afro-rock volume one (double LP, £22.95)
One of the most important compilations of heavy original ‘70s Afro funk and soul to be released in recent years. Originally surfacing on Duncan Brooker’s indie Kona label in early 2001, the album single-handedly kick-started the thirst among jazz, funk and soul fans and ‘diggers’ to rediscover lost music from Africa made during the ‘60s and ‘70s from a time when many countries were gaining independence and celebrating a Pan-African identity within their music. The album was one of the first to reach a far different audience to the traditional ‘world music’ market and spawned many further projects and labels in its wake. A year later, the ‘Nigeria 70’ compilation surfaced on Strut and labels like Soundway and Analog Africa would continue to unearth amazing lost gems from the Motherland. The album is testament to the determined work of Brooker following several research trips, especially to East Africa – Kenya and Zaire. It brought to light East Africa’s finest funk band, Air Fiesta Matata, led by the recently deceased Steele Beautttah, ‘The Nigerian James Brown’ Geraldo Pino from Port Harcourt in Nigeria, and the storming Afro jam ‘Yuda’ by Dackin Dackino, a previously unreleased gem from Zaire discovered on a discarded reel. The album has remained influential since its release with tracks appearing on other Afro compilations and on TV and the big screen – Jingo’s ‘Fever’ featured in Kevin McDonald’s 2006 hit film, ‘Last King Of Scotland’. Out of print since 2015, the album is being reissued on Strut in its original form with the extra dynamite unreleased psychedelic cut by Kenya’s Ishmael Jingo, ‘Keep On Holding On’ taken from the original master tape. The package features the original sleeve notes by Duncan Brooker along with new additional notes providing further background to the album and tracks. TRACKLISTING: A1. Jingo - Fever A2. Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats – Heavy Heavy Heavy A3. Steele Beautttah - Africa B1. Mercury Dance Band – Envy No Good B2. Dackin Dackino - Yuda C1. K. Frimpong & His Cubano Fiestas – Kyenkyen Bi Adi M’Awu C2. Orchestra Lissanga - Okuzua D1. Super Mambo 69 – Sweeper Soul D2. Fathili & The Yahoos - Mabala D3. Bokoor Band – Onukpa Shawarpo D4. Nkansah And Yaanom – Pem Dwe D5. Jingo – Keep On Holding On (Part 1) – Bonus Track. "Duncan Brooker is to soul and funk what Alan Lomax is to folk music, or Andy Votel is continental psychedelic obscurities: an indefatigable crate digger, enthusiast and ethnomusicologist of the highest caliber. It was during a work trip to Kenya that a very young Booker would spend his down time searching through the markets of Zaire, Malawi, Mozambique and further afield on a quest for African funk. Brooker had been inspired by what he’d heard of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti and his instincts told him that there must be more. He was right. Afro Rock Volume 1 remains as fresh and worthy an addition to your funk library as it did when it was first re-issued at the turn of the previous decade. The emotional depth and stylistic range of this joyous and important music is enough to make you wonder how on earth it could be ignored for so long. Truly, Brooker’s pain was the world’s gain." – 8/10 Drowned in Sound.
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