I Don't Want No-Body (To Tell Me What To Do) (4:49)
Review: Also known as the Heads Funk Band, Akwassa were a Nigerian afrobeat ensemble who only produced a few LPs under that particular moniker, but they're ones that have lasted well in the memories of collectors worldwide. La'lla was their 1975 debut, originally out on the Afrodisia label, and we have it here once again in reissue format by PMG out of Austria. "Funky Girl" kicks the party off with a groove that is might difficult not to like - upbeat vocals meet funky synth lines and quirky organs to make a true summer blazer - but the rest of the album follows in a similarly excellent style. "Orule", for example, is one of the best undiscovered afro bombs we've heard in time, those sweet soulful vocals riding high amid a fast-paced percussion rhythm, while others are deeper still and evoke the true spirit of African soul. Very highly recommended.
Review: Gbubemi Amas is hardly Nigeria's most famous musical export. He began his career at the dawn of the 1980s, enjoying a certain level of success with debut album Grill. That set, reissued here for the first time since, was in many ways typical of developments in Nigerian popular music at the time. Amas was one of a new generation of artists moving away from the Afrobeat and Highlife styles that had dominated Lagos in the 1970s, instead laying down punchy, pop-tinged cuts heavily influenced by both American dance music (and in particular disco and boogie), and AOR rock. Highlights include the tasty disco-boogie of "Slow Down", the horn-heavy dancefloor sweetness of "For You", and the atmospheric synth-pop of closer "Listen".