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]

VA – Radio Verde (Compiled by Americo Brito and Arp Frique) [CW003]

Arp Frique returns with a brand new release on his imprint Colorful World Records in collaboration with Rush Hour. A compilation of 12 Cape Verdean gems assembled with the help and knowledge of Americo Brito, there is a very special story behind it. Americo Brito, who features on Arp Frique’s original Nos Magia, is a proud and important member of the Cape Verdean community in Rotterdam. His story reveals the historical connections between radio, vinyl, Cabo Verde and Rotterdam’s international music scene in the 70s and 80s. Cape Verdeans have migrated all over the world, mainly to cities with big harbours, like New York, Boston and Rotterdam (Holland). Rotterdam became one of the main destinations (next to Portugal) on the European mainland. When Americo, like many of his friends and relatives moved to Rotterdam, he quickly became infected with the music virus. Surrounded on a daily basis by Cape Verdean music in Portuguese pensions and small hotels, this was where sailors ingested a dose of “sodade” through the interpretations of their beloved music by the local Cape Verdean artists. Americo took to the stage with his band Djarama in the 70s and 80s. Here he works with Rotterdam local Arp Frique to serve up Cape Verdean music old and new with plenty of traditional Funana and Coladeira sounds next to jams influenced by wave, disco and funk, jazz, reggae and Latin pop.

vinyl / CD

VA – Radio Verde (Compiled by Americo Brito and Arp Frique) [CW003]

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]

Patience Africa – Wozani [LCT003]

The career of Patience Africa spanned over 40 years. After almost a decade of success on a major label with her Zulu Disco sound, and a few years in the early 80s experimenting with a more soulful sound, the funky synths of the 80’s would force her to stay relevant in the quick changing times. It would be in 1987 that she would sign to the independent Ream Music which with the help of their tight knit in house production team had released hits for upcoming disco artists Makwerhu, Ntombi Ndaba, Sunset, Athena, Percy Kay and more. The label’s success in the traditional market made Patience a perfect fit and could have been their first crossover artist.

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Patience Africa – Wozani [LCT003]

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]

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]

Ultra Satan – Freedom Rock / Anti-Clock [HNR026]

On Ultra Satan’s second 7inch release on Höga Nord Rekords, the band is developing a new genre and concept. Ultra Satan is like a space being, living alone in an enormously big and empty space station, orbiting our planet. With mathematical precision this genius creates music that effects us earthlings on a transcendental plane and shakes the foundation we lead or lives upon.

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Ultra Satan – Freedom Rock / Anti-Clock [HNR026]

Super Elcados – Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture: Tambourine Party Vol. 2 [MRBLP163]

Mr Bongo’s latest full-length reissue is something of a gem: the near impossible-to-find 1976 debut album from the Super Elcados. It first appeared on EMI Nigeria, though in recent years original copies have become more rare than the hen’s teeth and a coherent government policy on Brexit. Listening to this fine re-mastered reissue, it’s easy to see why the album is so beloved by African soul, funk and disco collectors. While it does boast a clutch of tracks that wear their Afrobeat influence with pride, the majority of the album is far more funk and soul-fired in tone. Throughout, the playing and production is spot on, with plenty of killer percussion breaks dotted throughout for good measure. Nigerian fire!

vinyl / CD

Super Elcados – Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture: Tambourine Party Vol. 2 [MRBLP163]

James Stewart – Cotounou EP [ANR004]

James Stewart is the host, resident DJ and co-promoter of monthly night ”Black Atlantic Club” at Le Sucre in Lyon. Borrowing the term ”Black Atlantic” from renowned scholar Paul Gilroy’s 1993 book, Stewart presents ”black music” as a transnational, incredibly diverse cultural exchange. An avid lecturer on the subject and founder of the Blog Afrosouldescarga, he merges an intellectual approach with the musical and creative side of things: as an active conga player and percussionist, member of Voilaaa Sound System and showhost at Radio Nova. This EP is the work of of a mature and thoughtful musician, combining different musical influences at a high level of production.

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James Stewart – Cotounou EP [ANR004]

VA – Hunchin’ All Night [RHMC001]

Hunee presents a collection of his favorite dance floor cuts from the 70ties till modern times. Going from afro to disco to techno, ”Hunchin’ All Night” holds a wide spectrum of songs, tracks by the wonderful Boncana Maïga, Pat Thomas, Black Beat Niks, Kenny Larkin, Larry Heard, Mappa Mundi and many more. Hunee, aka Hun Choi, is a Korean Berliner who has been drawn in music since a very young age. After working in record stores and studying musicology he resided in Amsterdam, where he released his debut album Hunch Music. As a DJ he has always followed ‘a hunch’, which gave him wings to communicate the music he loves with crowds all over the world. With Hunchin’ All Night, Hunee expresses his relationship with the dance floor.

vinyl / CD

VA – Hunchin’ All Night [RHMC001]

Arp Frique – Welcome To The Colorful World of Arp Frique [CW001]

The Colorful World of Arp Frique is the exotic and super funky debut album of Niels Nieuborg. After his surprising, very well received debut release on Rush Hour, Arp Frique continues collaborating with Orlando Julius, Ed Motta, Americo Brito, Ronald Snijders and more. On this surprise debut album, he continues the same approach, delivering a scintillating set of tracks that gleefully join the dots between Afro-disco, jazz-funk, boogie, Caribbean reggae-disco, bossa-soul and the kind of up-tempo, synth-laden madness that defies easy categorization. Throughout, the presence of live drums, vocals and instrumentation gives the album a loose and fluid feel, as if what we’re listening to is not a fresh album, but rather a long lost African rarity from the turn of the ’80s.

vinyl / CD

Arp Frique – Welcome To The Colorful World of Arp Frique [CW001]

Deke Tom Dollard – Na You [HC54]

Afro-Soul music from Ivory Coast served up by Deke Tom Dollard, an obscure artist who only recorded two albums in 1979 and 1981 but who created an original funky fusion with Bété langage. A selection of four amazing tracks recorded in Abidjan on two different records label called War Records and As Records. The music here is a mixture of Funk with heavy basslines, traditional percussions, funky guitar riffs, nice horns section and lyrics in Beté. The song ‘Demonde’ is inspired by harmonies of the famous ‘Dance to the Drummer Beat’ by Herman Kelly. Those two rare records were found by Afrobrazilero (aka Djamel Hammadi) and never appeared on the vinyl market. It’s almost impossible to have info about this singer and composer neither the musicians involved in the recording sessions and most of the traces of the recording session were lost by the labels.

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Deke Tom Dollard – Na You [HC54]

Ondeno – Mayolye [ROC021]

20 year old Jean Ondeno from Gabon is one of many African singers who found joy in the Parisian Afro-disco scene of the late 70s. Blessed with the voice of Africa’s sweetest angel, Ondeno caught the ear of the French radio presenter Alphonse Marie Toukas who in turn introduced him to producer Philippe Brejean. Together they released 4 tracks, of which ‘Mayolye’ has become a sought-after dance floor rarity over the decades. For this special 12 inch release, Rocafort Records have grouped the original version alongside a Nik Weston Official Mukatsuku edit.

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Ondeno – Mayolye [ROC021]

Hamad Kalkaba – Hamad Kalkaba & The Golden Sounds 1974-1975 [AALP084]

These days, Hanad Kalkaba is a retired Army colonel and track and field athletics administrator in his native Cameroon. Yet back in the mid 1970s, he was a musician with dreams of potential super-stardom, trying to update traditional Cameroonian “Gandjal” music for the funk generation. To that end, he recorded a small number of singles and EPs alongside his backing band, the Golden Sounds. It’s those thoroughly obscure and overlooked releases that make up Hanad Kalkaba & The Golden Sounds, a retrospective of his pioneering work. Sitting somewhere between Afro-beat, Afro-funk and Afro-jazz, with a distinctively Cameroonian rhythmic swing, the music showcased on the album is undeniably special.

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Hamad Kalkaba – Hamad Kalkaba & The Golden Sounds 1974-1975 [AALP084]

Biosis Now / Afro Train – Independent Bahamas V’s Ivory Coast Afro Funk [MUKAT053]

Few years ago label manager Nik played in France and the promoter pulled out a Biosis now 45 that he never knew existed up till then and was generally thought to be a long album track only. An extensive search revealed nothing online including popsike/discogs/ebay except a tropical seller who’d just bought a huge caribbean collection with the record included saying he’d never seen it before either and he was keeping it…Failing to secure a copy themselves the label licensed it instead and created their own 45 edit which retains all the funk & soul of the elongated album version into a 7 inch friendly format. On the flipside and 1973 Tumba Safari from Afro Train get’s a funky afrobeat re touch for peak time club play that would save you several hundred pounds on an original if you could actually find a copy!

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Biosis Now / Afro Train – Independent Bahamas V’s Ivory Coast Afro Funk [MUKAT053]

Kologbo – Africa Is The Future [PARISDJS091]

Guitar legend Oghene Kologbo was born in Warri, Nigeria in 1957. His father was the well known highlife musician Joe King Kologbo. When Kologbo was a teenager, he began performing with the revolutionary Afrobeat master Fela Kuti. He played the hypnotic tenor guitar lines, but often recorded bass and rhythm guitar too. Kologbo was Fela’s personal assistant and “tape recorder”. That is, it was his job to remember the melodies Fela would sing to him late at night, then teach them to the band at rehearsal the next day. In 1978, after a show at the Berlin Jazz Festival, Kologbo left the band (along with Tony Allen and a few others) and stayed in Berlin. “Africa Is The Future” is a true collective effort, with many guests gathering forces on the project: Tony Allen, playing drums on 5 tracks out of 8 (Nigeria/France), singer Pat Thomas (Ghana), deejay Joseph Cotton (Jamaica), singer Ayo (Nigeria/Germany), horn players from the Afrobeat Academy (Germany) or from Les Frères Smith (France), members of Antibalas (USA), Newen Afrobeat (Chile), etc. This is afrobeat from the 21st century at its purest, blending the originators and the descendants together.

vinyl / CD

Kologbo – Africa Is The Future [PARISDJS091]

Les Yeux Orange – Togosava [G+003]

Parisian party starters Les Yeux Orange continue to develop their Good Plus body of work with three more obscure digs. A predominant Afro theme presides throughout as we’re massaged by the kwaito smoothness of “Avidiyo” where synth marimbas ignite instant Balearic feels, Yanga Mbiwaa struts with much more of direct Nigerian disco funk feel with its big sing-along chorus and strong sense of drive. Finally “Autoradio” provides a more contemporary almost Italo-like take on Afrofunk with some expert trippiness buried deep in the synths and arrangement.

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Les Yeux Orange – Togosava [G+003]

VA – Pop Makossa: The Invasive Dance Beat Of Cameroon 1976-1984 [AACD083]

Now Analog Africa returns to put the record straight. Pop-Makossa shines a light on a glorious but largely overlooked period in the story of Cameroonian makossa, when local musicians began to replace funk and highlife influences with the rubbery bass of classic disco and the sparkling synth flourishes and drum machines of electrofunk. The resultant compilation, which apparently took eight years to produce, is packed full of brilliant cuts, from the heavily-electronic jauntiness of Pasteur Lappe’s “Sanaga Calypso” and horn-totin’ Highlife-disco of Emmaniel Kahe and Jeanette Kemogne’s “Ye Medjuie”, to the dense, organ-laden wig out that is Clement Djimogne’s “Africa”.

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.

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VA – Pop Makossa: The Invasive Dance Beat Of Cameroon 1976-1984 [AACD083]