VA – Nigerian Disco Funk Special: The Sound of the Underground Lagos Dancefloor 1974-79 (2008)

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While not as compelling as the 2-disc “Nigeria Special” collection, this is a righteous set of songs in its own right. There are actually some weaker cuts on this one, especially for those whose tastes run like Clint Striker who said “I’m not really into all that wah-wah guitar stuff.” Maybe the problem is that the collection kicks off with its strongest cut, “Take Your Soul” (1976) from The Sahara All Stars of Jos.” The momentum of the rest of the album just never quite reaches those heights again. Tracks like the seriously-flanged “Lagos City” (1976) from Asiko Rock Group, and the closer, Afro-beatish “Love Affair” (1976) by SJOB Movement, keep the stew simmering. “Greetings” (1978) from Joni Hastruup — which manages to be both the most melodic cut here and also one of the funkiest, with some tight riffing on sax, flute, and Rhodes that match Joni’s stident voice. — keep it interesting in between some of the more monochromatic jams here. It’s probably my favorite track on this compilation. The sound quality varies between the tracks here, no doubt due to most if not all of these tracks being sourced from vinyl, but if you are seeking stuff like this out then you probably won’t care much about that. If this doesn’t quite reach the same level as Soundway’s other Nigerian compilations, its only because they set such a high benchmark with them.

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From CD Universe
Nigerian music is known for its polyglot character, a fact that is exemplified by its native juju and highlife–a perfect storm of indigenous music traditions bolstered by Western technology. Lesser-known are Nigerian attempts to adopt Western trends wholesale, as with the exquisitely rare disco and funk groups compiled for NIGERIA DISCO FUNK SPECIAL: THE SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND LAGOS DANCEFLOOR 1974-1979. Taking obvious cues from stateside horn-driven funk ensembles like B.T. Express, Ohio Players and the J.B.’s, the propulsive dancefloor beats are punctuated by horn blasts and the scratchy, repetitive insistence of rhythm guitars–a sound with distinctive echoes of the ringing melodicism of highlife guitar sections. Highlights on this funky slice of Afro-disco include: Asikos’s “Lagos City,” an energetic blast of African brass, and Dr. Adolf Ahanotu’s “Ijere,” a slick, overdriven funk number done in a distinctly Nigerian style.

Nigerian musicians adopt ’70s funk and disco in this collection of rarities.Uncut (p.103) – 4 stars out of 5 — “The Afrobeat thunder is still strong on NIGERIA DISCO FUNK SPECIAL….T-Fire could be the Lagos branch of Clinton’s P-Funk family.”

Track Listing

1. Take Your Soul – The Sahara All Stars
2. Will of the People – T-Fire
3. Lagos City – Asiko Rock Group
4. Greetings – Johnny Haastrup
5. You’ve Gotta Help Yourself – The Groovies/Bongos Ikwue
6. Some More – Jay U Experience
7. Mota Ginya – Voices of Darkness
8. Ijere – Dr. Adolf Aonotu
9. Love Affair – S-Job Movement

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