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 ...
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
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
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
Ray Camacho Band —
Reach Out ... CD PMG (Austria), 1980. New Copy ...
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
Effie Duke & The Love Family —
Mr Love ... CD PMG (Austria), 1980. New Copy ...
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
A bold title statement from The Funkees – and one that's backed up with plenty of adult funky music as well – that hip blend of dubby soul that really made these guys a standout on the Nigerian scene of the 70s! The style's almost a bit like Cymande – with a head-nodding bassline on most tracks, which keeps the funk at a bad-stepping level that's different than some of the more faster-riffing Afro Funk of the period – nicely groovy right down at the roots, and with an infectious style that makes these guys every bit as appealing as American funk acts of the period! Lyrics are part of the mix, too – but almost seem there more to punctuate the guitar parts and basslines – on titles that include "Dance With Me", "Korifsa", "Mimbo", "Now I'm A Man", "Patience", "Salam", and "Time". 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
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
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
Danny Offia & The Friks —
Funk With Me ... CD PMG (Austria), Early 80s. New Copy ...
An early 80s set from the Lagos scene – and one that's about as far from the Afro Funk sound of the 70s as that city is from New York! Instead of full-on ensemble styles, Danny Offia has this nice lean groove – basslines that bump with a wickedly catchy sound, laced with keyboard solos, riffing guitars, and this overall lean approach to instrumentation that really keeps everything moving with the beat – often in a way that feels more like distilled large group funk than Afro disco or club styles – and which maybe even reminds us of the few great funk groups coming from the UK at this time, as many of them seem to have a sinister ear for a nicely lean groove! Danny handles lead vocals and guitar – and titles include "Sat Nite Is A Party Nite", "Weak For You", "10 Years In Love", "Funk With Me", and "Don't Make Me Cry". 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
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
The Stormers are a group who rose from the ashes of the legendary Lagos funk combo Aktion – and they step out here with a really storming sound that definitely earns them their name! The groove is funk of the tightest form possible – especially for the start of the 80s – and the four piece combo seem to take all the best elements from the bigger American funk ensembles, then fuse them down to a wickedly sharp core – with basslines, guitar, and keyboards all working with an amazing edge – and none of the too-commercial elements that might have been showing up on the US scene at the time! Vocals are in English – which should have made this record a crossover international funk hit – and the whole thing can kick the ass of just about any early 80s funk album on the planet. Titles include "Sexy Woman", "Atlantic Breeze", "Be A Lover", "Super D Jay", and "Love Or Money". 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
Apostles ... CD PMG (Austria), 1976. New Copy ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
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
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". LP, Vinyl record album
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
Igna Igwebuike —
Bomp ... CD PMG (Austria), 1980. New Copy ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Steve Monite —
Only You ... LP 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". LP, Vinyl record album
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". LP, Vinyl record album