Orlando Julius & the Heliocentrics, “Buje Buje”

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 08.05.14 in Listen to This

Orlando Julius is a Nigerian funk legend; the albums he recorded in the late ’60s — particularly 1966′s Super Afro Soul — took the basic Afrobeat blueprint and added some of the smoother elements of American soul and R&B (Fela Kuti was rumored to be a regular at his gigs). His pairing with the Heliocentrics on the forthcoming Jaiyede Afro is a natural one — the London group has been mining the sounds of classic funk, R&B and Afropop for the last seven years. If “Buje Buje” is any indication, what they’ve come up with is a striking recreation of Julis’s classic sound, albeit with a little more psychedelic haze. The rhythms are steady and easy, a ghostly wah-wah guitar flashes like distant lightning in the background, and Julius — whose voice appears to have lost none of its robust tone — glides easily between the steady-rolling percussion.