Strut announce the return of their pioneering ‘Nigeria 70’ compilation series with an exclusive new third volume: ‘Sweet Times: Afro Funk, Highlife & Juju from 1970s Lagos’ compiled again by series curator Duncan Brooker. Excavating another choice batch of rare grooves from Nigeria’s label archives, the new edition places the spotlight on some of the deeper fusions happening across the country during the 1970s as traditional guitar highlife blended with jazz and funk, hypnotic juju grooves became more progressive and young Nigerian bands came through with their own heavy West African take on U.S. soul, funk, disco and rock.
As on the previous Nigeria 70 volumes, all of the featured selections are previously unissued outside of Nigeria. Tracks range from the dynamite big band workout of Alex Ringo’s Moneyman & The Super 5 International to the Congolese guitar-drenched ‘Henrietta’ by the late Ali Chukwumah, former member of Stephen Osita Osadebe’s Sound Makers. Darker psych grooves from Don Isaac Ezekiel sit alongside raw college funk from college band Tabanaku comprising students from the University Of Ife. Highlife legend Victor Olaiya unleashes a slow, languorous Afro jam lifted from a rare Polydor 45 and juju legend Ebenezer Obey cooks up a lilting, deeply beautiful mid-tempo groove from 1970 in a musical plea for peace. ‘Nigeria 70: Sweet Times’ is another essential celebration of the glut of incredible music that surfaced in post-independence Nigeria.
This is the third edition in the acclaimed Nigeria 70 series. The first volume, released in 2001, was the first compilation of its kind to explore in depth the myriad of funk and soul fusions emerging from Nigeria during the 1970s. Strut followed this with a second edition, ‘Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump’, in 2008. ‘Nigeria 70” Sweet Times’ is compiled by Duncan Brooker and features extensive sleeve notes by John Collins, author of ‘West African Pop Roots’.