Sunday is a day as good as any for some super heavy Antillean / West African funk. I believe this is Bozambo’s first of 3 albums, and features some of the best studio musicians from Cote D’ivoire and Burkina Faso.
Let’s do one more soundtrack selection. This time coming from France with Cameroonian legend Manu Dibango. If you only know him via his hit Soul Makossa then you know a sliver of his contributions to music. His catalog and credits is huge and diverse—the man has basically done everything in music including lending his talents to several soundtracks like this one for the film, L’Herbe Sauvage. I’ve never seen even a clip from this film, but I’m super curious knowing it had funky music like this running through it.
Over the past few years there’s been an exciting wave of music that’s about combining the past with the present—traditional rhythms and/or vocals with current beats and production. One of the labels that has really made this a key part of their catalog is Soundway Records. A couple years ago they released this single Wejene Aola from producer and mullti-instrumentalist, Dexter Story featuring Kamasi Washington, where we get a perfect mix of East African funk and head nodding production work. #45Friday
For this podcast we decided to try something we have never done before — set out to do a show without any records from our collection. Instead we went to a local record swap meet with a set budget of $50 each to create our playlist for the day.
After a full afternoon of digging through many boxes of records from all over the world we headed straight back to La Sala to see if we spent our money wisely. We think we did pretty well, but have a listen and let us know what you think.
Fela Ransome-Kuti and Africa ’70 with Ginger Baker – Let’s Start
20th Century Steel Band – Heaven and Hell is on Earth
Monarco – Silenciar A Mangueira
Avohou Pierre Et L’Orchestre Black Santiago – Makoba Houi Dé O
Al Hirt – Harlem Hendoo
Chico Che Y La Crisis – Sagitario
The Doves – Give Peace to the People
Orquestre Le Peuple – Massavi Fololo Y’ Africa
The Numonics – You Lied
El Gran Combo – El Jolgoria (Wepa-Wepa)
Some records are just near impossible to find in good condition. They are usually the ones with universal appeal that cameo’d at house parties on the regular and were repeatedly played until needle burned. They include the likes of Bob Marley, Jimmie Hendrix, and Tito Puente and need no introduction or courtship. The Beginning Of The End, a family island soul and funk band from Nassau may not have the same appeal as the above mentioned legends, but you’ll definitely have a tough time finding any of their material in even decent condition.
It is with bittersweetness that I announce that after 10+ years I finally got my hands on playable original copy of this wish-list record (without playing inflated ebay prices). Every song is playable except for the title track and my favorite island funk bomb – Funky Nassau, which rests right on top of a prominent heat warp. Fortunately this billboard chart topper was a huge hit at home in the Bahamas, the UK, and in USA and was pressed on 45 and widely distributed so I have a pair to flip when necessary. So why was a record with such a hit and so groundbreaking for the region so difficult to find in album form? Your guess is as good as mine.
Even without the blockbuster Funky Nassau the album still holds it’s place as one of the most solid all-around island soul-funk albums to ever be recorded. I know I’m not alone in my thinking either. Just about every song on this album as been sampled by beatmakers, covered by bands, and played by DJs all over the globe.
Please join me as I listen to The Beginning Of The End for the fifth time today!
When She Made Me Promise
Apologies to Franz if you had something ready to post, there’s just no way I can let Papicultor blast Mongo Santamaría’s Sofrito without following it up with Mongo’s 1969 release Stone Soul. For one, the cover is just as mouth watering. But then after watching Smokestack’s Forever We Rock B-Boy crewmate Whacko‘s insane footwork, I can’t resist dropping the needle on Mongo’s rendition of Cloud Nine. He actually played congas on the original version by The Temptations, so here you get to listen to Mongo along side legendary session musicians Bernard Purdie, Art Kaplan, and Hubert Laws as they completely let loose with an amazing blend of Funk and Afro-Cuban rumba. Without a doubt they created a certified B-Boy anthem. I haven’t break danced since I was 10, but every time I hear this song I get that itch to try it again.
As always, I’m looking forward to hear what my fellow pelanguero djs are going to throw on next.
There’s a huge list of things I love about being a DJ with La Pelanga. One of my favorites is that each of us come from different regions and with different ears for incredible music. What excites us all the time is how so much of our different music is actually closely connected. This is true even when one of us thinks they did a mix that isn’t really “pelanga-esque.” I’m talking about my fellow Pelanguero, DJ Smokestack who just put together an amazing ultra-funk, beat-rock mix for one of his B-boys homies. (I’ll let him share if it if he wants). And just as we’ve begun to do in person when we feel inspired by what the other is playing, I’m gonna tag team with him on the virtual blog-turntables and slide the crossfader over to this sizzling track from Ray Barretto.
Right On is right! I wish I had a cleaner copy, but funk ain’t ever really clean. While I got Ray Barretto’s record Barretto Power out I might as well play the title track Power that is equally funky, but more in that old school Nueva York latin strut type of funk.
I can’t help but think that this instrumental jam was written just so you could tell your own “day in the life” urban monologue over it. You know the kind that starts off with “So check this out. The other day man, I was walking down 12th Street, when I saw…”
Alright who’s got the next record to throw on?