Thursday, January 14, 2010

Funky Lagos

If you feel attracted to the funky powers of Nigerian music other than the obvious classics of afrobeat figurehead Fela Kuti, I´ve got a recommendation for you. Nigeria 70, The Definitive Story Of 1970´s Funky Lagos on the Strut label is an exemplary two disc compilation that will surely knock you out. Diversity is the keyword here, although the continent´s trademark complex rhythms are always there. In fact, this thing is so groovy that I immediately ordered its companion set too, which is called Nigeria 70 - Lagos Jump. More on that one when the mailman comes a-knockin´.

To further wet your appetite, here´s a couple of funky highlights, Lagos stylee. Bongos Ikwue rides that fine lazy backbeat for all he´s worth. Cool organ riffs all around here. "God made a man, and a man made a woman, but the woman made the devil..." As the liner notes put it: let´s say political correctness was not on the agenda.

Bongos Ikwue - Woman Made The Devil MP3

Drummer Tony Allen was more or less the inventor of the afrobeat rhythm - supposedly one of the most difficult drumming techniques known to man - during the time he served in Fela´s band. He left Kuti in ´78 to find more musical freedom and started the Afro Messengers, a nod to Art Blakey´s Jazz Messengers. The hypnotic No Discrimination is yet another proof of the man´s special powers.

Tony Allen & His Afro Messengers - No Discrimination MP3

The quite brilliantly named Sahara All Stars Band Jos ruled the scene in the north of Nigeria. Just get into the groove and... enjoy yourself!

Sahara All Stars Band Jos - Enjoy Yourself MP3

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