January 30th 2007
Here's my latest mix with rare West African Funk tracks:
Click on image to listen:
00:00 Wrinkar Experience -sound way (Nigeria)
02:29 Docteur Nico -sookie (Congo)
05:28 Les Elytes de Cotonou -do you ray mbanba (Benin)
06:52 Poly Rythmo -wodeka doe (Benin)
10:15 Picoby Band -honton ve zoun (Benin)
13:40 Black Santiago -bani wo dzo (Benin)
16:26 Anos Band -boro non andou nan (Benin)
19:29 Poly Rythmo -"general gowon" (Benin)
29:40 MFB -boredom pain (Nigeria)
34:40 Gnonnas Pedro -dadje von o von non (Benin)
38:30 Eskill & Vicky -ecoute ma melodie (Benin)
46:24 Houn Pierre -mansou djouwi (Cote d'Ivoire)
50:55 Asiko Rock group -shadow of the boogie (Nigeria)
54:57 Poly Rythmo -cherie yoyo (Benin)
59:32 Gnonnas Pedro -how much love naturaly cost? (Benin)
65:48 Poly Rythmo -ma won ye o (Benin)
First one is the Wrinkar Experience from Lagos with "sound way", starts out kinda popish but then develops into a heavy, headnodding beast of a funk song with some nasty organ grinding...
Please excuse the bad sound quality of "sookie" by Docteur Nico but this recording is so raw, loud and bursting with energy, I don't think the cracks and pops really deminish it's impact. This is the very hard to find 45 version of this track that is exactly one minute, one drum break and numerous shouts and grunts longer than the edited version that later was released on the green Fiesta LP.
Also dirty and crackly sounding is the next one, super obscure garage soul banger "do you ray mbanda" by Beninoise Les Elytes de Cotonou.
As you can see, quite a lot of Poly Rythmo tracks on this one... "wodeka doe" a thundering psych funk monster with some of the most violent drumming I've ever heard.
It's impossible to match this energy level so we have to take things back a notch or two with Picoby Band d'Abomey and their incredible "honton ve zoun". Where does this psych influence in Benin's music come from?
Next one are the mythical Black Santiago with "bani wo dzo" how other should one describe this music if not "Voodoo Funk"?
The Anos Band comes up next with their bass driven "boro non andou nan".
MFB from Lagos with "boredom pain" offers some nice, soulful crossover. "you can shake your bones or you can shake your flesh you can turn around or you can move your waist" definatly counts to some of the most ingenious lyrics I've heard in a while. Throw in some space guitar for good measure, never leaving the stone cold groove... love it!
Gnonnas Pedro is probably Cotonou's most well known singer and in the 1970s certainly had his share of international exposure with his Cuban flavored brand of afro latin. He also recorded a few Afrobeat tracks like the self-produced and self-released "dadje von e von non" as well as "how much love naturally cost?", both are included on this mix.
I really like Houn Pierre from Ivory Coast, my wife hates him because "he sounds like that guy from the Talking Heads" but hey, I got enough time to sit on the terrace, drink pineapple daiquiris and listen to his records while she's at work...
Asiko Rock Group is a pretty wild record... they also released another one that was recorded in Germany of all places, the LP this track is from was recorded in Lagos though.
Some more Poly Rythmo niceness rounds up the mix. I hope you all have a great time listening to this! Have a look at the covers of these records on the Record Finds November 2006 entry.