Tour of Mogadishu by Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb and Cameroon comp news

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.

Awesome Tapes From Africa reissue Umoja’s 707, South African music reigns and bubblegum is back!

The Awesome Tapes From Africa label returns after Brian Shimkovitz’s recent expedition to South Africa – resulting in this much sought after reissue of bubblegum music stars Umoja and their 1988 EP 707. The label boss and DJ also linked up with Johannesburg selector and Afro Synth record shop owner, DJ Okapi, to check out his rapidly renowned emporium.

The band’s ‘Om’ Alec Khaoli turned to the pure pop form during apartheid in the mid-‘80s and Umoja’s EP 707 was a chart-topping hit in 1988 that achieved double-platinum status. Bubblegum music was an extremely catchy township music with call-and-response vocals and synthesiser-led melodies.

Umoja translates as “oneness” or “unity” in Swahili. “Bubblegum music was about escape,” explains Khaoli. “If you had grown up in South Africa at the time, there was nothing more in your life than oppression. It was even in your dreams. Anything that was a way out was welcome…When this music was playing everyone just wanted to dance, just have a good time.”

Awesome Tapes From Africa will release Umoja’s 707 on LP/CD/Digital on May 5.

And while we’re at it, Brian posted this artifact recently:

World Treasures Music archives (+ tracklists) and new fortnightly show for KMAH Radio

World Treasures Music will be on the radio fortnightly on Thursdays, 2pm until 4pm, on KMAH Radio. 

The next show is Thursday 27th April. Here’s the tracklist for the pilot show on KMAH Radio from April 12th, featuring new reissues from Jamwax and Odion Livingstone, new compilations from Music From Memory and Efficient Space, as well as fresh material from Larry Achiampong and Blackbones, plus some crackly OG records. Click here for the new radio section here for archived shows.

(1) Focus – Hay-Hay (2) Oby Onyioha – Enjoy Your Life (3) Pasteur Lappe – Na Real Sekele Fo Ya (4) Benjamin Ball – Flash A Flashlight (Gerd Jansen edit) (5) Group NSI – Mande Moin On Lajan (6) Pa Mande Moin Za Fe An Moin (7) Mim Suleiman – Mingi (8) Groove City – Jhazee (9) Sharon Dee – Teroko Tembere (10) Denis Mpunga and Paul K. – Criola (11) Erkin Koray – Oksuruk (12) Blackbones – For Baai (13) Livy Ekemezie – Delectation (14) Larry Achiampong – Back To Church 1 (15) Andy Rantzen – Will I Dream (16) Peter Hunningale – Untamed Dub (17) Moral Fibro – Take A Walk In The Sun (18) Nilamaye – Regresa Pues (19) BBC Sound Effects – Jet Plane (20) Akwesi Roberto – So Me Mu (21) Tony Okoroji – Akataka (Vocal) (22) Don’t DJ – Southern Shore (23) Jabali – Folk Song (Kanyoni) (24) Eloise Laws – Put A Little Love Into It (When You Do It) (25) Djavan – Nereci (26) Bovick & Co – Bazombo (27) Session – Tribute To Bob Marley

International Women’s Day special: new music round up

Les Amazones d’Afrique drop their Republique Amazone LP on March 10th and the album is a future classic. This all female collective of West African artists (below) are campaigning for gender equality through their music. Their members are Angélique Kidjo (global superstar and UNICEF ambassador), Kandia Kouyaté (Mali’s greatest living griotte), Mamani Keita (former singer in Salif Keita’s band), Mariam Doumbia (of Amadou and Mariam), Mariam Koné (up and coming singer), Massan Coulibaly (Malian singer), Mouneissa Tandina (one of Mali’s rare female drummers), Nneka (young Nigerian hip hop artist), Pamela Badjogo (jazz singer) and Rokia Koné (up and coming Malian singer).

The LP on Realworld is funky, blues tinged, dubwise and tinged with African rhythms and electronic witchery. Their messages are sung in English, French and Mandingo and cover themes from domestic violence, land rights and FGM. The band also raise money for the Panzi Foundation, which has treated approximately 86,000 girls and women with gynecological injuries in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Emel (above) released her sophomore LP at the end of last month. Don’t let it pass you by. The singer rose to prominence during the Arab Spring when her recording Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free) became a viral anthem. Emel displays an exceptionally wide vocal range and there are a diverse array of acoustic and electronic influences present – the Tunisian cites influence from James Blake to Egyptian composer Sheikh Imam. The LP on Partisan Records was recorded over seven countries and two continents.

Yasmine Hamdan (right) will release her Al Jamilat LP at the end of the month.

She combines Western pop and folk influences with her unique take on Arabic music and politics and culture in the Middle East. Also involved are UK Producers Luke Smith (Foals, Depeche Mode) and Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Carl Barat).

It’s released on Crammed Discs on March 31st.

Finally, Juana Molina’s Halo LP is not out until May, but it seems a suitable time to mention this incredible forthcoming release. It’s the seventh album by this artist (pictured below) and was recorded in her home studio near Buenos Aires and in Sonic Ranch Studio in Texas.

More coverage of some (hopefully all) all of these artists will appear soon on World Treasures Music.

Listen to some tracks by these artists on this WTM International Women’s Day mix (full tracklist available on mix page, click on the box):

Reissued trio shows musical mastery of Brazil’s Erasmo Carlos on Light In The Attic

Light In The Attic have reissued three classic LPs of Brazilian legend Erasmo Carlos. All of the usual quality research and excellent archive photos have been included, plus the pressings sound joyously good.

His collaborations with singer Roberto Carlos are some of the most commercially successful compositions in Brazil. These LPs display another side to this legendary singer and songwriter.

Erasmo Carlos E Tremendões includes a Caetano Veloso song Saudosismo in the Tropicália style, an Antônio Adolfo art-pop song Teletema and Ary Barroso song Aquarela Do Brasil. It’s a mixed bag that gets better listen after listen.

The volatile and violent political atmosphere and subsequent music that veiled criticism of the oppressive government led to artists being arrested and repressed. Veloso and Gilberto Gil were still in exile at the start of the 1970s, Rita Lee had quit Os Mutantes and Gal Costa was into a new style also. It meant that Erasmo’s 1971 album was the closest thing to Tropicália at the time.

Erasmo signed to Polydor where his sound also inspired by hippie culture, acid rock and soul music found a home. Carlos, ERASMO . . . features arrangements by Rogério Duprat and three players from Mutants: lead guitarist Sergio Dias, drummer Dinho Leme and bassist Liminha, as well as renowned psychedelic guitarist, Alexander Gordin, aka “Lanny”.  It was co-produced by the Tropicália producer, Manoel Barenbein.

Sonhos E Memórias (1941-1972) features keyboardist José Roberto Bertrami, drummer Ivan Conti, aka “Mamão” and bassist Alex Malheiros – this trio became Azimuth. The LP features a wide range of styles such as bossa nova, rock and soul, but the album remains a cohesive whole and is highly autobiographical with emotive ballads.

This is a fantastic collection of previously overlooked work, not by high end collectors though – and with the exception of the Polysom pressing of Carlos, ERASMO in 2003 – you would have to dig deep in Brazil or your pocket to own them on vinyl otherwise.  

Here’s a World Treasures mix of choice cuts from the three albums: