The concept of â€-Rare Groove has come a long way since it's origins in the 1980's London club scene, where DJs would try to out-do each other with soul and funk obscurities. These days the blogosphere is full of enthusiasts sharing their latest vintage vinyl finds, with African music providing rich pickings. But there is a largely untapped resource of independent labels in Africa, America and Europe releasing fabulous sounds that deserve a much wider audience. This collection pulls together a variety of African grooves music from Mozambican marrabenta to Nigerian highlife. Gentleman Mike Ejeagha and his Celestine Ukwu are both known for morally instructive songs in the Igbo language of south-eastern Nigeria. â€-Ikpechakwa A-Akem Kpee starts with a clarion call of horns and quickly settles into an old-school highlife groove. Ukwu is a bit more laid back, with a fabulously languid horn section. Osayomore Joseph is known as â€-Ambassadorâ€™ for popularising the Edo language through music. Oyeye, with it's ringing guitar and rasping brass was one of his first hits in the early 1970s. Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mosambique takes it's name from an urban music style from Maputo, speeding up the rural majika rhythm and adding pulsing horns. Ayalsfin started singing with Ethiopian Police Orchestra before developing his own rock'n'roll-influenced sound full of moody fuzz-guitar riffs, keyboard stabs and horn punches. Analogue synths meet old school East African Rumba in â€-Kai Kaiâ by Yam Yam, a previously unreleased track featuring the talents of Congolese Imigris Les Mangalepa, now based in Nairobi, and British producer Guy Morley. International Orchestra Safari Sound, formed in Tanzania in 1985, developed a style known as ndekule, which refers to both a traditional war dance and a species of snake. Homa Imenizidia, with lyrics about an overpowering fever, certainly has a serpentine grace! West Nkosiâ€™s sax jive style provides a stepping stone between penny-whistle kwela and mbaqanga, the township music unforgettably dubbed The Indestructible Beat. Malombos Mbaqanga Blues is an edgier proposition featuring multi-instrumentalist Phillip Tabane and Gabriel Thobejane on percussion. Super Cayor de Dakar described their brand of Afro-Latin music Salsa-Mbalax. The 1996 version of DÃgoo included here is more immediate than later recordings, with a sublime combination of keyboards and horns. Saleta Phiri was one of the first two musicians to receive The Malawi Honors Of The Achievers Award. His songs speak of the hardships of life in the volatile township of Ndirande. On Ndolo, Cameroonian polymath Francis Bebey combines pygmy flute, a rattle-bag of percussion and a gently funky bass-line with intriguingly contrasting vocal styles, though the theme is given away in the final line: m singing my love for you.
- Disc 1 -
1 Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & His Premiers Dance Band - Ikpechakwa A-Akem Kpee
2 Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Moçambique - Elisa Gomara Saia
3 Yam Yam Feat. Les Mangelepa - Kai Kai
- Disc 2 -
1 Ayalèw Mèsfin - Hasabé
2 International Orchestra Safari Sound - Homa Imenizidia