November 30, 2005


A very impressive photoshoot has just been issued on the web. Former Greensleeves staffer Adrian Crestani made a trip to Jamaica in july 2005 and he went to all the countrysites dealing with reggae history. Lucky for us he made a lot of pictures. So if you are wondering where all those mighty Bunny Lee reissue come from, take a look at the picture above. If you are also interested in Studio One Blvd, Cornell Campbell, the neighbourhood King Tubby was active or killed in, modern dances in Jamaica, Trenchtown or anything else reggae-related: click here.

November 27, 2005


It's been a while since we've posted anything, but hey, it was a busy time! I did a lot deejaying gigs the last couple o' weeks and just when I got the excitement of those gigs out of my system, there was the big record fair in Holland last weekend. And that, dear reader, is sho' nuff excitement! Hundreds and hundreds of stands offering nothing but "the best there is to find," which basically means you have to dig your way through huge amounts of crap hoping to find an interesting item. Gold digging for sure...I only visted four market stands and still I had to be satisfied with whatever my wallet allowed me to spend. But it was worth it..Here's a quick overview, or better yet: a "best of" the bought items:

- In the funk '45 section it turned out to be a good day! After turning down a beer from the very friendly Canadian seller, I also got loads of info on the 7"s for free. And that is something you don't encounter much these days. The result is a good 100 euros spent. Leaving me with good, funky tunes like, amongst others, Contributors of Soul: Yum Yum Man (on Emase), Clarence Reid: Funky Party (on Alston), Count Sidney and his Dukes: The Grandpa (on Goldband), Oliver Sain: Bus Stop (on Abet), Jason & Pam: Soul Train (on Happy Fox) and The Incredible Bongo Band: Bongo Rock (on MGM). I've uploaded some of these tunes to the funk45 website, so who knows, in about two weeks you'll be able to listen to these gems on their great site.

- In the reggae '45 section it gets mad! So no overview here..Well, some highlights then...I'm very content with the purchasing of "Fattie Bum Bum" by Carl Malcolm (on the "Leo" imprint, which is a sub for Impact), Winston Reedy's update of the Burning Spear classic "Door Peeper" (on the "Room in the Sky" label), Marcia Aitkens take on "Woman is like a Shadow," originally recorded by the Meditations, on the Joe Gibbs imprint "Belmont" (here it's called Narrow Minded Man), Bobby Melody's "Let it be," which is not a cover of the fab four but a true classic in its own right (on the "Errol T" label, produced yet again by Joe Gibbs), Sizzla and Jah Cure's "King in this Jungle" (On Beres Hammond's imprint "Harmony House") and some great tunes on the "Things and Time" riddim by Super Cat (Cry fi di Youth) and the "Rougher Yet" riddim by Reggie Stepper (Commanding wife) which were released on the mighty Techniques imprint. And then some more...

- In the afrobeat section there were a lot of mediocre sounds to be found. Often the records for sale displayed too much disco or way to less funk. Still I found some great '45's: The Simon Kenyatta Troupe's take on the Manu Dibango classic: "Soul Makossa," which doesn't add much to the original but is still pretty impressive (promo copy on Avco) and future classic: Weyman Corporation "Le Chat" (on Barclay), which has a B-side called "Kumbayero" that is a serious afro beat contender!

And lucky for me: all these did good inna di dancehall!


Since I'm from Holland, it wouldn't be fair to rate this record, now would it? So I won't ('s very good...) Not convinced yet? Read the Dusty Groove review:

Forget all your visions of windmills and wooden shoes, and get set for the sound of Funky Funky Holland! This package is a long-overdue look at the budding Dutch groove scene of the 60s and 70s -- a place where jazz players were letting their hair down, rockers were jamming on the drums, and surprising appearances by American and African artists were having a strong impact on the overall sounds coming out of the Netherlands. The tunes here are surprisingly funky -- not fake funk or kitsch funk, but really great little tunes with a heavy heavy bottom and lots of strong instrumentation served up in a variety of different ways throughout the set. CD 1 features a whopping 23 tracks from vintage years -- most of which were totally fresh to our ears -- with titles that include "Funky But Clean" by Vitesse, "Houseparty" by Houseband, "Relax (Before Doin Sex)" by Oscar Harris & The Twinkle Stars, "Soul Party" by The Free, "Dynamite" by Fred Van Zegveld, "Snoopy" by The Playboys, "Let's Go Randstand" by Rogier Van Otterloo, "Passage To Prerov" by Jack Van Poll Tree-oh, "Hunky Dory" by Rob Franken Organization, "Funky Limbo" by Dutch Rhythm Steel & Show Band, "High Winds" by Reality, "De Glazen Stand" by Hans Van Hemert, and "It's An Ill Wind That Blows Nobody Any Good" by Swingin Soul Machine. CD 2 is totally cool too -- with remixes of older tunes from the first disc, but often done in a fairly straight way that retains all the classic funky touches, and even adds in a few more bits of instrumentation! Booklet is nice also -- with notes on every track, and even images of old records used on the set!

More info:

the remixing is done by none other then: C-mon and Kypski

Info on featured artists: Dutch Rare Groove

November 06, 2005


Check this community of afrobeat related bands from the US:
. Lots and lots of mp3's, news, bands, photos's, lyrics and more. And....yes...lots of Fela clones as well..Still worth checking out though! go!

November 05, 2005


The Roots Archives website is one of the most complete reggae databases to be found on the worldwide web. Their purpose is to "bring you a comprehensive and searchable database of Jamaican Roots Reggae Albums from 1970 to 1985." And they succeeded. The site is a search-friendly and very easy accessible pool of information which will expand your "want list" to dangerous proportions. In no less then three mouse clicks you'll find yourself having a complete "wannahaves database," so beware.

Newest feature on the site is the ROOTS ARCHIVES AWARDS 2005 which is a poll to find out what we, the visitors, think was the best roots-reggae reissue released in the januari 2005 'till december 2005 stretch. There are four categories with pre-selected nominees so all you have to do is check a box in each category. Leave your name and e-mail, and you might even snatch one of the winning items!

Nice one!

November 02, 2005


It's not even published on their own website yet, so this is where you'll read it first: news reached us that the infamous African Dub series by legendary engineer Errol Thompson (who sadly passed away earlier this year) are made available again through the newly set up Joe Gibbs imprint: Crazy Joe. Both lp lovers as cd adepts who don't own a copy can finally pick up these icons in order to fill up that nasty gap in their collections. Soon available as 4 lp's or 2 cd's.

Here's a review 1/review 2 for more info and for those of little faith.


The Soundway label is an up and coming, promising and up 'till now never failing, new record label based in Brighton, UK, with a mission to "release underground tropical dance music with a funky flavour. With a philosophy of quality not quantity."

To be honest, I never considered myself being a huge fan of "tropical dance music" or whatever that might be, because, to me, the term reflects a "Look at me, I'm on holiday in a third world country, feeling very 'back to nature' and enjoying the 'local' music on a freaking hotel stage" kinda thing, which is often sadly displayed in any tourist scene in either Zimbabwe, Gambia, Senegal, Kenya or even in Amsterdam for that matter. But as it turned out, and I'm happy to admit it: I'm all wrong! "Tropical dance music" in a Soundway style seems to be nothing less then ultra-funky, heavily afrobeat based, maximum-swinging, top of the bill music from all over the world! And that, dear reader, we like!

At first they started treating us with compilations like:
Ghana Sounds volume 1, Ghana Sounds volume 2, and the Fela Kuti adepts fave Afro Baby:the Evolution of the Afro sound in Nigeria, 1970-1979. All fans of afro music we're drooling over these compilations because they consisted of very hard to get by, unreleased or just plain f*cking good songs. Also they unleashed two "best of" compilations for TP Orchestra Poly Rythmo and Orlando Julius, which are also very worthwile to pick up, indeed.

Their latest releases, however, are every record collector's wet dream. Soundway decided to treat us with impossible to find, superfunky, afrobeat gems on our favourite format: the 7" record! Check out these goodies:

Orchestre du Bawobab / The Don Isaac Ezekiel Combination

A double hitter.Both tracks show very different sides to the Afro Funk coin: the legendary Orchestre du Bawobab depart from their usual styles to deliver a pounding club mover: A chanted vocal on top of an ultra-heavy beat topped off with the sweetest of guitar lines (courtesy of Latfi Ben Geloune) makes this a crucial track unlike any other – best played loud! The Don Isaac Ezekiel Combination stretch out for a deep slice of funky Afro-Gospel. Preacher Man is very funky early Afro beat, with a steady groove and a call and response vocal. The sound of conscious Lagos in the early 70s.

Richard Stoute / Telstars

This split 7” offers two contrasting tracks from Barbados and Guyana respectively. For the A side, successful Bajan singer Richard Stoute gives us his tropical cover of the Ides of March 1970 stoner rock offering Vehicle. Foregoing the breezy platitudes of the original, here Stoute opts for the bass heavy thump of an insistent Calypso rhythm, cascading horn section and a vocal that comes off like a cross between Terry Callier and Jon Lucien at carnival time. On the B side, the mysterious Telstars of Guyana stay in the pocket for a deep funky soul excursion. Shades of N.T. era Kool and the Gang spiced up with a reggae feel in the horns give this offering an introspective yet unerringly funky edge, topped off with a plaintive vocal.

Victor Olaiya St Augustine

Two heavy funk tracks from Nigeria, both more obviously influenced by US funk and Rn’B, yet played by highlife musicians at the top of their game, giving a rootsy spin to the well known JB-esque formula. Known as ‘the evil genius of highlife’, Victor Olaiya was one of the biggest names in Highlife with a career spanning the 60s and 70s. This medley of Let Yourself Go and There Was a Time is taken from a 10” lp that mimicked the style of the legendary Live at the Apollo Volume 2 with a non stop onslaught of rough funk, incongruously interspersed with highlife numbers. To our ears one of the better cover versions of these tracks, the band lay down a bass heavy belter with ethereal horns and a great vocal, underpinned by drumming that would give Clyde Stubblefield a run for his money.

The Blue Rhythm Combo

More heavy grooves from the West Indies – this time with two tracks from the mighty Blue Rhythm Combo. Hailing from Barbados, the Blue Rhythm Combo were a successful and prolific group, playing a broad mixture of soul, calypso and funk throughout the 70s, all with a distinctive Island flavour. Although better known for their beefed up cover version of the classic rare groove Black Water Gold, Get Down is perhaps the group’s funkiest recording, incorporating frenetic drumming, a killer bassline, calypso horns and an authentic carnival whistle. Originally released on the cult Merrydisc label, it is now available to burn up dancefloors across the world. On the B side is BRC’s Groove - a deep instrumental workout from their ‘Megumba’ album, sounding like a tropical meeting of the Meters and Funk Inc, replete with heavy drums and blazing horns – definitely not for the faint hearted.

Check out the Soundway website regularly for updates.

More info on afrobeat can be found on this excellent website:
Funky Funky Africa