Review: Following Hot Casa's reissue of his second album The Black Isaiah Of Africa in 2017, here comes the long awaited repress of Kingsley Aigbologa Bucknor's incredible debut album. Rarer than hen's teeth, known to pass hands for triple figures and so vibrantly freeform and longform; both extensive 15+ minute tracks take up a side each as Kings and his 16 player / 10 backing singer Afrodisk Beat 79 troupe lay down two crisp Afrofunk trips. Singular.
Review: Even by the standards of Afro-soul and Afro-funk reissues, Deke Tom Holland's late '70s and early '80s releases are pretty darn obscure. The Ivory Coast artist apparently released four albums in his native country, flitting between two long forgotten labels. Here, France's Hot Casa label aims to put Deke Tom Holland back in the spotlight by gathering together four of his finest songs. Choose between the shuffling, Tony Allen style grooves, effervescent vocals and mazy synthesizer solos of "Na You", the horn-heavy, disco-era Afro-soul goodness of "Beant", the hard-spun Chic guitars and positive Afro-funk vibes of "Demonde" and "Denou", an altogether punchier cut rich in warm bass and jazzy electric piano solos that could well be the EP's strongest moment (and that's saying something).
Review: Joni Haastrup's classic, cosmic disco LP is among the best of the best in terms of Afrobeat. What is particularly special about it is its 1978 release date - this was miles ahead of everyone else at that stage of African disco music - and the fact that it was the only piece of music to be released under the artist's real name. There is not much we can say about this absolute gem of an album, apart from the fact that it should not be missing from your own shelves, or DJ bag, for that matter. On the latter point, these six tunes are perfect for just about any situation requiring a dance. This is top Afrobeat beat music in all its glory. NOT to be missed. Warmly recommended...
Review: Naturally, the great Fela Kuti or more recently, people like William Onyeabor usually get all the praise when it comes to the topic of Afrobeat and anything remotely funky from central Africa. However, what many fail to realise is the sheer quantity of untapped gold deep in the heart of those countries and King Bucknor Jr is inarguably very much a part of that hidden treasure chest. 1979's African Woman, also known as The Black Isaiah Of Africa, is a record that holds a mythical status for many, and it's safe to say that for the few lucky diggers who own an original copy of this record, Hot Casa's reissue probably isn't that welcome. However, how could anyone ever deny a fellow music lover of a tune like "Woman Nature" or "Mr Debtor"? The former owns the sexiest percussion roll available on our charts at the moment, not to mention the King's raw and loose vocals, whereas the latter heads deeper into the groove, coming through with a beautifully dubwise groove to fill the air. So hot!
Review: Nigeria's Tee Mac has been a digger's favourite ever since his tunes came out in the 1980s, and alongside the likes of Willian Onyeabor, he has been one of the driving forces behind his country's afro-rock and afro-beat mania. France's Hot Casa have masterfully put together a compilation containing his best tunes, originally out on the Party Fever LP. This is all quality, but just to give you a little taster, you have the inimitable funk destroyer that is "Nepa",Tee Mac's notorious "Talk To Me" bombshell - a tune that verges closely to proto-house - the sublimely washed-out "Stay On Me", and the painfully hummable swings of "Wake Up". Recommended.
Review: Hot Casa's latest deep dive into the Afro-funk archives takes us to the Democratic Republic of Congo at the turn of the 1970s. It was here, in a nation brimming with post-independence confidence, that a funk band called The Soul Kids briefly burned brightly. This reissue of their impossible to find debut album should be essential listening for anyone interested in West African funk. It contains a mixture of sizzling self-penned instrumentals and inspired cover versions of American funk standards, including a memorable take on Wilson Pickett's cover of Beatles classic "Hey Jude" and two fantastic versions of James Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag".
Review: Selected rare Togolese recordings featured here from between 1971 to 1981. According to label Hot Casa, finding these tracks and their rights holders was quite the task, involving numerous trips all over the west African country bordered by Ghana , Benin and Burkina Faso. They have selected 13 tracks, which they've charmingly described as 'a snapshot of some hundreds of rare and often forgotten tapes from the most prolific, professional and exciting phase of the country's recording history'. Highlights on this compilation not limited to: Akofa Akoussah's sultry and bittersweet crooning on "I Tcho Tchass", the life affirming Afrobeat vibes of Aime Orchis Mathey's very obscure "Tralala Vo Dou" and of course the very funky and groovy hoedown that is Adamah & Agbote's "Dzo Le Gbo Nye" .