Thursday, 28 August
KILLER Ruffneck griot rap and tumbling mbalax from Senegal circa 1994: another stunning discovery by Awesome Tapes From Africa! Showcasing the remarkably fierce "taasu" - a form of oral poetry set to sabar and tama drums - style of Aby Ngana Diop, the undisputed "taasukat" of her generation, 'Liital' presents a shock of six cuts charged with ferocious talking drums, subtle DX7 tones, and Diop's stentorian call-and-response vocals. Whilst many of us have heard the mbalax style via classic recordings from Youssou N'Dour and even Mark Ernestus' Jeri-Jeri ensemble, we, for one, have never heard su… Read more
*Newly reissued and remastered* As the story goes, Ginger Baker, burned out byt he excess of touring with his band, left for Ghana in 1970 to spend time with his friend. While there, his ear caught the sound of Nigerian radio and he would travel into what was then a war zone to meet up with Fela Kuti, who he'd previously met in London when Fela was playing trumpet for Remi Kebaka some years prior. Ginger ended up establishing a studio in Lagos and upon return to London invited Fela for a session at Abbey Road studio to an audience of 150. The resulting recording w… Read more
"'Sorrow Tears And Blood' bookended the Nigerian army's deadly raid of the Kalakuta Republic, Fela Kuti's self-appointed state domicile, and Kuti's hostile feelings toward upper-class Nigeria are prominent on both sessions... 'Sorrow Tears And Blood', the first recording released after the Kalakuta's capture, is fiercer; the band's sound almost seeming to drip blood. Slower and more persistent, the ominous grooves here no longer bother with metaphor, crying out bluntly, "some people lost some bread, someone has just died... them leave sorrow, tears and blood." Alongside Woody Guthrie's "Struggle", this is as stirring as musical social protest gets."
The eighties weren't known as Fela's finest period. He was under much pressure from the Nigerian government and extensive touring of the US and Europe lead to a dearth of good material. 'Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense' from 1986 is considered the exception, featuring three extended tracks of more melancholy and deeply soulful Afro-Beat expressions.
Thursday, 14 August
Seductive house reworks of Esnard Boisdur, one of the great voices of Gwo Ka - the folkloric rhythm of Guadeloupe. Originally released in 1991, 'Soufwans' comes in two hard-to-resist mixes, a 3am version making subtle but prominent use of Esnard's lolling, playful vocal against warmest subbass, rippling drums and convective chords, plus an outstanding dub mix where the vocal's diffused in a sublime, swirling lather of drums, sub pressure and lush chords no doubt enhanced by the touch of Frankie Francis, a mastering engineer at London institution, The Carvery. A real West Indian Summer anthem!
Thursday, 07 August
*Ships Friday* Big Dog Nozinja debuts on Warp with the Shangaan burn of 'Tsekeleke'. Fresh from soundtracking the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow, 'Tsekeleke' marks Nozinja's most prominent solo release after years as the anchor of Shangaan Electro - the notorious, breakneck Afro-disco style and dance originating in Limpopo, now based in Soweto, South Africa, which was brought to wider attention via Honest Jon's seminal compilation. It's rare for indigenous African dance styles to break thru to UK and European markets, but Nozinja's music is a true Afro-accelerationst anomaly that's… Read more
Thursday, 31 July
'Bosporus Bridges' collects eleven heavy jazz and funk grooves from Turkey circa 1968-1978. Like Baris K's killer edit selection, 'Istanbul 70', this LP reveals a hitherto largely unknown world meeting east and west in unique fashion. However, this one's less psych and disco, more jazz and funk, covering the uptempo burn of Fikret Kizilok's 'Aybatti (edit)' along with the crazed electronics and deadly funk downstroke of 'Aksu Orkestrasi's 'Bermuda Seytan Ücgeni', the Brazilian-infected jazz of Erol Peckan's 'Senlik' and the awesome, snake-charming slink of 'Denizalti Rüzgarlari'. Recommended!
**Addendum of previously unreleased Indonesian prog folk gems. Housed in paste-on jacket. Edition of 500** From Strawberry Rain: "One of the true gems of the Indonesian scene, this album stands to be one of the best, and also one of the most unique albums to come from the region. Banned by the Shuko government soon after release, it remains somewhat obscure to most collectors up until now. An album created by Bram Makahekum (who had no musical experience or training at all) Kelompok Kumpangan had multiple members by trying to recreate the sounds of nature, even using origina… Read more
**Gatefold sleeve, comes with digital download code redeemable from the label** "The amazing Tom Ze, or as he wrote to us when we were working on this album, “Should I change my name? It could be Ze Tom Ze? Or Tom Tom Ze?” This was his first newly recorded album after being ‘rediscovered’ and it’s as surprising and special as one would expect from this iconoclast. “Inspired by hard-lit and science fiction, Ze’s tick-tocking sambas and comforting cancaos range from the painfully touching to the instructably conceptual.”
**Gatefold sleeve, comes with digital download code redeemable from the label** “Beleza Tropical was our first release. In some ways it started the trend to compile music from other places. It was a huge success, selling over 350,000 copies, and is still referred to today by many people turned on to Brazilian culture by this landmark release. Many of the aritsts on this compilation are cultural heroes in Brazil (and deserve to be here, too). Their concerts are attended by young and old alike... almost everyone knows their names. Their music is extremely sophi… Read more
Thursday, 24 July
**Super slick, synth-heavy and seductive soul-funk from Nigeria 1978. 180g vinyl reissue housed in tip on-style jacket with download code. Edition of 1000** "Originally recorded for the EMI Nigeria label and produced by legendary producer Odion Iruoje 'Keyboard' was a one-off studio project formed by Brodricks Majuwa and Isaac Digha from circa 1978. These two session men were often used at the EMI studio and played in multiple recordings that Iruoje produced throughout the era. This extremely scarce and obscure record features amongst others Ignace de Souza of the Black Santiagos from the city o… Read more
Baris K compiles fourteen original Turkish Psych, Disco and Folk classics now in on vinyl. As showcased on Bouzouki Joe's brilliant 'Turkish Freakout' compilations and various Finders Keepers records, Turkey had a real thirst for westernized music from the mid-late '60s onwards, infusing and hybridizing with their native melodies and tastes to create a unique form of east-meets-west pop music, to the extent that even superstars such as Johnny Hallyday were recording entire albums in Turkish specifically for the burgeoning and (at the time) prosperous market. Baris K is a… Read more
"This classic and groundbreaking album was recorded in Los Angeles in 1970, at a time when Sergio Mendes was at the height of his commercial status with his incredibly successful musical blend of Brazilian flavours and American pop sensibility. ‘Stillness’ was a decisive break away from commercial pop towards a more serious and mature sound. Powerful new vocal songs such as ‘Stillness’ and ‘Righteous Life’ signified a new era in the music of Sergio Mendes. The Brazilian influence is, if anything, even more pronounced than before as Mendes and … Read more
Thursday, 10 July
"This album is the definitive statement of the Tropicalia movement in Brazil. The album’s collaborators - Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Tom Zé, Nara Leao, Gal Costa and Os Mutantes - mixed psychedelic rock with boleros, sambas, bossa nova and jazz into a carnival-esque parade which first announced the new global sound of Brazilian music. What is stunning is that this anarchic and groundbreaking release was recorded at the height of the Brazilian military dictatorship, during an era where censorship, repression and the threat of violence was a constant i… Read more
**Newly remastered, groundbreaking collection of hybrid Thai folk/pop. The artist's first release outside the Thai record market** "The relaunch of EM Records’ Thai music series. Paradise Bangkok, Soi 48 and EM Records have teamed up to deliver a new series showcasing the extraordinary performances of some of Thailand’s greatest musical legends. The first release is the seminal album Isan Lam Plearn released in 1975 by Angkanang Kunchai. This album represents a crucial moment in Thai musical history when the performance styles of Molam (*1) and Luk Thung (*2) were fused together fo… Read more
*180g vinyl. Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label* "Collection of material from 1975 - 1982 by Brazilian artist Mestre Cupijó, entitled 'Siriá'. Siriá is a cross pollination between the music of the inhabitants of the quilombos, a Brazilian hinterland settlement founded by escaped African slaves, and the indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest. Mestre Cupijó has created the modernised version of this local music, which has been igniting street parties and traditional festivals across the state of Pará in Northern Brazil for decades."
"SILO is a new label curated by composer, producer and sound alchemists Raz Mesinai and Jonathan Uliel Saldanha, with the goal of releasing some of the most important underground sonic experiments and productions from Porto. Portugal. After meeting a decade ago, Mesinai and Saldanha both found a like minded interest in the sonic properties of underground spaces, which led to the film 'Tunnel Vision' (directed by Mesinai w/ an original score by Saldanha). Hailed as a "21st century cult classic" by composer and film enthusiast John Zorn, who later released the film on his own … Read more
Thursday, 26 June
*The first-ever compilation outside Algeria to focus on its pop, folk and rock scene of the 1970s. Heavy and psychedelic rock, dark and moody folk-pop and stoic cinematic tracks compiled by Hicham Chadly for Sublime Frequencies. Limited edition LP in a full-color heavy gatefold jacket* Sublime Frequencies present a selection of classic tracks from Algeria's popular music history. Compiled by Hicham Chadly, this limited edition LP comes in a full-color gatefold jacket with lovely images from the period and extensive liner-notes by Omar Zelig, Algeria's most le… Read more
*The first Iraqi popular music compilation released to a Western audience available on vinyl for the first time. This deluxe-edition vinyl reissue features re-mastered, and in some cases, completely restored audio, revised and updated liner-notes with new artist and track information, plus four additional tracks not featured in the first CD issue* Originally released in 2005, while the U.S.-led war against Iraq was tearing the country to pieces, Choubi Choubi Vol. 1 brought a collection of incredible Iraqi music and styles that … Read more
**Remastered collection of amazing, classic African recordings made by Hugh Tracy in 1952 & 1957** "Music from another world! This collection of magnificent recordings merely touches on the richness and diversity of the traditional musics of the Congo, as found by Hugh Tracey in the 1950s. In the ensemble tracks we can hear his hand-held microphone technique, as he moves around with his one mike to highlight one instrument after the other – a kind of instant mixing. But how many of these musical traditions have been lost since they were captured on tape? Urbanisation and satelite… Read more
"This is the famous Katanga guitar sound, as recorded by Hugh Tracey, based on the traditional likembe lamellaphone music of the various Luba peoples and their neighbours, who went to work in the mines and, as a result of this urbanisation, embraced 'modernism' by buying guitars. Plus three rumba tracks from Stanleyville (Kisangani), where there was a laid-back atmosphere with white and black dancing together in a flourishing nightlife, exceptional for the Belgian Congo. The recorded musicians there said they had copied the style of playing introduced from the San Salvador district in northern Angola through Leopoldville (Kinshasa)."
Thursday, 12 June
*Reissue of this unbelievably rare Afro Rock LP via Academy LPs - includes 12"x24" bonus poster* "Pazy (real name Joseph Etinagbedia) started playing music in the Fire Flies in the city of Warri in Nigeria in 1973. The area was in the midst of an oil boom, and like most bands on that scene, the Fire Flies played American and European pop hits mixed with Jazz and Highlife for the largely expat audiences in local clubs. Along with an influx of foreigners, the oil boom also gave rise to an emerging Nigerian youth market, and soon Pazy formed the Black Hippies to play the uniquely Af… Read more
"Bogota's Meridian Brothers return to Names You Can Trust with a brand-new double-sided single. Having made their mark on the local scene in Colombia for over a decade, the last few years have brought Eblis Álvarez and his strange brew of tropical rhythms, wonderfully outrageous electronic sounds and unique, playful vocal style into the consciousness of a world wide audience. Building on the success of their previous album 'Deseperanza' as well as the upcoming 'Salvadora Robot' (both out via Soundway Records), Álvarez has concocted two new gems exclusively for this NYCT release. … Read more
Sunday, 01 June
Not only are the roots of this music unique, but so are the results after incorporating outside instrumentation from modern colonial and (unavoidable) international influence. What the Burmese have done with a piano is so precise in its adaptation to existing form and melody that one would think they invented it. Burmese music has a very distinct sound and whatever instrument is assimilated into its core only seems to magnify its original intent without depending upon outside ideas as they relate to each component of it. This collecti… Read more
Thursday, 29 May
**Deluxe gatefold edition - includes insert, extensive sleeve notes, exclusive photography, original art work, bios & digital download voucher redeemable from the label** Soul Jazz explore Calypso in its many forms - from its birthplace, the island of Trinidad, as well as other Caribbean islands (Jamaica and The Bahamas) and its subsequent onwards journey (Britain, Panama and the United States), recorded during the years 1955-69. Calypso’s aristocracy and royalty - Lord Kitchener, Lord Cobra, Lord Growler, King Fighter, Lord Byron, The Mighty Viper, Lord Ivan… Read more
Thursday, 15 May
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* 'Wenu Wenu' is Syrian superstar Omar Souleyman's first Western studio album proper, and was recorded and produced by Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) in Brooklyn, New York for Domino's Ribbon sublabel. It stars the main man belting it out with trademark massive reverbs over incendiary, streaking keyboard motifs and clipped drums by his long-time compadre and keys man, Rizan Sa'id, just as he has done for the last 20 years or so, only now the production is pleasingly brighter, punchier in parts. But perhaps most importantly, it's not to… Read more
**Includes 12" x 24" fold out poster** "Boogie-down cosmic funk from late-seventies Nigeria — like full-throttle Roy Ayers, at his most brilliant. Jimi Lee Adams packs his inner Hendrix off to Funky Town; the horns are the horniest; Mona runs it all down with an irresistible West African tilt. Afro-jazz scorchers, both sides. Breaking through with The Sunflowers in Nigeria's late-sixties soul explosion, Mona moved to the US after the group's equipment was destroyed in a car accident. There she was active in the new jazz scene, before returning home towards the end of th… Read more
Thursday, 24 April
**180g vinyl housed in colour jacket with extensive liner notes** "Muyei Power or Orchestre Muyei (muyei means ‘our country’) was one of the top dance bands of the1970s in Sierra Leone. Soundway Records' first collection of music from this West African country (‘Muyei Power: Sierra Leone in 1970s USA’) is an album of rock-infused, 'afro' music from a group that traveled the world throughout the mid 1970s. Fusing elements of electric Congolese and Nigerian music with fast, syncopated, uptempo modernised arrangements of traditional music, Muyei Power produced a series of unique si… Read more
Heavy Afro-soul vibes fresh outta Berlin. Ghanaian Music Award winner and Frafra superstar Guy One sings accompanied by Frafra choir on the brassy, Ethiopiques-esque jazz swing of Max Weissenfeldt on 'Suro Yuama', and plays the the 2-stringed Kologo guitar and sings on rawer, urgent flipside, 'A Me Bayela Do Me'.
Thursday, 17 April
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** "Secret Stash Records present the first ever reissue of this rare Nigerian funk gem from one of the most influential musicians in the genre. Co-produced by Uchenna Ikonne (Brand New Wayo, Who Is William Onyebar?), this reissue has been lovingly remastered and meticulously restored. In the early 1970s, Harry Mosco formed the now legendry funk-rock band, The Funkees. In search of greater opportunity and a wider audience, the group moved to London in 1973. Four years and two albums later they disbanded. Meanwhile, back in Ni… Read more