December 15 2011
This week on Sound Travels we'll continue our Best Of... tendencies for ending a year with another Best In Seven list; this week, it's the best re-issues of vintage and lost musics from around the world. Today we heard #3 and #2...
#3 - The Lijadu Sisters - Danger - Knitting Factory Records
Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu are identical twin sisters from Nigeria. Throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s they performed and recorded as The Lijadu Sisters, fusing Western R&B, soul, reggae and funk, creating honest, politically-charged songs with a matriarchal bent. Aside from being megastars in Nigeria (some liken them to being the West African equivalent of The Pointer Sisters), they toured with King Sunny Ade, Art Blakey, Ginger Baker and other legends. Thanks to Knitting Factory Records for re-issuing their album Danger, a sublime piece of afro-beat with just a few flourishes of disco and Memphis soul. Though the album is short, it is still sweet enough to break into this list at number three.
The Lijadu Sisters "Danger" Danger
The Lijadu Sisters "Life's Gone Down Low" Danger
Here's a killer interview they did with FaderTV...
#2 - Joni Haastrup & MonoMono - The Dawn Of Awareness/Wake Up Your Mind - Tummy Touch Records
And coming in at number two in this Best Of, Re-issues of 2011 list is a cat who actually had three in this year, and long overdue at that. Joni Haastrup, the father of afro-funk, is a cat that people who came of age in the 70's (and who had a yen for afro-rock) are probly a bit familiar with this son of a Yoruban king who was once a member of a truly seminal group from Nigeria. He was the lead vocalist on Orlando Julius Ekemode’s Super Afro Soul LP, considered by many to be the birthplace of the Afrobeat sound (the band also featured a certain Fela Ransome Kuti on trumpet). By the ’70s, Haastrup was known as “Soul Brother Number One,” a star on the West African music scene. In 1971, he was handpicked by Ginger Baker to tour Europe as part of the Air Force band, and on returning to Nigeria later that year formed the genre-defying MonoMono. The group released two nuanced LPs in 1972 and ’74, albums that have been formally re-issued this year by Tummy Touch Records ending an on-going tragedy of unavailabity. Like afrobeat? Then educate yo'self with these fine recordings...
Joni Haastrup & MonoMono "Plain Fighting" The Dawn Of Awareness
Joni Haastrup & MonoMono "Free My People" The Dawn Of Awareness