world . african . latin

WEEK STARTING 20 May

Genre pick of the week Cover of Isiqedakoma by Vumani.
Much in demand album from 1986. Not much is known about the mysterious pop sensation Vumani or his short musical career. Originally from KwaZulu Natal he made his way to Johannesburg in the mid 80’s to follow his dream of becoming a recording artist. He was able to make that dream come true when talent scouts from Decibel Music came across the charismatic youngster. At the time Decibel was still a small fish trying to make waves and the label believed in Vumani they had found the star they were looking for. Being a label with mostly groups signed to the catalog they needed a Front Man to push into the growing demand for Solo Artists that were dominating the airwaves and catching the hearts of youngsters.

Up to this point Decibel had one major hit record. In 1986 they released a single by an artist named David Thanzwane. The music was a direct rip off of the first hit single by Shangaan Disco pioneer Paul Ndlovu. Copying the music of both sides of the original single the covers offered different lyrics and hooks also sung in xiTsonga. This was enough to trick the masses and the single led to record sales for the small label. The unintentional outcome of the single was that from then on the producers and label had one sound they wanted to pump out in hopes of recreating that magic. This desire to create another Shangaan Disco hit would be the backbone of the Vumani sound and what makes his music so special and collectable after all these years.

That same year Vumani would release two Singles, "Black Mampatile" and "Guy Fawkes". Musically these playful and fun singles would have great appeal to youngsters as they sung of daily life in the Townships. Black Mampatile being a game of Hide and Seek, Banana Kari referring to the trucks that would go around the Township exchanging chips and snacks for glass bottles and of course every child’s favourite reason the dress up on November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day. Both singles were received well and a few more tracks were later recorded to create the full album Isiqedakoma. Although he would sing in Zulu the music was unmistakable for Shangaan Disco. The synth heavy bass lines and happy melodies along with relatable fun lyrics were a perfect blend for an album that would make people dance if they were out at a Tavern or Shabeen on a weekend or just enjoying at home with family and friends.

Vumani quickly became the Label’s top priority with managers making sure he always had the freshest clothing styles to go along with his persona, and he never missed any performances or opportunities to impress a crowd. His popularity grew in the Township’s but with that came the unfortunate and all too common problems with fame. He started getting mixed with wrong crowds. He would record another album for Miracle Music, the Decibel sub label that had emerged to focus on the more underground sounds of the post synth pop era. Musically things were going well for Vumani but it would be his life off the stage that would catch up with him. Always known for his commitment to his music and fans one day he uncharacteristically failed to show up and was never heard from again. His body would later be found in a burnt car on the outskirts of Soweto. What led to his tragic death was never known but with the company he kept it is not hard to imagine what one of the many situations that led to that horrific ending could be. His funeral was attended by the entire Township it seemed as people packed the service and flowed out onto the streets, a testament to his popularity and the love the people had for one of their own.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Much needed repress of this highly sought after bubblegum centric release from Vumani. One of only four release by the South African cult star, original copies can fetch up to £400! Stick this in yer pipe discogs!

TRACK LISTING

Isiqedakoma
Guy Fawkes
Banana Kar
I Can Play
Midnight Express
Cheater
Black Mampatile

Tony Allen

Secret Agent - 2022 Remaster

    World Circuit Records has made its reputation by producing some of the finest albums of the past three decades. The label is best known for the Grammy-winning Buena Vista Social Club album (and associated solo artists Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo and Rubén González), which is the biggest selling world music album of all time and has contributed to the phenomenal rise in popularity of Cuban, as well as Latin American, music.

    World Circuit is also home to a number of revered African artists including the late Tony Allen (whose Afrobeat-jazz collaboration with Hugh Masekela ‘Rejoice’ was released to great critical acclaim in March 2020), iconic blues pioneer Ali Farka Touré (whose classic Grammy-winning ‘Talking Timbuktu’ album, recorded with Ry Cooder, brought the label early international acclaim), Malian divas and social activists Oumou Sangaré and Fatoumata Diawara, master kora player Toumani Diabaté, the illustrious Orchestra Baobab and musical iconoclast Cheikh Lô. 


    TRACK LISTING

    A1 Secret Agent
    A2 Ijo
    A3 Switch
    B1 Celebrate
    B2 Ayenlo
    B3 Busybody
    C1 Pariwo
    C2 Nina Lowo
    C3 Atuwaba
    D1 Alutere
    D2 Elewon Po

    Dumi - Maichi - Na Chi - Maraire & Nyunga Nyunga Mbira

    Tichazomuona

    Nyami Nyami Records presents a reissue of a rare gem from the Gramma Records catalog, the historic Zimbabweean label. Dumisani Maraire, the leading creator of modern mbira, settled in the USA in the late 60s where he popularized the traditional music of the Shona people.

    "Tichazomuona" is the first album he recorded in liberated Zimbabwe, in 1986, with his wife Maichi and daughter Chiwoniso. You can hear the very young singer on lead vocals on the title track, long before she went on to perform solo on the international stage.

    Original copies are hard to find and often fetch upwards of £200. High quality pressing which replicates the original release. Limited copies. 

    TRACK LISTING

    Mwandikanganwa
    Ndofa Ndichibayiwa
    Tichazomunona
    Speechless 1 (Ino Mwii)
    Zanu Inokuperekedza
    Pamutunhu Usaite Jee
    Hande Kubasa
    Speechless 2 (Ini Mwii)

    Peter Gabriel

    Passion - Music For The Last Temptation Of Christ - 2022 Reissue

      The album has been Half-Speed Remastered and cut to lacquers at 33RPM, across 2x heavyweight black vinyl LPs, to deliver maximum dynamic range in the sound.

      Vinyl cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering, mastered by Tony Cousins at Metropolis. The album is true to the original LP design with a wide-spine jacket and printed inner sleeves, but now utilises colour photographs from The Last Temptation of Christ film. All images are newly re-scanned.

      The album comes with a download card with a choice of digital download (Hi-Res 24bit or 16bit).

      Passion – Music for The Last Temptation of Christ was released a year after Martin Scorsese’s controversy-laden film first hit the big screen in 1988. Passion tends to be regarded as a work in its own right rather than just being a movie soundtrack. It features additional music to that which was included in the film; this extra material was the result of Peter continuing to record and to resolve “unfinished ideas”. Built on a foundation of Middle Eastern and North African rhythms and melodies, Passion is unsurprisingly Peter’s most spiritual work, no more so than when the alternately ascending voices of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Youssou N’Dour and Peter himself interweave on the title track. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Youssou N’Dour are far from the only notable guests; the cross-continental gathering of musicians also includes Senegalese griot Baaba Maal, jazz drummer Bill Cobham and avant-garde trumpeter Jon Hassell among many others.


      TRACK LISTING

      LP 1
      A1 The Feeling Begins
      A2 Gethsemane
      A3 Of These, Hope
      A4 Lazarus Raised
      A5 Of These, Hope - Reprise
      A6 In Doubt
      A7 A Different Drum
      B1 Zaar
      B2 Troubled
      B3 Open
      B4 Before Night Falls
      B5 With This Love

      LP 2
      C1 Sandstorm
      C2 Stigmata
      C3 Passion
      C4 With This Love – Choir
      D1 Wall Of Breath
      D2 The Promise Of Shadows
      D3 Disturbed
      D4 It Is Accomplished
      D5 Bread And Wine

      Nico Gomez And His Afro Percussion Inc

      Ritual

        Belgium, not the first place you'd think of when it comes to Latin or Afro-funk. Yet one of the greatest records to blend both styles came from the small northern European country, masterminded by Nico Gomez and his Afro Percussion Inc.

        'Ritual' was originally released in 1971 on the Dutch label Omega International (Gomez was born in Holland before moving to Belgium in the late 40s) and is being reissued by Mr Bongo in 2013, bringing its blazing funk grooves to both new ears and those already tuned in to this masterpiece's legacy.

        Across its 11 tracks Ritual delivers the kind of production, arrangement and musicianship that rightfully belong in a dictionary next to the definition of professional. Gomez' band was tight and they knew it, showing it off on their covers of Perez Prado's 'Caballo Negro' and 'Lupita' by injecting the originals with a deep funk that blends both Afro and Latin influences. On 'Samba De Una Nota So' and 'El Condor Pasa', another pair of covers, they switch to soulful downtempo with mesmerising ease. The title cut remains one of the album's highlights, a devastating dancefloor groove with horns to match that has aged beautifully and was heavily sampled by Liquid People for 'The Dragon'. 'Pa! Pa! Pa! Pa!' adds touches of rock with fuzzy guitars for one of the album's headier experiences.

        'Ritual' is a perfect example of the kind of experimentation that was rife in the 70s and which, when done as well as on this album, proves quite simply timeless.

        Grupo Geyser

        Singles 1970-1973

          One of the hidden treasures from Venezuela, Grupo Geyser were pioneers in fusing psychedelic rock with Latin & Afro Cuban rhythms. Here's their first ever vinyl retrospective, including their four singles originally released between 1970-73.

          For our 6th vinyl-only release, Kassian provides an addendum, an addition, a supplement - if you will - to his Leave Your Life EP. Here, he elaborates on ‘Spirit of Eden’, the dreamy B-side of last summer’s well-received EP.

          On side A, we have the EP’s title track; a lush reimagining of the original, which lives up to its ‘Strings’ moniker, but still has enough percussive oomph to get feet moving on the dance floor.

          On the B-side, we have ‘Strings of Eden (Garden Mix) ft: Miguel Atwood-Ferguson’. This one foregoes any backbeat and lays the strings on even heavier, utilizing the talents of Los Angeles’ Atwood-Ferguson, who is renowned for his kaleidoscopic string arrangements in the jazz, classical and experimental genres.

          The EP closes out with a new offering: The gorgeous, airy, cinematic ‘Passing Clouds’.

          Please note this will be a one-time pressing of 1200 units only, on 180 gram vinyl. Not to be missed.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Matt says: Brilliantly timed for the warmer temps due.. A supremely Balearic offering from the highly talented Alex Kassian who seems to live and breath musical serenity. With the sound of gentle waves and endless horizons, this is your mid afternoon garden epic to get sozzled in your sun lounger too. Simple unmissable!

          TRACK LISTING

          A1. Strings Of Eden
          B1. Strings Of Eden (Garden Mix) Ft. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson
          B2. Passing Clouds

          The Tropical Combo

          Jungle Fever

          French label Aldente presents their new tropicla soul single. On flute, you'll find Jazzamar from the Brazilian electronic jazz outfit Nu Tropic associated with French beatmaker Lord Funk under the name Tropical Combo.

          The A side entitled "Jungle Fever" talks by himself, a warm time in the African forest we are between "An Elephant Called Slowly" and "The Chackachas".

          The B side "Incredible Bongo Flute" is an uptempo track as a tribute to the classic "Apache" with hot bongos, congas & flute. Put the needle on the record and this soul tune will make you think about the pressure on a cypher with b-boys. Join the battle and make a break! Or simple indulge in the peppered flute licks and hypnotically groovy conga patterns. Ridiculously good! Limited, import copies.


          TRACK LISTING

          Side 1
          1. Jungle Fever (feat Jazzamar) (4:00)
          Side 2
          1.Incredible Bongo Flute (2:45)


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