Ghana Soundz – Afro-Beat, Funk And Fusion In 70's Ghana (2002)

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Various Artists – Ghana Soundz:
Afro-Beat, Funk And Fusion In 70’s Ghana (2002)
Soundway Records (SNDWY 001)

I have been sitting on sharing this one for a long time, waiting and putting it off until I had the inspiration to write something sufficiently flabbergasted about it. But now that I just heard, due to my sleeplessness leading me to an online newspaper, that Ghana had a victorious World Cup game today (Saturday), I feel I can`t hold back any more. No pithy remarks or deconstruction of the music this time. I don’t even really care about the World’s Cup – it’s just not in my blood, I guess you could say. But I am really happy to hear about Ghana’s win.

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This disc was the first of many wonderful compilations from Englands’s Soundway Records. While in terms of packaging and notes, Soundway would only continue to get better and better over these last years, the music pretty much sets the template of what we can expect from any of their releases – rare grooves, truly creative arrangements and instrumentation, and for the most part excellent sound quality. Some of my personal favorites here are the tracks from Ebo Taylor, Oscar Sulley and the Uhuru Jazz Band, the Honny and the Bees Band, and especially K.Frimpong and his Cubano Fiestas who kick out a smoldering deep groove and then four minutes in blow my mind with a beautifully melodic versus replete with harmonies that crescendo into .. .more smoldering grooving. Just when I think they can’t do anything else to surprise me, they end the song with a bloody Moog solo, and then my head explodes in time with my shuffling feet. I can’t swear on it, since it is three in the morning and I would be sleeping if I could, but this might be my favorite cut of them all. Though the Apagya Show Band that follows them with more scintillating scorch marks on my eardrums follows pretty closely. Actually there is quite a bit more analog-synthesizer freakness on this collection which tickles me tenderly in the places that matter, more than I am used to hearing on this type of material.

At this point in my time on earth, what I once thought to be impossible has begun to occur – I am beginning to tire of James Brown known-offs, particularly because there seems to be no particular bottom to that barrel that is still being scraped and most probably always will be. There, I said it. I won’t name names but there are one or two tunes on this that I can just as easily pass over, even though they are still pretty good.

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Ghana Sounds – Ghana Soundz – Afro-Beat, Funk And Fusion In 70’s Ghana (2002) in 320 kbs em pee tree (PLEASE STAND BY… I seem to have lost this link from months and months ago..)

Ghana Soundz – Afro-Beat, Funk And Fusion In 70’s Ghana (2002) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

password – senha in comments if needed

Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Afrika 70 – Opposite People / Sorrow, Tears & Blood (1977)


I plan to share some African music NOT from Nigeria in the next week or so, but until then a Fela album wouldn’t hurt. There’s nothing rare or arcane about the man’s music at this point of the digital age. Nowadays you can find his work everywhere. But there was a time when — where I was living, at least – Fela’s albums were quite rare. I remember being in high-school and having a cassette tape of his stuff that was a treasured possession, given to me by a bass player for a reggae-funk band I had befriended as a young lad. I played the shit out of that tape until the magnesium oxide was shedding onto your finger tips just handling the thing. For over ten years it was the only Fela I possessed in my music collection, a random 90-minute mixtape of his stuff. These days, there is a band in Rio de Janeiro devoted solely to playing his music, and bands in the US from New York to Ann Arbor that are just shamelessly ripping him off. Always go back to the original, though, and you will see why he was an international iconoclastic heavyweight the likes of which are rarely seen, and can’t be imitated.

Post-colonial marxist rhythm and blues lead off Fela & Afrika 70’s ‘Opposite People’, the title track a fast, frantic afrosoul workout in composite time. Fela has an extended sax solo on this one and doesn’t begin singing until eleven minutes in. A slower beat but an identical structure characterize the class-consciousness metaphor-making of ‘Equalization of Trouser and Pant’. This is a fine enough album but reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend about how you can substitute a handful of these Afrika 70 titles from the early to mid-70s pretty much interchangeably. You have one, you kind of have them all, although I prefer to have them all. An opinion like this is bound to induce flames in the comments section, but I assure you I mean no ill will towards Fela. Unlike Caetano Veloso, who is still a douche.

The real item of interest on this Sony 2-on-1 disc is the album “Sorrow, Tears & Blood”. Released as the first title on Fela’s own Kalakuta Records after being dropped by Decca in the wake of the government’s raid on his compound and confiscation of his master tapes (which he managed to get back, thankfully), it shows Fela and Afrika 70 shifting gears ever so slightly to a more foreboding, loping groove. It’s short EP-length keeps it powerful enough to lodge in your memory. The second side, ‘Colonial Mentality’, is a monster, and something of an anthem toward the continual unfolding process of decolonizing the mind, body, and spirit. Some of Tony Allen’s most innovative playing can be heard in the low-burning, restrained bedrock he sets down, creating a tension that you keep expecting him to release with some more ebullient, open playing but which he never quite does aside from laying on the ride cymbals for a few measures here and there. Groove and lyrical intention in sync here.

Opposite People (1977)
1. Opposite People (16:37)
2. Equalisation of Trouser and Pant (16:43)

Sorrow Tears and Blood (1977)
3. Sorrow Tears and Blood (10:16)
3. Colonial Mentality (13:42)

Contains complete artwork, cue, log, m3u files

Fela & Afrika 70 – Opposite People / Sorrow, Tears & Blood (1977) in 320kbs em pee tree

Fela & Afrika 70 – Opposite People / Sorrow, Tears & Blood (1977) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO
Part One //////////// Part Two

Sorry for having to go back to zshare again for a while, folks, but there’s nothing I can do about it at the moment. There is a proverb in English about beggars and choosers, pays to recall it…

Senha/password in comments

Manu Dibango – Soul Makossa (1972) {African Mix}

Manu Dibango
“Soul Makossa” 1972

This pressing – MusiDisc, France, 331442

1. Soul Makossa
2. Lily
3. Dangwa “Three Points”
4. O Boso
5. New Bell “Hard Pulsation”
6. Nights in Zeralda
7. Hibiscus

This is the original mix of the famous “Soul Makossa” album from Manu Dibango, loaned to me by a dear friend who tells me this was mix used for the African market, with the drums and percussion mixed higher than the version released in Europe during the 1970s. The huge single from this album (released before the LP) launched Dibango’s international career and spawned many cover versions around the world. Although the tray card lists a 1969 copyright, I can’t find any information on the interwebs (which are all-knowing and wise) to back that up, so I am listing it here under its more common release date which was 1972. I could be persuaded otherwise. But the style of production does seem more like early-70s to me — a lot was changing in the studio-world during this time, and 69 seems too early for a lot of the material on this record. The second cut, “Lily” could easily have been produced in ’69, so perhaps some of this record was assembled from tracks recorded at different times. Anyone with detailed information please leave a comment. There have been a number of different pressings on vinyl and CD, some of which have as many as 13 tracks on them, so its all very confusing. Although it lacks specific information on this title, there is a very nice discography of Manu Dibango over at the lovely Soundological Investigations blog.

———————————story of “The Song”——————————————-
“Soul Makossa” is a 1972 single by Cameroonian makossa saxophonist Manu Dibango. It is often cited as one of the first disco records.[2] In 1972 David Mancuso found a copy in a Brooklyn West Indian record store and often played it at his Loft parties.[3] The response was so positive that the few copies of “Soul Makossa” in New York City were quickly bought up.[3] The song was subsequently played heavily by Frankie Crocker, who DJed at WBLS, then New York’s most popular black radio station.[3] Since the original was now unfindable, at least 23 groups quickly released cover versions to capitalize on the demand for the record.[3] Atlantic eventually licensed the song from the French record label Fiesta.[3] Their release of it peaked at #35 on the Billboard chart in 1973; in 1999 Dave Marsh wrote that it was “the only African record by an African” to crack the top 40.[4] At one point there were nine different versions of the song in the Billboard chart.[5] It became “a massive hit” internationally as well.[5]

“Soul Makossa” was originally recorded as a B-side for “Mouvement Ewondo,” a song about Cameroon’s association football team.[5]

It is probably best remembered for the chanted vocal refrain “Mama-ko, mama-sa, ma-ka-ma-ko-ssa”, which was also used in Michael Jackson’s 1982 “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” (albeit in a different key with a not-so-monophonic melody) during the song’s final bridge. It is also sampled in the hip hop song “Face Off” by artist Jay-Z on his album In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 as well as the single “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna. The song is also sampled on the intro to The Carnival, Wyclef Jean’s first solo album. The phrase “ma ma say ah, ma ma coo sah” also appears in the fourth verse of the song “Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts)” by A Tribe Called Quest, and in “Mama Say,” the debut single by the Bloodhound Gang. “Makossa” means “(I) dance” in Duala, a Cameroonian language.[6]
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Credits

* Arranged by Manu Dibango
* Written by Manu Dibango
* Bass by Long Manfred
* Drums by Joby Jobs
* Electric guitar by Manu Rodanet
* Percussion by Freddy Mars
* Piano by Georges Arvanitas, Patrice Galas
* Acoustic guitar by Pierre Zogo
References

1. ^ Manu Dibango discography on Discogs.com
2. ^ The History of Rock Music – The Seventies
3. ^ a b c d e Shapiro, Peter. Turn the Beat Around: the Secret History of Disco. New York: Faber and Faber, Inc., 2005., 35.
4. ^ Marsh, Dave. “The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made”. Da Capo Press, 1999., 548
5. ^ a b c Broughton, Simon; Mark Ellingham (2000). World Music: The Rough Guide. Rough Guides. p. 441.
6. ^ TRANS Nr. 13: George Echu (Yaounde): Multilingualism as a Resource: the Lexical Appropriation of Cameroon Indigenous Languages by English and French
7. ^ Billboard Pop Charts Allmusic.com
8. ^ R&B Billboard. Allmusic.com.

Includes full artwork in 600 dpi as TIF, m3u, log, cue, and a tasty yam dish in honor of Mother Africa.

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

 in 320kbs

 in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO FORMAT

Manu Dibango – Africadelic (1975) 320 kbs

Manu Dibango
Released 1973
This pressing 2006, Hi Fly Reocrds

1 The Panther 2:29
2 Soul Fiesta 2:08
3 Africadelic 2:16
4 African Battle 3:00
5 Black Beauty 2:50
6 African Carnaval 3:16
7 Moving Waves 4:03
8 Afro-Soul 2:44
9 Oriental Sunset 1:47
10 Monkey Beat 2:42
11 Wa-Wa 3:03
12 Percussion Storm 1:54

AFRICADELIC is the classic 1973 album composed and recorded in the span of one week by Manu Dibango, after the encouraging success of his monster hit “Soul Mokossa.” Here he continues to fuse Afro-Caribbean flavors with the contemporary Latin … Full Descriptionand funk influences of the day, resulting in a highly soulful, highly danceable album.

DUSTY GROOVE says

Incredibly funky work from Manu Dibango — a set that’s easily as great as his classic Soul Makossa album — but which is a lot more obscure overall! The work’s got a fiercely-jamming quality all the way through — lots of rumbling percussion at the bottom, and also a bit of keyboards as well — served up in a heady brew that turns out to be a perfect setting for Dibango’s sharp-edged reeds! The record’s got a few especially great break tracks, but all numbers are pretty darn great too — filled with more funky changes, flaring horns, and 70s-styled grooves than you might ever hope to find in a single album! Tracks include “Black Beauty”, “Soul Fiesta”, “The Panther”, “Africadelic”, “Moving Waves”, “Afro Soul”, “Wa Wa”, “Percussion Storm”, “Monkey Beat”, and “Oriental Sunset”.

It might be an attempt to quickly cash in on the success of Soul Makossa, but it’s still an amazing record from start to finish. Enjoy!

Check out the very very nice Manu Dibango Discography over at Soundological Investigations!

Hugh Masekela – The Chisa Years (2006)


Hugh Masekela
THE CHISA YEARS (Rare and Unreleased)
2006 BBE Records

 

Review by Thom Jurek

Hugh Masekela and Stewart Levine met in 1961 at the Manhattan School of Music. They became friends, roommates, and collaborators. They began experimenting with putting together groups of African singers, studio musicians, and a fusion of South African township jive and urban gospel. The two started the CHISA label together in 1966 just before the pair scored big with Masekela’s smash, “Grazin’ in the Grass.” After the success of that track, they put more money into their label, and scored a distribution deal with Motown. The 14 sides here, on Chisa Years: 1965-1975 (Rare and Unreleased) are little known or forgotten tracks from the CHISA years. It’s true that the Crusaders recorded for CHISA in this period, but there are no tracks by them on this set — though most of the band appear here in one form or another. None of Masekela’s hits are here either. And it’s just as well. What is collected on this disc is a vibrant slew of cuts recorded by the pair. First there’s the smoking “Afro Beat Blues,” by Masekela and his band Ojah, who hailed from places like Nigeria and Ghana, that had been recruited during a successful African tour in 1973. The players had been introduced by Fela Kuti in Lagos. Other cuts here include the stunning “Mahalela,” “U Se Mcani,” “Macongo,” and “Melodi (Sounds of Home),” by Letta Mbulu. These are unreleased cuts from her debut and second albums from 1970 and ’73, respectively. The band includes four members of the Crusaders, Arthur Adams, Wayne West, Masekela, and Francisco Aguabella on percussion. The latter track is one of the most joyous and successful attempts to pull together the world of soul and township jive ever. Elsewhere, on “Amo Sakesa” by Baranta (featuring the great vocalist Miatta Fahnbulleh) funk grooves meet the music of the Soweto street in glorious aplomb. The four selections by Baranta are the most adventurous on the set. (Check the fuzz guitar, Nigerian funk bass line, and staggered drum breaks in “Ahvuomo.”) There are three tracks here by the Zulus. All of these register from the earliest sessions. This group included Mbulu as well as Caiphus Semenya, and contained seven vocalists as well as a rhythm section. Dig the hard-driving hand drum grooves in “Za Labalaba.” The polish and sophistication of the sounds in this song are literally astonishing, and prove a perfect, seamless meeting of American gospel and South African street music, but a close second is “Aredze,” with breezy Les Paul-styled guitar by Bruce Langhorn. The gospel piano in “Awe Mfana,” by the Johannesburg Street Band sidles up magnificently to the horns played by Masekela, the Crusaders’ Wilton Felder, and Wayne Henderson, and Al Abreus with tight Steve Cropper-styled guitar by Arthur Adams. In sum, there isn’t a weak moment on this entire collection. It’s appeal is wide and deep and one can only hope this is the first of many volumes of this material to appear. BBE Records has done a stellar job in making this slab available.

password: vibes