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Everybody Loves Funky Africans!

Assalam_cover.jpg Aiye_cover.jpg

Charles Atangana & Emitais : Onguindo
taken from the album “Assalam Aleikoum Africa” on Antilles (1976)

Third World : Black Beauty
taken from the album “Aiye-Keta” on Island (1973)

Crimeny! In an attempt to appease the angry masses who have been missing out on their weekly dosage of Gumbo Funk, I place this holy sacrifice of fuzzy guitars, heavy bass, searing horns, and snapping drums! Our server has been down more than it has been up lately, in case you hadn’t already noticed. In addittion, I was out of town for a minute due to family biz… so the crate has suffered. Fear not, good music lovers, recruits are on the way. I guess being really frustrated at my computer somehow reminded me of certain experiences that I had in Cote D’Ivoir, West Africa a few years back. I’m not going into any stories right now, but lets just say if it weren’t for the super-naturally uplifting powers of funky African music, I might not be here today. And regardless of how many Afro-Funk/Beat comps there are out there, I doubt you’ve heard these tunes.

I found Assalam Aleikoum Africa pretty soon after I moved to BK back in 2001. Pretty much flipped over the cover, only to bust a triple-sow-cow upon hearing what the grooves contained. The sub-title on this LP is Progressive and Popular Music of West Africa, but all the cats on here are out of Abidjan, Ivory Coast- the pinpoint of my West African tribulations (I said no stories). I get the impression that this comp comes from a group of freinds (Charles Atangana, Francis Kingsley, and Greg Skelton) who all played together and cut singles for the SID label. Some brilliant folks at Antilles (a short-lived subsidiary of Island back when they were actually about the Islands) put together this collection that goes from funky to soulful to psych. To give a better idea of the breadth and dopeness contained herein, the artists’ list of influences contains: Tom Waits, Zappa, Dylan, Miles, Wes Montgomery, Larry Coryell, BADEN POWELL and Marley! There’s an “Ode To Hendrix” on here that is REAL hot. The whole album is hot. Keep diggin!

Then we have a bad-ass side project from Traffic ripper Steve Winwood and some Ghanian(?) groovers Remi Kabaka and Abdul Lasisi Amao who together formed Third World. These guys constructed a rad philosophy about what the futuristic “Third World” is really all about:

“The Third World is a peaceful world- where mankind will live as same people, like Shango… Universal God of Peace… What a beautiful world it will be in the third world, where everybody is free and happy.”
– Remi Kabaka

I dig, don’t you? In other important news, the release party for my GUMBO FUNK E.P. is next Saturday, June 25th… get yerselves really excited and out to Bar Eleven. Our flyer is here! Check back for updates- I know you won’t wanna miss this.

And thanks to Lou Kash for helping me straighten out album title/band name!

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