Review: Cameroonian legend Victor Edimo's rare and collectable Decca Nigeria album Thank U Mamma enjoys its first reissue since being released in 1981. Five tracks tight but crammed full of vibes, this is one of the funkiest, sunniest and most vibrant albums to come out of Lagos in the early 80s. From the blissed, bless 'thank you' vocal loop of the title track to the blazing feels of "Marina Drive" to Victor's signature freak bass licks on "You", this is such a beautiful album from start to finish.
Review: A veritable French fusion institution; classically trained Cameroon musician Eko Roosevelt Louis was responsible for a catalogue of exciting jazz funk, disco and afrofunk records throughout the 70s and remained active touring Europe until the 90s when he returned to Cameroon to inherit the role as tribal chieftain from his grandfather. Released in 1979, Funky Disco Music was his third album and packs some of his most powerful compositions. The triumphant title track says it all; laidback, charming and full of positivity it sets the scene for the whole trip. Highlights include the rock-tinged soul chugger "Une Chanson Sans Paroles", the highlife uplift of "Doi Da Manga" and the smouldering showstopper finale "Emen Ango". Dig deep and enjoy... Africa Seven promise more Eko reissues in the near future.
Review: Those who keep a keen eye on the revivalist electrofunk scene should be well aware of Brian Ellis. The synthesizer-obsessed multi-instrumentalist has been responsible for a string of killer singles in recent years, including a brilliant, all-synthesizer cover of Steely Dan's "Peg". Mirror Mirror is the prolific Californian's eight solo album and sees him fuse his usual analogue synth movements with the laidback grooves of 1970s West Coast rock. It's a hugely appealing combination, with standout tracks such as "High", the Steely Dan-with-synths bliss of "Love Burn Out" and instrumental yacht rock brilliance of "Keep it Passionate" evoking images of sun-kissed daytime drives up the Pacific highway.
Review: First time reissue: Christy Essien's fourth album from 1979 is a remarkable piece of work in so many ways. Well-chiselled songs, laced with Christy's signature poetry, a rich afrobeat fluidity runs throughout the arrangement flickering between soft-focus island style ("Respect Your Man"), salubrious foamy funk ("Take Life Easy"), powerful soul ("Understanding") and synth-rippled dancefloor soul ("You Can't Change A Man") Madly she was only 19 when she made this record! No wonder she's known as Nigeria's 'first lady of song'.