On 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.
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
West 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
Roger Bong’s ‘Aloha Got Soul’ blog, label and brand has been a driving force behind the newfound recognition for Hawaii’s incredible sun-drenched funk, disco, soul, and rock of the 1970s and 80s. Roger’s efforts to unearth and present underheard sounds from the islands have resulted in some incredible music receiving national attention for the first time.
With his expertly-curated Aloha Got Soul collection out this Friday, Roger has assembled a short DJ mix to give a taste of some of the sounds you’ve been missing out on. It’s not quite a ticket to Hawaii in the 1970’s, but it’s the next best thing.
Frankie Francis and Hugo Mendes of Sofrito are connoisseurs of vintage tropical dance sounds. The Mauritian séga genre explored on our Soul Sok Sega is a perfect match for their dusty, sun-drenched aesthetic, so we were thrilled when Francis, who also runs the vinyl dubplate and mastering facility The Carvery, offered to create a custom edit of one of our favorite tracks from the collection. His floor-friendly cut of Claudio’s “Bonom Chinois” is available for free download via our Bandcamp. Soul Sok Sega is available now on 2LP, CD & digital formats.
Funkier than most yacht-rock, and beachier than most funk, “Kona Winds” is three and a half perfect minutes of aural relaxation. The track originally appeared on the “Homegrown” compilation series in 1978, showcasing local Hawaiian artists. Today, the track fits comfortably in Balearic DJ sets and left-field funk mixes.
“I was out in Venice with DJ Harvey,” says Mark Barrott, “and “Kona Winds” came on the radio whilst we were sat by the beach having breakfast, looking at the early-morning surfers. I actually rang US directory assistance for the first and last time in my life to get the number of the station to get a track ID. I NEVER get bored of the spoken intro; last summer I was a little worse for wear in the middle of a DJ set by Es Vedra and I just looped the spoken intro and left it running for 30 mins… it sounded fine to me.”
“Kona Winds” appears on Aloha Got Soul, a new compilation assembled by Roger Bong, documenting the vibrant soul, AOR, jazz funk and disco scene across Hawaii in 1979-1985. Aloha Got Soul is released 18th February on CD, 2xLP & digital formats. Pre-orders are available now.
Claudio Veeraragoo is one of the biggest stars of séga music of the 60s and 70s. His stroke of genius was to marry séga rhythms with qawwali and Bollywood styles. He scored his debut hit, ‘Nou Manz Nou Larak’, in 1966, playing the accordion, and broke through as a major star with his cassette release, ‘Bhaï Aboo’ which exploded across the island upon its release. His songs were subsequently covered by French star Maxime Leforestier and Bollywood singer Shaan. Claudio has since brought séga to the four corners of the globe and, of all of the ‘70s artists, has remained one of Mauritius’ biggest live draws. Today, his son Michael, a drummer and producer, manages his father’s activities via their own production house, Kabana Music.
“Bonom Chinois” is a gem from the Soul Sok Sega compilation, whic documents the heyday of séga music in Mauritius between 1973 and 1979. The album is compiled by La Reunion-based DJs La Basse Tropicale with extensive sleeve notes by Mauritian cultural authority, Percy Yip Tong. Soul Sok Sega is released 22nd January 2016.
We’re fully in the holiday spirit here at Strut, and what better way to celebrate the season than a blistering Afro-Funk take on a classic Christmas carol? The Souljazz Orchestra has given us just that with their wonderful version of “We Three Kings.”
The track is available exclusively for free download via the !K7 Collective Holiday Gift, along with material from some of our favorite independent labels like Luaka Bop, Piranha, Mister Saturday Night, R&S, and many others.
Canada’s powerhouse Afro / Latin / Tropical collective, The Souljazz Orchestra, surface with a hard-hitting new album Resistance for Autumn 2015. In keeping with the band’s previous work, the Orchestra keeps powerful lyrics at the heart of their music, delivering some biting social commentaries alongside messages of hope.
Having already shared the video for “Shock And Awe,” here’s another reason to get excited for the forthcoming album. “Bull’s Eye” was directly inspired by the Occupy movement,” says bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Pierre Chrétien. “The bull in the song refers to the Charging Bull on Wall Street, the iconic symbol of unbridled capitalism. The lyrics tell the rest of the story.” The heavy afro funk workout is available for free download, and is streaming below.
Resistance is released 4th September 2015 on Strut (on Do Right in Canada). Pre-orders are available now at online retail and the Strut Store.
Berlin-based Henrik Schwarz is a master of incorporating the organic sounds of jazz, afrobeat and soul into his heady house sets. His latest master stroke is a deep take on a classic Ghanaian track from Ebo Taylor and Pat Thomas (the original of which appears on our Taylor retrospective Life Stories). Schwarz’s version draws out the horns and backing vocals, delaying the catharsis of Thomas’ distinctive croon for maximum dance floor delight.
“Ene Nyame” is available now on digital retail services. A vinyl 12″, featuring an unreleased dub mix, will be released 18th September.
“Our music is dark and psychedelic but it also has that party spirit.” –Dengue Dengue Dengue
We’re heading back to the melting pot of Peru’s capital Lima as we join forces with the excellent Tiger’s Milk label for a new compilation, Peru Boom! Guided by the roots of chicha and Peruvian cumbia and inspired by Western dubstep, techno, grime and rave, a whole new generation of producers have created their own fresh new tropical bass fusions which have taken over the city and have united communities.
“When we started parties four years ago,” explains Rafael Pereira of Dengue Dengue Dengue, “we’d get people from all over Lima: the white guy, the back guy, the poor guy, the rich guy. Now there are many parties and everyone goes to their own place in different neighbourhoods.” Peru Boom! gives the wider world the first chance to sample this unique scene with tracks from DJ Chakruna, Deltatron, Tribilin Sound, Dengue Dengue Dengue and more.
The album is available now via Tigers Milk / Strut Records on CD, LP, & digital formats. Stream Rolovo’s “Outropical” below.