Review: Afro disco fresh from 79: Eko Roosevelt Louis's third album Funky Disco Music will go down as one of Cameroon's finest disco LPs. Produced and pressed by French label Dragon Phenix, it's still reasonably easy to track down, too. For a taster, grab three of its tropical charms on this Fly By Night repress: "Funky Disco Music" is an infectious vocal-led cut that's written solely to make people get down, "Ndolo Embe Mulema" struts with much more Afro rock fusion while the harmonies of "Bowa'a Mba Ngebe" are sweeter than the finest honey you've ever tasted. For contemporary kicks Riccio has expertly touched the title track for a modern dancefloor/DJ friendly punch. Perfect.
Review: Second time around for Afro-Kreole artist Grace Barbe's surprise collaboration with Afrobeat legend Tony Allen, which was first released on seven-inch way back in 2016. Allen handled production and remixing duties on "Afro-Sega", a wonderfully humid and tropical number in which the late drummer's distinctive polyrhythms provide a killer base for Barbe's superb lead vocals and all manner of accompanying musical heat (think undulating funk bass, effects-laden Clavinet riffs and punchy sax). Just as good is flipside "Fatige", an even more colourful and vibrant affair in which the Seychelles Islander explores the tropical sounds of her home archipelago in serious sonic style. Only 160 of these have been pressed in total, so act fast if you want to secure a copy.
Review: The Allergies' debut album introduced the world to the way they effortlessly fuse funk, soul, disco, hip-hop and breaks into dancefloor-ready nuggets of ear candy. Taking classic sounds and reshaping them for the modern age is the signature that won them plaudits across the globe. Not ones to rest on their laurels, it hasn't taken long for them to deliver more of the goods on their second full-length album. As well as taking the successful formula of the first record and expanding on their sound, the band enlisted two giants of underground hip-hop to bless mics on the album as well. After a hugely successful collaboration on their debut LP, once again the dynamic lyricism and production skills of the inimitable Andy Cooper (Ugly Duckling) are present and correct in this new collection.
Review: Although he's released a swathe of albums with his contemporary jazz ensemble and a quartet of collaborative sets alongside Warren Hampshire, "The Mage" actually marks Greg Foat's first solo full-length outing. It's been a long time coming but well worth the wait, as the talented pianist and producer works his way through an evocative set of tracks that variously touch on sax-laden funk breaks ("The Mage", "The High Priestess"), intergalactic synthesizer soundscapes ("Incantation"), slo-mo jazz-funk mood pieces (the spellbinding "The Magic Radish"), folksy ambient jazz ("Driftin'") and beautiful, pastoral pieces that recall Charles Stepney's work with Rotary Connection ("Endless Love", "Of My Hands"). The result is a fittingly brilliant album from one of British jazz's most talented participants.
Mystic Djim & The Spirits - "Yaounde Girls" (5:57)
Bill Loko - "Nen Lambo" (6:23)
Bernard Ntone - "Mussoloki" (4:21)
Pasteur Lappe - "Sanaga Calypso"
Eko - "M'ongele M'am"
Olinga Gaston - "Ngon Engap"
Emmanuel Kahe & Jeanette Kemogne - "Ye Medjuie"
Nkodo Si-Tony - "Mininga Meyong Mese"
Pasteur Lappe - "Sekele Movement"
Pat' Ndoye - "More Love"
Clement Djimogne - "Africa"
Review: Just when you think that the well of obscure music from around the world has run dry, Analog Africa returns to put the record straight. Pop-Makossa shines a light on a glorious but largely overlooked period in the story of Cameroonian makossa, when local musicians began to replace funk and highlife influences with the rubbery bass of classic disco and the sparkling synth flourishes and drum machines of electrofunk. The resultant compilation, which apparently took eight years to produce, is packed full of brilliant cuts, from the heavily-electronic jauntiness of Pasteur Lappe's "Sanaga Calypso" and horn-totin' Highlife-disco of Emmaniel Kahe and Jeanette Kemogne's "Ye Medjuie", to the dense, organ-laden wig out that is Clement Djimogne's "Africa".
I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky (Fashion remix) (3:56)
Review: Legendary 70s funk band Ripple are back with two original members making new music again. Curtis "Kazoo" Reynolds & Keith "Doc" Samuels now go by the name of Ripple 2.20 and their first work is a new version of John Edwards' "Exercise My Love." It is a cover, but not as we usually know it - they lay down an incredible new vocal and play the parts with a real sense of sensuousness. On the flip is a new remix of some of Ripple's original material in the form of Fashion's take on "I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky", a raw, dirty, sleazy jam to get you in a sweat.
Review: When it comes to offering up authentically funk-fuelled, revivalist disco-funk treats, former crate digger to the stars turned re-editor and producer Lord Funk has an impressive track record. One of his most sought-after releases is 2018's colourful "Knock Me Out EP", so it's no surprise to see it being given the reissue treatment two years on. There's much to admire, from the early Sugarhill Records-sampling boogie/p-funk fusion of opener "Blow Your Mind", to the talkbox-sporting P-funk revivalism of "Knock Me Out" (seemingly a reissue of a lesser-known kaleidoscopic synth-funk gem from the early-to-mid '80s), and the rather brilliant, Prince style electrofunk headiness of closing cut "Do It (If U Like)".