African Funk Compilation!
Volume 1 of Africa Airways focuses on the funkier side of '70s African music. And there's no better way to start an African compilation than some pounding, powerful, masterful African drumming courtesy of Ekambi Brillant. Next up we jump to the Cameronian king of the Tchamassi dance, Tala AM. "Black Gold" is a track that really says it all. Cant-sit-still grooves, masterfully jangly guitars and a really cool nascent use of synthesizers. Elvis Kemayo is next up with the funky assault. Big brass, big basslines and happy times. Cameroonian native Jo Tongo was part of the Fiesta label massive who were cranking out great records in Paris in the '70s. "Jangolo" is quite possibly his finest moment. Keeping things Cameroon to finish up side one is the saxophone master Manu Dibango. "Mimbo" is jazzy, darty gem.
Opening side two is Jo Bisso. "Give It Up" is a funky number from 1977 on the Disques Esperance label. Next up is Mbongui. Did you think a flute in African music could sound this funky? Nigerian Jake Sollo met with an untimely death but his music lives on. Jake was a leader of one of the first wave of funky afro bands to come out of Nigeria in the early 70s, The Funkees. "Father Time, Mother Nature" retains all those key elements of what made his band so successful. Sookie is next up with their US style funk with an African twist. To finish up the LP Paris based African Soul Band bring out the dark strings, chanted Senegalese vocals and mirroring marimbas for their epic closer "Nande" from 1978.