It seems like the indie community suddenly discovered that Africa has a rich musical past (and present) thus proliferating the love for African artists high and low. However there have for years existed great comps of African psych from David Byrne's Love's A Real Thing compilation to the constant stream of Sublime Frequencies discs. Though in all fairness this year has seen two of my newer favorites from the region.

African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds From Benin & Togo 70sAfrican Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds From Benin & Togo 70s
This has to be one of my favorite of the recently unearthed African Psych classics. The overall vibe reminds me of Byrne's West African Comp in that it shows how the combination
of funk, psych, salsa and soul all hit the African continent right about the same time, fusing them into a potent mix of rhythm and headspace. Whereas most American funk veered to cleaner production, the African styles were dirty, fuzzed up and mixed a garage feeling with polyrhythmic beats to create a whole new genre. This comp focuses its efforts solely on the areas of Benin and Togo, giving it a regional picture of that specific scene, which was evidently quite prolific and stacked with talent. The cuts on this disc burn with an intense sense of cathartic beat and dusty rooms filled with dance and sweat. Ben Redjeb's Analog Africa label is one of the leaders in unearthing the quality lost classics from this continent and African Scream Contest is just further proof of this.

[MP3] Gabo & Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo - It's A Vanity
[MP3] Ouinsou Corneille & Black Santiago - Vinon So Minsou

Support the artist. Buy it HERE

Amanaz - Africa
Now where many African artists fused the incoming soul and psych sounds with their own rhythmic history to create a potent funk, there was a great underground rock movement as well. Few other bands can contend with the sound of
Amanaz, whose mixture of heavy fuzzed out guitar and clean production make it a great lost 60's psych gem. The band certainly had a handle on rhythm but they down played this more than others, instead opting for a kind of laid back psych soul that would erupt into torrents of stoned out fuzz. The band grabbed a lot of comparisons to British counterparts like Cream and you can certainly hear a bit of this influence in the heavier moments on the album. Though the band does showcase a softer side that's equally as compelling, its really the power tracks that stand out here and make this an essential release from this region.

[MP3] Amanaz - History of Man
[MP3] Amanaz - Easy Street

Support the artist. Buy it HERE
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posted by dissensous at 10:09:00 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm all into this musical diversity, but this really sucks. Sorry, but garage should be left to the Brits and Americans

11:26 AM  
Blogger Astro said...

Disagreed. I particularly like the Amanaz tracks.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 11:26 is insane, that Amanaz record is top notch. Nice post.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey blogger guy - just want to say your blog is ridiculously awesome.

re: this post - do you have any Guelewar? Been itchin' to hear them but can't find it anywhere...

1:14 PM  

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