Africa ... CD Now Again, 1975. New Copy 2 CDs ...
Wonderfully fuzzy work from Amanaz – one of the trippiest, headiest groups of the Zamrock scene of the 70s! The guitars here are very full and present – not at a hit you over the head jamming label, but with this rich sonic element that has lots of bassy undercurrents – at a level that makes the album a head-nodding gem all the way through – poised perfectly between some of the more psyche styles of the African scene of the time, and some of the more thoughtful singer-songwriter material. The group have a quality that's surprisingly deep – very soulful, and with a subtle power that comes through strongly – thanks to a mostly-English batch of lyrics (although a few tunes here are in their native Bemba.) No cuts are all-out funky, but all have this great slow-funk sort of charm – and titles include "I Am Very Far", "Sunday Morning", "Khala My Friend", "Green Apple", "Africa", "Making The Scene", "Easy Street", "Big Enough" and "Kale". 2CD package features a full bonus "reverb mix" of the album – even trippier! CD
A record that's got to be one of the coolest recorded in Calgary during the early 80s – as it offers up a really unusual blend of modes that definitely lives up to its title, and which also borrows a bit from Indian music as well! Singer Rupa Biswas fronts a group that's equally strong on the instrumental tip, and which allow for plenty of room in the tracks to let the players stretch out and solo – in a blend of keyboards and guitar with more traditional sarod and tablas! Rhythms are mostly upbeat, but in ways that are more interesting than the "disco" title implies – especially in 1982 – and the whole thing's maybe first a funky fusion record, which then borrows a bit from Indian percussion, then adds in Rupa's vocals in the lead. Titles include "Aaj Shanibar", "Moja Bhari Moja", "East West Shuffle", and the side-long jam "Ayee Morshume/Be Reham Duniya". CD
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
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
Edikanfo – Super African Band —
Pace Setters ... CD EG/Glitterbeat (Germany), 1981. New Copy ...
About October 6, 2020
A pretty strong Afro Funk act from Ghana – one that probably got more exposure than usual, thanks to the fact that they were taken under the wing of Brian Eno, who produced the album, in a tradition that would stretch back to Ginger Baker's work with Fela. The tracks are all pretty strong, with lots of West African guitar – and although they're no real standout groovers in the set, the whole thing's taken at a pretty lively pace. Titles include "Gbenta", "Something Lefeh-O", "Blinking Eyes", and "Moonlight Africa". CD