Pasteur Lappe

African Funk Experimentals (1979 To 1981)

Image of Pasteur Lappe - African Funk Experimentals (1979 To 1981)
Record Label
Africa Seven

About this item

Next up on Africa Seven is the second edition in their "African Funk Experimentals" LP series, which sees the label creating collections of their favourite funky African producers.

Step forward Cameroonian funk master Pasteur Lappe. The story begins in the 60s with a charming 19 year old Nicolas "Pasteur" Lappe becoming a sensation on Radio Adele in Douala Cameroun. He goes on to become the editor of Douala Gazette newspaper and become friends with other African music stars such as Tala AM, J Moboule and Fela Kuti. He also works tirelessly promoting new and upcoming local Cameroonian talent. After moving to Paris, a stint in Journalism school and publishing a book of poems "Chansons Negres" he finally settles into a new life of music in Paris.

Our hero makes a trio of albums from 1979 to 1981 with backing band and production collective called the Zulu Gang which include Douglas Mbida (who goes onto release several top flight albums himself) and Jacob Desvariaux (who went on to form Kassav). The three albums are full of diverse sounds; from driving funk, sweeping disco grooves, ballads, reggae, Jackson-five-esque pop to finger-lickin' soul. At their core though is the "Sekele" groove...; a movement to encompass the dance, grooves and vibes from his native Douala.

The album opens up with the pulsating percussion and floor-filling bass groove of "More Sekele Movement". We then move onto Africa Seven favourite "Na Real Sekele Fo'Ya" which takes stabby Moog bass synth to a whole new level of grooviness. "Sanaga Calkpso" is more experimental. "Hiembi Nin" is a song in two parts; half Shaft groove and half synthy Calypso. "Back To Funky" is dance funk and features Maryse Lappe guesting on vocals.

Opening up on side two is the Rhodes and sax led jazz-funk of "Mbale", followed by the clavinet groove, sleezy brass and politically charged lyrics. "Sekelemania" is a cool piece of tropical, calypso funk. Closing proceedings the single "ABC" is a stomping afro, pop funk delight.

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