world . african . latin

WEEK STARTING 16 Apr

Genre pick of the week Cover of Edo Funk Explosion Vol. 1 by Various Artists.
It was in Benin City, in the heart of Nigeria, that a new hybrid of intoxicating highlife music known as Edo Funk was born. It first emerged in the late 1970s when a group of musicians began to experiment with different ways of integrating elements from their native Edo culture and fusing them with new sound effects coming from West Africa´s night-clubs. Unlike the rather polished 1980´s Nigerian disco productions coming out of the international metropolis of Lagos Edo Funk was raw and reduced to its bare minimum. Someone was needed to channel this energy into a distinctive sound and Sir Victor Uwaifo appeared like a mad professor with his Joromi studio. Uwaifo took the skeletal structure of Edo music and relentless began fusing them with synthesizers, electric guitars and 80´s effect racks which resulted in some of the most outstanding Edo recordings ever made. An explosive spiced up brew with an odd psychedelic note known as Edo Funk.

That's the sound you'll be discovering in the first volume of the Edo Funk Explosion series which focusses on the genre's greatest originators; Osayomore Joseph, Akaba Man, and Sir Victor Uwaifo: Osayomore Joseph was one of the first musicians to bring the sound of the flute into the horn-dominated world of highlife, and his skills as a performer made him a fixture on the Lagos scene. When he returned to settle in Benin City in the mid-1970s - at the invitation of the royal family - he devoted himself to the modernisation and electrification of Edo music, using funk and Afro-beat as the building blocks for songs that weren't afraid to call out government corruption or confront the dark legacy of Nigeria's colonial past. Akaba Man was the philosopher king of Edo funk. Less overtly political than Osayomore Joseph and less psychedelic than Victor Uwaifo, he found the perfect medium for his message in the trance-like grooves of Edo funk. With pulsating rhythms awash in cosmic synth-fields and lyrics that express a deep personal vision, he found great success at the dawn of the 1980s as one of Benin City's most persuasive ambassadors of funky highlife. Victor Uwaifo was already a star in Nigeria when he built the legendary Joromi studios in his hometown of Benin City in 1978. Using his unique guitar style as the mediating force between West-African highlife and the traditional rhythms and melodies of Edo music, he had scored several hits in the early seventies, but once he had his own sixteen-track facility he was able to pursue his obsession with the synesthetic possibilities of pure sound, adding squelchy synths, swirling organs and studio effects to hypnotic basslines and raw grooves.

Between his own records and his production for other musicians, he quickly established himself as the godfather of Edo funk. What unites these diverse musicians is their ability to strip funk down to its primal essence and use it as the foundation for their own excursions inward to the heart of Edo culture and outward to the furthest limits of sonic alchemy. The twelve tracks on Edo Funk Explosion Volume 1 pulse with raw inspiration, mixing highlife horns, driving rhythms, day-glo keyboards and tripped-out guitars into a funk experience unlike any other.

TRACK LISTING

1. Africa Is My Root - Osayomore Joseph And The Creative Seven
2. Ta Gha Hunsimwen - Akaba Man & The Nigie Rokets
3. Popular Side - Akaba Man And The African Pride
4. Iranm Iran - Sir Victor Uwaifo And His Titibitis
5. Sakpaide No.2 - Sir Victor Uwaifo And His Titibitis
6. Ta Ghi Rare - Akaba Man & The Nigie Rokets
7. My Name Is Money - Osayomore Joseph
8. Ogbov Omwan - Akaba Man & The Nigie Rokets
9. Aibalegbe - Sir Victor Uwaifo And His Titibitis
10. Who No Man - Osayomore Joseph And The Ulele Power Sound
11. Obviemama - Sir Victor Uwaifo And His Titibitis
12. Ororo No De Fade - Osayomore Joseph And The Ulele Power Sound

A pan-American melting pot of hypnotic afro-cuban rhythms, frenetic batucadas and fiery sambas, Mora I & II are holy grails of latin jazz, masterminded by an unsung hero of the genre. Born in Washington DC, 1947, Francisco Mora Jr is the eldest child of two highly prominent Mexican artists, Francisco Mora Sr and Elizabeth Catlett, to whom this project was dedicated. Being born into a mixed heritage bohemian family provided Mora Jr with what he called a “creative, progressive, and healthy arts environment”, building the foundations for a fascinating career journey ahead.

Mora grew up in Mexico City where he began working as a session musician for Capitol Records in 1968, before moving to study at Berklee Music College in Boston, MA in 1970. Once he’d completed his studies in 1973, he very briefly returned to Mexico City with the best intentions of cultivating an avant-garde movement in the city, but when the Sun Ra Arkestra came to perform, Mora ended up leaving with the band to tour the world for the next seven years, a decent innings within a group famous for its constantly evolving line up.

Settling in Detroit after his years with the Arkestra, Francisco set to work on his selftitled debut, gathering an ensemble of musicians that included keyboardist Kenny Cox, founder of the legendary Strata Records, esteemed bassist Rodney Whitaker of the Roy Hargrove Quintet and percussionists Jerome Le Duff, Alberto Nacif, and Emile Borde. The album openly embraces and unites the broad spectrum of improvisation, rhythm, and jazz that has thrived throughout the American continents for centuries. In Mora’s own words the album intended to “manifest the African heritage presence in the American continent.”

TRACK LISTING

Prelude “Welcome”
Afra Jum
Rumba Morena
Five A.M.
Samba De Amor
Cultural Warrior 
Epilogue - Conga “Hasta La Vista”

Francisco Mora Catlett

Mora! II

Part two of this incredible Francisco Mora Catlett piece sees wife Teresa Mora on vocals and trumpet legend Marcus Belgrave. “Mora I & II” are holy grails of Latin jazz, masterminded by an unsung hero of the genre. Born in Washington DC, 1947, Francisco Mora Jr is the eldest child of two highly prominent Mexican artists, Francisco Mora Sr and Elizabeth Catlett, to whom this project was dedicated. Being born into a mixed heritage bohemian family provided Mora Jr with what he called a ‘creative, progressive, and healthy arts environment’, building the foundations for a fascinating career journey ahead.

Mora grew up in Mexico City where he began working as a session musician for Capitol Records in 1968, before moving to study at Berklee Music College in Boston, MA in 1970. Once he’d completed his studies in 1973, he very briefly returned to Mexico City with the best intentions of cultivating an avant-garde movement in the city, but when the Sun Ra Arkestra came to perform, Mora ended up leaving with the band to tour the world for the next seven years, a decent innings within a group famous for its constantly evolving line up.

Settling in Detroit after his years with the Arkestra, Francisco set to work on his selftitled debut, gathering an ensemble of musicians that included keyboardist Kenny Cox, founder of the legendary Strata Records, esteemed bassist Rodney Whitaker of the Roy Hargrove Quintet and percussionists Jerome Le Duff, Alberto Nacif, and Emile Borde. The album openly embraces and unites the broad spectrum of improvisation, rhythm, and jazz that has thrived throughout the American continents for centuries. In Mora’s own words the album intended to ‘manifest the African heritage presence in the American continent.’


TRACK LISTING

Afra Jum
Amazona
Amazona Prelude
Dawn
Samba Conga Do Amor
Por Que Paro 
Afra Jum 
Old Man Joe 
El Morro

Luli Lucinha E O Bando

Flor Lilas

    As long-time fans of this sublime four-track compacto 7” by the illustrious Brazilian duo Luli Lucinha e O Bando, we have floated the idea of re-issuing this beauty for several years now. So finally, the time feels right to release this beloved gem back into the world.

    Originally issued on Som Livre Records in Brazil in 1972, this rarity has long been lost to only but the most hardened Brazilian record collectors and those lucky few who own an original copy.

    The four genre-defying compositions blend elements of psychedelic rock, MPB and folk, and are glued together by the synergy of Luli and Lucinha’s vocals and the outstanding arrangements by Z Rodrix. Whether it be the lost Brazilianpsych anthem of ‘Flor Lil s’, or the tripped out folk-funk of ‘Dourado Da Manh ‘, the EP oozes magic and brilliance. The record also features the Brazilian percussionist, Alyrio Lima, who later became a member of the iconic Weather Report.

    Luli (Heloisa Orosco Borges da Fonseca) and Lucinha’s (Lucia Helena Carvalho e Silva) records have become extremely sought-after in recent years. Their inclusion on John G mez’s superb 2017 ‘Outro Tempo’ compilation helped spread the gospel about their beautiful folky, MPB, private press albums from the late ‘70s and ‘80s.

    Prior to their musical partnership back in 1965, Luli released a heavenly Bossa Nova 7” nugget entailed ‘Baleiro’ and a self-titled solo album on Philips Records, which are now also highly-prized by collectors. Here at Mr Bongo we feel Luli and Lucinha’s names should be more widely recognised and break out of their cult artist status.

    They should be rated up there amongst some of the progressive, left-field greats of Brazilian music of their era. Sadly Luli passed away in 2018, but left behind an inspiring musical legacy for us all to savour.

    TRACK LISTING

    Flor Lil S
    O Rato Roeu
    Floresta Encantada
    Dourado Da Manh

    Israeli producers Rabo & Snob (Eyal Rob and Ronen Sabo) join the RNT roster with the Yom Yom EP, an ex-ceptional offering of all-original clubby afro vibes.

    Un-earthed from recordings the duo made with singer Soma Idrissu on the trip to Ghana that spawned their previous hit Yawumna, the title track is a truly infec-tious groove and hook, masterfully crafted for maximum dancefloor impact. With an extended Yom Yom dub plus two dark and clubby EP tracks, and absolutely stunning artwork, this 4-tracker is an absolute essential that won’t last long on the shelves!

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Yom Yom (feat. Soma Idrissu)
    A2. Have You Seen My Lady
    B1. Yom Yom (Dub)
    B2. Adjinu


    Morning 🌤 @dinkededition number 117 incoming today at 11am. Keep em peeled 👀 https://t.co/zrUabprZi3 https://t.co/NhCysu2tpB
    Mon 19th - 7:54
    Ha. Good work Steven 👌 glad it haven’t slipped through the net 😉 https://t.co/MZXmP2BkNz
    Sun 18th - 2:48
    Happy Sunday everyone 🙌 The sun is out, the streets in the Northern Quarter are buzzing again and we have some Sund… https://t.co/5xaOaCtbqd
    Sun 18th - 10:58
    The one dance record you need today - DJ Absolutely Shit - Pomona Island EP If you were lucky enough to go to the… https://t.co/IwZ7HpuYVg
    Fri 16th - 2:22
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