If you’ve been digging the brilliant Ethiopiques series of compilations, which shine a light on the lesser-known Ethiopian music scene of the 1960s and ’70s, you’ll love this lavishly produced box set. Put together by series founder Francis Falceto, the box boasts fresh pressings of six impossible-to-find 7″ singles and a booklet containing extensive liner notes. The musical treats come thick and fast, quickly jumping between evocative Ethiopian jazz, unique fusions of rhythm and blues and traditional East African styles, Hammond-heavy groovers and exotic dancefloor workouts that defy easy categorization. Includes tracks from great Ethiopian artists like : Mulatu Astatke, Girma Beyene, Mahmoud Hamed, Getatchew Mekuria, Tilahun Gessesse.
Following on from the Pasteur Lappe compilation ”African Funk Experimentals” LP, we are really pleased to be re-visiting Pasteur with a repress of his second album from 1979, ”Na Man Pass Man”. The story begins in the 60s with a charming 19 year old Nicolas ”Pasteur” Lappe becoming a sensation on Radio Adele in Douala, Cameroun. He goes on to become the editor of the Douala Gazette newspaper and become friends with other African music stars such as Tala AM, J Moboule and Fela Kuti. He also works tirelessly promoting new and upcoming local Cameroonian talent. After moving to Paris, a stint in journalism school and publishing a book of poems ”Chansons Negres” he finally settles into a new life of music in Paris. His second album ”Na Man Pass Man” is made in 1979 with the backing band and production collective called the Zulu Gang, which include Douglas Mbida (who went on to release several top flight albums himself) and Jacob Desvariaux (who went on to form Kassav). The album is full of diverse sounds; from driving funk, sweeping disco grooves, syrupy ballads, reggae, Jackson-five-esque pop to finger-lickin’ soul. At its core though is the custom ”Sekele” groove… a movement to encompass the dance, grooves and vibes from his native Douala.