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ANALOG AFRICA

Amara Toure

Amara Toure

    The enigmatic Amara Touré from Guinée Conakry finally getting a well deserved compilation showcasing all of the 10 songs ever released between 1973 and 1980. Cuban influenced music of a different kind featuring amazing spaced-out guitar works!!

    It is the late 50s, and Senegal is going crazy to the groove of Son Montuno and Patchanga. Brought to West Africa by Cuban sailors in the early 40s, these styles were immediately adopted by a flourishing music scene that did not hesitate to embrace the Caribbean sound, mixed it with their own Folklore, and, in the process, created something new. Through the unique cultural fusion of West African and Caribbean influences, Latin music took on a new and unique sound - the format was reinvented.

    Producer Ibra Kassé and his Miami nightclub acted as the spearheads of this movement. They brought a breath of fresh air into Dakar’s nightlife, further energising one of West Africa’s most exciting cities. The demand for ballroom parties and live acts exploded, attracting numerous musicians from surrounding countries. One of the musicians who answered this call was percussionist and singer Amara Touré, from Guinea-Conakry. Spotted by Kassé while performing with Dexter Johnson, Touré was asked if he would like to be part of a new project. Little did he know that this project would become a phenomenon.

    Immensely important for the development of Senegalese modern music, Le Star Band de Dakar, led by Mady Konaté, became a sort of musical incubator and workshop, where many musicians learned and practiced their trade before moving on to become stars in their own right. Touré’s talent on percussion was undeniable, but it was his powerful and raw voice that captivated the producer. The fascinating way Touré interpreted Cuban music was unparalleled, and it was this feature that encouraged Kassé to recruit the unknown artist. 

    Although already brimming with incredible talent, Amara Touré’s joining of Le Star Band de Dakar in 1958 began the band’s meteoric rise to the top. The band quickly became Dakar’s number one orchestra, and it cemented the reputation of the Miami nightclub as the hottest spot in the country. The place was packed nightly, and Dakar was boiling.

    Amara Touré’s Senegalese adventure lasted for ten years when he received an irrefutable offer and in 1968, joined by a few talented Senegalese musicians, headed to Cameroon and immediately formed the Black and White ensemble. Many live gigs later and it was time for the first songs to be recorded. A total of three singles were produced between 1973 and 1976. These singles, representing the first six songs on this compilation, fully epitomise and distill the essence of what Touré had learned during his career. His Mandingue roots fused with the Senegalese sound that he had mastered - the perfect foundation for the Touré’s Cuban interpretations.

    If Touré’s intention was to create the most sensual music ever recorded in Africa, he might very well have reached this goal. The musicians on the recording sound like they are playing in a smokey, poorly lit juke joint, where dark rum was sipped ever so slowly, and the pulse of the music took up a life of its own. How many couples have danced, swayed, and melted together to the distinct sound of Amara Touré? Nobody can say for sure ...
    Amara Touré’s success poured across the borders of Cameroon, and in 1980 he went to Libreville, Gabon, to team up with the powerful Orchestre Massako. Touré recorded an LP at that time which is hailed by many music aficionados as one of the very best African albums. The songs from that LP are the last four on this compilation.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. N'Nijo
    2. Temedy
    3. Lamento Cubano
    4. Cuando Llegare
    5. Fatou
    6. N'ga Digne M'be
    7. Salamouti
    8. Afalago
    9. Tela
    10. Africa 

    Various Artists

    Peru Selvatico - Sonic Expedition Into The Peruvian Amazon 1972-1986

      In its isolated cities, cut off from the fashions of the capital, a unique style of music began to develop, inspired equally by the sounds of the surrounding forests, the roll of the mighty Amazon and Ucayali Rivers, and the rhythms of cumbia picked up from distant stations on transistor radios. With the arrival of electricity, a new generation of young musicians started plugging in their guitars and trading in their accordions for synthesizers: Amazonian cumbia was born.Powered by fast-paced timbale rhythms, driven by spidery, treble-damaged guitar lines, and drenched in bright splashes of organ, Amazonian cumbia was like a hyperactive distant cousin of surf music crossed with an all- night dance party in the heart of the forest. While many of the genre's greatest tracks were instrumental, and others were simple celebrations of life in the jungle, the goal of every song was to keep the party going.

      Radio stations in Lima remained unaware of the new electric sounds emanating from the jungle, but a handful of pioneering record producers ventured over the mountain passes to the cities of Tarapoto, Moyobamba, Pucallpa – even Iquitos, a city reachable only by boat or plane – and lured dozens of bands to the recording studios of the capital to lay down their best tracks. Although many became local hits, few were ever heard outside the Amazonian region … until now.

      With eighteen tracks from some of the greatest names in Amazonian cumbia, Perú Selvatico is both the improbable soundtrack to a beach party on a banks of the Amazon and a psychedelic safari into the sylvan mysteries of the Peruvian jungle.

      TRACK LISTING

      Descarga Royal - Los Royal ´s De Pucallpa 03:30
      La Cervecita - Sonido Verde De Moyobamba 02:09
      Selva Virgen - Los Zheros 02:40
      Moyobambina - Grupo Siglo XX De Rioja 02:43 
      Humo En La Selva - Los Invasores De Progreso 02:58
      La Hamaca - Los Cisnes 02:54
      Cumbion Universal - Fresa Juvenil De Tarapoto 03:35
      La Trochita - Los Rangers De Tingo Maria 02:40
      La Bola Buche - Los Invasores De Progreso 03:21
      Bailando En El Infinito - Ranil Y Su Conjunto Tropical 02:56
      Safari En La Selva - Los Cisnes 02:52
      Baila Bonito - Ranil Y Su Conjunto Tropical 02:55
      Ali Baba - Los Zheros 02:43
      La Palmerita - Fresa Juvenil De Tarapoto 02:57
      Recordando A Aguaytia - Sonido Verde De Moyobamba 02:18
      El Pasito De Miriam - Grupo Siglo XX De Rioja 02:51
      Rio Mar - Los Cisnes 02:34
      La Uñita - Los Zheros 02:22

      The Movers

      Vol. 1 - 1970-1976 (Analog Africa No.35)

        It’s a special, but also a strange sensation to be releasing an album of one of your early musical heroes. I first discovered The Movers on my very first “record safari” in 1996. My destination was Bulawayo, in southern Zimbabwe, and to get there I had to travel via Jo’burg. While in town I stopped at a store called Kohinoor, in search of Mbaqanga – also known as Township Jive – and found a few tapes which I listened to non-stop on the bus that carried me to the land of Chimurenga Music. One of these cassettes included the songs “Hot Coffee” and “Phukeng Special” which instantly became part of my daily life. Twenty-five years later I’m still grooving to them.

        What I didn't know at that time was that The Movers were hugely successful during the 1970s; so when it came time to release some of their music, I though it was going to be “a walk in the park” to track down information about them and write their biography. I was in for a rude awakening. Despite their legendary status, there was almost no information available on band or any of its members.

        Fortunately Nicky Blumenfeld from Kaya Radio came to the rescue. A few days after I reached out to her, she had managed to get the phone number of Kenneth Siphayi, who is considered to be the founder of the band, as well as vocalist Blondie Makhene and saxophonist Lulu Masilela. Although we left no stone unturned, we were unable to find any of the four original members who seem to have passed away in total anonymity.

        The story of The Movers began in 1967 when two unknown musicians – the brothers Norman and Oupa Hlongwane – approached Kenneth Siphayi a stylish and wealthy businessman from the Alexandra township to ask if he could buy them musical instruments. In return he would receive a cut from future life shows and record deals. Kenneth, ended up doing much more, becoming their manager, setting them up in a rehearsal space, and introducing them to an organist who would prove to be the missing link in the band’s skeletal sound. He also gave them their name: The Movers … because, as he said, their music was going to move you, whether you liked it or not.

        The band exploded onto the country’s racially-segregated music scene at the dawn of the 1970s with a sound that applied the rolling organ grooves and elastic rhythms of American soul to songs that came straight from the heart of the townships. Rumours of the band started to spread throughout the country and soon the record labels were sending their talent scouts to the Alexandra township to hear it for themselves.

        The Movers finally signed to Teal Records in 1969, and their first album, Crying Guitar, went on to sell 500,000 copies within the first three months, launching them into the front rank of South African bands. In their first year they went from local sensations to being the first band of black South Africans to have their music cross over to the country’s white radio stations.

        Although the first record was entirely instrumental, The Movers started working with different singers soon after – scoring an early hit with 14 year old vocal prodigy Blondie Makhene – and enriched their sonic palette with horns, extra percussion and various keyboards. Their stylistic range also expanded, incorporating elements of Marabi, Mbaqanga, jazz, funk, and reggae into their soul-steeped sound. But the essence of their music came from the almost telepathic connection of its founding members: the simmering organ of Sankie Chounyane, the laid-back guitar lines of Oupa Hlongwane, the energetic bass grooves of Norman Hlongwane and the simmering rhythms of drummer of Sam Thabo.

        The band reached their apex in the mid-1970s, and their hit ‘Soweto Inn’, sung by Sophie Thapedi, became inseparable from the student revolts that signalled a new resistance to the apartheid government. In 1976, however, their manager was forced out, and their producer started to play a more active role in the band’s direction. By the end of the decade there were no original members left. But at their height The Movers were titans of South African soul who left a legacy of over a dozen albums and countless singles of pure groove. On The Movers 1970–76, Analog Africa presents 14 of the finest tracks from the band’s undisputed peak. 

        TRACK LISTING

        Give Five Or More
        Tau Special
        Soweto Inn
        Soul Crazy
        Kudala Sithandana
        Oupa Is Back
        Balele
        Hot Coffee
        Gig Soul Party
        Ku-ku-chi
        2nd Avenue
        Phukeng Special
        Six Mabone
        Plenty Time

        Various Artists

        Saturno 2000 - La Rebajada De Los Sonideros 1962 - 1983

          In 2010, I had asked Eamon Ore-Giron - aka DJ Lengua - if he would be interested in compiling a Latin project for Analog Africa, and if so, if he had a theme in mind He replied, "Have you ever heard of rebajada?" The question mark above my head, together with the wall of China, must have been the only other object visible from out of space because Eamon, probably noticing I got paralysed, continued, "Rebajada in Spanish means "to reduce, to lower". It's basically Mexican sonideros (soundsystem operators) slowing down the beat of a Cumbia to create a much more tangible music to dance to.

          I'll send you a mix I made last year and let me know what you think." And so he did.That mix was called Rebajada Mota Mix and I began listening to it on a loop. Although I was not immediately hooked it was intriguing from the get- go, and so I kept listening until magic began unfolding. Slowed down music allows you enough time to hear right through it, revealing itself in ways I had rarely experienced before. Everything became more transparent and I was noticing sounds normally only perceptible by bats. A near psychedelic experience. That mysterious mix included a few Ecuadorian songs by Junior y su Equipo - aka Polibio Mayorga (a cult fgure in the sonidero scene), a couple of Mexican tunes, one Colombian, and various Peruvian songs, undoubtedly the driving force behind this project.

          The sonidero who brought Peruvian and Ecuadorian music to Mexico was the legendary Pablo Perea from Sonido Arco-Iris, and although his fngerprints are all over the compilation Saturno 2000, this selection of songs in rebajada is exclusive to DJ Lengua. With the exception of a few classics from Polibio Mayorga and La Sampuesana – the queen of all rebajadas – most of these songs were probably never performed as such before, let alone released. So how did rebajada come to be? In a nutshell; Rebajada started with two families of brothers – the Pereas and the Ortegas – who travelled all over Latin America and returned to Mexico with heavy loads of records which they would sell to the various sonideros always on the lookout for new tunes. Colombian beats especially seemed to ft almost perfectly with the Mexican dance steps – but they were just a bit too fast. As a result some sonideros began experimenting with equipment, and Marco Antonio Cedillo of Sonido Imperial created a revolutionary pitching system that could slow records down to an extent other players could only dream about. And so rebajada was born . . . or so we thought. At the same time in north of the country, in Monterrey, sonidero Gabriel Dueñez almost got electrocuted by a short circuit that nearly set his record player on fre. As a result the platter started spinning in slow motion for the rest of the party, turning Cumbia into a different affair altogether. The youngsters went crazy for it and started harassing the sonidero with requests to record cassettes for them. Reluctant at frst, Dueñez fnally began recording a series of pirated cassettes called "Rebajada" which included mainly Colombian cumbia and porro in slow- mo exclusively. Those tapes took the city by storm and turned rebajada into a celebrated and defant movement of the youth. Of course it would not be a Mexican urban legend if it didn't include dramaturgical elements, and so for nearly 30 years, until this day and probably for ever, both cities have been arguing and claiming ownership the creation of rebajada for themselves. But sonidera Joyce Musicolor, who never has time for such trivial arguments, got straight to the point: "Rebajada, and the equipment to perform it, is from here [Mexico City] but it was Monterrey that popularised it."

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Los Dinners - Sampuesana
          2. Junior Y Su Equipo - La Borrachita
          3. Manzanita - Paga La Cuenta Sinverguenza
          4. Hugo Blanco Y Su Arpa Viajera - Infinito
          5. Manzanita Y Su Conjunto - El Jardinero
          6. Los Feos - Feito Parrandero
          7. Junior Y Su Equipo - Bien Bailadito
          8. Los Santos - Saturno 2000
          9. Lucho Gavilanes - La Danza Del Mono
          10. Conjunto Típico Contreras - Capricho Egipcio
          11. Los Gatos Blancos - El Chacarero
          12. Los Atomos De Paramonga - Pa' Oriente Me Voy
          13. Junior Y Su Equipo - Alegrate
          14. Grupo Celeste - Todo Lo Tengo De Ti Menos Tu Amor
          15. Los Ecos - La Fuga Del Bandido

          Various Artists

          Essiebons Special 1973 - 1984 Ghana Music Power House

            Dick Essilfie-Bondzie was all ready for his 90th birthday party when the Covid pandemic hit - The legendary producer, businessman and founder of Ghana's mighty Essiebons label had invited all his family and friends to the event and it was the disappointment at having to postpone that prompted Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb to propose a new compilation celebrating his contributions to the world of West African music

            For most of the 1970s Essilfie- Bondzie's Dix and Essiebons labels were synonymous with the best in modern highlife, and his roster was a who's-who of highlife legends. C.K. Mann, Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Kofi Papa Yankson, Ernest Honny, Rob 'Roy' Raindorf and Ebo Taylor all released some of their greatest music under the Essiebons banner.Yet Essilfie- Bondzie had been destined for a very different career. Born in Apam and raised in Accra, he was sent to business school in London at the age of 20, and returned to the security of a government job in Ghana. But his passion for music, inspired by the sounds of Accra's highlife scene, had never left him, and in 1967 he figured out a way of combining music and business by opening West Africa's first record pressing plant.The venture, a partnership with the Philips label, was a huge success, attracting business from all over the continent. By the early 1970s Essilfie-Bondzie had left his government job to concentrate on his labels, and by the mid-seventies he was on a hot streak injecting album after album of restless highlife into the bloodstream of the Ghanaian music scene.Essiebons Special features a selection of obscure workouts from some of the label's heaviest hitters. But in the course of digitising his vast archive of master tapes, Essilfie-Bondzie found a number of Afrobeat and Instrumental maszterpieces tracks from the label's mid-70s golden age that, for one reason or another, had never been released. Those songs are included here for the first time.Sadly Essilfie-Bondzie passed away before the compilation was finished. But his legacy lives on in the extraordinary music that he gave to the world in his lifetime

            TRACK LISTING

            Kofi Psych - Ernest Honny
            Dee Mmaa Pe - Joe Meah
            Yeaba - CK Mann & His Carousel 7
            Shakabula - Santrofi- Ansa
            Tinitini - Seaboy & Nyame Bekyere
            Ahwene Pa Nkasa - Joe Meah
            Ernest Special - Ernest Honny
            Africa - Seaboy
            Medley - Nyame Bekyere
            Say The Truth - Ernest Honny
            Wonnin A Bisa - Black Masters Band
            Egye Tu Gbe - Sawaaba Soundz
            Fa W‘akoma Ma Me - CK Mann Big Band
            Odo Mframa - Ernest Honny

            Various Artists

            Cameroon Garage Funk

              Yaoundé, in the 1970´s, was a buzzing place with every neighbourhood of Cameroon´s capital, no matter how dodgy, filled with music spots but surprisingly there were no infrastructure to immortalise those musical riches. The country suffered from a serious lack of proper recording facilities, and the process of committing your song to tape could become a whole adventure unto itself. Of course, you could always book the national broadcasting company together with a sound engineer, but this was hardly an option for underground artists with no cash. But luckily an alternative option emerged in form of an Adventist church with some good recording equipment and many of the artists on this compilation recorded their first few songs, secretly, in these premises thanks to Monsieur Awono, the church engineer. He knew the schedule of the priests and, in exchange for some cash, he would arrange recording sessions. The artists still had to bring their own equipment, and since there was only one microphone, the amps and instruments had to be positioned perfectly. It was a risky business for everyone involved but since they knew they were making history, it was all worth it.

              At the end of the recording, the master reel would be handed to whoever had paid for the session, usually the artist himself. And what happened next? With no distribution nor recording companies around this was a legitimate question. More often than not it was the French label Sonafric that would offer their manufacturing and distribution structure and many Cameroonian artist used that platform to kick-start their career. What is particularly surprising in the case of Sonafric was their willingness to take chances and judge music solely on their merit rather than their commercial viability.

              The sheer amount of seriously crazy music released also spoke volumes about the openness of the people behind the label. But who exactly are these artists that recorded one or two songs before disappearing, never to be heard from again? Some of the names were so obscure that even the most seasoned veterans of the Cameroonian music scene had never heard of them. A few trips to the land of Makossa and many more hours of interviews were necessary to get enough insight to assemble the puzzle-pieces of Yaoundé's buzzing 1970s music scene. We learned that despite the myriad difficulties involved in the simple process of making and releasing a record, the musicians of Yaoundé's underground music scene left behind an extraordinary legacy of raw grooves and magnificent tunes. The songs may have been recorded in a church, with a single microphone in the span of only an hour or two, but the fact that we still pay attention to these great creations some 50 years later, only illustrates the timelessness of their music.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Africa Iyo - Jean-Pierre Djeukam
              2. Sie Tcheu - Joseph Kamga
              3. Ma Wde Wa - Los Camaroes
              4. Esele Mulema Moam - Los Camaroes
              5. Yondja - Ndenga Andre Destin Et Les Golden Sounds
              6. Odylife - Damas Swing Orchestra
              7. Quiero Wapatcha - Charles Lembe Et Son Orchestra
              8. Song Of Love - Louis Wasson Et L´Orchestre Kandem Irenée
              9. Monde Moderne - Pierre Didy Tchakounte Et Les Tulipes Noires
              10. Les Souffrances - Tsanga Dieudonne
              11. Moni Ngan - Willie Songue Et Les Showmen
              12. Mayi Bo Ya? - Johnny Black Et Les Jokers
              13. Ma Fou Fou - Pierre Didy Tchakounte
              14. Woman Be Fire - Lucas Tala
              15. Ngamba - Ndenga Andre Destin Et Les Golden Sounds
              16. Mezik Me Mema - Mballa Bony

              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

              Various Artists

              La Locura De Machuca

                One night in 1975, a successful tax lawyer named Rafael Machuca had his mind blown in Barranquilla's 'Plaza de los Musicos'. Overnight he went from a high ranking position in the Columbian revenue authority to visionary production guru of the newly formed record label that bore his name, Discos Machuca, and for the next six years he devoted his life to releasing some of the strangest, most experimental Afro Psychedelia Cumbias ever produced. La Locura de Machuca is the story of one man's bizarre odyssey into Colombia's coastal music underground, and the wild, hypnotic sounds he helped bring up to the surface. The Colombian music industry was thriving in the mid-seventies, but while homegrown bolero and vallenato tunes were doing well on the charts, it was imported African records that were setting crowds on fire at the picos – the sound-systems that fuelled neighbourhood parties – and wherever those records were played there were always a handful of groups who were inspired to plug traditional Cumbia directly into the electric currents coming from across the Atlantic.

                It was these obscure bands, who fused Colombian and African rhythms with the swirling organs and psychedelic guitars of underground rock, that fired Machuca's imagination. While the label made its money releasing popular hits by legends such as Alejandro Durán and Aníbal Velásquez, that money was poured back into a unique run of experimental releases by fringe artists such as La Banda Africana, King Somalie, Conjunto Barbacoa, and Abelardo Carbono, one of the godfathers of Champeta Criolla. When Machuca couldn't find groups to realise his particular vision, he simply created them himself. Drawing on a fearsome roster of musicians associated with the label, he assembled bands that lasted only as long as it took to record an album ,and unleashed the results – complete with arrestingly unusual album covers – under a series of different names such as Samba Negra or El Grupo Folclórico. This unorthodox approach led his long time recording engineer, Eduardo Dávila, to describes Machuca's productions as the "B-Movies of Colombian music."

                The story of Doctor Machuca and his eccentric exploits tells of one of Colombia's most atypical and peculiar record companies; a defining pillar of Afro-Caribbean psychedelia. His productions have come to represent the roots of Champeta and set the pedigree standards for Afro and Costeño avant-garde. The seventeen tracks on La Locura de Machuca, harvested from the darkest, strangest corners of the Discos Machuca catalogue, sound like little else recorded before or since.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Samba Negra - "Eberebijara"
                2. King Somalie - "Monkey´s Dance"
                3. El Grupo Folclórico - "Tamba"
                4. Los Viajeros Siderales - "El Campanero"
                5. Rio Latino - "Ayu"
                6. Aníbal Velásquez - "La Mazamorra Del Diablo"
                7. La Francachela - "Mosquita Muerta"
                8. El Grupo Folclórico - "Juipiti"
                9. King Somalie - "Le Mongui"
                10. El Grupo Folclórico - "El Tornillito"
                11. Samba Negra - "Long Life Africa"
                12. La Banda Africana - "Te Clavo La...Mano"
                13. Myrian Makenwa - "El Platano"
                14. El Grupo Folclórico - "Tucutru"
                15. Grupo Bola Roja - "Caracol"
                16. El Grupo D'Abelard - "A Otro Perro Con Ese Hueso"
                17. Conjunto Barbacoa - "Wabali"

                Various Artists

                Mogadisco - Dancing Mogadishu

                  After being blown away by a few tunes - probably just as you will be after listening to this - Samy Ben Redjeb travelled to the infamous capital city of Somalia in November of 2016, making Analog Africa the first music label to set foot in Mogadishu (Not sure Afro 7 would agree - Ed). On his arrival in Somalia Samy began rifling through piles of cassettes and listening to reel-to-reel tapes in the dusty archives of Radio Mogadishu, looking for music that ‘swam against the current’. The stars were aligned: an uncovered and unmarked pile of discarded recordings was discovered in a cluttered corner of the building. Colonel Abshir - the senior employee and protector of Radio Mogadishu’s archives - clarified that the pile consisted mostly of music nobody had manage to identify, or music he described as being ‘mainly instrumental and strange music’. At the words ‘strange music’ Samy was hooked, the return flight to Tunisia was cancelled.

                  The pile turned out to be a cornucopia of different sounds: radio jingles, background music and interludes for radio programmes, television shows and theatre plays. There were also a good number of disco tunes, some had been stripped of their lyrics, the interesting parts had been recorded multiple times then cut, taped together and spliced into a long groovy instrumental loop. Like everywhere in Africa during the 1970s, both men and women sported huge afros, bell-bottom trousers and platform shoes. James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations’ funk were the talk of the town. In 1977, Iftin Band were invited to perform at the Festac festival in Lagos where they represented Somalia at the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. Not only did they come back with an award but they also returned with Afrobeat. While Fela Kuti’s ‘Shakara’ had taken over the continent and was spreading like wildfire throughout Latin America, it was the track ‘Lady’ that would become the hit in Mogadishu.

                  Mogadisco was not Analog Africa’s easiest project. Tracking down the musicians - often in exile in the diaspora - to interview them and gather anecdotes of golden-era Mogadishu has been an undertaking that took three years. Tales of Dur-Dur Band’s kidnapping, movie soundtracks recorded in the basements of hotels, musicians getting electrocuted on stage, others jumping from one band to another under dramatic circumstances, and soul singers competing against each other, are all stories included in the massive booklet that accompanies the compilation - adorned with no less then 50 pictures from the ‘70s and ‘80s. As Colonel Abshir Hashi Ali, chief don at the Radio Mogadishu archive - someone who once wrestled a bomber wielding an unpinned hand-grenade to the floor - put it: ‘I have dedicated my life to this place. I’m doing this so it can get to the next generation; so that the culture, the heritage and the songs of Somalia don’t disappear.’

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Daradaa Muxibo (Because Of You Muxibo) - Dur-Dur Band (1991)
                  Hab Isii (Hug Me) - Omar Shooli (1986)
                  Check Up My Head - Mukhtar Ramadan Iidi (1988)
                  Geesiyada Halgamayow (Brave Fighters) - Bakaka Band (1984)
                  Waakaa Helaa (I Like You) - Fadumo Qassim & Shareero Band (1972)
                  Sirmaqabe (No Secrets) - Iftin Band (1985)
                  Baayo (Hey Woman) - Mukhtar Ramadan Iidi (1986)
                  Hoobeya (Somali Traditional Chant) - Shimaali & Killer (1990)
                  Shaleedayaa (By Myself) - Dur-Dur Band (1991)
                  Ladaney (Woman’s Name) - Dur-Dur Band (1991)
                  Gobonimada Jira (Choose Freedom) - Bakaka Band (1984)
                  Ii Ooy Aniga (Cry For Me) - Iftin Band (1985)

                  "Sweet Sweet Dreams" was recorded at the legendary SHARC studios, located on a hill in Chaguaramas (near Port of Spain) and despite a fantastic sound and monster Soca-boogie tunes like "Let's Get It Together", "Let's Make It Up" and "Way, Way Out" the album was a commercial flop, probably due to the fact that it didn't sound like anything else coming out of Trinidad & Tobago at the time. It fused a range of different rhythms and new sounds, primarily heavy synth riffs.
                  When it came out in 1984 "Sweet Sweet Dreams" was described as "way ahead of its time". Undeservedly it was panned by critics and, unable to reach markets, disappeared into the dusty record collections of a few music aficionados. Now, more than three decades later that cosmic dance-floor UFO is about to take off again, change all that and set the record straight. Remastered and cut by Frank Meritt at The Carvery the album is truly a masterpiece. But who is this Shadow behind "Sweet Sweet Dreams?" Shadow is a man of understated magnitude. A truly enigmatic artist, he first emerged in Trinidad and Tobago during the 1970s, becoming a part of the tapestry of Caribbean music and reinvigorating calypso at the time. Calypso, the indigenous folk music of Trinidad and Tobago, has roots in West African kaiso rhythms, French Creole influences, and the hardships endured by the African slaves brought to Trinbago, whose descendants still use it as a tool for satire, self-expression, and social commentary. Calypso has also given birth to several other music genres, including soca, with its uptempo beats and festival context. Shadow effortlessly moves between both. Shadow came from a humble but musical family and started writing songs as a youth while tending cattle in the fields. To his family's initial chagrin he chose calypso over church music but his talent and drive were undeniable. In the early days of his career Shadow's style was cramped when working with some of the more conservative music arrangers who felt that calypso and soca should fit a mould. But after a while Shadow teamed up with more innovative arrangers, including Arthur "Art"de Coteau, who followed their and Shadow's intuitions resulting in a long line of hits.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Patrick says: The lucky ones may have nabbed a copy of the 12", but everyone's still after more Shadow. This killer Caribbean disco LP is every bit as good as the single promised, boasting far out synth licks, irrestible grooves and more than a little of the power cosmic.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Let's Make It Up
                  Let's Get It Together
                  Dreaming
                  Moon Walking
                  Without Love
                  Way Way Out
                  D'Hardest

                  Various Artists

                  Space Echo - The Cosmic Sound Of Cabo Verde

                    In the spring of 1968 a cargo ship was preparing to leave the port of Baltimore with an important shipment of musical instruments. Its final destination was Rio De Janeiro, where the EMSE Exhibition (Exposição Mundial Do Son Eletrônico) was going to be held. It was the first expo of its kind to take place in the Southern Hemisphere and many of the leading companies in the field of electronic music were involved. Rhodes, Moog, Farfisa, Hammond and Korg, just to name a few, were all eager to present their newest synthesisers and other gadgets to a growing and promising South American market, spearheaded by Brazil and Colombia.

                    The ship with the goods set sail on the 20th of March on a calm morning and mysteriously disappeared from the radar on the very same day. One can only imagine the surprise of the villagers of Cachaço, on the Sao Nicolau island of Cabo Verde, when a few months later they woke up and found a ship stranded in their fields, in the middle of nowhere, 8 km from any coastline. After consulting with the village elders, the locals had decided to open the containers to see what was inside – however gossip as scintillating as this travels fast and colonial police had already arrived and secured the area. Portuguese scientists and physicians were ordered to the scene and after weeks of thorough studies and research, it was concluded that the ship had fallen from the sky. One of the less plausible theories was that it might have fallen from a Russian military air carrier. The locals joked that again the government had wasted their tax money on a useless exercise, as a simple look at the crater generated by the impact could explain the phenomena. “No need for Portuguese rocket scientists to explain this!” they laughed.

                    What the villagers didn’t know, was that traces of cosmic particles were discovered on the boat. The bow of the ship showed traces of extreme heat, very similar to traces found on meteors, suggesting that the ship had penetrated the hemisphere at high speed. That theory also didn't make sense as such an impact would have reduced the ship to dust. Mystery permeated the event. Finally, a team of welders arrived to open the containers and the whole village waited impatiently. The atmosphere, which had been filled with joy and excitement, quickly gave way to astonishment. Hundreds of boxes conjured, all containing keyboards and other instruments which they had never seen before: and all useless in an area devoid of electricity. Disappointment was palpable.

                    The goods were temporarily stored in the local church and the women of the village had insisted a solution be found before Sunday mass. It is said that charismatic anti-colonial leader Amílcar Cabral had ordered for the instruments to be distributed equally in places that had access to electricity, which placed them mainly in schools. This distribution was best thing that could have happened - keyboards found fertile grounds in the hands of curious children, born with an innate sense of rhythm who picked up the ready-to-use instruments. This in turn facilitated the modernisation of local rhythms such as Mornas, Coladeras and the highly danceable music style called Funaná, which had been banned by the Portuguese colonial rulers until 1975 due to its sensuality!

                    The observation was made that the children who came into contact with the instruments found on the ship inherited prodigious capabilities to understand music and learn instruments. One of them was the musical genius Paulino Vieira, who by the end of the 70s would become the country's most important music arranger. 8 out of the 15 songs presented in this compilation had been recorded with the backing of the band Voz de Cabo Verde, lead by Paulino Vieira, the mastermind behind the creation and promulgation of what is known today as “The Cosmic Sound of Cabo Verde”.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    01. Pinta Manta - António Sanches
                    02. Dia Ja Manche - Dionisio Maio
                    03. Morti Sta Bidjàcu - José Casimiro
                    04. Pontin & Pontin - Bana
                    05. That Day - Fany Havest
                    06. Odio Sem Valor - Pedrinho
                    07. Mino Di Mama - Quirino Do Canto
                    08. Mundo D'Margura - Tchiss Lopes
                    09. Po D'Terra - Joao Cirilo
                    10. Corre Riba, Corre Baxo - Abel Lima
                    11. Ilyne - Os Apolos
                    12. Sintado Na Pracinha - Americo Brito
                    13. Capchona - Elisio Vieira
                    14. Djal Bai Si Camin - Antonio Dos Santos
                    15. Stebo Cu Anabela - Abel Lima

                    Mestre Cupijo E Seu Ritmo

                    Siria

                      Analog Africa's new release 'Siria' is a collection of carefully selected tracks drawn from the great Mestre Cupijo's six studio albums. Coming from the state of Para in Northern Brazil 'siria' is a cross pollination between the music of the inhabitants of the Quilombos, a Brazilian hinterland settlement founded by escaped slaves of African origins, and the indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest.

                      It is a breathing, pulsing, emphatic beat, and the modernised version of this local music, created by Mestre Cupijó, has been igniting street parties and traditional festivals across the state of Pará in Northern Brazil for decades.

                      To grasp the soul of this music, Cupijó went to its source and lived with the quilombolas (maroon) community of the Amazon. Upon his return, enriched by this life-changing experience, he founded the band Jazz Orquestra os Azes do Ritmo with the goal of reinventing siriá and modernising samba de cacete, banguê and other folkloric music of the state of Pará. Airwaves from the Caribbean and Latin America had also brought the cumbia sound of the mighty Colombian orchestras, merengue from the Dominican republic and Cuban music to the Amazon, all of which had an impact on the music of Northern Brazil, mambo especially! Mestre Cupijó took these influences and mixed them in with the ingredients he had studied in the Quilombos. That fusion - as we are witnessing on this record - had explosive effects.

                      Analog Africa are ferociously proud and honoured to have the chance to present these carefully selected tracks from Mestre Cupijó's six studio albums. They hope that his music captivates you with the magic and bewilderment and they recognise his compositions as true anthems of life and vitality, vibrantly encouraging all to drink and dance until sunrise! Let go of your inhibitions and immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Mestre Cupijó - Segura!

                      Various Artists

                      Angola Soundtrack 2 - Hypnosis, Distortions & Other Sonic Innovations 1969 - 1978

                      A Portuguese civil servant, entrepreneur and Angolan music fan named Luis Montês self-designed Kutonocas, Sunday afternoon live music festivals started in Luanda in 1961 and is the basis on which this great compilation is built.

                      This compilation is a dedication to the short lived recording industry in Angola, a brief moment of history between 1969 and 1978 in which three recording companies produced approximately 800 records, mostly singles. They are rare jewels, each song with a significant story and feel behind it. You will hear exciting music blazed with the anticipation of emancipation, tracks fuelled with a sense of unity, community, importance and immediacy. This addictive, outlawed music from Angola shakes and grooves with the smoothness of staccato machine gunfire. The intimacy of those participating in this musical revolution meant they playfully and professionally wanted to trump each other’s style due to the limited recording and performing opportunities. The optimism of Independence can be heard in these recordings; a common goal between the audience and musicians.

                      The characteristically generous liner notes feature 44 pages acquired in coordination with the National Library of Luanda and the art magazine “Note E Dia” and Analog Africa head honcho Samy Ben Redjeb has managed to collect newspaper clips, extremely rare pictures of the bands on stage and printed interviews from the 70s.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      CD Version:
                      Avante Juventude - Os Angos
                      Senhor Doutor - Quim Manuel
                      H'hoca - Tony Von
                      Kia Lomingo - Urbano De Castro
                      Bina - Jovens Do Prenda
                      Mabele - Oscar Neves
                      Agarrem - Africa Ritmos
                      Saudades De Luanda - Os Kiezos
                      Bongololo - Kito
                      N'Ga Kuna M'Butu - Muhongo
                      Lemba - Negoleiros Do Ritmo
                      Snipes - Dicanzas Do Prenda
                      Bazooka - Carlo Lamartine
                      Divua Diami - Cisco
                      Meca - Levis Vercky's
                      Chamavo - Elias Dia Kimuezo /
                      Olha O Pica - Africa Ritmos

                      LP Version:
                      LP 1:
                      Avante Juventude - Os Angos
                      Senhor Doutor - Quim Manuel
                      N'Hoca - Tony Von
                      Kia Lomingo - Urbano De Castro
                      Bina - Jovens Do Prenda
                      Mabele -Oscar Neves
                      Agarrem - Africa Ritmos /
                      Saudades De Luanda - Os Kiezos

                      LP 2:
                      Bongololo - Kito
                      N'Ga Kuna M'butu - Muhongo
                      Lemba - Negoleiros Do Ritmo
                      Snipes - Dicanzas Do Prenda
                      Bazooka - Carlo Lamartine
                      Divua Diami - Cisco
                      Meca - Levis Vercky's
                      Chamavo - Elias Dia Kimuezo
                      Olha O Pica - Africa Ritmos

                      Various Artists

                      Bambara Mystic Soul - The Raw Sound Of Burkina Faso 1974 - 1979

                        Post-independent Burkino Fasso saw an urban middle class willing to invest in the Burkinabe arts. A cadre of singers, bands, orchestras and, most importantly, competitive record labels arose who all played their part in ushering in a golden age of music in their landlocked nation during the 1970's - a decade marred by political instability in the country and an era of artistic enlightenment empowering the whole of Africa.

                        In search of better gigs, well-to-do producers and sufficient recording equipment, Burkinabe musicians ventured across the surrounding region, returning home with a wealth of knowledge of their neighbors' distinctive styles. The raw sound of Burkina Faso combined Afro-Funk, traditional Islamic rhythms and subtle Afro-Latin sounds brought over by visiting Cuban ensembles. Mandingue melodies and guitar techniques from Mali and Guinea, however, were by far the most defining traits of a potent African mix that distinguished the Voltaic style between 1974 and 1979.

                        Record labels across Burkina Faso sprung up to capture the newly born mystic and soulful sound taking over the country. Volta Discobel and Club Voltaique du Disque (CVD) emerged in 1974 and competed for the modern music of their people. Despite its humble beginnings as a record shop, CVD came to dominate the industry. Both labels worked with the heavyweights of the time, such as the majestic Amadou Ballaké, a national icon who is featured extensively on this compilation.


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