latin . african . world


Genre pick of the week Cover of Top Of The World by First Planet.
Voodoo Funk dish up some Afro-space-disco contagion - shuffling and wiggling, synthy and bubbling - from this re-incarnation of Willy Nfor’s Mighty Flames, recruited mostly from the wave of Cameroonian musicians drawn to Nigeria in the late-1970s by its heavy new funk sound. After a stint at the Right Time studio in Onitsha, the FP cadets ended up at Phonodisk in Lagos, quickly in high demand as session-players, running First Planet on the side with other Nigerian session players from the Onitsha / Awka axis. Its name was intended to evoke the cool obliqueness of US handles like Brass Construction and Lakeside, and the mothership connection of chocolate-city P-Funk. Soon Vincent Omoko and the other Planeteers would travel to Port Harcourt, working in Geraldo Pino’s band for several years. This new reissue comes with excellent sound by way of Abbey Road and Dublates & Mastering; spiffy 24” by 12” poster.

A very special reissue indeed - in fact it's one of those records so good that I don't know where to begin...! It's a collection of ultra-rare Ethiopian 70s instrumental jazz - imagine a subtler, more Arabic and jazzual Fela Kuti with a swinging jazzy groove and beautiful twisting out-there solos on sax, flute, Rhodes and even fuzz guitar (and that's not even scratching the surface!). Last time I crapped myself this badly about a musician I knew nothing about was when I heard the Marc Moulin reissues and this ranks up there as one of those records that'll have people going 'what the?!' every time you put it on! Sublime.

"Dynamic!" / "Spanish Hustle" is the second release on Ashley Beedle's new dance imprint, Back To The World. "Dynamic!" rips up a storm using a secret sample from '77 when disco ruled supreme. Beedle works his magic to give it that Black Science vibe. The anticipation on this tune is massive - tested out on Record Store Day on the hallowed decks @ Black Market (BM) Soho, it tore the roof off.

Ashley stumbled on the Original Tropicana Steel Band's version of The Fatback Band's "Spanish Hustle" whilst crate digging, transforming it into a Carnival funk jam of enormous proportions - get ready to blow your whistles….

Black Market Records, Soul Jazz Records, Phonica Records, Piccadilly Records - Manchester, Robert Elms @ Radio London, Huey Morgan @ 6Music, Lauren Laverne @ 6Music, Radio Nova Lujon, Gilles Peterson, DJ Monk One@ Wax Poetics, Ashley Beedle @ Huffington Post, Luke Unibomber @ Electric Elephant, Norman Jay, Danny Krivit, DJ Magazine, DJ Cosmo

Daniel Grau recorded eight albums between 1974 and 1983; none of them available outside of Venezuela. Born 1948 in Caracas the musician was one of the most sought-after studio engineers in his country. Almost all respectable artists in Venezuela (Vytas Brenner, Aldemaro Romero, Aditus, La Misma Gente etc.) could be found in the El Palacio De La Musica-Studios taking advantage of Daniel Grau's mastery.

Just for fun Grau asked some of the musicians who frequented the studio on a regular basis to use the free studio time to record his own  compositions, which were then compiled and released on LP. The first two albums from 1974 and 1976, released under the La Orquestra De Daniel Grau moniker, already displayed what an adept composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass and keyboards) Grau was and still is. The influences and references, which characterize his entire, short and Venezuelan-only career, are unmistakeable: North American fusion jazz, orchestral bossa nova and Latin American funk in the style of Eumir Deodato and Sérgio Mendes. At the end of the 1970's Grau moved more towards disco and incorporated with his tracks becoming big on the cosmic scene.

Sonar Kollektiv member Class Brieler was aware of Grau's work when he visited Caracas in 2012 as part of the cultural exchange programme by the prestigious Goethe Institute. Together with Venezuelan DJ Trujillo all the stops were pulled out to bring Daniel Grau's music to a wider audience. Compiled in close collaboration with the by-now 66 year-old Daniel Grau this album will do just that.

As a CD release it encompasses 27 of the best tracks from Grau's archive. The vinyl edition confines itself over two LPs to the 15 tracks that are the most danceable. On both formats you find a new composition ('To Night'). More than thirty years after his last official release Daniel Grau returns with 'To Night' and looks ahead confidently.

Piccadilly Records

Mono Colour Print - Black Tote Bag

    One colour 'mono' print (white) of the Piccadilly Records logo on a black tote bag.

    Various Artists

    Diggin' Deeper - The Roots Of Acid Jazz (Vol. 1) - Orange Vinyl Edition

    This first installment in the "Diggin' Deeper: The Roots of Acid Jazz" series, which collects funk, jazz, soul, fusion, and disco sides from the deep Columbia / Epic / Sony catalog, includes such gems as "Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Deodato, Ray Barreto's "Pastime Paradise", Mongo Santamaria's "Cloud Nine", Bill Withers' "Kissing My Love" and many more.

    Whatever it is or isn't, acid jazz is full of groove DNA and even when chilled, it makes the feet move. This set moves and grooves from end to end, and even listeners with little interest in the acid jazz movement that surfaced some two decades after most of these tracks were recorded will find a killer jazz-dance album here.


    2xLP Info: 180 gram audiophile vinyl. First pressing of 500 numbered copies on solid orange / gold vinyl.

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