A REVISIT TO MANU’S VOODOO (AND CRATE DIGGING POST-INTERNET)

A few weeks back, I was interview by The Ringer’s Justin Sayles for an article he just published about the last 20 years of crate-digging and sample-based production since the release of DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing. It is a sprawling long-form essay that covers a great deal of territory and I suspect it’d be of great interest to many of the readers of this site.

At the essay’s end, Sayles includes this section based around our convo:

Wang says that the internet has been both an “asset and a liability” for the world of crate digging. […]

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ABDOU EL OMARI: MOROCCAN MAGIC

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Naima Samih, Abdou El Omari: Rmani Rih
From 7″ (Disques Gam, 1977)

Abdou El Omari: Zifaf Filada
From 7″ (Disques Gam, 1977)

I basically know nil about Moroccan music/records but my friend Bachir, out in France, laced me with both of these. He’s North African by heritage and he’s been steadily collecting Tunisian and Moroccan records, especially pic sleeve 45s. Both of these songs feature the mesmerizing instrumental work of organist Abdou El Omari (Aquarium Drunkard briefly wrote about him earlier this year), whose zippy […]

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SILLY FOR SYLIPHONE

Last summer, I posted about the white whale Syliphone comp I got in Paris in August and now I just read that nearly the entirety of the Guinea’s Syliphone catalog has been digitized and is now being shared by the British Library. We’re talking over 7500 songs, in dozens of languages. This is an incredible resource for Afropop fans/scholars now. I’m already sampling through the various boogaloo songs in the catalog!

MYRIAM’S QUINTETTE: MERCY/MERCI

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Myriam’s Quintette: Solo Quintette (Syliphone, 1971, Discotheque ’71)

I just got back from my first ever trip to Paris (which was a blast) and while out there, I stopped by two stores: Superfly and Betino’s (both of which are highly recommended). Over the next few posts, I’ll be talking about records brought back from both but I had to start with this song in particular.

I first wrote about this here, back in 2004. It’s from a compilation produced out of Guinea though not all the artists […]

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KANTÉ MANFLA: AFROBOOGALOO

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Kanté Manfla: Mosso Gnouma (Boogaloo) (Djima, 196?, 7″)

I was writing the other day about Afro-Latin music…out of Africa and this track by the Ivory Coast’s Kanté Manfla highlights that tradition with a deliberate spin on New York’s boogaloo style. I love examples of how music criss-crosses regions to create spin-offs like this, especially with how soulful this version becomes thanks to those guitars.

365 Days of Soul, #143

DR. NICO: CONGO-LATIN SOUL

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Docteur Nico & L’Orchestre African Fiesta: Suavilo (African, 1972, 7″)

Normally, one shouldn’t judge a record by its cover but this one sounds as good as it looks. Nico was known for his love of Afro-Cuban music and this is an obvious meeting of many styles into one delicious groove.

365 Days of Soul, #136

THE FUNKEES: THEY’RE CALLED THE FUNKEES. NUFF SAID.

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The Funkees: Slippin’ Into Darkness (EMI, 1973, 7″)

The flipside to this, “Breakthrough” (cover of Atomic Rooster) went onto Deep Covers 2 but surprisingly, I forgot to share the A-side, which was the original reason I copped this killer 7″ from EMI’s Nigeria catalog.

365 Days of Soul, #109

ONE WORLD: ALL HAIL THE VICTOR

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One World: The Victor (EMI Nigeria, 197?, Victory)

Nigerian funk/rock album.

I first heard this – I think – on a Matthew Africa mix. I may have that wrong but I definitely do own his old copy now; very bittersweet. A great example of what EMI’s Nigerian office was putting out back in the ’70s though. So soulful and funky.

365 Days of Soul, #56

LAFAYETTE AFRO-ROCK BAND: RIFF-RAFF

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Lafayette Afro-Rock Band: Raff (Makossa, 1974, Malik)

Afro-rock album.

Everyone cops this for “Darkest Light” and no doubt, awesome song. But this LP is no one-tracker and “Raff,” which opens the LP, throws you headfirst into the heady fusion blend that the Lafayette Afro-Rock Band was known for. “Raft,” in particular, reminds me a little of early Kool and the Gang spliced with a healthy dose of Manu Dibango.

Let’s also agree: one case where you can judge an album by its cover.

365 Days […]

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LIVING THE HIGH-LIFE

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Oscar Sulley feat. Air Force Band of Mid-America: Bontuku + Wahala Goes to Galos
From Music of West Africa (Delta, 1977)

If you ever thought, “man, you know what would be awesome? For a stage band to pair themselves to a master Ghanian high-life drummer,” then Oscar Sulley’s Music of West Africa is your dream collabo.

I first heard a song off this two-LP set at a Bump Shop party back in the day…pretty sure Leon Michels was spinning it at the time. Sulley was a […]

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