Frankosun & The Family – ELOSSA05 EP [ELOSSA05]

Hailing from the Voodoo backwoods of Benin, Oladele Franck Komolou, founded the band Frankosun And The Family in Helsinki 2013. Since then, the band has conquered peoples hearts with their amazing music, shows and energy. Heavily influenced by the rhythms and history of the Nago. The word “Nago” derives from the word “Anago”, a term Fon-speaking people use to describe Nago – Yoruba speaking people residing in Benin. The Nago–Yoruba community is characterized by the masked dance called Guèlèdè – a special dance rich in songs, music, epic and lyrical poems under the rhythms, and sounds of tam-tams. The band excellently combines 70’s and 80’s style beninese and nigerian afrobeat with afrofunk and afrorock.

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Frankosun & The Family – ELOSSA05 EP [ELOSSA05]

VA – Africa Airways Six (Mile High Funk 1974 – 1981) [ASVN060]

This is the sixth journey with the Africa Airways. The flight opens with the punchy horns, afro rhythms & groovy bass of Eko Roosevelt’s “Ndolo Embe Mulema”. Keeping the tempo high we usher in fellow Cameroonians JM Tim & Foty for another punch of brass with the funky “More And More (Ye-Male)”. We stay in Cameroon with Ngalle Jojo, here he lays down another funktastic bass heavy stomper with “Ngigna Loko”. Jude Bondeze hails from Bangui, Central African Republic and is probably best known for his more traditional Tene Sango album. Next up, Nigerian Vicky Edimo gets his thumb out and lays down some glorious slabs of deep funk… along with a rather splendid bass solo! JK Mandengue played bass off & on for the British Afrobeat band “Osibisa”, playing on the uber funky “Super Fly TNT” Motion Picture Soundtrack album.. Certainly putting him on a path to the Wahahwah’tastic “Kosa Mba” taken from his 1979 self-titled album. Slow percussive classic raw street funk from Nigeria’s Akwassa, who’s line up is the same as “Heads Funk Band”, are up next. Another outing for Vicky Edimo on this 1978 beauty from Mike Kounou. Also on guitar duties for Mike Kounou is Francois Amadou Corea, who’s funky chops can be heard on “Ngigna Loko” & “Njonjo Mukambe”. Hi-Octane funk from Airto Fogo, percussion, rhodes & horns aplenty on this 1974 instrumental cut “Black Soul”. As we prepare to start our decent Francois Misse Ngoh drops in some filth with this 1980 bass face monster “Njonjo Mukambe”… head nodding isn’t essential, but it’s best to brace yourself for impact.

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VA – Africa Airways Six (Mile High Funk 1974 – 1981) [ASVN060]

Mowgan featuring Solo Sanou – Soya [MOW002]

Mow Records unveils its second album. A further exploration of label head Mowgan’s penchant for house music and authentic African sounds, ‘Soya’ features percussion and vocals from Solo Sanou, an artist whose roots lie in Burkina Faso – though he’s based in Toulouse, where the album was recorded. Comprised seven Afro house cuts that utilise organic instrumentation and Solo’s raw, emotive voice, the album is the second installment in a series of five long-players recorded by Mowgan in the space of a year. This new LP goes deep into the heart of Africa’s rich musical culture, delivering contagious rhythms, rousing atmospherics and a pure, organic, unadulterated sound that has been cultivated through electrifying jam sessions at Mowgan’s studio.

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Mowgan featuring Solo Sanou – Soya [MOW002]

Kamazu – Korobela [AFS043]

New anthology on Afrosynth Records brings together six songs by South African disco star Kamazu, spanning his career from 1986 to 1997: two of his biggest hits, ‘Korobela’ and ‘Indaba Kabani’, two more obscure songs from his catalogue, ‘Victim’ and ‘Why’, and two tracks from his kwaito comeback, ‘Mjukeit’ and ‘Atikatareni’.

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Kamazu – Korobela [AFS043]

Les Filles De Illighadad / Edmony Krater – African Acid Is The Future – Ambiance II [VF355D]

Cult Berlin club night and label African Acid is the Future returns with the second release in their Ambiance trilogy. Taking listeners into the unique spirit of their club night. For their second release they offer a series of live recordings from the heat of the party itself. The release features two tracks from both Les Filles de Illighadad and Edmony Krater as well as remixes from Dauwd, Maryisonacid and DJ Oil. Les Filles de Illighadad come from a secluded commune in central Niger, far off in the scrubland deserts at the edge of the Sahara. Best known for their guitar performances, this recording from AAITF finds them at their percussive best on the simply titled “Tende I” and “Tende II”. Edmony Krater is an avant-garde percussionist, singer and trumpet player, as well as a native of Guadeloupe. For his performance, Krater performs a duo of tracks separated by three decades, but united by Caribbean rhythms. “Gwadloup” was originally released in 1988 as part of the album “Edmony Krater Et Zepiss – Tijan Pou Velo,” while “Lagé” is taken from 2018’s album “Edmony Krater– An ka sonjé”

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Les Filles De Illighadad / Edmony Krater – African Acid Is The Future – Ambiance II [VF355D]

VA – Daytime High EP [12AM]

In the beginning of the summer of 2019, AM returns with four exotic edits and reworks to dance to on grass. Solima is a pitched down lush and spatial Afro gem that will cause instant euphoria on any dance floor, followed by a faster and uplifting African jam called Ali Baba. Both have that late 80’s synthetic vibe we dig so much.On the flip there are two tracks which are constructed upon respectively an Egyptian and a Turkish sample. Badaouiah reminds of Carl Craig’s edit of Congo Man, builds up slowly and gets highly hypnotic and deep, while the second track Mustapha rolls out a quirky rhythm pattern with a hysteric Turkish clarinet sample.

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VA – Daytime High EP [12AM]

Manu Dibango – African Voodoo [HC63]

Fantastic and rare album by Manu Dibango, the Afro Soul Maestro. These files were recorded in 1971 at Pathé-Marconi studio (Boulogne Billancourt) for professional sound illustration intended for the cinema, television and advertising. The jazzman experimenting with all genres was then beginning to convert solely to what soon to be called “Rare Groove” somewhere between Soul, Jazz and Afro-Funk, with a hint of Latin clave. In 2019, these tunes have not aged and the sound can be considered as “Huge” by many crate-diggers. These recordings were not supposed to reach the club or radio audience, it was more free sessions, a moment during they can open their imagination and test their “Afro something”, like Manu Dibango call it. Theses recording sessions included the best of the french soul scene at this time, Yvan Julien (Trumpet), Slim Pezin (Guitar), Jacques Bolognesi (Trombone), Lucien Dobat (Drums), Emile Boza (Percussions, Manfred (Bass) and the conductor himself at the vibraphone, marimba, saxophone, organ. This album is a wonderful return to the future and should satisfy the need of the Afro-Soul
aficionados.

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Manu Dibango – African Voodoo [HC63]

Ebo Taylor & Pat Thomas – Disco Highlife Reedit Series [COMET087]

Comet presents the first release from the new Disco Highlife series, featuring remastered originals by Ghanaian legends Ebo Taylor and Pat Thomas and disco reedits by LeonxLeon and Leo Nanjo.

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Ebo Taylor & Pat Thomas – Disco Highlife Reedit Series [COMET087]

The Bees – She’s A Witch [AAFS042]

Little-known trio The Bees put out only one full album, 1988’s She’s A Witch (Tikoloshi). Its six tracks all offer dancefloor-ready, distinctively South African grooves that show how bubblegum in the late 80s embraced house music. Produced by Steve Cooks, who would go on to work with heavyweights Senyaka, Spokes H and Umoja in the years that followed. Searing vocals and percussive synth basslines are best on ‘Hlabalaza’ (already a DJ favourite) and the title track, it lyrics telling the spooky tale of an evil woman who rules the night – ‘Tikoloshi’ being the mischievous creature of Zulu folklore (usually a man) who is still widely blamed for all manner of mysterious happenings in the middle of the night.

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The Bees – She’s A Witch [AAFS042]

Cap’tain Créole – Ni Bel Jounin [BM1804]

Cap’tain Créole – formerly known as Trenchtown Meditation – was a band formed in 1984 by Clément, José, Jean-Pierre and Serge. Cap’tain Créole was a pioneering creole-speaking French reggae band with the aim of exploring new musical horizons. With the help of 3 new members – among them a sax player and a trumpet player, both coming from the jazz scene, Cap’tain Créole recorded their unique outing, Ni Bel Jounin.

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Cap’tain Créole – Ni Bel Jounin [BM1804]

Eko Kuango – Eko Kuango [LVLP-1702]

Belgium based composer, poet and multi-instrumentalist Denis Mpunga formed Eko Kuango in the early ’80s. A unique fusion of African rhythms, jazz, subtle synth arrangements with an eastern flavour; they managed to introduce a strong sense of poetry – both musically and lyrically. The band garnered a reasonable following from numerous concerts played during their career, but remained little known except by a few music aficionados around the globe. Eko Kuango only released 4 tracks in the form of an EP in 1986, the band recorded one year later a studio album with the help of renowned sound engineer Patrick Hubart which until now remained totally unreleased. Now with a newfound interest in their work, Libreville Records offers in this edition both the 4 tracks from the original EP and the tracks from the session of the ‘lost’ album.

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Eko Kuango – Eko Kuango [LVLP-1702]

VA – Africa Airways Five (Brace Brace Boogie 1976 – 1982) [ASVN050]

The skies are calling and its time to board our trusty jet for the 5th outing of Africa Seven’s premiere class compilation Africa Airways. For volume 5 its time to brace yourselves for 10 slices of Afro boogie goodness. There’s a slightly different feel to the latest instalment of the fantastic “Africa Airways” compilation series. While previous instalments have largely focused on heavy Afro-funk and Afro-soul, this fifth edition showcases material recorded during the disco and boogie era (1976-82). The ten included tracks are superb, with highlights including the fuzzy, Clavinet-driven thrills of “Sweet Sidney (Edit)” by Black Bells Group, the heavy grooves and dancing synth lines of Gyedu Blay Ambolley’s “Highlife”, the spacey Afro-boogie badness of Fotso’s “French Girl” and the flash-fried disco-funk celebration that is Jide Obe’s spacey, Moog-sporting “Too Young”. As the old cliche goes, this is all killer and no filler.

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VA – Africa Airways Five (Brace Brace Boogie 1976 – 1982) [ASVN050]

Unknown Artist – Tropical Jam [TJE-003]

It’s been a fair old while since we last heard from Tropical Jam, the sneaky re-edit imprint from Vakula and Aussie crate digger Daniel Lupica. Surprisingly, this is the duo’s first 10-inch missive of humid, floor-friendly revisions since the summer of 2018. They begin in a suitably sunny mood, offering up an on-point rearrangement of a cheery, sax-laden Afro-synth workout that sounds like it originated in the early 1980s. The A-side also boasts a second bubbly synth workout, possibly of a South African cut from the same period, where jaunty Clavinet lines and male/female vocals rise above a sparse but funky groove. Side B, meanwhile, contains a more Balearic-minded electronic cut rich in lo-fi drum machine beats, dreamy chords, chiming lead lines and glassy-eyed vocal snippets.

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Unknown Artist – Tropical Jam [TJE-003]

Peter Yamson / Tala A.M. – Afro Funk & Disco Gems Volume Ten [MUKAT064]

Volume Ten of the Mukatsuku label’s Afro Funk & Disco Gems series has two more tracks released for the first time on a 7 inch in their own right. First up is Peter Yamson’s 80’s afro boogie feelgood masterpiece ”Everybody Dance” taken from the Sun On Africa album (mispelt on discogs as Sun Of Africa by the way!) and licenced directly from the artist. Infectious chorus and funk groove with Roy Ayeresque vibes and punchy brass. On the flipside from 1981 we get Get Up Tchamassi from french African group Tala AM which is a funk drenched heavy slap bass boogie mostly instrumental affair with female vocals and great sax playing and catchy rhythm guitar.

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Peter Yamson / Tala A.M. – Afro Funk & Disco Gems Volume Ten [MUKAT064]

Eko / Georges Ouedraogo – Afro Funk & Disco Gems Volume Nine [MUKAT061]

Volume 9 of Mukatsuku Afro series kicks off with ‘M’Ongele M’Am’ from Cameroon artist Eko Roosevelt Louis taken from his early 1980’s self-titled album and licenced for this 45 from Nubiphone & Africa Seven. Driving brass funk fuelled afro disco does not really get much better than this. On the flipside Georges Ouedraogo from Burkina Faso gives us us the dance floor bomb ”Deni” taken from his 1978 long player ”Gnanfou Gnanfou” also licenced from Africa Seven and also the first time ever on a single. Punchy brass offset by those hipnotic vocals and funky wah-wah guitar has a deserved place on the flip.

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Eko / Georges Ouedraogo – Afro Funk & Disco Gems Volume Nine [MUKAT061]

Infinite Spirit Music – Live Without Fear [JMANLP102]

The 27th reissue in Jazzman’s ongoing “Holy Grail Series” comes courtesy of Infinite Spirit Music, an undeniably obscure, one-off project helmed by pianist, producer and arranger Soji Ade. “Live Without Fear” was recorded in 1979 and tops the “wants list” of many spiritual jazz collectors. This time round, the album – which originally ran to an hour over two sides of one LP – has been expanded to a double-album in order to guarantee greater sound quality. It sounds fantastic, and it’s hard not to fall in love with the heady bongos, rich double bass and snaking saxophone of “Children’s Song”, the gentle warmth of “Rasta” and the Afro-fired, tribalistic free-jazz experiments of “Ritual” and “Father Spirit, Mother Love”.

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Infinite Spirit Music – Live Without Fear [JMANLP102]

Akofa Akoussah – Akofa Akoussah [MRBLP174]

Rich, deep, percussive soulful folk album from master Togolese singer, Akofa Akoussah. The album moves through uptempo afro-folk-funk on ‘Tango’ to deep ballads of ‘Ramer Sans Rame’ and ‘I Tcho Tchass’ and lighter moments on ‘G Blem Di’ and ‘Mitso Aseye’. Akofa’s exceptional songs and soaring vocals are decorated with percussion, guitar lines, subtle backing vocals and horns to create a unique, rich sonic. The album was recorded for release by French label Sonafric in 1976.

vinyl / CD

Akofa Akoussah – Akofa Akoussah [MRBLP174]

La Compagnie Créole – A.I.É (Larry Levan Remixes) [PN001]

Since 2019 the collective of Parisian partygoers, Pardonnez-Nous, have decided to launch their own label. Just like their parties, their goal is to shine a light on dancing music. Constantly looking for new tracks to enlighten the dancefloors, their outings are in line with the vision of deejaying defended by its founders. Finding forgotten pieces that are the geneses of dance music and mixing them with more contemporary sounds. Re-editions, edits, remixes or original productions the label doesn’t just stick to one style but aspires to represent all the music of partying. For its 1st release, the label strike hard and unearthed a quite surprising hidden track by one of the most famous band from the French Islands. La Compagnie Créole: born in 1975, this mythical band known by all the francophones will be remembered by future generations, thanks to all those super hits spread over the course of 23 albums, mixing music from the Antilles, Guyane and popular tunes from the French metropole. A.I.É, was written by Daniel Vangarde in 1987 and in 1988 Larry Levan, produced a remix of this track for the soundtrack of the film Sweet Lies. A mix not released, which remained relatively unknown up to this point. ‘Pardonnez-Nous’ (Excuse us), but here it is.

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La Compagnie Créole – A.I.É (Larry Levan Remixes) [PN001]

Lungile Masitha – Vuyani [LER1017]

Lungile Masitha was the short-lived studio name for renowned SA artist Sello ‘Chicco’ Twala, who played with such iconic bands as Harari and Umoja. However, in the mid 80’s his name was under license to one of the major labels and in an effort for self-expression recorded under the name ‘Lungile Masitha’, here he linked up with long term friend Jimmy Mngwandi to co-write and arrange the two tracks ‘Vuyani’ & ‘Makoti’, both sung in his native Tsongan tongue. Vuyani is an upbeat tune that matches Chicco’s unique vocal style with percolating drums and distorted choruses to incredible effect, while Makoti is a mellower blend of floating keys and choruses sung by local kids in an effort to expose “emerging talent”.

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Lungile Masitha – Vuyani [LER1017]