We are happy to announce the first in an occasional series of fully licensed 12" releases on Autonomous Africa exploring the influence of music from Africa across the globe.
The first release comes from Colombia's Wganda Kenya with three tracks recorded in the mid 70s. The Caribbean coast of Colombia has a long relationship with Africa stretching back hundreds of years. Strong trading links and migration from West Africa to Colombia led to a distinct African influence on the music in cities such as Cartagena and the local music (cumbia and champeta) absorbed these influences. This was particularly notable in the 70s as records by Fela Kuti amongst others arrived in Colombia. One of the leading practitioners of this Afro Sound were the mighty Wganda Kenya who were huge there in the 70s and 80s and whose music is still highly regarded to this day.
While their music has appeared on compilations, there hasn't been a big fat 12" vinyl release since Island Records offshoot, Mango put "Shakalode" out as a 12" way back in 1989.
"Shakalode" on the A side is a powerful reworking of the Fela Kuti classic "Shakara" which was much covered in Colombia in the mid 1970s. It's a transcendental Afro Colombian funk bomb.
On the other side are two other Wganda Kenya gems; the call and response percussive and organ grooving "Pim Pom" and the more traditional Colombian cumbia singalong anthem "La Botellita".
Originally this was going to be a 2 x 12" featuring some other Wganda Kenya magic but sadly the masters to many of their tracks have been lost. There are plans to put out a second 12" of reworkings of these tracks aimed at djs who won't play records unless they can mix them, but of course, these 40 year old tracks will still rock any open minded dancefloor just as they are.
All proceeds will once again go to the Mtandika mission in Tanzania -
Distributed by Above Board.
Autonomous Africa is a collaborative project run by JD Twitch, Midland and Auntie Flo.
Published: 12th March 2015