MAGIC MIX

latin . african . world

WEEK STARTING 20 May

Genre pick of the week Cover of Wake Up You! Vol. 2 - The Rise & Fall Of Nigerian Rock Music (1972-1977) by Various Artists.

Various Artists

Wake Up You! Vol. 2 - The Rise & Fall Of Nigerian Rock Music (1972-1977)

2xLP /  CD comes packaged with a hard cover 100 page colour book, filled with incredible photos and words by Nigerian music historian Uchenna Ikonne ('Who Is William Onyeabor?'). 

The Western world was in the throes of peace, love and flower power as Nigeria descended into Civil War in 1967. The rock scene that developed during the following three years of bloodshed and destruction would come to heal the country, propagate the world-wide ideal of the Modern Nigerian, and propel Fela to stardom after conflict ended in 1970. 'Wake Up You!' tells the story of this time, pays homage to these now-forgotten musicians and their struggle, and brings to light the funk and psychedelic fury they created as they wrested free of the ravages of the late 1960s and created thrilling, original Nigerian rock music throughout the 1970s.

Presented in two volumes, each in a 100 page book full of never-seen photos along with detailed liner notes by Nigerian musicologist and researcher Uchenna Ikonne ('Who Is William Onyeabor?'), with all tracks fully licensed from the bands themselves. 

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLtd LP Info: 2xLP box set with book.

Includes MP3 Download Code.

Steve Black

Village Boogie

After starting his musical career back in 1968, the Nigerian artist, drummer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Steve Black released the fantastic and unique "Village Boogie!" in 1979, a true holy grail of afro funk music. The original album is incredibly rare today and frequently fetches prices of $800 plus! Boasting Black's updated version of the massive "Brand New Wayo" by Mixed Grill (in which Steve was the singer). Along with that hit "Village Boogie!" gives us six other groovers and movers that make your hips shake like you were hit by an earthquake - in fact this is an earthquake of ever pulsating polyrhythmic drum and percussion patterns, a solid platform for lush horn arrangements and swinging bass lines. A little bit of guitar and other instrumentation adds color to the whole wild steaming funky sound and on top we find the utterly distinctive voice of Mr. Steve Black. "Village Boogie!" comes as strong as the best US funk releases of that days, but with that spiritual, ancestral rawness you only find on an African release. Place it on the platter and feel the funk!

The Arab world of the 70s and 80s spawned more than its fair share of interesting rock and pop acts. Chief among them is Libyan genius Ahmed Fakroun, whose stunning "Mots D'Amour" LP is finally back in print after a three decades hiatus. Originally released on France's Celluloid, the 8 track LP was the perfect fusion of synth pop, new wave, funk and traditional Arabic sounds - bounding out the speakers like the Tom Tom Club's kaftan-wearing cousin. Deeper and more danceable than the typical chart bothering ethno-pop of the era, "Mots D'Amour" effortless skipped between lightly spiced pop, Big Apple funk and the mystical melodies of the Middle East, boasting the double whammy of "Love Words" and "Soleil Soleil" at the top of the B-side. Loved equally by disco kids, Balearic heads and world music fans, these two 80s pop gems are undeniable underground hits, and had Bat For Lashes moving and grooving in the shop this very morning. Grab a copy of the reissue and make your dance party go crazy with this fascinating guy from Libya.

International Soleil Band

Ta Lassa - Inc. Hide & Smile Edit

The next 12" release on Soundway Records is this slab of 1980s West African disco crossover from the International Soleil band from Guinee, West Africa.

Composed by Gnamakoron Sidi Diabaté it was featured originally on an album released in 1983 by French Warners offshoot WAM (West African Music) - a short lived label that recorded about 20 releases of West African music released in France.

Also Featuring Mory Djely Kouyate this track was a staple of the 22 band's repertoire in the 1970s (in which many of the ISB played) - famous for their recordings on the legendary state-run Editions Syliphone label.

This 12" features an extended Hide & Smile edit on the A side and the original album version on the flip.

An extended intro of throbbing bass and keyboard interplay punctuated by classic Guinee guitar lines, metronomic drumming and 80s synth sweeps eventually drops into a more recognisable Guinean vocal outing.

Hide & Smile are Sofrito's Frankie Francis and Soundway's Miles Cleret - this is their fifth released edit collaboration.

It is late 1972. Six emigres from Congo, Benin and Cameroon find themselves in Pavia, near Milan in Italy. Sharing a passion for music and dance rooted in African culture they form a band called M'Bamina ("Lightning") they and stage their dance and music show in Le Rotonde di Garlasco. Two years of hard work and gigging follow before they make their first album "African Roll", released in 1975.

Following a European tour in 1976 then find themselves performing in Cameroon for a landmark concert at the Stade de Yaounde with Claude Francois (French Pop star and the writer of the original version of Sinatra's 'My Way') and African music legend Manu Dibango. As it often happened in the 70s when talented ambitious bands met Manu Dibango, a move to France and a record deal with Fiesta Records (Decca) soon followed.

In Paris 1977 the band find themselves opening for a James Brown's concert Au Pavillon de Paris. By now the band is a well-oiled machine they have honed their live shows and sound by distilling a pure and fresh blend of R&B, rumba, afro-Cuban, funk and traditional African. M'Bamina then hook up with French producer Philippe Brejean to record their second album "Experimental" in Sysmo studios (a hot bed of album activity and French production music at the time). The results capture the band at the peak of their powers.

The core of M'Bamina was made up of Samba Ngo (guitar and vocals), Antoine Nkouka Batenda (guitar and vocals), Bernard Bifuanibo (bass), Jean-Marie Bolangassa (percussion), Anselme Tambakassa (congas) et Ligali Ali Amidou (percussion and vocals). The band would go on to make 2 further albums before disbanding in 1985.


Ahmed Malik

Musique Original De Films

Ahmed Malek was one of the most important musicians of the Algerian scene of the 1970s. His sountrack works that were composed for various Algerian movies of the time fuse Arabic influences with jazz, psych and funk influences. Dark cineastic soundscapes meet african Jazz at times reminicent of Mulatu. Original copies of his vinyl releases have been sold for enormous amounts. For this release we combined the strongest tracks from his releases with a selection of unreleased material straight from the family's archive.

Introduction: I still remember the first time I heard Ahmed Malek. It was 2012. Back then I didn't know much about Arabic music, but I was about to leave Berlin for a couple of weeks to go to Tunisia. I was working as a project manager for a music recoding session which ended up being released by Jakarta Records as the "Sawtuha" release. I knew I would have some time off during my stay and I was certain that I would dedicate some of this time to diggin. I askesome people whether they knew of any titles that I should look for. Roskow, who also ended up re-mastering this release, told me about an Algerian composer called Ahmed Malek whose music was also released in Tunisia.

Fast forward three years: Arabic records have become my number one hobby and luckily I got my hands on a copy of Ahmed Malek's "Musique Originale De Films" album. I already knew some of the tracks but listening to the music the way it was originally released, and not as a crappy Youtube version, made me fall in love with Malek's compositions all the more. It manages to create this very special mood: melancholic and reflective, emotional and touching, but never depressing. Even without having seen any of the pictures created for this, it immediately brings visuals to one's imagination. Around that time I became captivated with the idea of reissuing some of Ahmed Malek's music. I knew some people had tried to locate his family but, but with no success. In the end it was an incredible amount of luck that made it possible for you to read these words and listen to this record. I had a DJ gig in Beirut playing old Arabic records and I mentioned my passion for Ahmed Malek's music to a friend. She said she knew one person in Algier, and as much as it would be a shot in the dark, she could ask her if she had an idea of how to find Malek's family. Two weeks went by before I heard back, and what I got was incredibly good news. Her Algerian friend was the neighbor of Ahmed Malek's daughter! I'm not a spiritual person, but it felt like the universe wanted to see this release happen.

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Info: The vinyl edition comes with a 8 page 12" size booklet.

CD Info: The CD version with a 16 page booklet with lot of unseen photos, an interview with the artist from 1978 and an introduction to Algerian cinema.

Ngozi Family

Day Of Judgement

Proto-punk and garage Zamrock: the celebrated guitarist Paul Ngozi’s essential debut album. Featuring Chrissy Zebby Tembo. Guitarist / vocalist Paul Ngozi’s debut album – under the name Ngozi Family - is an important record: not just in the Zamrock genre, but in the global rock canon.

'Day Of Judgement' is an introduction to the most intense, raw and inimitable golden era Zamrock recorded, as it paved the way for a dozen Paul Ngozi and Ngozi Family releases (the most famous being drummer Chrissy Zebby Tembo’s 'My Ancestors') that straddled the line between funk and punk, of driving hard rock and Zambian folk melodies and rhythms. 'Day Of Judgement' was released in 1976, the same year as other, now famous, Zamrock albums, from WITCH’s 'Lazy Bones'!! to Rikki Ililonga’s 'Zambia'. But it sounds like none of its counterparts. Part of that stems from its frenzied primitivism, the Ngozi Family’s attempt to overcome a lack of musical acumen with sheer force of will. That will allowed Paul Ngozi to overcome a humble upbringing to become the most unlikely combination: Zamrock’s most beloved star in its brief but now-well chronicled arc; the only musician to maintain his fame and recording prowess in the dark ages of the ’80s; an inspiration to not only aging but young Zambians - and now others, beyond Zambia’s borders. But one cannot imagine Paul Ngozi without this album, a full-on aural assault that sounds as wild nearly forty years after its release as it must have sounded in the developing Zamrock landscape from which it emerged. We listen to this anachronistic yet prescient album now as a wholly original, completely unpredictable album in line with those from mavericks from across the world – from the Ramones to the Sex Pistols to Death. And, though it’s been over two decades since Paul Ngozi’s passing, his voice and vision still seem exciting, powerful, unique, unvarnished, new.

This was more a project than an actual band formed by German jazz drum legend Klaus Weiss. He formerly worked with another jazz legend from his mother country, Klaus Doldinger and gained fame in the German jazz circuit of the 60s and 70s. His 1971 output with Niagara was the result of the vision to create an orchestra made entirely of drummers and percussionists. Despite the fact that there are no regular melody instruments to be heard on this album, the two lengthy compositions are arranged in such an enthralling way that they have a rather catchy and memorable feel. Among the cult drummers featured on this album are Udo Lindenberg (yes, this icon of German rock and pop started as a drummer!) and session hero Keith Forsey. Both compositions offer an ever pulsating rhythm inferno, a maelstrom of different grooves and sounds which enchant and hypnotize in equal measure. Open your mind for the ultimate rhythm experience and join in if you dare.


Niagara

SUB

    Rhythm master Klaus Weiss knew he had a good thing going with NIAGARA. The first album was a gathering of every outstanding drummer and percussionist he could get hold of and despite the fact that there were only rhythm instruments featured , it became quite a memorable and unique record. Now for the second album "S.U.B." he felt he had to go other ways, and recorded with a complete rock outfit plus the one or another brass instrument. „S.U.B.“ is definitely worth being traded for 180,00 Euros and more among collectors for a clean original and when the needle hits the groove you will realize why. There is a tightly woven web of rhythms from drums and percussions, as the solid and ever pulsating base with a laid back but really present bass guitar adding more depth and power to the beats and clean rhythm guitars with a nifty wah wah effect for the extra kick. From time to time the guitars fire off a memorable steaming riff on top of the rhythm pulse and the horns answer the call for arms. You really have to look at the backcover to find out that this is a German outfit instead of one of these utterly hot and hip US funk rock cult bands of the time. NIAGARA aka Klaus Weiss waive the vocals so it is an instrumental record you face with „S.U.B“, but then this band goes so wild in some of the compositions, that you will be left breathless on your knees by all these simmering performances. Each musician participating in this project is a professional, but they all let the music erupt into a climax of sound you can only achieve, when you put your whole heart and soul into it. A masterpiece of funky and utterly unleashed rock music from the early 70s.

    First official reissue of this essential Zamrock album, painstakingly restored, remastered and pieced together from multiple copies of the incredibly rare original album. Contains extensive booklet with never before published photos, an overview of the Zamrock scene, and the history of Peace and Black Power. The Boyfriends, from Kitwe’s Chamboli Mine Township, supplied the founding members for Zamrock’s most famous band, WITCH, and kick started one of Zamrock’s best bands, Peace. Their sole Zamrock entry, 'Black Power', recorded at Malachite Film Studio circa 1973/4 and issued circa 1975, sounds like nothing else in the Zamrock canon: a lost message drifiting from the flower power era, imbued with a fiery Zambian voice. Essential garage Zamrock / soul / funk: the first official reissue of the celebrated band’s one and only album.

    “The musical style that became known as Zamrock came to embody the economic despair that followed the 1973-1974 oil crisis, which flung Zambia into recession and exacerbated a wide range of social tensions. Much of Zamrock also captured the controversy of wider politics in Africa and the world. Perhaps the finest example of this is Black Power by The Peace”. - The Guardian 

    Padre Himalaya's first release sees Renato step up to the plate: a young producer from Lisboa gracing us with his debut EP. The "Alo Alo" Ep contains 3 organic, groovy tracks with a slightly sense of humour which marks the identity of the Renato project. Super fresh sounds from Portuguese underground that comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Portugal seems to be enjoying some of the dance music spotlight at present. Label Principe has become a highly sought after, cult project and this new label has the same feel and aura about it. These tracks don't instantly jump atop of the table announcing their arrival with a fanfare and a mini-skirt; rather, they grow on you slowly, never overstepping the mark and being conscious not to deflate too quickly either. "Alo Alo" has lots of intriguing, unique elements contained within its dancefloor friendly 4/4 swagger; rambunctious drums, space jazz effects, rich chords and tantalizing horns. "Marceneiro" is a sonically weighty, Portuguese percussion track but with some head-turning nuances, delays and reverbs. Finally "Ze Do Telhado" keeps us hooked from its mystical beginnings, exotic flute patterns accentuating the oddball house beat as plenty of shamanic, rainforest elements converge on the track. Frenzied, wild but with a cheeky smile on its face, this is Renato with all inhibitions removed; pure freebased spirit. Highly recommended first EP from this fledging label, sure to be as lauded as its predecessor, Principe records.

    Paul Simon

    Graceland - 180g Vinyl Edition

      With 'Graceland', Paul Simon hit on the idea of combining his always perceptive songwriting with the little-heard mbaqanga music of South Africa, creating a fascinating hybrid that re-enchanted his old audience and earned him a new one. It is true that the South African angle (including its controversial aspect during the apartheid days) was a powerful marketing tool and that the catchy music succeeded in presenting listeners with that magical combination: something they'd never heard before that nevertheless sounded familiar. As eclectic as any record Simon had made, it also delved into zydeco and conjunto-flavored rock & roll while marking a surprising new lyrical approach (presaged on some songs on 'Hearts And Bones'); for the most part, Simon abandoned a linear, narrative approach to his words, instead drawing highly poetic, abstract, and satiric portraits of modern life, often charged by striking images and turns of phrase torn from the headlines or overheard in contemporary speech. An enormously successful record, 'Graceland' became the standard against which subsequent musical experiments by major artists were measured and continues to provide rewards to its listeners and remains a pivotal listening experience for writers, artists and fans. 


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP Info: 180 gram audiophile vinyl. Printed inner sleeve. Remastered audio.

      Steepletone

      SRB07SGL 7" Single Storage Carry Case (Green)

        - Portable 7" Single Record Storage Box.
        - Carry Handle in matching colours
        - Protective chrome effect aluminium trim on corners and all edges of the box
        - Hinged lid with strong closing clasp
        - Will hold up to 80 7" singles in their sleeves 


        The "Strange Games…" series which began in the summer of 1997, represents the blueprint for modern R&B and rap music. It joins the dots between 70s soul, 80s rare groove and 90s hip hop. At the helm for volume 5 is crate digger supreme, DJ par excellence and superb producer in his own right, DJ Spinna and the BBE Soundsystem. The set is packed with underground classics, hidden gems and rarities that'll save you £££s on originals. As with Spinna's DJ sets, there's also a wide variety of styles on offer here, from boogie-disco and blue-eyed soul to jazz-funk and killer Latin sounds. A more accessible diggers delight if you wish, with an emphasis on quality track and not just songs worth having for a two second sample.

        Piccadilly favourites include Ned Doheny's "Get It Up For Love", Sugarhill's Renaissance woman Sylvia with "Sweet Stuff", The Philly Armada Orchestra's version of "For The Love Of Money", War's jazz-funk opus "War Is Coming, War Is Comin", Wood Brass And Steel doing "Always There" and the much-sampled "Family Tree" by Family Tree.


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