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
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
Adolf Ahanotu —
Sensation ... CD PMG (Austria), 1986. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Ahmed Fakroun —
Mots D'Amour ... CD Celluloid/PMG (Austria), 1983. New Copy ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
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
Eji Oyewole —
You & Me ... CD PMG (Austria), 1985. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Robo Arigo & His Konastone Majesty —
Sexy Thing ... CD PMG (Austria), 1982. Used ...
Out Of Stock
DR Hooker —
Truth ... CD On Records/PMG (Austria), 1972. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
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
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
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
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
Igna Igwebuike —
Bomp ... CD PMG (Austria), 1980. New Copy ...
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
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
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
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
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
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
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