A fascinating look at the underground Rock scene in 1970s Nigeria, this unique collection shines a light on the flipside to the well-documented sounds of Highlife and Afrobeat coming out of Nigeria in the 1970s ? young bands caught up in the wave of Psychedelic and Progressive Rock that was sweeping Europe and the States in the late 60s and early 70s. The sounds of Jimi Hendrix and bands like Santana had started to seep into the mainly soul?based sets of a handful of young bands playing Western-influenced pop in West Aftrica. Spurred on by Cream drummer Ginger Baker?s visits to Lagos and his band Airforce (featuring many Nigerian musicians), the sound of fuzzed-out Rock reverberated around the universities and nightspots of Lagos and Ibadan. This compilation contains 15 of the best cuts from the scene, available for the first time in 30 years…………………
Nigeria Rock Special shines a light on the flipside of the sounds of Psychedelic Afro-Rock & Fuzz Funk coming out of Nigeria in the 1970s. Kids all over the world were picking up guitars. Spurred on by Cream drummer Ginger Baker’s visits to Lagos and his band Airforce (featuring many Nigerian musicians), the rock reverberated around the universities and the craze that followed hit the youth population of Nigeria hard - mixing fuzz guitar and heavy African rhythms with elements of Led Zeppelin, Traffic and the Chambers Bros. Here are 15 of the best for the 1st time in 30 years and include Ofege, the Action 13, the Hygrades, the Wings, Mono Mono, Tabukah “X”, the Funkees, Joe King Kologbo & His Black Sound, Tunji Oyelana and more.
It might seem hard to imagine Nigeria as a country that produced convincing psychedelic rock in the 1970s, but the evidence is right here. Fifteen tracks that stand out against the best garage psych to come out of America or England – although just a decade later. In fact in some ways it’s even better, because of the polyrhythmic percussion on each track that gives it a swing rather than the leaden beat that sometimes weighs down Western psychedelia. The linchpin was Cream’s Ginger Baker, who used Nigerian musicians in his Airforce group and exposed them to this music, which they disseminated when they returned home. But the Nigerians certainly lapped it up, and there’s a wonderful wildness to this, with funky Hammond organs and guitar solos that owe more than a passing debt to Carlos Santana. Kudos to Miles Cleret who put this together with scholarship and joy, and included the biggest names like BLO and Mono Mono. A warning, though: this is dangerously addictive, one of those pleasures that you’ll repeat often! The booklet puts it all in context, but the music, ultimately, speaks for itself……… by Chris Nickson ………
Ginger Baker first visited Nigeria in 1970 at a time when local rock music was just finding its feet. By then the sound of Jimi Hendrix & bands like Santana had started to seep in to the mainly soul-based sets of a handful of young bands playing western influenced pop. Recognising the talent of bands like Cluster International and The Afro-Collection, Baker toured Europe & America with some of their musicians with his new band Airforce & Salt. Back in Nigeria in 1972 and exposed to the world of progressive and psychedelic rock at its peak, Joni Haastrup started his Mono-Mono band & Berkley Jones, Laolo Akins & Mike Odumosu set up BLO. The craze that followed hit the youth and student population of Nigeria hard – mixing fuzz guitar & heavy, African rhythms with elements of Led Zeppelin, Traffic & the Chambers Brothers. 15 of the best LP and 45 cuts of the scene are available here for the first time in 30 years.
“Every song crackles with the thrill of plugging in, turning up the volume and trying something new.” - Guardian (UK)…………….
Super funky tunes! For the most part, the songs picked on this album are psyched- out and chill. There’s a couple WILD ones to rock the boat. Each tends to have a improvisational jam out or rock out moment that’ll make you want more and more and more. Very unique approaches and arrangements! Fun music that anyone would enjoy. Buy it for your grandma, your sister, your boss. Give the gift of happy music. I love it! They’ll love it! My favorite SOUND WAY compilation so far!….ByKmeyers…………..
As I write this, I’m shocked to see that there are no other reviews for this excellent compilation. C'mon, folks, did these rhythms! This is another exhilarating collection, an unearthing of buried musical African treasures from the crate-digging folks at Soundway Records. If you enjoyed any of the “Nigeria 70” collections, or Afro-Beat in general, this is another fine CD to add to your collection.
Billed as “Psychedelic Afro-Rock & Fuzz Funk in 1970s Nigeria,” this collection delivers as billed. As the liner notes explain, “At the beginning of the 1970s the rise of afro-centric consciousness started making bands fuse African elements into what had been throughout the 60s mere imitations of western groups.” Of course Fela Kuti was making musical waves around this same time, but there were plenty of other lesser-known bands in Nigeria making equally inspired, albeit “weird sounding” music too, thus this compilation.
The last song on here, “Chant to Mother Earth” by BLO, is perhaps the strangest and yet most enchanting of all the tracks. It sounds almost like a fusion of Santana and Jimi Hendrix mixed with Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac. Haunting, atmospheric, and very powerful. The rest of the tracks are also very good, combining those promised funk and rock strains, some with a pleasing slinky groove. A few of the cuts also sound to me like they were inspired by those class soul-jazz records that the Blue Note label was putting out in the early 1970s; an intoxicating mix of horns, guitar, drums, and very funky organ playing. Hot and hotter! My favorites among the lesser-known acts include the tracks by The Elcados, Mono Mono, the Funkees (who also have a great CD of their own that’s been reissued), and Joe King Kologbo & His Black Sound.
The CD comes with a 24 page booklet that includes sleeve notes by album compiler Miles Claret, plus capsule summaries of each track. This is one of 3 CDs in the “Nigeria Rock Special” series and they are all highly recommended!…ByDonald E. Gilliland……………
Tracklist 1 –Ofege Adieu 4:12 2 –The Action 13 More Bread To The People 3:11 3 –The Hygrades In The Jungle (Instrumental) 3:09 4 –The Wings Odenigbo 3:49 5 –Ofo The Black Company* Eniaro 6:10 6 –The Elcados Ku Mi Da Hankan 5:06 7 –Mono Mono* Kenimania 4:38 8 –Tabukah ‘X’ Finger Toe 5:24 9 –The Funkees Acid Rock 2:55 10 –Colomach Cotocun Gba Gounke 2:55 11 –Joe King Kologbo & His Black Sound Another Man’s Thing 4:10 12 –Question Mark (5) Freaking Out 4:08 13 –Original Wings Igba Alusi 7:03 14 –Tunji Oyelana Omoba D'Eru Ri 5:47 15 –BLO Chant To Mother Earth 6:02