MILES CLERET DE SOUNDWAY RECORDS toujours trés actif en matiere de réédition afro

17 Mar

Early 2010 we stumbled upon a rare 45 of The Funkees with a sublime War cover, Slipping Into Darkness, which we transformed into a gritty free MP3 download, with all the original vinyl crackles and bumps, even after the remastering… But it was not the only time we played the Nigerian Afro-Rock grooves of The Funkees on Paris DJs. We played Mimbo from the Now I’m A Man album (1976) on African Mashed Potato Popcorn Vol.2 in 2006, Acid Rock from My First Date 7 inch (1971) on The Afrofunk Expressway Vol.2 in 2009, and Too-Lay from the 45 of the same name (1975) on Afro Dope, also in 2009. You won’t find this Too-Lay 45 on this new Soundway Records compilation of The Funkees’ work, so we’re still proud diggers, but anyway this is an absolute must-have. If you’re an adult still listening to minimal house today there ain’t much we can do for you, but if you’re reading this you might be a follower of our podcast and we can trust you not to hesitate on getting your hands of this gem of a compilation!

The Funkees Dancing Time
The Funkees – Dancing Time: The Best of Eastern Nigeria’s Afro Rock Exponents

Tracklisting :
01. Ole
02. Akpankoro
03. Onye Mmanya
04. Abraka
05. Point Of No Return
06. Akula Owu Onyeara
07. Acid Rock
08. Ogbu Achara
09. Slipping Into Darkness
10. Dancing Time
11. Baby I Need You
12. Break Through New Dub
13. Life
14. Mimbo
15. 303
16. Dancing In The Nude
17. Salem *
18. Dance With Me *

« The Funkees were the most admired of all groups in eastern Nigeria at that time, » recalls Foundars 15’s Mashal Udo. « The level of professionalism, the maturity of their sound was so much beyond what anybody else was doing. Everybody who picked up an instrument to play music aimed to be like them ».

‘Dancing Time: The Best of Eastern Nigeria’s Afro Rock Exponents 1973 – 77’ by The Funkees is the latest title on Soundway to mine the rich musical output of 60s and 70s Nigeria. For the five-year period this compilation spans The Funkees output crackled with dance floor fire.

Having featured on three of Soundway’s most popular titles, across the definitive Nigeria Special compilation series, we felt The Funkees output deserved closer inspection. Presented here (on CD, download & double gatefold LP) are 18 slices of funky Afro-rock grooves hand picked by Soundway’s Miles Cleret from a selection of the bands 45s and two long players.

In the early 1970s The Funkees were the number-one east Nigerian band and the only outfit to seriously challenge the popular Lagos based rock combos MonoMono and BLO. Stoking the dancefloor was the young band’s first priority and The Funkees were often playing through the night, seven days a week.

Formed at the tail end of the Nigerian civil war by Harry Mosco Agada (then a guitarist in Celestine Ukwu’s Music Royals) the band played for the army’s 12th Brigade in Aba and went through a rapid series of membership changes in search of the perfect line-up of players.

It wasn’t long before promoters in the UK came calling and The Funkees packed up their instruments and moved to London where they quickly established a fierce reputation on the live circuit.

Here they recorded two seminal albums before finally breaking up in 1977 amidst some controversy. This collection features for the first time all of their Nigerian 45s alongside the best of their UK album material and is accompanied by a full interview with original member Sonny Akpan, who still lives in
(source soundway records)


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