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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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African Cradle of Funk

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Back to the birthplace of funk this week on Sound Travels. All African, vintage burners fit for any get down in my mix this week. James brown is given alot of credit for a sound that's just as at home in the hands of these funky West African bands...

Geraldo Pino is one of the hidden heroes of African popular music. A singer, guitarist and bandleader from Sierra Leone, Geraldo had a major influence on the burgeoning soul/funk/Afrobeat scene in West Africa during the 1960s and 70s. He made a huge impression on the young Fela Kuti who praised him effusively but his music has remained largely unheard for the past 30 years. The Ghanaian group De Frank Professionals clearly also have the Funk. This cut I played today is so funky you don't need a pulse to feel the beat on this super-rare gem. Also hard to classify exactly what kind of funk you'll be afflicted with when you get into it; disco, Motown, soul and funk bubbling in sweaty togetherness. 

Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats "Heavy Heavy Heavy" Afro-Rock vol. 1

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De Frank Professionals "Afe Ato Yen Bio" Afro-Beat Airways

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Yet another funk rarity, Nigeria's The Mebusas with perhaps their best known  cut "Son of Mr Bulldog" which was made available on the recent re-issue of their standout LP Blood Brothers. A large and multitalented group, their Blood Brothers album (1973) reflects the diversity of its members. Elements of soul, funk and psychedelic rock as well as Latin, Carribean and African music come together in a powerfully unique album recorded in Nigeria. Also from Nigeria, Stoneface & Life Everlasting with an even rarer single-only pressing of one of my favorite afro-funk tunes ever. With a fast and funky bass line riding neck-and-neck with Innocent Iwuagwu's (aka "Stoneface") gruff, plaintive funk shouts over the bow of this funky little b-side.

 

The Mebusas "Son Of Mr. Bulldog" Vol. 1 Blood Brothers

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Stoneface & LIfe Everlasting "Agalawam Mba" 

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