With all the Nigerian funk collections being released, you’d never know there was anything else happening in West Africa during the 70s. Sadly, very few of the mind-melting psych experiments recorded in Benin and Togo at the time have resurfaced, but Analog Africa noticed the oversight and has made a serious attempt at correcting the problem by collecting some of the more wildly unhinged examples of over-amped psych rock foolery on their welcome 14-song survey African Scream Contest.
A few of the groups, like Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, Picoby Band, Black Santiagos and El Rego et Ses Commandos may be familiar to collectors, but there are some lesser known floor-shakers by Roger Damawuzan, Vincent Ahehehinnou and Les Volcans that will keep you punching the repeat button. http://analog-africa.blogspot.com.
Killah no fillah
Note to marsupial emcees: don’t test Ghostface Killah. His new career-spanning collection of studio outtakes, freestyles, collabos and remixes isn’t called The Wallabee Champ (Starks) for his taste in casual footwear. The top Wu-Tang lyrical assassin’s vicious verbiage will make you wish you’d never left that furry pouch. Same goes for you mobbed-up Red Kangaroo boomers and stanked-out Western Greys. Oh yeah, I said it. Ghostface doesn’t really need any backup, but Raekwon, Method Man, Fat Joe, Prodigy, Styles P, Beanie Siegel, Jadakiss and Lil Wayne are here to lend vocal support. www.fusion3.com.
Ever since being knocked flat by the sheer power with which Atlanta soul shouter Hermon Hitson could still belt out his classic tunes at Austin’s Continental Club in March, I’ve found myself returning to the guitar slinger’s early singles on Atco, Minit, Royal and Lisa. Fortunately, you no longer need to spend years digging for them, because Aaron Fuchs collected Hitson’s finest moments on You Are Too Much For The Human Heart
From the uncut funk of I Got That Will
to deep soul scorchers like the amazing title track, Hitson has an exceptional range as a vocalist and songwriter for someone who worked mostly in back rooms as a session guitarist. Although his late buddy Lee Moses has recently undergone a cult revival, Hitson remains largely unknown, and that’s a sad injustice. The man has still got it. www.tuffcity.com.
The idea of documenting the music made by African-American musicians who left their Chicago and Detroit homes on a spiritual quest to join a Black Hebrew community in Israel in the 70s may seem a little too left-field for most reissue operations, but not for the Numero Group. Oh no.
Like previous packages covering the Belizean and Bahamian funk scenes, the label has applied its archival expertise to recordings cut in the Negev desert for Soul Messages From Dimona, an intriguing first attempt at compiling the jazzy Afro-Israelite jams of the righteous Soul Messengers, Sons of the Kingdom, the Spirit of Israel and the Tonistics. Be forewarned that this is all praise music created for God’s glory, but the Numero crew have sifted through the material to suss out the funkiest bits for your hedonistic head-nodding pleasure. www.numerogroup.com.