Debuting under his given name for Maddjazz Recordings’ second offering, is DJ, producer and synth enthusiast Henry Keen. Henry’s music was discovered after a long night of online digging, and after several exchanges, it was apparent that Henry was making music that defined exactly what Maddjazz is striving to achieve; honest music that’s free of form and not constrained by any genre or tempo. 70’s Baby is a raw and honest record. A collection of uptempo grooves written in various locations around hectic inner London. It’s spirit is born out of the freedom of the CDR sessions at the now defunct club Plastic People, where many of Henry’s productions were first shared, and where tempo and genre were irrelevant. It references Henry’s love for the instrumentation, recording techniques and sounds of the 1970s, the decade of his birth. Featuring a tasteful blend of worldly and otherworldly sounds, It owes itself to modern and ancient dance themes alike.
30/70 are the latest collective to emerge from Melbourne’s buzzing scene. ‘Elevate’ is a sublime statement; at once a cry for help and a call to arms, it balances delicate poetry and potent aggression with ease – all of this done with a beguiling pop sensibility. This collection of songs, their second studio effort after their debut LP, ‘Cold Radish Coma’, is set to elevate them to the international stage.
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
Matsuli Music is releasing another forgotten gem of the South African jazz diaspora – the 1976 Istanbul session featuring Johnny Dyani and Okay Temiz fusing deep roots and new routes, integrating folklore and rhythm within an experimental, avant-garde vision of love and life. Available for the first time since Yonca Records originally released only 1000 copies in Turkey, this album has remained an elusive and sought after landmark in South African exile Johnny Dyani’s discography. The recording captures a complex, funky and musically together exploration of folk themes, jazz messages and popular directions. After many years together discovering both South African and Turkish sources, Temiz and Dyani were intimately versed in each other’s traditions. Side one features material arranged by Temiz, and the second has material arranged and composed by Dyani – including a stunning arrangement of Don Cherry’s Elhamdulilhah Marimba with Dyani on piano and voice.
Fortuna Records deliver a stellar compilation of real-life magic created by immigrants from Yemen, in Tel Aviv, from the mid seventies to the early eighties. Ranging from extremely rare to previously unreleased, these tracks are a result of a unique scene which blended funk, soul, jazz & disco with traditional Yemenite rhythms & sounds. It cannot get more obscure than this.
Prolific and always inventive live pair and studio wizards Juju & Jordash are back with another fantastic album on their home label, Dekmantel. Called “Sis-boom-bah!” it features nine tracks that once again showcase their musical maturity and free thinking. The pair say it is an album “steeped in traditionalism” and to us it sounds spiritual, musical and beautifully thought provoking.
Africa Seven is on fire recently, and this new compilation of rare and untapped material from Cameroon’s Joseph Ekambi Tongo Mpondo has to be the pick of the lot. The talented multi-instrumentalist was famously studying medicine in Paris throughout he 60s, but it’s clear that down the music path was the only sensible option for this man. African Funk Experimentals brings together some of his most obscure material from the years 1968-1982…and some new gear from 2017! Aside from the absolutely killer artwork featuring on the sleeve, this is a ten-track masterpiece, reaching all corners of the afrobeat heritage, while still retaining something very personal and symbolic of Cameroon’s often underrated influence on African funk and boogie.
vinyl / CD