for what became the first “world music album” and that raised interest in the Master Musicians of Jajouka in the western world. Since those days, a wide number of creative minds like William S. Burroughs, Ornette Coleman, Marc Ribot, Flea, Talvin Singh, or the Rolling Stones have worked with the Master Musicians of Jajouka who are now performing regularly outside Morocco. In 1991, iconic producer Bill Laswell also embarked on a trip to the small village of just 800 inhabitants in the Rif mountains to record the group for his Axiom label — Apocalypse Across The Sky is, unlike other Laswell projects that bring together different cultures and genres, a pure document of the ensemble, raw and unpolished but exquisitely recorded, and ranks among the essential recordings according to the world music magazine Songlines. 180 gram vinyl; gatefold sleeve; includes download code.

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Seke Molenga & Kalo Kawongolo “Seke Molenga & Kalo Kawongolo” (Antarctica Starts Here)

Seke Molenga & Kalo Kawongolo “Seke Molenga & Kalo Kawongolo” (Antarctica Starts Here)

“Over the years, they would come to say that the Africans just appeared one day in Jamaica. That two Congo men somehow materialized on the streets of Kingston sometime in 1977, almost as if by magic, speaking not a word of English or patwa. The duo, they say, were musicians brought in by a Jamaican promoter—a woman who ditched them, leaving them to fend for themselves, stranded in a strange land. “What really happened is harder to fully divine. The two young Africans—Molenga Mosukola (aka Seke) and Kawongolo Kimwanga (aka Kalo)—were musicians from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then known as the Republic of Zaire, and had indeed been brought to Jamaica by a woman. But she was not a Jamaican promoter; she was a Frenchwoman named Nadette Duget, an executive at CBS France. “Seke and Kalo were both vocalists and guitarists who also played percussion; one of them also handled the saxophone. Initially, Duget had intended for the recording to take place at Byron Lee’s Dynamic Sounds studio. Somehow, though, the project instead ended up at Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s Black Ark. “When Seke Molenga and Kalo Kawongolo arrived at the Black Ark, Perry was wrapping up the sessions for the Heart of the Congos. He was immediately enamored with the two Congolese visitors and did regard their presence as a fortuitous sign. As he later said in 1992, ‘I know they were sent from Africa, because Africa wanted to make that heart connection in the Ark Studio. So African have to appear in the Ark Of The Covenant to manifest the African drum.’ “Perry eventually completed the work with Seke and Kalo: a deeply rootsy and rugged album under the working title Monama (which in Lingala means ‘Rainbo’). He submitted it to Island, but as they had done with Heart of the Congos, they passed on releasing it. “While it has remained relatively obscure, even as Perry’s Black Ark oeuvre has been rehabilitated and lionized over the past two decades, the album has nevertheless been quietly influential. Its groundbreaking amalgamation of African music and dub anticipated similar experiments by producers like Adrian Sherwood, Bill Laswell and Jah Wobble who would ride to critical acclaim in the ’80s and ’90s.” – Uchenna Ikonne (excerpt from the liner notes)

Tony Allen nd Hugh Masekela “Rejoice” (World Circuit)

Tony Allen nd Hugh Masekela “Rejoice” (World Circuit)

Rejoice is a very special collaboration between Tony Allen, the legendary drummer and co-founder of Afrobeat, and Hugh Masekela, the master trumpet player of South African jazz. Having first met in the 70s thanks to their respective close associations with Fela Kuti, the two world-renowned musicians talked for decades about making an album together. When, in 2010, their touring schedules coincided in the UK, the moment presented itself and producer Nick Gold took the opportunity to record their encounter. The unfinished sessions, consisting of all original compositions by the pair, lay in archive until after Masekela passed away in 2018. With renewed resolution, Tony Allen and Nick Gold, with the blessing and participation of Hugh Masekela’s estate, unearthed the original tapes and finished recording the album in summer 2019 at the same London studio where the original sessions had taken place.

Rejoice can be seen as the long overdue confluence of two mighty African musical rivers – a union of two free-flowing souls for whom borders, whether physical or stylistic, are things to pass through or ignore completely. According to Allen, the album deals in “a kind of South African-Nigerian swing-jazz stew”, with its roots firmly in Afrobeat. Allen and Masekela are accompanied on the record by a new generation of well-respected jazz musicians including Tom Herbert (Acoustic Ladyland / The Invisible), Joe Armon-Jones (Ezra Collective), Mutale Chashi (Kokoroko) and Steve Williamson.

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Orlando Marin “Out Of My Mind” (Brunswick)

Orlando Marin “Out Of My Mind” (Brunswick)

A Latin Soul classic – but one that’s a lot more obscure than some of the better-remembered albums on Fania and Tico from the late 60s! Orlando Marin is probably mostly known as an arranger, and a leader from the earlier years of the New York scene – but during the Latin Soul years he cut this fantastic set for Decca – easily one of the best of the all-great Latin sides the label was doing at the time! Lyrics are often in English, and sung with a good deal of soul by Eddie Revere – and Orlando’s group crackles with the intensity of the Joe Cuba Sextet – thanks to a timbales-heavy sound in the lead, lots of dark piano on the bottom, and some trumpety flourishes on the top – all with a nice dose of jazz in the mix. Soul-based titles include “Sugarfoot Baby”, “The Hustler”, and “Out Of My Mind” – and other titles include “Eenie Meenie Chow Chow”, “Chickie’s Cookie”, “La Lengua”, “Palo Monte”, and “No Puede Ser”.  © 1996-2020, Dusty Groove, Inc.

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We No Be Machine

We No Be Machine

In Stock March 17, 2020

Afro futurist sensations Onipa unleash their debut album, combining afro grooves, electronics and fierce energy for an effervescent celebration of cultural and musical encounters
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ONIPA means ‘human’ in Akan, the ancient language of the Ashanti people of Ghana. It’s a message of connection through collaboration: from Ghana to London, our ancestors to our children, Onipa brings energy, groove, electronics, afrofuturism, dance and fire!
Born out of deep collaboration between long-time friends KOG (Kweku of Ghana of KOG and the Zongo Brigade) and Tom Excell (MD, guitarist and writer of acclaimed jazz/ soul afrobeat pioneers Nubiyan Twist), the 4 piece live show features KOG on vocals, balafon and percussion, Tom Excell on guitar, percussion and electronics, Dwayne Kilvington (Wonky Logic) on synths and MPC and Finn Booth (Nubiyan Twist) on drums.

“As we chase the morphic resonance of African art, sound and movement into new worlds, we find stories of the past answering riddles of the future. Tales of existence and resistance, of our innate ability to positively connect, express, share and create. Tales of extending our natural abilities beyond our own survival, to the survival of the planet, reminding us that our ancient connection with the earth must not be traded for technology and materials.

Through the musical prisms of London and Ghana our influences join together to create a new sound, ‘Savanna Bass’. A fundamental thread of traditional African rhythms, instrumentation and storytelling, interwoven with electronics, urban soundscapes and synth bass. We use technology, but it should never use us, our music is live and about deep human connection.”

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Super Mana Djombo “Na Cambança” (Rush Hour)

Super Mana Djombo “Na Cambança” (Rush Hour)

Mar & Sol presents the reissue of “Na Cambança” the first album of the big band from Guiné Bissau SUPER MAMA DJOMBO.

The band was formed in the mid-1960s, at a Boy Scout camp, when the members were only children (the youngest was six years old)!

Djombo is the name of a spirit that many fighters appealed to for protection during Guinea-Bissau’s War of Independence.

In 1974, the politically conscious band leader Adriano Atchutchi joined. The group became immensely popular in the young country, which had gained its independence on the same year. They would often play at President Luís Cabral’s public speeches, and their concerts were broadcast live on radio.

In 1980, they went to Lisbon and recorded six hours of material. The first album “Na Cambança” was released in this same year, and the song “Pamparida” which was based on a children’s song became a huge hit throughout West Africa, and an important historical masterpiece that finally see the lights again by the hands of our label.

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Ajate “Alo” (180g)

Ajate “Alo” (180g)

“Three years after their critically acclaimed and sold out Abrada LP the great and joyful Japanese afro groovers Ajate are back with their much awaited brand new album Alo!

Ajate is a Japanese band who plays a unique blend of afro-groove dance music mixed with Japanese traditional festival music called “”Ohayashi””. Formed in 2011 by the band-leader John Imaeda, Ajate consists of 10 Japanese musicians.

Another unique feature of the band is the use of hand-made bamboo instruments as well as traditional Japanese percussion. The “”Jahte”” is a bamboo-made xylophone or balafon with a piezo pick-up mic attached to each key, connected to a pre-amplifier to obtain a loud sound and to add some touch of dirty distortion to its warm and natural acoustic sonority. The “”Piechiku”” is also a bamboo-made string instrument inspired by the west-African “”Ngoni”” or Moroccan “”Guembri”” instruments. The Piechiku uses strings of the Japanese traditional “”Shamisen””. This instrument is also played through a pre-amplifier and John sometimes adds some wah-wah effect to it. All these bamboo instruments are designed, made and named by John Imaeda himself.

On Alo you will also be amazed by the exceptional sound of the Japanese Shinofue flute, which was not on the previous Abrada LP.

Now, add to this unique sound some well-crafted Japanese female and male singing and you get a killer mix of Afro-Funk flavored grooves with traditional Japanese music!

Since the release in 2017 of their Abrada LP on the 180g label Ajate has toured Europe twice and has played a memorable concert at the world famous Trans Musicales festival in France in 2018, which has been followed by another great KEXP Live session.

Here is some music you will not be able to hear anywhere else, by one of the most joyful Japanese band to hear on record and to listen live!

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Orchestra Baobab “Mouhamadou Bamba” (Syllart)

Orchestra Baobab “Mouhamadou Bamba” (Syllart)

Released in 1981, the legendary album “Mouhamadou Bamba” is the masterpiece of the Orchestra Baobab, which has dedicated more than ten years of existence. Under the direction of the percussionist saxophonist Issa Sissokho, of the irremovable guitarist Barthélémy Attiso the band records this album at the Golden Baobab studio in Dakar directed and produced by the young producer Ibrahima Sylla.

The Baobab symbolizes both the rooting in Senegalese traditional values and the ability of the tree to reach heights, the sound of the group is a perfect syncretism of Senegalese and Afro-Cuban imaginaries in which the montunos of electric guitars and vocal improvisations in wolof language marry subtly to the rhythms of cuban son and other boleros.

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Various Artists “Cadence Revolution: Disques Debs International Vol. 2” (Strut)

Various Artists “Cadence Revolution: Disques Debs International Vol. 2” (Strut)

Strut present the second volume in a series of compilations taken from the archives of Disques Debs International, the longest-running and most prolific label of the French Caribbean. Set up by the late Henri Debs in the late ’50s, the label has continued for over 50 years, releasing hundreds of records and playing a pivotal role in bringing the creole music of Guadeloupe and Martinique to a wider international audience.

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Buena Vista Social Club “Buena Vista Social Club At Carnegie Hall” (World Circuit)

Buena Vista Social Club “Buena Vista Social Club At Carnegie Hall” (World Circuit)

Buena Vista Social Club, the album produced by Ry Cooder, is the biggest selling world music album ever, with over 8 million records sold.

Now for the first time comes the recording of the historic performance at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall, which became the centre-piece of the hugely successful film directed by Wim Wenders. This is one of only 3 albums ever released by the original Buena Vista Social Club.

Produced by Ry Cooder, the album features brilliant and unrepeatable performances by legends including Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, Ruben González, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo and Cachaíto López.

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Cry Babies “Cry Babies” (Far Out)

Cry Babies “Cry Babies” (Far Out)

Far Out Recordings present the first ever vinyl reissue of Cry Babies’ self-titled debut album, originally released in 1969. An early formation of Brazilian funk greats Banda Black Rio, Cry Babies took inspiration from the iconic US soul records of James Brown, The Isley Brothers, and Kool & The Gang, all of whom are covered on their first and only album. Pioneering Brazil’s funk fascination, Cry Babies paved the way for the likes of Jorge Ben, Dom Salvador, Trio Mocotó, and Azymuth: with fat, funky drum breaks, big round bass, touches of psychedelic Brazilian surf, and the kind of hazy soulful arrangements that could only emerge from Rio de Janeiro. Produced by one of Brazil’s most prolific musical minds, Durval Ferreira — whose songwriting and production credits also include Sergio Mendes, Deodato, Emilio Santiago, Ed Lincoln, Joao Bosco, Quarteto Em Cy, and Dila — the Cry Babies sound, while distinctly North American in influence, carries all the sunshine warmth of the samba jazz and bossa nova records that were coming out of Brazil at the time. With saxophonist Oberdan Magalhães responsible for the album’s arrangements, it’s no surprise that when Warner Music established themselves in Brazil in the mid-seventies, Magalhães was the man they asked to form a group (Banda Black Rio) to develop this new merging of stateside soul and Brazilian influences. Yet while Banda Black Rio’s tight, groove-heavy sound has awarded them cult status amongst lovers of instrumental Brazilian music, their first formation as Cry Babies is a lesser-known story. Since its first and only release, the original record has remained impossibly expensive and hard to find. This first ever vinyl reissue has been remastered and pressed to 180 gram vinyl, with a high-quality replica sleeve.

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Ogyatanaa Show Band “African Fire Yerefrefre” (Survival Research)

Ogyatanaa Show Band “African Fire Yerefrefre” (Survival Research)

Survival Research present a reissue of Ogyatanaa Show Band’s African Fire Yerefrefre, originally released in 1975. The Ogyatanaa, or Burning Fire Show Band, was one of the more esteemed of the funky highlife groups that rocked the Ghanaian music scene during the 1970s. The band was formed in 1971 by diplomat-turned-composer, musical arranger, organist, vocalist, and record producer Kwadwo Donkoh (a former member of the Uhuru Dance Band), with guitarist and bandleader Nana Ofori-Atta (AKA Ahomansia Wura) and other members that later left the group. The Ogyatanaa Show Band made a rapid impact, scoring second place in the National Dance Band’s competition after being together for less than a year, thanks to their superlative arrangement of the oft-versioned highlife classic, “Yaa Amponsah”, a tale of a mythical woman which became a popular single when issued on Donkoh’s Agoro record label. After issuing a number of other popular singles, the band’s debut album African Fire Yerefrefre was finally released in 1975, the line-up now composed of Donkoh and Nana Ofori with drummer and assistant bandleader Ocloo Jackson, bassist Kobina Gardiner, keyboardist Ofori Frimpong, and vocalists/percussionists Kwaku Dua and Pa Oweridu, plus Nakai Nettley on additional percussion. This outstanding LP begins with the unprecedented extended highlife medley of over twenty minutes entitled “Yerefrefre” which revisits highlife gems of the past; for instance, noteworthy material by giants such as E.T. Mensah, C.K. Mann, Nana Ampadu, E.K. Nyame, King Onyina, Jerry Hansen, King Bruce, and Dr. K. Gyasi are all referenced, with E.T’s anthem “All For You” and The Black Beats’ “Lai Momo” getting special attention. “Mmobrowa” (or “The Downtrodden”) was another popular single issued prior to the album’s recording and listening to the slowly unfolding groove of the rendition included here, it’s again easy to understand the song and group’s enduring popularity in its homeland. Similarly, “Yaa Amponsah” and the religious praise song “Agya Nyame” are total highlife killers encompassed in rousing melodies and complex propulsive rhythms.

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The Star Beams “Play Disco Specials” (Mr. Bongo)

The Star Beams “Play Disco Specials” (Mr. Bongo)

The Star Beams album is a bit of an enigma. When we first came across their epic dance-floor monster ’Disco Stomp’ it was on a Disco Calypso compilation, so we assumed it originated from the Caribbean. Years later we worked out how wrong we were and that this nugget was actually from South Africa and taken off an ultra scarce album on JAS Pride records from 1976. The next problem was tracking down an original copy and we don’t think we’ve ever seen our Bongo team member Gary Johnson as happy as the day he turned up clutching a copy under his arm.

‘Play Disco Specials’ was produced by Ray Nkwe who also worked with Mankunku Quartet and The Soul Jazzmen, with all writing credits on the album going to Ray, the recording credited to engineer Robin Ritchie and the artwork to Carol Knowles. Other than this, the personnel of the record remains a mystery, but sometimes a bit of mystery is a good thing. Aside from the disco-jazz-funk of ’Disco Stomp’, which has found it’s way into the DJ sets of Theo Parrish, ’Play Disco Specials’ will appeal to fans of The Star Beams South African contemporaries The Drive, Batsumi and Pacific Express.

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Marcos Valle & Azymuth “Fly Cruzeiro” (Tidal Waves Music)

Marcos Valle & Azymuth “Fly Cruzeiro” (Tidal Waves Music)

Marcos Valle needs little introduction, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, Mr. Valle is an award-winning/chart-hitting Brazilian singer, songwriter and record producer. He was raised on a staple diet of classical, Brazilian popular music and North American jazz. Marcos Valle grew up to be one of the most influential & innovating musicians of the Bossa nova period and is regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian artists of all time. He has recorded albums for North American labels such as EMI, Warner Brothers & Verve…cementing his career with a series of tight musical workouts moving seamlessly between funk, samba, soundtracks, soul, jazz, dance and rock. Valle contributed to some of the most important recordings by artists including Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Sergio Mendes, Leon Ware, Chicago and Airto Moreira. Mr. Valle’s work has been sampled/remixed by major artists from the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West & Madlib.

One of Valle’s favorite bands to frequently collaborate with was no doubt Azymuth, who took their name from a Valle song!

Azymuth (Bertrami-Malheiros-Conti) started their individual careers in the 1960s in the emergent Bossa nova and jazz scene of Rio, living in the same bohemian block in Copacabana and playing in small bars as session musicians under various other names.

It was the early 1970s when Azymuth really began to cause a stir and Marcos Valle invited them to record on a soundtrack LP he was doing. The unique Azymuth sound was now born: a mix of electronic music, samba, funk and jazz that they defined as MPB-jazz (MPB stands for Musica Popular Brasileira). Over the decades Azymuth released extremely successful albums (selling millions of copies) on labels such as Polydor, Som Livre and Atlantic. Hitting the charts on multiple occasions, Azymuth played at the Monterrey and Montreux jazz festivals and at venues around the globe.

On the album we are presenting you (Brazil by Music – Fly Cruzeiro) the listener is getting yet another fantastic early Valle/Azymuth collaboration. Released in 1972, this rare album was pressed and gifted to customers of the ‘Cruzeiro’ airline company. This promotional record came as no surprise because the connection between Cruzeiro Airlines and Valle was very tight (Valle’s father was the manager and his brother was a co-pilot there).

Next to the Valle/Azymuth material present, other songs include some of the all-time best Brazilian standards originally written by renowned artists such as Jorge Ben & Antonio Carlos Jobim. Take a flight with us through this fantastic album and into some of the best Jazz, Funk & Bossa Nova the Brazilian musical landscape has to offer.

Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents the first ever vinyl reissue of ‘Fly Cruzeiro’ since its release in 1972 (only 500 copies were pressed upon its original release in 1972). This official reissue is now available as a deluxe 180g vinyl edition (limited to 500 copies) packaged in a gatefold jacket and also comes with an insert containing rare pictures and liner notes courtesy of Marcos Valle himself.

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Various Artists ” Soul Sega Sa! Vol.2 Indian Ocean Segas From The 70’s” (Bongo Joe)

Various Artists ” Soul Sega Sa! Vol.2 Indian Ocean Segas From The 70’s” (Bongo Joe)

The gradual appropriation by the Creole populations of Western instruments and European melodic traditions (quadrilles, waltzes, polkas, scottish, romances, mazurkas), as well as the cultural contribution of committed workers from India laid the foundations of the modern sega.

This crossroads of influences was to continue to grow, especially from the 1950s, when the Birst phonographs arrived, playing all kinds of varieties but also jazz, soul, rock’n’roll, and even Cuban or Brazilian music.

For the Sega, these were the first steps towards a period of intense creativity that would cover the 1960s and 1970s. Amplified instruments arrived, and electric guitars, basses, drums and keyboards quickly replaced violins and accordions. Record production exploded and saw the advent of many micro-labels featuring genius arrangers such as Marclaine Antoine, Gérard Cimiotti, Eric Nelson, Claude Vinh San, or Narmine Ducap who explored the Sega in its many facets. Psychedelic keyboards, fuzz guitars and undulating basses invited themselves on the furious ternary polyrhythms of drums, ravannes, bongos, claves, triangles and maracas, to produce a unique style.

Here are some pearls from this golden age of the segas of Mauritius, Seychelles and Reunion Island that are compiled in this volume 2 for our greatest pleasure!

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Ebo Taylor Junior with Wuta Wazutu “Gotta Take It Cool” (Mr. Bongo)

Ebo Taylor Junior with Wuta Wazutu “Gotta Take It Cool” (Mr. Bongo)

Tough, mid-tempo Ghanaian funk & Highlife grooves from Ebo Taylor Junior, son of the mighty Ebo Taylor.

Originally released in 1978; now extremely difficult and expensive to find in its original form.

Today Ebo Taylor Jnr plays keys in his fathers band that continues to tour when he is able to.

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Shina Williams & His African Percussionists “Shina Williams” (Mr. Bongo)

Shina Williams & His African Percussionists “Shina Williams” (Mr. Bongo)

First official reissue of hidden-gem album by Lagos-based bandleader Shina Williams.

Shina Williams ‘Agboju Logun’ was a ground-breaking fusion of afrobeat, electronics, boogie and disco. First released on Phonodisk in 1979 as part of the ‘African Dances’ album, then in 1984 as an alternative version on Rough Trade’s Earthwork off-shoot, it has gone on to attain cult-like status.

So it remains a bit of a mystery how so little has been documented about the follow-up. Shina’s self-titled album was originally released on Help Records in 1980. It differs from the upfront afro-disco-funk of ‘African Dances’ as it diverts into deeper, hypnotic, afro-beat territory. Though listed as a six-track album, each side (composing of 3 tracks) is built-upon one continuous groove with call and response female & male vocals and instrumental solos coming and going as each side progresses. The results are raw, hypnotic, locked-in grooves, which sit perfectly on forward-thinking contemporary dancefloors.

Official Mr Bongo reissue. Replica original artwork. LP only. Licensed from the family of Shina Wiliams.

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Frank & His Sisters “Frank & His Sisters” (Mississippi)

Frank & His Sisters “Frank & His Sisters” (Mississippi)

The world’s first collection of gorgeous pop songs from Frank and His Sisters, a family band from Moshi, Tanzania. Formed in the early 1950s by Frank Humplick, Thecla Clara and Maria Regina, the trio recorded and toured throughout East Africa and issued a string of instant classics, capturing fans with their beautifully harmonized singing, clever lyrics, and Frank’s stunning guitar work. Imagine the fingerstyle finesse of John Fahey with a pure pop melodicism, combined with the family harmony of groups like The Carter Family, The Roches, and The Beach Boys, set in the golden age of Tanzanian music!

Frank composed many of his songs while working the land on his beloved tractor (really), and once instigated a house-to-house search to destroy all copies of his record “Yes/No” due to its politically subversive lyrics. He went on to record and tour with the Jambo Boys band before retiring from the music industry in the early 1960s, to focus on his passion for agriculture. But his favorite songs were always the ones he created with his sisters, and we are proud to present 12 of their best.

Previously only heard on extremely rare 78 rpm discs and Tanzanian oldies radio, this album collects the trio’s finest songs, lovingly restored and remastered. We love this music so much that in late 2018 we traveled to Tanzania to meet Frank’s family and collaborate on this album. The result is a colorful 8-page booklet featuring complete lyrics in English, Swahili and Chaga, as well as previously unpublished photographs, extensive interviews and anecdotes, and a biography by Tanzanian musician and radio host John Kitime. All tracks fully licensed from the Humplick family.

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Marumo “Modiehi” (Mr. Bongo)

Marumo “Modiehi” (Mr. Bongo)

We were first introduced to Marumo’s ‘Modish’ album via DJ Okapi’s amazing resource the ‘Afrosynth’ blog, which archives South African bubblegum/disco from the 80s & early 90s. Aside from this blog, this music would otherwise remained unknown outside of South Africa, apart from the most hardcore of
digger and record collector.

‘Modish’ was originally released on Spades Record in 1982 and was recorded by producer West Nkosi, who was a member of supergroup ‘Mahlathini & The Mahotella Queens’. He worked with the big hitters in South African music such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Teaspoon & The Waves, Patience Africa and many more. Marumo were made up of a group of musicians from the Athlone School for the blind in Bellville, close to Cape Town. The band members, John Mothopeng, Munich Sibiya, Simon Falatsi and Marks Mbuthuma, had previously played in the groups Batsumi, All Rounders and The Orations and came together to record this versatile album. It covers a wide number of genres from Sotho soul, Mbaqanga, disco-funk, gospel & spacey-synth slow jams.

Flash forward 30 or so years later and lost dead-stock copies of the album start to appear and Marumo’s music begins to be heard across the world in the DJ sets of Motor City Drum Ensemble, Invisible City Editions, Floating Points, DJ Okapi and others.

We included the afro-disco-funk beauty of ’Khomo Tsaka Deile Kae?’ on our Mr Bongo Record Club Volume Three compilation, but felt ‘Modish’ needed to be available and heard in it’s entirety. We hope you enjoy!

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Ofege “How Do You Feel” (Tidal Waves Music)

Ofege “How Do You Feel” (Tidal Waves Music)

Ofege was formed in the early 1970s by a bunch of teenagers at the St. Gregory’s College in Lagos Nigeria. They were largely influenced by the guitar solos of Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck & Jimmy Page while closer to home, they were influenced by the music of ‘BLO’, ‘Monomono’ (led by Joni Haastrup), ‘The Funkees’, and ‘Ofo The Black Company’.

Due to their vibrant combo of sweet harmonies, hooks & fuzz, Ofege would become one of the most legendary Nigerian groups of all time, with expressive sales and national stardom. At the turn of the century (and because of tracks appearing on various psychedelic music compilations) Ofege would receive international acknowledgment for being the first of their kind and the ultimate West-African psychedelic funk band!

Their first album (Try and Love – 1973) was recorded while the band members were still in high school (average age of 16). It took some years before other albums saw the light since some band members still had to finish school. Further astonishing recordings include ‘The Last of The Origins’ (1976), ‘Higher Plane Breeze’ (1977) and ‘How Do You Feel’ (1978).

How Do You Feel (released in 1978 on Polydor Nigeria) is Ofege’s fourth (and final) album. On this amazing record, the listener is treated to the trademark Ofege sound, but you can also hear the band absorbing some of the other things that were happening at the time (like disco & reggae). By 1978, North American bands like Funkadelic and the Ohio Players that had formerly purveyed raggedly funky rock were shifting their output exclusively towards slicker, more dancefloor-oriented material. These shifts also applied to bands on the European and African continent…and Ofege was no exception. The difference in sound from their earlier recordings sounds organic and can be attributed to the band’s burgeoning maturity & said changes in their musical environment.

Next to the regular band-members, this album has some serious ‘all-star’ guest musicians featured on it as well…Kofi Ayivor (Eddy Grant) on congas, Robert Bailey (Osibisa) on keyboards …and of course the legendary Jake Sollo (The Funkees) who’s trademark solo-guitar work is all over this Ofege record.

How Do You Feel is a an Afrobeat club-classic with some serious funky & spacey disco (of the good kind) mixed through its tracks…a faithful snapshot of what was actually happening in the African soul music scene at that specific period in time. This album shows a perfect glimpse of the late 70’s afrobeat works combining soul, jazzy rhythms & fluid danceability…but when you listen to songs like ‘World Peace’ and ‘Frustration,’ that’s just the basic, rootsy and raw Ofege sound.

Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents the first reissue of this landmark Nigerian album. This RARE classic (original copies tend to go for large amounts on the secondary market) is now finally back available as a limited vinyl edition (500 copies) complete with the original artwork and exclusive liner notes/pictures provided by Ofege’s founding member ‘Melvin Ukachi’ who also supervised this reissue.

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Alhaji And His Fuji ’78 Organisation “Blessing” (Soul Jazz)

Alhaji And His Fuji ’78 Organisation “Blessing” (Soul Jazz)

Mesmerising, synth-heavy Nigerian Fuji music from ’88, reissued for the first time by Soul Jazz

“This is the first in Soul Jazz Records’ new series of vinyl-only Afro funk / Afro beat exact-replica, super- rare albums that were previously only ever released in Nigeria. The series starts with Kollington Ayinla’s celebrated 1978 album Blessing, a rare lost classic of Nigerian Fuji music, featuring Ayinla’s sharp political lyrics together with his new band Fuji ’78. Blessing blends the heavily percussive style of Fuji music with a stunning array of modern instruments, including synthesizers, Bata drums and guitars, to create one of the most forward-thinking and heavily danceable sounds ever to come out of Nigeria – a highly successful mixture of profound Fuji rhythms and Fela Kuti-style Afrobeat.

Kollington Ayinla ranks alongside his friend and competitor Ayinde Barrister as the two most important artists to dominate Fuji music from its inception in the 1970s through to the 1990s by which time it had grown to become one of the most popular dance genres in Nigeria. At the start of the 1980s Ayinla started his own record company, Kollington Records, to release his music and remains to this day an extremely prolific artist, having recorded over 50 albums, most of which have never been released outside of Nigeria.”

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Tabansi Studio Band “Wakar Alhazai kano/Mus’en” (BBE)

Tabansi Studio Band “Wakar Alhazai kano/Mus’en” (BBE)

Tabansi Studio Band – Wakar Alhazai Kano & Mus’En Sofua: four incredible slices of almost- undiscovered late-70s/early 80s Afrobeat magic, but not Fela’s Yoruba/Pidgin Afrobeat.

This is Igbo and Hausa Afrobeat- two very different and rarely heard styles. For the first time anywhere, BBE is proud to reissue back to back two LPs that are so elusive that many Afro heads doubted their very existence until now.

The beats are laid down by the seven legendary Martins Brothers – of ‘Money’ fame- whilst vocals are courtesy of a multi-lingual Igbo legend, Prof. Goddy Ezike, one of the most extraordinary voices out of Africa, up there with Youssou N’Dour and Salif Keita, whose half- century career has, like fine wine, simply improved his voice.

Wakar Alhazai Kano and Lokoci Azumi Ta Wuca (tracks 1 and 2) draw on Northern Hausa music, with its Islamic inflections and skipping 12/8 time signatures more typical of the string and wind-based instrumentation of Kano and the broader sub-Saharan musical palette.

Kama Sofos and Aka Ji Ego Ga Anu Nwam (tracks 3 and 4) are sung in Igbo, with all the percussive wonders that Igbo culture has to offer, filtered through a jazzy Afrobeat improvisational spectrum.
Never before. Never again. New Afrobeats, in old bottles.

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Various Artists “Apala: Apala Groups In Nigeria” (Soul Jazz)

Various Artists “Apala: Apala Groups In Nigeria” (Soul Jazz)

A superb collection of Nigerian Apala music recorded between 1967-70, re-issued on Soul Jazz Records.

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Eric (Showboy) Akaeze And His Royal Ericos “Ikoto Rock” (Everland)

Eric (Showboy) Akaeze And His Royal Ericos “Ikoto Rock” (Everland)

There we go with another Afro Beat classic that did not really leave Nigeria back in the day it was released. Therefore we can only guess the value among collectors but some reliable sources tell us that even not so mint original copies go for up to 600 $. The AFRODISIA sublabel of DECCA music is responsible for quite a few awesome afro beat gems that have only recently been rediscovered by never sleeping music lovers such as the folks behind EVERLAND MUSIC from the Netherlands and here we go with the first ever official reissue of Eric Showboy Akaeze’s second album with HIS ROYAL ERICOS. Eric Showboy Akaeze was former bigband leader who was hip on the Nigerian scene, which mostly happened around the main city of Lagos in the 60s and especially 70s after the military junta took over the reign and was keen to bring in more indegenious elements to the peoples allday lives and a new style of music emerged, AFRO BEAT, mixing Western rock and funk, rocksteady and soul with rhythms and melodies that clearly had an African heritage. He was nicknamed IKOTO, which is the Nigerian word for a spinner, the child’s toy, due to his dancing style where he was spinning around like mad during shows. He was an extraordinary dancer and showman and what mostly interests us, he was a wonderful bandleader and musician. When Fela Kuti became the rising star on the scene and soon the musician most hated by the regime, Akaeze soon fell into Kuti’s shadow but he maintained his musical activities until his untimely death in 2002 and with this, his second masterepiece „Ikoto rock“, referring to his nickname and his own style Akaeze created from this, his legacy was carved in rock.

What kind of music shall we now expect from this 1974 release? The original holds 4 lengthy, groovy compositions with a jammy, nearly improvised feeling in some parts, for the reissue EVERLAND MUSIC dragged out the utterly scarce 7inch „Akalaka“ from 1975 (even beat up copies go for 700 $) and added both tracks to the A and B side of the album respectively. It fits well with the haunting, nearly hypnotizing style of „Ikoto rock“. There is always a repetitive beat, a dense network of grooves in the background of each song which build the foundation for the commanding vocals shouted out with passion for life and the harmonic arrangements of guitar, farfisa organ and brass section melodies. These songs are too furious and powerful for plain reggae and rocksteady. Listen to the simmering leads performed by Akaeze on a tenor saxophone. This is nearly eruptive. He loves to give his audience a break sometimes, adding passages with the feeling of a religious or military chant to enchant his listeners entirely. All this creates a steaming atmosphere and puts you, who gets this record spinning on his turntable, into a trance like state during the duration of the album. Most songs here were sung in Akaeze’s native tongue or at least some English based lingo that includes many African words. You can easily feel how good the musicians are, due to the clear production that was a standard for DECCA / AFRODISIA releases back then. Still this album has a raw and honest feeling making it a simmering and intense musical affair. The two bonus tracks might be the most accessible and memorable here since they were conceived for a 7“ release but still come as lengthy as they could. You will not find your 3 minute pop tunes here and the power of the performance is amazing.

A wonderful item to rediscover, music that deserves to be alive and set the hearts and souls of a new generation on fire.

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Osamu Kitajima “The Osamu Kitajima Boxset” (Everland)

Osamu Kitajima “The Osamu Kitajima Boxset” (Everland)

Osamu Kitajima was born in Chigasaki, Japan on February 3rd 1949 and studied classical guitar and piano already in his childhood days. Later on in the 1960s, when Beat and Rock music became the hot stuff in the popular music circuit, he joined his cousin’s band “The Launchers” with his brother, before graduating from university. Osamu’s cousin, Yūzō Kayama, is a famous Japanese film actor and musician. In 1971, when Osamu was already a successful composer of TV advertising jingles, he moved to England for a year and developed an obsession for British Rock music, especially in the Psychedelic field. The Beatles, The Bee Gees, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple and The Zombies became his major influences and inspired him to start a solo career under the name JUSTIN HEATHCLIFF, which he adopted for it’s typical English sound. His 1971 eponymous album was a typical Pop Psyche effort for it’s time, but not long after he returned home to Japan, Osamu abandoned the English sounding name and further on merged Western Progressive and Electronic music with Japanese Folk sounds.

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Antibalas “Fu Chronicles” (Daptone)

Antibalas “Fu Chronicles” (Daptone)

With a globetrotting 20-year career renowned for being a voice for the people across four decades of political and societal upheaval from the late ‘90s to today, Antibalas celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a stark return to their Williamsburg roots on its latest Daptone Records studio album, Fu Chronicles. Pre-gentrified Williamsburg serves as the backdrop for Fu Chronicles–voyaging back to the early days of when Antibalas and Daptone Records spawned out of lead singer Duke Amayo’s kung fu dojo. A senior master of the Jow Ga Kung FuSchool of martial arts, Duke Amayo along with Antibalas founder/baritone saxophonist Martín Perna guide listeners through an epic journey of where kung fu ingeniously intersects with Afrobeat on Fu Chronicles.
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Bobby Valentin ‎”Se La Comió” (Fania)

Bobby Valentin ‎”Se La Comió” (Fania)

Bobby Valentin’s excellent Afro-Cuban/descarga LP ‘Se La Comio’ was originally released by Fania in 1969. Now it’s back on vinyl as a delightful exact repro LP-reissue.

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Various Artists”Léve Léve : Sao Tomé & Principe Sounds 70s-80s Vol.1″ (Bongo Joe)

Various Artists”Léve Léve : Sao Tomé & Principe Sounds 70s-80s Vol.1″ (Bongo Joe)

The two Portuguese-speaking African islands of Sao Tomé & Principe, located in the Gulf of Guinea, created an unique music called Puxa : a refined mixture of various musical components from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. A blend of Semba, Merengue, Kompas, Soukouss, Coladeira patterns, often pushing forward with a voodoo-like energy, solid bass lines, delicate melodies and backing harmonies of the rich Sao Tomean melodic traditions. Very first compilation focusing on the golden age of these island’s sounds, the 16 tracks selected will surely set fire on all dance floors !

Léve-Léve is the first ever compilation devoted to music from São Tome and Principe, two small islands situated off the coast of Gabon in central Africa. The album unravels a story of liberation where the music of Africa, Europe and the Americas unify with a carefree spirit personified by a phrase the islanders use all the time: “léve, léve” (“take it easy”). With echoes of Angolan semba and merengue, of Brazilian afoxê, of coladeira from Cape Verde and dance music from the Caribbean, it is a sound fiercely proud of its island heritage, sung in local dialects and using distinctive local rhythms.

On this record you can hear the cultural and social history of São Tome and Principe, and how live music represented its beating heart. Once known as the “Chocolate Islands” (remarkably, these two tiny islands were the largest cocoa producers in the world, though now this title acts as a reminder of its colonial past), through the years leading up to independence from Portugal, music would be a fundamental voice of liberation and conviviality. Os Úntués were one of the first groups to make an impression, releasing a couple of 7 inches in Angola – the litmus test of success for any of the islands’ groups. They united unique rhythms and dances like socopé, puita and dança-congo – borne from the islands’ largely slave-descendant population – with the sound of pop music beamed in on the radio from Europe, even adding in a little bit of soukous and Brazilian instrumentation. Their main rivals were Conjunto Mindelo, who fused São Toméan rhythms with rebita, an Angolan style, to create high energy puxa, a truly original island rhythm.

From the mid-1970s, coinciding with independence from Portugal in 1975, the islands’ groups featured an even stronger African influence and nowhere was that more apparent than with Africa Negra. They would listen to the latest records from Gabon, Zaire and Cameroon, taking inspiration and trying out phrasing from the greats of Central African guitar playing, developing a devoted fan base off the islands, as well as on. A score of other bands would follow a similar musical path, with a few getting their dues overseas in Angola, Cape Verde, Portugal and across Africa.

Os Leonenses (led by the iconic Pedro Lima), Conjunto Sangazuza, Sum Alvarinho and Conjunto Ecuador were just some of the other bands that formed a lively home-grown music scene that lit up the islands’ bars and open-air shows from the 1950s through to the mid-90s. Regardless of class or age, they were responsible for keeping the population entertained come the weekend, with Sunday matinee shows the highlight of the week, the music not stopping from midday until midnight.

As a Portuguese island colony that was for many years populated with slaves brought from Africa, São Tome and Principe has much in common with other Lusophone countries and boasts a richly complex and idiosyncratic musical DNA. Whilst the musical tapestries of Angola and Cape Verde are well known, São Tome and Principe’s secrets were assigned to the islanders themselves. Until now.

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Don Laka “I Wanna Be Myself” (Cultures Of Soul)

Don Laka “I Wanna Be Myself” (Cultures Of Soul)

“A classically trained multi-instrumentalist, Don Laka began his career in the ’70s and then joined the seminal jazz outfit Sakhile in the early ’80s. Already an established musician by this time, Laka was at the forefront of exploring the latest synth sounds of the day. Being introduced to synthesizers by Harari’s Alec Khaoli, Don soon began experimenting with different synths like the Oberheim, Juno, and Prophet 5 while using a Commodore 64 to sequence them. Constantly striving for the latest sounds, Laka’s early explorations culminated in his debut solo album, I Wanna Be Myself. I went and did an album, recorded tracks at Downtown Studios [in downtown Johannesburg]. Most of the album, except for ‘Let’s Move the Night,’ was done straight with a Fairlight at a different studio, of the guy that owned the Fairlight, Adrian Strydom. He was the only guy in the country who had a Fairlight, I think on the continent. ‘This was the first commercial record made on a Fairlight in this country. I remember the other instrument I used was Jupiter 8, which was a very expensive Roland synth, and I used a Juno-60. I would layer them. The only thing I programmed was the drums. You can hear the snare sound, I think it was a mix of some cracked bottles and something that we just mixed.’ Holed up in the studio, Laka remembers getting special input on I Wanna Be Myself from master bassist Bakithi Khumalo, who would also feature prominently on Graceland. ‘I remember I played all the instruments on it. I played bass, I played all. Bakithi walked into the studio and I said, ‘You know, I’m not a bass player. Baks, do you wanna do it?’ And he nailed it, in one take!’ Reissued for the first time is Don Laka’s masterful album.”

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Various Artists “Puro Tayta Shanti” (Little Axe)

Various Artists “Puro Tayta Shanti” (Little Axe)

Andean party music from the central sierra of Peru. TAYTA SHANTI’s long history of complex syncretism is expressed through its simple song structure. Minimal and raw, or layered with intricate arrangements, its unrelenting rhythm mesmerizes as much as it moves. 16 songs of pure folklore, spanning the late 1960s until the early 1980s. Compilation includes liner notes and photos. Instant mountain rave.

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Andaleeb M. Wasif “Andaleeb M. Wasif” (Little Axe)

Andaleeb M. Wasif “Andaleeb M. Wasif” (Little Axe)

ANDALEEB WASIF was born in a well-known family of Hyderabad, India in 1928. A self-taught singer and harmonium player. He gained recognition early in life, performing for the Nizam (ruler) of Hyderabad when he was only six years old. On this recording Wasif performs six ghazals, a poetic form of couplets focussing on love and longing with mystical and spiritual elements. The lyrics to the ghazals featured on the recording are written by some of the best known Urdu poets of the 20th century including FAIZ AHMAD FAIZ. Never commercially released, the songs have been sourced from private concerts, home recorded cassettes and radio shows. Andaleeb’s renditions are enigmatic, filled with pathos, timeless and ethereal.

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Fela Kuti “J.J.D.” (Knitting Factory)

Fela Kuti “J.J.D.” (Knitting Factory)

Knitting Factory Records is proud to reissue Fela Kuti’s ‘J.J.D. Johnny Just Drop’ on vinyl. Previously only available as part of the Box Set series, the reissue features original album artwork designed by Lemi Ghariokwu, who created the cover art for around half of Fela’s albums. Originally released in 1977, ‘J.J.D. Johnny Just Drop’ features Fela lampooning Nigeria’s “been-tos,” people who had been to Europe or America to work or study, and then returned (dropped) home with European social pretensions and an inferiority complex about African culture.

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Marcos Valle “Braziliance” (Mr. Bongo)

Marcos Valle “Braziliance” (Mr. Bongo)

To call Marcos Valle ‘a legend’ of Brazilian music is much more than just easy press-release hype. As singer, writer, musician and record producer, Marcos has played an integral role shaping the sound of the country’s music from the ‘golden era’ of the 60s and 70s, through to the modern day. Alongside his brother, Paulo Sergio Valle, they have penned a huge catalogue of classic songs, not just for themselves but for other greats such as Elza Soares, Astrud Gilberto, Claudia to name a few.

‘Braziliance!’ takes things back to the early heady days of Marcos’ career with the bright and optimistic sound of Rio’s Bossa Nova scene. It includes an instrumental version of ’Crickets Sing For Anamaria’ or ’Os Grilos’ in Portuguese, which would also be re-recorded with vocals. Though only in his early twenties at the time, ‘Braziliance!’ depicts very sophisticated production for a musician so young. Recorded in 1966, produced by Louis Oliveira and Ray Gilberts with arrangements by the very talented Emir Deodato, the album was released on Warner Bros. Records. The artwork presents a very clean-cut, wholesome looking Marcos but darker things were around the corner for Brazil. The ‘Tropicalica’ movement was on its way and about to shake thighs up both musically and politically. Unlike some of his Bossa Nova contemporaries, Marcos continued to stay relevant, surfing the changes and adapting to the musical developments that culture and society projected and needed, without comprising his art.

Under exclusive license to Light In The Attic Records & Distribution, LLC | Mr Bongo Records.

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Fela Kuti “Army Arrangement” (Knittin Factory)

Fela Kuti “Army Arrangement” (Knittin Factory)

Knitting Factory Records is proud to reissue Fela Kuti’s ‘Army Arrangement’ on vinyl, previously only available as part of the Box Set series. ‘Army Arrangement’ is about Nigeria’s attempt at ‘democracy’ in 1979 after more than a decade of military rule.

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Manu Dibango “Waka Juju” (Soul Makossa)

Manu Dibango “Waka Juju” (Soul Makossa)

Released in 1982, the album “Waka Juju” marks a return to Afrosound. We hear titles like “Douala Serenade” or “Ma Marie”, a tribute to his wife.

“Waka juju” is an ode to juju, the traditional Yoruba music that has become Nigeria’s most popular style.

Emmanuel N’Djoké Dibango (born 12 December 1933) is a Cameroonian musician and song-writer who plays saxophone and vibraphone. He developed a musical style fusing jazz, funk, and traditional Cameroonian music. He is best known for his 1972 single “Soul Makossa”.

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Erick Cosaque “Chinal Ka 1973 -1995″(Heavenly Sweetness)

Erick Cosaque “Chinal Ka 1973 -1995″(Heavenly Sweetness)

HUUGE compilation of music where Erick Cosaque was involved with during 1973 – 1995. Killer Gwo Ka / jazz crossovers from his early days to the more digital zouk bangers he produced in the 80’s / 90’s.. Almost never reissued or compiled before, this is a big one for the tropical music heads! Comes on a double LP -Including booklet with 8 pages of biography and track by track, translated in English, French and Créole.

A strong, rough, plump voice with the typical tone heard in the creole outdoor musical gatherings. Erick Cosaque’s voice is made to go over and above the two boula drums and the makè drum which are associated in general, along a few light percussions, with the Guadeloupean gwo ka. Whether heard at an informal street corner kout’ tanbou, during a traditional evening at someone’s place or in the musical léwoz of a community center, his warm yet imperial voice has been known by West Indians, in the islands and in the mainland through music, radio and television thanks to a career spanning more than forty five years – about twenty solo albums, forty or so participations and collaborations with artists of all generations and genres within the Caribbean music scene.

Although Erick Cosaque is a major figure in Gwo ka, he managed to avoid being part of any institutional system – no label, no alliance, no funding. His voice, one of the strongest in that genre, has been significant since the early 70’s for restoring the original spontaneous and rebellious spirit present in gwo ka with artistic creations starting in the age of vinyl and continuing in the digital era.

Erick Cosaque resembles Gwo ka, whose music has simple components but is deeply rooted in a complex historical and social context made of fights, pleasures, memories and desires.

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Gideon Nxumalo “Jazz Fantasia” (Mad About)

Gideon Nxumalo “Jazz Fantasia” (Mad About)

Gideon Nxumalo’s Jazz Fantasia is probably the rarest release in South African jazz. Along with Chris McGregor, Nxumalo helped pioneer the pre-exile South African jazz sound. Jazz Fantasia — originally released in 1962 — is widely regarded as a seminal South African jazz record. The record features legendary jazz altoist Kippie Moeketsi and a very young Dudu Pukwana. Pukwana plays sax in a similar style to Albert Ayler; Moeketsi was a colossal South African jazz figure during this time. Jazz Fantasia signaled Moeketsi’s last commercial success before his struggles with alcohol and depression took their toll. The album was recorded at the Great Hall at Wits University in September 1962. It was commissioned by the university as part of an arts festival. With a limited pressing at the time, the album has become a revered foundation of modern South African jazz music, even though it is a rare album to find. Edition of 500.

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Susso “Keira” (Soundway)

Susso “Keira” (Soundway)

2019 repress. On Keira, Susso, aka bassist/producer Huw Bennett, creates music inspired by, and directly sampling, the magnificent sounds of the Mandinka people, recorded during a recent trip to Gambia. Initially travelling with the aim of gaining perspective as a musician and to discover a new world of music first hand, Huw found himself humbled by such a welcoming community of artists, mostly belonging to the celebrated Suso and Kuyateh griot families. The tracks are composed entirely from original source material, field recordings, and Huw’s talents as a multi-instrumentalist; performing tuned percussion from the region including the Mandinka balafon, kutiringding drum, as well as drawing on his skill as a professional upright/electric bassist. The music produced has a contemporary electronic sound, whilst still paying homage to a traditional Gambian aesthetic. Keira (meaning “peace”) guides the listener through Huw’s journey up the River Gambia, being welcomed into remote dusty villages, where your people are the most important thing in life.

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