Thursday, September 19, 2013
And here's the newest release in the Lagos Disco Inferno 12" series:
Check out sound clips at Honest Jons
Another Superheavy Maxi Single that comes with the signature deluxe packaging of this series: Full color company sleeve plus the above pictured fold-out 12"x24" poster. The grooves were cut super wide and extra deep for maximum impact and the remastering was done at Abbey Road Studios. Need I say more?
Eno Louis (the spelling on the poster is missing the "s", an error made by whoever put together the original record cover -we decided to keep it like it is) today Eno lives in his home town Benin City and is still very much active in the local music scene. In the mid 1970s he lived at Fela's Kalakuta Republic and after the Army assault on the compound he fled to the US for a couple of years. After returning to Nigeria, Eno became one of the big players in the Disco Funk scene and recorded and played with Pogo Ltd, Amas Grill, Chris Okotie, Oby Onyioha, Chris Mba, Dizzy K Falola, Harry Mosco, Pat Finn and the Super Elcados just to name a few. At the same time he also remained deeply rooted in traditional Edo music and played with Benin City Highlife powerhouse The Talents Of Benin. It is the Edo Funk influence that makes "Move" such a special track to me. You better believe, just like every single other release in this 12" Disco Maxi series this one never fails to ignite the dance floor as the trainspotters hurry to the dj booth to find out just what in the hell that ridiculously heavy beat is coming from.
To celebrate the Lagos Disco Inferno 12"series I came up with a brand new t-shirt design. Get them over at my Dizzyjam store
Only a couple of years after recording "Float", one of the most acclaimed Nigerian Psych Rock albums, Tirogo put out "Aiyé People", a Disco Funk record that is just as unusual and musically brilliant as it is unattainably rare. You might remember one track from this album, "Dancing Machine" from the Lagos Disco Inferno double album.
This Maxi Single features two more standout tracks from "Aiyé People":
The fittingly titled "Disco Maniac" (because he's disco crazy, absolutely crazy crazy) is loaded chock-full with bubbling moog, blistering horns and even a flute solo, all conspiring to "blow your soul on fire". On the flipside "We Like To Party" elaborates on how "...it feels so funky yeah playing in a disco band..." and delivers some truly cosmic synth workouts laid out over a manic groove that will softly sink its fangs into your flesh and infect you with a severe case of tropical, Nigerian disco fever.
Purchase from your trusted local dealer or order online from Honest Jons where you can also listen to sound clips from both tunes.
And while you're at it, don't forget to also secure yourself a copy of this fine record: This was the first in a series of five Nigerian Disco 12"s to be released on my very own Voodoo Funk imprint.
Exclusively distributed by Honest Jon's these will all be available at your local record store but you can also listen to sound clips and order online here.
Tony Grey usually gets mostly credited for his killer early Afro Rock Lps and 45s but I've seen these two disco bangers set dancefloors ablaze in Brooklyn, LA, Berlin, Finland, Belgium and South Easy Asia so consider both tracks to be a sure shot to get crowds go crazy at any club or house party.
This Maxi comes in a red hot company sleeve, accompanied by a sexy 12"x24" poster to slap on your wall. We had the posters folded and packed in front of the record so this is what this baby will look like from the backside:
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
This record might not have been re-issued without this blog. It was Albert Jones, lead vocalist and band leader of the Freedom Family who one day sent me an email, saying how surprised he was to have found some of his old music on this site.
Only a few months later, Albert was on a plane to NYC. We spent an entire week, sitting on my balcony and writing the liner notes to this record. Previously there had been no information available about this band and I was stunned to hear that the Freedom Family was in fact the same band that had played on both, the first and second Geraldo Pino album. This was not the last time that my mind was blown, Albert's incredibly vivid memory revealed one surprise after the other. I found myself moved, entertained and educated, savoring every hour of every day we got to spend together.
On the Saturday of that week, I had a dj party at the now sadly defunct Southpaw Nightclub. Albert came along and his joy of hearing all of these records, many of which were the soundtrack of his earlier adult life seemed palpable.
The history of the Freedom Family stretches out far over the borders of Ghana where the crew first came together in 1970 as the Los Americanos. They eventually changed their name to The Plastic Jims and from there on the band underwent numerous permutations, crossing paths with musicians such as the Big Beats, the Barbeques, Voices Of Darkness, The Elcados, Joni Haastrup, Kiki Gyab and of course Fela along the way. Their musical odyssey took them from Ghana to Liberia, Nigeria, The Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso as the Plastic Jims first turned into Geraldo Pino's Heart Beats before finally emerging as the Freedom Family.
I wrote down what Albert told me. What you get is a first hand account that spans the years from 1969 to 1978. We are all blessed to get to read this and I will be forever thankful to Albert Jones for allowing us such a candid insight into the time and the places where this incredible music was created.
To me this is a very special release that is very dear to my heart. I hope this record will give you as much joy and pleasure as it has brought me over the years. This one will definitely rock any club or house party. The Vinyl edition comes with free digital download and a CD version with deluxe hardcover book packaging (just like we did for the Psychedelic Aliens release) will be out later this year.
By the time the Freedom Family cut their lone record in 1974, they were perhaps the most seasoned band in all of West Africa. Years of backing up Geraldo Pino, when they often played six hours a night for months on end, had honed them into razor-sharp Afro Funk machine without equal.
The story of the Freedom Family is an incredible insight into the life of a musician in 1970's West Africa and a dramatic portrait of that music scene in general. The beautiful 8 page 12"x12" booklet contains liner notes by singer Albert Jones and is illustrated with vintage photos of the band. Albert's vivid recollections brings the bands history to life in a truly compelling fashion.
The album itself stands out as a totally unique record that is rivaled only by the first Marijata album (which I have also re-released together with Academy Lps) in it's sheer power and heaviness. Indeed, this record takes it's rightful place amongst the most outstanding funk records from anywhere on this planet and solidly stands out as a pinnacle of West African Funk and a testament to the era. Absolutely consistent from beginning to end, there is not a dull second here.
Recorded in 1974 with legendary producer Odion Iruoje (Ofege, SJOB Movement, Fela and many others), this record features one of the fattest bass sounds ever committed to tape and captures the band at the absolute stunning peak of their powers. In fact, Odion would play this record for years to come as an example to other bands he was producing.
The album will ship to stores in September but you can also order directly from the label and get your copy RIGHT NOW!
Browse here for my other releases with Academy Lps.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
One of the rarest and most desirable Ghanaian 45s and definitely the heaviest two funk tracks ever to be recorded by The Cutlass Dance Band. As with all of our 45s, this record was licensed directly from the artists.
And here are two stone cold Afro Funk bangers by Los Issifu and his Moslems. Directly licensed from the man himself and we are also in the process of tracking down the tapes for two so far unreleased albums by Los Issifu!
These sound files are not remastered recordings, the finished 45 will sound crisp, clean and heavy.
There's been s light delay in getting the holes punched into the 45s but they will be available at Academy's online store before the end of September.
Limited pressing of 1.000
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
In the summer of 2012 I had my Mexican made '74 VW Safari fixed up, loaded all of my belongings into shipping containers and moved to Costa Rica: Since then I've slowly been adapting to living the life of a beach bum: At some point, I developed a passion for botany and began hunting for epiphytical orchids and bromeliads in the cloud forests around our house:
Monday, January 14, 2013
Once more I have teamed up with my friend Paulo from Superfly Records in Paris to reissue this ultra collectible legendary Nigerian Funk LP. The record includes the massive club banger "solo mon an doan" as well as the killer psychedelic disco tune "everybody get down" (as comped on Lagos Disco Inferno) but the entire album is red hot -all killer no filler! As with all Superfly reissues, this is a beautiful quality luxury repress with paste on covers made in Japan and 180grs vinyl. Limited to 1000 copies so don't sleep!
More to come soon so stay tuned!
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
This record doesn't need much of an introduction. Gyedu-Blay Ambolley's debut record is one of the most iconic albums of the entire Ghanaian discography and also boasts one of the coolest cover designs I have ever seen. If you want to get into Ghana Funk, there's simply no way around this record. Well, this one and of course the mighty This Is Marijata.
Simigwa was a relative big seller back in 1975 but you would be surprised how hard it is to track down a playable copy in today's Ghana. People played the daylights out of this album. Put it on and you'll understand immediately. This record is an instant party: Just add a few friends and some libations and good times will ensue. It's a law of nature. At the end of side 2 you'll just flip it over without even thinking about it. If you don't want to have to worry about wearing out your only copy, be wise and order two. This baby is limited to 1.500 copies so be quick. Get them from the source: LP/CD. The CD comes with a 12" poster with the original cover design because we know you can't wait to show this off on your wall.
The album was mastered from the original master tapes and licensed from Essiebons Records. More often than not, the studio tapes were overdubbed or destroyed but in this case you get the highest possible fidelity for your maximum enjoyment.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Monsoon season had me stuck at the house for a couple of rainsoaked weeks so I got busy and put together a new mix with some tasty Nigerian Disco, Funk and Boogie records that my friend Damian recently sent me over from Lagos. Click on the image and get ready to get down: I also made a bunch of new T-shirt designs for my online store over at Dizzyjam! All designs are available in regular S, M, L and XL as well as in tight girl's sizes and in a huge variety of customizable color combinations. These are printed with heavy duty plastisol transfers which do not fade or wash out. I've been putting mine through a lot of abuse over the years and they still look as sharp as ever.
Contemporary afro funk aficionados need not feel inadequate for not having heard of the musician known as Tex Soul–even at the peak of his brief career in the mid-1970s, he never approached widespread national recognition in his native Nigeria. Unheard-of in the dance halls and on the radio waves of the country’s principal metropolis of Lagos, Tex Soul was a hero in the Eastern city of Aba, where his prowess as the consummate entertainer lived as the stuff of local legend. As a performer who could dance like James Brown, play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix and belt out a song with the soulfulness of ages, Tex Soul’s name was prefixed by the word “Showman,” almost as a permanent honorific. Hotly recruited by other groups on the booming Eastern rock circuit to add some electricity to their live shows, Tex Soul made his first big splash during a brief stint with the city’s number one rockers, The Funkees of Aba, before forming his own group The Vibrations. After scoring a handful of regional hits, Tex Soul’s promising career and life were cut short when he was found dead under suspicious circumstances after an altercation with a show promoter in 1979. Now Voodoo Funk and Academy Records are proud to expose this tragically overlooked artist to a new audience, digging deep to unearth the single “Uto Nwa” b/w “Osi Na Ngada,” recorded by Tex in 1972 with his early soul group The Bayonets, forgotten even by the hardest Aba scenesters!
Write up by Uchenna Ikonne from Comb & Razor who also brokered the licensing of this release.
Limited pressing of 1.000 -be quick and score your copy here!
The heaviest Deep Funk 45 ever to come out of West Africa. Only two original copies are known to exist. Now everybody can buy one.
(until they're sold out...)
Both sides are equally devastating and pressed extra loud for maximum impact!
Limited pressing of 1.000 -be quick and buy yours here!
This was the first recording by Stoneface Iwuagwu with his band the Life Everlasting, originally released in 1973.
This 45 marks the beginning of a series of 45s to be brought to you by Voodoo Funk & Academy Lps. Only 1.000 copies will be pressed of each release so be quick!
My friend Uchenna Ikunne from Comb & Razor, without whom we would not have been able to put this record out, provides us with a bit of background information on Stoneface and his band:
"Innocent Iwuagwu received the name "Stoneface" during his tenure as a singer in the Tall Men, a mid-1960s Enugu-based pop group. While with the Tallmen, he also taught himself to play the drums. In 1967, shortly after the Eastern region of the country declared its sovereignty as the Republic of Biafra, Stoneface was invited to play drums for the top pop band in the region, The Postmen, by the group's guitarist Goddy Oku.
The Postmen didn't last long after that as their popular lead singer, Sonny Okosuns, had been deported from Biafra. In 1968 Stoneface joined the In Crowd, led by Lasbrey Ojukwu and stayed with the group until the end of the war in 1970. After the war, he joined The Soulmen, an army group based in Ogoja. The Soulmen soon relocated to Enugu, where Stoneface left and joined his old friend Goddy Oku's new group The Hygrades in 1971.
He left The Hygrades (probably around '72) and played for a little bit in Ify Jerry Krusade, led by another old mate from The Postmen, Ify Jerry.
Around 1973, he decided to form his own band and he rounded up a bunch of teenage musicians--singer Kingsley "Dallas" Anyanwu (from the high school band Dee-Mites), lead guitarist Maurice "Jackie Moore" Anyaorah (from Salt & Pepper Organisation), rhythm guitarist Roy Obika and bassist Jimi Henshaw--and formed Life Everlasting.
Unlike many of the Eastern groups of the post-war era, Life Everlasting was sponsored not by the army but by Stoneface's elder brother. But the amount of financing provided couldn't buy them state-of-the-art gear, so they used mostly instruments constructed by local carpenters and amps and pedals built by electronics wiz Goddy Oku.
They were signed by EMI and recorded their first single, "Love is Free" b/w "Agawalam Mba" at the EMI studio in Apapa, Lagos. The session featured a studio musician playing polyphonic organ that ended up not making the final mix.
The record was a hit and they followed it up with "Everyday" b/w "Love Him" (Stone says he thinks they *might* have recorded a third single but he cant' remember what it might have been called..."
Write up by Uchenna Ikonne from Comb & Razor who also brokered the licensing of this release.
Limited pressing of 1.000 -be quick and get one here!