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Various Artists
"Afro Exotique - Adventures In The Leftfield, Africa 1972-82"

Looking beyond Funk & Disco, and exploring thw spaces in between & outside these established genres.

The influence of both traditional and contemporary African music on Funk and Disco, from the late 60's to the early 80's, has rightly become ever more widely recognised over the last 30 plus years.
Africa Seven has been lucky enough to source some of the better music that West Africa produced during that halcyon period via a spread of seminal label catalogues. But Afro-Exotique (Vol 1) looks beyond Funk and Disco and their Afrobeat / Highlife progenitors, exploring spaces in between and outside these established genres.
The all too slow escape from the colonial yoke and it's ruinous legacy meant that there was no Western style economic boomtime across Africa in the 1950/60's. But flashes of playful experimentation and occasional drift into cocktail lounge trope, fuelled by the relative comforts of post war stability in the West, still pop up, peppered around late 70's/80's African music if you know where to look, often involving lesser known names and less familiar formats, but with the spirit of Africa ever present.
We wish had more info regarding the LP opener Black Reggae's "My Girl", but other than us discovering it on French - African label Fiesta's 1975 "Bols Brandy Presents Black Reggae" compilation, we don't.... so just sit back and enjoy the warm, lolloping, instrumental rocksteady cover of the Temptations' classic.
South African emigre, Apartheid dissident, and eventual partner of the Black Panthers' Stokely Carmichael, Miriam Makeba, needs little introduction, but the elegant 1974 swing of "L'Enfant Et La Gazelle" has to figure pretty high in any "top anti war lounge songs of the 70's involving heartrending animal metaphors" list.
Cameroonian musician, sculptor, and writer Frances Bebey's "The Coffee Cola Song"(1982) is based around a traditional pygmy flute and local guitars, but with added fizzing drum machine percussion alongside prominent synths, all nodding to emergent Western pop of the day. Benin studio owner Nel Oliver's "Let My Music Take You" (1976 ) boasts exuberant horns, shuffly shaker and a late arriving squelchy Moog.
Switching gears a bit, Cameroonian Uta Bella's "Eben Reggae" is more quietly instrumental 70's cocktail reggae: lighter on the bottom end, heavier on the Hammond organs, easy on the ear.
Keeping it breezy, the infectious Bossa Nova groove of Togolese favourite Yta Jourais' 1977 "Pesse Mi Buntare" wanders off on a pleasing jazz sax excursion mid song, while Amara Toure' and Orchestre Masako's "Lamento Cubano" combines solid grooves and free form guitar solos with the plaintive lament.
Veering off on another late tangent, we get the heavy, leftfield, psyche funk of "On My Way" from Nigeria's shortlived but explosive Aura (Aspiritual Emanation) outfit (1976), before Chakachas "Soledad" rounds things off in mellifluous style with it's gentle cosmic lounge vibes.

Black Reggae - My Girl Reggae
Written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White.
Published by Jobete Music Co.
Nel Oliver - Let My Music Take You
Written by Nel Oliver.
Published by Copyright Control.
Yta Jourias - Pesse Mi Buntare
Written by Yta Jourias.
Published by Dharma Songs.
Myriam Makeba - L'Enfant Et La Gazelle
Written by H. Giraud and E. Marnay.
Published by Copyright Control.
Dan Lacksman - Coconut
Written by Dan Lacksman.
Published by Copyright Control.
Uta Bella - Eben Reggae
Written by Uta Bella.
Published by Dharma Songs.
Amara Toure & Orchestre Massako - Lamento Cubano
Written by Amara Toure.
Published by Copyright Control.
Aura (Aspiritual Emanation) - On My Way
Written by Aura.
Published by Dharma Songs.
Francis Bebey - The Coffee Cola Song
Written by Francis Bebey.
Published by Copyright Control.
Chakachas - Soledad
Written by Nico Gomez.
Published by Klugerpartners.
(P) 2019 Africa Seven

1. Black Reggae - My Girl Reggae Buy Track ( 0.94)
2. Nel Oliver - Let My Music Take You Buy Track ( 0.94)
3. Yta Jourais - Pesse Mi Buntare Buy Track ( 0.94)
4. Myriam Makeba - L'Enfant Et La Gazelle Buy Track ( 0.94)
5. Dan Lacksman - Coconut Buy Track ( 0.94)
6. Uta Bella - Eben Reggae Buy Track ( 0.94)
7. Amara Toure And Orchestre Massako - Lamento Cubano Buy Track ( 0.94)
8. Aura (Aspiritual Emanation) - On My Way Buy Track ( 0.94)
9. Francis Bebey - The Coffee Cola Song Buy Track ( 0.94)
10. Chakachas - Soledad Buy Track ( 0.94)
Buy All Tracks ( 7.05)

Buy Physical LP (24.99)