Paris DJs present Joni Haastrup & MonoMono
MonoMono - Give The Beggar A Chance / Dawn Of Awareness; Joni Haastrup - Wake Up Your Mind
Soundway and Tummy Touch are proud to present three blistering albums of Afro Rock and Funk from Nigerian multi-intrumentalist Joni Haastrup and his band MonoMono. Re-Issued For Release On CD, Download And Replica Gatefold LP Are Three Of Nigeria's Most Coveted Releases; Monomono's 1971 Debut Album Give The Beggar A Chance, The Follow Up Dawn Of Awareness And Joni Haastrup's debut solo record Wake Up Your Mind. Soundway have been championing Joni Haastrup since day one featuring tracks on both the Nigeria Special! and Nigeria Rock Special! releases. Most recently Joni appears as a guest keys players on Black Goddess, an Afro-jazz soundtrack collaboration with Remi Kabaka.
Growing up in a royal household in Nigeria, Joni Haastrup began his musical journey performing for his brothers band Sneakers, then in 1965 he joined Victor Olaiya's The Cool Cats, soon renamed The All Stars Soul International. In 1966 he was quickly snapped up as a vocalist for Orlando Julius Ekemode & his Modern Aces' Super Afro Soul LP, one of Afro-beat's formative LPs.
Soon after, Ginger Baker of Cream fame, while on his first visit to Nigeria in 1970, saw Joni Haastrup singing with The Hykkers, and two days later Joni was playing guitar and keyboards in Ginger Baker's Air Force's (including UK concerts in '71). The success of the collaboration led to further shows with Baker as part of the Salt project before he returned to Nigeria.
The World Might Fall Over - MonoMono by Soundway
With the help of Keni Okulolo (bassist in Victor Olaiya's All Stars in the mid-60s during Joni Haastrup's brief stint with the band) and Friday Jumbo (congeuro for Fela), Joni then launched MonoMono, one of the first afro-rock bands to come after the success of Osibisa. MonoMono's fist album, Give The Beggar A Chance, was a huge success in Nigeria and beyond - the title track even made waves as far away as in Argentina and Peru! This is sweet afrofunk at its finest, deep and graceful, definitively more soulful than funky.
The follow-up to this first album, Dawn Of Awareness (the english translation of "Monomono" in Yoruba) was released in 1974, and picked up for international distribution by Capitol Records. It's an heavy blend of Afro-Funk and Psych with lots of breaks, fuzz and weird sound effects ready to be sampled, really nailing the Fela afro-beat groove while still creating it's own sound.
A famous French DJ was telling me the other day how he was playing the fantastic Awareness is Wot You Need track in the mid/late 90s on Radio Nova, at a time when not much people could stand DJs, feeling they were taking the job of radio programmers. If only those programmers had been digging for the right records at the right time they wouldn't have been replaced by DJs - guys really hunting for records and not waiting for record companies to push their strictly commercial stuff… but that's another debate and what's reaaaally cooler is to laid back and enjoy those soulful vocals laid over a bed of funky organs and keyboards!
Awareness Is Wot You Need by Monomono
After losing some time trying to get MonoMono crossing over in the US and being deceived by the false promises of Capitol, Joni Hasstrup returned to Nigeria and in 1976 recorded his solo album (with the help of some of his former bandmates), Wake Up Your Mind.
The album was released in 1978, the year after the second Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture Festac 77. It's a perfect example of the Pan-Africanism movement of the time, seeking to unify African people into one big worldwide community, as its crossover mixture gathers funk, soul, afrobeat, soca and disco, with the lyrics glorifying the unity of the African diaspora.
Ginger Baker jams with Nigerian Afro-Rock artistes in Lagos, Nigeria in 1971. They include: Johnny Haastrup, Joni Haastrup Tee Mac, Tunde Kuboye, Laolu Akins & The Lijadu Sisters. Segun Bucknor & The Sweet Things also featured. Perfomed song, 'Coming back home,' written by Tunde Kuboye (thanks angldrops).
Joni Haastrup : discogs | facebook | myspace | twitter | combandrazor article
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