Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pax Nicholas & The Nettey Family

The Pax Nicholas LP was one of the first African records I ever found. It's also one of the rarest records in my posession as I don't know of anybody else who has ever seen or heard it. Which is a shame because this also is one of the best and most unique sounding Afrobeat records out there.

It was in Philadelphia in the spring of 2005. I had made a visit to Smith's Record store. All the high caliber funk 45s had been gone years ago (many of them into my own collection), but I wanted to say "hi!" to the owner Stanley Smith. When I mentioned that I was thinking about maybe going to Africa for a while, he casually mentioned "I have a stack of African LPs in my office, wanna have a look at them?"

I found a few nice pieces but the Pax Nicholas LP was by far the most interesting and unique record in the bunch. This was a strong indicator for me that there must be loads of other, forgotten records around in West Africa and this record was pretty much the final inspiration to go ahead and embark onto an epic digging trip althrough Western Africa. Since then I found hundreds and thousands of other amazing records but this Pax Nicholas album always remained somehow special to me.

I tried to track down Nicholas with the help of friends in Ghana and Nigeria but I couldn't find a lead. All it took in the end was a simple google-search and I had found him: Ironically, Nicholas Nettey had been living in Berlin since 1978. Nic was very enthusiastic about getting his record re-issued. I approached my old friends at Daptone Records about this and after having listened to some sound clips, they decided to make this their first African release.

When I asked Nic if there were any master tapes left, he told me that years ago, he had had a big fight with his brother during which they both ended up throwing the tapes at each other until they (the tapes) were totally mangled.

Thankfully, my copy of this record was in pristine and unplayed condition when I had found it so we were able to re-master from the original vinyl. This album will be in stores worldwide by September.

Please go to Daptone Records to find out more about this album and about Nicholas Nettey.

34 comments:

Cyril said...

Hi Frank, i m waiting for this moment since the day you put a Pax Nicholas track in one of your mix (Na Teef know the road of Teef is so an awesome afrobeat track and i m curious to hear more). That's a great present and i can't wait. Thanks & take care.

tom said...

hi frank,
unbelievable good news from you.
cool this will be released by Daptone ,hopefully on vinyl. they have a great list of records they put out but i never thought they would drift into this kind of music. great!
can't wait to get a copy.
how's your docu "take me away fast" doing??
take care
tom

Frank said...

Hey Tom,

sure thing, it'll also be out on vinyl. I'm working on a whole bunch of other re-issues and compilations. Stay tuned!


best

Frank

Marc fom Chicago said...

Ah, so this is what you and Daptone have been working on! Very cool!

slavicsoul said...

Wow, what an amazing story. This brings to light how important your collection already is (and will become even more in the future).
Can't wait for the documentary as well, hope that's making progress.

Anonymous said...

please keep us informed on other re-releases in future, that's all very interesting stuff!

faud said...

Amazing album...

Thanks ...

Fred les mains noires

Anonymous said...

Hi Frank,

I already pre-ordered the vinyl of this amazing re-release. I do not want to steal your precious time, but can you please explain concisely, what the words of the title-song "Na teef know de road of teef" mean?? I suppose there is wisdom in it, but i am only guessing....

Thanks in advance!

Your German speaking listener

Frank said...

Thanx for your pre-order!

"Na Teef Know de Road Of Teef" means that a thief will recognize the "thieving ways" of another thief.

xensma said...

this is simply a killer afrobeat sound!!cant wait the issue!!i hope there will be many others nice issues like that one during your collaboration with daptone...thank you for discovering all these musical gemms!

Ammar Tariq Rai said...

took a listen - excellent album

Lobster Goldmine said...

Dope!

Svensson said...

Good work, Frank!

raedcabello said...

Awesome - so excited for this.

Anonymous said...

hi, I'm just listening to the record - simply amazing and pure afrobeat. I hope other similar records will be reissued soon, I can't stand anymore all this bad afrobeat compilations...
I heard WFMU as you were guest - you played a couple of amazing numbers, like Helen Nkume's. I hope you're going to reissue it too.
Massimiliano from Munich

Frank said...

Massimiliano, glad you like the record. Don't worry, there will be plenty of more re-issues coming up. We just signed a whole bunch of incredible stuff from various labels in Ghana, then there's the Psychedelic Aliens record and also a Nigerian Disco double LP compilation coming up soon.

Frank

Citizen Dale said...

Hey Frank,

This is all so very shit-hot!
I'm stoked about the Nigerian Disco double LP you mention...a partnership with Soundway perhaps? As in a volume 2 for their earlier Nigerian Disco-Funk collection?
Anyway...keep it up funk soldier!

Frank said...

Hey Dale, the Nigerian Disco comp will be out on Academy LPs but I'm working with Soundway on a different release at the moment...

david said...

Great record and thanks for the reissue on vinyl. Just finally got my copy today after downloading a few of the tracks prior. The lp makes a nice soundtrack to John Collins marvelous Kalakuta Notes. Looking forward to the other releases! Academy did a great job with Ofege too, by the way..... I do wish Daptone had stuck in your wonderful blog post as background that you have written here. What a great find!

christinelofgren said...

Guten tag Herr Franco!

Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,

for making this super & wonderful album available for everybody!! I'm waiting for mine to arrive in the mail right now. It's great to hear that have signed the labels in Ghana also! Please keep it comin'!

Your loyal fan,
Christine
:)

Vince Chiarito said...

This record is blowing my mind. Can't wait to catch the next Lagos Disco Inferno.

Red said...

Very cool stuff I cannot wait to get my copy on vinyl thanks for sharing .

Paul said...

Frank, all great stuff here, keep it up! Can't find anything on the dvd though, did I miss something?

Best, Paul/Groningen Holland

Frank said...

Hi Paul, if with dvd you mean the documentary, I actuyally don't know what's happening with that. I'm only the subject... haven't talked to the film maker in a while, last thing I heard was she was out of the country on some freelance job.

2800 said...

Hello Frank.
I hear about this vinyl a few years but never founded.
thanks.
i buy a copie right now.

Analog Medium said...

Love it! Been listening to it since it came out on CD. We didn't realize it was on vinyl too. We're going to cop that!

Ghost Dogs said...

I got the vinyl this morning, you made me a happy man! Great music!

ben said...

Hi Frank,

Just wanna had another big Thanks for the particular record (bought on CD, waiting to find it on vinyl soon) and for all the amazing music and pictures and stories you share.
As I live in Geneva I hope I can make it to come and see/hear you at Le Zoo at the end of march.

It's so cool to deliver us all this mighty vibes,
What an enthusiastic life!
Thanks again!

Ben

Likedeeler said...

Bought!

Ray said...

only just found this site, but you are doing God's work. Thank you.

FG said...

this is the best music blog i've ever visited. been reading for days now.. very inspiring!

just want to ask if it's possible to get all your releases in one mailorder shop or something?

thank you and keep on digging!

Frank said...

Hey FG,

thanx for your comment, Im glad you´re´having a good time here.

You can try dustygroove.com for mail order. They might have all titles in stock and usuallly have very fair prices. The Psychedelic Aliens should also be available wihtin the next 10 days.

You can also always just try amazon...

best

Frank

Chewie said...

I'm a liitle late here, but I just got this on vinyl and I am LOVING it!!!!


Frank, when you click on this page/link it comes up as nonexistant.
heavy nigerian nastyness -MP3-

Frank said...

Sorry Chewie, this was an old mix that I decided to take down a while back but I obviously forgot to take the link off the list.

Cheers!

Frfank