May 10, 2017

Calabar-Itu Road: Groovy Sounds From South Eastern Nigeria 1972-1982

 


When most people think about Nigerian music, the first thing that comes to mind is Lagos—the country’s main commercial center, the glittering megacity that spawned Yoruba-speaking music luminaries such as Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Sir Shina Peters and Wizkid. But Nigeria is a country of rich diversity, especially in its music: From the Igbo highlife and rock bands of east-central region, to the deep Edo roots rhythms from the midwest, to the keening, ornamented Fulani melodies of the north. But one region whose music has remained largely underexplored is the south eastern land of the Efik and Ibibio ethnic groups in Cross River and Akwa Ibom State—the region colloquially referred to as “Calabar.” A cradle of culture, this region was one of the earliest outposts of Nigerian popular music. Its primordial rhythms traveled across the Atlantic during the slave trade to provide the part of the foundation for Afro-Cuban grooves that would go on to influence the development of jazz, rock & roll, R&B and funk. With the new Calabar-Itu Road compilation, Comb & Razor Sound presents15 heavy tracks recorded in the decade between 1972 and 1982, spotlighting rare music from “Calabar” superstars such as Etubom Rex Williams, Cross River Nationale, Charles “Effi” Duke, The Doves and Mary Afi Usuah. The package features a magazine-style booklet containing a wealth of information about the milieu with rare photographs and illustrations. The Calabar-Itu Road is the major artery linking modern-day Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. And Calabar-Itu Road: Groovy Sounds from South Eastern Nigeria (1972-1982) will link the region’s music to the rest of the world!

Limited edition for Black Friday RSD 2016!

hhv

May 5, 2017

Analog Africa: Pop Makossa - The Invasive Dance Beat Of Cameroon 1976-1984



The noteworthy reissue label dishes up another foot-shaking classic-in-the-making.
In 2009, Analog Africa’s founder Samy Ben Redjeb travelled to Cameroon and returned with enough music to document a shapeshifting era in the country’s popular music landscape.

Pop Makossa – The Invasive Dance Beat of Cameroon 1976–1984 collects feverish funk and disco belters that “plugged Cameroon’s traditional makossa style into the modern world,” held together by a beat that has its origins in a funeral dance.

Out June 16, the 12-track compilation comprises tracks from the likes of teenage prodigy Bill Loko – whose monster hit ‘Nen Lambo’ you can hear below – producer Mystic Djim and Dream Stars’ jewel-in-the-crown, ‘Pop Makossa Invasion’. See the full tracklist below.

Framed by an incredible cover image that depicts a figure wearing a traditional mask in the midst of a modern Cameroonian city, Pop Makossa follows last year’s superb Space Echo compilation and is set to be another coveted release from the ever-reliable imprint.

factmag.com

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An explosive  compilation highlighting the era when funk and disco sounds  began to infiltrate Cameroon's Makossa style. The beat that holds everything together originate's from the Sawa people's rhythms. When these rhythms collided with merengue, high-life, Congolese rumba, and, later, funk and disco, modern Makossa was born. Makossa, the beat that long before football, managed to unify the whole of Cameroon. Some of the greatest Makossa hits incorporated the electrifying guitars and tight grooves of funk, while others were laced with cosmic synth flourishes.

However, most of this music's vibe came down to the bass, and 'Pop Makossa' demonstrates why many Cameroonian bass players are among the most revered in the world.

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Double LP version. Gatefold sleeve with 20-page booklet; 140 gram vinyl. The Pop Makossa adventure started in 2009, when Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb first travelled to Cameroon to make an initial assessment of the country's musical situation. He returned with enough tracks for an explosive compilation highlighting the period when funk and disco sounds began to infiltrate the makossa style popular throughout Cameroon. From the very beginning, there were several mysteries hanging over Pop Makossa. It was not until DJ and music producer Déni Shain was dispatched to Cameroon to finalize the project, license the songs, scan photographs, and interview the artists that some of the biggest question marks began to disappear. His journey from the port city of Douala to the capital of Yaoundé brought him in contact with the lives and stories of many of the musicians who had shaped the sound of Cameroon's dance music in its most fertile decade. The beat that holds everything together has its origins in the rhythms of the Sawa people: ambassey, bolobo, assiko and essewé, a traditional funeral dance. But it wasn't until these rhythms arrived in the cities of Cameroon and collided with merengue, high-life, Congolese rumba, and, later, funk and disco, that modern makossa was born. Makossa managed to unify the whole of Cameroon, and it was successful in part because it was so adaptable. Some of the greatest makossa hits incorporated the electrifying guitars and tight grooves of funk, while others were laced with cosmic flourishes made possible by the advent of the synthesizer. However much came down to the bass; and from the rubbery hustle underpinning Mystic Djim's "Yaoundé Girls" to the luminous liquid disco lines which propel Pasteur Lappé's "Sekele Movement", Pop Makossa demonstrates why Cameroonian bass players are some of the most revered in the world. "Pop Makossa Invasion", an obscure tune recorded for Radio Buea makes its debut here and joins the pantheon of extraordinary songs that plugged Cameroon's makossa style into the modern world. Also features: Dream Stars, Mystic Djim & The Spirits, Bill Loko, Eko, Olinga Gaston, Emmanuel Kahe et Jeanette Kemogne, Nkodo Si-Tony, Bernard Ntone, Pat' Ndoye, and Clément Djimogne.

forcedexposure.com 


Tracklist
 
01. Dream Stars – ‘Pop Makossa Invasion’
02. Mystic Djim & The Spirits – ‘Yaoundé Girls’
03. Bill Loko – ‘Nen Lambo’
04. Pasteur Lappé – ‘Sanaga Calypso’
05. Eko – ‘M’ongele M’am’
06. Olinga Gaston – ‘Ngon Engap’
07. Emmanuel Kahe et Jeanette Kemogne – ‘Ye Medjuie’
08. Nkodo Si-Tony – ‘Mininga Meyong Mese’
09. Pasteur Lappé – ‘The Sekele Movement’
10. Bernard Ntone – ‘Mussoliki’
11. Pat’ Ndoye – ‘More Love’
12. Clément Djimogne – ‘Africa’



Mar 30, 2017

From South Africa: Black Disco - Night Express



Press ‘play’ and the soulful notes of Basil ‘Mannenberg’ Coetzee’s saxophone tell you two things. First, Night Express is great music. But, second, the sound doesn’t fit neatly into any of the mid-70s South African musical genre boxes. This was an era when Abdullah Ibrahim’s music spoke to popular audiences as well as jazz fundis, with the bump jive mood of Mannenberg as representative as the more abstract piano explorations of Underground in Africa. It was also the heyday of Soweto Soul, when groups such as Jacob ‘Mpharanyana’ Radebe’s Cannibals melded hoarse lead vocals, sweet female backing choruses and Ray Phiri’s fiery guitar into South Africa’s answer to the Stax sound.

There are flavours of all of these in Night Express, and something else too: a quiet wistfulness that’s slightly more Philly than Memphis. Maybe it’s those insistent Yamaha organ riffs with which Ismail ‘Pops’ Mohamed underpins the themes… or maybe it’s something more. Because Night Express was not only a funky, compelling hit record in its day. It was also part of a series of ‘70s releases, three as Black Disco and two as Movement in the City, that were a declaration of musical identity from communities whose jazz histories have hardly been documented yet: the apartheid-defined ‘coloured’ townships of Johannesburg’s East Rand.

For the ideologues of apartheid, ‘coloured’ was a genetic destiny. In truth, the category encompassed many: families of mixed heritage; descendants of the Khoi, San and Griqua peoples; and others who did not fit (or did not wish to fit) neatly within the regime’s other rigid racial categories. Confined together by residence controls, these communities developed their own vibrant cultural life. They were neither homogenous (Cape Town’s musical tastes were subtly different from those of Johannesburg) nor insulated, despite the regime’s best efforts, from the currents of black urban popular music. Mohamed’s home suburb, Reiger Park—formerly Stirtonville—abutted both the black township of Vosloorus and, earlier, the hard to police informal settlement of Kalamazoo, and musical and social sharing offered lived defiance to apartheid.

Mohamed had started his musical journey at Dorkay House, where he studied guitar and was able to hear the rehearsals of jazz legends such as saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi. Later, it became one of his meeting and rehearsal spaces. “Me being from the East Rand,” he says, “I saw the Jo’burg guys as somewhere up there. I was in awe.” By the early 1970s, not long out of school, he was working with an outfit called The Dynamics, influenced by the assertive Soweto Soul sound of groups such as The Cannibals and The Beaters (later Harari). “I was also listening to a lot of Timmy Thomas—I loved the track Why Can’t We Live Together?—and I’d acquired a Yamaha organ to explore that kind of sound.”

Just before the first Black Disco album was made, Rashid Vally’s As-Shams label (which also handled The Dynamics) had released Abdullah Ibrahim’s Mannenberg. Mohamed already knew bassist Sipho Gumede from Dorkay House. At Vally’s Kohinoor record store, he was introduced to Capetonian Coetzee, still in town after the Mannenberg recording session. “Rashid said: ‘This is Pops—he’s a new guy and he’s got compositions. Why don’t you guys talk...?’” Mohamed remembers. A vehicle was hired to bring his Yamaha from his home, and the first Black Disco album was cut: a trio with no drummer.

“We had one hit track from that,” says Mohamed. “Dark Clouds was hugely popular in the coloured townships. It had a bass line inspired by Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing. We did it in the Gallo Studios in about two hours—no re-takes. And on that track, Basil speeded the tune up with a long solo over the bass line, which made the track incredibly powerful”. At that time, Mohamed was still feeling his way through jazz-style soloing. “Sipho and Basil told me: just play what your heart is telling you. They were my mentors.”

The success led to a second recording session, this time with drummer Peter Morake, for a new album initially called Black Discovery/Night Express—until the censor decided that ‘black discovery’ (Coetzee’s idea, with the scorching eleven minute Night Express, his composition, two were by Mohamed, and the rest covers) sounded far too revolutionary.

Night Express was an instant hit, and Black Disco (one of several names the group bore, with shifting personnel when Gumede or Coetzee were not in town) was able to graduate from its previous three-hour afternoon sessions in township school halls. “You needed a hell of a repertoire,” recalls Mohamed. “Most songs were very short in those days.” After Night Express, they were welcomed by more upmarket venues such as Club Matador, Club New York and Planet Fordsburg, a nightclub with a ballroom upstairs where, rather than screaming groupies, they played for older, more affluent listeners interested in discussing the music.

“The sound the three of us had developed,” says Mohamed, “was very special. We were bridging between a Jo’burg and a Cape Town feel—but still keeping the funk alive.” For Mohamed’s community, “the people who were looked up to were Richard Jon Smith, Danny Williams and Sammy Brown from Kliptown. Gamble and Huff, pioneers of the Philadelphia soul sound, had heard him singing somehow and wrote to Gallo suggesting they’d like to write a song for him. And Gallo said: ‘We don’t pay that kind of money for songs even for our white musicians, let alone for a coloured performer!’ When I had a hit with Black Disco, the community became proud of me in a similar way.”

“But it was always very important for us not to stay inside the classification. The regime divided us: people classified coloured had identity documents; black people had the dompas. We didn’t accept that separation. Sipho, although he was born in KZN, could play any feel. Sometime he’d joke and ask me: ‘Does my bass line feel coloured enough?’”

Despite the hits, it had not been easy making a living from the music. Mohamed tells of finding an entire album of his had been credited to a mysterious composer called ‘R. Richards’, preventing him from collecting royalties. “Albums got very limited promotion. We never even knew,” he says, “when our royalties were due, and had to go and beg cash advances. And if they didn’t feel like paying you…”

Mohamed had worked with several bands, including Les Valiants in the late 1960s, The Dynamics, El Gringo’s and finally Society’s Children, who scored a massive hit with Mohamed’s 1975 composition I’m a Married Man. But the growing weight of repression culminating in the Soweto Uprising in 1976, were leading to a shift in his music. Increasingly “I was unhappy with playing all those covers. I wanted a reason for playing. It was no longer enough just to have hits.”

He describes his earlier formations as “experiments”—Black Disco gave Mohamed his direction. After Night Express, he went on to become a co-founder of Movement in the City, with Cape Town drummer Monty Webber. “The name was code for let’s fight the system. It was a very dark time for us, personally and politically, and their two albums including Black Teardrops (another title the censor didn’t like) came from that emotional place.”

Increasingly, Mohamed’s searching took him towards his roots. “I figured that protecting and preserving our indigenous music could be my contribution to the struggle. We must know our heritage. I thought: if the Boers take that from us, we’re fucked.”

So Mohamed’s journey, which began as a boyish organ player doodling Timmy Thomas-style riffs on Night Express has now brought him to a role today as a kora master and producer, collaborating with Khoisan traditional healers and their music. But the Black Disco group was, for him, where it all started. “It was so important for us to play a kind of crossover then. To weave in the touches of Motown, Philadelphia soul and Teddy Pendergrass that the coloured community appreciated, and Basil’s Cape Town sound, and Sipho’s sound that was legendary in the black community, and make music that people could all enjoy together. It was our way of saying: We are with you.”

matsulimusic.bandcamp.com

Mar 29, 2017

Orlando Julius & The Ashiko - Love, Peace & Happiness


Official reissue of one of the hardest to find albums by the Afro Soul maestro, a pure Afro Funk spiritual grail from 1978!

Born in 1943 in Ikole-Ekiti in Ondo State, Nigeria, Orlando Julius Ekemode (“Orlando was really a nickname, taken from the Nigerian actor, Orlando Martins“) had started in music from an early age, becoming the school drummer and learning flute, bugle and other instruments at St Peters Anglican School in Ikole-Ekiti. Nigerian musician, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is credited as one of the first musicians to fuse US R&B into traditional highlife music, creating his own influential Afrobeat sound during the mid-‘60s. From his time playing in the USA during the 1970s onwards, he is credited with bringing African music to a broader audience and famously co- composed the song ‘Going Back To My Roots’ with Lamont Dozier.

In 1978 , Orlando Julius Ekemode decided to produce himself this amazing session, originally recorded between Maryland and West Virginia (USA ) and released in limited quantity in Nigeria by the obscure label Jungle records .

6 stunning monster Afro Funk tracks , recorded by 8 musicians based in Oakland. Fully licensed with the artist and remastered by Carvery. Essential!



Mar 28, 2017

Vincent Ahehehinnou - Best Woman

 

In early 1978, Vincent Ahehehinnou left the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou without explanation. He had been one of their principal vocalist since 1968 and had helped transform them from a hard-charging nightclubband into a musical powerhouse and Africa-wide sensation. By the end of 1977, after an explosive performance at the pan-African arts and culture festival (Festac77) in Lagos, the band had reached the very pinnacle of their success.

For nearly forty years, the reasons behind Vincent’s sudden departure have remained a mystery. Until now. In an interview included with Analog Africa’s new reissue of Best Woman – Vincent’s first post-Poly-Rythmo album, which has been out-of-print for close to four decades and nearly impossible to find outside West Africa – the great singer finally breaks his silence. He didn’t leave … he was pushed.

Poly-Rythmo were already popular in their native Benin but, in the aftermath of Festac ’77, the band were poised for break-out success throughout Africa. One of the people who stood to benefit most was the band’s manager Adissa Seidou, whose label Albarika Store had released most of the band’s recordings. However Adissa’s vision for Poly-Rythmo didn’t always line up with that of the musicians and, more often than not, it was Vincent who spoke up for the band.

The two men grew increasingly estranged until one day – at the funeral for Adissa’s father no less – Adissa gave Vincent an ultimatum of sorts. In Vincent’s own words: ‘I asked him if there is a way we could sort out our differences to which he replied that the only solution was for me to leave the band, adding, “if not I will kill you”’. And so Vincent found himself forced out of the band he had helped build. He tried his hand at various business ventures, but soon realised that the pull of music was too strong. On a business trip to Nigeria, Vincent met with Ignace de Souza of Benin’s Black Santiago band, who agreed to arrange Vincent’s songs, assemble musicians, and book a session at the legendary Decca Studios in Lagos.

With everything in place Vincent returned to Cotonou, gathered together all the money he had saved over the years and set out again for Lagos. But the simple bus journey to Nigeria turned into a nightmarish odyssey of military corruption … and had it not been for the random kindness of an unknown woman on the bus, this album – along with Vincent’s subsequent solo career – might never have existed. Vincent tells the full story in the liner notes to this LP.

But Vincent did make it to Lagos and the sessions went ahead. The nine-piece band, handpicked by de Souza, learned the songs and set them to tape in the span of only a week … but the results are as timeless and essential as anything to emerge from West Africa in the late 1970s.

Vincent’s afrobeat credentials are in full evidence on opening track ‘Best Woman’ (English) whose driving beat, focussed horns and intricate vocal melody recall the raucous intensity of Poly-Rythmo. But the deep funk of the title track turns out to be only a warm-up for album-highlight ‘Maimouna Cherie’ (French), a moving expression of love and longing which kicks off with a hi-hat and wah-wah guitar workout but shifts gears mid-way into a more concentrated and contemplative groove.

The funk and afrobeat gems on Best Woman are balanced by songs that draw upon Sato, one of the many Vodoun rhythms of Vincent’s native Benin. Side one concludes with ‘Vi Deka’ (Mina), an epic slow-burner propelled by some of the record’s most soulful vocals, while album closer ‘Wa Do Verite Ton Noumi’ (Fon) all but dares you not to lose yourself in its sublime hypnotic trance.

Best Woman was released on Nigeria’s Hasbunalau Records in 1978, and original pressings are now highly-prized collector’s items. With this reissue on Analog Africa’s Dance Edition imprint – newly mastered by Nick Robbins, cut by to vinyl by Frank Merritt at the Carvery, and approved by Vincent himself – Best Woman makes a welcome and long-overdue return to turntables around the world.

hhv

Mar 24, 2017

New album: Big Mean Sound Machine - Runnin' for the Ghost


“BMSM might be one of my favorite bands on the planet. With a horn section to kill for, a drummer that can put me in a beat coma instantly, and a knack for hitting grooves in a pantsless stride, they aren't easy to ignore,” -Joel Frieders, SYFFAL.com

For a band with no lead singer, Big Mean Sound Machine has character in spades. When assembled from a selection of the finest, well-lubricated, musically brilliant components, the resulting machine is the sonic equivalent of a positive feeling. “The embodiment of feeling… delicious,” writes Frieders. People dance when a rhythm moves them, and there’s no defying instinct when Big Mean Sound Machine is on stage. Anyone who has experienced the band in action knows that their performances are the heaviest and sweatiest. “Incorporating Caribbean, African and Latin sounds, and everything in between, these musicians sound as though they’ve been playing together since the sandbox days. They transition effortlessly from a collective... to riveting soloists, and when [they’re] not playing simultaneously, those... stepping aside are jamming out as if they were in the crowd with the rest of us,” writes Mary Mistretta of UpstateLIVE. A polyrhythmic monster with a crisp, constant, unrelenting groove, the band brings together many musical traditions in a unique blend that reinterprets and reanimates live dance music unlike any other band playing today.


THE ALBUM

Their fourth studio album, "Runnin' for the Ghost" captures the essence of the band’s renowned energetic and transcendent live shows into a concise, portable experience wherever it may be desired -- in the car, at home, work, or in the club. After over seven years of rigorous touring and three acclaimed, full-length studio albums, Big Mean Sound Machine is proud to present a rich sonic journey through their freshest material, their self-stated, "best album to date." With this record, the band hopes to continue building on the success of their previous releases and with your contribution, this world-class album can achieve the exposure it truly deserves.

bigmeansoundmachine.com
bigmeansoundmachine.bandcamp.com



Mar 12, 2017

Nigerian Boogie: Livy Ekemezie - Friday Night



Here it is.., a reissue treatment for one of the most sought after Nigerian boogie albums. So groovy.., so good.. Afro-boogie lovers, you just got served! TIPPP!

Some words from Livy:

“I was just out of senior secondary school and I wanted to make an album,” recalls Ekemezie. “I was into disco and funk at the time and I was looking for a bassdriven funky sound. The entire idea was to make an album that sounded like something made in London or the U.S. I tried to sound “American” but we ended up with something else: a mix of American and Nigerian.” ‘Friday Night’ was recorded at Goddy Oku’s Godiac 24-track recording studio in Enugu, one of the best studios available in Nigeria at the time. “It took about 9 months to a year to make the album,” continues Ekemezie. “I financed it by myself so I had to resort to friends helping out with loans for session men and studio time. The original LP was released on blue vinyl and that idea came from William Onyeabor. We used his pressing plant and he sold the idea to me. It was different so I said ‘why not?’” The LP has been picked up by many in recent months as the demand for Nigerian disco originals has grown with the track ‘Delectation’ receiving an unofficial edit and DJs like Motor City Ensemble dropping the album into their sets. This first ever reissue of the LP remains faithful to the original issue, remastered and pressed on blue vinyl. It features full original artwork along with new interviews with Livy Ekemezie and contributing musician Jules Elong by Odion Livingstone’s Temi Kogbe. 

rushhour


Mar 10, 2017

The Original Sound Of Mali


‘The Original Sound of Mali’ compiled by Vik Sohonie and David Buttle. As featured as 'Compilation of the Week' on Lauren Laverne's BBC 6Music show.

Malian music is arguably deeper, more sophisticated and lyrical than any other form of African music. Those of us deeply entranced by Malian culture, and, in particular, the immense hypnotic beauty of Malian music, have put together a selection of songs from across the country.

mrbongo.com

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Mr Bongo is proud to present 'The Original Sound of Mali', compiled by Vik Sohonie & David Buttle.
Malian music is arguably deeper, more sophisticated and lyrical than any other form of African music. Those of us deeply entranced by Malian culture, and, in particular, the immense hypnotic beauty of Malian music, have put together a selection of songs from across the country.

Compiled by Vik Sohonie & Dave 'Mr Bongo' Buttle, the story of this release began in 2015 when Dave happened upon the Soul Bonanza blog. A treasure chest of rare finds from around the world! One mix in particular stood out and totally enthralled Dave - le monde à change: a tribute to mali 1970 - 1991. He already knew of Malian legends such as the Rail Band, Salif Keita, & Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako, but this mix was something else! Deep & culled from the collections of some of the heaviest African music collectors in the world, legends like Vik Sohonie, Hidehito Morimoto, Philippe Noel, Gregoire Villanova, and Rickard Masip. Dave immediately contacted Vik and a journey of discovery tracking down the rights-holders began. He also turned to the font of Malian music knowledge, Florent Mazzoleni. Florent has written the definitive book about Malian music - 'Musiques modernes et traditionnelles du Mali'. He proposed some incredible tracks to include and provided the back bone of the sleeve notes and photos that are used in the album. No Malian album would be complete without a striking front cover photo, and ours is sourced from the late great Malian photographer Malick Sidibé.

On this album you will find well-known artists sitting next to rarer discoveries. The Rail Band, who are one of the best known of all the big bands in Mali, gave us the stars Mory Kanté and Salif Keita. Les Amabassedeurs du Motel de Bamako were another big act that had Idrissa Soumaoro, Kanté Manfila, and for a while Salif Keita in their ranks. Sometimes Salif would play in both bands in one night, quite a feat considering the bands were fierce rivals. As an albino Salif has had to face considerable prejudice from society, focussing on his musical career to help overcome this.

A major discovery on the album has been Idrissa Soumaoro et L'Eclipse de L'Ija. L'Eclipse de l'Institut des Jeunes Aveugles was a Blind teenagers institute and their record was produced by the German association that took care of blind Malian teenagers in Bamako. It was never properly released commercially and was the first recordings by the legends of Malian music Idrissa Soumaoro, Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia. Amadou & Mariam later got married and became household stars, including making an album with Manu Chao.

This album is a concerted global effort to showcase the most vital cornerstone of Malian culture in an attempt to preserve its reputation in the face of its current, grim reality. We hope our highlights of Mali's rich history of musical innovation will serve as a starting point for reclaiming an image tainted by unnecessary conflict. May peace and music return to Mali soon. Dedicated to Malick Sidibé.

deejay






TRACKLIST – CD
01. Idrissa Soumaoro et L’Eclipse de L’Ija — Nissodia (Joie de l’optimisme) 
02. Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako — Tiécolom-Ba 
03. Super Tentemba Jazz — Mangan 
04. Rail Band — Mouodilo 
05. Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako — M’Bouram-Mousso 
06. Sorry Bamba — Yayoroba  
07. Super Djata Band — Worodara 
08. Zani Diabaté et Le Super Djata Band — Fadingna Kouma 
09. Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako — Fatema 
10. Super Djata Band de Bamako — Mali Ni Woula 
11. Salif Keita — Mandjou
12. Alou Fané & Daouda Sangaré — Komagni Bèla 
13. Idrissa Soumaoro et L’Eclipse de L’Ija — Fama Allah

Mar 9, 2017

From Ghana: Worlasi - The Uncut (for free)



Supreme Rights has unleashed a 13 track compilation from Worlasi titled ‘The Uncut’

Worlasi drove us insane with his debut mixtape titled “Nuse” which had 14 tracks including the intro… His style of music gave birth to a new trend, and re-introduced Hiphop as it should be done in Africa. His debut mixtape earned him a lot of respect and rose his credibility as a talented and exceptional artiste.

‘The Uncut’ compilation are songs that couldn’t make to the “NUSE” Mixtape; and these are 13 exclusive songs which he produced and was mixed by Qube. This compilation featured other great talents like Krack Gyamfi, Emperaw, Laelaure, Kdxp, and BiQo. Just as the “Nuse” Mixtape, this compilation also talks about dreams, emotions and insights on life and a much needed discourse on black power, passions and owning our destinies.

Worlasi is here to make an impact and I can see Ghanaians embracing that “Weird” talent… He is not the regular kind of artiste you listen to daily, but he is yet to become that artiste you will always want to listen to after listening to him for the first time. Worlasi is not a stranger to us anymore; so we know what to expect on this one. Listen to greatness and deepness combined!


loudsoundgh.com


Track by Track

The undisputed revolutionary in the music scene is steadily filling us in with more of him and his originality. After the release of NUSE: STRENGTH WITHIN, his debut mixtape, he blesses us with a collection of tracks that couldn’t make it to the main album. THE UNCUT is a definite way of saying “here’s more, help yourself”.

MY WORLA prod by Qube begins with a pattern of chants in his native dialect. His dexterity in holding up a number of words in a thread on this tune was impeccable. MY WORLA talks of our need for some subject to be there for us-something to hold on to-and how we as individuals need to be that subject for others as well. With an amazing sound quality and great articulation, the message of disappointment in some others who wish only to reemphasize our failures because we failed to act their way is fully expressed in this track. A nice way to hit us with the realities of being a human being. The tune ends precipitously with an affirmation that we need someone to hang on to, regardless.

A narrative about his basic and secondary education and how ignorant we all are of the different forms an idea could take because we’re stuck, unwilling to open up our brains to other possibilities. “I be the John for your eyes but nigger that’s cool, I be the don for my eyes and that’s it, that’s it“, the tune speaks about how sad it is to have your potential underestimated while thinking outside society’s box of known concepts and norms. Self-produced, CARTOON certainly should have made it to NUSE. It has truths of finally embracing one’s weirdness to later discover that was only strength in thick disguise.

MOTIVATION ft Krack Gyamfi & Emperaw prod by Worlasi did as it had to and provided enough encouragement for anyone engaged in anything meaningful to take a mental trip into the joy at the end of that accomplishment and move on with it.

With a tune that one can easily vibe with, SATAN has a carefully chosen rhythm considering its concept. TOO LONG ft KDXP carefully follows with a lovely rhythm. The featured artist came in very, very, strong and delivered on the track, expressing why love should be reciprocal and enjoyed from both ends and the frustration that arises during the wait for the other party to feel up to it.

PLAY prod by Worlasi

With a Danceable rhythm, this is Just a jolly tune, one to be enjoyed when having a long day. It is A break from the rather too frank expressions on the harsh realities of life expressed on the tunes that come before it.

RIVER(Enya cover)

Worlasi clearly needs more space. Space to create. He speaks with rage on this solemn tune to those individuals who find their way into our lives to slow us down and grants them a chance to exit the same way they entered, stealthily. On this very soulful tune which flattered his voice he had an unusually, beautiful style of singing the words out, probably because they meant a lot to him, with emphasis on the words that mattered.

RAZZY ft BiQo prod by Worlasi

In every relationship there’s the one who rules. This could be either of the parties in that relationship. Razzy is the kind of a girl you fall in love with but realize you should have come “materially” prepared. The one who’s presence earns you respect from your friends, that is the kind spoken of in this song.

All 13 tracks were beautiful in their own rights. THE UNCUT is enjoyable, it provokes thoughts, raises excitement and finds you in the middle of the misunderstandings of life. So “here’s more, help yourself”!

unorthodoxreviews.com






GET IT FOR FREE HERE!


Mar 3, 2017

Togo Soul 70: Selected Rare Togolese Recordings From 1971 To 1981



 Hot Casa Records present Togo Soul 70 (Selected Rare Togolese Recordings from 1971 to 1981). A treasure-trove of rare and unusual recordings mostly recorded in Lomé during the 70's, a fusion of traditional voodoo chants, raw soul and Afro jazz. Finding these tracks and their rights holders hasn't become any easier even after few trips all over this west African country bordered by Ghana, Benin & Burkina Faso.

We, at Hot Casa Records, decided to select 13 tracks, a snapshot of some hundreds of rare and often forgotten tapes from the most prolific, professional and exciting phase of the country's recording history, including international stars like Bella Bellow (who even performed to Maracana stadium in Brazil), or Roger Damawuzan, compared as the James Brown from Lomé, and forgotten tapes and brilliant songs in Mina, Kabyié and Fon languages. Many of the tracks featured here are peppered with innovation and experimentation highlighting how diverse the music scene in Togo was at the time, even if the political context influenced their creation.

A must have for all music lovers, also used as the soundtrack of the documentary Togo Soul 70, directed by Liz Gomis & DJ Julien Lebrun!


A fantastic little collection – and one that's way different than the usual Afro Funk compilation! Instead, this is an album that takes the "soul" in its title seriously – and goes for unusual tunes from the Togo scene of the 70s – almost all of which feature incredible vocals that soar out with boundless, righteous energy! There's definitely a bit of funk, too – but in modes that are very different than Nigerian sounds from the time, and very fresh, too – musical elements that are used in such compelling ways, we really want to dig deeper into the scene of this tiny nation. Titles include "Senye Na Na" by Aime Orchis Mathey, "I Tcho Tchass" by Akofa Akoussah, "Mais Dis Donc" by Toite Sandja, "Adome Nyueto" by Yta Jourias, "Loxo Nye" by Roger Damawuzan, "Woukunyeya" by Gabelo, "Mi Kpede Dunye" by Dk Pilo, and "Agbemenyawo" by Vewonyi DD.  


Hot Casa present Togo Soul 70: Selected Rare Togolese Recordings From 1971 To 1981. A treasure-trove of rare and unusual recordings, mostly recorded in Lomé during the '70s - a fusion of traditional voodoo chants, raw soul and Afro jazz. Finding these tracks and their rights holders hasn't become any easier even after few trips all over this west African country bordered by Ghana, Benin and Burkina Faso. With Togo Soul 70, Hot Casa have selected 13 tracks, a snapshot of hundreds of rare and often forgotten tapes from the most prolific, professional and exciting phase of the country's recording history, including international stars like Bella Bellow (who even performed at Maracana Stadium in Brazil), or Roger Damawuzan, referred to as the James Brown from Lomé, and forgotten tapes and brilliant songs in the Mina, Kabyié and Fon languages. Many of the tracks featured here are peppered with innovation and experimentation, highlighting how diverse the music scene in Togo was at the time, even if the political context influenced their creation. A must have for all music lovers. This selection was used as the soundtrack for the documentary Togo Soul 70, directed by Liz Gomis and DJ Julien Lebrun. Features: Akofa Akoussah, Napo De Mi Amor, Aimé Orchis Mathey, Toite Sandja, Gabelo, Wini & Fefe, Adamah & Agbote, Vewonyi DD, Dk Pilo and Yta Jourias. 


It is fortunately still pioneering in the reissue and compilation camps to be found. You can not talk about gold diggers. Most of the compilations that have unearthed historical tapes in Western and East Africa, in the Sahara or the Sahel, have certainly arisen not for profit but for love. To clear up the rendezvous is sometimes a detective game - you just have to try to get the rights for only one track. »Togo Soul 70« h from the house of Hot Casa is exactly for this reason already in advance. How wonderful it is that labelmaker DJ Julien Lebrun and the journalist Liz Gomis made a search and dug 13 songs. Togo, which lies between Ghana and Nigeria on the Ivory Coast, is, despite its vital capital Lomé, mostly underrepresented in cultural discourse. After Togo became independent of France in 1960, there was a social boost. And even when the autocratic president, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, was elected (and ultimately remained in power for more than 40 years), the economic situation continued. Lomé has become a cultural center in West Africa and countless bands have appeared. Between 1971 and 1981, this compilation is a monument. With stars like Bella Bellow or Roger Damawuzan, who was also known as the James Brown of Lomé. But also unknown pearls in Mina, Kabyié and Fon; Which besides French are still country languages. At Hot Casa you can see a post-colonial approach in your own work to reverse the distribution routes and not export music to Africa, but to import. So you can and should be back in the souly seventies.


Mar 2, 2017

From South Africa: B.C.U.C. (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness) - Our Truth


Biography

A stone’s throw from the church where Desmond Tutu organised the escape of the most wanted anti-Apartheid activists of Soweto, the BCUC band rehearses in a shipping container-turned-community restaurant, where their indomitable outspokenness echoes in a whole new way.

Make no mistake, this buzzing township has lost none of the creative, rebellious energy it had when the “Rainbow Nation”, with its now less-than-vibrant colours, emerged twenty years ago.

Like its elders, Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness sees its music as a hedonistic trance, but also as a weapon of political and spiritual liberation.

Artistic heirs to Philip “Malombo” Tabane and Batsumi, they seek to give a contemporary voice to the ancestral traditions of indigenous peoples. Jazz sounds of 1970s and ‘80s productions have been replaced by hip-hop influences and a punk-rock energy.

It all started about twelve years ago in a community centre workshop. The format of the band hasn’t changed much since that time, but its musical language has been greatly refined. While vocals and percussion have always driven their music, in the past they’ve explored “electronic”
avenues and for many years even included a rock guitar that swung between folk and free jazz.

BCUC found its magic formula in 2013, however, when they folded a frenzied electric bass into the simple drum-and-vocals mix.

And that’s the alchemy of “Africangungungu”, the name they’ve given to their “afropsychedelic” music. Both on stage and on this album (their first commercial production), their songs refuse to be formatted. Their “incantations” in Zulu, Sotho and English and their funky modulations
extend over twenty minutes in a whirlwind of sound reminiscent of Fela’s Afrobeat.

Nguni rhythms mix with Tsonga rhythms, the whistles of Bhaca and Shona miners meet the traditional Imbomu horn, while ancestral war songs and Ngoma busuku (night song) choruses mingle with the soul music of singer Kgomotso and the raging rap of Jovi and Luja.

“Yinde”, which opens “Our Truth”, means “the road”: a symbol of the distance left to cover towards a fairer South African society. Similarly, “Asazani” (“we don’t know one other”) pleads for a reconciling of all the components of the “Rainbow Nation”.

BCUC’s willingness to look these social and identity questions in the face has already led to the banning of one song from their only self-produced EP, which points the finger at a national idol. But neither this event, nor the criticism to which they are exposed by their refusal to belong to a specific movement, can change their minds. “Music for the people by the people with the people” – a people they refuse to box into one community, to circumscribe to one skin colour.

nyaminyamirecords.bandcamp.com



Profile of South African afro-psychedelic future pop sextet Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness



Foodzone is an eatery situated in Lakeview, Soweto, right next to the Rea Vaya bus station on the T1 route. Looking outside from the interior — Foodzone’s located inside a shipping container housing a variety of musical instruments in one corner and a stove where meals are prepared in another — one can see Regina Mundi church to their right and Thokoza Park to their left.


South African afro-psychedelic future pop sextet Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness (BCUC or B-Cook work just as well) are not only part-owners of the venue, they also hold their rehearsals in here, on a floor space they clear up to make room for their instruments. The band consists of Nkosi “Jovi” Zithulele, Kgomotso Mokone, Thabo “Cheex” Mangle, Mritho Luja, Lehlohonolo “Hloni” Maphunye, and Skhumbuzo Mahlangu. Mosebetsi Ntsimande of the band Uju is a featured bassist.
Between them, they rap in eloquently-phrased Sesotho verse; they howl fire and brimstone to the tune of a thousand angels; they harmonize, play nose flutes, bang bass drums; they jiva ispantsula to the shy rhythm of the tambourine; and they do the ‘tribal thing’, you know, feet-in-the-air, indlamu, Zulu warrior, live-wrangling for the hood, the ‘burbs, and the outer-skirts thing?! Word!

Thrown into the mix: whistles (izimfijoli) commonly used by amaBhaca, but also found in Lesotho where mokhibo/moribo women use them to rally up the audience’s participation and liven up the song; and imbombu, an instrument roughly 3 meters long, invented by Shembe adherents with the Biblical trumpet as inspiration.

I first saw BCUC live at Oppikoppi festival two years ago. It was on a late afernoon, Saturday, and they were performing at Skellum — a stage neither big nor too small, perfect for a band whose reputation as live performers rests on their willingness to compete against and out-match the last live show they put on. They had everyone tripping towards dizzying heights, entranced by their Nazareth Baptist-style chants. Their manic, relentless, hard-hitting zeal and their head-bopping humdrum rock-n-roll attitude turns them into miracle workers on stage.

A few months later, we were all squeezed into rapper/producer Joint Pusher’s home studio in Cosmo City, north of Johannesburg. BCUC were working towards an album and decided to decamp to JP’s in order to test out a few ideas. It was hot outside, sweltering even, mid-Summer highveld vibes. Regular swigs from a cold water bottle were vital!

The room, fitted with a couch and not much else besides JP’s studio equipment, became a hub of activity. JP started the session by programming the drum pattern under Jovi’s guidance. After getting the basic groove, an assortment of percussive instruments the crew had brought along were added — shakers first and then, ultimately, Cheex’s nimble hands producing complex sounds as they caressed the twin congas.

Cheex comes across as quiet and reserved, almost reclusive, in person. He’s the antithesis to Jovi and Hloni’s hyperactive personas, almost in the same energy spectrum as Luja. Put congas in front of him, however, and these notions and comparisons cease to exist. He transforms. He becomes a beast, each percussive line feeding a style of playing so free and unhindered it sounds like he’s charting new territory, coursing along with jugular jungle styles while getting drunk in the punch of the conga gods.

The session’s well underway by the time Kgomotso adds harmonies atop the loop. At this point, BCUC’s signature imbombu, hand-crafted from the finest zinc by merchants at Kwa-MayiMayi in Durban, has also graced the song.

“When we started the band, we didn’t start it because we wanted to make money. We wanted to start the band because we felt like there is a voice that is not there, you know?!”

Jovi utters the words while cooling off under the tree shade following the second round of rehearsals for the day. Luja’s preparing food for customers who’ve just ordered and Mosebetsi, the featured bassist, has left for other missions in the city. The rest of the crew, along with a few friends, are seated on the same restaurant bench underneath the tree with Jovi, sweaty and hyperventilating.
The s’camto’s (conversation) about their roots. Back in the early 2000s, Jozi had a buzzing underground scene out of which noteworthy names emerged: Sliq Angel and MXO; Simphiwe Dana; Lebo Mashile; Tumi Molekane and his (former) band The Volume; and the now-defunct Kwani Experience — perhaps the closest to BCUC, at least in their militant, pro-black philosophies.

“We are older than most of them, obviously, in terms of how long [we’ve] been together, you know?! The difference between us and them: I reckon they wanted to make money with the music, and thina we wanted to make music and then money will follow, because obviously when you do music, then money should follow. We wanted to be this voice for the black urban [youth who] are culturally inclined [and] proud of [its] musical heritage,” says Jovi.

The collective wanted to become a bridge between what they call ‘muzik wa diplaas’ and ‘muzik wa ko kasi’ — essentially, an alternative to traditional music, and kwaito and house music. “Back then, we were annoyed by i-digital music, but now [it’s] got these guys who are using other machines, and they make it almost live now. You mention abo-Fantasma [and]Goldfish – at least you can respect that.”

The aim, therefore, was to play music that utilised instruments, and secondly to say something with substance.

What was the central message at that time, I ask.

“Black music, it hasn’t changed,” says Jovi and Kgomotso, almost at the same time. Hloni calls it ‘shebeen muzik’, the type you don’t get to hear on radio. It’s the type of music sung by everyone.

“I think we’re speaking about ourselves,” says Kgomotso. “Our ideology, B-Cook’s sense of consciousness is not about us going outside of ourselves to find enlightenment. It’s about finding out who we are within our families. Ko-ntlung (at home), what’s happening? How do you incorporate it with what happens in Cheex’s place? At Hloni’s place? At Jovi’s place? [It’s about] how we build bridges and how we educate each other to be better people. For us, that is the consciousness — just being good people and putting that positivity out there.”
africasacountry.com

Mar 1, 2017

The Macrotones - Unknown Outpost


Boston’s heavy instrumentalists The Macrotones release their fourth album, Unknown Outpost, on Oct. 21, 2016 through Music ADD Recordings and Publishing.

The fierce and driving Unknown Outpost was recorded with Boston Music Award-winner and Grammy-nominated engineer and producer Benny Grotto, and for the first time in the band’s history features guest vocals from rising star Iyeoka, Destroy Babylon’s Rob Carmichael and verses from multiple MCs. It continues the band’s progression from its traditional afrobeat roots to tighter, more hard-hitting funky compositions that settle into that four-minute, sweet-spot pocket.

CDs and downloads of Unknown Outpost can be found at Macrotones.com. Please email contact@macrotones.com if you would like a copy for review. The record can also be streamed on Spotify and Pandora.

Boston's premier afrofunk outfit, the Macrotones, have been launching explosive dance parties for nearly a decade. The 9-piece, horn-driven ensemble is steeped in funk, afrobeat, cinematic soul, ethiojazz, rock, reggae, and more, resulting in dark, interlaced rhythms and progressive arrangements. The band’s tightly-honed grooves and infectious sound has shared the stage with like-minded practitioners such as the Budos Band, Grupo Fantasma, the Funk Ark, Big Mean Sound Machine, Ikebe Shakedown, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, and Barika, and is in good company with fellow instrumentalists Brownout, Jungle Fire, the Menahan Street Band, and the Shaolin Afronauts.


Macrotones 
 


Tracklist

01. Extrajudicial
02. Brine
03. The Oneness of Life (feat. Iyeoka)
04. Grand Crew
05. The Doctors Are Here
06. The Farmer (feat. bcap)
07. 33° North
08. Eta Corvi (feat. Rob Carmichael)
09. Black Sea Strut
10. Had Enough (feat. Does Bros)
11. Icy
12. Nightshade
13. Darkness (feat. bcap)

Feb 28, 2017

From Poland: Warsaw Afrobeat Orchestra - Man Is Enough


From Press release:

Man Is Enough, the second album of Warsaw Afrobeat Orchestra was released by Agencja Muzyczna Polskiego Radia on 3rd February 2017. The album contains ten sogs kept in the afrobeat/afrofunk style, except "Intro" which is establishing for the tradition of the Berberian music and the Polish folklore. 

Compositions have more international accents mainly thanks to musical layer, but also thanks to guests who took part in recordings. Apart from the eleven members of WAO in "Man is enough" it is possible to hear two outstanding Polish vocalists Weronika Grozdew-Kołacińska and ShataQS, and leading musicians of the afrobeat stage Dele Sosimi and KALETA (LeonLigan-Majek).

Recordings are development of direction appointed by musicians on the first WAO album "Wëndelu". Works aren't classical afrobeat, are rather inspired by the Afro and the funk music, it is possible to find also a lot of references to Polish etno/folk.

"Man is enough" is a musical hybrid which funk groove is merging


Jan 25, 2017

From Minneapolis, USA: Black Market Brass - Cheat And Start A Fight




Founded in Minneapolis during the spring of 2012, BMB came together when two guitar players discovered each other's almost identical craigslist ads aimed at starting a funk band influenced by among other things, the sounds of Fela Kuti, K Frimpong, and King Sunny Ade.

Over the next 3 years the band would relentlessly rehearse, fine tune, and develop their deeply powerful sound. What started as a funk band playing obscure covers eventually blossomed into a creative collective of musicians writing, arranging, and performing original music that builds on the sound of Nigerian Afrobeat by tastefully blending it with other styles. As time went on, the band cycled through players and material before arriving at what would become the permanent lineup and their signature sound.

In 2013 Secret Stash Records released BMB’s debut single to critical acclaim within the collector and DJ communities. The bible of all things funky, Wax Poetics, declared the record to be “Heavy Nigerian Madness.” Flea Market Funk raved “This is some authentic music right here people, recorded in the United States. Inspired by the likes of The Funkees, The Black President, and Moussa Doumbia as much as James Brown and The Meters, this Twin Cities dozen (and sometimes more) is shoveling out their musical path with their unique sounds.” The entire pressing quickly sold out as Secret Stash shipped copies around the globe while BMB slang copies from the stage after shows throughout the Midwest.

Two years later, after almost non-stop gigging and rehearsing, BMB finally tracked their debut album at Secret Stash’s new recording studio in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. Cut live in one room over the course of 3 days, the recordings jump out of the speakers with an energy reminiscent of the band’s celebrated live shows. About the process, guitarist Hans Kruger says, “This music needs to be recorded live. Everytime we play there are these little connections that are being made between a couple of the musicians. The bass and drums might lock into something that the horn players don’t consciously know about. But while that’s happening, the horn players might find their way to some new interpretation of their parts. You would lose some of that if you went in and tracked everything one at a time. There needs to be room for collective improvisation.” The incredible thing about recorded music is its ability to travel across time, space, and cultural boundaries. The story of Black Market Brass and their debut album, Cheat And Start A Fight, is a testament to that miraculous feat. Recorded in 2015 by the 12 piece instrumental band, it is heavily inspired by the sounds of West African popular and spiritual music from long ago.

blackmarketbrass.com

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Black Market Brass gives Afrobeat a prairie home
The 10-piece Black Market Brass has become an unlikely go-to summer party band in Minnesota.

Last weekend’s packed First Avenue main-room set and the hipster-thronged Red Stag Block Party in northeast Minneapolis were among their favorite shows so far. However, the most telling performance for the 10 members of Black Market Brass in their unusually busy summer actually might have been last month’s more milquetoast gig at Log Jam in Stillwater.

“Seeing a bunch of teenagers and other Stillwater people getting down to our kind of music was kind of mind-blowing,” guitarist Hans Kruger said, admitting it took the band a few songs to win the crowd over.

Continued baritone sax player Cole Pulice, “Some shows, the people don’t really know what to make of us at first. But they see us having a blast on stage, and I think that tells them we’re all in this together to have a good time.”

The Stillwater story hints at how an instrumental Afrobeat band somehow became a go-to favorite for the summer party scene in Minnesota — a group whose music is based around the psychedelic-sounding, rhythmically complex, relatively obscure jazz/funk/fusion sounds of late Nigerian revolutionary Fela Kuti and the rest of his Afrobeat music movement.

Among the other outdoor fests that Black Market Brass has played this year were the Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Art-a-Whirl at Bauhaus and the Coup d’état Block Party. The band has one more next weekend, the Borough Block Party outside Borough restaurant in Minneapolis’ North Loop on Sunday (scheduled set time: 1 p.m.).

Quipped the group’s other guitarist, Mitch Sigurdson, “We just show up to every block party and ask if we’re playing.”

Also the guitarist in the popular soul-rock sextet Black Diet, Sigurdson posted a Craigslist ad three years ago that became the big bang for BMB, asking if any other Twin Cities musicians were interested in forming an Afrobeat-flavored band. “There were DJ nights and radios shows, but you couldn’t really go hear this stuff played live anywhere in town,” he recalled.

How a bunch of white, twenty- and thirty-something rock, jazz and soul musicians in Minnesota got into Afrobeat music in the first place is another surprise worth explaining.

Some of them discovered it through modern Afrobeat acts such as the Antibalas Orchestra and Budos Band. Some were simply vinyl collectors who fell in love with the ’70s-era worldbeat records reissued by Minneapolis label Secret Stash Records, which will also release Black Market Brass’ debut album next spring.

The most well-versed among them was probably percussionist David Tullis, an African studies major at Carleton College who traveled to Nigeria on a fellowship-type excursion to study drumming. He can go on long tangents about the music’s complex polyrhythms and other challenging elements.

“It’s hard for a lot of musicians to find their place in this music because there’s so much going on; everything is right there,” said Tullis, who is also the drummer in Black Diet.

Some of the first rehearsals for the bands were spent simply trying to work out musical charts from Kuti’s music for guideposts. “And then we still had to go through the long process of learning our own style and way of playing it,” Sigurdson remembered.

A true group effort

As scholarly as the band members can get about this music — “We really nerd out a lot in rehearsals,” Kruger admitted — they also make it clear they’re in BMB primarily because it’s fun music to play. Many of the songs in the band’s growing bin of original tunes, including “Snake Oil Man” and “Half a Cig,” follow the same repetitive groove for six minutes or more but pick up steam via the feisty, fiery horn parts.

Pulice, who also performs with vintage soul greats Sonny Knight & the Lakers, said Afrobeat “doesn’t follow a normal western music narrative. It’s not broken up into sections, or into solos, like jazz is.

“Good Afrobeat music is not about individual players. It’s about what we can do together, and finding that sort of magical, hypnotic zone as one unit.”

“Hypnotic” could perhaps be taken as code for the heavy marijuana use associated with Afrobeat and reggae music. The band doesn’t deny that there’s an herbal undercurrent to the music, but Tullis pointed out, “There are several people in the band who don’t touch the stuff, and they do just fine.

“Really, it’s about doing whatever you have to do to get in that uninhibited state where you freely dance to the music and just absorb it fully. Plenty of people can do that stone-cold sober.”

Let’s hope that was true of those teens in Stillwater.

startribune.com
 

Jan 23, 2017

From Argentina: Guanabana Afrobeat Orquesta




Guanabana Afrobeat is a musical project formed in mid-2012 with the intention of merging the genre Afrobeat with Latin American rhythms.

Through the polyrhythmia, Guanabana tries to generate its own style, accompanied by melodies and harmonies that shoot particular sounds while taking the genre as a base.


Check out there EPs at soundcloud.com!

Jan 21, 2017

From Canada: Kárà-Kátà Afrobeat Group - Buy & Sell


Kárà-Kátà Afrobeat/Highlife, Afrobeat reggae Group music genre can be called world but we blend effortlessly original Afrobeat, Afrobeat Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Afrobeat gospel, Modern funk, Jazz, Blues, Salsa, Psychedelic rock & Soul. Our musical spice is exotic and inspiring. We celebrate and share the beauty of African/Canadian multiculturalism with dance, music, fashion through our live performances. Although the music is African Origin, but we are 90% of different backgrounds and origins and 10% African. We are truly the world beat.

karakataafrobeat.com




The exciting new Afrobeat group here in Vancouver that goes by the name of Kara-Kata. Like traditional Afrobeat bands, we are composed of a wide range of talented musicians including several percussionists, a vibrant brass section, and guitars and keyboards. We also have a contingent of dancers who can fire up a crowd in seconds! Our shows over the past few months upstairs at The Afrika Shrine, Legion Hall on Commercial Drive have drawn strong and enthusiastic audiences and the word is definitely out that there is FINALLY a band here in Vancouver that can bring the music of Fela Kuti and the spirit of Africa to life on stage! Our music combines elements of funk, highlife, African rhythms, and jazz.

What Fela developed is now recognized as having been exceptionally unique. The sound rides on insistent Yoruba rhythms with funk-influenced organ riffs in the middle topped by repeated chants that link his music to that of traditional Nigeria. (Excerpt from BBC documentary from the 80s)

This is what is behind the spirit of Kara-Kata and what we try to project.

livevictoria.com

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FORGING AHEAD WITH AN AFRICAN VISION

A big bonfire of a band by the name of Kara-Kata is setting Vancouver ablaze with its full-power renditions of classic West African Afrobeat tracks. Afrobeat music blends the genres of funk, jazz, highlife, psychedelic rock, juju, agidigbo and other traditional rhythms into a whirlwind of ecstatic sound. The band is jamming the dancefloor and getting hips swaying to a frenetic tribal pulse. Their recent performances on Commercial Drive in Vancouver have been generating tons of buzz. Once a month they transform the staid Legion Hall into the bedazzled Afrika Shrine where the vibe is festive and traditional Nigerian dishes are served to hungry fans, resulting in a robust community spirit.
Afrobeat music is the kind of thing that “creeps deep into you as you listen to it,” according to the band’s founder, Toyinirawo Kayo-Ajayi (Kayo). Before you know it, your body is already dancing way before your brain considers doing so. There is a certain spirituality in the music as well, based on traditional African rhythms that are not found in Western music. There’s more behind the sound than just “the jiving psychedelic feel” that is normally associated with it. There is a truly magical undertone to the beats and melodies that comprise these songs, a magic the audience definitely picks up on.

The Afrobeat sound originated from Yorubaland in Nigeria. Both Kayo and the godfather of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti, share the same Yoruba background. Growing up, they were both exposed to the same local traditional songs, chants and rhythms performed during celebrations and ceremonies. It is this rich musical history that many, if not all Afrobeat songs are based upon. Kayo’s memory seems to border on prodigious when he proclaims he can literally recall hundreds of traditional songs from his childhood. “There is now this vast library in my head to draw inspiration from,” he remarks.
Kara-Kata’s first self-titled EP released last year is worth listening to for its lively rhythmic tracks although it hardly reflects the remarkably speedy evolution and sophistication of the group’s current bombastic sound. The group has swelled in size to almost 20 members over the last few months. Whereas they were once playing primarily smaller intimate venues and festivals in the area, the venues and crowds are growing in size alongside the group as the outbreak of Afrobeat fever spreads throughout the city.

Kayo has managed to skillfully orchestrate this ‘big family’ and keep the performances incredibly tight without it degenerating into a chaos of noise: “This music is like a meditation, and that’s why we can have such a large group onstage, all of us on the same page, totally connected. It’s not difficult at all actually. When I raise my hand or gesture in a certain manner, they know what’s coming because we are all connected. When I am onstage and people see me caught up in the music, entranced, dancing, totally into it, they cannot help but join in. It instantly connects people.”
Kayo formed Kara-Kata here in Canada in response to what he considered was a shortage of the pure version of this particular sound. “I just want to have fun with it and share my tradition and love of this music with my fellow Canadians,” he notes playfully. When asked what he sees on the horizon for the group, Kayo waxes philosophical. “We’ll end up wherever the universe takes us. We’ve come so far in such a short time, and where we are headed, no one knows, but wherever we find ourselves, I know we will be truly happy.”

beatroute.ca