Various Artists – Afro-Rock Vol. 1

January 01, 1970



When the tiny Kona imprint released its classic set of rare
and underground funk and rock from the Dark Continent
entitled Afro-Rock Vol. 1 in the
summer of 2001, such collections were few and far between.  These days, however, African groove
compilations are as commonplace as copies of R.E.M.’s Monster in the dollar bin
of your local record shop. But even though the market has since been flooded
with these type of anthologies – so much, in fact, that the poaching of
Afro-beat should be as carefully watchdogged as diamonds, oil, aluminum,
elephant tusks or any other precious resource so blatantly exploited and
commercialized by the greedy evildoers of the Western World – Afro-Rock Vol. 1 remains one of the best
out there, showcasing such unsung heroes of African jazz, funk, rock and soul
as Gerald Pino & The Heartbeats, The Mercury Dance Band, Dackin Dackino,
Orchestra Lissanga and Bokoor Band among others. And following a long absence
from store shelves, it finally makes a triumphant return to the public eye
thanks to Strut Records, who does a terrific job remastering the original Kona edition
and adding a searing untitled psych jam from Kenya artist Ishmael Jingo, whose
stellar version of Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell’s 1956 R&B standard
“Fever” kicks off this collection, as a bonus track. If there is one Afro-Beat
album to own outside of anything by Fela Kuti, it is Afro-Rock Vol. 1.


“Fever” by Ishmael Jingo, “Envy No Good” by Mercury Dance
Band, “Yuda” by Dackin Dackino, “Onukpa Shawarpo” by Bokoor Band, “Untitled” by
Ishmael Jingo RON HART



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