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West African B-Boy Music

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Afro National : Push Am Forward
taken from their self-titled album on Sonafric (1975)

Verckys et l’orchestre Veve : Nakobala Yo Denise (Part 1) & (Part 2)
and Lina Omesana Boye (Part 1) & (Part 2)
taken from the album “Verckys a Paris” on African (1971)

Sir Victor Uwaifo : Tear The Bag & Agho
taken from the album “Safari Disco Soundz” on African (1976)

While it may be dificult to compete with the stupefying kinetics of the traditional b-boy cannon (“It’s Just Begun”, “Apache”, “Give It Up Or Turn It Loose”, “Scorpio”), today’s selection represents a commendable effort made by a select few West African musicians who dared step into the unforgiving arena of breakbeatdom.

The thundering bass of “Push Am Forward” (a lone Afrobeat track on an otherwise decent, but not great highlife record) gives Jimmy Castor’s “Just Begun” a nice little friendly competition- in 6/8 time no less!

And Verckys devotes the entire B-side of this album (which is amazing) to songs like the ones I’m sharing here- they start off sweet and mellow, and then halfway through it seems like Pretty Purdie or Paul Humphrey dropped out of the sky and landed behind the drum kit. I sliced these songs into Parts 1 & 2 even though it’s not presented like that on the album. For those impatient uprockers out there, I’m sure you’ll appreciate being able to skip right to the bass drum / snare drum badness. And for those of you who want to listen to these songs in their original form, just put them back to back in your playlist and seemless continuity will be restored.

Sir Victor Uwaifo is no stranger to the Crate, but these songs have a different edge than other tracks I know him by. Definitely hearing a Fela influence creeping in on the guitar picking and horn lines of “Tear The Bag”. The fuzz guitar on “Agho” would be grounds for even the likes of Dennis Coffy to smile an affiming nod. And is it just me, or is there a quote from “Tequila” going on here as well towards the end of the song- makes me wanna bust out the Pee Wee Herman dance.

My iTunes library is having a bit of a meltdown right now- meaning that there’s a horrid string of grey exclamation points next to song titles (indicating my computer’s inability to locate the mp3 files) where there shouldn’t be. So I will go now and leave you with the music to ponder and possibly headspin to.