The title's no like – as these guys definitely groove, and they're definitely funky too – a sweet 70s combo from the Lagos scene, and one who play with a very sharp edge at their core! Aktion make nice use of darker, downturning chords – which creates a moody feel to their funk, and a vibe that's a bit in the territory of bigger-name acts like Cymande and Blo – and like the former, they've also got a great bassist, who makes for lots of dubby currents in the rhythms! Vocals are in English, but layered in this cool way with the organ lines and riffing guitars that dominate most of the instrumentation – on titles that include "Tell Me Baby", "Play With Me", "Groove The Funk", "I Don't Have To Cry", "Masquerade", and "I've Got To Hope For Tomorrow". CD
La'Ila ... CD PMG (Austria), 1975. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
A stunner from the Afro Funk scene of the 70s – and the kind of record that makes us realize just how much greatness there is to discover! Years back, we thought we'd heard all the good cuts from the sub-Saharan continent – but a record like this really makes us sit up and take new notice – grabbed by the core funky rhythms of the combo, which feel like some lost east coast funky 45 on the harder moments, and which get some cool production and keyboard touches on other tracks – all to perfectly underscore the group's amazingly catchy vocals! The organ lines burn right on top of the basslines, creating these waves of soul that grab us right away – and titles include "Funky Girl", "Feel Alone", "Orule", "Be Yourself", "I Don't Want No-Body", and "Laila". CD
Grill ... CD PMG (Austria), 1981. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Gbubemi Amas has a vocal approach that's right on the money sometimes, and which hits this very unusual trill at others – almost the sort of wobbly inflection you'd hear from an instrument, which makes for a very unique sound! The album's almost a soft rock or AOR take on Afro funk at times – with these tunes that are awash in keyboards and tight studio instrumentation – but produced at a level that's nicely more sharp-edged than west coast sounds of the time. Titles include a version of "Fire & Rain", plus the originals "Ereyon", "Slow Down", "Listen", "Spending My Life", and "Politician". CD
Fantastic funk from The Apostles – a group who were easily one of the most hard-hitting on the African scene of the 70s – and one who definitely absorbed key currents from a range of American artists – from James Brown through Booker T & The MGs! The groove here is totally great – and almost as appealing to standard funk fans as to listeners looking for more Afro-styled sounds – although a few numbers also move into slightly trippy Zamrock territory, which gives the album an even greater sense of depth! The basslines, drums, and guitars are totally great – and titles include "Highway To Success", "Never Too Late", "Play Girl", "Inflation", "Don't Worry", and "Guest Of HOnor". CD
The Apostles are nice and groovy here – working in this offbeat way that combines upbeat cuts with some unusual mellower numbers – but all at a level that really keeps things interesting throughout! These guys can clearly move with the groove and hit some sharp funky instrumentation at all the right moments – but they're also maybe more song-conscious than some of their contemporaries, which really comes through in the way they put together their lyrics! The vocals are in English throughout, but very oddly accented – not just because of the origin of the group, but also because of the way the lead singer has of clipping off some of his words and phrases – an odd style, but one that fits the moody modes of instrumentation. Titles include the sweet chromatic "Disciple Funk" – plus "Banko Woman", "Mr Too Know", "Yours Sincerely", and "Faith Luck Music". CD
Robo Arigo & His Konastone Majesty —
Sexy Thing ... CD PMG (Austria), 1982. Used ...
An album that definitely lives up to its title – thanks to a strong embrace of funky boogie styles, but served up here with a sweet Nigerian twist! Some cuts are heavy funk right from the start – clearly inspired by Kool & The Gang and other sharp-edged American groups of the 70s – while others have a slightly looser rhythmic approach, but one that still grooves nicely, too – all given some great energy by the vocals of Steve Black, whose style of singing is nicely playful, and almost as bubbling as the instrumentation! The title track has this really cool mix of electronics and dub – and titles include "Brand New Wayo", "Igholoye", "Precious Tim", "Village Boogie", "When You Know What's Wrong", "Fun In The Street", and "Step Out When You're Down". CD
Their name may be a mouthful, but the Black Children Sledge Funk Band have a groove that's nice and lean – a wicked blend of basslines, percussion, and lots of riffing guitar – plus these very cool keyboards that wander over the grooves and give the whole thing a sweetly spacey vibe! These guys are definitely on the sharper side of the Afro funk spectrum – and occasionally have some trippy elements in their music – especially when the vocals come together from the group members, which creates a heady quality that lives up to the album's great cover image. Titles include "In Search Of Yesterday", "The Eye That Can See", "Grandfather", "Working Together", and "Boogie Saturday". CD
Blo have gone through a few different phases before this fantastic fourth album – but none of them as funky as the work on this set – which may well set a whole new standard for the Nigerian music legends! The groove here is super-tight, with lots of excellent bass and drums snapping at the bottom – and some of the darkness of their earlier work is replaced by a upbeat style that really lifts the music up – although never in ways that are trying to put a fake smile on things for commercial purposes! Instead, these guys just seem to have a great sense of their own energy – and maybe an even stronger influence from American funk than before, turned towards a grittier Nigerian groove, with some deeply soulful production. Titles include "Scandi Boogie", "Trace Of Suicide", "Music Makes You Happy", "Save Me", "You're So Kind", "Move Up", and "I Miss Your Lovin". CD features the bonus track "Back In Time". CD
Seminal sounds from Segun Bucknor – one of the most soulful singers on the Nigerian scene of the 70s, and an artist who can mix funky grooves with some of the deeper currents and moodier themes that you'll hear in Zamrock recordings of the time! The album begins with some excellent upbeat riffing – but also balances things out wonderfully with some slower funk numbers – tunes that used blue organ lines that really fit the spirit of the vocals, while bubbling along a more gentle groove! The sound is pretty darn fresh, all these many years later – and the album's a great illustration of the revolutionary power that Bucknor brought to the scene. Titles include "The Price Of Love", "No Condition Is Permanent", "Everybody Wondering Why I Love You", "The Good Things Of Life", "Tragedy", and "Nigeria One & Forever". CD
Ray Camacho Band —
Reach Out ... CD PMG (Austria), 1980. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Brilliant brown-eyed soul from Ray Camacho – an artist who was previously known for more border-styled work with his Teardrops band, but who steps out here with a surprisingly great blend of electric jazz and boogie! The approach is wonderful – a real re-direction of Ray's earlier groove into even more soulful territory – handled with that unique fusion that was happening in just a few of the best Texas spots, like the scene in Austin at the time. The album's equal parts soul and funk, but still has a few Latin roots too – and had this gem come out on Fantasy Records at the time, it would have pushed Ray and group into much headier territory. But we're also happy the set's been undiscovered for so many years (consider it our little secret) – and titles include "Reach Out", "Diggin Deep", "Shake What You Got", "Nobody But You", "Nothing But A Party", and "What A Day". CD
A set that definitely lives up to the promise of its title – as it offers up this magical blend of earthy elements and Afro Funk – all served up in a style that's quite unique! Benis Cletin has a massive bassist on the set – who creates these pulsating lines that are strongly funky at the start of most tracks – which really locks things in, while Benis stretches out on his vocals, and sometimes adds in these weird moogy keyboards – almost with a William Onyeabor sort of vibe! There's also other organ and keyboard lines that intertwine with the grooves – all in ways that are never too slick, or trying for any sort of crossover Afro Disco styles – even though a number of cuts here would be perfect for a funky dancefloor. Titles include "Fireman", "Mr Teacher", "Jungle Magic", "Beautiful Continent", and "Rain Sun & Love". CD
A record with a cover and title that might look a little goofy – but one that more than makes up for that with a really excellent sound overall! Trevor Dandy's quite a compelling singer – one who works in soul, but brings in lots of jazzy touches with the instrumentation – in ways that open up nicely to match his righteous lyrics, which have currents of deeper spirituality that are augmented by the album's production and arrangements, which almost hit a Cadet/Concept sort of vibe! Instrumentation has a nice flow – piano, both acoustic and electric, plus organ, bass, flute, and nice currents of strings – all used gently alongside Dandy's vocals. The set includes one standout bit of funk – "Is There Any Love" – plus the more spiritual cuts "Overture/Judgement Morning", "Sometimes", "When I Prayed", "A Long Journey", and "Have You Ever Wondered". CD
DR Hooker —
Truth ... CD On Records/PMG (Austria), 1972. New Copy ...
Early 70s psych folk from DR Hooker – looking pretty biblical in the cover photo – with a spiritual tilt to some of the lyrics, but in a pretty tripped out way – and a wild mix of styles, from easygoing, approachable folk pop, to untamed, fuzzed out psychedelia! We were expecting some laidback psych folk, and there is some of that, but also some full on psychedelic rock – with a mix of acoustic & electric elements, from guitars, to dobro, synthesizer, organ & piano, vibes & other percussion. Titles include "The Sea", "Fall In Love", "A Stranger's Smile", "Weather Girl", "This Thing", "Forge Your Own Chains", "I'm Leaving You", "The Truth", "The Bible" and "Falling Asleep". CD
Effie Duke & The Love Family —
Mr Love ... CD PMG (Austria), 1980. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
A sweet bit of Afro Funk from Effi Duke & The Love Family – a set that's got some great touches that make the whole album pretty darn unique! There's a lot more groove here than you might expect from the "love" in the title – long tracks that build up in a flurry of skittish rhythms, dubby basslines, and these evocative lyrics that are maybe more calls to action for the groove, than actual song content – put forth by Effi Duke, who handles the guitar and bass – the latter with a nicely dark edge – in a small combo that mostly just includes drums and keyboards! The keyboards are especially cool – sometimes right on the groove, sometimes stepping out in spacier lines – almost hitting some William Onyeabar touches – and given the cool currents at the bottom, the album really comes across with a lot of power from just a little. Titles include "Time Is Come", "Mr Love", "Know Thyself", "Get Ready", and "Turn Me On". CD
The Elcados serve up a new sort of Nigerian groove for the end of the 70s – one that's got an electric vibe that definitely matches the look of their sweet suits on the cover! There's a fair bit of keyboards amidst the guitars that riff along with the rhythms – and the style has a bit of a reggae current, too – not all-out Jamaican sounds, but kind of an extrapolation of Kingston roots, fused with sweeter 70s Afro Soul modes! Some cuts are instrumentals, and may well be the best on the set – especially the tripped-out guitar jammer "Funky Music" – alongside other tunes that include "Whatever You Need", "The World Is Full Of Injustice", "Marry The Poor", and "This Is Life". CD
Words of love from Libyan singer Ahmed Fakroun – an artist who works with some sweet 80s electro soul backings that perfectly match his look on the cover! The vocals are mostly in Arabic, but they're set to backings that have a definite western approach – very universal in sound, with a quality that embraces some of the best New York indie soul styles of the time, and maybe a bit of Brit electro pop too – while Fakroun flows over the top with a mode that's as emotive as it is groovy! The record's way more than just a world music sidebar, and has gained a lot of appreciation over the years – and titles include "Fil Moden Al Kabira", "Oyunic", "Soleil Soleil", "Ya Farhi'Bik", and "Kalimat Hob". CD
These Friimen really know how to groove – but in a way that's quite unusual, as the set often has all their instruments percolating together in this quickly-syncopated mode that cooks things up at a nicely fast clip, while they throw vocals into the mix once things get moving along! There's almost a Caribbean vibe to the music at times – as the keyboards, guitar, basslines, and percussion flow along with the groove – and titles include "Salt Sweet Style", "I Believe In Hard Working", "Music Makes You Move", "Let's Stay Together", "Think Of What To Do", and "We Can Get It On". CD
The fantastic first album from The Funkees – a Nigerian group, but one who also spent a good deal of time on the London scene – and who work here in a freaky, fuzzy, funky style that we might put somewhere in the same space as music by Demon Fuzz or Cymande! Like both of those groups, the core roots of the music are really changed up here – moved into something that's very much the group's own, as the heavy rhythms are laced with lots of fuzzy guitar parts – often with a deftness that could have found its home in hard rock, but which is even better here next to the warmer currents of the vocal and instrumental flow! As with Cymande, the production is nicely dark – sometimes a bit offbeat in the way the vocals are handled, which further gives the record an edge – on titles that include "Abraka", "Ole", "I Can't Be Satisfied", "Point Of No Return", and "Dancing In The Nude". CD
A wonderful fusion of traditional roots and contemporary funk – handled perfectly by this legendary Gambian band! The groove is unique – with earthy percussion and haunting vocals mixed with more 70s-styled funk instrumentation – but often in a way that's as interested in sonic experimentation as it is in search of a groove – an approach that really sets these guys apart from most of their contemporaries, and which has made the Guelewar Band's records get some great attention in recent years. The group call their approach "Afro-Manding Sound" – and titles include "Warteef Jigeen", "NTC The Gambia", "Mamadu Bitike", "President Diawara", and "Jilanna". CD
Great work from this cool Nigerian funk combo of the 70s – a group who bore strong ties to the equally-great Akwassa, and who work here with an equally righteous groove! Lyrics are mostly in English, and have some political currents that give the music a social sort of edge – but the real charm comes from the music, which is tight, funky, and filled with loads of wicked basslines that bump and groove along with the riffing guitar and organ lines! There's a spareness here that's a real difference from some of the bigger Afro Funk ensembles you might know from the time – as Heads Funk Band is really just a quartet, but manages to make a mightily massive sound. Titles include "Hot Punk", "Hard World", "Can You Do It", "Money Makes You Happy", "Got To Love", and "Egbe Bere Ogo Bere". CD
The debut album from Theadora Ifudu – a singer who hit greater fame on a bigger label a few years later – but who sounds pretty darn great here at the start! The music is an offbeat blend of American soul and Nigerian funk – recorded both in Lagos and London, but with a sound that's very much its own – almost maybe more hinting at South African soul styles in years to come, especially in the way Theadora's amazing voice flows out over the music! Rhythms are strong, but never dominate the tunes too much – as you definitely know that this is a record based around the singer – who's wonderfully comfortable in the lead, with a very universal appeal. Titles include "Right Time", "Four In A Tangle", "Hello How Are You", "That Man", "Time", and "The Way We Are". CD
Igna Igwebuike —
Bomp ... CD PMG (Austria), 1980. New Copy ...
Sweet funky sounds from east Nigeria, circa 1980 – a great little set that's got a laidback groove, and a style that's clearly learned plenty from the hipper corners of the American funk universe! The approach is a bit like funky club at times, a bit more like some of the larger funk acts of the time at others – all handled with a groove that's every bit as badass as you might guess from the cover! The music has a few more tropical touches at times, almost Caribbean energy when the rhythms speed up – but some of the best tracks are right on the money, with a superdope vibe. Titles include "World Of Misery", "Take Me High", "Funk In A Ghetto", "Disco Bomp", and "World Of Love". CD
A mighty nice set from Berkely Ike Jones – guitarist and one of the founders of the legendary Blo – working here in a groove that's a bit more Afro disco overall, but which still has all the great touches of his previous work! The music's plenty funky, but more in a clubby way than some of the more familiar Afro Funk modes you might know from the mid 70s – with lyrics in English, and an overall vibe that's like the best post-colonial work coming from the Paris and London scenes at the time! Part of the album was recorded in London, which may account for the vibe – and the instrumentation is tightly played, but never slick. There's definitely some politics in the mix, too – surprisingly righteous lyrics, on tunes that include "It's Time For Nation Building", "Calling Health Men/Police", "Tears In The Ghetto", "National Pledge", and "1979". CD
A really unique project from the end of the 70s – a set that takes some of the Afro Funk energy that was bubbling in West Africa during the decade, then mixes it with some funky jazz touches arranged by the great William S Fischer! The mix of cultures comes out perfectly – with no forced for fake modes at all – as Aleke Kanonu plays lots of percussion and sings in a variety of languages – alongside a group that features Bad Bascomb on bass, Milt Ward on trumpet, George Davis on guitar, Earl McIntyre on trombone, and Fischer on tenor, organ, and a host of keyboards! Bascomb's basslines are great – and really hold the whole record together at the bottom – with a bad-stepping jazz funk core that allows Aleke plenty of freedom in his performance, on long tracks that stretch out with a hell of a lot of creativity and warmly collaborative energy. Tracks include "N'Gwode", "Keep New York Clean", "Mother's Day", and "Home Sweet Home". CD features bonus tracks "Happiness" and "Nwanne Nwanne Nwanne". CD
A wicked bit of funk from Ghana – a record that's as amazing and wonderful as it is rare! The set's one of the best African 70s rarities we've ever heard – filled with massive grooves that offer up a take on funk that's far different than American grooves – but which also comes across with instrumentation that's not as familiarly Ghanian either! There's lots of nicely fuzzy organ in the mix, tight rhythms, and a trippy production style that no doubt comes from the quality of the original studio – but which serves to give some of the best cuts a really sinister edge – a bit like Cymande at their best. Titles include "Dracular Dance", "No Man Is Born To Suffer", "Moving World", "Groovy Love", "Wale Fobite", "Kelenkye Beat", and "Jungle Music". CD
We're not sure what's in this jungle juice, but it's clearly having a great effect on Joe Kemfa – allowing him to move and groove in a really great way – as he leads his group through a sweet later take on the sound of Lagos funk! The album's got a great blend of rhythms and some spacier keyboards – open, electric modes that often run in a direction that's not necessarily dictated by the groove – these spacey washes of sound that are layered in by Tessy Allan – who handles moog, organ, and even a bit of string ensemble keys! Joe himself plays some mighty tight guitar in the rhythms – with a wah-wah vibe that kicks in nicely on the best numbers – and his vocals range from rougher funky soul, to some smoother modes, depending on the tunes. Titles include "Jungle Magic Music", "Jungle Juice", "African Fever", "On My Way", and "I Got To Make It". CD
Funky sounds from Croatia – presented here with a sweet 70s groove, and some very offbeat vocals throughout! Zdenka Kovacicek has a completely different way of phrasing than most other European singers we've heard – all these weird twists, turns, and sharp little angles that are a perfect fit for the quirky styles of the backings – which begin in a mode that's clearly trying to emulate American soul of the time, but which also moves into some weirder, more unusual territory too! There's a few mellower cuts that have some nice Fender Rhodes – and some other icy keyboards, too – and titles include "Necu Da Znam", "Dragi Mi Je Lijep K'O Slika", "Mali Crnit Brat", "Kobra", "Elektra", "Muzika", and "Hello Mr Elton John". CD
Aigbe Lebarty —
Unity ... CD PMG (Austria), Late 70s. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Aigbe Lebarty plays some mighty cool phased guitar on this sweet set from the 70s – a batch of long funky grooves that have his guitar lines moving back and forth over the rhythms, with a really great range of offbeat spacey sounds! The group also features some keyboards, bass, and lots of percussion – plus occasional chorus vocals by the "Sex Bombers", a female trio who really just step in to spice things up – but leave most of the action on the album to come from the instrumental interplay of the group, and a bit of lead vocals from Aigbe. Titles include "His Highness Erediauwa Oba Of Benin (parts 1 & 2)", "Gratitude", and "Unity". CD
Jimi Lee is a hell of a studio talent here – as he handles all the arrangements and production, and also sets up load of sweet guitar lines that riff alongside the vocals of Mona Finnih & The Sensationals! That riffing guitar really gets things moving here – sometimes in a heavier funk mode, sometimes with a more laidback style that's almost Jamaican – and always with these nice currents that really work well with the dark-tinged vocals of the group. At some level, Mona fronting four male backup singers should feel like American soul – but the approach often comes across differently – maybe with some sing-song echoes of South African group modes, but also with kind of an offbeat vibe of its own. Titles include "Son Of Man", "I Love Myself", "People Of The World", "Thoughts Dedicated To Mama", and "A Stroll In The Moonlight". CD
The Mighty Flames never sound too metallic here – at least not in any way that's cold or harsh, or heavy metal too! Instead, these guys have a warm groove that's on the tighter side of African funk – that point when the sound was getting a stronger influence from American soul and club music – as you'll hear on the grooves in the set! The tunes are mostly upbeat, and wrap their basslines, guitar, and keyboards together tightly – but they also have a looser vibe overall, and some especially nice synth lines – which almost feel as if they were added to the music afterwards, creating this cool sort of outer space presence. Titles include "Search Out Watch Out", "Road Man", "Funk Child", "Lover Man's Bullet", "Music Is The Answer", and "Let's Work Together". CD
Bala Miller & The Great Music Pirameeds Of Africa —
Pyramids ... CD PMG (Austria), 1979. New Copy ...
Bala Miller's got a great pan-African group here – one that's more from the western side of the scene, despite the pyramids mentioned in their name – with players hailing from Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon – all coming together in a mighty righteous style! The music is fairly cerebral – thoughtful tunes that have a layered blend of horns, guitar, keyboards, and sweetly-stepping rhythms – plus occasional organ, kora, goga, and kwarya – all given a stronger focus from the vocals in the lead, which shift between male and female singers, and some backup as well. Titles include "Ikon Allah", "Yo Gboko", "Opportunity Knocks", "Stretch Your Nose", and "All Work No Play". CD
The music of Joe Moks has a nice sing-song feel here – a vibe that's almost more reggae than you'd expect from her Nigerian roots – but with an offbeat style that's also not like anything that might have come from Kingston! Instead, the groove here feels a bit like when American or British soul might borrow some rhythms from reggae, but change up the instrumentation and production – which this album definitely does with the higher-end instrumentation, which also includes some moogy bits that work this cool magic around the edges! Joe's vocals are very much in the groove – tied to the rhythms instead of trying to dominate them – stepping back and forth with a rhythmic pulse of her own – on titles that include "Insure My Love", "Boys & Girls", "Love Is Gonna Pay", "Closer Than The Sun", and "You Look Without Seeing". CD
Steve Monite —
Only You ... CD PMG (Austria), 1984. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Sweet Nigerian boogie from Steve Monite – a set that mixes together bass-heavy funk and more guitar-driven numbers – kind of criss-crossing styles of the Lagos scene at the time, while also making a nod to the New York dancefloors as well! The tracks are all long, and although Steve sings on the record, there's also a strong overall sense of groove – one that really takes over on the two "disco jam" titles on the set – which are both instrumental groovers with some really cool moogy moments! Titles include "Only You", "I Had A Dream", "Things Fall Apart", and "Welcome My Love". CD
Sweet grooves from Harry Mosco – once the leader of The Funkees, but stepping out here with some wicked work from the London scene at the end of the 70s! The album's got a snapping electric vibe – sometimes clubby, but with more of a funk feel overall – thanks to some heavy basslines that really give the best cuts a kind of darkness – as do the horns, which create these down-turning inflections that are quite different than the usual sort of Afro-styled groove! Things get pretty freewheeling as the album moves on – and there's a criss-crossing of modes that almost reminds us of some of the work that Ice cut on the French scene of the time. Titles include "I Feel Funky", "Harry's Party", "It's Too Late", "Country Boy", and "Wanderer". CD
Emma Ogosi is one of the stronger songwriters we've heard from the Nigerian scene of the early 80s – and a vocalist who's not afraid to put his feelings on the line, a bit in the manner of Labi Siffre's from a few years before! There's a heartbreaking vibe to some of these tunes, even when the band is grooving away – and that blend definitely makes it one of the more compelling albums you'll hear from the scene at the time – one with a quality that almost seems to be stretching out for a much wider audience in the Anglo/European world. Titles include "You & I", "I Love You", "A Lonely Child", "Nobody Knows", "Give A Little", and "Orindo". CD
A very cool record from Goddy Oku – who's pictured on the back cover working the knobs on a big studio console – definitely making sure that he gets his hand in the way the album's put together! There's an offbeat funky vibe to most of these tracks – almost a mode that recalls the P&P Records sound of late 70s New York – as weird synth bits come into play alongside the basslines and vocals – peppering up the grooves, which themselves get a bit spaced out in the production! Things are never too trippy, but work nicely with the vocal trio of two gals and one guy – and the approach sounds especially great on the heavier funk tracks on the set. Titles include "The Enemy", "My Music", "Don't Ask Me", "Everything", and "One More Chance". CD
Oby Onyioha has a very 80s look on the cover – and the album's got a strong 80s sound, too – almost in the hipper spectrum of underground soul on the New York scene during the post-disco generation! The best cuts are the groovers – like the snapping title cut and a few others, which almost seem to pick up on a roller skating vibe in the rhythms – creating this cool, bubbling groove that only gets better when Oby lays her sweet vocals over the top! Production is nice and loose – and titles include "I Want To Feel Your Love", "Wait For Me", "Enjoy Your Life", "Here We Are", and "Nne N'Enye". CD
Late 70s work from Geraldo Pino – the artist who was credited as being one of the first musicians to bring the styles of James Brown to play in West Africa – still grooving hard here at the other end of the decade! The album's got a clubby vibe in parts – the "boogie" that you'd expect from the title – but like some of the best Nigerian efforts of this time, there's a very freewheeling interpretation of the style – so that things are often plenty offbeat, even when you think they're heading into familiar territory – filled with the criss-crossing of rhythms and cultures we love in Pino's other music, and recorded with a very gritty production style overall! The whole thing's plenty damn funky – in a way that matches the best energy of some of the more underground New York club 12" singles of the period – and titles include "Ganja", "Shake Shake Shake", "African Hustle", "Dance For Love", and "Boogie Fever". CD
Late 70s work from Geraldo Pino – the artist who was credited as being one of the first musicians to bring the styles of James Brown to play in West Africa – still grooving hard here at the other end of the decade! The album's got a clubby vibe in parts – the "boogie" that you'd expect from the title – but like some of the best Nigerian efforts of this time, there's a very freewheeling interpretation of the style – so that things are often plenty offbeat, even when you think they're heading into familiar territory – filled with the criss-crossing of rhythms and cultures we love in Pino's other music, and recorded with a very gritty production style overall! The whole thing's plenty damn funky – in a way that matches the best energy of some of the more underground New York club 12" singles of the period – and titles include "Ganja", "Shake Shake Shake", "African Hustle", "Dance For Love", and "Boogie Fever". LP, Vinyl record album
Let's Have A Party, indeed – as it's hard not to celebrate when a record sounds this great! The album's a boiling batch of Afro Funk numbers from the legendary Geraldo Pino – a key influence on the sound of Fela, and an artist with a sound that's got a bit more James Brown in his groove than some of his African contemporaries! Tracks are all super-tight and madly-grooving – hitting a fast-vamping, hard-riffing style that clearly draws energy from the JB sound of the late King years – but which also has its own unique flavor, thanks to some other-worldly electric piano on most of the numbers! Lyrics are in English, and as catchy as they are political – and titles include "Heavy, Heavy, Heavy", "Let Them Talk", "Africans Must Unite", "Shake Hands", "Power To The People", and "Let's Have A Party". CD
The Rock Town Express here comes across with lots of fuzz in the guitars – that later psych influence that was tripping across the African scene in the late 70s, often mixed with a bit of funk – as in some of the hipper Zamrock grooves of the period! The approach here is maybe a bit lighter than some of those, but still equally trippy at the best moments – especially when the keyboards get kind of weird and spacey – even as the whole thing's held together by strong lead vocals, and some captivating English language lyrics! Titles include the upbeat groover "Nobody's Man", which has a mad trumpet part at the start – plus "Spaceville Rape", "Peaceful Solution", "I Want To See You Tonight", and "Shake It On Baby". CD
A funky classic from the group who were also known as SJOB Movement – a wonderfully tight array of musicians from the Nigerian scene of the 70s – working here with non-stop energy and enthusiasm! The tunes are all vocal numbers, with lyrics that clearly seem inspired by the Jamaican Rastafari scene, but presented here with a different sort of energy – more tuned to the group's blend of keyboards, horns, and riffing guitars – which are definitely in a Nigerian funk vein! Titles include "Freedom Anthem", "Oya", "Ayamatome", "My Friend", "Wombiliki", and "Efin Ogiso". CD
One of the funkiest combos we've heard from the African scene of the 70s – and that's saying a lot, given how much great music was going on at the time! These guys really know how to lean into a long song, and open it up with incredible instrumental sharpness – a way of coming together, and stepping into a solo that's a bit like the JBs in the early 70s – who we think must have been an influence on the way these guys make their music! The set's got two especially great funky numbers – "World People" and "Take Your Soul" – both of which could easily stand next to American funk work of the time. Also includes the earthy groover "Alikali Adajo", and the message cut "Freedom For Africa". CD
One of the funkiest combos we've heard from the African scene of the 70s – and that's saying a lot, given how much great music was going on at the time! These guys really know how to lean into a long song, and open it up with incredible instrumental sharpness – a way of coming together, and stepping into a solo that's a bit like the JBs in the early 70s – who we think must have been an influence on the way these guys make their music! The set's got two especially great funky numbers – "World People" and "Take Your Soul" – both of which could easily stand next to American funk work of the time. Also includes the earthy groover "Alikali Adajo", and the message cut "Freedom For Africa". LP, Vinyl record album
A real killer from the Atlanta soul scene of the 70s – a set that's even more underground than some of the underground classics we've come to love over the years – and one that's got some mighty top-shelf talent in the mix! Lead singer Stevo is only part of the package here – as the group features work from and songs by funky 45 legend Calvin Arnold, and indie club genius Tommy Stewart – both of whom have given us some wonderful records over the years! The vibe is maybe most like Tommy Stewart's excellent music – especially his self-titled classic album – a mode that's funky club, but never straight disco at all – thanks to lots of hip touches in the instrumentation and overall song construction, which really seems to respect the funky talents of the musicians. A killer funk set throughout – and titles include "Pay The Price", "Universal Love", "Messing Up A Good Thing", "Jammin", "Livin For The City", "Save The World", and "Party Night". CD
A special collaboration between these two legends of Ghanian music – one that has singer Pat Thomas working with the grooves of Ebo Taylor – in an effort to reclaim the sound of calypso as an African sound! The album's got an unusual mix of Caribbean modes and Ghanian soul – bubbling rhythms that are fitted with highlife touches from Taylor's guitar, and from the warm production of the set – and a mode that's maybe more upbeat and positive than some of the 70s work from either artist. Titles include "Sweeter Than Honey", "Ma Huno", "Ene Nyame Nam A Mensuro", "Hiani Sui Efiri A Oyi Abebrese", and "Keep On Trying". CD
One of the most hard-grooving set we've heard from singer Mary Afi Usuah – a set that has all these deep, bassy currents on the bottom – which hold a nice groove underneath Mary's heavenly voice! Usuah has a range that's much greater than some of her contemporaries – no surprise, since she studied opera in Rome – but the style here is nicely gritty overall, with bumping bass and some riffing guitar that almost pushes some numbers into Betty Davis territory, but with more of a 70s Afro soul vibe. Imagine if Miriam Makeba made a funk record, and you'll get part of the feel of this unique little set – which includes the cuts "What's A Woman To Do", "Sweet Elijah", "Our Generation", "Spread More Love", "Kam Fat Owo", "African Woman", and "Tenkim Kpoho". CD
Xtasy have a name and a look that feels a lot like some of the mainstream American soul acts of the time – and the sound of this album definitely fits that image too! The grooves are a sweet blend of bumping basslines and keyboards – borrowing strongly from electro soul instrumentation of the time, with that leaner funky approach that so many American groups picked up by the mid 80s. There's maybe a few elements that hint at the group's home on the other side of the Atlantic – but even some of the percussive spots hearken towards the criss-crossing of cultures that were bubbling up on the New York scene. Titles include "Be With You", "Let Your Body Go", "Eje Kajo", "Feel So Good", "Light Of You", and "Throw Down". CD