Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Mr Bongo Record Club - Volume 2

Mr Bongo Record Club - Volume 2
Mr Bongo

As far as feverishly anticipated follow ups go, Mr Bongo's sophomore Record Club release is up there with Stranger Things, Blade Runner and the next round of charges to be levelled at the Drumpf administration.
Speaking of feverish, what better word to describe Elbernita 'Zwinkie' Star's Awake O Zion, an Afro-tinged Disco juggernaut that sets the tone for a right old party. That's just what is in store here, 14 tracks (or 18 if you cop the CD version) of infectious African and Latin grooves and rump-rattling rumpus, all influenced by the global Disco phenomenon that swept the globe around the time of these recordings.
Volume One sold out in minutes and was picked by Lauren Laverne as her album of the day on 6 Music. This time round, we've got even more Disco and Soul in favour of a few more traditional sounds, which is marvellous news for anyone throwing a dancing party. 
Highlights are many but Kiru Stars (Julius Kang’ethe) by Family Planning is sublime, while Dee Edwards' Put Your Love On the Line stands out, not only as the only American track featured, but as a bona fide stomper. Elias Rahbani And His Orchestra's Liza… Liza is also particularly curious - is it Bollywood? Genuinely not sure. Anyway, it's all bloody brilliant, go buy.

TRACKLIST (VINYL 2-LP): A1. Elbernita ‘twinkie’ Clark – Awake O Zion (full length, original version) / A2. Dee Edwards – Put Your Love On The Line / A3. Anubis – Ecology / B1. Guy Cuevas – Ebony Game / B2. Kiru Stars (Julius Kang’ethe) – Family Planning / B3. Teaspoon & The Waves – Oh Yeh Soweto / C1. Leny Andrade – Não Adianta / C2. Rosa Maria – Samba Maneiro / C3. Tom & Dito – Obrigado Corcovado / C4. Inezita Barroso – Maracatu Elegante / C5. Joao Diaz – Capoeira / C6. The Equatics – Merry Go Round / D1. Elias Rahbani And His Orchestra – Liza… Liza / D2. The Beaters – Harari
TRACKLIST, (CD): 1. Luiz Henrique – Mas Que Nada / 2. Elbernita ‘twinkie’ Clark – Awake O Zion / 3. Guy Cuevas – Ebony Game / 4. Kiru Stars (Julius Kang’ethe) – Family Planning / 5. Kelenkye Band – Jungle Music / 6. Effi Duke & The Love Family – The Time Is Come / 7. Anubis – Ecology / 8. Dee Edwards – Put Your Love On The Line / 9. Teaspoon & The Waves – Oh Yeh Soweto / 10. Oby Onyioha – Enjoy Your Life / 11. Leny Andrade – Não Adianta / 12. Rosa Maria – Samba Maneiro / 13. Tom & Dito – Obrigado Corcovado / 14. Inezita Barroso – Maracatu Elegante / 15. Joao Diaz – Capoeira / 16. Elias Rahbani And His Orchestra – Liza… Liza / 17. The Beaters – Harari / 18. The Equatics – Merry Go Round

The Flying Stars of Brooklyn NY - My God Has A Telephone

The Flying Stars of Brooklyn NY - My God Has A Telephone
Colemine Records

Legend has is Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in return for his virtuosic guitar playing. The same devil must have traded with the Flying Stars of Brooklyn NY to afford them the ability to cut a record in 2017 that sounds 100% like it was cut in 1953. Only, for that to have happened, Beelzebub would have their souls, which would render the performance of this gospel-tinged soul joint impossible. Can't cut soul records without soul, right? Maybe the devil used the souls of The Flying Stars as a muse and performed through the vehicles of their bodies. Yes, that's it - like Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost. Must be. Either way, this is an exquisite record. Well worth swapping your soul for. Or alternatively, head here and exchange cash money instead.

Long Distance Dan - The Dust Man Stirs

Long Distance Dan - The Dust Man Stirs
Dusted Industries

Oh yes please. This is the kind of email submission that makes CMFCP very happy. Top drawer, cinematic, psychedelic beats crafted with abandon and no shortage of craftsmanship. To give an idea of where The Dust Man Stirs sits in the musical landscape, let's say you could file this album alongside the likes of DJ Shadow's early work, Edan, Boca 45, The Avalanches, Blockhead and DJ Food. However it would be an injustice to the artistry of Long Distance Dan to dwell too long on commonality - this is a remarkable album in its own right.
Apparently the name of the LP was provided by LDD's 2 year old son - startlingly prosaic! Gliding through 18 tracks in just 45 minutes, the range of styles and sample material is transfixing. Deliciously saturated drums throughout act as adhesive for these disparate styles, allowing Garage Rock, fuzzy Funk, Dub, Americana and a gaggle of other sound snippets to meld with a refined playfulness.
With sumptuous artwork by Sun Moth (AKA 2econd Class Citizen) The Dust Man Stirs is available through Bandcamp for whatever price you feel is appropriate

Sunday, 22 October 2017

MNP - Ratto Nero / Beard

Delights (APDLT666)

Brightonian psych-funk trio MNP release their sophomore 7" on Delights, and it's a barrage of sludgy grooves and melon-twisting melodies. Grungy as hell, menacing and lo-fi, it's music right out of a Tarantino fight scene. So intensely evocative is A-side Ratto Nero, it provokes vivid scenes in the listener's imagination, wherein bearded outlaws lay waste to a sleepy desert town until the alcoholic-but-righteous Sheriff enters the fray, spilling the blood of the hoodlums one slo-mo frame at a time  - or have I just had too much coffee this morning? Alternate A-side Beard is no less evocative, this time with a creeping, almost Pink Panther-esque jaunt to it's wistfully abrasive broodiness. Suggestions for genre descriptions as follows: Grunge-funk. Instrumental Death-Hop. Slasher-Soul. Spur-gaze.

OK, definitely too much coffee.

Curiosity Corner #1

Alan Parsons Project - I Wouldn't Want To Be like You

Speaking of incoherent concepts, ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for... the very first Curiosity Corner at CMFCP!

Simply put, this is where we will celebrate a fine moment or two of music history... the odder the better.

Who better to start with than the king of prog himself, Alan Parsons. People love to hate on prog rock, but the Alan Parsons Project wrote some of the finest music ever recorded, so please don't dismiss them as mere prog rockers... if you did, I Wouldn't Want To Be like You

From the 1977 album I, Robot, it's a spectacular proto-disco rock jam that feels utterly timeless.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Last Gas Station - Late Summer 7 (free compilation)

Last Gas Station - Late Summer Vol 7
Last Gas Station

Back once again with the chill behaviour... it's Last Gas Station with another delicious collection of sweet soul music and deep beats. Free ones at that.

Featuring some exemplary names from the thinking person's musical elite, we've got summery vibes in abundance, expertly curated by the Athenian afficionados.

The likes of Salsoul Orchestra, Rabo and Snob, Kraak & Smaak, Joutro Mondo and Soul Clap will be familiar to those who share CMFCP's love for smart Disco, providing the backbone of a compilation that puts the 'light' in 'delight'

Efharisto, malakas!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Jazzman presents Jukebox Mambo

Jazzman presents: Jukebox Mambo
Jazzman Records

Since the release of their first Jukebox Mambo compilation album in 2012, Jazzman Records, with the curatorial expertise of DJ Liam Large, have been opening ears and minds to the delights of Latin-tinged Rhythm & Blues. This, the third release in the series, sticks squarely to the tried and tested formula of its predecessors; combining a crate-digger’s passion for the obscure with an ear for instant dancefloor crowd pleasers.

In a congested field of R&B comps, Jukebox Mambo stands out uniquely in shedding light on the era of Latin American and Caribbean influence, a sensual rhythmic shift which continues to be felt in modern music today.

The compilation comes with in-depth track notes and photographs, is available as a deluxe double vinyl tip on gatefold as well as a super limited edition vintage style 6 x 10" book set - with unique artwork and four exclusive bonus tracks.

Out now through all good stores including Rough Trade or you can even get a 4 x 10 inch version with extra tracks through Jazzman from November

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Courtney Pine - Black Notes From the Deep

Courtney Pine - Black Notes From the Deep
Freestyle Records

Tender, full-bodied and refined; every note sounds beautifully necessary, with a form to match. Omar Lyefook's voice soars above Pine's luscious arrangements.

No musician embodies more the dramatic transformation in the British jazz scene over the past thirty years than Courtney Pine. His debut album, Journey To The Urge Within in 1987, was the first serious jazz album ever to make the British Top 40, notching up sales to qualify for a silver disc.

As an artist always looking to work outside of and across established musical genres, it is easier to list the musicians and artists he hasn't worked with, but now in 2017 Courtney releases brand new music featuring another British music legend of equal repute, his Freestyle Records label mate and an artist also honoured for his own creative endeavours; Omar Lyefook MBE.

Black Notes From The Deep is the 19th album of his stellar career, and sees Courtney return to the tenor sax for the first time in over a decade, an instrument he has been playing the longest and is often associated with. With over 30 years in the limelight, and one of the very first black musicians to make a firm imprint on the jazz scene this side of the Atlantic, the new album demonstrates why he is considered to be one of our most cherished national treasures.

Just the one song available to stream ahead of the release, check it here (along with another opportunity to pre-order

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

CMFCP October Podcast

Curious Music for Curious People
October Podcast

New new and new old music from around the globe - it's the resurrected CMFCP podcast series! Featuring new new and new old music from the likes of Jazzman Records, Psychemagik, Tramp Records, Monsaldo Y los Figuridos, Actual Doctor, Tundra and more.

  1. Michael Embellon - Gravity (Psychemagik Edit)
  2. Junior Byron - Trying to Hold On
  3. Initial Talk & Deena O - I'm in Love
  4. Coco Bill - Evita (Don Dayglow Edit)
  5. Sandy Lee - Song For Stormy
  6. Charlie Chisholm Bosstet - Wade In the Air
  7. Gene Faith - When My Ship Comes In
  8. Arian - Nisam Taj
  9. A Pila el Arroz - Ghetto Kumba (Afro Rework)
  10. Monsalvo Y Los Fotrajidos - Abeja
  11. Monogram Caribbean Orchestra - Calypso Cha Cha for Spooks
  12. Actual Doctor - Revolution Type
  13. Aeon Musk - Time
  14. Tundra - Got U
  15. Africaine 808 - Everybody Wants You
  16. The General - Tough De Things

The Allergies dig Jalapeno

The Allergies - Blast Off (Remix) / You Got Power
Jalapeno Records

It's semi-coherent concept time at Jalapeno Towers, wherein the funky beats and slick grooves behemoth invite their highly respected roster to 'dig' through their vast vaults of virtual vinyl. Over a decade of Jalapeno means a monstrous melange of music to muddle through, and we are served some supreme selections from the likes of Boca 45, Soopasoul, Parker, Dr Rubberfunk and Skeewiff among others. To kick things off it's Bristol beatsmiths The Allergies. Still basking in the glory of their rapturously received Push On LP, of feverish acclaim from tastemakers BBC 6 Music among others, the boys dig out a hitherto unheard remix of Rock Rock B-side Blast Off feat Andy Cooper, and the piece de resistance, a booty-shaking Northern Soul banger You Got the Power.

The concept may be a tad muddled but the music's lovely. Out October 20th on Jalapeno

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Kafundo Vol 5 - Afro-Brazilian Roots & Wires

Kafundo Vol 5 - Afro-Brazilian Roots & Wires

Kafundo's explorations of Brazilian heritage music continue with the fifth installment in their series. Not many western people associate Brazil with African and Caribbean culture but in the North and North-west of the gargantuan country, Brazil boasts huge swathes of folk with such lineage. Spoken like someone who has read this in a textbook rather than see it with their own eyes. Still, musically-speaking if nothing else, some African or Caribbean influence generally means infectious rhythms, bold and sassy tunes and energy for days. None of these are qualities that Brazilian music has any danger of lacking, so when melded together we are treated to seriously high octane carnival sounds!

Kafundo Volume 5 is a crucial exposè of the finest modern Afro-Brazilian music incorporating traditional folk songs, samba and fully modernised bass music from some of the country's leading DJs and producers. Wonderful.

Fourtet - New Energy

Fourtet - New Energy

Kieran Hebden AKA Fourtet delivers his latest album New Energy - replete with customary sublime melodies and forward-thinking arrangements. New Energy is a warm, bounteous cavalcade of woozy synths, meditative rhythms and dynamic percussion that is somehow bold and club-friendly yet contemplative and tranquil.

Probably the closest thing in style to his much loved Roads album of 2013, particular highlights include the steel drum infused Lush, Two Thousand Seventeen, the ambient house of SW9 9SL and Planet. To give New Energy it's deserved respect you really need to sit down with the whole record and let yourself go, as it's one to take in as a whole. In a way that's to say it's lacking stand out tracks - no obvious belters, but as a package it's nonetheless satisfying.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Chewy Rubs - Free Love

Chewy Rubs - Free Love
Midnight Riot Records

Tom Vine AKA Chewy Rubs is back with a new EP of infectious Disco loops on Midnight Riot. Pleasingly diverse in tone while plying trademark repetition to devastating effect. Disco gold for the dancefloor that carries a refined, modern aesthetic while retaining all the character of the sample source material. Out now exclusive to Juno Download

Friday, 13 October 2017

Deena O & Initial Talk - I'm in Love

Deena O & Initial Talk - I'm in Love
NDYD Records

An 80s-inspired throwback Disco jam par excellence from the mysterious Deena O & Initial Talk... No liner notes, can't find them online but this is a cracking tune that deserves your attention. Grab it from Bandcamp below

*edit* NDYD label boss Kris Santiago got in touch to give us some more insight. Initial Talk is a Japanese cat with a huge Youtube following for his throwback 80s productions, while Deena O hails from Frankfurt and is a soul singer influenced by her Nigerian roots and New Jack Swing/RnB. A fine pair they make - let's hope this isn't the last time they work together

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Fatoumata Diawara - Kanou (Fatoumata Revision)

Fatoumata Diawara - Kanou (Fatoumata Revision)

Modern Afro-soul-house vibes from Fatoumata Diawara... sounds like a day relaxing on a deserted Kenyan beach. Or at a faux-swanky pool party in some soulless expat bolt-hole. But that's not Fatoumata's fault - she just made a really delicious tune. Free download too.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Coco Bill - Evita (Don Dayglow Edit)

Coco Bill - Evita (Don Dayglow Edit)

Probably the best record from my recent digging jaunt to Genoa. Yes, that was an Italo-Disco in-joke. 
Coco Bill's magnificent Evita given a tender, loving rub for maximum vibes. Free to you in advance of my Italo edits EP, out soon.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Alfa Mist - Antiphon

Alfa Mist - Antiphon
Pink Bird
Heartbreakingly CMFCP only just discovered this - too late to bag one of the 250 LP copies that Pink Bird pressed. Stumbled upon purely by chance, Alfa Mist Antiphon is one of the finest modern jazz records in a long time. Possibly ever. It's right up there with Kamasi Washington, BadBadNotGood, Jaga Jazzist or Yussef Kamaal/Kamaal Williams, who are widely recognised as among the elite of today's jazz maestros. Alfa Mist appears to have come from nowhere, but his forward-facing blend of striking jazz arrangements, punchy beats and innovative instrumentation make Antiphon stand out a mile. Apparently conceived and recorded after conversations with his brothers, it's a record that invokes the true spirit of jazz, while not once sounding generic. Stunning stuff.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Murlo - Wind Me Up

Murlo - Haze

Following the Akira repress feature by pure chance comes Mancunian melody-smith Murlo's Haze, taken from his new EP Wind Me Up. Fans of Machinedrum and Flume will adore the futuristic, sparse yet detailed productions, while anime fans will fall over themselves for the sumptuous artworks and videos created by the poly-mathematical protagonist himself.

The video to Haze is a simple still from the Wind Me Up artwork pallette. Musically, swooning, cascading synths, ambient touches and expressive keyboards meet staccato percussion amid deft arrangement and simple, prominent basslines. 

This piece wouldn't be complete without giving shine to Murlo's animation skills alongside the music. Below you'll find a selection of Merlot's Murlo's finest vintages (wine joke - sorry)

Trap-style in delivery and very much club-friendly, Tired of You retains a characteristic depth and sense of melancholy that lift the insistent, Grime bass and lead lines to heights a lesser producer wouldn't manage. The video that accompanies is nothing short of jaw-dropping, reminiscent of the best Japanese animé, a little Robert Crumb flavour adding menace to the slow-moving, captivating pictures. 

Glassy, chromatic and entrancing visuals galore - You & Me is somewhere between Audio-Visual installation and narrative music video, with the romance of the vocal and soft/hard juxtapositions within the music adding to the bittersweet aesthetic.

Finally, Into Mist blends hand drawn animation with computer manipulated imagery, set to a sprightly, percussive instrumental with Murlo's signature minimalist soulfulness in abundance.

See/hear more Murlo magic on his Youtube channel, and be sure to cop his brilliant Wind Me Up EP here 

Geinoh Yamashirogumi - Akira OST

Geinoh Yamashirogumi - Akira OST (30th Anniversary Edition)
Milan Entertainment

Having been promised towards the end of last year, we finally see the reissue of one of the most sought after soundtracks of all time - that of 1987's Manga classic Akira. Not simply precious for it's rarity (only a handful of original vinyl and CD copies remain, fetching astronomical sums) it is a bona fide masterpiece. Yamashirogumi's forward-thinking blend of electronic and traditional instruments, new-age ambience, vocal ad-libs and experimental jazz, coupled with his extraordinary skill as a narrative composer, evoke a soundscape as dramatic, detailed and compelling as the film itself.
This repress also includes the composer's 'Symphonic Suite', composed in advance of the film. Indeed, some of the film was even altered to fit the composition, an unusual step that attests to the brilliance of the score.

Get it from Juno (UK)Discogs or any good stockist.

If you're interested in learning more about Anime soundtracks, check out the wonderful AnimeonVinyl Youtube page

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Alessandro Alessandroni - Afro Discoteca

Alessandro Alessandroni - Afro Discoteca
Four Flies Italy

The sadly departed Alessandro Alessandroni, he of the 'most famous whistle in the world' and over 50 movie soundtracks, has Four Flies to thank, posthumously, for repressing his excellent Afro Discoteca EP for vinyl lovers everywhere. It's a seriously limited repress with just one per customer at Juno, so be quick!

4004 - Sense of Departure

4004 - Sense of Departure

A delicious slice of that hideously misrepresented genre Deep House. A term that has come to mean plodding, soulless EDM remixes of James Blunt songs and wanker-in-a-wine-bar soundtracking. Which is a huge shame because when House Music is Deep, it can be a marvelous thing, as Tijuana- based producer 4004 attests with his assured Sense of Departure EP. Uplifting, sharp, understated, seriously cool vibes that would have this correspondent reaching for the lasers faster than any of its jacking Big Room contemporaries.

Habibi Funk 007 - V/A

Habibi Funk 007 - Music from the Arab world  (Various Artists)
Habibi Funk

Following hot on the heels of Habibi Funk 008, here's 007. The name's Funk; Habibi Funk.
It's not just sequential irregularities* that will have you scratching your head here... the music within this brand new collection of lost music from the Arab world will pull your brain in a multitude of directions and inspire a giddy mix of abandon, fear, excitement and a pure joy of living. Much like driving in Beirut.
Intoxicating, wild, reckless, bizarre and infectious, the grooves within will ignite the dourest of souls.
The Habibi Funk mission statement is to re-release a style of music that never was. Music that is bound only by its connection to the vast, sprawling and disparate Arab world. Any time, any place. Traditional or western-influenced. It doesn't matter to Habibi Funk, they just want to bring our attention to the peculiar array of songs that would almost certainly remain undiscovered without their diligence.
This compilation features 16 such songs, mostly sung in Arabic and all wonderfully odd. The mix of Arabic instruments and Western influences (rockabilly, rock n roll and garage rock, mostly) make for incredible bed-fellows.
There's a DJ mix previewing the music from 007 by Konbini which offers a tantalising taste of the record, which you can pre-order on a range of formats from Bandcamp below. 

*Habibi Funk Mix 008, blogged last week, isn't really the precursor to Habibi Funk 007. One's a Mix Series, the other is a Record Series. But pretending enabled a rather cheap joke. Did you expect any better? 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Prins Thomas - Edmund

Prins Thomas - Edmund
Full Pupp Norway

The fiercely idiosyncratic Norwegian is back with the captivating Edmund - a long, long journey of insistent percussion and acidic synthesizers spanning 2 parts and 20 minutes of music. Commercial suicide at it's finest.

Ata Kak - Time Bomb (Documentary)

Ata Kak - Time Bomb

The truly remarkable, heartwarming tale of Ata Kak, brought to life in this RBMA documentary. The story of Ata Kak has some parallels with Sugarman, the South African folk musician whose music became a massive hit among young Americans 30 years after its recording and completey unbeknownst to the artist.
Ata Kak is a Ghanian villager who happened to make one album, at home in the early 90s. Some years later it was discovered by pure chance by African music collector Brian Shimkovitz, who was struck by how infectious, giddy and idiosyncratic the sounds were. He had never heard anything like it, and thus began a decade long search to find the artist responsible.
This is the story of how that all unfolded, and it will make you feel very, very happy.

Do not mug yourself by watching the doc and not then listening to the album in all its glory!

You can buy the album in a range of formats here (USA) or here (UK)

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Frenic feat Gracie Grey - Money in my Pocket

Frenic feat Gracie Grey - Money in my Pocket
This One Records

Bristol-dwelling beatsmith Frenic returns with the first glimpse of new album Initiation: Monomyth Pt 2, the follow-up to his exceptional Separation: Monomyth record of 2014.
An instalment in the odyssean Monomyth series, Initiation purports to pick up the plot where Separation left off. Inspired by his DJ tours of Greece, Frenic drew from the wells of Grecian epics and elected to dedicate his considerable talents to realising a concept where music meets narrative. Monomyth charts the journey of the hero, who remains unidentified and could be anyone, everyone, or just one. After all, the mono myth is the One Story - the narrative of fact, the narrative of fiction, the narrative of the stories we paint in our minds to structure our experience of reality. In this parabolic playground we are invited to entertain our own ideas of what the plot may entail, while engrossing ourselves in the dense, cinematic and expertly crafted songs within. They say the album is dead, that our attention spans are too short to sustain across a full length record. Perhaps it's true for the majority, or perhaps it's a pernicious myth. Either way, those who can confound that logic will find time spent with Monomyth generously rewarded.

Catch up with the plot by delving into Monomyth: Separation, and follow further below with Money in My Pocket feat. Gracie Grey, the first taste of Initiation. It's an eerie, tensely beautiful trip-hop opus with a captivating vocal and impressively refined Spanish guitar from Gracie Grey and Chris Miller, respectively. The lyrics and cut vocal samples cleverly depict a setting wherein our protagonist is easily imagined taking stock of unsatisfactory circumstances and stacked odds, yet finding the resolution to begin some sort of quest. A fitting opening scene of Monomyth: Initiaton, then.

Monomyth: Separation

Money in My pocket feat Gracie Grey

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Los Camaroes - Resurrection (Analog Africa Records)

Los Camaroes - Resurrection
Analog Africa 

Brand new on Analog Africa... Los Camaroes were huge stars in their native Cameroon in the 70s. This album was lovingly remastered and licensed for reissue and is an infectiously happy, delightful slice of music history. Analog Africa have applied a customarily thorough description which I can't really add to, so have a listen and enjoy the liner notes below:

* The electrifying final album from Cameroon's legendary Los Camaroes, available on LP for the first time since 1979. 

* Recorded live to two track at the Mango Bar in Yaoundé, Resurrection Los was the last collaboration between bandleader Jean Gabari and groundbreaking guitarist Messi Martin. 

* Deluxe LP reissue features notes on the history of the band by original keyboardist Mbambo "Johnny Cosmos" Simon, plus all new interviews with producer Nicolas Mongué and engineer Emmanuel Guyssot. 

Cameroon, 1978: it's like any good western movie. A man drifts through the plains at the furthest edge of the country in search of two former gunslingers, hoping to coax them out of retirement for one last showdown. Except this time, the weapons are guitars and the gunslingers are Jean Gabari and Messi Martin – the calm sheriff and his hot-headed deputy – who had led the band Los Camaroes to superstardom at the beginning of the decade. 

Los Camaroes emerged at the end of the 1960s from the town of Maroua in the northern, predominantly Islamic area of Cameroon. After changes in name, in lineup and in management, they worked their way south to the capital to make a name for themselves; in the span of only a few years they changed Cameroon's music scene forever, leaving a trail of sold-out nightclubs and monster radio hits in their wake. Then, at the height of their popularity, they broke up. 

The band had been led from the beginning by Jean Gabari, whose level-headedness and even-handedness inspired the respect and devotion of his musicians. But it was Gabari's alchemical collaborations with guitarist Messi Martin that drove the band to its greatest heights. Martin had developed an innovation that would earn him fame throughout Cameroon as the "king of Bikutsi", as Johnny Cosmos explains: 

"The primary instrument in Bikutsi is the balafon, and Messi came up with a trick that consisted of chewing small pieces of paper until they reached the right consistency and then stuck them between the strings of the guitar. This trick, which made a guitar sound like a balafon, catapulted him to stardom and turned him into the founder of Modern Bikutsi." (Check the song "Bezimbi" to hear Messi Martin´s wizardry on a Bikutsi tune) 

Martin's extraordinary talents were matched by a character of great unpredictability. He had been lured away from the band before by the promise of success and, in 1975, when Los Camaroes were at the peak of their power, he left them once again. Gabari tried to keep the band going, but his own longstanding battles with ill health eventually forced him to return to his hometown. With Gabari and Martin gone, the rest of the musicians drifted away in search of other gigs. By 1978, Los Camaroes were no more than a rapidly fading memory. 

But then came the resurrection. 

From out of nowhere, a businessman named Atangana Joseph appeared in northern Cameroon. His goal: to track down the original members of Los Camaroes and get them back together for their one final shot at immortality. The musicians reconvened at the legendary Mango Bar in the capital city of Yaoundé, the very place where, years earlier, they had established their reputation as one of Cameroon's most fearsome live bands. 

Producer Nicolas Mongué and engineer Emmanuel Guyssot were called in from Douala to record what was being billed as a comeback album. There was talk of going into a studio, but Los Camaroes had always thrived on the energy of the nightclub scene; they decided instead to record it live to two-track in the Mango Bar. 

The six tracks on the album were performed by a mixture of new recruits and veterans from the original Camaroes lineup – including Mpouli "Dodo" Emmanuel on Guitars, Boloko Michel on Bass, Eyango Claude on Organ, the percussion duo of Ndi Bellui and Enama Leon, and vocal contributions from Sala Bekono Joseph and Ngoebang Jean Marie – but the urgent rhythms and shimmering guitars sound like a band who simply picked up where they had left off. It seemed that everyone on the record was inspired by the exhuberant reunion between Martin and Gabari, the two magicians from which Los Camaroes had been born and born again 

The album, Resurrection Los Vol. 1, was completed in only a few days. There would be no Volume 2. The music that emerged during the Mango Bar sessions was the culmination of a fifteen year musical bond between Gabari and Martin, and what was supposed to be a comeback album ended up being a last testament — Gabari would die only a few years later and Martin, without his foil, would never find the same level of musical success. Even at the time, these two titans of Cameroon's music scene seemed to realise it would be the last time they would ever work together. The resurrection of Los Camaroes was short-lived … but it produced a masterpiece. 

The Analog Africa Dance Edition reissue of "Resurrection Los" was designed by Kathrin Remest and remastered by Frank Merritt at the Carvery and comes with a wonderful poster housed in a deluxe gatefold sleeve featuring the story of the band as told by original keyboardist Mbambo "Johnny Cosmos" Simon, as well as new interviews with the production team who supervised the now legendary Mango Bar sessions. This essential slab of Cameroon's musical history, previously unreleased outside of Africa, is available on LP for the first time since 1979. 

Kingdom of Kaffa - Dawa Ya Moto Ni Moto (reissue)

Kingdom of Kaffa - Dawa Ya Moto Ni Moto
That's Why Records (reissue)

Groovy, psychedelice African funk on a limited 100-copy colour vinyl repress from That's Why records. It's sleazy, it's got a low-slung funk vibe on both A-side and B, and it can be yours for a range of prices - £15 on ebay, £26 on Discogs, and most palatably £9.75 on Juno... better be quick! 

Toby Tobias - Resista 010

Toby Tobias - Resista 101

Some pure sunshine music from the Resista camp with the 10th episode of their vinyl only series. This time they've enlisted Toby Tobias, who has in turn enlisted Gabonese icon Pierre Akendengue. Side 1 is a straight edit, Tobias wielding his scalpel deftly to reimagine the track Yola as a magical slice of Gabonese Disco-Pop. On the flip, House on the hill is somewhere closer to an original track, blending samples of Akendengue and some looping Balafon percussion with swirling pads and just enough bass to keep the dancefloor moving.

Available from lots of stockists, including Phonica