Saturday, August 9, 2008

Introduction

From the summers of 2005 to 2008 I lived in Conakry, the capital city of Guinea in West Africa. Within these three years I extensively traveled the countries of Sierra Leone, Ghana and Benin, always in the pursuit of records. In between these trips I got to witness the deterioration of the political situation in Guinea and how the country descended from a poor but peaceful safe haven in a war battled region into a scenery of violent riots, gruesome oppression and political instability. These 3 years were packed with invaluable experiences and I hope that I managed to capture some of these moments on this blog.

To the right, you find a list of 60 reports that I wrote during these 3 years and a few posts on more recent visits to Ghana and Nigeria that are listed on top. The links ending with "-MP3-" will lead you to posts which include mixes that were created with the records found on these travels. All articles are in chronological order. If you want to start from the beginning, please begin at the bottom of this list with the story of Mr. Mafa and his record store.

In 2008 I left Guinea to move to NYC to run a series of dj nights and to begin reissuing some of the records that I had found. I also kept going on extensive digging trips back to Africa.

In 2012 I moved to Costa Rica where I now spend my days enjoying the beauty of the Central American beaches and rain forests while taking a break from clubs and dj-ing...

I'm still putting out a record every now and then and will post about these projects right here on the front page. I'm also still going to Africa about once a year and have boxes of records coming in all of the time but I'm trying not to spend too much time online these days and decided to stop posting about these finds. All I can say is that once I do go back to dj-ing, it won't be boring... But relax, this won't happen before the summer of 2016 and it is right here where you'll read about it first!

If you want to get in touch, send me an email: "my first name" @voodoofunk.com

Take life easy,

Frank

10 comments:

alex.hands said...

Dear Frank,
I just discovered your site this weekend thanks to some kind soul out there in the ether sending me a link without my requesting it - and I am very glad he did!

I must have listened to about 10 hours of your mixes this weekend and you've really opened my eyes to a lot of African music I'd never heard before as well as stuff I already knew and loved. It's just my kind of site! When I find some new music I tend to research it deeply and find out as much as I can related to it so your site was a Godsend after deciding to look down the Beninois voodoo funk alley. And that was all thanks to the Barbican Centre here in London programming Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou for this coming September.

Do you ever make it over this side of the pond? Please let me know if you do...if you don't already know people then I'm sure I could set you up a couple of DJ sets at appropriate club nights. There's some interesting and good stuff being played in London - but not quite on your level, of course.
Anyway, enough of the arse licking... I feel privileged to have found your site and listened to the mixes you've put together over the years. A million thank yous. Wishing you the very best for the future.
Peace,
Alex

W. said...

Greetings, I'm a devoted reggae,ska lover and I discovered African funk music a few years ago I'm getting more and more into it and has become a part of my life to asame as reggae.I asume You already know about the beauty of Ethiopian jazz Mulatu Astatke .It became Spiritually Yu Know...... I wanna thank you for your great Mixes I got some Great Reggae Roots for yu in return If Yu Like, Anyway,....More Love and wisdom from Ethiopium From The Netherlands KIBIR AM LAK

DG said...

Hey Frank, Loved your show at the Glasslands last week. Will review it and the great tunes along with others for a brand new creative humanitarian overseas mag called HELO: The Crisis Story Magazine. We have lots of aid workers and locals across Africa and a new issue coming out in the next couple days. I'd like to contact you about the review and photos, but can't find any better means than this. If you have time, write me at Editor, Helo@Helo-Magazine.com. - Peace, - Daniel

DG said...

Just realized also that in addition to the fabulous music, plus visual show, you probably have some interesting witness/ friend of witness views on the govt transition in Conakry. Let me know if you'd like to communicate about your music and/or weigh in as a unique source on a creative approach story about Guinea for a global aid worker rights advocate audience at www.helo-magazine.com/launchpad. - Daniel

joe mckay said...

yo. i was talking to this dude on a photoshoot and we were talking about how we both like FELA and i was like "how do i find more African/Nigerian tunes? i can't get enough but i don't really know anyone else who listens to it... so i'm a bit lost." i guess he knew about your blog and passed it on to me...
wow man! wow! you are not playing around! i'm slowing going through the older posts and downloading the mixes and i try to keep up with the recent one and get any and all mp3s you post. i've yet to hear a track that i don't like.
so in short...
thank you thank you thank you!
i'm an artist amongst other things and i live in LA so i can't make it to your dj sets which i'm sure are epic. next time i come to NY i'm going to track down where you are spinning & come check it out.
so that's it. just wanted to shout out and give you props and say thanks for supplying us with these hits man.
joe mckay

Anonymous said...

Hey hi Frank
thanks for going down Africa-way and digging for some GREAT music...this sounds wicked & - indeed - heavy!
As a reggaemusic lover for ages and having recently discovered the power of African Funk, I want to thank you for sharing these sounds. I will go and listem them soon.
And I can't leave here without telling you, that you can find some wicked reggae/ dancehall/ ska/ rocksteady sounds at www.hifisoundz.com ... Maybe you'll enjoy some of our mixes as well.
One love
Maroon Wax 21

jacky said...

Hello Frank you have a fantastic collection....the best site afro on web ....greats !!!
I wanted this song http://soulbassman.musique.com/695089/allez-bombe-tuerie-bastosse-ect-pour-toute-la-click/ for my best friend ...If you know it could you give me the name and where i could fint it....Thanks for your response
ps:Made you compilation on cd because LP are more expansive?

Frank said...

Hi Jacky,

thanx for your kind words. Lagos Disco Inferno came out on CD and Double LP. I don't know the song to which you linked. Not a bad track but I don't like the obnoxious guitar noodling. The vocals sound African or West Indies but the guitar doesn't, not only the style of playing but also the "smooth jazz" hotel bar sound of it... maybe a European recording by an African band with some session/studio musician on the guitar showing off his skills...

alcabramon said...

It's not exactly clear to me where you stand on the subject of the beers of the countries you go record collecting in. I can take a guess and say La Beninoise, but seeing as beers in such a good companion to the music, climate and the life there, maybe you should come out about your favourite. By the way I think it's a good to very good blog!

Frank said...

Rule number one is to drink local. When in Benin, I drink Beninoise, in Nigeria and Ghana it's Star but I also like Gulder. Stone not no much. In Guinea I prefer Guiluxe to Skol and Skol Special to the regular Skol.

I would prefer any of these beers to all big US beers.

I'm also a big fan of Palmwine and it's distillates.