Nigeria 70: Sweet Times - Various Artists on 2LP + CD
Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju from 1970s Lagos!
Strut announce a brand new repress of the third installment in the pioneering Nigeria 70 compilation series, compiled 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 within much of the Nigeria 70 album series, 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 a languorous highlife jam by the legendary Victor Olaiya 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 Brooker and features extensive sleeve notes by writer and broadcaster Max Reinhardt.
"A landmark collection that remains a compelling journey into a time and place: Nigeria in the 1970s, when American soul and funk (along with Anglo-American blues-rock and psychedelia) infected the roots of traditional and popular West African musical styles like highlife, juju, fuji, and apala." - Dusted Magazine