News in : New Release on Soundway Records, Nigeria Afrobeat Special - The new explosive sound in 197O’s Nigeria. Soundway Records storms into 2010 with a cherry picked selection of explosive afrobeat from 1970’s Nigeria complementing the burgeoning Nigeria Special series.
Focusing on the big band sound dominated by wailing saxophones, brass solos and relentless poly-rhythmic grooves, Nigeria Afro heat Special delivers a no-nonsense collection of tracks that (bar one) have NEVER been reissued outside of Nigeria.
Set for release on February 15th, Nigeria Afrobeat Special is released as a CD digipack and triple Vinyl LP featuring five bonus tracks not available on the CD. Extensive liner notes are provided.
Nigeria Afrobeat Special is the fourth addition to the Nigeria Special series, a project initiated by Miles Cleret, owner of the Soundway Record label back in 2004. Cleret’s ambition to distinguish the blossoming music scenes of 1970’s Nigeria has lent to an indispensable series of CD and LP compilations documenting the influence of western blues, rock and disco amongst artists and musicians versed in the local musical styles of highlife and juju.
It was Fela Kutu and his musical and political ideals that formed the core of afrobeat’s message. Blending highlife, Yoruba music, funk and jazz, Fela dominated the musical tapestry of l970’s Nigeria and his influence in Nigeria and West Africa led to a craze where most of the bands of the day incorporated this new sound into their repertoires to satisfy the tastes of the audiences of the time. This compilation highlights some of those recordings that have, until now, not seen the light of day.
The collection features Fela’s rival and fellow afrobeat veteran Orlando Julius, represented by the track ‘Afro-Blues’ - amazing that this has previously managed to escape re-issue. Also featured are tracks by big names on the Nigerian scene — Eric Akaeze, Bongos lkwue & Segun Bucknor as well as a Victor Uwaifo produced cut by previously unknown artist Andrew “Madman” Jaga. The album also features a cut featuring Pax Nicholas, a singer whose album Na Teef Know De Road Of Teef has recently been made available after 30 years.
It was not just African musicians who responded and picked up the afrobeat/Fela Kuti mantel. Fela’s legacy influenced bands and musicians the world over with luminaries like the late godfather of soul, James Brown name checking Fela as a catalyst to his sound and today groups such as Antibalas and contemporaries the world over who play a version of the sound that started life in Lagos.
Appropriately, Fela’s highly sought after version of 'Who’re you' lends this set it’s lead. Originally released as a 7” in 1971, it would later be re-recorded at Abbey Road for his album Fela’s London Scene and here it is re-issued for the first time ever.
Buy a copy of Nigeria Afrobeat Special: the New Explosive Sound in 1970's on Amazon.