Africa Seven continue their prolific output with a much needed reissue of this rarely found LP of disco and unique funk from Cameroon.
Eko Roosevelt Louis has had a music career spanning more than 40 years. He was born the grandson of a Kribi tribal chief and his musicianship and artistry began with his village’s local church, before his formal education at the Senegal conservatoire and Paris’ Ecole Normale de Musique. Eko then cut his teeth making jazz funk and disco records in the mid-seventies before extensive touring in and around France.
In the 90’s Eko returned to Cameroon to take over his grandfather’s tribal chieftaincy, a role he still holds today. Eko also works with the Cameroon artistic societies and schools performing, teaching and even leading Cameroon’s national orchestra.
Funky Disco Music was Eko’s third LP. Africa Seven tracked Eko down in Cameroon and persuaded him that a re-issue was most definitely needed after a long dialogue.
Highlights include the LP opener and title track, jazz-funk-disco hybrid Ndolo Embe Mulemadolo and Une Chanson Sans Paroles, combining French power pop with African swing. belter to keep the LP tempo high. The uplifting Bowa’a Mba Ngebe was also a recent highlight of the African Airways Volume 4 compilation.
To check out more music from the label, visit:
Africa Seven’s website
The Africa Seven label launched more than three years ago and they continue to be one of the best reissue labels. Their first release back then (Airways One) has been repressed four times so far and after 40 or so releases later the fourth installment of rare and essential tracks has dropped.
Highlights on the compilation include Tala AM and the band Eko, both from Cameroon. Also fellow country woman Uta Bella, who began singing in the 60’s and by the time disco hit in the 70’s she was already an established singer in her native land, here the locked groove of Nassa Nassa is a perfect slice of the African disco times.
Charly Kingson (cousin of Manu Dibango) also features with his Nimele Bolo – recorded in Germany with the cream of Munich’s session musicians. Dibango’s 1978 disco, jazz funk classic Sun Explosion maintains the welcome theme of disco cuts from the East African country (gorgeous Nigerian and Ghanaian disco having proliferated the compilation market recently).
Side two opens with Elvis Kemayo and his piano and guitar funk bomb Biram. Momo Joseph gives us Africain – best known in France as an actor and this disco funk groover was released on his self pressed LP War For Ground in 1983. Nigerian, ex Funkees member Jake Sollo is next with Tinni Yanana – recorded in the UK in 1983. The quality control is as high as usual.
Also out recently was the next installment in the African Funk Experimentals series and is also an essential collection of the work of Jo Tongo. This is superfly and funky.
The latest WTM radio show opens with a selection of tracks from both releases:
Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb has unpacked some finds from a recent trip to Mogadishu and is preparing to drop a new compilation of music from Cameroon.
The tracklisting for the new compilation of Pop Makossa – The Invasive Dance Beat of Cameroon 1976–1984 looks absolutely monstrous bringing together rare and in demand records from artists such as Bill Loko and Eko.
It is out on June 16 and features: (1) Dream Stars – Pop Makossa Invasion (2) Mystic Djim & The Spirits – Yaoundé Girls (3) Bill Loko – Nen Lambo (4) Pasteur Lappé – Sanaga Calypso (5) Eko – M’ongele M’am (6) Olinga Gaston – Ngon Engap (7) Emmanuel Kahe et Jeanette Kemogne – Ye Medjuie (8) Nkodo Si-Tony – Mininga Meyong Mese (9) Pasteur Lappé – The Sekele Movement (10) Bernard Ntone – Mussoliki (11) Pat’ Ndoye – More Love (12) Clément Djimogne – Africa
The Mogadishu finds are revealed in the recent and brilliant radio show for Worldwide FM by the Analog Africa main man as he passed through London to master the forthcoming Cameroon compilation and play the Love & Unity Party as Analog Africa Soundsystem.
Another solid year for Analog Africa is in store.