With all that summer sunshine and the one-world vibe of the World Cup, it was only right that the soundtrack to June was provided by a few of the amazing compilations of forgotten music currently being un-earthed by Soundway Records; the “UK-based label, dedicated to re-releasing lost and forgotten recordings from the world’s most vibrant musical cultures.”
More like an archeologist than a cratedigger, label owner Miles Cleret has spent years sourcing, compiling and referencing these collections in an effort to preserve and share classic sounds and movements from around the world.
Soundway’s catalogue includes funk, calypso, jazz, blues and even psychedelic afro-rock(!) mostly collected from West Africa and Latin America. New gems are being released all the time but my current favourites are –
panama! Latin, Calypso and Funk on the Isthmus 1965-75
A collection of live, one-take recordings from the 60′s-70′s featuring amongst other things – ‘conga-powered soul with added psychedelic surf guitar’ – ‘Latin jazz with a high, wailing bop trumpet’ – ‘vintage-sounding calypso’ – ‘South-of-the-border funk’ – ‘sweaty jazz improvisation’ – not to mention – ‘raw roots music’ or ‘swinging accordion sounds’. Who could resist that?
COLOMBIA! The Golden Age of Discos Fuentes – The Powerhouse of Colombian Music 1960-76
Disco Fuentes (Fuentes Records) has been the largest record label in Colombia since 1934. This collection, hand-picked from the enormous Fuentes catalogue delves into the golden years of 1960-76 and features various tropical music styles, incl. Cumbia, Gaita, Fandango, Salsa and Champeta.
NIGERIA AFROBEAT SPECIAL: The New Explosive Sound in 1970s Nigeria
Fela Kuti and his musical and political ideals originally formed the core of afrobeat’s message. Blending highlife, Yoruba music, funk and jazz, Fela dominated the music of 1970s Nigeria and his influence in Nigeria and West Africa led most bands of the day to incorporate this new sound into their repertoires to satisfy the demands of their audiences. This compilation highlights some of those recordings that, until now, haven’t seen the light of day.