Oneness of Juju – African Rhythms (1970-1982) [STRUT233LP]

ONENESS OF JUJU/VARIOUS - African Rhythms 1970-1982

Strut kick off a brand new deal with the seminal independent black jazz and soul label Black Fire in May with ‘African Rhythms 1970-1982’, a comprehensive 2CD / 3LP compilation of Oneness Of Juju, led by Plunky J. Branch. Tracing their career from the band’s earliest work in 1970 with South African exiled jazzman Ndikho Xaba in San Francisco, the compilation covers the band’s journey to New York’s loft jazz scene, forming Juju and releasing two landmark albums of hard-hitting percussive jazz on Strata-East. “I saw myself as a cultural warrior,” explains Plunky. “We studied about Africa and tried to infuse our music with an African spirit.” Moving back to his hometown of Richmond, Virginia during the mid-’70s, Plunky drew in a superb new group of musicians and vocalists and created the band’s new incarnation, Oneness Of Juju, retaining the African influence but fusing his sound with funk and R’n’B on the classic ‘African Rhythms’ album. “We realised that, if we put a backbeat to the Afro-Cuban rhythms, people in Richmond and Washington D.C. could be drawn into it; it didn’t change anything about our message.” The change would lead to a series of enduring soul-jazz classics on Jimmy Gray’s Black Fire label, including ‘River Luv Rite’, ‘Plastic’ and ‘Don’t Give Up’ and their biggest crossover international hit, ‘Every Way But Loose’ in 1982, later famously remixed by Larry Levan. The band received renewed interest in their music during the mid-’80s as Washington D.C.’s go-go innovators cited the band as a major influence and rare groove DJs revived their albums for London dancefloors.

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Oneness of Juju – African Rhythms (1970-1982) [STRUT233LP]

Purple Desert Rain God – Invisible Matter / Bridge To Nowhere [HNR036]

PURPLE DESERT RAIN GOD - Invisible Matter

The psychedelia of Purple Desert Rain God is playful and innovative in a way that brings early Pink Floyd to mind, where classic blues elements were mixed with tape loops and tremolo/feedback guitars. But more than 50 years has passed since Barret’s trip through universe was caught on tape and the comparison stops there: Purple Desert Rain God is a new take on acid rock. Purple Desert Rain God is nature music and transcendental dance music and they overlap between genuine psychedelia and electronic music with filter sweeps on guitars and drums. Sudden bursts of drum fills brakes the monotonous groove and amplifies the feeling of lost control and the band often balances on what is considered a beat that is on time. However, they keep momentum and hammers the pulse on your eardrums, into your mind.

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Purple Desert Rain God – Invisible Matter / Bridge To Nowhere [HNR036]

SimfOnyx – Magenta Skyline / The Unresolved [APDLT015]

Delights label is getting back on its way-out tracks with a new 45. Two cinematic funk cuts, recorded shortly before the COVID-19 lockdown by Markey Funk and Shuzin under a new moniker – SimfOnyx: slow and haunting “Magenta Skyline” on the A-side, backed by heavy uptempo slasher chase theme “The Unresolved” on the flip.

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SimfOnyx – Magenta Skyline / The Unresolved [APDLT015]

VA – Early Works: Funk, Soul & Afro Rarities from the Archives [ATA019]

ATA Records announces the release of Early Works: Funk, Soul & Afro Rarities From The Archive, a compilation of tracks that were recorded at the very outset of the label and haven’t been available since the initial limited run (Released as Funk, Soul & Afro Rarities: An Introduction To ATA Records on Here and Now Recordings) sold out 5 years ago. The compilation features 12 tracks that include the very first 3 tracks from The Sorcerers that led to their self-titled debut LP & the first proper release on ATA, as well as the first recordings by The Mandatory Eight and The Yorkshire Film and Television Orchestra.

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VA – Early Works: Funk, Soul & Afro Rarities from the Archives [ATA019]

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]

Velvet Season & The Hearts Of Gold – Voices / Having Fun [BV001]

Velvet Season & the Hearts of Gold (VSHOG) is the musical adventures of Gerry Rooney & Joel Martin. VSHOG present two versions of Aldo Tamborrelli – ‘Voices’ and Stefano Torossi – ‘Having Fun’.

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Velvet Season & The Hearts Of Gold – Voices / Having Fun [BV001]

Nat Bush – Taste Of Love Again [SPQR1117/R]

A soul-funk studio project for the Italian label S.P.Q.R. (Sound Production Quality Record) featuring vocals by Nathaniel Bush and arranged by Marco Colucci (aka Mark Owen).

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Nat Bush – Taste Of Love Again [SPQR1117/R]

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]

Nico Gomez & His Afro Percussion Inc. – Baila Chibiquiban [MSR019]

”Joseph Van Het Groenewoud”, who would later become known as ”Nico Gomez”, was a musician & composer from the Netherlands. He spent his youth in the Antilles, Cuba and other islands of the Caribbean, which had an unmistakable influence on his music. As a passionate musician and skilled guitarist he was familiar with the typical rhythms and melodies of this region. Later he returned to the Netherlands, before fleeing from there to Belgium in 1946 to escape from serving in the Dutch army in Indonesia. From then on he called himself ”Nico Ooms”. It’s said that he was so obsessed with Cuban music that he changed his name to ”Nico Gomez” – in any case, the name fit better with the Latin American music he brought to the stage. ”Baila Chibiquiban” is a killer cut, which is now finally available again on 7” single. The original version is complemented by a great edit by Frenchman ”Tonton Boom” (aka ”Mr. Boom”).

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Nico Gomez & His Afro Percussion Inc. – Baila Chibiquiban [MSR019]

The Mighty Mocambos – Superstrada / Concrete Stardust [451052]

Funk 45 champions The Mighty Mocambos deliver another colourful record in their favorite format. Both break-heavy psychedelic soul score theme Supertrada and battle proven b-boy jam Concrete Stardust are from the much celebrated album “2066”. By popular demand, here they come in exclusive DJ-friendly uncut/extended versions. A hard-hitting double-sider set to be a resident in your 45 case.

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The Mighty Mocambos – Superstrada / Concrete Stardust [451052]

Aural Indifference – The Sound of Indifference [MW071]

Minimal Wave presents The Sound of Indifference, a rare cassette released in 1981 by Aural Indifference. Aural Indifference was a post-punk studio collective from Sydney, Australia. The two principal members were Brian Spencer Hall (the M Squared in house producer) and Kevin Purdy. The cassette album, The Sound of Indifference, was released in 1981, featuring tracks such as “Theme”, “Park, and “Man Am I Progressive”. Their sound ranges from minimal synth, to post-punk to quirky guitar-driven electronic folk music, some of it resembling John Maus. “Theme” appeared as the closing track on The Minimal Wave Tapes: Volume Two compilation and “The Park” appeared on The Bedroom Tapes compilation.

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Aural Indifference – The Sound of Indifference [MW071]

The Popular People’s Front ‎– PPF Ammo 01 [PPFAMMO1]

It’s been 15 years since The Popular People’s Front’s series of EP’s found their way into the world’s best record crates. Now we get four more certified floor-fillers from the vaults. Constructed as club-ready reworks for their own sets, this pin sharp selection appears here as a one-off limited vinyl release. A 4-way of their most wanted secret weapons for the faithful, these re-tailored & timeless classics are the sonic manifesto for preserving those good ol’ Dirty Basements.

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The Popular People’s Front ‎– PPF Ammo 01 [PPFAMMO1]

VA – Uzelli Elektro Saz [13242/13243]

Uzelli Kaset was established in 1971 by Muammer and Yavuz Uzelli in Frankfurt, Germany. Their music resonated not only with the longing that Gastarbeiter (guest workers) felt for the homelands and families they had left behind and the melancholy brought by their difficult living and working conditions in Germany, but also with the joy that welled up at village weddings on their days off, and the long car or train journeys home. Reaching the remotest corners of Germany as well as Turkey, Uzelli Kaset was soon more than just a music company; it became a companion to Turkish workers living far from home.

vinyl / CD

VA – Uzelli Elektro Saz [13242/13243]

The Heliocentrics – Infinity Of Now [MMS037LP]

The UK’s cosmic, psychedelic-funk ensemble issue their first album on maverick producer Madlib’s label, Madlib Invazion. The Heliocentrics’ albums are all confounding pieces of work. Drawing equally from the funk universe of James Brown, the disorienting asymmetry of Sun Ra, the cinematic scope of Ennio Morricone, the sublime fusion of David Axelrod, Pierre Henry’s turned-on musique concrète, and Can’s beat-heavy Krautrock, they have – regardless of the label on which they’ve released their music – pointed the way towards a brand new kind of psychedelia, one that could only come from a band of accomplished musicians who were also obsessive music fans. Drummer Malcolm Catto and bassist Jake Ferguson are the Heliocentrics’ masterminds and producers, and they are obsessive weirdos in today’s musical climate, searching, progressive humans who are often out-of-time with current trends. They have been playing together for nearly two decades and their collective drive is to find an individual voice. The Heliocentrics search for it in an alternate galaxy where the orbits of funk, jazz, psychedelic, electronic, avant-garde and “ethnic” music all revolve around “The One.” With Madilb’s label Madlib Invazion for Infinity of Now, the Heliocentrics have returned to develop their epic vision of psychedelic funk, while exploring the possibilities created by their myriad influences, Latin, African, and more.

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The Heliocentrics – Infinity Of Now [MMS037LP]

Project Gemini – Path Through the Forest / The Ritual [APDLT014]

West London’s Paul Osborne is joined again by Shuzin behind the drum kit and Markey Funk on additional keys and production to craft two sides of psych-driven cinematic funk. Inspired by European folk horror, baroque pop and classic Gainsbourg/Vannier works, the new 7inch offers an early peek into Project Gemini’s future debut LP ”The Children of Scorpio”.

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Project Gemini – Path Through the Forest / The Ritual [APDLT014]

The Sorcerers – In Search of the Lost City of the Monkey God [ATALP018]

The Sorcerers began working on the new album during the winter of 2018 and it was during the writing sessions for this album that the concept for the LP began to take shape. The name for the album was taken from the title of a National Geographic article read by Bassist Neil Innes and was used as the starting point for the entire concept. The library music scene of the 60s and 70s has always been an intrinsic part of the sound of ATA Records and so it made perfect sense to envisage the album as a soundtrack, given the cinematic quality of The Sorcerers music. Each track was written with a particular scene in mind and the music was then shaped in the studio to best reflect the essence of that scene. Drums, Bass and Percussion provide the solid foundation onto which Flutes, Bass Clarinets, Xylophones and Vibraphones add the atmospheric and melodic counterpoint, deftly weaving between one another to conjure up images of the unforgiving environment of the dense jungle, unknown eyes watching the protagonists of the imagined film as they make their way towards their ultimate goal, their pursuit by unseen assailants, the arcane mysticism of undiscovered cargo cultists and the ancient ruins of long passed civilisations.

vinyl / CD

The Sorcerers – In Search of the Lost City of the Monkey God [ATALP018]

Frank Hatchett – Body Shots [MOCR003]

Frank Hatchett was a legendary dance instructor and originator of VOP. VOP is not an abbreviation but, as he himself puts it: “VOP is a style”. It’s used to flavour the choreography and to communicate and translate emotions to the audience. The record produced by Don Alan Tipton is a wonderful complement of said VOP style. It features 11 tracks made for dancing that are produced and arranged in a moving and funky fashion.

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Frank Hatchett – Body Shots [MOCR003]

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]

The Sorcerers – Summoning the Monkey God [ATA017]

‘Summoning The Monkey God’ covers a wide range of influences: Ethiopiques Ethio-Jazz rubs up against European library music of the 60s and 70s. The Sorcerers seamlessly blend these disparate elements into one cohesive sound. Based in ATA Records’ home of Leeds, The Sorcerers form the backbone of the ATA Records house band including drummer Joost Hendrickx (Kefaya, Shatner’s Bassoon, Abstract Orchestra) and ATA label heads Neil Innes (Bass & Guitar) and Pete Williams (Woodwinds & Percussion). Bass clarinets, flutes, and esoteric percussion that sit alongside bass, guitar and drums are essential to The Sorcerers sound providing cinematic textures on top of a solid rhythmic foundation.

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The Sorcerers – Summoning the Monkey God [ATA017]