Various Artists – Afrodisiac, Booniay!!: A Compilation Of West African Funk

Jeff Chang

By Jeff Chang

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A winning collection of late ’70s Afrobeat

Compiled by European crate-digger Fischer P, Booniay!! is a winning collection of mid-to-late '70s Afrobeat, makossa and highlife unearthed from Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal and Mali. None of these bands ever attained, say, Manu Dibango's global props &#8212 crate-diggers never give up their secrets. Working in the vein of James Brown, Dibango and Fela Kuti, their music continues to move. Brigith Engelberts and the B.E. Movement turn in two horn-driven numbers &#8212 "Get Together" and "Tolambo Funk" &#8212 that must have electrified metropolitan discotheques. George Danquah's highlife scorcher "Hot and Jumpy" includes some countrified and jazzy guitar solos and one monstrous funk bridge. The standout is William Onyeabor's "Body and Soul," a mesmerizing 11-minute track that, remixed here by Jamaican dubmaster Scientist, points back to late-'60s JB and mid-'70s Fela, and forward to early-'80s Sly and Robbie. In any language, this is funky stuff.