Saturday, 30 May 2009

Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe - Osadebe '77 (1977)

This is the second of the Osadebe cd's from the East Street market stall (the first is here). If you've never heard him, this is magical music - fantastically mellow Nigerian highlife. There's something really special going on here by the time we get to the muted trumpet in the mesmerising People's Club Odogwu...


01 Uche Chukwu Geme
02 Ogo Di Nkpa
03 People's Club Odogwu

Get it HERE.

Eek-a-Mouse - The Very Best of (1987)

Great set of fabulous '80s roots sounds from Jamaican singjay star, Eek-a-Mouse. Pour yerself a rum, sit back and enjoy the sunshine.


1. Anarexol
2. Star, Daily News & Gleaner
3. Noah's Ark
4. Terrorists In The City
5. Peeni Walli
6. Wild Like A Tiger
1. Wa-Do-Dem
2. Do You Remember
3. Sensee Party
4. Stadium Hot
5. Assassinator
6. Christmas-A-Come

Get it HERE.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Izenzaren - Legends of Berber Music Part 2

From Azawan:

"In the field of Amazigh (Berber) music, the experience of the group Izenzarn presents certain characteristics. The emergence of this group occurred in the general context of the social changes in the post-colonial Morocco. The emigration (rural migration in the Moroccan sociological terminology) became an irreversible phenomenon. The rural society settles in the town and is confronted at the same time with the violent process of integration and assimilation and with the social problems resulting from the arbitrary management of country by the makhzenian Mafia. This situation requires the invention of new forms of poetico-musical expressions (or the adaptation of the old forms) to express at the same time the nostalgia of the origins and the anger towards the abusive policies. Also, at this times, Anglo-Saxon musical groups (such as the Beatles) as well as Moroccan groups (Nass el Ghiwan, Jil Jilala, etc.) impose their rhythms and influence the development of musical groups known as popular. Mixing modern and traditional instruments, these groups interpret songs, inspired by the ancestral tradition or expressing the current sensibilities of a generation coming from the first wave of the rural emigrants.
Founded at the end of the Sixties by a group of young people from newly urbanized families, Izenzarn is among the first Amazigh groups to modernize and radicalize the Amazigh song. After tribulations under different names, a first album is recorded in the year 1974. Thus starts the first season of the group, characterized by love songs such as: Wad ittemuddun (traveler), Wa zzin (Oh! beauty), etc, or nostalgic and traditional songs: Immi Henna (My gracious mother)... In the beginning of the Eighties, Izenzarn embraces more protesting themes: ttuzzalt (dagger), ttâbla (plate), tamurghi (grasshoppers)...
The protest in Izenzarn's songs is characterized by the challenge of the dominant speeches:
Iggut lebrîh idrus may sellan igh islêh
Plenty of speeches And yet Nobody listens to the reason
and the harsh description of the reality:
Nettghwi zun d teghwi tmmurghi gh igenwan ikk d lhif akal
We are like grasshoppers taken between the skies and the dry grounds.
This reality is a world of fear, oppression and torture [tawda gh will ugharas (fear in the paths), izîtti wuzzal (iron bars), ur nemmut ur nsul (neither alive nor dead)]
The success of the group is due to its strange musical style and the poetry of its songs that presented already at the end of the Seventies the germs of a revolution in the modern Berber poetic creation.
After a disagreement, the group had split. Two groups dispute the name: Izenzarn Iggut Abdelhadi and Izenzarn Shamkh. But, it is the first one that imposed itself due to the emblematic image of its main singer, Iggut Abdelhadi."
Here's another 90 minutes of Izenzaren's amazing Amazigh music.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Disco Unusual - Various Artists (2002)

12 killer cuts of ghetto disco. This isn't your glossy Studio 54 stuff, it's the tough funk of the block parties, the sound of 1970s inner city America. Personal favourites here are the groovy 'Peace and Love' by Brooklyn People, the Funkadelic cover by the New Ghetto Express and the fabulous 'I Can Do It' by Louise Freeman.

Check this amazing documentary, 80 Blocks from Tiffany's about gang life in the New York ghettos.


Sam Peake & Metropolis
Brooklyn People
Peace And Love
Do What You Can Do
New Ghetto Express
Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On
Ross Carnegie & Co
Open Up Your Mind
A6North By Northwest Disco Unusual
The Projections
Groovin To The Music We Play
C. Henry Woods Troupe
The Stranger
Louise Freeman
I Can Do It
B4East Coast Connection Summer In The Parks
South Side Coalition
Get Off Your Seats And Jam
The Endeavors
Who Shaft Where

Get it HERE.

Dave Burrell - La Vie de Boheme (Actuel 1969)

Great free improv reinterpretation of Puccini's opera from Dave Burrell that was a real surprise find at a local boot sale. This man played with some of the great artists of the '60s free jazz scene including Pharoah Saunders, Sonny Sharrock and Elvin Jones and tha album was released on the legendary French jazz label BYG Records. If you're at all free jazz inclined then check it out.


01 First Act
02 Second Act (1st Part)
03 Second Act (2nd Part)
04 Third Act
05 Fourth Act

Get it HERE.

Friday, 22 May 2009

L'Afrique Danse Avec M'Pongo Love (African 1977)

Fantastic chunk of funky Congolese Rumba from L'Afrique Danse, beautifully showcasing M'pongo Love's gorgeous voice. Apparently she married one of President Mobutu's sons, but don't let that stop you from giving this gem a listen. The influence of American funk is especially evident on side 2...

  1. Ndaya
  2. Kapwepwe
  3. Ede
  4. Marketing International
  5. Pas Possible Mati
  6. Bileli
  7. Montayo
  8. Bungana
Get the goodness over HERE.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Sehorn's Soul Farm - New Orleans Soul & Funk

This is a great compilation of downhome southern soul and funk from New Orleans. All of these great tracks were produced by Allen Toussaint in the mid to late '60s. Enjoy!


01 Warren Smith - Star Revue
02 Willie Harper - Why You Wanna Do It
03 John Williams - Blues Tears And Sorrow
04 Benny Spellman - Sinner Girl
05 Eldridge Holmes - Love Affair
06 Joe Haywood - Let's Make It
07 Curley Moore - Get Low Down
08 Aaron Neville - Hercules
09 Aaron Neville - Struttin' On Sunday
10 Warren Lee - Climb The Ladder
11 Curley Moore - Don't Pity Me
12 Sonny Fisher - Oh Love This Is Sonny
13 Earl King - All My Love
14 Willie Harper - That's What You Need
15 Diamond Joe - Gossip Gossip
16 Ernie K-Doe - Hotcha Mama

Get It HERE.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Izenzaren - Legends of Berber Music Part 1

I went to Morocco at the beginning of the year and spent a fantastic week in the mountains around Tafraout. While there I met a lovely fella called Rachid who was keen to indulge my interest in Moroccan music. He very kindly made me a cd of music by this famous group of the '60s and '70s, Izenzaren, who set radical lyrics and poetry loaded with biting social commentary to traditional Berber music. Rachid told me that this music is still very popular in the mountain regions of the country, and many young people try to emulate the group's banjo player, though he still holds the title King of the Banjo.

This is raw and hypnotic music that features some amazing banjo playing, heavy drumming and lo-fi dubbed up production. If anybody can help provide translations of song titles, lyrics or any other info about these songs, I'd be very grateful.


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Louie Austen - Consequences (Cheap 1999)

This is a strange thing. Sinatra obsessed middle aged rat-pack wannabe crooning over sci-fi lounge sounds and messed up electronica. Notes of a dirty old man and heartbroken whisky soaked tales of loneliness and regret. Louie Austen still makes music, but what I've heard has had smoother, more polished sound. This, his debut album on Patrick Pulsinger's Cheap label, is an all together darker affair, all crunchy beats and Blade Runner-esque retro futurism.


01 Hear My Song
02 My Life in 3 40
03 When You Walked Away
04 Remember
05 Holdin' On
06 I'm a Star
07 Northern Sunrise
08 u're an Alien
09 Where is Love
10 Sinatra 3000

Check it out!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Various Artists - The Message: Some Rare Grooves Vol. II

Fantastic compilation of dancefloor funk and soul. Some well known classics like Cymande's BRA or Eddie Bo's Check Your Bucket and some more obscure gems from Dawson Smith and Jackie Beavers. Enjoy this lovely stuff.


01 Dawson Smith - I don't know if I can make it
02 Cymande - The Message
03 Mickey Murray - Mama's got the wagon
04 Jackie Beavers - Mr. Bump Man (give me a hand)
05 Cymande - BRA
06 Alvin Cash and the Scott Brothers Orchestra - Keep on Dancing
07 Maceo & All the King's Men - Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself Again
08 Eddie Bo - Check Your Bucket
09 Cymande - Brothers on the Slide
10 African Music Machine - Mr Brown
11 Cymande - Fug

Get it HERE.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

More from Funky Guadeloupe! LES AIGLONS - Le Disque de Vacance (1976)

I must first apologise for the mistake I've made in previous posts about the music of the French Antilles. The music that I've been calling Zouk is not Zouk but cadence. Zouk is a sound that matured in the '80s and relied more on synths than the big bands that appear on these records. Having said all that, I try not to get too hung up on labels, my favourite stuff tends to be that which doesn't sit neatly in any particular category, wriggling about defying adequate description and confounding expectations.

Todays album is great tropical funk that features some really mindbending keyboard sounds and that niggling, itchy beat that really distinguishes these Caribbean bands. Les Aiglons were apparently one of the most popular party bands on Guadeloupe, and the crowd on the cover certainly seem to be enjoying themselves.


01 Cuisse La
02 En Pe Ke Couper Bab La
03 Lidy
04 Yo Vouai Ou
05 Ti Claudette
06 Mes Illusions

Get it HERE!