New film celebrates 30 years of Mr Bongo – a now world renowned shop and record label of new and reissued music

Legendary record shop and label – Mr Bongo – is celebrating its 30 year anniversary with a short film directed by Owen Tozer. Life In Music: 30 Years of Mr Bongo follows owner and founder David Buttle’s journey from selling records in his house to the shop in Brighton today.

Founded as a shop in 1989, Mr Bongo entered into the label business full-time in 2003, although had numerous releases before then dating back to 1992. Since launching the label, Mr Bongo have become renowned for reissuing Brazilian, Latin and African music.

The shop opened in Brighton in 2017. It has also been in Soho, London, in various locations and the Shibuya area in Japan.

Owen says: “I had just started working with Mr Bongo and I think it was catching up on those 30 years and hearing the stories for the first time that triggered the idea of telling the story of the brand. Mr Bongo has come a long way from Dave DJing and selling records from his house and I think it’s a perfect time to tell that story. I’m grateful for the chance to go to Brazil with some of the Bongo crew and see for myself why Brazilian music has been so important. There are so many more anecdotes and details that come out when you spend time with Dave and I think we could have easily made a much longer film. It’s unusual for me to be making a film with so much amazing music to choose from and to have the chance to make a film featuring the Incredible Bongo Band was amazing!”

David says: “I feel very proud of what we have all achieved. I never thought at the start of this journey that I’d still be in the game 30 years on. Owen is a talented film-maker whose vision has shone a light on what we do at Mr Bongo. I would like to thank everyone who has supported Mr Bongo over the years and especially the Bongo team.”

Songs featured: Anjos Lramaos – Miyazawa (Rainer Truby Remix); Incredible Bongo Band – Apache; Roshinha De Valencia – Summertime

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