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Africa Airways One - Funk Connection 1973-1980 (CD/LP, Africa Seven, 2015)

I would love to know more about this new Afro label, based in London and Paris. Who are the guys behind this? A collective of crate diggers, afro music-heads, label spotters and vinyl buying obsessives says the press release. Well those cats sure are right on point sending this slab of wax focusing on the funkier side of 70s African music our way! This is a sort of sampler of things to come, the musical taste seems to be quite representative of the African funk/disco chic we're used to in Paris, aiming at DJs first and foremost…

The insert in the LP gathers 13 cover artwork from albums to be reissued soon by the label and includes some tasty titles by Manu Dibango, Jake Sollo, Jo Bisso, Jo Tongo, Tala A.M., Sookie, Ray Stephen Oche, Pasteur Lappe or the Grand Kalle and African Jazz, and if this new label is really going to put all those out on glorious vinyl then we'd love to do an interview and/or offer a spot for a mix on our podcast…

Here's a list of some upcoming Africa Seven releases :
ASVN002 - Manu Dibango - Ceddo
ASVN003 - Jake Sollo - s/t
ASVN004 - Jo Bisso - Dance To It
ASVN005 - Jo Tongo - s/t
ASVN006 - Tala A.M. - Arabica
ASVN007 - Manu Dibango - Manu 76
ASVN008 - Sookie - Sookie
ASVN009 - Manu Dibango - Anty
ASVN011 - Manu Dibango - Home Made
ASVN014 - Ray Stephen Oche - Interpretation Of The Original Rhythm
ASVN015 - Pasteur Lappe - Na Man Pass Man
ASVN016 - Grand Kalle And African Jazz - Souvenirs From The Congo
ASVN021 - Manu Dibango - Disque d'Or

Sounds tasty, right?

Africa Airways One Funk Connection 1973-1980
Various - Africa Airways One (Funk Connection 1973-1980)
(CD/LP) Africa Seven ASVN001, 2015-03-23

Tracklisting :
A1. Ekambi Brillant - Africa Africa
A2. Tala A.M. - Black Gold
A3. Kemayo - Kag Am
A4. Jo Tongo - Jongola
A5. Manu Dibango - Mimbo
B1. Jo Bisso - Give It Up
B2. M’Bamina - Mbongui
B3. Jake Sollo - Father Time, Mother Nature
B4. Sookie - Choco Date
B5. African Soul band - Nande

Links :
Buy on
Africa Seven : bandcamp | facebook | parisdjs | soundcloud | twitter

Press Release :
Its early 2015. Welcome to Africa Seven. We are a new record label. We may be based in Paris and London but our hearts firmly rooted in the universal motherland. We love African music, we want everyone to hear it and we want to spread the love. We are a collective of crate diggers, afro music-heads, label spotters and vinyl buying obsessives. We don’t have any particular musical release agenda apart from, “is it of African origin, does it have a beat?, do we like it?”. For the first few releases on Africa Seven we are exploring a rich seam of creativity and groove from the 70’s. Stand by for re-issues from Manu Dibango, Jake Sollo, Jo Tongo, Pasteur Lappe and Tala AM to name but a few.

Trying to decide our first release was a long drawn out affair. Everyone had their favorites…. Would it Manu, Tala, Ray, Jake or Jo? In the end we just couldn’t decide. To keep the peace we settled on a taster compilation called “African Airways Vol 01”. Think of it as a statement of intent. A sample of aural treats in store. As for the cheesy name, well….. we like African Music, who doesn’t like air hostesses? and we are aeroplane geeks. It was a no-brainer really.

Volume 1 of Africa Airways focuses on the funkier side of 70s African music. We can’t think of any better way to start an African compilation than some pounding, powerful, masterful African drumming. Thank you Ekambi Brilliant, you sure know how to set up an opening track. Next up we jump to the Cameronian king of the Tchamassi dance, Tala Andre Marie (Tala AM is his snazzier moniker). “Black Gold” is a track that really says it all. Cant-sit-still grooves, masterfully jangly guitars and a really cool nascent use of synthesizers. Is it possible to play a song over and over again 300 times? – we think so. Elvis Kemayo is next up with the funky assault. Big brass, big basslines and happy times. Cameroonian native Jo Tongo, now lives in New York but back in the 70s he was part of the Fiesta label massive who were cranking out great records in Paris. “Jangolo” is quite possibly his finest moment. Keeping things Cameroon to finish up side one is the Saxophone master Manu Dibango. “Mimbo” is jazzy, darty gem. Manu recently turned 80 and celebrated with a series of gigs. A true afro legend with over 30 albums to his name. Quite a few have never been re-issued since the 70s and they are now patiently queued up on our release schedule.

Opening side two of our vinyl is Jo Bisso. Give It Up is a funky, brass however from 1977 on the Disques Esperance label. Next up is “Mbongui”. Did you think a flute in African music could sound this funky? Nigerian Jake Sollo met with an untimely death but his music lives on. Jake was a leader of one of the first wave of funky afro bands to come out of Nigeria in the early 70s, “The Funkees”. “Father Time and Mother Nature” retains all those key elements of what made his band so successful. Sookie are next up with their US style funk… but with an African twist. To finish up the LP Paris based “African Soul Band” bring out the dark strings, chanted Senegalese vocals and mirroring marimbas for their epic closer “Nande” from 1978.

Stay tuned for more Africa Seven releases on CD, Vinyl and Digital. Our next release is from the Cameroonian Saxophone master Manu Dibango with a rare 1977 Film Soundtrack “Ceddo”. Think thoughtful, brooding afrobeat meets Shaft.

Credits :
Compiled by John Bryan
Mastered by Sean P and Eugene Rasini @ Cromon Tor. Artwork by Richard Elson.
Thanks to Jean Karakos, Nik Weston, Sean P & Stevie Kotey
01 written by Ekambi Brillant, published by Dharma Songs, picenced from Fiesta Records
02 written by Tala Andre Marie, published by Dharma Songs, picenced from Fiesta Records
03 written by Elvis Kemayo, published by Copyright Control, picenced from Fiesta Records
04 written by Jo Tongo, published by Dharma Songs, picenced from Fiesta Records
05 written by Manu Dibango, published by Copyright Control, picenced from Fiesta Records
06 written & Produced by Jo Bisso, published by Copyright Control, picenced from Disques Esperance
07 written by M'Bamina & Samba Ngo, produced by Philippe Brejean, published by Copyright Control, picenced from Fiesta Records
08 written & Produced by Jake Sollo, published by Dharma Songs, picenced from Disques Esperance
09 written by Sookie, produced by Jo Tongo, published by Copyright Control, picenced from Disques Esperance
10 written by Alpha K. Kouyate, published by Copyright Control, picenced from Fonior


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zim zim ·  15 May 2015, 16:48

you wanted to know more about the label - it's not a new one - it's actually sonodisc/fonior, which has relatively new owners. You might notice that all these tracks are from fiesta LPs.

the self-description is actually a quite calculated PR decision/"rebranding" to appear to be diggers. One other thought its seems strange to call yourself "Africa 7" and then your first release all comes from LP rather than 7"s

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