October 12, 2008


Last week I was in for a nice surprise when my uncle called, telling me to come by and pick up his record collection. He didn't want anything in return for it, but I wasn't allowed to leave anything behind either. Obviously I didn't, which left me with an almost complete back catalogue of punk and new wave's finest. And while jiving to oldies but goodies like the Clash, the Jam, The Undertones and all them, I found a little pile of 7"s, tucked in between some records. One of them was by a group called "Les Sanganas," wrapped in a "not too promising" sleeve, you might know the kind: musicians in traditional clothing, masks, hats and drums all over the place...Very much like those terrible "world music" records that flooded the market in the mid 80's. Some further investigation of the sleeve learned that the two songs weren't recorded in some dusty studio in say..Lagos or Accra; nope, they were caught on disc in 1977 in a little studio in "funky" Breda, the Netherlands, by a producer named Tony Dirne (who recorded a lot of dutch groups in the 60's and 70's, some pop, some rock but most of them traditional dutch folk and easy listening.)

Yeah...I guess it's safe to say I wasn't expecting too much of this little gem when I finally put it on.
And then it blew me away...

Opener "Sibily Day" is nothing short of an afrobeat anthem pur sang, opening with- and superbly riding an ultra funky guitar riff, this song shreds all the way untill the very end. It's harbouring influences from blues, soul, funk, high life and gospel and it simply has got it all. It's more Orlando Julius than Fela Kuti, it's more proto type afrobeat if you'd like, but therefore more than welcome in my musical world. Fela was brilliant, but he's got way too many clones who simply copied his music without adding anything to it. Frankly: I'm tired of hearing the same song over and over and I just quit listening to newer afrobeat bands if their first few notes sounded anything like Fela. Orlando Julius was one the musicians that influenced Fela when he created his unique blend. Les Sangaras clearly were influenced by Orlando & Fela too, as they were also by James Brown and probably some others we never heard of, but this here, this is the kind of afrobeat I like hear. For all the reasons above.

B-side "Satata" follows the same formula as the A side, and it does so in the same effective way. It sounds like a traditional african folk song being funkified to the max. The whistle is silver, the break is golden, but I bet the song didn't make platinum at the time...

A search on the net didn't really give me any info about "Les Sanganas", unfortunately. Credits on the 7" are given to "Nganga, Joseph, Delvis" and "Nkeoua Ali M" but I couldn't find anything on them either. Too bad really...I guess I'm now the proud owner of a very obscure afrobeat treasure.

Well..here it is. Enjoy!

Sibily Day



elephantsoundz said...

coole tracks...leuk stukje

jordinair said...

dope singletje heb em ook!!!!