Analog Africa have done it again and located an absolute treasure trove of undiscovered gems all the way on Cabo Verde, 350 miles off the cost of West Africa. They managed to unearth a bumper collection of electronic dance floor grooves packed and extraterrestrial synths that had gone relatively unheard for decades.
Word has it that a ship packed with synths Baltimore 1968 bound for Rio De Janeiro, the first major showcase of electronic equipment and gadgets in South America. But the ship went missing and appeared off the coast of Cape Verde three months later like it had fallen from the skies. The cargo ended up in storage in a local church, no use to a community without electricity. As electricity became more widespread in the 70s and 80s a cosmic funk scene developed. Great story – even if it isn’t quite true!
They’ve given us a taste of what to expect in this exciting compilation with Dionisio Maio’s ‘Dia Ja Manche’. Full on funky banger with scratching guitar, cutting synths and harmonised vocal hooks. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the release and dig into this music. I spent most of 2015 listening to William Onyeabor so I’m looking forward to making my 2016 about Space Echo and cosmic funk.
Parisian duo Acid Arab have announced their new album. For our first taste of their new work they’ve released ‘La Halfa’ which features the vocal work of Sofiane Saidi. This track sounds to me like a rework of an instrumental from last year but turned up a notch. It sounds fantastic.
It’s sounds like all the good thing we love about Omar Souleyman and the darker end of the Four Tet spectrum. A great mix and a fitting tribute to the music of North Africa. Looking forward to hearing the album when it drops in October.
The second full length offering from Anchorsong – AKA Tokyo-born, London-based electronic artist Masaaki Yoshida – came out last week on Tru Thoughts and I’ve had it on rotation all week. Ceremonial is an album that, quite literally, wears its African influences on its (record) sleeve.
‘Last Feast’ is a standout track from the album for me. Yoshida’s minimalist production works so well in combination with the playful vocal sample that builds with catchy marimba lines and swirling organs straight out of the West Africa of the 1970s. Full on marimba fun.
It’s eclectic genre-hopping stuff and very Tru Thoughts. Check out some Clap Clap if you want more big African inspired production and if thats all a bit heavy check out ‘Butterflies‘ – one of the lighter and jazzier tracks on Ceremonial.
This beautiful record from Letta Mbulu is finally getting a reissue thanks to the tireless team behind Be With Records (Shout out for those Ned Doheny releases as well – I owe you guys some drinks). In an album that meshes a South African combination of disco, 80s soul and pop this track ‘Down By The River’ stands out. Its got a particular tropical flavour and has become quite the favourite of mine. One for a warm day and a nice alternative to the slightly harder edged funk of tracks like Nomalizo. The poor streaming version doesn’t do the track justice so make sure you pick up your own copy of the vinyl before its too late.
Today’s tune is refresh by the classic ‘Gyae Su’ by Ghanaian highlife legend Pat Thomas. Its a beautiful version full of flowing guitars and tropical sun flecked with horn stabs that recall the Afro-funk sounds of his collaborator Ebo Taylor. A perfect record to start the summer off with and now streaming in full thanks to the lovely people of Hype Machine before its release next week. How nice.