NEW SOULJAZZ ORCHESTRA ALBUM + FULL AUTUMN TOUR

Canada’s fastest moving and hardest working collective are back with one of their finest albums to date on September 22nd, […] Read More…

Kondi Band’s Debut Album ‘Salone,’ is out now

Kondi Band, the inspired Afro-electronic collaboration between Sierra Leonean kondi (thumb piano) player Sorie Kondi and US producer / DJ […] Read More…

Sun Ra’s 1972 LP Discipline 27-II Re-Issued For Record Store Day 2017

Strut and Art Yard present a special release for Record Store Day 2017, the first ever official reissue of Sun […] Read More…

Volume Two Of The Vinyl Edition Of Sun Ra’s Singles Lands In April

In the words of Sun Ra himself, Happy New Year To You! Last year saw the release of our lovingly […] Read More…

Free Download: Sorie Kondi – The Freetown Tapes (Mixed By Chief Boima)

In 2006, blind kondi (thumb piano) player Sorie Kondi was surviving by busking on the streets of Freetown, Sierra Leone, […] Read More…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

NEW SOULJAZZ ORCHESTRA ALBUM + FULL AUTUMN TOUR

Canada’s fastest moving and hardest working collective are back with one of their finest albums to date on September 22nd, ‘Under Burning Skies’, a brand new journey into tropical, soul and jazz styles. It’s available to pre-order now.

Turbulent times call for strong voices and The Souljazz Orchestra’s new set packs a suitably heavy lyrical punch, with wry observations and an urge for progressive change. Musically, the band continue to push the limits, dusting off ‘80s vintage synthesizers and early drum machines for the first time, bringing lo fi disco, boogie and electro touches to their trademark horn arrangements and earthy analogue sound. The fruits are a-plenty and the group sound at their confident and versatile best from start to finish.

Opener ‘Dog Eat Dog’ powers in, lambasting the powerful and the corrupt over an infectious Afro-disco groove; ‘Lufunki’ takes the group right back to their B-Boy roots, bringing the Afro vibes to Beat Street and ‘Is Yeelyel’ delivers a killer rework of an obscure original by Somalian super-group Dur-Dur Band. The band go on exploring their passion for French Caribbean styles on the beautiful, lilting ‘Oublier Pour Un Jour’ and ‘Tambour À Deux Peaux’ and they take time for reflection on the potent instrumental title track and poignant closer ‘Aduna Jarul Naawo’, featuring the vocals of Élage Mbaye.

The release coincides with another monster tour schedule throughout the Autumn.

Oté Maloya: The Birth Of Electric Maloya on Réunion Island 1975-1986

Strut present a brand new compilation documenting the groundbreaking maloya scene on Réunion Island from the mid-‘70s, as Western instrumentation joined traditional Malagasy, African and Indian acoustic instruments to spark a whole era of new fusions and creativity. Compiled by Réunionese DJ duo La Basse Tropicale, ‘Oté Maloya’ is out now on CD and LP as well as digital formats. The CD and LP versions include an extensive booklet  featuring the history of maloya by Nathalie Valentine Legros of 7 Lames Lamer.

‘Oté Maloya’ tells the story of this fertile period in Réunion Island music for the first time and features the full spectrum of maloya styles. From Caméléon’s genius to the teenage Michou’s classic ‘Maloya Ton Tisane’, Daniel Sandié’s breakbeat sleeper ‘Défoule 3e Age’ and more traditional styles from Maxime Lahope and Pierrot Vidot, this is an essential trip through a lost era of Indian Ocean blues and soul. ‘It follows up last year’s acclaimed ‘Soul Sok Séga’ release on Strut.

Strut presents a Nigerian disco anthem 12″ reissue

Shina Williams’ monster Nigerian disco anthem ‘Agboju Logun’ is out now on Strut featuring original artwork and all musicians’ credits and is fully remastered by The Carvery. The 12″ reissue pairs the rare original album version (released on Phonodisk Nigeria) with the more sparse 12” remix which surfaced later internationally on Earthworks. This is the third release on STRUT’S new Original Masters Series.

Back in 1979 when ‘Agboju Logun’ first appeared on his ‘African Dances’ LP, Williams knew well that the track was breaking new ground. “I want to show the whole wide world that Africa is alive with modern musicians to reckon with anywhere,” he stated. Now an accepted Afro disco classic of its time, ‘Agboju Logun’ did indeed bring together the cream of Nigeria’s players as a one-off supergroup in one inspired session. As a long-standing and well respected highlife musician and vocalist, Williams called in the ‘A’ list: Tunde Martins from Afro Collective played bass guitar, the brilliant Biddy Wright (player on albums by Lijadu Sisters, Blo and many more) contributed the famous synth lines and handled production, Fred Fisher was on trombone and Saliu Alabi played talking drum.

Enjoying limited success upon its release in Nigeria, ‘African Dances’ nevertheless gained some international attention when Earthworks’ Jumbo Van Renan licensed two tracks from it for an international 12” single release in 1984, remixing ‘Agboju Logun’ in a more stripped back mix for dancefloors. However, it was the period following Fela Kuti’s death in the late ‘90s that truly ignited interest in archive African grooves for a new internet generation. Strut’s first ‘Nigeria 70’ compilation featured the track in 2000 and it has been a staple in DJs’ crates ever since.

Kondi Band’s Debut Album ‘Salone,’ is out now

Kondi Band, the inspired Afro-electronic collaboration between Sierra Leonean kondi (thumb piano) player Sorie Kondi and US producer / DJ Chief Boima, who himself has Sierra Leonean roots, has announced their debut LP Salone, is out now.

The album follows the release of 2016’s Belle Wahallah EP, which spawned a #1 Spotify Viral Chart hit in the form of the track “Yeanoh (Powe Handa Blingabe),” as well as The Freetown Tapes, a free collection of Kondi’s solo work in the early 2000’s, mixed by Chief Boima.

According to Boima, the new album “forges a direct link between techno born in the black cities of the American Mid-West, where I grew up, and roots African music. Sorie Kondi may be playing an acoustic folk instrument from Sierra Leone, but he thinks about music as if he were a techno producer.”  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.

Salone is out now on CD, 2LP, and digital formats.

The track “Titi Dem Too Service” is streaming below.

 

The Definitive Reissue of A Landmark Mulatu Album

Strut present the definitive official reissue of this landmark album in the field of African music originally released in 1972. Available now. 

Recorded in New York, Mulatu of Ethiopia arrived at a time when Astatke had begun to master the delicate fusion of styles needed to create Ethio jazz. The album represents the first fully formed document of his trademark sound. It features ‘Kulunmanqueleshi’, ‘Dewel’, and ‘Kasalefku-Hulu’, tracks that Mulatu would return to regularly on singles and in live shows, the Ethio-Latin workout ‘Chifara’ and the self-titled groover ‘Mulatu’: “I wanted to make a track for myself!”.

The vinyl version is available both as a standard 1LP format, and as a limited edition 3LP 6-panel gatefold set. The 3LP deluxe edition features the stereo album master, a pre-mix mono master and a selection of out-takes from the sessions, giving the listener rare access to the DNA of the studio process. The full original album will also be available on CD and digital formats. All formats feature a new interview with Mulatu Astatke and rare photos.

Sun Ra’s 1972 LP Discipline 27-II Re-Issued For Record Store Day 2017

Strut and Art Yard present a special release for Record Store Day 2017, the first ever official reissue of Sun Ra’s revered Discipline 27-II LP from 1972.

A product of the same sessions that would yield the legendary Space Is the Place LP, the recordings for the album took place on the 19th and 20th of October, 1972 at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, with the largest Arkestra line-up Sun Ra had yet taken into a studio session. The date was produced by Impulse! and Riverside veteran Ed Michel and, for the first time, the Arkestra was recorded in quadraphonic sound.

This first official reissue of Discipline 27-II was prepared in conjunction with Art Yard and Sun Ra LLC. The album is restored from the original master tapes and features complete original artwork and new sleeve notes by Francis Gooding.

The album will be released 22nd April 2017 in conjunction with Record Store Day.  Check the Record Store Day site for participating retailers.

New ‘Original Masters’ Full-Album Re-Issue Series Kicks Off With A Lost Nigerian Disco Funk Classic

This year sees an exciting new undertaking from the Strut camp. We’re launching ‘Original Masters,’ a series of essential original LP reissues exploring rare and under-rated African, Latin and Caribbean music classics, curated by leading collector and DJ, Duncan Brooker.

If that right there is enough to let you know that you’ll be needing each of these classic LPs, we’re offering a subscription option which guarantees a copy of each of the four 1LP Original Masters releases we have planned for 2017. Each one is a new pressing of an extremely rare crate essential, so a subscription means you’ll have some great music to look forward to!
*Note, if you’ve already pre-ordered the Joe King Kologbo album and would like to subscribe to the full series, please email bandcamp@k7.com

The first release in the Original Masters series arrives February 10th 2017, in the form of an experimental highlife / disco outing by Nigerian highlife guitarist Joe King Kologbo.

Forced to flee Nigeria when the Biafran War broke out in 1967, Kologbo spent the late 60s performing with various outfits in Ghana before returning to Lagos in 1971 and playing with Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 and Fela’s wider circle of musicians. By the time he recorded the ‘Sugar Daddy’ LP for the tiny Electromat label in 1980, he was one of the older musicians on the circuit.

“Since he was based in the East during his early days, he was not as well known nationally as some of the other highlife players of the time,” says Oghene Kologbo, “so it’s nice that this album is coming out again. It brings back good memories. That Range Rover on the cover – that is Fela’s!”

Joe King Kologbo’s Sugar Daddy is released 10th February 2017 in its original artwork and features new interviews with Oghene Kologbo and Sonny Akpan of The Funkees. Pre-orders are available now. An edited version of the 15-minute title track is streaming below.

Volume Two Of The Vinyl Edition Of Sun Ra’s Singles Lands In April

In the words of Sun Ra himself, Happy New Year To You! Last year saw the release of our lovingly assembled collection of Sun Ra’s legendarily rare vinyl singles (including the seasonally appropriate jam linked above). The 3CD and digital editions contained all 65 tracks, but the vinyl editions (3xLP & 10×45) were split into two volumes, each focusing on a period of Ra’s legendary career. If you’re a vinyl buyer and want the complete story, this is the conclusion you’ve been waiting for.

Sun Ra Singles – The Definitive 45s Collection Vol. 2 is released this April on 3xLP and a limited edition 10×45 box set. Vinyl for volume one went quickly, so don’t snooze! Pre-orders are available now.

Praise for Volume 1

“Beautifully packaged collection bringing together all of [Sun Ra’s] super rare 7-inch sounds. Sun Ra authority Irwin Chusid music be applauded for this huge cosmic undertaking.”
Mojo (five stars)

“A compilation can only be as good as the artist(s) within it. This is incredible… as good a collection as is possible from which to explore the development of Sun Ra’s seemingly endless universe of music. Singles is gloriously extensive, bizarre, diverse and cerebral”
Drowned In Sound

“Blasting into the cosmos and beyond as the jazz titan and his Arkestra expand upon, and create, Ra’s brand of Afro-futurusim. Space Loneliness this is not. All aboard.”
Aquarium Drunkard (Best of 2016)

Tracklistings

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

Free Download: Sorie Kondi – The Freetown Tapes (Mixed By Chief Boima)

In 2006, blind kondi (thumb piano) player Sorie Kondi was surviving by busking on the streets of Freetown, Sierra Leone, abandoned by relatives and friends who had fled the rebel takeover of the city in the late ‘90s. Demos for his debut studio album had also been lost during that time. His sound was marked by his electrified Kondi, run through a small distorted amplifier that he carried on his back whilst performing on the street.

Since then, Sorie has recorded and finished five albums in total in Freetown, using whatever means available to him, culminating in the ‘Without Money No Family’ album, which happened to catch the ear of US producer / DJ Chief Boima (also of Sierra Leonean descent) after chancing upon a YouTube link.

The two joined forces as Kondi Band, combining Sorie Kondi’s traditionalist performances with Boima’s globally-informed electronic production. The duo released an EP this year on Strut, recently performed acclaimed sets to thousands at Transmusicales and Womex, and have received accolades from tastemakers including Gilles Peterson, leading to a recent takeover of Worldwide FM by Boima. With a Kondi Band album, ‘Salone’, coming in 2017, Boima has created a free mix to showcase Kondi’s incredible history.

As well as collecting songs from across Sorie Kondi’s recorded music career, this mix also includes one original and two remixes of songs from the forthcoming debut Kondi Band album. The mix is available now for free download on the Kondi Band Bandcamp.

Keep up with Kondi band on Facebook as they tour and prepare to release their debut album.

 

Free Download: Chris Deepak Remixes Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids In Advance of European Tour

prymmids_remix2On the eve of embarking on a European tour, the spiritual jazz ensemble The Pyramids, lead by Idris Ackamoor receive a remix from soulful house producer Chris Deepak. Deepak takes the title track of the Pyramids’ latest album on Strut, adding some low end and a propulsive afro-influenced rhythm.

Download the remix for free via Soundcloud below.

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids’ album We Be All Africans is out now on Strut.

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids Fall European Tour:
04.11. FR Paris: WorldStock Festival
05.11. CH Luzern: Südpol
06.11. CH Basel: Kaschemme
07.11. DE Augsburg: Grandhotel Cosmopolis
08:11. CZ Praha: Jazzdock
09.11. BE Brussels: Ancienne Belgique
11.11. NL Utrecht: Le Guess Who? Festival
12.11. DE Hamburg: Überjazz Festival
13.11. SE Stockholm: Fasching
18.11. DE Berlin: Prince Charles
19.11. UK London: Café OTO
20.11. UK London: Café OTO
22.11. UK London: Late Junction (recordings)
24.11. DE Frankfurt: Mousonturm
25.11. DE Frankfurt: Mousonturm