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Grant Phabao Afrofunk Arkestra - Grant Phabao Afrofunk Arkestra (Limited edition LP, Paris DJs, 2018)



Grant Phabao Afrofunk Arkestra

Access to groovy, funkin', rockin', psychedelic, revolutionary (etc.) African music as we've grown to like it at Paris DJs was not for everyone before the internet age. For Paris DJs co-founder Loik, it began in the early 80s when he met with a former Fela Kuti horn player, who introduced him to Afrobeat. When Loik arrived at Radio Nova in 1986 (he was radio programmer there between 1987 and 1997), he then discovered marvels of African Music (other than Fela), through the radio's vast record collection, which soon led to the word-famous "La Sono Mondiale" concept.

At the same time, Grant Phabao, in his late teens, discovered Congolese music through friends from Zaire. He gets access to Afrobeat in the mid-90s with a Fela Kuti CD gathering the "Zombie" and "He Miss Road" albums, which long-time friend Djouls brought back from his diggin' sessions in Paris. Many friends ripped and burned that CD, for sure. Then the legendary Daktaris album happened on Desco Records in 1998, followed by the beginning of the Antibalas, the Comet Records & Strut Records compilations in 2000, and soon after Soundway Records… the rest is history but that's roughly how African Music started for us at Paris DJs (frequent collaborator Erik Rug had discovered African music through records and deejaying as soon as in the late 1970s, but his parents used to run a club, which kinda explains how Erik has always been cutting-edge and ahead of his time).

At this point we met online with Calumbinho on the Soulseek P2P network. Such a mind-bending experience… The man was sharing hundreds of full albums, all sorted by country, and had music from every corner of 1960s/70s/80s Africa! We asked for advice, he listed 50 records to begin with! All those records, digital files, influences & experience gathered together gave birth in 2006 to a series of mixes on the Paris DJs podcast, "African Mashed Potato Popcorn", blending old and new African music from all over the world. It was an instant smash, DJs from all over the world reaching out asking us to keep on focusing on this amazing music coming from Africa (or inspired by music from Africa).

Around that time, the Paris DJs crew met with musicians from Antibalas (Martín Perna, Duke Amayo / USA), and from the Poets Of Rhythm/Karl Hector bands (Ben Abarbanel-Wolff, Jan Whitefield / Germany). They had all played with Fela Kuti's guitar player Oghene Kologbo by then. The German guys had even started a band with him, the Afrobeat Academy, releasing an album together in 2007. Little did we know that from this point on, Kologbo and African music would grow to become a very important part of our lives.

We started collaborating with Samy Ben Redjeb from Analog Africa, Miles Cleret from Soundway or Quantic from Tru Thoughts, among many others very influential record collectors, for some exclusive mixes of rare afro/latin music on the Paris DJs podcast. In 2009 we co-organized the first Ebo Taylor show in Europe, with German musicians from the Afrobeat Academy/Whitefield Brothers/Jimi Tenor crew backing him along with Kologbo. Soon we helped open the Superfly Record Store and got our hands (and ears) on many rare, original African Records. Loik started recording Kologbo's second solo album "Africa Is The Future" (featuring Tony Allen and Pat Thomas!), Grant Phabao was producing his first afrofunk tunes, and all this new music was so damn funky…

Phabao went on a trip to Benin and Ghana, where he ended up hooking up with Ben Abarbanel-Wolff, who was recording with Ebo Taylor and Pat Thomas there. After a two-year period during which Grant Phabao and Djouls partnered with famous Irish-born, Paris-based producer Doctor L, and released with Cameroonian artist Franck Biyong no less than 16 digital albums and conceptual compilations, the Paris DJs label was born in 2012, with the addition of poster artist Ben Hito to the gang.

Five compilations in the "Tropical Grooves & Afrofunk International" series were released, with artists from all over the world, featuring the first tracks from the Grant Phabao Afrofunk Arkestra project, with Grant Phabao at the controls and many guests from the now global African music scene adding their own, original touch. Most of those were compiled in the "Massive Hits From the Grant Phabao Factory" LP in 2015.

It was a long read, many years of learning and sharing back, but we wanted to tell how African music slowly but surely infiltrated its way into Paris DJs' daily life, which led to the Kologbo LP being released at the end of 2017, and to this Grant Phabao Afrofunk LP to be released june 2018, featuring 20 guests among which Tony Allen, Oghene Kologbo, Sandra Nkaké, RacecaR, members of Antibalas, The Breakestra, Brownout, Fela Kuti's Egypt 80, Jungle Fire, Les Frères Smith, Ebo Taylor's Afrobeat Academy, Osemako… coming from Paris, Berlin, Lagos, Washington, Austin or Los Angeles!

Listen/pre-order on parisdjs.bandcamp.com

Grant Phabao Afrofunk Arkestra
Grant Phabao Afrofunk Arkestra - Grant Phabao Afrofunk Arkestra
(Limited edition LP/Digital) Paris DJs PARISDJS092, 2018-06-15

Tracklisting :
A1. Talking & Singing 04:41
A2. The Wow 05:09
A3. Ma Ndiongua Baloueti 4:29
A4. Feeling You Feeling Me 3:24
B1. Longi Kwa Tiena 4:49
B2. Fohunnonla 5:37
B3. Carib 6:48

Credits :
A1. Talking & Singing
Lyrics written by Sandra Nkaké & Jî Drû
Music composed by Grant Phabao
Vocals by Sandra Nkaké & Jî Drû
Flute by Jî Drû
Hammond Organ by Guillaume Méténier
Drums, percussion, bass, guitars, keyboards by Grant Phabao

A2. The Wow
Lyrics written by AFRODYETE
Music composed by Grant Phabao & Ben Abarbanel-Wolff
Vocals by AFRODYETE
Drums by Tony Allen
Percussion by Steve Haney, Oghene Kologbo & Alfred Sonou
Tenor guitar by Adrian Quesada
Clavinet by Will Rast
Vox organ by Guillaume Méténier
Baritone saxophone by Saké Smith
Tenor saxophone & bass by Ben Abarbanel-Wolff
Trumpet by Valentin Pellet & Sean Billings
Guitars, keyboards by Grant Phabao

A3. Ma Ndiongua Baloueti
Lyrics written by Swala Emati
Music composed by Grant Phabao & Sake Smith
Drums by Tony Allen
Percussion by Oghene Kologbo & Alfred Sonou
Vox organ by Guillaume Méténier
Baritone & alto saxophones by Saké Smith
Tenor saxophone by Fab Smith
Trumpet by Raphi Sake Smith
Bass, guitars, keyboards by Grant Phabao

A4. Feeling You Feeling Me
Lyrics written by AFRODYETE
Music composed by Grant Phabao
Drums by Tony Allen
Percussion by Oghene Kologbo & Alfred Sonou
Baritone & alto saxophones by Saké Smith
Trumpet by Raphi Sake Smith
Bass, guitars, keyboards by Grant Phabao

B1. Longi Kwa Tiena
Lyrics written by Swala Emati & RacecaR
Music composed by Grant Phabao & Muyiwa Kunnuji
Percussion by Oghene Kologbo & Alfred Sonou
Baritone saxophone by Saké Smith
Tenor saxophone by Ben Abarbanel-Wolff & Pierre Pierrot
Trumpet by Muyiwa Kunnuji & Valentin Pellet
Drums, bass, guitars, keyboards by Grant Phabao

B2. Fohunnonla
Composed by Grant Phabao & Gregsky
Percussion by Oghene Kologbo & Alfred Sonou
Soprano & tenor saxophones by Gregsky
Drums, bass, guitars, keyboards by Grant Phabao

B3. Carib
Lyrics written by Sandra Nkaké & Jî Drû
Composed by Grant Phabao
Vocals by Sandra Nkaké & Jî Drû
Flutes & percussion by Jî Drû
Drums, percussion, bass, guitars, keyboards by Grant Phabao

Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Grant Phabao at Paris DJs studio
Illustrated by Ben Hito
A&R by. Djouls
Published by T.I.M.E.C.
(p) & (c) 2018 T.I.M.E.C. / Paris DJs



Links :
Buy on parisdjs.bandcamp.com
Grant Phabao : official | bandcamp | facebook | juno | parisdjs | soundcloud | youtube
Paris DJs : parisdjs.com | bandcamp | facebook | juno | pinterest | soundcloud | twitter | youtube
Artwork by Ben Hito : official | bandcamp | discogs | facebook

Grant Phabao Afrofunk Arkestra LP
Limited edition LP / 250 copies only
Djouls

Djouls

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Rental24h Denver Rental24h Denver ·  17 May 2018, 19:47

Excellent article. Making content on the journey is not always easy but when traveling you can get a unique experience and a lot of inspiration.

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