Review: Fela Kuti and Tony Allen are your key starting points when it comes to the wild frenetic Afrobeat fusion Nigeria gave us in the late 60s but dig a teeny bit deeper and you'll find multi instrumentalist Tunji is right behind them. Armed with his band The Benders, Tunji ran a tight ship and perhaps should've done with a little more recognition. Now living and gigging in London, he's curated this essential collection of tracks from Afrobeat's most prolific era.
Hafusa Abasi & Slim Ali with The Yahoos Band - "Sina Raha"
Nashil Pichen & The Eagles Lupopo - "Ng'ong'a Wa Mwanjalo"
Nairobi Matata Jazz - "Tamba Tamba"
The Lulus Band - "Ngwendeire Guita"
Mbiri Young Stars - "Ndiri Ndanogio Niwe"
The Lulus Band - "Nana"
Afro 70 - "Weekend"
The Rift Valley Brothers - "Mu-Africa"
DO 7 Band - "HO Ochiri"
Afro '70 - "Cha-Umheja"
Peter Tsotsi Juma & The Eagles Lupopo - "Kajo Golo-Weka"
New Gatanga Sound - "Thonia Ni Caki"
Sophia Ben & The Eagles Lupopo - "See Serere"
Kalambya Boys - "Kivelenge"
The Loi-Toki-Tok Band - "Leta Ngoma"
Huruma Boys Band - "Theresia"
Orchestre Veve Star - "Nitarudia"
The Mombasa Vikings - "Mama Matotoya"
The Lulus Band - "Mutumia Muriu"
Ndalani 77 Brothers - "Nzaumi"
Review: Having explored the rich heritage of Nigeria and Ghana with well researched vigour, Soundway turn to Kenya for their next adventure... A rare insight: while Lagos was churning out seminal Afrobeat compositions, Kenya took to western influences in a much subtler fashion. With heavy emphasis on the Kenyan benga and Afro-Cuban rumba there's a much deeper, local folk presentation and format throughout most of the selection. Complete with detailed notes and beautiful presentation (like all Soundway compendiums) this won't look out of place in any collection.
Review: Soundway's latest essential collection successfully shines a light on synth-heavy South African music of the 1980s, chronicling local musicians and producers' attempts to create their own hybrid forms of boogie, synth-soul and bubblegum pop. Naturally, compilers Miles Cleret and DJ Okapi have done a brilliant job bringing together killer cuts that showcase the best of South Africa's '80s synth sounds, while at the same time ensuring a high ratio of rare and hard-to-treats. While some of the tracks genuinely sound like they could have been made in New York, London or L.A, there are plenty of others that include multiple instrumental nods to a diverse range of contemporaneous South African sounds. Crucially, the music is superb throughout.