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Pre-Order Strut’s Definitive Collection of Sun Ra’s Rare 45 RPM Singles

The immense output of Sun Ra and his many backing bands, coupled with the limited production of many of his […] Read More…

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Career Retrospective For Highlife Master Pat Thomas

This Fall, we’re proud to present the first full career retrospective release for Ghanaian highlife master and “The Golden Voice […] Read More…

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Anthony Joseph’s Caribbean Roots

Strut team up for the first time with acclaimed French label Heavenly Sweetness for the brand new album by the […] Read More…

SUNBURST FINAL FRONT COVER HI RES

Duncan Brooker Presents A Mix Of Rare East African 45s To Celebrate Sunburst Retrospective

On the occasion of the first-ever retrospective of Tanzanian Afro-Rock band Sunburst, longtime Strut associate and compiler of the Nigeria […] Read More…

DSC_9713 - Version 2 crop

Two Generations Of Sierra Leonean Musicians Unite With Kondi Band

Kondi Band is an inspired collaboration between Sierra Leonean kondi (thumb piano) player Sorie Kondi and US producer / DJ […] Read More…

Sunburst 1974-3 square

Short-Lived Afro-Rock Band Sunburst Gets A Complete Retrospective On Strut

Strut is extremely proud to present a definitive collection of recordings from one of Tanzania’s most revered but short-lived bands […] Read More…

Pyramids final front cover copy

Hear Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids Title Track “We Be All Africans”

West Coast jazz mavericks, The Pyramids, led by their inspirational bandleader, Idris Ackamoor, return with a new album on Strut. […] Read More…

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Unreleased Sun Ra Rome Live Album For Record Store Day 2016

Thanks to some inspired detective work by Art Yard Records, an intimate trio performance by Sun Ra in Rome in […] Read More…

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Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids To Support Floating Points Live In The US

Directly following the announcement of a forthcoming new album We Be All Africans for Strut, West Coast spiritual jazz legends […] Read More…

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Spiritual Jazz Legend Idris Ackamoor Returns With The Pyramids

Strut are proud to present the brand new studio album from West Coast jazz mavericks, The Pyramids, led by their […] Read More…

Pre-Order Strut’s Definitive Collection of Sun Ra’s Rare 45 RPM Singles

sun-ra-singles_webThe immense output of Sun Ra and his many backing bands, coupled with the limited production of many of his releases has long defied dedicated collectors. Parallel to a vast list of LP releases, Sun Ra released numerous 45 RPM singles; one-off meteorites from his prolific cosmic journey. Working closely with Sun Ra LLC and Art Yard Records, it is with great pride that Strut presents a definitive collection of the rare singles released by Sun Ra across his illustrious career, spanning 1952 to 1991.

Released prolifically during the 1950s and more sporadically thereafter, primarily on the Saturn label, the 45s trace the development of Sun Ra’s forward-thinking “Space-Bop” and his unique take on jazz and blues traditions which remains unlike anything else from the period. As with his LPs, most 45s were only pressed in small runs and have since become extremely rare and sought after. Some have only been discovered in physical form in recent years; some were planned and penciled but allegedly never made it to vinyl and some appeared as one-off magazine singles and posthumous releases.

‘Singles: The Definitive 45 Collection’ will be released in one volume on CD, and two volumes on vinyl across two release dates. All formats feature fully remastered tracks, rare photos, poster artwork, extensive sleeve notes by Francis Gooding, an interview with Saturn Records founder Alton Abraham by John Corbett and detailed track by track and session notes by Paul Griffiths. The 45 RPM box sets, limited to 500 copies each, are currently only available via pre-orders from the Strut Bandcamp and web store. A full breakdown on formats and release dates is below:

25th NOVEMBER 2016

CD complete set covering Sun Ra’s full career: 1952-1991 (Pre-order)
(3CD digipak including 28pp booklet)

Vinyl 45 box set Volume 1: 1952-1961 (Pre-order)
(10 x 45s in flip top hardboard box. Featuring original single artwork and bound 28pp booklet. Limited edition: 500 copies only)

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LP set Volume 1: 1952-1961 (Pre-order)
(3LP in gatefold sleeve)

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MARCH 2017

Vinyl 45 box set Volume 2: 1962-1991 (pre-order coming in 2017)
(10 x 45s in flip top hardboard box. Featuring original single artwork and bound 28pp booklet. Limited edition: 500 copies only)

LP set Volume 2: 1962-1991 (pre-order coming in 2017)
(3LP in gatefold sleeve)

TRACKLISTINGS

3CD DIGIPAK:

CD 1

1. SUN RA – I AM AN INSTRUMENT
2. SUN RA – I AM STRANGE
3. SUN RA & THE NU SOUNDS – CHICAGO USA
4. SUN RA & THE NU SOUNDS – SPACESHIP LULLABY
5. SUN RA & THE COSMIC RAYS – DADDY’S GONNA TELL YOU NO LIE
6. SUN RA & THE NU SOUNDS – A FOGGY DAY
7. BILLIE HAWKINS with SUN-RA & HIS ORCHESTRA – I’M COMING HOME
8. BILLIE HAWKINS with SUN-RA & HIS ORCHESTRA – LAST CALL FOR LOVE
9. SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – SOFT TALK
10. SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – SUPER BLONDE
11. LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – SATURN
12. LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – A CALL FOR DEMONS
13. LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – DEMON’S LULLABY
LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – SUPERSONIC JAZZ
14. LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – MEDICINE FOR A NIGHTMARE
15. LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – URNACK
16. THE QUALITIES – IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME
17. THE QUALITIES – HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU
18. YOCHANAN (THE SPACE AGE VOCALIST) – M UCK M UCK (MATT MATT)
19. YOCHANAN (THE SPACE AGE VOCALIST) – HOT SKILLET MAMA
20. SUN RA & THE COSMIC RAYS – BYE BYE
21. SUN RA & THE COSMIC RAYS – SOMEBODY’S IN LOVE
22. LE SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – HOURS AFTER
23. LE SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – GREAT BALLS OF FIRE

CD 2

1. SUN RA & HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA – OCTOBER
2. SUN RA & HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA – ADVENTUR IN SPACE
3. THE COSMIC RAYS with SUN RA & ARKESTRA – DREAMING
4. THE COSMIC RAYS with SUN RA & ARKESTRA – DADDY’S GONNA TELL YOU NO LIE
5. SUN RA & HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA – ROUND MIDNIGHT
6. SUN RA & HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA – BACK IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD
7. LE SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – SATURN
8. LE SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – VELVET
9. YOCHANAN with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – THE SUN ONE
10. YOCHANAN with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – MESSAGE TO EARTHMAN
11. YOCHANNAN with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – THE SUN MAN SPEAKS
12. SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – SPACE LONELINESS
13. SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – STATE STREET
14. SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – THE BLUE SET
15. SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – BIG CITY BLUES
16. SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA featuring PAT PATRICK – A BLUE ONE
17. SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA featuring PAT PATRICK – ORBITRATION IN BLUE
18. SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – OUT THERE A MINUTE
19. LITTLE MACK with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – TELL HER TO COME ON HOME
20. LITTLE MACK with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – I’M MAKING BELIEVE

CD 3

1. SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – THE BRIDGE
2. SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – ROCKET # 9
3. SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-SOLAR-INFINITY ARKESTRA – BLUES ON PLANET MARS
4. SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-SOLAR-INFINITY ARKESTRA – SATURN MOON
5. SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – JOURNEY TO SATURN
6. SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – ENLIGHTENMENT
7. SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – I’M GONNA UNMASK THE BATMAN
8. SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – THE PERFECT MAN
9. SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – LOVE IN OUTER SPACE
10. SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – MAYAN TEMPLE
11. SUN RA QUARTET – SKY BLUES
12. SUN RA QUARTET– DISCO 3000
13. SUN RA – ROUGH HOUSE BLUES
14. SUN RA – COSMO-EXTENSIONS
15. SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – QUEST
16. SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – OUTER SPACE PLATEAU
17. SUN RA ARKESTRA – NUCLEAR WAR
18. SUN RA ARKESTRA – SOMETIMES I’M HAPPY
19. SUN RA ARKESTRA – ON JUPITER / COSMO DRAMA
20. SUN RA ARKESTRA – COSMO DRAMA
21. SUN RA – I AM THE INSTRUMENT

3LP GATEFOLD VOLUME 1

A1 SUN RA – I AM AN INSTRUMENT
A2 SUN RA – I AM STRANGE
A3 SUN RA & THE NU SOUNDS – CHICAGO USA
A4 SUN RA & THE NU SOUNDS – SPACESHIP LULLABY
A5 SUN RA & THE COSMIC RAYS – DADDY’S GONNA TELL YOU NO LIE
A6 SUN RA & THE NU SOUNDS – A FOGGY DAY
A7 BILLIE HAWKINS with SUN RA & HIS ORCHESTRA – I’M COMING HOME A8 BILLIE HAWKINS with SUN RA & HIS ORCHESTRA – LAST CALL FOR LOVE

B1 SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – SOFT TALK
B2 SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – SUPER BLONDE
B3 LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – SATURN
B4 LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – A CALL FOR DEMONS
B5 LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – DEMON’S LULLABY
B6 LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – SUPERSONIC JAZZ

C1 LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – MEDICINE FOR A NIGHTMARE
C2 LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – URNACK
C3 THE QUALITIES – IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME
C4 THE QUALITIES – HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!
C5 YOCHANAN (THE SPACE AGE VOCALIST) – M UCK M UCK (MATT MATT) C6 YOCHANAN (THE SPACE AGE VOCALIST) – HOT SKILLET MAMA

D1 SUN RA & THE COSMIC RAYS – BYE BYE
D2 SUN RA & THE COSMIC RAYS – SOMEBODY’S IN LOVE
D3 THE COSMIC RAYS with SUN RA & ARKESTRA – DREAMING (
D4 THE COSMIC RAYS with SUN RA & ARKESTRA – DADDY’S GONNA TELL YOU NO LIE
D5 SUN RA & HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA – OCTOBER

E1 SUN RA & HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA – ADVENTUR IN SPACE
E2 LE SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – HOURS AFTER
E3 LE SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – GREAT BALLS OF FIRE
E4 SUN RA & HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA – ROUND MIDNIGHT
E5 SUN RA & HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA – BACK IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD

F1 LE SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – SATURN
F2 LE SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – VELVET
F3 YOCHANAN with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – THE SUN ONE
F4 YOCHANAN with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – MESSAGE TO EARTHMAN
F5 YOCHANAN with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – THE SUN MAN SPEAKS

10 x 45 SINGLES BOX SET VOLUME 1

1A SUN RA & THE COSMIC RAYS – DADDY’S GONNA TELL YOU NO LIE
1B SUN RA & THE NU SOUNDS – A FOGGY DAY

2A SUN RA & THE COSMIC RAYS –BYE BYE
2B SUN RA & THE COSMIC RAYS – SOMBODY’S IN LOVE

3A SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – SOFT TALK
3B SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – SUPER BLONDE

4A LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – MEDICINE FOR A NIGHTMARE
4B LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – URNACK

5A LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – SATURN
5B LE SUN RA & HIS ARKISTRA – A CALL FOR DEMONS

6A SUN RA & HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA – OCTOBER
6B SUN RA & HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA – ADVENTUR IN SPACE

7A THE COSMIC RAYS with SUN RA & ARKESTRA – DREAMING
7B THE COSMIC RAYS with SUN RA & ARKESTRA – DADDY’S GONNA TELL YOU NO LIE

8A SUN RA & HIS MYTH SCIENCE ARKESTRA – HOURS AFTER
8BSUN RA & HIS MYTH SCIENCE ARKESTRA – GREAT BALLS OF FIRE

9A YOCHANAN (THE SPACE AGE VOCALIST) – M UCK M UCK (MATT MATT) 9B YOCHANAN (THE SPACE AGE VOCALIST) – HOT SKILLET MAMA

10A YOCHANAN with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – MESSAGE TO EARTHMAN
10B YOCHANAN with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – THE SUN ONE

3LP GATEFOLD VOLUME 2

A1 SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – SPACE LONELINESS
A2 SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – STATE STREET
A3 SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – THE BLUE SET
A4 SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – BIG CITY BLUES

B1 SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA featuring PAT PATRICK – A BLUE ONE
B2 SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA featuring PAT PATRICK – ORBITRATION IN BLUE
B3 SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – OUT THERE A MINUTE
B4 LITTLE MACK with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – TELL HER TO COME ON HOME
B5 LITTLE MACK with SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – I’M MAKING BELIEVE

C1 SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – THE BRIDGE
C2 SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – ROCKET # 9
C3 SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-SOLAR-INFINITY ARKESTRA – BLUES ON PLANET MARS
C4 SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-SOLAR-INFINITY ARKESTRA – SATURN MOON
C5 SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – JOURNEY TO SATURN
C6 SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – ENLIGHTENMENT

D1 SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – I’M GONNA UNMASK THE BATMAN
D2 SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – THE PERFECT MAN
D3 SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – LOVE IN OUTER SPACE
D4 SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – MAYAN TEMPLE
D5 SUN RA QUARTET – SKY BLUES

E1 SUN RA QUARTET– DISCO 3000
E2 SUN RA – ROUGH HOUSE BLUES
E3 SUN RA – COSMO-EXTENSIONS
E4 SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – QUEST
E5 SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – OUTER SPACE PLATEAU
E6 SUN RA ARKESTRA – SOMETIMES I’M HAPPY

F1 SUN RA ARKESTRA – NUCLEAR WAR
F2 SUN RA ARKESTRA – ON JUPITER / COSMO DRAMA
F3 SUN RA ARKESTRA – COSMO DRAMA
F4 SUN RA – I AM THE INSTRUMENT

10 x 45 SINGLES BOX SET VOLUME 2

1A SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – SPACE LONELINESS
1B SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – STATE STREET

2A SUN RA & HIS MYTH SCIENCE ARKESTRA – THE BLUE SET
2B SUN RA & HIS MYTH SCIENCE ARKESTRA – BIG CITY BLUES

3A SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA featuring PAT PATRICK – A BLUE ONE
3B SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA featuring PAT PATRICK – ORBITRATION IN BLUE

4A SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – THE BRIDGE
4B SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – ROCKET # 9

5A SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-SOLAR-INFINITY ARKESTRA – BLUES ON PLANET MARS
5B SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-SOLAR-INFINITY ARKESTRA – SATURN MOON

6A SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – JOURNEY TO SATURN
6B SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – ENLIGHTENMENT

7A SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – I’M GONNA UNMASK THE BATMAN
7B SUN RA & HIS ASTRO-INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – THE PERFECT MAN

8A SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – LOVE IN OUTER SPACE
8B SUN RA & HIS ARKESTRA – MAYAN TEMPLE

9A SUN RA – ROUGH HOUSE BLUES
9B SUN RA – COSMO-EXTENSIONS

10A SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – QUEST
10B SUN RA & HIS OUTER SPACE ARKESTRA – OUTER SPACE PLATEAU

New African Label ‘Odion Livingstone’ From Legendary Nigerian Producer Odion Iruoje And Collector Temi Kogbe

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Legendary EMI Nigeria producer Odion Iruoje and rare African music collector Temi Kogbe have launched a new label called Odion Livingstone, a brand new venture out of Lagos, Nigeria in association with Strut Records. The label is one of the only imprints based in Nigeria to specialize in new and back catalogue releases from across Africa, bringing a fresh African perspective.

The debut release in January 2017 will be an official reissue of the much in-demand 1983 LP ‘Friday Night’ by Livy Ekemezie, a brilliant one-off independently released disco / funk album originally pressed at William Onyeabor’s pressing plant in Enugu. Further releases will explore a wide variety of Africa’s lost back catalogue gems through original LP reissues and compilations alongside selected new artist recordings.

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Career Retrospective For Highlife Master Pat Thomas

PT_Coming_Home_packshot_RGB_1400x1400This Fall, we’re proud to present the first full career retrospective release for Ghanaian highlife master and “The Golden Voice Of Africa,” Pat Thomas, covering his late ‘60s big band highlife recordings through to the “burger highlife” movement of the early ‘80s. With Thomas currently wowing audiences on the road in support of last year’s incredible album with Kwishibu Area Band, Coming Home offers listeners a chance to get to know Thomas’ singular career.

One of Thomas’ earliest tracks, with the Ebo Taylor lead Broadway Dance Band, is streaming below. The partnership with Taylor would become one of the enduring forces in Ghanaian music during the ‘70s, creating a fresh, progressive new highlife sound. “Today, highlife has become the world’s music,” says Thomas, “and I am proud to still bring it to so many people.”

Pat Thomas – Coming Home is released 30th September on 2CD, 3LP and digital formats, and features exclusive photos and a full interview with Pat Thomas. Pre-orders are available now.

 

Interview With Sunburst’s Manager Peter Bagshawe

SUNBURST FINAL FRONT COVER HI RESIn the early 1970s, Yorkshireman Peter Bagshawe was living in Zambia, pursuing an interest in steam trains. He ended up as the de facto manager for one of the greatest Afro Rock bands of the era. How all of this came to pass is story you’ll have to hear him tell. Thankfully, he sat down via Skype recently to recount his time managing Sunburst.

Our Ave Africa compilation, which collects the Tanzanian band’s entire recorded output, is available now on CD, LP & digital formats.

Anthony Joseph’s Caribbean Roots

Anthony Joseph final cover hi resStrut team up for the first time with acclaimed French label Heavenly Sweetness for the brand new album by the celebrated poet, novelist and musician, Anthony Joseph.

‘Caribbean Roots’ represents an uncompromising return to his roots for Joseph, who has always remained true to a powerful, deep-seated sense of his own Caribbean identity. Starting out as a joint project with the outstanding percussionist Roger Raspail (Cesaria Evora, Papa Wemba), the album swiftly grew into a major work incorporating the rhythms, sounds and vibes that rock the Caribbean from San Fernando, Kingston and Les Abymes to Port-au-Prince and Havana. Backed by a band made up of a blend of musicians with Caribbean origins or connections, the album attempts to unite the different islands into a single entity without diluting any individual strand. “The idea, heard so often,” says Joseph, “is that the Caribbean is a fragmented region, socially, politically, historically. In my view, it’s a unified space, with more relations than disparities. The album is asking Caribbean people to consider that their roots are in the Caribbean, that their generations run deep and that now, we can claim it as ancestral space.”

AJ5 credit MIRABELWHITE med cropJoseph weaves an uncompromising direction through the album tracks, spinning his unique lyrical blend of afro-futurism and surrealism. He explores his native Trinidad and takes, in his own words, “a journey into the dark heart of the island”. He chronicles tales and parables: “songs tell of runaway slaves; badjohns or rude boys that we find much in black culture – our heroes, our soldiers”. There’s a muscular tribute to calypso great Mighty Sparrow and incisive reflections on colonialism: “As a Caribbean ex-pat living in Europe, I break out of the quotidian to realize that these grand architectures around me were built by those who colonized and enslaved me. I guess the album is about celebrating roots, but roots that lie within us.”

Heavyweight guests on the album include saxophonists Shabaka Hutchings (The Comet Is Coming) and Jason Yarde (Jazz Jamaica All Stars), trumpeter Yvon Guillard (Magma), bassist Mike Clinton (Salif Keita), trombonist Pierre Chabrèle (Creole Jazz Orchestra), Patrick Marie-Magdelene (Manu Dibango), celebrated Trinidad calypso icon David Rudder and Andy Narrell, master of the steel pans.

‘Caribbean Roots’ is released on Heavenly Sweetness / Strut on CD, LP and digital on June 24th. Pre-orders are available now. Album track “Mano A Mano” is streaming below.

Duncan Brooker Presents A Mix Of Rare East African 45s To Celebrate Sunburst Retrospective

SUNBURST FINAL FRONT COVER HI RESOn the occasion of the first-ever retrospective of Tanzanian Afro-Rock band Sunburst, longtime Strut associate and compiler of the Nigeria 70 series Duncan Brooker presents a selection of some of Sunburst’s peers and contemporaries via this incredible mix of rare East African 45s. Duncan’s incredible mix premieres today on Stereogum.

Ave Africa: The Complete Recordings 1973-1976 is released 24th June on Strut. For a limited time, orders from the Strut web store & Bandcamp have the option to include a limited edition cassette featuring unreleased Sunburst demos recorded in Lusaka in 1976. 100 copies only! Pre-orders are available now.

Tracklist:

1. SUNBURST – SIMBA ANGURUMA
2. NDARA MOYO – THAT’S THE WAY
3. SALOMON NGOUA – SHE’S GOT A SNAKE
4. NGOZI FAMILY – SUKUMA SEMEJI
5. SUNBURST – BANCHIKICHA
6. AFRO 70 – PEMBENYI MOTO
7. VIJANA JAZZ BAND – DIBWEWZE ZOGOLO JANGU
8. TABORA JAZZ BAND – HASIRA HASARA
9. SUNBURST – VIJANA
10. THE AFRO-KIDS – SHOREZA INYANGE
11. THE SAFARI TRIPPERS – MWANA MPOTEVU
12. MAQUIS DU ZAIRE – KASONGO
13. CASSIM COMBO – CHAKACHA
14. THE MIGHTY CAVALIERS – DUNIA INA MAMBO

Two Generations Of Sierra Leonean Musicians Unite With Kondi Band

DSC_9713 - Version 2 cropKondi Band is an inspired collaboration between Sierra Leonean kondi (thumb piano) player Sorie Kondi and US producer / DJ Chief Boima, who himself has Sierra Leonean roots.

The project was spawned after Boima happened upon an online video of one of Sorie’s original tracks. “Sorie Kondi is a blind musician with a will to thrive like no person I have met before,” explains Boima. “My work with him began with a YouTube link. I spotted the video for his track ‘Without Money No Family’ and was struck by his beautiful vocals and socially-conscious lyrics. These incredible melodies he was playing on his namesake thumb piano (the kondi) sealed the deal: I immediately decided to remix it.”

The resulting bootleg remix started appearing in DJ playlists and led to coverage by The Fader DSC_9601 - Version 2 (1)magazine. As a result, Sorie’s manager in Freetown reached out to Boima and, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Sorie travelled to America for the first time for a five date tour. During the trip he and Boima worked on new recordings which form the nucleus of the debut Kondi Band album ‘Belle Wahalah.’

“This project forges a direct link between techno born in the black cities of the American Mid-West, where I grew up, and roots African music,” Boima continues. “Sorie Kondi may be playing an acoustic folk instrument from Sierra Leone, but he thinks about music as if he were a techno producer. The dance-friendly pulse of his cajon drum, the spiraling melody lines from the thumb piano and his incredible vocals hold it all together.” It’s acoustic dance music that creates a sound as full and dynamic as any club track and, through Boima’s intricate production, the album subtly and skillfully integrates contemporary electronic sounds, keeping the simplicity and space in Sorie’s music.

The first EP from the project is built around Sorie’s personal and uncompromising lyrics on ‘Belle Wahalah’, a song that uses belly pain as a metaphor for poverty, hunger and lack of financial opportunity. Mixes come from South London-based producer Hagan and the “father of Ancestral Soul”, Boddhi Satva. The release also features another simmering Kondi band original, ‘Yeanoh (Powe Handa Blingabe)’ which translates as ‘what’s up / what’s occurring’?

The ‘Belle Wahalah’ EP is out today on digital formats. A vinyl 12″ is due 27th May. A full-length album is in the works for September 2016. Hear the EP title track ‘Belle Wahalah’ below.

 

Short-Lived Afro-Rock Band Sunburst Gets A Complete Retrospective On Strut

Sunburst 1974-3 squareStrut is extremely proud to present a definitive collection of recordings from one of Tanzania’s most revered but short-lived bands of the 1970s, Sunburst. Covering their entire output from 1973 to 1976, this first retrospective features music from their 45 RPM singles “Moto Moto” and “TFC,” as well as their sole album, Ave Africa, and an unreleased radio session recorded in Tanzania in 1973.

Sunburst was formed in 1970 by Zairean guitarist Hembi Flory Kongo who recruited resident drummer Johnny “Rocks” Fernandes, bass player Bashir Idi Farhan and organist / vocalist Kassim Magati. They were soon joined by Zambian-born lead singer James Mpungo.

SUNBURST FINAL FRONT COVER HI RESHaving developing their sound via covers-heavy live performances and a string of early singles, Sunburst’s sole LP came out at a time when Zambia was enjoying a stream of releases by bands that would now be considered icons of Zamrock such as Witch, Ngozi Family, Musi-O-Tunya and The Blackfoot. The sleeve text described the Sunburst sound as “a fusion of the traditional sounds of Africa with Western Rock, spiced with a piece of the Caribbean” but the intricacies of the Kitoto Sound that Sunburst had crafted for years peaked on this recording. Band members born in six different countries were tapping into a multitude of influences, styles, languages and stories. “We try to compose songs that have a bearing to the situation we live in,” James Mpungo recounted at the time. “Our songs are songs that support freedom struggles, songs that encourage peasants and workers to work harder, songs in praise of our leaders. We also sing a lot of songs criticizing our people for allowing themselves to be too westernized and throwing away their traditional values. And above all, we preach love and happiness!”

Ave Africa: The Kitoto Sound Of East Africa 1973-1976 is the result of over three years of research by compilers DJ Thomas Gesthuizen and Dave Tinning and comes out 24th June on 2xCD, 2xLP (w. CD included) & digital formats. Stream the track “Simba Anguruma” below. Pre-orders are available now.

Limited Demos Cassette With Strut Web Store Orders

Sunburst_Vinyl_Bundle_WhiteBGA very limited quantity of pre-orders via the Strut Store and Bandcamp will include a cassette copy of of unreleased Sunburst demos recorded in Lusaka in 1976. 100 copies only! Pre-orders for this special bundle are available now.

 

Hear Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids Title Track “We Be All Africans”

Pyramids final front cover copyWest Coast jazz mavericks, The Pyramids, led by their inspirational bandleader, Idris Ackamoor, return with a new album on Strut. Recorded in Max Weissenfeldt’s analogue Philophon studio in Berlin, ‘We Be All Africans’ is a sparkling set of Afro- jazz-funk fusions, from the infectious chants of the title track to the reflective “Epiphany” and the yearning, mournful future single, “Silent Days” featuring the brilliant vocals of Bajka. Hear the album’s title track below.

“We Be All Africans” is released 27th May 2016 on Strut Records on LP, CD & digital formats. Pre-orders are available now.

The Pyramids have been hand-picked by Floating Points to open the West Coast leg of their live tour. Dates below:

April 27th – Santa Ana, CA: Constellation Room
April 28th – Santa Cruz, CA: The Catalyst Club
April 29th – San Francisco, CA: Mezzanine
May 1st – Portland, OR: Doug Fir Lounge
May 3rd – Seattle, WA: Neumos
May 4th – Vancouver, BC: Celebrities Nightclub

Unreleased Sun Ra Rome Live Album For Record Store Day 2016

STRUT122 front coverThanks to some inspired detective work by Art Yard Records, an intimate trio performance by Sun Ra in Rome in 1977, ‘In Some Far Place’, is receiving its first release for this year’s Record Store Day on April 16th. Recorded from the sound desk and mastered from original reels, the album features Sun Ra on piano and Moog, drummer Luqman Ali and occasional Arkestra vocalist Thomas Thaddeus in fine form, exploring Ra staples and revisiting some of the traditional jazz pieces from his early Chicago days. Tracks include the reflective ‘Trying To Put The Blame On Me,’ ‘Spontaneous Simplicity’ and the first Sun Ra version of ‘I Cover The Waterfront’ to ever be officially released. New sleeve notes come courtesy of the Arkestra’s Knoel Scott with cover design by Lewis Heriz.

Record Store Day 2016 takes place internationally on 16th April 2016. For details on participating stores, visit http://www.recordstoreday.com/